Return to Transcripts main page
Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Trump Insults Judge, NY AG Minutes Before Facing Them In Court; Police: Missing NY Girl Found Safe, Suspect Detained; Gaetz Moves To Oust McCarthy As House Speaker; Speaker McCarthy Refuses To Rule Out Cutting Deal With Dems To Keep His Job; Former Trump Chief Of Staff John Kelly Offers Sharp Rebuke Of Former Pres. Trump; Unsafe Saltwater Threatens New Orleans Area Drinking Water. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 02, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taylor likes what she has seen so far.
Here's Taylor Swift in the VIP.
Taylor is still here.
Taylor Swift and everybody hanging there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: They knew what made money. Her name was mentioned, by the way about two dozen times throughout the game. You heard some of them there.
And she was there with some of her famous friends, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman also was there. By the way, the Chiefs did win 23 to 20.
Thanks so much for joining us.
AC 360 starts right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360: Breaking news: The nine- year-old girl who vanished during a bike ride on a camping trip over the weekend has been found alive and is now safe.
Also, the former president goes to court and goes off and the judge who now holds the fate of the Trump business empire in his hands and the attorney general prosecuting him.
Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
The former president was not under oath when he left the courthouse in Lower Manhattan this evening at the end of day one of his civil fraud trial. He was under no legal obligation to tell the truth. So when characterizing the proceedings and why he was there, he didn't, he lied.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was for
politics. Now, it has been very successful for them because they took me off the campaign trail, because I've been sitting in a courthouse all day long instead of being in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or a lot of other places I could be at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, he ended the first day of his trial in which he has already been found liable for not telling the truth about how much his assets are worth, by not telling the truth about the trial itself, because Keeping Them Honest, no one forced him to show up. He actually didn't have to be there.
This is a civil, not a criminal proceeding. Nothing in the law requires his presence. He was there because he wanted to draw attention to the case, a case in which today, one of his attorneys Alina Habba restated some of the same inflated claims about Mar-a-Lago and other properties that the judge has already ruled were fraudulent.
Also revealed as fraudulent today, the former president's complaint about how unfair that judge was -- that a judge was hearing the case and not the jury. It turns out neither side asked for a jury trial, according to the judge and Trump attorneys acknowledge that the law doesn't allow for a jury trial.
Of course, even before court began, the former president was attacking the judge and kept up during the break as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is a judge that should be disbarred. This is a judge that should be out of office. This is a judge that some people say could be charged criminally for what he is doing.
He is interfering with an election and it's a disgrace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He also continued to call the New York attorney general, Letitia James, racist.
So to sum things up, today saw the former president of the United States who has already been warned in several cases about attacking court officers, attacking two court officers and at the start of a trial which hinges entirely on his inability to tell the truth about his business holdings, he cannot even tell the truth about the trial itself.
CNN's Kara Scannell was in court today, she joins us with more.
So we heard the foreign president outside court claiming the case is politically motivated. What happened inside the court?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, some of that political argument continued inside when Trump's attorney, Alina Habba addressed the judge in her opening statements. She made a lot of saying that Letitia James, the attorney general could have brought this case before she even was elected in office saying that she had campaigned that she was going to get Trump.
And the judge after her statement stopped her and said that, you know, he had already ruled on this, that the attorney general's motivations for bringing this case was not an issue here and he was backed up by an appeals court who agreed with his ruling.
So, you know, telling her that there's really no argument for hearing the politics of this. She said to the judge that she had to address it because the attorney general did also speak outside today, but certainly trying to bring the politics into the courtroom.
And the former president, you know, he was watching her intently when she was sparring with the judge over this and he was pretty engaged the whole day. He was looking at the documents before him. He was watching the witness testimony, and then as you said, he was coming out at every break to address the cameras that were lining the hallways to the courtroom.
COOPER: And did the former president and the attorney general interact at all in court?
SCANNELL: So he walked past her. She was sitting in the front row in the corner seat at least three times with no acknowledgement. He was glancing away from her, looking down at the floor when he walked past her. Then he finally did kind of sneak a look at her and glanced over, but there was no obvious eye contact between the two.
Now, interestingly, Eric Trump, who is a defendant in this case also walked past the attorney general a couple of times, and then he stopped, shook her hands and they exchanged words, and then before he left for the day, he stopped by her again, and exchanged some words.
We don't know what they were. He spoke softly, and we couldn't hear but there was some engagement at that level, but the former president didn't make eye contact. They didn't have any kind of interaction at all -- Anderson.
COOPER: And we as we mentioned, this is a civil case, not a criminal prosecution. What's at stake for him in terms of penalties potentially?
SCANNELL: Well, the Attorney General's Office is seeking at least $250 million in penalties. They say that's the prosecution what's at stake for him in terms of penalties potential. While the Attorney General's Office is seeking at least $250 million in penalties, they say that's the money he got, by having rates that he would never have gotten on loans and insurance had he been truthful about the value of his properties.
They are also those seeking to ban him and his adult children from acting as an officer in New York, from engaging in any real estate transactions here for five years, and some other matters.
So they were looking at not just money, but also some practical implications. And as you said, the judge already found that Trump was liable for fraud on these financial statements by putting false values for some of these properties, and he said that the Trump Organization would have to be dissolved by canceling some of the business certificates.
But it still remains very unclear what that means and what that will what that will look like, which could be much more significant than any dollar amount that could be the ultimate result of the end of this trial -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Kara Scannell, appreciate it.
Joining us now CNN legal analyst, Jennifer Rodgers; Kaitlan Collins, host of "The Source" at the top of the next hour. Also CNN legal analyst, Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, former Manhattan chief assistant district attorney; and David Cay Johnston, author, investigative journalist and longtime reporter on all things Trump.
Jennifer, I mean, let's start with you. The former president did not have to be there. Why do you think he was?
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he already has lost a huge part of this case, right? The summary judgment that the judge issued 10 days or so ago, means that the core of the case is over, and now, it is just a matter of the counts that remain, and then the amount that he's going to have to pay and whether or not as Kara said, that they'll be banned from doing business. So he is on a losing streak.
So I think he showed up to try to kind of twist the narrative, right? He's not doing anything in court today, but he can go outside and he can say this is a political prosecution and the judge is terrible and the attorney general is terrible.
This is more of a PR trick than a legal one.
COOPER: Jennifer, it also seemed like his attorney in her opening statement was, I mean, it was sort of playing to him, arguing the politics of this when it really had nothing to do with the case at hand.
RODGERS: Yes, this is the danger of having your client there, right? A client who basically drives the bus, so she has to make this argument. The judge has already ruled on and ruled against and doesn't like and doesn't want to hear again, because he's sitting there and he demands it.
So I think he will not come -- obviously, he is not going to come every day and then they will be able to turn their attention to the legal issues here, which is really what they should be focusing on.
COOPER: Kaitlan, he obviously has a calculation that he gets something out of attending. I mean, not just the ability to get the press attention, because he's speaking at every break and lunch break.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: But it was notable how often he did speak. I mean, when he has been arraigned and had all these other -- when we have seen him in courthouses in the last several months, he usually makes one statement at the plane and then he leaves.
He came out almost every instance that he could today.
COOPER: Is this a sign of how seriously concerned he is about this case?
COLLINS: Yes. And so I think when you see that -- certainly, they are doing this for political benefit. They are trying to fundraise off of it. They were sending out e-mails nonstop. He was attacking the attorney general as he was walking into the courtroom moments before we saw him. His political advisors were there with him.
But when he came out and was speaking and I was talking to other people in his orbit, asking if they agreed with my assessment, which was he was about as angry as you had seen him in recent months. He seemed to be almost seething.
And I was talking to Trump sources and they were saying that they agree that that was exactly what they were watching as he was coming out, and I think it's because of what it is that they're talking about.
It's not classified documents. It's not the election. It's something that is deeply personal to him and that is his wealth. And of course, you know, there's already not a good omen for this with how the judge has decided so far. But what they were looking at now is something that is so deeply personal for him.
COOPER: And potentially financially damaging to them.
COOPER: David, I mean, one of Trump's attorney said in court today, "Doral would sell for at least a billion dollars, Mar-a-Lago, at least a billion. The value is what someone is willing to pay. The Trump properties are Mona Lisa properties. That is not fraud. That is real estate."
I mean, is there some truth to that, given sort of the overall shakiness and vagaries of New York real estate that the brand of Trump adds some extra untold value to things are used to?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AUTHOR, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, it used to be. You've hit upon the right phrase there. There was a time when Trump got premium prices for his apartments. Part of the reason he did that in Trump Tower when he sold most of the building was that he didn't ask questions about who you were.
If you said you were going to buy an apartment in the name of Snow Inc. Donald didn't say I'm sorry, is that a ski resort in Colorado? Or is that a cocaine business? And that's why Trump Tower is full of people who are of great interest to law enforcement.
So a billion dollars for the Doral, I'm sorry, they just can't stop themselves. They keep coming up with these ridiculous inflated numbers.
COOPER: Karen, I mean, the phrase "Mona Lisa properties" I'm not sure how much sway that's going to have for the judge who has already declared there to be overwhelming evidence of fraud, but the idea that they are in court continuing to push these valuations, how does that play?
KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well unfortunately, for the Trump's, there are these objective measures that the attorney general is relying upon that aren't these subjective, well, this is whatever I want it to be worth the value, it is this intangible thing that someone will pay for.
There are things like the square footage of a penthouse apartment where they say the value is based on the size and the square footage and the price per square foot, and they put on a piece of paper that the penthouse is worth -- is actually 30,000 square feet. But it turns out that that penthouse is less than 11,000 square feet. So they tripled the size of that and that's an objective measure, right? And so therefore, they tripled the value and they are able to --
COOPER: I don't know. You know, square feet is kind of aspirational in New York. There is a lot of New Yorkers who just dream that -- we all dream about more square footage.
AGNIFILO: I just think that there's some objective, there are a lot of objective factors -- yes, we do.
There are a lot of objective factors that they are going to point to that really goes to the heart of this case and how unfair his business dealings were.
You know, it takes money to make money and he unfairly got money by lying about the value of things, the size of things, et cetera so that he can then go and continue to invest that. And then of course, when it suited him the opposite direction, like for tax purposes, he doesn't want to pay his fair share of taxes, so he would under inflate the values, and those two things can't be accurate at the same time.
So I think he's going to have some objective facts that are going to be pointed to that is going to be hard to get away from.
COOPER: David, we could see Eric Trump behind -- far behind his father when his father was making some media appearances. Is he the one who's been running this? I mean, is Don, Jr. just off doing podcasts and, you know, promoting himself around the country? And has Ivanka just disappeared in Florida? Or are they at fault here, too? I mean, they've all been called as potential witnesses.
JOHNSTON: Well, Ivanka is out of the case and her role in things that I've written about was primarily to draw in people for various real estate cons that Trump was running, not to do the financial side of them.
Eric Trump --
COOPER: Ivanka's role was to draw people in from various cons?
JOHNSTON: Oh, yes. She went to the sales pitch for what Trump said was a development he was building in Baja, California, and said, oh, you know, I'm going to buy -- I have a unit, too, and maybe I'll come to your place and have to borrow a cup of sugar. But she wasn't involved in the financial details of it. She is out of this case, the judge removed her because of when she ceased being involved with the Trump Organization.
Eric Trump is someone who has given us some of the best quotes about Donald and getting money from Russia, and that he said whatever he did, presumably to try and make nice with Letitia James, I think it's just indicative that he is not his father. He's another -- he is part of the family, but he is not the same person his father is.
COOPER: And Jennifer, I mean, we heard the foreign president, you know, talk about a rogue judge; again, calling the attorney general, racist. Does that impact a trial like this?
RODGERS: So there's no jury here, it's just the judge. So I think the judge is trying to just stay even keeled about all of this. I mean, the last thing he would want to do is give them the ammunition to say that he is biased by freaking out about Trump's statements.
So unless he goes really far and actually directs his supporters to, you know, attack them or something, I think he probably will just stay the course and let him say what he wants outside the courtroom and proceed, because, you know, there's no jury to be influenced here.
COOPER: And also, I mean, Kaitlan, we should be pointing out again, the former president is claiming that the federal Department of Justice is behind this state trial. I just want to play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It all comes down from the DOJ that totally coordinate this in Washington. It's all run by DOJ, which is corrupt in Washington. Everything goes through them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, at this point, he is just lying. I mean, he's just lying, always. I mean, it's rather extraordinary. I mean, obviously, even for him, it just seems like there's no controls at all.
COLLINS: None of that is true, nothing that he just said there is true and we've heard --
COOPER: But it fits into what the message he's trying to send his supporters to fund raise off of, the weaponization. COLLINS: Which is that Biden is president and he's going after him,
even though you heard from Attorney General Garland yesterday in that CBS interview saying, I would resign before President Biden could ask me, and also saying he didn't think President Biden would do that.
But this investigation, what is so important to remember about that. We spoke with a former district attorney in New York about this last week after this judge had ruled this, Cy Vance. He said that they were essentially building this case and essentially implied to me that he believed it should have been brought as a criminal case not as the civil case that they believed they had it on the right path to get there.
That of course, was long before President Biden was in office before Merrick Garland was running the Department of Justice. That was when Donald Trump was in office and Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions were running the Department of Justice, so it's just -- none of that is true
COOPER: Kaitlan, we'll see you back at nine o'clock. Jennifer Rodgers, thanks so much. Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, David Cay Johnston as well.
Coming up next, some especially welcome breaking news: A missing child who vanished this weekend is alive, a suspect is in custody. We'll have details ahead.
At the Capitol, there is also more breaking news. Tonight, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz announcing tonight he is moving to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
COOPER: We have breaking news and it is good news. New York State Police said they have found nine-year-old Charlotte Sena safe and in good health after a massive search for her at Moreau Lake State Park over the past 48 hours, also a suspect is detained.
The fourth grader vanished on Saturday night on a camping trip with her family. She'd been riding her bike with friends and asked to go on one more loop alone and never returned leading to a search that brought about 400 people, drones and dogs.
Joining us with more is Callahan Walsh, a child advocate for the National Center for Missing Exploited Children. He is the son of John Walsh, former host of "America's Most Wanted."
Also joining us, CNN chief law enforcement analyst, John Miller.
So Callahan I know your organization was involved with the search for Charlotte, are you hearing anything about how she was found?
CALLAHAN WALSH, CHILD ADVOCATE FOR THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING EXPLOITED CHILDREN: We're hearing that she was found in good health, which is amazing. I mean, just the fact that she was found alive, you know, I tried to put it into words, I say it's like a Grand Slam at the World Series, but it is better than that.
Honestly, to get this news that she was found safe is amazing. I think there might be a misconception that missing kids aren't found alive that's not true, but anytime we have a stranger abduction like this, a non-family member who is taking a child, when we get them back alive, even after 48 hours, it is the best thing in the world.
COOPER: John, do you know about the methods authorities were using here to try to find her?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: There was no method they were not using, so they were exploiting license plate readers, video cameras, cell tower signals, looking for some connection.
But I'm told by sources that a note was dropped by the house today. So what I --
COOPER: A note?
MILLER: A note, something akin to a ransom note, some note indicating she was being held. Now, what we don't have nailed down is whether that note was from the actual abductor, or that was some opportunist, but this is all very fresh.
COOPER: That would be very unusual and strange if somebody involved with this actually left a note.
MILLER: Well, I mean, there are -- child abductions, by strangers, if that is the case here are normally not kidnap for ransom cases. That would be unusual.
And, you know, the kidnap for ransom model offers dropping ransom off, the return of the child. The offender, pretty much has to show themselves or send somebody at some point. And I've been involved in a lot of cases like that.
But when it comes to child abductions, you know, you're talking about somebody who might have been in the park, put her in the car, got her out.
COOPER: And I'm just being told that police have said that multiple residences were searched.
MILLER: Yep. So that is why they are being very tight lipped at this point, because even at this stage of the investigation, they need to know more. What they went out was -- what they went out with was the information that they wanted to go out with, which is everybody can stop searching, we have her and she's okay.
The investigative part of this is literally still coming together at this point. And interestingly, you know, we saw Governor Kathy Hochul who said, I promised her mom that we would get her back. She said that at the press conference on Sunday, you know, basically announcing the disappearance, that's a really tough promise to make, but you have to make it in the moment.
And it's really incredibly lucky that she's going to be able to keep it.
COOPER: And Callahan, this is still very much an active investigation, as John was saying.
WALSH: Absolutely. And these details are unfolding in real time. As we speak, we have one of our team members from Team Adam, a group of retired law enforcement professionals who assist in these missing children's cases as boots on the ground, they were deployed.
And so we're getting information literally in real time on what's going on with the investigation. Again, hats off to everybody involved in the search for this little girl. Every law enforcement agency, anybody that lent some people power and volunteer to every NGO that was out there. It's really about bringing all of these resources to bear in hopes that we can recover these children as quick as possible.
And again, the fact that this little girl is with her family, their family is whole again tonight. A long road to recovery, the trauma that she experienced, I'm sure is immense. But we are going to be there for the family and I know a lot of other people are just loving that she was found alive and it is an amazing thing.
COOPER: Yes. Appreciate it, Callahan. Thank you so much. John Miller as well, thank you.
And next, more breaking news as one drama ends on Capitol Hill, another begins two days after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a last minute deal with Democrats to temporarily fund the government. His time as GOP leader is now in jeopardy. Tonight, a rebel faction of Republicans began the process trying to remove him the speaker. More on that ahead.
COOPER: More now on the safe recovery of nine -year-old, Charlotte Sena who vanish Saturday night. John Miller still here with us.
With us by phone is New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
Governor Hochul, thank you so much for being with us. I'm glad it's with good news to talk about. Can you just bring us up to date on what you know about what led to the discovery of her?
GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY) (via phone): Yes, everyone in New York is breathing a collective sigh of relief right now. I was literally in the arms of the parents, we were all hugging each other, just yesterday, as I went up to the State Park. Just looking at the site where the little girl had been abducted. We didn't know quite that it was an abduction at that moment.
But as more time unfolded, we realized that that was likely the case. We spread the search to a much larger area than the state park, checking on the cell phone pings throughout the towers, which helps you identify people who had been in the park at a certain time and were their phones were later. So the technology was a great help to us. But we spread that search around five counties.
Also searched for known sex offenders, started identifying individuals in that category. So it was really an incredible, coordinated effort from so many agencies.
It was a state park and so the state of New York State Police were involved as well as our DEC teams, but it was extraordinary to see how they traced it down to an individual's home. The home was surrounded by law enforcement and helicopters and they were able to bring her to safety and not long after, she was in the arms of her parents at a hospital and being transported, so she is going to checked out.
But she is in good health. And we're so, so grateful for everyone who did an extraordinary job. I told her parents I said, we will find your daughter. I said I promise you we will find your daughter.
And I as a mom, am just so grateful that she has been found safely tonight.
COOPER: Governor, there's a report that there was a ransom note received. Can you tell us about that? And that perhaps there were fingerprints on that ransom note?
HOCHUL: There was a ransom note that was left at her parents' home. And yes, the fingerprints there assisted the police in identifying the suspect.
COOPER: So that ransom note was actually from the suspect/
HOCHUL: That is what we can glean from it right now, but I have to caution that this is still very much a live investigation and as more information that can be confirmed, is available, we will get it out there.
But right now, there was a ransom note and that was instrumental in leading us directly to the suspect. His fingerprint was already in the database -- his fingerprint was already available to law enforcement.
COOPER: Can you say what kind of a database his fingerprint was in?
HOCHUL State police database, I believe.
COOPER: Was that -- do you know what prior crimes he committed?
HOCHUL: No, let me get confirmation because we're still running down and this is still fairly new information running down what other cases this individual may have been involved with?
COOPER: Did you get information from the cell towers regarding this individual or was this the information that led police to the residents came directly from the fingerprints on the ransom note?
HOCHUL: Both. Both it also, you know, these cell towers were pinged literally the night before. When I was there, they were -- they're checking all the different cell phones that have been in the vicinity of this park. We also knew that anyone who came into this park is a camper. We would have their information because they had to buy purchase a ticket.
So you could start circling around possible suspects based on the cell phone data, who is in the park and also then ultimately, the ransom note. So it was a, you know, combination of all those factors that were coming to life almost simultaneously that led to the quick arrest of the suspect.
COOPER: Governor Hochul, I appreciate your time tonight with this new information. Thank you.
HOCHUL: All right. Thank you. Good news for our country. Everyone's been praying for and I'm grateful that Charlotte is back safely in the arms of her parents.
COOPER: Yes, it's -- I mean, it's incredible. It is the best news possible. Thank you so much, Governor.
Back with our John Miller. Fascinating fingerprints on a ransom note. I mean, a ransom note, how common is that in a child abduction case?
MILLER: It is very old school. Child abduction cases, if the child is taken by strangers, you know, is usually --
COOPER: But most child abductions are parental abductions.
MILLER: The large majority are parental abductions, but when you take that out, you have 42 percent are taken by acquaintances. Now that doesn't mean relatives necessarily, it could just be somebody the kid knew from the neighborhood and trusted is not a threat. Then you see another 40 percent that are taken by total strangers.
And, you know, when you look at those in the nine-year-old girl category, that's generally going to be a sexual predator. And the prospects there, you know, two or three days in can be very bad. In this case, with the ransom note, you see a document that they got that could have been real, could have been a hoax, but they processed it.
You put it into the AFIS system, which is the Automatic Finger -- Automated Fingerprint Information System that's going to scan it against every prisoner who's ever been arrested on a felony charge in New York State and other databases. It comes up with a match of a name.
As the governor explained, you can then say, OK, who is this person? Do we have a record of a cell phone? Was that cell phone pinging --
MILLER: -- in Moreau State Park at the time of the abduction? Did that person or another person who's related to them buy a ticket? And then you get to that first location, second location, because you're looking at, OK, so where after that abduction did that cell phone ping?
How many addresses? And you know, you're going to have to go get a warrant and search each one of those. And, you know, under these exigent circumstances --
MILLER: -- you move very quickly and it's -- it is a great thing that it worked out this well.
COOPER: So -- yes. Amazing. Amazing. John Miller, thank you so much.
Washington now, more breaking news. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz tonight launching his attempt to oust Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. A short time ago, he filed a motion to vacate the Speaker's chair. This comes after McCarthy over the weekend managed to reach a deal on a 45-day stopgap bill to head off a government shutdown.
You'll recall maybe that when we left you Friday night, he had just said this when asked whether this would include working with Democrats if needed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: It's easy to surrender. If you want to surrender, yes. But if you want to fight for the American public, to secure our borders and keep government open, how is that a problem? It's only for CNN that that becomes a problem, that I don't surrender to the liberals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, keeping them honest, who Speaker McCarthy chooses to do business with is no business of ours. We're reporting the news, and that sometimes includes reminding our viewers, when elected officials say one thing, do another like now. The thing Speaker McCarthy said he would not do, he did. He worked with Democrats to pass legislation to prevent a government shutdown.
Ninety members of his own party voted against it. All but three Democrats voted yes, which, on the one hand, makes Speaker McCarthy guilty of what on Friday he said he called surrendering, or you could call it doing what it takes to make a bad situation, arguably of his own making, better.
Government stayed open. Military families, like the ones we introduced you to on Friday, will continue to get paid. The drama, though, did not end there, as the breaking news tonight shows, as a result of McCarthy's working with Democrats, Congressman Gaetz tonight made good on his threat to go after his job.
CNN's Manu Raju joins us now with the latest. So Manu, Gaetz just spoke to you on the steps at the Capitol in the scrum. What did he say?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he said he has enough Republican votes to kick out McCarthy as Speaker, but only if Democrats also join in at that effort. He said that the only way that McCarthy could continue to serve as Speaker is if McCarthy relies on Democrats to save him.
He continued to rail on McCarthy about a whole host of broken promises and pushed back against as many critics within the House GOP, saying he's throwing things into chaos. And Anderson, he told me he is willing to keep going on and on and on, even if McCarthy is on the floor, is out as Speaker, puts himself up as a candidate, nobody can get 218 votes to be elected House Speaker. Gaetz says he's ready to grind it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R), FLORIDA: I have enough Republicans where, at this point next week, one of two things will happen. Kevin McCarthy won't be the speaker of the House, or he'll be the speaker of the House working at the pleasure of the Democrats. And I'm at peace with either result, because the American people deserve to know who governs them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: And Anderson, he also told me that he has spoken with Donald Trump about this move to oust Kevin McCarthy. He would not say what Trump told him, but it was interesting because, of course, McCarthy had credited Trump from winning the speakership and over after 15 ballots back in January. So a big question here about the role of the former president and all of this as well, Anderson.
COOPER: So what happens now? When's the House expected to vote on this?
RAJU: Well, this, of course, has never been successfully executed before in American history to actually oust a sitting speaker on the floor through a floor vote. And what would happen here, now that he's filed this motion, within two legislative days, that means by Wednesday, there would actually have to be a vote on the House floor.
The Speaker's team could try to block it on a procedural vote, which is expected to be done to essentially try to kill it. That would require a majority of the House, 218 voting members could vote on that procedural motion. But, at the moment, Anderson, I surveyed and talked to a number of these conservative hardliners, people who align themselves with Matt Gaetz.
Gaetz appears to be right. He does have enough Republican support to oust him if the Democrats decide to oust him as well. And that is a key question. It will dominate the question tomorrow as well. Democrats are still grappling with what to do, whether to seek concessions from McCarthy. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democratic leader, refused to say how he would approach this as he met with his team and as they plan to have a Democratic caucus meeting tomorrow to make this momentous decision about whether to kick out McCarthy or whether to cut a deal.
COOPER: Manu Raju, thank you.
Joining us now in New York, Republican Congressman Mike Lawler. Congressman, appreciate you being with us. First of all, what's your reaction to Congressman Gaetz's moved to ask the speaker.
REP. MIKE LAWLER (R), NEW YORK: Well, I think he's a petulant child, and I think he proved that this evening by filing his motion to vacate against the rules of the Republican Majority Conference, which require a majority of the majority to file the motion to vacate.
He has used, quote unquote, Kevin violating conference rules, as his rationale, behind filing this motion to vacate. And so, obviously, it's, number one, hypocritical but duplicitous at best. And, you know, I think it just speaks volumes to who Matt is, his character, and the fact that he doesn't care about the American people, he doesn't care about governing, he cares about getting attention and notoriety and, whatever his personal petty grievances are with the Speaker and putting that above all other considerations.
And so, you know, we'll see. Within the next 48 hours, obviously, a vote will occur. I am supporting Kevin McCarthy, as I have throughout, and will continue to do so. I think, you know, when you look at the work that we are doing as a House Republican majority and what we were elected to do to serve as a check and balance on the Biden administration and the reckless spending that occurred under the prior two years, Matt is undermining that selfishly.
And delaying the very important work that we have to do to finish the appropriations process over the next 45 days so that we can get a final agreement on spending, on the border, and on Ukraine before November 17th.
COOPER: So --
LAWLER: But it's hard to do that work when you are dealing with a motion to vacate.
COOPER: And CNN is reporting, as Manu was saying, McCarthy is at risk of losing five or more Republicans, more defections than he can afford on his side of the aisle, which means he'll need to rely on Democratic votes in order to keep his job. What impact is that going to be? I mean, how likely do you think it is Democrats will rescue Speaker McCarthy? And what does that do to him down the road?
LAWLER: Well, I guess Democrats need to determine first and foremost whether they want to align themselves with Matt Gaetz. This is somebody who they have derided for years and who has been under ethics investigation. And many of them have not had nice things to say about him.
So, if they want to align themselves with Matt Gaetz to undermine the institution of the House of Representatives, that's a choice that they will have to make. The reality is that Matt Gaetz would need Democrat support to remove Speaker McCarthy. And the fact that he is willing to do that, shows, obviously, that he doesn't care about governing in a conservative House majority.
He doesn't care about the issues that the American people elected a House Republican majority to govern on, and that this is petty and personal. And so, you know, the Wall Street Journal today referred to him as Baby Gaetz because, you know, his daddy gave him his first job in politics. The guy's a career politician who's never done anything except create chaos and disruption.
So, fitting that the -- that he's called Baby Gaetz, I think he proved himself to be a man child tonight.
COOPER: Congressman Mike Lawler, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next, a CNN exclusive from my colleague Jake Tapper. The harshest statements to date about the former president by his former chief of staff, John Kelly, as well as confirmation of damning stories, repeated damning stories about remarks that the former president made to Kelly behind closed doors attacking U.S. service members and disabled veterans.
COOPER: Now to a CNN exclusive on the record confirmation of a number of really damning, damaging statements made by the former president and the person confirming them is his former chief of staff and Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly. My colleague Jake Tapper joins us with these new statements from Kelly.
Jake, it's extraordinary the things that General Kelly said. I mean, it confirms a lot of reporting that has already been out there, but to hear it point blank from General Kelly is extraordinary.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Yes, he's setting the record straight about things that have never been confirmed on the record. He is, Donald Trump's, obviously his longest serving Chief of Staff at the White House. And he's confirming that Donald Trump turned to him at Arlington and said, I don't get it about all the dead soldiers there. What was in it for them?
Confirming that at the World War I, a centennial anniversary, Donald Trump didn't want to visit a cemetery full of American soldiers because he thought they were suckers, confirming that --
COOPER: I mean, let me just stop you there. I mean --
TAPPER: Yes. COOPER: -- if any other president had ever said anything like that, they would have been -- I mean, can you imagine if --
COOPER: -- President Obama had said that. I mean, people would understandably be up in arms, and yet he said that there's suckers.
TAPPER: He's confirming that Donald Trump called John McCain and George H. W. Bush, suckers and losers for getting shot down during Vietnam and World War II, respectively, as naval aviators. I mean, as aviators fighting in those wars.
Another thing, John Kelly's confirming was in the book, "The Divider", by Susan Glasser and Peter Baker. Donald Trump goes to Bastille Day in France, and he sees this amazing parade. And this has been -- this was written about, he comes back, he wants his own military parade. Not in celebration of anything other than the American military and perhaps a bit also himself.
And he goes to John Kelly and he says he wants this parade, except one difference. He didn't like the wounded veterans that he saw in the French parade. And he says, I don't want that. That doesn't look good for me.
John Kelly says to him, you have to understand these are the heroes. These are our heroes. The only people who are more heroes are the ones buried across the river at Arlington. And Trump -- President Trump says it doesn't look good for me. It doesn't look good for me. I mean, John Kelly has been refusing to confirm these stories on the record for years and years.
But finally, I think what did it for him was Donald Trump, basically saying that General Milley should be assassinated, suggesting that he deserved assassination. And in John Kelly's view, that basically encourages his supporters to do something to Milley. So that was it. He just gave this very long, very detailed statement about all the ways, in Kelly's view, Donald Trump, is wrong.
Does not understand, "A person that has nothing but contempt for our democratic institutions, our Constitution, and the rule of law. And he concludes, "There is nothing more that can be said. God help us".
COOPER: What did the Trump campaign say in response?
TAPPER: Well, first, we went to them. We didn't tell them what -- who the individual was. We just said a former senior member of the administration is confirming a lot of details in this 2020 Atlantic story by Jeffrey Goldberg in which, Donald Trump is quoted saying a lot of disparaging things about soldiers who were wounded or killed in the line of duty.
And immediately the Trump campaign started insulting General Milley on the record, disparaging his character, disparaging his credibility, even though General Milley was not the person who talked to us for this piece. And, you know, but immediately they started, you know, attacking him.
We didn't mention General Milley, and then they attacked me as well and said that I should stop something about fake news and something about sketchy sources. But, obviously, this news is very real, obviously from a rather impeccable source, John Kelly.
COOPER: All right, Jake Tapper, thanks so much.
TAPPER: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: To read the entire statement from former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, go to CNN.com.
Now, for reaction to what you just heard from Jake, plus the former president's day in court, I'm joined by Democratic Strategist James Carville on what he would do if he were advising the former president.
James, I mean, I don't know why I'm surprised or shocked in particular by what General Kelly has said. A lot of it was reported before, but having it all confirmed by a person of Kelly's reputation and access to the former president, I mean, it would be devastating for any politician in history, except for this man.
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, General Kelly is a retired four-star Marine Corps general. Just so, you know, he has some experience in the military. General Milley is one of the great soldiers of the 21st century, if you just look up his resume.
I'm said probably a 1.4 million military personnel and active duty, probably another half a million and 600,000 in reserves, which the military definitely count as their own. And commanding chief is telling them all the suckers. I have no -- I read the piece that Jeffrey wrote. Of course, I knew it was true because he's not the kind of reporter that's going to make stuff up.
COOPER: Jeffrey Goldberg initially reported these things, wasn't sourced to a particular person. Kelly is now confirming what Goldberg had said -- had written.
CARVILLE: Everyone knew it was General Kelly who told Goldberg. I mean, I -- at least I've assumed everybody did. I know I did, but it doesn't matter. You have the -- the person that perspective commander in chief telling 2 million Americans in uniforms, and I don't know how many millions of retired veterans you have, it's your pack of folks.
What -- I don't -- what else can you do? You have a four-star general on the record saying this, who was chief of staff to the president, who was a head of Homeland and Security. I have no idea, but I've not been able to figure this guy out for a long time. I mean, he's adjudicated to have raped someone.
He's an adjudicated Brit business fraud, I have no idea and he completely disrespects the most important people in the country, that's the people in uniform and he thinks they're all suckers and losers.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, convicted of sexual abuse in the case in New York, E. Jean Carroll. The other thing -- one of the other things that Kelly said, and I unfortunately don't have the exact quote here. But essentially, he went further and said that the former president lies about his opinions on abortion, evangelicals, Jews, men and women, I mean, pretty much every issue, certainly every hot button issue that he is known for.
CARVILLE: You know, I didn't mean to laugh at your question, but he lies about everything. When the guy -- what they need to stop doing is do these boxes and Trump has told 31,611 lies. Why don't they have a truth box and say for the 17th time in five years, he actually told the truth about something.
Because we're just -- we're numb to -- courts finding him liable from things from rape to business fraud, we're numb by his crazy statements. And maybe there's a different way to do this, but this stuff get reported and apparently 47.5 percent of people in the country don't give a rats to it. That's all I can think about -- you're right.
If President Clinton said this, I would have quit. So would everybody else. If President Bush would have said that, I know the people around him would have -- they would have resigned. I mean, they just wouldn't have stayed. There's no chance that any formal president would think or say anything like this, but that just goes to show you how extraordinary it is.
COOPER: And Lindsey Graham, who, you know, serves this country, I believe, in the reserves, I mean, you know, loyal to this guy.
CARVILLE: Yes, I think yes. Well as Ron DeSantis. He was in the Navy. Why don't you ask him? I mean, there's plenty of people that you can ask about this. And if -- are you calling General Kelly a liar? I mean, it's stunning. You're right to highlight this. I can assure you.
COOPER: Yes. James Carville, thank you for being with us tonight. Good to see you.
Still ahead, saltwater, where it's not supposed to be contaminating fresh drinking water in parts of Southern Louisiana, and it could hit New Orleans in the coming weeks. Look at why and what's being done to try and stop the threat ahead.
COOPER: But tonight, we take you back to Louisiana, where we brought you so many stories from over the years. This time, the problem is too little water, not too much. A drought on the Mississippi river around New Orleans and the surrounding parishes that has led to a bigger problem, too much of the wrong kind of water. Saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico making its way upriver that's contaminated drinking water supplies for tens of thousands. Soon, that will likely include New Orleans.
Our Chief Climate Correspondent, Bill Weir, shows us how officials are trying to combat the problem.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In south Louisiana, folks are plenty familiar with saltwater that moves at the speed of a hurricane. But now, they must also worry about saltwater that creeps, steady and invisible toward the crops, machines, and drinking water systems of almost 1 million people.
GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D), LOUISIANA: I happen to be one who believes in the power of prayer. I'm going to ask for people to pray for rain.
WEIR (voice-over): After a second straight year of extraordinary drought, the not so mighty Mississippi is too weak to hold back the Gulf of Mexico. So the heavier saltwater is running downhill towards New Orleans in the shape of a wedge, with the tow about 15 miles in front of the kind of inundation that could threaten the health of the vulnerable and destroy everything from lead pipes to appliances.
(on-camera): So the Army Corps of Engineers is urgently racing against time and salt with a couple different tools. This is the first of what will be many barges that can bring about a half million gallons of freshwater at a time downstream. They use it to dilute the brackish stuff as it goes into a small water plant here in Plaquemines Parish.
The corps says they can move 36 million gallons a day, but even that wouldn't be enough to save the New Orleans water supply. So they're already talking about maybe building pipelines to prop up that water system. In the meantime, the corps is also building a big sill, like an underwater speed bump to try to slow the wedge as it moves inland.
But these are all temporary fixes, and the leader of this parish says, if this is the new normal, that means parts of Louisiana will need the same kind of desalination that they use in Israel and other desert communities.
You've had one trailer would be the reverse Osmosis and the other would be the filtration system right there.
(voice-over): Keith Hinkley is the president of Plaquemines Parish, a spread out county of less than 25,000 now spending a fortune on desalination.
KEITH HINKLEY, PRESIDENT, PLAQUEMINES PARISH: If we didn't have help from the state and the federal government, it could bankrupt the parish here.
WEIR (on-camera): That's right.
HINKLEY: So -- yes, yes. Because we're probably right now about $33 million in on this situation.
WEIR (on-camera): OK.
HINKLEY: And like I said, we're a small parish.
WEIR (on-camera): Just this summer, just this --
WEIR (on-camera): -- wedge.
HINKLEY: Yes. Because of this wedge.
WEIR (on-camera): Wow.
WEIR (on-camera): This is land that's familiar with hurricanes and flooding --
HINKLEY: This -- yes.
WEIR (on-camera): -- not droughts and wildfires.
HINKLEY: Right, right.
WEIR (on-camera): How do you reconcile this place?
HINKLEY: Well, because like you say, when you look this way and you look that way, you're looking at water. We're in the middle of water, but we're in the middle of the wrong kind of water. And that's why we're needing these kind of machines.
WEIR (voice-over): There is hope El Nino will bring rare October rain, but this battle could last months with the latest forecast putting the wedge close to New Orleans in the next three weeks.
LT. GENERAL RUSSEL L. HONORE, U.S. ARMY (RET.): But it's happened two years in a row because this is considered to be a pattern.
WEIR (voice-over): Lieutenant General Russel Honore led the military recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina and says that was the first disaster that made him consider the costs of climate change. Now retired, it is the focus of his work as an environmental activist in his native Louisiana.
HONORE: For the first time in my life a couple of weeks ago, the governor declared a wildfire emergency. I've never heard that in Louisiana before. This time of the year when I normally go to church on Sunday, the priests are praying for no hurricanes. We need to turn that and ask them to start praying for thunderstorm.
You know, yesterday we had floods in New York. Who would have thought that? This time of year the floods are in the Gulf.
WEIR (on-camera): Yes. HONORE: Not in New York, and the city flooded. So the climate is changing quicker than we are adapting.
WEIR: This is also an issue in South Florida where the king tides around Miami lead to saltwater intrusion that can be damaging here. But Louisiana is the canary in this coal mine due to subsidence, the land sinking, sea level rising, droughts like this. This state, Anderson, loses a piece of land about the size of a tennis court every hour.
COOPER: Bill Weir in New Orleans tonight. I'm envious you are there. Thank you for covering that, Bill.
The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now.