Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Trump Wraps Combative Testimony In High-Stakes Fraud Trial; Art Of The Trial; "If Emily Is Watching, Just Let Her Know That We Love Her"; New Explosions In Gaza; IDF Says Gaza City Is Encircled, Almost One Month After Oct; Israeli Father Told His 8-Year-Old Daughter May Be Alive, Weeks After Hearing She Was Dead; American Nurse Who Got Out Of Gaza Shares What She Witnessed; Poll: Trump Leads Biden In Several Key States. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 06, 2023 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: I mean, look this is a tragic story, but it's also deeply unsettling for Ukraine to see a top aide to its top commander this entire war killed like this. Police saying tonight that they have launched a criminal investigation. But obviously, we don't yet know the details to know whether the word "assassination" or what would be appropriate, but they have launched a criminal investigation.

All right. Thank you so much for joining us. It's time now for "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Today in his New York civil fraud trial, knowingly or not, the former president swung a wrecking ball at a pillar of his defense, namely that he left the question of how much pieces of his business empire worth to the accountants or in the words of his codefendant son, Eric, "I pour concrete. I don't focus on appraisals."

Well, today from the witness stand in between attacks on the judge in New -- and the New York Attorney General Letitia James, his own words suggested the opposite, that he was involved. These are appraisals, you'll remember, contained in financial statements that the judge has already ruled were fraudulent.

"I would look at them," the former president said on the stand, "I would see them, and I would maybe, on, occasion have some suggestions," which is what the state of New York is claiming that the appraisals were inflated on his behalf and at his behest. In testifying about loan agreements with Deutsche Bank, he went beyond even those already court determined inflated appraisals saying, quote, "The net worth of me was far greater than the financial statements."

The former president also admitted involvement in lowering valuations in the case of his Trump Tower apartment around the same time that Forbes Magazine outed him for claiming it was nearly three times larger than it actually is. The question, "This change in valuation came at your direction?" His answer, "Probably, I said I thought it was too high." He also seemed to have trouble with timelines, at one point testifying

that a loan for a Chicago property was, quote, "long since gone," only be reminded it was paid off last week or suggesting he was still president through 2021, even though he left office in January of that year.

Beyond all of that though, his demeanor at one point prompting this from Judge Engoron to Defense Attorney Christopher Kise. "I beseech you to control him, if you can," the judge said. "If you can't, I will. I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can. Do you understand that?" It was that kind of a day.

CNN Kara Scannell watched it all happen. She joins us now from outside the courthouse in Lower Manhattan. So tell more about what you saw.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Anderson. So, he was on the stand for nearly four hours of questioning. He did answer some of these questions substantively, including acknowledging that he did look at these financial statements, that he did, on occasion, make suggestions for values and correcting, as you said, the value for Trump Tower, calling it a mistake.

Now, the judge had -- and I should also mention that he -- you know, in addition to placing blame on the accountants, they're saying it was their responsibility, he also acknowledged that these statements went to the bank and he certified that these statements were accurate, but he tried to downplay that, too, saying that the banks did their own digging into the numbers and that it didn't matter. They didn't really rely on them. This will all be up for the judge to ultimately decide.

But many of Trump's answers today were long-winded. He was going off on tangents. And the judge from the start, trying to set the tone here, telling Trump right out of the gate that he wanted answers, not speeches. And then he said to Trump's attorney, "If you can't rein him in, I will," and threatened to move him and remove him from the stand.

Now the one point where Trump got the most heated, and he showed some anger, he was losing patience, he raised his voice, was when the attorney general's office had asked him about their main claim in this case that his financial statements were fraudulent and they were misleading, that is where we saw Trump the most expressive. And he got upset at that point saying that, as he put it to the judge, "He called me a fraud and he didn't know anything about me," and calling the New York attorney general a political hack -- Anderson.

COOPER: The former president's lawyers also brought up a motion for mistrial. What was the judge's reaction?

SCANNELL: Right. So Trump's attorney said that they're going to file a motion for a mistrial. This all relates to the communication that the judge has had with this clerk. They say that if -- they believe it shows some kinds -- a sign of bias.

So, they said they wanted to raise this motion. They wanted the judge to give them some direction in how to do it without tripping the gag order. And the judge was telling them, "I don't think you should make this motion."

So, they pushed back, both Chris Kise and Alina Habba saying that they believe that they need it to make this motion, how could they do it. The judge then relented and said that they could make it. They could make it in writing so as not to violate the gag order, in a sense. And he said he will make a decision on that quickly.

Now that motion won't come until the New York attorney general's office rest their case. That is expected to happen on Thursday after Ivanka Trump, their final witness, finishes testimony -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Kara Scannell, thanks so much.

With me here is Cardozo Law professor and former Federal Prosecutor Jessica Roth, also Cyrus Vance, Jr., former Manhattan district attorney, and CNN's Kaitlan Collins, host of "The Source," who was outside the courthouse all day.

Mr. Vance, what was your take away from today?


CYRUS VANCE, JR., FORMER MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, from what I listened to as an observer from -- on the media was this was, as I think, we would expect. You expect, in one sense, to go into a courtroom and hear witnesses tell the truth. I think that's how we all got into this system and what we believe is the process.

But I think we're dealing with someone who -- for whom that is a foreign concept and does not play by those rules. And so I think today the former president was focused on his election. It was about his political audience. It also had legal ramifications, however, and that is his end game is to become president again. And only in that position will he in a -- will he be capable of controlling the decisions that will affect his future and his liberty.

So I think there is a legal aspect to what he did today. But I thought the way he testified and his answers had little to do really with trying to convince the judge of anything. First, given the judge's prior rulings of the finding of fraud, and secondly, because I think it was clear the judge had little patience for his explanations.

COOPER: Kaitlan, there certainly was a lot of messaging, I mean, campaign messaging going on.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: I mean, he walked into that courtroom, I think, with no plans to try to ingratiate himself with this judge, even though it's the judge who is the decision-maker here and who is going to be the one deciding what he pays in penalties after he already found him liable for fraud.

And I was just reading over the court transcript that we received. And it's that remarkable moment in just the first 40 minutes where the judge is so frustrated with Trump that he's instructing his attorney to go have a conversation with his client. And Chris Kise, the attorney, is saying, "Okay, can we take a 10-minute break?" And the judge says, "Well, are you going to explain the rules to him during that 10-minute break?"

I mean, he was very testy with -- back and forth with Trump's attorneys, so frustrated at Trump, you know, doing what Trump does, answering questions in lengthy ways and with a yes or no, which is what did, you know, at the White House. It's what he did under oath today, but it didn't help him. I don't think anyone would agree and maybe trying to ingratiate himself with the judge here.

COOPER: Jessica, just in terms of from a legal perspective, did the judge hurt himself in any way or bring up possible reasons for some sort of an appeal?

JESSICA ROTH, LAW PROFESSOR AT CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW AND FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Trump and his attorneys, I think, were trying to provoke the judge into reacting in a way that would create a record that would help Trump in making an appellate argument that the Trump was biased against him. If there was any legal strategy of the Trump side going into today's preceding, it seemed like that was it to try to generate some reaction from the judge.

I don't think the judge took the bait at the beginning of the morning where it looked like the judge was castigating Trump and even saying, at one point, you know, I'm going to draw an adverse inference from your testimony because you're ...

COOPER: Right.

ROTH: ... being so uncooperative, and I may not even let you continue to testify. I was getting a little bit concerned that the judge was playing into their strategy a little bit. But the judge reined it back after the break.

At this point, I don't see anything that would support this argument that I think it's going to be the basis also for the motion for a mistrial that the judge is biased.

COOPER: And, Jessica, I mean, Trump admitting that he, you know, altered, you know, or was involved at least in preparing the financial statements, was that as -- was that -- is that very damning for him?

ROTH: I think that was damaging to Trump. I mean, he could have simply said, I really had nothing to do with the documents. It may not have been all that credible, but that was a strategy his sons really pursued. And Trump, at times, said, I really wasn't involved.

But then there were times where he admitted that he essentially gave instructions that valuations should be lowered. And, of course, if you're that involved in the preparation to review statements, then, of course, you could also be giving direction that the values should be increased, which is really the primary allegation here.

So I think that that was an important concession that he may not have realized he was making. He also acknowledged sort of being aware that some of the loan documents that required his personal guarantee were likely -- that that was significant which, of course, goes to the question of materiality, which the judge has to find here. So, I don't -- I do think on the substance, which was hard to find in what happened today. But there was a little bit of substance, and that was bad for Trump.

COOPER: For somebody who's been sued as much as he has and been involved in as many lawsuits, he seems to be a pretty bad witness. I mean, do you agree with that, Mr. Vance?

VANCE: Yes, I do. And I don't have an explanation as to why that's the strategy you would pursue in a lifetime of business except to infuriate your opponents and your judge that sits and hears in front of you -- sits and listens to your case.

Undisciplined, not easy to educate, doesn't listen to -- no doubt -- I think to his lawyers' advice. So, as someone who's been a defense lawyer for 20 years and a prosecutor for the other 20, I think he is probably one of the difficult -- most difficult clients any of these lawyers have ever had and a challenge.

COOPER: I mean, you've seen the judge's summary judgment. Do you think a criminal prosecution on this would be warranted now?


VANCE: Well, we certainly looked at that when I was the district attorney after we indicted the Trump organization on tax fraud. I think the current DA and his office will, no doubt, pay very close attention to the testimony in this trial. And I believe, at the end of this trial, they will review that investigation into -- which we were working on, which is essentially a mirror image of what the attorney general is doing, although from a criminal standpoint, and look to see whether the evidence in this trial has given them what they believe is the extra evidence that they want in order to proceed.

COOPER: And what would that criminal charge be?

VANCE: Well, it -- the criminal charge would, among other thing, to make false statements in connection with big business records, not the most serious crime in the world. If done in furtherance of another crime, it can be elevated to a felony. There are -- simply fraudulent statements under state law ...

COOPER: Right.

VANCE: ... I think, are the principle crimes. Under federal law, I think there's a much broader range of crimes that could have been charged, and it was under investigation by the federal authorities.

ROTH: And one thing that's interesting about the causes of action that remain in this case is that if the judge finds for the attorney general on those, the judge is essentially making a finding that Trump and the other defendants violated criminal statutes that are essentially incorporated by reference into this very interesting New York civil statute. And so you'd have a finding by a preponderance of the evidence by a judge that there were violations of criminal statutes. And that's a very powerful message if, in fact, that is the judge's

finding. Whether the DA pursues it as criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt is a different matter, but that would be the judgment if that is how the court returns this further.

COOPER: And, Kaitlan, we are in this Bizarro World where the former president antagonizing the judge helps him politically. I mean, it plays among the people who follow him well.

COLLINS: Right. I don't know if it boosts him. I mean, that support is pretty solid. He doesn't really go down. He doesn't really go up. You can see that in the polling that he cited multiple times.

It's funny to it to hear you say that he's one of the worst clients these attorneys have ever had because Chris Kise came out at the end of it and declared into the microphones that Trump was one of the best witnesses that he's ever represented in the 30 years that he's been in office -- he's been as a lawyer.

That's not what I've heard behind the scenes. I think that there's actually a real issue that this legal team is having to deal with. And it's their client sitting right next to them in court telling them how they should be lawyering inside the courtroom.

I don't think it's how typically a Chris Kise would act. I don't think typically he and the other attorneys would say it's brilliant the way Trump was acting on the witness stand or say that, you know, he's the future president of the United States, something that was -- is immaterial to the actual facts of the case that's at hand here. But I think that's what the presence of Trump being in that courtroom does to them.

COOPER: Cyrus Vance, thanks so much. Jessica Roth as well. And Kaitlan will be back at 9 o'clock at the top of the hour.

Coming up next, what "Art of the Deal" author Tony Schwartz makes of the testimony, whether he saw something like these coming decades ago when writing the book.

Also, the latest on the fighting in Gaza and the father whose eight- year-old daughter, who he thought had been killed by Hamas, may now actually be alive, but held hostage.



COOPER: CNN's Kara Scannell mentioned at the top of broadcast the former president singled out the judge today pointing at him and said, "He called me a fraud and he doesn't know anything about me.

Joining us now is someone who learned a lot about then businessman Trump while he goes writing the "Art of the Deal," author Tony Schwartz. Tony, good to have you.

So as we mentioned, I mean, the former president was combative with the judge today, certainly reprimanded for giving rambling responses on the witness stand. What did you make of his testimony?

TONY SCHWARTZ, AUTHOR: You know, it's a blend of performance for the base and an absolute lack of impulse control. It's about half rational and half totally nuts.

I truly think he has the capacity of a seven-year-old when it comes to mastering his own emotions, but he's also clearly playing a role. It's a role he played, you know, from the start when he ran -- when he started running for president back for the last 40 years. And what he did really was to attack the judicial system, which is a precursor to what we know we can expect should he be re-elected again.

COOPER: The -- you know, his admission on, you know, certainly looking at financial statements and the idea that he couldn't look at financial statements about his own, you know, valuations, I mean, it's impossible to imagine given his ego, given what we know about him.

SCHWARTZ: Well, first of all, only Trump could come up with the valuations that he did and maintain a straight face. You know, he knows that -- in every single case, I am quite certain he was intimately involved and made the final call. I'm sure that when they called it a 30,000-foot penthouse, he's -- if he had any other argument than it was 30,000 feet when it was really 10,000 square feet, it was that it's 60,000 square feet if you count the elevator shafts.

You know, his attitude is -- and always has been -- just say it bigger and people will buy it if you say it often enough. And god knows he says it often enough.

COOPER: How did he appear to you? I mean, does he look -- how does he look to you?

SCHWARTZ: You know, he looks -- first of all, he looks -- and this is ironic given all the flak Joe Biden takes about his age, but he looked old. He looked old. He looked tired. He looked -- you know, he was rambling is a nice way of saying incoherent, unable to stay on point.

He looks, to me, like someone who's under, you know, tremendous pressure. Look, he's facing all of these criminal counts. He's terrified of being found guilty. I don't think he really believes that being found guilty will serve -- forget that it won't serve him well personally, but I don't think he thinks it'll help him politically.

He's not going to get more supporters because he's found guilty of one of these crimes. This is obviously not one where he'd end up in jail. But it's still, in my mind, it can't possibly help him.


What I think, though, is he's setting up -- he's giving us a picture of what an authoritarian -- an American authoritarian president, a dictator will look like. He'll say whatever he wants, he'll do whatever he wants, he'll go after his enemies. He'll do it in ways that defy imagination. And he believes, as was so clear in the court today, that he'll get away with it. COOPER: Did -- you know, he said today that his net worth was far

greater than the financial statements, that he could have added brand value to those figures. What do you think when you hear him talk about his brand, whether it's "the Art of the Deal," or MAGA, or some hybrid of the two at this point?

SCHWARTZ: No, I think his brand is MAGA now. I mean, I think his brand is, you know, right-wing fanaticism, the willingness to say anything about anybody, the desire to stir up anger, and hatred, and polarization. I think that's his brand. And remarkably, that brand is being bought by people who, all right, stand to lose the most.

If you're a young black man and you're supportive of Donald Trump, you are supporting someone who is going to come after you because he's a racist and because he is -- because he's a man who is inclined to violence.

So, I think it's a -- look, you get to a point where you've said something so many times that you feel like the man who was crying wolf. But the people out there -- and there are, I do believe, nearly half the country, maybe half the country who are prepared to vote for Trump, are so desperately missing what the experience is going to be like for them. It's going to be horrific. I only hope that, you know, that doesn't occur.

COOPER: Tony Schwartz, thank you for being with us.

SCHWARTZ: Thank you.

COOPER: Just ahead, more breaking news. New explosions in Gaza tonight as Israel's military says it has completely encircled Gaza City.

Plus, the father of an 8-year-old Israeli girl was told she was dead after the murders on October 7th, the slaughter that happened at his kibbutz. In fact, he told Clarissa Ward -- you may remember this interview -- that death was a far better fate for his daughter than being held hostage by Hamas.

Well, almost a month later, that father has now been told that his daughter may be alive and a hostage.



COOPER: It is already November 7th in Israel and Gaza, and a few hours from now will mark one month since Hamas gunmen executed more than 1,400 Israeli men, women, and children and kidnapped, by current Israeli estimates, more than 240 people.

This is Gaza just a short time ago. Flares in the night sky along with explosions could be heard from our CNN ground team. It's along the border.

Today, Israel's military said it has now encircled Gaza City, which it called the, quote, "Fortress of Hamas terrorist activities." Late word tonight, in an interview with ABC News, the Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will have, quote, "overall security responsibility," unquote, for Gaza after the war ends. He also said it will last for a, quote, indefinite period.

Days after the October 7th attack, our Clarissa Ward met with a father, Thomas Hand, who had been told that his 8-year-old daughter, Emily, had been killed, both lived in Kibbutz Be'eri. They've been separated.

Emily had been visiting a friend when Thomas heard the sirens which, he says, didn't worry him until he heard it was gunfire. This was his response to Clarissa about hearing that his daughter was dead.


THOMAS HAND, FATHER OF EMILY HAND, HAMAS ATTACK SURVIVOR: They just said, "We found Emily, and she's dead." And I went, "Yes!" I went yes and smiled because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew.


COOPER: He called that the best news because it was better, he said, than the horrors, he believed, awaited her as a hostage in Gaza. We have an update to that story tonight. It turns out his daughter, Emily, may be alive. Ed Lavandera has details.


HAND: from the morning of the 7th until now is a nightmare roller coaster tragedy.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The anguish Thomas Hand is about to describe has left him trembling for weeks. It's a journey of death and a hope of resurrection, he says, is impossible to imagine.

HAND: On the day, it was Russian roulette whether you made it or not.

LAVANDERA (voice over): On October 7th, Hamas fighters stormed the Kibbutz Be'eri, killing roughly 130 people and ravaging the community of 1,100 residents. That morning, Thomas' eight-year-old daughter Emily was sleeping at a friend's house. Thomas could not reach her as Hamas fighters took over the kibbutz.

Days after the attack, the Irish-born father spoke with CNN's Clarissa Ward about the moment he was told his daughter had been killed.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Thomas waited two agonizing days before getting the news.

HAND: They just said, "We found Emily, and she's dead." And I went, "Yes!" I went yes and smiled because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew. She'd be in a dark room filled with -- Christ knows how many people -- and terrified every minute, hour, day, and possible years to come. So death was a blessing, an absolute blessing.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Thomas says leaders of the Be'eri kibbutz community told him Emily's body was seen in the aftermath. But almost a month after the massacre, Thomas was given news that almost made him collapse. He says the Israeli Army told him it's highly probable Emily is alive and a Hamas hostage.

LAVANDERA: How were you told the news Emily might be alive?

HAND: That was official from the Army. With all the information that they have, the intelligence that they have, it's very likely that she's been taken to Gaza.


LAVANDERA: Thomas says he's been told Emily's body is not with the remains of victims and that there was no blood found inside the home where she slept the night before.

Thomas also says that cell phones belonging to the family Emily was staying with have been tracked inside Gaza.

When you spoke with Clarissa Ward a few weeks ago, you said death would be a blessing in this situation.

HAND: That's how I felt at the time. Yes.

LAVANDERA: How do you describe where you are now?

HAND: Extremely worried about her, obviously. What conditions she's been held in. She's, you know, more than likely in a -- in a tunnel somewhere under Gaza.

Your imagination is horrible. And it's her birthday on the 17th of this month, she'll be nine. She won't even know what day is. She won't know what day is. She won't know it's her birthday. There'll be no birthday cake, no party, no friends. You just be petrified in a tunnel under Gaza. That's her birthday.

LAVANDERA: Thomas is now flooded with the hope and the despair of what his daughter might be enduring. He prays she can somehow hear these words to her.

HAND: If Emily is watching, just to let her know that we love her. All of us were all waiting for her to come back safely.

LAVANDERA: The survivors of the Be'eri kibbutz are temporarily living in a hotel. In the lobby, there's a vigil to all the kidnapped hostages. Now Emily's family says the young girl's photo will be placed next to the others.

You described as being a hostage as worse than death.

HAND: I believe so. The unknown is awful. The waiting is awful, but that's what we've got to do now. Just pray and hope that she comes back in some broken state but we can fix her. We'll fix her somehow. LAVANDERA: Do you allow yourself now to think about holding Emily again?

HAND: In my head, I can see, you know, like a beach scene her running to me and me running to her. Just picking her up. Never letting her go.


COOPER: And Ed joins us now from Tel Aviv. I mean, what this family has been through, my God.

LAVANDERA: Yes, it's unimaginable. He told us that many times the family's there at that hotel where they're all staying will simply just come up to him and say, we have no words and that's the shared grief and the understood grief that they're all enduring.

Thomas had been making plans to cremate her daughter's body. He wanted to bury her with her mother who passed away of cancer several years ago. That is what they have been enduring, but despite all of this Anderson, he doesn't harbor any anger toward anyone. He says he understands the leadership of his kibbutz. It was an overwhelming moment. Mistakes were -- might have been made and he doesn't hold any ill will toward anyone.

And right now, all of the sudden, he is now trying to figure out what to do next. In fact, when he was told the news from Israeli military, he actually didn't know what to do with it. He almost -- he has two older children and he contemplated not telling them because, you know, it's just the roller coaster of emotions.

In the end he said, you know, people needed to know that this is Emily's fate right now. And so they wait.

COOPER: Let's hope they all come home soon. Ed Lavandera, thank you.

Just ahead, the humanitarian situation inside Gaza. Images captured by an American nurse working for the group MSF, Doctors Without Borders, who was inside Gaza until last week. She joins us next to tell us what it was like getting out.



COOPER: This is a video of the aftermath of a strike in the Al Shati refugee camp in Gaza. According to a journalist working for CNN, the attack came during intense Israeli bombardment. A bombing Sunday night, the IDF has not commented on the incident.

The United Nations officials today said 70 percent of people in the Gaza Strip are displaced, many in living conditions, a statement called, inhumane. The Secretary General said the Gaza is becoming a quote, graveyard for children.

Israel's ambassador to the U.N. lashed out at those at the comments, called for the Secretary General's resignation. Emily Callahan is a nurse, activity manager for Doctors Without Borders, MSF. She was evacuated last Wednesday and arrived back in the U.S. just over the weekend.

First of all, how does it feel to be out?

EMILY CALLAHAN, NURSE ACTIVITY MANAGER, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: A lot of people get to ask me that, and I really don't have a good answer. I obviously have a sense of relief that I'm home and I'm with my family and feel safe for the first time in 26 days. And I'm having a really hard time finding any joy in any of it because me being safe is the result of having to leave people behind.

COOPER: People watching this have seen images from Gaza. They've seen the hospital images. They've seen the horror of children dead day after day after day. They've seen all the images. But to actually be there and to experience it, you're experiencing all these things which a camera can never capture.

So can you just talk a little bit about what stand, when you close your eyes at night, what does it you think about now?

CALLAHAN: I think -- the answer to that question, I think I'll start at KYTC, which was we were relocated about five times over the course of 26 days due to security concerns.


And one of the places we wound up was the Khan Younis Training Center. We call it KYTC.

COOPER: That's when people had evacuated to the south. So you were in the south of Gaza?

CALLAHAN: Yes. We went to Wadi -- below Wadi Gaza line. And there were -- by the time we left there, there were 35,000 internally displaced people living alongside us. There were children with just massive burns down their faces, down their necks, all over their limbs.

And because the hospitals are so overwhelmed, they are being discharged immediately after. And they're being discharged to these camps with no access to running water. There's 50,000 people out that camp now in four toilets. They're given two hours of water every 12 hours. And --

COOPER: There's four toilets for 50,000 people?

CALLAHAN: Yes. And that's where we were living, too. And they have these fresh, open burns and wounds and partial amputations that are just walking around these conditions. And parents are bringing their children to us going, please, can you help, please, can you help? And we have no supplies.

COOPER: When in situations where there are tens of thousands of people, and it is a war, and people don't -- can't feed their kids, things get strange very fast and things get tough very, very fast and people turn on each other. You saw that up close.

CALLAHAN: At KYTC, we were -- the reason we had to leave was because we were starting to be harassed. People -- desperate people who are losing loved ones right and left are angry. And they would point at me and scream American walking past. And at that point, we had no idea what was coming in the next few days.

And they would yell things in Hebrew to see if we were Israeli. They accused our national staff of either being traitors or said, you're pretending to be Arab. We know that you're just pretending to be Arab, stop lying to us. And our staff had to defend themselves

And we said to them over and over again, you don't have to stay. We understand if you want to leave us. And they said, you are family, too, and we're not going anywhere.

COOPER: Your staff, the Palestinians who worked for MSF for Doctors Without Borders, were concerned about your safety.

CALLAHAN: We would have died within a week without them. They are the only reason we are alive.

COOPER: It's incredible that this took so long to get Americans, sick people, start to move through that Rafah border crossing. It's inexplicable.

CALLAHAN: And we were desperate. We did a calorie count at one point based on our supplies and figured out that if all of us, there's 50 people with us living in a parking lot now, only eight, 700 calories a day. If that's all we had, we had two days of food left. And that's it.

And our national staff took off. We had no cell service at that point. So we had no idea what had happened to them. There's bombs going off all around us because there's no safe place in Gaza.

COOPER: Even getting through that Rafah border crossing, what was that like?

CALLAHAN: They didn't leave our side for a second.

COOPER: Your -- the national staff?

CALLAHAN: The national staff.

COOPER: Because they feared for your safety even at the border crossing.

CALLAHAN: They made sure they were standing between us and desperate people. They made sure that they were talking to every official that they could find, trying to push us through, trying to get us on the bus, trying to get us out. And we're standing there and we're watching these incredible men who have sacrificed everything for us, who have sacrificed time with their families, their own physical safety, their own water supply they were giving to us. And we're watching them fight to get us across the border knowing that we were not bringing them with us. And they didn't -- they didn't waver.

Ibrahim was right in the front with our passports fighting so hard to get us on. And we get to Irish (PH) that night and find out his parents are dead. They were losing family members and friends.

COOPER: You said if it wasn't for your national staff, you think you would have been killed --


COOPER: -- by people who were just desperate.

CALLAHAN: We either would have starved to death or run out of water. They were the ones that negotiated all of that. They -- Gaza is a small city. So everyone knows everyone and they would call in favors and call their friends and say, who do you know that has food? Who do you know that's open? Where can we get this? And they would drive all over the place to find water.

And when we ran out of bottled water in Gaza, they were the ones that were able to figure out that the water truck was coming here at these times. And, oh, I know this guy has a grocery store and they still have power sometimes. I think I can probably get something from them.

Like we -- when I say we would have starved to death without them, I'm not exaggerating. And in the moments of absolute desperation of civilians, they were steadfast and calm and just talked to them and said, these people are also in the same boat that you are. They have no supplies. They also have no food and water. They are also sleeping outside on the concrete and did it in such a beautiful way that they were able to talk them down with love and kindness.


There was no violence in their heart and it calmed everyone around them down as well.

COOPER: Would you go back to Gaza?

CALLAHAN: In a heartbeat. In an absolute heartbeat. My heart is in Gaza. It will stay in Gaza. The Palestinian people that I worked with, both our national staff in the office, as well as my staff at Indonesia hospital where some of the most incredible people I've ever met in my life.

When everything went off, and we got the notice to move south of Wadi Gaza. I was texting my nurses at Indonesia Hospital, and I said, we lost a nurse weekend one. He was killed when the ambulance outside the hospital was blown up.

And I was texting them when we got the evacuation orders, and I said, did any of you move south? Did any of you get out? Like, are any of you coming down this way? And the only answer I got was, this is our community, this is our family, these are our friends. If they're going to kill us, we're going to die saving as many people as we can.

And I said, if I can ever have an ounce of the heart that you have, I will -- I will die a happy person. They were incredible. I would like to send out a reminder that there are civilians seeking shelter there, and that my doctors and nurses didn't leave out of loyalty to their community.

And I know that there is an idea being pushed right now that anyone that stayed behind is going to be considered some kind of a threat. And I want to remind people that the people that stayed behind are heroes. The people that stayed behind are -- they know they're going to die, and they're choosing to stay behind anyway.

COOPER: Did you meet doctors, nurses in the hospital?

CALLAHAN: I wake up every morning, and I send out a text message, and I ask, are you alive? And every night before I go to sleep, I send another message and says, are you alive?

COOPER: Emily, thank you so much for your time.

CALLAHAN: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next, a new All Over the Map report from John King, new polling, could spell trouble for President Biden. And how the election in Virginia, tomorrow, could be a key bellwether for Election Day 2024.



COOPER: New poll numbers suggest trouble for President Biden. According to the New York Times, seeing a college poll released over the weekend where former president Trump is leading in five battleground states, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

John King will break down some of the polling in a moment. The presidential election a year away. But what happens on election day tomorrow could say much about how voters will see key issues next year, including abortion. Virginia is the only southern state with no new abortion restrictions since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

But now in pursuit of abortion legislation, with full Republican controlled the Senate, legislature would enable, Virginia governor, Glenn Youngkin is on the campaign trail.

So in this week's All Over the Map, John King talks with Governor and Virginia voters.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A change of seasons in Loudon County and a choice that will echo well beyond Virginia. NANETTE MEES, VIRGINIA VOTER: I have two girls. I feel personally that every woman has the right to do what she feels right for her with her body.

KING: Nanette Mees is a registered Republican, but one of the suburban voters who changed Virginia from red to blue.

MEES: Abortion and guns, those are two big things.

KING: Mees voted early for the Democrat in a critical state Senate race year.

MEES: Five flyers in the mail every day for the last month.

It's a lot of -- a lot of money wasted.

KING: Republican Governor, Glenn Youngkin, is among those spending millions.

GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA): Hold in the house. Flip in the Senate. Hold in the house. Flip in the Senate.

KING: Youngkin is not on this year's ballot, but his presidential ambitions are. Youngkin thinks he can reverse the Republican collapse in the suburbs, even while backing new abortion restrictions.

If voters give him a full Republican legislature, Youngkin says Virginia will ban abortions after 15 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

YOUNGKIN: No more are we going to allow bureaucrats to tell folks that parents don't belong in the classroom.

KING: Yet, no abortion mentioned in his rally speech.

You said you're for tax cuts, you're for parental rights, you're for more funding for police. Isn't it strong leadership to say I'm for this too?

YOUNGKIN: It's very clear where I stand on this. We're running a big advertising campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's the truth, there is no ban. Virginia Republicans support a reasonable 15-week limit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: MAGA Republicans, like Juan Pablo Segura, want to ban abortions in Virginia. Criminalizing abortions is wrong.

KING: It is a giant test of whether Republicans can end a streak of punishing election losses since the Supreme Court tossed out Roe v. Wade.

YOUNGKIN: Discussion around abortion is one between an extreme position from the left and a reasonable position from all Republicans.

KING: The Youngkin events look like a presidential test run. This is in Henrico County, the fast-growing Richmond suburbs. Democrats hope to un-see the big Youngkin ally and prove the abortion debate still cuts their way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's nothing reasonable about banning abortion, but that's exactly what Republican Siobhan Dunnavant wants to do.

RACHEL KULAK, VIRGINIA VOTER: During the COVID lockdowns, it was Siobhan Dunnavant that really worked to get our kids back in the classrooms. And I'm deeply appreciative for that.

Rachel Kulak calls her self-conservative independent. Supports Donald Trump, prefers a six-week abortion ban, but is open to compromise.

KULAK: I don't support abortion. But if he can get it to 15 weeks, I think perhaps that's a fair middle ground.

KING: Loudon County is 40 miles west of Washington, D.C. It's still leaned red when Xi Van Fleet moved here 18 years ago.

Loudon was home to just shy of 100,000 people then. It is more than four times that now, and 20 percent of the county's voters are Asian.

XI VAN FLEET, VIRGINIA VOTER: My neighbors are Indians, Vietnamese, Korea, and I'm Chinese. And if you talk about diversity, this is a very diverse area.

KING: It's also become more democratic out here. Does that bother you?

FLEET: It bothers me, yes.

KING: South Carolina born, Gladys Burke, is part of Loudon's evolution. She is an independent who leans blue, owns a promotional products business, and takes issue with Youngkin's education agenda.

GLADY'S BURKE, VIRGINIA VOTER: This thing about not teaching black history in the schools, not recognizing our black history, because I lived it.

KING: But still undecided on the state Senate race that could tip the balance of power.

BURKE: I've never been this torn before.

KING: But you're open to some restrictions?

BURKE: Absolutely.

KING: On abortion, yes?

BURKE: Oh, yes, absolutely.

KING: Even if she votes Republican this time, Burke says Youngkin is wrong to think Virginia will return to red next year.

BURKE: Absolutely, Biden, Biden, Biden, Biden. KING: Do you like him?

BURKE: Absolutely. I think he's done a great job.

KING: Nanette Mees is the face of Virginia's suburban shift. Her last Republican vote for president, George W. Bush, back in 2004. That is the last time the Republican nominee carried Loudon County and Virginia.


Still a registered Republican, but ready to cast a fifth consecutive Democratic vote for president next year, but with hesitation.

MEES: I don't think he's the perfect one. But if I have to pick between him and Trump, who I would never ever, ever, myself are, it'd be Biden and just pray.

KING: That's for next November. First, this year's big test.


COOPER: John King joins us now. What else did the new poll reveal about a potential Biden-Trump rematch?

KING: So let's walk through it, Anderson. Let's just start with tomorrow, because that new poll showed Biden is weak, and it showed he's bleeding his coalition.

So tomorrow in Virginia, in Ohio, and elsewhere, we're going to look at the results and see if there are more clues about 2024.

In Virginia, we'll look here in the Northern Virginia suburbs, down here in the Richmond suburbs. Can Governor Youngkin bring swing voters back to Republicans?

That poll suggests, now let me pop out. This is the 2020 map, right? What does that poll show? That poll showed, watch. These were blue in 2020. Michigan and Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada. That poll showed, right now, all six states won by Joe Biden in 2020. He is either trailing or in a dead heat with Donald Trump.

Why, Anderson? That's why it's so interesting. Let me go deep into the poll.

The horse race numbers are one thing, but it's underneath the poll that shows the president. The incumbent president is in deep trouble. Donald Trump beats him in those states by 20-plus points on the economy. Donald Trump beats him by more than 10 points on immigration.

The president says Donald Trump is a threat to democracy. They run almost even on that issue. The president with just a narrow edge.

So on the issues, Trump. And then, look, the president simply, Anderson, right now, is bleeding from the Democratic coalition. He won young voters by a lopsided margin. They're tied. Voters 18 to 29. He won more than nine in 10 black votes in 2020. Only 71 percent in those states in this poll.

The Latino vote Trump did make some progress in 2020, but he's making even more now. So if you look at this, if the president can't fix this, he has a year, but if he cannot fix the bleeding of his coalition, this is the 2020 map. What happens if he doesn't fix it, Anderson? Is that. And the Republicans win.

COOPER: John King, thanks very much. We'll see what happens tomorrow. We'll be right back.


COOPER: As I mentioned earlier, tomorrow marks one month since Hamas attacked Israel. They attacked an event that followed, that created a lot of need. If you want to help, you can go to or text RELIEF to 707070 for more information.

The news continues. "THE SOURCE" with Kaitlan Collins starts now.