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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
FBI Seizes NYC Mayor's Devices in Campaign Finance Probe; Flares Light Up the Sky as New Explosions Rock Gaza; Judge Rejects Trump's Bid to Delay Classified Docs Trial, For Now; Biden Struggles with Young Latino Voters. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 10, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Beijing has been busy rewarding its new friends with pandas, like Russia, which got a new pair in 2019, and Qatar, which got its first panda last year. As for the US, Atlanta is the only zoo to still feature pandas from China, but that contract expires next year, and there's still no word on an extension.
Thank you so much for joining us. "AC 360" starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Just ahead, tonight the mayor of New York, a former New York Police Department captain, confronted by FBI agents who seized his phones and iPad as part of what appears to be a fast-growing campaign finance investigation.
We begin though with late developments in Israel's war in Hamas, most notably, new reporting on efforts to secure the release of the more than 240 hostages now believed to be held by Hamas and other groups. Comes at the end of the day that saw Israeli forces heavily pound targets in northern Gaza from the air and troops on the ground continued to engage Hamas gunmen.
A senior American official, familiar with the hostage talks, tells CNN that negotiators are working toward an agreement involving what this official call a sustained days-long pause in the fighting. In exchange, hostages would be freed on a rolling basis, starting with women and children over a period of days. That same official, however, added that many details remain unresolved, and negotiations could stall or break down at any point.
Also today, comments by Secretary of State Antony Blinken getting attention. Secretary of State Antony Blinken more directly raised concerns about the death toll in Gaza and pushed for more in the way of humanitarian aid beyond the daily pauses in fighting to allow civilians to get out of harm's way or get aid that Israel announced yesterday.
ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: Far too many Palestinians have been killed. Far too many have suffered these past weeks. And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance that gets to them.
COOPER: CNN's Nic Robertson starts us off from where some of the video that we showed you was taken in Sderot, just across the border from northern Gaza. What have you been seeing and hearing in recent hours?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I just, in fact, heard a very heavy detonation, Anderson, coming from behind us where that fighting was taking place earlier. We think it's the Jabalya refugee camp. And it appeared as if there was an intense firefight because flares were dropped and a smokescreen created on the ground, which is normally what we've seen when the IDF forces believe that they've got -- that they've come into contact with a number of Hamas fighters.
We saw what appeared to be missiles coming in from above, perhaps heavy machine gun fired from an apache gunship, but a very, very intense battle. Significant because it's just a few miles into the north of Gaza. Troops have been on the ground there for two weeks already, and yet, they still find themselves in these very heavy confrontations with Hamas. And that's given that they still have many, many, many miles more to go in Gaza before it can be cleared, bigger cities as well, which gives the understanding that this will be a very, very long military operation indeed if it's going to succeed, as the IDF lays out, Anderson.
COOPER: Is it clear to you the -- what exactly these pauses that Israel has agreed to seemingly under US pressure, kind of, rolling pauses at different times, what that's going to look like?
ROBERTSON: They do seem to be -- yes, they do seem to be principally based on the idea that we're seeing these humanitarian corridors that have allowed tens of thousands of people to move from the north to the south. That begets another question as well that I'll just touch on because when you get all those people in the south, then the strikes are still happening in the south. And you have now double density Gazan population in the south, and the military still has to move to the south, then it becomes harder to avoid civilians.
But I think we've seen, perhaps, one of those pauses come into effect around one of the hospitals today. It's really unclear the situation.
There are tanks around it. There's been casualties outside because of explosions. But it does seem, according to hospital officials at Al- Shifa Hospital, that a lot of the doctors and patients have now left, so perhaps there was a pause of some sort in their location as well. These are the only ways where we're seeing it come into effect, Anderson.
COOPER: Are you seeing anything that would indicate Israel's responding to international pressure to reduce civilian casualties?
ROBERTSON: You know, I think these corridors are, but the military, in essence, despite the fact that it's only targeting Hamas and the IDF says that it's not intending to have civilian casualties, it's war here. The way it's being fought is a very blunt instrument.
And absolutely, every day, we continue to see civilian casualties. The number now has gone over 11,000, according to Palestinian health officials -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Nic Robertson, thanks very much.
Perspective now from someone who's been -- we've been talking to since the terror attack on October 7th, Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to United States.
So you hear Secretary Blinken saying far too many Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. Do you sense a concern or a weakening of the Biden administration's support for Israel?
MICHAEL OREN, ISRAEL'S FORMER AMBASSADOR TO UNITED STATES: No, I think that this was anticipated. I think that when you're fighting against an enemy that's hiding behind its own population, using them as human shields, the administration has said this, Secretary Blinken has said this repeatedly, there's going to be civilian casualties. We're going to do the utmost to hold them down.
I think he's saying -- listen, we in the White House, we're under a lot of pressure. We're under the pressure from the pictures coming out of Gaza. We're under the pressure from our own party. Can you do your utmost? Could you open up these, you know, humanitarian corridors or humanitarian pauses to allow aid in and perhaps release some of the pressure on us? Help us help you, he's basically saying.
And I think that Israel personally should try to meet, as much as possible, the requests of the administration.
COOPER: Why not have as much aid as possible going in through that Rafah border to the south to encourage as many Palestinians to come down to the south as possible?
OREN: I think that's a compelling argument. What's going on in Israel -- in the Israel public opinion, though, including the families of the hostages is saying, listen, we have not had a word about any of our hostages. The Red Cross hasn't gone in there.
And by withholding that aid, we're basically maintaining a leverage over the international community, over Red Cross, and over Hamas to let somebody in to see these hostages so we know where and what condition they are in.
COOPER: The -- Tom Freedman wrote a piece in "The Times," that's gotten a lot of attention. He said, "Biden can sustainably generate the support Israel needs only if Israel is ready to engage in some kind of a wartime diplomatic initiative directed at the Palestinians in the West Bank -- and hopefully in a post-Hamas Gaza -- that indicates Israel will discuss some kind of two-state solutions if Palestinian officials can get their political house unified and in order." That doesn't even seem to be something that the government in Israel is thinking about. I mean, they're withholding tax revenues from the Palestinian authorities ...
COOPER: ... tax revenues which, by all rights, should go to Palestinian authority to pay for security personnel.
OREN: Yes, but some of that money now is going to be used to pay for the families of terrorists who killed Jews and the Palestinian authority pays them salaries. They ...
COOPER: But not all -- but they're ...
COOPER: ... withholding all the -- I mean, the entire tax revenues, which, again ...
OREN: Listen, I don't think it's a great idea. But here, you know, again, there's an Israeli public ...
COOPER: And why weaken the security forces of the Palestinian authority at this point if there's going to be some sort of post-Hamas rule of Gaza, I assume, if Israel -- I mean, the Palestinian authority would be the most obvious choice if they would be willing to do it?
OREN: I don't think it's a great idea. But here is the reality on the ground.
You have Mahmoud Abbas. He is the president for the Palestinian authority. He's in the 18th year of his four-year term, all right? He will not stand for re-election because he knows if he does, he's going to lose to Hamas.
Now, Israelis know this. They know that if somehow you involve the Palestinian authority and Mahmoud Abbas in a peace process, whatever state would be created there, it's going to return to Gaza within a matter of days. And we will not be facing -- you know, rockets will be facing rightful fighters.
COOPER: So who's going to be the mayor of Gaza?
OREN: We don't know yet, we don't know yet. I think that we have to internationalize it. I think it should just be Israel's problem. It's an international problem.
COOPER: Yes, but Saudi Arabia, Qatar, they're not going to -- they don't want to have troops in Gaza?
OREN: Let's say (inaudible). I think it's early -- I think it's too early. I think right now the main thing is defeat Hamas, demilitarize the Gaza Strip, rebuild the Gaza Strip, but -- and then figure out some type of international force. COOPER: You know, the US, with great authority, you know, had a de- Baathification campaign in the wake of kicking out Saddam Hussein. And a lot of those people who, you know, had military training, who were in the Baath Party, they ended up in the insurgency.
OREN: Right, I understand.
COOPER: How does there not be a Hamas insurgency? I mean, not -- they're not going to -- all Hamas supporters are not going to be killed.
OREN: No, they're not. And I think you -- first of all, I don't think you can kill the idea of Hamas. There's none -- any more you can kill the idea of ISIS or kill the idea of Al-Qaeda.
What you can do is degrade them. You know, ISIS is a less of a threat today because there is not an ISIS state.
Listen, there are lots of neo-Nazis running around today, but they're not as powerful there was when there was a Nazi Germany. So you can take care of the Nazi, degrade the Hamas state, and the people who still will subscribe to the notion of Hamas, that you have to destroy the Jewish state. You have to create a caliphate in the Middle East. That -- they will be weakened.
But what you can do is create a situation where kids in Gaza -- children in Gaza are not going to nursery school -- not kindergarten, nursery school -- and learning to kill Jews, not going to summer camp and learning to kill Jews. Giving them a different future, I think you can do that. You can't do it as long as Hamas is there.
COOPER: Professor Mike Oren, thank you so much.
OREN: Always good to be with you.
COOPER: Well, for hostage families, the wait for word is unbearable. CNN's Ed Lavandera has one woman's story of devotion and determination.
YARDEN GONEN, SISTER OF AN ISRAELI HOSTAGE: I have her also here on my back, my beautiful sister.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For more than a month, Hamas has held Yarden Gonen's 23-year-old sister, Romi hostage. Yarden is sleeping outside Israel's military headquarters and vows to stay here as long as it takes to get her sister home.
GONEN: It's a statement. We're here until they're here. And it's on your hands and the world's hands to bring them back.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The families and volunteer supporters of the roughly 240 hostages have mobilized a massive campaign, demanding their release. But what price are these families pushing the Israeli government to pay?
LAVANDERA (on camera): It's probably going to take some sort of deal to save the hostages.
GONEN: Okay, I -- okay. Whatever it takes.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Whatever it takes?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): To understand her desperation, Yarden wants the world to hear this terrifying recording of Romi's phone call with their mother from the music festival Hamas fighters ambushed.
(Sounds of gunfire at the Nova Festival)
(ROMI GONEN and MOTHER's conversation in foreign language.)
GONEN: If it was your sister, do you think there is a price for your sister? My sister doesn't have a price. She needs to be here. None of them have a price. They're innocent civilians.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Hundreds gathered at this Tel Aviv protest demanding that the International Red Cross ensure medical treatment for the hostages. Some held signs pushing for a trade of humanitarian aid between Gazan civilians and the hostages. But of the nearly dozen families we spoke with, all supported exchanging Palestinian prisoners for the hostages.
(ISRAELI CROWD chanting "act now.")
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Neta Heiman-Mina's 84-year-old mother is a hostage. Neta is fearful her mother won't survive Israel's attacks on Gaza.
NETA HEIMAN-MINA, DAUGHTER OF HOSTAGE: The Israel government say their first priority is to destroy the Hamas, and we need -- the first priority will be to bring them back.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Ofri Bibas Levy is waiting for news of her brother's entire family, including two young boys.
OFRI BIBAS LEVY, SISTER OF HOSTAGE: We are willing to do whatever it takes for it.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): And so even if it's something difficult like a prisoner exchange.
LEVY: Yes, yes. It's a difficult situation, so there's no easy way.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The Israeli government says there will be no ceasefire without the release of hostages.
GERSHON BASKIN, FORMER HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR FOR ISRAEL: So there's a kind of contradiction here that you want to negotiate with them to free hostages, but your goal is to actually kill them. LAVANDERA (voice-over): In 2011, Gershon Baskin negotiated a prisoner exchange with Hamas for Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners were released in the deal, including Yahya Sinwar, who the IDF says became one of the masterminds of the October 7th attack.
LAVANDERA (on camera): So these are excruciating decisions?
BASKIN: There's no easy way out of here.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Israel's prison service tells CNN it's holding more than 6,000 Palestinian prisoners.
BASKIN: I know what decision I would make, and it's not a good decision, but I would make the offer of decision because I think it's more important to bring those hostages home than it is to free the Palestinian -- to keep the Palestinian prisoners in jail.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Yarden Gonen says she would trade places with her sister to save her life. All she can do is remain camp outside, demanding a deal to bring her sister home.
LAVANDERA (on camera): And you're going to stay how long?
GONEN: Until they come back.
LAVANDERA (on camera): As long as it takes?
GONEN: Yes. I hope it will take two days at least, at most.
LAVANDERA (on camera): If it takes months?
GONEN: So, I'll be here.
COOPER: And Ed Lavandera joins us now from Tel Aviv. What more do we know about these hostage negotiations?
LAVANDERA: Well, if there's any movement it's really hard to see, and it's really a question of, you know, what is going to happen next and questions about what exactly the Israeli military is doing on the ground there, you know, this idea that the Israeli military can carry out both of these objectives of destroying Hamas militarily on the ground, as you've seen from Nic Robertson's reporting tonight, and save all of the hostages' lives.
There's growing skepticism, Anderson, as to whether or not that can be done. In fact, there -- some families of hostages released a statement today saying that victory should not be measured by assassinating the Hamas fighters that were responsible for the October 7th attack. They say the victory should be measured by getting the hostages home alive. So, there's really growing tension there about whether or not this is a viable option in the days, weeks, if not, months ahead.
[20:15:04] COOPER: Yes, Ed Lavandera, thanks very much.
Next, New York City mayor, as the FBI search and what it says about a federal investigation, looking to campaign finance, potential straw donors, and the alleged roll of Turkish nationals.
And later, the former president, in new reporting whether he'll face trial in the documents case before or after the election.
COOPER: And at the top of the program, today's remarkable news that FBI agents, this week, executed a search warrant on the mayor of America's biggest city. People familiar with the matter told CNN that they took New York Mayor Eric Adams' cell phones and an iPad Monday night.
And though Mayor Adams has not been accused of any wrongdoing so far, this came just days after an FBI search of his chief campaign fundraiser's home. All of this connected to an apparently growing federal investigation.
CCN's Shimon Prokupecz says were the devices were seized joins us now with more. So what do we know about how and why the FBI executed this search warrant?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it's pretty extraordinary what happened here. It was on Monday, just a couple of days ago when the mayor was leaving the NYU here behind me. He was at an event. He was speaking.
And what we're told is, as he was leaving and started walking out on the sidewalk, FBI agents approached him with search warrants, seeking his devices. It was so serious that, you know, the mayor here has a security detail. They told the security detail to step aside. And then with the mayor, they went inside his SUV, and that is where they took his phones and an iPad, we're told. A couple of days later, after they copied or whatever it is they were looking for on those phones, they returned the devices.
Now, this is all in connection to an FBI investigation that's been going on for quite some time, looking at campaign finances. You know, just last week, as you said, his finance person on the campaign, the FBI raided her home. They also seized documents there, and phones, and other electronics. And now, they have taken this extraordinary step to approach the mayor and seize his devices as well.
And it's very unclear to us actually what they were looking for. But still, a remarkable escalation in this investigation.
And really for the first time, we're seeing the mayor here interact with the FBI. So it's a very significant move here by the FBI. And they're looking at finances. That's as far as we know connected to the Turkish nationals and whether or not straw donors were used to funnel money into his election.
COOPER: And what is the mayor's response?
PROKUPECZ: So he's saying he's cooperating. He's basically saying he did nothing wrong, he has nothing to hide, Anderson, and that he's fully cooperative. A lawyer for the campaign also issuing a statement says that the mayor has been and remains committed to cooperating in this matter and then confirming what happened here on Monday and says that they're going continue to cooperate with the investigation.
But I think it's important here, Anderson, to highlight that despite what they're saying about their cooperation. The FBI didn't wait for their cooperation to seek these phones. They made such an extraordinary move. For some reason, there was obviously some concern, and so they approached them with these search warrants and seized his phones.
COOPER: Yes. Shimon, stay with us. I want to bring in CNN Senior Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor Elie Honig.
Elie, what would the -- and what would the FBI have to do in order to get a judge to sign off on a search warrant like this?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Anderson, so it's not easy for prosecutors and the FBI to get a search warrant. You have to establish what we call probable cause that a crime was committed and the likelihood that you'll find evidence of that federal crime in whatever it is that you seize. You have to write it out in detail in an affidavit.
As a prosecutor, you have to let the judge know exactly what your evidence is establishing probable cause. And then the judge has to review it and agree that there is, in fact, probable cause.
And I should add, in a case of this magnitude with a subject, such as Eric Adams, the mayor of the largest city in the United States, this almost certainly would have had to go down to the bosses at the main justice, at the Department of Justice headquarters for approval as well. So a lot of people saw this and signed off.
Important to note though, probable cause is a lower standard of proof than prosecutors, of course, would need to convict, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
COOPER: And, Elie, I mean, to the point that Shimon raised, I mean, what does it tell you that the FBI, you know, stopped him on the street, put him in the -- and got him in his SUV to get these things rather than, you know, asking him voluntarily to turn over his devices at some point?
HONIG: It's a great point by Shimon here because if they believe that Eric Adams would be fully cooperative and hand over all the evidence they needed, they wouldn't do it that way. They would serve a subpoena. They would go through his lawyers.
And the fact that not only did they serve a search warrant, but they did it in this sort of sudden, dramatic, unexpected way, I think tells me that FBI believed that there was some urgency and some exigency here.
COOPER: Would they -- I mean, does he have to give them the password to his phone when he hands over a phone?
HONIG: So, it's a good question. Ordinarily, one would do that if they're being cooperative. Eric Adams' lawyers have said he's being cooperative. They said he's had nothing to hide.
If they don't do that, the FBI generally does have the technology, and they'll have permission through the search warrant to essentially do what we call "dump the cell phone," meaning, to scan all its contents, to get access, and then to examine everything, emails, texts, WhatsApp, encrypted apps, photos, you name it. So, ultimately the FBI absolutely will be able to get access to the information on his phone.
COOPER: And, Shimon, so the FBI searched the home of Mayor Adams' chief fundraiser last week. What -- I mean, what is her role in all this? I mean, has anyone already been charged with anything?
PROKUPECZ: She was -- no, no one's been charged with anything. And obviously, they're all denying any wrongdoing. And they all say they're cooperating.
And even that situation last week at the -- she's essentially at the home of the -- this financer -- this chief financer. She's about 25 years old or so, I believe, you know? And a lot of people here in New York City, in the political world, have said it was kind of an odd choice to put her in that position.
In her case, they had spent some time at her home. They took computers. They took other devices, records. You know, it's very much unclear to us, at this point, exactly what they were looking for.
But, you know, perhaps something that they found there caused them some concern. And so they had to do this in the way that, you know, we've been talking about here tonight.
The other thing you have to think about, Anderson, is that the FBI may have a lot of this information already, right? They have other ways of getting information through subpoenas and search warrants, through the cloud, and through email, and through other, you know, phone companies and all that.
So, clearly, something else has happened here, where they said, we need to do this now. And it could be based off of some information that they obtained in the search last week or something else came to light. But this is certainly something that is very significant and has everyone in the political world here in New York City talking about this right now. You know, the mayor was supposed to -- you know, usually he goes to Puerto Rico where there's sort of a political junket at this time -- around this time. He's not there. He's -- you know, he's here, where so many of the other politicians here are there. So, it's very interesting for people that he stayed behind and, of course, this happened.
And also, it's important that we didn't find out about this until "the New York Times" reported it today. I mean, this happened on Monday, so that's certainly significant as well.
COOPER: And how much -- and what -- how big of a campaign fundraising issue is this? Do -- are there dollar amounts that are believed -- what are we talking here?
PROKUPECZ: So, it's unclear what the dollar amount is. But it's significant because there is some indication to the FBI that straw donors were used, Turkish nationals. Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to campaigns. And so they were funneling, according to information we've obtained, money through straw donors, people who live here or claim to live here.
But meanwhile, the money was coming from other places. So it's very significant because it could have all kinds of national security and, obviously, corruption concerns.
We don't have the dollar amount, but it's certainly something significant for the FBI to be doing all of this. And for all we know, there could be other things going on here, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, Elie Honig, thanks so much.
Just ahead the former president wants to push back the trial date in the classified documents case. The federal judge today said no, at least for now.
"New York Times" Maggie Haberman joins us next to talk about why the decision may be so consequential.
And later, can Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' decision to endorse Governor Ron Desantis sway Republicans who plan to vote for the former president in the Iowa caucuses?
Gary Tuchman is in Iowa talking to voters.
COOPER: The federal judge overseeing the former president's classified documents case delivered his team a major setback today. Judge Aileen Cannon said, she will not delay the trial start date schedule for May of next year.
It's something they've repeatedly demanded. Last week she appeared to lean toward a delay in the need to make it, in her words, "reasonable adjustments," to the timing of the case. That did not happen today.
But she did say that she will revisit the decision in March just days before he's said to go on trial and the Special Counsel's other federal investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
Judge Cannon today did agree with the former president's team that they need more time to prepare for the case. And she pushed back several filing deadlines, including those that involve reviewing the classified documents at the heart of this case.
I'm joined now by CNN Political Analyst Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. She's also the author of Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America. So what do you think, Maggie, that judges decision to not delay the classified documents means for the former president and his team?
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Anderson, I think it's a play for time. She literally was essentially splitting the decision. She gave herself until next year to revisit it. As you note, this is going to happen around the time that he is going on trial in D.C. or scheduled to. So she will look at that calendar and decide whether she has to move hers. And there are reasons to believe that there would be movement in the other trial and she would have to.
The Trump team still feels pretty confident. And granted, a lot of this is because Trump appointed Judge Aileen Cannon. And so fairly or not, he reads into whatever she does and believes that it's going to benefit him. But there is reason to believe that she might delay it until after the election.
I think she is going to look at all of the other cases and what is happening and then make a decision. But I don't think this is over for the Trump team.
COOPER: Yeah, I mean, it certainly was good news that she pushed back, you know, deadlines for them.
HABERMAN: Yeah, I mean this was something they were looking for. Anything that gets to a sense of delay, which has just been the mantra the whole time, is very good for them. And it is, again, I know we've talked about this, but it's just contrary what you're seeing in D.C., where Judge Tanya Chutkan in the case related to Trump's efforts to subvert the 2020 election, she is clearly trying to press ahead. And so we will see how this all ends up.
But there's a massive amount of discovery in both cases. There are fewer issues related to classified information in the January 6th related one. But you are going to hear this over and over and it really is a tale of two judges.
COOPER: Also, I mean, what would two federal trials held in the spring, if that, in fact, did happen, mean for his campaign? I mean, given his appearances at the civil trial, I guess he could use, I mean, if he wanted to appear at both trials, he could just ping back and forth and use those, essentially as, I mean, there's going to be plenty of coverage so he could get in front of cameras there, I suppose.
HABERMAN: They can't overlap, Anderson. He has to physically be present in each courtroom as a criminal defendant unlike what happened in the New York case. So he's not going to have his pick a jurisdiction. You're going to see these judges in these four cases, look at the calendar and look at what others are doing.
Judge Cannon's cases expected to start after Judge Chutkan's already. I expected will, you know, potentially start much after. But you are correct that because Trump will be off the trail he will be using this in fundraising pitches and he'll hold a rally, you know, once a week maybe and he'll talk about all the things he always talks about. But it will actually have the effect of in a weird way quieting him because he can't pull the same kinds of stunts in a -- in a federal criminal court case that he did in this New York civil trial
COOPER: What is the former president's mindset these days? I mean, obviously, his legal problems are mounting. He's still polling well. Any sense of how confident he is?
HABERMAN: There is an enormous amount of energy invested in Trump portraying himself as fine and nothing bothering him. And you are seeing that come out in various ways. People who are in contact with him frequently will acknowledge he is very, very angry. He also clearly does not want to be sentenced to prison. They are feeling good about his chances in the election.
They would like to get through the primary. While they, on the one hand, suggest that this primary is a fate of complete. They acknowledge that they have to get through Iowa, which has just never been a great state for Trump. But if he wins Iowa, it's much harder for anyone to stop him. And they look at the, you know, a variety of public polling about Joe Biden, and they feel good.
Now, President Biden is a year out from reelection, and things can look a lot different. But that's the mindset right now. It is really about winning, and winning in part, Anderson, as a means of dealing with these cases.
COOPER: In the civil fraud trial, I mean, Donald Trump Jr., he's going to be the first defense witness called Monday. I've been really struck just how no one in the Trump family really claims to actually be running the company and responsible for any of the financial statements.
I mean, the two sons certainly talked a big game in the past about their important roles running the company in the absence of their dad. And, you know, Ivanka Trump was, you know, at, you know, pushing shovels into, you know, groundbreaking ceremonies. They're all -- the buck certainly doesn't stop with them when it comes to financial statements, apparently.
HABERMAN: Yeah, there was a little more pressure on Eric Trump on that front when he was on the stand. Don Jr., truly, as I understand it from all my reporting and other people's reporting, is less involved in running the company than Eric Trump is.
But you are correct that there is an MO, which is, you know, distancing and pushing it off on staff, or on advisors, or on lawyers, and what have you. You know, we saw that with Trump, although Trump did acknowledge making some suggestions about these financial statements.
But it is -- it is a family-owned company that is largely run by staff, and that has always been the case.
COOPER: Maggie Haberman, thanks so much. More now on the Presidential Race and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' decision this week to endorse Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president two months ahead of the all-important caucuses there.
A day before she did it, the former president attacked her, not surprisingly, saying the endorsement, "will not make any difference." Governor Reynolds told NBC News on Wednesday that the former president had once called and asked for her endorsement. Given the former president's substantial lead in the polls in Iowa, it's certainly an unusual move by the Governor. The questions is, will its way any voters? Gary Tuchman is in Iowa for us tonight.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds endorsing Ron DeSantis over GOP front-runner Donald Trump, is the talk of the Hawkeye State.
(On camera): Are you a fan of the Governor?
NICK LENTERS, IOWA VOTER: Yes, I am.
TUCHMAN: Did you vote for her?
TUCHMAN: Who did you vote for in the presidential election 2020?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Nick Lenters is the owner of a store called Old Station Craft Meats in the City of Waukee, Iowa.
(On camera): The fact that she's endorsed DeSantis, will that make you consider voting for DeSantis instead of Trump in the caucus?
LENTERS: I haven't really made up my mind yet, but I wouldn't say that her endorsement factors into my decision.
TUCHMAN: It's a longstanding Iowa tradition if the governor doesn't endorse a candidate before the caucuses, but the Governor charting her own course is just fine with many we talk to.
(On camera): What do you think of the Governor of your state?
GINA CAMPOS, IOWA VOTER: I love Kim Reynolds.
TUCHMAN: Gina Campos also voted for Reynolds in 2022 and Trump in 2020.
GINA: If he is the Republican nominee, I will vote for Trump. He wouldn't be my first choice for -- as a Republican nominee at this point, though.
TUCHMAN: So does this decision by the Governor to endorse Ron DeSantis influence you, might you vote for DeSantis because the Governor has endorsed DeSantis?
CAMPOS: No, I'm undecided right now.
TUCHMAN: Sot it doesn't have any influence on it?
TUCHMAN: But you respect her right to do it and not to remain neutral?
TUCHMAN: The City of Waukee is in Dallas County, which hasn't gone for a Democrat at the presidential level in the 21st Century. Former President Trump won Dallas County by less than two percentage points in 2020.
Governor Reynolds won the county by more than 11 points in 2022. She's popular here. So it's easy to find people not bothered by the breaking of tradition. Rob Grove is the chairman of the Waukee Area Chamber of Commerce.
(On camera): Could her decision sway you to vote for DeSantis?
ROB GROVE, IOWA VOTER: Not necessarily.
TUCHMAN: So it doesn't necessarily influence you, what she said?
GROVE: It doesn't -- it doesn't, but it's another consideration, right? It's someone that I --
TUCHMAN: Because that's what she wants people to do, Iowa?
GROVE: Absolutely, right. I mean, that's the -- that's the purpose of an endorsement, definitely. But I think Iowa has a lot of educated voters and a lot of educated folks, and they'll make their own decisions.
TUCHMAN: Well, what about you?
GROVE: I will make my own decision.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Geoff Warmouth has owned Waukee Hardware for a quarter century. The store is a pillar of the community. It's been around since the 1870s. He's met Governor Reynolds and respects her. He does have concern, though, about what the endorsement could lead to.
GEOFF WARMOUTH, IOWA VOTER: She made a risky move, just because if DeSantis doesn't get it and Trump does get it, I think Trump will have some retribution for her not being on his side.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Plenty of positive feelings about Governor here, but there are exceptions.
NICK GRUBER (ph), IOWA VOTER: I'm very strong Trump supporter.
TUCHMAN: Nick Gruber (ph) says the Governor's endorsement was a poor thing to do.
(On camera): So the fact that she endorsed the candidate, you think it's poor because she did not endorse Trump?
GRUBER (ph): That's right.
TUCHMAN: If she did endorse Trump, would you still think it's poor or would you have been happy with it?
GRUBER (ph): Well, I've been happy with it. I'm a Trump supporter.
TUCHMAN: So it's not the principle of her not staying neutral, it's the candidate she's endorsed?
GRUBER (ph): That's right. I don't like the one she endorsed.
TUCHMAN: Anderson, the latest Iowa polling from the Des Moines Register shows that Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are tied for second with 16% each, significantly behind Donald Trump who is 43%. DeSantis, obviously, hoping the endorsement helps him close the gap. Anderson.
COOPER: Gary, thanks so much.
Reporting just ahead, President Biden has his own hills to climb, a year ahead of election day, specifically with younger Latino voters who are dissatisfied with the state of the economy. Miguel Marquez is reporting in Georgia for us tonight, talking to voters there. What they have to say, next.
COOPER: While legal issues present a hurdle for the former president's attempt at a second term, President Biden also faces major issues of his own, that includes dissatisfaction among young voters, mostly prominently Latino voters under the age of 35.
He won that vote by 33 points in 2020 according to Exit Polls. The latest CNN Poll has him ahead of the former president by just four points with that group. Miguel Marquez has more from the swing State of Georgia. [20:45:08]
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you happy with your vote for Joe Biden?
GABRIELE MARTINEZ, GEORGIA VOTER: Well, I didn't see something like really change like -- and I didn't see changes in -- so I was expecting something.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Gabriele Martinez was expecting better. Both she and her husband work. They have one child, six-year-old, Roman. Every month, a struggle.
MARTINEZ: Right now I work in three jobs because I have to like pay more things. Like my house is more expensive.
MARQUEZ: Dalton, Georgia bills itself the carpet capital of the world. Much of the labor here, Latino immigrants living paycheck to paycheck. Many now view the Trump years as better for their bottom line.
JUAN MANUEL FERREIRA ZAMORA, GEORGIA VOTER: Latino community say when Trump was a president we don't have high gas or inflation of the food.
ZAMORA: So this is the truth.
MARQUEZ: Pocketbook concerns, top of the mind, and the support of this fast-growing voting block critical in key battleground states. Joe Biden won Georgia and its 16 electoral votes in 2020 by just 11,779 votes.
That year, Latinos in the state backed Biden by a 25-point margin. While they were just 7% of the Georgia electorate, a small shift could affect the outcome in a tight race.
A recent New York Times/ Siena College poll across six battleground states, including Georgia, found Trump running just eight points behind Biden among Latinos.
(On camera): Do you think Latino votes in Georgia are up for grabs from either party in 2024?
ANDRES PARRA, PROGRAM MANAGER, GALEO IMPACT FUND: Absolutely. I think they're up for grab from both parties. I think from any party really and I think there's a lot of frustration and a lot of broken promises.
MARQUEZ: Galeo advocates for and works with Latinos statewide. Andres Parra says Latino concerns mirror the country, their biggest issues.
PARRA: Inflation and, you know, job, our pay, rent prices, and healthcare.
MARQUEZ: Juan Jose and Suela (ph) Patino, 63 years married, they raise seven kids. Now in their 80s, they still show up to work every day at their Atlanta snack shop.
What's important for most people living in Georgia, he says, is work. Petino says he's a Democrat but worries about the economy and crime.
Here in Atlanta, he says, many people are thinking bad things about murder and crime.
Diego Monsalve has lived in Atlanta and cut hair for 17 years. The candidate who will get his vote, the one he believes will improve both the economy and bring down crime.
(On camera): Do have a candidate in mind or are you in middle?
DIEGO MONSALVE, GEORGIA VOTER: (Speaking in foreign language).
MARQUEZ (on camera): So you're open to Democrat or Republican?
COOPER: And Miguel, you spoke to some Latino Republicans as well. What did they have to say about the 2024 election?
MARQUEZ: Yeah, Latino Republicans and moderates, both who like the Republican Party, they didn't want to go on camera, but they like the business sense of the Republican Party. They want to be business owners or are business owners. They said that they would have a tough time voting for Donald Trump as well.
So he has issues as well here in Georgia. It seems no matter who the candidate is for both parties, no matter who the parties are, they're going to have to do some work to win Latino votes here in the Peach State. Anderson.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez, thank you so much. When we come back, the growing and longstanding problem of anti-Semitism in this country, CNN's Dana Bash investigates in this weekend's installment of The Whole Story. She joins me next with a preview.
COOPER: FBI Director Christopher Wray recently warned that anti- Semitism is reaching what he called historic levels in the U.S. even before October 7th in the anti-Semitic backlash. Israel's response appears to have unleashed around the world. Jews were already the most targeted religious group in this country.
This Sunday, 9 p.m. on The Whole Story, CNN's Dana Bash takes a closer look at her special report, anti-Semitism in America. Dana joins me now.
So let's talk about the tensions and the anti-Semitic activity that we've been seeing on college campuses that's been rising since October 7th. I mean, some of these videos that we've seen are just so disturbing.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So disturbing, Anderson, and it comes in all forms. And you're seeing some just kind of run-of- the-mill things, like people putting swastikas on others' dorms and then outright violence against students.
That is what happened to Dylan Mann at Tulane University. He went for what he thought and what started as a peaceful pro-Israel rally. There were pro-Palestinian supporters on the other side of the street, and then it turned. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: The violence erupted when a pro-Palestinian demonstrator in the back of a pickup truck started to lighten Israeli flag on fire.
DYLAN MANN, STUDENT, TULANE UNIVERSITY: A student on the Jewish side, he ran and he tried to get back the flag to save it from being burned. There were two kids in the back of the truck. One was holding the Israeli flag and one was holding a Palestinian flag on a very large pole.
Once the Jewish student was able to achieve the flag back, he started getting bashed over the head repeatedly with that pole. And when I saw that, that's when I ran in, I was trying to just get him out of the situation.
BASH: Then Dylan was beaten and attacked by two older men. He says we're not college aged.
MANN: I was completely blindsided by a man with a megaphone who hit me very viciously over the nose, which broke my nose. I went into complete shock. I went deaf for a couple seconds. I seemed like I went blind maybe for a second.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: And Anderson, what we're seeing on college campuses comes really after years of a bubbling of anti-Semitism. It certainly has for a while been viewed as anti-Zionism, which the first time I did an hour like this, just in 2022, people cautioned and pushed back, well, it's not the same.
Now there's -- there's no caution. It is being conflated in a very big way. And one of the questions is when are university presidents going to start to address this, not just the violence that are coming from the groups, but the cultural problems that are systemic at the university level, faculty and students alike?
COOPER: And obviously, I mean, just globally we've been seeing a rise in anti-Semitism?
BASH: Absolutely, in a very alarming way, particularly when you look at Europe, even a place like Germany, which after World War II, they were actually among the best and the least overt about anti-Semitism. We're seeing that happen there. And what's happening here in the U.S. as well.
One of the things that I have learned in looking into this, not just now, but also before, is that if you look at the history, the notion of anti-Semitism, which as we all know has been going on for millennia, tends to be kind of a canary in the coal mine for when a democracy starts to rot and has real problems.
The fact that we are seeing that not just in these European countries, but more importantly here in the U.S. is very, very disturbing.
COOPER: Yeah. Dana Bash, tune in to see Dana's report all in an all- new episode of The Whole Story, air Sunday, 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only here on CNN. We'll be right back.
COOPER: The news continues. "The Source" with Kaitlan Collins starts now.