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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

NY Times: Israel Knew Hamas's Attack Plan More Than A Year Ago; Father Of Hersh Goldberg-Polin: "We Have Gotten No Information Lately"; Santos Refuses To Resign Ahead Of Expected Expulsion Vote; NY Times: Israel Knew Hamas's Attack Plan More Than A Year Ago; Document "Outlined, Point By Point" Exactly The Kind Of Invasion; Trump Gag Order Reinstated In NY Civil Fraud Trial; U.S. Coast Guard Leaders Long Concealed A Critical Report That Exposed Racism, Hazing And Sexual Misconduct. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 30, 2023 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: That's a post there from Senator Grassley. He posted the picture of the food.

So Ernst starts choking on the food. Paul jumps in, performs a Heimlich maneuver on her, successfully dislodging the food. Well, I mean, look, I don't want to make light of it, it's very serious, and she was very grateful. She did joke about it later, but he did step in when it mattered.

And South Carolina's Lindsey Graham was not at the lunch, but when he heard about what happened, he jumped in with the humor, "God bless Rand Paul. I never thought I would say that."

All right. Well, thanks so much for watching. We appreciate it. "AC 360" starts right now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER: 360": Tonight on "360," with the seven-day truce and more hostages released, now in flux, stunning new reporting on who knew what and when about what Hamas was planning for October 7th long before the fact.

Later, what the multi-indicted Congressman and OnlyFan's fan George Santos said in his own defense today about tomorrow's vote on whether to expel him. Plus, barely months after CNN revealed a probe into sexual misconduct at the Coast Guard Academy and how it was kept from the public, another exclusive, what we're learning about another even broader reaching investigation and another cover-up four years earlier.

Good evening. A lot to get to tonight. We begin with breaking news. New and highly detailed reporting just out from "The New York Times" in a piece headlined "Israel knew Hamas's attack plan more than a year ago." Reporters from "The Times" lay out just how much they say was known in advance about what Hamas was planning and ultimately carried out on October 7th. It came just hours after Hamas freed eight more hostages today and just four hours until the shaky seven-day truce with Israel expires. Joining us now from "The New York Times" Ronen Bergman who shares a byline on this stunning new report. Ronen, thanks for being with us. Talk about what your team learned about this blueprint and the length of time that Israel had to review these plans, and why it wasn't listened to.

RONEN BERGMAN, STAFF WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE: So somewhere around -- along 2022, Israeli intelligence was able to get the plan for the Hamas attack. It's code name -- it was code named by Israeli intelligence the "Wall of Jericho," the "Jericho Wall." And it details in many, many, many different details how the attack is going to take place, exactly as it took place more than a year after.

This could be an intelligence victory for Israel, but Israeli analysts, some of the seniors of Israeli intelligence saw the plan as more of they call it the compass -- the building of the forces where Hamas wants to be, but not where Hamas is. So while having that plan, they saw this as something that Hamas is far from being capable of doing.

They believed that Hamas has -- doesn't have the ability to conduct such a massive operation. We are talking about the coup d'etat (ph) plan to break the fence between Gaza and Israel in 60 different places.

Israel believed they could do that maybe in two places. It called for the bombing and destruction of the cameras instantly, the same simultaneously, the beginning of the attack of the cameras, the automatic guns, the communication centers, and then the ramping of the division headquarters -- the Gaza division headquarters that is in charge of protecting the front.

The -- in July of this year, so a year after, an analyst that was reviewing intercepts about Hamas military exercises wrote a letter, an email, an exchange of email -- encrypted email. She becomes from 8200, the Israeli NSA, the equivalent to the American NSA. And she described that (inaudible), and she said that she believes that Hamas is narrowing the gap between the Wall of Jericho plan and its real capabilities.

And there was a pushback from senior -- more senior intelligence officers said -- that told her, this is an imaginary plan. They cannot do that. And so here is the tragedy for Israeli intelligence, for Israeli public. Instead of positioning, it's not just an intelligence debate, if Israel and Israeli Defense Forces would adopt this plan as something that Hamas can do, even without any connection to the intention of Hamas, a decision to execute, this is something the analysts couldn't say.

She did not push back on the Israeli wisdom at that time -- that time, meaning, three, four months ago -- that Hamas doesn't want to go to Holy War. But if Israeli defense establishment had the knowledge that Hamas is capable of launching such an attack, that would put a total different size of forces on the border, the outcome could be very different.


COOPER: Also, according to your reporting, this analyst -- this woman analyst saw an exercise that Hamas undertook a trial run and raised red flags again, saying this looks very much like the Wall of Jericho plan that we had discussed before and, again, would seem to have been dismissed.

BERGMAN: Not just that, she even has -- she says here's an interesting bit of information. The same quote from the Quran, "Surah Al-Ma'idah," that begins with which the -- this detailed plan for action, this detailed plan for attack starts with, it's called for -- this is something about Moses, but it's about the surprise entry through a gate. I think it's not a coincidence that Hamas picked this up.

The people participating -- the Hamas gunmen participating in that drill were using the same quote. The same quote is now part of the emblem of Hamas used in all Hamas publications ...


BERGMAN: ... statement and videos since the attack.

COOPER: As you know, the Israeli government posted online on X last month, quote, "Contrary to the false claims, under no circumstances and at no stage was Prime Minister Netanyahu warned of Hamas's war intentions." They went on to say, at no point was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Hamas's intention to start a war. On the contrary, all the defense officials, including the heads of the intelligence directorate and the Shin Bet assessed said that Hamas was deterred. Do you know if the prime minister was, in fact, informed? Because it sounds like, from your reporting, that this document was widely disseminated in intelligence and military circles.

BERGMAN: Yes. So we don't know if Prime Minister Netanyahu got the -- was presented with this document. We do know, and we -- this comes from previous reporting, that he was warned again, again, and again and again, and in details at least in four different letters throughout the last year that the members of the so-called Axis of Resistance -- Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah -- sees Israeli weakness, and they might decide to use what they believe a window of opportunity to attack.


BERGMAN: This document was sent to many, and I think this is a good point for further reporting about who saw ...


BERGMAN: ... and who decided to continue with this so-called conception, the ability to believe that Hamas is contained.

COOPER: Ronen Bergman, it's incredible reporting. Thank you.

More now on the forces at play. Tonight, joining us CNN's Alex Marquardt and Oren Liebermann, also Axios Reporter and CNN Political and Foreign Policy Analyst Barak Ravid, and CNN Military Analyst, Retired Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.

Barak, first of all, how damning is this report for the Israeli government?

BARAK RAVID, AXIOS POLITICAL AND FOREIGN POLICY REPORTER: Well, I think this is part of a series of stories that appeared in the Israeli press over the last week or two weeks that what happens behind them is a fight between Israeli intelligence community or parts of it, especially the military intelligence, and the political echelon with each side leaking stuff that are more comfortable to him when it comes to everything that happened in the year before the war.

And, you know, a lot of people in Israel think that the reason that now we hear about those documents is because it's very comfortable for Benjamin Netanyahu and his people, and they're trying to put those things out in order to build a case for the inquiry committee that most likely is going to be formed on the day after the war.

COOPER: I mean, Barak, as you know, intelligence officials -- military officials have accepted responsibility. Benjamin Netanyahu has not, in any form, accepted any responsibility for the attack on October 7th. He had very early on, right before the operation in Gaza, he had tweeted out a criticism of the heads of the military and intelligence, and then quickly withdrew that tweet and apologized for that. But it certainly seems like this is something he wants out there.

RAVID: No doubt. By the way, there was a huge intelligence failure. It's not that it's not true. There was a huge intelligence failure.


I just -- you know, in one of the emails, this analyst from Israel's signals intelligence agency, 8200, one of the headlines of one of her emails that was warning from this plan was -- the headline was "death in the kibbutz." Okay. How symbolic is that, okay? Several months ago, "death in the kibbutz" she wrote.

So there was a huge intelligence failure, not at her level, but at the higher level of the people who are actually making the decisions, and that their job is to actually warn the political echelon of what was going on. But at the same time, Netanyahu did get a lot of other warnings that had to do also with, you know, the general situation where Israel's enemies were planning to gang up on it, because of the domestic crisis over Netanyahu's judicial overhaul in the months before the war.

COOPER: Alex, what do you make of this report? How are US officials likely to react?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I really do think it goes to this theme that we've been reporting on for quite some time of the underestimation of what Hamas was capable of doing, and certainly what they intended to do. You and I have talked about intelligence reports and assessments, both on the Israeli and the American side, in the days leading up to October 7th that indicated that Hamas might do something. Now, what that something was expected to be was what we had seen before in previous rounds of fighting that were frankly rather inconsequential for Israel. And that would have been rockets being fired across the border, which then likely would have been intercepted by the iron dome, which is exactly what we're seeing on our screen right there. But there was no sense that Hamas would be able to break through the fence and carry out the types of massacres that they did.

There is acknowledgment and public acknowledgment here in US from intelligence officials and Biden administration officials that this was purely an Israeli intelligence failure. American intelligence officials are not taking any responsibility for this. They are laying it at the feet of the intelligence apparatus and security apparatus in Israel. Essentially, the US has been so focused on China, and on Russia, and Ukraine that they just don't spend a lot of time thinking about Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups.

Now, will that change going forward? That remains to be seen. We've certainly seen US intelligence playing a much bigger role during this conflict with drones ...


MARQUARDT: ... and other kinds of signals intelligence gathering. But in their minds, this is an Israeli intelligence failure.

I think most people will tell you that Netanyahu is not expected to survive this, but there's also an expectation that the heads of the agencies will also roll.

COOPER: Yes, there seems to be a reckoning.

General Hertling, I mean, from a military -- I mean, when military intelligence sees an enemy training for a very specific scenario, I mean, would it surprise you that a report like this would not have gone to the very top of the Israeli government?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes and no, Anderson. You know, I'm going go back a little bit. I was in the fusion center near Be'eri with my counterpart in Israel in 2012. I saw the women that collect the intelligence, that fuse it together and provide to it the commanders.

There was a focus on Hamas and Gaza in 2012 when I was there. That focus deteriorated over the years because of focus in other areas like the West Bank. But truthfully, you -- as a commander, you get all sorts of intelligence reports from your intelligence collection cells, your fusion -- the young sergeants and privates that put the information together.

It only depends on what you pay attention to. And if the Israeli military and the Israeli government was not paying attention to that fusion cell in Be'eri -- and they have several other fusion cells throughout the country, one in northern Israel against Hezbollah, another one in the West Bank where they formulate the intelligence and gather it and say here's what we think is going to happen. But truthfully, all those intelligence young soldiers can do is pass that forward. Even with the kind of headlines that Oren -- or that Alex just mentioned of, you know, disaster in the kibbutz, that should gain attention. But a cultural bias sometimes prevents commanders and political leaders from understanding the importance of some of this. And sometimes those intelligence officers will put a headline that screams disaster about to approach, and it has to be weighed with all the other sorts of intelligence.

As concerns the US paying attention to this, yes, we take a lot of information from national governments in terms of what kind of terrorist activities that are going on all over in the world ...


HERTLING: ... in the Sahel in Africa, in Israel, in the Middle East. And some of that sometimes just goes by the wayside. And it's unfortunate, but that's what happens.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, Oren, the level of detail though that Israel at least -- you know, that people in Israel in the government, in the military and the intelligence service in this report, I mean, they had the intelligence. They had the right information down to very specific details, which is an intelligence success because, early on, there are all these questions like how is it possible that they didn't have any eyes on this.


Clearly, they got this report early on from intelligence -- somehow from intelligence sources in Gaza or elsewhere in the Hamas infrastructure. It was accurate. They just didn't believe it, and it didn't get enough people believing it.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: It was a complete lack of imagination that led Israel to believe that something like this was never possible. Israel knew exactly where Hamas was exercising, exactly how they exercised, in what numbers. They could openly see the exercise sites.

In fact, when the IDF took me into Gaza several weeks ago, we looked over a mock Israeli village they had created. Israel simply didn't believe it was possible that Hamas could carry out such a large-scale and coordinated attack. And on top of that, at the political level, they believed that Hamas was more interested in economic rehabilitation of Gaza. In the permits that Israel was giving it, they were ready to approve and more permits.

Moreover, much of this report was already known. In fact, the Haaretz article from a week ago pointed out a year before October 7th, Israel's army had insight into Hamas's plan to attack Israeli towns and IDF bases. So although "The New York Times" adds some details here, there have already been many reports, as Barak Ravid pointed out, that Israel knew much of what was going to happen and simply didn't believe it was possible. Everyone at every level we have spoken to from political to military has pointed out there will be a deep and thorough investigation about what went wrong. What this report makes clear is that it was at the military level and at the political level.

COOPER: Yes. And certainly, what makes this report from "The New York Times" different is they've actually seen the document, and it is startling the level of detail in this document.

Oren Liebermann, thank you, Alex Marquardt, Barak Ravid, Mark Hertling.

Next, my conversation with the parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, whose son -- Hersh Goldberg-Polin, as you know, was wounded on October 7th. His left arm, most of it was blown off. It's believed he remains in captivity tonight.

Later, George Santos on the eve of tomorrow's vote on whether to expel him from Congress, and one of his democratic colleagues, Congressman Daniel Goldman, who wants him gone.



COOPER: Tonight's breaking news, "The New York Times" said Israeli officials actually had more than a year in advance Hamas's plan for the October 7th massacre. It's just the latest blow to anyone mourning the losses from that day or waiting to be reunited with a loved one now being held by Hamas or some other faction or group in Gaza.

They're hoping that a truce set to expire at midnight is extended. Today's release of eight hostages did not bring freedom for any Americans, including 23-year-old Hersh Goldberg-Polin. You'll remember he was badly wounded by a grenade on October 7th, tossed into a bunker where he was hiding with 28 other people. His friends were attacked in that bunker, many of them murdered by Hamas killers while trying to hide in that shelter.

This is a video of Hersh being taken captive. Most of his left arm has been blown off. A bone is sticking out of his left arm.

We've been in touch with his parents, Rachel Goldberg and Jonathan Polin almost from the beginning. I spoke to them again earlier today.


COOPER (on camera): Rachel and Jon, thank you so much for being back with us. Have you gotten any information at all lately?

JONATHAN POLIN, SON ABDUCTED BY HAMAS AT ISRAELI MUSIC FESTIVAL: We have gotten no information lately. Obviously, like everybody else, we're kind of on edge here as we're getting, I think, to the end of the list of women and children to be released. But we have no new information. We are hearing rumors of who's going to categorize, what and how and when, but we don't know. We have no information. COOPER (on camera): And, Rachel, the way you get information is the way everybody else gets information or do you get, you know -- I assume you got there some representative from the government or the IDF who will talk with you when there is something to know. But this waiting and wondering, which all the families go through, it's intolerable.

RACHEL GOLDBERG, SON ABDUCTED BY HAMAS AT ISRAELI MUSIC FESTIVAL: Well, we do have an Army representative that checks in with us every day, and she is wonderful. But, you know, there isn't a lot of information to share. This past week has been actually a really hopeful week and a very -- the first time that we've had, like, any ray of light because so many of these women and children who were released are the relatives of friends of ours now.

You know, in these past 55 days, we've become really close to these families that are, you know, on the same planet as we are. And so, it was actually just such a relief and a respite from all of the sadness, which calling what we're experiencing sadness is, you know, a complete understatement. But it has been a really positive experience watching people come out back to their families.

So we don't have new news yet, but at least we had a decent week.

COOPER (on camera): Every day when, you know, a list is -- comes out, I imagine you -- you're just waiting to hear who is on the list like everybody else.

GOLDBERG: We are. But, you know, we didn't -- we had been told beforehand that this was just going to be women, children, and babies. So there wasn't pressure, you know, there wasn't anticipation could it be Hersh, because he doesn't fall into those buckets. I mean, he's our child. He'll always be my baby, but I realize that that's not how he's going to be categorized.

COOPER (on camera): And, Jon and Rachel, you mentioned that the current deal covers women, children, and babies. Today, a member of Israel's Knesset told CNN that Israeli government is willing to discuss a different framework for the release of men and soldiers held by Hamas. Do you have a message to the Israeli government and those at the negotiating table?


POLIN: Look, one of the things that we haven't heard in 55 days is discussion of wounded or critically wounded, right? So even now, as we're getting through the women and children and starting to have discussions about the men, it's so complex. It's hard for us to advocate for our kid over other kids. And it's not even that I want to do that.

Hersh is not the only wounded one. I know there are other wounded. And I just think that probably deserves to be a category.

Even to the extent that anybody talks about wounded, it's just a word thrown out there. And you've seen the video. You've sent us the video of Hersh with his arm blown off and bone sticking out. It looks pretty dramatic.

But we're also 55 days in. And even if he got surgery and even if he got antibiotics, we imagine the pain he must be in, especially now that we're hearing that people are sleeping on concrete floors and plastic chairs and being moved, we don't know the real details. But let's not lose sight of the fact that probably excruciating pain to have a limb blown off and not have it treated properly for 55 days.

COOPER (on camera): The other thing I don't understand why there hasn't been more outrage about globally is -- I mean, not only the taking of hostages, but that the Red Cross has not been allowed any contact with hostages, and that those holding the hostages have not been forced to at least give some proof of life or give a list of who is being held for all these families to be in this limbo state, hoping that their loved one is being held hostage, because the alternative is that that person has -- is not alive anymore. I don't understand why there is not more of a demand that Hamas and whatever other groups at least produce a list of everybody who is being held.

POLIN: Join the club.

GOLDBERG: Exactly.

POLIN: You know, for the first few weeks when I was personally calling the Red Cross every day and being told "We're here at the border, we're ready to go in, but we're not being allowed in," I gave them a little bit of a pass, and I think a lot of other people did too.

But at a certain point, I start to say, why are you accepting that answer, Red Cross? Like if that's the answer you're being given, don't bring in a global group of people to fight this fight with you. Start to take it public. Start to demand to get in. Figure it out.

COOPER (on camera): Rachel Goldberg, Jon Polin, thank you so much.

POLIN: Thanks, Anderson.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next, how much longer will the indicted congressman and serial fabulous George Santos be a congressman on the eve of the vote on whether to expel him? I'll speak with another member of his New York delegation, Democrat Daniel Goldman.



COOPER: The long, surreal political journey of Congressman George Santos, Republican of New York, may come to a close tomorrow in a historic expulsion vote in the House. Today, at a debate over the resolution on the House floor, Congressman Santos had an opportunity to defend himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R), NEW YORK: I call that hypocrisy, more lying, more swamp behavior from this body. The same reason that Americans have no trust in this body because, unfortunately far too often, too many of our colleagues here will speak from both sides of their mouths without regard to who it might hurt. As it is said, people in this town will hurt people a whole lot so they can benefit just a little bit.


COOPER: That's George Santos saying those words.

Joining me now, a fellow congressman from New York who will participate in that vote tomorrow, Democrat Dan Goldman. I mean it's amazing to hear him talk about people speaking both sides out of their mouth and doing things that are harmful that benefit them.

Putting that aside, you know the argument from Santos and his allies that he hasn't yet had due process because he's still awaiting trial in federal court on the sweeping fraud indictment. They say to expel him now would be -- would set a bad precedent. What do you say to that?

REP. DAN GOLDMAN (D), NEW YORK: Well, two things. First of all, he has had due process. He had an opportunity to cooperate and -- with the Ethics Committee. He was asked to provide documents, he did not. He was asked to come in and speak with them, he did not. That is due process.

The notion that due process requires a criminal trial is preposterous. There's a reason why Congress has its own set of rules and operates under those rules. And let's remember, Anderson, that this is unprecedented in many ways already because in almost every ethics investigation, the Ethics Committee defers first to the Department of Justice.

And then the Ethics Committee will act if necessary after any conviction, most members will resign in this case because of the extraordinary nature of George Santos's fraud and deceit. The Ethics Committee moved ahead in coordination with the Department of Justice.

So we now, in a very unusual way, have an ethics report before we have a resolution to the criminal case. And if you look at that ethics report, there can be no question any reasonable American would vote to expel George Santos from Congress. It is egregious.

COOPER: How do you think the vote is going to go tomorrow? Because as you know, Majority Whip Steve Scalise says he's going to vote against expulsion. Jim Jordan said the same thing.

GOLDMAN: Yes, I don't understand what their rationale is. They're basically, as they've done for the past 11 months, putting the political power of the Republican majority, that slim majority, over the interest of the voters in the third district of New York and the integrity of Congress. It is laughable to hear George Santos say that the reason people lack trust in Congress is because they speak out of both sides of their mouth. George Santos is the reason why people might lack trust in the Congress and he needs to go. And if he is not voted out, it is simply because, once again, the Republican Party is putting politics and their own power over the people of the United States.

COOPER: We obviously are willing to learn tonight if Israel's truce with Hamas will be extended for another day. I wanted to get your reaction to this new reporting from the New York Times that Israel obtained Hamas battle plan for the October 7th attacks more than a year ago.


Obviously, there was disagreement about whether it was an inspirational plan or whether it was a plan that they actually could carry out. What is accountability for an intelligence failure of this magnitude look like to you?

GOLDMAN: Well, it's a truly remarkable story if it is accurate. And the first question, of course, is how far up the chain did this information go? Did Prime Minister Netanyahu know about it and discount it? But it is an intelligence failure of a massive proportion, somewhat akin, perhaps even worse to 9/11.

But in this case, we know about it during the war. In 9/11, we learned much of this after the hostilities had started. And the real question then becomes whether Israeli leadership can properly guide Israel through these hostilities and this conflict, knowing that they may be on the hook for such a massive intelligence failure. It creates some potential conflicts of interest. And so I think we're going to need to know more about who knew about it and when and why they did not take this more seriously.

COOPER: That's one of the things Netanyahu and others have said, though military officials, intelligence officials in Israel have accepted responsibility, were accepted for their failures. Netanyahu has not, and basically you talk to anybody there in his government and they say, well, this is not the time. Do you think there should be accountability now?

GOLDMAN: Look, I've been on that side of the ledger that this is not the time that we need to make sure that Hamas is removed from power and then we can deal with -- after action report about what happened. But the problem with that mentality is that it assumes we don't know what happened during the course of the hostilities.

If we do know that there was this massive intelligence failure, that may compromise the way that the current leadership operates the war, and that is not acceptable. So it's very different if we wait to do the investigation than if we learn about it during the hostilities. So I think we are going to need to understand a little bit more about what happened, how high up the chain it went, because that will have an impact on how everyone views the leadership of the Israeli government as they execute this war. COOPER: Yes. Congressman Dan Goldman, thank you.

Coming up, the gag order in former President Trump's $250 million civil fraud trial has now been reinstated. We'll tell you why ahead.



COOPER: The gag order is back in place for former President Trump and his attorneys in his 250 million civil fraud trial. It bars him from making public statements like this one last month.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And this rogue judge, a Trump hater, the only one that hates Trump more is his associate up there. The person that works with him. And she's screaming into his ear at almost every time we ask a question. It's a disgrace. You want to know the truth? It's a disgrace.


COOPER: It's exhausting. It's really exhausting. It also prohibits the former president from Truth Social posts like this, which reads in part, quote, "His ridiculous and unconstitutional gag order not allowing me to defend myself against him and his politically biased and out of control, Trump hating clerk who is sinking him and his court to new levels of low, is a disgrace".

That was just after an appeals court temporarily paused the gag order. The judge and his clerk have received hundreds of messages that court security have deemed, quote, "serious and credible since the criticism from Trump began".

Joining me now, Jennifer Rodgers, former Federal Prosecutor and CNN Legal Analyst and former Trump White House Communications Director, Alyssa Farah Griffin, who is a CNN Political Commentator. What does it mean, Jennifer, now that the gag order has been reinstated?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it means that if he violates it again, and the judge finds that he violates it again, then he's subject to whatever sanctions the judge decides are appropriate. Previously, he imposed relatively small fines, a $5,000 fine, a $10,000 fine. So the question is, if he violates again, what will the judge do this time?

COOPER: Does -- Alyssa, does the former president relish this? Does he want the gag order back because it gives him more to talk about?

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he wants to talk. I'm not sure whether he wants it in place or not, but I mean, Donald Trump is not exactly synonymous with self-control. This is a man who is so deeply undisciplined. I'm certain that lawyers around him are telling him, let's stop posting. Let's just keep it quiet and try to -- this case is more or less solved. We know the direction that it's going, but he can't help himself. And I think he wants to look like he's fighting. That's what it is. This is more about the P. R. campaign for his followers that he's attacking him. He's also spreading conspiracy theories about the judge's wife --

COOPER: Right.

GRIFFIN: -- which, you know, have yet to be, you know, denounced by folks on his team.

COOPER: Right. He's suggested that the judge's wife has an account on X, formerly Twitter. The court says that that's simply not true, that she's not on X. Could a, Jennifer, could a gag order be extended to the wife of this judge?

RODGERS: Sure, yes. I mean, to the extent that threatening the wife or saying things that causes the wife to receive threats is, you know, is happening, then, sure, he could. Absolutely, because, you know, this is really all about suggesting that the judge is unfair, right?

So saying, oh, the wife is a Trump hater, the clerk is a Trump hater, the point of that is saying all of this is bogus, it's a witch hunt, the judge is unfair and biased against me. So the judge certainly can extend the gag order or issue a new one that says you can't threaten the family member, for example, of the judge or any of the staff members.

You know, we'll see what he does, but where does it stop? I mean, then he starts threatening the judge's next door neighbor. And I mean, you know, you want to keep the gag order very narrow legally, so that it won't be thrown out as unconstitutional. On the other hand, if you keep it narrow, you know, he can just find other targets.

COOPER: It is, again, one of those situations that, when you're caught up in it, it becomes -- it seems -- it starts to seem normal. But you step back, this is the former president of the United States attacking the clerk of a judge. A person who's just sitting next to the judge handing papers and helping organize the case.

GRIFFIN: Well, you said it best. It's also just exhausting. This is classic Donald Trump. It's the unhinged ramblings of a man who can't grapple with the fact that he lost the last election, that his business dealings are now kind of coming back to roost, and some of the wealth that he may have spoken of having isn't quite what it was. And that's being challenged in the court of public opinion and in the actual court.


And he's just -- it's turned into sort of this unhinged person that we're seeing. And it's interesting because I think a big part of what, frankly, his campaign has been saying is, look at slow Joe Biden, look at how much Joe Biden has been diminished in his old age.

I always remind people these two gentlemen are only about three and a half years apart. And if you watch Donald Trump of today and compare it to 2016, it's not the same person. And I had my own criticisms of him in 2016. He is somebody who he can't focus on things. He can't remember who's the current president.

He can't remember that World War II actually already happened. He's would be concerned about World War III if he's making a prediction.

COOPER: But, I mean, any other human being who's so exhaustively repeats the same thing just over and over and over again, so self- referential, who's in public life and wants to represent other people. I mean, it's -- no one else would accept it. I mean, I understand his supporters just view him in a certain way and through a certain lens. But it -- anybody else doing this, people would be like, this is ridiculous.

GRIFFIN: I think for a lot of Republican voters, it goes in one ear and out the other. He has this way --

COOPER: This is like the guy at the bar with a onion tied to his belt, rambling late at night.

GRIFFIN: Well, it pretty much is, I think to most people it's -- there's been such a deluge of Trump over the last seven years that a lot of folks just tune it out. But to his diehard supporters, they kind of love this. They love that he's being defiant, that he's getting these gag orders that he scoffs at a $10,000 fine that he's getting. And he's going to keep doing it. He thinks it makes him look tough.

COOPER: There's also, Jennifer, news about another case, according to Times, one of the former president's lawyers warned him that defying the Department of Justice subpoena for classified documents in Mar-a- Lago is going to be a crime.

RODGERS: Yes, this is great evidence for Jack Smith and his team. I mean, they've apparently had it since before charging, but we're just learning of it now. It's another lawyer who sat with him with the subpoena in hand saying, you have to reply to this. You have to give them these documents back. If you don't, it's illegal.

And she also reportedly said that he understood that, that her testimony will be, she understood that message, that he understood that message from the lawyer, that it was illegal what he was doing, which of course, goes directly to his intent and knowledge when he kept those materials and didn't turn them back over --

COOPER: And she contest -- she would testify to that.

RODGERS: Exactly. Exactly. Now, he'll continue to challenge on attorney-client privilege grounds.

COOPER: Right.

RODGERS: The judge already has ruled that the crime fraud exceptions means she can testify, so we'll see how that all plays out ultimately, but another great piece of evidence for Jack Smith.

COOPER: Yes. Jennifer Rodgers, Alyssa Farrah Griffin, thanks so much.

Next, a CNN exclusive. Just five months after CNN uncovered a secret report of on rapes and sexual assaults at the Coast Guard Academy, our Pam Brown has now found a critical report done years earlier exposing some of those allegations and others across the entire agency, and leaders have kept it secret for years.



COOPER: Now a CNN exclusive, the latest in a series of reports you've seen on this program, allegations of another cover up at the U.S. Coast Guard. Just months ago, our Pam Brown reported on a secret investigation at the academy, dubbed Operation Foul the Anchor. Which found that rape, sexual assaults, and other misconduct that had been ignored and at times covered up by high ranking officials.

Now, CNN has discovered that years before that investigation, another critical report exposing racism, hazing, discrimination, and sexual assault across the Coast Guard. Coast Guard leaders have kept it secret for nearly a decade.

For details, here's Pam Brown.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR & CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): This culture of respect report obtained by CNN was based on interviews with hundreds of Coast Guard employees in 2015. Among the alarming conclusions, Coast Guard personnel accept poor behavior as status quo. The Coast Guard does not provide sufficient measures to prevent sexual assault.

And, Coast Guard personnel have been discriminated against and sexually harassed. It's been kept from the public, dubbed for official use only. The front page saying it should be disseminated only on a need-to-know basis and kept in a locked container.

The report describes the failures of Coast Guard leadership, claiming leaders are not fully aware of perpetrator-predator characteristics and have allowed Coast Guard members to escape accountability. In one example cited, a military member was reduced in rank and asked to leave the service after being involved in a sexual harassment complaint, only to be hired later by the Coast Guard as a supervisor. And was even accepted as a victim advocate into the Coast Guard's program for sexual assault victims.

KIMBERLY YOUNG-MCLEAR, RETIRED COAST GUARD COMMANDER: I have experienced racism. And as a black queer woman, I've experienced harassment.

BROWN (voice-over): Retired Coast Guard Commander and whistleblower, Kimberly Young-McLear, is one of the people who knew the report existed and has pushed for its release for years. YOUNG-MCLEAR: I and many of us were very, very angry and very upset that this was a document that spelled out exactly what the culture was, provided a road map of how we can improve the culture and the Coast Guard sat on it and then they buried it.

BROWN (voice-over): In 2019, Young McLear even testified in front of Congress about the toxic culture in the Coast Guard.

YOUNG-MCLEAR: If they had implemented the vast majority of the recommendations that it absolutely could have prevented what happened to me, and not just me, what continues to happen across the entire U.S. Coast Guard.

BROWN (voice-over): Yet, the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security have for years refused to release the report publicly. And keep in mind, this newly uncovered report was written four years before another internal Coast Guard report that was kept secret until a CNN investigation last summer. Dubbed Operation Fouled Anchor, it substantiated dozens of rapes at the Coast Guard Academy.

ADMIRAL LINDA FAGAN, COMMANDANT, U.S. COAST GUARD: I again apologize to each victim survivor, their loved ones, we failed to provide the safe environment that every member of the Coast Guard deserves.

BROWN (voice-over): The problems outlined in both reports still persist, according to dozens of recent and current Coast Guard employees who have spoken with CNN. They worry that change will not happen in the future until the Coast Guard confronts its past.

YOUNG-MCLEAR: In order to improve the culture, they have to acknowledge what the culture actually is.


COOPER: Pamela, why go to all this trouble to investigate wrongdoing at the Coast Guard and not release the report?


BROWN: Well, Anderson, that is the million dollar question here. The Coast Guard tells us that this report was not intended to be released widely, but now it's going to be made public next week, along with the results of the 90-day review ordered after CNN's first story five months ago.

Also, a spokesperson says the Coast Guard has taken action on 60 of the 129 recommendations in that culture of respect report that you just heard about. Anderson?

COOPER: Pam Brown, thanks. We'll be right back.


COOPER: The first episode of season two of my podcast, All There Is, is out now. It's a very personal podcast about grief and loss, which is something all of us will experience in our lives, but often have a very hard time talking about or even acknowledging, which has certainly been the case for me. It's really only in the last few months that I've realized how deeply I've buried my grief and run from it most of my life.

The podcast is about trying to face grief and learn from it and live with it. And I talked to a lot of really remarkable people whose strength and courage in facing their grief has been inspiring. Next week's episode is a very personal conversation about loss with President Biden at the White House.

Episode one is available right now. It's with a psychotherapist and author named Francis Weller, whose work is really powerful in grief. You can find season two of All There Is on the Apple podcast or Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Episode one is out there now. I hope you like it and I hope you find it helpful.

That's it for us. The news continues. "THE SOURCE" starts now.