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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Police: 3 Dead After UNLV Mass Shooting; 4th Victim In Critical Condition; House Republicans Threaten Contempt To Hunter Biden If He Does Not Appear For Deposition Next Week; House Oversight GOP Highlights Payment From Hunter Biden Company To Joe Biden But Neglects To Share Evidence It Was A Car Repayment; Netanyahu says IDF Has Surrounded Hamas Leader, Yahya Sinwar's House In Gaza; GOP Senators Reject Billions In Emergency Aid For Ukraine, Israel; Coast Guard Pledges Reforms After Mishandling Reports Of Sexual Assault; Biden Talks About Facing Grief On Season 2 Of Anderson's Podcast; Legendary TV Producer Of "All In The Family", Good Times" Norman Lear Dies At 101. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired December 06, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And finally, an update on a family that we have been speaking with since the October 7th attacks on Israel. Yoni Asher, his wife Doron and his two little girls were recently released after being held hostage -- a true miracle. And they got a visit today from Raz and Aviv's favorite television star.
The family shared this video with us of the moment. Raz and Aviv were surprised by the star in their home. Oh, she's so amazing.
Think about walking through that door when we met Yoni and weren't sure they would ever walk through it again. They got to dance together. The actress posting on Instagram, quote, "What I didn't know that moved me especially to tears Doron told me that in captivity they used to sing my songs to ease the pain." And what a joy for all of us to see those girls home with their parents.
Thanks for joining us. "AC 360" starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on "360," we are about to hear from authorities, after a gunman, who's now dead, opened fire on campus at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, killing three.
Also, tonight, with House Republican leaders leveling new allegations against President Biden, we'll compare what they're claiming with the facts.
And a CNN investigation into the cover-up of sexual misconduct in the Coast Guard, the action it prompted from the Coast Guard today.
We begin with breaking news out of Las Vegas, the press conference by authorities is starting. Let's listen.
SHERIFF KEVIN MCMAHILL, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE: First, I would like to reiterate to all of you that there is no more ongoing threat to our community here in Las Vegas. I'd also like to tell you that we do know the identity of the suspect in this case, but I will not be releasing his name tonight until after the next of kin notification.
As you all know, of course, this is a tragic day for all of us in southern Nevada. And at approximately 11:45 AM, LVNPD dispatch received reports of an active shooter at the UNLV campus. UNL campus -- UNLV campus police responded to the scene and engaged the suspect immediately right outside of Beam Hall. LVNPD officers also responded simultaneously.
I can tell you today, three of the victims are confirmed deceased. There is a fourth victim, who suffered a gunshot wound and is now currently in Sunrise Hospital, upgraded to stable condition. In addition to that, there were four additional people who were transported from the scene to nearby hospitals, suffering from panic attacks. Two of our officers were treated at UMC for minor injuries, which were received, while searching the vast rooms and buildings for victims at UNLV.
Our hearts go out to the entire UNLV community. No student should have to fear pursuing their dreams on a college campus. What happened today is a heinous, unforgivable crime. But I want you all to know something. It's a crime that we train for each and every day.
When there is an active shooter threat, the men and women of the southern Nevada first responder community -- police, fire, and EMS -- come together to respond quickly and decisively with zero hesitation. Within minutes, both on and off-duty responders raced to the campus to prevent further loss of life.
On a personal note, I'll tell you that after 1 October, and all the time and effort and energy that we put together in training with the men and women of law enforcement, the fire service, and EMS, watching how seamlessly they worked together today made me very, very proud to be their sheriff.
Importantly, there was a gathering just outside of the building where the students were playing games and eating food. There were tables set up for them to build Legos. And if it hadn't been for the heroic actions of one of those police officers who responded, there could have been countless additional lives taken.
Armed confrontation of the suspect by law enforcement stopped the suspect's further actions. I'm proud of the courage of these officers and the UNLV campus police and how they demonstrated that today. And with that, I'm going to introduce the governor of the great state of Nevada, Joe Lombardo. Governor?
JOE LOMBARDO, (R) NEVADA GOVERNOR: Kevin, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight. I think it's important for people to realize the partnership that is formed as a result of my career at LVPD and with Kevin, the sheriff, himself, and the confidence that I was assured of when I got notified today.
I had no doubt that the response would be appropriate. It would be swift. It would be quick, to the satisfaction of all the naysayers that we normally experience during critical incidents.
And today, LVNPD did a fantastic job, along with the University PD did a fantastic job. And after the after action is settled here and our concern for the victims are bolstered and satisfied, I will be absolutely proud of the response of the first responders. I'll be absolutely proud of the community of UNLV. And I'll be absolutely proud of the community of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada.
I had some formal comments to be said, but the important piece is I'm here to show the solidarity between the community and the law enforcement community and ensure, on behalf of the state of Nevada, we are here to help provide resources to the benefit of the victims and to express my concern for the victims and favorable thoughts to the families, and to ensure that we move forward as a society and as a community, and to assure the community we are doing everything within our ability to address these situations appropriately and with the knowledge that we receive on a continual basis.
So, Kevin, thank you.
MCMAHILL: Thank you.
LOMBARDO: I appreciate that. And I think it's appropriate that the chief of UPD comes up and says a few words and the positive response of his police department. So, Chief Alex (sic) Garcia, please.
ADAM GARCIA, CHIEF, UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you. Good evening. My name is Adam Garcia. I am the university police chief.
First of all, let me begin by telling you all how heartbroken we are on our campus for what happened today. On behalf of the chancellor, the Board of Regents, and President Whitfield, I am passing along our profound sense of loss for what occurred and the loss of life that took place. As the sheriff said, our officers, collectively UPD as well as Metro, responded to call for shots fired approximately 11:45. Two of our detectives responded to the scene. It immediately engaged the suspect in a shootout. The suspect was struck and is deceased at this time.
The campus was almost immediately closed, and out of an abundance of caution, all Nevada system and prior education institutions in southern Nevada were as well closed. UNLV will remain closed for the remainder of today, tomorrow, and Friday. And additional determinations will be made as to whether or not the school -- the university will reopen next week, which will be finals week.
So, with that, I will turn it over to Commissioner Gibson.
JIM GIBSON, CHAIRMAN OF THE CLARK COUNTY COMMISSION: Thank you, chief. I'm Jim Gibson, the chairman of the Clark County Commission. And I'm here to express the shock that we all felt as a community, but at the same time, the enormous relief that we feel as a result of the great work of the first responders. We want everyone to know that anyone who has been affected will have the resources available to them to ensure that they have an opportunity and a way -- a pathway to work through whatever the effects have been.
My colleagues on the County Commission -- indeed, all of us in Clark County (inaudible) ...
COOPER: You're listening to law enforcement talking about the shooting at UNLV. Four people shot, three of them dead, plus the gunman also, who is not named. The latest from authorities and Nevada's governor in Las Vegas. Joining us now is CNN Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst John Miller, also Senior Law Enforcement Analyst Charles Ramsey, former Philadelphia Police commissioner and DC police chief.
Clearly, it seems response time, John, was immediate, they say, and it was two detectives from the campus that engaged and killed the gunman.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Right. What we learned from Chief Adam Garcia a minute ago is it's two of his detectives from university of Las Vegas PD were first there. And he said they engaged in a shootout, which suggests that the suspect shot back. So, they had a gun battle and were able to neutralize him.
COOPER: What do we know about the gunman?
MILLER: Well, we're learning more. As you noted from the press conference, they didn't name him. We're not going to name him either, but he is not what I expected. He is a 67-year-old college professor -- career professor -- who studied business processes, organizational structures, and taught in two colleges in Georgia and North Carolina.
What we don't know is, what was the motive? What was his connection to the University of Las Vegas? Did he apply for a job there? Had he taught a class? All that's unknown.
Las Vegas Metro PD and UNLV police being assisted by other agencies, including the FBI, they're going to do a search of his residence, which I believe is in Henderson, Nevada -- not far away. No apparent police record. So, the picture is just emerging of the suspect.
The gap for us right now is, what was his connection to the school or were the victims intended because of some personal reason?
COOPER: Stephanie Elam, you've been following this since the shooting. What stood out to you?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Definitely, it was striking to hear that it was actually the campus police officers that engaged in the shooting and brought down the shooter in this battle.
Also, there was something in there from the sheriff, and we're going to have to learn more about it. But apparently, there was something going on with the students outside of Beam Hall, and that's where the shooting sounds like it took place -- this first shootout. And those students, whatever the officers did, they intercepted, interceded. They moved these kids to safety, it sounds like, during this time when, you know, they should be studying there because they are getting ready for finals before going on to winter break. That was also noteworthy.
He also said that there are four more people who are hospitalized for panic attack. And the one person who was in critical condition, we knew earlier, that is in Sunrise Hospital is now -- has been upgraded to stable condition. So, that's also some good news on that front as well because we didn't have any idea of that change there.
But still, what we know is that this all transpired very fast. You heard them ...
ELAM: ... say that they got the first call at 11:45. I can tell you very shortly thereafter, I was on TV talking about this. And by 12:30 local time, they were already saying that the situation was neutralized.
We now know, too, that this person did not kill themselves, that he was taken down by the police officers. So, these are all little bits of information. But this happened very fast.
And, you know, I was in Las Vegas to cover that October 1 shooting. These people are trained to do this. And you heard the sheriff say that people who are on duty/off-duty, all of these first responders ...
ELAM: ... coming together to respond. This is a city that's prepared for it, and they took that seriously today.
COOPER: Yes. Chief Ramsey, obviously, we know from all the past incidents how critical the initial response is -- a timely response. As he was saying, as the sheriff was saying, on duty/off-duty law enforcement, as soon as the call came out, 11:45, they responded to the campus, but it was these campus detectives -- two of them -- who engaged with and killed the gunman. Obviously, he'd been able to kill three people and will shoot one other person, but that fast response was critical.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's very critical. And, you know, we don't often talk about university police departments and their capabilities. But university police departments are very well-trained, and they're fully aware of the fact that should there be a shooting on their campus, they are more than likely going to be the very first to arrive on the scene. And that's what you saw today.
And they took action, did a tremendous job, not only the university police but obviously, the metro police. And they were able to minimize the amount of damage this individual was able to do because they did respond so quickly, they were able to kill him and stop the threat. And they did an excellent job.
COOPER: John, at this point, I mean, does law enforcement spend a lot of time looking at what motive was? I mean, does it matter to them at this point?
MILLER: Obviously, there's no criminal case. They don't need to know it, but it's important to understand what the drivers behind these threats are. That's why they'll go through the search warrants. That's why they'll try to peel back the layers. But ...
COOPER: The FBI study is pretty much every active -- I mean, they put out extensive reports on every active shooter.
MILLER: They do, and they collect the statistics. And there's a reason for it, I mean, beyond just the academic study is. What they're looking for is common traits, common signals, like leakage, where 85% of them say things before they do it that, you know, they're hoping they can train people to recognize and maybe report because there are these cases we hear about occasionally where someone was planning it, plotting it, getting to the edge of doing it, and they were stopped because people have picked up on these things.
It's just interesting that we're in Las Vegas. The governor, who spoke to us in this press conference, is Joe Lombardo, who was the sheriff during the Las Vegas sniper attack and has since gone on to be governor. Kevin McMahill has really built an active shooter response program there, which is part of the speed of what you saw and the professionalism of that response.
And UNLV is probably like every college campus in the country now, where they not only train their cops to respond to these things, but also their students and faculty.
COOPER: Yes, John Miller, thanks very much, Chief Ramsey as well, Stephanie Elam.
Joining us now is Brett Forrest of local station, KSNV. He was on the campus. He had to actually take shelter on the campus when the shooting began. Brett, can you just tell us what you saw, what you experienced?
BRETT FORREST, KSNV REPORTER: Yes, Anderson, I was here for a different assignment this morning. And right when I was wrapping up by interviews with these senior students about to graduate in two weeks, people started coming into our room, barreling through the doors, saying there's a shooter -- active shooter.
Moments later, the text message alert system from UNLV began sending the notice that there were gunshots on campus. Minutes later, a second notice saying active shooter confirmed. So, I was with dozens of students here, I'd say about 50 people, students and then also some faculty and staff. And we immediately had to shut the doors, go as deep into this building as we could.
And these students were in the middle of giving their senior presentations, mind you. So we had to drop everything, go back to this back room, and shelter in place. And we actually were there for four hours.
This began 11:45 AM, our time, and then about 3:45 PM is when they finally -- police came to our building. They were evacuating them one by one, making sure they are clear of any victims or anything else that might be of concern.
And so it took about four hours to get to where we were on campus. And then they took all of the students over to the basketball center. Some of them, I believe, are being bussed to the Las Vegas convention center for reunification point. But it was immediately scary in those first moments.
But these students I was with, amazingly, remained calm. It might be a generational thing, but they kept calm. Many were checking in on friends and family around campus, making sure they were safe.
But it was tense there for a bit. And yes, as I said, we were in there for about four hours.
COOPER: Did you have, at the time, much information about where the shooter was located? I mean, I assume you didn't -- or did you hear any shots? I assume you didn't in the location.
FORREST: I did not. And this campus tech system immediately identified the hall, the Beam Hall. You can see the Student Union Building behind me. And just on the other side of that is Beam Hall. Those are the two buildings that were involved in the shooting.
So I was, I'd say, about a half mile away from there, so I didn't hear anything. But this campus message system immediately identified the hall. Metro police were pushing out information very quickly, which often you don't see every day. But they were trying to keep the public as informed as possible.
So they were saying what buildings it was in. Students were well aware of where on campus it was. So they -- where I was, at least, instantly knew they weren't right next to the gunfire. At least and perhaps that is what helped keep them calm.
COOPER: Right. Yes, Brett Forrest, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.
Coming up next, new claims of presidential wrongdoing by House Republicans. But the same question that comes with them, where is the evidence? CNN investigates.
And later, a live report on Israel's war on Hamas and the attempt to corner and kill Hamas's leader in Gaza.
COOPER: Republicans sharing the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees tonight say they will launch contempt proceedings if the president's son, Hunter, does not appear for closed door deposition next week. The warning comes in a letter to Hunter Biden's attorney.
Also, as House Speaker Mike Johnson moves to formalize the impeachment inquiry into President Biden with a vote next week, and as Oversight Chairman James Comer continues trying to connect the president to his yet unfounded allegations of financial impropriety, the president was asked about it this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you explain to the Americans -- to Americans at this impeachment inquiry why you interacted with so many of your son and brother's foreign business associates?
JOE BIDEN, US PRESIDENT: I'm not going to comment, I did not. And it was just a bunch of lies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't interact with either of their business associates?
BIDEN: They're lies. I did not. They're lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, his denial and others have done nothing to quiet House Republicans nor stop them from making allegation. The question tonight over the days ahead is what kind of evidence do they have to back any of it up. More on that right now from CNN's Melanie Zanona.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE JOHNSON, US HOUSE SPEAKER: You're seeing a very deliberate investigation following -- uncovering and following the facts, following the truth where it leads. That's what the Constitution requires the House to do. And the House Republicans have done that very methodically.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER (voice over): That's House Speaker Mike Johnson moving to formally authorize their impeachment inquiry into President Biden as soon as next week and hoping to appease the far-right members in his party.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I've been pushing for impeachment since the first day he was in office. ZANONA (voice over): Republicans have leaned heavily on bank records, trying to establish a connection between Biden and his son's foreign business deals, a charge the White House has strongly denied. The Oversight Committee unveiled a new document this week, revealing a payment from Hunter Biden's business entity to his father.
ADAM SMITH, (R) CHAIRMAN, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: The president's loans to family members raise serious red flags and should have resulted in reported interest income.
ZANONA (voice over): What the committee didn't say was that the payment wasn't from some foreign entity, but instead was Hunter Biden repaying his father for a car. Biden was not in office at the time.
Republicans have also accused the DOJ of mishandling the criminal probe into the president's son -- claims bought forward by a pair of IRS whistleblowers who testified before a congressional committee this week.
JAMES COMER, (R) CONGRESSMAN, KENTUCKY: They testified how investigators were prevented from following evidence that could have led to Joe Biden. Justice department officials didn't want to talk about dad or the big guy. Why is that? Because the evidence leads to Joe Biden.
ZANONA (voice over): But CNN reporting shows that DOJ and IRS officials, who have also sat for interviews in recent months, have undercut those claims.
TED LIEU, (D) VICE CHAIR, HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: The White House has provided over 35,000 pages of financial documents, over 2,000 pages of Treasury reports, 36 hours of testimony, and Republicans still cannot point to a single policy decision or action that Joe Biden has taken that has violated any law.
ZANONA (voice over): House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan still believes their most compelling evidence stems from a debunked and recycled claim, that as vice president, Biden tried to pressure Ukraine to fire a top prosecutor, who was investigating a Ukrainian energy company where Hunter served on the board.
JIM JORDAN, (R) CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: This story is as old as time. You have a politician who does certain things. Those actions benefit his family financially, and then there's an effort to sweep it all under the rug. And we know this has happened. The best example is to use the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.
ZANONA (voice over): Yet nearly every aspect of that claim has been proven false. Biden did push for the prosecutor to be fired, but it was consistent with bipartisan US policy. And the United States wanted the prosecutor fired because he was soft on corruption.
ZOE LOFGREN, (D) CONGRESSWOMAN, CALIFORNIA: It's bizarre. There's no evidence whatsoever that they've -- I mean, it's a clown show over there in the Oversight Committee. ZANONA (voice over): To wrap up their impeachment probe, Republicans want to interview over a dozen more witnesses. But their final push is proving to be a challenge. Hunter Biden has only agreed to testify in public. Now, Jordan and House Oversight Chairman James Comer are threatening to hold him in contempt of Congress if Hunter does not appear for a closed-door deposition next week.
JAMES COMER, (R) CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: If they're going to stop providing information, then we need to do a formal inquiry. That's where we're at.
ZANONA: Now, Republicans are hoping to strengthen their subpoenas to Hunter Biden and others by taking an official vote to authorize their impeachment inquiry. But Republican leaders are still working to build support for that vote.
And one Republican congressman, Ken Buck, tells me he will vote against their impeachment inquiry, and others so far keeping their powder dry. Remember, the GOP can only afford to lose three Republicans on party line votes, and that majority is set to get even smaller at the end of the year when former Speaker Kevin McCarthy resigns -- Anderson.
COOPER: Melanie Zanona, thanks so much.
Joining us now, New York Democratic Congressman Daniel Goldman who sits on the House Oversight Committee. So, Congressman, what does it say that Republicans are holding up the repayment of a car loan from a son to his father as some smoking or quasi-smoking gun?
DANIEL GOLDMAN, (D) CONGRESSMAN, NEW YORK: Well, it's almost like a new day, a new made up lie to try to impugn Joe Biden. It is as desperate as anything that I've ever seen in Congress.
There is no evidence, and they keep coming up with misleading cherry- picked misinformation to try to tarnish Joe Biden. And almost immediately, every single time -- and it's something new all the time -- it comes out that, actually, this is a very normal transaction. It's a very documented transaction. It's a loan or a car payment or something between Joe Biden and his family.
And it is truly embarrassing at this point that the House Republicans, who cannot pass any appropriations bill, cannot pass any substantive legislation to help the American people, are now resorting to a complete sham, fictional, bogus impeachment inquiry that has no evidence tying Joe Biden to any misconduct.
And, Anderson, I will just say, Marjorie Taylor Greene gave it away in that piece by Melanie Zanona. She said, she's been pushing for Joe Biden to be impeached since day one. You can only be impeached for something you do as a president. And by day one, there is certainly nothing that Joe Biden had done that could be impeachable.
COOPER: Some vulnerable House Republicans are now signaling their support for an impeachment probe, and CNN is reporting Speaker Mike Johnson now appears likely to have enough votes to open a formal inquiry. What, if anything, do you think would be different about the process at that point?
GOLDMAN: Well, they're using a brand-new rationale because the goal post keep moving, that somehow the administration is stonewalling them, and so they need an official inquiry in order to get the information.
Let's be very clear, as my colleague Ted Lieu said in that piece, they have received over 36,000 bank records, 2,000 documents from Treasury report -- from Teasury Department, numerous hours of testimony from administration officials.
Donald Trump, during his first impeachment in 2019, provided zero documents to the Democrats. So, what they are now asking for, they either have or will get or should never be asking for in the first place. There's no stonewalling here. It's a fictional fig leaf to try to coerce the party to start an impeachment inquiry.
COOPER: So, do you have any doubt they ultimately will try to impeach the president? I mean, because otherwise, what is their off-ramp from this investigation? They've appeared so much on, you know, cable outlets trumping this thing up. How do they get out of it?
GOLDMAN: I don't know how they get out of it. They should never have gotten into it.
Normally, you do an investigation, as we did on the first impeachment, where we had 17 fact witnesses who came in. And then you had public hearings with fact witnesses. In this case, they have reached their conclusions, and now they're trying to backfill the facts.
They had one public hearing that was a complete disaster, where the witnesses said that Joe Biden should not be impeached based on what they've seen. They have not had another public hearing now, and they don't want another public hearing.
Hunter Biden is prepared to come in and testify publicly, under oath, before all of the American people. And Jim Jordan, who defied a subpoena and did not come in to testify in the last Congress, actually wrote a letter to Hunter Biden saying that he would be held in contempt if he were to comply with the subpoena with a public hearing, instead of a closed-door testimony.
Give me a break. This is a clown show, as my colleague, Zoe Lofgren, said. And it is really bringing shame to the House of Representatives.
COOPER: Congressman Daniel Goldman, thanks for your time.
GOLDMAN: Thank you. COOPER: Just ahead, we had breaking news. Israel's prime minister says the military has surrounded the home of Hamas's chief in Gaza. Details next.
COOPER: As Israel has dramatically increased the pace and intensity of fighting, which has expanded into southern Gaza, Israel's prime minister says the military has surrounded the home of one of its top targets, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar. Alex Marquardt joins us from Tel Aviv with the latest. So, to be clear, they aren't saying that Sinwar is in that home, are they?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No, they are not, Anderson. They admit that he is almost certainly not there. What they are saying though is that the Israeli military has the ability to go anywhere they want in Gaza, that they've been able to break through the frontline, the defensive lines of Hamas around Khan Younis, where Yahya Sinwar is from. And the IDF has surrounded his home. It is in the words of an aide to Netanyahu a symbolic victory, Netanyahu himself saying that it's only a matter of time before they get him.
The IDF making clear that they believe that he is underground, although they're not saying where. Anderson, it is worth noting that it is now exactly two months since the horrific attacks on October 7th, after which Israel said that they would eradicate Hamas. Since then, Israel believes they've killed several thousand Hamas militants, they say, out of a total force of some 25,000 to 30,000. But Yahya Sinwar, the most senior member of Hamas in Gaza, the top-two military commanders, Mohammed Deif and Marwan Issa, they're all still out there, Anderson.
COOPER: And Israel dropped leaflets over Khan Younis, which is the second largest city. What did they say?
MARQUARDT: Well, Israel has been dropping leaflets since the beginning of this conflict with very clear instructions, often to evacuate. Today's leaflets that were dropped Khan Younis were a lot more cryptic. It contained a surah or a verse from the Quran, a reference to Noah and the flood, a warning from Noah that the flood was coming. And it said exactly, "The flood overtook them while they persisted in wrong doing." We asked the IDF for clarification. They declined to comment.
MARQUARDT: It may, Anderson, be a reference to the name that Hamas gave their attack in Israel, Al-Aqsa Flood. So, that's not clear. But what is clear, Anderson, is that civilians in Khan Younis are being told to go even farther south. The humanitarian situation is getting even worse. It has been cold and rainy tonight. And we just got a warning from the WHO saying that Gaza's health system is on its knees. Anderson?
COOPER: Alex Marquardt tonight from Tel Aviv. Thank you.
A short time ago, Republican senators blocked $110 billion in emergency spending for Israel and Ukraine on a procedural vote. They want billions more for U.S. Border Security. Both parties are indicating they'll continue to work toward a solution. But both Houses leave Washington late next week for their holiday break. Close to half of that aid package was marked for the war in Ukraine.
Earlier today, the Democratic Co-Chair of the Ukraine Caucus Congressman Mike Quigley told our Jim Sciutto, the Ukrainians have had to start rationing their ammunitions. Senator Lindsey Graham, who says he still supports the war effort, says "I'm more worried about our border than Ukraine." In Ukraine, CNN's Anna Coren went to talk to Ukrainian troops near the frontlines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Down a muddy road, hedged by a bank of spindly trees and branches sits an old farm house. Its owners left some time ago, but it has new residents. These are soldiers from the 47th Mechanized Brigade.
SASHA, COMMANDER OF GRAD UNIT, 47TH MECHANIZED BRIGADE: This is where we keep our missiles.
COREN (voice-over): And they're part of the fight for Avdiivka, one of the most fiercely contested battles on Ukraine's eastern front. Camouflaged under the thicket is a Grad, a multiple-launch rocket system from the Soviet era. As outgoing artillery fires from nearby fields, 32-year-old Sasha wishes they had better and more modern weapons.
SASHA: When you're hit with the modern weapons and with the western weapons, of course, they're more accurate and they bring, let's say, more damage to the enemy.
COREN (voice-over): In the past two months, Russia has been sending waves and waves of troops to Avdiivka, as they try to encircle the town. But Sasha and his fellow soldiers know this war could become even more difficult if U.S. aid, now under threat, suddenly dries up.
COREN: If U.S. Congress does not pass the military aid package, then Ukraine will not receive the advanced weaponry it desperately needs to fight this war. And that means it will have to rely more heavily on decades-old Soviet equipment like this Grad to combat Russian forces, who are gaining supremacy on the frontline.
SASHA: I'm afraid Ukraine will not be able to stand without our partners and allies. So this is the -- as simple as that.
COREN (voice-over): Weighing even heavier on their minds is last week's alleged execution of two unarmed Ukrainian soldiers who were surrendering to Russian forces not far from Sasha's position. Drone footage shows the POWs climbing out of their dugout, arms above their head, before being shot at close range. Ukraine is now investigating what the Prosecutor General calls a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions.
SASHA: Every similar event brings a lot of pain and suffering to us. That's for sure. It will not make us weak. It will not scare us. We will continue doing what we have to do.
COREN (voice-over): Which is fighting a seemingly endless war, as they build more trenches, uncertain if the west will truly be there for the long haul.
SASHA: If we let Ukraine go, if we let Putin win, then who will feel themselves safe here? I think no one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Anna, what are you learning about the needs of the Ukrainian soldiers right now?
COREN: Well, Anderson, there are plenty. You know, this news out of Washington is alarming to say the least. People here, they knew or it was feared that this would happen, this waning interest and support from the west, and it comes at a pivotal time. Ukraine has failed in its counteroffensive, Russia is on the offensive, and Putin's plan to wait out the west is clearly working. United states is Ukraine's largest ally, it's largest benefactor. Of course, Europe is a huge contributor. But if the money dries up in Washington, I think we all know what's going to happen.
We've been spending time with troops on the eastern front, and they say we are making these sacrifices, we are losing the best of our generation, and yet, we are willing to fight. We just need the weapons. We just need the support. And Anderson, I think it's really important for us all to remember that, of course, Ukraine is fighting for its survival, its mere existence, it's sovereignty.
COREN: But it is also fighting Europe's war. If Ukraine falls, then Russian forces will be on Europe's doorstep. And then it becomes NATO's war.
COOPER: Anna Coren, thanks so much.
Coming up next, a CNN investigation into the cover-up of sexual assaults in the Coast Guard, leads to a scathing internal review and a pledge of making sweeping changes. The findings ahead.
Plus, more indictments in the fake elector scheme to overturn the 2020 election, this time in Nevada.
COOPER: For months now, CNN has investigated reports of sexual assault in the Coast Guard and the cover-up. The reporting featured on this program by our Pam Brown, prompted a 90-day internal review of the Coast Guard. The findings were released today and they are very critical. They admit unacceptable failures and say that "Change is Necessary." Here's Pam with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Dozens of people have told CNN they were sexually assaulted in the Coast Guard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was sexually assaulted three times. The first, by a superior.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A physical and sexual assault happened to me in my first year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A supervisor sexually assaulted me when I was a freshman.
BROWN (voice-over): The circumstances eerily similar, women who were afraid to report what happened, women who were punished while their attackers went free, leaders who turned a blind eye or told victims to keep quiet.
BROWN (voice-over): Now, in an extraordinary turn, the Coast Guard admits it failed to keep our people safe. In a scathing internal review, the Coast Guard says it is lacking the programs to prevent military sexual trauma and improperly supporting victims in the aftermath, and that these failures and lack of accountability are entirety unacceptable. Change is necessary. Coast Guard Commandant Linda Fagan ordered the 90-day review in July.
ADM. LINDA FAGAN, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD COMMANDANT: To ensure we have a culture where everyone is safe and valued, and we are creating transparency and accountability.
BROWN (voice-over): It all started when CNN revealed Coast Guard leaders covered up a damning criminal investigation, code named Operation Fouled Anchor. It found dozens of cases of sexual assault over decades were ignored or hidden. Just one of the ways the Coast Guard took the time to investigate wrong doing, but ultimately failed to make significant changes.
KIMBERLY YOUNG-MCLEAR, FORMER UNITED STATES COAST GUARD COMMANDER: We voluntarily choose to serve, but we don't choose to be raped. We don't choose to be harassed. We don't choose to be bullied. And we certainly don't choose to be retaliated against when we make these reports to our superiors.
BROWN (voice-over): Kimberly Young-McLear is a Retired Coast Guard Commander, who tried to change the culture for years.
YOUNG-MCLEAR: It is imperative when you have knowledge, when you have truth about violations of policy, violations of law, I think that you have a moral obligation, you have a duty to remedy those and hold all those who are responsible accountable.
BROWN (voice-over): Now, as part of the review, the Coast Guard announced a series of sweeping changes, including more training, easier reporting of incidents, and improved oversight of the Coast Guard Academy. The Commandant writing, every Coast Guard member must adhere to our core values of honor, respect, and devotion to duty at all times. There are no exceptions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, Pamela, what do the assault survivors that you've spoken to have to say about this report?
BROWN (on camera): Well, Anderson, one thing to keep in mind is this report doesn't call for any punishment for either the perpetrators or the people who covered up the reports. So, the reactions from survivors, it's been mixed. Some are cautiously hopeful, while others are skeptical that the report is full of empty promises. One survivor we spoke with told CNN that disappointed was an understatement, Anderson.
COOPER: So, what happens next?
BROWN (on camera): Well, an Inspector General's investigation has been ordered, and next week, there will be a hearing by the Senate Homeland Security Committee, where survivors of assault are planning to publicly testify about their experiences, Anderson.
COOPER: Pam Brown, thank you for all your reporting on this. It's been extraordinary. Thank you.
Next, President Biden revealing how he found solace in his grief after losing his first wife and his 13-month-old daughter in a car crash and decades later, his oldest son to cancer. As part of a deeply personal conversation I had with the president about grief and loss for a Season 2 of my podcast, "All There Is." You'll hear some of it in a moment.
COOPER: Until now, no sitting American president has ever done what President Biden has now done, sit down for an interview solely focused on grief and loss. I spoke with him for a deeply personal and emotional conversation in the White House for Season 2 of my podcast, "All There Is." You can point your camera at a QR Code that will be on the screen and a link will appear on your phone that you can click and hear the full interview.
Grief can feel lonely and it's hard to talk about. But, I hope hearing the president discuss his grief might make you feel less alone if you are living with grief and maybe encourage you to talk about it with someone. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): A few days before I spoke with President Biden, I was going through a box of stuff in my basement that belongs to my brother Carter. He died by suicide when he was 23. I don't have a lot of pictures of my brother on display in my house. His death is still so painful to me that I find it hard to see his photos. These two pictures really stunned me. They were taken shortly before Carter graduated from Princeton in 1987. He looked so young and happy. There's no hint that 15 months after this picture was taken, he would kill himself in front of our mom.
Looking at these photos, I don't recognize my brother. And I realized, I don't think I ever really knew him. I didn't allow myself to, and I didn't allow him to know me. When our dad died, Carter was 12 and I was 10. And it slapped us both into silence. We never spoke about my dad with each other, or with anyone. I think my brother would be alive if we had.
Why is it so hard to talk about loss and grief? We all go through it. So, why do we keep it hidden away? Cry in private, speak the names of our loved ones in hushed whispers only we can hear. That's why I wanted to talk with President Biden. He has been more public about grief than any American president in history. And this is his most personal interview yet.
COOPER: Do you ever still feel overwhelmed by grief?
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I do as it relates to my son Beau. God willing I'm going to -- going to see him again.
COOPER (voice-over): Beau Biden died in 2015. And in 1972, President Biden's first wife, Neilia died in a car crash with their 13-month-old daughter, Naomi.
BIDEN: I found myself spending a lot of time, what could I have done? Was it my fault this all happened? What could I have done differently?
COOPER (voice-over): The interview is deeply revealing. The most powerful man in the world talking about the private pain he still feels.
BIDEN: I opened one of the boxes that has never been opened and there was a scrapbook. There was a picture of the car. I took it downstairs and I burned it. I could not, could not -- I don't want to know the detail.
COOPER (voice-over): Grief doesn't go away. But we can learn to live with it and learn from it. And like President Biden, find purpose beyond the pain. The second episode of Season 2, "A President's Grief," is available wherever you listen to podcasts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All of Season 1 of "All There Is," eight episodes are available now. Two episodes in Season 2 including the President's interview, it's on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or as I said, wherever we listen to podcasts.
Just ahead, we remember an icon of the entertainment industry who more than 50 years ago had the radical notion that we could examine what's troubling America and still laugh. The life of Norman Lear when we return.
COOPER: "The New York Times" reports said in 1972, on Saturdays at 8 p.m., about 60 percent of all American televisions were tuned in to half-hour sitcom "All in the Family." Norman Lear was the brainchild behind that and many other amazing television comedies like "The Jeffersons", "Good Times", "One Day at a Time". Today, we learned he died Tuesday at the age of 101. Lear leaves behind unforgettable characters like Archie Bunker, but also a legacy that allowed television to fuse social commentary with television.
He was still working on shows the day he died. About a year and a half ago, I was lucky enough to speak with him on this show about the longevity of his career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What's your secret to the career that you have had to be on the -- really on sort of the cutting edge of culture and forward thinking? What's your secret?
NORMAL LEAR, AMERICAN SCREENWRITER AND FILM PRODUCER: If there's a secret, there were two little words that I don't think we pay enough attention to. Over and next. When something is over, it is over. And we are on to the next. And if there was a hammock in the middle, that would be the best way I know of identifying living -- the expression living in the moment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Normal Lear, World War II veteran, legendary TV producer, political activist. He lived in the moment all his 101 years. He will be missed.
I will be back in an hour, along with Dana Bash, with a (ph) reaction to tonight's Republican debate. Before that, "King Charles", Gayle and Charles, good to see you. What's on the program tonight?
GAYLE KING, CNN HOST: I love that you --