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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Rudy Giuliani Ordered To Pay $148+ Million In Damages To Two Georgia Election Workers; IDF Accidentally Shoots And Kills Three Israelis Held Hostage In Gaza; Autopsy Shows Matthew Perry Died Of "Acute Effects Of Ketamine"; Binder Full Of Russian Intelligence Went Missing Under Trump; Former First Lady Melania Trump Makes Rare Public Appearance, But Mostly Absent From The Public As Former President Seeks 2nd Term. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 15, 2023 - 20:00   ET


MIKE MASSIMINO, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: And what I found is that the same rules apply here on Earth. We had to operate that way to be successful, but I think it's a good way to operate here on Earth as well, both in our professional lives and our personal lives.

Understand that help is there, and I think a lot of that came up with the pandemic as well when we were away from each other, but we were still there. We just had to reach out.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Yes. Well, I think a lot of people could realize now this seems to be -- I don't know, maybe a pandemic over and somehow still an epidemic, maybe worse than ever of loneliness.

MASSIMINO: Yes, but everyone is still there. Just reach out if you need it. Reach out to Mission Control if you need it. Yes.

BURNETT: All right, Mike. Great to see you. Thank you.

MASSIMINO: Oh, thanks for having me on. Great.

BURNETT: And have a wonderful weekend. I hope you all will as well. It's time now for "AC 360."


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360, a jury puts a price on Rudy Giuliani's election lies and the two lives he ruined with them. The question now, will Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman ever see a dime of the $148 million plus he's been ordered to pay?

Also, tonight, a live report on the accidental killing of three hostages (inaudible) by Israeli troops.

And we now know what killed actor Matthew Perry, drowned after taking a large amount of ketamine. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us with details.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us. We begin with the steepest plunge yet for a man whose fall from grace rivals that of any American public figure in modern memory. Twenty-two years ago, this was Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York and "Time" magazine's 2001 Person of the Year. America's mayor some called him, former crime-busting US attorney, looking the photo for all the world like a man on top of it.

Tonight, after years of working for and lying for a man he'd likely have prosecuted in his former life, he learned the price to be paid for just a fraction of those lies, namely, the ones he told about Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman, two 2020 Georgia election workers whom he defamed again and again, including outside his civil trial earlier this week and again today after the jury awarded Moss and Freeman more than $148 million in damages. Now, that includes more than $16 million each for defamation, $20 million each for the emotional distress he caused them by upending their lives, and punitive damages totaling $75 million.


SHAYE MOSS, PLAINTIFF: The flame that Giuliani lit with those lies and passed to so many others to keep that flame blazing changed every aspect of our lives -- our homes, our family, our work, our sense of safety, our mental health. And we're still working to rebuild.

RUBY FREEMAN, PLAINTIFF: For now, I want people to understand this -- money will never solve all of my problems. I can never move back into the house that I called home. I will always have to be careful about where I go and who I choose to share my name with.

I miss my home. I miss my neighbors. And I miss my name.


COOPER: Afterwards, vowing to appeal and reaffirming the lies he told.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you still believe that what you said about these two women in the wake of the 2020 election was truthful?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you still believe these claims?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you still believe that (inaudible) ...



GUILIANI: ... I have no doubt that my comments were made, and they were supportable and are supportable today.


GUILIANI: I just did not have an opportunity to present the evidence that we offered. Did you notice we were not allowed to put in one piece of evidence in defense?


COOPER: That is not true in the slightest. He was expected to testify yesterday. In fact, he then at the last second chose not too, wisely, probably. That was his choice.

And the evidence he says he has to prove he wasn't lying about Ms. Moss and Freeman, do you really think if he had any evidence after more than three years of his BS about a stolen election he'd still be keeping it close to his very large vest? And it's ridiculous.

As you heard at the beginning of that clip, he once again reaffirmed the defamatory claims he made about these two, which perhaps shouldn't be surprising. After all, it's how he'd began the week.


GUILIANI: Of course, I don't regret it. I told the truth. They were engaged in changing votes.


COOPER: Joining us now is Meryl Conant Governski, one of the attorneys for Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Do either of your clients believe they will ever receive any money from Rudy Giuliani?

MERYL CONANT GOVERNSKI, ATTORNEY FOR SHARE MOSS AND RUBY FREEMAN: Thanks for having me here tonight, Anderson. You know, we -- as my colleague, Mike Gottlieb, has said as well, we are willing to follow Mr. Giuliani to the end of the earth to help our clients recover the money that they deserve.

As miss -- lady ruby said during her press conference, no amount of money can ever, ever begin to fix what Mr. Giuliani caused the -- these two amazing, brave heroes. But we will do absolutely everything we can to give them -- to track the money down and try to enforce this judgment as best we can.


COOPER: Do you know at this stage, I mean, how much money Rudy Giuliani actually has? I mean, I know he's being sued for more than $1 million in unpaid bills by his previous legal team. He apparently owed something like $60,000 on unpaid phone bills.

His apartment in New York is for sale for more than $6 million, and that's been sitting on the market for a while now. And I know even before today's judgment, I think he owed your clients some $200,000 in court-ordered sanctions related to their legal fees. I mean, how do you try to collect $148 million from someone like that?

GOVERNSKI: So, Anderson, it's interesting. Something you've said in the lead-in is that Mr. Giuliani had the opportunity to produce the evidence and he never did. Well, it's the same exact story with regard to his financials.

Out of court, he has repeatedly claimed that he is unable to pay. And every time throughout this entire litigation, the court has held him to produce records, to show that, to substantiate that, he hasn't done it.

So, I am quite skeptical of what he says publicly, because he's had the opportunity to produce the records and he hasn't. So, I think, you know, at this point, the jury is still out as to whether there's any truth to his claims of not being able to afford a judgment. So, we look forward to the next phase.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, if he's lying about your clients, which clearly, he has, I mean, why wouldn't he lie about the money as well? If he declared bankruptcy, though, would he be able to use that to escape paying?

GOVERNSKI: So I'm not a bankruptcy attorney, but my understanding is that because these are willful tortes and the court has already found that he acted in a willful manner, that those are not dischargeable. And so, this will be a debt that he owes for the rest of his life. And we will keep going after him for the rest of his life until our clients receive the money that they deserve.

COOPER: Outside the courtroom, Giuliani suggested he'd likely move for a new trial or appeal this verdict. I mean, do you see any grounds for that?

GOVERNSKI: Well, no. I mean, he defaulted. He had, you know, judge -- I was on with you this summer, Anderson, and the judge in this case gave him opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to comply with the rules of civil discovery, to produce records. And she found that he failed to preserve. He failed to keep records that these civil rules of discovery require that he preserve.

He is an attorney who has practiced law for decades. He knew what the rules required, and he failed to comply with them. So, you know, he can claim that he wants to appeal, but his failure to engage in the actual process will make it incredibly hard.

And so, we are very confident in our judgment. And, you know, of course, we'll continue fighting for our amazing hero clients. But I'm not too worried about our odds of defending this judgment.

COOPER: Meryl Conant Governski, I really appreciate it. Thank you.

GOVERNSKI: Thank you.

COOPER: I want to get some perspective now from CNN Legal Analyst Karen Friedman Agnifilo, CNN Political Commentator Errol Louis who has covered Rudy Giuliani since his days as mayor, Kaitlan Collins, who anchors "The Source" at the top of the next hour, and in Los Angeles, CNN Political Commentator and former Obama Special Adviser Van Jones.

Karen, first of all, just the magnitude of these damages, and do you think these two women who, I mean, have just clearly been defamed and had their lives completely upended, do you think they will get money?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think they will get money. I think that Rudy Giuliani will not be able to hide all of his assets, nor will this be excused the way they just said, you know, because it was an intentional torte. So, even if he goes to bankruptcy, he will have to still have this.

You know, look, they can go after it, they can follow it, and they can actually ...

COOPER: So, bankruptcy doesn't wash the -- wash it away?

AGNIFILO: Not when it's an intentional torte like this.

COOPER: An intentional torte meaning what, that he was intentional in his lies?

AGNIFILO: Yes, exactly, that he harmed them, he caused -- that he defamed them intentionally. He caused emotional distress intentionally. This wasn't like an accident, for example, this was something intentional.

COOPER: And he -- I mean, just from a legal standpoint, the fact that he continues to do this in every statement he's made, does that -- I mean, I'm just sort of stunned by that.

AGNIFILO: It's cruel. I mean, any human being who would sit in court which -- like Rudy Giuliani did and listen to what Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss testified to about what this did to their lives and that there were people saying these racist comments, that they wanted to hear their neck snap, that -- you know, I mean, just horrendous, horrific things what this did to their lives.

For him to walk out of court and then to say he doesn't regret it, and to say he still believes it, it's actual cruelty at this point and ...


AGNIFILO: Go ahead.

COOPER: And, Van Jones, I mean, him spouting this racist BS, you know, comparing them to drug dealers, I mean, it's ...


COOPER: ... the brazenness of it is extraordinary.

JONES: Well, it's just despicable because you got to remember these are black women in the south, working to help people vote. People die ...


COOPER: And one of them was volunteering. You know, she was doing a civil service.

JONES: Yes, literally, doing what we need to make democracy work. And, you know, we lost martyrs. We -- there are people who are dead and gone so that we could have this right to vote. And we ask people to go vote and we ask people to help people vote.

And for someone to be doing that noble work and then to have this despicable piece of dirt come down from God knows where and just ruin their lives and pursuant, by the way, of a crazy theory that somehow Trump was being robbed of the election by these two black women, and then put their lives at risk, and then go shuffling and shambling around saying the same stuff against them, even today. I mean, this guy is a sociopath.

And it makes me wonder all those years that he was admired as America's mayor, when he was a prosecutor, was he a sociopath then? What other kinds of horrible things has he been doing his whole life to make him get to the point where he thinks he can ruin these women for his own scheme and never even apologize even when the courts that he supposedly served come and call him what he is, which is a despicable lawyer who owes them more than he can ever pay.

COOPER: I just want to play what he said, I think, back in 2020 about some of what he said about these two women. Who can say -- again, it's -- it goes to Van's point? Let's play that.


GIULIANI: How can they say there's no fraud? Look at that woman, look at her taking those ballots out. Look at them scurrying about with the ballots. Nobody in the room, hiding around. They look like they're passing out dope, not just ballots.


COOPER: Scurrying around, passing out dope, I mean, it's extraordinary. Errol, I mean, you've covered this guy for a long time. To Van's question, I mean, I don't know if he's a sociopath or not, but whatever he is, has he always been this way?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he's always calling outside the lines. He's always been very tough. He's always said things that others thought were a little bit crazy. More often than not, in his early days at least, he had unusual legal lines of attack that actually he's proved themselves out when he was part of the Justice Department, but it was always in service to some higher good.

In this case, we can't even determine what the higher good is. I mean, he's an unpaid client of Donald Trump, I guess, was the capacity in which he started making this stuff up and throwing it out there. He's feeding this base. It feels, in some ways, more like he just wanted to be relevant. He wanted to be on the public stage. He wanted to be part of this Trump phenomenon.

COOPER: Which was always the wrap on him even back then. I mean, when he was -- he -- one of his innovations was using RICO against the mob, right?

LOUIS: Yes, yes, exactly.

COOPER: So back in the day, before he became the mayor, but he was always -- I mean, he never shied away from the camera. He liked that. And the more he had it, clearly, the more he liked it. And your ...


COOPER: ... notion of him wanting to stay relevant makes sense.

LOUIS: No, absolutely. And look, in some of those cases, especially some of the Wall Street cases, he kind of overstated it. He walked people out in front of all their colleagues, and later those cases sort of fell apart in some cases.

So he was always pushing. He was always aggressive. He wasn't always as scrupulous when it came to the particular facts or the harm he might have caused inadvertently as some would have liked.

But everybody understood, there needed to be a crackdown on Wall Street. You needed to go after the five families, and there was going to be no nice way to go after members of La Cosa Nostra. And so, he served a function and people kind of went along with it.

This is that whole other kind of category. This is simple bullying. This is simple cruelty, to go out and defame them all over again, which as far as I can tell, gives rise to new liability, to find themselves right back (inaudible).

COOPER: Yes. I mean, to anybody who's -- looks at him, you know, shambling around, talking in front of the cameras on the street and things, so kind of sad for him or poor guy. I mean, he's treated a lot of people terribly for a very long period of time. Some of them are awful people and some of them, you know, were -- he was self- aggrandizing and making a name for himself. How do you think Trump world perceives this?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SOURCE": I think everyone who worked in the Trump White House is very familiar with this version of Rudy Giuliani. I mean, this is who they worked with on a daily basis. On election night 2020, people thought that he was drinking when he was advising the president. That's in congressional testimony.

But what I'm struck by watching him come out of the courthouse there, doing what he's doing now, this is someone who thought he was going to be in Donald Trump's cabinet. He was angling for that position when Trump was elected back in 2016 and was gravely devastated when he didn't get that, someone who kept trying to inject himself into Trump's world.

He was always at the hotel in Washington. I encountered him in front of the White House, you know, more times than I can really count. He was always there kind of hanging around. And just to think of how close he was to the levers of power, I mean, I'm sure Trump will distance himself. He already had refused to pay his legal fees when Giuliani ...

COOPER: He did have this fund-raiser for him, didn't he?

COLLINS: Right, but it's because he essentially was not going to pay for his legal fees. I mean, Giuliani ... COOPER: Like I'll throw a party for you and ...

COLLINS: And use my influence to try to help you raise money. Those were dinners that I believe that they had 10 people and each plate was worth $100,000. That's still just a drop in the bucket of what he owes.


I mean, he doesn't -- he's not destitute when we talk about how he has no money. He flew on a private plane to go turn himself in, in Georgia.

COOPER: Right.

COLLINS: His attorneys wouldn't tell us whose plane that was. But it just speaks to the level of, you know, he flew down and begged Trump to pay for his legal fees with an attorney who, in turn, sued Rudy Giuliani because he could not pay him for his legal fees. And it just speaks to the level of where he is. And these are all lies he told for the man on the right there.

COOPER: Errol, I mean, didn't -- he had a company that was supposedly a, you know -- like a security company.

LOUIS: That's right.

COOPER: And then after a while he was doing, I think, ads for LifeLock or something. Did he make money?

LOUIS: He had a very powerful brand, and he had a very lucrative brand. Giuliani partners went out and signed up all kinds of contracts with foreign governments and with agencies all over the country -- sterling reputation, bestselling book. He had a ton of money from a lot of different sources.

And little by little, it all sort of kind of went away. There was a little more hype to it than probably people realize. And, you know, you can't go to Mexico City with your former police chief and somehow solve crime there, although you can take a lot of money to pretend to show them some magical techniques that are being imported from New York.

And so, after a while, that consulting firm sort of died down. His partnership with the Bracewell firm is Bracewell & Giuliani, that kind of went away. Little by little, that all sort of departed, especially after that disastrous run for president that did not work out for him at all.

He got no -- you know, he really got nowhere. He got no delegates. He got no real action there. And then it comes to this, where in a bid to get back into the spotlight, he apprentices himself. He gives himself over to the Trump White House.

And, you know, in the end, as we've seen from a lot of testimony from the January 6th Committee, the way to get ahead with Trump after he lost was to come out, come up with the most outlandish, most hardline ...

COOPER: Right.

LOUIS: ... arguments that no, no, no, we're going to argue this to the end, in spite of all facts, law, and everything else.

COOPER: That's incredible.

LOUIS: That's what he did.

COOPER: Errol Louis, thank you. Karen Friedman Agnifilo as well, Kaitlan Collins as well, Van Jones, thank you. Again, Kaitlan is back at 9:00 with "The Source."

Joining us now is Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, former member of the House January 6th Select Committee, which brought national attention to Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman's truthful account of their role in the 2020 election and Rudy Giuliani's countless lies.

Congressman (inaudible), what's your reaction to this verdict?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D), MA.: Well, I like the fact that a lot of these people are finally getting their comeuppance. It's sort of a glorious thing to see Fox News pay out $787 million to Dominion Voting System to see Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman who were defamed by Rudy Giuliani get an award for $148 million.

Like they said, it's no substitute for actually having your reputation intact and for having safety in your home. But at least it puts the justice system on the side of the people defending democracy.

And, you know, Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman should be proud that they will be role models for everybody going into the 2024 election, the election workers, the poll workers, the election judges, everybody standing up for the actual infrastructure of political democracy, which the Republicans have declared war on.

COOPER: That's interesting. You think it sends a message -- an inspiring message to people who volunteer, people who work for not very much money in these essential jobs on election day.

RASKIN: Yes, I mean, Donald Trump and his authoritarian cronies would invite us to believe that democracy is just some word they toss around every once in a while when they are trying to whitewash their complicity with Vladimir Putin and his savage assault on Ukraine or President Xi or whatever.

Democracy is actually a real system of government that requires tens of thousands of people to go out, to educate voters, to register voters, to count people's ballots. And we saw in 2020 how Trump and Giuliani, and Steve Bannon, and Dinesh Da Souza, and Michael Flynn, all of them set themselves at war against people who actually make democracy work.

And that's why I think this beautiful mother/daughter team is such an amazing exemplar for people around the country who do this tireless and not well-compensated work. In a lot of places, you could be a poll worker for 12 or 14 hours on election day and make, like, 10 bucks an hour.

COOPER: Do you think -- I mean, regardless of who's on the ballot who ultimately wins in 2024 that enough has been done by state and federal officials to protect election workers in this country? I was talking to your former January 6th Committee colleague Adam Kinzinger last night. He expressed concern about people not wanting to volunteer to be poll workers because of what happened to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.


RASKIN: Well, as you know, under the system of American federalism, it's completely decentralized and there are different things going on state by state. And you've got to get involved in your state to make sure that there are sufficient people who are volunteering or who are involved in working at the polls. And then, of course, that's just the beginning because then we have to prevent it from being stolen by Donald Trump.

You know, Hillary Clinton beat him by 2.5 million votes. Joe Biden beat him by more than 7 million votes. And the difference between 2020 and 2024 is 10 or 15 million new young people coming out to the polls.

And as long as the Democratic Party can keep the young people engaged and behind us as the party of democracy and freedom, then it will be a gigantic distance between the Democrats and Republicans, which means they know their job in their -- with their bag of dirty tricks is to disqualify voters, to force people, to cast challenge ballots, and so on. So, it's going to be, you know, a struggle all the way down to election day.

And as we saw in 2020 with January 6th through election day because of the electoral college system. So, we're going to make sure that we have lawyered up at every point to defend the real democratic process such as it is against the Republicans ...


RASKIN: ... who understand that they have to act like autocrats.

COOPER: Congressman Raskin, appreciate your time. Thank you.

Coming up next, some numbers on just how far Rudy Giuliani has fallen in the public eye.

And later, we'll talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the role the drug ketamine played in the death of actor Matthew Perry.



COOPER: It's hard to overstate just how far the man once known as America's mayor and "Time" magazine's Person of the Year has fallen. However, at least in one respect, it can be measured. Joining us now with that CNN's Senior Data Reporter Harry Enten. So how does Rudy Giuliani's favorability now compare to when he was mayor?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: You know, when he was -- in the aftermath of 9/11, right, he was a national hero. His favorability rating stood at 76% nationally. You know what it was this past year, just 16%. That is a 60-point decline.

You know I like studying polling. I'm not sure I have ever seen a decline of that much pretty much ever. And this, to me, is a story of a man who's disgraced, then America see him that way.

COOPER: It still seems a little high to me. How does that break down within political parties?

ENTEN: Yes. If you look within political parties, what do you see? You know, he used to have bipartisan support, right? Republicans liked him, even Democrats liked him.

Look at his support among Democrats -- 71% back 20 years. Look where it is today, just 3%.

I'm not sure I know those 3%, but that just gives you an idea. Even Republicans have supported his drop from the 80s well into the 30s.

COOPER: And is his favorability geographic at all?

ENTEN: Yes. You know, think about the northeast urban corridor, right? He was America's mayor. That's where he was most popular, along the (inaudible) corridor.

Look at the urban areas in the northeast. His favorable rating today, 14%. His unfavorable rating, up to 64%. A guy who was so popular 20 years ago, his popularity, he just wasted all away like he wasted away his esteemed self -- sense of self.

COOPER: Harry Enten, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Appreciate it. Just to remind people how he got to this point, which again was entirely by choice, here's CNN's Jessica Schneider.


GIULIANI: It's disgraceful what happened.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Rudy Giuliani spent the days after the 2020 election traveling state to state falsely insisting the results were rigged.

GIULIANI: I don't have to be a genius to figure out that those votes are not legitimate votes.

SCHNEIDER (voice over): In Georgia, he focused his fire on two unsuspecting election workers in Fulton County. GIULIANI: There's a tape earlier in the day of Ruby Freeman and Shaye Freeman Moss and one other gentleman. They should have been questioned already. Their places of work, their homes should have been searched for evidence of ballots, for evidence of USB ports, for evidence of voter fraud.

SCHNEIDER (voice over): Shaye Moss later told the January 6th Committee her life changed forever the day Giuliani publicly spread conspiracy theories about her at a state Senate hearing. She and her mother soon received death threats. Angry election deniers showed up at her homes, and Ruby Freeman was forced into hiding.

FREEMAN: I've lost my name and I've lost my reputation. I've lost my sense of security, all because a group of people starting with number 45 and his ally, Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my daughter, Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen.

MOSS: I second guess everything that I do. It's affected my life in a major way, in every way, all because of lies.

SCHNEDIER (voice over): Giuliani claimed Moss and Freeman plotted to kick ballot watchers out of State Farm Arena, the spot on Fulton County hosting the ballot counting. He also pushed the false narrative that they had brought in suitcases filled with fake ballots for Biden and scanned them into the system multiple times. And Giuliani described surveillance video from that day, he claimed, showed Ruby and her daughter exchanging USB memory sticks containing a fraudulent vote count.

GIULIANI: When you look at what you saw on the video, which, to me, was a smoking gun -- powerful smoking gun ...

GIULIANI: Quite obviously, surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they're vials of heroin or cocaine.

GIULIANI: You don't put legitimate votes under a table.


GIULIANI: Wait until you throw the opposition out and in the middle of the night count them. We would have to be fools to think that.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): None of that was true, was it?

MOSS: None of it.

SCHNEIDER (voice over): Congressman Adam Schiff on the January 6th Committee asked Shaye if Giuliani accurately described what her mom was passing under the table.

SCHIFF: What was your mom actually handing you on that video?

MOSS: A ginger mint.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: That was Jessica Schneider reporting. Coming up next, the reaction from Israel after the IDF said it mistakenly shot and killed three Israeli hostages in Gaza.

Plus, the autopsy results for actor and Friends star, Matthew Perry. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us with that.




COOPER: An unbearable tragedy, that's what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling the deaths of three Israeli hostages in northern Gaza who were killed by Israeli troops. According to Israeli Defense Forces, the three were shot and killed after they were mistakenly identified as a threat.

CNN's Alex Marquardt joins us now from Tel Aviv. So what are Israeli authorities saying about the incident?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it was the IDF that announced it because it was the soldiers who killed these three hostages. They said that this was a sad and painful incident and that the IDF bears full responsibility. They said they are now investigating the deaths of these three men, whose names are Yotam Haim, 28 years old, Alon Shamriz, 26 year old, and Samer Al- Talalka, who's 25 years old.

There aren't a lot of details, but what we know now from the IDF is that this happened in the Shejaiya neighborhood in northeastern Gaza. These three men were spotted by soldiers. They were perceived to be terrorists, militants, threat, and they were shot and killed.

When the bodies looked suspicious, according to the IDF, they sent those bodies back to Israel for confirmation, and it was confirmed that they were indeed hostages. Now, there are a lot of questions, of course. Daniel Hagari, the spokesman for the IDF, was asked whether these men spoke Hebrew, whether they had their hands up, the IDF also -- they didn't know the answer to that question.

The IDF also made the point that there are a lot of militants in civilian clothing, RPG teams that are wearing civilian clothes, that are suicide bombers, that don't have weapons. But there was also -- the IDF was raising the possibility that these men had escaped from captivity or perhaps had been left behind as the militants fled from the fighting.


So, Anderson, it's just heartbreaking to think that these three men were on the cusp of escaping, being freed after more than two months in captivity, and instead that they were gunned down by their fellow countrymen.

COOPER: What sort of reaction have you seen in Israel?

MARQUARDT: Shock, sadness, anger. As soon as this news broke, the families of the hostages called for an immediate rally. We went out there. It started at the Kirya, which is where the defense ministry is based. It's the equivalent of Israel's Pentagon. These marchers marched through the streets for some three hours demanding that everyone come home now. They kept chanting, everyone now.

I spoke with one young man who knew one of the hostages had been killed. He said he wants the government to do absolutely everything they can to bring these hostages home. I spoke to a retired general who's actually considered a hero on October 7th. He told me that tonight was supposed to be a night of celebration. They were supposed to be marking these three hostages being freed or escaping. Instead, he said everyone in Israel is crying.

He said that the Netanyahu government has to prioritize this. This has to be the number one priority because the time is running out. A deal he says, needs to be struck with the devil, meaning Hamas. And he said he's ready to pay a very high price. Anderson?

COOPER: Alex Marquardt, thank you.

Back in the U.S., the Los Angeles medical examiner's office has released the autopsy report for actor Matthew Perry. It says the friend star died from the, quote, "acute effects of ketamine" and the subsequent drowning. Perry was 54 years old. He died in October after being found unconscious in the pool of his Malibu home.

The report says that Perry was, quote, "reported to be receiving ketamine", infusion therapy for depression and anxiety. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent, joins us now. Sanjay, I appreciate you being with us because this is confusing. First of all, the fact that he was receiving ketamine therapy, that seems separate from the ketamine that he was actually in his system when he died.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. I mean, this is just such a sad story. But it does sound like he was being treated for depression and anxiety separately with ketamine. And then they make a point of saying this was an acute ketamine intoxication, meaning something that was more recent.

And they also state later in this 30-page report that there were some trace amounts found in his stomach. So ketamine is something that can be injected, as with infusion therapy. It can be snorted and it can be swallowed. So it sounds like this was something that he had swallowed.

And when I read the report, it made the case that if he had swallowed this, it can take typically, you know, a half an hour to an hour for it to really take effect before you really start having the symptoms associated with ketamine. And at some point, he got into the swimming pool while on the ketamine. And then this dissociative effect of the ketamine probably set in and is what led to his drowning, Anderson.

COOPER: And so he was taking -- separate from this therapy, he was likely taking ketamine either recreationally or self-medicating with ketamine. People can buy it online with a prescription. And that actually because he became dissociated, he then drowned?

GUPTA: Yes, I think so. You know, I mean, the coroner's report and I think a lot of the headlines are just going to say ketamine was the cause of death. And the fact is that even at pretty high levels, and he had pretty high levels, we can show you the levels that were in his blood. It was -- they were in the 3,000 nanograms per milliliter sort of level.

Anesthesia can sometimes be given at those levels. But even despite that, it very rarely would actually lead to someone dying.

COOPER: So the ketamine, it's not the edge of ketamine and that stopped his heart. As he took ketamine, he became confused and drowned, you think?

GUPTA: That's really what it sounds like putting this all together, in part because it is rare for ketamine alone to actually cause death in this manner. But the idea that someone could become very dissociated because of the ketamine and was in a pool, that was the contributing factor.

One of the medical examiners we talked to, Anderson, put it this way. It said the ketamine likely did not kill him, but made it more possible for him to drown. Look, it's just sad no matter how you look at it. But had it not been that he was in a pool, he likely would not have died of this, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, Sanjay, thank you again. Just really sad news. Appreciate it.


COOPER: Coming up next, a sprawling CNN investigation revealing a binder with highly classified Russian intelligence disappeared at the end of the former president's administration. Plus, Melania Trump has been largely absent from the public eye since leaving the White House.

Today, she made a rare appearance and speech. Details ahead.



COOPER: A new CNN investigation raising alarm over intelligence that went missing during the former president's administration. CNN was first to report that a binder containing highly classified information related to Russian election meddling disappeared during the former president's chaotic final days in office. And in the nearly three years since it's gone missing, it has not been found.

CNN's Evan Perez joins us with more of the investigation. So just walk us through your reporting. What was in this binder?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this was information that the intelligence community gathered to bolster or to back up that assessment that they had that Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to win the 2016 election. That's the basis for making that finding. And it contained some of the most sensitive intelligence information in possession of the intelligence community.

This is sources and methods. This is stuff not only from the U.S. intelligence agencies, but also from some of our closest NATO allies. And so there was a lot of concern when Donald Trump and his allies, and certainly Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, wanted to gather all of this stuff because the intent of the former president was to release it.

He viewed, obviously, the entire investigation to be a hoax, and he wanted to put it out there. And, of course, there was a lot of concern in the intelligence community that people would get killed if some of this information actually got out. Sources and methods, again, needed to be protected.

And so we know that in the closing, very chaotic days of the Trump administration, they gathered all this information in a binder. Mark Meadows and others were going through it, and the purpose was to try to declassify it and release it.


They, obviously, in the end, ran out of time. They were not able to release that information before they did. But we don't know what happened to it after that. And so, there was a lot of theories, and one of them came from Cassidy Hutchinson, who wrote about this in her book. Listen to what she had to say.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: I watched him climb into the limo, noticing the original Crossfire hurricane binder tucked under his arm. I did not have time to ask what he planned to do with it as he drove away. What the hell is Mark doing with the unredacted Crossfire Hurricane binder?


PEREZ: And, Anderson, we know again that Mark Meadows did manage to turn over some documents to the Justice Department at the end of the administration in the closing minutes just before Joe Biden was inaugurated. We don't know what happened with the binder, however, with these unredacted documents.

COOPER: So Mark Meadows hasn't said what he did with it?

PEREZ: Well, we reached out to his attorney and we got a statement. He pushed back strongly that he had anything to do with the missing -- with these missing binders. I'll tell you what he said. He said, "Mr. Meadows was keenly aware of and adhered to requirements for the proper handling of classified material. Any such material that he handled or was in his possession had been treated accordingly. And any suggestion that he is responsible for any missing binder or any other classified information is wrong." So that's a very strong pushback from Mark Meadows. I'll tell you also, Anderson, that this was -- the fact that this was missing came up in a briefing to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders just last year. And again, the concern was that this information could get into the wrong hands. Anderson?

COOPER: OK. Evan Perez, thank you.

Meanwhile, former First Lady Melania Trump made a rare appearance today sharing her story of becoming a U.S. citizen during a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington.


MELANIA TRUMP, FORMER FIRST LADY: It is my privilege to share this great nation, America, with you. Throughout our lives, we cross thresholds and all thought. Obstacles often stand in the way of our goals. My personal experience of traversing the challenges of the immigration process opened my eyes to the harsh realities people face, including you, who to try to become U.S. citizens.


COOPER: The former first lady has mostly been absent from public view, though she did recently attend the funeral for Rosalynn Carter along with other first ladies. Randi Kaye tonight looks at where Melania Trump has been as her husband tries to win back the presidency.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think part of the beauty is that mystery.

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's former president Donald Trump on Megyn Kelly's podcast, attempting to explain his wife and former First Lady Melania Trump's absence.

D. TRUMP: She's introspective and she's confident. She doesn't need to be out there. She got confidence. She got a lot of self-confidence.

KAYE (voice-over): When Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign at Mar-a-Lago last year, Melania was there. But beyond that, she's largely been laying low. As his legal troubles mounted and Trump traveled the country entering not guilty pleas, Melania wasn't at his side.

She has yet to show up on the campaign trail, either with a month to go before the Iowa caucuses. Her absence hasn't gone unnoticed. In Iowa this fall, missing flyers were handed out featuring Melania as a missing person. In September on NBC's Meet the Press, Trump also tried to diffuse speculation about his wife's whereabouts.

D. TRUMP: She's a private person, a great person, very confident person, and she loves our country very much. She'll be at the appropriate time, she'll be out there. KAYE (voice-over): So where has Melania been? She's been spending time at various Trump properties, though reportedly rarely mixes with club members at Mar-a-Lago. She's mainly focused on their son, Barron, now 17, and getting him ready for college, according to the former president.

According to the New York Times, Melania made a handful of appearances last year that earned her about half a million dollars, for both the log cabin Republicans and a group called Fix California. Just last month, another rare appearance at a memorial service in Atlanta for former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

Behind closed doors, she's been working on her business venture, digital artworks purchased through cryptocurrency. This one is titled Melania's Vision and comes with a drawing as well as this recorded audio message.

M. TRUMP: My vision is look forward with inspiration, strength and courage.

KAYE (voice-over): She occasionally posts on social media, writing last month, "Happy Thanksgiving". And when the wildfires tore through Maui and floods ravaged her home country, Melania posted, "Mother Nature consistently reminds us of her dominance. My heart extends globally to the resilient people exposed to fires in Hawaii and flooding in beautiful Slovenia."


A spokesperson for the Trump campaign told the Washington Post last month, "Mrs. Trump has always been and will always be focused on her family, as it is her number one priority. Any reports claiming to have insight into her life should be read with caution."

Melania's last television interview was back in May on Fox. Despite her pursuit of privacy, she happily teased a possible return to the White House.

M. TRUMP: Never say never.

KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, Palm Beach, Florida.


COOPER: Randi, thanks.

Coming up next, saying thanks to a true original. I'll be right back.


COOPER: Before we go tonight, I want to say thank you to a friend and a colleague, Phil Littleton, who's just announced that he's retiring. Phil is one of the best photojournalists I've ever worked with. Our first assignment together was in Sri Lanka in 2005, after the tsunami hit. His knack for being in the right place at the right time and getting exactly the right shot was immediately obvious. So from then on, my team and I tried to make sure that he traveled with us wherever we went, which meant multiple assignments in Afghanistan, sleeping on the floor at U.S. combat outposts, talking to village elders, military leaders.


We crisscrossed the country together. We went to the Amazon in Brazil to report on the destruction of the rainforest. We were in Cambodia together, Thailand, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Greenland, South Africa, and countless spots in the U.S. So as you might imagine, I got to know Phil pretty well.

He was always a bit of rogue character in the best possible sense. I knew I'd like him when, early on, I could tell that his old friend Christiane Amanpour was, I don't know, somewhat suspicious of him. Hello, Philip, she'd say curtly. Then they'd both chuckle about an inside joke that I'd been sworn to secrecy not to reveal.

Phil was also fearless, but he wasn't reckless, and he was tireless. It was like time zones didn't really seem to affect him. Which kind of made sense, in a way, because Phil, a native of South Africa, was really never bound to one place. It may sound a little corny, but he always struck me as a citizen of the world rather than any particular country.

He was always willing to stay on the move, to work and to shoot great pictures. But now he's tapping out. He's moving to an undisclosed location wearing his sorry, no doubt. And I bet, scaring the neighbors. Thanks for everything, Phil. We will miss you.

That does it for us. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" is next. Have a great weekend.