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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Supreme Court Declines To Fast-Track Trump Immunity Appeal; Detroit News: Trump Recorded Pressuring Michigan Canvassers Not To Certify 2020 Election Results; US Officials: Record Number Of Migrants At The Border Each Day During Unprecedented Surge; Trump Triples Down On Language, Denies Hitler Connection; Trump Triples Down On Language, Denies Hitler Connection; What Iowans Hear When They Hear Trump; U.N. Security Council Passes Compromise Resolution On Israel-Hamas War, U.S. Abstains; Family Of Israeli Hostages Held In Gaza Speak Out; Woman Who Survived Hamas Attack On Music Festival Returns To Scene Of The Massacre For The First Time Since The Attack; 2 Colorado Paramedics Found Guilty Of Criminally Negligent Homicide In Elijah McClain's Death. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired December 22, 2023 - 20:00   ET


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: The length of Navalny's absence from public view is unprecedented and has sparked concerns about his well-being and his safety. The Kremlin has refused to say anything about where Navalny is.

And a quick programming note before we go, Erin will be hosting a town hall with Nikki Haley live from Iowa on Thursday, January 4th at 10:00 PM Eastern. That will be right after another CNN town hall with Ron DeSantis, also from Iowa.

Thanks so much to all of you for joining us. We wish you a very happy holiday. AC 360 starts now.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Well, tonight on 360 the Supreme Court says, not so fast to Special Counsel Jack Smith, giving the former president's go-slow legal strategy a big boost. The former president says he knows nothing about Hitler, while defending and repeating his Hitler-like language.

Plus, a survivor of the October 7th massacre and her remarkable journey to find a man who saved her life and the lives of many others that terrible day.

Good evening. Anderson is off tonight. And we begin with the Supreme Court's decision not to decide, at least just yet, the central question that could invalidate many of the charges against the former president, namely, does Donald Trump enjoy immunity from prosecution for actions he took as president?

The judge, in his January 6th trial, ruled he did not. His lawyers appealed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Special Counsel Jack Smith asked the Supreme Court to bypass the DC Circuit and take it now, and today the court said no. CNN's Katelyn Polantz joins us with more. So, Katelyn, we have a decision not really clear -- not a clear understanding of the explanation of why the justices decided this. But walk us through what we know, how many votes this got and so forth.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: We don't know how many votes. We just know that the Supreme Court says not yet, not right now, we're not going to look at this appeal that Donald Trump has on a question that really has to be figured out by appeals courts, very likely the Supreme Court, before he can sit for trial. And it's a question of whether Trump has immunity because he was president that would allow him to essentially be avoiding any trial as a criminal defendant.

And so, what is happening now is that instead of it going directly to the Supreme Court after the trial judge made the decision and said, no, Donald Trump, you do not have immunity, we're not going to dismiss this case against you, you're going to go to trial. Instead, it's going to go to the appeals court above the trial judge, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

They are indicating that they are ready to go very fast. They have oral arguments set for January, which is really fast for that ...


POLANTZ: ... court and could rule quite soon after that. We won't know until they do. But then after that, then it would go potentially back to the Supreme Court, where the question would be posed again and the Supreme Court would have to decide if they take it.

BROWN: So, that could have affected the Supreme Court's decision how quickly the appeals court is taking this up. And just to be clear, this needed five votes from the justices, right? We don't know if there were any dissents or not. None of that was made public.

POLANTZ: It was and it was just this one line that they were denying the petition at this time. And they do know and they do see that the DC Circuit was moving very fast with this appeal.


POLANTZ: So we just don't know what the thinking was, how the thing ...

BROWN: What the thinking was ...

POLANTZ: ... or what the vote was.

BROWN: And then the big question is, what would this mean for the trial potentially? I mean, it's still on the books, right, but whether it actually happens in March is another question.

POLANTZ: It's on the books for March 4th. Everything in preparation for the trial is on hold, although there was a lot already done to prepare for that trial. Evidence was turned over. There were other rulings were made by the trial judge, but it is on hold until this is essentially figured out by an appeals court.

This is the one issue that really can go up on appeal before Trump would have to go to trial. There are other things where he's trying to toss the case because of the law that he's charged under.

Those things are not going to be appealable initially. The immunity question really does have to get figured out. And, you know, once it is figured out, there's a couple things that the trial court has to do still before trial takes place. And so, that date could move, but it all depends on how fast all of the appeals process plays out here.

BROWN: The bottom line, this is a blow to Jack Smith and a win for Donald Trump for now.

POLANTZ: At least for now.

BROWN: All right. Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much.

I want to bring in retired Federal Judge and Harvard Senior Law Lecturer, Nancy Gertner. Also, with us CNN Political Analyst and "New York Times" Senior Political Correspondent Maggie Haberman, and CNN Legal Analyst Karen Friedman Agnifilo.

So, Judge Gertner, I want to start with you. What does it say to you that the Supreme Court decided not to take this up directly as Special Counsel Jack Smith had requested?

NANCY GERTNER, FORMER FEDERAL JUDGE: I have two feelings about it. One is that you understand that in 19 cases, the Supreme Court, under Trump, took up an immediate appeal on abortion cases, on student loan, on affirmative action, cases that were far less weighty than this, on the one hand.


On the other hand, the lack of a dissent suggests that the Supreme Court may be -- may think that the DC Circuit is moving fast enough. They have oral arguments scheduled for January 9th, and they are waiting for that decision. And then they could move expeditiously.

They may want the cover of the district court -- of the district's DC Circuit decision before they move. In other words, they've already seen a Court of Appeals that is moving quickly, so this doesn't necessarily indicate that they are not going to take it up expeditiously if it's already expeditiously being taken up in the DC Circuit. That's one reason why there may be no dissent here.

BROWN: But just to follow-up on that. So, basically, there was no dissent made public. There could have been dissents, right, but we don't know whether there was because they weren't made public, correct?

GERTNER: Right, but in a case as important as this, you would have seen dissents to the denial of search. That's not unusual. And so, one theory here -- and it's only a theory -- is that the apparent unanimity may mean the DC Circuit is already moving quite quickly, and they'd be willing to go once the DC Circuit makes its decision.

And if it makes its decision and says the stay is lifted, then the Chutkan -- the trial before Judge Chutkan can go ahead. They'd have to move again for a stay before the Supreme Court. In other words, there are very -- a number of possibilities here that still could suggest an expeditious decision even if we don't see it right now.

BROWN: Karen, were you surprised by the court's decision?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Not really surprised, but it -- the name of the game here for Trump, though, is to delay. He does not want this case to go to trial. And so, a little bit of time, even if it does -- even if it moves expeditiously, don't forget, this case could now -- this time period could bump into March 24th, which is when the Alvin Bragg/Stormy Daniels case is scheduled to go.

So, any amount of time that this case gets pushed, that case is scheduled to go March 24th. And so, then this case would have to go after that and then, of course, you're right in the middle of the election. So, any amount of delay here is actually practically a win for Trump.

BROWN: So, Maggie, the former president almost immediately began fundraising off of this decision. How much does his team see this as a win?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Look, it's as was just said. They are playing a game of inches, and those inches are what can get them as close to the election or past the election as possible, because a number of Trump's advisers have been very clear about this. He will, if he wins, order the Justice Department to drop these cases. And so, he does not want this case to go to trial.

It's not good for any nominee of a major party to be sitting in court during the general election. And so, yes, they view this as a win. And they would say it was a win, frankly, even if it wasn't. It has been very good for fundraising for them.

But I don't think we know exactly what this means. We don't know how long a delay this is. There are still a number of questions.

BROWN: Just to follow-up, you know, at -- Maggie, you and I did a lot of reporting at the end of Trump's term about whether he was going to pardon himself, and we know he had asked about it. I wonder if -- in your reporting, if you get any sense that Trump regrets that he didn't pardon himself at the very end, and whether it's something that he would consider if he did win and, obviously, isn't -- you know, he doesn't go to trial before?

HABERMAN: I haven't heard that he is voicing any regrets about that, Pam, although it's certainly possible he is. Remember, it's not a question that has clear litigation around it. It is ...

BROWN: Yes. HABERMAN: ... there would be court challenges if he had pardoned himself. That would be the case if he did it again, which is why I've heard from multiple people the likelier avenue that he would take if he won again would be to have charges dropped against him by the DOJ that he would then control. But he never rules out anything. As you know, he always considers everything up until the last minute.

BROWN: Yes, that is very true. So, Judge Gertner, how do you see the appeals court responding to this?

GERTNER: Well, I mean, I think that Judge Chutkan's order was really very solid, that there's no way that a president -- a former president can escape criminal liability for what he did in office, that it's fair to say that whatever he did with respect to the January 6th allegations he was doing it not in his official duty not within the perimeters of his job, but rather insofar as he was conducting a campaign.

And the second argument, which had to do that some how he was just following his impeachment trial is double jeopardy is simply laughable. So, I think that the chances are the DC Circuit will affirm Judge Chutkan. And there's a possibility that the Supreme Court would simply say, yes, after that.

You know, we really don't know. And I don't think that this necessarily spells -- you know, indicates what they're going to do one way or the other.


BROWN: Yes, and I think that's an important point. Just because they didn't take it up now, we -- that doesn't mean that it foretells what they could decide on the actual central question here when we're talking about the Supreme Court.

Karen, the question that it will likely return to the Supreme Court after it goes through the appeals court, right, depending on what happens. So how much do you think the appearance of politicization weighs into the court's calculus at this point?

AGNIFILO: Well, look, one question that is -- remains unanswered is, will Clarence Thomas, for example, recuse himself from this case the way many Democrats have called for his recusal because of the appearance of politics? There should never be politics play -- there's a separation of powers for a reason, right? And so, politics should never play or be a factor at all in the judge's decision.

But at the end of the day, you know, Donald Trump is running for president. And whether or not the American people get to know a verdict in this particular case before they vote for an election largely will depend on what the courts do and whether we get to have a trial whatever the outcome is one way or another.

BROWN: Maggie, back to you. You know, you were talking about how the Trump campaign just jumps on any incremental development, right? I mean, they did today with another small case out of West Virginia acting like it's this massive deal.

You know, obviously, these cases tend to fire up the base. We have seen the polling after that it seems like his popularity only rises. But do you think the sheer magnitude of the charges, the court dates, and the appearances may end up having a negative impact on him in the general if he wins in the primary?

HABERMAN: I think it's important to remember that as much as we all pay a lot of attention to him, I don't think that the general election electorate is paying that much attention to him or what is happening. I don't think they're that tuned in to the specifics around these trials or the charges that he's facing. And I don't -- I just don't think this is a good fact set for him. I don't think any of this is helpful to him.

If we assume that the two trials that are likeliest to go ahead next year, if they do, are the Alvin Bragg case and the January 6th Washington case. You know, his folks consider the Alvin Bragg case not to be as much of a problem for him because they think that they can convince folks that it looks cheaper than others.

The fact set around what happened in the leadup to January 6th and his efforts to subvert the election results is going to involve a parade of his former and, in some cases, current advisers showing up in court to testify that he, you know, in many instances, was told that he had lost and about other things that he was saying. That's just not going to be helpful.

Now, again, who knows where the world will be in six months? But, no, what is helpful to him in a primary is not helpful to him necessarily in a general election.

BROWN: Important context there. Thanks, everyone. I hope you have a great holiday weekend. Thanks for being with us tonight.

Well, up next Michigan Secretary of State on a newly revealed phone recording of the former president after the 2020 election, pressuring officials there to reject his losing results in the state's biggest county.

And then later, how the southern border is, as one official put it, near a breaking point under the strain of a rising number of incoming migrants. We're going to go there live.



BROWN: Well, when we left you last night, news had just broken about a recording of a call the former president made to a pair of Michigan election officials following the 2020 vote. And on it, according to "The Detroit News," which heard the audio, the former president pushed them not to certify election results from Detroit, which he lost by a wide margin.

So the question unanswered last night was, what, if anything, Michigan authorities can and might do about it? Joining us now is Michigan's top election official, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

Thank you so much, Madam Secretary, for coming on. Now that the details of this call between the former president and those Wayne County canvassers are out there, how significant is this in your view? What do you think happens next?

JOCELYN BENSON (D), MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE: Oh, first, thanks for having me. I think we've always known about this call. We've known and I wasn't surprised by the content of it at all as gut wrenching as it is to hear a former president try to pressure local election officials to not do their legal duty and certify valid election results.

So, next it becomes this question of what, if any, legal culpability exists for this. And it's notable that the Detroit News article that reveal this recording did so through an anonymous source. And so, I don't think through that lens we'll get any details about the source material or who recorded it. But I am confident with the multiple criminal proceedings happening at the state and federal level that there will be some culpability for any crimes that were committed either revealed in this recording or at any point in this postelection effort.

BROWN: Do you believe a crime was committed based on what's in the recording?

BENSON: I do. I certainly think that this was one of a string of illegal attempts to block the certification of our election results in Michigan and to threaten or cajole or even bribe officials who had a legal duty to certify the results.

But, you know, I'm the chief election officer, I'm not the chief law enforcement officer. And certainly, I have a lot of respect for those who are looking for legal culpability here both at the state level, as well as the federal investigation. And my office will simply continue to cooperate with everyone investigating all of these efforts to, above all, make sure it doesn't happen again.

BROWN: So you were interviewed by Special Counsel Jack Smith. I know you're not aware of whether his office has this recording. You just learned about it yourself last night, but were you able to provide any evidence that essentially corroborates what Trump was trying to do in this recording?

BENSON: You know, when I've met with federal investigators, as well as individuals at the January 6th Commission in Congress, we consistently walked them through what was lived out in real-time, where we saw commission -- Wayne County Board of Commissioners pressured, and also how we saw citizens step up and ensure that their votes would count. And so, we'll continue to cooperate and have those conversations.

Also, notably, these conversations happen in other states as well. We all heard the tape in Georgia that a -- in the conversation that occurred there with the former president trying to pressure my colleague, Brad Raffensperger, to find votes as well. So we also know this was not an isolated incident, and that's why a federal investigation is important to draw these connections. [20:20:05]

BROWN: It wasn't an isolated incident. And I'm wondering, given the fact that Donald Trump is running for president again, how concerned are you about local officials' ability to withstand potential pressure in the next election cycle if Trump loses again?

BENSON: We've been preparing for that, frankly, since January 6, 2021, where it became very clear to me that we were witnessing the beginning, not the end, of what has turned out to be a multiyear effort to subvert our elections and harm citizens' faith in their democracy.

So, we are prepared. We've got a strategy ourselves in Michigan, and we're coordinating and working with my colleagues in the other battleground states as well because we are fully prepared -- hoping for the best, but preparing for every contingency, and every tactic, every lever that could be pulled again if, you know, any losing candidate would try to subvert the will of the people in 2024.

BROWN: How do you prepare? I mean, what are you planning to do differently next time around if it happens than, you know, you did last time? Just help us understand what do you do?

BENSON: Well, two things we've already done. One is make sure we have strengthened our laws here in Michigan and in other states to both protect election officials from threats and also protect and require the certification process to be by the book with clear penalties if people stray from the law. So, we've tightened those pieces up.

Of course, the federal Electoral Count Reform Act as well has been helpful in that regard. And in addition, we have worked to recruit and train more election workers and require every one working elections to adhere to a code of conduct, so we minimize any internal disruptions or malfeasance during the election process itself. So we're putting procedures in place during the election and the post-election process, and then in addition to that, handling the narrative side, which is about telling people the truth and preparing them for a deluge of misinformation that we know will hit our state and our voters in the months ahead and in the post-election process.

Citizens need to be critical (inaudible) with information.

BROWN: I mean, Donald Trump's already -- he's continuing to say that if he loses next November that the election is rigged by Democrats. He just said it really today that you hear it. So that misinformation continues. Secretary of State Benson, thank you so much.

Up next ...

BENSON: Thanks for having me.

BROWN: ... a live -- thank you. Up next, a live report from the southern border and new numbers on the growing influx of migrants.

Plus, the former president triples down twofold on one of his claims that these migrants are poisoning the country's blood, and two, that he's not borrowing language from Hitler.

Plus, with the caucuses just 25 days from now, Gary Tuchman talks to Iowans about what they all make of this.



BROWN: A record number of migrants are being apprehended at the US- Mexico border on a daily basis, with some officials warning the system is near a breaking point. The US Customs and Border Protection reports the seven-day average this month is more than 9,600 encounters with migrants. That's up from 6,800 at the end of November.

Also, there are more than 26,000 migrants in US custody this week. That's nearly 10,000 overcapacity. And lawmakers on Capitol Hill are still at a standstill on what to do about the crisis.

CNN's Rafael Romo joins us now from the border crossing in Eagle Pass, Texas. First off, what are you seeing on the border tonight, Rafael?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Pamela. We're at a migrant camp here in Eagle Pass. We're right next to the US border with Mexico.

Behind me, you can see a holding area of our Border Patrol agents take immigrants who wants they surrender to authorities so that they can wait there before being processed. And this is happening only hours after Customs and Border Protection released the latest on the number of apprehensions here at the US southern border.

The US Border Patrol recorded a total of 191,113 of what they call encounters with immigrants, meaning either apprehensions or people who turned themselves in. That compares to 189,000 or 4,000 more than the month of October. But these are only people who cross the border at sites other than a point of entry.

If we add everybody else, Pam, the figure is close to a quarter of a million. And releasing the latest figures, top immigration officials recognize they're facing a serious challenge along the US border. He also said that CBP and other federal agencies need more resources from Congress to both enhance the security at the border and the country as a whole.

And the reality is that the impact to communities, like Eagle Pass, is brutal. This is a city of less than 30,000 people. Local officials say they're having to deal with this crisis with little or no help from the federal government.

Earlier this week, we heard from Congressman Tony Gonzales, a Republican, whose district includes two-thirds of the Texas border. He says that the situation here at the border is at a breaking point -- Pamela.

BROWN: So, what is the White House saying about this crisis then and this claim from officials there -- the local officials on the ground -- that the federal government just isn't doing enough? ROMO: Yes, they say they're doing everything they can, deploying the resources that are needed not only in terms of personnel, but also equipment to help the Border Patrol, CBP, and everybody involved here, also, the local and state agencies. But the reality is that the people that we've talked to, here, feel that it's not yet enough, especially when it talks to resources, local hospitals, places that these migrants have to go to because they have no other option -- Pam.

BROWN: Rafael Romo, thank you.

The former president weighed in today about the language he's been using repeatedly to describe unauthorized immigrants, also about his resemblance to Adolf Hitler's as to the former president's language, saying these immigrants were poisoning or destroying the blood of the country, he repeated it.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER US PRESIDENT: When you look at it, and you look at what's coming in, we have, from all over the world, not one group. They're coming in from Asia, from Africa, from South America. They're coming from all over the world. They're coming from prisons. They're coming from mental institutions and insane asylums. They're terrorists. Absolutely, that's poisoning our country. That's poisoning the blood of our country.


BROWN: Notably, he did not include people from Europe and not tripling down on the blood poisoning slur. His wife Melania is an immigrant in Eastern Europe.

Now, as for borrowing from Hitler, listen.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First of all, I know nothing about Hitler. I'm not a student of Hitler. I never read his works. They say that he said something about blood. He didn't say it the way I said it either, by the way. It's a very different kind of a statement. What I'm saying when I talk about people coming into our country is they are destroying our country.


BROWN: Well, actually, if you look at what Hitler said, the similarities are striking. Here's Hitler in Mein Kampf talking about Jews, quote, "He poisons the blood of others, but preserves his own blood unadulterated."

Hitler uses similar language for immigrants connecting, quote, "The poison, which has invaded the national body" to a, quote, "influx of foreign blood." Also false, his claim of not knowing about Hitler, reporters and Trump biographers have documented his longstanding fascination with the man.

But in any case, whether he read Hitler's works or not, his language is strikingly similar. And though toxic to many, it is appealing to more than just a few. Like in Iowa, where he used it this week. Recent polling shows that 42 percent of Republican voters say the former president's claim that immigrants are, quote, poisoning the blood of the country makes them more likely to support him.

However, some of those voters, Iowa farmers, rely heavily on immigrant labor. So how do they feel? 360's Gary Tuchman reports.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cory Fehr, his wife and eight children have a large 24,000 acre family farm in the small town of West Bend, Iowa.

CORY FEHR, IOWA FARMER: We grow organic corn, soybeans and oats, are our three main crops.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): About 50 miles south in the city of Fort Dodge, father and son, Gary and Dave Nelson also farm corn and soybeans.

TUCHMAN: How many acres do you have in the farm?

DAVE NELSON, IOWA FARMER: So it's about 5,000 acres.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Both families have successful businesses. And have had the same political outlook.

TUCHMAN: Who did you vote for for president in 2016 and 2020?

FEHR: I voted for Trump.

TUCHMAN: Both times?

FEHR: Both times.

TUCHMAN: In 2016 and 2020, who did you vote for for president?

GARY NELSON, IOWA FARMER: Donald Trump, yes.

TUCHMAN: Both times? And what about you?

D. NELSON: I voted for Donald Trump both times.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Harvest season is now over. Cory Fehr says during the heart of the season, he needed about 90 workers.

TUCHMAN: Are there enough Americans to take those jobs?

FEHR: There are not.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): So Cory had 72 migrants working on his farm this year, legally, under the government H-2A program. He thinks the government needs to make it easier for more migrants to come to the U.S. to work. He hadn't seen and heard what former President Donald Trump declared about undocumented migrants coming across the border. So we showed it to him.

TRUMP: It's crazy what's going on. They're ruining our country. And it's true. They're destroying the blood of our country. That's what they're doing.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): So we asked, how does that make you feel about the man you voted for twice?

FEHR: It brings out a side of him that, I say, I haven't decided what I'm going to do this year.

TUCHMAN: About whether you'd vote for him again?

FEHR: Right.

TUCHMAN: What do you think the people who work for you, who've just left for the season, would think about those comments?

FEHR: They would be offended by that.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary and Dave Nelson say they will likely hire migrant workers in the future under the same government program. We also showed them the Trump video.

G. NELSON: I don't think it was appropriate. My ancestors came at one time. And maybe the same thing was thought about them, that they turned out to be great contributors to our country.

TUCHMAN: Do you find it's offensive, though, to use that term, destroying the blood of our country?

G. NELSON: Yes, that's harsh words. It's not proper. It's not fitting from a presidential candidate.

TUCHMAN: Do you wish he didn't say that?

D. NELSON: Definitely. I mean, it's -- he's using words from things like that in our past, of the Nazi piece in that. And that's been the hard thing with Trump is just too many times things are said that it's like whether it's taken out of context or he's using examples that don't apply in these situations.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Son Dave doesn't know who he wants for president at this point. Father Gary is supporting Ron DeSantis. Recent polling does show that a plurality of likely Iowa Republican caucus goers are more likely to support Trump because of these comments.

At the Groggy Dog restaurant in Indianola, Iowa --

TRUMP: And it's true. They're destroying the blood of our country. That's what they're doing.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): -- I show the video to one of the customers, and this Trump supporter is OK with it. TUCHMAN: Does it make you even more supportive of Donald Trump?

STEPHANIE WIREMAN, IOWA VOTER: Yes. You can see he's pretty, like I said, straightforward. He, you know, spells it out for you right there, and what he wants and what he wants to do to make our country better.

TUCHMAN: So you don't think it's offensive?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Outside the restaurant.

TUCHMAN: Do you think the comments are offensive?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Is it offensive to you?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): To be clear, the farmers we talked to do not favor illegal immigration. What they favor is more legal immigration. U.S. agriculture, they say, needs it.


TUCHMAN: If you could talk to former President Trump and give him a message about his language and how to handle the situation, what would you say to him? As a farmer?

FEHR: Yes. We need them to get our work done here. They're a necessity. And there's a lot of good people that come.


BROWN: And Gary joins us now from Iowa. So, Gary, have most of the people you talk with seen the video of Donald Trump making these comments before you talk with them?

TUCHMAN (on-camera): Pamela, the answer is no. Most of the people we've met have not seen the video of these comments by Donald Trump, and many of the people didn't even know about the comments. So, when we talked with these loyal Republicans, first, I read the comments to them, and some of those people said, yes, I'm on board with that.

But then the same people I showed them the video and that's much more vivid when you see a video and when you see Mr. Trump saying this and when you hear him saying that, and some of those people then said, maybe I'm not OK with that. Maybe that was a bit mean. So that's what we heard from the people we talked with. And I think it's important to point that out that the video made a big difference in their impressions.

BROWN: Yes, certainly. Gary Tuchman, thank you so much.

Up next, Anderson speaks with three Israelis on their loved ones who are hostages and are still missing in Gaza.



BROWN: Well, the U.N. Security Council today passed a long delayed resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict. It calls for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and the establishment of safe corridors throughout Gaza. The measure passed with the United States and Russia abstaining.

We also learned today that Israeli American hostage, Gadi Hagi, has died in Gaza. He was wounded during his abduction from Kibbutz Nir -- from his kibbutz. His wife remains in captivity. Gadi Hagi was 73.

Well recently, Anderson spoke with three Israelis whose loved ones are still being held, Natalie Ben Ami, her mom and dad Raz and Ohad, were taken on October 7th. Now Raz has since been freed. Also, Amit and Mia Levy whose 19-year-old sister Naama was taken. There is video of Naama's abduction. It is as you might imagine difficult to watch, but important to see because this is what really happened


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is another one (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You mother fucker. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. Say God is great.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They are leaving, may God bless your hands. Allahu Akbar, and may God bless your hands.


BROWN: Anderson spoke with them, his brother and sister, along with Ohad, Ben Ami's daughter, Natalie. And here's their conversation.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, how do you get through the days? I mean, it's been 70 -- almost 70 days. It's unthinkable.

AMIT LEVY, BROTHER OF HOSTAGE NAAMA LEVY: It's really unthinkable. We get through the days by keeping on reminding ourselves, us and our parents, keeping on reminding ourselves that Naama is the strongest person we all know. And that she's probably going through horrific things that really are unthinkable. That's the word, I think.

COOPER: Your mom has actually been spoken about her fears of what may be happening to your sister. A. LEVY: Yes, I mean, we share the same fears, obviously. I mean, we all saw the video that her pants are filled with blood and she walks barefoot, with a terrorist holding a gun right next to her head.

COOPER: Natalie, how are you holding up?


COOPER: Your mom and dad were taken. Your -- there's video. When you -- did you see that video of them early on, or was that -- did that come out days later?

BEN AMI: There is a video of my mom that come out a few days later, but there is a photo of my dad that we got on the same day.

COOPER: Your mom was returned in a release. How is she?

BEN AMI: Not so good. I mean, like, she's trying to be fine, but she's not. You can see on her. I mean, like, she's traumatized.

COOPER: What do you want people to know about your sister?


COOPER: A peace seeker?

M. LEVY: Yes. She was part of a program that Israeli teenagers, Palestinian teenagers, and American teenagers were going together to a trip and talk about peace and talk with each other. Trying to hear the other side, trying to hear other people's position.

COOPER: What do you want people to know about your dad?

BEN AMI: I want him to come back as he was before. Like that smiley person who tries to make everybody else laugh. Not -- it's hard to say it, but not in a body bag.

COOPER: Natalie, you returned to your home in the kibbutz and your -- I mean your home has been destroyed.

BEN AMI: Our home is ruined. Many houses in the kibbutz were burned with people inside.

COOPER: Is there anything else you want people to know? You want to say?


BEN AMIN: We need to bring them back now. Now. Because if not now, they could be dead or, I don't know, too traumatized to be able to keep living their life again.

A. LEVY: Just that I really miss Naama, and I really love her. And maybe, I don't know, maybe CNN is a -- it's on a screen in Gaza and maybe she'll be able to see this. COOPER: What would you want her to know?

A. LEVY: That we love her and that we're doing everything we can.

M. LEVY: And we need all the world's support. We need any -- everyone. We need to bring them back. We need them back. And I would love to give you this necklace. It's written our heart in Gaza. And bring them home.

COOPER: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

BEN AMI: There is one more thing --


BEN AMI: -- that it's very important. Not many people knows or think about it that way, but Hamas is terror organization. He came to our house and he took my parents and he came to other houses in Be'eri and Nahal Oz and Nir Oz and, you know, all this area. And he killed babies, he killed grown-ups, he took teenagers, like, even teenagers to Gaza.

The world have to know about that. They are not freedom fighters.

A. LEVY: And just to add that, some things are just bad sometimes, you know. No one now will argue that the Nazis were bad. ISIS, Al-Qaeda are the worst. Hamas is the same. We know that we are now suffering from it, but at the end, the good will win. We're all optimistic about that. And history won't forgive the people who are silent against the evil in these times.

COOPER: Thank you.

A. LEVY: Thank you.

M. LEVY: Thank you.

BEN AMI: Thank you so much.


BROWN: And so ahead, a CNN exclusive, one woman thought death was imminent when she ran as Hamas attacked the musical festival on October 7th. But thanks to the help of a stranger, she and dozens of others were saved. She was never able to thank him until now.



BROWN: Well now the story of a woman who ran when gun men attacked the Nova Music Festival on October 7th. She thought she wouldn't survive until a stranger came to her rescue. And now they have been reunited.

CNN's Will Ripley has this incredible story.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Looking at that cloud of smoke, what does that trigger for you?

NATALIE SANANDAJI, NOVA FESTIVAL SURVIVOR: So seeing the smoke, it definitely reminds me of those noises that bring me back to that day.

RIPLEY (voice-over): In southern Israel, you don't need a map to know you're near Gaza.

RIPLEY: Why are you here? What do you want to go back?


RIPLEY (voice-over): That loud boom, outgoing artillery near our car, rattling native New Yorker Natalie Sanandaji.

RIPLEY: Tell me what that made you feel like just now.

SANANDAJI: Like I'm scared that, like, we're being shot at. I panicked.

RIPLEY (voice-over): The last time she was on this road, Natalie was running for her life. Just after sunrise on Saturday, October 7th, rocket interceptions seen from the dance floor at the Nova music festival. Hamas militants killed more than 350 people, mostly young, mostly Jewish, mostly unarmed.

SANANDAJI: I feel so lucky that I made it out, that I got out alive. I feel like it's my duty to be that voice for all those who weren't as lucky as me.

RIPLEY (voice-over): That sense of duty is why she's returning to Israel for the first time since the attacks.

SANANDAJI: Just seeing all these faces and knowing people that loved these faces.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Faces of friends who never made it home.

SANANDAJI: Oh, my God. She's someone I recognize. It's so crazy. And I was dancing right next to them, you know? So hard to see how many of them there are.

RIPLEY: And it could have been you?

RIPLEY (voice-over): The music festival campsite, now a place where families come to grave.

Rockets in the sky, gunshots on the ground. All she could do was run. Many took cover in bathrooms, bomb shelters, ditches. Most of them ended up dead.

Four hours of running, exhausted, dehydrated.

SANANDAJI: I never thought that -- RIPLEY (voice-over): Natalie collapsed.

SANANDAJI: -- I would really just sit down and accept my fate.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Too tired to run as a truck came closer.

SANANDAJI: We had nowhere to run to. Like, where were we going to get up and run to? Like, if this is a terrorist coming to kill us, like, that's it. Kind of like that one, you know?

RIPLEY (voice-over): The man behind the wheel, not a terrorist, from at nearby village. Natalie never got his name. She only tracked him down a few days ago. It's why she's come back, to thank him.

They're about to meet for the first time since that day.

The man fighting back tears, Moshe Sati, an Israeli father of four who left home and drove directly into danger, not once or twice, more than ten trips to and from the music festival site.

MOSHE SATI, NOVA FESTIVAL RESCUER (through translator): Stop, this is too hard for me.

SANANDAJI (through translator): It's very nice to meet you.

SATI (through translator): Likewise. I said we are in it together. Come inside.

RIPLEY: You live so close to this, but were you prepared fully for what you saw on October 7th?

SATI (through translator): Things like this you can't forget. I'll never forget what I saw. It's very, very tough.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Haunted by the horrors he saw, heartened by the lives he saved.

SANANDAJI: So many people were saved in this truck.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Natalie, one of well over 100 people he packed into his pickup and drove to safety.

SANANDAJI: Like, this truck saved so many lives. And like, it just looks like an average truck. Like, I stood right there in that corner. If it wasn't for him, I truly don't think I would have been here today.


RIPLEY (voice-over): One bright chapter on a very dark day.


BROWN: So Will, I understand that Natalie has been the target of hateful messages in sharing her story. Tell us more. RIPLEY (on-camera): That was one really interesting thing she said. She never expected that after putting her story out there, people would flood her social media with these antisemitic comments. And she actually says that despite what happened here in Israel, despite the October 7th attacks, she feels safer here than she does back home in the United States.

And she's a native New Yorker. As you know, that city is a melting pot of diversity. And yet she feels like, right now, there's so much anti- Israeli sentiment. She wanted to tell her story, and she wanted to keep putting herself out there to remind people that this all began with a horrific tragedy to put a human face on all of the people who lost their lives in the event that really started this whole just horrific war, Pam.

BROWN: Yes, very sad that she's having to go through that. Will Ripley, thank you.

And up next, a verdict in the case of two Colorado prayer medics charged with the death of Elijah McClain after injecting him with ketamine during a police stop.


BROWN: A quick update now on a story we followed from the very beginning. The 2019 death of Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colorado, after police forcibly restrained him and paramedics gave him what turned out to be a lethal dose of the drug ketamine.

And today jurors convicted the two paramedics of criminally negligent homicide. And Aurora police officer was convicted earlier on that same charge and subsequently fired.

Well, the news continues. "THE SOURCE" starts now. Happy holidays.