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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Trump Attacks Rivals Haley And DeSantis In New Hampshire After Big Iowa Victory; Haley: DeSantis "Not My Concern, I'm Going After Trump"; From Old Church To Trump Merch; Trump Back In Court For Second E. Jean Caroll Defamation Trial; Carroll Lawyer Asks Jury To Award "Very Significant" Amount In Damages Against Trump; E. Jean Carroll Expected To Testify Tomorrow In Defamation Case Against Trump; Two Israeli Hostages Held In Gaza Since Oct. 7 Confirmed Dead; Deal Brokered To Provide Medicine, Aid For Hostages In Gaza; Suspected Gilgo Beach Serial Killer Charged With 4th Murder; New Hampshire Voters Weigh In On GOP Primary One Week Away. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 16, 2024 - 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: Tonight, the US and Capitol Police, and the FBI are investigating comments allegedly made by Trump ally, Roger Stone on tape, threatening to assassinate House Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE, ADVISER TO FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: It's time to do it. Either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message. I'm just not putting up with this (expletive) anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That was referring to Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell and Jerry Nadler. The (inaudible) tape was obtained by the website, MediAI (ph). CNN has not independently verified the tape, so he denies making the comments though. And in a statement to MediAI (ph) said they were -- claimed they were generated by AI.
Thanks for joining us. "AC 360" starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on "360," the latest stop on the former president's road from courthouse to campaign stop and back, how it might play in New Hampshire, whether he can make it lead all the way back to the White House.
Also, tonight, what happened in the courtroom today as E. Jean Carroll, the woman Trump's already been found liable for sexually abusing and defaming seeks damages. A reporter was in the room with both of them.
And later, a new murder charge against the alleged Long Island serial killer and remarkable new details of how investigators made their case. Good evening. Thanks for joining us. We begin tonight with the former
president just now wrapping up his event in Atkinson, New Hampshire after showing what his campaign will look like from here on out as both the Republican frontrunner and a defendant in multiple civil and criminal trials.
Straight after last night's victory in the Iowa caucuses, he flew from Des Moines to New York to be in court today for jury selection in the penalty phase of E. Jean Carroll's federal defamation lawsuit. Now we're going to talk more about what happened in court later in the broadcast. From there, Trump flew to New Hampshire for tonight's event where he connected his legal troubles with his political success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER US PRESIDENT: They're bullshit indictments outside. You know what I call them?
I call them -- they're Biden indictments. No, they've weaponized the DOJ. They go after their political opponent. Now, this particular case didn't work out so well.
If I didn't get indicted all these times, and if they didn't unfairly go after, I would have won. But it would have been much closer, I tell you. I don't know if I would have made the trade. I might have just liked the position we're in right now. And we're doing very well on that (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, this wasn't the first time he is commuted as it were between his political and legal worlds. It was, however, the first time he's gotten concrete proof from actual voters, not just campaign donors that it works.
Iowa caucus-goers certainly did not mind backing a candidate fresh from one trial, the New York fraud case, on his way to another. And for now, campaigning this way is entirely his choice. As you may know, he does not have to be present in civil cases like the one today or that civil fraud trial, which wrapped up last week.
If the former president thought it was hurting his campaign, he'd certainly be entirely within his rights to skip court. He hasn't. Just the opposite, he's embraced his status as a defendant and, by his account, a victim, and he routinely fundraises often.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is the only person. This never happened before, but I go to a lot of courthouses because of Biden, because using that for election interference.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: No modern presidential candidate has ever managed to make his
status as a civil and criminal defendant many times over a political and financial asset. Last night, Iowa voters gave it a thumb's up. A week from tonight, we'll see if New Hampshire voters do the same.
CNN's Kristen Holmes is traveling with the former president, joins us now from his event in Atkinson, New Hampshire. So what did he have to say about his opponents tonight?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, unsurprisingly, he spent most of the time attacking Nikki Haley. Now, we have talked about how Haley is trying to say that this is a two-man race despite the fact that she came in third in Iowa last night. However, the Trump's team, the state of New Hampshire is a two-man race between him and Nikki Haley.
Ron DeSantis does not have a robust ground game here, and they have seen Haley ticking up in the polls. They're doing everything they can to go after her. Listen to just some of what Trump said tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As you know, Nikki Haley, in particular ...
... is counting on the Democrats and liberals to infiltrate your Republican primary. You know that. They let -- that's what's happening. You have a group of people coming in that are not Republicans. She came in third, and she lost to not a particularly great candidate, obviously, as you have seen. She lost to somebody that beat her by about 2-1/2 points, Ron Desanctimonious.
So I'll tell you, we have these two people. We really got to get back on to Biden and beating the Democrats and not wasting a lot of time with these two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: So just to be clear, Donald Trump's campaign does not actually believe that Democrats are going to come out and vote for Nikki Haley. In fact, they've actually been watching that registration very carefully. The cutoff was October 6th for people to switch their registration from Democrat to Republican. And they have been watching. There are only 3,000 people did, which is not something they believe could actually impact the race despite what Donald Trump said.
Now, there is a strategy here, Anderson. They are trying to hit Haley with independents, both conservatives and moderates. One, they're attacking her on immigration. That is to shore up Donald Trump's conservative support. They believe that is a key issue among Republicans here in New Hampshire.
The other thing they are putting out ads on is her position on Social Security and Medicare. They are hoping that takes some votes away from moderates because that is something they care about. They know that people are going to show up to vote just against Donald Trump here in New Hampshire, but they're trying to limit how many people do.
COOPER: The former president brought Vivek Ramaswamy out on stage. How helpful does the Trump campaign think he can be in New Hampshire?
HOLMES: In terms of how helpful he could be with votes, they really aren't quite sure, but they do believe that every single vote counts, and they believe that about 98% of people who would have gone out to vote for Vivek, if they're going to switch their votes to anyone else in the race would vote for Donald Trump.
Now, I was told two weeks ago that we had senior advisers from Donald Trump's team going to events in New Hampshire of Vivek to see what the momentum was. Now, of course, again, this was two weeks ago, but they clearly saw something there in terms of taking votes from Donald Trump. So how much this helps him, they aren't sure. But they do believe that it will help them in some capacity.
COOPER: All right. Kristen Holmes, thanks very much.
With me here tonight three CNN political commentators, Ashley Allison, David Axelrod who both served in the Obama administration and former Trump White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin.
David, I mean, if you are Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis, do you have any better idea now about how to run against Trump?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Don't do what you did. That's the idea.
Listen, I think that if I were Haley, first of all, DeSantis, I think, is not going to put up a huge fight in New Hampshire. He doesn't have the resources to do that. He's coming to New Hampshire to do a town hall tonight. It might be a smart thing to denounce the New Hampshire primary in front of this audience for the benefit of South Carolina voters and say we don't need liberals deciding who the Republican nominee should be.
And Haley might want -- you know, she had the right idea when she said New Hampshire corrects Iowa. She just said it too weeks too early. But there is a habit in New Hampshire of trying to offset what Iowa does. And, you know, she might want to ask voters in New Hampshire if they want to end the campaign, because that effectively is what they'll do if they elect Donald Trump.
I experienced this in 2008. Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses, and New Hampshire voters could have ended the campaign right there. They said, wait a sec, we think this should go on a while longer. We want to see this debate go on. And so, you know, I would work that if I were Haley a bit.
COOPER: Alyssa, do you think it's a smart move for Haley to refuse to debate DeSantis anymore, to say I'll only debate if it's Trump? ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it's a
strategically wise move. She needs to say that this is a two-person race.
I think last night we all thought it was like that's kind of a bold statement when you came in third. But based on how Donald Trump is responding to Nikki Haley, he has been going after her on truth. And that speech tonight in New Hampshire, I think that he thinks it's a two-person race.
Actually, in fact, Donald Trump went so far in his criticism of Nikki Haley actually praised Ron DeSantis and said he is more MAGA. So his team very much thinks the only threat is Nikki Haley and their eyes are laser focused on New Hampshire.
And, of course, she is crisscrossing the state with the popular Governor Chris Sununu, who's always outperformed Donald Trump in New Hampshire. So she can reach people the way Chris Sununu has managed to. She could pull off (inaudible).
COOPER: Do you think Vivek Ramaswamy gives anything to Trump really now?
GRIFFIN: I think he maybe gives him a little. I don't know that it -- listen, the margins are close enough. That could be enough. I think it's hard to say how real his support was.
COOPER: Ashley, I want to play something that Nikki Haley was asked on Fox News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you a racist party? Are you involved in a racist party?
NIKKI HALEY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. We're not a racist country, Brian. We've never been a racist country. Our goal is to make sure that today is better than yesterday. Are we perfect? No. But our goal is to always make sure we try and be more perfect every day that we can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So Haley's campaign later affirmed her statement saying, quote, "America has always had racism, but America has never been a racist country. What's your reaction to that?
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, what two weeks ago she was confused about what caused the civil war. I'm not surprised that she is doing this. Nikki Haley is not trying to be a leader in this moment. She is not even really going after Donald Trump. She hasn't.
And so, she's in New Hampshire also. Maybe if she was taking this tone in Iowa, I could see. But New Hampshire, you have moderates, you have independents. They understand the history of this country. What she said is just factually wrong when you think about the indigenous people who were moved from their land in this country, the lineage of slavery.
It's offensive, especially coming from South Carolina, where her claim is that she was lowering the confederate flag with -- you know, after nine black people were murdered by a white supremacist. To have the guts to even say that there has never been any -- that this country is -- was not a racist country is offensive, and it won't play well in the general election, if she can even get out of it.
COOPER: David, DeSantis obviously is just putting everything on South Carolina for now. Is that smart strategically to basically blow off?
AXELROD: I don't really understand where he is going in this race because he blew an extraordinary amount of money trying to win the Iowa caucuses. That was his goal in the beginning. He salvaged something by taking second place yesterday, but I don't know who is going to give Ron DeSantis money.
The only theory they may have is that there may be some people who want him or someone to hang around as a fail-safe if something should beset Donald Trump, like a conviction. But I don't think that there is time for -- I mean, those verdicts or that verdict would come so late that I don't know how he sustains this.
So I think he is on a glide path out of this race. And maybe it's South Carolina's closer to Florida and home.
COOPER: It's so telling that he wanted to -- that Trump wanted to be in court today where it was for jury selection, no less, in a civil case. He doesn't even have to be at the actual civil trial. He was there for jury selection.
GRIFFIN: Well, and let's think about this. I said this before that Donald Trump didn't even show up for the actual hearing to determine if he was liable for sexual assault. Any man, woman, person accused of something that heinous that was innocent would show up and defend themselves tooth and nail to rectify their good name, and he blew it off and decided to do whatever he did. But he is showing up for jury selection. And I'm sure he'll show up for damages because there is money involved.
How that is not resonating with voters, especially female voters is beyond me. This is where the Nikki Haleys of the world need to take the gloves off. You're not doing this by doing this casual contrast. You need to talk about the man, the character, and the things. Everyone likely knows that tiptoes around or Republican leaders just refuse to talk about.
COOPER: Why do you think Nikki Haley is not going fully at the former president?
ALLISON: She doesn't think she can win if she doesn't pull off of some of Trump voters. And, look, he beat both Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley like a drum last night in the Iowa caucuses. And so she thinks that if she is kind to him, that maybe some folks will leave Donald Trump.
But that's not the case. They are loyal to him until perhaps you draw a contrast as to why they should say no.
And if you want a Republican in the White House, it is going to be really hard. It's not impossible, but Donald Trump is most likely going to lose to President Biden because he already has. And so, I don't see how she can think this is a long game because, listen, if it is Nikki Haley against Joe Biden, you better believe the Biden campaign is going to pull every single receipt for every misspoken word about race, inability to stand with women like E. Jean Carroll, if it becomes a general election with Nikki Haley and Joe Biden.
AXELROD: You know that Nikki Haley's great vulnerability is that she thinks every issue is finessable. And some issues are unfinessable.
ALLISON: Are not.
AXELROD: And you look like a politician when you try. And I think that hurts her.
COOPER: Ashley Allison, thanks, Alyssa Farah Griffin, David Axelrod.
Next, a measure of that loyalty Ashley was just talking about with unique look and the measure of support the former presidents enjoys from his supporters and how they're showing at the cash register of a store where every aisle is aisle Trump.
Also, tonight, the original charges were chilling enough. Now, a new murder charge against the alleged Long Island serial killer, how authorities said they got the evidence for it.
COOPER: So campaign memorabilia is nothing new nor is merchandise bearing the former president's name. But in one small Virginia town, they've come together in what might be called an all-consuming way. A former church, now a store where CNN's Elle Reeve found out indictments are good for business.
WHITEY TAYLOR, TRUMP TOWN USA OWNER: The mug shot was really hot. And this stuff lasts probably about two months, it stays really hot. But the first week that we -- the mug shot came out, we sold like 2,000 t- shirts.
ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): What's that?
TAYLOR: That's Trump's balls.
REEVE (voice over): Okay. Whitey Taylor runs a busy Trump store in Boones Mill. A town of fewer than 5,000 people in southwestern Virginia. We visited a week after Christmas with the Iowa caucuses just days
away. Taylor predicted Trump would win the Republican nomination, and then business would really boom.
TAYLOR: You can only get these here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: $20, yes.
REEVE (voice over): Customers were bullish, too. What the super fans bought offered some insight into what they want politically. The merch is not just simple campaign slogans, it's defiance, even vulgar, aimed at buyers that enjoy being mad at the state of America and think there is one guy who will fix it.
REEVE (on camera): When Trump was indicted for all these different things, did people stop buying his merchandise?
TAYLOR: No, they bought it more.
REEVE (on camera): Why?
TAYLOR: Because they knew it was like Russia collusion. This is all just (expletives). Now, he has gained a lot of people because of this administration that we have now, yes.
REEVE (on camera): Do you get people coming in saying that?
TAYLOR: Oh, yes, definitely yes. They'll just come in and say never again will I be that stupid, you know.
MELINDA WILLIAMS, EMPLOYEE, TRUMP TOWN USA: Hi, welcome to the Trump store.
REEVE (on camera): What have you observed about what people are looking for?
WILLIAMS: People want our economy better. They're very scared, I think, because of the way things are going. They feel like where we're at right now is not -- is like stagnant.
REEVE (on camera): Were you interested in politics before Trump?
WILLIAMS: Yes. And, you know, it's strange, because I've always been Democrat.
REEVE (on camera): Really?
WILLIAMS: Yes. So I am a firm believer in believing in a person and system that's going make positive changes. I think in the past, I made some quick judgments about my voting. So I'm very more selective, and it's more thought put into it.
REEVE (on camera): Why did you come in today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To get some Trump stuff so I can advertise, and you know, support him. 0608, I like lost everything I had, but I barely survived. I don't know how I did. And this is leading up to the same thing again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I often wonder what encourages people to be a Democrat because I don't see a lot of kindness. I don't see a lot of help for our country. And I see a lot of talk and no action.
REEVE (voice over): He got into this business at the very beginning of Trump's takeover of the Republican Party. Taylor is a serial entrepreneur and attention seeker, and he prayed to God to guide him while selling merch at the Daytona 500.
TAYLOR: My son's (inaudible) came in my spirit, he wants me to help Trump. I said I'm going to order a thousand t-shirts. He said, dad, but that's crazy. You know how crazy you get. Just get 100. I say go big or go home, boy. I said if God's telling me we'll sell (inaudible). All we had was a white t-shirt that said "Hire the Vets, Fire the Idiots, Trump 2016" on the front -- red, white, and blue. And on the back, it said finally "Someone with balls, Donald J. Trump." And I became known as the balls man on the tour.
REEVE (voice over): Taylor opened the store in the fall of 2020 inside a 100-year-old church. After the election, the big seller was stop the steal.
REEVE (on camera): Did you think the election was stolen?
TAYLOR: There is no doubt the election was stolen, yes.
REEVE (on camera): What did you think of January 6th?
TAYLOR: It was a bad thing. But if you look back, you actually look at the tapes and stuff, they were led in. But they still never should have went inside, okay? You never go in somebody's house or a house -- a public house like that.
REEVE (on camera): Does that complicate what you think of Trump at all, that he ...
TAYLOR: No, no.
REEVE (on camera): Why not?
TAYLOR: Definitely not because he definitely didn't tell them go and storm the house.
REEVE (on camera): Would you have any interest in running this store if Trump weren't so controversial?
TAYLOR: I doubt it. I like his controversy. You know, we need something that we can laugh about and be happy about. There's liberals that think they can come in here and actually tell me what to do. The last one was a professor from UNC. She would just tell me what a great Joe Biden is doing. I would try to tell her to leave.
REEVE (on camera): But do you not appreciate, you know, her coming and wanting to mix it up a little bit?
TAYLOR: Oh, I love it, yes, but she don't want to hear what I had to say. She wanted me to only hear what she had to say.
REEVE (on camera): You said that you want to rename this town Trump Town?
TAYLOR: Why not? The Boones are dead, the mill is gone. Let's change.
REEVE (on camera): Do you think other people support you with that?
TAYLOR: Not really, but it doesn't really matter. It's good controversy if it never happened.
REEVE (voice over): Elle Reeve, CNN, Boones Mill, Virginia.
COOPER: Just ahead, a deeper dive into the first day of the former president's second defamation trial, again a day after his win in Iowa and seven before the New Hampshire primary.
COOPER: Less than 24 hours after former president wrote election denialism to a resounding victory in Iowa, the federal judge in his second defamation trial involving E. Jean Carroll, a woman he was found last year to have sexually abuse to ask prospective jurors today if any believed the 2020 election was stolen. Two of them said yes. Just one of many noteworthy moments on the opening day of a trial that included an appearance by the former president. As you know, not required to be there, but it is part of his campaign now.
Plus, more comments by the judge, prospective jurors that, as a legal matter, quote, "It has been determined already that Mr. Trump did sexually assault Ms. Carroll."
Carroll, who testifies tomorrow, is seeking $10 million for defamatory statements made by the former president in 2019. I'm joined now by Kara Scannell who was at the courthouse today, as well as our legal analyst, former Federal Prosecutor Elie Honig, and Criminal Defense Attorney Joey Jackson. So what was it like in court, Kara?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, today begins with jury selection. You have Donald Trump in there with E. Jean Carroll in the same room. They haven't seen each other in decades, and this has been such a major force in Trump's life for the past year with that trial last year, too.
So they're sitting just separated by one table. It didn't appear that they made eye contact at any point. But it was certainly, you know, a moment to see them there together.
Now there was this judge, Judge Lewis Kaplan, really runs a tight courtroom. And we saw that out of the gate with one of Trump's attorneys kind of sparring with him. She wanted the judge to adjourn the trial on Thursday so Trump could attend his mother-in-law's funeral. The judge said, I'm not stopping him from going. She said, "Well, you're stopping him from coming here" And he is like I already ruled on this argument, so we're moving on.
The judge did say if Trump's defense is ready to rest their case on Thursday and Trump is in Florida, he would let him come to court on Monday to testify if, in fact, he does actually testify.
COOPER: But, Elie, I mean, testifying, there's -- what he could actually testify to is very limited.
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Very limited. So the judge here, Judge Kaplan put very tight restrictions on this.
Let's be clear. It's already been established that Donald Trump sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll and defamed her. And the judge said that was determined last trial. We're not relitigating that. This is only about damages.
And so what judge Kaplan said is, if Trump testifies, it can only be about the damages, how much harm was done to E. Jean Carroll. I don't know that Trump would have anything relevant to say on that.
And I have to add, I appeared in front of Judge Kaplan a lot of times. You do not mess with Judge Kaplan.
COOPER: So the former president couldn't get up there and testify and say I didn't do this ...
COOPER: ... this is wrong.
COOPER: The only other thing he could say is I feel bad about what happened?
HONIG: That would be -- yeah, in a theoretical ...
COOPER: So some sort of remorse.
HONIG: ... hypothetical world ...
COOPER: ... that might affect the outcome.
HONIG: Exactly. He could say this wasn't my intention, my words were misconstrued, I regret this and somehow ...
COOPER: That would imply he's guilty which ...
HONIG: I don't think he is the guy to do that, yes.
COOPER: Joey, can you imagine him getting up there? JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No. Oh, I could get -- I could
imagine him getting up there. I would not imagine him being apologetic to anything else. And there are really limitations if he did as to what he'd be able to say.
You know, Anderson, I'm just struck, though, by the opening statement of his team today, basically, his attorney in terms of just the tone. It was sort of like, hey, listen, be thankful Trump made you famous, right? The reality is is that what do we have to do with social media mean tweets that you get on social media.
If you take on a person who apt to be the president, guess what? You're in the position you want to be. You're on TV all the time. Emotional pain and damages, what are you talking about? I just was surprised tonally with respect to how it was laid out.
And it was clear to me based upon that, that perhaps they were not playing for those jurors, but playing for those other jurors, which are at home in terms of the electorate --
JACKSON: -- because we do know she serves that role as his spokesperson.
COOPER: Kara, what were your take away from the opening statement?
SCANNELL: Well, I mean, Carroll's lawyers, you know, again, they were all working within the confines. The judge saying this is not a do over, so don't even argue the other case. So her lawyers were saying, you know, she has been threatened ever since Trump made these denials about her.
She has lost her career, you know, saying that nothing has stopped Trump because it was just 24 hours after the verdict last year that he was on a CNN town hall, repeating the statements that the jury had just found to be defamatory. And they said, as of their count today, Trump posted 22 times today about this case and about E. Jean Carroll.
So they're saying, what would it take to stop him? And asking the jury to find him in damages, a substantial amount, something that would stop him from doing this.
COOPER: The -- do you think E. Jean Carroll would testify?
HONIG: Oh, yes. I think she's slated to testify tomorrow. She'll be the central witness because she will tell the juror. And the jury is just nine ordinary New Yorkers, common sense people. She's going to tell them this is what these statements did to my life. This is what these statements did to my reputation.
These are the threats I face because she has to establish both economic damages, but they're also seeking punitive damages here. Meaning, you, the jury, need to send a message above and beyond whatever dollar figure you can put on this.
He needs to be stopped. He needs to be sent the message. And that's why, by the way, this continuing. Tweeting is only going to hurt Donald Trump even more.
COOPER: How long do you think this goes on for?
JACKSON: They say it'll go on for three days, maybe five days, you know, at most. But the reality is, is that she will testify as to the harm that was endured. And I think we saw that in their opening statement. That is, heard the team, her -- the statement that was made on her behalf with respect to her life, just being in sheer misery based upon all of the hate array that she's getting from the general public predicated upon what, you know, what Mr. Trump has done.
So it won't be a long trial. The issue will be how much in terms of damages will be awarded. It may very well be significant.
COOPER: All right, everybody, thanks. Appreciate it.
Coming up, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, had part of his hand and left arm blown off by Hamas gunman while he was hiding with others in a bomb shelter. He was then kidnapped and has believed held in Gaza along with more than 100 other people.
Still no movement in securing their release. But now after long negotiations, some medicine might be on its way to some of those hostages. Details on that next.
COOPER: There's breaking news out of Israel a day after Hamas released video claiming to show the bodies of two dead hostages that kibbutz, where two -- where those two hostages were taken from, announced their deaths. 53-year-old Yossi Sharabi leaves behind a wife and three daughters. His brother Eli, whose wife and daughters were murdered on October 7th was also kidnapped and is believed to be still alive.
38-year-old Itay Svirsky is also now confirmed dead. Both of the men's bodies are still being held by Hamas. This comes more than 100 days after the October 7th attacks. And on the day that the government of Qatar says it is finally brokered a deal between Israel and Hamas that would allow medicine and aid for the roughly 107 hostages believed to be alive as well as for Gaza civilians in desperate need.
That hopefully includes care for hostages with diabetes and cancers, as well as those who suffered injuries on October 7th, like Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was born in America. This is video from the attack at the Supernova Music Festival he and others were attending. You can see him being forced into the back of a truck after the bomb shelter.
He and others were hiding in was repeatedly attacked. Hersh's left hand and part of that arm is missing. They were blown off while trying to hide. This is the last any of his family and friends have seen of him in this video. His father, Jon Polin joins us now.
John, first of all, what's your reaction to the news that this deal has been brokered to deliver some medicine to hostages?
JON POLIN, SON ABDUCTED BY HAMAS AT ISRAELI MUSICAL FESTIVAL: Look, for the hostages who rely on medicines, it's good news. That being said, part of me feels like it's too little too late. It's 102 day too late. The medicines are supposedly going in tomorrow on day 103.
You know what? After 103 days, we want our loved ones home. Don't throw us a bone of getting medicines after we've been fighting for 103 days. Bring our loved ones home.
COOPER: You, your wife Rachel, you have been speaking out, not just about your son, but about the plight of all the hostages, but in particular those hostages who have medical needs, who were severely wounded, like Hersh was. It's extraordinary that -- I mean, Hamas, none of these groups have provided any details about Hersh or others. Have you gotten any information about your son?
POLIN: One of the things that we were told early on, Anderson, is that part of the terrorism is the psychological terrorism, not only on the hostages themselves, but on us, their loved ones. And the lack of information is part of that. And so the answer, unfortunately, is still no.
We have the video footage that you just showed. But beyond that, we don't even know if Hersh is still alive. We believe he is. We hope he is. But, you know, there are roughly 25 to 30 of the hostages who we now know are dead. And every minute of every day matters a lot. And we're going to keep on fighting until we get all of them home.
COOPER: As we mentioned, Hamas released a trio video showing the same three hostages being held in Gaza, with the last video appearing to show two of them who have died. You just talked about the psychological terrorism. The IDF called it psychological torture for the families of the hostages.
And I know you and Rachel continue -- you've talked about trying to find slivers of hope anywhere you can about Hersh. Are you still able to do that?
POLIN: I won't lie. Every day that passes gets harder and harder. That being said, we continue to fight as hard as ever. I'm here to bring the fight back to Washington. While I'm here, Rachel is in Davos, Switzerland, talking to people there. We have gotten indications from folks in the United States, and I'll get more about this tomorrow and the next day, that they feel like all parties are leaning in more than they have in a while.
I'm going to try to figure out what that means, but we're getting some bursts of optimism. But I need more information before I can say that. And I've heard enough rumors in 102 days. So until our loved ones come back, that optimism is really just grasping for something. COOPER: You know, the White House has said today that they don't have any new information regarding the six Americans, one of whom is Hersh, still believed held by Hamas. Are you in contact a lot with officials of the U.S. government? Do people from the U.S. government or the IDF, I mean, do they keep you informed as much as possible?
POLIN: We do get informed. Unfortunately, the getting informed is oftentimes prefaced with, I'm sorry, we have no information, but, and we get the same messages that we've been getting that a lot of people in a lot of countries are working really, really hard.
Rachel and I've talked a lot about it, that there is a big difference between wanting something. We believe that the United States and that Israel and that the other parties would love to bring home the hostages, but there's a gap between wanting and doing and we're really continuing to push on the doing.
What is actually happening and that's going to be a big part of my message here in Washington. The next couple of days is enough sympathy, enough support, enough telling us what you want to happen. What is actually happening? And I'm hoping to leave here with answers in the next couple of days.
COOPER: Can you just talk about Hersh a little bit? I mean, just to remind people about who he is.
POLIN: Sure. So, Hersh is a fun loving guy who embraces life, huge music fan. He was taken, unfortunately, from a music festival celebrating his 23rd birthday. That was after spending the summer visiting six different music festivals in Europe.
He's a super curious guy, always reading. The book that is on his bed stand now is "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama. He's a thinker. He likes to engage in real conversations with people. And he has a way of embracing those around him. They get to know him. They get to love him.
And one of the things that's been heartwarming for us in this terrible 102-day nightmare is how many people from around the world, literally, reach out to us and tell us they met Hersh at a festival, or they've been reading and watching videos about him. And the love we feel as a result of who Hersh is, is the heartwarming thing that's come out of this terrible 102 days.
COOPER: Jon Polin, thank you for talking with us tonight, and my best to you and to Rachel and your whole family. We wish you continued strength.
POLIN: Thank you, Anderson. Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next, the accused Gilgo Beach serial killer charged with a fourth murder. Details on the victim, the new DNA evidence of the case, and what the suspect's attorney is saying about all of it ahead.
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COOPER: In a Long Island, New York courtroom today, Rex Heuermann, the suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer. You may recall, when he was arrested last summer, authorities accused him of leading a double life, alleging he hired escorts and then killed them. He's now charged with a fourth murder.
The victim, 25-year-old Maureen Brainard-Barnes, she vanished in 2007. Her body was found three years later in the marsh, not far from the bodies of three other women he's already accused of killing. Each was petite, their bodies bound and wrapped in burlap, and today the prosecutor said DNA evidence helped connect the suspect to all four murders.
Here's Jean Casarez.
MELISSA CANN, SISTER OF MAUREEN BRAINARD-BARNES: It has been 16 years since the last time I saw my sister. 16 years since I heard her voice. Because 16 years ago, she was silenced.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Silenced, prosecutors say, by Rex Heuermann. Now announcing a fourth murder charge for the Manhattan architect, while his estranged wife looked on.
RAYMOND TIERNEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The defendant is charged with murder in the second degree. We've charged the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes to add to the already charged murders.
CASAREZ (voice-over): They are called the Gilgo Four, young women, all murdered between 2007 and 2010. Their bodies were found close together along Gilgo Beach on Long Island in New York in 2010. Heuermann was charged last July in the murders of three of the Gilgo victims, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Costello.
But the family of the fourth young woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, had yet to get their chance at justice. Today, that all changed.
TIERNEY: This indictment marks a change in the investigation. The grand jury investigation of the so called Gilgo Four is over. It has been concluded. And we will proceed with those cases in court. And again, we look forward to proving the allegations.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Heuermann has continued to maintain his innocence and pleaded not guilty to this new charge.
MICHAEL BROWN, ATTORNEY FOR SUSPECTED GILGO BEACH SERIAL KILLER: Again, he said, I'm not guilty of these charges. He's looking forward to fight these charges.
CASAREZ (voice-over): 25 year old Brainard-Barnes disappeared in 2007.
CANN: Losing Maureen has became a wound that never truly heals. It remains a part of me. CASAREZ (voice-over): Prosecutors say Brainard-Barnes was left restrained by three leather belts.
A female human hair was recovered from the buckle of one of those belts. That single hair underwent sophisticated DNA testing that resulted in a link directly to Heuermann.
TIERNEY: It was 7. 9 trillion times more likely to have come from someone with the identical genetic profile as Asa Ellerup. We believe these DNA results are significant.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Prosecutors say Ellerup, Heuermann's now estranged wife, also was not home during the time of Brainard-Barnes murder. A credit card statement found during a search of Heuermann's storage units shows she had taken her kids to Atlantic City.
Hair matched to Ellerup and Heuermann was found with Waterman's remains and hair from their daughter was found with Costello's.
Cell phone records further confirm Heuermann's family was out of town when all of the murders took place. The indictment says Heuermann also used burner phones during this time period with billing records showing that, quote, "between July 6th and 9th 2007, there were 16 interactions between this burner phone and Brainard-Barnes' cellphone."
Her cellphone had no further activity until July 12th, 2007. Two outbound calls were made from her cellphone on that date, quote, "checking her voicemail from a cell site location near the Long Island Expressway."
COOPER: And Jean Casarez joins us now. Is there any sense of what this accused killer is going to, and what is his defense going to be?
CASAREZ (on-camera): Well, I think it's going to be very aggressive because his attorney today, Michael Brown, had a laundry list of things. First of all, we never knew this. He said that for a year and a half before Rex Heuermann was arrested, that he was surveilled by authorities every day and every night.
And he said he's seen all the documentation and every day and every night, he would take the train in New York City, go to his architectural firm, take the train back to Long Island, be with his family all night and sit on his front porch.
He also said that when he was arrested on 5th Avenue in July of this last year, that when he went into the vehicle, that it was equipped with audio and video and it was recording. And he said that his reaction was stunned, disbelief, didn't understand what was happening. Additionally, he's going to attack the DNA, the DNA process of testing.
And when they did the search of the home, he said he has pictures that they -- didn't even wear gloves at some points.
COOPER: We'll see. Jean Casarez, thanks very much.
Coming up at the top of the hour, CNN's Town Hall in New Hampshire with Governor Ron DeSantis. In a moment, we'll take a look at what voters there are saying as they take stock of what happened in Iowa and look ahead to their primary exactly one week from today.
COOPER: We're just a few minutes away from the CNN Town Hall with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. Wolf Blitzer is the moderator. Governor DeSantis and the other Republican candidates are now focused on the Granite State with the state's primary a week away.
Following the campaign trail tonight, CNN's Omar Jimenez.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From a cold Iowa to a snowy New Hampshire, where voters here are in the final frigid stretch to their primary.
JIMENEZ: How long you been voting in New Hampshire?
SHELLEY ROY, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: All my life.
JIMENEZ: Do you think what happened in Iowa is going to happen here in New Hampshire?
ROY: I think that is a strong possibility of yes.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Former President Trump swept 98 out of 99 counties in Iowa. Some feel it's going to be more of the same in the Granite State.
JIMENEZ: And why do you feel that way?
ROY: There's a lot of people who are -- won't come out and actually say that they're going to vote for him, but we'll vote for him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): The question is how that dynamic will play against Nikki Haley, who's jumped in recent polls? Some that show her within single digits of the former president in New Hampshire. Despite her third place Iowa finish, she polled well with moderates, which New Hampshire has a lot of. And she's now trying to position New Hampshire's primary as a two person race to voters.
GARY HOULE, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: Cheers.
JIMENEZ: Cheers, buddy. HOULE: Want some Baileys in that?
JIMENEZ: I know, yes, yes.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Voters like Gary Houle, who says he's done with Trump, for now.
HOULE: I believe in honesty, you know. I watch all these things that are going on with him right now. And I have to believe that a lot of it's kind of true. Like, I am looking for an alternative Republican to run against Joe Biden. I'm leaning toward Nikki Haley.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): But he painted a crucial bottom line with the former president.
HOULE: I ruled him out in the primary, but, you know, he were to win the nomination. Then he'd be ruled back in.
JIMENEZ: You were surprised a little bit by the results in Iowa. Why is that?
KEVIN CLARK, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: I just didn't think he'd have that clear momentum.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Kevin Clark voted for Trump in 2016, wanting a change.
CLARK: We got a bigger chance than I think any of us expected.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Years later, he wants a change again, but this time from Trump.
JIMENEZ: You think it'll be different here in New Hampshire?
CLARK: I certainly hope so. I think New Hampshire people, they judge things on their own. They don't go by polls. They don't decide important elections by anything other than what they think is best for the country and for them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody got stickers?
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Some Trump voters are confident he'll repeat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can feel it. There's no doubt in my mind.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): Other independents are still making up their minds.
KAYLYN CAULFIELD, NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTER: Everyone here is different, so I'm not sure, you know, who's gone, you know, feel which way.
CAULFIELD: So it'll be interesting to see.
JIMENEZ (voice-over): To see whether it's more of the same or legitimate challenge to the former president. The countdown is on, rain, shine or snow.
JIMENEZ: Even with weather like this?
ROY: Oh yes, we're New Hampshire people.
JIMENEZ (on-camera): Now, it's a much different voting environment here in New Hampshire than it is in Iowa. For one, a lot more moderates for who Nikki Haley has polled much more popular with among Republicans. But also, independents, or undeclared as they're called, are able to vote as well, which could provide a boost.
And Haley has used all of that, including a third place finish in Iowa, to claim that it is now a two person race, while Ron DeSantis is looking for any inroads he can, as he started his day in South Carolina.
JIMENEZ (on-camera): Both of them with a pretty steep hill to climb when it comes to the former president.
COOPER: Yes, certainly. Omar Jimenez, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
The CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall with Ron DeSantis starts now.