Return to Transcripts main page
Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Hours Away From First Votes In Pivotal New Hampshire GOP Primary; Trump And Haley Now In Two-Person Race For Republican Nomination; AXIOS: Israel Offers Hamas Two-Month Ceasefire For All Hostages; CNN: Israel Has Proposed Hamas Leaders Leave Gaza; Trump Appears To Confuse Nikki Haley With Nancy Pelosi During Rally Speech; Judge Puts Testimony Of Trump Prosecutor Fani Willis On Hold; Order Divorce Records Of Her Lead Prosecutor Unsealed. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 22, 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: And finally tonight, terrifying video just coming in of a rogue wave. This wave smashed into a US Army base in Marshall Islands. The man who posted the video says no one was seriously injured. Images though are absolutely terrifying.
Thank you for joining us. AC 360 begins now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360: A two-person race, but for how much longer? With DeSantis out and Haley behind, the question now is will New Hampshire's first in the nation primary also be the last true challenge for Donald Trump until November?
Also tonight, John King talks to voters he spoke with earlier in the campaigns to see if anything has changed their minds all over the map in New Hampshire.
And breaking news tonight about a possible new ceasefire deal to bring Israel's hostages home that also could let Hamas' senior leaders get out of Gaza.
Thanks for joining us on the eve of what could be the last fire break for anyone in the Republican Party to stop the former president, that or perhaps the final confirmation that the party once again belongs solely to him.
Four hours from now, voters in the tiny northern New Hampshire town of Dixville Notch will cast the first ballot to the first primary in Campaign '24. That's not going to take long to count, there are just six people expected to vote there.
About an hour from now in Laconia, the former president is going to hold his final rally in the state. That event which comes a day after Ron DeSantis endorsed him and dropped out of the race is going to feature three other former rivals who did the same -- Doug Burgum, Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who then Governor Nikki Haley appointed to the Senate. Also endorsing the former president, Governor Haley's own home
district Congresswoman Nancy Mace. She did it today even though in the wake of January 6, she was saying things like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Their lives would have been in danger, too, the two most precious people in my life. We need to hold the president accountable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So much for that.
As for Governor Haley, she says the race is "not a coronation." And when asked about her viability as a candidate, she said "a democracy is about giving people options."
Joining us right now New Hampshire governor and Hillary supporter, Chris Sununu.
Governor, I appreciate you being with us.
So do you believe Ambassador Haley needs to win tomorrow?
GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): No, New Hampshire has never been a must win for Haley. If anything, it's a must win for Trump. There were three things I think that we wanted to do, which was get it down to a two- person race. And she did, she wiped everyone else out of the race, have a strong second, that's all but guaranteed and build on the momentum coming out of Iowa.
Going into our home state to go from 20 percent in Iowa, building on that here in New Hampshire and then going into our home state, the election isn't next week, it's like three or four weeks away. She's going to have a lot of time to go back and do what she's done many times before, which is win. She knows how to win in South Carolina.
So there's a lot of opportunity there. Oh, and by the way, she could win. I mean, she's really within a stone's throw in some of these polls. So, she is surging. I mean, all the wind is at her back.
If you watch Trump's rallies, they've got a few hundred people. Nikki has got 1,200 people. She's got energy. She's got all the opportunity here to do very, very well.
COOPER: You were quoted over the weekend as saying, "I think Super Tuesday is probably where you actually have to start winning states." Is that actually what you believe?
SUNUNU: Yes, of course. The Republican nominee shouldn't be picked just because of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, right?
All of the other states have to get in here. I mean, the joke is that 56,000 people voted for Donald Trump in Iowa, 56,000 out of a population of three million. That's going to choose the Republican nominee? I don't think so.
You've got to let the process play out. The voters decide, not the media. This isn't a coronation, as Nikki said. This is letting the voters decide. It's not New Hampshire, right?
I mean, that's like saying, if she wins Dixville Notch, should we just give the state to her? No. Let the voters play.
COOPER: Right. You're saying she can lose Iowa, lose New Hampshire, lose her home state of South Carolina on February 24th, and then go into Super Tuesday, which isn't until March 5th and somehow upend the former president. I mean, is that a plausible scenario?
SUNUNU: You've got to remember -- yes, and let me explain. So again, she was in like single digits, right, in December. In just six weeks, she went from two percent to 20 percent in Iowa, 20 percent to forty, fifty percent, maybe even a win here in New Hampshire carrying that into South Carolina.
It's all about giving America an option, right? And a lot -- five or six candidates, but having a one-on-one race is a real option for folks to say, do we want the future or do we want the past?
Trump as this disrupter, this anti-establishment candidate in 2016 has done a 180. Right now, he is just this establishment guy that's catering up to the US Senate because he doesn't want to hold them accountable.
And to the Congressmen and women and saying, look, whatever you want to do is fine, just support me.
Nikki bucks that trend. She wants term limits. She says they shouldn't get paid unless they do their job. I mean, she wants to hold Washington accountable, and that's a very powerful message coming out of all three of these early states.
COOPER: If she can't, though, even when in the state where she was governor, I mean what is the -- I understand -- and I understand the momentum argument, but at a certain point, doesn't that momentum -- I mean, even if she's still gaining momentum, that's still not -- it doesn't mean she's winning anywhere.
SUNUNU: Well, again, we'll have to see how South Carolina plays out. That's a month from now. Right?
All we're focused on is the next 24 hours. If we have a really high voter turnout, I think she's going to surprise a lot of people here.
The polls are always wrong in New Hampshire. I mean, the same polls that said I was going to lose by 11 points, you know, I ended up winning by two points the very next day.
So you just can't trust the polls here. It's about the voters and the turnout and the energy. I mean, we'll see where that is. I feel very good. Our Secretary of State usually makes pretty darn good predictions, and predicted a record turnout.
COOPER: As you know, the former president has been attacking you saying you're letting Democrats vote in the Republican primary, which is obviously not true. Only Republicans and Independent voters can take a GOP ballot. It has been that way for decades in New Hampshire, just to explain to the audience.
Any Democrats who want it to change their voter registration would have had to do so more than three months ago. Are you concerned about him spreading disinformation, especially if Ambassador Haley has a strong night tomorrow?
SUNUNU: Yes, look, his entire campaign is on lies. I mean, literally, this guy's entire campaign is attacking Nikki on lies. And look, I think if you have to lie to get there, you don't deserve to get there.
So all the disinformation he's put out there, you know, we're countering it as much as we possibly can. At the end of the day, the voters in New Hampshire, they're smart, they get engaged, they always go for the kind of that next generation candidate, we don't go backwards. We're not here to litigate all the chaos and the nonsense for Donald Trump.
We're here to provide solutions for America and opportunities for America. And we, as Republicans want to beat Joe Biden, right? Trump will not be able -- I don't think it would be kind of a nail biter if we can beat Joe Biden, Nikki would crush Joe Biden.
Nikki would win New Hampshire in the general election and all the swing states and all the other states that come with it. So to the Republican voters out there, if you want to win, you've got to get behind Nikki.
And we're tired of losing. We're tired of losers. We're tired of losing senate and governor seats because of Donald Trump.
Hey, thank you for your service, Mr. Trump, you've got to move on. The next generation is coming and we bring winners and opportunity for this country.
COOPER: Governor Sununu, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
SUNUNU: You bet, buddy.
COOPER: With me here are CNN political commentators from across the political spectrum -- David Axelrod, Bakari Sellers, Kristen Soltis Anderson and Scott Jennings.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That interview I think was sponsored by Red Bull.
COOPER: Well, you know, trying to be enthusiastic.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sponsored by bull something. I mean, if the bar were lowered anymore, we'll need a shovel to find it. I mean, to finish a strong second out of a two- person race.
AXELROD: That's not what he was saying. It's not what he was saying a few weeks ago, and it's -- I have to say it's the first time I've ever heard a governor of New Hampshire say, don't pay that much attention to what New Hampshire does. There are all these other states that are more important.
COOPER: There is also no sign in South Carolina that --
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, she is actually on the way to get bludgeoned and crushed in South Carolina. So I don't really know what the optimism is.
Nikki Haley is a fighter. And let me just say when she won governor in 2010, nobody expected her to win governor. She beat the lieutenant governor. She beat the attorney general. She beat Gresham Barrett, she beat all of the boys. Right?
So she has done this before. She has a track record. So she probably has some sense that this can be accomplished again.
My question to the people smarter than I, which I guess is probably just you on this panel, Anderson, but I'll toss it out there is really for that.
No, is what does -- I mean, what is a win for Nikki Haley? Does she have to beat Donald Trump? Or can she come in in the 40s with Donald Trump and actually have a successful night?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think she has to beat Donald Trump. But I think the bar has been lowered so much, that that would actually be a surprising enough outcome to keep things interesting. I agree that it does not look like the path goes much further past New Hampshire.
But at this point, I mean, one week ago, we were talking about Iowa, is she going to come in second? And the air just got so let out of the balloon over the last week, that now if she actually does pull off a wind here that people will be surprised.
AXELROD: This was their diabolical plan. I'll tell you one thing to say that she came out of Iowa with momentum, I think is a little bit of a stretch. Everybody saw what happened in Iowa. She was playing for a second, she didn't get second. The guy who did get second already has dropped out.
You know, he's right, that polling is a little tricky in New Hampshire because of this factor of you don't know which Independent voters are actually going to participate. But there seems to be a kind of unanimity of polling coming at the end here.
I'll ask you, but you know if she were to win this, I would be stunned.
I think the sort of consensus is mid-teens is likely. I think she could lose by more than that. And if she does, she has a decision to make. What exactly is the benefit of going to your home state and getting mamboed there.
JENNINGS: And if she wins, it would be on the strength of non- Republicans. I mean, that's the only way to win here is for Independent non-Republican voters to show up in big numbers. But, you know, here's a newsflash, it's not going to be non-Republicans who decide who the Republican nominee for president is going to be.
SELLERS: Right, but Iowa actually served a purpose. I mean, and I think what Iowa did, particularly for Democrats, but I think it also did for Nikki Haley, is give a renewed sense of hope, because only 50,000 people voted for the former president of the United States.
It wasn't as if he had people just hanging out, falling out the polling centers. We see his rallies in New Hampshire, where in 2016, he had tens of thousands of people, or 2020, tens of thousands of people, and today, it's not that anymore.
And so if you only have 50,000 votes of people, you don't even get 50 percent in a state, that gives people a sense of hope.
AXELROD: You know, I sort of agree with you on this. I think tomorrow could be sort of the apex of his journey here, because once he gets outside of the Republican Party, it gets more difficult and that's partly why Nikki Haley has some little gasps of light left.
COOPER: I wonder if the CNN poll in New Hampshire, Republican voters choice without DeSantis because Trump has a sizable lead over Haley. Who do you think benefits in terms of DeSantis' relatively small share? It seems to be Trump.
ANDERSON: It certainly is Trump, for the most part, far more DeSantis voters have seemed to have gone to him. But the other thing that's a real challenge for Haley is that the types of DeSantis voters who are more likely to go to Trump are the ones who are the most fired up, the most diehard, the most likely to participate.
Just like in Iowa, one of the reasons why Donald Trump over performed expectations there is his coalition was the diehards. They were the people that were going to turn out in the ones a decade snowstorm to go to those caucuses.
Now we don't have a once in a decade snowstorm happening in New Hampshire tomorrow, I don't believe. I'll have to check with the weather folks, but it's still a problem that her coalition is the less enthusiastic.
AXELROD: Yes, and you talk to people on the ground in Iowa and what you hear despite these predictions of the Secretary of State of a record turnout is there are no signs, there is not a lot of -- you know, you're a politician, you know when things are ginned up, you know, when there's --
And that's not the field on the ground there, and if it's just the diehards who come out, those diehards are more Trump than Haley.
SELLERS: That's actually counter to South Carolina and I think Nikki Haley knows that because people have had Trump signs up in South Carolina since 2016.
SELLERS: They literally have not taken them down. Five out of the seven United States congressmen, Jim Clyburn being one and Ralph Norman being the other are the only two that have not come out and endorsed Nikki Haley Donald Trump for president of the United States and Nikki Haley was the former governor. I'm interested to see, she flew all -- he flew all of these former or current elected officials up, the governor of South Carolina, Tim Scott, the Speaker of the House, the Treasurer, he flew them all up to New Hampshire to show that the race is over.
JENNINGS: Yes, he is trying to -- he is trying to put a depressant view on this, which is this was a foregone conclusion and he doesn't want to have another contested state. He's trying to close the door tomorrow night and that really is the closing message to Republicans. Close the door for me and we'll get on to Joe Biden.
COOPER: All right, thanks, everyone. Coming up next, John King in his 360 series "All Over The Map" talking to voters one-on-one about who they're supporting why and how their thoughts have evolved over the campaign that ends for them just hours from now.
Later, Israel-Gaza breaking news on a possible ceasefire proposal and hostage deal, but one with some remarkable provisions, Hamas leaders go free. More on that ahead.
COOPER: Well, New Hampshire voters started casting ballots less than four hours from now, many will have already met the candidates in person some more than once and that goes double for political reporters, reporters like CNN's John King whose journey "All Over The Map" tonight is a reintroduction to some New Hampshire residents that he visited earlier in the campaign. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Late morning off the dock gone maybe one day, maybe two or more.
ANDREW KONCHEK, NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN VOTER: That's where your fish comes from.
KING (voice over): Andrew Konchek's job depends on the water and the weather. KONCHEK: Yes, it's a little colder. Definitely, a little colder, but
you get used to it.
KING (voice over): The Alana Renee (ph) drops these gill nets overnight, pulls them out in the morning. Konchek was likely Trump but looking at Ron DeSantis.
KONCHEK: I'd have to like look into it more.
KING (voice over): Now, time to choose.
KONCHEK: I'm with Trump because he supports fishermen. You know, and this obviously is my livelihood.
KING (voice over): Loyal to Trump despite stuff that offends him.
KONCHEK: I don't like the way that he speaks sometimes. It could be a little ignorant and rude.
KING (voice over): Loyal to Trump despite a wife who backs Nikki Haley.
KING (on camera): When you hang your Trump flag, what did she say?
KONCHEK: She said I was ruining Christmas and wanted me to take it down, and she took it down and then I put it back up.
KING (voice over): Pete Burdett's Haley sign is surrounded by snow now, same spot is when we visited in September. Haley was a long shot then, perhaps the only shot to stop Trump now.
KING (on camera): She has Trump's attention.
PETE BURDETT, NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN VOTER: Well, she certainly does. I think there's a very real opportunity for Nikki to squeak out a percentage point on top of Trump. And wouldn't that shake the rafters?
KING (voice over): To Burdett, a no brainer.
BURDETT: Who really can beat Biden? Who lost to Biden last time? Trump did.
KING (voice over): The possibility is obvious. But so are the challengers, trouble winning over Chris Christie voters because she says she would pardon Trump, trouble winning over Independents like Stanley Tremblay.
Tremblay told us in September his disgust with both parties makes him a likely third party voter in November.
He could still help Haley Tuesday, but took a break from trivia night at his national brewery to make clear he won't.
KING (on camera): I know you're not a Trump fan. Fair?
STANLEY TREMBLAY, OWNER, LIQUID THERAPY BREWERY: Yes, fair.
KING: If you came off the sidelines, you could help Nikki Haley.
TREMBLAY: I could. I could.
KING: But you don't see it as worth it. Why?
TREMBLAY: Because I don't really I don't feel like I trust her enough yet to be able to give her my vote.
KING (voice over): Trump's resilience infuriates his critics. Yes, many supporters imitate his crude tactics and repeat his lies, but it's not that simple.
KING (on camera): Who won the 2020 election?
DEBBIE KATSANOS, NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENT: Well, it was Biden.
KING (voice over): Debbie Katsanos is an accountant who voted for Bill Clinton twice, but is a Trump Republican now.
KING (on camera): What are the one or two things you want the federal government to do ASAP?
KATSANOS: close the border and get this economy going.
KING (voice over): Not a Joe Biden fan.
KATSANOS: He's being caught in a lot of lies. I didn't like him as a politician.
KING (on camera): Getting caught in a lot of lies.
KING: Trump's not known as the world's greatest truth teller.
KATSANOS: No, no.
KING: So why is it disqualifying for Biden, but it's okay for Trump?
KATSANOS: I don't like politicians. And I don't think Trump's -- I don't think one term made him a politician because I still -- I don't think he plays the game.
KING (voice over): That is the code Trump critics have yet to crack. His support among those who don't deny election results, those who don't like the drama, but do like the policy.
DEVEN MCIVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN VOTER: I know he'll fix the border and work on the economy.
With Trump, I was doing pretty good. I was able to save more. KING (voice over): The more north you go, the more New Hampshire
voters on the Trump Train. Deven McIver works construction, turning giant slabs of rock into gravel.
MCIVER: This is all the prep work before the busy season.
KING (voice over): In 2008, an Obama voter, a Trump supporter since the 2016 primary here.
KING (on camera): If he gets convicted of mishandling classified documents, he can go to jail for that.
MCIVER: Then he goes to jail. I guess, he won't be president.
KING (voice over): Yes, a Trump voter, but with eyes wide open.
MCIVER: He is definitely different. Sometimes he's not his own best friend.
KING (on camera): But that's what I was getting at when I was asking about the price of admission. I mean, yes, there is a lot of extra that comes with it.
MCIVER: It's a show.
KING: That doesn't bother you?
MCIVER: No, no, because we have other branches of government to deal with it. You can keep them in line, you can't have everything you want.
KING (voice over): McIver makes $40,000.00 a year, just enough, he says to take care of his family and save a little. Now, with Trump tax cuts for his boss, he says would be worth all the Trump chaos.
MCIVER: If the business climate is better towards people like him, I'd do better because if you hit him harder with taxes, it takes away from me.
KING (voice over): Andrew Konchek shares that same blue collar bottom line.
KING (on camera): You think it's over if he wins here?
KONCHEK: Yes. Oh, yes.
KING: Trump, he believes will win the primary, win in November and save his job.
KONCHEK: He's kind of a bully. I'll give you that.
KING (on camera): But you think he fights for you?
KONCHEK: I know. KING: You do?
KING (voice over): So it's worth all the drama if it keeps him on the water.
COOPER: John, it is fascinating to hear those voters how they were and where they are now. And a lot of them as you said, had their eyes wide open on Trump. You hear some of them said they want Trump to fix the economy. What is the economic reality, at least generally in New Hampshire?
KING: Right. This is the frustration for the Biden campaign that they can't break through. These are Trump voters. But still, let's just look at some of the numbers, Anderson.
The New Hampshire unemployment rate has always been below the national average. It wasn't bad a year ago, it's even better now, 2.3 percent in the last state report, that is a historically low unemployment rate.
That means a strong economy, right? Well, look at this, what's the price of gas? You think about New England. Forgive me turning my back a second I want to stretch this out.
A year ago, it was $3.30 a gallon. Right now, it is $3.03 a gallon. So again, getting better. But this is the number that's worth watching. Let me get rid of this off the screen here. This is what still aches in the heart of these voters. I'm going to stretch this out. Because yes, if you look at the year-to-year inflation, right now, things are getting better, 2.6 percent in the last year, prices have risen.
But this is what sticks with these voters. If you are making thirty, forty, fifty or sixty thousand dollars a year and you were paying six percent inflation or more a year ago, that means you still have your old car. You didn't go to Disneyland, you stopped saving money, you probably started dipping into your savings to pay for grocery, to pay for fuel and stuff. So that is still a hangover effect.
Can Joe Biden by the general election convince voters to focus on that number? Not that number? Maybe but at the moment, they think the economy needs work and I know it's cyclical. Economists would say it's not all Biden's fault. You know, he inherited the economy and all of that, but that's their life. That's still their hangover in their experience.
COOPER: John King, appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up next, breaking news. An Israeli ceasefire proposal, and the potentially controversial part of it, Hamas leaders might get to leave Gaza.
Also our best look yet at the network of tunnels beneath the territory and the grim accommodations Israeli forces say they found inside some of them for holding humans captive.
COOPER: We have breaking news on the Israel-Hamas war. AXIOS is reporting tonight that Israel has offered a two-month pause and fighting in exchange for the release of all hostages held in Gaza.
Israel believes 132 people are still there with 104 of them thought to be still alive. This would be the longest break in fighting Israel has offered Hamas.
Then a short time ago, our Alex Marquardt got some exclusive reporting on a proposal involving freedom for senior Hamas leaders.
Alex joins us now with details.
So what have you learned about this proposal?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this is an extraordinary proposal from Israel, which of course has vowed to completely destroy Hamas.
What I've been told by two separate officials who are aware of the discussions going on about a broader ceasefire, which would see Israeli hostages released as well is that Israel has proposed that senior leaders of Hamas leave the Gaza Strip.
Now that would be just incredible to think about that Israel would essentially allow the orchestrators, the architects of October 7th, the deadliest attack in Israeli history to simply walk away.
I'm told that this is something that was raised by the head of Israeli intelligence, David Barnea when he met with his American counterpart, Bill Burns, the director of the CIA, as well as the Qatari prime minister last month. It was raised again when Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Doha earlier this month.
This is something that is almost certainly not going to happen, but at the same time, Anderson, it really does highlight the fact that Israel has made relatively little inroads when it comes to dismantling and destroying Hamas.
You have the most senior leadership of Hamas that is still alive, still believed to be in those tunnels. You have around 70 percent of the Hamas fighting force by Israel's own estimation still on the battlefield.
Now, of course, this could also benefit Israel if these Hamas leaders were to leave. It would weaken Hamas in the Gaza strip it would take away their leadership and it would allow Israel to target Hamas leaders wherever they go and Israel has said Hamas leaders wherever they go and Israel has said repeatedly that they intend to go around the world and kill Hamas leaders because of October 7th. Anderson?
COOPER: Is there a sense of how likely it is that Hamas would accept those terms?
MARQUARDT: Well, from the American and international officials I've spoken with, it's extremely unlikely, they say. Secretary Blinken was told by the Qatari Prime Minister that something like this is never going to happen. The leaders who are talking about, Anderson, are Yahya Sinwar, he's the head of Hamas in Gaza.
There's Mohammed Deif, you can see there on the screen as well, he's the head of the military wing. Deif's Deputy Marwan Issa. These men are true believers. They are religious zealots. They're ideologues. And so, officials I speak with believe that they want to essentially die fighting against their sworn enemy.
There is one situation who Aaron David Miller, an analyst you and I both know well, raised, that Sinwar could leave if Israel agreed to release all of the Palestinian prisoners, some of the toughest and deadliest prisoners in Israeli prisons. Then Miller told me Sinwar might consider it, but that is -- that possibility is a long way off and essentially Netanyahu rejected as much just yesterday. Anderson?
COOPER: How much pressure is there on Netanyahu to find a resolution?
MARQUARDT: An extraordinary amount of pressure and it's growing by the day. I was in Israel just last month speaking with hostage families. They're protesting all the time. They're essentially saying to Netanyahu you have to do whatever you can to bring them home.
So this is something -- this is pressure that is only growing by the day. Netanyahu knows he has to do something but at the same time, Anderson, he has vowed that this war will continue for many months to come. Anderson?
COOPER: Alex Marquardt, thanks so much.
Now to Gaza and the discovery of Hamas tunnels where the IDF says hostages were held. CNN's Nic Robertson is there.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): A girl's dreams of her lost life carefully remembered in red crayon. A house, flowers, and the sun peeking between mountains, discovered 60 feet below the Gazan city, Khan Yunis, in what the IDF say was a half mile long maze of tunnels used to imprison hostages.
REAR ADMIRAL DANIEL HAGARI, IDF SPOKESPERSON (through translator): In this space, we found evidence that indicate the stay of hostages, including the paintings drawn by the five-year-old girl, Emilia Aloni, along with other hostages.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Images of the tunnel complex newly released by the IDF amid growing pressure to save hostages, reveals the hell they are enduring. Beyond the caged door, a soiled mattress strewn on the floor. Further inside the cell, a toilet.
One of five underground hostage dungeons, the IDF say, that held about 20 hostages at different times. Emilia and her mother, Danielle, were released late November, long before these latest tunnels were discovered.
ROBERTSON: This tunnel we're going in here is one where some of the hostages were held.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): A week before the new video release, the IDF took us in a similar tunnel complex close to where they say Emilia and Danielle were held.
ROBERTSON: So we came down a metal ladder. We've come down one flight of stairs. We're going down a second flight of stairs here, a double flight it looks like. And down here, command and control wires running all the way down. It's a deep, deep system.
How deep are we underground do you think right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the moment, we're more or less between 10 to 15 meters underground.
ROBERTSON: 10 to 15 meters. Yes, and now we're going down another level. Down more steps. What are we looking at here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a small room, OK?
ROBERTSON: With some kind of air ventilation system.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. An Air ventilation system. This goes up, emboldened.
ROBERTSON: You have metal frame around the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These metal frames --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- this can be, as much as this is a small room, this is how the different cages that they put the kidnapped.
ROBERTSON: So they were held in cages?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In cages, yes.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hidden and utterly cut off.
ROBERTSON: Just to give you an idea of how humid it is down here, the camera lens is fogging up. It's hard to imagine the life of a hostage stuck down here day after day, week after week. It is hot. It is humid.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): These latest images released by the IDF capture the conditions, but not the shirt soaking claustrophobia they induce. The tunnel now beyond use, blown up by the IDF, eliminated from the ongoing search for the remaining hostages.
COOPER: Nic Robertson joins us now from from Tel Aviv. Is there a sense for how much longer the military offensive in the south, in Khan Yunis is expected to last?
ROBERTSON (on-camera): Yes. I think the military's assessment is that the tunnels and the complexity has made it much harder and will take longer. That was General Ron Goldfus who took us down the tunnels there. He's a division commander. The biggest division that's ever existed in the Israeli military, and he told us that trying to fight Hamas in this environment is like trying to play Tetris because you move one piece, but things are happening on the other side of the cube on the ground in essence.
In the tunnels, you can't easily know where the enemy is. So that's slowing things down. And the IDF has just announced that their major military operations ongoing in Khan Yunis are expected to last now at least several more days. Bad weather is on its way. The fighting is partly focused.
It appears around two hospitals in the west of Khan Yunis. A doctor in one of those hospitals described the situation there and it was dire that people couldn't get out of the area. So, the military operations continue and that the fighting brigades of Hamas say that they are engaging with the IDF. So it's potentially very deadly as well there right now.
COOPER: Nic Robertson, thanks very much.
Coming up, Vice President Kamala Harris in an exclusive interview with our Laura Coates about the campaign ahead. James Carville, a veteran of New Hampshire and the White House campaigns, joins us with his thoughts on what this race is going to look like for Democrats.
COOPER: As the former president prepares for a potential strong night in New Hampshire, and he and President Biden size up a possible rematch of 2020, my colleague Laura Coates has a rare one on one interview with Vice President Kamala Harris. The full interview airs tonight at 11:00 p.m.
Here's a preview of how the vice president says they'll handle the former president's repeated lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR, LAURA COATES LIVE: There is someone right now, if the polling is correct, has 91 counts, four different jurisdictions with different indictments and different case cases against him who could very well be the Republican nominee. And yet he's attacking you and President Biden for election interference.
He believes what -- but the Justice Department is doing is only attributed to you but also is election interference. What is your reaction to those who believe his statements?
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: OK, well, let's start with the facts. You just outlined them. So actually, I don't need to repeat them in terms of what has -- have been the allegations about the former president. And I do believe that the American people care about rule of law and care about speaking truth and acknowledging truth.
I do believe in my travels around our country that, for example, a statement that suggests that insurrectionists who attacked our capital and committed acts of violence should not be called patriots, as the former president has done.
COATES: Should they be called candidates?
HARRIS: Well, the people who attacked on January 6th should not be called patriots. What they did is they attacked our Capitol, they committed acts of violence, and they need to be taken into account and held accountable for those acts. So, these are just facts, and we are going to see what happens in terms of any cases that are being litigated in a court of law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That interview airs tonight at 11:00 p.m. In a moment, I'll be joined by veteran Democratic Strategist James Carville to talk about President Biden's strategy in the campaign and tomorrow night's New Hampshire primary as well.
While polling has Nikki Haley in second place, Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign proved that second place, in some cases in New Hampshire, can be a springboard to the nomination and victory, particularly when you give a now famous speech like he did six days before the primary, the Elks Club in Dover, New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, 42ND U.S. PRESIDENT: They say, I'm on the road because other people have questioned my life after years of public service. I'll tell you something, I'm going to give you this election back, and if you'll give it to me, I won't be like George Bush. I'll never forget who gave me a second chance, and I'll be there for you until the last dog dies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I'm joined now by James Carville, a senior strategist on the 1992 Clinton campaign. Did he come up with that line, by the way? Do you recall where -- the --
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: 100 percent. So he called me today. It was 32 years ago today, the 1992 New Hampshire primary. And I was at that meeting and the last dog died. I thought I was pretty good at these kind of Southern rural state statements. That's the first time I'd ever heard that one, but it was a pretty -- by the way, did you see the political scale being exhibited up there?
You know, if you think about, you know, all the stuff that was going on and him involving the audience like he did and making it about them as much as about him. It just -- I just wish people could play the game like this, still play the game like this because he was the best that ever was.
COOPER: You heard a little bit of Kamala Harris there. Do you think the Biden team knows how to run this particular race, assuming it's President Trump?
CARVILLE: One of the things I would say the Biden team is very, very experienced. Mike Donilon is one of the most experienced and best hands in this business. I've known Mike since the mid-80s. You know, it's not -- I don't think it's the sort of strategy. It's the economy's just got to keep kicking in for these guys.
And I think you just need to stay focused, disciplined. I'll follow with him. I talk a lot about infrastructure, do a lot of infrastructure events, but there's nothing wrong with the people around the president or his TV people or posters or anything like that. It's just a tough slog coming up and we all got to get on board and get behind this thing.
COOPER: How concerned are you about, you know, a Robert Kennedy Jr., other candidates?
CARVILLE: Very. And, I mean, if you look at this, there's a real market for some of these third party candidates. And strategically, one of the things that the Biden campaign is going to have to try to pull off post-Labor Day is to get people focused on what really it's got a matter and to a large extent they're stopping Trump.
But right now, you can't look at current polling and not conclude that there's a substantial market for candidates other than the two presumptive nominees. It's just impossible to do.
COOPER: I want to play a clip of a former president speaking to a New Hampshire crowd this past Friday where he appears to confuse then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with Ambassador Haley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And the press never reports the crowds, you know. By the way, they never report the crowd on January 6th. You know, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley. You know they -- do you know they destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything? Deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it.
Because of lots of things. Like Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people. Soldiers, National Guard, whatever they want. They turned it down. They don't want to talk about that. These are very dishonest people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I'm wondering what you make of the -- I mean, not only what he said, but just in general, the campaign he's running right now.
CARVILLE: Well, to some extent, he's actually -- his campaign from what I hear is actually more professional than it was in 2016. I mean, they actually had an operation in Iowa. They got an operation in New Hampshire. Look, I'm a little older than President Trump, and sometimes I get names a little confused.
What I'm startled by, as I see that again, is how many times he said Nikki Haley. You could understand somebody saying, you know, confusing Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitz at one time, but if you confused it seven or eight times, that's pretty weird. But, Anderson, the thing, there's so many things about Trump that the voters don't know.
They don't know that a jury found him in the words of the judge, that he raped a woman in the common parlance of the word rape. Rape is not a good thing. Another court of competent jurisdiction determined that he was a business fraud. I think until we get that to where 90 percent, 95 percent of the people in this country understand exactly who Donald Trump is, exactly what he's done, not allegations finding in courts of common jurisdictions.
I think we got still got a lot of upside to go here --
COOPER: But isn't that -- I mean, that information is all out there is sort of baked in. I mean, isn't it just a lot of people think, well, the court system is rigged against him. It's, you know, unfair juries, democratic jurisdiction.
CARVILLE: I don't think -- I think we think it's out there. I think we think that if we say something that people know it. It is not understood until it's said 1,000 times and repeated 1,000 times. I would be stunned if half the people in this country understand that a jury and the words of Judge Kaplan, who's a 30-year-old, one of the most experienced and respected federal judges in the United States, said in the common parlance of the word, the jury found that he raped this woman.
I don't think people know that. I think, oh, it's just kind of back and forth and they say this and some Democrat says that and some Republican says this. No, I don't think that at all. And I think that's a failure on the communications part of the party, a failure sometimes for the press to think, well, we already reported that. That's not any news.
People don't know that. They think it's just a political back and forth. And that's not what the case is here. And people have to be made aware of that and made aware of it repeatedly.
COOPER: James Carville, thank you. Good to have you on. Thank you.
The latest on the former president's legal sagas, including the controversy surrounding Fulton County, Georgia, D.A., Fani Willis. She's prosecuting the former president, as you know, for trying to overturn the election. But her relationship with the man she appointed to lead the case is now threatening to jeopardize the whole thing. That's next.
COOPER: Two key developments to the legal trials involving the former president. He's now scheduled to head to a New York courtroom the day after the New Hampshire primary. His expected testimony in the second defamation trial involving writer E. Jean Carroll was pushed back two days because a juror was sick.
Also tonight, new information on the embattled Georgia prosecutor behind the RICO indictment of the former president and 18 others for trying to subvert the 2020 election. Her relationship with the man she appointed to lead the case now under scrutiny.
Nick Valencia has more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will issue a stay.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis given a pass for now in a case that threatens to derail her criminal case against former President Donald Trump. On Monday, a Georgia judge put on hold the D.A.'s testimony in the divorce proceedings of her lead prosecutor, Nathan Wade.
The testimony sought by Wade's estranged wife, Joycelyn, after allegations of a romantic affair surfaced between Willis and her husband.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that Fani Willis is the cause of this divorce?
ANDREA HASTINGS, ATTORNEY FOR JOYCELYN WADE: I can't say that right now.
VALENCIA (voice-over): But Willis still in the spotlight after court filings from Wade's wife show, Nathan Wade's credit card charges for Willis, his boss, to accompany him on at least two out of state trips.
BOB ELLIS, FULTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER: The main concern is were county funds being misused, or converted to personal gain.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Fulton County Commissioner Bob Ellis, a Republican who chairs the county audit committee, opening an inquiry and asking the Fulton D.A. to turn over contracts with special prosecutors, including invoices and payments.
ELLIS: It's inappropriate for an elected official to be in a romantic relationship with some -- with a contractor who they selected. VALENCIA (voice-over): Now, Wade's estranged wife said in a filing, she wants to hear from Willis directly. And in the Trump election interference case, a Fulton County judge has ordered Willis to respond to the allegations of a conflict of interest by next week and said he will hold a hearing on the issue February 15th.
The controversy prompting Republicans to circulate comments Willis made as she campaigned for the D.A.'s office in 2020.
FANI WILLIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR FULTON COUNTY: I certainly will not be choosing people to date that work under me.
VALENCIA (voice-over): So far, Willis has not directly addressed the alleged affair, but recently defended her decision to name Wade the special prosecutor in Trump's Georgia case.
WILLIS: Is it that some will never see a black man as qualified no matter his achievements?
VALENCIA (voice-over): Joycelyn Wade's attorney saying Willis is trying to hide behind the shield of her position.
HASTINGS: I have reason to believe that there is a relationship going on or else I wouldn't be pursuing this line of discovery. That would be inappropriate.
COOPER: Nick Valencia joins us now from outside the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta. So what's the latest on the prosecutor's divorce records being unsealed?
VALENCIA (on-camera): Well, we're still waiting for the Cobb County clerk's office to release those records and we know among the documents are financial records. So the delay could have something to do with redacting some of those lines in the financial records.
Look, there's a lot of anticipation about what details are in these records and if it could further prove this alleged romance between Wade and Willis. It is clear though that at the very least, Anderson, this is a huge distraction from the facts of the case.
And as I mentioned in the piece, the judge overseeing the criminal probe here in Georgia has set next week as a deadline for Fani Willis to respond in writing to the allegations and February 15th for a hearing to mention, or to focus on these claims. Anderson?
COOPER: Nick Valencia, thanks very much.
Next, the U.S. Navy identifies two Navy SEALs lost at sea during a mission that, according to U.S. Central Command, was to seize illegal missile components being transported on a ship from Iran to Yemen. Details ahead.
COOPER: The Defense Department has released the names of two Navy SEALs who were lost earlier this month during a nighttime raid on a ship in the Arabian Sea. U.S. Central Command said the small vessel was carrying Iranian-made missile parts bound for Houthi militants in Yemen.
27-year-old Special Operator Second Class Nathan Gage Ingram was killed, along with the 37-seven-year-old Special Operator First Class Christopher Chambers. The SEALs were boarding the ship in 8 foot swells when one fell in the water. The other, following protocol, jumped in to attempt a rescue.
Sunday, after 10 days unsuccessfully searching for both men, the Navy declared them dead. In a statement, a Naval Special Warfare Commander called both SEALs exceptional warriors, cherished teammates, and dear friends to many. Our thoughts are with their families and their friends tonight.
The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now.