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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Senate GOP Leaders Debate Ditching Border Deal; Interview With Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-NY); Trump's PACs Spent Roughly $50 Million On Legal Expenses In 2023; Pres. Biden Says He Has Decided How To Respond To Drone Strike That Killed 3 U.S. Service Members In Jordan; Powerful Iran-Backed Militia Kataib Hezbollah Says It Will Suspend Military Ops Against U.S. Forces In Region; Israel: Special Forces Disguised As Civilians & Medical Staff Killed 3 Suspected Terrorists In West Bank Hospital; Elon Musk Says His Neuralink Startup Has Implanted A Chip In Its First Human Brain; U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Meets With Families Of Americans Held In Gaza And Qatari PM. Aired 8- 9p ET
Aired January 30, 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 United States announcing promotions for two soldiers who were killed in that drone attack in Jordan. Specialists Kennedy Sanders and Breonna Moffett were promoted to sergeants.
I spoke to Kennedy Sanders' parents, and here's what they wanted everyone to know about her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you want us to know about her? She's now died in service to her country.
SHAWN SANDERS, FATHER OF SPECIALIST KENNEDY SANDERS: It's pretty much remember her service and the commitment and the sacrifice she made for the country.
ONEIDA OLIVER-SANDERS, MOTHER OF SPECIALIST KENNEDY SANDERS: Her smile is contagious, she was always laughing about everything. Even though her time was short on Earth, she lived her life to the fullest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sergeant Kennedy Sanders and her family are in our thoughts.
AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360. With a vote expected this evening on impeaching a Cabinet secretary over the border crisis, House Republican lawmakers step up their campaign against proposed Senate legislation said to be the toughest in decades.
Also tonight, Senate Republicans we just learned are debating whether to shelve it entirely. We're keeping them honest. Also, there is breaking news, the former president's $50 million legal
bill last year, you may be surprised to learn who is actually picking up that tab.
And later, everything we're learning about Israel's daring raid using special forces disguised as medical staff and other civilians to kill they say, Palestinian militants at a West Bank hospital.
Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
We begin tonight with the breaking news and the most important issue to voters right now according to recent polling, and even more so tonight, the ones with perhaps the widest gap between what certain elected officials are saying about it, and what they're actually doing.
The issue is immigration and border security and we have just learned that Senate Republican leaders are tonight debating whether to shelve the proposed bipartisan legislation to actually address the problem, a deal now in the ropes, which is said to be the most restrictive set of border measures in decades, in which was already being repeated at the former president's behest by House and Senate Republicans, including the very same one saying things like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): Border security is the most fundamental responsibility of a nation and House Republicans are serving as the last line of defense to secure our border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that's Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today, member of the Republican leadership and from what she said there, you would think that she and her fellow Republicans at that press conference were all pushing to get this new Senate legislation passed.
Instead, her remarks came at a Republican leadership press conference in support of impeaching this person, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and we'll have more on that in a moment.
But wherever you stand on impeaching Secretary Mayorkas, DHS Secretaries come and go, working to fix or change the laws they enforce requires Congress to negotiate and pass legislation, which is what senators have been working on, but now House Republicans are choosing to kill purely for political reasons and cynical ones at that.
As we just learned, their Senate counterparts are now talking about getting in on the act. And remember, this is an issue that they themselves had been describing this way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): We saw this with their own two eyes. We talked to the people on the ground. We have an unmitigated crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's House Speaker Mike Johnson also today just moments after pointing out what he highlighted as a shortcoming in the bipartisan Senate compromise, which he hasn't seen, but he is opposing anyway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: It seems the new authority to shut down the border would kick in only after as many as 5,000 illegal crossings happen each day. Why? Why would we do that?
Illegal immigration is illegal, it is against the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Again, he hasn't seen the Senate deal and keeping them honest, if that is part of the compromise, it seems to be news to the conservative Republican senator who helped craft it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): It would be absolutely absurd for me to agree to 5,000 people a day. This bill focuses on getting us to zero illegal crossings a day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, keep in mind, Senator Lankford there is one of the most conservative Republicans in the chamber and by most reporting, the Biden administration's own admission, the now endangered compromised legislation includes numerous concessions to the Republican side.
On top of that, as you may know, President Biden recently vowed to close the border when needed if given legislation permitting it, which this measure would, which prompted Speaker Johnson to tweet: "President Biden falsely claimed yesterday he needs Congress to pass a new law to allow him to close the southern border, but he knows that is untrue."
Well, keeping them honest, that appears to be untrue. For all his talk at the time of a crisis and all the extreme measures he took while in office, the former President Trump never managed to shut down the border except during COVID under the authority he had for dealing with public health emergencies. These days, he is openly against the Senate deal and saying so out loud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The leader of our party, there is zero a chance I will support this horrible open borders betrayal of America. It's not going to happen. I noticed that and I'll fight it all the way. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So he's against it and as we and many others had been reporting for several weeks now, it is because he does not want to give President Biden any kind of election year accomplishment, which a number of Republican senators have criticized, most notably Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I think the border is a very important issue for Donald Trump, and the fact that he would communicate to Republican senators and Congress people that he doesn't want us to solve the border problem because he wants to blame Biden for it is really appalling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now polling or not, according to Senator Romney and others it's a fact which makes it all the richer today to hear the House Republican who is carrying out that wish say this to CNN's Manu Raju who asked him about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: No, Manu. That's absurd. We have a responsibility here to do our duty. Our duty is to do right by the American people to protect the people, the first and most important job of the federal government is protect its citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, as we said at the top, now, we are learning tonight, there might not be a bipartisan border deal at all, as GOP leaders are reportedly debating ditching the whole thing.
Melanie Zanona is at the Capitol for us.
So, let's get the latest on the Mayorkas impeachment in a moment. First, I understand there are new developments of the fate of the bipartisan border security bill.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, Anderson. These negotiations have really reached a critical juncture.
With this Senate deal essentially on life support amid opposition from former President Donald Trump, we are told that Senate Republicans are currently debating whether to just walk away from this deal and try to pass a standalone bill that provides aid for Ukraine and Israel.
Now, no decisions have been made. Negotiators are still planning to release bill text sometime this week, but the challenges for this compromise and getting signed into law are enormous. They might be insurmountable, in fact. House Speaker Mike Johnson made crystal clear today in both a private
meeting with his members and also in a subsequent press conference that this deal has no pathway in the House.
And now you have some Republicans who are openly saying that legislation isn't even needed because President Biden already has the authority to crack down on the southern border, despite the fact that it is Republicans who are the ones indeed pushing for policy changes in exchange for Ukraine aid.
In fact, Congressman Troy Nehls, he is a Texas Republican who is very close to Donald Trump told me that Congress doesn't need to "do a damn thing" to address the border. And he also said they shouldn't do anything to help Biden's poll numbers -- Anderson.
COOPER: And where do efforts stand right now on impeaching the DHS Secretary Mayorkas?
ZANONA: So the Homeland Security Committee has been meeting all day to consider these impeachment articles for Alejandro Mayorkas. Republicans say that he has willfully mishandled the situation at the southern border, that he has not enforced laws that are on the books and that he has lost the trust of the American people. But Democrats say Republicans are just trying to score political points and that if they really wanted to solve the crisis at the southern border, they could approve that emerging Senate border deal which Republicans have made clear they will reject whenever it comes over from the Senate.
So this meeting has grown quite contentious. Democrats have forced a number of procedural motions hoping to derail or delay this meeting as long as possible. But we are expecting those articles to pass out of committee sometime late tonight. And then it heads to the floor, but Anderson we should note here that even if it passes the House, which is still a big if given their razor thin majority, this is going nowhere in the Senate where Democrats and even some Republicans have thrown cold water on the idea -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Melanie Zanona, thank you.
Joining us now is New York Democratic Congressman Dan Goldman, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee.
Congressman, first of all, what's your reaction to the news that Senate Republicans are debating whether to ditch this bipartisan border security bill?
REP. DANIEL GOLDMAN (D-NY): Anderson, let's make no mistake about it. If the Senate Republicans now ditch this bipartisan deal that they have reached with the president and with Senate Democrats, it is solely because Donald Trump has directed Republicans not to give Joe Biden a policy win in an election year because he wants to run on the chaos at the border. That is the only reason this has been derailed is because Donald Trump does not want Republicans to solve our problems, he wants the problems to persist so that he can use it for his election campaign. COOPER: What is so cynical about this and hypocritical is I mean, the
arguments that have been made about fentanyl pouring across the border. Yes, most of it comes through illegal border crossings, but nevertheless, you know, Republicans are calling this an invasion. They have endlessly focused on this, understandably so and there is chaos at the border and all of these border communities.
But there does have to be legislation in order to actually improve the asylum process, doesn't there, in order to make these kind of hiring improvements, security improvements and legal improvements?
GOLDMAN: Absolutely, and that's an incredibly important point. Now that Republicans realize that they look bad trying to politicize this issue and undermine a comprehensive bipartisan solution. They are moving to their next talking point, which is, oh, we don't need legislation to do this.
Well, that is certainly very different than everything that they have been saying for this entire Congress, and that is different than the reality on the ground.
The executive branch, Secretary Mayorkas, President Biden only have so many authorities and so much funding to secure our border and we are facing unprecedented migration patterns.
So they need more authority, they need more funding in order to address the asylum backlog, in order to secure a border, in order to address the fentanyl trade in order to interdict with the Mexican drug cartels, in order to do their job and that funding can only come from Congress.
So it is false to say that President Biden has the necessary authority to secure the border or to address this the situation at the border. It is required for legislation to pass which is what the Senate has been doing while the House has been trying to impeach the Secretary of Homeland Security, who is working with the Senate to address those problems.
COOPER: And just to be clear, the former president has said that only a perfect bill, you know, there has to be a perfect bill. Any kind of bill that ultimately will be negotiated will be just that, negotiated. There is nothing that's going -- I mean, that's how things get done. There is no such thing as a perfect bill.
GOLDMAN: Anderson, we are operating in divided government. The Republicans control the majority in the House, the Democrats control the majority in the Senate, and a Democrat is in the White House.
For House Republicans to declare that we will not budge at all on our draconian extreme legislative proposal completely flies in the face of our system of government, which requires bipartisan negotiations and bipartisan compromise.
We, Democrats are ready to do it. The president has shown a willingness to go further than any Democrat ever has before, but it is not enough for the Republicans because they want to use this as a political cudgel in this upcoming election.
COOPER: You mentioned the effort to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. I want to play something you said at the hearing today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOLDMAN: So your own party is sabotaging and undermining this administration's efforts to address the border while you are trying to impeach him by saying that they're not addressing the border.
The hypocrisy is the least of it. Your attack on the rule of law, and our democracy is the worst of it and you better be careful about the bed that you make.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Talk about this, as you say an attack on democracy.
GOLDMAN: Well, this is a gross abuse and misuse of the impeachment clause. There is no misdemeanor or crime much less a high crime and misdemeanor as it has ever been defined by the framers or any subsequent impeachment.
They have fabricated out of whole cloth two Articles of Impeachment, that have no basis in law, nor have they even tried to substantiate the articles with any legal brief or citation. And instead, they are turning this political issue a policy dispute that's being hashed out in the Senate into grounds for the second ever impeachment of a Cabinet secretary.
They are undermining and debasing the Constitution, and they need to be careful, Anderson, because the precedent that they are setting is that if a secretary of -- a Cabinet secretary in any way does something that the opposing party in the House does not like, then that secretary will be impeached. It goes both ways, Anderson and this is a new Democratic Party. We are not going to take this lying down.
COOPER: Congressman Dan Goldman, thank you.
Still to come tonight, the cost of doing legal work for the former president. We have breaking news that puts a dollar figure on how much donor money is being used to pay his legal bills.
Also tonight, the reputation of Alina Habba, is attorney in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case already on the ropes takes another hit, why she suddenly dropped a major claim to appeal that more than $83 million jury verdict that's next.
COOPER: So as we await a New York judge's decision on how much the former president may owe in his New York civil fraud trial, a number that could come tomorrow and is potentially in the hundreds of millions, we also have breaking news tonight. It's about just how much donor money has PACs have already spent on his legal bills and it is a huge figure.
Shane Goldmacher who helped break the story for "The New York Times" joins us now.
So how much money, Shane, are we talking about?
SHANE GOLDMACHER, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It's going to be official tomorrow on his filings with the Federal Election Commission, but about $50 million last year is what Donald Trump's spent on lawyers and investigation related costs, and it really is a staggering sum of money.
Again, he has four criminal indictments in 2023, none of which have yet gone to trial. So you can expect that figure is only going to grow in the coming year. And this is a big deal, not just for the Republican Party right now, but in the coming months as he potentially faces those trials and as he tries to raise money to compete with Joe Biden for the presidency. He has another set of money he's spending pretty quickly, and that's on lawyers.
COOPER: So where is that money coming from?
GOLDMACHER: So most of the money has come from a political action committee that he raised money into in the aftermath of the 2020 election. So he lost the election. He falsely claimed that there was massive voter fraud, and he raised hundreds of millions of dollars in a few short weeks right after that 2020 election, and he had a huge pot of money that he left the presidency with, and he has been slowly spending that money down on his political activities before he declared for president and now on his lawyers.
In fact, he gave a huge chunk of that money to a super PAC and the plan was when he runs for president in 2024, that super PAC would support him with advertising. And not so long later, as he was facing these legal battles, they actually wrote to the super PAC and said, actually, can you send that money back so we can spend it on lawyers and legal bills instead? And over time, they've been spending more and more back.
So the original $60 million was sent to that super PAC. The reporting we put out today, another $30 million was refunded back to his original political action committee that he's again using to pay for his lawyers.
COOPER: And is it clear to people donating to this PAC, that their donations may go toward the legal fees?
GOLDMACHER: It depends just how much fine print you're reading. If anyone is going to Donald Trump's website right now, they want to support him running for president, 10 cents of every dollar is actually going to his PAC, and that PAC can't technically support his campaign for president, but it is paying for his attorneys.
So for those -- you know, when he announces tomorrow how much money he raised in the fourth quarter, look, if you look at the fine print on his website right now, it'll show 10 percent to save America. That's his political action committee, and that's the one that's funding the lawyers.
COOPER: All right, Shane Goldmacher, fascinating story. Thank you.
The legal issues surrounding the former president don't end there, his attorney in the E. Jean Carroll case, Alina Habba, who has been widely criticized for her poor performance as a courtroom attorney has had to quickly backpedal after a major claim she made to appeal the more than $83 million jury award appears to be false.
"The New York Post" had quoted her in an article on Monday alleging that the judge and Carroll's attorney knew each other very well from their days at a top law firm, so well, in fact that they had a mentor- mentee relationship.
"This is news to us," Habba is quoted as saying. She then repeated this unfounded claim in a motion to the court. Now Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, fired back in a letter today saying: "As Miss Habba well knows, these allegations are utterly baseless," and that "Needless to say, at no point have we ever had a mentor-type relationship, as alleged by Miss Habba."
Hours later, Habba responded that the point of the letter was to "... to verify whether the information contained in 'The New York Post' article is accurate." And she says she now considers the matter "resolved."
Joining me to talk about all of these legal developments, David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter and author of "The Big Cheat: How Donald Trump Fleeced America and Enriched Himself and His Family." Also, former federal prosecutor, Jessica Roth, professor at Cardozo School of Law.
So David, just get your reaction from what heard from Shane Goldmacher about the former president's approximately $50 million so far in legal fees, would he be able to afford those bills if it weren't for his PAC? I mean, if he wasn't running for president?
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AUTHOR, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Anderson, you hit the nail right on the head there. Remember, Donald used to tell us he was worth $10 billion. He should be rolling in money if that's the case. And evidently, he has to depend on begging for money from people.
It was just announced a little bit ago by Reuters they have an exclusive that a man named Bigelow who owns budget hotels and an aerospace company is giving Donald a million dollars to help with his legal bills.
If you have $10 billion, this wouldn't be a big deal. But if you don't have $10 billion, you just claim it, that's a whole another story. COOPER: Jessica, I'm wondering what your reaction is to this Alina
Habba blunder going after E. Jean Carroll's attorney.
JESSICA ROTH, NEW YORK CARDOZO LAW SCHOOL LAW PROFESSOR: Yes, it was a blunder and she was correct to withdraw the issue. It was not a conflict of interest. She should have done more investigation, frankly, of the facts about any relationship that they have.
COOPER: To put it in an actual motion seems kind of crazy, no?
ROTH: Well --
COOPER: It was sloppy, certainly.
ROTH: It was sloppy, and if they even had had a sort of a mentor relationship 30 years ago, that frankly would not have been the basis for a conflict of interest. It turns out factually, they did not. So she should have done the factual investigation before raising it with the court.
She should have done the legal investigation to be clear, which would have told her that this was not something that rose to the level of conflict of interest.
And so frankly, it was a baseless issue. I'm glad to see that Roberta Kaplan pushed back forcefully in her own letter, and that Alina Habba, perhaps actually uncharacteristically was a bit chastened and said, I'm not going to pursue the issue.
COOPER: And David, I mean, does it surprise you that the Trump legal team was still trying to find a way to go after E. Jean Carroll's legal team and the judge after that big award?
JOHNSTON: No, and this probably isn't the last time they'll try to do something. It's very clear that Donald's lawyers do as instructed not what the law says they should do, not what I teach my students at Syracuse Law to do, but what he wants done.
And so there's going to be more probably of this, if not for Miss Habba, then from other lawyers in the future because Donald, of course, thinks this is all illegitimate. He is not accountable to anybody and certainly not to a federal judge or a jury, goodness.
COOPER: Jessica, there's also obviously the looming damages in the New York civil fraud trial, which we could learn about this tomorrow. We don't know if that timeline will hold up to the judge who had said by the end of the month, we should have an answer that would be by tomorrow.
ROTH: All right, so I mean, the penalties are adding up. So we know between the two E. Jean Carroll verdicts, I think it's about $88 million if you put the two verdicts together, the attorney --
COOPER: Which you think will hold up on appeal. ROTH: I do. I mean, there's some chance that it would get knocked
down, especially the punitive damages to a certain degree, but it is hard to imagine that it would get knocked down all that significantly. I think we're still talking about tens of millions of dollars.
The attorney general is asking for $370 in the New York civil case --
COOPER: Three hundred and seventy million --
ROTH: Three hundred and seventy million, excuse me, $370 million in disgorgement, of essentially, ill-gotten gains, plus the penalties of him losing the ability to do business in New York State, that would have a profound impact in terms of his earning potential in the future, and his ability to borrow money.
So at some point, all of these penalties and consequences are going to impact him financially.
COOPER: I assume, though, in the civil fraud case, I mean, he has the ability to appeal.
ROTH: He does have the ability to appeal, but he has to be aware of the possibility that he is going to have to pay that large if it is, in fact a large amount. At some point, it has to be cognizant of that as well as the ability -- if he in fact loses the ability to do business in New York State, I think that's a profound economic consequence, as well as whatever the money penalty is.
COOPER: David, I mean, what could the impact of this civil fraud case be?
JOHNSTON: Well, I think we can expect that Judge Engoron will renew his order removing Donald's business licenses. We call them certificates in New York, so that Donald, as Jessica pointed out, can't do business in New York, he's going to have to change the ownership of those properties, he's probably going to have to sell some properties and it may be done through the monitor to come up with the necessary cash.
And of course, a sale under these circumstances is not going to be at the highest price, it's going to be much closer to a fire sale price for any of his assets. Furthermore, from the document we just got from the court monitor, former Judge Barbara Jones, it's very clear that as I've been saying for years, there's a lot you don't see in Trump's financial statements that raise questions about reality versus fiction as we just saw with the supposedly relationship between the judge and Roberta Kaplan that didn't exist.
So this is going to be very revealing about how much of a house of cards Donald's finances are.
COOPER: David Cay Johnston, appreciate it. And Jessica Roth, as well.
One more legal development to tell you about tonight, the special prosecutor in the Georgia election interference case against the former president and 18 others will not testify in a hearing tomorrow after he reached a settlement in his divorce.
He was likely going to be asked about allegations that have sidetrack the election case about an affair with DA, Fani Willis who appointed him to the position.
The former president and two co-defendants have alleged a conflict of interest and want the case dismissed.
Up next tonight, what President Biden is now saying about the price to be paid for the drone attack in Jordan, which killed these three Americans and wounded many more. The latest and possible retaliation, the targets and possible timing.
Also, some remarkable details on this Israeli Special Forces undercover raid at a hospital in the West Bank, how the team disguised itself and who they say they killed, just ahead.
COOPER: President Biden was asked today whether he decided on a response, the drone attack that killed three American soldiers and wounded dozens more at a remote outpost in the Eastern Jordan. His answer was, yes, nothing more, which doesn't say much, but could also speak volumes.
CNN's MJ Lee is at the White House for us tonight. So, what more do we know about what this response might look like and when?
MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we know that the president and his national security advisers have been weighing a number, a range of options. And we know from officials that the response was likely to be more serious and powerful than some of the strikes that we have previously seen in Iraq and Syria.
And the president saying earlier today that he has made a decision on how to proceed. He said he was clear on who was responsible, but he also had this to say on what he wanted to avoid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do hold them responsible in the sense that they're supplying the weapons to the people who did it. I don't think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That's not I'm looking for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: And this morning, the president did speak with the family members of the three American service members that were killed. And on Friday, we are told that he is going to attend the dignified transfer of the three people's remains at Dover Air Force Base.
We know that Sergeant William Rivers, Specialist Kennedy Sanders and Specialist Breonna Moffett, they will all be coming home in a few days and the White House is saying that the president will be there to greet them. Anderson?
COOPER: The Pentagon has said that the attack bore the -- what they call the footprints of an Iranian-backed militia. What more are officials saying about that?
LEE: Yes. You know, the Pentagon has said there has not been a final assessment on who exactly was responsible for what happened over the weekend, but they did say that it is definitely an Iran-backed group and that there are the footprints of Kataib Hezbollah.
But what is interesting, Anderson, is that tonight that group has put out a statement saying that it is going to end its military operations against U.S. forces in the region. Here's a part of that statement. It said, "We are announcing the suspension of military and security operations against the occupation forces, that's U.S. troops, in order to prevent embarrassment to the Iraqi government."
Now the statement goes on to say that the group will take some acts of self-defense against any American hostilities. And when the Pentagon was asked about this, a spokesperson basically said actions speak louder than words. That the U.S., of course, has been demanding that these attacks stop for a number of months now.
So they need to see exactly if those attacks will stop. And that until then, the U.S. will continue to proceed and prepare to respond in a time and a manner of the U.S.'s choosing. Anderson?
COOPER: All right. MJ Lee, thanks very much.
This next report, we should warn you, is graphic, surveillance video of Israeli Special Forces undercover in disguise infiltrating a hospital in the West Bank this morning. Israel says it killed three terrorists. More from CNN's Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): A man in a doctor's white lab coat and surgical mask. A woman dressed in black, wearing a hijab, and a third person carrying a wheelchair spearhead a brazen Israeli undercover forces operation in the West Bank.
Their weapons all tagged so in a chaotic shootout with similarly clad terrorists, they'll know their enemy. They move as a carefully coordinated assault team as other operatives follow them in. A man in a brown coat and a white prayer hat directs another figure wearing blue scrubs as another team member in tan pants dips into a red backpack and dons a black hat.
Meanwhile, another assault team enters led by a man dressed in a woman's flowing black abaya. He strides forward, past another person dressed in black, who forces a hospital worker to the floor, pulls his jacket off of him, pushes his head down and covers it with a jacket. It looks like coordinated chaos, but each outfit a disguise to get them inside the hospital. More members arrive, 12 total. The last two apparently posing as a young couple toting a baby carrier. Although judging by the way he puts it down a heavier load than a baby likely backup ammo.
The second female operative posing as the baby's mother takes point on the corridor aiming her weapon at anyone who might have discovered their complex ruse. In less than a minute, they're gone. Unclear if this is the beginning or the end of the operation.
This room, they're likely objective. Blood on the walls and on the bedding, appearing to indicate killings took place here. A holed pillow suggests the gunshot to the head. The IDF say the raid was timely targeting Mohammad Jalamneh, who, quote, "planned to carry out a terror attack". And brothers Mohammad and Basil Ghazawi, who they claim were members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
That statement may not protect Israel from accusations of war crimes on a number of counts, including passing themselves off as medical personnel. Something the IDF often accuses Hamas of doing in Gaza. The hospital director appearing to confirm the three were shot together, but gives no reason why all three were sleeping in the hospital.
Although Basil Ghazawi had been receiving treatment for a drone injury strike last year and was partially paralyzed. They killed the three youth in their room, Mohammad Jalamneh, Mohammad and Basil Ghazawi, while they were sleeping on their beds in the room, he said. They killed them with cold blood, with direct gunshots to the head.
Friends with blooded hands and family mourn around their bodies, now apparently moved to ward beds. Mohammad Jalamneh's father indicating he knew his son was on the run.
We prepare ourselves that the Israeli will raid our house, he said, because they raided it many times before to put pressure on Mohammad to turn himself in. As their bodies taken for burial, gunmen escort the cortege. At least one of the slain men had an automatic weapon on his chest.
Traditional funerals for fallen jihadists, their executions, particularly amid accusations of war crimes likely to inflame escalating tensions.
COOPER: So, Nic, do you know any more about exactly why these three, you know, alleged terrorists were all sleeping in the room, in the hospital?
ROBERTSON (on-camera): No, we haven't been able to get anymore on that, Anderson. And it often raises the question of, you know, if a hospital is being used by militants, is it a fair game for this sort of operation? Technically under international law, it isn't. It contravenes international humanitarian law to pose in medical professionals clothing. Geneva conventions that are broken here or appear to be broken, at least to kill the men, it's particularly one of them who may have been in the hospital receiving medical treatment, that's against the Geneva Convention. And to kill them when they could have been if they were sleeping and weren't fighting back and didn't have weapons as their families say, then not arresting them, that's also against the Geneva conventions and actually constitutes a war crime.
But I think at the moment it's an open question why were all three in the hospital. But this video puts the Israeli government in an invidious position. And State Department spokesmen today did say that they would expect the IDF and the forces here not to break international humanitarian law.
COOPER: Yes. Nic Robertson, appreciate it. Thank you.
Next, Elon Musk's new high-tech invention has nothing to do with Tesla, X, or SpaceX. It's another of his startups and has created potentially a major medical achievement, but not without controversy. Details from Dr. Sanjay Gupta ahead.
COOPER: Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, according to Forbes, has a medical startup that's been making big headlines. They just implanted its first chip in a human brain. Musk's company says the goal of the medical trials to see if the brain chip has the ability to control external devices such as a phone by using only thought. Something which could benefit paralyzed patients.
Neuralink is the company that got FDA approval for human clinical trials to study the safety and the functionality of its chip. That's the chip there.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon himself joins us now. So, talk about this. I mean, it sounds incredible. How significant is it potentially and who would benefit the most?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, we've known this was going to be coming for Neuralink for some time. They got FDA approval back in the spring of last year to start recruiting patients. Typically these are patients who don't have motor function, Anderson, because of quadriplegia, spinal cord injury, or something like ALS.
So, all we know is what you said, is that the -- for the first patient now, they have had this implanted in their brain. But this isn't a study or anything, so we don't know necessarily how well it's working.
We have seen monkey trials, primate trials where you've seen them be able to move a cursor, for example. And now that this is implanted in humans, they're going to basically see -- can -- it accomplish the same thing for humans. COOPER: How does the technology work?
GUPTA: Yes, it's really interesting. I think we showed a little image of this. It's about the size of a quarter, if we can put up that image. It's a little bit hard to tell. So it's not very big and it's basically got 64 threads on it. These hair-like really thin threads, and those sit on top of the brain. There's more than 1,000 electrodes that are connected to those threads.
So think of it like this. You are not moving, but you think move a cursor to the right or move a mouse pad to the right. When you do that, your brain gives off a specific burst of electrical energy. And after a while, this device that you're looking at can read that and say, oh, the brain is saying move that cursor to the right and it starts to -- it develops a dictionary, essentially, of movement.
It can then take that electrical signal and translate it to a mouse, for example, or to a smartphone. This is the first time for Neuralink, not the first for other companies. I had a chance to talk to the founder of Synchron, who's already been implanted this in patients. Here's how he described it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: What is a brain computer interface?
THOMAS J. OXLEY, CEO, SYNCHRON: If you can get a device that can detect and interact with brain activity, which is all electrical signals, then you can potentially restore that component of the brain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: So again, this device reads the electrical signals that correlate with the certain movement. And I'll show you on this brain model here. Right in this area of the brain, that's responsible for your movement. Right side, responsible for the left side of the body, left side, responsible for the right side of the body.
If the implant is sitting over here, right in that motor area, Anderson, and it starts to learn, this is the electrical pattern associated with a certain movement, it can start to make movements on devices in your environment. A mouse pad, a smartphone, whatever it might be.
COOPER: I mean, the brain, it would seem to be incredibly sensitive. How dangerous is it to implant something in somebody's brain? And Neuralink, I think, has faced some scrutiny in the past.
GUPTA: They did face some scrutiny in the past. I think some of their employees, going back to December of 2022, were worried that it was maybe going along too quickly. There was a monkey, one of the primates that died as well. I can tell you that the surgeons that are involved with, this they are some of the ones who are sort of particularly expert at these types of operations.
And I think that that's a team that's going to be probably implanting these. The biggest concern I think is infection. Whenever you're putting a foreign body in, there's a risk of bleeding. There's things like that. But the biggest thing I think really is this is not a study again. We don't know yet how well this is going to work.
This is just that they've done it. And so it's going to take some time to now look into the future and say, is this actually accomplishing what people hope it will? Does it give, allow people with ALS or quadriplegia to move things in their environment?
COOPER: Yes. Which would be incredible, obviously. Sanjay, thank you so much.
COOPER: Appreciate it.
Still to come, growing frustration and anger from the families of hostages held in Gaza. You'll hear from some of them. Plus an update on hostage negotiations next.
COOPER: Today in Washington, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan once again met with some of the families of Americans held hostage in Gaza. He also met with the Qatari Prime Minister to talk about the potential hostage deal this country is helping to negotiate.
It's been more than 100 days since the hostages were forcibly taken to Gaza. For the families, each passing day takes a toll but also presents a new opportunity to make their voices heard. Clarissa Ward has more.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Israel's Parliament last week, anger boiling over. "You will not sit here while they die there," this man shouts. Family members of the hostages in Gaza storming into a session at the Knesset saying, "enough is enough."
Meirav Gonen was never political. Now, she's a regular here, pushing lawmakers to do whatever it takes to bring her 21-one-year-old daughter Romi, and the other 131 hostages home.
WARD: We saw these incidents recently here at the Knesset where family members were shouting at politicians.
MEIRAV LESHAM GONEN, MOTHER OF ROMI GONEN: This is the frustration. You know, people, when they are in fear and frustration, it's very difficult to be restrained. Some of us may cry more, maybe, you know, close inside and some of us just need to shout it out. And, you know, shouting is something -- this Knesset should be able to contain also, because it's too long. WARD (voice-over): Shelly Shem Tov is fighting too, delivering a forceful rebuke to Israel's war cabinet at a press conference last month.
"Look us in the eyes. It's our children, our families," she says. "Where are you? Where are you?" Shelly's 21-year-old son Omer was working as a waiter, saving money to travel the world when he was abducted at the Supernova Music Festival.
SHELLY SHEM TOV, MOTHER OF OMER SHEM TOV: He is a sunshine. He is a boy that everybody wants to be near him. Everybody loves him. He loves to love. He love music.
WARD (voice-over): On Saturday night, she attended a rally for the hostages as she does every week. Exhausted and frustrated, but undeterred in her quest to bring Omer home.
SHEM TOV: I don't know if you are a mother.
WARD: I am.
SHEM TOV: So try to imagine, try to imagine that your son went to a festival. He only went to festival.
You can call your son now to ask him how is he. You know where your son is sleeping tonight. I don't know.
WARD: It must be agony.
SHEM TOV: We are tired. But we are doing everything. It's our mission of our life to bring my son back home. Everybody must stay, stop, stop.
WARD: And do you feel that enough is being done? Do you feel satisfied with the response?
SHEM TOV: Listen, my son is not at home every day. I'm getting into his room, and he's still not there sleeping in his bed. So if it's enough, no, it's not enough. It's not enough.
WARD (voice-over): 115 days into this nightmare, patience and time are running out.
Clarissa Ward, CNN, Jerusalem.
COOPER: And we'll be right back.
COOPER: That's all the time we have. The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now.