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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Buckingham Palace: King Charles Diagnosed with Cancer; King Charles III Has Cancer and Will Step Back from Public Duties; Key Senators Signal Border Deal May Be Dead; Interview with Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO); Historic Levels Of Rainfall Produce Flash Floods. Mudslides, Rockslides In Southern CA; Millions At Risk As Rare Storm Pounds Southern California; Trump Urges Supreme Court To Keep Him On Ballot In Final Pitch Before Arguments; Haley Attacks The Age Of Her Opponents, SC Voters Weigh In; Bob Beckwith, 9/11 Rescuer Who Stood Next To Pres. G.W. Bush Atop Debris, Dies At 91. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired February 05, 2024 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking News: Nikki Haley is applying for Secret Service protection. It comes as Haley has had a heightened security presence around her for the past week. Her campaign says the request is because of threats she's receiving from taking on Trump.

Thanks for watching. It's time for Anderson.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER: 360": Tonight on 360: The state of the British Royal Family. What we're learning about the state of King Charles' health after what started as a common medical procedure ends in a cancer diagnosis.

Also tonight, there is breaking news just a day after learning what is in the tough new bipartisan border security legislation. Republican senators signal the deal may be dead.

Plus, the latest from Southern California reeling from more than a month's worth of rain in barely a day.

Good evening, we begin tonight with Britain's King Charles.

Just a week ago, he left the hospital after treatment for a benign enlarged prostate and was said to be doing well. Well today, we learned that both, he has been diagnosed with cancer and has already started treatment for it.

As you might imagine, this has come as a shock to the public in the UK and around the world. His son, Prince Harry is returning to the United Kingdom to be with his father.

CNN's Richard Quest is with us tonight; also joining us, CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So Richard, the official statement from Buckingham Palace says: "During the King's recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer." What more can you tell us about this announcement because obviously, they're not saying what kind of cancer.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS": NO, and that's the great unknown here, because -- and nor do we know whether there was a suspected something before he had his procedure for his enlarged prostate.

We don't know how much they feared that we're going to find or whether as the statement says, they discovered it on the way. What they have told us is that he will not be doing any public-facing duties. So no more tours, no more openings, no more doing anything where he would have to be out and about, but he is going to continue with his affairs of state, holding things like privy council meetings, and dealing with the famous red boxes, the boxes where government documents go to the monarch wherever he is in the world.

I guess what they're preparing for here is the "I don't know." They're not telling us what sort of cancer. They are saying he is having outpatient treatment, but not telling us what regime it is, or how debilitating or anything about it, and nor have they yet put on the table, Anderson, this idea of Counsellors of State being necessary, or anything even more extreme.

I guess this is all about preparing the public for what has happened, and sort of suggesting what might happen next. We are very short on detail.

QUEST: Explain what the Counsellors of State is.

The Counsellors of State, these are people who are under by law, they can step in and take the place or do the duties of the monarch, and it is defined by law, who it is. So it is for example -- it is obviously some of the siblings. It is obviously the children -- Harry and William are both in there. Beatrice, Andrew's daughter is there.

Now what they did recently was Charles very recently extended the list of numbers of people who could be counselors to his sister, the Princess Royal and his youngest brother, Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh.

What would happen is that if he became unable, for whatever reason to discharge his duties, or it's a bit like the constitutional part that temporarily hands over a bit of power to the vice president, the counselors can act in his name, but not, Anderson on the big stuff, not on appointing prime ministers. So not on that.

If things got, so he was incapacitated, which is a long way down the road. Now you're looking at something called the Regency Act of 1937, as amended, and a whole different process would come into play, and that process, either temporarily or more long term that would remove power from the King, and then of course it would go to William who is now of course of age.

So you know, we're in new territory here, Anderson. Uncharted to an extent because we've just earned all of this and now we are both hearing he is positive in his attitude, things are believed to be okay, the treatment is underway.


But at the moment at the other extreme, many of us say, well, what happens if? What happens if? And that's where we are now.

COOPER: Sanjay, first of all, what do we know about the recent hospitalization? And how would they -- I mean, if you go in for a prostate -- dealing with prostate cancer, how would they you discover something else?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, first of all, he did not go in for at that time suspected prostate cancer, as you may know, it was for an enlarged prostate.


GUPTA: He was having symptoms, but there was no indication that it was prostate cancer, nor is there any indication that it is prostate cancer now. But what we do know is that, it was January 17th that he said he was going to have this procedure. January 26th, he was admitted to the hospital for the procedure.

He was in the hospital for a couple of days, up until January 29th, and then it was a week later, where he announces that he has this form of cancer.

So that week in between is sort of the interesting time. Did he know at the time he was discharged from the hospital and then announced it a week later? If not, that might mean that some results of tests came back during that week.

So you do a prostate operation, they may have collected some tissue, they examined that under the microscope, expected it to be normal looking, but instead they found some forms of cancer. Or when you have an operation, you do a workup. You get some blood work done. You get imaging tests. Again, that is pretty routine stuff, Anderson, but in that case, maybe they found something and worked it up and subsequently found that it was this other form of cancer.

What we do know is that whatever it is, the treatment is expected to be outpatient. That was another piece of that statement that Richard was talking about.

COOPER: And it has already begun.

GUPTA: And it's already begun.

So outpatient therapy versus inpatient therapy, that argues against the likelihood that this wasn't needing a surgery, for example, separate operation for whatever this form of cancer is. So was it something on his blood work? Was it something on his imaging? Or was it something from a biopsy that was done during his hospitalization? That is what we don't know -- Anderson. COOPER: Richard, I want to go back to your point that, you know,

we're in uncharted waters that this is -- you know, we haven't really seen this situation before necessarily in modern times. I also have a question here.

In our graphic, we showed the Duke of York as one of those potential counselors, I assume, he is no longer in that mix.

QUEST: No, Anderson, he would not be one of the counselors. He officially is, but I cannot see any scenario where the Duke of York ...

COOPER: So the official still is --

QUEST: ... would be made one of the official counselors -- oh, yes, so is Harry. Harry is still officially one of the counselors, but the received wisdom is that there -- it is very -- let's not even put it in the realms of possibility. Neither Harry, nor the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, would be used as counselors of state if needed to.

And that was one of the reasons, by the way, that the King did increase the numbers by adding the Princess Royal and the Duke of Edinburgh, his two siblings, because they dropped off the -- they dropped off the end, in a sense, when Harry and William were born. It's all settled by law.

COOPER: All right, and Sanjay, just finally, the Palace statement said the King is grateful to his medical team for their swift intervention, which was made possible thanks to his recent hospital procedure. What type of test could the King have had during the stay? I mean, what sort of test does, you know if they do a workup, might reveal something?

GUPTA: Yes. You know, when you're getting an operation, there's generally a pretty standard workup. Blood work, for example, and again, I want to be clear, we don't know what kind of cancer this is, but the blood work could reveal an underlying blood cancer, for example, but you also may get imaging in that area of the body around the prostate.

You have the bladder, you have intestines in that area. They may -- it sounds like they were likely surprised by whatever it is. They're going in for this pretty routine prostate sort of operation for benign prostate problem, and then it sounds like maybe they found something and they saw something, maybe they even biopsied, and that's where seven days later then, after his hospitalization, they come back and say that he has this form of cancer.

It could have been during that time they actually evaluated whatever they found, and said, yes, we didn't expect this. We're surprised. But here it is.

COOPER: All right, Sanjay, Richard Quest, thank you very much.

I'm want to go next to Buckingham Palace and CNN Royal historian, Kate Williams, who is joining us tonight. What's been the reaction so far in Britain?

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Anderson, people here are in shock. It is on all the front pages. It's all over social media. Everyone is talking about it.

People really are stunned by this news because everyone thought the King was fine. He went into hospital. He looked great coming out.


We saw him in Sandringham, just this week, Camilla was opening, actually a cancer center on Thursday. She was asked about the King, she said he is doing his best.

So everyone thought the prognosis was that he'd be up and about in a month or two -- a month, really. But now we have this shock news that he does have cancer, he has started treatment, and what we don't know, just as Richard was saying, it is uncharted waters. We don't know what cancer he has or what treatment he is having, but also, how long he's going to be out of action for.

He is doing his constitutional duties online by Zoom call, but in terms of out and about meeting people, doing what we expect to see Kings doing. Queen Elizabeth II said I have to be seen to be believed, he won't be doing that and we don't know for how long.

It could be six months, it could be longer. We just don't know at this moment.

COOPER: It seems to be, because the Palace all along has said the reason they announced that he was going in for because of an enlarged prostate was to raise public awareness, and it did. Apparently, many people called their doctors to make appointments themselves.

They are not revealing what kind of cancer the King has right now or what kind of treatment he is receiving. Does that surprise you at this stage?

WILLIAMS: Well, what we're seeing, Anderson, is really an unprecedented level of transparency from the Royal Family.

For example, with the king's grandfather, George VI, no one knew he had lung cancer. An operating theatre was set up behind me, in Buckingham Palace, and even his daughter didn't know.

So she went off on a tour to Kenya and he died while she was there. And the Queen, if she was ill, Elizabeth II, we didn't know until the day that she passed away.

Charles is a very different monarch and he said in his statement, he wants to open and be open about his cancer to stop speculation, but also to aid public understanding of cancer across the world and this is a disease that one in two of us kind of have a cancer diagnosis, a thousand people in the UK are diagnosed every day, it was World Cancer Day yesterday. The influence of Royals talking about conditions like this can be very

significant. But there's only so far we're going to be told and this is what the Royals have been wrestling with throughout the 20th Century ever since they let cameras in to the coronation of the Queen, how much information to give.

And these days, you can't just cash it all up. There are camera phones, there are leaks, there is social media. I think eventually, the King will tell us what cancer it is he's been suffering from perhaps via the charity or an event, but I certainly think we're going to see some updates in the next few weeks thanking people for their well-wishing, but also saying this is how long we can expect to see the King away from the public eye.

And I think that when the King does say what kind of cancer he's had, it will really help people and it'll help this, as you were saying, you know, people getting checked, getting early checks, because this is key to diagnosis and key to saving lives.

COOPER: How significant do you think it is that the Prince Harry will be traveling from the US to visit his dad?

WILLIAMS: I think it's very significant, and I think that's one reason why they did have to announce it because otherwise people will be saying, "Why is Prince Harry coming?" We haven't seen him since the coronation. He's rushing over for a reason.

This is a family. This is a business and a family. It's a moment of reconciliation. Harry is here to support the King. And he is just as you were discussing with Richard, there. He's one of the counselors of state.

So if there's a situation if the King has to have an operation and have anesthetic, the councilors of state will step in for that moment, and we do expect about four of them. He's got about four of them to do it.

So Harry, theoretically would be key in that role. He would be a counselor of state and that role if he is here, and so we don't know how long he's going to stay, but I do expect him to be coming, arriving tomorrow or the day after. It is clearly very serious and it is something that he wants to be by his father's side for.

COOPER: Yes, Kate Williams, thank you very much.

Coming up next, lawmakers who demanded tough border legislation now trying to kill it, the signs they're succeeding and what a conservative House Republican makes of it.

Also a live report from the flooding in southern California where new flood warnings are now up and new rain is falling.


[20:17:53] COOPER: Breaking news tonight, just a day after the public got its

first look at it, key Republican senators are signaling tonight that a tough new bipartisan border deal could be dead.

House Republican leaders went further saying in a statement today. "Any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time, it is dead on arrival in the House. We encourage the US Senate to reject it."

Now, this is the bipartisan legislation negotiated by Democrat, Chris Murphy; Independent Kyrsten Sinema, and the staunchly conservative Oklahoma Republican James Lankford, who seems to have actually delivered on this, at least according to what used to be Republican priorities as recently as a month ago.

It drastically shortens the asylum process, funds more immigration courts and judges, permits the president to close the border when officers encounter more than 4,000 asylum seekers a day and mandates it when they top 5,000, or as Senator Sinema put it today: "If our law were in effect, this border would have been closed every single day this year."

Today, the union representing Border Patrol officers endorsed the measure saying it would "codify into law authorities that US Border Patrol agents never had in the past." That's the same Border Patrol Union by the way that endorsed Donald Trump in 2020.

And as we've been reporting for weeks now, this is legislation that House Republicans demanded even refusing to consider aid to Ukraine and Israel without it.

And as we've also been reporting, they began opposing it once the former president came out against it, despite not having seen it and now that they have, take a look.


REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Any Republican that supports it supports open borders.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Have you read all 370 pages of this bill?

MACE: We are working through it. We have about 50 pages more to go, but from what we can tell and I'm going to put forth a statement once we finish reading the bill, the measures that we feel are extremely undesirable, that keep our border open, that water down the asylum system, it is not good for the country quite frankly.

MACCALLUM: They say exactly the opposite, that's why I'm asking.


COOPER: The Fox anchor is actually right. The bill makes it harder to get asylum and easier to shut down the asylum process entirely when the numbers of asylum seekers gets too large. These are all points that many Republican lawmakers attack the bill on

before seeing it and are still doing now that they have or as she said, we have been reading it, which means not she, but maybe her staff.


So is the former president, of course quoting him now on social media: "The ridiculous border bill is nothing more than a highly sophisticated trap for Republicans to assume the blame on what the radical left Democrats have done to our border, just in time for our most important ever election. Don't fall for it."

That and not policy appears to be driving many Republicans in the House tonight, even though some, namely the Senate Republican leaders seem to know they ought to be doing otherwise.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): This is a humanitarian and security crisis of historic proportions and Senate Republicans have assisted not just for months, but for years that this urgent crisis demanded action, and it is now time for Congress to take action on supplemental national security legislation that finally meets those challenges head on.


COOPER: In a moment, Colorado Republican Congressman Ken Buck. Right now, let's go to CNN's Melanie Zanona with the very latest on Capitol Hill where a meeting between GOP senators had just broken up. What have you learned about the prospects for this bill in the Senate?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, Anderson, at this very moment, it looks like this deal to secure the border is destined to fail on Wednesday.

Senate Republicans met for over an hour this evening in the Capitol where they discussed the deal. We're told there was a robust and animated discussion, but leaving the meeting, Republicans signaling that the appetite and the votes just aren't there inside the GOP.

In fact, James Lankford, he is the lead Republican negotiator on this package told our colleague, Ted Barrett that he does not expect the votes to be there for the procedural vote on Wednesday. Remember, the Senate needs 60 votes in order to advance any legislation.

So this is a very ominous and damning sign for the prospects for this deal, and it is also a huge blow to Republicans, like Lankford, like Mitch McConnell, who have been trying and hoping to trade border security provisions in exchange for additional Ukraine aid.

But as McConnell has noted in private, behind closed doors, the politics of this issue has just really changed for Republicans and a huge reason for that, Anderson is former President Donald Trump, who has been lobbying privately and publicly Republicans to reject this deal.

COOPER: Melanie Zanona, thanks very much.

Joining us now is Colorado Republican Congressman Ken Buck.

Congressman, thanks for being with us.

Have you had a chance to review this? And have you made a decision on whether to support it or not?

REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): Well, I have skimmed the bill. I have not read it carefully. I have talked to my staff about the bill. And frankly, we won't make a decision one way or another until the Senate passes the bill with its amendments.

I have no idea what the bill is going to look like a few weeks from now. My understanding about the Wednesday vote is a lot of the senators asked for more time to read it, and that's why they are going to delay till after Wednesday to consider it on the floor.

COOPER: The National Border Patrol Council and the labor union of Border Patrol workers, that's allied itself in the past with the former president. They've come out in favor of the bill saying: "While not perfect, the Border Patrol Act of 2024 is a step in the right direction is far better than the current status quo."

Do you -- I mean, do you put much weight in their opinion?

BUCK: I absolutely do, and I think, it is frankly, Anderson irresponsible to say that something is dead on arrival when we haven't even seen the final product from the Senate. We have to have a starting place and this bill may be the starting place to try to deal with the border crisis.

I want to look at the bill more carefully. I want to try to improve the bill to the point where we can pass it in the Senate and in the House.

COOPER: Do you think, I mean, are you saying your House colleagues have been irresponsible by saying it's dead on arrival?

BUCK: I think it's irresponsible to say something is dead on arrival that you don't even know what's in it because it hasn't passed the Senate yet, yes.

COOPER: Members of the House have claimed that the bill expands work authorization for people coming across and it incentivizes illegal immigration. The House Bill did that as well and according to senators, their bill would only extend them for the course of asylum hearings, which would be like three months.

So, it seems like with this Senate Bill, at least what they're saying is that the asylum process would be radically overhauled, more judges would be hired, more money put into courts.

You know, as you well know, the asylum process is just -- it is absurd. People can wait seven years before an asylum hearing. Meanwhile, they are in the country and they are working illegally, because they're not allowed to work legally. Does that -- I mean, the idea of reforming the asylum process, I assume is important to you.

BUCK: It's absolutely important and making asylum more clear, that it is not for economic reasons, it is only because of a credible threat of harm that you can get asylum and that standard is raised in this bill, it should be raised and hopefully, that slows down the process.

I would still be in favor of a remain-in-Mexico policy where people can apply for asylum but they aren't in this country until after a decision is made.


COOPER: I mean, that's the crazy thing about the asylum process now is, even though it takes years, as you point out, many of the claims that people have, which are -- you know, really, they are coming for economic reasons. They want a better life for their family, which is certainly understandable, but that doesn't mean you get asylum.

Asylum is for persecution -- political persecution, religious persecution, whatever it may be, and a lot of those claims could be easily adjudicated very quickly if only the court system wasn't so backlogged.

BUCK: And that's right, and part of the reason of this backlog is because we've had this large, large number of people come across. So if there is an expedited review process, I believe that message will get out and hopefully slow down the flow of people, but it will take some time to hire these judges and find space for them and staff.

And so, it is not something that the bill passes in three weeks...

COOPER: Right.

BUCK: ... it is going to happen very quickly. This is going to take a year or two to put this whole process in place.

COOPER: The former president has said that only a perfect bill is acceptable. Obviously, you know, perfect is impossible in politics. If you believe there is a national security crisis at the southern border and a fentanyl crisis, which there certainly is, wouldn't -- I mean, are you okay with an imperfect bill that saves lives and make serious progress in the short term?

BUCK: I am fine with an improved immigration process. We need to fix our legal immigration process, so those folks who are -- who want to come to this country, to improve their economic status, give their kids a better chance at life and they have a skill that we need in this country, I'm absolutely in favor of fixing our legal immigration process.

At the same time, we've got to make it absolutely clear that we don't have an open border and certainly not to drug dealers and human traffickers.

COOPER: Congressman Ken Buck, appreciate talking to you. Thank you.

BUCK: Thank you.

COOPER: More breaking news tonight, historical levels of rainfall in southern California, it is incredible what's been going on there -- it produced flash floods, more rain coming.

Our Nick Watt joins us live from LA, next.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: There's breaking news from Southern California, flash flooding, mud, and rock slides are still threading the Los Angeles area tonight after historic levels of rainfall, almost 1 foot of rain in some places over three days.

This video we received just a short time ago, a man trapped on top of his car, surrounded by flood waters in the San Fernando Valley. He appears to be on his phone. A short time later, a fire and rescue crew was able to reach him. You see him using poles to test the ground beneath the water and make sure the path is safe there, then able to actually walk him out.

All in all, one 41-year-old man already confirmed dead after a tree fell on him in his backyard. More than 500,000 people have faced power outages. The slow moving storm is expected to shift toward the San Diego area, which is now preparing for flooding.

Our Nick Watt joins us from Beverly Crest, one of the Los Angeles neighborhoods that has sustained significant damage. What have you -- what are you seeing tonight? How is it?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I'm still seeing rain. That's the headline. It started raining late yesterday morning, yesterday Sunday morning here in L.A., and it just has not stopped since we're actually in a lighter band right now. But if you look what's happened, I mean, this is a lane -- used to be a lane, it's now basically a river silted. Just, I mean, roads impassable, a chaotic commute right now.

You mentioned rainfall totals. Well, we just got the totals for the time since this system moved in. Bel Air right now is top of the charts. They have had nearly 1 foot of rain in the past couple of days. And if you see these cacti, that gives you an idea of the kind of weather we're more used to around these parts.


WATT (voice-over): The Hollywood Hills rain lashed, not sun kissed. Mudslides, rockslides, homes evacuated, homes lost.

WATT: This is the foundation of 10334 Caribou Lane, and this is where the house sits now.

WATT (voice-over): Sunday was the wettest day in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years. More than 4 inches fell downtown. That's more than a month's worth of rain. That's a water rescue underway.

The L.A. River rose 7 feet in just nine hours, some creeks are up over 12. All this down to a so-called atmospheric river up above. A conveyor belt of moisture, fueled by El Nino and the unusually warm Pacific. Atmospheric rivers can carry 20 times more water than the Mississippi.

El Nino is now classed as very strong, only the fourth time it's reached that level in 50 years. Combined with oceans already warmed from climate change, it's supercharging these type of storms. El Nino also changes the jet stream, making storms more likely to take aim directly at California.

This one has been moving slowly south, creating rivers of rain, mud and debris.

SCOTT TORO, LOS ANGELES RESIDENT: It sounded like a plane crashing or maybe of a freight train or something like that.

WATT (voice-over): The storm sliding through Beverly Hills, L.A. and beyond. 14 million people now officially at high risk level 4 of 4 for excessive rainfall. Remember, this state was recently in a mega drought, then record rainfall last winter, and now this.

On Sunday, hurricane force winds cut power to over half a million customers, mostly further north, hitting 77 miles per hour at San Francisco airport. Peaking at 102 on Pablo Point. Angelinos today told to exercise caution if you must commute. Schools closed in more mountainous Malibu, but stayed open across much of L.A.

The mayor says, Angelinos just aren't used to this kind of weather, but with climate change, they'll likely have to get used to it.


WATT: And we're expecting this rain to stick around through tomorrow. And then the rain might move away and it might even come back. The problem is, we've actually had quite a lot of rain here the past couple of weeks. These hillsides are already saturated. 120 rock mudslides already. The fear is that more of these hillsides will just slip the more rain we get. Anderson?


COOPER: And seeing that house just, you know, swept off its foundations. Incredible. Nick, appreciate it. These are, take a look, these are pictures of one of the homes damaged by the mudslides triggered in those heavy rains. The houses in Baldwin Hills neighborhood is owned by my next guest.

Joining me now is Dion Perraneau. Dion, thanks for being with us. How are you doing? How is your house? What are you seeing right now around you in your house?



PERRANEAU: OK. It's -- so it's just a big mud pocket right now. It's kind of dark outside, so I don't know if you're going to be able to see outside, but we'll go in my bedroom first.

COOPER: No, it was your bedroom where I read that like there's 3 feet of mud or so in your bedroom.

PERRANEAU: So this is where the mud came in to my room. I hope you can see it.

COOPER: Wait, is that a glass sliding door?


COOPER: So it broke through that.

PERRANEAU: So it broke through and so there's that, that's the outside.


PERRANEAU: And the mud on the floor is like --

COOPER: Oh my gosh.

PERRANEAU: -- maybe 4 or 5 inches and then we're going to the -- I'm going to just go out to the backyard because we can -- it is really dark.

COOPER: What time did the mud come into your house?

PERRANEAU: This is the backyard.

COOPER: Wow. Oh my gosh.

PERRANEAU: So, it's -- yes, this is it.

COOPER: And is your car OK? I mean, are you able to get out if you need to?

PERRANEAU: Yes. So what I -- yes. What did was this morning when we saw that the bedroom had been breached. I pulled the car out of the drive -- I mean, out of the garage because I wanted to make sure that it didn't get step. If there was any kind of structural damage, I didn't want the garage door to be, you know, compromised. So I just pulled the car out.

COOPER: It must have been terrifying. I mean, if this happening in the night. PERRANEAU: Well, it's -- well, the thing is ,it was a slow -- it was slow. I heard at 4:00 a.m. a crack and so I thought maybe one of the trees had come down or coming down. And I looked out -- because it was, you know, 4:00 in the morning, it's dark.

And I saw a little bit of mud, like, literally, like, maybe just, you know, mud and water. And I went downstairs to -- I had a house guest went downstairs, ask her, you know, so we could put towels because I didn't want --


PERRANEAU: -- the mud to come into the house. And that's when we -- I called the fire department. They came out. They said, you know, that it looked OK to stay on the front of the house. We were in the front of the house.

I was calling my insurance guy, we heard this big huge crash. And we went back there and that's when that big --


PERRANEAU: -- huge, but it was only at that point 3 feet tall. Now it's about 7 feet.

COOPER: That's incredible.

PERRANEAU: And, yes, it's pretty bad. It's pretty bad.

COOPER: Well, Dion, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. And, I mean, so many people are, but, you know, keep up your spirits and I appreciate talking to you and we'll check back in with you and see how how things progress. Do you think an insurance is going to pick this up?

PERRANEAU: That's the question of the hour because Mayor Bass was here. Mayor Bass and Heather had, and the police and the fire chief, and they asked her about that, because originally they -- my agent said that they don't usually do anything with slides, but they asked her about it.

COOPER: Right.

PERRANEAU: So when she came to the house, this crew is here and one of the journalists asked her about that. So we'll see.

COOPER: All right, we'll see. Dion Perraneau, I appreciate it. You stay safe.

PERRANEAU: You're welcome. You too.

COOPER: All right. Wish you the best.

PERRANEAU: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up, the former president making the case to stay on the ballot in Colorado. It's his team's last filing before oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court on Thursday. We'll take a look at their latest court filing next.



COOPER: Three days ahead of oral arguments before the Supreme Court on whether Donald Trump may remain on Colorado's primary ballot, the former president's legal team today called the attempt to remove him, quote, "anti-democratic in a new filing." They also compared it to how elections work in the, quote, "socialist dictatorship in Venezuela."

Colorado has cited Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, known as the Insurrection Clause, as justification. Other states seeking to ban have cited the same clause.

Joining me now is Jessica Roth, a former federal prosecutor who is now a professor at Cardozo School of Law. And CNN Legal Analyst and Defense Attorney Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former Manhattan Chief Assistant District Attorney.

So, Jessica, what sticks out to you about the latest filing?

JESSICA ROTH, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NY: Well, the introduction sticks out. It was clearly addressed to the public as much as it was to the court. It included that phrase that you alluded to about what people do in socialist dictatorships. But it talked -- it really tried to frame this as an action to try to keep the Republican frontrunner off the ballot.

He even cited his recent victories in the primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. But then he pivoted to the more technical legal arguments that are really the substance of the case and really reiterated the arguments he had made in his opening brief really leaning into the idea that he is not -- the presidency is not an office of the United States to which Section 3 applies.

He also really emphasizes that he did not engage in insurrection within the meaning of that term. And also that Section 3 is essentially not self-executing. That there needs to be some action by Congress that would authorize states to make these adjudications of whether or not he's disqualified.

Those are the three primary arguments. There are two additional ones. But those -- that's where he focuses most of his brain (ph).

COOPER: And Karen, in the filing, to Jessica's point, the attorney said, "He is the presumptive Republican nominee and the leading candidate for president of the United States. In our system of government, of the people, by the people, and for the people, the American people, not courts or election officials, should choose the next president."

[20:45:04] Based -- I mean, do you think based on that basic principle would be enough to sway the majority of the court, or will the key be the 14th Amendment in Section 3?

KAREN FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's certainly other factors that could disqualify someone from being put on a ballot. Age is one. You have to be 35, for example, to be elected president. And so it'll just depend on whether the Supreme Court thinks about this as a qualification is engaging in an insurrection more like a qualification, or is it more of a technical off ramp that either it doesn't -- as Jessica was saying, it doesn't apply to the presidency.

He didn't take an oath to support the constitution. He made a bunch of arguments like that. And it's all about interpreting what the framers meant when they drafted the 14th Amendment Section 3 back in the time of the civil war.

COOPER: Is it -- I mean, it's possible the Supreme Court, Jessica, may just avoid the whole insurrection thing totally, isn't it?

ROTH: They're only going to have to get to the question of whether he engaged in insurrection if they find that the president is covered by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That's why I think you've heard a lot of people focusing attention on that particular issue because there's a sense in which that's the easiest off ramp for the court to decide that Trump should stay on the ballot because he's not somebody to whom Section 3 applies.

It's only if they are entertaining a decision that finds against him on that question that they would have to move on to the next issue which might be -- doesn't have to be this one, but it might well be, did he engage in insurrection as they understand that term, interpreting Section 14th Amendment.

And that would actually really interestingly may require them to look at the facts that were presented and whether Donald Trump engaged in what could be defined as an insurrection. So I'll be really interested to hear if they get to that issue on Thursday.

COOPER: Really.

FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: The trial court judge in Colorado found that it did not apply to the presidency, to the office of the presidency. It was the Supreme Court of Colorado that said, no, it does. So the Supreme Court could use that as an off ramp, as Jessica was saying.

COOPER: Also, March 4th was to be the start of the trial Judge Chutkan's on the federal election interference case. That's now been postponed based on the D.C. appeals court ruling. What's the timeline on that?

FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: I mean, everybody who has guessed when the D.C. circuit is going to rule on presidential immunity, I think has been wrong. Everyone thought it was going to have happened already. And so it could happen anytime. And then after that, there are still a few more appeals that could happen to continue to delay it -- for example, Donald Trump could ask that the entire D.C. circuit rule on the case, because this was only before a three-judge panel. He could also ask the United States Supreme Court to hear the case.

So a few things --

COOPER: So it could drag on for quite some time?

FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: It could. It could also get mandated back to the trial court. But there's still a lot in play. And so I think we're -- we have to all get ready for the Manhattan D.A.'s office case to be the first case to go to trial.

COOPER: Karen Friedman Agnifilo, appreciate it. Jessica, thank you as well.

Ahead of the South Carolina primary, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is attacking former President Trump and President Biden over their age. The question in a state with a lot of retirees moving in, is that message resonating with voters? That's next.



COOPER: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has requested Secret Service protection. Her campaign says it's due to threats she's facing as the former president's last remaining opponent. With less than two weeks to go until primary voters in her home state go to the polls, the former South Carolina governor is sharpening her attacks on Donald Trump, including about his age and President Biden's. The question is, in a state with so many retirees and more moving there all the time, do voters agree with her?

CNN's Kylie Atwood reports.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These are people making decisions on our national security. These are people making decisions on the future of our economy. We need to know they're at the top of their game.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nikki Haley not backing away from her argument that the American president shouldn't be in their 80s.

HALEY: Mandatory mental competency test for politicians over 75 years old.

ATWOOD (voice-over): It has been a critical piece of the 52-year-old's pitch to voters from day one. One that she has both sharpened.

HALEY: Why are we allowing ourselves to have two 80-year-olds who can't serve eight years, who both are diminished, whether it's in their character or in their mental capacity?

ATWOOD (voice-over): And played with in recent weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 6 cents, remember that one? I see dead people.

HALEY: Yes, that's what voters will say if they see you and Joe on the ballot.

ATWOOD (voice-over): Often to an audience filled with retirees, like this bar in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

MAUREEN BULGER, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: I just don't think our country should be with somebody who's going on its way out when we still have so much young blood.

ATWOOD (voice-over): For 69-year-old Maureen Bulger, the idea of moving to a new generation is energizing. South Carolina was the fastest growing state in 2023, largely because of an influx of almost 40,000 retirees. And Haley is betting that they get her argument.

HALEY: I think older people see it too. They know that we need a new generational leader.

ATWOOD (voice-over): 61-year-old Anna Memmo is one of them.

ANNA MEMMO, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: Whether it's the Biden ticket or the Trump ticket, I do feel that it's very important to look at age and consider age and cognitive skills.

ATWOOD (voice-over): But not everyone considering the state's former governor found it to be the best.

RAY MAKAIOUS, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: I do think that we still have people that are 78 and 80 that can be senators and representatives.

ATWOOD (voice-over): For Edward Spears, currently an undecided GOP voter, it's just a part of the game.

EDWARD SPEARS, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: She wants to be elected. If I was a younger candidate, I would do the same thing, that's just a political strategy.

ATWOOD (on-camera): You're 82.

SPEARS: Right.

ATWOOD (on-camera): Do you find her arguments about age and not wanting an 80-year-old in the White House offensive at all?

SPEARS: No, just politics.

ATWOOD (voice-over): And for older Trump supporters, even those interested in Haley like Carol and Greg Carty who moved full time to Hilton Head nine years ago --

CAROL CARTY, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: I think she's a neat person. We read her book.

ATWOOD (voice-over): -- the tactic of going after Trump's age hasn't been a decisive factor because they are squarely set on voting for the former president.


CARTY: Typecasting the seniors, and that's not right. Because we're individuals.

ATWOOD (on-camera): But if she weren't doing these age things, it's not like you would go for her if she had left that argument in the past.

CARTY: If Trump were not running, yes, I would. I'm old, so I'm stubborn.


ATWOOD (on-camera): Now as you said on the outset there, Anderson, Nikki Haley's campaign said they had their best fundraising month to date in January bringing in $16.5 million. And Haley's campaign manager said to reporters today that they are committed to continuing to fight so long as they have the resources to do so.

They clearly have some significant resources right now. She said they will go the distance. The question is, what does going the distance actually mean? Haley has committed to competing here in South Carolina and Super Tuesday, but that'll be largely contingent on what things look like for her after the primary in her home state. Anderson?

COOPER: Kylie Atwood, thanks so much.

Next, remembering the retired firefighter and his historic moment in the days after the 9/11 attacks.


COOPER: Tonight, we remember retired New York firefighter Bob Beckwith, who famously stood with President George W. Bush in the rubble at Ground Zero after the attacks on 9/11. Like many retired firefighters, Beckwith had rushed to Ground Zero. He talked his way through several checkpoints to get there and got to work searching the rubble for survivors. He kept going back.

In a tribute to Beckwith, former President Bush said today his courage represented the defiant, resilient spirit of New Yorkers and Americans after 9/11. It certainly did. Bob Beckwith was 91 years old.

The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now.