Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Trump Meets with Hungarian Strongman Viktor Orban; Pentagon: Biden's Floating Pier To Ferry Aid Into Gaza Could Take Two Months, One Thousand Troops; U.N. World Food Program Warns Of Looming Famine in Gaza With 500,000 At Risk Of Starvation. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 08, 2024 - 20:00   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: In fact, we know now that the government is actually developing so-called UFO detection kits. These detection systems will be deployed to an area that, according to the government, is known for a number of sightings. There you go on a Friday night.

Thanks for joining us. AC360 starts right now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360, the race is on, two presidential candidates, two very different campaign days after the State of the Union and what that says about the race ahead.

Also tonight, with three days to spare, the former president comes up with a nearly $92 million bond in one civil case. We'll tell you how he did it and the question is can he do the same for the other nearly half a billion-dollar judgment?

And a day after President Biden committed to building a port to bring aid into Gaza, look at just how long that might take in corresponding course of wars. Confrontation with Israelis trying to block any aid from getting in.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us. We begin tonight keeping him honest with how President Biden and the man last night he called my predecessor, spent their day after the State of the Union. It was a study of contrasts. President Biden went on the campaign trail speaking this evening at a suburban Philadelphia middle school, hitting many of the themes he laid out last night. But with one difference, he named his opponent.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are trying to take away our freedoms, that's not an exaggeration. Well, guess what? We will not let him. We will not let him.


COOPER: The President today doing what incumbent presidents do, where they do it, campaigning in a swing state trying to build on the momentum he established last night. By contrast, and far from typical, the former president did the following today. He paid a nearly $92 million bond to the E. Jean Carroll defamation trial he lost and appealed the judgment, more on that shortly. He also installed his daughter in law as co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

The former president closed out his post-State of the Union day at Mar-a-Lago just in the last few hours, hosting Hungary's right-wing authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a strongman for which the former president doesn't seem to be a pejorative.

CNN's Kristen Holmes starts us off tonight with more on Viktor Orban's visit at Mar-a-Lago. So what is going on with this meeting?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, that is a very good question and I just heard from a source who said the actual sit-down meeting was about 45 minutes to an hour and then the two of them went to listen to a tribute band at Mar-a-Lago for part of a members-only evening. The source described them as friends and the meeting is friendly.

Now, I was told we were going to get a actual readout of this meeting and photos from it, but we have not seen anything like that. They had described to me as a social meeting, simply saying that the two men were going to sit down with no agenda. But, of course, if you have the leader of Hungary, Viktor Orban and Donald Trump, it seems strange that there would be no agenda.

But you have to remember one thing, Donald Trump, for all intents and purposes, is a civilian. They are not obligated to give us any sort of readout or discuss anything, take notes, take any kind of transcript with a leader of another nation. But it does give us some insight into whether or not Donald Trump would align himself with the Viktor Orbans of the world if he were to be re-elected to the White House, which is, of course, what he's seeking to do.

He has routinely praised Orban on the campaign trail. He has said that he's a strongman, but that countries need a strongman to lead. They also are almost exactly politically aligned when it comes to immigration. They have both talked about building a wall. They have both lashed out at a free press, calling it fake news.

So again, part of the significance here is the fact that Donald Trump himself, this might give a preview as to what it would look like if he were re-elected to the White House in November.

COOPER: It's also striking coming the day after the State of the Union, where President Biden talked about the need to strengthen Democratic institutions to strengthen NATO. Did the Trump campaign intentionally want to have that contrast by having him meet with this notorious strongman?

HOLMES: I am told this was actually a coincidence and it came at the request of Viktor Orban. So just to show how strange this whole thing is, the White House did not order any sort of - or issue any sort of formal invitation to Orban. Orban did not reach out to the White House for any sort of official meeting with Joe Biden. Instead, he reached out to the Trump campaign and tried to get an audience with Donald Trump. And I am told that he was here in the U.S. He did a forum with the conservative think tank, Heritage, and then he tried to get on Donald Trump's schedule and then in fact did.

One thing I want to point out, we talk a lot about how they have similarities in their policy. One thing they routinely do is praise each other on the campaign trail.


They have said, both of them, that Donald Trump, if he was still in the White House, Putin wouldn't have invaded Ukraine. They have praised each other's policies and their behavior. And that goes a long way with the former president, that kind of loyalty and praise, particularly when we know that a lot of world leaders have not - have not praised Donald Trump, but in fact have turned - shunned him in certain ways.

So this is the kind of thing that Donald Trump relies on and that's probably why he took this meeting on this day.

COOPER: Kristen Holmes, thank you. Beyond just the former president, the entire Republican Party seems to have settled on the line that President Biden politicized the State of the Union last night, which to some extent is undeniable, but also not unique in modern times.

Perspective now from Adam Kinzinger, former Illinois Republican congressman and New York Times Senior Political Correspondent, Maggie Haberman.

Congressman, I mean, some of your former Republican colleagues are complaining it was too partisan for the hallowed House Chamber, does that strike you as just kind of bizarre given the prior administration and the behavior of people like Marjorie Taylor Greene?

ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, absolutely. I mean, she wore a MAGA hat on the floor, violation of the House rules as if she cares about that. She might be fined or warned. You think back to the President doing, I forget which thing it was, but he did like straight up campaign events at the White House, contrary to what's been done in the past. This is a guy that politicizes everything.

What this says to me - and it was a political speech, and I think given kind of normal times, I probably would have been a little critical of the tone of it, but this isn't normal times. I mean, Donald Trump is out there continuing to spread lies about January 6th, about Ukraine, about everything else and the President had to do this.

And he also showed - what this shows me, Anderson, is that it was a really good speech for them to have to now turn around and focus on the fact that it was political, because they had all their talking points set for Joe Biden is unable to govern. He can't speak or whatever and he showed quite the opposite of that.

COOPER: Maggie, to Adam's point, that last point in particular, I mean, it does seem somewhat thin gruel that clearly the talking points were all set for, you know, he's stumbling on this. He can barely speak. When clearly certainly from the Democrats' perspective last night, he did quite well.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The former president has never been really successful at setting expectations for Joe Biden. He consistently sets the bar down on the floor, and then the President steps over it and I think that's what you saw again last night. I also think that, for the Biden team, their feeling is that the President was speaking to reality, both about January 6th and about the border bill and what happened, and about the need for funding for Ukraine and what will happen if there is an unfettered Russia. And so they don't see this as a partisan speech. I understand that that's been the criticism.

But to the congressman's point, one of the first people who the President saw when he got to the chamber was Congresswoman Greene in a MAGA hat, who was very clearly trying to make a statement. Neither party is exempt from criticisms of politicization, but that was a clear stunt.

COOPER: And Maggie, the former president, as we mentioned, got a bond for the E. Jean Carroll verdict. Do you know what his options are for the half a billion-dollar bond in the civil fraud trial?

HABERMAN: Well, they're not good, certainly, and we know that they have been having a hard time. They had a hard time getting both of - both bonds. They cleared one with the E. Jean Carroll case, which is a smaller amount by a lot. He has a hill to climb in terms of getting a bond for this other judgment, which is almost half a billion dollars. His options are a lending institution. His options are selling an asset. He does have options, but they're not great and his folks would much rather have somebody bond him than him have to put up the money himself while they're appealing.

COOPER: And Congressman Kinzinger, I mean, the former president, what do you think he's trying to signal by hosting Viktor Orban of all people at Mar-a-Lago? And obviously he's been praising him for a long time now as is Tucker Carlson.

KINZINGER: Yes. I mean, look, it's worth remembering he called Viktor Orban the President of Turkey at one point, so let's remember that. But no - I mean, look, this is all - Viktor Orban has become almost like Bukele in El Salvador, some meme for the right in terms of strength. You see that he flirts around with almost endorsing Putin, Donald Trump does. And Viktor Orban is a strongman that since he's in NATO and since he's European, Donald Trump can just outright embrace and that's what he's doing.

He's signaling to the base in the Republican Party that somehow think a strongman like this is good. It really all just has to do with making the left mad. That's what he's doing. He's signaling that and this is really bad. Viktor Orban, all you have to do is watch. Anytime aid for Ukraine comes up in the EU, for instance, they always block it until they get some payoff on the side or even Sweden's accession into NATO was delayed because Viktor Orban, Turkey - I mean, Hungary finally came around and accepted Sweden.


But he's been very clearly sympathetic to Vladimir Putin and Russia. And I think Donald Trump wants to signal that to his base.

COOPER: Maggie, we heard from Kristen Holmes just a second ago that it was Orban who was reaching out to the folks in Mar-a-Lago to try to get on the President's schedule. From the former president's standpoint, it certainly seems to have been not only just a meeting of the minds, but also makes sense to have a contrast with the current president.

HABERMAN: Yes, I think there's a bunch of things going on, Anderson. It's also worth remembering that the former president hosted Viktor Orban at the White House in 2019. This is not some new relationship. The former president has certainly ratcheted it up in his speeches, including praising him as a strongman, that we had not seen before.

I think that it lets the former president look as if he's on parity with the current president by hosting another country's leader. I do think that it is consistent with the message that we have seen him delivering, which has been anti-immigrant. I think they have both used messaging about immigrants that has been widely criticized as echoing fascists and so it's not surprising that that they're meeting. I don't know that there is some greater aim for Trump other than what he's been doing all along.

But I think anything that can let Trump use the trappings of the office he once held to look as if he is an equal incumbent to the actual incumbent president is in his mind a good thing.

COOPER: Yes. Maggie Haberman, Adam Kinzinger, thank you.

Much more now on how Republicans are continuing to react to their own official State of the Union response that's delivered by the Alabama Sen. Katie Britt.


SEN. KATIE BRITT (R-AL): To think about what the American Dream can do across just one generation, in just one lifetime, is truly breathtaking.

But right now, the American Dream has turned into a nightmare for so many families.

The true, unvarnished State of our Union begins and ends with this: Our families are hurting. Our country can do better.


COOPER: Well, Sen. Britt's delivery drew comments from the start, so did the choice of putting an accomplished senator who serves on the powerful Appropriations and Rules Committee, the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate after a vicious contest in a kitchen. Fellow Alabama senator, Tommy Tuberville, tried to spin that as a virtue, a Huffington Post political reporter quoting him as saying, "She was picked as a housewife." He also told Newsweek, "I thought she did good. I mean, what else are you going to do?"

Other Republicans weren't so charitable. GOP pollster, Christine Matthews, tweeted this out today, quoting now, "Not sure whose genius idea it was to put a U.S. senator in the kitchen to deliver the response to the State of the Union. In the panel work I've done with swing women since 2014, we've tested ads like this, i.e. women talking health care in the kitchen and it just sets women voters off."

CNN's Melanie Zanona has been talking to Republican sources, she joins us now. What are you hearing from GOP lawmakers?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, the reviews were really mixed inside the GOP. I mean, there was universal excitement, I would say, about the choice of Katie Britt. She is young. She is a conservative. She is a woman. She was really seen as a rising star inside the GOP. But some Republicans were really baffled, not only by the setting, which was in a kitchen, but also by her delivery, which was very dramatic and halting at times. So just not how she normally talks.

Here's what one GOP lawmaker told me using some rather colorful language to criticize the speech. They told me, "Who thought this was a good idea. If this is our attempt to get suburban women, good effing luck with that. I thought both the SOTU and the rebuttal were unwatchable. We continue to have a woman problem, just keep shooting ourselves in the face."

And meanwhile, another senior GOP aide told me that it was difficult to watch, but also noted that these things are notoriously tricky. They said, "It's an impossible task. The pro-tip is just never do the State of the Union response. It never goes well for anyone."

But there were plenty of other Republicans and even some Democrats who had nothing but praise for Katie Britt and defended her performance. Take a listen.


SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): I think it's a really tough job and I think all of her message was right on. I wish she had a little bit more Trumpism in there as well, so we'll see.

SEN. PETER WELCH (R-VT): I love Katie Britt and she's a great colleague and that's a really hard job and I thought she did fine.


ZANONA: And other Republicans we talked to said they really loved the message and what she had to say, even if not everybody loved the delivery. And they said she still has a bright future inside the party, Anderson. COOPER: It's interesting because she made a video right before she did the State of the Union where she was talking normally. And had she just talked normally, I don't think there would be all this kerfuffle. It was the sort of the drama school delivery or like the regional theater audition delivery of it that was sort of so captivatingly bizarre or bizarrely captivating.


Is it clear why the Senator's kitchen - I mean, I guess - I mean, I know why the Senator's kitchen was chosen as the venue for her speech. Do you know, like, was there a lot of coaching involved? Do we know anything about it?

ZANONA: Yes. There was definitely a lot of preparation that went into it. Obviously, the kitchen was a choice. They really wanted to portray an image of a working mom. She even posted a picture last night with her entire family surrounding the kitchen table and said, our future starts with moms and dads like you, so clearly trying to appeal to suburban moms in particular.

And don't forget that this comes on the wake of the controversial ruling in her home state of Alabama on IVF, which determined that frozen embryos are people and has had a real chilling effect on fertility clinics. But a lot of people really found those optics off- putting and said it really only reinforced the stereotype of women belonging in the kitchen.

But for her part, her team is defending the speech, said it was fiery and passionate and said it was a stark contrast with President Biden, Anderson?

COOPER: All right. Melanie Zanona, thanks so much.

Coming up next, how the former president made the payment deadline barely in his defamation case. We talked about a little bit with Maggie.

And authors Andrew Weissmann and Melissa Murray, who are just out with a new book explaining the four criminal cases and 91 criminal charges he also faces.

Later, CNN's Clarissa Ward at the crossing where humanitarian aid is trying to get into Gaza from Israel and the Israelis she spoke to who are trying to stop it.



COOPER: So we mentioned the former president's big payday - payout today in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case, which he also appealed, meaning more to come in that case. On top of that, he's also got to come up with nearly half a billion dollars more by the 25th. And that's just his civil cases, more on the criminal side in a moment. First, CNN's Kara Scannell on how he came up with the money today and the far bigger bill about to come due. So what do we know about the money for the E. Jean Carroll case?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Trump did meet the deadline. He posted a bond for $91.6 million. What we did learn today was who was the underwriter of this bond. There were a lot of questions of whether he would be able to get someone to step in, giving questions about his finances. So we learned that this big global insurance company, Chubb, was the ones that underwrote the bond.

And we learned that Trump signed this bond on Tuesday of this week. He was still at that point asking the judge in this case for more time. And as you can see right there, that's his signature. What we didn't learn from this is what Trump put up to secure the bond. Did he give them cash, stocks, bonds, some properties, that is not clear in these papers. So the judge overseeing this case has given E. Jean Carroll's team until Monday morning to say if they're okay with this, if they have any issues with the bond as it's been posted. And if there are any disagreements, the judge wants everyone back in court Monday afternoon.

COOPER: What about the half a billion dollars that he also owes the New York civil fraud case?

SCANNELL: I mean, that's the bigger question. That is a big chunk of money that the former president will have to come up with. He did propose to an appellate judge that he wanted to put up a hundred million dollar bond. That was rejected. Trump is now trying to get a panel of judges to give him more time in that case to come up with this bond. That decision is not expected until the end of the month. And as you noted, this bond is going to come due around March 25th and so we have these dates colliding. That's also the start of jury selection in Trump's criminal case in New York involving those hush money payments.

COOPER: All right. Kara Scannell, thanks so much.

Now, the criminal side, enough cases to fill a book, literally. Our next two guests are co-authors of a new book, "The Trump Indictments: The Historic Charging Documents with Commentary," Andrew Weissmann and Melissa Murray are both NYU law professors. He served as senior prosecutor on the Mueller Russia investigation of the former president. Appreciate both of you being with us.

So this book is fascinating because, I mean, it's - it is all the indictments in a very readable form with commentary, which really kind of help explain. Because I think a lot of people certainly have heard the broad brushes, but haven't really dug deep on it. Your book outlines the context of the four criminal indictments just on this - on the civil case, on this bond.

Were you surprised that he was able to come up with the money? Do you think he'll be able to come up with the next one?

ANDREW WEISSMANN, CO-AUTHOR, "THE TRUMP INDICTMENTS": Well, I think one of the issues I have is trying to figure out where did he get the money and whether somebody cosigned. And the reason that's important is if this person is going to become the President of the United States again, you want to know who was he beholden to.

COOPER: Right.

WEISSMANN: So, for instance, a bank could say or Trump could have said, I will give you this money, but I need it to have cosigned by person X. That would be something you'd want to know. And especially since there's now - this was $90 million, but he has to, as you said, get another half a billion dollars, is somebody also going to be putting up the money or cosigning so that he can do that.

So they think the issue of who is he going to be beholden to is something that I would think the electorate would want to know.

COOPER: Melissa, in the classified documents case, what do you make of the former president's claim of immunity in that?

MELISSA MURRAY, CO-AUTHOR, "THE TRUMP INDICTMENTS": Again, the immunity claims that were made in the January 6th election interference sort of range from specious to stupid. I think they're even more outlandish ...

COOPER: Specious stupid?

MURRAY: ... specious stupid ...

COOPER: Is that a wide range or ...

WEISSMANN: It's a legal term.

MURRAY: ... it's a legal term. I think it's even more outlandish in the context of the Mar-a-Lago documents case, because that actually occurs after he has concluded the presidency. So the whole idea of presidential immunity is that the President needs this insulation from legal process in order to fulfill the duties of being president without distraction. That elapses when the presidency is actually completed.

So maybe this is an argument that you could raise in a colorable way in the January 6th election interference case, but it seems much more farfetched in the context of Mar-a-Lago.

COOPER: Is this just about, I mean, trying to push back the clock?

MURRAY: Sure. I mean, Donald Trump wrote a book, "The Art of the Deal." He is now engaged in the art of the delay ...

COOPER: He didn't actually write it.

MURRAY: He ghost wrote it. He's definitely writing this one and it is the art of delay. And we've seen this in the January 6th case. He got a major assist from the United States Supreme Court last week and apparently he's getting some assistance from Judge Cannon, who has slow walked many aspects of the Mar-a-Lago case. [20:25:00]

COOPER: Andrew, in the book, you say that Jack Smith is "tailor made for prosecuting Trump." You say his actions to date show that despite being dealt a tough hand in terms of timing, he's risen to the challenge. Both the D.C. and Florida cases were clearly going to be extremely strong, but only an experienced prosecutor like Smith could get them quickly to the finish line."

Do you think - I mean, can he get any of these cases to the finish line? Because right now it seems like it might be the - what's been called the hush money case, which is now being billed also as an election interference case in New York, may be the only one before the election.

WEISSMANN: I think that's - that is a distinct likelihood, but I don't think it's any fault of his. He was dealt a hand in terms of the timing of this and when to go forward. And as Melissa said, I think the Supreme Court has weighed in, in a way to delay this further, which I think is highly inappropriate.

If you just think about the purpose of immunity, this is Donald Trump saying, I'm immune. I should not suffer the opprobrium of a criminal case. As he has said, I shouldn't have a gag order. It's interfering with my - being able to run for office.

So he would have every interest in having that on the immunity issue, having it decided quickly. So he wants it decided quickly. The government wants it decided quickly. That didn't stop Donald Trump, of course, from saying, take this - keep it very, very slow. And then the Supreme Court should have said this needs to be decided quickly.

That's, in fact, the reason for taking an appeal before the trial is so that it could be decided quickly. And instead, the argument is not going to be for months. So - and then they could take months to decide it.

So I do think it's going to be quite some time and it'll be very hard for this case to get slotted in before the election.

COOPER: What do you think of the - Melissa - of the New York case, the hush money election interference case?

MURRAY: So I think a lot of people have pooh-poohed this case as being sort of tawdry and salacious, and certainly it is. But I think that DA Bragg has talked about this in ways that make clear that this is really kind of an opening for Donald Trump, sort of a predecessor to what we actually will see in full flower in the January 6 election interference case, which is to say that this, too, is a species of election fraud.

The fact of falsifying business records for the purpose of keeping a relationship not only from your wife, but also from the voting public so that you can be more successful in the election is a type of election fraud and sort of lays a foundation for what we will see on a more monumental scale in the January 6 case. So he's sort of explaining that this was kind of a predecessor crime and sort of putting it in the context of these other indictments. And if we look at the book, one of the things that's actually staggering when you take all four of these indictments in tandem is that it is criminal conduct that is alleged before, during and after Donald Trump's presidency.

COOPER: Why did you want to write this book? I mean, why in this format?

WEISSMANN: So we, like you, spend a lot of time on air trying to explain to people who are either not lawyers or not criminal lawyers what this means. And this is a unique moment in our history in terms of what is going on in the courts for people to have that be accessible to them. So in addition to being able to get it through the news and cable news and newspapers, we wanted to be able to have people have the actual charging language, but then break it down for them so that they can go as deep as they want or as shallow as they want.

And then as the cases are unfolding, they can understand them, so it's a real (inaudible) ...

COOPER: It is easy to get lost in the legalese of it ...


COOPER: ... and it's nice to have sort of the breakdown of it.

MURRAY: No, I think that's right. To be able to break it down so it's more digestible, but also so that every person can come to this and make their own conclusion, right? We're not coming to this with a partisan lens. Like we have our own views, obviously, we say this in the book, but our goal for this is purely an educative function. We want everyone to be able to engage with all of these documents at this enormous moment of real profundity for the country. We've never had anything like this. It's absolutely imperative that every American get engaged on these questions and we wanted to provide them with a handbook that they could use to do that.

COOPER: Melissa Murray, thank you so much, Andrew Weissmann as well. Thank you. Really appreciate it.

WEISSMANN: Thank you.

COOPER: Again, the new book is "The Trump Indictments: The Historic Charging Documents with Commentary." It is definitely worth picking up.

Coming up, the famine in Gaza, why millions there cannot afford the months it may take to build that floating pier to help ferry aid that President Biden announced last night, more ahead.


[20:30:00] COOPER: A remarkable report now from our Clarissa Ward, about aid to Gaza. President Biden today told reporters Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu must allow more of it, where millions are in need of food and the medical system is near collapse.

Airdrops are providing only limited assistance. Today, the Pentagon said that the floating pier the President announced during his State of the Union address to ferry aid in to Gaza could take 2 months and 1,000 troops to actually build.

With those developments is a backdrop, here's Clarissa's report.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They march with determination to the Kerem Shalom border, as they have for six weeks. Their mission, to block international aid from crossing into Gaza.

The border police are waiting for them. "There's a danger of sniper fire and projectiles, the officer warns. I ask you to leave this place." But the protesters are undeterred, made up mostly of hostage family members, former reservists, and settlers. They ignore the order and change course to move closer to the crossing.

WARD (on-camera): So you can see the trucks with aid over there. The police had been trying to stop the protesters, but then they've just cut through this field, and they're pushing ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can anyone check these trucks and see what's inside? Where bags of rice that are meant to go to their children are filled with bullets.

WARD (on-camera): Under international law, it's Israel's obligation to make sure that the ordinary citizens of Gaza don't starve to death. And right now, they are starving to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hamas is making it very difficult, because Hamas is not allowing this to provide --




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not holding it. They're not receiving it.

WARD (on-camera): But they --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll do it. I'm telling you here and now. If we knew it's getting to children of Gaza, we would do it. This does not arrive at their doorstep. This arrives into the channels of Hamas. They are fighting us and holding our hostages.

WARD (on-camera): There was no evidence to support the idea that all of this aid is going to Hamas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to the rest of the population. This is intelligence only for terror. That's why they're getting -- they should get only the minimum calories required to survive.

WARD (on-camera): They're starving to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are not starving --

WARD (on-camera): They are starving to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: May -- do you know what? If they are starving to death, give us back -- give the hostages back. No single loaf of bread should go there till our hostages are coming back.

WARD (on-camera): To many people in the world, listening to what you're saying and what you're protesting for, it sounds like, A, a contravention of international law; and B, incredibly callous in the face of an epic humanitarian catastrophe.

In the face of children starving to death. People can't understand why anyone in their right mind would advocate for stopping aid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hamas has no fair play. Hamas has no rules. Hamas is holding civilians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, even if there is a humanitarian crisis there, and there is not, even if there is, it's my right and my duty to prioritize the life of Kfir Bibas, a one year old baby that deserve over any Gazan baby.

WARD (voice-over): And with that, the interview is over as the protesters press on. Previously, they've managed to block aid trucks from crossing. But on this day, the police had been given their orders, and no one is getting through, prompting anger from the crowd.

You are confused. Go deal with the war, this woman shouts. We came to help you.

Unable to cross here, the protesters try their luck in another area, but the authorities are just as quick to stop them.

WARD (on-camera): So the police are now really starting to lose their patience. They've been trying to push these protesters away for hours now, and still, they're not leaving.

The crowd on this day is small, but their sentiment is shared by the majority of people in the country. A recent poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 68 percent of Jewish Israelis oppose the transfer of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

On the other side of the border, the situation could not be more dire. 7 year old Fadi Alsant (ph) is suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition. Doctors at the Kamal Adwan Hospital say they don't have the resources to properly treat him. Fadi's mother says she's already lost 2 children, she doesn't want to lose him. According to Gaza's health authorities, at least 17 children have died of dehydration and malnutrition already. And with the U.N. warning that famine is just a step away, there is hardly room for debate. More aid needs to get to more people as quickly as possible.


COOPER: And Clarissa Ward joins us now from Jerusalem. So who are these protesters?

WARD: So the protesters that we spent time with, Anderson, are part of a group called Tzav 9, which means Order 9, as in, like, a military order. And they are primarily made up of former reservists, but there are also some kind of Far Right settlers among the group.

But it was really interesting because when we talked to some of the people who were there, it was actually kind of a mixed bag as well. We talked to an elderly woman from Long Island. We talked to a woman from Bangor, Maine who you saw briefly in our report there.

And I think this poll really underscores something that maybe a lot of people aren't talking about, which is that the majority of Israelis do have some sympathy with this opinion that aid shouldn't get into Gaza, because they believe that is only going to take away some leverage that they have for getting the hostages safely out, Anderson.

COOPER: Has there been consideration at all by Israel of opening up other border crossings in the north? Because right now that crossing is further south and still any aid that gets in trucks have to drive all the way up north and, and that obviously creates a lot of problems.

WARD: Right. And this is really crucial, and we know that this has been source of friction with the U.S. The U.S. has been pushing really hard for them to open up some crossings in the north. It had seemed like it was about to happen, and then all of a sudden nobody's talking about it anymore.

And any aid worker will tell you that, really, if you want to distribute aid effectively, forget air drops, forget sea piers. The only way to do it is on the ground. And the only way to do it properly on the ground is with some kind of a ceasefire in place. And I do think it's important to underscore something, Anderson.


There were protests yesterday as well that took place with many Israelis coming out to say that it is not acceptable that the people of Gaza are starving to death, and they were actually trying to get aid in to Kerem Shalom border crossing. They weren't successful. But it's important to remember that Israel's not a monolith, and there are different opinions reflected here.

COOPER: Yeah. That's an important point to make. Clarissa Ward, thank you so much. Appreciate it. As the violence in Haiti grows and the prime minister is still outside

the country, David Culver takes us into Haiti, talks to the children who has survived gunfire and the gangs that are recruiting them.

Also tonight, marking 10 years into one of the greatest mysteries of certainly the last several decades, the disappearance of Flight MH 370 and the 239 people aboard. Will there be a new search for the missing plane?



COOPER: The Pentagon says it's now working on what it calls contingency options, which includes potential deployments for safety of embassy personnel in Haiti. This comes after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Canadian embassy.

The growing violence in the capital shut down a key port terminal with the U.N. saying today there are reports that gangs have breached and are looting the Port-au-Prince seaport. Sources told CNN earlier today that the country's prime minister is stranded outside of Haiti. He is believed to be in Puerto Rico, and has yet to call for U.N. peacekeepers.

David Culver is just back from Haiti, has this report on how the violence is affecting the country's most vulnerable.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On an abandoned airfield turned makeshift campsite, we step into this cramped space, the Cadeau (ph) family's home. Lying on her family's only bed, we meet 8 year old Wojina Cadeau (ph) looking at us with eyes that have seen the torment and suffering that is engulfing Haiti.

CULVER (on-camera): Do you remember where you were when the bullet hit you, when you got shot?

CULVER (voice-over): With her 4 year old sister keeping close watch, Wojina, tells me she was playing with friends when they were caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout. She and her friends hid, but not quickly enough. A bullet tearing through her back and out her abdomen. Her dad, frustrated by life.

CULVER (on-camera): And he says they've been here about a year and a half. Before that, they were in their own home, but they said because of the gang violence, it was overtaken. Their home was burned down. So here they are hoping to have found what would have been a safe refuge. But he says not even this is safe. Feel better. Okay?

CULVER (voice-over): Chaos now grips much of Haiti, especially the capital, Port-au-Prince. For the first time, a Haitian security source tells us rival gangs are now working together, launching a wide scale series of attacks against the government, going after the airport, police stations, and prisons. The terrible toll of the violence felt nearly everywhere.

Even here behind the high walls of Kizito family's home for children. Run by Sister Paesie, the rules here posted on the wall.

CULVER (on-camera): This shelter must be friends.

SISTER PAESIE PHILIPPE, FOUNDER, FAMILIE KIZITO: They must be friends. They must get along with each other.

CULVER (voice-over): Getting along, that's the challenge here. Sister Paesie 's lived in Port-au-Prince for 25 years. The last 5 of which she's dedicated to creating safe spaces for children. Many of those here orphaned, because of the deadly gang violence.

PHILIPPE: I never could have thought that things could become worse, but it did. It did. It did. Year after year, more corruption, more violence, more weapons.

CULVER (voice-over): This place is now at capacity and then some. The children keep coming, she tells me. Sister says, she also gets prayer requests from those you might not expect.

PHILIPPE: Sister, pray for us. Don't you see we are in danger? Pray for us. I'm hearing that every day from the gang members. Yeah.

CULVER (on-camera): The gang members are asking you to pray for them?

PHILIPPE: Yes. Yes. Yes.

CULVER (voice-over): Some of the gang members themselves, just kids. This 14 year old says he was recruited at 11. I can't go to school, he tells me, wishing he could escape the gang's control. I watched so many people get killed, and then I have to set their bodies on fire, he says.

Outside of Haiti's capital, it's more often the antigovernment protests rather than the gangs paralyzing cities. In Jeremie, we drive with members of the World Food Program to a local school.

JEAN-MARTIN BAUER, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM COUNTRY DIRECTOR: Now these kids have not been in school since early January, and they'll tell you why.

CULVER (voice-over): The Catholic priest who runs it shows us around.

CULVER (on-camera): Just noticing on the chalkboard here, the last date, January 11th. It's the last time kids were actually inside this classroom. Since it's been empty.

CULVER (voice-over): Violent protests erupted in January, making it too dangerous for the school's 234 students to travel to. For the staff here, it's heartbreaking.

CULVER (on-camera): Do you think about them in what's been now more than a month that they haven't been here? Do you think about their situation?

FATHER LOUIS JEAN ANTOINE, FOUNDER, ST. JOHN BOSCO SCHOOL: It's very sad for them, for us also, because I know --

CULVER (voice-over): He knows it's about more than missing out on an education.


ANTOINE: I know they are at home. They are hungry. They have nothing. They are children. They have to eat.

CULVER (voice-over): Hunger is what drove this young teen to go out at night alone in gang controlled territory last year, hoping to find food. Instead, she tells us she was attacked and raped, giving birth in January to a baby boy, the son of a likely gang member, she thinks.

I can't abandon him, she tells me. My mother struggled a lot with me, so I have to do the same for him, even if it is a child raising another child, she says.

Children bearing the brunt of a broken country that is spiraling further into chaos with each passing day.


COOPER: David Culver -- David Culver joins us now. I understand you have an update on the first child you mentioned in that report.

CULVER: Yeah. Not, a great update in this. Wojina Cadeau, she's that little girl, 8 years old. We showed you her. There she is right there. She, recovering from a gunshot wound. Her family was in that makeshift campsite, as I mentioned, because they were forced out of their actual home 2 years ago. It was burned down.

We just got a text of from overnight that said, gangs torched that entire campsite. We're talking 50,000 people. It's deceiving, but that place holds a lot of refugees from their own city. So now they've had to go somewhere else. We've learned they are OK, but they're trying to find another place to settle down.

But this gives you a sense though, Anderson. I mean, this is an entire generation now that's feeling this is, when you look at these kids in particular, and it's just a desperate situation. One that right now --

COOPER: There's no solution in sight. The Kenyan police were supposed to come in as part of a force, but that -- there's no timeline on that, and the prime minister is nowhere to be found.

CULVER: He's MIA right now. And, yeah, you're right. I mean, these police officers are supposed to deploy any day now, but the question is, what are they going to do once they get there? Because the people down there that we spoke to, they do not want foreign forces in there whatsoever. So this is going to be a very messy situation as soon as they touch down.

COOPER: David Culver, thank you. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, the mystery that endures 10 years after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 vanished with 239 people on board. Where is the wreckage? We don't -- still don't have an answer. And does a new surge stand a chance of actually locating it? That's it.



COOPER: Hard to believe, but today marks 10 years into the one of the world's great mysteries, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. The Boeing 777 was carrying 239 people when it disappeared. Their loved ones have urged the Malaysian government to relaunch the search for the plane. More tonight on how it vanished from CNN's Tom Foreman.


PILOT: Good night Malaysian 370.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Good night. Those were among the last words from the cockpit of the Malaysia air jet with 239 people aboard. The last words before authorities say it took an unexpected turn, flew out over the Indian Ocean, and disappeared from radar.

HISHAMMUDDIN BIN TUN HUSSEIN, MALAYSIAN ACTING MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION: We are trying to do everything in our powers to find where the plane is.

FOREMAN (voice-over): A massive international surge followed with planes and ships scouring thousands of square miles, each development bringing hope to desperate families.

SARAH BAJIC, PARTNER WAS ON PLANE: If it's the plane, then we'll all be devastated, but we can at least grieve properly and go on with our lives.

FOREMAN (voice-over): But hours turned to days, days to weeks, still nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Interpreted): I'm looking for my husband, and I want to know what happened to him.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The search moved underwater with high-tech robotic subs and sensors probing the rugged darkness almost 3 miles beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean. The government reached for answers. Families grieved even more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They really don't care about how we feel or what we have to say.

FOREMAN (voice-over): An official report laid out what was known, but --

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: What it doesn't tell us is who did what, where, when, and why on the night. JIM TILMON, AVIATION EXPERT: I've been trying to come up with every scenario I could to just explain this away, but I haven't been very successful.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The theory seemed endless. The captain had a flight simulator at home. For a while, questions swirled around whether he and the copilot might have cut communications and intentionally ditched the plane. The idea of a hijacker or terrorist taking over and crashing it came up too.

Mechanical questions appeared in media everywhere. Did batteries in the cargo hold catch fire? Did the pressurization fail?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if all the power went out? Everything went dark and everything failed

FOREMAN (voice-over): There was no proof for any of it. Just scattered evidence coupled with speculation about how long the jet flew, which direction, and where it might have come down. More than a year after the disappearance, a few parts washed up along the African coast.

BAJIC: Well, if ultimately this is a piece of the wing, then that little thread of hope that I've been holding on to, will have to break.

FOREMAN (voice-over): But still, no answers about a plane that vanished 10 years ago, 39 minutes after takeoff.


COOPER: It's incredible. It's still missing. Tom Foreman joins me now. I understand an American company has submitted a proposal to the Malaysian government to start searching for the plane again. What is the company saying?

FOREMAN: Well, this Texas company is the same one that was searching some years ago. They're basing a lot on the idea of new technology, better search methods, maybe that will help out. They sent a statement to us where they said, we've been working with many experts, some outside of Ocean Infinity, which is the company, to continue analyzing the data in the hope of narrowing the search area.