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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Judge: Gag Order In Trump New York Hush Money Case Now Will Include Family Members Of This Court And Manhattan DA; Trump Posts $175 Million Bond In New York Civil Fraud Case; Vehicle Crashes Into Gate At Atlanta FBI Field Office, Driver Arrested; Iran Accuses Israel Of Killing Iranian Military Commanders In Airstrike On Consulate In Syria; Iran Accuses Israel Of Airstrike On Consulate In Syria; Story Of American Journalist Who Was Beheaded By ISIS, Told In New Book Co- Authored By His Mother; King Charles Attends Easter Church Service In Most Significant Public Appearance Since Cancer Diagnosis. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 01, 2024 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Trump's supposed net worth taking a massive tumble, shares of his Truth Social are now publicly trading and - well, guess what? They came out, the company, and they said that they lost $58 million and only had $4 million in revenue in 2023. Those are painful revelations and that immediately crushed the valuation of the stock, costing Trump $1 billion on paper. The loss is in fact so severe that the company's own accountants are sounding the alarm that it could implode, which is why experts think the company's multi- billion dollar valuation defies logic, and I heard that well before I even started listing to be honest. Even with a cash infusion of $300 million after going public, the company is not out of the woods. It is obviously hemorrhaging users as well.

Thanks so much for joining us. It's time now for Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360, just moments ago the judge in the former president's New York hush money trial expands the gag order on him in the wake of repeated online attacks by Trump on his daughter.

Also tonight, all we're learning about the attempt to breach the FBI office in Atlanta, who authorities say was behind it and whether this may have been someone's attempt at political violence.

And later, my conversation with Diane Foley, along with author Colum McCann and Sting, about Diane's son, Jim Foley. A journalist kidnapped and murdered by ISIS, his remarkable legacy, what it was like to speak face-to-face with one of the men who murdered her son.

COOPER: Good evening. Thanks for joining us. We begin with breaking news. The judge has expanded the gag order that he imposed on the former president last week. The move follows repeated online attacks against the judge and his daughter, including by name like this one. We blacked it out here because she has no role in the case and is not a public figure.

CNN's Kara Scannell is here with details from the judge's ruling. This is the hush money case in New York. What's happened?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So the prosecutors had asked for a gag order to be expanded in this case because of those comments that you just highlighted. And the judge just moments ago issued his order saying that he would extend the gag order, which had prevented Trump from making comments about any potential witnesses, any prosecutors, court staff and the jury. He's now extending it to include family members of the judge and the district attorney Alvin Bragg. Alvin Bragg is not covered by the gag order, so Trump can talk about him if he wants.

In this order, the judge writes, the court now amends the March 26 order to include the family members of the court and the district attorney of New York County. This decision and order is equally narrowly tailored and in no way prevents defendant to - from responding to alleged political attacks, but does address defendant's recent speech. He also goes on to say that this isn't a case of David and Goliath, and that the roles are no longer in play as demonstrated by the singular power of Trump's words have on countless others.

He said that there is - he finds that there is a threat to the integrity of judicial proceedings and says the threat is very real. So now Trump is not allowed to make statements about the judge's family.

COOPER: So he can still make statements attacking the judge and the district attorney, just not family members.

SCANNELL: That's right. He's extending it to include them within this because, as you pointed out, the judge's daughter is not part of this case. And Trump's lawyers had argued against expansion of the gag order, saying that the reason why Trump is making these statements is because they want the judge to recuse himself from the case, believing that he is biased against Trump.

They previously made that motion, the judge rejected it. That, at the time, was made based on the judge's small-dollar donations to Democrats. They've said in their filing today, Trump's side, that they intend to make another motion for the judge to recuse himself.

COOPER: And you also have some reporting about expected witnesses at this trial.

SCANNELL: Yes. So, it's the usual suspects. You would expect all the well-known people that have been part of this case. Stormy Daniels is expected to testify.

COOPER: Michael Cohen.

SCANNELL: Michael Cohen, Hope Hicks and David Pecker, who is the CEO of the company that published National Enquirer. This is all part of the prosecutor's effort to present this narrative to the jury that Trump and others were scrambling around the election after the Access Hollywood tape came out. He was in touch with those on his campaign because they were afraid of how a new allegation like Stormy Daniels would potentially influence female voters.

So this was all just days before the 2016 election. And that's part of the prosecution's theory, why they made the payment and then why they were covering it up. And so, as the theory of the case is, this is the falsifying business records to commit or conceal another crime. And that crime, under the theory, is to influence the election.

COOPER: So, Kara, stay with us.

I want to bring in legal analyst, Joey Jackson, also bestselling author and former federal prosecutor, Jeff Toobin.

Jeff, are you surprised by any of this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: The technical legal term for this is whack-a-mole. They - he - Trump is trying to skirt around all of these issues on the gag order. The family members were not covered under the previous one.

A rational person would think you don't attack the family members, but (inaudible) he did.


COOPER: Does he want this gag order - does he think it helps him politically to say, I'm being gagged, I can't speak?

TOOBIN: Yes. I think - I mean, this whole defense is a political defense as much as it's a legal defense. That's why he goes to all the hearings. He doesn't have to go to the hearings. This idea that he's a martyr, that he is being the victim of a witch hunt, that is part of his campaign. And now being gagged is another way that he is saying, I am a victim here, not a perpetrator.

COOPER: And Joey, I mean, the Trump filing basically says, well, if the judge had recused himself, then Trump wouldn't have to have had to go after his daughter.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Listen, I'm not sure about that reasoning and logic. But what I am sure about is that you have to have an integrity to a proceeding, but it's beyond integrity. It's about safety and security. And the reality is, is that words have consequences, particularly when you have a bully pulpit like that. Not president now, right, but was president, has significant followers. And I think there's nothing wrong legally, constitutionally and practically with an order that ensures that integrity for the safety of others.

Last point, we talk about First Amendment, First Amendment. Well, you can't yell fire, right, in a movie theater, right, or anywhere else, right, where it could impair other people's safety. You can't defame people. Ask Trump about that. He owes a lot of money about that because you're impairing other people's rights.

And so I think an order that's balanced to protect constitutional freedoms of speech, but at the same time, protect other people is the right thing. I think Judge Juan Merchan has done right.

TOOBIN: And they're also - this is about lives on the line. People are in danger. That's why Kaitlan got that interview, that remarkable interview with Judge ...


TOOBIN: ... Reggie Walton last week, because judges are worried about the integrity of the judicial system when the people involved are being threatened like this.

COOPER: Right. I mean, these gag orders are - I mean, do - everybody's using the term gag order, but I mean, that implies he can't say what he's feeling. This is about witnesses. It's about jurors. Now it's about the judge's daughter.

TOOBIN: Right. And judges have the obligation to do two things. They have to allow the First Amendment rights of people, but they also have to protect the integrity of a trial. And you can't have the integrity of a trial if witnesses think they are going to be killed because of something that is said in the news media. That's what the judge is trying to balance here.

And I think allowing attacks on the judge, allowing attacks on the DA, but not their families, does strike a reasonable and appropriate balance.

COOPER: So Trump's lawyers have already talked about appealing. I mean, where would they appeal this to?

SCANNELL: They would appeal it to the first department in New York. It's probably not something that would get resolved before the trial starts, although this gag order will be in place throughout the trial because there are witnesses, there are jurors that the DA's office and the judge is looking to try to protect from Trump making these public statements, putting attention and shining the spotlight on them as this case plays out, which is going to go for two months.

COOPER: How long do you think this trial will go on for?

JACKSON: Yes. I mean, it would surprise me, Kara, if it were that long. You know best, right? You're there all the time. But I - look, the bottom line is that the judge has to ensure the prosecution has to put on their case, which would allow for numerous records to go in to determine whether or not there were falsification of those records. They have to establish their proof and then we'll see what cross- examinations look like. And then, of course, the defense has an opportunity to put on witnesses if they choose to under no obligation.

TOOBIN: That witness list is a lot of witnesses. They don't need to call all those witnesses. They are making a decision, it appears, that they want to tell the full story of Trump's relationship with the National Enquirer. That's not necessary.

What this case is - the technical requirement is just to prove that the documents that Trump filed with the government were false. There's a thing prosecutors say sometimes, thin to win, like only prove what you need to prove. They are not going thin to win if, in fact, they call all those witnesses.

COOPER: This is now - I mean, initially this was referred to as the - as a hush money case. Alvin Bragg has now tried to sort of position it more as hush money for the result being election interference.

TOOBIN: That is going to be the big theme of the prosecution, which is this is not about porn. It is not about extramarital affairs. It is about getting news away from the voters on the eve of the 2016 election. That's the theory. Well, the prosecution - the defense is certainly going to try to turn it into this is just a circus. This is just attacks on Donald Trump's character.


JACKSON: And they have to do that, right, Jeff? Not the defense, but certainly you have to establish the election interference to get to the felony, right? And so I think that's what we'll hear about it. And to your other point, there's often this huge witness list, but then to what extent do witnesses become what we call cumulative? They're all going to say the same thing, so you pare it down. But you have to give the defense notice of the witnesses so that they can adequately prepare.


TOOBIN: Well, he - it happened in the civil case and he was fined. I think it was $10,000 once and then something - you remember?

SCANNELL: I think 15,000 total.

TOOBIN: Fifteen thousand total fines initially. Ultimately, judges can protect - can punish contempt by locking someone up. I don't think that's going to happen. But initially, fines is what is the usual remedy for contempt.

JACKSON: But if it doesn't happen, why do we have a gag order? In other words, you know, absolutely, the judge has a number of options and it could be a fine. But you have to speak in the language that someone understands. Clearly, the economic language is not being understood because of the fines. Will you have the courage, quite frankly, to enforce the order to what we call put him in?

And if you put him in, maybe that in terms of a violation of liberty politically be great for him. But practically, you have to give it teeth. If you don't give it teeth, that is the gag order. Why impose one in the first instance?

COOPER: And Kara, is it your understanding that Trump is actually going to go to this trial this whole time?

SCANNELL: Yes. I mean, at one of the very first appearances, the judge told Trump that he expects him to be at every one of the days of the trial. And that if he doesn't want to come, he needs to get a waiver to do so. Note the judge warning him, we will move forward without you. So if he's not there, the evidence is still going to go on. They're

still going to bring their case. And Trump said that he understood that. But the judge making it clear he wants him there.

TOOBIN: So maybe he'll be campaigning only on Wednesdays because the judge sits Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and he'll deal with other matters. So Trump will be out on the campaign trail just Wednesday.

JACKSON: But this is the campaign trail, right?

COOPER: Right.

JACKSON: He'll be making a statement after every single appearance about the system. It's rigged, et cetera, so.

COOPER: And people will be covering it. It's - I mean, it is - it's history being made.

TOOBIN: Absolutely, and he - look how much attention he gets. And he crowds out everything else. You would think being a criminal defendant isn't the best thing, but Donald Trump has rewritten a lot of political rules.

COOPER: Yes. Jeff Toobin, Joey Jackson, thank you. Kara Scannell, always, thank you.

Coming up next, all we're learning about the attempted breach of the FBI's Atlanta field office. The driver is now in custody. What investigators are looking at.

And later, a rare public appearance on Easter weekend by Britain's King Charles. The latest on what lies ahead for the royal family.



COOPER: Well, we're just about to dismiss our legal panel, but then there's breaking news. So we've just learned that the former president has posted that $175 million bond in the New York civil fraud case, back here with the team.

What do we know about this?

SCANNELL: Yes. This bond just hit the docket. It's underwritten by Knight Specialty Insurance Company. It's a California-based insurer. It's for the total amount, the $175 million ...

COOPER: Which had been knocked down from the higher amount initially.

SCANNELL: Right. Initially, he was supposed to post on a $464 million. He asked for a reduction or not to have to post it all. The appeals court said that he could post 175, which is less than half, and he had until Thursday to do it. So he's done it today, signed it today. So this is now posted. That is satisfied.

So it means that the New York Attorney General's Office is not going to move forward to try to seize any of Trump's assets.

COOPER: Which is good news.

TOOBIN: Very good news for Donald Trump to do this. If he had not been able to post this bond, that meant that the state of New York could start seizing his property. Now this situation is frozen for the duration at least of the appeal to the Appellate Division First Department, which is a notoriously slow court. So I think this means months of no action in this case against his property, so that's good news.

COOPER: The whole idea of a fee like this, it's not supposed to be punitive. So I mean, that was one of the arguments that was made of - well, it should be lowered because it's not supposed to be punishing him in order to be able to appeal.

JACKSON: No, it's not punishing him. But at the same time, there was a judicial judgment that was made. The judgment was in the amount of almost a half a billion dollars, and you have an obligation to satisfy that. There was a trial that went forward. There were proof and evidence that were presented in the judge's decision. He parsed every single witness, assessed the credibility of the witness, talked about how the narrative of that witness furthered the cause of the attorney general. What am I saying?

I'm saying that there was adjudication of liability after a trial. And as a result of that, the system provides for you to post a bond in the amount that was against you, so that's what has to happen.

COOPER: So were you surprised they dropped it to 175?

JACKSON: You know what? I was not overly surprised and I think it's good for the judicial system. And here's why I say that, you have a president repeatedly railing about everyone against him and everything's against me. And I think the system looked at it and said, look, let's be fair. Let's be reasonable. Let's give him an opportunity to have his appeal on the merits while we stop this clock of continual interest accruing, accruing, accruing. And that's what this does.

The appeal bond allows everything to be stayed. He can have, that is, Mr. Trump, his appeal on the merits. And it's a system that's inviting him to give meritorious arguments as to why he should prevail, even though he lost in the New York State Attorney General case. And if he does, it'll be reversed. And if he doesn't, it'll go as is. And that $175 million will revert back to the half a billion dollars.

TOOBIN: Maybe. I mean, the state of New York's argument is, look, we won this case. We should not have to have to chase him for the money later on if it's affirmed on appeal, as most cases are affirmed on appeal. If this is affirmed on appeal, the state of New York will take that $175 million. But especially knowing how Donald Trump operates, good luck trying to get the other $300 million or whatever it's going to be, because, you know, he is notoriously difficult to pin down. The argument that the state of New York made was, fine, if you want to appeal, put up the money because we don't want to have to chase you after we win the appeal, as we expect we will.

COOPER: Do you have any details of what was put up for this?

SCANNELL: Well, he has to supply cash in order to back the bond, and his lawyers have said he has the money to do that. This doesn't say specifically the breakdown, if it's mostly cash or if it includes some stock. It wouldn't be the new stock for the company that he just got, because that's locked up for six months.


But it doesn't break it down specifically. But part of Trump's argument about the harm that you were referencing was that he was forced to sell a property to raise the cash to post a bond, and then he were to prevail or say the appeals court knocked down the judgment, he wouldn't be able to get that property back.

So the appeals court gave him this lifeline of saying, you don't have to sell a property if you can come up with 175 and his lawyers viewed that as a victory.

COOPER: All right. I think it's now time for you guys to hand me, Jeff Toobin, Joey Jackson, Kara Scannell, thanks very much.

Moving on, still more questions than answers tonight about the attempted breach of the FBI's Atlanta field office. It happened during the lunch hour, a car ramming one of the entry gates. It was stopped by a moving barrier, the driver then taken into custody.

You may remember less than two years ago, a gunman wearing body armor was shot and killed after trying to breach the Bureau's Cincinnati office.

CNN's John Miller joins us. He's a former New York Police Department deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism.

So John, what are your sources telling you about what happened?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, they've been looking into this individual since this happened at 12:25, trying to figure out what his motive was to crash in and try and get through that barrier. And what we're finding is someone who's a former Navy man who's been working for the last six years at an insurance company in South Carolina, somebody whose social media so far is very noncontroversial, non-political, family oriented. So it's raising as many questions as it's answering.

COOPER: And I mean, for FBI agents, obviously when something like this happens, are they always on alert given recent history?

MILLER: Well, yes. And I mean, you look at the Cincinnati case you just mentioned, there was a guy with an AR-15 who tried to breach the security at the Cincinnati FBI office who ended up being killed by state police and the FBI in a shootout hours later. So they take this very seriously. It's why those barriers are there. It's why the double barriers are there. So if you get past one, you don't get past another.

But those initial moments, once a car rams into that barrier, Anderson, your heart is thumping as you approach that car, right? There's a security booth not far away, and you're wondering, is this an active shooter who's about to pop out with an AR-15? Is it like Cincinnati? Is this whole car, a massive car bomb? What's about to happen?

But you have to keep going. And when they pulled this man out of the car, he did not say (inaudible) the gut right now on the part of the people who are looking into it, and my own is, this is probably an individual who's going through a difficult mental episode, probably not trying to attack the FBI, maybe trying to get in to tell them something that so far is only in his mind. But it certainly set off alarm bells, and it certainly reminded 55 other field offices that security is a top priority, especially with talk about weapons (inaudible) the FBI, witch hunts and all the other threats that are increasing to FBI agents, federal prosecutors and judges.

COOPER: What might somebody be charged with if - I mean, if it is a mental health episode? What happens?

MILLER: Well, on the federal side, destruction of government property, attempted to trespass on federal line. On the local side, it's going to be reckless endangerment. But those are going to be holding charges, really, Anderson. What they're going to first do is get through the evaluation of this individual with the medical professionals, figure out what's really going on with him, talk to family and friends, and then try to get him to care.

COOPER: John Miller, thanks very much, appreciate it.

Coming up next, the deadly airstrike in Syria hitting Iran's consulate. Iran is blaming Israel, what Israel is saying and not saying about it, and who is being targeted next.



COOPER: This is the destruction in Syria's capital after Iran says its consulate was targeted in a deadly airstrike. Both Iran and Syria are blaming Israel for the attack. What Israel is saying and not saying in a moment, according to Iran, seven Revolutionary Guard officials were killed, including two senior commanders.

CNN's Natasha Bertrand joins us now with more.

So what more do we know about who and what was targeted?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the Iranians are placing the blame for this strike squarely on the Israelis. They're

saying that it was six missiles fired from an Israeli warplane that brought down this consulate in Damascus. And they're saying that they are going to take decisive revenge, essentially. They're calling this unacceptable.

And, of course, as you said, seven, at least, officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed, including two very senior commanders in the IRGC. So Israel - Iran vowing to take revenge here. But Israel, neither confirming nor denying that they were behind this strike, instead telling CNN earlier today, according to a spokesperson, that this consulate was not a consulate at all. And according to their intelligence, they do believe that it was actually being used by the IRGC and was being just portrayed globally as a consulate, when in fact it was being used for military purposes.

So we're not getting really any confirmation from the Israelis that this was them. But the Iranians, of course, placing the blame squarely on the Israelis and saying that they are going to take some kind of retaliatory measures, which is, of course, something the U.S. does not want to see. They don't want to see this escalate beyond the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. So they're reaching out to allies and partners in the region now, trying to get a sense of what happened here.

But clearly, this does not bode well for the tensions between Israel and Iran, given that if Israel did do this, then that would have been an attack that Iran sees as an attack on its sovereign territory, Anderson.

COOPER: Meanwhile, the U.S. is close to approving a deal to sell fighter jets to Israel. What more do we know about that?

BERTRAND: So we're learning that the administration is expected to greenlight an $18 billion sale of F-15 fighter jets to Israel. And it comes, of course, at a very delicate moment in the U.S. relationship with Israel, where the weapons sales that the U.S. is greenlighting to the Israelis are really under a microscope.


As lawmakers are urging the administration to condition aid to Israel because of the number of civilians that have been killed in Gaza as they try to get Israel to rein in their operations in Gaza.These weapons sales have really been under scrutiny. But we're learning the administration is preparing to approve this sale. It does have to be notified to Congress and they will have 30 days to basically reject it if they are able to come up with a joint resolution. But it's a very high bar, and it seems unlikely at this point that that is actually going to be blocked.

And the sale would send weapons and fighter jets to Israel within about three to four years. But, of course, it is the symbolism and it is the fact that the administration is agreeing to approve this sale that many people are likely to have a big issue with, especially on the Hill. Anderson?

COOPER: All right. Natasha Bertrand, thanks very much.

Joining us now is David Sanger, White House and National Security Correspondent for the New York Times. His latest book is out April 19th. The title is "New Cold Wars: China's Rise, Russia's Invasion, and America's Struggle to Defend the West."

So David, first of all, what is your assessment of this strike?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, three interesting things about it. First, the Iranians say that this was an embassy property. If it truly was, it's akin to hitting Iranian territory. And that's something the U.S. has been trying to avoid.

COOPER: An embassy is considered sovereign territory.

SANGER: Right. Even a foreign embassy in the United States is considered usually to be on the property of the foreign country. So the Iranians could make the case that you struck Iranian territory. The second thing is there's been a covert war that's gone on for a long time between the Israelis and the Iranians.

You've seen nuclear scientists who were killed in bombings. You've seen attacks on facilities. This -- there's nothing covert about this. You saw the scope of that destruction. This is where the war turns overt, and that's where countries feel like they have to show they're not going to be embarrassed that they will respond.

The third really interesting element of it, I think, though, is that the Iranians have to wonder, how did they know that so many commanders from the Quds force, the elite group of the Iranian military were gathered in one place? There's either a human spy or there was some kind of intercept, but it was remarkable intelligence that they could kill six of these commanders -- seven of these commanders at one shot (ph).

COOPER: In the same way that, I mean, there has been remarkable intelligence that allowed whomever to kill nuclear scientists in Iran.

SANGER: That's right. And, you know, as they were commuting to work and so forth. So it shakes the Iranians. It makes them begin to look for spies within their midst. So in addition to the actual event, what you're getting is sort of a psychological warfare that we're so plugged into you that we can get at it.

And that's, of course, been the key whenever the U.S. and Iran together have gone after an Iranian nuclear facility. Of course, remember, it was President Trump who ordered the killing of the senior commander of the Quds Force, General Soleimani, back in 2020.

COOPER: Yes. Iran had said that they were going to respond after the killing of Soleimani. What sort of response did they end up with?

SANGER: They did some response, but nothing anywhere near what we had expected that they would. Here's their problem. If you're the Iranians, you're thinking, am I falling into Prime Minister Netanyahu's trap here. That Netanyahu has many political reasons to want to see this war expand a bit to the north, make him deal with the totality of Israel's adversaries at one time.

You'll remember that early in the war, the United States had to talk the Israelis down from opening a second front in the north, said you have plenty to do in Gaza. Don't spread your resources. Netanyahu has always been itching to go deal with Hezbollah in the north.

COOPER: And there's plenty of domestic concerns. I mean, he has about his political survival in Israel. I mean, he claims that, you know, most Israelis are behind his actions in Gaza. But if you look at public opinion polling, they don't actually -- I mean, they may be backing the war, they're not necessarily backing him.

SANGER: That's right. And you saw the size of those protests in Israel over the weekend out on the streets. What that tells you is that enough time has gone past since the October 7th attack that we're getting back to the politics as usual in Israel of those who are pro and anti-Netanyahu.

That was all suppressed to some degree because Israel was pretty unified by the need to go after Hamas. The other element of this that is big, of course, is what our arms shipments have been. And the State Department was under a lot of heat for that today.

COOPER: Yes. David Sanger, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

SANGER: Thank you.


COOPER: Just ahead, it's been nearly 10 years since American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS terrorists. Now, a decade later, his mother has released an extraordinary new book exploring his life and untimely murder. Her experience as well, confronting a man involved in her son's death.

My exclusive interview with Diane Foley, along with author Colum McCann and the singer Sting, next.


COOPER: A young American journalist named James Foley, who was covering the horrors of the Syrian civil war, was brutally and publicly executed by ISIS. Jim Foley was murdered after being kidnapped and tortured for nearly two years.


Following his death, his mother, Diane Foley, formed the James Foley Legacy Foundation, which has worked to help other Americans who have been kidnapped and wrongly imprisoned overseas. I spoke to her in 2014, shortly after Jim was killed.


DIANE FOLEY, MOTHER OF JIM FOLEY: Keeps us going is definitely the way Jim lived. Jim will live on. And that is our deepest desire, that this foundation make that happen, in the best sense, that our government can have a better response to American hostages and their families, that we can continue to promote freedom of speech and education in the world, that the best of America can be promoted.

That's our hope, Anderson.

COOPER: And that's his legacy.

FOLEY: That is his legacy.


COOPER: Well now, a decade later, Diane Foley has released an extraordinary new book. It's called "American Mother," along with author Colum McCann. It's a deeply moving, book about Jim Foley and about grief and courage. Jim Foley's story so moved the singer Sting that he wrote a song about him.

Earlier I spoke with Diane Foley and Colum McCann and Sting.


COOPER: First of all, thank you so much for doing this. This book is truly incredible. It is probably one of the best books I have read in many, many years if not in my life. And the writing is just so stunning, and the story is so incredible. Can you just talk, first of all, Diane, about your decision to tell this story, to tell Jim's story?

FOLEY: Well, I've always wanted to tell Jim's story. I just was not able to myself. I really needed a brilliant author who could hear it and give it the form so that others might enter in. I really feel it's a story of loss and grief that we all go through, but also of the threat of the targeting of Americans internationally that we went through and plagues our national security today.

So to me, there are many reasons I really wanted it to get out there. So thanks to Colum and Sting, you know, and to you.

COOPER: You were given the opportunity to actually speak to one of the ISIS members who was involved in the murder of your son and you chose to sit down with him.

FOLEY: Sure. Yes.

COOPER: You write in the book you said, "It was what Jim would have done to rescue something from the baron to know who, to know why. There was no doubt Jim would have been first in line to talk with him."

FOLEY: He would have --

COOPER: Some of your friends thought you shouldn't.

FOLEY: Oh, many thought I was crazy to do that. Many of the return hostages, but thanks to Colum, who was willing to accompany me and the prosecutors who allowed it, you know. It was a bit of healing just to sit with Alexander.

COOPER: That's the man's name, Alexander?


COOPER: Can you talk about sitting in that room? What -- I mean, at one point you talk about almost smelling his breath across from you, you shook his hand.

FOLEY: At the end. It was awkward at first, you know, but there was an openness in Alexander. He -- here, two of the British jihadists who had kidnapped and tortured Jim, Stephen, Peter Kassig, and many others. Alexander chose to plead guilty to all those charges and offered to meet with victims. So there was an odd openness in him.

COOPER: Colum, can you -- what was it like for you to be in that room to witness that?

COLUM MCCANN, CO-AUTHOR, "AMERICAN MOTHER": Incredible. We walked into this big, echoey room in the center of a courthouse in Virginia. There were prosecutors there, there were defense people, FBI agents, court clerks. Diane walked across the room, sat down at this table.

In front of her is Alexander Kotey, who's killed her son. He's wearing shackles on his ankles, and he's in a prison jumpsuit. And she says, Hi, Alexander. It is a pleasure to meet you. And after that moment, everything dissolved and everything became about Diane and him, and to me it was mythic.

I mean to have somebody go in and meet the killer of her son and to talk about faith and to talk about courage and to talk about forgiveness, and also to talk about violence. And all those things that operated between them, it was, one of the most extraordinary moments of my life. And I saw such moral courage, which is what Diane learned from her son Jim, because he talked about moral courage.

COOPER: I want to read just a passage that I think, I mean, I've -- this is page 30 and page 39. I think these are like the, some of the two best pages I've ever read in a book. And you're talking about how -- you said, "It will, she knows, be almost impossible to tell others, her family, her friends about this moment. Hard to believe that the man who tortured her son is sobbing no more than 4 feet in front of her.


Hard to explain that it is most likely not an act. Hard to illustrate how she's contained her emotions. Hard to judge if he is exploiting the moment. Even harder to explain that it's not just the story of a one-year-old child taken from the rubble, or a father crying in a documentary.

Or an anonymous drone strike, or a tortured son, or a journey across a mountain, or a screed of hatred, or a tower coming down, or a city filled suddenly with poison gas, or a scorched earth, or a peddling of fear, or three young children in front of a camera in a refugee camp.

Or a man who ventured out from New Hampshire, or a soldier who guided a remote drone, or a politician sitting in a suddenly small office, or a woman in East London edging her fingers along a photograph, or a six-year-old wondering about his uncle, or a chain hanging in the air of a basement in Abu Ghraib.

Or a blow of a steel pipe against the bottom of a pair of feet in Rafah, or the thud of a fist in the kidneys of a murdered messenger, or the incanted prayers, the way it is all knitted together from Wisconsin to London to Damascus to New Hampshire to Tripoli to Virginia, all these wild and braided things somehow held together and not by language. There is no word for it that she knows of."

That's incredible.

MCCANN: Well, it was a --

FOLEY: Thanks for that.

MCCANN: And it was an incredible story to inhabit. When I first stepped into it, and when we stepped into that room, I knew there was a story here for the ages and that within that moment, we would be able to capture all those other moments.

Because like Diane said, it's sad. It's sad for Alexander. It's sad for all the people in Damascus. It's sad that Jim is not here. There's so -- such an amazing cacophony of sadness around this. And yet she decides that she's going to take something from this.

Not only to keep her son alive, but to change the whole landscape of how we think about hostages and wrongfully detained people over the next few years. That takes courage, the courage of a mother, but also the courage of a courageous citizen as well. So, for me, the story was just expansive.

COOPER: Sting, how did you get involved with this?

STING, MUSICIAN: Well, I was asked by the composer of the documentary about Jim's life if I would write a song for the end, end of the thing. So I watched the documentary and was totally devastated by it. And I said, I simply cannot write a song. There's nothing that's appropriate. I mean, how could I possibly do that?

And then I went home and I tried to put myself in Jim's place or in the memory of his family's place. What would be a ritual that the family could go through that would bring them together somehow? And I had this idea of a table being set for an evening meal and Jim being late, but then an empty chair being there and addressing the empty chair.

And somehow Jim enters that family situation. Completely in my imagination. But it seemed to do the trick. And the fact that I'm here with Diane and Colum, obviously, it did something. But I'm very proud to -- it's a hard song to sing, especially with Diane there, but I'm glad to be part of the story.

COOPER: I mean, you're a person of strong faith. How are you able to survive the, you know, unimaginable? I mean, what you have gone through is unimaginable for most people.

FOLEY: Well, it's the goodness of God through good people, like all of you. Through people who've really supported us and care -- cared about us and held us up through it all. And just God's goodness. It's like almost been like a superpower. Like I had to pray very hard before we went in to see Alexander.

I really wanted to be able to pray to see him as a human being. See him same age as one of my sons. Just to see him as a young man who's made terrible choices. And, you know, that's what's helped me, is just to know that I'm not alone in this, that God is with me and other good people make good things possible, Anderson. I really firmly believe that.

COOPER: Colum, what do you hope comes out of this?

MCCANN: I think I'd love to see people and recognize that the possible actually exists within the supposedly impossible. I mean, Diane is a woman who lives in New Hampshire in an ordinary house and was a nurse practitioner and this awful thing happened and she could have retreated and she decided, no, I'm going to take the world on and I'm going to change things for other people.

That sort of faith is extraordinary. And the fact that we can actually change the world and not refuse to -- or not, you know, become cynical and refuse to hope.


I think there's a daringness there that I want people to see, a risk to embarrassment, a risk to all sorts of things. And to tell your story is an important part of all of this. I think the world is held together with stories and storytellers. And one of the beautiful things is that Jim's story even though he's gone, he's alive and his voice is alive through Diane.

COOPER: Sting, you said about this book that this is a book that will shake your soul out. What was it about Jim's story, about Diane's story that suddenly --

STING: You know, I think Jim's story is all of our stories. Obviously, we're not in that exact situation. But anything that happens to any of us happens to all of us. We are a community, a world community. Not just Americans and English, Irish, you know.

I look upon refugees, for example, as us. They are not a separate species. They are us in a different situation.

FOLEY: And every person can make a difference, you know? Just to try to do good, make a difference for others.

COOPER: Well, thank you so much. This book is really truly extraordinary. Thank you.

MCCANN: Thank you.


COOPER: Again, Diane Foley and Colum McCann's new book is called "American Mother," and I really found it incredibly moving and well worth reading.

Right now, you can watch actually Sting perform the song he wrote in honor of Jim Foley. It's called, "The Empty Chair." He recorded it in our -- or he played it in our studio. You can watch it on and on the CNN app right now. Later tonight, you'll also find it on Instagram and Twitter as well.

Still ahead, after stepping back from public duties following his cancer diagnosis, King Charles was seen in good spirits, welcoming crowds and attending Easter Sunday's church service. Notable absence was still felt. We'll have details next.



COOPER: In a rare public appearance, King Charles attended Easter Sunday service in Windsor just weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer. This was the monarch's most significant outing since his diagnosis. And it comes just a week after his nephew, the son of Princess Anne, said the King was frustrated that his recovery was, quote, "taking a little longer."

More now from CNN's Max Foster.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Members of the public hoping for a quick glimpse of King Charles waiting outside Windsor Castle. But some were invited in by staff to get a closer look. It was a surprise because we were told that doctors had advised Charles not to interact with large groups in case it compromised his immunity. That advice appears to have changed.

After a church service in the chapel in Windsor Castle, an even bigger surprise when he came out and shook hands, confident enough not to wear gloves, though Queen Camilla was spotted with a bottle of hand sanitizer. A royal source told CNN the King's appearance could be seen as an encouraging sign of how his treatment for cancer was progressing.

We're told the road ahead looks positive.

DR. CURTILAND DEVILLE JR., RADIATION ONCOLOGIST, JOHNS HOPKINS: That is encouraging to see that happen and saying -- suggests, you know, the patient is tolerating their treatments. Well, they're, you know, if they're actively under treatment or whatever phase that they're in, they're recovering, they're tolerating and getting through those treatments.

FOSTER (voice-over): The king was clearly in good spirits, and I'm told he's been keen to get out and about again, frustrated that he hasn't been able to commit to his diary of engagements.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can imagine how hard it is for them all, with the public eye being on them, it's even more difficult, isn't it, for them to cope with the measure of the public eye and the media.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the Royal Family have handled it really well and I think they need that privacy and they need that time to get together as a family and support each other.

FOSTER (voice-over): Most of the rest of the family joined the King for the traditional Easter service, including Prince Andrew who's bracing for this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The allegations surrounding Jeffrey Epstein include his friend Prince Andrew.

FOSTER (voice-over): A heavily promoted Netflix movie out this week dramatizing the disastrous BBC 2019 interview that cost him his royal position. Probably the last thing the monarchy needs right now as it tries to rebuild.


FOSTER (voice-over): Notable by their absence were the Prince and Princess of Wales. She's receiving her own cancer treatment.

CATHERINE, PRINCES OF WALES: It has been an incredibly tough couple of months --

FOSTER (voice-over): Kensington Palace isn't suggesting any dates for her return to public duties. Less pressure now, perhaps, that the King appears to be cautiously returning to his own public appearances.


COOPER: And Max, I mean, it was nice to see King Charles seemingly well enough to go out without a mask and gloves on. What more are your sources telling you about the decision that the palace is making right now about his health?

FOSTER (on-camera): Well, I think it was a big reassurance exercise for the public, but also for the family. They're ultimately there to support the King. And now that he's going to be able to do a bit more, they're going to take each engagement one by one, depending on the medical advice.

Then, if he's able to do more, then less pressure on them. Particularly, the Princess of Wales, who's going through chemo has to consider that, and also it's got the kids off school at the moment. I think the next big challenge probably is Friday, this big Netflix movie. It's, you know, many people will remember the interview. It's going to remind everyone of that. It's going to open up a new audience.

And it's not just the associations with Epstein. You're going to see a lot of very realistic behind the scenes footage as well, showing how frankly out of touch Prince Andrew was. I'm empathetic towards Epstein's victims. And these are the sort of values that William and Charles have been trying to move away from. So I think that's going to blow up again. It's going to be a problem. You're probably going to see a lot of it on social media. And we're not going to hear much from this lot about it, I don't think, because he's not a working royal.

COOPER: Yes. Max Foster, thanks very much, Max.

That's it for us. The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now. See you tomorrow.