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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Police In Riot Gear Arrest Students At University Of Texas - Austin; Columbia Univ. Begins Suspending Student Protesters Who Refused To Leave Encampment; UT Austin: Most Protesters Arrested Are Not Believed To Be Affiliated With The University; Historic Trump Hush Money Criminal Trial Resumes Tomorrow; Second Gag-Order Hearing Set For This Thursday On Additional Trump Violations Alleged By Prosecution; "Ethics Matter": NC Female Voters Across The Political Spectrum Discuss Trump's Hush Money Trial; CNN Goes Inside Haiti To Talk To FBI "Most Wanted" Gang Leader Who Claims He's Liberating The Country; Nine Arrested At University Of Florida Campus Protests; Police In Riot Gear Arrest Students At University Of Texas, Austin. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 29, 2024 - 20:00   ET



FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): And their loud voice won't be silenced, he said. And through police actions and violent crackdown policies, they cannot silence the voice of those that protest against this crime and genocide.

Tehran ripping into the U.S. as the protesters on American campuses demand schools divest from Israel and want the Biden administration to pressure Israel to stop its attacks.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And thank you so much for joining us. AC360 begins now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360, protesters defying deadlines and facing academic sanctions at campuses across the country. The latest live on the pro-Palestinian demonstrations, the police response, elements of anti-Semitism, and the impact this all could have on presidential politics.

Also tonight, a look ahead at what to expect when the Trump hush money criminal trial resumes tomorrow morning here in New York.

And a report from Haiti, a CNN exclusive for the country torn apart by gangs. Our David Culver tracks down and interviews one gang leader who's now on the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives list.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us. We begin with pro-Palestinian campus demonstrations entering their second week and growing, it seems, not going away. With spring commencement fast approaching, university officials nationwide are now taking action to confront them. That said, in different ways, with different degrees of success, they're juggling a lot. Freedom of expression, student safety, alumni pressure and, of course, all of it driven by one of the world's truly intractable conflicts.

I want to go first to CNN's Ed Lavandera at the University of Texas in Austin, where police just apparently used some pepper spray on some in the crowd within the last hour. Ed, what's the latest where you are? Just explain what's happening around you.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, all of the protesters that were taken into custody, we don't have an official number yet on the number of people arrested, but what we witnessed was several dozen protesters taken into custody. And once those people were moved off campus, law enforcement officers have now moved away from the scene. And this is what has left of the massive protest scene.

There are still a few people here gathered in the exact same spot where much of this protest started earlier in the day. And it was incredibly tense for some time. We saw state troopers once again return here to the campus and circle this area that had been taken over with tents and dozens of students, which they described, Anderson, as a liberated encampment zone in solidarity with what other campuses have been doing as well.

And when that happened, with the tents come up, university officials say that they were not going to have any tolerance for any kind of occupation or tents that would signify that this was going to grow into a larger protest, a permanent larger protest here on the on the ground and that's when we saw the state troopers and law enforcement come in and over the course of several hours, systematically just pull protesters one by one, taking them away from the scene here this afternoon.

And then there were protesters essentially following law enforcement officers and state troopers trying to force them, chanting at them to get off of campus, pushing them away. And that led to the altercation that you talked about, the pepper spray, as the officers were trying to get those that were arrested onto buses and off of the campus as well as state troopers that - in riot gear that had been brought onto the campus, so another tense day.

But I must say it was very different from what we saw last week in the tension and the violence that - violent altercations that we saw take place between protesters and law enforcement. Last week, there were nearly 60 people arrested. All of those criminal charges were dismissed. So it'll be interesting to see what happens with the protesters that were taken into custody here today in Austin. Anderson?

COOPER: Is it clear how many are actual - the students at UT?

LAVANDERA: Well, university officials told us this afternoon in a statement that they believe that the majority of the people who were involved in today's protest were not students. In fact, they said it was a group that started sending threats to university officials over the weekend, and they're the ones that organized. It was really interesting how this developed.

There had been what had been billed as an educational event. There was poetry reading. There was, like, artwork on making protest signs, that sort of thing. And then over here on the steps of the main tower building, there was a silent vigil by professors. And as that happened, all of this kind of quickly developed into an encampment zone.

So it almost seemed like a very deliberate kind of strategy and a plan to create this particular moment that we saw on campus today. And that's what university officials say they were not going to put up with. And they also believe that much of this was caused by people who are not students here at the university.

COOPER: All right. Ed Lavandera, thanks very much.

Next to Columbia University, which has started suspending student protesters for defying an order to leave their encampments this afternoon.


The school has also closed the campus to anyone but students and staff. CNN's Miguel Marquez is at a protest just outside one entryway to the campus.

So what does it look like right now where you are and what are you seeing?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. These are the main gates. There was a - here at 116th and Broadway, there was a big protest here earlier today, several dozen protesters, but now it's maybe a dozen or maybe a bit more than that, still chanting.

Inside, you can see about 300 yards from here are where the encampment is. Those protesters in that encampment area, some of them have already been suspended, as you said. The school, after that 2 PM deadline, started the proceedings to suspend the students. It sounds like they are trying to identify everybody in that encampment, suspend them so they are no longer students.

And then at some point - the university clearly does not want to call NYPD in again. When they did that two weeks ago, it kicked off this backlash across the country, so they're trying to avoid that. But once they are no longer students of Columbia, push is going to come to shove at some point, and the question is when, Anderson?

COOPER: So were police called into campus today? Because we're seeing images of police putting somebody in a van. Was that something on the campus or outside?

MARQUEZ: Yes, outside there were police. There wasn't a large number, but outside the campus, there are - were police. There are still some NYPD officers, and we saw that arrest. There was a woman that was up on this pole, actually, the light pole at 116 and Broadway. She was putting up a poster. She said that police were telling her to get down. She refused, apparently, and that's when they took her away and put her in the van.

It's not clear if she was arrested. They just took her away. Maybe they let her go a short time later. It's not clear what she was - if she was facing any charges at all, but she wasn't following the police orders, and that's why they let her away. It's not clear how much bigger this protest is going to be. I've walked around the university to see on the other side if there's any protest, but it's very quiet over there.

So it looks like we're in this stalemate between protesters and the university. And at some point, push is going to come to shove, they're into finals now. Commencement's in two weeks. The university clearly wants to get on with the business of being an educational institution, Anderson?

COOPER: Yes, thanks. Miguel Marquez, thanks very much.

Joining us now from campus at Columbia, he's a Columbia student, and CNN Freelancer John Towfighi.

John, how - what have you seen today? How are things right now on campus?

JOHN TOWFIGHI, CNN REPORTER: Yes, thank you for having me on, Anderson.

So today is a beautiful Monday evening. In fact, it's the last day of classes for students at Columbia College and the other graduate schools. And we see a lot of students walking around campus. And, of course, notably, we see dozens of students still in the encampment. And Anderson, as your viewers would like to know, today, university president, Minouche Shafik, put out a statement to the protesters in the encampment saying they had until 2 PM to disband. And like I said, there are dozens of students defying the university president's orders and still out on the lawns.

And what's interesting to know is that this morning, Minouche Shafik sent an email to the Columbia community at about 8 AM, notifying people that negotiations between the students and the administrators had indeed ended. However, what was not said in the email was that at about 10 AM, the university administration began to drop pamphlets in the encampment notifying students of this 2 PM deadline.

As you can imagine, that drew a lot of people to campus to protect the students from potential eviction by the administration.

COOPER: So that actually drew more people to the encampment. So at this point you said - how large is the encampment right now, roughly? Do you know?

TOWFIGHI: Yes. So since the encampment has been on the university grounds since Wednesday, April 17th, there have been roughly 200 students coming, going, sleeping overnight in the encampment. The number is hard to pin down ...

COOPER: Can you show it to us ... TOWFIGHI: ... but I will say I was there.

COOPER: ... on your laptop, actually? Is it behind you? If you can just pick up your ...

TOWFIGHI: Yes, I can pick up the phone ...

COOPER: ... yes, pick up your phone.

TOWFIGHI: ... and show you here. So I'm directly outside the encampment.


TOWFIGHI: You can see there are tents. As I spin around, you can see Columbia's Butler Library, which is the main library on campus. So the students are still out in the force. And today, the students actually voted amongst themselves whether they were going to adhere to the university's demand to disband or whether they were going to stay.

I was here watching that vote, and I can tell you it was an overwhelming majority to stay, with students raising their hands and cheering to stay on the encampment.

COOPER: John Towfighi, I appreciate the report. John, thank you very much.

TOWFIGHI: Thank you. Appreciate it.

COOPER: Joining us now is Lawrence Summers, former Clinton treasury secretary and former president of Harvard University, where he's now president emeritus and a Charles William Eliot University professor.

Secretary Summers, thank you for being with us.

First of all, what is your reaction to these protests, which we are now seeing on campuses at Columbia and in Texas? We've seen them at USC and other places.

LAWRENCE SUMMERS, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: These are very sad pictures. Students have a right to protest. They have a right to express themselves.


They don't have a right to disrupt.

And it's very clear that there's substantial disruption on many campuses. And administrations have agonizingly difficult choices to make. I wish they had made the decision not to allow these students to enter in the first place. I wish that they had rapidly threatened, escalating discipline and suspensions, the inability to graduate, the inability to get credit for the semester.

I wish they had been much stronger in responding to earlier provocations of which there have been many since October 7th. And I think if it had been managed right, we wouldn't be discussing police presences in the way that we are. I think it's not difficult to respond to some things.

For example, the John Harvard statue at Harvard has been defaced by a keffiyeh being placed on it for four days, and no one has even removed that. So I think these are very difficult issues. I think there's a lot you can do short of calling in the police. But it has to be completely clear that you cannot disrupt with impunity.

I also think that there's no reason why those who are not students who are disrupting campus activities should not be promptly arrested and charged with trespassing. I think just as anybody on a university campus, when they get funding from the outside for their activities, is expected to be accountable. I think there need to be close investigations of how these protest efforts are being funded.

So this is not about which side you are or how you think about anti- Zionism versus anti-Semitism, this is about a basic concept of academic freedom, which involves respect for order. And on too many campuses, those values were not upheld with sufficient vigor over the last six months ...

COOPER: Well, let me ask you ...

SUMMERS: ... and rather predictably, we're seeing consequences now.

COOPER: ... let me ask you, I mean, I'm wondering, A, did you ever confront situations like this when you were president of Harvard? When I was at school in the 1985 to '89, there were anti-apartheid protests on campus, but it wasn't turning students against one another and students feeling threatened by other protesters who were screaming at them.

Have you ever faced something like this?

SUMMERS: I didn't - there were not protests of this kind when I was at Harvard. I think largely that was a function of the circumstance and what the particular moment was. It may also have had to do with the fact that there was a sense that there would be a strong and vigorous response.

I agree with you that the thing that's most like this that I can remember is the events that took place during the Vietnam War period where there were threats, epithets hurled at people who were in the military or who supported the Vietnam War and where there were active attempts to demonize people who were members of the community.

And you are seeing that in the acts that are taking place towards Jewish and Zionist students. And that makes this a particularly repugnant form of speech in a way that was not the case in the apartheid protests or the living wage protests.

COOPER: It isn't ...

SUMMERS: So I have to say that I've got very little sympathy for these protesters. And it seems to me that at a moral minimum, they ought to recognize they feel what they're doing is profoundly just. But they should recognize, as Martin Luther King did and as Gandhi did, that accepting punishment, even severe punishment, was part of the act of civil disobedience rather than trying to rally allies to insist that they will not be disciplined.


COOPER: It also seems that some of these - there's professors on the campus at Columbia who are encouraging these protests. They have tenure. They can't be fired. The students can be kicked out. I was amazed to learn that one of the heads of the protests at Columbia during a disciplinary committee Zoom call said that Zionists should be killed and didn't deserve to live and that wasn't grounds for expulsion.

It's only now that that person has been expelled from the school months after that was already out there.

SUMMERS: I don't - I'm not going to comment on the facts of that situation because I don't precisely know it. But yes, something I saw at Harvard was a dean, someone who had the title dean, was busy feeding, passing food, burritos into protesters who'd occupied one of our university buildings. And our administration did nothing about that. And now they're surprised that protests have grown and mushroomed.

So I think there's a real question about accountability for everyone. I think it is integral, even though it's sometimes painful and problematic for faculty to have the right to express opinions in a very free way. That's academic freedom.

But acting on those opinions with respect to student discipline, having that freedom be extended to making statements on behalf of the university, having that freedom be extended to what they do when they're supposed to be objective judges ...


SUMMERS: ... that's a much, much more problematic thing. And I think there needs to be a lot of soul searching about the way universities are governed. And my own sense is that trustees who are the ultimate fiduciaries who make all these rules about tenure and everything else have been much too passive through too much of this episode.

COOPER: Yes. Lawrence Summers, I really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

SUMMERS: Thank you.

COOPER: Joining us now is former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, also Charles Ramsey, former Philadelphia police commissioner, but before that police chief for the District of Columbia.

Andrew, how important is it in your view for a university in this kind of situation? I mean, how - the decision to actually bring in local law enforcement at Columbia, I don't think that had been done really until - since the 19 - late 19 - I think 1968 was the last time actually police - YPD were called in on the campus.

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes. Anderson, it's an incredibly impactful decision and it's one that law or university administrators should consider very closely before they do that. Because once you bring law enforcement in, law enforcement is a very blunt tool. They are there predominantly because the university has reached out and said, hey, we are the property owners. There are people here trespassing on our property in a way that we don't support and we need your help to remove those people.

So that's basically what law enforcement can do, particularly in these private spaces, private universities, things like that. So they're going to come in and try to help disperse the people who are no longer welcome in that space. And they're going to do it by announcing that you have to leave and setting a deadline.

But ultimately, that removal of people becomes a very confrontational and hard-to-watch spectacle. But again, like law enforcement is very limited in the tools that they can bring to that conflict. And ultimately, they bring those tools at the behest of university administrators.

COOPER: And Chief Ramsey, I mean, once law enforcement is on the scene, what is the process of dealing with the protest group that's been asked to disperse?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, hopefully, I mean, you always hope that people will do so peacefully. But clearly, in many of these instances, that's not taking place.

So the officers will use a minimal amount of force, but it doesn't look good. And police are in the middle. I mean, you get asked to go to the university to deal with the situation. But what's being shown on TV are the cops and the demonstrators and it just doesn't look good.

So you do the best you can to try to resolve it peacefully. But the longer this goes, the more difficult it's going to be.

In my opinion, many of these universities made a huge mistake by allowing these encampments to start in the first place. They only get larger and more difficult to get rid of. And so they're really behind the curve right now. You have graduations coming up pretty soon. Columbia, University of Texas, those are the areas where the commencement is going to take place.



RAMSEY: And many of these kids that are graduating will - they didn't have a high school graduation because of COVID. And now they may miss the opportunity to march in college.


RAMSEY: I mean, it's not fair for them either.

Andrew McCabe, Charles Ramsey, thank you.

Coming up next, what we can expect tomorrow on the stand when prosecution testimony in the former president's New York trial picks back up.

Also, we'll hear from independent women voters in the key state of North Carolina from across the political spectrum what they have to say about how the trial and a conviction would affect their decision this fall.


COOPER: Court reconvenes tomorrow in the former president's hush money criminal trial, week three of proceedings, week two of the prosecution's case. Today on a social network, Trump reposted a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham telling CNN's Dana Bash that all the Trump trials are political and in the senator's words, selective prosecution.

Just ahead tonight, we're going to hear from a group of undecided women voters in the key state of North Carolina and get their take on this trial.

But first, CNN's Kara Scannell joins us with what we can expect for tomorrow. So who's starting on the stand tomorrow and do we know who's next?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So on the stand tomorrow will still be Michael Cohen's banker. He started testifying on Friday and he was beginning to give the jury a sense of the documents in this case because as he testified, Michael Cohen was in a hurry to set up bank accounts for two shell companies.

One of those companies' essential consultants is the one that ultimately paid the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, the hush money. So tomorrow I expect the jury will see these wire transfers and it will give them a sense of how this happened all before Michael Cohen is even called to the witness stand, but setting up some of the documents in this case.

And there is a period in this trial, this is about falsified documents, where we're going to have to see some documents and not the sort of narrative testimony that we got from David Pecker.

COOPER: And the idea that this was rushed is important for the prosecution to kind of show that the urgency of it before the election.

SCANNELL: Exactly. The first one that Michael Cohen was setting up was to handle the reimbursement to AMI for paying Karen McDougal. Ultimately, AMI called it off and said they didn't want to do the reimbursement. The second one was for the Stormy Daniels payment. And we've seen the creation of these companies through the documents on Friday and now we'll get the sense of the money trail from here. [20:25:01]

COOPER: I want to bring in also former federal prosecutor, CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig and best-selling author, Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeff, who would you expect to take the stand next?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: They are working up to Michael Cohen. I don't know if he will be next, but he will be soon. But this testimony, it's not the most thrilling stuff in the world to see the checks and the financial transactions put into evidence, but this is going to corroborate Michael Cohen. It's going to be very important testimony that the prosecution is going to say, look, Michael Cohen didn't invent these transactions.

Here are the money that changed hands. Here is how it was done. Here when it was done. So it's very important that this testimony come before Michael Cohen because it will corroborate him, at least in part, when he does take the stand.

COOPER: And that's important, Elie, given his credibility problems.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Look, the goal of prosecutors, the task that prosecutors have to deal with is they have to support Michael Cohen every possible way they can: checks, financial documents, ledgers, other witnesses, because they understand Michael Cohen is a rickety witness. He's got - he has major credibility problems.

And what they want to be able to do is stand in front of the jury however many weeks from now and say, you don't have to take Michael Cohen's word at face value on any of this, because every important thing he said to you is backed up by some document or some other witness. That's the whole ballgame here, in my view.

COOPER: There's also another gag order hearing scheduled for later this week.

SCANNELL: Right. On Thursday, there's a gag order hearing for four new violations or alleged violations that prosecutors have already brought up. I mean, we could get a ruling on the initial gag order violations. Those were the 10 violations that were argued before the judge last week.

In that case, the judge said that Trump's lawyers weren't really giving him anything to hang his hat on. He seemed really skeptical of their arguments why Trump didn't violate the gag order. So one thing we'll be looking for tomorrow is does the judge rule on that before the hearing on Thursday, which is a separate set of statements.

TOOBIN: One thing I find somewhat strange is that he hasn't ruled on the first set of gag order - alleged gag order violations yet because - I mean, part of the reason you have a gag order is you want to stop any sort of bad behavior on the part of the people who are gagged. There is a good case that Trump has already violated it, but the judge hasn't ruled on it yet. Now it's like a perpetual motion machine. He keeps violating the gag

order more, according to the prosecution, so they keep extending more hearings. There should be a ruling very soon.

HONIG: Yes. I'm mystified by this. I mean, I'm officially retired from the art of predicting when this judge is going to rule on this because I think I've said every day it has to be today. And I think he's leaving the door open. And I will say, Judge Merchan is doing a good job so far. He's the kind of judge I would have liked to appear in front of as a prosecutor. He's keeping order and efficiency in that courtroom. But this is a blind spot for him. I don't get what the delay is.

COOPER: In terms - I mean, is it likely Stormy Daniels will be called? Is it likely Karen McDougal would be called?

HONIG: I think yes on both, probably. I think because they're necessarily helpful, let's say, not necessarily necessary, but helpful to the prosecution in sort of playing out this case, in showing the jury who the human beings were here. But the thing to keep in mind, I'm really looking for how is the defense going to cross-examine them? Because neither of them has testimony that goes to the heart of the crime.

The heart of the crime, as Jeff was saying before, it's not the alleged affairs. It's not - it's the hush money. It's not the National Enquirer. It's the way that those financial transactions were structured and accounted for. And an effective cross of Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, both of whom, I mean, you've met Anderson, I think seem likable and personable enough.

An effective cross would just be to go, you don't have the first idea how these payments to you were accounted for in the books, do you. And they'll say no and you go, that's it, fine.

TOOBIN: But that's - that would be an effective cross, I agree.

HONIG: They're not going to do it, but yes.

TOOBIN: That's - they're not going to do it, because the defense lawyers here have to please their client. And their client wants them - wants him to fight, wants their - his lawyers to fight on every issue, even if a short cross like that might be more effective.

COOPER: Elie Honig, Jeffrey Toobin and Kara Scannell, thanks so much. We'll stay on the topic, obviously, with a look at how women voters, all undecided, in North Carolina from across the political spectrum, are reacting to this trial, part of a continuing series by our Randi Kaye. That's next.



COOPER: How women voters react to the former president's hush money trial will be of particular interest to a campaign that's lost that vote by double digits the past two presidential elections.

Our Randi Kaye recently sat down with undecided Republican, Democratic, and Independent women voters in North Carolina, which the former president narrowly won in 2020. It's part of 360's continuing series, the 53 percent, which is the average proportion of women voters in presidential elections since 2000. Here's Randi's report.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I was like, come on over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like a plate?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, girl. Thanks for putting us together.

ELIZABETH PIPPIN NELSON, NORTH CAROLINA UNDECIDED VOTER: It's not the catch and kill that's the issue. It's the cover up that's the worst part, you know. It's -- the devil's in the cover up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, let's put it a good way.

CAROLINA APONTE, NORTH CAROLINA UNDECIDED VOTER: The accountant and me. The numbers don't add up. The math is not math.

TRISH SAEMANN, NORTH CAROLINA UNDECIDED VOTER: He completely sees himself as Teflon. Like he does nothing sticks to him. And I'm really nervous that he's starting to look like he's right.

PIPPIN NELSON: One of these is going to have to take him down. I just can't see how you slither out of 90 plus charges.

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: How many of you believe that Trump should be on trial for this? Raise your hand. All of you.

SHANTE WILLIAMS, NORTH CAROLINA UNDECIDED VOTER: There is not only smoke, there is fire.

BETSY SPRENGER, NORTH CAROLINA UNDECIDED VOTER: How many times can you say it's a witch hunt? I'm personally tired of hearing it.

SAEMANN: So if he's misappropriating campaign funds or, you know, election funds, then yes, he needs to be prosecuted.

DENISE COOPER, NORTH CAROLINA UNDECIDED VOTER: If we have one person who is above the law, then what is the purpose of the law? Your accountant wrote it down.


D. COOPER: Recorded it. You got witnesses who said you did it. Then --

PIPPIN NELSON: It's not about who he's paying for --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. PIPPIN NELSON: -- it's what he's paying for.

WILLIAMS: That's the inequality even in this story because the porn star, the --




WILLIAMS: We're characterizing and castigating the women.


WILLIAMS: They were doing a job.

KAYE: So prosecutors say that Trump has violated his gag order, attacking prosecutors, witnesses, jurors. Does any of this surprise you?

SAEMANN: This person has something more powerful than money. He has an audience.


SAEMANN: He has a rabid audience --



SAEMANN: -- that is very willing to do whatever they want. So then, does even $1,000 per violation or, you know, going to jail for any period of time, is that enough given his influence?

SPRENGER: He's going to have to go to solitary because secret service cannot --


SPRENGER: -- protect him in general population.

WILLIAMS: I don't care. Put him under the jail. Put him in solitary. We do not shriek from putting other inmates in solitary confinement.


WILLIAMS: Put him there and shut up.


WILLIAMS: He can talk to the walls. He can talk to the rats. I don't care.

KAYE: When it comes to your president, do ethics matter? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.



SAEMANN: The leadership of the free world? Yes, ethics matter. Of course they matter.

PIPPIN NELSON: He doesn't care about his family.


PIPPIN NELSON: He doesn't care about anyone except himself.

SPRENGER: Some of those stories might have deterred some of that electorate from actually voting for him. Especially for the far right side of the Republican Party --

KAYE: None of Trump's family has been in court with him to show support, including his wife, Melania.

WILLIAMS: I think she did her duty when she served four years and that was her serving four years.



WILLIAMS: She did not sign up to serve no trial.



D. COOPER: You know, she's going to be criticized for not showing up. She's going to be criticized for showing up. And if it was me, I take the bullet on not showing up.

APONTE: When he was in office, she had no choice but to be present.


APONTE: Now she has a choice to say, I don't need to be part of it.

KAYE (on-camera): If Trump is convicted in this hush money case, would any of you still consider voting for him?




WILLIAMS: Not if convicted.

APONTE: How do you allow then to have somebody do an executive order when they've been convicted of a crime?

PIPPIN NELSON: Right. If you break the law and it's been proven, how can you dictate law?

APONTE: You know, if you break the law as an attorney, your license is taken.

SAEMANN: Ultimately as a public servant. So if you are going to be paying people hush money, tell me how we can trust you with the highest office in this country.

PIPPIN NELSON: But aside from that, it's how do you enforce any punishment that he's given?


PIPPIN NELSON: If the punishment is jail, the argument is going to be --

WILLIAMS: But I'm Alcatraz (ph).


D. COOPER: We have Guantanamo Bay.


D. COOPER: Well, Guantanamo Bay is --

WILLIAMS: He's still there.

PIPPIN NELSON: A place as he could go.

SPRENGER: And then could we have a sitting president who's technically supposed to be sitting in jail? Like --


SPRENGER: -- that also worries me.

SAEMANN: I'm praying for a third party at this point.


A. COOPER: Randi, did the women in your group have thoughts on the witnesses in the trial so far?

KAYE: Yes, they did, Anderson. We talked to them about David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, and he's the one who took the immunity deal, as you know, and then was the first witness for the prosecution. And they felt that even though he had taken the immunity deal, he was a credible witness. And we did have two women who are lawyers in our group.

I also talked to them, Anderson, about their concerns about what might happen if Donald Trump is convicted in this case, and they do have real concerns that it would just ignite his base -- reignite his base really, and that they would see this as a baseless conviction if that does happen, and then that would just be another reason that they would say that was another attempt at stealing the election.

So they have real concerns about that, Anderson. But you could hear how really disgusted they are with Donald Trump. And there were two women in our group who had voted for Donald Trump. So they are undecided, but certainly very turned off by Donald Trump and very concerned about what might happen in this trial, if he's convicted and also concerned about his role in this whole scheme, Anderson.

A. COOPER: All right. Randi, thanks so much.

Coming up next, a CNN exclusive with gangs in Haiti controlling whole neighborhoods in the capital. Our David Culver made a dangerous journey into one gang's territory to interview their leader. He's on the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives list. David's report is next.



A. COOPER: Now a CNN exclusive, a new report from inside Haiti and you're about to hear from a gang leader there who is on the FBI's most wanted list. Our David Culver got to him and as you may know, there's chaos and lawlessness in Haiti and it's been like this for months. Gangling, killings and kidnappings have terrorized the country.

Just last week, Haiti's prime minister officially announced his resignation, giving power to a transitional council that will try to restore order. The gang leader who spoke with CNN's David Culver is one of many accused of helping destabilize the Caribbean nation. As I mentioned, he's one of the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives.

Here's what David found in his exclusive report.


DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This war torn intersection in Port-au-Prince is the blurred boundary signaling we are now in gang territory.

CULVER: This is an area we have never been into before.

CULVER (voice-over): We're told to drive to this road and someone will meet us.

CULVER: He's assured us that he's sending somebody and so we are to just wait for that person.

It looks like a vehicle here, a truck.

CULVER (voice-over): The armed man in the front seat motion for us to follow, so we do. Over rocky and flooded streets.

We're venturing deeper into land that for months, Haitian security experts have warned stay away from. But we've been assured by this gang's leader that will be safe. We only hope his messaging reached all the checkpoints.

CULVER: Four guys in the car behind us as well. So they're fully escorting us in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, they've added a motorbike with two guys.

CULVER (voice-over): After 45 minutes.

CULVER: They were asking us to move.

CULVER (voice-over): Several dozen masked men and women, most carrying guns, direct us towards a driveway.


CULVER: All right, this guy in front of us now seeming to be leading us to some sort of house. Good.

CULVER (voice-over): We're about to step out and meet Vitel'homme Innocent, considered by both U.S. and Haitian authorities to be a violent criminal and leader of the Kraze Barye gang. He's one of the FBI's 10 most wanted. With a bounty of up to $2 million, accused in the kidnapping of American missionaries and the death of another American hostage.

Vitel'homme rarely seeks media attention. Yet given he commands what some U.S. officials say is the largest gang in Port-au-Prince, and his domain includes the U.S. Embassy, we wanted to better understand his motives. Vitel'homme agrees to meet us.

CULVER: Hi there.

CULVER (voice-over): On his turf.

CULVER: I'm David.

CULVER (voice-over): Flanked by his followers, he leads us inside this flashy mansion.

CULVER: And so is this your home?

CULVER (voice-over): In a room filled with gold rimmed furniture and stuffed animals, I ask him about the crisis engulfing Haiti.

Our dream is to rid the country of the corrupt oligarchs and politicians who are holding us back, he says. We need to get rid of the system and return stability to Haiti. He speaks with intention and calls for greater dialogue.

But if it's the same system that's been in power, then, as armed groups, we will never put down our weapons, he says.

CULVER: And so do you have regular communications with, as you say, the other armed groups? CULVER (voice-over): Yes, we're united, he tells me.

The gangs have formed a coalition known as Viv Ansanm, or Living Together, and collectively they push back on foreign intervention, holding tight their grips over a fractured state. Some using terror tactics like kidnapping, rape and murder to sustain control.

CULVER: Is that something you've participated in, in ordering your men and women to kidnap?

CULVER (voice-over): He says he hopes to defend himself in court against those allegations. And while not denying his followers have kidnapped people, he deflects blame to outside forces for creating a state of corruption as he sees it. He's eager to show us other parts of his home and territory and introduces us to his top commander.

CULVER: So you're his cousin?

CULVER (voice-over): Security experts suggest Kraze Barye has more than 1,000 armed gang members, including recently escaped inmates.

CULVER: As you can see, a lot of his armed soldiers and followers are around us. And he's suggesting that we follow and drive with him.

CULVER (voice-over): He brings us to the edge of his territory. We notice his guards, normally curious and watching us, are instead looking outward, cautiously, toward another gang's territory. A reminder that the coalition of gangs might be more fragile than portrayed.

In the midst of our tour, a disturbing video starts circulating on WhatsApp. It reportedly shows the devastating and deadly aftermath of an allied gang attack on a community a few miles from where we are.

CULVER: The destruction, the violence, the deaths that have played out, do you take any responsibility for that?

CULVER (voice-over): He only says he made mistakes and is not perfect. He blames politicians.

We're interrupted. Something nearby puts his guards on edge. We pick up the conversation a short distance away. Senior editor Caitlin Hu, further pressing for an explanation to the horrors we've seen in Haiti.

CAITLIN HU, CNN SENIOR EDITOR: But we have also met in hospitals, women, children innocent people who have been burned, who have been forced to leave their homes, who have been shot, who have been raped. Why are innocent people suffering in this struggle?

CULVER (voice-over): He does not clearly answer. Instead, he frames the months of deadly street violence as collateral damage. He points the finger at police, saying they refuse to engage in dialogue and instead recklessly open fire. Police say they're desperately trying to keep the gangs from gaining more ground.

Vitel'homme claims to be a man of faith, devout in practicing Vodou, a common religion here in Haiti.

CULVER: I've heard rumors, and I don't know how true they are, so I ask you that you have Vodou protection. Do you feel that protection?

CULVER (voice-over): Yes, he tells me confidently, adding that he prays daily for his fellow Haitians.

CULVER: Ultimately, what is it going to take to bring stability and a future of calm to this country?

CULVER (voice-over): He says he and the other armed groups need to be included in discussions of Haiti's future. That's the only way he sees convincing gang members to drop their guns in exchange for a future outside of violence.

As curfew nears, we head back the way we came. Vitel'homme stopping several times along the way, mingling with locals, handing out food, smiling as though on a campaign trail.

CULVER: We're getting out.


CULVER (voice-over): He wants us to meet these two men, blind refugees. They tell us Vitel'homme took them in. But it leaves us wondering, why help these men and force so many others out of their homes? Look at actions over words, he tells me.

As we near the edge of his territory, and the end of our five-hour visit --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, let's not hang around here (INAUDIBLE).

CULVER (voice-over): Vitel'homme gets out of his motorcade, waves for us to move forward and strolls to the desolate street corner. He then comes to our door and shakes each of our hands. His actions, intentional and symbolic.



CULVER: Here we are, just blocks from the U.S. Embassy and that's clearly demonstration of how confident he is and the many he has around him is playing their show of force.

CULVER (voice-over): A flexing of strength in a lawless nation. Where, today at least, gangs hold the power.


A. COOPER: And David joins us now. What's the latest with the Kenyan police force that's supposed to one day come? And this transitional council, did they, I mean, is there any hope ahead for Haiti in terms of regaining control of the streets. CULVER (on-camera): Right. So this is the MSS, the multinational security support that you're referring to, Anderson. And as of now, it's on hold until the transitional council is able to vote for an acting prime minister or somebody to take charge. That's what the Kenyans were asking for. And that's why they held off because they said, well, right now, nobody's really in charge.

So we don't want to send them into total dysfunction. But now it seems like with this transitional council now in place, they are moving towards some sort of stability in trying to establish then that MSS to come in. What's really interesting is last week, there was a breaking of the seal, if you will, at the Port-au-Prince airport.

It's been shut down to commercial flights for several weeks. We've had to go in through various other means, including helicopters, to figure out how to tell the story. But the breaking of the seal came when a U.S. fixed wing aircraft touched down. And it was quite symbolic there, because it's bringing in, officially, some added supplies for the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, which happens to be in Vitel'homme's territory, but it also suggests that there's more to come.

A. COOPER: All right. David Culver, thank you very much.

Coming up, we'll return to our breaking news. The student protest standoffs have led to more arrests in Columbia Universities among schools that has begun suspending student protesters.



A. COOPER: Turning here, our breaking news. Arrested college campuses across the country during student pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Just moments ago, the University of Florida in Gainesville said it arrested nine demonstrators. Columbia University began suspending students earlier today after someone defied a deadline to leave.

We're joined by Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. You've gone to Columbia. You've gone to a lot of campuses across the country.


A. COOPER: What did you see? What are you hearing?

GREENBLATT: I mean, the scenes are quite amazing. It's almost kind of sad. So you really have a very small number of protesters. I mean, take Columbia. Columbia is nearly 30,000 students, about a couple hundred people.

At UCLA, I was at UCLA yesterday. They there have, you know, 48,000 students. And again, we're talking about a couple hundred. So less than 1 percent.

A. COOPER: And how many of them are actually students?

GREENBLATT: A lot of them are not students. They conceal their faces entirely, so you can't even tell who's an outside agitator, and who's an actual student. But it's sad the way that, like, all the kids deserve to be able to study. All the kids deserve a commencement. All the kids deserve a graduation. And a small minority are disrupting the opportunity for everyone and just violating the rules.

A. COOPER: What would you like to see universities doing that they are not currently?

GREENBLATT: Yes, I mean, it's really -- it's sort of bizarre the way the presidents are stumbling, I think. But there's some simple things to do. Number one, they do need to resort of institute law and order, like President Summers said earlier.

Not with excessive force, but you need to make sure these students understand they got to play by the rules. So number one, you need to make sure all the students are safe. I've talked to enough Jewish students to know they feel intimidated and menaced, and there haven't been consequences. So that's number two.

If you violate the rules, the administration shouldn't make concessions to you, as we saw happen at Columbia and Northwestern. There needs to be consequences. Again, if you violate the rules, you should be suspended like anyone else.

And then number three, no full face masking. I mean, again, I just don't think it's appropriate. And it doesn't impinge upon your freedom of speech, that you shouldn't dress up like an ISIS fighter, right? Like, there's no rule that says the school needs to tolerate students or, again, outside activists dressing like they're in Al Qaeda.

A. COOPER: We also had an incident where the -- one of the student leaders at Columbia talked openly to administrators about the saying Zionists, you know, shouldn't live. And they didn't do anything about it.

GREENBLATT: Yes, it's hard to understand why they're making concessions rather than consequences. But you're right, like, kill the Zionists? You know, threatening their other classmates. This is not just dangerous for Jewish students, although it is, it's also dangerous for all of us.

Like this isn't normal. This isn't what college is supposed to be. And we need to finally get the administration to remember a small fringe shouldn't ruin the experience for everyone.


GREENBLATT: And even as we do that, I'll just say, let's keep in mind, we've got to have, you know, fierce hope for these hostages. We're still being held in Gaza, as well as deep compassion for the Palestinian civilians who are suffering.

A. COOPER: Yes. Jonathan Greenblatt, I appreciate you being with us. GREENBLATT: Thanks.

A. COOPER: Thank you. The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now.