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CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip

Israeli Airstrike Targeting Hamas Hits Refugee Camp Again; Pressure Mounts On Biden Over Israel's Strikes On Civilians; Carson One Of The Few Cabinet Members To Endorse Trump; One Of Ex-Trump Cabinet Members Endorses The Former President For The 2024 Presidential Race; "Friends" Co-Creators Share Thoughts On The Passing Of Its Co-Star Matthew Perry. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired November 01, 2023 - 20:00   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: House Republicans voting to spare embattled Republican Congressman and serial liar George Santos. A Republican-led resolution failed to expel him from Congress tonight. Of course, he facing 23 federal charges, including wire fraud and identity theft that he has pled not guilty, I should note. But that's what led to what you saw happening on the House floor today.

Santos is still facing a House ethics investigation. They have promised an update coming in the next two weeks or so. And House Republicans are waiting to see what happens there. We will keep you updated.

Thank you so much for joining us. CNN Newsnight with Abby Phillip starts right now.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: An American president under pressure suggesting a pause in Israel's bombing campaign as the war tears this world further apart. That's tonight on Newsnight.

Good evening. I'm Abby Phillip in Washington.

As the war against Hamas continues to accelerate, the more it appears that old global divides are growing wider and deeper. Today, again, Palestinians carrying children away from heaps of mangled concrete. The IDF struck Jabalya, rocking that refugee camp for a second time this week. Israel says that Hamas is hiding leaders and infrastructure there and using civilians as shields. But, again, Palestinian families are tonight praying that it's not their turn to count the dead.

Satellite imagery may provide the clearest view, before Jabalya unscarred, and then after Jabalya splintered by IDF bombs.

But with each passing day, each deadly incident and each scene of despair, we see more division. President Biden tonight says Israel should pause strikes in Gaza to get more hostages out, but the president, otherwise, wants to give Israel the space to fight this war how chooses. It's a position, though, that progressive Democrats, like Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, say they will not let stand. We see the divides in New York, too, where Jamaal Bowman, a rising star on the left, now faces a four-fire alarm for his political career, a potential primary challenge over demanding a ceasefire.

Republicans, too, are far from immune to division over this war. The House speaker is at odds with Senate Republicans over how to pay for aid. The division and paralysis that comes with it leaves a vacuum, often filled by the most extreme voices.

And for evidence, just look at Congress today. On the House floor, where Florida Republican Brian Mast said this.


REP. BRIAN MAST (R-FL): I would encourage the other side to not so lightly throw around the idea of innocent Palestinian civilians, as is frequently said. I don't think we would so lightly throw around the term innocent Nazi civilians during World War II.


PHILLIP: Mast making no distinction between the people of Gaza and the terrorists of Hamas. Even the IDF says you can't help but feel regret about the human toll.


LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, SPOKESPERSON, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: Sad images really at the human level. When I watch it and I detach myself from the reality that we are facing, I see sad events and I see people suffering, and that is not something that we intend to.


PHILLIP: That reality that he is referring to there that Israel is facing is one of the most intense moments in its history, defending itself from a homicidal group next door, Hamas, which has vowed to eradicate Israel at any cost.

The reality this night, this minute, is that this conflict sparked by Hamas has spawned an explosion of hate worldwide. Just one demoralizing example, the Jewish section of a Vienna cemetery set on fire and desecrated with swastikas.

Tonight Israelis and Palestinians, the U.S. and the world, Democrats, Republicans, Democrats and other Democrats, Republicans and other Republicans, all seem further apart than they have been in some time.

Chris Wallace joins me in a moment on these tensions and the Biden dilemma.

But, first, I want to bring in Israel's deputy chief at Israel's U.S. embassy, Eliav Benjamin. Mr. Benjamin, thank you so much for joining us tonight. The repeated strikes on the Jabalya refugee camp I think raises some questions for people, as Israel says that it is trying to avoid civilian casualties.


How does that square with repeatedly striking this area where we know that there are civilians?

ELIAV BENJAMIN, DEPUTY HEAD OF MISSION, ISRAELI EMBASSY TO U.S.: Well, thank you, Abby, for the question, for having me as well. Jabalya is a stronghold of Hamas. We know this. We knew this. Most of the world that was willing to listen to us before the war knew this, but was unwilling to really listen. And this is where the Hamas headquarters are.

And the fact that they station themselves underneath hospitals, in schools, in residential areas is on their hands, and this is on them alone. The finger should be pointed their direction for hiding in tunnels and even creating the tunnels to begin d with, which when we target the tunnels, and we do not target civilian population, we target the tunnels and we target the terrorists themselves, when they collapse, yes, there is some damage because -- which is unintentional. And, again, we don't target the civilians. It's the Hamas who are using their own population as a human shield. They have done this for years now. And now they are doing it in war.

PHILLIP: I understand that point, certainly, but I wonder, does Israel know how many civilians were killed in these two strikes?

BENJAMIN: No, I don't think anybody really knows. And we won't know until the dust settles after the war probably when we get the real numbers. We have seen numbers coming out by the Palestinian authority or by the Palestinians, in general, especially by Hamas, which are completely, completely false. We know this. Nobody can count on Hamas --

PHILLIP: If you don't -- I guess I wonder -- if you don't -- pardon me for interrupting, but I guess the curiosity that I have is, if you don't know, how do you know that those numbers are false? And, secondly, you know, as all, you know, modern militaries do, there has to be an assessment of whether the cost in human life, civilian life, is proportional to the target that was struck, the military target that was struck.

And so as Israel is going through these assessments, if you don't know how many civilians are there, how many could be killed, how are you assessing the proportionality of a strike like this?

BENJAMIN: I don't think I want to go into -- you would like to go into the conversation and discussion about proportionality after what Hamas had done to us on October 7th with massacring over 1,400 people, abducting over 250 people into Gaza and thousands of people who were injured. This is what proportionality is about.

When you talk and when you see the images and the footage of the atrocities that they have done, Israel has and will continue to do everything it needs to, to get rid of Hamas. And Israel, being a humane country and humane military, one of the most humane in the world, adhering to the international legal authorities and the rules of law, we are pinpointing the terrorists. This is the ones that we are after.

PHILLIP: And just to be clear, when I talk about proportionality, it's obviously not comparing this strike to the horrible terrorist attack that was committed against Israel on October 7th. It's really what you just mentioned, which is the question of, you know, the rules of war, the international -- the legal framework that Israel and the United States operates under. When it comes to specific attacks, that's what I'm talking about.

But I also just want to ask you, I mean, you just mentioned that the killing of civilians in these particular strikes was unintentional. But an IDF spokesperson earlier this week told CNN that Israel did know that there were civilians there who would be in the line of fire if it were bombed. So, it sounds like Israel was aware and took that into consideration and conducted the strike anyway.

BENJAMIN: Abby, we are not hiding behind the fact that civilians are victims of this war. But, again, the finger should be directed to Hamas. Let me remind us all that from day one of the war, Israel called repeatedly on all those living in the northern part of Gaza to go down south, and they haven't all done that. They did not all do that. There is still about 250,000 Palestinians still living in the north. And we are continuing to call for them to go down south, which is further away from harm's way.

PHILLIP: Can I ask you that as well? Because one of the things that we hear from eyewitnesses, people who we are in touch with who are in the south, they say that the south is being bombed, too. And some Palestinian civilians are not sure if there is any place in Gaza right now that is safe. Is that --

BENJAMIN: This is not true.

PHILLIP: -- an unrealistic assessment from their experience?


BENJAMIN: It's not a question of assessment. It's a question of false lies that they are coming and accusing us with time and time again. There is an area which is a safer area on the southwestern part of Gaza, close to the coast, which is a safe place. We know where it is. We do not intentionally target those who are bystanders and have nothing to do with the war.

We are going after Hamas and we will continue to go after Hamas. And they are the ones who are using their own people as human shields, taking their own people, if you want, as hostages and putting them in the first line of fire so we won't attack. But we will attack those who are after us.

PHILLIP: And certainly I understand what you're saying about Hamas really being embedded in the civilian population. That, I think, seems to be true based on the evidence available to us.

However, when it comes to the broader picture for Israel here, as Israel conducts this war, there is also public opinion, not just in the region, but globally. Is there any concern that -- how these attacks impact the civilian population could make it more difficult for Israel to keep the support that it needs from the international community in order to fully execute this war?

BENJAMIN: I think what the international community understands and needs to continue to understand that we are not fighting just a war for Israel. We are fighting a war for the whole international community. This is more than the ISIS, more than the Al-Qaeda that we are fighting. And if we do not win this war in a very, very clear way with the support, the continued support of the international community, tomorrow morning, it could to be here in the United States or in Europe or anywhere else around the world because people and entities are wanting to copy Hamas like we saw them copying ISIS over the years.

So, this is not just our war. And the fact that the international community within the U.N. system at least did not find its way to come and condemn Hamas in a clear way since the beginning of the war, this, I think, is outrageous on its own. We are hearing condemnations from countries across the board in support of Israel, as we should, because this is our fight for justice and our fight for what's right, and actually our fight for the well being of the Palestinians in Gaza.

And what we are saying is free Gaza from Hamas because of what they are doing to their own people. It's the U.N. system, unfortunately, that didn't find it appropriate until now to come and condemn Hamas.

PHILLIP: All right. Eliav Benjamin, thank you very much for joining us.

BENJAMIN: Thank you, Abby.

PHILLIP: And next, Chris Wallace joins me on the pressure that the president is facing from his own party over this war.

Plus, tensions are high on the Senate floor right now as Republican senators call out one of their own. See what just happened.

And why was Senator Bob Menendez, who is accused of acting as a foreign agent, allowed into a classified briefing today?


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You are being accused of aiding a foreign government. Why is that appropriate for you to go to a classified briefing?



[22:17:02] PHILLIP: Pressure is mounting on President Biden not just internationally but here at home. He is facing heat from the left flank of his party to support a ceasefire or risk losing votes in 2024.

Now, more than a dozen Democrats are pushing for a resolution on an immediate ceasefire. And just today a group of Muslim leaders in the key state of Minnesota are holding Abandon Biden signs and announcing that they will not support the president's re-election bid. And a new Quinnipiac poll shows that among people aged 18 to 34, a key group in the Democratic coalition, 66 percent disapprove of Biden's handling of this war.

And joining me, Chris Wallace, host of the new CNN program, The Chris Wallace Show, airing this Saturday at 10:00 A.M. as well as Who's Talking to Chris Wallace, on Max.

Chris, there is so much happening in this conflict between Israel and Hamas, but one of the main things that I think people might remember a long time is this Jabalya refugee camp strike. And it really does show the tightrope that President Biden is facing on this issue, even within the Democratic Party. How is he handling the left wing of his party that is growing impatient with him, and really dissatisfied with how he is handling Israel?

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: Well, it's a delicate dance. You're exactly right. I mean, he started off, it was easy, I stand with Israel, but particularly as Israel has stepped up its attacks inside Gaza, now these two attacks which appear to have hit a lot of civilians in that refugee camp, it becomes harder. Because, on the one hand, he keeps saying publicly that Israel needs to abide by the laws of war and they need to have humanitarian concerns.

I think that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes in terms of them pressing, he and some top people, like Blinken, secretary of state, behind the scenes. Publicly, he has not been as critical of Israel particularly, as a lot of people, as you said, particularly in the left wing of the Democratic Party would like him to be. And as this war, it's only going to get more violent, it's only going to heat up, I think it's going to be tougher and tougher for President Biden to stay in that tightrope.

PHILLIP: Yes. And as we have been discussing in the program, this war really has really highlighted these divisions within American political society, Republicans divided over how to pay for Israel aid, whether to link it to Ukraine, Democrats divided as well. Some Democrats even facing primary challenges over their support for pro- Palestinian efforts, but perhaps among some on the left, it's viewed as not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. How is this playing out just broadly in American politics?

WALLACE: Well, I think you have seen more criticism of Joe Biden, open criticism from the left over this issue, Israel and the Palestinians, than any time since he took office.

[22:20:08] I mean, there was one resolution in the House that was simply to support Israel and condemn Hamas. Not the Palestinians, Hamas. Nine House Democrats voted against it and six House Democrats voted present.

And as you say, they are facing backlash at home, depending on whether they are seen as being insufficiently supportive of Israel or the Palestinians. So, it's a very delicate issue. And I think it could have real political ramifications for the president in his re-election and for a lot of individual House Democrats as they seek re-election next year.

PHILLIP: Yes, Arab-American communities threatening President Biden to basically withhold their support in the next election. Small communities, but it might ultimately end up mattering.

So, Chris, I also want to get your take on this. Senator Bob Menendez, who is indicted for basically bribery charges and accused of being a foreign agent, he actually attended a classified briefing on Ukraine today, on the Hill. This is what happened when Manu Raju on Capitol Hill pressed him on this issue.


RAJU: Well, why did you go to this classified briefing?

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): Because getting an update on Ukraine is something that's worthy as we consider the supplemental.

RAJU: You are being accused of aid ago foreign government. Why is it appropriate for you go to a classified briefing?

MENENDEZ: You know, Manu, you are going to make news. The bottom line is, I am a United States senator. I have my security credentials and an accusation is just that. It's not proof of anything.


PHILLIP: Now, he is not wrong, right? The accusation is an accusation, innocent until proven guilty. However, this is the paradox, you know, facing Senator Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate. Does he allow this to continue given the severity of the allegations facing Menendez?

WALLACE: Well, it's interesting when Manu asked him, he said, why did you attend this briefing, because he didn't attend a briefing on Israel, and I guess the argument was because he is alleged to have been a foreign agent for Egypt, that anything to do with the Middle East would be too hot to handle but Ukraine doesn't have something to do with Egypt, so it is okay.

But it shows you the really untenable situation. You're in there, more than half of the Democratic caucus, more than 7 -- rather, 30 of the Senate Democrats have urged Menendez to resign, but he is still a senator. It is a presumption of innocence. It is an accusation, you know, not a conviction. So, on what grounds can you prevent him from -- he stepped down as chairman, but he is still a member of the Intelligence Committee. And I guess the caucus is not ready at this point to say, no, you can't go to briefings at all.

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, look, these are self-governing bodies. They can do whatever they want, essentially. So, the fact that he is still in the Senate, he is still attending these briefings, that's a choice that was made by, you know, leaders in the Senate and by his own party.

Chris, you have got this really exciting news, a new show starting this weekend. Tell us about it.

WALLACE: Yes. I want to just say, first of all, I am not an egomaniac, Who's Talking to Chris Wallace and The Chris Wallace Show. I did not make that decision. That was done by somebody else. But at least you know where to find me.

It's going to be very exciting. It's going to be a political panel talk show. I know we have a lot of them. But this is going to be just that, just journalists, four of them, two kind of skewing a little bit to the left, two skewing a little bit to the right. And we are going to talk about all the issues that we talk about.

I think it's going to be a little different than anything else on CNN. You know, it has a little bit of overtones for older folks out there of the McLaughlin Group, and I hope it's as entertaining and, hopefully, as informative as that was.

PHILLIP: Well, that's a good, you know, analogy to make, I think, for a lot of audiences. So, I am really looking forward to it.

Chris Wallace, you can catch him this weekend with the premier of The Chris Wallace Show airing this Saturday at 10:00 A.M. only here right on CNN.

And up next, he is one of the few who served in Donald Trump's cabinet who publicly endorsed him. Why Ben Carson is sticking by his former boss. I will ask him that next.

Plus, Senator Tuberville's attempt to block military promotions is now turning into a battle on the Senate floor and it is members of his own party who are calling him out.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Believe it or not, Senator Tuberville, this is doing great damage to our military. I don't say that lightly.




PHILLIP: You can literally count them on one hand. Donald Trump served four years as president, routinely overseeing cabinet meeting like this one here, but all of those people who gathered around the table, the senior most members of the United States government under Trump, Ben Carson is one of the few who has actually committed to voting for him in 2024.

And joining me now is Dr. Ben Carson. He served as housing and urban development secretary during the Trump administration. Dr. Carson, thank you for being here.

As I just noted, you are one of the few former Trump cabinet members to publicly endorse him in this campaign. Most of your former colleagues in cabinet have either stayed on the sidelines, saying nothing at all, or they have said pretty loudly he is unfit to hold office again. So, why should that not be a red flag to the American people?

DR. BEN CARSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Abby, thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be you. There are a number of reasons. First of all, during President Trump's time in office we had a booming economy. We had the lowest unemployment for many segments of our population. We were respected around the world, energy independence. Crime was treated with punishment. We had a secure southern border and people had hope for the future. They felt they were moving in the right direction. That's one set of reasons.

The other set is much more substantial, and that is if the opponents of President Trump are allowed to weaponize the judicial system and the Department of Justice and our system of checks and balances in order to obliterate their political opponent, we will have lost something very important.


Benjamin Franklin came out --

PHILLIP: But again, I have to -- but again, Dr. Carson, I have to ask you, I mean the question really is why aren't there more people like you, who actually worked with, served under Donald Trump, who are willing to actually endorse him? I want to read some quotes from your former colleagues.

John Kelly says, God help us at the thought of another Trump term. Mark Milley, we don't take an oath to a wannabe dictator. Mark Esper, unfit for office. Dan Coats, to him, a lie is not a lie. Gina Haspel, a six-year-old with a tantrum, is how she described her former boss. What are they seeing that you're not seeing?

CARSON: I think the better question is what are they not saying? And they are not seeing the big picture. If, as I said, we allow our Justice department to be weaponized, we will have lost something very precious and important. We will become like a banana republic. And that is incredibly important. We would have lost the republic that Benjamin Franklin talked about.

PHILLIP: But what evidence do you have, Dr. Carson, that the Justice Department has been weaponized against Trump specifically? I mean, there's no evidence of that. CARSON: Well, let's put it this way. Al Capone, who was a notorious

killer, had one indictment, and Donald Trump has four indictments. That would tell you something right there.

PHILLIP: I don't think that's evidence of anything except that Donald Trump allegedly has committed conduct that has resulted in indictments.

CARSON: It's evidence that you have a group of people, a system that is out to get this president, and they feel that he is an existential threat to their existence. And we have to recognize that America was designed for the people. It wasn't designed for the government.

PHILLIP: Well, you're suggesting that this current administration, which is the president, President Biden, a Democrat, is weaponizing the Justice Department. I didn't really hear any evidence there, but here's what other Republicans have said. This is Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney. They have said that this election is about preserving democracy, and they've been pretty explicit that they think Donald Trump is a threat to American democracy.

As someone who's endorsed him, can you point to anything that Donald Trump has done to defend American democracy?

CARSON: I can't point to anything that he has done that is a threat to democracy. And that's a real question here if you say.

PHILLIP: What about January 6th? What about his actions after the November election in 2020 where he tried to undermine the results of a free and fair election? What about that?

CARSON: I think the fact that he felt that the election had been rigged, had been stolen, you know, that's something that we've seen for election after election going back many decades. Famously, Hailey Cratton questioned the 2016 election.

So, you know, it's really a matter of perspective. If one is particularly swayed in one direction or the other direction, they're unable to deal objectively. You know, I want to look at the facts here.

PHILLIP: Well, look, I mean, when we talk about the facts, what happened after 2020 resulted in January 6th, which was a violent insurrection against the United States Capitol that's seen dozens of people prosecuted and charged and convicted. Those are not really the same thing at all when you compare it to 2016. But I also just want to raise to you, you know, former President Trump, has openly mused on his social media platform about terminating the Constitution. How does that factor into defending American democracy?

CARSON: Well, I think you have to look at the context of what things were said, how they were said, you know, and which parts of the Constitution are you talking about?

PHILLIP: Are there any parts of the Constitution that should be terminated? CARSON: There are no parts of it that should be terminated, but they

need to be well interpreted. They need to be looked at in the right way. For instance, you have people who are trying to take away people's rights to bear arms. You know, and they say that part should be terminated. That's not true. But, you know, you can make strong arguments. But the key thing that we have to do as a nation at this point, we have some very major differences. We have one group of individuals who feels that our country should be people-centric.


And we have another group that feels that it should be government- centric. They need to be able to sit down at the table, put the facts in the middle of the table, and resolve their differences by discussing the facts and how they can both use those things in an appropriate way. We the American people are not each other's enemies, but there are people who are always stoking the fires of differences and trying to create animosity among the different groups.

PHILLIP: It's surprising to hear you say that because, you know, just in the last couple of days, former President Trump has out loud, you know, talked about retribution against his political enemies. He's talked about settling grievances, about jailing his political opponents even, is that the kind of, you know, tamping down of rhetoric that you say you expect from leaders? You just endorsed him.

CARSON: I would expect on either side if there are people who are committing criminal activity that they should be punished. No question about that. And that goes for everybody in our system.

PHILLIP: So if Trump is convicted of any of the accusations against him, and by the way, both at a local level and at a federal level, should he be punished?

CARSON: Well, you obviously will have to let the system play out. You have to let all the appeals that will be done be carried out and see what happens. But if, in fact, anybody in our system, it doesn't matter who they are, they can be the janitor or they can be the president. Everybody should be judged according to the same set of standards.

PHILLIP: All right, Dr. Ben Carson, thank you for joining us. I Appreciate your time.

CARSON: My pleasure, thank you.

PHILLIP: A fight on the Senate floor erupting over Senator Tommy Tuberville's military holds and his Republican colleagues are the ones not holding back.

Plus, the co-creators of "Friends" reflect on Matthew Perry and how he was doing in the weeks before his death.


[22:41:14] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR: The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it. That was the end of the night.


PHILLIP: Fans of the hit sitcom, "Friends," are awaiting more information to try to make sense of Matthew Perry's sudden death. And according to officials, it could take weeks before we get it. Medical examiners are now waiting on the results of toxicology reports in order to officially determine the actor's cause of death.

If you watch "Friends," you'll certainly recognize my next guest's names, which appeared at the end of the opening credits on every episode. The co-creators of "Friends," David Crane and Marta Kauffman, join me now.

David and Marta, thank you both so much for being here. I know that this is really a devastating time for you both and I'm so very sorry for your loss.

David, if I could start with you, how are you handling the loss of Matthew Perry today, so suddenly it seems?

DAVID CRANE, CO-CREATOR, "FRIENDS": Yeah. It still doesn't quite feel real. I mean, he was such an alive person. He was probably one of the funniest people I'd ever met and so bright and so present. So the fact that he's gone, just there's a part of it that still feels impossible.

PHILLIP: And Marta, when was the last time you had a chance to talk to him? A couple years ago there was the reunion of course, but did you see him or talk to him recently?

MARTA KAUFFMAN, CO-CREATOR, "FRIENDS": I spoke to him about two weeks ago, maybe three weeks at this point, and he sounded great. He sounded great. He sounded better than I've heard him in a while.

He was full of energy and there was optimism, which was not his strong suit. And he felt like he found a purpose by being of service to other people.

PHILLIP: David, you know, in an ensemble cast in a show like this that really was a blockbuster of historic proportions really for television, how did Matthew stand out? How did you know, or when did you know that his character, Chandler, would take on such significance to this fan base?

CRANE: I mean, from the minute he walked into his audition and read Chandler, there was absolutely no question that he was Chandler. It was so evident immediately. And you don't know how the show's going to be received by fans. You don't. You just -- you try to do the best show you can. But from -- he brought so much to the character, I mean sometimes you just have actors who are terrific and deliver the lines but Matthew so made it his own even his iconic could I be anymore. That was all him, that he -- that was -- that was all Matthew and his timing and his physical comedy. It was unparalleled.


KAUFFMAN: And if I can add to that, if I can add to that, when we were first creating the series, Chandler was not a main character. We originally intended him to be a secondary character. And then Matthew walked in. And that was that.

PHILLIP: Yeah. Marta, you mentioned, you just said earlier that I guess optimism was not Matthew's strong suit. It's interesting to me in a lot of ways. I mean, everyone I think at this point knows the struggles that he had during the filming even of the show and that he was very transparent about afterward. When you think about his journey from the beginning of this extraordinary program to its end 2004, how did that go for him? And how did he grow as a person or change as a person as a result?

KAUFFMAN: You know, I think as time went on, he became more and more aware of what he didn't want. At least it felt that way to me more than what he did. I mean, he used to talk, he did talk a lot about having a family, which sadly he never had the opportunity to do.

And in terms of his growth, I think over the years, Not only did he grow in terms of being part of this ensemble, but he graciously stepped into the role of being famous. He was very gracious about it.

PHILLIP: Which is not easy for a lot of people to do for sure. You know, it's been so notable, because this loss has been so shocking to all of you. You know, the cast members, I mean, they took a minute to say something about this loss for all of you. Have either of you or both of you spoken with other cast members since Saturday? How is everyone holding up?

CRANE: Yeah I think everyone's kind of in the same place in that it is. It's shocking, it's devastating, it hurts, it's very raw. I was talking with Matt Leblanc today and we were just sharing just how unexpected it was and did it still really hurts.


KAUFFMAN: Look, they're sad. I think, you know, as it has been said before, and I don't remember by whom, it's shocking, but not terribly surprising. You know, he, unfortunately, his body got beat up over the years and he was dealing with a lot of health issues over the past seven years, eight years.

So the fact that there was some major event considering all that wasn't surprising, but his death was shocking.

PHILLIP: And David, as you spoke with Matt LeBlanc today, did he share anything, any memories with you that you would mind sharing with us?

CRANE: We weren't really sort of reliving moments as much as just talking about how amazing those 10 years were and what a gift that was for all of us. PHILLIP: Well, Marta and David, if you don't mind, stick around for

us. When we come back, I want to hear which Matthew Perry line or scene was your favorite. We will be back in a moment.



PHILLIP: And we are back now with the co-creators of "Friends," David Crane and Marta Kauffman. To both of you, thanks for coming back. I hope you had a second to think about that. But what was your favorite moment or scene with Chandler Bing or Matthew Perry or either on-set or off-set? Marta, I'll start with you.

KAUFFMAN: Oh my god, there are so many of them. But I have to say, for some reason, this one sticks out for me. And it was one word. And the word was what. And it was in response to Tom Selleck's character. He's reading, he's speaking this, or writing this beautiful poem.

And Chandler just responded with the what. But, it was so funny. It was the perfect timing. It was 10 times more than we thought it would be. I'm not even sure we thought it was a joke. So that comes to mind because it was just such skill all funneled into one word.



CRANE: Certainly from a comedy standpoint, there are so many. I mean, I know he's said in his book, I think it was in an interview and it's one of my favorite moments when he talks, he says to Joey, he's talking about. Joey has said something dumb and Chandler talks about putting a Q-tip in your ear and stopping when you meet resistance.

And the thing, but when I think about, in terms of what Matthew was able to do, it wasn't just the funny stuff, but also the emotional stuff. And I think about the scene where he's proposing to Monica and this character who we think of as being afraid of emotion and funny and using his sarcasm and his jokes as sort of a -- to deflect things. And in that scene, he's so vulnerable and he's so open and so moving.

And so actually in the last few days when I'd been thinking about him, that's one of the scenes that always comes to mind.

PHILLIP: The incredible range.

KAUFFMAN: And what's interesting is he --


KAUFFMAN: -- he was like that as a person too. Funny, real. authentic, raw sometimes. You know, he was able to imbue Chandler with these elements because that was part of who he was.

PHILLIP: Very much so. Marta Kauffman, David Crane, thank you both for sharing those memories with us. And honestly, for bringing "Friends" to the world. I mean, what an incredible accomplishment on your part and giving us something to hold onto, I think. Even a new generation as well.

KAUFFMAN: Thank you for having us.

PHILLIP: Thank you both very much.

CRANE: Thank you.

KAUFFMAN: Thank you.

PHILLIP: And we'll be right back.