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CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip

Biden Suggests World At Inflection Point With Dramatic Change; 13 Senators Call For Ceasefire As Civilian Deaths Grow; Trump Family's Bad Week, Tempers, Evidence, School Hardship; CNN's Christiane Amanpour Weighs In On Israel-War; Father Of One Of Maine Shooting Victims Speaks Out; Billionaire Jeff Bezos Moves To Miami. Aired 10- 11p ET

Aired November 03, 2023 - 22:00   ET



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: Israel's war hits an inflection point, and the global status quo may be on the brink of one too. That's tonight on NEWSNIGHT.

Good evening. I'm Abby Phillip in Washington.

We hear it often from this president, but it seems more true today than it usually does, Biden believes that we live at an inflection point in history, where what happens now will ricochet in the decades ahead.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: There comes a time, maybe every 16 generations where the world changes in a very short time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are at that time now?

BIDEN: We are. I think what happens in the next two, three years will determine what the world looks like in the next five or six decades.


PHILLIP: It's a sobering thought. And tonight, the Biden administration says that the nature of Israel's war is about to change, from an air assault to a tactical block-by-block ground campaign. It potentially means fewer images like these graphic ones from the Gaza Strip.

You're looking at here the aftermath of what the IDF admits is a deadly airstrike on an ambulance near a hospital. The scene is so chaotic and bloody that it's hard to even tell who is alive and who is not. And we should know that the IDF says that the hospital is the main base of Hamas operations.

Hours ago, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met again with Benjamin Netanyahu and made a plea to mostly deaf ears. Netanyahu has been unflinching that the American president won't get a pause.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I clarified that Israel is going with all its force and refuse to any ceasefire, which does not include bringing back our hostages.


PHILLIP: The U.S. and Israeli relationship looks increasingly strained, and so does the relationship now between Israel and Arab nations. How that changes and what path it takes, we don't yet know, but we already see two distinct possibilities emerging here. The more cynical one, a bitter world defined by age-old hatred.


HASSAN NASRALLAH, HEZBOLLAH SECRETARY GENERAL: America is fully responsible for what is happening in Gaza and its people. Israel is no more than the tool that executes. It is America who is stopping the contaminated. Find Israel in the Security Council. It is the one who can stop the aggression on Gaza. It is America proving again just what Imam Khomeini said, it is the big evil, the big Satan.


PHILLIP: That was the head of Hezbollah, a terrorist group in the next-door state of Lebanon. He calls October 7th an earthquake. On that, he's not wrong, of course, but look inside of Israel and you will see the tremors.

Israel's president made the point in the pages of The New York Times today, Isaac Herzog writing, History has taught us that foul ideologies often find the Jewish people first but tend not to stop there. We find ourselves on the front lines of this battle, but all nations face this threat and they must understand that they could be next.

But the second possible path is one that is not colored by these foul ideologies. It's a reality that does not pit Jewish safety against Palestinian freedom.

Now is that still possible? Some say yes.


BARACK OBAMA, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: It is impossible to be dispassionate in the face of this carnage. It is hard to feel hopeful, as daunting as all the challenges that we face may be.

I stand here convinced that it is within our power, or more specifically within your power, to make this world better.


PHILLIP: Now I want to bring in retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis. He's the host of Daniel Davis Deep Dive. Colonel, thanks for being here. Look, the U.S. officials are now saying that they're expecting a change. They're telegraphing that Israel might move back from some of the intense airstrikes that we've been seeing to something else. I want to just take a quick look at the Gaza Strip here. This is where we've seen so much activity, especially in the last couple of days, today at the Shifa Hospital down here, and then notably Jabalya, that refugee camp.

If this changes in nature, is that a reflection of Israel being actually concerned that the narrative around civilian casualties is not one that is in its favor?


LT. COL. DANIEL DAVIS (RET.), ARMY: Well, they need to. I mean, that's a no-kidding problem. I mean, you've had about a half a dozen states in just the last 48 hours have recalled their ambassadors. Bolivia actually broke diplomatic relations with it. So, it's having a big impact. All of these are coming, especially after the issues at Jabalya. Those are getting some of the most horrific scenes.

And everybody understands that Israel was attacked by the Hamas terrorists and their civilians were brutally murdered. Everybody understands you can respond to that. But what they don't understand is that you can't completely put aside, you know, the laws of land warfare and the very things that we say that we want to hold other nations to, like Russia, they have to follow it, and so do we on our side.

And I think that Israel has not been doing that enough, and Biden is right that he's going to have to hold them to it.

PHILLIP: Can they still accomplish their military objectives by moving back from airstrikes and maybe this more kind of almost dangerous conflict?


PHILLIP: I mean, this is just -- to explain to folks, this is just a picture of where some of the troop activity has been in Northern Gaza. They are surrounding right here. This is Gaza City.

DAVIS: Yes. And what you see here very clearly is there are three main access of advance, one here, one down the coast here, and then this other one that's just almost completely cut off down to the coast here.

What the purpose of this part is, is to completely block this off and then come down here and completely isolate Hamas within Gaza City so that none of that aid can get through. They'll have blocked it off. And now then they'll have this contained.

Now, it's a lot easier to just go in and blow up all the buildings and destroy everything where Hamas is. And it's much harder and more expensive on manpower for Israel to go into block-by-block and house- by-house to be deliberate. But that's unfortunately the horrible part of war. You can't just kill citizens one time. You're going to have to do it the hard way if you want to keep western support.

PHILLIP: We were just listening to the Hezbollah chief talking about what could happen if this becomes a multi-front war. Talk to us about what that could look like.

DAVIS: Yes. What you have here is the big issue here of Lebanon, this northern border right here. And that's where you see right now. One of the things Hassan Nasrallah said, the head of Hezbollah, today was that we're already in a fight. We have been since the 8th of October. And there has been low level of attacks back and forth. There were 19 yesterday. I didn't see the count for today. But it's basically within just the border area. And they have not gone further in that, and so Israel has not gone further in that.

Both want to avoid a big war and an escalation. And that's one of Blinken's biggest efforts in this visit right here is to make certain that this doesn't escalate because that would be the worst thing for both Israel and American interests.

PHILLIP: And just a quick note for our audience to understand, Hamas is a much smaller organization here, 20,000 to 25,000 fighters. If we're talking about Hezbollah, this is 50,000, almost twice the size, much more firepower. It could be a much more dangerous front if it does open up for Israel.

Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, thank you so much for being with us tonight.

DAVIS: Thanks for having me.

PHILLIP: And tonight a growing number of Democrats are attempting to nudge the president toward a pause. Senator Jeff Merkley is one of them and he'll join me momentarily.

Other Democrats, though, are relying on a not-so-subtle approach. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib promises to punish the president at the ballot box if he does not demand a ceasefire and do it now.

Her latest plea plays a bit like a threat and it includes images of protesters chanting, quote, from the river to the sea. It's a common anti-Semitic mantra that calls for the erasure of the state of Israel.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): Mr. President, the American people are not with you on this one.

We will remember in 2024.


PHILLIP: And joining me now is Democratic Senator from Oregon Jeff Merkley. Senator Merkley, thank you very much for joining us.

We just played that video from your colleague in the House of Representatives. Do you agree with anything in that video from Congresswoman Tlaib?

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): Well, I certainly agree that there needs to be a humanitarian pause, that the current situation, the casualties are enormous, the humanitarian crisis is growing, increasing hunger, thirst, need for medical supplies, operations without anesthesia. So, I really support the president's call for a break in the hostilities so that there can be a big influx of humanitarian aid and so there can be a pause in thinking about the strategy here and how to have civilians protected from the carnage.

PHILLIP: The video makes a claim that President Biden is supporting genocide. What's your response to that?


MERKLEY: I find that presentation shocking. I don't agree with that at all.

PHILLIP: Do you think that there should be any repercussions for that? I also should note, Congresswoman Tlaib still has not retracted her claim that Israel was responsible for the bombing of the hospital about a week ago after there's a lot of evidence indicating that it was unlikely that they were. Do you think there should be any repercussions for all of this?

MERKLEY: Well, you know, I'm not a member of the House of Representatives and emotions are running very high and individuals represent their districts and have their say. But let's focus instead on the big picture here, which is there is no understanding of what will follow in the vacuum as Hamas is knocked down by Israel.

We have to create a structure in which we have a future that isn't just a perpetuation of this cycle of violence. That means a lot of rethinking about Gaza. It means a lot of rethinking about the West Bank. It ties in very closely with the conversation about normalization of the relationship with Saudi Arabia.

PHILLIP: You and other senators want a pause in Israel's bombing. I wonder, though, should there be any conditions on that pause? You heard Netanyahu saying no pause or ceasefire until all the hostages are released.

MERKLEY: For a humanitarian pause, no. I mean, we are talking about taking a significant break. Maybe it's half a day. Maybe it's a day in order to get this humanitarian aid. Hunger, lack of food, lack of water, lack of fuel for the generator at the hospital, these are responsibilities in a theater of war that you do not inflict those type of damages on a civilian population.

So, there needs -- and recognize this. Before this conflict, there were 500 trucks a day supplying Gaza. And even with the effort to crank things up to 100 or so trucks, that's absolutely minimal. But those trucks have to be able to get the supplies where they're needed, and that means a pause in the air campaign, a pause in the bombing. Otherwise, you're going to have a breakdown where people are storming trucks, storming warehouses, and you're going to have disease start to be significant. There are a lot of warnings from those experts saying, hey, the contaminated water could produce a cholera epidemic.

We're really on the verge of serious humanitarian catastrophe. It has to be addressed, and you need a pause to be able to do that.

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, we've been hearing these horrific stories of just how people are trying to survive there, including many Americans.

I know that your office is in touch with a constituent whose wife and four children are there trapped in Gaza. Were they able to be one of the dozens of Americans who were able to get out of Gaza and into Egypt?

MERKLEY: Yes. My whole team was celebrating today that they were able to get out. The family was on a bus earlier today to Cairo, where the State Department is taking care of the Americans who have escaped from Gaza.

I was just on the phone with every official trying to make sure that they were on the list to get through the gate and they did escape. You realize that, hey, if one more day passes and they're not on the list, that might be the day that a bomb drops and kills those children.

So, I'm really ecstatic that that family is now safe.

PHILLIP: I'm happy to hear that as well. Senator Jeff Merkley, thank you for joining us.

MERKLEY: Thank you. Take care now.

PHILLIP: And ahead, Christiane Amanpour joins me on the religious war rhetoric that is intensifying.

Plus, the Trump family had a very bad day and week in court as the former president gets ready to take the stand to defend his business empire. Laura Coates joins me on that next.

And find out why Mark Meadows' book publisher is now suing him.



PHILLIP: The Trump family had a very bad week in court as the civil fraud trial for their empire continues. The children are now the ones in the spotlight. Ivanka Trump tried to get out of testifying this week because it's a school week for her kids, but the court knocked that down pretty quickly.

Donald Trump Jr. did testify, and he admitted that he signed off on documents that exaggerated their assets and worth, but he blamed his accountants for the mistakes.

Then it was Eric Trump's turn. At one point, the younger brothers snapped at prosecutors during their questioning. He also had to backpedal after claiming that he knew nothing about certain valuations. Then when confronted with evidence showing otherwise, he also blamed the accountants.

The blame continued outside of the court when Eric Trump made this remark.


ERIC TRUMP, EXECUTIVE V.P., TRUMP ORGANIZATION: And the witch hunt that this woman is under, the witch hunt that this person is under to get my father for political purposes is disgusting. They've dragged Don and I and Ivanka as collateral damage. They only want her names in this thing because it's sensationalized in the face.


PHILLIP: Collateral damage? Hardly. Eric Trump made it seem like he and his brothers are not involved in the company or the case at all, or at best, he made it seem like they're spectators in this whole thing.

But you can see right here on their website, they are both listed as executive vice presidents. They are actually the only two people listed under the leaders tab for the entire organization. And according to their own bios, Eric Trump, quote, oversees all aspects of management and operation of the global real estate empire.

Donald Trump Jr., quote, actively oversees the Trump Organization's extensive property portfolio. And he is also involved in all aspects of the company's development, from deal evaluation analysis and pre- development planning, to construction, branding, marketing, operations, sales, leasing.

And if that doesn't make it clear who's in charge, remember their father's declaration.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: And what I'm going to be doing is my two sons, who are right here, Don and Eric, are going to be running the company.



PHILLIP: With me now is CNN Anchor and Chief Legal Analyst Laura Coates and National Security Attorney Brad Moss.

So, Laura, today, Eric Trump, he seemed to set the tone for what we're going to get when Trump hits the stand next week. Just take a listen.


E. TRUMP: My father is certainly going to be here and he's very fired up to be here. And he thinks that this is one of the most incredible injustices that he's ever seen, and it truly is.


PHILLIP: That would not come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. But what are the risks that they're taking here with this kind of combative approach to the entire proceeding?

LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, can you imagine if Donald Trump comes up and says, he's fired up and ready to go, maybe a little interesting to think about that notion of all the things here? But the risk of actually testifying for any defendant in an actual action, let alone one that has multiple prosecutions ahead of them, is that everything you say, not just anything, everything you say can and will be used against you.

It's a civil trial, no doubt, in New York, but he's had multiple other cases. And so every one of those prosecutors is going to be salivating over whether he will be able to stick to a particular script, stay within the lane that's actually given to him through the prosecution or his own attorneys, or will he go broader and make statements that might implicate him or may open the door to other litigation actions here.

And remember, if he were to take the Fifth, this is not a criminal action. This is something where they have a thing called raising or drawing an adverse inference, meaning whatever you choose not to answer, I as the judge who is really the jury in this case can say, I'm going to assume the answer you were going to give makes you look bad and I'm going to go with that.

That's pretty significant.

And the other thing, I mean, as we just laid out, this tactic of saying, well, it was just our accountants, and, frankly, I mean, a lot of people -- you know, you have the people doing your taxes, you have the people doing your accounting, they take on some responsibility. But does this work for Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.?

BRAD MOSS, NATIONAL SECURITY ATTORNEY: No, think of any of us who are able to provide that kind of false information to our tax accountants, to the banks and say, oh, it wasn't my fault. I just gave you whatever I did, but you ahead and you just didn't do your due diligence. No, we are all still liable for what we put on these forms. If we provide false information, we're still liable.

And this is the biggest prom coming in for Donald Trump. And you saw some of it with Eric Trump today. Sorry, the New York attorney general is going to bury him in documents. Donald Trump doesn't work well with details. He's a big picture guy. They're going to bury him with documents and catch him on each and every, you know, exaggeration and misrepresentation. That's going to be his biggest exposure on Monday when he testifies.

COATES: And, by the way, we're not talking about giving one's weight on a driver's license, okay? I'm not looking anywhere. I'm looking down. I'm looking at myself when I say this entire thing.

MOSS: I'm 150 pounds. COATES: Okay, there you go. I'm 95 pounds. I would never, I would never. But it's not that sort of benign representation or misrepresentation. You're talking about documents that lead to how your tax exposure would be really quantified. And the average person who might say, well, who's really hurt by this? Well, all those who had to actually have correctly evaluated assets and determine what their tax exposure would be or not be.

And so these are not just benign representations. The judge has already found an emotion for some of the judgment. Look, these are fraudulent documents. That was the biggest heavy lift of all.

PHILLIP: And at the core of this is that, basically, this case is about them manipulating these valuations basically to propel their business forward at different points. Brad, the other part of this is the judge really getting frustrated with how the Trump team's lawyers have been dealing with the law clerks in the court. I mean, first it was Trump attacking the employees of the court, now his lawyers. What is going on here?

MOSS: I have been appalled by that type of performance by these lawyers. And I don't care what side you're on in terms of prosecution, defense in this sense. You don't act like that in a courtroom. If I had ever acted like that in my last 17 years in a courtroom, I'd have been fired in five seconds.

There are duties that unlike Donald Trump is just as the defendant, their duties that the lawyers have ethical obligations in terms of their decorum in the courtroom and their decorum before the tribunal. They're not adhering to it. And that's why they got slapped with this expanded gag order today.

PHILLIP: And they're doing it intentionally. They seem to be kind of flouting what they know the rules are.

MOSS: I think part of the reason that they're trying to get out of the judge's skin, they know they're going to lose. This is a surefire case as far, as I'm concerned, for fraud. They're preparing an appeal on bias and they're trying to trip up the judge.

PHILLIP: And, Laura, okay, something real -- this is really bizarre. Mark Meadows, the former Trump chief of staff --

COATES: What an intro.

PHILLIP: -- he wrote a book, right? You remember, he wrote this book. He argued that the election was stolen, that it was fraudulent, that the media was in cahoots with the powers to be.


Then he seems to have now potentially retracted this as part of a cooperation agreement, let's put it that way, with the federal case investigating Trump's involvement in January 6th. His publisher is now saying they're suing him for lying in the book. COATES: I mean, you really could not script this. If this were to have been a fictionalized program, we would have jumped the shark a long time ago. The fact that you would be purportedly truthful about a memoir, and then all of a sudden come out later on and say, no, no, this is actually a different story, the publisher has an invested interest in what they have put forth to the public as truthful information. It goes to their own credibility. The next time they want to put out a book in bizarre.

PHILLIP: But they published the lies.

COATES: They did. They published.

PHILLIP: That's what's bizarre about this. They published the lies. And they didn't fact check it, and it was clearly false.

COATES: Well, is it? Is it? And I'm just hedging as the lawyer, probably, for the publishing house. But you're right, the notion that they would have their due diligence, when I published my memoir -- it's a New York Times bestseller, by the way. When I published it, there were so many different hurdles to ensure that it was factual, because there is credibility on the line, not only of yourself but of the actual publishing. And, of course, the stakes are so high in a case like this.

But it was almost expected when people realized he wasn't going to talk to the January 6 committee, people wondered, why wouldn't you talk to them? Was it because you had a monetary interest in waiting to tell the true story, like a John Bolton and others or was it something else? Now we know something else.

PHILLIP: Something else, all right. Laura Coates, Brad Moss, thank you both very much.

And, Laura, at the top of the hour, you are talking to Anthony Scaramucci, another former resident of the White House staff. At the top of the hour, don't miss that.

And coming up next for us right here on this program, the Israeli president today is saying that this is not a war, that it's just between Muslims and Jews. We'll talk to CNN's Christiane Amanpour about all of that.

Plus, a father's pain and the president of the United States, I will speak with a man whose son was killed in Lewiston, who just met with the consoler-in-chief.



PHILLIP: Tonight, there are growing concerns about a broader conflict in Israel as international pressure is mounting on the IDF to limit civilian casualties. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Israel today delivering a blunt warning about mounting deaths in Gaza and in the West Bank. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We've been clear that as Israel conducts its campaign to defeat Hamas, how it does so matters. It matters because it's the right and lawful thing to do.

It matters because failure to do so plays into the hands of Hamas and other terror groups. There will be no partners for peace if they're consumed by humanitarian catastrophe and alienated by any perceived indifference to their plight.


PHILLIP: And I want to bring in CNN's Chief International Anchor, Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, Israel's President just wrote an op- ed in "The New York Times" that says basically this war is much bigger than just about Israel. He writes, "This is not a battle between Jews and Muslims. It is not just between Israel and Hamas. It is between those who adhere to norms of humanity and those practicing barbarism that has no place in the modern world."

I wonder though, Christiane, is this a response to what feels like to be a growing backlash against Israel and concerns that Israel is losing sort of a moral high ground as they conduct this war in Gaza?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So, Abby, he's right. This is about precisely what he outlined in his op-ed. The thing is, everybody was justifiably and correctly outraged by what happened on October 7. I mean, absolute barbarism. That was the word that he used, and that is what it was.

But as you say, in the intervening, it's now four weeks since this happened. The attack, the counterattack on Gaza, looking for Hamas, looking to annihilate Hamas, has gradually and now in an accelerated fashion, really started to worry everybody who's watching from outside. Because there is a notion of proportionality, most people who are looking in from the outside, including in the United States, including in the administration, are very concerned that it is rapidly becoming disproportional.

You know, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza is run by Hamas, but they have always put out the death figures. And they're in the 9000 range right now, just above. And this is more than any other of these conflicts combined, and some 3000 at least of those are children. And I've been talking to the U.N. head. He was in there for the first time yesterday.

Philippe Lazzarini of UNRWA, you know, talked about UNRWA schools being targeted, scores of dead, his own workers there, U.N. workers, more than 70 have been killed. And you see these children and you see how it's inflaming the world. I mean, there are demonstrations all over the place. So yes, I think the United States is concerned that the moral high ground could rapidly be lost.

And you can see even in the U.S., in the President's own party, senators have come out now some to call for a ceasefire. You know, Secretary -- Biden in Israel with President Herzog, with Netanyahu, then again in Jordan with the King and the foreign minister is trying to call for a humanitarian pause.

PHILLIP: On that very point, Christiane, you just sat down with Egypt's foreign minister about this conflict, really just across the border with Gaza. I want to play for everyone part of that interview.


AMANPOUR: As a human being, how do you feel about what's unfolded October 7th and subsequently, and what should Americans and the rest of the world understand?


SHAMEH SHOUKRY, PRIME MINISTER OF EGYPT: This has been a very emotional, impactful, painful experience all around. The images since October the 7th and subsequently have been quite painful to me on a personal level.

At the same time, it has been a stark reminder that there is a degree of the double standards that's still -- that we are unable to address issues of principle in a consistent manner.

This is a danger when we address the development of our rule-based order and to what extent there is a consistency in how we deal with the various developments and challenges that we face.


PHILLIP: And Christiane, it strikes me that sentiment that he just relayed to you is exactly at the core of the challenge going forward for Israel, for the United States, for the West, as they support Israel in this conflict. It's being viewed in the Arab world, in the Muslim world, very differently. How will that affect us going forward?

AMANPOUR: Well, very differently, and it does affect American security. I spoke to the former head of MI6, Britain's top intelligence, foreign intelligence body, who said, beware, you know. there could be backlash even against American targets, like there was after 9-11 around Iraq. You remember all of that, all of that blowback.

Additionally, people are very, very concerned. People like Samer Shoukry, the Egyptian foreign minister. People like the U.S. administration. People like European and other nations. What is the plan? Let's say you can get rid of, destroy Hamas. What is the plan next? What is the actual battle plan and what happens next?

And many, many of Israel's allies, the important ones who give a lot of support, want to know that now, because this also is crucial for the future and how this all plays out. And remember, even President Biden and American officials have been saying, remember, do not make the mistakes that we did after 9-11 going into Iraq. The blowback was severe. The war was relatively easy, and I hate to use that word, but it was a three-week war. Saddam Hussein was you know, dispatched, but it was afterwards when

they cast away very carefully drafted post-war plans, and it created ISIS, and it created just the most terrible blowback that we're still suffering from right now.

And that region will continue to suffer if the world doesn't help put it back together again and rebuild Gaza, rebuild the West Bank or whatever, and make sure there's a political track going forward that ends this once and for all, because it will continue.


AMANPOUR: All of my interlocutors who I'm talking to say, it will continue if it's just another cycle of war.

PHILLIP: It's so, so important. What is the plan going forward for peace, for the aftermath?

AMANPOUR: Exactly.

PHILLIP: Christiane, thank you so much for joining us on all of that. And be sure to watch Christiane's full exclusive interview with the Egyptian Foreign Minister on the premiere of "The Amanpour Hour". It's going to be debuting this Saturday at 11 A.M. in New York.

And coming up, I'm going to speak with a grieving father who met with President Biden today in Lewiston, Maine. What Biden told him, next.




PHILLIP: It's a role that President Biden has played too many times to count, as he says. And today, he and the First Lady visited Lewiston, Maine, a community that was shattered last week from two mass shootings. During his visit, he renewed his call for common sense gun reform.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: This is about common sense, reasonable, responsible measures to protect our children, our families, our communities. Because regardless of our politics, this is about protecting our freedom to go to a bowling alley, a restaurant, a school, a church without being shot and killed.


PHILLIP: The President met with first responders, nurses, and with victims' families, and that includes my next guest, Leroy Walker Sr., who lost his son, Joey. Leroy says that Joey was a hero that night, trying to stop the gunman with a butcher's knife before he was fatally shot. Leroy, thank you so much for joining us. We actually spoke to you

last, just a week ago. I really appreciate you coming back and sharing your thoughts. Tell us more about this visit with President Biden.

LEROY WALKER, SR., SON JOEY KILLED IN MAINE SHOOTING RAMPAGE: Well, we were asked to go to the Geiger School today to visit with the President of the United States. And a lot of us were there. And the President came in and we were set up all at different tables there, meaning families.

We had, I think it was 12 or 14 tables, round tables. We were pretty far from each other. So, the President could, you know, go to each table and spend time. He sat down with people. He talked with a lot of them. And because, you know, as what some expected, he said he was sorry. His heart went out to all of us.


And it was done individually, meaning each table. It wasn't -- it was an honest -- you know, a mic or anything like that. And he spent a good hour there with us talking with different tables and making sure he talked to everyone that wanted to, you know, talk and say maybe their piece on how they felt and whatever else they wanted to say. None of us could really hear the others because we were far enough away. But I think it was a good thing that he did this.


WALKER, SR.: I did have second thoughts, you know, during the day, wondering exactly what he would say, or is he here to boost his politics or whatever. And none of that was part of his plan at all. It was all being kindhearted to everyone and opening up his feelings and allowing them to speak to him.

You know, with anything they had on their mind. And, of course, he came to our table, and he shook my hand, gave his apology, and said that, you know, this was a terrible thing to happen to us as well as our neighborhood.

PHILLIP: The last time we spoke with you, you were really outspoken about just how this has been handled locally, just by some people -- some entities in the community, especially given the loss that you and your family faced. How do you feel today? Do you feel there's any more transparency now that, you know, more than a week has passed since this horrible incident?

LEROY, SR.: Well, I believe that -- I believe that some of the things that have been said, and I think some of the things that was -- that I said to the news medias, I think maybe brought some of these people to thinking a little bit more about what needs to be done or how it should be done. They -- I still believe there was a lot of mistakes made. I don't -- I don't think any of them were trained in Maine, ready for this.

And I know people are -- they' re going to deny that, but for what I saw in the place that I was in, and now I believe the governor believes that because she has spoken quite a lot about it, I think, you know, she's going to have a special group of people come in and check this out from top to bottom. I believe she's going to find a lot of things that did not happen that should have happened. And I'm glad she's going to do that because it needs to be done.

PHILLIP: Leroy Walker, Sr., thank you so much for joining us tonight.

LEROY, SR.: You're welcome and thank you for having me.






PHILLIP: Bienvenidos a Miami, Jeff Bezos. Seems like he's following Will Smith's advice now and this time his garage is going to be a whole lot bigger. He is moving from Seattle, the city where he founded Amazon in his garage, to Miami and into a $79 million mansion.

The internet had a little fun with this. Just take a look. This morning, the "Morning Brew's" take, Jeff Bezos completing his transformation into Pitbull 2.0. And the comparisons don't miss.

CNN's Harry Enten spent a little too much time, frankly, looking into this. Harry, so Jeff Bezos is, you know, some would say smartly moving to Miami, but he's not alone. What are you seeing?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah, he's not alone. And I also want to get Jiggy with it. I just want to note that. We're going to get Jiggy with some numbers here. That's what we're going to do. Look, look at the net migration, domestic migration yearly.

Florida is number one in the nation from 2021 to 2022, the most recent figures. Over 300,000 plus net migration in the state. Compare that to Washington where Jeff Bezos, of course, is leaving, they actually had negative net migration. More people left the state than came into it. Florida, very different. Jeff Bezos is joining the club on this particular metric.

PHILLIP: So, how does Florida stack up when it comes to billionaires? Because there are a lot of places in the world that he could go, but he's choosing Florida. Is he going to even stand out in that state?

ENTEN: I mean, he's going to be the richest guy there, but the fact is you look at the Forbes 400 members before Bezos left for Washington, look at this, 46 of them already in Florida. Compare that to Washington, there's just eight. So, you know, he really stood out in Washington, in Florida, even though he's going to be the wealthiest guy, he doesn't stand out nearly as much.

PHILLIP: He's just got a whole club of billionaires to hang out with. So, what's the reason for this? I mean, I have to imagine taxes is a huge part of it. Yeah, taxes are a big part of it.

Although I will note that, you know, when you look at Florida versus Washington on taxes, neither state actually has an income tax, right? But Florida has no capital gains tax while Washington does. Florida is one of the rare states that has neither a capital gains tax nor an income tax.


So, he's going to save some money, Abby.

PHILLIP: Yeah, and I mean, now he's just in the phase where he can spend it however he wants. So, why not do it where the weather is nice? How does that stack up? I feel like I don't need the data to know what this looks like.

ENTEN: Look, the average January temperature of Miami, beautiful 68 degrees in Seattle, 42. He's going to warm up and get more of that money to spend around, spend some time on the beach, but knowing him, it will probably be a private beach, Abby. He's just so rich.

PHILLIP: Look, I don't blame anyone for taking 68 degrees over 42. Sorry, Seattle, you're a great city, but the weather is definitely better in Miami. Harry. Thank you. I appreciate it.

ENTEN: Bye, Abby.

PHILLIP: And coming up next, Laura Coates speaks with the director of "Friends" and he will share the text messages that he's been receiving from the cast after the death of Matthew Perry. That's right after this.




PHILLIP: And thank you for watching NEWSNIGHT. "LAURA COATES LIVE", of course, starts right now. Hey, Laura.

LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Abby. Great show, as always. And you know what? I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Maybe you'll --

PHILLIP: Thank you.

COATES: Do you sleep ever? No? That's not going to happen for you?

PHILLIP: I'm going to try to sleep tonight. I'm going to be watching you from my couch with my glass of wine and enjoying your interview.

COATES: Oh, it'll be called "Laura Coats Lit", then. Thank you so much. We'll see you right back here on Monday, then. Thanks.