Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip

Massive Terror Happens In The Russian Capital; Author Michael Moore Talks About Biden's Popularity Among Young Voters; House Passes A $1.4 Billion Spending Bill; Catherine, Princess Of Wales, Reveals Cancer Diagnosis; Russia Says, 60 Killed, 154-Plus Injured In Concert Hall Attack Near Moscow. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 22, 2024 - 22:00   ET



TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Even the details remain scarce.



FOREMAN (on camera): The sense of secrecy can endure even after the subject is gone. When Queen Elizabeth passed away a year-and-a-half ago at the age of 96, the death certificate listed the cause as merely old age. Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tom Foreman, thanks very much.

The news continues. NEWSNIGHT with Abby Phillip starts now.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR: A shocking announcement from the Princess Kate after months of speculation. That's tonight on NEWSNIGHT.

Breaking news tonight, Catherine, the Princess of Wales, announcing that she has been diagnosed with cancer.

In a short video, Kate revealed that doctors found out after her major abdominal surgery back in January. She says that her medical team performed tests afterward and discovered cancer had been present.


CATHERINE MIDDLETON, PRINCESS OF WALES: This, of course, came as a huge shock and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family. As you can imagine this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that's appropriate for them and to reassure them that I'm going to be okay.


PHILLIP: It's a stunning revelation that came after weeks out of the spotlight, a virtual impossibility for anyone who is famous in 2024. But that absence led to wild rumors about where was Princess Kate and why in the video.

Kate asks for privacy while her treatment continues.


MIDDLETON: We hope that you'll understand that as a family we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment. My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I'm able but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.

At this time I'm also thinking of all those whose lives have been affected by cancer. For everyone facing this disease, in whatever form, please do not lose faith or hope. You are not alone.


PHILLIP: Joining me now to discuss all of this is Bidisha Mamata. She's a royal watcher and broadcaster.

Bidisha, it seems that a big factor in all of this, the timing of how she revealed this information, was that Princess Kate and Prince William wanted their children to be out of school, to be home for the Easter holiday before making this announcement. They made that decision clearly to great sacrifice, given all the speculation. What do you make of how it all turned out?

BIDISHA MAMATA, ROYAL WATCHER AND BROADCASTER: I think your interpretation is exactly right, that this is a young family, a very beloved public figure, but they are, first and foremost, a family. And the new generation of the royal family were always about normality. We are going to behave just as any parents do. And, of course, any parents has, as their first priority, looking after their young kids and explaining in a way that young people will understand what's going on, why there's so many changes.

I really feel for Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, because her statement was so dignified. It was so relatable. I absolutely heard that last line of hers where she says, you know, if you're going through this, you're not alone because she understands that exactly what she's going through, even with all of her wealth and fame, as you so rightly say, and privilege, it's still something that millions and billions all over the world are going through themselves too.

And they are thinking about, my goodness, what's it going to be like for my family? When am I going to get back to work? When will I feel okay? How do I make this seem understandable and normal while still getting the best care that I possibly can?

PHILLIP: You know, it's really striking, as you noted there, how she is presented in that video. She is dressed very casually, but most notably, for me, she's sitting alone without her family or her husband. What did you make of that choice on her part? MAMATA: I think that's really interesting too. And I also noted that she's on a bench outside. It's spring. Spring is all about hope and renewal. It's very, very clever, because, on the one hand, she's saying, I could just be out here sitting on a bench as if the days of lockdown are back again. I'm enjoying the view, I'm well, I'm healthy. She takes pains to look, yes, casual, but also bursting with health and beauty and natural vitality.


At the same time, however, she's making it very clear that even though she's talking about her husband and her children, she's her own woman. There is no sense that she has somehow run her statement past lots of other people for approval.

So, she wants to be seen as the wife and the mother, but at the same time as someone who's taking ownership of her own experience in her own words.

PHILLIP: King Charles, as I'm sure a lot of people know by now, is also undergoing treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer. The royal family is now in this position where with Prince Harry leaving, King Charles taking a step back, you've got a much smaller group of, quote/unquote, working royals who are out there on behalf of the royal family.

What's that going to look like for the royal family in the months ahead? And what does that do to what they're able to accomplish in their public-facing part of their lives?

MAMATA: Yes, it's extraordinary, isn't it? You've got King Charles getting treatment for cancer, and at the same time you've got his heiress, an heiress to the crown by marriage, also getting treatment at exactly the same time. It's rare to happen in any family whatsoever, and one really thinks about them as a family now.

The immediate response in the U.K., and, in fact, all over the world, has been shock and surprise, and at the same time, a kind of immediate respect and discretion.

So, I think what will happen this year, maybe this year going into the next year for six months or so, is we will not expect to see all those great big shows of pageantry that we're so used to with the royal family. There will be a certain amount of diplomacy and discretion. I don't think anyone will be calling upon any other less famous royals or less prominent royals to somehow step into place. I think maybe the demands of being a royal will lessen.

And, frankly, I think that's a good thing. If you looked at the late Queen Elizabeth II's schedule, it was extraordinary. She was out at engagements every single day. She was inexhaustible. She could do that. But I'm not sure it's fair to demand that of everyone all the time just because they're famous, just because they're royal, that they should be absolutely exerting themselves, particularly at a time like this. PHILLIP: And, of course, it comes at a time when this has been perhaps decades in the making, there have long been questions about just what does the modern monarchy even look like, and now it will be a little bit more in the backburner, as you just noted.

As all of this is happening, Prince Harry and Meghan released a statement about Prince Harry's brother -- sister-in-law, I should say, saying that they wish for health and healing for Kate, and for the family, and hope that they are able to do so privately and in peace.

This is a relationship that is not on the best of terms, let's be honest. The statement needed to be made, what do you hear in it?

MAMATA: Well, I hear your emphasis as well. The privately and in peace are two very loaded phrases.

Having said that, I think that is actually what every side of the family wants at this time. You mentioned how we haven't really heard from Kate Middleton since January or so, and this is why so many people were speculating in such a lurid way.

It's a very tricky bargain. If you are so prominent and you are so privileged and you come from literally centuries of hereditary privilege, people do feel as if they own a part of you. They feel almost justified in gossiping or wanting to know a little bit more.

However, that must never overstep the mark and it must also be sensitive to the time. This isn't just some sort of latest chapter in a soap opera. It's a family like any other where you've got the patriarch, the king, but also the heiress to the throne, both very ill and receiving treatment, even though they are both very reassuring in the sense of telling people we're getting the best care. I am well. We are moving forward.

But, yes, privacy and peace are to be hoped for, and I think it's gracious of Harry and Meghan that they did at least release a statement very, very promptly. And I do think that they do care.

PHILLIP: Yes, I do think so as well, despite all the tensions in public and perhaps in private.

Bidisha Mamata, thank you very much for all of that.

And Kensington Palace is not expected to reveal anything further about Princess Kate's condition.


That's according to a royal source. And that includes what kind of cancer she has or what stage it's in. Kate has been expected to return to her public duties after Easter, but now will postpone further work until her medical team clears her.

Joining me now to talk about this and what we can learn from the very few details that we know so far is Dr. Ryan Moy. He's a medical oncologist at Columbia University's Irving Medical Center. And he specializes in gastrointestinal cancers. Dr. Moy, thanks for joining us.

We should note, just in general, for everyone talking about this on television right now, you haven't treated Princess Kate, you haven't seen her, you don't know, like we don't, what kind of cancer she has. But just to start at the beginning of all of this, what has kicked off so much speculation was simply this abdominal surgery that she had in January and a hospital stay that lasted about two weeks.

Given that and the fact that cancer was found after that, does that tell you anything about what they might have been treating initially that could have led to this diagnosis?

DR. RYAN MOY, MEDICAL ONCOLOGIST AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IRVING MEDICAL CENTER: Yes, first of all, my heart goes out to Princess Kate and the royal family for any patient and their family undergoing a new cancer diagnosis. This is a tremendous and terrifying ordeal. But we really don't know at this time what type of cancer this is.

We do know that she underwent a major abdominal surgery. But this is not too uncommon of a scenario where a patient may be undergoing a procedure. They may, for what is thought to be a benign or non- cancerous growth, for example, a cyst, a polyp, a fibroid, and only after the fact, after that's removed, when the pathologists have the time to take a look at thin slices under the microscope, do they identify cancer cells there.

PHILLIP: And the length of stay in the hospital, when people hear that, what should they understand?

MOY: That typically refers to the type of surgery that a patient may have, which we don't know. That may often be time that a patient is recovering from the surgery, for example, from an incision, a wound healing, and that may take several days to recover from.

PHILLIP: One of the other things is abdominal surgery, which could be actually a lot of things. Can you just explain to us what's the scope here of what we could be talking about?

MOY: Yes. The abdominal cavity contains many different organs. This includes the stomach, which is my specialty as a gastrointestinal medical oncologist, the colon, small bowel, this also includes the liver and pancreas. There are other non-gastrointestinal organs too, like the spleen, this includes the reproductive organs, like the uterus, ovaries, the bladder. So, this could really refer to many different potential tumor types, and each organ can also have different types of tumors that can grow there.

PHILLIP: Which is so important just to underscore, really, we don't know virtually anything about what this could be, what she was originally treated for. They did tell us that she is undergoing what they're calling preventative chemotherapy. What is that?

MOY: Yes, that's a good question. So, when we say, preventative chemotherapy, that -- it's also known as adjuvant chemotherapy or chemotherapy after a surgery. So, this usually refers to a patient that undergoes a surgery to remove a cancer.

And afterwards, the goal of this adjuvant or preventative therapy is to prevent cancer recurrence, mainly to mop up or target any microscopic cancer cells that may have been left behind, cells, small clusters of cells that we can't see by the naked eye, that we can't see by imaging, but have the potential to still be there.

So, the goal is really to target those cells, prevent any cancer recurrence or spread, and ultimately with the goal of a cure for their cancer.

PHILLIP: For a patient who's undergoing what she has experienced with that surgery and with the chemotherapy, do you have a sense of what her life is like right now, how much strength she might have, what the road ahead could be like?

MOY: Yes. I'm encouraged by the fact that, you know, she mentioned that she's feeling stronger day by day. But it is -- again, we don't know the particular circumstances, the particular cancer. But it is likely a road ahead involving, as she mentioned, chemotherapy, the type of treatment, the duration of treatment really depends on the tumor type, and the extent of the tumor, which we don't know.

But this will likely mean treatment and then surveillance to make sure that the cancer hasn't come back involving exams, imaging, such as C.T., blood work, to make sure that there's no recurrence.

PHILLIP: There's the physical and then there's also obviously the emotional and the stress of all of this playing out in the public eye.


Dr. Ryan Moy, thank you very much for joining us.

And breaking tonight, ISIS is now taking credit for a deadly terror attack in Moscow. We will have the latest from Russia.

And more on Kate's surprising announcement and how it was handled by Kensington Palace after months of rumors.

Plus, the clock is ticking yet again. Can the Senate avoid a partial shutdown this weekend when the clock strikes midnight? CNN will be live from Capitol Hill.

You're watching NEWSNIGHT.



PHILLIP: More now on Kate Middleton's surprise announcement today that she's been treated for cancer. Her statement came after months outside of the public eye, time that left room to fuel wild rumors about where she was.

To discuss this, I'm joined now by Rachel Bowie, the host of Royally Obsessed, the podcast.

Rachel, this is something that's very understandable on a human level, that Princess Kate and Prince William would want to handle this privately.

At the same time, they are royals there in the public eye, and the palace made a lot of choices over the last few weeks that really fueled all of this. We were talking as we were sitting in the break about the trust with the palace and where that stands right now. Do you think that it's been damaged and that they can fix it?

RACHEL BOWIE, CO-HOST, ROYALLY OBSESSED PODCAST: I mean, I do think it's been damaged. I thought it was particularly interesting when Kate released the statement today that it was her talking to camera. That's completely unheard of in the scope of medical news that we've heard from the royals in the past.

I completely expected that we would get a type statement announcing this news, but instead it was really personable, transparent without revealing the exact type of cancer that she has. I think that they needed to show her really authentically talking about this.

PHILLIP: Yes, especially after questions about doctorate photos and whatnot. The fact that the BBC was the one to put this out, to record it and to put this out, it struck me as giving some validity to the fact that this is real, this is really her.

BOWIE: Yes. I think it really -- they needed that level of authenticity. You know, I even noticed in the coverage how people were confirming what we heard a lot of with the photos, the metadata. It was recorded on Wednesday at Windsor Castle. All those details were a part of it that felt unique to me.

PHILLIP: Yes, that's such a great point. Look, this video is really coming at a time when the palace is also dealing with a lot of family issues, right? We were talking earlier in this show about kind of what the monarchy really means anymore.

It almost feels like a moment where maybe the British public, maybe the world needs to get used to this idea that maybe they don't need to know everything. Maybe the royals do need to take a step back from the public eye for their own good, their own privacy, their own family.

BOWIE: Yes, I mean I do feel like what you're talking about, it's really unprecedented to know that what Kate is going through, as we learned today, but also King Charles and even Fergie, she had her breast cancer diagnosis and skin cancer diagnosis this year.

I really think that the expectation has filed out of control in the last few weeks of what we feel we're entitled to know. And I think William and Kate were really trying to maintain that bubble of privacy and that balance is really difficult and tricky for them and I think it will be going forward.

PHILLIP: We're already seeing a lot of people apologizing for some speculation online. Do you think there will be fallout from that? BOWIE: I mean, I think people might --

PHILLIP: I shouldn't just say online, there was also one on Stephen Colbert's show.

BOWIE: Yes. I mean, I think people will feel ashamed maybe a little. I mean, I know that we just have this hunger for information, but it did cross a line for me, I felt really uncomfortable with how far it went, I think it's just a tricky thing to come back to -- back from.

But I do think trust is still an issue for the royal family and how they navigate that going forward will be something I'll be watching.

PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, you do have to ask the question, were there other choices that could have been made that still would have respected our privacy in this situation.

Rachel Bowie, thank you very much for all of that.

BOWIE: Thank you for having me.

PHILLIP: And up next, ISIS is taking credit for a deadly terror attack in Moscow, where there are signs in the weeks that led up to it.

And will the Senate approve a must-pass spending bill before there is a partial shutdown this weekend?

We'll have the answer ahead.



PHILLIP: Breaking news tonight, ISIS is claiming responsibility for a deadly terror attack in Moscow. At least three armed men opened fire inside of a popular concert hall on Friday night, and there are some reports that one threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb engulfing the venue in flames.

At this hour, at least 60 people are dead, 145 were sent to hospitals. That's according to the Moscow Health Ministry.

Let's get right to CNN's Senior International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Abby. Well, it certainly was a terrifying evening for the people who were inside that concert hall. Now, all this took place in a suburb of Moscow called Krasnogorsk. I actually used to go there quite regularly.

And this area that had happened in the Crocus City Hall is really a shopping and entertainment venue with obviously that very large concert hall where a concert was supposed to happen tonight until those attackers came in and shot that entire place up. Now, what we hear from eyewitnesses is they say that the attackers came and immediately started shooting people point blank. Apparently, in the later stages of the attack, they also threw Molotov cocktails as well.

Of course, we did see that that entire concert venue was then on fire later with the Russians even having to bring in helicopters to try and put the flames out. The Russians are saying that at one point in time, there were around 50 ambulances on the scene tending to the many people who were wounded.

The Russian authorities, of course, have come out and said that there were dozens of people who were killed and well over 100 people wounded. Again, the authorities right now, of course, still in the process of finding things out.


And they do fear that there could still be more victims in this horrendous attack.

Now, we have of course learned that the Islamic state has claimed responsibility for this, yet the identities of the attackers remain unknown.

The Russians are saying they believe that these attackers could very well be still at large, that they may have escaped in a small white car from that venue. Now, we've not heard from the Russian President -- from Vladimir Putin yet. However, his spokesman says that he is being kept up to date on what is happening at that venue and that all necessary measures are being taken.

Of course this is, by all accounts, a massive terror attack that took place in the Russian capital. Again, a lot of things remain unclear, but certainly a horrifying night for the folks who were on hand at that venue. Abby.

PHILLIP: Fred Pleitgen, thank you very much for that report. And for more, let's bring in now a Russian journalist, Stanislav Kutcher. Stanislav, this was the deadliest attack in Moscow in at least some decades. You've been to this --


PHILLIP: You've been to this concert hall yourself. What is the response inside of Russia right now to something like this happening?

KUCHER: Well, it's exactly the response the terrorists or whoever is behind this attack had been helping for. It's terror. I mean, people are really scared, frightened, and they are waiting for their national leader to address them at some point.

PHILLIP: It is somewhat surprising. Is it surprising to you that Putin has not been out front to respond to this?

KUCHER: Well, exactly. It's been more than, what, eight hours now since the attack, and he has made a single press appearance, which leads me to the conclusion that, you know what, initially I thought that this was a false flag operation. But now, observing how the Russian authorities are reacting, how the Russian propaganda has been reacting to this, I tend to believe that this is a strop of the Russian security forces -- excuse my language.

And, you know, propaganda is coming up with different versions of what has happened. Like, for example, Putin's Chief mouthpiece, Margarita Simonyan, head of R.T., Russian leading propaganda TV channel. She wrote, like, ISIS? What are you talking about? It's all fake about ISIS.

Then Solovyov, another Russian propaganda peddler, implied that, you know, Ukrainians might have been behind the attack. Russian politician and deputy Russian Parliament Chief also said that the Ukrainians might have been behind the attack led by the United States.

PHILLIP: Well, this is -- I mean, that's really fascinating because, first of all, the United States had warned publicly that --

KUCHER: Absolutely.

PHILLIP: ISIS was planning an attack in Moscow. ISIS has claimed credit for this attack. The U.S. has no reason to doubt that. And yet you're saying that inside of Russia, people who are typically mouthing what Putin wants the public to hear are still trying to blame Ukraine? Do you still think that this will have an impact on that war, even if Ukraine had nothing to do with it?

KUCHER: Absolutely. The most important thing now is what Putin, what the Kremlin will use this as a pretext for. Because, again, no matter who was initially behind the attack, they will do their best to use this against Ukraine to boost their -- to escalate the Ukrainian war and probably even declare a war against the West.

Again, at least one, two, three Russian politicians have now claimed that the United States are behind this attack. Again, these are words not from a reporter, a political analyst, but from Russia's top politicians, including parliamentarians. So --

PHILLIP: It's coming from the top, essentially, is what you're saying.

KUCHER: Absolutely.


KUCHER: Again, we already have -- we've had two Russian television channels who posted a video, a fake video, with a member of the Ukrainian Security Council allegedly claiming responsibility for the attack, which was, again, a fake video.

PHILLIP: But the idea that three gunmen can just walk into --

KUCHER: More than three. At least -- at least five. In the video we can see at least five armed men. PHILLIP: Any -- yeah, we can see three in that video. But at any number, walk into a concert venue like that, guns blazing with incendiary devices, maybe Molotov cocktails, and kill that many people, how does that not reflect poorly on Vladimir Putin and his ability to keep Russians safe?


KUCHER: To put it mildly, because, again, as you mentioned, I've been to that venue. I've been to at least two concerts there. And I know there are two police stations within less than a mile from the venue. And there is a local headquarters of the National Guard, also a couple miles from that concert hall.

So -- and then, again, as you mentioned, two weeks ago, the United States and other governments had warned about the possibility of terrorist attacks. And three days ago -- only three days ago, Putin said that this is pure blackmail, what the other nations had said.

So, again, I think this is a mess up on the part of the Russian security forces, which will definitely be used by the Kremlin against the West --


KUCHER: -- and to boost reprisals within Russia. Probably even a returning death penalty, which Russia so far has had a moratorium on.

PHILLIP: Wow. Very interesting. Stanislav Kucher, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And up next, the United States government is on the brink of a partial shutdown. The Senate needs to pass a government funding bill before midnight tonight in order to avoid it. But it's not looking very likely. We'll have the latest on that.




PHILLIP: Just in to CNN, it looks like the United States will, in fact, partially shut down at midnight tonight. Earlier today, the House passed a $1.4 billion spending bill to avoid this very scenario. But now the Senate has failed to reach a deal to vote on it, so the blame game begins. CNN's Melanie Zanona is live from Capitol Hill. Melanie, what is the latest on where this all stands and why Congress, yet again, cannot get their act together?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yeah, not surprising, right? All the senators and aides that we've been talking to all night are now bracing for a shutdown at midnight. There's only about an hour and a half left until that critical deadline.

And right now, there is no vote scheduled on that critical spending package because lawmakers have been unable to come to an agreement on desired amendment votes. Those amendments would not pass, but Republicans are pushing for the votes anyway, and some Democrats are pushing back. So, that means that they're likely going to have to come back on Sunday when they're going to try to finish up their work.

Now, this isn't going to be a full shutdown. It's only a partial shutdown because six government agencies were funded earlier this month. And it is only going to be a temporary shutdown because when they do get this on the floor, it is expected to pass. But it is a shutdown nonetheless, and this has been such a tortured process to get here.

Remember, they were supposed to have funded the government back in October, but they kicked the can down the road, passed stopgap bill after stopgap bill. And when they finally released this massive package, they only did it yesterday at 3 A.M., giving themselves very little time to read the bill and get it through both chambers. So at this point, it does look like Congress is on track to shut down the government. Abby.

PHILLIP: It is crazy that we've been talking about this since October, Melanie.


PHILLIP: Thank you very much for that. Joining me now is Republican Congressman Ralph Norman of South Carolina. He is among the House Republicans who voted against this spending bill. Congressman, thanks for being here.


PHILLIP: So, we know you oppose this government funding bill. One of your colleagues, though, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, has filed that infamous motion to vacate, to oust Speaker Johnson over this budget, which a lot of your colleagues are upset about. But I wonder, I mean, has the threat to oust the Speaker, which used to be something that was rare, has it become meaningless?

NORMAN: No, it's a tool in the toolbox that's always been there, and it just hadn't been used up until Kevin McCarthy for, I think, over a hundred and some odd years. But no, the issue that we're facing now is a budget that is abysmal. The American people do not deserve what they receive.

We asked Speaker Johnson not to put this even up for a vote, and then to have a continuing resolution, and any funding of government of any kind had to have border security in. We've been invaded. We've got a crisis, an invasion that this country cannot continue to take for the next eight months.

PHILLIP: You sound pretty disappointed, upset, whatever adjective you want to use to describe how you feel about what the speaker is doing right now. How divided is your conference right now, after all these short-term bills, after this spending bill now? How divided are you?

NORMAN: Well, it's just a difference of opinion. You know, there's a lot of us, it's not just Freedom Caucus members. A lot of us, when we broke this budget down and what was being proposed, it wasn't bipartisan, as Hakeem Jeffries said. This was a Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi bill, spending at $1.26 trillion of money we don't have. This was a bill that had no cuts.

PHILLIP: But a majority of Republicans voted for it. That's the reality.

NORMAN: Well, a majority of the majority did not. So, he didn't have the majority of the Republicans. The Democrats passed this bill, and you had Republicans to vote for it, too. But I mean, we're going to show what this bill really is. When you have $500 million going to Jordan, $150 million went to build a wall in Jordan. When you had $125 million going to Egypt to pay for college for Egyptians -- $125 million.


And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The last tranche of bills that we passed had over $12 billion in earmarks of unpaid for and zero cuts. And we're going to show it. And you're right. They voted for it, but they're going to own it now because we're going to show the American people that. And you know what the excuse was used for? We cannot have a shutdown.

PHILLIP: You have a couple of colleagues who are leaving the conference just in a few days, right now, today. One of them and Mike Gallagher in a couple of weeks of Wisconsin, he has announced that he's going to be departing. That's going to bring your majority down to close to the slimmest in history or in recent history. Is this an indictment on what it's like to be a Republican in Congress right now?

NORMAN: What I'll tell you, it's not an indictment. It's just I'm very disappointed that people are not finishing the job that they signed up to do. I like Mike Gallagher. But unless it's for health reasons, you do your job for the term that you were elected to do it, which is two years.

And the worst part about -- Mike Gallagher, you know, per his state, if he resigned before April 19th, you could pick a replacement, have a special election. After the 19th, which I understand he's resigning on the 19th, it's got to run through November.

So, we're going to -- their state is not going to have the representation that they thought they had when Mike went into office. And why leave the country in a lurch like this? We're headed towards socialism with this administration.

PHILLIP: Maybe because he thinks that Congress isn't doing -- maybe because they think that Congress is too dysfunctional and is not doing anything. You don't think that that's a reflection on what it's like to actually serve right now?

NORMAN: It is dysfunctional. We're spending more money than we make. And yes, the cancer in this country is spending more than we make. Thirty-five trillion dollars is not a figment of our imagination. Those coming across the border are not a figment of our imagination. It's real. So yes, it's dysfunctional, but we're here to solve problems. People sent us, pay us a salary and sent us to Washington to do a job.

And I just hate that, you know, Ken Buck left and, you know, George Santos was kicked out. At least he voted for sanity while he was there. What these Democrats are doing is not American. And the problems we're facing are affecting every Democrat, every Republican all across the board. So it's really not a Democrat-Republican issue.

PHILLIP: All right.

NORMAN: It's an American issue.

PHILLIP: Congressman Ralph Norman, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.

NORMAN: My pleasure. Thank you.

PHILLIP: And there are some new warning signs for Biden's must-win blue wall. Can he build back support in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania? Well, we'll talk to a Michigan native, Michael Moore, about all of that next.




PHILLIP: It really is looking like President Biden could face an uphill battle in two critical states, Michigan and Pennsylvania. These are states that flipped from red to blue in the 2020 election. The latest CNN polling shows a dead-even race between Biden and Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, with 46 percent of registered voters planning to vote for each candidate.

Meanwhile, Biden trails in Michigan, with 50 percent of registered voters saying they plan to vote for Trump. That's compared to 42 percent who say they plan to vote for Biden. For more on this, I want to bring in Michael Moore.

He's the filmmaker and author and host of Rumble with Michael Moore, the podcast. Michael, good to see you again. Since October, no poll has shown Biden even close to winning Michigan. That's the reality. Are you worried that Biden could lose the state?

MICHAEL MOORE, OSCAR-WINNING FILMMAKER: Well, sure. Hillary lost it in 2016 by about 11,000 votes, or approximately two votes per precinct. So yes, there's a way to lose Michigan. And I'm sad to say that Biden is playing a game here, where he doesn't understand.

And it's not just in Michigan. It's, you know, also you said in Pennsylvania, but Minnesota. After 13.5 percent of Michigan in the Michigan primary voted uncommitted, you know, mostly people who would have and probably did vote for Biden in 2020. Minnesota, 20 percent, two weeks later, voted uncommitted.

You can't have that many people not willing to commit and possibly staying home. Now, I mean, the uncommitted people are not going to switch from Biden to Trump. Nobody wants Trump in there. Everybody needs to do whatever we all can do to make sure he doesn't win in November.

But if you don't understand that your support and your funding of this war in Gaza, the slaughter of 31,000 plus people, mostly the majority elderly and children, that you've lost young people. Look at the poll numbers for just young people in terms of who's turned away from Joe Biden.

PHILLIP: Let me actually give you those numbers or give the audience those numbers since you brought it up. Among young voters -- okay, looking at voters under 35, only 37 percent say they plan to vote for Biden compared to 52 percent for Trump.

When it comes to Biden's job approval for voters of color -- that's another key group, more than half of voters of color disapprove of the way he's handling his job.


These are not great numbers. The numbers among voters under 25 are even worse for President Biden. When you talk about the uncommitted vote, the pro-Palestinian protest vote, what are you hearing? First of all, who are those people and what are you hearing they need to see in order to actually leave their homes and go vote for President Biden?

MOORE: Because President Biden could lose this just by a few thousand votes. I don't I don't really believe it's that wide of a gap between Trump and Biden. I think that Biden has every chance to win Michigan and should win Michigan.

Problem is, is that young people, people on the progressive left, people of color, especially Arab-Americans, you've got 300,000 Michiganders who are Muslim voters, registered Muslim voters or Arab voters or Arab-speaking voters from North Africa.

The chance of a lot of those people staying home because they're seeing people that they know, people that look like them, that are them being killed -- why are you risking losing those voters? Why aren't you listening to young people? You know, young people, you know who he really hates for the most? Young people, because they're the ones sent to war.

So, whenever they hear that we're doing saber rattling again, invading countries or in this case funding --funding this war. This war, Abby, could end tomorrow simply by the United States pulling the plug on the war machine.

Not, you know, not pulling the plug on supporting Israel, protecting anybody who's being slaughtered in Israel. Well, nobody wants that. Everybody supports our Jewish brothers and sisters and their right to life. But this is going way beyond October 7th at this point when you are slaughtering- - PHILLIP: What are the --

MOORE: -- that many people. Young people are -- and I'm not telling, you know, somebody like me, maybe I don't stay home on election day. But if you're 18 or 20, the chance of the state people staying home is great. And of that, it was 300,000, more than a quarter million Arab- Americans, Muslim-Americans in Michigan, not voting when Hillary lost by 11,000 votes --


MOORE: You've got that many people. It's a serious issue. And a lot of us are trying to --

PHILLIP: And every single -- well, one of the other things I'm curious about, because you're really plugged in in Michigan and you're plugged in particularly in the union world. Union support is one of those issues that I think we shorthand by saying, you know, for example, the UAW supports President Biden.

But when you talk to rank and file workers and you talk to them about the economy, for example, which is another weak spot for President Biden, what are they telling you? I mean, what are they telling you they need to hear from this President in order for them to feel comfortable that he has a handle on the economy?

MOORE: It's a really good question, because as you have on your show pointed out, that the reality of the economy and people's perception of it are not necessarily the same thing. And -- and that I think that, yes, union people support the Democrats, want the House and the Senate back in the hands of the Democrats. But -- but to personal -- I'll just say what I personally think Biden needs to do about this particular issue of the economy.

He needs to get rid of some staff. His campaign staff is going to cost him this election. He has got to get people that can get the message out, can speak clearly. He can -- he can do that. That State of the Union was incredible, you know. So, he knows how to do that. But if he doesn't have the people that understand and especially understand Michigan, you know, as Michelle Goldberg said in "The New York Times" a couple of weeks ago, Biden's going to lose Michigan.

If you lose Michigan, he's going to lose the election. We can't let that happen. But Biden has got to do a few things to stand up against war, a war that he and the United States is funding. And, you know, he's got look, he's done -- so, I've said this on your show before. He's done so many good things as President, so many things that he stood for, walked the picket line. No president has ever done that.

He just this week, "Wall Street Journal" reported two days ago that he's got somebody over there from the DOJ in England, in London, negotiating an end to putting Julian Assange on trial. They -- they've decided somewhere in the Justice Department that this is crazy.

[23:00:00] It's time to just let this guy go. They've had him, you know, he's 14 years as incarcerated one way or another. That is a way if you're trying to speak to the progressive left, the person responsible for telling us the lies that led us into the Iraq war and that and that the Biden administration essentially is done with trying to wanting to extradite him to the United States. That's a powerful message to the base.

PHILLIP: And Michael --

MOORE: Why isn't it working?

PHILLIP: That is the question of the hour. That's all we've got time for tonight.

MOORE: It's okay.

PHILLIP: We appreciate you as always, Michael Moore. Thank you so much. And thank you for watching NEWSNIGHT. "LAURA COATES LIVE" starts right now.