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Secret Service Agent Protecting Biden's Granddaughter Opens Fire On Suspects Breaking Into Gov't Vehicle; Gaza's Health System Crumbling As Fighting Rages Nearby; Trump's Eldest Sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, Dies At 86. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 13, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: We are getting new reporting in after a Secret Service agent protecting President Biden's granddaughter opens fire. There are three suspects still at large.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Don Jr. is back on the stand. What questions he's answering right now and how the Trump team hopes that helps in their defense.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: And a U.S. official just told CNN that Hamas has a command center under Gaza's busiest hospital as the crisis inside grows more dire by the hour. I'm Fredricka Whitfield with John Berman and Kate Bolduan. Sara Sidner is off. CNN News Central continues right now.
BERMAN: We do have breaking news involving the U.S. Secret Service. An agent on the security detail for President's grand -- President Biden's granddaughter, Naomi, fired their weapon while trying to stop some people from breaking into a government vehicle. This happened in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Jessica Snider has been working this story. What's the latest, Jessica?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: John, this all developing overnight over the past few hours. And there are definitely still a lot of questions about why this Secret Service agent shot at those three people attempting to break into a government vehicle. But this incident really also highlights the severe uptick in crime all around Washington, D.C., where in fact, over the past year, motor vehicle theft is up 98 percent.
So here's the statement we've gotten from the Secret Service saying, on November 12th, that was last night around 11:58 p.m. in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Secret Service agents encountered possibly three individuals breaking a window on a parked and unoccupied government vehicle. During this encounter, a federal agent discharged a service weapon and it is believed no one was struck. That's from Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi.
Now, he continued to say in his statement that the people trying to break into that government vehicle, they immediately fled the area in a red car. And then a regional lookout was issued to supporting units. So the Metropolitan Police Department right here in D.C., they're helping to investigate this. And the Secret Service spokesman says that there was never any threat to the Secret Service protectees. And a source, in fact, has confirmed with our team that the agent involved in firing that weapon amid this attempted vehicle break-in is actually assigned, of course, to Naomi Biden's detail.
She's the granddaughter of the President and First Lady, also the oldest daughter of Hunter Biden. She does live in Georgetown. So, of course, that's why the government vehicle was parked in that neighborhood, why a Secret Service detail was there.
The first Lady's office at this point this morning, declining to comment on this incident. But, you know, John, this is certainly an ongoing investigation. There will be more details that come out. Also questions about why the Secret Service agent did fire this weapon amid this break in. But also likely more details to come out about the attempted break in itself. The Secret Service saying, of course, there wasn't any threat to Naomi Biden. But still a lot of concern developing about this incident happening just before midnight overnight. And, of course, three suspects, at least three suspects likely still out there, still being searched for by Metropolitan PD and others. John?
BERMAN: Jessica, any information on whether or if Naomi Biden was anywhere near the car when this happened?
SCHNEIDER: We're not getting any details on whether she was there. Presumably she was in that neighborhood if Secret Service was there, if a government vehicle was there. The only thing Secret service is saying is that no protectee was in danger, presumably, obviously pointing to Naomi Biden. She presumably was there, but we haven't gotten any official confirmation. John?
BERMAN: All right. Jessica Schneider, thank you so much for that update. Appreciate it. Kate?
BOLDUAN: All right, joining us now is CNN's chief law enforcement intelligence analyst John Miller with more on this. John, what are you picking up about this situation?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, this is the midnight shift, which is often the people who will be out with a protectee, if they're out late at night or around where they are staying, guarding the outside of the residence. It's a Secret Service car. Generally those are those black Tahoes or SUVs, but they come upon these two or three individuals who break the back window.
So the question here is going to be what justified the shooting? And according to the federal use of force guidelines, which I was trained in the FBI and which the Secret Service ones fairly match, you have to be face with, at least in your perception, the use of deadly physical force against you. That could be serious bodily injury or death. So the agents, you know, are going to be interviewed. They're going to be interviewed separately. And the agent who fired the shot is going to have to articulate what was it that he saw that made him feel that threat of force. Was one of these people after they told them to freeze, reaching for what he thought was a weapon? Did he see what he thought was a weapon?
Right now, we don't know that, but that's a process that's going to go on. Comes in two parts, Washington, D.C. Police does the criminal investigation to make sure that no laws were violated. And we'll also be looking for the two or three suspects. And then the Secret Service will do the investigation as to whether the shooting was in policy.
BOLDUAN: One question, of course, immediately becomes, did they know whose car this was that they were breaking into at the time? Are you picking anything up about this? I mean, it's hard to know you don't have the suspects but.
MILLER: Right. So the Secret Service vehicles are unmarked. If they are parked, sometimes they will have a placard in the window that says U.S. Secret Service on official business so that the car doesn't get towed away or ticketed. But other times they won't so, you know, if you're a professional criminal in Washington, D.C., you should be adept at recognizing a law enforcement vehicle. They'll have the little lights behind the grill and sometimes on the dashboard.
That's a question because it matters if they think it's a law enforcement car. They may think there's weapons inside, particularly if it's a federal law enforcement vehicle. That could actually be part of the threat. If they broke the back window and that's where weapons were being stored, that could be a deadly physical force threat to the agents. But they're still sorting through that. I got to say, though, it's a sign of Washington, D.C.'s crime.
BOLDUAN: I was going to ask you, how does this fit into, I mean, what -- you've seen a rise in carjackings and break-ins and such in D.C.
MILLER: Kate, it's Georgetown. And it's one of those neighborhoods that's considered one of the safer neighborhoods in Washington. But Washington, D.C. is a city of 700,000 people. They have 750 carjackings so far this year, 5,000 auto thefts. New York City is a city of 8.4 million people. We have 400 carjackings here. So if you see by scale crime and violent crime, which is somebody taking your car at gunpoint is a little bit off the hook there right now.
BOLDUAN: Yes, sure, looks like it. Thanks for coming in, John.
WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much.
Hospitals in Gaza collapsing one by one, the Al-Quds Hospital, which shuttered over the weekend, is now the site of intense fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces. The IDF saying this morning that it killed 21 Hamas fighters embedded among civilians near the hospital entrance. And this just into CNN, a U.S. official says Hamas has a command center under the Al-Shifa Hospital with fighters regularly clustered in and around the facility using fuel intended for the hospital.
Officials from that hospital tell CNN that there is no fuel left to run the generators. All operating rooms are now closed. And the hospital director warns that if patients need surgery, they will die. We want to warn you, the next couple of videos that we're going to show you are very disturbing.
In a desperate bid to keep babies from the neonatal unit alive, the hospital has wrapped them in foil and placed them next to bowls of hot water. And a warning, the next video here is also very disturbing. In the courtyard of Al-Shifa, a graphic scene playing out, bodies piled up, left discarded to the elements.
DR. MARGARET HARRIS, W.H.O. SPOKESPERSON: The staff, they can hardly move in the corridors for fear of being shot. They aren't able to bury the bodies in the courtyard. They even describe things like dogs arriving and eating the bodies because they cannot go out into the car park to bury the bodies for fear of being shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Nada Bashir joins us now from Jerusalem. Nada, what are you learning about this command center that reportedly is operating right under the Al-Shifa Hospital?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, Fredricka, we've heard long before this statement from a U.S. official from the Israeli military which has claimed that there is a Hamas command and control center beneath the Al-Shifa Hospital. As we know, CNN hasn't been able to independently verify this claim. This is a claim which has been denied by both Hamas and doctors working at Al-Shifa, including international humanitarian workers who have worked at Al-Shifa for decades, who have told us personally that they have never seen any indication of a Hamas presence at the hospital.
But this has been the primary focus, according to the IDF, of this ongoing military operation. They say they are focused on targeting Hamas. But as we know, there are thousands of civilians of patients at the Al-Shifa hospital, some 1,500, according to hospital staff, patients and medical staff, including thousands of other civilians who have flocked to Al-Shifa for shelter.
And there is a huge amount of concern that as we see these airstrikes intensify, as we see the ground fighting circling around the hospital, the civilian death toll is only going to continue rising. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BASHIR (voice-over): These are the sounds of the final gasps from Gaza's collapsing healthcare system. Medical staff in Gaza City, working under near relentless Israeli bombardment for over a month. But now this chorus of frantic voices, seen here working under torchlight, tells its own gut wrenching story.
The Al-Quds Hospital, the second largest in Gaza, has now collapsed. It is one of many hospitals in Gaza that are completely out of service, according to officials, those remaining now on a cliff edge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is a direct injury in the head, internal bleeding, and we can't do surgeries. No surgeries, no oxygen, no electricity. We work manually. We are using a manual resuscitator. It is a clear injury. It needs an urgent surgery, a lifesaving one. He is less than a year old.
BASHIR (voice-over): Remarkably, this baby survived. But his father, who was in the very same building when an Israeli airstrike hit, did not. At Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa officials say three babies in the neonatal unit died after a generator powering incubators was damaged in an Israeli strike. CNN has reached out to the Israeli military for comment. The IDF regularly says it is targeting Hamas. But doctors here say the hospital is now completely surrounded.
DR. MOHAMED KANDIL, AL-SHIFA DOCTOR: The situation overall is difficult, according to our colleague there. There is no water, no electricity. They cannot communicate between each other. There is a lot of targeting around the hospital.
BASHIR (voice-over): The Israeli military said, Sunday, it has sent 300 liters of fuel to the entrance of the Al-Shifa Hospital, said to only be enough to power the hospital's generators for 30 minutes. But the IDF says Hamas blocked the hospital from receiving it. Hospital officials, however, say staff were too afraid by surrounding Israeli tanks to collect the fuel. Inside the hospital, doctors are overwhelmed, morgues now long beyond capacity. And with communications frequently cut off, contact between medical teams on the ground and with the outside world is growing increasingly difficult.
Hospital officials say thousands of displaced civilians are still thought to be in the compound, taking shelter in what once was thought to be a sanctuary in the midst of this seemingly unending nightmare.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We thought the hospital was a safe place, but it wasn't. If we had stayed another five minutes, we would have been killed. They started to bomb us and we ran away from Al-Shifa.
BASHIR (voice-over): The Israeli military says it is now enabling passage from three hospitals in northern Gaza. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling CNN on Sunday that there is no reason why patients can't be evacuated from Al-Shifa. But doctors on the ground say a near constant barrage of airstrikes has made it impossible for patients and staff to safely evacuate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is another form of torture. We have about six kilometers to go, no less. She got a stroke that caused her brain damage. She can't speak and is paralyzed.
BASHIR (voice-over): Israel says additional routes have been opened to allow civilians to evacuate southwards. But the United Nations itself has raised doubts over the so called safe zones outlined by Israel, warning that nowhere inside Gaza is safe for civilians anymore. And for those too injured, too sick, evacuation is impossible. Many doctors on the ground vowing to stay beside their patients no matter what.
BASHIR (on camera): Look, we've been hearing from doctors with Doctors Without Borders. They say that they are still waiting for guarantees that they will be able to evacuate patients safely. At this stage, they say it is simply not safe enough to be able to get their patients and to get civilians out of Al-Shifa and other hospitals impacted by this ongoing bombardment on the Gaza Strip.
WHITFIELD: Also horrifying and sad. Nada Bashir, thanks so much.
BERMAN: All right with us now, CNN military analyst and former NATO supreme allied Commander General Wesley Clark. General, I want to start with Al-Shifa. We were just hearing about that right there. Let me just read you this latest CNN report as you locate that on the map. A U.S. official with knowledge of the American intelligence says Hamas as a command node under that hospital and uses fuel intended for the hospital. And its fighters -- and the fighters regularly cluster around that hospital.
So that information from a U.S. official as we're getting new video from the IDF of the Al-Quds Hospital, that's a hospital nearby. It's no longer operational, but there are still people inside waiting to be evacuated. And you can see in this footage from the IDF what they have circled and identified as a terrorist with an RPG launcher at the front door of the hospital going in and out of the hospital. So, General, if you will just talk about this. Talk about how Hamas uses these structures and how that complicates Israeli efforts in the region.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, this was a long developed plan by Hamas to use international laws of land warfare against the Israelis to be able to bring global pressure against the Israelis when they retaliated. So the tunnel network has been built according to all the information that's been made public so that its centered node is under these hospitals. This is where the nexus of the tunnel network is. And Hamas did this deliberately.
Now, from the Israeli perspective, they are under international law. So they have to protect humanitarian facilities. They cannot bomb hospitals. They have not bombed this hospital, but they do have the right to self-defense. And they are going to have to go into these hospitals and get into those command nodes. Maybe the command nodes will have been evacuated by then. But there is a fight for this, and there is concern about this by the Israelis to try to avoid the global implications of what they're doing, but they're still bound by the laws of land warfare. So you have one side that's legally trying to deal with an enemy. You have the other side which is cynically exploiting international law to put its own people at risk and use them as hostages. That's what this is really about, John.
BERMAN: And again, because you see the images like the ones of the babies from the neonatal unit there out of the incubators here being warmed by tinfoil and water here. And these are images that Reuters has provided. But that do some work for Hamas so people can see what's happening in the hospital and people are suffering inside there, General.
CLARK: It's terrible, really, condition. And it is the fault of Hamas. Under international law, Hamas should have no military operations, no defense of that hospital. Get away from it. Leave the doctors and patients there. The Israelis will come in, provide security for it and pick up the medical responsibilities. That's what should be happening.
But as long as Hamas is using it as a base of operation, it's going to be very difficult for Israel to get in and assume the humanitarian responsibilities that it must under international law assume.
BERMAN: Let me ask you very quickly, what has been happening in Syria, because a new round of U.S. strikes took place in Eastern Syria and we've seen attacks before from the U.S. on targets that it says are used by Iranian proxies in that part of the country to attack U.S. interests. What's happening here?
CLARK: So this is an effort again by the United States to strike back at Iran, who's the source of the problem, without escalation. So it's a balance between hitting the forces, hitting the command nodes, hitting the logistics that are supporting the attacks on the American forces without going to the source and without escalating. But this is a slight escalation, John, because as I understand it, we're not just hitting the militias out there. We're actually attacking some Iranian Revolutionary Guards components there in Syria. So we're actually going after Iranians who are in Syria. So this represents a slight escalation.
BERMAN: And bears watching. General Wesley Clark, always great to have you. Thank you very much. Kate?
CLARK: Thank you, John.
BOLDUAN: In this just in, CNN has confirmed that Donald Trump's eldest sister, former federal judge, Maryanne Trump Barry, has passed away. Kristen Holmes is following this news. She's joining us now. Kristen, what more are you learning?
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. Well, Maryanne Trump Barry was 86 years old. We are hearing from sources familiar with the matter that she did pass away in New York. The causes of her death still remain unclear. But a couple things to note about who she was, as you noted, she was a former federal judge and prosecutor. She was first appointed to the bench, the federal district court in New Jersey by Ronald Reagan and later to the Third District appeals court by Bill Clinton.
And little is known about the deepness of the relationship between Donald Trump and his sister. While she never spoke out publicly, critically about his presidency, his niece and her niece, Mary Trump did release audio recordings of his sister talking critically about Trump while he was president. We have still not heard from the former president on this death.
But again, this is still a developing story as we learn more details that she passed. Again, one more thing to note, Kate, she was the eldest of five siblings. And we do know that Donald Trump's other youngest brother, Robert, passed away in 2020.
BOLDUAN: Yes. All right, more information to come on this. Thank you so much, Kristen.
We're going to continue to follow this all. And also coming up for us, in the civil trial against Donald Trump and his business empire, why the judge just sided with Trump's legal team as his son Don Jr. is on the stand.
And a big question right now in Congress is can House Republicans avoid another government shutdown? We now have new reporting on where the vote count stands. How challenging the math is looking right now for House Speaker Mike Johnson, not Donald Trump Jr. though.
And the popular weight loss drug Wegovy showing promising signs of also being good for your heart. What's coming out in new clinical study? You'll want to hear this. We'll be back.
BERMAN: All right, happening now, Donald Trump Jr. is on the stand in the $250 million civil fraud trial against his father and their business empire. Today he is testifying as the defense team's first witness. He was already on the stand for the state's case. Moments ago, the judge in the case, who, by the way, has already found the Trumps liable for fraud, he sided with Trump's attorneys on a matter of how much testimony can be heard. CNN's Brynn Gingras with us now from the courthouse steps. So what's going on inside the courtroom, Brynn?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, well, the judge certainly giving a little bit more breadth to the defense's testimony. Right now, the courtroom is seeing an entire promotional video of the Trump Organization, the assets that they own and the history of them dating back to the 1900s. Don Jr. on the stand called his father an artist when it came to real estate, saying he sees things that other people don't see. Now, the state's attorneys objected to this, saying, does this somewhat jokingly, does this fit within the statute of limitations? And the judge sided with the defense, saying he would allow this video to continue playing, saying basically he doesn't want any issues from the defense that he didn't give them their fair shot and there'd be a retrial in this case.
So this video is continuing to play as we speak, taking up much of the testimony of Don Jr. so far. Prior to this, though, Don Jr., did talk about his role within the Trump Organization, saying when his father became president, he and his brother Eric served as sort of asset managers of the company. He was handling more the bigger deals at the company, and his brother handled more of the day to day.
That's sort of a light hearted feeling, I have to say, for we're hearing from the courtroom reporters in there. At one point, the judge said, welcome back to Don Jr. when he was on the stand. And Don Jr. basically said that he would say he'd be happy to be there, but he didn't want to be perjured by the attorney general. So there is some joking going on while he is there on the stand.
Now, listen, we haven't gotten into the nitty-gritty of this case, which is those financial statements, right? We do expect that to happen within this testimony of Don Jr., certainly, as he's getting questions from the defense, there is a little bit broader capability to answer those questions. Not yes and no's like he had to do when he was on the stand for the state's attorney. So we're waiting to see that.
But, John, right now on the stand, I can tell you that we're hearing more about Trump Organization and all the assets that they have right now.
BERMAN: And Brynn, we just saw video of Donald Trump Jr. leaving the courtroom. This might be the lunch break that they're about to head out on right now. He did not comment as he departed the courtroom, though, he look pretty happy. It's a short break, not the lunch break?
GINGRAS: Just a short break. It says the courtroom reporter saying they'll be back at 11:45, so in about 15 minutes, just a short break of this promotional video that we've been seeing for a few hours now.
BERMAN: I appreciate you using the universal sign for short break right there, Brynn. So I understand what you were talking about. I really appreciate it. And thank you very much for your reporting. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Joining us now for more on this is former federal prosecutor Kristy Greenberg. She's also the former criminal division deputy chief for the Southern District of New York. It's good to see you. Let's start with what Brynn was detailing, which is kind of like the rare instance we've seen so far of the judge siding with the defense team in this, kind of allowing them to admit this PowerPoint presentation on the long history of the Trump Organization over the objection of the Attorney General's Office. Beyond the objection, why would the defense team want to showcase the history of the Trump Organization and spend time doing that as they're just starting to lay out their defense?
KRISTY GREENBERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think for two reasons. One, this is more of a political defense and kind of putting on a PR campaign.