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Israel Drops Leaflets Suggesting Offensive Could Expand to Southern Gaza; House Ethics Committee Releases Report on Rep. George Santos (R-NY); CNN Obtains Hamas Body Cam Video Showing Oct. 7 Attack. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired November 16, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: 100 minutes of horror, the video obtained by CNN of the early moments of the October 7th terror attack from the view of a Hamas militant. What it revealed about Hamas' planning and also about Israel's security.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Rudy Giuliani claims he will take the stand in a case where a judge already determined he defamed two Georgia election workers. He has millions of dollars and a criminal case all on the line.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: Any moment now, the House Ethics Committee, I'll get it out in a minute, could release its long-awaited report on Congressman George Santos. And we one thing that won't be there, a recommendation to expel him.
I'm Sara Sidner with John Berman and Kate Bolduan. This is CNN News Central.
BOLDUAN: There are new indications this morning Israel's ground offensive in Gaza could be expanding to the south. Leaflets were dropped Wednesday on the communities to the east of Khan Yunis, the largest city in the southern part of Gaza, warned civilians to move to toward known shelters.
Now, in the north, the IDF is now more than 36 hours into its raid at Al-Shifa Hospital. Israeli forces remain both, quote, inside and in the vicinity of Gaza's largest hospital.
Several Middle Eastern nations and humanitarian groups have questioned this operation as hundreds of patients, thousands of civilians are known to be sheltering in the hospital complex.
There is this new video released by the IDF showing weapons they say were found inside the hospital during the raid, also promising more evidence of Hamas' presence will be coming.
This morning, John Kirby reiterated that U.S. intelligence has intelligence itself that Hamas uses the hospital as a headquarters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: We are confident based on our own intelligence analysis that the basement areas of that hospital, underneath that hospital, and the hospital itself, has been used, is being used by Hamas as a command control node.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: So, from the United Nations, a new call for an immediate and extended humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza, this is in order to try to get humanitarian assistance into civilians in need. This is the first resolution adopted by the U.N. Security Council since the Hamas terror attack on October 7th. But what is it going to do?
Let's get right to CNN's Nada Bashir Jerusalem for more. Nada, a lot of moving parts, as always, with this. Israel has rejected this resolution adopted by the U.N. Security Council. Where does it go from here?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, this has been described as a somewhat of a diplomatic breakthrough after weeks of bitter negotiations. But as we have heard from Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, describing this resolution passed by 12 countries as meaningless and disconnected from reality, maintaining that Israel has been acting within the realms of international humanitarian law despite warnings from international agencies, including warnings today from the U.N.'s own human rights experts have warned that the violations are being committed by Israeli against Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, are pointing towards, in their words, a genocide in the making.
Now, of course, Israel has denied targeting civilians. We know, of course, that they have rejected this resolution, calling for a humanitarian pause despite pushes from international allies, including, of course, messages from U.S. officials.
Now, of course, the United States abstained from this resolution. We heard from the Human Rights Watch, U.N. director yesterday describing this decision by the United States to abstain from the voting on this resolution as a wake-up call to Israel that even its allies are now expressing concern of the situation that we are seeing unfolding inside the Gaza Strip.
And as we know, of course, as Israel's bombardment continues across the northern parts of the Gaza Strip, as well as, of course, focused around the hospitals, particularly Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, there is mounting concern for the safety and security of civilians as well as those inside hospitals, patients and medical staff.
Now, a key point of concern is this ongoing question around evacuation routes. This resolution has called for a long pause to allow for the rapid and unhindered access of humanitarian groups, including U.N. agencies, to provide emergency relief and aid to those most in need in Gaza.
We heard last week from U.S. President Joe Biden saying that he had pushed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a pause longer than three days. And, of course, as we know, it has proven very, very difficult now for civilians in Northern Gaza to evacuate southwards.
But as you mentioned that, there is also now mounting concern for the situation in the south, reports of leaflets falling on certain communities in the southern parts of Gaza, around Khan Yunis, warning civilians to take shelter in known shelters.
There are fears that this so-called safe zone that has been established or outlined by the Israeli military may not be safe for much longer. And, of course, important to underscore here, we still have seen airstrikes continuing across the south for the last couple of weeks. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Nada Bashir, thank you. Sara?
SIDNER: All right. We have some breaking news to share with you. We told you that the House Ethics Committee was going to be releasing a report on Republican Congressman George Santos. Well, that just happened. It has just come out and our CNN's Manu Raju is on Capitol Hill for us.
What are you seeing in the report? And we understand that they're not going to expel him.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a devastating report, Sara, detailing conduct, misconduct that that the House Ethics Committee has found after months of investigation into the freshman New York Republican's conduct here and raising concerns, serious concerns for Santos about his future in the House.
What this recommends is action by the Justice Department. They're finding is recommending to the Justice Department for further investigation. Remember, George Santos has already been indicted in a separate case by the Justice Department. He's pleaded not guilty to that. But this separate probe, House probe, threatens his future as a member of this body.
Now, what this -- I'm going to read you some lines from this report that just came out. It's more than 50 pages. We're still digging through all the evidence. But the top lines are absolutely devastating for the New York Republican. It says, Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.
He blatantly stole from his campaign. He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign, but were, in fact payments for his personal benefit, he reported fictitious loans to his political committees to induce donors and party committees to make further contributions to his campaign and then diverted more campaign money to himself as purported repayments of these fictitious loans. It goes on to say he used his connection to high-value donors and other political campaigns to obtain additional funds for himself through fraudulent or otherwise questionable business dealings. And it also adds, and he sustained all of this through a constant series of leans (ph) to his constituents, donors and staff, about his backgrounds and experience -- it says constant series of lies, I should say, of his constituents, donors and staff about his background and experience.
Now, the House Ethics Committee chairman, Michael Guest, told me yesterday this would not recommend any course of action for the House to take. He said that members will have to make that decision themselves. But this will add significant pressure on those members who are on the fence about whether to expel George Santos from the House.
That would require two-thirds majority to do that and we expect that vote to happen, probably when they come back from recess. They left town for Thanksgiving holiday. They're going to come back at the end of the month. Expect another vote at that point. It would be a two- thirds majority that would be required to kick him out of the House.
There's already been an effort to kick him out. That failed because a lot of those members wanted to wait for this report. And if Santos is expelled from this chamber, he would just be the sixth member in American history to be expelled from the House, the first since 2002 when James Traficant was expelled from the chamber after being convicted.
We'll see how members come down because he has not been convicted in a court of law. He has pleaded not guilty. He has not yet responded to this report but just came out. But, really, this bipartisan committee detailing really conduct that a lot of members will be very concerned about how they vote, that's going to be a question in the days ahead, Sara.
SIDNER: Yes, it might not be a court of law but, boy, is this a damning report. We are just getting a hold of the statement that has been sent out by the chairman of the Ethics Committee.
And one of the things that they say in this statement is that they are going to use this, refer this substantial evidence that they have gathered of potential violations of federal criminal law to the Department of Justice. What are you hearing on that front?
RAJU: Yes. Look, I mean, that is one of the things that the committee sometimes does, as it investigates how to proceed, whether to go ahead and refer things to the Department of Justice for further investigation.
Remember, he has already been indicted. The question is going to be how much additional evidence has this panel uncovered that perhaps the Justice Department did not include in the indictment? We'll have to dig into that. And I had a chance yesterday to talk to some of these members, including the chairman of the Ethics Committee, who explained why it would not have an explicit recommendation for expulsion, as well as some of the members who are ready to kick George Santos out of the House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHAEL GUEST (R-MS): If we were to make, the Ethics Committee were to make recommendations as to sanctions, it would have been a much longer process, carried out probably well into next year, maybe even until the end of next year.
And so we are not going to make any recommendation to the House. That will be up to each individual member.
REP. TONY GONZALES (R-TX): I think the people of his district need representation, and they're not getting that right now. Clearly, he has a lot of issues and he needs to go home and solve it.
REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): I will take whatever comes my way the way it comes. I have no concerns, and I don't have any premeditated feelings on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: And that last comment from Congressman Santos, I've asked him about this ethics report for some time. He continues to say, we'll see what happens. I'll see what the report is. He would not necessarily say he'd even accept its findings. He has had this report since yesterday, so he knows what is detailed in this. We'll see.
But just we're just learning so much more about this report as we're digging through it, as our team is digging through it, I just want to read you one more line. It says, Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.
In the indictment from the Justice Department, it said that he allegedly took donor credit cards to try to essentially buy personal goods for himself. He has pleaded not guilty to that offense. The question is what additional evidence this has uncovered in this pretty devastating report for the New York freshman Republican. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Manu, stick with me. Also joining the conversation, we're going to bring in Punchbowl News co-Founder John Bresnahan.
Bres, what do you think of this? How is this going to land on the Hill?
JOHN BRESNAHAN, CO-FOUNDER, PUNCHBOWL NEWS: Yes. I was just listening to what Manu said and this is, you know, this, I think this will be enough for them to begin the expulsion process. I think members will look through this. You know, they don't have a trial date scheduled until next year. I believe it's September 2024. I think that outrageous a lot of members on the Hill. I think you'll see the New York delegation, the Republicans who tried to expel him recently, I think they'll come back and say, look, this isn't -- you know, there's enough here. He can have his day in court. But as a member of Congress, his tenure should end now.
And I think, you know, just the allegations here are pretty blatant and that he did not cooperate at all. He was -- it says here, he was given an opportunity to, you know, speak to the committee or the investigative subcommittee, the special investigative subcommittee inside Ethics that does this, that they appoint members to do this, including two members who aren't on Ethics, and he didn't do it. And I think that's going to be enough to convince a lot of members. Yes, he had his chance. He didn't take advantage of it. We should take a look at expulsion now.
BOLDUAN: I mean, just that the first line, and there's a lot, there's a lot that Manu was detailing, but that first line coming from in terms of the findings, Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.
There's a lot more than that, but just that in and of itself, that's truly damning. I mean, there's always talk, Bres, of like, what teeth the Ethics Committee really has, what impact that it really -- you know, what mark they really can leave on a member. This goes further than what we often see.
BRESNAHAN: Oh, yes, I've read dozens of these things over the years, and that's pretty -- that's extraordinarily explicit for the Ethics Committee.
As you mentioned, you know, this is a duty that no member wants to have. They don't want to serve on the Ethics Committee. It is not a criminal investigative body. It's not set up to do that. It's not capable to do that. It has subpoena power, but it's not a real investigative body. It's not a law enforcement agency. It's a group of members who sit in judgment of their colleagues, and they hate it, they hate the duty, and they usually very circumspect.
And just like you said, Kate, like they're out there saying he just stole from everyone. He used his whole campaign to profit himself personally.
That's what he was in politics for. That's why he ran for Congress. He's kind of an accidental congressman in a lot of ways. And them just saying this blatantly, I think a lot of members, it's just going to hit him right between the eyes, and they're like, you know, we're going to have to think about taking some action about this.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And so you had the New York delegation that was -- you know, they have been scathing in their criticism of him from jump on this, as we know. And part of it is because they're really concerned if he gets expelled, what that means for that seat and what it means for the slim Republican majority.
And the sense that I was getting is that the New York delegation, the New York Republicans, were kind of waiting to see how this report landed amongst other members before they would try to move again. I don't know, what is this going to look like now?
BRESNAHAN: I feel like this may be enough, you know, the guys like Michael Lawler, they don't like Santos, they don't like what he represents. This is a political problem for them. I also think it's a personal issue for some of them. You know, the way he behaves, the way he -- you know, he's -- I mean, it's hard to even describe.
BOLDUAN: All the things, all the things. I mean, like it would take us minutes to go through the lies in his background and what he's done since, Bres. I mean --
BRESNAHAN: But even the way he carries himself when he's up there, I mean, I don't -- you know, Manu was there that with the day, you know, they were doing the speaker elections and he's running around screaming, being chased by cameras.
I mean, I've never seen anyone -- in 30 years I've covered Capitol Hill, I've never seen anyone I like act like this. It's hard to even put in words. He's like tending to be a congressman.
So, you know, I think this will be -- I do think there's a lot of members who are concerned about we're waiting for Ethics to do something, we're waiting for the judge -- you know, there's the Justice Department subpoena our indictment out there and the superseding indictment and there's a lot of allegations but he's never been in court. I think this -- you know, he had a chance to go to Ethics, and I think this is a problem that he didn't, and I think a lot of members are going to want to act on that.
BOLDUAN: Yes. The one move that might have tipped the scales is that he didn't take a chance to defend himself amongst -- in front of the Ethics Committee.
Thanks for jumping on, Bres. I really appreciate it. John?
BERMAN: Yes, we're pouring through this report. We're going to have much more on this ahead. There is so much in there.
Also, a new video obtained by CNN on how the October 7th terror attack unfolded 100 minutes of horror from a camera that Hamas terrorist was wearing.
And now that he is retiring from the Senate, questions swirling about the future of Joe Manchin and a huge clarification from his own mouth right here on CNN.
BERMAN: All right. With an estimated 239 hostages now their 41st day in captivity in Gaza, this morning, we have an CNN exclusive, a previously unseen perspective of the horrors of October 7th.
When the Hamas terrorists launched their attack that day, many were wearing Go-Pro cameras. Some of the videos, they were shared as Hamas propaganda, but not all of them.
CNN has obtained video from one of these cameras from the Israeli military. It shows 100 straight minutes of terror.
A warning that some of this is very graphic. Our Oren Liebermann reports.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): An explosion before dawn on October 7th. The time is here and the attack is underway.
Allahu Akbar, God is great, they chant, as they cross the breached fence.
Go right, go right, go right, they say.
Less than two minutes later, they cross the second security fence. They are in Israel heading towards a kibbutz. The sun is up and a day that will reshape the region has begun.
This video comes from the body cam of one of the terrorists who took part in the attack. It was obtained exclusively by CNN from the Israel Defense Forces. For the first time, we also see video inside Hamas tunnels before the attack.
It is a look into a network of tunnels, with what appear to be supplies stored in the darkness. Writing on the walls in Arabic says what's hidden is far worse.
Above ground, the gunman fires his first shots.
Go on, man, go on, man, he screams.
They stop on the way, more than a dozen militants gather here to prepare for the next assault. One has several rocket-propelled grenades on his back.
Minutes later, a group advances across an open field, moving towards the village of Kissufim. The gunman charges the last bit and spots an Israeli soldier on the ground.
Others join in celebration.
Moments later, he is more composed as he turns the camera on himself. He says his name and that he's 24 years old. He's a father. He says he killed two Israeli soldiers. He asks God for victory and well-deserved martyrdom.
On motorbikes now, they keep advancing, moving together along empty Israeli roads, or nearly empty. The man cheers as he sees bodies on the road.
His is not the first wave.
He rounds a corner. Here, we have seen this place before, among the first videos to come out after the attack. This is dashcam video from a car on the same road moments earlier. The car approaches a group of militants who opened fire. The car coasts its driver almost certainly dead by now. It is just after 7:40 in the morning.
After a quick reload, the group approaches a military base near the kibbutz of Re'im. For 65 minutes, since crossing the Gaza fence, they have had nearly free rein in Israel. The gunman closes the distance with a weapon he took from an Israeli soldier, opening fire and fire comes back.
This man's part of the attack comes to an end. The terror is just beginning.
LIEBERMANN (on camera): One thing that is very clear in this video is how easily and quickly this group was able to move virtually unimpeded. There is a quote of one of the groups saying, where are the soldiers, apparently surprised at how easily they were able to move. That will be part of the investigation, an investigation pretty much everyone here from the IDF to Israeli officials to the public have said needs to be very thorough and very in depth to figure out how catastrophically Israel's security system failed on that day.
BERMAN: Yes, Oren. Stunning and horrifying footage, to be sure. And just to be clear, that was now 41 days ago. Israel still says, as a result of that, some 239 hostages still in captivity in Gaza. Oren, thank you for that report. Sara?
SIDNER: And I am joined now by Dr. Omar Abdel-Mannan, the founder of Gaza Medic Voices. We have been talking -- we've seen this horrific video from October 7th, but there are also horrible images coming out of Gaza, in particular the hospital there, the Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital complex there.
Have you heard anything from doctors in Al-Shifa Hospital today?
DR. OMAR ABDEL-MANNAN, FOUNDER, GAZA MEDIC VOICES: Thank you, Sara, for having me on the program.
So, we have been in constant communication with doctors, surgeons, nursing staff within many of the hospitals in Gaza since the 10th of October when we set up Gaza Medic Voices. What I can tell you is the last few days it has been extremely difficult to be in any communication with anyone in Al-Shifa Hospital.
The last proper communication we had was yesterday morning. I haven't been able to contact anyone within the hospital since. And on Friday, before the Israeli Defense Forces started to attack and enter and storm Al-Shifa Hospital, we had messages that were desperate from doctors inside saying that there are snipers shooting at the windows. There are doctors and nurses that are being shot and they are concerned that all of them will perish as well as all the babies and all the children and all the patients in the intensive care units that are still left behind. There are still, as far as I know, 200 to 300 patients that were still inside Al-Shifa at the last count.
What I can say is that you know these videos from the 7th of October are deplorable and horrific. As you said rightly, this does not excuse the loss of civilian and human life to the number of almost 12,000 people that have died in Gaza and disproportionate amounts of children are there being killed. We are seeing children that are losing limbs, that are losing their lives, that are losing their parents, that are losing the whole generation of their family, and many of them are being disfigured or being burnt with, you know, extremely toxic chemicals or toxic weapons that are being used in munitions.
So, the situation there is frankly apocalyptic. And what we must not lose sight of is this is the Hall of Gaza. So, the Hall of Gaza is an open air concentration camp and it is being bombed indiscriminately. We are seeing loss of lives to a level that we have never encountered.
The monthly average number of deaths of children in Gaza in the last four weeks is 4,000 children. The nearest conflict that had in the last 10 to 20 years that had numbers of children being killed was 200 children in four weeks. That was in Yemen and in Syria.
So, we are talking about a magnitude of death and destruction that is beyond anything we have witnessed frankly since World War II, in my humble opinion.
SIDNER: We have heard some of those numbers about the number of children killed from Save the Children who have talked about that as well. That is the most number of children per year that they have seen over the past four years that have been killed.
But we have also heard from the IDF who has gone into this hospital, who has now taken over the hospital there and control of it, if you will, that there was no fighting inside of the hospital, that most of that happened outside.