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Israel-Hamas War; Interview with Gaza Medic Voices Founder Dr. Omar Abdel-Mannan; In an Impending Civil Trial, Rudy Giuliani Will Testify in His Defense; Prosecutors from Fulton County Seek Judge to Imprison Trump's Co-Defendant; Report on Rep. George Santos Released by House Ethics Committee; Head of Ethics Committee Will Try to Remove Santos from House; Interview with Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI); After Important Talks with Xi, Biden Addresses APEC; Today, Hundreds of Starbucks Outlets' Employees Will Go On Strike. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired November 16, 2023 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: However, before it was raided by the Israeli military, it has been under some of the worst kinds of conditions. No electricity, no anesthesia, inundated with injured people and people seeking refuge. How are patients being treated at Al-Shifa now, especially that the military is inside? We did see them bringing in some items to try and help. But how are doctors being able to treat any of the patients there at this point?
DR. OMAR ABDEL-MANNAN, FOUNDER, GAZA MEDIC VOICES: We are operating in the dark and they are operating in the dark realistically. So, I have no idea how they are managing with the conditions there. What I can tell you is prior to the invasion and the storming of the hospital, these doctors were absolutely exhausted and they were struggling with lack of basic supplies, many of them were having to perform amputations with little pain control for the patients, you know.
Afterwards, many of them were having to, as you saw in the videos and pictures, take babies out to the incubators, premature babies, 32 weeks or, you know, 28 weeks, who should be in an incubator getting warmth, oxygen, and fluids. And they were having to put them all together in cots.
This is frankly dehumanizing. This is, you know, this is 2023, and we are seeing levels of healthcare infrastructure breakdown that I don't think anyone has seen as -- in the western world. You know, the closest thing is probably the earthquake of Haiti, where 100,000 people died. And in that situation, you have a collapse of infrastructure, but that is mother nature doing its course.
This is 100 percent manmade. And I -- frankly, I'm terrified to think of how they are operating in there. What I can tell you is these doctors and surgeons are some of the most capable and competent and able doctors in the world. But even them, even them who would perform trauma surgeries at level -- you know, many health care systems would not be able to tolerate or cope with. They are struggling. They are breaking down. I spoke to a doctor at Al-Shifa Hospital before he had to flee, and I said to him, what message do you have for the world? And he said, we don't want your food. We don't want your electricity. We don't want your peace and thoughts and love. We want a ceasefire now. We want urgent help and a ceasefire and doctors and supplies to come in and take over and help because we are, frankly, on our knees and begging.
SIDNER: Just lastly, did you hear from any of the doctors about the guns and the ammunition that Israeli military says it has found inside the hospital? And are you concerned about Hamas using the hospital as a potential base?
DR. ABDEL-MANNAN: So, myself and my colleagues have traveled to Gaza many times over the last 10 years and speaking to the colleagues as well. And I asked him that question, have you seen anything that amounts to military activity? The same doctor, Dr. Ibrahim Mattar (ph), and he said, I swear on my life. I swear on my mother's life. I have never seen anything that looks like this. I have never seen Hamas militants inside our hospitals or using children's cancer wards to launch rockets as the IDF proposes or claims.
We have not seen this evidence. There is no footage or images of Hamas militants working inside. So, if the IDF and Israeli government have evidence, then they need to show it. But these accusations --
SIDNER: Yes, it's not on the video that shows, just munitions.
DR. ABDEL-MANNAN: -- are detracting from the reality on the ground.
SIDNER: Yes, but I know that the reality for the doctors --
DR. ABDEL-MANNAN: So -- I mean, obviously --
SIDNER: -- there is impossible right now.
DR. ABDEL-MANNAN: -- I would -- you know if -- yes, if there's munitions inside the hospital, that's obviously unacceptable. But at the same time, it does not mean that you can blanket and carpet bomb a whole -- as a whole city and a whole country and put two million people lives at risk.
This is the most advanced military machine in the world. They are able to fine tune and fight and take out militants, you know, in a more targeted way. This sledgehammer approach is not helpful. And the Israeli government --
SIDNER: I think, Dr. --
DR. ABDEL-MANNAN: -- and the Israeli citizens, frankly --
SIDNER: We have just lost your signal. Dr. Omar Abdel-Manan, thank you so much for taking the time to talk us through all that. I know this has been really difficult for you and for your colleagues there inside of Gaza at the hospitals.
Kate. KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: Coming up for us, Rudy Giuliani set to take the stand in his own defense. His plans now to testify in an upcoming civil trial against him involving two election workers that he defamed. The details ahead.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: So, new this morning, a legal filing overnight indicates that Rudy Giuliani plans to take the stand at his civil defamation trial. He's being sued by mother and daughter election workers. A judge has already found Giuliani liable for defamation for what he said about them as he was trying to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results. The trial is going to focus on how much he has to pay them.
With us now, CNN Legal Analyst and Former Federal Prosecutor Elliot Williams. So, this is a filing from Giuliani's team that says he plans to testify. Does that mean he really will take the stand for sure, Elliot?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, AND FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT GENERAL, DOJ: It doesn't mean he will for sure. If they've signified that he's going to, it seems like it's likely to happen. It's frankly, quite possibly, John, it's in his interest to testify here, just on account of what you were saying before. The judge has already ruled against Rudy Giuliani, based on his conduct at not being forthcoming with discovery and information provided earlier on.
He really doesn't have much left, and sort of, if he wishes to, sort of, stop the bleeding and minimize some of the damages that he might have to pay, his one chance might be to come up and testify.
BERMAN: He was found liable for defaming them for things that he said about these two, this mother and daughter team of election workers saying it looked like they were passing drugs, USB like drugs around in Georgia. I think that's what he said there. What's the risk for him if he takes the stand? Because that statement in and of itself doesn't seem sympathetic. And two, there are also criminal charges against Rudy Giuliani in Georgia. Could what he says on the stand in this case bleed over into that other case?
WILLIAMS: Oh, absolutely. Anytime you say something in an open court, it can be used in other cases that are being brought against you. So, you know, look, any testimony comes at a risk. Now, with respect to the specifics of this case, you know, he's got to behave himself. And I think if you take the stand and go after the witnesses further and say anything other than, I defamed you. I'm sorry, it was a tough time. I don't know what was going on. It -- I think it's just particularly risky for a defendant. So, there's a very narrow line to walk for anybody. And he -- look, he has a history of bluster filled statements that could get him in trouble. And, you know, there's not much -- there aren't many options here. He's going to end up having to pay a lot of money. It's just a question of how much and how much he can mitigate it.
BERMAN: Well, we're talking about Georgia, a case involving one of the Georgia criminal defendants, Harrison Floyd. Prosecutors, Fani Willis and her team, her saying they want this guy in jail because of things that he's saying about other witnesses in this case. How unusual would it be for the judge to decide that this man has to go to jail pending trial, and what impact could that have in the prosecutions? Could that make him, you know, give Fani Willis leverage over him?
WILLIAMS: Yes, it's not unusual if someone violates the terms of their bond. And the terms of his bond were don't intimidate other witnesses or make statements that could impede the administration of justice. And what he did here via social media was actually quite aggressive, tagging the people he was talking about, including the Georgia Secretary of State. And I don't want to get into the specifics of how social media works, but this wasn't just shouting into the wind about some of these witnesses, literally tagging them so they would see his statements. That's how social media works for viewers who aren't aware with it.
You know, if you put @johnberman, John Berman's going to see this, not that anyone would ever say anything unkind about you, John. So, the point is, he was doing this about a number of witnesses, which really steps up to the line of if not witness intimidation, certainly tinkering with the administration of justice. And at a minimum he gets a warning from the judge, probably at a maximum might get incarcerated here or at least put behind bars before trial.
BERMAN: I see a lot of @johnberman is so charming, that's what I see tagged on the internet. Elliot --
WILLIAMS: Rakishly handsome.
BERMAN: That's what I see, just saying. Elliot, thank you very much for helping us understand what we're seeing here. Talk to you soon.
BOLDUAN: Definitely a scenario where I will keep my commentary to myself.
Coming up for us, we're going to head back to Capitol Hill, because as we reported at the top of the hour, the House Ethics Committee has released its final report after a months-long investigation into Congressman George Santos. The report, scathing. They -- we have new reporting from Manu Raju on the Hill of what's -- what they say George Santos did and what they're going to do about him. We'll be back.
BOLDUAN: Back to our breaking news this hour. The House Ethics Committee has released its report on the conduct and their investigation into the conduct of Republican Congressman George Santos. It also says, that it has -- this investigation has uncovered additional uncharged and unlawful conduct. The Chairman of the Ethics Committee, CNN now has reporting, is now projecting his next move against Santos.
Let's get back to CNN's Manu Raju on Capitol Hill. Manu, you call this report devastating. It's also enormous what they've gathered in -- just in terms of the scope.
MANU RAJU, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY AND CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. It looks -- really looking at all aspects of his life, his conduct and his run up to his campaign. Alleging criminal misconduct, alleging and calling on the Justice Department to investigate further. So, this is going beyond, it says, the indictments that were -- that George Santos is now facing and something that he has pleaded not guilty to.
Now, the -- what -- we are learning now from our colleague Melanie Zenona is that Michael Guest, who's the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, a Republican from Mississippi, plans to introduce a resolution to expel George Santos from the House of Representatives.
This is significant because up until now, it has been -- first it was initiated by Democrats to kick him out of the House, and then all these allegations while the investigation was ongoing. Then it was New York Republican freshman. People who wanted George Santos out of the delegation and simply we're pushing for him -- his expulsion. That effort -- both of those efforts failed.
But now the Ethics Committee chairman putting his weight behind this in -- in this real signal that he believes that the conduct that his committee, this bipartisan committee has found should warrant George Santos being kicked out of the House. That would be such a rare and dramatic move in the United States House, just five times in American history has a member been expelled from his seat.
And the other members, we have been -- two of them were convicted in a court of law, three others were working with the confederacy which is why they were expelled. Showing you how rare this would -- this occurrence would in fact be. The question for a lot of these members is the fact that George Sanchez has not been convicted. He's pleaded not guilty to these allegations in the federal court. He's also -- will get to weigh in on these allegations in the House Ethics Committee. But if passes prologue, he likely will try to deny these charges as well. How will they respond if he is not convicted? But a significant move here by the chairman of the House Ethics Committee. He could file this resolution as soon as tomorrow. That means a vote would happen when they come back from recess in the last week of November into the early part of December. We'll see how members come down after this dramatic move, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Wow. Is this a real statement of just how scathing this report is and how quickly they seem to be moving or could be moving in the -- in light of just after releasing it. Manu, we've got much more to come. Manu's working his sources on this. We'll get back to him.
SIDNER: All right. With us now is Democratic Congresswoman Haley Stevens from Michigan. I'm going to get right to what we've just heard about this ethics report and that the head, a Republican, of the Ethics Committee is going to go forward and ask for George Santos to be expelled.
What are your thoughts? The Democrats tried to kick him out of office after all the lying, and then he was indicted in federal court. The New York Republican delegation also tried to do the same. And now, here we are with this very damning report. What are your thoughts?
REP. HALEY STEVENS (D-MI): Well, only five people in the history of the entire House of Representatives have ever been expelled. And so, while this isn't unprecedented, it is a big deal. And I have been shocked, disappointed, upset by the allegations against Mr. Santos, his behavior, not only starting with the lying, but also, frankly, the illegal behavior that has now been exposed. Wire fraud, abusing campaign dollars, donations. Who is this man?
And so now, having gone through the right process with the Ethics Committee, shared by a Republican and a Democrat, their findings have revealed that he is indeed at fault. He is qualifying for expulsion. I know Mr. Guest. I came into Congress with him. I know he takes his position very seriously. And learning that he is going to file this motion is a big deal. And frankly, I voted to expel Mr. Santos the last time it came to the floor, and I plan to vote for it again.
SIDNER: Yes. Now there is a big packet of information that the House Ethics Committee has, which again, it's a damning has not been convicted in court, but he is certainly been exposed by this committee. I want to move on to a very important meeting that happened. It's been basically a year in the making where two men of these huge countries, President Biden and President Xi of China met face to face. They have this goal to improve relations. Was that accomplished?
STEVENS: Well, look, it's been a tough year, right, for U.S.-Chinese, relations. Starting with the balloon that we found -- the spy balloon that we found, other balloons that had to be shot down, one over my home state of Michigan. And one of the things that we are seeing coming out of this face-to-face meeting is that these two leaders saying, we're not going to agree on everything, but we need to find ways to work together.
The U.S. is the largest economy in the world. China is our largest trading partner. A manufacturer of many, many American consumer goods. We're certainly working on reshoring supply chains and investing in manufacturing, which is what we did with the Chips and Science Act that I helped to pass last year. That's making a big difference for Michigan automakers, every (ph) workers.
But the deal is this, that we have waited a long time for China to come along. And in many ways, they haven't. There's still fishy, if not illegal practices going on. There's a trade imbalance. And this isn't just a wake-up moment for our country, but it's a wake-up moment for other trading partners of the United States, the European Union and our partners in the global South. And so, well, yes, I think it was important that the president sat down with the head of China. We've got a long way to go.
SIDNER: And Congresswoman Haley Stevens, we're going to leave it there. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us this morning.
BERMAN: All right. The Virginia mother whose six-year-old son took a gun to school and shot his first-grade teacher, the mother sentenced to prison.
BOLDUAN: Also, "On Our Radar" this hour, the mother of a six-year-old who shot and injured his teacher was just sentenced to nearly two years in prison. Deja Taylor pleaded guilty to two federal charges as part of a plea deal. The judge also ordered her straight to jail yesterday because she failed several drug tests leading up to her court date. She still faces state charges and that could come next month.
The teacher was -- who was shot, Abigail Zwerner, she gave an emotional victim impact statement at the hearing. She's currently suing the school district for negligence.
SpaceX has gotten the all clear to make a second attempt tomorrow at launching the most powerful rocket ever built. The Starship spaceship and its super heavy booster are central to its plans to eventually put humans on Mars And also NASA's efforts to send astronauts back to the moon. The first attempt, you'll remember, ended in a fire explosion back in April.
Now, this morning, thousands of Starbucks workers at hundreds of stores are on strike It's over the long-term fight for better wages, benefits, and the right to bargain. Starbucks has long opposed unions and in the past replaced union workers with non-union staff during similar strikes. Most of the locations where these strikes are happening will likely remain open during these protests.
BERMAN: And we understand it has no impact on pumpkin spice, even if it should.
BOLDUAN: Even though it should.
BERMAN: All right. This just in, in a dramatic turn, the House Ethics Committee chair is expected to move to expel Republican Congressman George Santos from Congress. We are getting brand new reporting on this. So, stay with us.