Return to Transcripts main page

CNN News Central

Soon: Appeals Court Hearing On Trump Gag Order In Election Case; 28 Babies Evacuated From Al-Shifa Arrive In Egypt; Sources: Negotiators Nearing Deal For Gaza Hostages. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired November 20, 2023 - 09:00   ET



KARA SWISHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Here's the deal. They -- he -- they wanted to move slower this group of people and not slower necessarily, had a thought of what -- where AI was going to benefit humanity. I don't think Sam Altman was against that they didn't like the creation of a platform, essentially. He had announced an app store so that lots of developers could get on it. He was leaning into the relationship with Microsoft, they felt like this should not be a for profit, in that regard, although it was.

And so they had a thing that they called misalignment, that there wasn't alignment on how to develop this technology, and who should be able to commercialize it, which what's ironic here is now this group is going to Microsoft to do just that. And so they created instead of working together to figure out some alignment, I guess, they're now create, they've now created a giant competitor and a giant company that could do whatever it wants, in this case, and it's not under the strictures of these people. So they have an idea that that AI is going to kill us. I think that's if you want to like put it simply.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: boiled down. Kara Swisher thank you so much. And thank you for the breaking news and all that reporting. We'll see you very soon. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you right back here tomorrow. CNN News Central is now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: A high stakes hearing and a courtroom showdown for Donald Trump. Where's the line between Trump's free speech rights and the concern over threats to anyone involved in the election interference case, it's all about to happen.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And safe from war but still in a fight for their lives, 28 neonatal babies evacuated from Gaza's largest hospital are now in Egypt, incredibly moving moments at the Rafah crossing.

BOLDUAN: And remembering Rosalynn Carter, the trailblazing First Lady, and her nearly 80-year-long love story with former President Jimmy Carter. I'm Kate Bolduan with Omar Jimenez. John and Sara are off. This is CNN News Central.

Happening in just a few minutes, the legal fight over what Donald Trump can and can't say about the cases against him kind of kicks up to a whole new level today. This is about the gag order put in place against former President Trump in the federal election subversion case. Trump's team says it violates that gag order, violates his first amendment rights and hurts his ability to campaign for reelection for president.

The judge overseeing his case, though, however, has argued that Trump does not have the right to say anything he wants, especially when it comes to publicly targeting court staff witnesses and Special Counsel Jack Smith. Now it's up to an appeals court to decide.

JIMENEZ: So obviously a lot to talk about here. And that's why I got Jeremy Saland, a former Manhattan prosecutor. It's great to see you. All right, so obviously, we've been following so many developments on this case, bottom line with this one in this gag order. Do you think it's being upheld? Why or why not?

JEREMY SALAND, FORMER MANHATTAN PROSECUTOR: I think there's a good chance could be upheld. But there are some real issues. And I think one of those biggest issues is what does it mean to target someone who is being targeted? How is that defined? So how does Donald Trump say what he wants to say? And he has that right to say what he wants to say? And we know he does. But what does it mean in the realm of that definition, targets are too vague?

JIMENEZ: And I think on that point, you know, while these are two different jurisdictions, you know, as we keep track of all of the Trump cases here on the state civil side, the judge previously barred Trump and his lawyers in a similar type of gag order, but then an appeals court temporarily lifted that gag order citing constitutional rights at issue. And again, federal, criminal versus state, civil, very different. But could that in any way in form, or give an indication of what could happen here? How do you see them as different?

SALAND: Well, they -- you know, I'll say the same but different, which is a hard thing to say in the term of the law, but law often finds itself going down that road. I think what we're going to look at here really is, is what type of restraints can we put on the former president? Should he be looked at as you or I should be if we're charged with the crime and our right to speak our mind and share our truths, whatever that may be.

And even if we don't like what he has to say, he has a right to say them. Now how does that coincide with a campaign? How does that coincide with him being the former president? So it's a really interesting issue. Civil in New York, he's dealing with two separate, you know, distinct issue about whether or not his businesses are operating legally and lawfully. But at its heart, that first amendment right doesn't change, whether in New York, Alabama, Florida or in federal court.

JIMENEZ: Yes. Yes. And obviously, we've got a lot perspective to hit here. As I understand we have Evan Perez now.

BOLDUAN: Yes. So let's go, Jeremy's standby to standby.

JIMENEZ: Yes. Hold on, hold on. BOLDUAN: Let's go right to -- let's go outside court right now. Evan Perez is standing by. Evan, what is going to happen today?


EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate what we expect is that the this appeals court panel is going to hear from the former president's legal team who was arguing that his first amendment rights and his status, really, his status as a leading presidential candidate means that this gag order is unconstitutional. What I expect you're going to hear a lot from these three judge panel, two of them, appointed by former President Obama, one of them are appointed by President Biden is whether the fact that Trump is a candidate for presidency, whether that means he needs to be treated differently from pretty much any other defendant in this federal court.

Look, I mean, judges put restrictions on what defendants can say all the time. They restrict comments on certain -- on the case in part to protect the jury pool, for instance, right, to make sure the jury pool can be seen as fair. And so the question is whether Donald Trump, the fact that he is running for president means that he is free to criticize everybody. Right now, Judge Chutkan says, look, you can't criticize the court, personnel. You can't criticize the special counsel and his family, certainly.

And the question is whether that restriction infringes on Donald Trump's of freedom, his first amendment rights, and whether the fact that he's a presidential candidate means anything at all to this court. Guys?

JIMENEZ: Yes. And, you know, Jeremy, Evan, brings up a good point, because obviously, one of the questions here is, is would trump be treated as any other defendant might? Obviously he is running for president and when you would just look at the calendar of his case hearings or hearings in various cases, versus different election days and primaries that were have -- that are happening, they're almost happening back to back in some cases, so you can't separate the two. Does the fact that he's running for president make him different than any other defendant?

SALAND: If you ask Jack Smith, the answer is unequivocally absolutely no. He is no different as again, as I said before, as you may, if we were before a judge in the same situation. But to Donald Trump's point, he does have these rights. He does have the ability to run. He has that first amendment right. But that first amendment right is not absolute. And there is a rule in that district court. It's rule 577, which in in criminal proceedings, a judge can say that you're right to say certain things that are limited. She has that right.

So there's a balance here. And there's many different cases up in the Supreme Court that predate obviously what we're hearing today, that rule of what is that test. How do we make that determination? Is it immediately inciting unlawfulness? Is there an alternative to restrict that type of speech that doesn't require a gag order? So there's a lot of competing views and competing voices to make this decision. JIMENEZ: Well, look, we will see what happens and then the bigger question is going to be how do you actually enforce some of these gaps --

SALAND: Absolutely.

JIMENEZ: -- and go into effect but we will see.

SALAND: We will.

JIMENEZ: Jeremy, good to see you in person.

SALAND: We will hear too.

JIMENEZ: Yes. True.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the first group of newborn babies has been successfully evacuated from Gaza's largest hospital and made it across to Egypt. The latest on their journey and how they're doing right now, we have that coming up.


Also this, plans are being announced for honoring the life and legacy of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, following her passing this weekend. Give more on that ahead.


BOLDUAN: This morning the first group of neonatal babies evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital have now made it out of Gaza, 28 newborns now receiving care in Egypt. We're showing you now video from a few hours ago is dozens of ambulances and medical staff with incubators, as you see it right there on hand, helping to transfer the babies to their care.

It's been a dangerous task getting them there. According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, several babies died before aid workers were able to evacuate 31 of them over the weekend. According to Egyptian officials, two newborns are staying in southern Gaza and another staying with his parents in northern Gaza.

JIMENEZ: I mean those children looks so, so tiny.

Also this morning, what we're awaiting any news on a possible hostage deal, this is the IDF releases new video footage. They say shows two Hamas hostages arriving in Al-Shifa on October 7th, the day of the terror attacks. The IDF also took CNN to the tunnel shaft they say proves Hamas was running operations under the hospital. But first CNN's Eleni Giokos joins us from Cairo with more on the babies now safe from the war but still in a fight for their lives. Eleni, what are you learning this hour?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, we have been tracking the story for over a week now when the Egyptian Health Minister had told us that they were anticipating 36 neonatal babies. They were waiting every single day last week with ambulances, with incubators, with various equipments and doctors and personnel and everyday disappointed.

Today, finally, 28 neonatal babies crossing that Rafah border after a very treacherous trip down from Northern Gaza from Al-Shifa Hospital where we know the IDF raided last week, and we know that was more raging. We heard about the stories of just minimal supplies, lack of oxygen, lack of incubators, no fuel to get those incubators going and of course, no real communication.

They went down to the Emirati Hospital yesterday after the safe passage was created. And then we saw those images of the baby's crying and intervention from the medical staff there. And also a big fear that they might also run out of fuel today this morning, finally through that Rafah border, where we had seen ambulances and staff as well as the ministry on the ground there to take them on.

We have to remember that 11 of those babies were in critical condition according to the World Health Organization, all of them fighting infection. And this just is basically an indication of just what kind of conditions they were treated in at Al-Shifa. Now over in Egypt, they're going to be sent to various hospitals depending on their condition. We hear from officials and they tell me that so many of them are underweight.


Now, why only 28, we know from Al-Shifa doctors, that some of them died at the hospital over the past week because of the conditions there. Some were reunited with their families. But importantly, of the 28 that arrived here in Egypt, only four mothers crossed the border, only four parents. And really think about that, what happens to -- what happened to the rest of their family members? Are they alive? Are they able to really be reunited down the line?

And then six nurses were also accompanying them, but the big priority here is to try and get them healthy, to stabilize them and to deal with the issue at hand. Various tests have been run on the babies. And of course, intervention is absolutely pivotal right now. The Health Minister tells us that he's happy and his relieved they finally are in Egypt.

JIMENEZ: Well, and even amid this effort, incredibly tough decisions being made and as we've seen every second can make a difference for these babies. Eleni Giokos, thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. We're going to now turn to that new video of hostages and tunnels been -- that has been released by the IDF. Israel says that this security camera video from October 7th shows two hostages being taken into Al-Shifa Hospital, one clearly by force. You saw there. The other injured and on a stretcher surrounded by men with guns. CNN's Oren Liebermann has more on this. He's joining us from Tel Aviv now. Oren, you also went to Gaza to the Al-Shifa medical complex this weekend with the IDF. What did you see?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So we spent about six hours inside of Gaza. We entered in at 9 o'clock at night and didn't come out until 3:00 in the morning. So we were there in in darkness and made even more dark by the fact that there isn't power in northern Gaza or in Gaza City where our journey focus. So even as we stepped out near the Al-Shifa Hospital complex, we could barely see anything and had to pick our way along the streets of Gaza.

Our goal was to see what we could of the newly exposed tunnel shaft that the IDF had discovered and revealed only a day or two earlier. From our own eyes, it was quite clear that there was a substantial structure there, made of concrete with what looked to be the central shaft of a spiral staircase. But at night and with a little light we were allowed to use for our own safety reasons. There was little we could see into the shaft itself.

But the IDF lowered a camera with a special asset into the tunnel, and we geo located this video and were able to see that it was the location where we had seen and that revealed a shaft that went down, the spiral staircase that looked like it was there and then the tunnel going quite a distance there. According to the IDF, it went from 55 meters or more than 150 feet or so and it's end a metal door.

The IDF says they have not opened that door because they fear it may be booby trap. It is the strongest evidence yet or the strongest imagery yet that that backs up what the case that the IDF is trying to build that there is Hamas infrastructure underneath the hospital itself. That is the argument they have made. They have asserted in the -- in not only the past weeks, but in the past years that Hamas has used the hospital above as cover for what it calls as terror infrastructure below. They have not been able to prove that conclusively yet. But this and what we saw as part of building that case.

BOLDUAN: It sure seems so. Oren, it's great having you be able to and then get in there even for a few hours. Thank you so much for bringing that to us. Omar?

JIMENEZ: Well, meanwhile, negotiations to free hostages still being held by Hamas are closer to a deal than quote, perhaps any point. That's according to White House Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer. Now look, CNN has learned that a possible agreement to free 50 hostages could be closed potentially days away but things very delicate.

Sources say a recent draft of the deal proposes a four to five day pause in fighting to release those being held captive. Those same sources added that while gaps and major sticking points have begun to close, talks could still break down. Here's what President Biden said last night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, when will more hostages get out? When will more hostages get out?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not in the position to tell you that. I want to make sure they're out, and then I'll tell you.


JIMENEZ: So obviously not wanting to commit to anything at this point. CNN's Arlette Saenz joins us now from the White House. So what more are we learning about this potential deal or at the very least what's being worked on right now?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Omar, there's cautious optimism within the White House, the negotiators could be closer to reaching an agreement to secure the release of these hostages from Hamas, but officials caution that there have been many fits and starts throughout this process and that these negotiations are still ongoing.

Now as you noted, there is a draft for proposal that has been circulated in recent weeks that proposed a four or five day pause in fighting in order to have the release of about 50 hostages from Hamas. That is according to sources familiar with the talks. Now publicly, the Israelis have pushed for the release of all hostages. But CNN has learned that there is -- Israelis have presented a list of about 100 hostages that they want to see released as part of a potential deal.


Now Hamas has said that they would be closer to releasing 50 hostages with that multiday pause in fighting. But there are still a host of issues that would need to be worked out before any final agreement is reached. One concern is about that additional humanitarian aid that has been going into Gaza, there is a debate over how many trucks of additional aid would be part of a deal, how they would inspect these trucks, and how they would be able to ensure that the aid was going directly to civilians, instead of Hamas fighters.

Now these negotiations have been going on for quite some time with the Qatari is really acting as the main mediator between Israel and Hamas. And in recent days, there were points where Hamas had gone silent in these negotiations. One of the areas where there had been concerned about was that Israeli raid on Al-Shifa Hospital. But those talks did get back underway in recent days.

Now, while the President has called for these longer pauses to not just get aid in but also to get hostages out. He has so far really resisted calls for a ceasefire. In a Washington Post op-ed over the weekend, the President doubled down on that sentiment, saying, quote, as long as Hamas clings to his ideology of destruction, a ceasefire is not peace. To Hamas's members, every ceasefire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpile of rockets, reposition fighters, and restart the killing by attacking innocents again.

This comes despite there being some international pressure for a ceasefire, some pressure domestically, here at home for a ceasefire. But so far, the President has resisted those calls. And the White House today is hoping that there would be some type of agreement soon to secure the release of these hostages, which people have been working around the clock on to try to secure their release since the start of this war.

JIMENEZ: And so many people obviously keeping a close eye on this and hoping for good news. But as you mentioned, it is going to be a process we will see. Arlette Saenz, thank you so much. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Joining us now for more on this is White House and national security correspondent for The New York Times, David Sanger. It's good to see you, David. What are you hearing about the negotiations to get the some of these hostages released kind of not just the contours of it, but really where the administration sees this right now?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITCAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, clearly, Kate, the administration is more optimistic than they've been at any point since the October 7th, terror attack. And obviously, that's good. They are concerned that the details of how this happens could unwind it. The hostages would not be all released at once. They would probably come out in some number of batches. And of course, this five day or so pause in the fighting is sort of the key element for both sides.

Israel is very worried that once the five days begins, they'll be under great pressure not to resume the attacks on Hamas. That, you know, they're viewing this not as a ceasefire, but a pause. Hamas by releasing just 50 hostages, we'll be left with 200 or so, we don't -- we're not certain that the exact numbers, it would probably be a little bit under 200. And the question is, what would it take to get the rest of those out? Would it be more pauses? Would it be a full ceasefire, which as you saw the President still opposes.

BOLDUAN: And that gets us something kind of critical in all of these. Getting hostages out, any number of hostages out and released is huge. But it also comes with this question of what happens after and kind of what conditions it creates afterwards. Is there a concern amongst source -- amongst your sources and people you're talking to in the Biden administration about kind of like, what is then like to start back up when they see Israel starting back up with its ground operation, and it's offensive after this release, kind of what that day after kind of looks like since it seems it could kind of reset the table a little bit?

SANGER: It could I think Kate, you know, in a very big way. Look, there are two kinds of day after questions until recently, the day after question we've been asking is who runs Gaza, if not Hamas, and obviously, the administration's view, the Israelis view, and probably a good number of Palestinians view is that Hamas cannot after this terror attack. And the administration was making the point throughout the weekend that Hamas has vowed to do more terror attacks on Israel, which makes it of course, all the more impossible to imagine in the American or Israeli view that they could be left running out territory next door.


But at the same time there's a significant divide between the U.S. and Israel over the long term running of Gaza. And whether Israel would be administering that for some interim time, as Prime Minister Netanyahu said. You've raised the shorter term, day after, which is what happens on that fifth day. If the Israelis resumed the bombing, they will look obviously like new aggressors in this. And so the question is, could you build one pause into another and do that without having declared a full ceasefire?

BOLDUAN: Hugely important questions in such an uncertain such an uncertain patchwork.

SANGER: Sure, Kate.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you David. Thank you so much.

SANGER: Good to see you and happy Thanksgiving.

BOLDUAN: Thank you David.

JIMENEZ: Coming up, we're remembering trailblazing former First Lady Rosalynn Carter this morning. Tributes to her are pouring in as we learn new details about the plans for her funeral and memorial services. That's next.