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Soon, Blinken To Speak After High-Level Meetings In Middle East; Leon Panetta, Former Defense Secretary, Discusses Israel-Hamas War, Blinken Meetings In Middle East; Senate Voting On Doomed Bipartisan Border And Foreign Aid Bill; Baby's Death Ruled A Homicide After Decapitation During Delivery; Taylor Swift Mania Takes Over The Super Bowl. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired February 07, 2024 - 14:30   ET



LEON PANETTA, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: I agree with that. I think most people agree with that.

But you're talking about a leadership that isn't just going to be in one place. They are moving around. I would assume some of them have already probably gotten out of Gaza. Some are probably still in Gaza.

But it means that you have to have a targeted operation to be able to go after those who were responsible.

Look, we couldn't use boots on the ground in Pakistan. We could not use F-16 fighters in Pakistan.

But what we did do was use counterterrorism operations that were very effective at destroying al Qaeda's leadership. I think that is the lesson that Israel needs to learn.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Secretary, great to have you. Thank you so much for your time this afternoon.

PANETTA: Good to be with you.

KEILAR: We are watching two events right now on the Hill. The Senate, on the left, on track to reject a bipartisan border and foreign aid bill that was five months in the works.

Then, at any second, we are expecting, from Tel Aviv, to hear from secretary of state, Tony Blinken. That is on the right side of your screen. This comes after a series of important meetings he has had with Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders as well as others in the region.

We will be right back.



KEILAR: Right now, the Senate is on track to kill the most conservative border bill to come before them in decades. It would've placed strict limits on immigration. It would have provided billions of dollars in foreign aid to allies like Ukraine and Israel.

Let's go now to Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.

Manu, give us the latest. We see Kyrsten Sinema on the floor. She delivered a fiery speech ahead of this vote. What's happening?

MANU RAJU, CNN ANCHOR: This bill need 60 votes in order to proceed. And it will not get the 60 votes because of mostly Republican opposition.

Not many Republicans have voted yet. They are still having a lunch meeting. Some of these Senate votes can take some time and go for over an hour sometimes, just to cast one vote in this very deliberative body.

But at the moment, only two Republicans have voted to advance this measure, James Lankford, one of the authors of this border -- a piece of this larger national security package that includes aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and in addition, new border and immigration policies.

Also, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a more moderate Republican, voting yes to advance this package.

There have been some Democrats who have voted against it, some who are concerned about the concessions that Joe Biden made in order to cut this border deal.

Among those Democrats who voted no were Senator Padilla of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and the Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats.

Sanders, for one, has been concerned, and Warren as well, about not placing conditions on aid to Israel. That is something that a lot of the Democrats on the more progressive wing of the caucus have pushed for. This bill does not deal with that, those conditions on providing aid.

But nevertheless, this bill is expected to collapse amid mostly Republican opposition, because they believe this border deal does not go far enough.

Because House Republicans and leaders, along with the former President Donald Trump, have said that this bill must be killed. That is exactly what they are trying to do here in just a matter of moments.

Right now, Republicans are debating, Brianna, about whether they should move forward on a separate aid package to aid Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, and drop the border piece altogether.

That is the plan of Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader. He is trying to set up a vote to move on the aid without the border, but he needs 60 votes to do that. Meaning the 51-member Democratic caucus needs nine Republicans to advance the measure.

Can they get there? There is an expectation they can in the Senate, but it will take more negotiations.

That's one of the things that Republicans, in particular, are debating behind the scenes, whether to vote yes on this other package, the next package on what they should get in return for voting yes.

All key negotiations that can determine whether they get out of the Senate, and later, they can worry about getting it through the House.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: Right, what do you do once it gets over to the House?

Manu, before I let you go, what does this all mean for the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell? Where is he on this?

Because he really represents kind of this old-school GOP. He is very pro-Ukraine funding. He had blessed them to go ahead and try to negotiate this, and then came back and said, the former president doesn't like it.

Where does this leave him amongst his conference, and where is he on this legislation?

RAJU: He is out front on this issue. In fact, he has been involved in these negotiations for some time. His fingerprints are all over this bipartisan deal.

He had been pushing for Ukraine for months and trying to convince his conference to move along the border plan, but he has been unable to sway them, ultimately, telling them they can vote however they want.

Of course, he has been on the opposite side of Donald Trump on everything since January 6th, which has put them in hot water with the Trump wing of the Senate GOP conference.

We've heard more and more criticism of McConnell from within his conference than any other time that he's been leader of the Senate GOP. He has been the longest-serving party leader in history.

But he is facing dissension among the far right. He does have significant support within the conference at large, but there are outspoken members that are calling for him to step aside, like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, for one.

But also questions, too, about how long McConnell will stay as leader. We know he plans for the rest of this Congress, but the next Congress, that is another question.


DEAN: Yes.

All right, Manu Raju for us on the Hill, thanks so much.

RAJU: Thanks.

DEAN: Still a head on CNN NEWS CENTRAL today, at any moment, Secretary of State Antony Blinken could speak. He is in Tel Aviv trying to get Israel and Hamas to agree on a deal that could lead to an extended pause in the war, and trying to get hostages freed as well. We will hear from him after a long day of meetings with both sides.

Stay with us.


KEILAR: This is such an incredibly sad story. A Georgia couple is suing an Atlanta area hospital, alleging that their doctor decapitated their unborn child during the delivery process, and then tried to cover it up.


DEAN: The medical examiner is calling the death a homicide, and the case is now under investigation by police.

CNN's Isabel Rosales is here with more details.

Isabel, we understand you spoke with the parents and their attorneys. What are they saying?

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna and Jessica, good afternoon to you.

Yes, today, for the first time ever, we are hearing from the baby's parents, Jessica Ross and Treveon Taylor, for the first time since July 23, 1923, when they lost their baby in such a traumatic way.

And understandably, they are incredibly distraught by this. They are emotional. And as they call it, they are seeking justice here.

Also in the past 24 hours, we received the results, the findings of the Clay County medical examiner's office. They looked into this baby's death, and what they determined, and this is new information, is that the manner of death was a homicide.

This is not the same as a criminal homicide. This simply means that, in this death, this death was caused by a human, through the actions of another person.

They also determined that the cause of the death was via a broken neck. The baby had a broken neck, as someone exerted too much force in trying to deliver the baby, vaginally.

And then an emergency C-section, as they were trying to deliver the baby, the baby's head was decapitated. This is, obviously, incredibly disturbing details here.

The parents also filed a lawsuit against the hospital involved and the doctor who performed the delivery.

They claim that the staff waited too long to perform a C-section and put too much force on the baby's head and shoulders.

And that the hospital also tried to conceal how the baby was killed from the family, saying that the hospital -- the family is claiming that the hospital was not forthcoming about the couple's ability to get a free autopsy.

That the hospital offered the couple to cremate the baby, something they view is an attempt to get rid of evidence, and that hospital staff would not allow them to touch or hold the baby.

Here's the mother.


JESSICA ROSS, MOTHER OF DECAPITATED BABY: I just want justice for my baby boy. I hurt. I hurt bad. She hurt me. She killed my baby.

DR. RODERICK EDMOND, FAMILY ATTORNEY: OK, you can look at your child through a glass window, and they wrapped the baby tightly in a blanket, propped the baby's head up on the body, and set the baby up through a glass window, basically, making it look like there was no decapitation. Once again, just defrauding and lying to this young couple.


ROSALES: We did receive a response just now into the newsroom from the attorney of that doctor who is being sued, Tracey St. Julian. They indicate that she followed the standard of care and they claim that the decapitation happened after the baby was already dead.

Here's what part of their statement reads here:

"Dr. St. Julian was faced with a dire emergency where the mother's life was in peril, as well as the babies. Once it became clear that the baby did not survive the underlying severe should dystocia and unpreventable and unpredictable complication of delivery, the priority shifted to saving the mother's life, which was, thankfully, accomplished" -- Brianna, Jessica?

DEAN: Isabel Rosales for us, thanks so much for that reporting.

And we'll be right back.



KEILAR: Ah, this countdown to Super Bowl Sunday.

Are you excited?

DEAN: I am.

KEILAR: I ready, too.

DEAN: I like it. I like the snacks.


KEILAR: I like Taylor Swift.

DEAN: Yes.

KEILAR: So you know, anyways, the energy in Las Vegas is electric. And Taylor Swift is electric. It's in play. It's exciting. It is reaching new heights.

DEAN: Yes.

CNN's Coy Wire is live at Radio Row there.

Coy, what's the latest? How's the vibe?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, Jessica, Brianna, I want to know what type of snacks. Are we talking chicken wings? Are we talking nachos?



KEILAR: Wings, I have a buffalo chicken dip.

WIRE: There we go.

KEILAR: A lot of buffalo chicken things.

WIRE: There we go.

Let's go, Buffalo.

Hey, welcome to Radio Row here at the first ever Super Bowl here in Las Vegas. You have NFL stars, entertainment stars walking around.

I just talked to legendary Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski. He said having the Super Bowl in Vegas is a double whammy, because you have the Super Bowl and all the extra attention you get.

While the sporting world has her eyes focused here on this Chiefs- 49ers matchup, the Swifty nation has their eyes focused on Tata in Tokyo.

Check out the scenes, rocking the concert. Energy there is also off the charts. She is an absolute megastar, right?

Well, her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, plays for the Chiefs, who are looking for their back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

He was asked what he has learned from Taylor about being a superstar and all the fame.

Listen to what he says. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT END: Worldwide fame is a lot different than just being famous in Kansas City.

I have juggled the perception of my focus. And I think kind of being aware of that, I never wanted to make the people on this team and in the Kansas City Chiefs building feel like I was not focused on the task at hand, winning football games.

I love this game. I love coming to work and everything. So being able to juggle that and make sure everybody realizes my focus is in the right area, especially when I am in the building and there is no distraction. I think that has been the biggest point.


WIRE: All right, so Travis also says those bets that are out there on whether he is going to propose to Taylor after, he said that's crazy talk.


WIRE: This is Radio Row, Brianna and Jessica. More than 6,000 credentialed media, from more than 20 countries around the world to take in this first ever Vegas Super Bowl.


And I'm going to step over here to this aristocrat gaming machine, and I'm going to press my luck to see if we can get something rocking. Let's go.


WIRE: I think I won.

DEAN: You won? You won $10,000?

WIRE: I think I won. I think I won us a bunch of chicken wings. Won chicken wings.


WIRE: Bringing them back for you.

KEILAR: But I have to cook them.

DEAN: Yes, exactly.

KEILAR: Congratulations. I will make you some wings, Coy.

All right, Coy, thank you so much for that. We cannot wait.


KEILAR: Have so much fun.

And right now, we are waiting on Secretary of State Tony Blinken, expected to speak just minutes from now. That is the room where he will speak. It is going to be much more interesting in the shot, I promise you.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.