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FBI Searches Trump's Mar-a-Lago Residence in Florida; Relentless Rain Soaks Parts of the U.S.; Albuquerque on High Alert After Four Muslim Men Killed; Gaza Ceasefire Between Israel and Islamic Jihad Holding. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired August 09, 2022 - 04:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to all of our viewers joining us in the United States and around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former President Trump is now confirming that the FBI executed a search warrant on his primary residence the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How big of a deal this would have been within the Department of Justice and the FBI.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were not messing around. They were going after the records they wanted particularly the classified records.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the moment they are treating it like it's a PR problem, but it is a legal problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's more political persecution of Donald J. Trump. They can't stand that Americans love him.


ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster.

FOSTER: It is Tuesday, August 9 a.m. here in London, 4:00 a.m. in Palm Beach, Florida where the FBI has executed a search warrant at Donald Trump's residence inside his Mar-a-Lago resort. Multiple sources tell CNN it's part of an investigation into Trump's handling of presidential documents including classified material. A person close to the matter tells CNN agents took boxes of items from the property. The former president was in New York at the time. Again, sources tell CNN investigators have visited Mar-a-Lago in recent months to talk with Trump's attorney about material taken from the White House.

With Trump in New York the Secret Service presence at Mar-a-Lago was small but a source says the FBI did provide a head's up before the search. CNN is learning the FBI interviewed aides to the former president

about possibly mishandling documents back in April and May. CNN political correspondent Sara Murray has more.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary day in politics as former President Trump confirmed that the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home. Now he was not there at the time, but the FBI did come. They were there for several hours sources are telling us, and this is related to the Presidential Records Act. It was related to those documents the former president took when he left the White House some of which may have been classified.

Earlier this year the National Archives said they had recovered 15 boxes of documents, but a source familiar with this says that they were searching to see where the documents had been kept and if any had been left behind. The former president said the FBI even searched a safe of his. It seemed to take Trump and his allies off guard because lawyers on behalf of the former president had been engaging with investigators on this issue.

Christina Bobb, who is one of the former president's lawyers, said that Trump and his legal team had been cooperative with the FBI and in the DOJ.

In a statement the former president said: These are dark times for our nation as my beautiful home Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida is currently under siege, rated, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before.

And we've already seen Republicans rallying to the president's side declaring this some kind of political attack.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: Never before in U.S. history has the FBI executed a search warrant to the home of a former president. The bureaus one time deputy director explains what it would take to make that happen.


ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: This is not, you know, a couple agents showing up at some judge's door in the middle of the night to get an emergency warrant. This is something that would have been planned out and re-evaluated and legally examined from every possible angle by the entirety of the leadership structure of both organizations.

So, let's remember that to get a search warrant in any case, whether it is you or I or the former president, you have to go before a federal judge and convince that judge that there is probable cause to believe both that a federal crime has been committed and that evidence of that crime is contained within the space you have described in your warrant request. So, we have in this situation a federal judge made that determination giving the agents authority to enter that premises and search every part of the premises that might contain the items that are specifically described in the warrant.


FOSTER: Donald Trump calls the FBI search politically motivated raid and says the Democrats are trying on to stop him from running for office again.


His son Eric says Trump had been cooperating with the federal investigation and that the search was unnecessary.


ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S SON: To have 30 FBI agents, actually more than that, descend on Mar-a-Lago, give absolutely, you know, no notice, go through the gates, start ransacking an office, ransacking a closet, you know, they broke into a safe, he did not even have anything in the safe. I mean, give me a break.

The purpose of the raid from what they said was because the National Archives wanted to, you know, corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession. And my father has worked so collaboratively with them for months. In fact, the lawyer that's been working on this was totally shocked. He said I have an amazing relationship with these people and all of a sudden on no notice, they send, you know, 20 cars and 30 agents.


FOSTER: Well, supporters of the former president gathered to protest near the Mar-a-Lago resort. A former White House insider explains why they have such a different perspective.


ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: What I am seeing is kind of a standard party line from the folks still close to the former president which is this is a witch hunt, this is Biden and Democrats coming after him. The, you know, Democratic Department of Justice, not the independent hand of the FBI. And there's a very quick narrative that has been spun and I would note, you know, Fox News, it's night and day what you are hearing on other news outlets and his preferred news outlet which is framing it only one way, that this is a witch hunt and an attack on the former president. So, half the country is hearing a very different conversation than the one that we're having here.


FOSTER: Donald Trump says FBI agents broke into a safe at Mar-a-Lago. His one-time White House press secretary says it's no surprise considering how his administration handled classified material.


STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The fact that they made their way to the safe, I don't know if it's the office safe, I don't know if it's their apartment safe, but the fact that he mentioned it, it really, really it struck me and I think that he's nervous. I think that there are something big is there. I don't think that it will be just letters. I think it could be about military operations. This is me speculating, I want to be clear. But I could see the former president thinking those were cool or fun and we were not a White House that followed the rules. And I will tell you that handling classified information was not something that was really pressed upon on us a daily basis or weekly or monthly.


FOSTER: Well, in the coming hours Trump ally Doug Mastriano is set to appear virtually before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection, but a source says Mastriano may not end up answering questions because of a dispute over the terms of his testimony.

Another Trump ally is also scheduled to testify in Georgia. But Rudy Giuliani is asking a judge to postpone his testimony before a grand jury investigating interference in the 2020 presidential election. His lawyer says Giuliani underwent surgery last month and a doctor recommends he not fly.

Now another round of rain is heading for the waterlogged state of Kentucky. And flood watches have been reissued. Thousands of people have already been displaced and many are still stranded without basic necessities.

But it's not just Kentucky, take a look at the situation in Maryland. Flash flooding making roads impassable in Riverdale Park Monday. Emergency crews were called this to rescue people from their cars. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is here with the latest. How is it going -- Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, Max. You know, it's been a summer of heat and then also extensive amount of rainfall across portions that have really been hard hit. Look at these rainfall amounts, 24 hour rainfall totals in Illinois pushing up around 6 inches in a few spots and of course Northern Illinois and Northwest of Chicago, into Rockford region, eastern Iowa, that's really where the heaviest rain in the country has fallen in the past 24 or so hours. With showers scattered about areas that were recently hard hit. So that's the concern across some of these areas.

We do have flood alerts across parts of Missouri, including areas of Illinois into Indiana as well, includes St. Louis and also eastern Kentucky. Again, regions that were very hard hit. So, any additional rainfall becomes problematic. The level of risk hear is marginal to slight for those regions hard-hit. But again, the threshold is as it has been in recent days with the amount of rainfall not going to take much here to cause additional flooding.

Big story elsewhere, across the northeast, big time heat still for a few more hours. We have heat indices potentially up to 105 degrees for a few spots there. Philly 105, 96 the afternoon high temperature in New York, it could feel close to 103 degrees. Boston could feel around 100 degrees. But there's a front coming in and with it we expect temperatures to cool off finally into the evening hours once the system passes through.

In fact, look at the highs in Boston, go from the 90s down into the 70s. New York drops off about 10 degrees over the next 24 hours. And much the same across Philadelphia as well.

Across the southwest, monsoonal moisture has been present, some of that moisture is beginning to push farther and farther towards the north, areas of Nevada, into say Oregon and Washington state getting in some of needed rainfall here.


And perhaps there will begin the cool off after some big time heat the last couple of days. Seattle down into the lower 70s, Portland drops off to around 80 degrees as well. And national perspective, Max, looks as such here with the 90s across the interior portion of the Northwest and also around areas of the Northeast and in between generally going to be in the 80s with showers expected in the region -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Thank you, Pedram.

Heavy rainfall in South Korea's capital is being blamed for at least eight deaths now and authorities say at least seven people are still missing. The rain backed up storm drains with streets and subway stations overflowing in Seoul. And more than 700 shops and homes have reported flooding forcing many to flee. Local gyms and schools are being used as temporary shelters.

Now, the murders of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico sent shockwaves and fear across the city. Ahead, the brother of one of the victims speaks to CNN about the tragedy.

And later, the world loses an icon of stage and screen. We'll look back at the life of singer and actress Olivia Newton-John.



FOSTER: Muslim leaders in Albuquerque, New Mexico say people are living in fear and some are even leaving the state after the recent murders of four Muslim men. Three were killed in just a two week period. The latest victim was fatally shot on Friday. Police say all of them were ambushed. Authorities haven't named a suspect but they believe the killings may be connected. The brother of one of the victims spoke to CNN's Ed Lavandera about the tragedy.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was just after 9:00 at night last Monday with Muhammad Afzaal Hussein stepped out of his Albuquerque, New Mexico apartment to take a phone call. His brother says neighbors tell him that when Muhammad Afzaal got to the end of the block, he was ambushed.

HUSSAIN: This is the place there his body was found.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Imtiaz Hussain says neighbors tell him a gunman pulled up on his brother and fired multiple rounds. He says the neighbors also told him Muhammad Afzaal ran away. Then the driver pulled up next to him and fired again.

HUSSAIN: He was laying down with his face like this, hand on the face, and this half of his head was gone.

LAVANDERA: From that, you take that whoever was behind this was motivated by extreme anger.

HUSSAIN: Not -- extra, extra, extra, extreme, extreme anger. So, this is not a random killing. This is extremely motivated and extreme hatred that he wanted to make sure he couldn't survive.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The murders of four Muslim men have sent a shock wave of fear and panic through the small Islamic community of Albuquerque. Law enforcement investigators say each victim was alone fired on and killed in ambush-style attacks. The four murders took place in southeast Albuquerque.

Mohammad Ahmadi was killed last November. Aftab Hussain, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain and Naeem Hussain were all gunned down in the last two weeks.

On Friday, Naeem Hussain attended the funerals of two other victims. Tahir Gauba with a mosque in Albuquerque said he spoke with him briefly after the service and said he sounded concern.

TAHIR GAUBA, ISLAMIC CENTER OF NEW MEXICO: He said, hey, brother, what's going on? Everything going to be, OK? I said, yeah, don't worry about it, just be careful.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Just a few hours later, the 25-year-old truck driver was killed. Naeem's brother-in-law says he was shot while sitting if his car in this parking lot. Muslim leaders are now urging members to use the buddy system when moving around the city and avoid being out at night alone.

As we finished our interview with Tahir Gauba, he checked his phone.

GAUBA: Right now, I have probably three, four missed calls from my wife. Where are you? It's getting dark, you know. She's freaking out. So, it's terrifying to be honest with you. LAVANDERA (voice-over): For Imtiaz Hussain, the terror he can't escape is the conversation with the police officer who told him his brother was dead.

HUSSAIN: He said he's deceased. You know, everything fell apart. Our life became dark.

LAVANDERA: Our world went dark, he says. And it is important at this point to point out that despite all of the fear and the theories and the speculation as to who might be behind these murders, so far investigators here in Albuquerque have not offered any clues as to who might be behind this and what the motive might be in these four murders. But of course, given the fear and the panic that has ensued in many parts of the Muslim community here, there is a great deal of speculation and theories being discussed by many residents who live here.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


FOSTER: Father and son convicted in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery have been sentenced to life in prison for federal hate crimes. Gregory and Travis McMichael were also sentenced on Monday to 20 years for attempted kidnapping plus additional time on weapons charges. Meanwhile the third man involved, William Bryant Jr., was sentenced to 35 years in prison. All three men are already serving life sentences for their convictions in state court related to the 2020 killing of Arbery, a 25-year-old black man in southern Georgia.

Arbery's family thanked the their supporters for standing with them throughout the difficult process.

The United Nations top official in the Middle East is expressing concern over the recent violence in Gaza even as a ceasefire between Israel and the militant group Islamic Jihad appears to be holding. Israel reopened the border crossing for critical fuel deliveries following the worst fighting in more than a year. On Friday Israel launched what it called preemptive strikes on Islamic Jihad targets. And today in the West Bank we're learning Israel has launched a new operation against suspected Palestinian militants. Journalist Elliott Gotkine is with us now live from Jerusalem.


So, what's the latest state of this tension?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Max, the information we have so far both from the Israeli side, the Israeli Defense Forces and also from the Palestinian Ministry of Health is that there was a firefight this morning in the Casbah, in the Nablus in the West Bank as Israeli forces sought to detain one Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi. There was an exchange of fire and in the aftermath -- as a result of that fire, the Mr. Al- Nabulsi was killed.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health now saying that there were 40 people injured and three are dead. Also, they also confirmed the death Mr. Al-Nabulsi. Now Israel says that he was in their words a wanted terrorist, that he was responsible for a number of shooting attacks against Israelis in the West Bank.

Now, his affiliation is a little bit unclear right now, some are saying that he is affiliated with Islamic Jihad and of course, the concern there is that if indeed that is the case that this could have repercussions for the ceasefire between Israel and the militants of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

Now some almost 36 hours on, that ceasefire is holding. As you say, fuel supplies and other humanitarian goods are flowing back into the Gaza Strip, commercial goods are flowing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. And Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with work permits are once again allowed to come into Israel to carry out their jobs. So, things have concerned to the way they were before for what qualifies the normal. But as I said, the concern now is that the violence in the West Bank may have repercussions for that cease fire which is only a day and a half old -- Max.

FOSTER: So, operations specifically against Islamic Jihad, isn't it. Where does Hamas stand in all of this?

GOTKINE: Max, we saw during this latest flare-up between Israel and the Gaza Strip, that Hamas sat this one out, that it wasn't involved, but although it lent its tacet support to Islamic Jihad but it didn't actually get involved. And Israel was very clear that it wasn't targeting Islamic Jihad, that it wasn't targeting Hamas, it wasn't seeking a broader fight with militants in the Gaza Strip, but that if it came to it, that it wouldn't shy away from one.

Now for now, Hamas doesn't appear to be involved in either the violence in the West Bank or what we saw over the last few days in the Gaza Strip. But of course, we know that things can change here. And at some point, in time, I don't think that anyone would be surprised if there is another flare-up not just between Israel and the militants of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, but also with a much bigger and more powerful militants of Hamas -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Elliott in Jerusalem, thank you.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from London. Still ahead, the latest on the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago and why one political analyst says it could tear the country apart.

Plus, the Pentagon acknowledges sending anti-radar missiles to Ukraine. Why the weapons could make a big difference on the battlefield.



FOSTER: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up-to-date with the latest stories this hour. A flood watch is in place for Kentucky, the state is already

recovering from last week's deadly flooding. Hundreds of people remain stranded without clean water, food and electricity as aid groups work to get relief to those in unreachable rural areas.

The FBI has executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump's Florida residence. Multiple sources tell CNN it's part of an investigation into Trump's handling of presidential documents including classified material. Trump is currently in New York and was not at the property during the search. Trump is blasting the search as politically motivated meant to keep him from running for the White House again. CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman says the unprecedented search of the former president's home is already provoking a strong response from Trump supporters.


MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There is a reason to assume again just based on the fact that a judge signed off on the search warrant, that there was something significant there.

Now it depends on what it is. Is it something that, you know, his supporters would recognize as major, I don't know. I do know that his folks -- well, I shouldn't say his folks. Some of his folks, certainly not all and certainly him have a long standing habit of conflating legal problems with PR problems. And at the moment they are treating this like it's a PR problem. But it's a legal problem. Now it may not be a consequential legal problem.

We don't know what it looks like. I have no idea where this is going to result. We have seen investigations of people around Trump fizzle. We have seen investigations of people around Trump result in equity pleas or convictions. So, I have no idea whether this is going to be anything. Obviously, an indictment of a former president should that be where this is leading, will not be done lightly.

But whether it is going to be something that his supporters see as quote/unquote sufficient, I think is the question. I'm already hearing from people around Trump, to Alyssa's point, if this is quote/unquote nothing and defined nothing. But if this is nothing it's going to rip the country apart. It may be headed in that direction regardless, but I think that the argument from the DOJ would be we have to follow the law.


FOSTER: Maggie Haberman is publishing images in her upcoming book that reveal two occasions when Trump apparently tried to flush documents down the toilet. The photograph show ripped up notes that appear to be written in Trump's handwriting in black marker, one image is from a White House toilet, the other from an overseas trip was reportedly given to Haberman by a Trump White House source. CNN has previously reported that Trump would often tear up documents and memos after reading them.

The U.S. is sending more military assistance to Ukraine. On Monday the Pentagon announced a new $1 billion aid package, it comes as the U.S. is acknowledging for the first time that it provided Ukraine with anti-radar missiles. CNN's Oren Liebermann has the details.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: For the first time the Pentagon acknowledged sending a previously undisclosed missile to Ukraine for use by the Ukraine air force. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Colin Kahl, said the U.S. had sent anti-radiation missiles used to target Russian radar and other targets fired from Ukrainian aircraft. Although Colin Kahl didn't specify the type of missile, a defense official told CNN it was an AGM-88 HARM missile, high speed anti-radiation missile. Now Colin Kahl didn't say when this missile had been sent, but he did say it was in previous presidential drawdown packages. Going through the last drawdown announcements back in the beginning of July, there was no announcement of some antiradiation or antiradar missiles.