Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

In Fundraising Email, Trump Claims Primary Is "Effectively Over"; Biden Trails Haley, Trump In General Election Poll; IDF Denies Claims It Has Laid Siege to Gaza City Hospital; Arab And Islamic Summit; FBI Seizes Phones & IPad Belonging To NYC Mayor Eric Adams; Red Cross: Health Care System In Gaza Passes "Point Of No Return"; "Anti-Semitism In America" Airs Tomorrow At 9PM ET/PT. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired November 11, 2023 - 17:00   ET




JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

Former President Trump taking his campaign to the battleground state of New Hampshire today. But even before he took the stage, he declared victory in an email blast to his supporters. He claimed this. "After public surveys show that I won the third GOP debate despite not even attending, I think we can all agree that the primary is effectively over.

At least that is Trump's take on all of this. Let's got to CNN's Alayna Treene. She's in Claremont, New Hampshire for us. Alayna, what are you hearing -- what did we hear from the former president today?

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Well look Jim, Donald Trump returned to the Granite State today after a week of bouncing between courtrooms and campaign appearances. And he spent a lot of time talking about those legal challenges on stage today.

He specifically brought up a recent push from his legal team to ensure that one of his trials, the trial, the federal elections subversion trial which will be taking place in Washington, D.C., they want to make sure that that is televised.

And he said today, quote, "I want there to be a camera in every inch of the courtroom. Let's take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want everybody to see all of the horrible things that took place, all of the horrible charges and all of the things that were done with respect to a very corrupt election. And let's let the public decide because I want cameras in every inch of that courthouse.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TREENE: Now Jim, this visit today, here in Claremont, is one of several trips that Donald Trump is making to the state of New Hampshire. And I think this really shows, you know, I've talked to his campaign a lot and they tell me that even though Donald Trump is doing so well in the polls, he's bragging as you just mentioned, in that fundraising appeal, that he thinks the primary is essentially over, they also recognize they can't get complacent. They want to make sure that they are showing up in the states and hitting a lot of ground and they also are hoping that they can build enough momentum in the primaries to potentially carryover into a general election.

But even so, they are really spending most of their messaging attacking Joe Biden. We heard him talk a lot today about the president's handling of the war between Israel and Hamas, attacking Joe Biden, saying that he would do a much better job of bringing peace to the United States and really setting this up as if it is a general election rematch between himself and the president, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Alayna Treene, thank you very much.

While Democrats had a good night on Tuesday, scoring the governor's seat in conservative Kentucky, securing the Virginia state legislature and solidifying abortion rights in Ohio, some in the party remain concerned about President Biden's chances at reelection.

A new CNN poll shows both Nikki Haley and the former president beating President Biden in a general election matchup while Ron DeSantis' lead is within the margin of error.

Let's discuss with "Vanity Fair" special correspondent Molly Jong- Fast, CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp and Republican strategist Gavin Smith.

Guys, great to see all of you. S.E., let me start with you. I mean what do you make of what we've seen over the past week? There was all of this hue and cry over the New York Times/Siena College poll on Sunday in these the battleground state numbers and so on and then 48 hours later, the Democrats did pretty well on Tuesday night.

They have this debate on Wednesday, on the Republican side of things. Donald Trump didn't show up, but he is still in the driver seat. What is your sense of everything right now?

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It's kind of crazy. Democrats obviously did very well on Tuesday. And I'm not sure that that is a huge reflection of how well Biden will do in 2024. Obviously, Democrats have figured out the secret sauce, that abortion can be a hill that Republicans are, you know, figuratively and politically willing to die on and Democrats are happy to take advantage of that. And in fact abortion seems to be saving them from, you know, crime, immigration issues, the border crisis, an economy that not everyone feels is performing well for them. So that's on the left.


CUPP: On the right, it doesn't seem like Republicans have learned that lesson that abortion bans, an extremist abortion policy, are just really, really unpopular. And Republicans all over the country are going to pay the price for that even in red states.

So, whether parties learn lessons going forward, you know, into 2024, that's the big question that remains to be seen.

ACOSTA: Molly, what do you think?

MOLLY JONG-FAST, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, "VANITY FAIR": You know, I think Republicans, have a lot of really unpopular ideas, not just bans but they have problems when it comes, you know, they want legalizing marijuana is wildly popular, you know, there are a bunch of these kinds of ideas that Democrats can run on.

I also think you know, the Democratic Party has sort of values and they are offering people, they are saying, they are against book bans and government overreach, you know.

The Republicans have gone really kind of far a-field and they have really focused on things like school boards and a lot of them lost this election. For example, Mom's for Liberty which was this group that was very concerned with books that your children read and hope to ban books, they lost almost all the seats they were running for.

So I think the American people don't like this kind of authoritarianism.

ACOSTA: And Gavin, let me talk to you about what took place at the Republican debate on Wednesday. Nikki Haley, I mean was widely believed that she had a pretty strong night but she did -- I think she sort of carved out her own space on abortion. Let's listen to what she had to say and let's talk about it on the other side.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As much as I'm pro-life, I don't judge anyone for being pro-choice and I don't want them to judge me for being pro-life.

So when we are looking at this, there are some states are going on the more pro-life side. I welcome that. There are some states that are going more on the pro-choice side, I wish that wasn't the case but the people decided.


ACOSTA: Yes. Gavin, I mean what do you think? It was really different, striking tone I thought from Nikki Haley on this issue of abortion. Of course, it was right after what took place on Tuesday and Democrats did so well on that issue. What do you think of that?

GAVIN SMITH, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well Jim, I proudly worked for Nikki Haley. Very first job in politics. And what I can tell you is that Nikki Haley, she gets it. She understands that we need a new generational leader. I think the poll that you guys were just talking about, it indicates that. I mean Biden is not doing well with younger voters and I think that that goes back to the magic number of age.

Someone like Nikki Haley, she's six points ahead of Joe Biden in a head-to-head matchup in the same poll and I think that's because Nikki Haley is younger. And I think the other thing, that she is sort of, you know, taking a different avenue or a different approach to is she is being more, meeting people in the middle.

You know, I just won an election in South Carolina. I serve on our town council and I knocked on thousands of doors. And I say that, because when I talked with those voters, when I got off the beltway and talked with those voters, the voters are just earning -- they're just looking for someone to be reasonable, to meet them in the middle rather than being hyper left or hyper right.

And I think that's what Nikki Haley is trying to do is be more sensible and take a more sensible approach rather than just saying it's my way or the highway.

ACOSTA: Yes. And S.E., I mean the problem is, for Nikki Haley and the other Republican candidates is that Donald Trump is just so far out in front of this field in so many of these important states that are coming up very quickly and he says things that I mean normally would you know, sink any Republican candidate in any previous election before 2016.

I mean earlier today he was in New Hampshire, he was praising dictators and talking about China's Xi Jinping as somebody who's right out of central casting. Let's play this and talk about that on the other side.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Xi is like central casting, there's nobody in Hollywood that can play the role of President Xi. The look, the strength, the voice. It's good to have a good relationship with Putin and Xi and all these people that have lots of nuclear weapons. And Kim Jong-un, I have a good relationship with. These are tough, smart guys.


ACOSTA: You know, S.E., it's extraordinary to hear Trump continue to praise these dictators. And I thought, you know, when I listen to a lot of Republican lawmakers up on Capitol Hill, they tend to be of the mindset that China is not somebody that we should be throwing our arms around. What do you make of all of this? We're hearing from the former president.

CUPP: We're just -- we are so numb to the craziness of this, I mean, Trump is central casting for the buffoon president, I mean it's almost right out of idiocracy (ph).


CUPP: And all of this stuff would have been disqualifying, should have been disqualifying, right. The idea that a president or former president would praise dictators especially one in the middle of a war like Putin.

I mean, it's -- it's crazy, and yet, it's just part of the mix, right? He's also saying if he becomes president, he will weaponize his position of power to punish his enemies.

I mean, this is way beyond Nixonian and stuff that I think we all decided was bad and yet it's been completely resurrection and he's normalized it by sheer volume. He just keeps doing it and you can't keep up with it.

And for his fans and as for his voters, this is what makes him great. For the rest of us, this is what makes him really, really scary and dangerous.

ACOSTA: Molly, the "New York Times" has a new piece and CNN has confirmed a lot of this, sweeping raids, giant camps and mass deportation, this is the headline in the "New York Times", inside Trump's 2025 immigration plans. And "New York Times" writes, "If he regains power, Donald Trump wants not only to revive some of the immigration policies criticized as draconian during his presidency but expand and toughen them.

You know, a lot of this, and I think the "New York Times" picked up on this and made this comment as well, is that there is -- in just a dovetail of what we're talking about a few moments ago about Trump praising dictators, there's a real authoritarian feel to what Trump is proposing on the immigration front.

JONG-FAST: Yes, I mean there's a real authoritarian feel to everything Trump does because let me tell you, he's an authoritarian. Yes.

Of course, and I would also add you know, Joe Biden is not some radical leftist. Democrats picked him because he was very much a sort of conservative Democrat. And he's been criticized for a lot of very sort of mainstream you know, political reactions, which have actually really, I think, done him well.

So the idea that somehow there's going to be a Republican that is more moderate is kind of a little bit telling. But I also think, you know you talk about these bad polls and Biden, which is like the favorite of everyone in the pundit industrial complex right now. The truth is that we've had bad polls for Democrat again and again and again since 2020. And I'm still waiting for the red wave I was promised in 2022.

So I'm just not putting a lot of salt in these polls. And you know, I think people will remember what Trump is like, and they will once again have to reject him.

ACOSTA: And Gavin, I'm sure you saw this, Trump suggested as S.E. was talking about this a few moments ago, suggested that he could use the Department of Justice to indict his political opponents.

And I have to wonder, Gavin, because I remember seeing you out on the campaign trail when you worked for Trump and I know you have very different feelings about him now. Inside the Trump base, obviously this is wildly popular when he talks

in this fashion but do you think that they have any sense inside Trump world how this just does not work within a lot of Independent voters, a lot of swing district voters, swing state voters?

SMITH: Well I think, what's tied us back to the poll that we were just talking about with Biden v Trump and Nikki Haley v Trump. I think this is why you see Trump narrowly leading Biden in a head-to-head and Nikki Haley beating him by six points is because Nikki Haley isn't you know, proposing these authoritarianism policies whereas Donald Trump, I mean it's like he wants to use the government to punish anyone that has ever disagreed with him and that is just, I mean, that is exactly who Donald Trump is.

And I would say to voters, when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them and I think Donald Trump has shown us who he is and we should believe him as voters.

ACOSTA: And S.E. very quickly, just finally, the proposal that came from the new House Speaker, Mike Johnson today to keep the government running, it sounds as though some inside the Republican conference people like Chip Roy are saying, no, it sounds as though this may not fly over in the Senate and over at the White House either. So here we go, buckle up, six days until the government shutdown.

CUPP: Yes, coming up in this proposal is really just a bunch of more CRs, right, to fund the government through January and then again through February. So we are not out of the woods, not by any means.

ACOSTA: Molly. Molly, what do you think. you are betting on a government shutdown?

JONG-FAST: You put a guy with almost no experience in leadership as the Speaker of the House and you're surprised that he can't figure out how to do it? It's a hard job.

ACOSTA: Yes. It is a hard job.

All right. We will see how he handles it over the next six days. It's going to be interesting to watch.

Molly, S.E., Gavin -- thanks a lot, guys. Really appreciate it. Good to talk to all of you.

SMITH: Sure.

ACOSTA: Thanks for the time.

Coming up, major fighting near a hospital in Gaza. A live report from Israel next.

Plus, Arab and Muslim leaders come together to show support for Palestinians. Why Iran's participation set a new precedent.

[17:14:49] ACOSTA: Plus, FBI agents approached New York City's Mayor Eric Adams on the street to seize his cell phones. The latest on the investigation into his campaign finances.

That is coming up.


ACOSTA: Now to the latest in the war between Israel and Hamas. There was fighting around a major hospital inside Gaza. People inside say the complex is completely surrounded and staff and patients are trapped inside without any electricity.

Israel military denies claims the hospital is under siege and says a wing of the hospital remains open for people to safely evacuate.

CNN's correspondent Oren Liebermann is live in Sderot, Israel for us.

Oren, what can you tell us about the situation, this intense fighting on the streets of northern Gaza? And what are you seeing from where you are?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, first here to what we are seeing. We have heard throughout the evening artillery strikes, sometimes more frequent, sometimes a bit more intermittent. We haven't actually seen where those strikes have landed suggesting they are a bit further south than our position here in Sderot which is on the northeast corner of Gaza.


LIEBERMANN: We've also heard fighter jets overhead as well as drones. It sounds like we hear a drone behind us right now and just a moment ago, again we heard artillery.

Much of the fighting now as you point out, is in northern Gaza, around an area of the al-Shifa hospital -- that's the largest hospital in Gaza. The director general of the Hamas=controlled ministry of health says the hospital itself is surrounded by Israeli forces including tanks. That makes it impossible to come in and out.

Meanwhile the hospital itself as Gaza suffers from dire needs and humanitarian crisis, the hospital itself has dire shortages of food, water and electricity. Doctors without Borders say bodies are piling up there making it very difficult to get them out if not impossible. And that, in and of itself, creates its own risk of disease and more.

Meanwhile the Palestine Red Crescent says only 53 aid trucks came in today, a tiny fraction of what's needed for Gaza and of what normally comes in during times of when there isn't war going on.

Meanwhile the IDF denies that they have surrounded or are cutting off the al-Shifa Hospital. They say the East Wing of the hospital is open for anyone who needs to come in or out, in fact they say they have assisted with the evacuation of the Al-Nasr Hospitals and the (INAUDIBLE) Hospital in Gaza and that tomorrow they will helped evacuate patients in the pediatric unit from Shifa Hospital.

They also say they are in touch with hospital officials there and that's ongoing as they've opened up humanitarian corridors seven hours today, another humanitarian on which tens of thousands of Palestinians in northern Gaza have gone south with the intense fighting in northern Gaza.

Meanwhile the IDF says they have taken over 11 Hamas military post as the fighting rages there for another day, Jim.

ACOSTA: And Oren, the U.S.-European command says a U.S. military aircraft crashed in a training event in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea yesterday. What do we know about that?

LIEBERMANN: At this point, we don't know all that much, U.S. European command says that an aircraft and they won't identify it either as a fighter jet, a cargo aircraft or a helicopter crashed in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The statement itself doesn't say anything about whether there was an ejection or what happened after the aircraft crashed there. Perhaps that's strongly suggesting that there are fatalities in this crash.

What they do emphasize though is that this was in a training accident and hat had nothing to do with hostilities nearby. It wasn't related in any way to what's happening in Gaza here behind me or the ongoing fighting we're seeing back -- of course, across the Israel-Lebanon border. That very much stressed in a statement from U.S.- European command.

I'll see if I can pull this up for you here for a second. At the moment they won't put out more information. They say "Out of respect for the families affected we will not release further information on the personnel involved at this time." The incident is very much under investigation, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Oren Liebermann for us in Israel. Thank you so much.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent says 53 a trucks entered Gaza today along the Egyptian border bringing much-needed vital supplies including food, water and medicine.

As that took place here, leaders gathered in Saudi Arabia for a major summit that included a rare visit from the president of Iran. He met face to face with the Saudi Crown Prince for the first time in more than a decade.

And joining us live from Cairo with more on this is CNN correspondent Eleni Giokos. Eleni, what can you tell us?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, you have Arab and Muslim leaders meeting for this emergency summit in Saudi Arabia to discuss the ongoing crisis in Gaza. And they came up with this draft resolution. It's 31 points and look, we've seen the united front, a show of force, we've seen that family photo after the summit concluded, showing real unification between the region.

But what we don't know is how unified they were in putting this document together. It mostly includes things that we've heard before. They're calling Israel's actions in Gaza a war crime and I quote, "barbaric, brutal, and inhumane massacres" and also condemning the occupation in the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem. They reiterated the stance of a ceasefire but it's the lack of real action by regional leaders that is missing from this document. Look, they could have embarked on a mechanism or action that could completely freeze out Israel including the United States, diplomatically, economically militarily as well.

The only action it includes is right now Jim is U.N. Security Council putting a binding resolution together which we (INAUDIBLE) know there's no consequence to Israel, and then calling the ICC as well, saying, they've got to investigate these war crimes which the ICC says they plan to do anyway.

ACOSTA: And Eleni, there was a lot of tough talk aimed at the Israelis and how they are conducting their military operations in Gaza. Was there any discussion about Hamas' culpability in all of this?


GIOKOS: No. They don't discuss Hamas in all of this. And that is what is quite interesting. They are really focused on the Palestinian force and the action that needs to be taken.

But very important to know, you have Iranian president, Ibrahim Raisi, being on Saudi soil for the first time. This is the first time an Iranian leader is in the Kingdom in over a decade.

And this is significant because we know that the U.S. and Iran are not the best of friends. Ibrahim Raisi had very strong word saying that Washington is the main partner of these crimes saying that the U.S. is complicit in Israel's actions in Gaza.

We know that Iran backs Hamas, so it's interesting to have seen him there, showing this united front. And then you also had Syrian president Bashar al Assad who is now back in the Arab fold only just this -- also talking about the risks of normalizing relationships with Israel.

But I have to say this, look the past few days in Cairo have been fascinating, Hamas leadership had been here in Cairo on Thursday meeting with Egyptian Intelligence, the same day the CIA chief was also in town.

You also had the Qataris in town as well. These diplomatic discussions, Jim, are so important but so easily derailed in terms of what we see on the ground, the intense fighting in Gaza and then and look, we see this diplomatic discussion going nowhere at a time where there's a clear need to find some kind of way forward.

ACOSTA: All right. Eleni Giokos with that report, thank you very much. And we want to turn our attention right now to some live pictures that

we are seeing right now in Gaza City, this is moments ago. We are told that the IDF was launching flares at the moment and obviously, this could be the precursor to some stepped up military activity in that area in the minutes and hours ahead.

We're going to stay on top of that; if anything develops, we're going to bring that to you. But we wanted to show you these dramatic pictures coming out of Gaza City in just the last several moments.

We will stay on top of that. We'll be right back.



ACOSTA: New York City Mayor Adams is responding after FBI agents seized his cell phones and iPad this week as part of a federal investigation into campaign fundraising.

The seizure comes just days after agents raised the home of Adams' chief fundraiser.

Let's go to CNN's Polo Sandoval. He joins us live from outside city hall.

Polo, what's the latest?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Jim, as the investigation presses forward, we do know Eric Adams kept up with that right, really scheduled appearance today at the Veterans Day parade here in New York City.

He has not said anything beyond what we heard yesterday, in response to the seizure of his electronic devices Monday. CNN has learned through sources, it was Monday evening.

The mayor had just wrapped a speaking engagement when he was reportedly approached by federal agents with a search warrant and asked that he surrendered his two iPhone, his two phones, I should say, and his iPad.

And authorities have not really commented on this. The FBI is not commenting.

But we have heard from Adams himself. He says that, "As a former member of law enforcement, I expect all members of my staff to follow the law and fully cooperate with any investigation and I will continue to do exactly that."

We should also mention that the campaign attorney, Boyd Johnson, added to the mayor's response, saying that after this campaign funding investigation came to light, the campaign launched an internal review.

And through the review, it was discovered that the individual within the campaign acted inappropriately, though they declined to say who the individual was.

They did, however, say that that information was immediately and proactively handed over to investigators as well.

So that really speaks what we are hearing from the mayor, that he is cooperating with the investigation. And he has said time and time again that he has nothing to hide.

But it certainly is important. We cannot underscore the significance of the moment on Monday, Jim, with the mayor of America's largest city, after a speaking engagement, approached by federal agents with a warrant in hand and asked that he surrender his electronic devices.

It speaks to the seriousness of this investigation and many questions that we are yet to answer.

ACOSTA: Certainly, a dramatic escalation in the case, Polo. And obviously, you know, federal investigators wouldn't be doing something like that and they will not take that lightly, going after the mayor of New York and doing that sort of thing.

All right, Polo, we will stay on top of it. I know you will as well. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

In the meantime, in Gaza, hospitals under fire regardless of which side it's coming from. It's turning places of healing into hell on earth. The Red Cross joins us next to explain what's happening, coming up.



ACOSTA: The Israeli military is denying it was behind a strike that hit Gaza's largest hospital on Friday. The IDF claims the explosion at Al-Shifa Hospital was caused by a misfired projectile launch from inside Gaza. Apparently, targeting nearby Israeli troops.

Shocking video obtained by CNN shows the desperate plight of civilians who are sheltered in and around hospitals in Gaza.

And CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has this report.

And I want to warn the viewers out there, this is a very graphic and disturbing report.



JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Night 34 of this war brought hell to Gaza's hospitals.


KARADSHEH: Death so close for these medics outside Al-Adha (ph) Hospital, they recited their final prayers.


KARADSHEH: The hospital says several were injured in these strikes, and two ambulances were completely damaged.



KARADSHEH: It was one of several hospitals struck in what was a night of horror for those sheltering in medical facilities in northern Gaza.


KARADSHEH: And on Friday, more heartache came with these devastating scenes at Shifa Hospital complex.

The haunting screams of those who survived this blast, dazed, confused, searching for loved ones amongst the dead and injured.


KARADSHEH: Images that infuriated humanitarians like Norwegian Doctor Mads Gilbert, who volunteered at Al-Shifa in the past.

DR. MADS GILBERT NORWEGIAN PHYSICIAN & EX-VOLUNTEER AT AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL: President Biden, Mr. Blinken, Mr. Blinken, can you hear me? Prime ministers and presidents of the European countries, can you hear me?


Can you hear the screams from Shifa Hospital? From other hospitals? Can you hear the screams from innocent people? Refugees sheltering, trying to find a safe place, being bombed by the Israeli attack forces, hospitals that are the temples of humanity and protection.


KARADSHEH: But this is a war with no redlines, and hospitals are no sanctuary for the tens of thousands crammed into these hospitals, desperate to be protected from a war like no other Gaza has ever seen.


KARADSHEH: For weeks, the Israeli military has been calling civilians to move south to get out of harm's way, so many have been reluctant to heed these calls, airstrikes and death have followed Gazans to the south. Nowhere is safe in this besieged territory.

As the Israeli military opened up a humanitarian corridor amid intense fighting in the north, tens of thousands had no choice but to run in scenes that evoke dark memories for Palestinians of an exodus from the past from which there has been no return. But not everyone can leave. The fighting has trapped some of the most

vulnerable at two pediatric hospitals where hundreds are sheltering and doctors are calling on the ICRC to evacuate them.

Israeli troops are right outside Al Nasr and Rantisi Hospitals.


KARADSHEH: "The hospital is surrounded by Israeli tanks from all directions," this young woman says. "We were asked to evacuate now."

She and others, with this cry for international protection and a safe passage out.

Back inside Al-Shifa, there's no stopping, no pauses for those on a mission to save lives.

A father anxiously looks to doctors for good news, only to be told his little boy is gone.


KARADSHEH: Never have Gazans felt so abandoned, alone in this land of death and despair.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.



ACOSTA: With me now is Laetitia Courtois. She's with the International Committee of the Red Cross's permanent observer to the United Nations.

Laetitia, thank you for being with us.

What's the latest you can share about what is going on right now in Gaza? We just saw a disturbing and sad report from our Jomana Karadsheh.

Does that reflect a lot of what's going on from what you can tell? What can you tell us?

LAETITIA COURTOIS, ICRC PERMANENT OBSERVER TO THE U.N.: Thank you very much for having me.

The situation is intense, deteriorating by the day and it's getting to a no return point.

One the one hand, we have the population arriving exhausted, unable to be supported by the very limited resources that are meant to support life- saving needs, such as water, electricity, communications, health care services.

And in the north, we see hospitals being completely isolated, medical staff inside trapped, unable to survive -- supply support to people under their watch and completely desperate.

ACOSTA: In a statement, your organization says the health care system in Gaza has passed "the point of no return." Is there anything that can be done to change that?

COURTOIS: Absolutely. Right now, what we need is to see a de- escalation immediately. We need the medical facilities to be spared. We need the fighting to go everywhere else but next to the medical facilities that need to be protected at all costs.

They need to be allowed to have electricity so we can save the lives of people that are really depending on them, people that are seeking refuge, and who are protected according to the laws of war. So we need this to happen immediately.

We need the staff to have access to those facilities to be able to evacuate, but we need, really, that to happen immediately.

ACOSTA: Laetitia, in the last hour, we spoke with a spokesperson for the Israeli military. What they are arguing is that some of these facilities and health care facilities, hospitals, are being used Hamas as operation centers.

And they are using patients inside the hospitals as human shields to prevent the Israelis from attacking those kinds of facilities, targeting those kinds of facilities.

The Israelis say they are not targeting hospitals but they are operating in those areas.

What is your sense of all that? And what kind of information can you provide on that issue?

COURTOIS: Our teams have been touring medical facilities on the ground throughout Gaza to bring critical supplies and support. And what they describe is a horrendous situation.


So I'm not going to comment on which party is right or wrong. What we need is both of them to really take this fighting elsewhere. The facilities need to be protected by everyone, immediately.

ACOSTA: All right, Laetitia Courtois, thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it.

COURTOIS: Thank you.

ACOSTA: And we will be right back.



ACOSTA: Even before the horrific attacks on October 7th, anti-Semitic incidents in the USA have been on the rise. And in the months since that attack in Israel, anti-Semitic incidents just keep going up, from outside synagogues to college campuses.

"Anti-Semitism in America" will be the focus on this weekend's "THE WHOLE STORY" with Anderson Cooper.

And CNN anchor and chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, joins us now.

Dana, tell us about this very important special.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR & CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it is the second hour we have done. The first one we did was in 2022, the rise was there and anti-Semitic rhetoric, and anti-Semitic behavior in the United States.

Since then, it is a whole new level. And since then, when I say that, I mean by October 7th.

And, in fact, we spoke to the Biden administration ambassador in charge of trying to combat anti-Semitism. We talked to her then and talked to her last week.

Listen to what she said.


BASH: Since the attack on Israel October 7th, how has your role become more vital?

DEBORAH LIPSTADT, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR MONITORING & COMBATING ANTI- SEMITISM: In the wake of the attack, we began to see first a surge and then a spike, and then an explosion, and now a tsunami of anti- Semitism worldwide.

In Paris, in London, in Germany.


LIPSTADT: In Australia, it was, gas the Jews, get rid of the Jews, let's have a Jew-free zone.

It's not about being pro-Hamas or anti-Israel. It's about anti- Semitism.

BASH (VO): Lipstadt was appointed ambassador because she is one of the world's foremost academic experts on anti-Semitism.

LIPSTADT: You know how when a yellow light is flashing, anti-Semitism is like that amber light. And what it's signaling is that anti- Semitism is coming and it's a threat to democracy.


BASH: That last point, Jim, is really critical. Because we have talked a lot in the U.S., especially since January of 2021, about the threat to democracy.

And this is historically kind of a telltale sign that a democracy is in trouble. Because the history of anti-Semitism goes back millennia.

ACOSTA: Right.

BASH: But -- so if you go back that far, it is certainly a telltale sign.

Even in modern times. Look at the last 100 years. It is also a sign that there is a real problem, sort of a corroding of the democratic institutions and democratic sensibilities.

And part of the reason is because it is considered the oldest hate. And there are conspiracies that have to do with Jews that are so embedded in cultures and societies.

And also, because Jews are among the first scapegoats when it comes to times in history, in societies when there are things that are going wrong and people are looking for somebody to blame.


BASH: So that is true if you go back in time, but particularly since October 7th.

And you know what's really interesting is that, even before Israel retaliated, and there have been bombs dropping in Gaza, the spike was up there.

ACOSTA: Right.

BASH: People saw what happened. They had a latent anti-Semitism, latent Jew hate, and they said, a-ha, this is license for me to do that.

ACOSTA: And we've been covering it --

BASH: Yes.

ACOSTA: -- since October 7th. We've all been covering it.

What is so awful about this, one would think you would see the opposite happen after October 7th. That's not what took place. We're seeing a rise of anti-Semitism even after October 7th and, in particular, on college campuses.

How do you explain that?

BASH: It's --


BASH: -- like anything multifaceted. Social media is a huge part of it.

But it has gone unchecked. It has gone unchecked, particularly at college campuses, because the notion of hate against Jews has been conflated with political speech. Because in many instances, it is geared toward Israel.

But if you just see some of what we were talking about in that clip with Deborah Lipstadt, yes, maybe the thing that set everybody off was something that happened in Israel to Jews but they're not screaming in the streets so much.

Sometimes they're screaming about Israel. But it is mostly about Jews and exterminating Jews and the state of Israel, which is the Jewish state of Israel.

ACOSTA: Such an incredibly painful subject. But it is important that you're highlighting it and talking about it.

BASH: Yes. Thank you.

ACOSTA: The only way that --

BASH: I feel very grateful that we're given the time to do that.


ACOSTA: Yes, absolutely.

All right, Dana Bash, I know you'll be talking about this with Prime Minister Netanyahu tomorrow on "STATE OF THE UNION." Stay tuned for that.

Also this new story with Anderson Cooper that features Dana's really important reporting, that airs tomorrow flight at 9:00 Eastern and Pacific. We'll give you some reminders tomorrow right here on CNN.

Thanks, Dana, very much. Really appreciate it.

And here's today's "CNN Hero."


STACEY BUCKNER, CNN HERO: It takes boots on the ground to get back there, find them and meet their needs.

We provide clothing, food. There is a full kitchen in the back. We also do laundry.

Your pants are almost done spinning, baby.

It is just filling a basic human need.


BUCKNER: This is my brick mortar.


BUCKNER: Even though I'm not a veteran, I do have mental health issues that come having a traumatic brain injury. So I can relate.

You've been burning the road up with that walker, I know that much.

Sometimes, I surprise people with who I am. I mean, look at me. I look really rough around the edges, right?

Hey, what's up, brother?

Matthew, what else you need?

I'm all padded up and I may throw out a cuss word here and there but I'm just Stacey.

It's important to show veterans that there are organizations out there that want to really provide support to you.


ACOSTA: And go to right now to vote.

And we'll be right back.