Return to Transcripts main page
Netanyahu: Blame For Civilian Death Squarely On Hamas; IDF Opens Evacuation Corridor Today Near Al-Shifa Hospital; Five Days Left For Congress To Avoid Government Shutdown; Trump's Legal Team To Begin Presenting Its Cases Monday; Rep. Stefanik Files Ethics Complaint Against Judge; 5 Days Left For Congress To Avoid Government Shutdown; NYT: FBI Probing If Adams Cleared Red Tape For Turkish Consulate. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 12, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN HOST: Hey, everyone. Thanks for joining me. I'm Omar Jimenez sitting in for Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin with the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Heavy shelling and fighting is putting medical centers in emergency situations. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said Gaza's second largest hospital is now out of service due to the (INAUDIBLE) of fuel and power shortages -- outages, excuse me.
Many medical centers in Gaza have become shelters for thousands of people displaced by the fighting. Israel Defense Forces say they're enabling safe passage from Gaza's hospitals, but medics say it's too dangerous to leave because of intense fighting around some of the complexes.
With civilian casualties mounting, today Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN that the lives lost fall squarely on the shoulders of Hamas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELIE PRIME MINISTER: I think any civilian life lost is a tragedy and the blame should be placed squarely on Hamas because it prevents them from leaving the war zone. Sometimes at gun point. It's fired on safe zone and the safe corridor that we enacted.
The other day, to prevent Palestinians from leaving harm's way, it puts rockets inside schools, hospitals. It has tunnels below children's beds.
This is what we're dealing with. So obviously we can't give them immunity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIMENEZ: Today for the first time since Thursday, foreign nationals were able to evacuate Gaza at the Rafah border crossing in Egypt. But those crossings were limited to a pre-approved list.
We've got correspondents standing by with all the latest on the ground. Eleni Giokos is in Cairo, Oren Liebermann is in Tel Aviv. But let's begin in Jerusalem and Nada Bashir who's been monitoring the urgent situation with Gaza's hospitals.
Nada, new reports out today really paint a dire picture of the health care system in Gaza. What's happening there right now?
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes really, Omar. The health care system has been said to be on the brink of collapse for some time now. We have been hearing those warnings from health officials, from doctors on the ground.
Now we're seeing the vast majority of Gaza's hospitals completely out of service. But there was significant concern around the situation at the al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital. Doctors there on the ground telling us it is facing relentless bombardment. Take a look.
BASHIR: These are the sounds of the final gasps from Gaza's collapsing health care system. Medical staff in Gaza City working under near relentless Israeli bombardment for over a month.
For now this chorus of frantic voices seen here working under torch light tells its own gut-wrenching story.
The al Quds Hospital, the second largest in Gaza has now collapsed. The hospital no longer operational according to the Palestinian Red Crescent society.
But these scenes are all too familiar across the besieged Gaza Strip. The vast majority of hospitals here are already completely out of service, Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah says. And those remaining now on a cliff edge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a direct injury in the head, internal bleeding and we can't do surgeries. No surgeries, no oxygen, no electricity.
We worked manually. We are using a manual resuscitator. It is a clear injury. It needs an urgent surgery, a lifesaving one. He is less than a year old.
BASHIR: Remarkably this baby survived, but his father who was in the very same building when an Israeli airstrike hit did not.
At Gaza's largest hospital, al Shifa, officials say newborn babies had to be moved and that at least three babies in the neonatal unit died after generators and incubators were damaged in an Israeli strike.
CNN has reached out to the Israeli military for comment. The IDF regularly says it is targeting Hamas, but doctors here say the hospital is now completely surrounded. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The situation overall is difficult. According to
our colleagues there, there is no water, no electricity, they cannot communicate between each other. There is a lot of targeting (ph) around the hospital.
BASHIR: Under a near constant barrage of air strikes, it is impossible for both patients and staff to safely evacuate. Doctors are overwhelmed, morgues now long beyond capacity.
And with communications frequently cut off, contact between medical teams on the ground and with the outside world is growing increasingly difficult.
Hospital officials say thousands of displaced civilians are still thought to be in the compound. Taking shelter in what once was thought to be a sanctuary in the midst of this seemingly unending nightmare.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought the hospital was a safe place, but it wasn't. If we had stayed another five minutes, we would have been killed. They started to bomb us, and we ran away from al Shifa.
BASHIR: The Israeli military says it is now enabling passage from three hospitals in northern Gaza with an additional route said to have been opened to allow civilians to evacuate southwards.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is another form of torture. We have about six kilometers to go, (INAUDIBLE). She got a stroke that caused her brain damage. She can't speak and is paralyzed.
BASHIR: But the United Nations itself has raised doubts over the so- called safe zones outlined by Israel, warning that nowhere inside Gaza is safe for civilians anymore. And for those too injured, too sick, evacuation is impossible. Many doctors on the ground vowing to stay beside their patients no matter what.
BASHIR: And look, Omar, we've heard from the U.N.'s top humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths who's described any attack, all attacks on hospitals as unconscionable and reprehensible. But as we've seen over the last more than four weeks, these attacks are closer and closer to medical facilities.
JIMENEZ: Of course. Nada BashirI, thank you so much.
I want to turn now to Oren Liebermann in Tel Aviv. Oren, more shelling and fighting across Gaza today. What's the latest you're hearing on the IDF's military efforts there?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The IDF says much of their focus today has been around the al-Shati refugee camp which is actually just north of al Shifa hospital right along the coast there on the Gaza strip. That's where they say there's been a lot of intense fighting. And from what we can tell from where they're operating in the
descriptions of where they're operating, it seems they're coming in towards Shifa Hospital which they have identified as a strong hold of Hamas and accused Hamas of having a compound beneath it, coming at that from both the north and the south.
Videos put out by the IDF today show street battles or street fighting, IDF forces using machine guns, RPGs as well as tanks as they move through Gaza City, a densely populated area in Northern Gaza City there as they work their way towards Shifa Hospital and work their way on encircling and moving into Gaza City.
The IDF also said a short time ago they are aware of the situation with the incubators and the babies and are trying to find some sort of solution, some sort of way to get them out of there.
Meanwhile they say they have opened up humanitarian corridors from the hospitals al-Nasr, Shifa, as well as their Rantisi Hospital. They say Rantisi and al-Nasr are mostly empty though they can't say for sure that they are completely empty. The fighting there very much continuing in densely packed Gaza City.
Meanwhile, there's also an intensified level of fighting on the northern border where the IDF says a total of seven soldiers and civilians were injured because of fire from Lebanon and Israel has responded accusing -- targeting Hezbollah there.
JIMENEZ: And of course, we've seen some of those conflicts and fighting happening on multiple fronts in Israel.
Oren, I want to also ask you about -- it's a separate situation but we learned today that some U.S. service members were killed in the region during a training exercise. What are you learning about that?
LIEBERMANN: That's right, Omar. There was a training exercise in a helicopter in which five U.S. service members were killed according to a Pentagon and according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
That helicopter crashed some time either Friday night or early Saturday morning. There were recovery efforts, light (ph) tracking Web sites showed maritime patrol aircraft circling essentially between Cyprus and Lebanon, or between Cyprus and Israel there in what is an apparent search effort to try to locate to see if there were any survivors.
But today U.S.-European command said all five service members on board that helicopter died in the crash. The cause of that crash, Omar, still under investigation.
JIMENEZ: Oren Liebermann, thank you. I want to go elsewhere in the region nearby to Eleni Giokos in Cairo. Now, what more foreign nationals were allowed to cross the Rafah border into Egypt today? What is the latest that you're seeing?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, this is the largest number of foreign nationals that have been evacuated out of Gaza. The border at Rafah has been shut down and closed for evacuation since Thursday.
GIOKOS: This is the largest number we've seen. 826 foreign nationals now currently in Egypt. Four injured Palestinians have also been moved to Egypt.
And we've just heard the dire and catastrophic situation and conditions in hospitals in Gaza. It brings the total number of injured Palestinians in Egypt now to 129 patients.
This is a tiny fraction of the over 26,000 injured Palestinians currently in Gaza with this crumbling health system. There are also five cancer patients, children that have been moved to Egyptian hospitals because they were unable to continue treatment in Gaza.
But we spoke to one man at the Rafah border crossing that was moved now to Egypt. He has just one wish. I want you to listen, Omar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were transferred here to Egypt to get treated. God willing, hopefully I'll get artificial limbs implanted so I can walk like before. God willing, I will return to Gaza, one has nothing but his country anyway.
Whatever God has written for us will happen. I am satisfied with whatever God has in store. Thank God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIOKOS: And look, there are over 2,000 foreign nationals that have already been evacuated. Egyptians say over 7,000 foreign nationals need to be evacuated.
It is a long and arduous process according to one diplomatic source that I spoke to here in Egypt, to get someone on the list for evacuation isn't transparent from what we've been hearing.
It is difficult, Omar, but it is moving. And it's a deal that was brokered by the Qataris. It was a breakthrough deal that came into place last week, Wednesday. We have seen delays. It depends on the fighting and the strikes that we've been seeing in Gaza.
But overall this is a process that is under way and hopefully gaining momentum to get people out that are trapped in Gaza right now.
JIMENEZ: Eleni Giokos, thank you. And thank you to all of our correspondents in the region continuing to follow this story.
As concerns about the safety of Gaza's hospitals grow, today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he's doing everything he can to protect Gaza's most vulnerable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DANA BASH, CNN HOST: Israeli forces have said that they are engaged in intense fighting around al Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza. I know that you say that the hospital sits on top of a Hamas command and control center. But of course, there are also patients, civilians sheltering in that complex getting treatment.
So how do you intend to go after Hamas without putting sick and injured civilians in that hospital at more risk than they already are.
NETANYAHU: Well, we've called to evacuate all the patients from that hospital. And in fact, 100 or so have already been evacuated. I've called for field (ph) hospitals and the French president has sent a floating hospital ship. I've asked the Emirates to send a field hospital they have, and other countries have done the same. I expect the U.N. to build this soon.
There's no reason why we just can't take the patients out of there instead of letting Hamas use it as a command center for terrorism, for the rockets that they fired against Israel, for the terror tunnels that they use to kill Israeli citizens.
But you certainly wouldn't give immunity to the terrorist. So we're obviously treading carefully when it comes to hospitals but we're also not going to give immunity to the terrorists.
And so far, even though Hamas has tried to prevent the civilians from leaving, hundreds of thousands have left -- sometimes having to go through Hamas gunpoint and gunfire that wants to keep them in harm's way.
BASH: Just to be clear, sir.
Just to be clear, sir. Israel will aid, help these civilians who are quite sick and inside these hospitals come out, not just in al Shifa, but there are other hospitals where this is happening.
NETANYAHU: Yes, yes. We're telling them to leave.
BASH: Telling them or helping them?
NETANYAHU: Helping them by creating safe corridors. We have designated routes to a safe zone south of Gaza city where there's no fighting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIMENEZ: A quick programming note. Can anti-Semitism be stopped? Dana Bash who was just conducting that interview, investigates the increasingly dire threat the Jewish community faces in America on "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER" tonight at 9:00 p.m. on CNN.
Still to come, just days before a potential government shutdown, House Speaker Mike Johnson's two-step plan for funding the government is facing major headwinds. Is a shutdown avoidable? I'm going to discuss with Democratic Congresswoman Susan Wild. Stay with us.
JIMENEZ: Newly-elected Speaker Mike Johnson announced a two-step plan to fund the government with just five days remaining for Congress to avert a government shutdown. But the unusual proposal is already running into opposition from Democrats and some Republicans.
CNN's Manu Raju has the details.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Speaker Mike Johnson, in his first test as Speaker, unveiling a plan to keep the government open with just a handful of days before the end-of-the-week deadline. But already facing fire from his right flank, members of the House Freedom Caucus in particular, concerned about the lack of spending cuts in this plan.
Democrats didn't want any spending cuts and said they would vote against it. However, Democrats are concerned that it does not have aid to Israel and aid to Ukraine and they're criticizing the unconventional approach taken by Speaker Johnson.
Some federal agencies would be funded up until mid-January, others until early February. This is an unusual type of an approach but one in which Johnson believes can help achieve their legislative objectives.
But nevertheless, the question is how many folks on the right will push back, will try to push him out because of the lack of spending cuts and whether they will actually try to push him out. Recall that not too long ago, Kevin McCarthy, the former speaker, lost his job because a major part here because he advanced a bill to keep the government open through Democratic support that did not have spending cuts.
I asked McCarthy himself whether or not he's concerned and whether he believes Johnson's job could be at risk by taking a similar approach.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): No. Look, you get a honeymoon, and they can't go through it again. I mean think about how long it took last time. So do you think they would do that again?
RAJU: So even if he goes and relies on Democratic votes the way you had to do it, you think that he would be safe and not be pushed down from speakership.
MCCARTHY: Oh, yes.
I don't think anybody can make a motion to vacate for the rest of this term. I think he's safe regardless.
RAJU: Democrats are weighing how they'll proceed. They're still watching how Republicans are dealing with this. I'm told from House Democratic sources it's uncertain whether they will carry this across the finish line and how many votes Johnson will ultimately need from Democrats.
But there is hardly any time left as Senate Democratic leaders have signaled that they could be open to it. The White House has criticized this approach. House Democrats are remaining mum. And a lot of questions as we head into yet another week of shutdown fears on Capitol Hill.
Manu Raju, CNN -- Washington.
JIMENEZ: Thank you, Manu.
The White House is already rejecting speaker Johnson's two-step plan calling it, quote, "a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shut downs".
CNN's senior White House reporter Kevin Liptak joins us now from Wilmington, Delaware where the president is spending the weekend.
Now Kevin, it didn't take long for the white House to rebuke this proposal. I mean what more is the Biden administration saying about what we've learned so far?
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. It was not an enthusiastic reaction, Omar. And remember, these are two men, President Biden and the new House Speaker Mike Johnson, who are still getting to know each other in a lot of ways. He was something of an unknown to the White House and they are still developing that working relationship.
But certainly the White House wasting no time in panning his proposal to keep the government open saying in a statement last night, "With just days left before an extreme Republican shutdown and after shutting down Congress for three weeks after they ousted their own leader. House Republicans are wasting precious time with an unserious proposal that has been panned by members of both parties.
The White House went on to say House Republicans need to stop wasting time on their own political divisions, do their jobs and work in a bipartisan way to prevent a shutdown.
The White House not mincing any words there. What does remain clear is whether all Democrats will oppose this plan because while it is unorthodox in its structure, it does not include some of the deep spending cuts, some of the conservative priorities that Democrats so oppose. We did hear last night from a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide who said it was a good thing that this bill did not include spending cuts. We also heard from Democratic Senator Chris Murphy earlier today who
said this was a gimmick, but he has said he was still open to listening to their proposal.
So there are some shades of differences there. Depending on how many Republicans oppose this plan, Mike Johnson will need Democrats for it to secure passage. It was notable in that White House statement, the White House did not explicitly say whether or not President Biden would reject this if it made it to his desk when it was a plan to keep the government open.
But bottom-line Omar, the clock is ticking. The government will shut down on Saturday morning if nothing is passed. This plan could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday, Omar.
JIMENEZ: Yes. And Kevin, I want to read back just part of that statement that you read, "House Republicans are wasting precious time with an unserious proposal." I think that gives an indication of really where they are in this. We'll see if that tone changes as the week progresses. Kevin Liptak, thank you so much.
Up next for us, former President Donald Trump launching his defense in the New York civil fraud trial. What to expect in court tomorrow, right after the break.
JIMENEZ: Tomorrow, Donald Trump will launch his defense in a civil fraud trial against him, his family, and his business. It's in an effort to convince Judge Arthur Engoron who already ruled against Trump that they didn't intend to do anything wrong. The judge will determine potential damages. Six other claims brought by New York's attorney general and whether to ban the Trumps from doing business in New York state.
So I'm joined by Jeffrey Jacobovitz, criminal defense attorney and adjunct professor with American University. Jeffrey, good to see you.
We know that Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son, will be the first defense witness called. He previously testified that he deferred to the company's accounting and legal department for accuracy on financial statements.
But how might tomorrow be different since now he's being called as a witness for the defense?
JEFFREY JACOBOVITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well Omar, that's a very good question. It will be different because now he's being called by the defense. So the defense is allowed to examine him on direct examination which means they can explore many different questions that he did not receive on cross where it was very narrow. The questions were narrow and the redirect was very narrow when he was crossed.
So now we could get into other subjects. And you know, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are trying to salvage their ability to do business in New York. So they want to testify.
And the problem is, if the scope of the direct is very extensive, then the government, the D.A. is allowed to cross-examine based on all the subjects that were touched upon. And so their cross could really go extensively into areas that we haven't seen before.
JIMENEZ: Yes. And so you're saying essentially it could open up new targets potentially for the state here.
JIMENEZ: I mean the judge in the case already ruled that the Trumps were involved in -- they call this -- persistent and repeated fraud. So what is the defense hoping to gain as they present their case?
JACOBOVITZ: Well, the remaining counts which weren't part of the summary judgment involve intent and materiality.
And so they're going to try to testify and put on experts that they did not have the intent to violate the law. That they were relying on accountants for example. They were relying on appraisals done by others.
JACOBOVITZ: And when I'm saying "they", I'm talking about the kids now. But the defense will be that it wasn't material, that there was this worthless clause there, and that the banks and the insurance companies could have done their own due diligence, and their own investigation, and thus they should not be liable.
JIMENEZ: Yeah. And, look, obviously, a lot of intention on this, politics included. Republican lawmaker and close Trump ally, Elise Stefanik, filed an ethics complaint against the judge on Friday, despite not being, of course, a party in this case. She accused the judge of judicial bias against the former president, and demanded the judge be recused from this case.
What kind of -- realistically, I mean, what kind of an impact does a formal complaint like that have?
JACOBOVITZ: You know, it's almost like if you're a basketball coach, you're playing the ref, you're trying to get under the ref's skin, and I think that's what she is trying to do. It's very rare for somebody outside of the direct litigation process to file something against a judge. I don't think it will go anywhere.
And it could upset the judge a little bit, I doubt it, but what seems to be getting to the judge more, are the attacks on his law clerk, which would get to any judge because any judge will protect their law clerk. And so, you have the gag order issues, and this filing, this ethics complaint, will unlikely have any impact on the litigation.
JIMENEZ: But just the fact that it was filed, I think, highlight some of the politics that, from the outside of the courtroom, are at play here, as people continue to monitor this case. Jeffrey Jacobovitz, thank you so much for being with us.
JACOBOVITZ: Thank you, Omar.
JIMENEZ: Of course.
Now, there's just five days left for Congress to avert a government shutdown. So joining me now to talk about this, and more is Congresswoman Susan Wild. She's a Democrat from Pennsylvania, and a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Ethics Communities.
Congresswoman, good to see you.
REP. SUSAN WILD (D-PA): Good to see you, too.
JIMENEZ: Great to see you.
Now, right off the bat, what is your reaction to the speaker's plan that we know so far to avert a shutdown?
WILD: Well, I started looking at late last night. I've conferred with a number of my colleagues. It's an unprecedented approach to do this sort of broad, laddered program, and I can -- I can explain that, if you'd like me to. And I'm very, very concerned that it's not, it doesn't have much chance of success, and we're just days away from a government shutdown. So, you know, that's my reaction to it.
I am happy to work with the speaker and anybody else -- you know, the last continuing revoked the solution that we got through was done on a bipartisan basis, and I hope this one will be, too.
JIMENEZ: And, look, one of the things we know so far is that either the proposed bills, so to speak, include additional funding for Israel or Ukraine. And we knew that at least funding for Ukraine was an issue in late September when we were barreling towards a potential shutdown then, and even on the Republican side, Mike McCaul, out of Texas, said this morning, I don't think we can play political games with our support to allies, because they fail, we fail.
And I'm curious. Do you share that concern at all? Especially that it wasn't included in these early versions of what's being proposed?
WILD: I'm very concerned about that, and I'll tell you why. We have seen, over the last few months, that Congress is not exactly operating at its best. And things have been delayed inefficient, not getting down, and I'm very concerned that if we pass this continuing resolution, and it does not attach supplemental funding for Israel humanitarian aid, and Ukraine will never get it done.
To add to that, the fact that we are heading into the holidays, and Congress is notorious for, you know, not being happy about sticking around on Thanksgiving Day, and you can imagine.
So, we really need to get this done, all at once. I completely agree with Chairman McCaul. He's the chairman of my Foreign Affairs Committee. I have utmost respect for him. And I have to tell you, I think he's absolutely right. We cannot be playing politics at this point.
JIMENEZ: And for those watching, and we're wondering about the laddered approach. Essentially, it's -- the first bill would extend funding to January, that include things from military construction to veteran affairs, transportation, the rest of the government -- the second part of the bill would extend funding until February, which would include the rest of the government here.
Are you --
WILD: And --
JIMENEZ: Yeah, go ahead.
WILD: Can I just add to that, Omar?
WILD: That means with any kind of continuing resolution, that means we're going to have to vote all over again, in January, and February on this kind of -- that's what's wrong with these --
JIMENEZ: In a piecemeal kind of way.
WILD: It's piecemeal, and it just means we're postponing the agony.
JIMENEZ: And those lines, I think with this being Speaker Mike Johnson's first real test, many were curious if you run into the same dynamics that Kevin McCarthy did. Are you optimistic that this new speaker, Johnson, will find a way to get a plan that will pass, either without leaning on Democratic support, or do you think he's going to need Democratic support to get something to pass here?
WILD: I think he's going to need Democratic support, because on one thing we know almost with certainty is that the GOP side of the aisle contains a number of people who are extremists, and who have shown absolutely no indication that they want to get things done, and that they want to work with others.
Remember, Kevin McCarthy got ousted because he came up with a continuing resolution that most Democrats, if not all of us, voted for. That was very unsatisfactory to the extremist caucus.
I'm very concerned that speaker Johnson, that is who I don't know at all, yet, it's going to run into the same problem. I really think that the safest approach is to do their approach where you are working with the Democrats to get something passed, so that the dozen -- I guess it's about a dozen extremists in the GOP conference, that their votes don't matter.
JIMENEZ: Now, I want to turn to, obviously, it's an issue that is caught up in the budget fight, but to the Israel Hamas War. On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, he denounced -- criticized really the civilian death toll in Gaza, saying far too many Palestinians have been killed. President Biden has even expressed some frustration with how long it's taken Israel to implement a large scale humanitarian pause.
And while Israel has agreed to some four-hour pauses in parts of northern Gaza, does Israel, do you believe Israel needs to go further to protect civilians, that what they've done so far?
WILD: I do. The loss of life is devastating. And, look, you know, I will go back to October 7th, and I don't ever want anyone to forget how this war started. And the loss of Israeli lives, on that day. But the continuing loss of life, and by the way, that includes some IDF of shoulders, and other Israelis as well, and potentially these hostages.
I'm very, very concerned about the fate of the hostages. But we cannot be watching just thousandths of innocent lives being lost without using the leverage that the United States government has with Israel to really ask them to adopt a different approach.
I'm not a military expert, but there are military experts that have spoken with that have told me this can be done in a much more targeted fashion. Less air power, more on the ground power, I understand the risks, I understand the problems of having Hamas in tunnels. It's a devastating situation, and yes, Hamas caused this problem, no question about it.
But there are Palestinians, people of Gaza, who are -- have no fault in this, who are losing their lives every day, and we've got to do something to reduce the ongoing loss of life. We're not going to be able to bring those lives back, sadly. But in addition to that, for the people who have survived, thankfully, we've got to make sure that the humanitarian aid is getting to them. And that's, you know, a significant part of the supplemental that needs to be passed by congress, but these pauses have not -- did not come quickly enough, and have not lasted long enough.
I was part of a letter, more than a week ago, asking for these pauses to be extended, and to make them really meaningful, and I'm glad that the Biden administration is leaning on the government of Israel to make that happen.
WILD: At the same time, I understand just how hard it is. And I don't -- you know, I've talked to a number of people who know what they're talking about, who say that is very, very difficult now that we have the Israeli Defense Forces on the ground in Gaza --
JIMENEZ: Well, and they painted a picture, I should say, that they've been trying to do their best to avoid civilian casualties. But, you know, what they say, politics or even policy wise I should say, sometimes match that up with what's on the ground has been very difficult, in the reality of the moment. Congresswoman, I got to leave it there. We've got plenty to talk about
on this topic. We'll have you back. Congresswoman Susan Wild, thank you so much.
We'll be right back.
WILD: Thank you.
JIMENEZ: We're learning new details today in the FBI's investigation into New York City Mayor Eric Adams' campaign fundraising. Sources tell "The New York Times" that federal investigators are examining if the mayor pressured officials to approve the Turkish government's high-rise consulate in Manhattan, despite safety concerns.
Now, Adams hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing, but he is the latest politician to come under scrutiny from potential ties to foreign governments.
CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval joins me now.
Polo, what more can you tell us?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Omar, did Eric Adams, just months before being elected, did he pressure fellow city officials to expedite the opening of that high-rise here in New York City? That happens to house the Turkish consulate. That's really just the latest in a mountain series of questions, especially about "The New York Times" report that you just referenced. The outlet citing three unnamed sources at as they say the FBI is looking into the possibility that Eric Adams may have urged FDNY officials to expedite the building of that building, in spite of some safety issues at the time. So, that certainly is one question here.
And Adams campaign spokesperson responding to that reporting, basically saying as borough president, which is the seat that Adams held at the time, it was not unusual for him to notify other government agencies about issues from other constituents. So, essentially saying, that that would have been business as usual, but this possible intervention, it really is the latest issue that the feds would be examining here, as they continue to look into this possible -- rather as part of this public corruption investigation, looking into possible funding of foreign money into the Adams campaign.
Today, we did hear from the mayor, at a regularly scheduled event, basically saying that he hopes to answer more questions come Tuesday.
He was directly asked if he could identify the individual that his campaign identified as somebody who at last behaved inappropriately, improperly, I should say. But he declined to say, again, just emphasizing that he will answer more questions on Tuesday, and also, his representatives assist insisting that he is not been accused of any wrongdoing, and they are fully cooperating with this federal public corruption investigation, Omar.
JIMENEZ: And, yeah, again, not accused of wrongdoing, but at the very least, what the reporting are shown so far, at least a cause for concern, and questions, which it sounds like he is going to face. We will see in the next few days.
Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.
Now, a family of Israelis held hostage by Hamas are facing an agonizing wait for news of their loved ones. Next, I'm going to speak with a man whose brother was kidnapped at the Nova music festival.
JIMENEZ: Thousands rallied in Tel Aviv Saturday, to demand the Israeli government do more to bring the hostages home.
Gal Gilboa-Dalal says his brother Guy is one of the hostages being held by Hamas. The brothers were at the Nova Music Festival when Hamas attacked. The family says Guy was kept kidnapped in Gaza that day, and Gal says he hasn't seen his brothers since.
Joining me now, to share his story, is Gal Gilboa-Dalal.
Gal, so, one, I'm so sorry that you're in this position here, obviously, an incredibly tragedy that happened that day. Have you heard, or seen anything about your brother, since October 7th?
GAL GILBOA-DALAL, YOUNGER BROTHER KIDNAPPED BY HAMAS: So, no, I haven't heard anything. The last thing that I know about my brother is the hostage video that was released on the same morning of the kidnapping. And you can see him in the hostage video. You can see him, and five other guys from the party, lying on the floor, tied up, in a dark hole, probably in Hamas tunnels.
JIMENEZ: And I see that that's your brother on your shirt right there that you're wearing. What was going through your mind when the only way that you've seen him, it sounds like, is through a video where he's tied up.
GILBOA-DALAL: You know, he was kidnapped from the Nova festival. It's a spiritual music festival, and I actually went with him, to the festival. My parents knew that my brother was hostage two and a half hours before I could escape from there. I only could escape from there, it wasn't like eight hours after it happened.
Hearing about it, and seeing him, it was so hard, because, you know, the only reason I went to this festivals was to watch over him, that was his first ever festival. He never had been in this kind of festival before, so I really wanted to watch over him, make sure to be part of his experience, and, you know, I came back without him, which is the worst part in it.
JIMENEZ: Do you -- obviously, we've been seeing some protests in Tel Aviv over people feeling that the government isn't doing enough to free the hostages. Do you feel the Israeli government is doing enough at this point?
GILBOA-DALAL: Look, it's a hard question, because I'm not an expert in this kind of thing, and I really don't know what I can do, what we can do to bring him back as soon as possible, instead of spreading the words about him, tell about him, keep doing -- keep him in the public, and everyone's mouth, we need to discuss it as much as we can, we need to make noise about them, as much as we can.
And that's a way that we can express how much we need, not only of government, but the world's help, to bring them all back. I miss my brother so much, I love him so much. It's so hard to think about it, every minute, every day, and not knowing what he's going through.
It's been over five weeks, since it happened, and we still haven't heard anything about it. We don't know the conditions. We don't know if they're alive. We don't know how they treat them.
And yeah, it's so hard.
JIMENEZ: Are you still --
GILBOA-DALAL: So, yeah, we do everything that we can, we do anything that we can for them.
JIMENEZ: Yeah, you know, one of the things that we've been monitoring, obviously, you know, there is a war, there is a fight going on, the IDF is inside Gaza, continuing their military campaign. But somewhere in there, you know, is your brother, whether it's in a tunnel, whether it's otherwise.
Do you worry, even with the military aspect of this, then in some way it might be putting your brother and others at risk?
GILBOA-DALAL: Of course I worry. Of course I worry. I'm worrying all the time. I worry about everything. You know, this whole incident, this whole war, it just so sad. It's just so -- it's a tragedy. I mean, I wish we would go back to October 6, and none of it would happen.
But, yeah, I'm so scared for him, and I want him back. That's all I want.
GILBOA-DALAL: I don't know what's the way to bring him back. I miss him so much.
JIMENEZ: Yeah. At this point, obviously, there's a lot of efforts internationally to put pressure, advocacy, to try and help support some of those hostages. What would you like to see President Biden do, here in the United States, to support hostages like your brother? GILBOA-DALAL: I would say to talk about it, it should be the world's
biggest problem right now.
You know, these hostages, people who are taken -- I'm talking about my brother, his friends, and a lot of other people who were taken from this festival. This festival is spiritual festival. These people came to celebrate love, peace, and life.
My brother, and the people were kidnapped, they really live their lifestyle with peace and love. That's all they know. That's the language they speak.
And when people like this, they're being taken hostage, and used as a tool in this kind of war, then the whole world should see what happened, and help to bring them back, and hear our pain. Because, as I said, half of the people who were kidnapped, you could see their profile pictures, they have the slogan, Arabs and are refusing to be enemies, and that's the way we live our life. That's what we believe. We believe in peace and love, and my brother believe in peace and love. These people -- they shouldn't have been dragged to this war (ph), and the world should know it, because they could easily be everyone son, daughter, brother -- that's just terrible.
JIMENEZ: Yeah. Well, Gal Gilboa-Dalal, I thank you for coming on, and sharing some of your story, and sharing some of your brother's story. You are among so many that are waiting for hopefully good news about their loved ones, and relatives. Thank you for joining us today.
GILBOA-DALAL: Thank you for having me.
JIMENEZ: Of course. Now just ahead for us, presidential candidate Chris Christie is in Israel right now, the first Republican presidential candidate to visit the country since the October 7th Hamas attacks. We're going to speak to him live, after the break.