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Biden Rips House For Taking Break Without Passing Ukraine Aid; Interview With Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) About Aid To Ukraine; VP Kamala Harris Quietly Working To Boost Biden Campaign Strategy; Israeli Hostage Families File War Crimes Charges Against Hamas; Ukraine Loses Key Town of Avdiivka To Russian Forces; Two Officers, One Firefighter Killed In Minnesota Shooting; OpenAI Announces Tool That Generates Videos Through Text Prompts. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired February 18, 2024 - 18:00   ET



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

Tonight, House Republicans are under mounting pressure to move forward with a critical foreign aid bill. That's after new images out of Ukraine illustrate in stark terms what could be the reality for America suspending aid to its allies.

Take a look at this, in this new video soldiers can be seen raising the Russian flag over the key city of Avdiivka after Ukrainian forces were forced to withdraw there. Adding to the pressure this week, the death of Russian opposition leader and staunch Putin critic Alexey Navalny and U.S. intelligence report suggesting Russia is working on a nuclear-powered space weapon.

This has President Biden slamming House Republicans for taking a two- week vacation while America's allies are running out of critical supplies in Ukraine.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, the Ukrainian people fought so bravely and heroically. They put so much on the line. The idea that now they're running out of ammunition and walk away, I find it absurd, find it unethical, I find it just contrary to everything we are as a country.


ACOSTA: Now on this issue, Americans seem to be on the president's side. Take a look at this. A new poll shows that more than 70 percent view the war in Ukraine as important to U.S. interests. But House Republicans say the Senate -- the Senate's foreign aid bill is dead on arrival, refusing to pass any legislation that they say does not address border security.

Of course, we should note it was House Republicans that tanked a bill providing the strictest border security measures in decades, taking their cue from former president Donald Trump who didn't want to give President Biden a, quote, "win."

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is here with me now.

Priscilla, the president, he's really going after House Republicans and Donald Trump on this Ukraine aid issue. It's not clear whether or not it's going to have any effect on the House GOP. They've kind of dug in their heels on this. What's the latest?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They have, and the strategy from the White House in talking to sources is really going to be highlighting the real battlefield impacts of not getting that funding to Ukraine. You saw the images there of what that means when Ukraine has to withdraw from one of its cities because they don't have enough ammunition. And also ramping up the pressure on House Republicans to take up this funding because the Senate passed the foreign aid package.

Now it goes to the House floor, but House Speaker Mike Johnson has not given any commitments that he plans to put it on the floor. And that's what the White House posture is and really can be. What they can do on this is very limited. Now in private conversations, what they've been trying to do with the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and also with their allies is reaffirming U.S. support and trying to provide some sort of confidence or optimism that this funding will get there, even though there continues to be this infighting in Congress.

Now, when it comes to Congress, what we're seeing is that sending aid package, which is just stalled right now because of the two-week recess, then we have bipartisan lawmakers, a small group that is trying to propose funding package that also includes border security provisions. Though, Jim, as you laid out there, we've been down this road before and that didn't pan out. Earlier today we heard Senator Lindsey Graham mentioned that he backs what the House is trying to do here. The small group of bipartisan lawmakers.

Again, I will remind our viewers, we have done this. It didn't go anywhere. And then today, just part of this pressure is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying, quote, "Navalny's tragic death now makes it even more urgent for House Speaker Johnson to pass the national security supplemental. This bipartisan bill currently sits at the feet of Speaker Johnson and Putin is watching.


So that really summarizes the Democratic and White House argument that this needs to be moved. And if it's not, Russia -- it grants Russia a win.

ACOSTA: Yes. All right. Priscilla Alvarez, thank you very much.

Let's discuss more now with Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas. He serves on the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees. He's also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Congressman, great to see you. Thanks so much. How much influence does

Donald Trump have over whether aid gets to Ukraine?

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Well, Donald Trump is the Republican Party, especially in the House of Representatives. If Donald Trump says that he doesn't want a piece of legislation to pass or even to get a vote on the House floor it's obviously not going to get a vote. And that problem really is compounded because you have a very young and junior speaker who had hardly any experience in leadership. And now all of a sudden because of GOP infighting in the House, he's thrust into the main speaker's role and feels very vulnerable. And he is. He can -- there can be a motion to vacate, a motion to remove him with one person asking for it and so he's in a very vulnerable position and doesn't want to cross Donald Trump.

ACOSTA: So can this process get back on track? I mean, there's this new bipartisan plan in the House right now to get aid to Ukrainian. It would also crack down on the border to some extent. Lindsey Graham apparently said it's something he could support. Let's listen to that and talk about it.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I feel very optimistic after having been on the phone all weekend talking with my House colleagues, that there's a way forward regarding the border and Ukraine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You saying this morning that you are a yes vote on the Fitzpatrick House proposal?

GRAHAM: Yes. I am saying that the House proposal, it depends on how its written, makes perfect sense to me.


ACOSTA: Congressman, what do you -- I mean, does this have any chance of going anywhere? What do you think?

CASTRO: Probably not. The House Republicans and the Senate Republicans have been a mile off in terms of their positions. And just to be clear, Jim, I believe we absolutely do should do something to help Ukraine to help them continue to repel the Russian invasion of their country. And the ramifications of Russian success, or Russia winning are immense, are just incredible for the region and really for the world, and for democracy.

So we absolutely should act with urgency. The problem is you've got a Republican Party that's in real turmoil. There's a lot of infighting, a lot of chaos, and just overall ineffectiveness to govern.

ACOSTA: And Congressman, just this past week, we learned that Russia is developing plans for a nuclear space weapon that could destroy satellites. You sit on the Intelligence Committee. I mean you're seeing Russia take this town of Avdiivka in Ukraine, in the Donetsk region. It seems like -- and of course we saw the death of the opposition leader Alexey Navalny just in the last couple of days, it seems like Putin is really on a roll and there's not a whole lot that's stopping it right now including the United States.

CASTRO: Yes. I mean, as you know, I do sit on the Intelligence Committee so I have to take a pass on talking about any kind of classified information, but I will say that Russia continues to be very aggressive militarily in the region and around the world. And they're continuing to develop their military technologies. And so they are absolutely a threat going forward. And we should be doing what we can to help Ukraine and to stop Russia's advancement. They're not just going to go away. Vladimir Putin is not just going to lay down and decide to go away. He's got to be actively repelled.

ACOSTA: And I did want to talk to you about what's happening on the southern border. Governor of Texas Greg Abbott has announced plans for a military base camp near the border town of Eagle Pass to deter migrants. An 80-acre facility that would house as many as 1800 National Guard troops. What was your reaction to that when you heard that?

CASTRO: Well, Greg Abbott's tenure as governor has been marked by incompetence, by corruption and cruelty. And his efforts at the borders so far had been largely ineffective. And at the same time, he's managed to militarize these border cities. And, you know, and so I think he's going to end up spending billions dollars more. He's already spent about $10 billion, or allocated about $10 billion. He's going to spend it as a political show even though it's been largely ineffective.

ACOSTA: I mean, can the state of Texas do this, set up its own military based down at the border? It's almost acting like it's some country.

CASTRO: I would suspect that -- yes. And I would suspect that he's going to lose some of the cases -- Greg Abbott, representing the state of Texas, is going to lose some of the cases that have been brought forward about his ability to unilaterally do some of the things he wants to do on the border that ultimately the United States Supreme Court is going to tell Greg Abbott that he can't do some of those things.


I don't know exactly. I don't know that he's put out exactly what his plans are for this base camp. But remember, he's using these National Guard who never trained for this and still have not been adequately prepared or trained for what he's asking them to do, didn't sign up for it. There have already been 10 National Guard deaths, including some suicides, and he's really abusing their service.

ACOSTA: And Congressman, I do want to ask you, you and I have talked about Israel and Hamas, and I want to ask you about some of the growing tensions in the Democratic Party over this issue. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, one of your fellow progressives, she's urging Democrats to vote uncommitted in her state's primary next week rather than a vote for President Biden. Let's listen to a little bit of this and talk about it on the other side. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): It is also important to create a voting bloc, something that is a bullhorn to say enough is enough. We don't want a country that supports wars and bombs and destruction. If you want us to be louder then come here and vote uncommitted.


ACOSTA: And Congressman, I know you've expressed your concerns about how the Israeli military is conducting itself in Gaza. But as Democrats head into this rematch with Donald Trump, are you concerned about this divide in the Democratic Party, this potential for votes to be siphoned off for American Democrats perhaps to stay home in places like Michigan? All of this stemming over this or from this divide in the Democratic Party over the war between Israel and Hamas.

CASTRO: Yes, I mean, I think if we're speaking realistically there certainly is that potential. There's the potential that young people, young Democrats are not going to come out in the numbers that you need them to to win in close states. So, yes, of course it's a concern. And I have said that I disagree with the way that Benjamin Netanyahu's government is prosecuting this war.

At this point, Jim, you know, they're essentially beating a dead horse, so to speak. They are pulverizing a people who have already been bombarded. Hospitals have been bombarded. Ambulance convoys, people's homes, thousands and thousands of children have died, and the Netanyahu government is made up of several extremists who are pushing this policy.

Benjamin Netanyahu himself has a very selfish incentives to keep the war going because it's clear from polls that the Israeli people were basically done with Benjamin Netanyahu as soon as this war is over. So he's got a very selfish incentive to keep this war going. But in the meantime, while he's doing that, people are suffering, and Israel is not gaining much from the suffering of the Palestinian people.

And the greatest danger to Israel is not Hamas. Hamas obviously committed an atrocious massacre on October 7th. And I believe that they committed war crimes in what they did. At the same time, Hamas does not have a Navy. Hamas doesn't have nuclear weapons. Hamas is not the greatest military threat to Israel. The greatest military threat to Israel is to allow Benjamin Netanyahu to continue doing what he's doing, which would spark a regional war or regional conflict with states like Iran and actors like Hezbollah and the Houthis and others who basically gang up on Israel.

That would also draw the United States into a larger war, and so I support a ceasefire. I support efforts at a peace agreement that brings the hostages back from Gaza to Israel, but so far you've got somebody in Benjamin Netanyahu basically has no incentive to do those things.

ACOSTA: All right, Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas, thanks very much for your time. Appreciate it. CASTRO: Thank you.

ACOSTA: And a quick programming note. Make sure to tune in tonight as Laura Coates examines the case of the United States versus Donald J. Trump, what exactly are the charges, how strong is the evidence. That's "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER" tonight at 8:00 on CNN.

Still ahead, new CNN reporting on how Vice President Kamala Harris is trying to boost her image.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Tonight, new CNN reporting on efforts by Vice President Kamala Harris to boost her image and push the Biden-Harris team to its second term. It comes as Harris continues to face GOP attacks including from presidential candidate Nikki Haley.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My concern is we cannot have Kamala Harris as president. We can't chance this. We have to make sure we win this because the thought of Kamala Harris being president should send a chill up every American can spine.


ACOSTA: CNN's Isaac Dovere is here with more on all of this.

Isaac, even some Democrats have wondered if President Biden is going to replace her or should replace her. It's not -- that's not going to happen.


ACOSTA: But she has been, I guess, speaking out a little bit about how things could be a little bit better inside this reelection campaign.

DOVERE: Yes, and doing it with a series of meetings, sessions, some of it has been on the sidelines of the congressional Christmas party at the White House. Then it was on Air Force Two, at Eva Longoria's house she had a meeting. And a bunch of sessions at the Naval Observatory over dinners or other meetings, trying to sort through what information isn't coming through, what she sometimes refers to as the bubble of the Biden campaign, getting it from the ground. She has said to people that she needs to hear what's going on, and then bring it back to the campaign to bring some changes maybe of how they're going about this.


And for a lot of the people who've been coming into these meetings, they're very glad to have somebody listening. One person who's been in one of these meetings said to me that the bedwetting complaints, that the Biden campaign dismissing --

ACOSTA: So-called bedwetting. Yes, yes.

DOVERE: That there's anything going wrong are wearing thin. And they want somebody to be listening because they're getting pretty panicked about where the campaign is at this point.

ACOSTA: And what does she see as the, you know, solution here? I mean, because she has some ideas. What does she want? What is she trying to get into that bubble?

DOVERE: Well, look, for example, one big focus is on getting black men to be re-engaged with the campaign and connected to the campaign. She talks a lot in these meetings about how she says, I don't think we're going to lose to Donald Trump but we might lose to the couch, to people staying home. Looking about how to engage people.

She's talked to Debbie Dingell, the congresswoman from Michigan, about what's happening with the way Arab-Americans have responded to the situation in Gaza and how they're voting on it. Like you saw with Rashida Tlaib in the last block.

ACOSTA: Right.

DOVERE: Saying not to vote for Biden. This is a big thing that's going on, and all of these are things that she has been talking to people about. Governors in Michigan, in Wisconsin, in Pennsylvania were at the Naval Observatory last Saturday afternoon talking about what to do and what's bringing through. Abortion messaging, immigration and border control, and how that's being talked about.

These are all part of what she feels needs to be a bigger part of how they're orienting what they talked about on the campaign and what they're doing.

ACOSTA: All right, interesting stuff as always from Isaac. Isaac, thank you very much.

DOVERE: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Appreciate it.

Just in to CNN, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the release of hostages in Gaza can be achieved through a strong military action, and quote, "very tough negotiations." He added that there -- even if there isn't any hostage deal, Israel has to finish the job to get, quote, "total victory." This comes as families in the other Middle East hotspot, Israel, traveled to The Hague to file a war crimes complaint against Hamas.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond has that story.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cries of Israeli hostage families rise over yet another city. This time, it's The Hague, the Dutch synonymous with international justice, where they've come to demand Hamas' leaders be charged with war crimes.

After 131 days of their loved ones being held captive, the hostage families have resorted to this, coming in front of the International Criminal Court to demand justice.

(Voice-over): But they know this isn't the final stop in their pursuit of justice.

OFIR BIBAS LEVY, SISTER OF HOSTAGE YARDEN BIBAS: It's another step in our fight to be bring our families back home. And another step in our fight against Hamas.

DIAMOND: Today, that step begins at Israel's international airport where about 100 hostage family members arrived for yet another early morning flight to yet another country. Another day fighting for their loved ones' release.

They arrive carrying signs and wearing shirts and hoodies, bearing the faces of brothers and uncles, daughters and sisters, all captives in Gaza.

SHANI YERUSHALMI, SISTER OF HOSTAGE EDEN YERUSHALMI: She whispered to me, Shani, they caught me.

DIAMOND: Those were Eden Yerushalmi's last words to her sister Shani before the phone line went dead on October 7th. Since then, Shani has been fighting for her sister.

YERUSHALMI: So we're optimistic but, you know, it's been more than four months and what we worried about we all feel that the world will forget about them.

DIAMOND: But aboard this flight, at least they know they are not fighting alone.

YERUSHALMI: It's sad to say but I'm happy, I'm glad that we are not alone in this. That Eden is not the only kidnap.

ODED MOSES, SON OF HOSTAGE GADI MOSES: The circumstance gathered us together. And we meet a lot, and we talk a lot.

DIAMOND: But no amount of camaraderie can assuage a mother's pain.

HAGIT CHEN, MOTHER OF HOSTAGE ITAY CHEN: One hundred and thirty-one days and nights. We cannot breathe. We cannot breathe anymore.

DIAMOND: Or dim the dreams of being reunited with her son Itay, a 20- year-old Israeli soldier who is also a U.S. citizen.

CHEN: I dream about Itay a lot. In my dreams, you know, he's in the Red Cross van waving to me, smiling because always he has a big smile on his face, and he'll say, I'm OK, why are you worried so much? I'm OK.

DIAMOND: But during the trip, it becomes clear that the negotiations that could free the hostages are at an impasse. Frustrations with the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu growing.

CHEN: Until Itay is home it's not enough. Obviously they're not doing enough if Itay is not home after so many days.

MOSES: Negotiations is like a net of lies.


OK, that's our negotiation. Everybody are lying or laying part of the negotiations. No one really can know what happened, but they thought that the priority, as I said.

DIAMOND: In the meantime, the wait is agonizing.

BIBAS LEVY: We're trying to be optimistic, but the longer the days go, it's getting harder and harder.

DIAMOND: The Bibas family still holding out hope that Shiri and her two red-headed boys are alive despite Hamas claiming they were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

BIBAS LEVY: And for Shiri and the boys we act as if what Hamas said never happened. We believe and we have faith that they are still alive and we are still demanding them back.

DIAMOND: For the hostage families, there is power in those demands, and raising their voices together.

CHEN: We have more hope that things will change. We hope to change things for us, for Itay.

DIAMOND: Do you feel the --

CHEN: The power, the energy, the vibes.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Jeremy Diamond, CNN, The Hague, Netherlands.


ACOSTA: Still ahead, Russia is gloating over a major win on the battlefield in Ukraine. It's as the world is watching Vladimir Putin after his top critic died in a Siberian prison. We're breaking it down ahead. Stay with us. You're live in CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Tonight Russia is celebrating after a major win on the battlefield in Ukraine. New video from the key town of Avdiivka shows Russian troops raising their country's flag just hours after Ukrainian forces were forced to retreat there. The eastern town in the Donetsk region has been the focus of intense battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces over the last decade. The defeat comes as Ukraine's forces battle a larger and better equipped Russian military with multiple towns along the frontlines now in danger are falling. You can see it right there.

Let's turn to our panel of experts now. CNN global affairs correspondent and analyst, Kimberly Dozier, and CNN contributor and former CNN Moscow bureau chief Jill Dougherty.

Kim, let me start with you. We were just showing this map a few moments ago. What is the significance of this city falling to Russian forces? And what might be in store next?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the city is pretty much leveled according to reports from there, so they're not gaining much in terms of a town where they can win the hearts and minds. But it will make it easier for them to supply the Donbass region according to Ukrainian military officials. But the general who's now in charge of Ukraine, he was the guy who took so much criticism for holding on to Bakhmut for so long at such great cost in troops lives.

And right now he's gone into conservation mode. Both of ammunition and of those precious boots on the ground. Ukraine is talking about bringing in something like half a million new soldiers to replace losses and so he's got to play it carefully, play it more safely. And that meant giving up Avdiivka and sending a message to the West that their lack of aid is hurting already.

ACOSTA: Yes. I mean, Jill, I mean, is this the moment Putin has been waiting for me? I mean, for so long as we all have been talking about what's been going on in Ukraine, we've been talking about one embarrassing loss after another for Vladimir Putin and Russia. The tide is starting to turn at a critical moment, and the U.S. is just not there helping the Ukrainians right now.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I think Vladimir Putin is emboldened, there's no question. Avdiivka is not -- as Kim was saying, it's not an important town even in the long- range significance of this. But Putin now it looks at Ukraine, the Ukrainians are running, literally running out of ammunition. He looks at the political field within his own country. You know, he's up for reelection in less than a month.

And his main political opponent is out of the way, dead. And then he looks at the U.S. Congress which is continuing with a small group of people stopping it. Not to be able to give the financial help that the Ukrainians need. So at this point, I think, you know, he's -- and judging by the video that we saw a couple of days ago, he's looking pretty happy and again pretty emboldened.

ACOSTA: Yes. And Kim, we know that the Europeans have stepped up and I'm just curious, might that be able to put a band-aid on this until the U.S. and the Congress gets its act together? Or is it -- are we reaching potentially a very dire moment for the Ukrainians? What's your sense of it?

DOZIER: Well, here's the problem. Yes, the Europeans have stepped up. Ukraine is minting deals one-on-one with individual countries, Germany, France, the Baltic nations, all pledging amounts of support. The problem is, it takes them more for than a year, in France, more than a year in Germany, to turn around 155-millimeter artillery shells, one of the main things that are needed on the battlefield.

And the U.S. can turn them out faster and has more supplies of them waiting in the warehouses that can still be sent over. So that's why U.S. support is so crucial. The U.S. still has the lion's share of the supplies that are available right now. But without money budgeted by Congress the Pentagon can't send them to keep.


ACOSTA: Yes, and just to follow up on that, Kim, I mean, help a guy like me or for the viewers out there who just aren't following this day by day and understand the minutia of it, what happened to the talk of the tanks? What happened to the talk of the F-16s and the training of the pilots? Are those things just not happening? Is it just not happening fast enough?

DOZIER: Some of the training is still going on, but those are all things where they were always going to take months, if not more than a year, for instance for the F-16 pilot training to have a result on the battlefield, and those are the kind of strategic things that would have helped if Zelenskyy had them early on, when perhaps he could have -- when Russia was still unprepared and they could have had some massive victories on the battlefield.

But the problem now is Russia has secured its supply lines, and Russia has secured its numbers of troops going in. Russia is four times the size of Ukraine. So it can just keep pouring the bodies in, something Ukraine can't afford to do. And technology was supposed to make up for that disadvantage.

ACOSTA: And Jill, I do want to talk about the death of Alexey Navalny. I mean, all weekend long we've been seeing these arrests taking place in Russia. I mean, I keep coming back to this image and I'm not trying to put the control room on the spot of Russian police shoving this man's face in the snow just for coming out and trying to observe the death of this very popular opposition figure in Russia.

I mean, here it is. We're showing it to our viewers right now. They've been detaining people yet again in Russia simply for trying -- I mean, it's just -- it's astonishing to see this. And the Russians just get away with it. And this is Putin's Russia now. He's in total control.

DOUGHERTY: Yes, those pictures are really shocking. The latest figures that I saw, there are approximately, I think it was about 360, 366 people who've been arrested all across the country. And these -- they're not even protests. These are people who are coming out for the most part with flowers and laying them in various places. And in some cases the police just simply arrest them, detain them. But they're taking photographs, they're taking fingerprints, and in other cases, they are -- they have groups of civilian dressed people who come in and grabbed the flowers.

It's really just a horrible thing to watch. So, you know, that's -- I think the people who are doing this are extraordinarily brave because we already know that if they oppose the war and they were to come out on the streets, they would be in prison very quickly. So even to do this has to -- you know, you have to have bravery to do that.

And I'll tell you, Jim, I've been looking at the social media and there's a lot of anger expressed by those Russians who are saying, you know, it's -- whose streets are these anyway? They're ours.

ACOSTA: Right.

DOUGHERTY: So this is a mood that I think the Kremlin might be worried about.

ACOSTA: Yes. I just have to wonder. We're watching these images here in the United States. Do the Russians, themselves, do the Russian people get to see these images and absorb what they're witnessing? Putin once again clamping down in this fashion just for people wanting to observe the loss of this very charismatic figure.

DOUGHERTY: Well, Jim, if they have VPNs, they can. And some of this is on their phones. You know, so their arrests have seen, no question, because the Russians are the ones who were posting it. So they're getting the message. It's the question of whether, you know, what can they do about it.

ACOSTA: Yes. All right, Kim and Jill, thank you so much. Very troubling weekend on this beat. Thanks a lot for your time.

Still ahead, these three first responders shot and killed during a violent domestic incident in Minnesota. We're learning new details about what happened and we'll tell you about that, next.



ACOSTA: We are learning more about a deadly domestic violence call near Minneapolis overnight. Officials say the unidentified suspect had a gun and had barricaded himself inside this home along with seven children. Two police officers and a firefighter were killed during this incident. The suspect is also dead.

CNN's Camila Bernal has the latest.

Camila, tell us what happened. This is just awful.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It truly is, and this is now a community mourning the loss of three men that they're describing as heroes who made that ultimate sacrifice. And I want to just start with that. The three heroes. It is Officer Paul Elmstrand, 27 years old, Officer Matthew Ruge, 27 years old as well, and the paramedic firefighter Adam Finseth, 40 years old.

Authorities say that what happened here was that they got a call at 1:50 in the morning. It was a domestic situation. It was a man that was armed and had barricaded himself inside a home with seven children. These were children ages 2 to 15. And officers negotiated for quite some time until that suspect opened fire. Authorities saying that he fired from multiple locations, that he had several guns and had a large amount of ammunition at the home.

It's unclear exactly where these officers were killed, at least one was killed inside of the home, but they're still trying to piece together where all the shots came from and where exactly everything happened.


There was another officer who was also injured. He has non-life- threatening injuries, but all of this has left this community and obviously the police department shaken and heartbroken.

I want you to listen to the chief of police and what she said.


CHIEF TANYA SCHWARTZ, BURNSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We are all hurting. Our officers, our fire department, our families, all of our staff, our community. We're heartbroken. We are heartbroken. We are going to need time to be together, please. Our families need time to grieve. They need time to be together. We need you to pray for them.


BERNAL: So as you heard, just extremely emotional as they continue this investigation. Now the suspect was reported dead at around 8:00 in the morning, and the children, that family, they were able to exit the house sometime after that. They are safe. There is no ongoing threat. But there is going to be a vigil later on as this community begins that grieving process -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. And our hearts go out to those families and those first responders out there. Very tough story. All right, Camila Bernal, thank you very much.

Today marks one year since former President Jimmy Carter entered hospice care. The 99-year-old was last seen in public in November following the death of Rosalynn Carter, his wife of 77 years. Carter's grandson, Jason, gave an update about his grandfather's health.


JASON CARTER, GRANDSON OF FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: After a year in hospice, on a daily basis, we have no expectations for his body, but we know that his spirit is as strong as ever.


ACOSTA: The Carter family also released statements saying, "President Carter continues to be at home with his family. The family is pleased that his decision last year to enter hospice care has sparked so many family discussions across the country on an important subject."

It is a very important subject a lot of families deal with and it's tremendous to see how the Carter family has handled it. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


ACOSTA: All right. Here is something that will blow your mind. Take a look at the video on your screen. Beautiful shot of a Victoria crown pigeon. It's the kind of shot most filmmakers can only dream of except it's not real. There is no camera, no bird. The entire thing was generated by artificial intelligence or AI. It's part of a new tool just revealed by OpenAI and CNN's Jon Sarlin is in Los Angeles.

Well, I hope I'm not getting punked it and that is actually a real bird, and we're just being fooled here. But, John, we're just scratching the surface here. You sent me a link about this earlier in the week, this past week. This stuff is mind-blowing.

JON SARLIN, PRODUCER, CNN DIGITAL: It is, Jim. This is exponentially better than anything we've seen from an AI generated videos. So already OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, we've seen what they've done with texts, with ChatGPT. We've seen photos, you know, people create art and photos using AI. We've seen audio, people create deepfake audio that sounds like it.

ACOSTA: Right.

SARLIN: Now we're entering the age where you can create video with a text. We're not there just yet. OpenAI has not released this to the public. Instead, they've released videos like this one of a woolly mammoth. So this is not generated from an existing video.


SARLIN: This is a text prompt, and so we don't have access to this. We just know what AI has put out there. They say you can release videos around 60 seconds long. It can do stylized videos, things that look like animation, like a track or something like that, or realistic videos like one of a gold rush that looks like historical footage that is not real, right?

ACOSTA: Wow. That's not real.

SARLIN: We don't have access to this so we don't know how it can work but the results are astounding.

ACOSTA: Well, how about a news anchor reading the news at 7:00 on a Sunday evening? I mean, you know, if we could do that, too -- you know, or somebody like yourself doing this segment, we can do AI. I mean, we're just scratching the surface of what is possible now with this technology and it's truly extraordinary. Why is OpenAI not releasing this and letting it out of the bag completely?

SARLIN: Right. So they say that they're still working on the safety issues behind it. There are red teams which are researchers who were trying to essentially break it to see how a malicious actor can use it. They're working on things they say like watermarking it because we know with these AI products, bad actors are at the forefront of using them, right? We're seeing a flood of AI generated disinformation, right, with photos, with audio?

Now in this world where you can create video that is imperceptibly fake, right, that has so many consequences. We don't even know what those will be until bad actors get their hands on it, right? And as we've discussed many times on your show, the issue that is so vexing with AI misinformation is that we're so much better right now at creating AI than we are at identifying AI.


SARLIN: So when you see these videos, you know, your eyes are your best tool to see what's fake or not because there is no automated system that you can just upload it and will say fake or not fake.

ACOSTA: Yes. I mean, and we were talking about this in a previous segment with Miles Taylor, who is worried about what this technology could mean for our democracy. I mean, there's that aspect to it, too. I mean, you could have deep fakes of politicians doing things that they didn't do and so on.

SARLIN: Well, think about our colleagues who work to identify and verify video, right?


Newsrooms across the country have newsrooms that are dedicated to this.

ACOSTA: It's great point.

SARLIN: An incredibly difficult and laborious process, right? But when you flood the world with fake videos, think how difficult it is for people, regular people to be able to discern what is real and what is not. That is becoming the central issue for information -- for our new information era.

ACOSTA: All right. Jon Sarlin, my mind is officially blown, although I do know that woolly mammoth, I think they don't exist anymore, right? So that's a good way of knowing, right? If were showing things that don't exist anymore, that's probably a good tip off. But the pigeon there, that one's tough, that one fooled me.

All right, Jon Sarlin, thanks so much. We'll be right back.