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CNN This Morning

Deadly Blast At Al-Maghazi Refugee Camp In Central Gaza; Blinken Meets Palestinian President Abbas In Ramallah; IDF Opens Temporary Evacuation Route To Southern Gaza; U.S. Doubles Down On Opposition To A Ceasefire; Arab Leaders Call For Unconditional, Immediate Ceasefire; Thousands Worldwide Protest Israeli Bombardment Of Gaza; Stanford University Students On Edge After Potential Hate Crimes; "Hostage Situation" At Hamburg Airport In Germany. Israel- Hamas War; Gaza's Dire Situation Worsens, According to Aid Groups; Interview with President of the Palestine Children's Relief Fund Steve Sosebee; Rep. Santos to Run for Reelection Even if Expelled; Inside the World's Only Shielded Underground Blood Bank; Fake and Strange Stories Powered by A.I., According to Source. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 05, 2023 - 07:00   ET



COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: -- with scholarships now at the collegiate level. There's a lot of excitement about that as well. Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young is coaching his daughters, Summer and Laila's high school team, and he told us that he is inspired beyond measure.


STEVE YOUNG, HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK & 3X SUPER BOWL CHAMP: What I will tell you is working with the girls. They are coachable. They listen. They follow direction. If you think about football, football is a dance step. It's a choreography, right? And the choreography they memorize in five seconds where the boys, we tend to take a little bit more time.

The competition is going to be fierce. The expertise is going to be fierce because I can see just in a couple of months, the girls have gotten exponentially better.


WIRE: Awesome stuff. The NFL and each of the 32 teams are investing into women's flag football from supporting local youth leagues to scholarship program. So just think moms and dads out there, your daughters someday can win a gold medal.

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Scholarship. Yes, I'm switching gears. No more soccer. No more tennis. She's going to do flag football.

WIRE: I like it.


WIRE: You got it.

WALKER: Thanks, Coy.

BLACKWELL: Our next hour CNN This Morning starts now.

Good morning to you. CNN This Morning, it is Sunday, November 5th. I'm Victor Blackwell.

WALKER: And I'm Amara Walker. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

And we begin in the West Bank, where Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to meet with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. This is Blinken's first visit to Ramallah since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th. He and Mahmoud Abbas met as violence is surging in the occupied territory and in Gaza.

BLACKWELL: Israel Defense Forces have told civilians to leave northern Gaza. The IDF has opened a safe road for people to leave the city and move south. But one of the refugee camps south of the line where Palestinians have been told to go was hit by a deadly explosion several hours ago. A Palestinian hospital official said more than 50 people were killed. The Israeli military has not commented on whether it targeted the area.

WALKER: CNN's Ed Lavandera is live now from Tel Aviv. Ed, we know that the Secretary of State's visit, Blinken, to the West Bank is coming at a critical time as we're seeing violence escalate there as well.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, right. We'll get to the fighting and the airstrikes that we have seen in the last 12 to 15 hours in a moment, but this unannounced visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken going on this morning as he left Amman, Jordan and making that stop there in the West Bank before coming back here to Tel Aviv.

And this visit is significant because, you know, the Palestinian Authority is a political rival of Hamas. They don't have any real kind of clear political power at this point, but Antony Blinken making the point that the Palestinian Authority could play a role in the future of Gaza.

So, you know, a lot of complicated political realities here that the secretary of state is dealing with, but he also took advantage of the meeting to express his concern for the escalating violence from Israeli settlers toward Palestinians since the October 7th attack there in Israel. 150 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli settlers. So that is an issue that is very tenuous and of great concern for all the players here involved.

But as I mentioned, this visit there in the West Bank, coming as there has been some intense and excruciating firefighting and strikes and blasts that we have seen in the last 12 to 15 hours. One of those blasts occurring just this morning, about 50 feet from a hospital, Israeli military officials have said that they believe that Hamas military fighters used the areas around hospitals as protective cover for their military operations.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society says at least 21 people were injured in that blast. And then last night, significant strike unfolding in an area, as you mentioned, just south of the area where Israeli military officials have been telling Gaza residents to evacuate towards.

So in that strike, we were told by a doctor at the hospital that at least 33 people have been killed. And the video images emerging from that hospital just very painful and difficult to watch. As you see, women and children being brought in there. The lifeless bodies of these women and children being brought into that hospital.

So, the escalation of the strikes and the fighting there in Gaza continues today. Victor and Amara?

WALKER: All right, Ed Lavandera, thank you very much.

The Israeli military's evacuation window for civilians moving to southern Gaza, I think, has closed to 2:00 p.m. local was a time that it was supposed to close and it is just after 2:00 now. But the humanitarian crisis in southern Gaza is just as bad with many civilians running out of food and water and hospitals running on extremely low fuel supply, if they have any left.


In a meeting with the Palestinian Authority president, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the United States commitment to deliver lifesaving aid to Gaza.

BLACKWELL: And after reports that Hamas was blocking foreign nationals from crossing into Egypt, U.K. officials say that more than 100 Britons have now successfully evacuated through the Rafah crossing.

CNN's Becky Anderson joins us now from Doha, Qatar. Becky, what's the latest that you're hearing?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well Qatar are vitally involved in the mediation, not just that these hostage talks, I'll come to that in a moment, but also of the evacuation of foreign nationals and injured civilians through that Rafah crossing.

Let's remember, those evacuations were agreed to and started last Tuesday and hundreds of people have now been able to evacuate. 700 were expected to move through that Rafah crossing yesterday. But as you rightly point out, according to U.S. officials, Hamas yesterday blocked the access to that crossing and the opening of that crossing, and they control it on the Gaza side.

Because they say ambulances were bombed -- bombed specifically, directly bombed by Israeli airstrikes yesterday. That's Hamas is positioned. Israel, of course, has been saying that they fear that Hamas is using those ambulances to transport wounded soldiers.

So we were just at a press briefing with the Qatar Prime Minister. And I spoke to his adviser afterwards about what is going on at that Rafah crossing. I mean, he's very specific about saying that the bombing of ambulances where at least the free access and safe corridors for ambulances to get people to that crossing, the wounded civilians was absolutely part of that agreement.

And he said whilst seeing those evacuations start just less than a week ago was a very bright spot in what has been a very gloomy month. He's concerned now about when and to a certain extent, if those evacuations will continue, this is what he told me.


MAJED AL-ANSARI, SPOKESPERSON, QATARI MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: We do understand that there are a lot of difficulties on the ground here that will not allow for this positive point to continue. But we are hopeful that we will see more opening of this crossing, and we will see more people coming out as soon as possible.

I can't give you a timeline, Becky, I'm sorry, but I can tell you that we are working on it with our partners, especially in Egypt, and doing all that we can to make sure that this channel resumes.


ANDERSON: I also asked Majed Al-Ansari about the status of these hostage negotiations, more than 240 hostages being held in Gaza. Many of those are being held by Hamas. Qatar at the heart of those mediation efforts which have sort of ebbed and flowed. This is what he told us about where those negotiations stand at present.


AL-ANSARI: While we do acknowledge the difficulties that we have in this negotiation, they are still ongoing. And we are -- we remain steadfast in our commitment to handle this mediation in the best way possible. We are continuing to reach out to all points of contact, to all parties in order to see how we can have this materialized.

But, obviously, any hostage release has to be linked to a period of calm that allows for the hostage release to happen, which is something that we have not been seeing for a while now.


ANDERSON: These talks are linked to a period of calm, he said, and that is something we haven't seen for a while. And we know that is really important. That's at the heart of these negotiations. Israel has been absolutely categoric in saying it will not accept a ceasefire despite the pressure from around this region of the Middle East, not supported, as we know, as of yet out loud by the Americans.

They say they will not implement a ceasefire until those hostages are released. As far as those involved in the negotiations are concerned, until there is some sort of pause, at least significant pause on the ground. They believe, according to their mediation efforts with Hamas, we won't see the release of those hostages.


Ongoing is a good term used by the adviser there in Qatar, as far as these talks are concerned. But it does seem as if they are very, very, very hard going and extremely complicated. Guys?

BLACKWELL: Becky Anderson for us there in Doha. Becky, thank you for that reporting.

Let's take it now to former State Department negotiator for the Middle East, Aaron David Miller. Aaron, good morning to you. I want to get to the ceasefire, humanitarian pause talk in just a moment. But let's start with the Blinken-Abbas meeting that happened. We don't have a full readout yet, but a scheduled meeting last month was canceled after the bombing outside the hospital at that point, the thought was or the accusation was it the IDF.

The U.S.-Israel now have released information and detail showing that it was Islamic Jihad. The significance of this meeting now and what is there to expect out of it?

AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT NEGOTIATOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST: First of all, Victor, thanks for having me. Look, I think the administration is trying to fill in the frame that they created when this crisis began, which appeared to put them exclusively in Israel's corner.

Over the last several weeks, I think you've seen the administration talk more about Palestinian interest, their needs, two-state solution, the importance of minimizing Israeli strikes against Hamas that caused large numbers of Palestinian civilian deaths, which it has.

And Abbas, however, weak and feckless he may be in the 18th year of a four-year term, still is the only address. And if the administration wants to do anything post-conflict Gaza, they're going to need to legitimize revitalized. And I think that's the word the secretary used, Palestinian Authority.

So this surprise, unannounced visit I think is meant to demonstrate that in American eyes, at least, perhaps not in the eyes of many Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas still has relevance.

The other point is on settler violence. The president has spoken about this. Secretary spoken about it. And I think, in fact, Lincoln (ph) now has a commitment from Netanyahu to kind of quash these efforts by vigilantes in the U.S. bank, which has already led to the deaths of numerous Palestinians.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Let's talk about the calls for a ceasefire here across the U.S. And CNN's reporting is that there's an acknowledgment within the Biden administration that there are weeks, not months, until rebuffing the pressure to publicly call for a ceasefire will be untenable. You've written recently that Biden's default position is not to confront the Israeli prime minister, but to accommodate where he can. More than calling for a ceasefire, first, you agree with the timeline there, and second, do you expect that there will be real pressure from the U.S. on Netanyahu that we have not seen?

MILLER: Well, the real question is form follows function, right? What do the Israelis get in return for a ceasefire? And let's be clear, we're not talking here about a humanitarian pause for localized areas for six, eight, 10, 12 hours. If you're talking ceasefire, what the Arab states clearly want, is a indirect negotiated ceasefire, which would presumably put the conflict on hold, or perhaps end it.

So the question is, what is the quid for the quo here. The Israelis want the release of all the hostages. And I suspect that Hamas may be willing to trade the foreign hostages for a cessation of hostilities. But imagine the Israeli predicament, foreign hostages are released, majority of hostages being held out of Israel is they're not going to be released because Hamas is going to continue to keep them as an insurance card to play these games as the weeks go by.

I don't know about the question whether or not we're talking about a matter of days or weeks here. I think the Israelis have a much longer timeframe in mind if they're going to actually eradicate Hamas' military capacity. We're talking months.

BLACKWELL: Do you think that a ceasefire, and again, that a ceasefire would something that would be negotiated to include Hamas? And then you'd have to consider Islamic Jihad and other militant groups as well firing rockets into Israel, that that is even realistic, that for all the calls of a ceasefire, that you'd have a bilateral or multilateral deal of a cessation of hostilities, even for a defined window?

MILLER: I don't, Victor. I mean, again, the frame here is October 7. The savagery 1,400 Israelis killed. I don't want to minimize the huge, exponential number of Palestinians that have killed in Gaza. But that frame is driving both current Israeli government and, in many respects, it's driving the president.


And he's caught, I think, between his emotional commitment and what he and Tony Blinken already said that Hamas must be eradicated and its sovereignty ended in Gaza. Going to be very hard, it seems to me, certainly the Israelis, but even for the Biden administration, to retreat from those goals. So they really are in a bind.

And right now, they're cul-de-sac if you will. And I don't think there's any way out, at least for now.

BLACKWELL: Aaron David Miller, always good to have your insight. Thanks so much.

WALKER: Still ahead, Republican Congressman George Santos, who faces 23 federal charges, including counts of wire fraud and money laundering, says he plans to run for reelection next year, even if he is expelled from Congress.

And Microsoft's attempt to add AI generated news is causing a lot of backlash this week. More on that when we come back.


WALKER: Across the world, thousands took to the streets to show support for Palestinians and protest Israel's bombardment of Gaza.


In Paris, Indonesia, Berlin and Washington, D.C., people gathered. Many carrying Palestinian flags and signs calling for the violence to end. Since the start of the war, almost 10,000 people have died in Gaza, that is according to the Hamas controlled health ministers there. Many of them were civilians.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Free, free Palestine.

ALL: Free, free Palestine.


BLACKWELL: One of the largest crowds took over freedom by the National Mall in Washington. More than 450 organizations endorsed the march and multiple organizers directly addressed President Biden. Here's CNNs Gabe Cohen.

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, thousands of protesters marched through Washington and ended up here at the White House after that huge rally just a few blocks away at Freedom Plaza. Hours of speakers who called for an end to the bombings and the ground operations in Gaza, but also demanding that the White House and President Joe Biden call for a ceasefire, and end it's unequivocal support for Israel, saying that it could be a serious political issue for the president in 2024 if he does not call for that ceasefire.

Here's what some of those protesters told me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My message to President Biden is I voted for you and I regretted.

COHEN: Will you vote for him in 2024?


RIBHI, PROTESTER: I'm not going to vote for him. I'm not going to vote for him. Because he is supporting Israel. He's asking for $13 billion to do more killing of the Palestinian people.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COHEN: Now organizers told me they hoped this would be the largest free Palestine rally in U.S. history. And while I can't confirm that, I can tell you it's the largest one I have seen here in Washington since the war began last month.

WALKER: And students at Stanford University say they are on edge after a string of potential hate crimes that have happened since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

BLACKWELL: The school in California says the latest potential hate crime involved driver who hit an Arab-Muslim student and then took off. Here's CNNs Camila Bernal.


FARIS BDAIR, STANFORD UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I've been feeling sad. I've been feeling anxious. I've been feeling worried.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is how Faris Bdair says he and others are feeling as Palestinian-Americans, as Muslims and as students at Stanford University.

BDAIR: It's scary that this kind of hate can happen in a place where I'm supposed to feel at home.

BERNAL (voice-over): Fear as a result of what he believes are hate crimes. The University's Department of Public Safety now investigating five incidents since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war. Four appear to have targeted Arab students, while one was reported as antisemitic vandalism. The most recent potential hate crime incident happening Friday. The university says it was an apparent hit and run crash involving an Arab-Muslim student on campus.

BDAIR: It's hard to fathom that that could even take place. And the problem is not only could it take place, it's now a reality that we all have to live with.

BERNAL (voice-over): In a statement, the university saying that "Stanford considers anti-Arab and Islamophobic acts to be abhorrent". The incident is now being investigated by the California Highway Patrol. The university also said "The driver is reported to have made eye contact with the victim, accelerated and struck the victim, and then driven away while shouting "f you and your people" out the lowered window of the vehicle."

BDAIR: The fact that it's so quickly already turned into something of this magnitude is again scary.

BERNAL (voice-over): Other incidents included a group of students being shoved, a student being spat on, and someone running over a tote bag which contained a computer and other valuables.

BDAIR: What's going on abroad shouldn't have an impact on the health and the lives of students on the campus in a country thousands of miles away. BERNAL (voice-over): In the antisemitic incident reported, a mezuzah, adorning the door of a Jewish student was removed from their residence. In a statement, the school said, "This removal of a sacred religious symbol is deemed a form of intimidation targeting the Jewish community."

Overall, groups representing students on both sides say they're concerned about these incidents, and students like Bdair say they worry about the future.

BDAIR: We have to be constantly alert. We have to be constantly on edge. And it's exhausting having to watch over your shoulder 24/7.

BERNAL (voice-over): Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles


WALKER: All right. Still ahead, a deal to resolve. The Hollywood actor and writer strike could be eminent. Details ahead.



BLACKWELL: SAG-AFTRA, the union representing 150,000 Hollywood actors may be inching closer to reaching a deal with major studios. A source tells CNN that striking actors are considering a proposal presented to them yesterday described by major studios as their last best and final offer. Actors had been on strike since July which is more than 100 days.

Right now, flights in Hamburg Airport in Germany are suspended because of a hostage situation. Police described as a family drama. A Hamburg police spokesperson says a man crashed his car through security barriers at the airport and managed to maneuver it and park underneath an airplane. Last night it happened with this 4-year-old daughter inside.

The man's wife had previously warned police that her child was missing. Now police are asking people not to travel to the airport as negotiations with the suspects are continuing.

WALKER: Hospital officials in central Gaza say a blast at a refugee camp killed dozens of people. The IDF says it's looking into the circumstances. around the explosion. Humanitarian groups say the situation in Gaza is growing more dire by the second. The Palestinian Red Cross -- Red Crescent, I should say, says more than 400 aid trucks have now entered Gaza. But aid workers say that is still not enough.

Joining us now is Steve Sosebee. He's the president of the Palestine Children's Relief Fund. Welcome Steve and thank you for joining us. Your organization is based in Ohio, and as I understand it, it provides medical aid to children. It has been doing so since 1991 there in Gaza. What is the situation right now with the medical aid that you have? How much aid has gotten in, is getting in, versus what you would typically get in before the war? STEVE SOSEBEE, PRESIDENT, THE PALESTINE CHILDREN'S RELIEF FUND: Yes, well, generally before the war, we were sending medical teams on a regular basis into Gaza. In fact, we've -- we had two doctors there when the closure happened and we just got them out last week. But even prior to that, we were sending in volunteer medical teams and surgery teams into Gaza on a weekly basis.

We had pediatric orthopedic teams going in. We had pediatric cardiac surgery teams from Italy going into Gaza before the closure happened to save the lives of these kids who are not getting adequate care due to the underdeveloped health sector. Now, of course, all of that has stopped. Nobody's entering Gaza and the health crisis on the ground there has gotten much worse.

As you know, there's been thousands of children killed, thousands -- many more thousands injured with severe injuries. We've seen these pictures. Our staff are documenting them for the possibility of helping these kids get out for treatment in the future. But right now, the crisis and the health sector is so -- it's just deteriorated to the point where the entire health sector is collapsing due to the lack of fuel, medical supplies, medical equipment, hospitals being closed, doctors being exhausted, nurses being exhausted. It's just a complete humanitarian disaster.

And organizations like ours which are set up to provide development in the health sector and humanitarian relief are unable to provide those services because of the situation on the ground.

WALKER: Yes. So, let me ask you more about that because you said two doctors were able to get out of Gaza last week. Do you still have any staff members and doctors in Gaza right now helping these children?

SOSEBEE: We have 40 staff in Gaza. We have three offices. One of our offices was bombed two weeks ago, and their jobs are as field workers and humanitarian aid workers to deliver aid in these type of emergency situations. But there's no aid to deliver. The inability to get aid in -- I mean, with -- from outside, there are no medical supplies, food, clothing, water.

Generally, we would be shipping this in a -- in large amounts. But because of the very strict controls at the border, only a very small amount of aid is actually getting in. This is true for all aid organizations. We're all handcuffed at this time because of the restrictions at the border and getting aid in.

WALKER: So, can you tell me about their work right now? Then how many children are under the care of your staff? And how are they getting by day to day? What are the conditions of these children?

SOSEBEE: The conditions are extremely worrisome to say the least. We have a cancer department that we opened. We opened the first cancer department for children in Gaza in 2019. And we have -- that department is full of kids and their families who are seeking refuge. Those kids are trying to get the basic treatment to avoid going out of remission. Some of these kids are on the path to full recovery. Now, they're on risk of relapsing and back into cancer because they're not able to get adequate treatment, medication and support. And they're stuck in Gaza City. We'd like to get them out into treatment centers outside of Gaza, in Egypt, in Jordan, for example. But because the -- Gaza is now surrounded, there's no way for them to escape and we're hoping that there will be a pause, that these patients can go south to the border and be able to be transferred out for medical care outside.

WALKER: They're stuck in Gaza City, that's interesting to hear, and sad, obviously, because there was, what the IDF announced as a safe corridor, you know, telling people to continue to evacuate south. Of course, the criticism has been, well, nowhere really is safe. We've seen, you know, structures being, you know, struck south of Gaza City. Why, did they not evacuate earlier? Was it just a, you know, hardship on these young children?

SOSEBEE: No, we've seen announcement that there's a safe corridor and then those safe corridors are being bombed. Just two days ago in al- Rashid Road, which is the coastal road, there are two roads out of Gaza City South, there's Salah al-Din Street and there's al-Rashid Road, that people that were seeking to escape from Gaza City and head south were killed on that road, and that's been documented.

So, we don't want to put our kids in danger unless there's a clear announcement and a passageway that's been declared safe by the United Nations, by the Israeli military, and the United States and all combatants on the ground that enables these innocent children with cancer to cross the military lines and head south, that we're not going to put their lives in danger. Their lives are already in danger.

WALKER: Yes. No, I completely understand. Well, we will stay in touch with you and we do hope for the best. Steve Sosebee, thank you.

SOSEBEE: Thank you.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: Coming up, indicted Republican Congressman George Santos says that he plans to run for re-election next year even if he's expelled from Congress. That's next.



WALKER: Indicted Congressman George Santos says he still plans to run for his seat in 2024 even if he is expelled from Congress. Santos faces 23 federal charges, including identity theft, wire fraud, and money laundering. He is also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

BLACKWELL: Chief Congressional Correspondent and anchor of "Inside Politics Sunday", Manu Raju joins us now. Good to see you, Manu. So, you spoke with the congressman, a pretty wide-ranging interview. What did he tell you?

[07:40:00] MANU RAJU, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY AND CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we talked about a whole wide range of things, including all those charges that he is facing in this 23- count criminal indictment. He has denied any wrongdoing. We talked in depth about some of those issues. We also talked about the possibility that he could become the sixth member ever in the history of the United States House member to be expelled from his House seat.

Now, he beat back a resolution last week because he has not been convicted. His trial has not happened yet. Unclear what will happen if he ultimately gets convicted. And also, the House Ethics Committee has not formally finished its probe into George Santos. All the allegations from his past, his conduct during his campaign. But the House Ethics Committee plans to announce its findings by the end of next week, at that point George Santos could potentially be expelled.

Now, we also -- he said that if he gets -- not gets expelled, he's running for re-election. And I also asked him about all the fabrications of his past. The lies that he has admitted to. I asked him, why did you continue to lie even after these -- even after he was caught on some of these issues? Why did he fabricate key portions of his life?


RAJU: When you acknowledge, though, fabricating large portions of your life. So, why did that -- I'm just wondering -- people want to know why. Why did you do it?

REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): Manu, Manu, we've gone through this. I've gone through this on Piers Morgan.

RAJU: Sure.

SANTOS: I've gone through this with Erin Burnett.

RAJU: But it's still a question.

SANTOS: Look, I get it.

RAJU: It's still a question.

SANTOS: How about we talk -- look, we are all -- we know all the things we did.

RAJU: Look, can you just answer me? But why? But why?

SANTOS: I've already told you this. It's insecurity. Stupidity. I don't know. Look, I'm human. We make mistakes. I've apologized, and I will continue to apologize profusely for this and with remorse. I -- look, I am the first one to jump and say, I messed up.


RAJU: So, I asked him, how could he possibly run for his seat again given the fact that he has lost so much support within the Republican Party, within his New York delegation. He's unpopular in his district. There are these questions about those lies. He's facing these criminal charges. And he said that he's a different type of Republican because he said he's not a party guy.


SANTOS: That was always, in some way, disconnected from the GOP because I've only been doing politics for four years. I came out of nowhere. I said, I want to do this. AOC can do it. AOC was my inspiration. Most people don't know that.

You know, I thought, like, she's a right -- I always thought like you need not to be a Kennedy, a Bush or a Clinton to be in politics. Didn't Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is -- I'm like, look, she's a scrappy girl. She's from where I'm from. I'm like, let's do this. I think if she proved that everybody can do this, no matter right or left.


RAJU: But this is a key time for Santos and the GOP. If it does come to the point of him getting expelled, it would require a two thirds majority of the House to get to that point. And if he is kicked out of that seat, it could potentially shrink the already narrow Republican majority. So, we get into all those issues in my sit down with him. But he makes clear, he says that he made mistakes. He blames it on stupidity about his lies. He denies wrongdoing, even as we talk in detail about many of those charges. He plans to go to trial. And the question also, will he accept a plea deal? We talked about that issue as well in my interview, in my sit down with him.

WALKER: Manu, I really like the -- you know, hands in the air why? And, you know, really, because I think it's channeling the sentiment --

BLACKWELL: People are wondering why?

WALKER: -- the exasperation that people feel when we hear his story and his responses over and over.

BLACKWELL: Manu Raju. Thank you so much. And be sure to see Manu's full interview later this morning on "Inside Politics Sunday", 11:00 a.m., eastern, right here on CNN. Quick break, and we will be back.



WALKER: Israel's blood supply has become a critical resource during wartime. Often times it can be the difference between life and death.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Wolf Blitzer visited what is believed to be the only shielded underground blood bank in the world, where the country's entire blood supply is tested and processed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR AND "SITUATION ROOM" HOST (voiceover): On the surface, it looks like an ordinary office building, but it's what lies beneath that makes this facility one of a kind.

PROF. EILAT SHINAR, DIRECTOR, MDA NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE DIVISION: You can't really live without blood, and there's no artificial blood.

BLITZER (voiceover): Just outside of Tel Aviv, nearly 50 feet below ground lies what is believed to be the world's only shielded underground blood bank.

SHINAR: All the blood comes here, and we process it.

BLITZER (voiceover): Israel's entire blood supply is processed and tested here at the Marcus National Blood Services Center operated by Israel's Magen David Adom.

SHINAR: The whole idea of this place is because we built it in a shelter. So, we are now actually in a shelter, under convention.

BLITZER: Deep below the ground.

SHINAR: Yes, yes.

BLITZER: Because this presumably would be a major target for Israel's enemies.

SHINAR: Absolutely. And we were very concerned about the people, poor, and the blood, of course, the blood inventory. So, in the case of siren now or rockets attack, we are all protected. It's a shelter.

BLITZER (voiceover): The organization actually moved into the building on October 9th, just days after the Hamas terror attacks. It is now more vital than ever in a country at war.

SHINAR: We distribute blood all -- to all the hospitals and to the army. When we evacuate a patient, either the civilian or the military ambulances or helicopters, they get blood on the way to the hospital already provided by us.

BLITZER (voiceover): There are three levels underground. Each level, more secure than the next, and all designed to operate even if there is a direct attack. On the first level, they sort, label, and test the blood.

SHINAR: So, we are now in the testing laboratory, which we call the megalab. The idea is that we put the -- all the tubes in here, and everything is automated. It's like hands off.

BLITZER: So, this is the state-of-the-art technology.

SHINAR: Absolutely. Absolutely. Then the results are transmitted to the main computer system, to both the file of the unit and the file of the donor. So, here you can see they're waiting for their turn, and once they can go on, they'll go in. BLITZER (voiceover): The center handles more than blood. They also handle plasma. Plasma is used to increase volume when someone has lost a lot of blood. It is stored frozen.


BLITZER: It's cold.

SHINAR: Too cold, minus 30 degrees.

BLITZER: So cold.

BLITZER (voiceover): Running all of this requires electricity, which is why the lowest level is key to the operation.

BLITZER: So, where are we going now?

SHINAR: Now, we are going to the minus three, the most protected place in the building.

BLITZER: The lowest level. So, we'll be deep underground?

SHINAR: We should be at the deepest.

BLITZER: So, if the enemy of Israel were launching rockets or bombs and hit on the top, people in this building would be safe.

SHINAR: Absolutely. It's also --

BLITZER: The whole building is like a bomb shelter?

SHINAR: And the blood would be safe.


SHINAR: Everything that we do will be safe.

BLITZER: The blood would not be destroyed.

BLITZER (voiceover): The power for the whole operation is protected by enormous blast doors that are some of the largest in Israel.

MOSHE NOYOVICH, PROJECT DIRECTOR, MARCUS NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICES CENTER: In emergency, when we get an alert from the IDF, we close the blast doors.

BLITZER (voiceover): Professor Shinar says this facility is so deep underground it can withstand a chemical attack, poison gas or biological attack. Protecting lifesaving blood and plasma for a country at war.

BLITZER: We're very deep below the ground.


BLITZER: So, it's very secure, God forbid, if a bomb came -- SHINAR: Absolutely.

BLITZER: -- this would be fine.

SHINAR: Yes, and you can watch the window. We talked about windows, OK?


SHINAR: The outer window is a shelter window, which we closed.

BLITZER: So, it's still secure.

SHINAR: Yes, in peacetime, we can open it so daylight can come in.

BLITZER: This is not peacetime now.

SHINAR: Absolutely.



BLACKWELL: Wolf Blitzer reporting for us.

We'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: Critics say, Microsoft is making a mess of the news after sources say they replaced their news editing staff with A.I.

WALKER: Now, fake and bizarre stories are showing up on Microsoft's homepage,, where millions get their news every single day. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has the story.


FERRIS KAWAR, MICROSOFT USER: It felt like I was standing in line at the grocery store reading a "National Enquirer", you know, front page.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Ferris Kuwar is talking about Microsoft's homepage, also known as It's among the top visited news websites in the U.S. and around the world.

RYN PFEUFFER, FORMER CONTRACTED EDITOR, MICROSOFT: It's absolutely a huge site. It's -- you know, installed on a lot of machines that come with Windows software on it, so people sometimes get that as a default as their news source.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): But over the last few months, bizarre and false stories have begun appearing on False claims that President Biden fell asleep during a moment of silence after the Maui wildfire, an obituary that called a late NBA player useless. And a false story claiming a California politician had resigned after attacks by Elon Musk.

PFEUFFER: You had to be responsible in what you put on the site because so many people would read it and could be swayed by it.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): Ryn Pfeuffer was a contracted editor at Her job involves selecting stories from news outlets across the world to feature on Microsoft's site. She was one of more than 800 editors employed by Microsoft as of 2018.

PFEUFFER: I was there on and off for eight years before I got laid off to be replaced by A.I.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): But in 2020, Ryn and her colleagues were told they were losing their jobs. CNN obtained a recording of the call announcing the layoffs. Editors at Microsoft, they were told, were being replaced by A.I. automation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of full steam ahead for automating all of the content.

O'SULLIVAN: Did you ever think you'd have a situation where you'd be replaced by A.I.?

PFEUFFER: No, not in a million years, but here we are.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): MSN has agreements with major news organizations, including CNN, that allows it to put their reporting on its site. But recently, fringe right wing sites have been featured prominently on its homepage, including headlines like these attacking President Biden.

PFEUFFER: Seeing what I'm seeing here with MSN is just scary to me. Like, that can translate to tangible votes.

KAWAR: If they're going to have a front page that is all about news, then they should take that responsibility seriously and understand that it has implications for society.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): After his computer's software updated, Ferris Kawar's default homepage changed to Microsoft, that's when he began to notice something strange.

KAWAR: I think Microsoft is a fairly trustworthy company. I don't think of them as political in any way. The content that was being pushed definitely skewed to the right.

PFEUFFER: Bidenomics proved Joe Biden is a buffoon, from American "Insider". Yes, that would not have been there before.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): Ryn Pfeuffer said, she believes this is all happening because Microsoft replaced editors with A.I.

PFEUFFER: I'm still appalled that they have these websites that seem like fronts. Like -- that are not legit news sources pumping out this information on the homepage.

BRAD SMITH, PRESIDENT, MICROSOFT: Let's keep A.I. under the control of people. It needs to be safe.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): But Microsoft won't say how many people it has in control of its news A.I. Ryn said, the editors who worked on her team, who were hired through a subcontractor were all laid off.

KAWAR: What's the most important thing that our society needs to know at this point in our history where an editor, a human, can make those determinations and it really concerns me that A.I. is being used.

O'SULLIVAN (voiceover): On Tuesday, "The Guardian" newspaper wrote to Microsoft President Brad Smith to express its concerns about Microsoft's use of A.I. Microsoft published a story from "The Guardian" about Lillie James, a 21-year-old who was found dead in Sydney, Australia.