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Michael Herzog is Interviewed about Humanitarian Issues; Robert Kraft is Interviewed about Combatting Anti-Semitism; Biden's New Poll Numbers. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 06, 2023 - 08:30   ET





HERZOG: You are talking about the cause (ph) that's designed to allow time for the release of hostages. We are all in. most of our - the hostages are Israelis. So, we are the major stakeholders in that. If you're talking about humanitarian solutions, we are anyway wrapping up humanitarian assistance into Gaza. As I said, today we intend to send in 130 truckloads. And we'll increase the number. If you're talking about the ceasefire, the answer is no, because we will not stop until we destroy the Hamas war machine and disable them from attacking us again and again.

Let me remind you and all of our viewers that on October 6th there was a ceasefire.


I do -- I want to ask you, because I think one of the questions has been the -- as this face of the offensive continues, our counteroffensive, however you want to frame it, the -- it will be a particularly difficult urban combat. Do you believe that house-to- house, door-to-door, going into tunnels types of fighting, that the Israeli people are prepared for what that will entail, including the potential deaths of IDF forces?

HERZOG: Our ground operation is well-planned and well-calculated. It doesn't mean necessarily that we have to go from house to house. I think we have well-developed tactics to deal with the tunnels and with the terrorists.

Gaza is the biggest terror complex on the globe. You have over 500 kilometers of tunnels, not shelters for the population, but tunnels for the command and control, for the leaders, and for the rockets. We have tens of thousands of rockets, tens of thousands of armed people, and we have to uproot this infrastructure. And we are doing it slowly, carefully. And I can say that until now our ground operation is effective. From all of our encounters, we have overwhelmed them and we can do it. MATTINGLY: Mr. Ambassador, one more before I let you go. "Axios" is

reporting that in order for the U.S. and the Senate to sign off on a weapons purchase made by Israel related to rifles, there was a commitment given, I believe your name is mentioned, that those rifles would not be given to civilian teams in the West Bank. Can you confirm that?

HERZOG: The rifles that we are talking about, and we are purchasing, these rifles in the U.S., are meant to be given to emergency unit, which are basically police units.


HERZOG: And they carry police mutation (ph). There was a long process between us and the administration, making sure that we comply with the U.S. law and with policy requirements, and we satisfied their questions and that's how we got the license. That's all I can say.

MATTINGLY: Ambassador Michael Herzog, we appreciate your time, sir. Thank you.

HERZOG: Thank you very much.

HARLOW: Well, the number of anti-Semitic attacks is rising around the world. The FBI director warns the number has increased to historic levels. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is spearheading an effort to counter that hate, and he joins us next.

MATTINGLY: And the president's campaign downplaying new polls that show Biden falling behind in important swing states that he won in 2020. One of President Obama's senior advisers is questioning whether Biden running is in his best interest or the country's. David Axelrod is going to join us ahead.




GILLAD ERDAN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We are on the brink of a catastrophe, even here in the United States. We see now thousands of people chanting death to Israel, death to the Jews.

This is truly unacceptable, this situation right now. And as I said, we are on the brink of a catastrophe. Any moment we might see a terror attack against a Jewish community here in the United States.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: That was Israel's ambassador to the United Nations warning about the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. It is a call that has been echoed by leaders in the wake of Hamas' terror attack on October 7th.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress last week anti-Semitism is reaching historic levels.



CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: The Jewish community is uniquely - uniquely targeted by pretty much every terrorist organization across the spectrum. And when you look at a group that makes up 2.4 percent, roughly, of the American population, it should be jarring to everyone that that same population accounts for something like 60 percent of all religious-based hate crimes.


HARLOW: The Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. have risen nearly 400 percent since October 7th.

Our next guest, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, is spearheading an effort to counter that hate. In 2019, Kraft started the foundation to combat anti-Semitism. And you're looking now at a new add that they've put out. It is part of a $25 million campaign, launched earlier this year, called "Stand Up to Jewish Hate."

Robert Kraft joins us this morning.

Robert, thank you very much for being here.

I should note, you're sitting in the command center where your team at the foundation tracks all of the hate incidents that are happening. Do you agree with what we just heard the Israeli ambassador to the U.N. say, that we are on the brink of a catastrophe in the United States?

ROBERT KRAFT, OWNER/CHAIRMAN/CEO, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Well, it -- it's really disheartening to see what's going on in this country. You know, when I started this foundation four years ago, I saw signs in this country of what was going on in Germany in the '30s. And that's why we started the foundation to try to educate and help all people understand that we have to stand up to Jewish hate, but all hate. And we've tried to do that through a sense of commercials. And if we don't do a good job controlling it, I think hate leads to violence.


And what we're seeing going on in this country now is really scary to me. And it's something we want to work very hard to try to prevent.

HARLOW: One of the approaches you take that I think is interesting and different is you try to reach non-Jewish audiences, but you say some of the approaches are too academic or two adversarial. Your team is trying to use empathy. How do you teach people not to hate in a moment like this?

KRAFT: Well, I don't know if you've seen any of our ads. We had a group of adds that went out over nine weeks. And we reached two-thirds of the American public, seven to ten times. And, you know, this is the greatest country in the world. I know

myself, I went to school on a scholarship. I was able to live my dream. I want to keep it that way.

And I see things that are going on internally that are changing it. And that's why we started this foundation, to try to educate people, good people in America. Most people are good.

But when you start seeing hate and it starts with Jewish hate, there'll be hate against all minorities.


KRAFT: You're next. And I just think of, you know, what's going on with Hamas and what -- that's a terrorist organization, that in their charter, calls for the eradication of Israel and all Jewish people, wherever they are in the world. And then, also, all infidels. And to see the kind of support they're getting, it's really disheartening to me. And I think a lot of that is what's going on, on social media.


KRAFT: You know, 25 percent of social media are bots. And there's a lot of misinformation that young people are taking in and believing, and we have to push against that.

HARLOW: You know, in fact, in this new add that we've been - when playing for folks, it says, hate moves faster. And I believe you guys are talking about that. Can you address specifically what you're seeing happen on TikTok, and how worried you are about that for hate and spreading it?

KRAFT: Well, yes, we've seen statistics that show us that 25 percent of all the data that's coming out through there are bots. And then it is being re-posted by another 25 percent. So that you've get 50 percent of what's being spread is lies and not accurate. And young people, unfortunately, are believing. And they're very sophisticated. They've done a good job. But these are bad people. These are terrorists. These are people who cut off babies' heads in front of mothers and do things -- just think about, if Mexico came here and went to one of our music festivals and killed people and raped women and paraded them on the street, beheaded the little babies, how would we accept that? And these people -- people are out on the streets marching in support of that?

HARLOW: Well, I think -

KRAFT: It's just a lack of education.


KRAFT: And we have to do a better job educating.

HARLOW: Yes. And we should note the difference between supporting the Palestinian people, right, and supporting Hamas. I -- Robert, you're wearing the - you're wearing the blue square. And

that is a symbol of fighting all hate. You're a powerful voice in this conversation and I wonder if you could share with people your own experience. I know it was when you were young, with anti-Semitism, what you went through.

KRAFT: Yes. Well, I had people who didn't want to do business with me. They thought I had horns in my head. They never met someone from my background. And, you know, it just allows you to work harder.

I mean think of people with different skin color or people of different religions. They've all experienced it. And when hate goes in one direction, it doesn't stop. I mean you're next. And any minority should feel that and understand it. And we have to keep the fabric of this country the way it's been for all of us that have lived our dreams. And what's going on now is very, very concerning. And that's why this symbol of the blue square, which is a symbol of unity and solidarity, and having all people understand what our -- how our neighbors really think and lock arm in arm, pushing back against hate. And we're going to continue fighting it.


You know, I'll just tell you, I had the privilege of being in Gaza about 30 years ago and met with Gazan fishermen and Israeli fishermen. These are great people. I feel bad for them. And I think if you took a vote, 90-odd percent wouldn't want these terrorists running their property.

HARLOW: Yes, the majority of the polling does show that the majority in -- of Palestinians do not support Hamas.

But before you go, if you could speak to -- I know you've put a lot of your personal wealth to this cause. A lot of big donors, corporate and individual. But I'm struck by the amount of people that have been giving very small donations, Robert, like $11 to you guys, since October 7th, right?

KRAFT: Yes, you know -- well, thank you, Poppy, for -- one of the things that's been amazing when you start something like this, we have a website. In the last five months, we've had all -- over 11,000 people coming in with gifts of $10, $50, $100. Just small people. We don't solicit. And most of them are not Jewish. We can tell by the names. And it really made me feel good and just motivates us more because it shows Americans just instinctively want to do the right thing.

And we have to continue to support them. We are going to continue our education campaign. And I think -- I don't think most people in this country understand the way this hate has grown. And we will continue to educate and try to get people to build bridges.

HARLOW: Well, as a foundation --

KRAFT: And that's what the blue square symbolizes.

HARLOW: And as the foundation says, when one hate rises, they all do.

Robert Kraft, thank you for the work that you and your team continue to do.

KRAFT: Thank you. And can I just say, if we don't control it, I think we see violence erupt. And that's what we all want to protect our people against.

Thank you, Poppy.

HARLOW: Robert Kraft - Robert Kraft, thanks for your time this morning, very much.

MATTINGLY: Well, the president's campaign downplaying new polls that show Biden behind Trump in important battleground states, but some outside Democratic advisers are sounding the alarm. One of them, David Axelrod, joins us next.

HARLOW: Soon, Donald Trump will take the stand, the witness stand, to testify in a Manhattan courtroom. He'll be questioned in the civil fraud trial that could cost him hundreds of millions of dollars and bar him from doing business in New York. More on that straight ahead.



MATTINGLY: A new poll from "The New York Times" and Sienna College causing concern for the Biden campaign this morning. The president is trailing Donald Trump in five of the six key battleground states that helped him clinch the election in 2020. Biden is also losing support with two key voting demographics, black and Hispanic voters. Those new poll numbers are also raising concerns among top Democrats, including Democratic strategist and CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod. He says in part, quote, "the stakes of miscalculation here are too dramatic to ignore. If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise, whether it's in his best interest or the country's."

David Axelrod joins us now.

David, appreciate your time.

You know when you're typing out these two tweets what the response is going to be. And there's -- I guess I would start with, what's the intent here? What do you want him to decide is in his best interest and the country's?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, only he can decide that, Phil. But -- and I don't -- I'm not reacting to one particular poll but, you know, a whole body of research and conversations with people. And my concerns -- I want to make clear, I think Biden's been a great president. I think he's done things that have generational -- will have generational impact and importance. I think he's, you know, been honorable in the office. You know, I have - I have nothing but good things to say. But as I've said for like a couple of years now, the issue is not --

for him is not political, it's actuarial. And you can see that in this poll. I mean there's just a lot of concern about the age issue. And -- and that is something that I think he needs to ponder.

Just do a check and say, is this the right thing to do? I believe if he does run he will be the nominee. And I'm not encouraging people to challenge him. I think the party will -- should fall in behind him if he's the nominee of the Democratic Party because, at the end of the day, this is a -- not a normal race. This is a race about democracy and the state of our democracy and the survival of our democracy. And, you know, that's the threat on the other side here.

And I know how deeply the president feels about that. So, he just has to ask himself, is, you know, is this the best path? I suspect that he will say yes. But time is fleeting here and this is probably the last moment for him to do that check. And it's probably good if he does.

HARLOW: You use a lot of if's in that answer and there's the if in your tweet, if he continues to run. Do you have information from reliable sources around him that that is still and if in his mind? And if not him, then who?

AXELROD: I -- to the contrary, no, I don't.


AXELROD: But that doesn't mean that he shouldn't pause to think about it.


He's got enormous pressures on him right now. He's managing two global crises and I think he's doing it, you know, with great -- with great vigor and great passion. He's got -- we've got a host of things at home. And the question is do you add a campaign to that and what's your ability to do all those things at the same time well and how does that contribute to people's concerns that are expressed in this poll.

Polling numbers, I should point out, we had lousy polling numbers at this time in our campaign in 2011 when I was working for Barack Obama, and we overcame those numbers and we won. But the two things that are different are that Obama was 50 and not 81, and -- and we didn't have Donald Trump on the other side. So those are two factors that have to be considered.

HARLOW: Two really significant factors.

David Axelrod, I know we'll see you a little later this week, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

AXELROD: Yes, looking forward to it. Thank you.

HARLOW: Well, President Biden, speaking of, he's in Delaware this morning preparing to make a speech on the economy, specifically on Bidenomics. Those remarks come as this poll shows him trailing former President Trump in key swing states.

MATTINGLY: And negotiators for the actors union say they've received the, quote, last, best and final offer from the Hollywood studios. A deal would still need to be ratified by union members before any return to TV and movie sets.

HARLOW: Sources tell CNN that tonight at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds will endorse Ron DeSantis in the 2024 republican primary. Overnight, Trump called Reynolds, quote, "disloyal," and claimed the endorsement will be the, quote, "end of her political career."

MATTINGLY: And, this morning, jury selection will begin in the federal trial against the man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband at the San Francsico home. David DePape could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

HARLOW: And the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles will honor Arnold Schwarzenegger tonight with its Inaugural Award of Courage. Schwarzenegger is the son of a Nazi officer in World War II. It is a big reason for his actions and activism. He is being honored for his long-time advocacy against anti-Semitism and bigotry.

MATTINGLY: And that's the "5 Things" you need to know for this morning. Don't forget to download the "5 Things" podcast every morning.

And any minute now the former president -- former President Trump will leave Trump Tower and head downtown to testify in the civil fraud case against him. His business, his reputation, perhaps political future at stake to some degree.

"CNN NEWS CENTRAL" continues our coverage after this break.