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CNN's Clarissa Ward Joins Ukrainians Gathering Evidence Of Possible Russian War Crimes; Biden Calls On Voters To Defend Democracy In Midterm Vote; Kimmel On Celebrities Spewing Anti-Semitism: "It's Beyond Offensive. It's Actually Nonsensical." Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 02, 2022 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That's it for us. The news continues. Let's hand it over to Jake Tapper and CNN TONIGHT.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to CNN TONIGHT. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.

And tonight, we want to lay out some new, alarming details, about Russia's brutal war, against the Ukrainian people.

We're going to start with new warning signs, of the Kremlin, considering the use of a tactical nuclear weapon. Now, U.S. Intelligence believes that senior Russian generals have discussed how and when to deploy one.

This classified report, was described to CNN, by multiple sources who have read it. There is debate on how seriously to take this Intelligence. Is it further sign of Russian desperation and cause for real concern? Or are these discussions being taken out of context?

On CNN, earlier tonight, top White House National Security Official, John Kirby, reacted to the latest U.S. Intelligence Report.


JOHN KIRBY, NSC COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: There's lots of levels of concern, of heightened concern, about what's going on, in Ukraine, right now that gives us cause to continue to closely monitor as best we can, Russia's nuclear capabilities.


TAPPER: Now, the Intelligence report says that Vladimir Putin was not part of these talks. But Putin has publicly dangled the prospect of using a nuclear device, for months.

Today, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs put out a statement, perhaps, to try to ease fears that it remains Kremlin policy to only use nuclear arms, in a defensive response, declaring, quote "That a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought." Also, today, Putin announced he will once again, abide by a deal, to allow vital grain exports, from Ukraine's safe passage, in the Black Sea, which would be a welcome reversal, to those who fear a global hunger crisis. Ukraine and Russia account for nearly a third of the world's wheat exports.

Here's the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, on CNN, this morning.


LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Clearly, Russia was finally convinced that they needed to continue this. They can't stand in the way of feeding the entire world.


TAPPER: But Putin is also threatening to pull out of that deal, again, if he feels Ukraine uses access, to the Black Sea, for any Military purposes.

Now, these announcements would be welcome, if you take the Kremlin at its word.

But we have all witnessed, so many moments, where the Kremlin says one thing, and then does the exact opposite, whether insisting they would never invade Ukraine, or they will allow safe passage, for refugees, and won't harm them at all, or promising to allow wheat exports, and then going back on that pledge.

So, while we all hope today's proclamations prove accurate, we're not confident that will be the case. What we are confident about is the continued Russian atrocities, we're seeing, on the ground, in Ukraine.

Tonight, CNN's Clarissa Ward is going to bring you new evidence, of these horrors, as she follows investigators, who are tasked with looking for cases of rape, and other sexual violence, inside of Kherson, a region recently freed from Russian occupation.

It sadly reinforces what an independent United Nations investigation team found. Rape and torture, sometimes, the victims were children, some as young as four. And at times, families of the victims were forced to watch. The head of a human rights organization, which this year shared the Nobel Peace Prize warns that many of these crimes will surely go unpunished. No accountability.

But here, in the U.S., the Justice Department created a new division, in June, to investigate these Russian atrocities, these war crimes. And there's now a bipartisan push, to change U.S. laws, so that it will be easier to prosecute Russians, for these horrific deeds, in U.S. courts, should these Russians ever enter United States.

Now, it's hard to believe, but there are some in Russia, who actually argue that Putin has not been brutal enough. And we want to shine a light, tonight, on a mercenary army that is emerging from the shadows. Let me introduce you to Yevgeny Prigozhin. Prigozhin is a Russian oligarch, best-known as "Putin's Chef," and for good reason. His restaurants and catering company have literally hosted dinners, attended by Putin, and other world leaders, including then-President George W. Bush.

But Prigozhin is also known, for serving up bodies. Just a few weeks ago, Prigozhin admitted to founding the Wagner Group, in 2014. You might have heard whispers about Wagner. It used to be a private mercenary group that operated entirely in the shadows.

But, in recent years, CNN has tracked Wagner operatives, in Ukraine, Libya, Sudan, Mozambique, Mali and Syria. Clarissa gained access, to a Wagner training base, in the Central African Republic.




CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For Russia, this is a straightforward bargain. They provide the weapons, and the training. And, in return, they get access to the country's natural resources, and in the process, hope to reassert themselves as a major player, in this region.


TAPPER: The Wagner Group has a gruesome reputation, and is linked to any number of human rights abuses, including tortures and beheadings. Top U.S. officials have consistently warned about the Wagner Group's brutal tactics.


ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: Poor governance, exclusion and corruption inherent in weak democracies, makes them more vulnerable to extremist movements as well as to foreign interference. That includes the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group, which exploits instability, to pillage resources, and commit abuses with impunity.


TAPPER: Now, Russia's war on Ukraine has thrust Prigozhin, and Wagner, into the spotlight. Ukrainian officials estimate at least 5,000 Wagner mercenaries are fighting alongside Russian forces in Ukraine.

Where are they finding so many soldiers? Well, a CNN investigation found that Wagner is recruiting murderers, and drug dealers, from prisons, with a promise that if they survive the war, in Ukraine, they will be granted shorter sentences, or even amnesty. Now, these aren't former soldiers, who happen to be in prisons. They are men, who are hardened, brutal criminals.

This is what one prisoner told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSSIAN PRISONER: If it's real, then I am all for it. It's either be imprisoned for nine years, or get out in six months, if you're lucky.

But that's if you're lucky.


TAPPER: Prigozhin himself recently did something that would have once seemed unfathomable. According to U.S. officials, Prigozhin directly confronted Vladimir Putin, about his belief that Russian generals are mismanaging the war in Ukraine, and that more aggressive tactics, more aggressive tactics, need to be used.

I want to bring in CNN's Chief International Correspondent, Clarissa Ward, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Clarissa, Prigozhin has really used the chaos, of this war, as a way to bolster his own standing, and power, within Russia.

WARD: That's right. I mean, no one could have predicted Jake that we would be seeing this moment now. How much has changed?

Just a year ago, Wagner didn't officially even exist. Now, you see Yevgeny Prigozhin, coming out publicly, making statements, criticizing Russia's Ministry of Defense, recruiting prisoners, openly talking about his role, in the so-called "Troll factory," back in the 2016 election.

So, this is a very different Yevgeny Prigozhin than anyone is used to seeing. And I think there is a lot of anxiety, depending on who you're talking to, about what this portends.

Is this a serious power play? Is he becoming more powerful? And what does that mean, going forward, in terms of some of the very brutal tactics that you just elucidated, in your monologue there? What does that mean going forward, in terms of will these become kind of more officially accepted standards, of Russian comportment on the battlefield, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes, I don't know if it's becoming more powerful, or more shameless. But either way, something's changing. And ultimately, beyond the palace intrigue, what matters here is how the influence, of someone, like Prigozhin, will be felt by the people, the innocent suffering people of Ukraine.

WARD: Well, the Ukrainians are used to Wagner, in a sense, if one can say that. They have been dealing with this group, since back in 2014. Wagner are implicated in a number of war crimes, here.

German Intelligence has said that they believe they were involved in the killings of civilians, in Bucha, that suburb of Kyiv. Obviously, no one can forget those sorts of images. And they are heavily involved in the fighting that is taking place in eastern Ukraine, right now. We have seen, interestingly, a group of Ukrainians, coming together, in the U.K., and hiring a law firm, to try to push for Wagner, to be prescribed, as a terrorist organization, and for there to be much heavier checks and balances, in terms of their funding.

Now, it's not clear that that would have any real impact, on the operations of the group, because there's no indication that they have any funding, coming out of the United Kingdom. But it does potentially open the way, for some kind of accountability. Because what Jake, they have been able to do for so long, is operate in the shadows, because they don't officially exist.

TAPPER: Right.


WARD: Because in the Russian constitution, a private mercenary group is not even a legal and valid organization. So, him openly talking about the fact that he is the head of Wagner, and that they are directly implicated, in these things, could potentially open some sort of a route, for increased accountability, Jake.

TAPPER: Clarissa, stay with us, because we're going to bring your special look, this heartbreaking investigation you just did, firsthand, in southern Ukraine.

Clarissa went door-to-door, with investigators, in a region where the Russians, were recently forced out. We'll bring you her amazing and tragic story. That's next.


TAPPER: As fears continue to grow, throughout the globe, of Russians potentially deploying a nuclear weapon, there are crimes, happening, right now, on the ground, in Ukraine, committed by the Russians that are not hypothetical. In the village of Kherson, Russian occupation may be over. But the wounds inflicted, by Russian soldiers, on innocent Ukrainian civilians, could last forever.


CNN's Clarissa Ward joins a team, of Ukrainian investigators, who are going door-to-door, looking for evidence, of Russian war crimes, specifically, cases of rape, and other acts of sexual violence.



WARD (voice-over): Day after day, they go house to house, a team of investigators, dispatched from the capital. These men are tasked with looking for cases of sexual violence.


WARD (voice-over): "No one was assaulted in this village," these women tell them. But every home has suffered.

When Russian forces were pushed out of this area, earlier this month, they left a trail of misery behind them.

Down the road, an elderly woman, inconsolable, asked for help.


WARD (voice-over): "I don't know where to sleep now. There are no windows or doors," she tells the policeman.


LAPUSHNYAK (ph): Vera (ph).

WARD (on camera): Vera (ph).

WARD (voice-over): 71-year-old Vera Lapushnyak's (ph) son was injured, fighting on the front lines. She is alone and afraid.


WARD (on camera): OK.

She wants to invite us in to see how she's living.

WARD (voice-over): This is what remains of her home. Only her precious icons are untouched.


WARD (voice-over): "Oh my god! Oh, God's mother!" she says, "Please keep my son alive, and let me see him again."

In town after town, throughout the Kherson region, this is what victory looks like. And it is grim. Almost every house has been destroyed, by heavy fighting, and the people scarred, by months, of Russian occupation.

In the next village, the investigators talk to 56-year-old Tatiana (ph). We have agreed not to name the village, or show her face, to protect her identity. She takes us to her brother's house, where she says she was raped, by a Russian soldier, on August 26th.

TATIANA (ph), UKRAINIAN (through translator): He pinned me against the wardrobe, and groped me.

He ripped my clothes off. And I was caught in his grip. It was very hard and painful for me.

I was crying, begging him to stop, but with no success.

WARD (on camera): And did he say anything, when it was over?

TATIANA (ph) (through translator): Do not tell anyone anything or it will be worse. That's everything he told me. And then he left. It's very hard for me.

WARD (on camera): Did you tell your husband what had happened?

TATIANA (ph) (through translator): I didn't tell my husband right away. But I told my cousin. And my husband overheard.

He said, "You should have told me the truth. But you kept silent."

I was very ashamed. Very.

WARD (on camera): The shame is on him.

TATIANA (ph) (through translator): He's probably not ashamed, if he's still alive. I wish that he and all his kin were dead.

WARD (voice-over): It's coming to the end of a long and emotional day. The men visit the last village, on their list. Tomorrow, they will head back to Kyiv, to submit their findings. They have recorded six allegations of rape in their two weeks here.

WARD (on camera): It must be a hard job?


WARD (voice-over): "It is psychologically difficult. You understand every victim is so distressed," Oleksandr Svidro says, "but this is important work."

Most cases, they say, go unreported. Like so many of the horrors that took place, under Russian occupation, here, they remain hidden in the dark.


WARD: Now, the Russian Ministry of Defense, has repeatedly denied, any sort of systematic claims of rape that have been taking place, with its soldiers, on the ground.

But one interesting thing that we found Jake, when we asked Tatiana (ph), what she did, after the rape, whether she spoke to anyone about it? She did say that she went to the Russian commander, in the town, three days after it happened, and reported the officer, who had raped her.

And she said that his response was to come and see her, a couple of days later and say that, he had punched the man, in question, in the jaw, and would she like to have him shot? To which she replied to him, "I would like to see all of you shot," Jake.


TAPPER: You said Clarissa, that these investigators that you're traveling with that they're headed back to Kyiv, to report their findings. Six instances of rape. Is there any hope anyone will actually be held accountable?

WARD: I mean, there's no question, Jake, this is a long uphill battle. And it's going to take a lot of time.

Part of the challenge that they face, is that it's quite difficult, often, to identify these Russian soldiers, to get their full names. Now, Tatiana (ph) was able to do that. But there are so many other cases, where people don't either know the full name, or they don't want to talk about it.

But the way that Ukrainian authorities see this, and the Police, and the prosecutor's office, who are working towards, ultimately, towards getting some accountability, is that they have to start building a case. You have to start from somewhere.

So, they'll come back here to Kyiv. Or they're now back here in Kyiv. They will put together what they have. And they will see whether they can start initiating any criminal proceedings.

In more than 40 cases of sexual violence, at the hands of Russian forces, across the country, in areas that have been occupied? They have already initiated criminal proceedings.

But, as I said before, Jake, this is a long slog, and it's not going to happen overnight. But it is still so important, to get the details, to document it, with the hopes that one day there will be justice, for these women.

TAPPER: This village has been through so many horrible atrocities. Do they hope that the worst is behind them? Is there any possibility that that's it? Or are they afraid that the Russians will return?

WARD: I mean, I think that what's so tragic, when you spend time, in these villages, and you're sort of hoping that people will be kind of jubilant that Ukrainian forces have been able to take, some of this territory back.

But the reality is, they are now returning to their homes, because many of them obviously had left, to find their lives had been completely shattered, Jake. I mean, you look at that woman, Vera (ph), in her 70s, sleeping on a bed, with a hole in the roof, and absolute sort of carnage, all around her, and debris, and no heat, and no electricity, and no water, and no basic services. And we were left with the feeling of like, how is she going to survive? How can she possibly actually continue to live here?

And, I think, for so many people, surviving is just the first challenge. And now, it's sort of trying to even fathom how you rebuild, when a war is still raging, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes. And the Russians continue to destroy infrastructure. And the winter is coming.

Clarissa Ward, in Ukraine, thank you for that powerful report. Appreciate it.

As Head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, my next guest's job, is to help Democrats protect their House majority. Things aren't looking so good for them, six days out. Even he's at risk of losing his seat, in a Blue district, in New York.

So, why does Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney think he's in the position he's in now, and why is his party?

Also ahead, one and only Late Night legend, Jimmy Kimmel, is here, for a one-on-one, you don't want to miss. Stay with us.




JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: American democracy is under attack because the defeated former President of the United States refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election.

It's estimated that there are more than 300 election-deniers, on the ballot, all across America, this year.

Make no mistake. Democracy is in the ballot for all of us.


TAPPER: President Biden, issuing this warning, near the U.S. Capitol, this evening, Biden hoping that voters will cast their ballots, with defending democracy, in minds.

The reality is with six days to go that's not where voters' heads seem to be. The latest CNN polling showing that the economy and inflation far outrank any other issue in voters' minds. 51 percent say it's a top issue. Abortion comes in second, at 15 percent.

For people voting on the economy, the numbers show they trust Republicans more, to handle the issue. And it's translating to this, the majority of voters, favoring Republicans, to take the House.

The shifting winds mean that the Congressman, in charge of protecting the Democratic majority, in the House, is at risk of losing his own district. That man is Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York.

Congressman Maloney, thanks so much for joining us.

So, back in 2020, President Biden won your district, the Hudson Valley area of New York by 10 percentage points. Yet, at a recent campaign event, your constituents seemed to express concerns, not just about Democratic races, nationwide, but your own seat, in deep-Blue New York.

How did the campaign arm that you ever see, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or the DCCC, get into this position, where you're defending so many seats that I would think would be strong Democratic districts?

REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-NY): Well, let's calibrate that a little bit. We've always had competitive seats, in the Hudson Valley. I had to beat a Republican, to come to Congress. It's not a surprise to me that this is a competitive part of the world.

And so, we're going to do what we always do. Go out and make our case, based on our record of getting real results. And we've always known this was going to be a competitive cycle. My goodness, it's the first midterm, of a new presidency. But we're going to go out, and we're going to win these seats, and we're going to hold this majority because there's a lot at stake.

TAPPER: I don't know anyone who thinks you're going to hold the majority, with all due respect. I'm seeing reports, and hearing from Democratic pollsters that there's going to be - Republicans are going to pick up at least 25 seats.

PATRICK MALONEY: Well, let's see what happens. If we're sitting here, two years ago, you would have said Democrats would pick up 25 seats, and the Republicans won 13. That was the last time the conventional wisdom was spectacularly wrong. And, of course, everybody got it wrong on 2016's results as well. So, I think we could all be a little bit humble. My goodness, we're five days out.

What I can tell you is our front-liners have a record, of lowering gas and grocery prices, of giving people cheaper health care, and cheaper housing, of making your streets safer, of supporting good policing, and protecting your freedoms, whether we're talking about your reproductive freedoms, or your voting rights. And that record, is keeping them very much in the fight.


And in the toughest races, right now, you still see the Republicans spending a fortune. So, if it's so lopsided, why are they still spending, in the races that should be easiest, for them? They have not closed the deal on this election. Do not count us out. We're going to do better than people think.

TAPPER: I don't know about that. It seems like Democrats are really playing defense. You have Biden going to California, first lady Biden going to Rhode Island, the Vice President going to Connecticut. I mean, these are parts of the country where Democrats normally, have comfortable leads.

But let's focus on your race, right now, against Republican challenger, Michael Lawler. Over the last week, the DCCC spent big, to defend you, more than $600,000, for on-air ads, on top of $110,000 that another outside group recently spent, to support you.

How worried are you, about your chances, on Tuesday?

PATRICK MALONEY: Right, well, spent big. So $600,000. Let's remember that Republican groups have spent $10 million, trying to beat me.

So, of course, we're going to defend the seat. And what I'm telling you is I'm going to win this race. And those Republicans are going to wish they had that $10 million back, to go use it in races, they might have won. I think they're going to look pretty foolish. But look, again, I've got to go out and earn it two years at a time. I mean, it's always been a competitive seat, for me. That's nothing new. And I don't know why anybody's surprised that we have to play a little defense, in the first - in the first midterm of a new presidency, with a war in Europe, and all the damage done by the Trump years in the Pandemic.

We haven't fixed all the problems yet. But the difference is, is that we've got a plan for your future, and the other team has a ploy, and a trick, to try to win power for themselves. And if you can tell me what their plans are, for the future, I sure love to hear them.

TAPPER: I have to ask you about something you said earlier this week. Let's roll that sound bite.


PATRICK MALONEY: Let's not - let's not pretend, for a minute that both sides, have the same - the same amount of accountability, for the loss of confidence, in our elections. One side has been out there, for a couple of years now, doing everything they can, to pretend Joe Biden didn't win fair and square.


TAPPER: The thing is Democrats writ large have spent $53 million, supporting far-right candidates, election-deniers, in the primaries, including the DCCC. By amplifying these election-deniers, aren't you holding responsibility, to a degree, for the undermining of democracy that you're also warning about?

PATRICK MALONEY: Oh my god! Jake, let's be really clear. What that question you just played with about was who's questioning the outcome of elections? And that started with Donald Trump. And we all know it.

And let's be clear. That $53 million? Look, it's $400,000 at the DCCC, in one race, one, where we ran a true general election ad, two weeks early, calling John Gibbs, an extremist, who's too conservative for Western Michigan.

TAPPER: Yes, to boost him.

PATRICK MALONEY: And Hillary Scholten, who's a great candidate - excuse me, is going to beat him like a drum. So, if you want to ask the people, who spent all that, other money? That's great.

And let's be clear. Not one dime was spent, from the DCCC, supporting any Republican. It was spent, criticizing a Republican, for being too extreme. And it is going to result in a pro-choice strong candidate--

TAPPER: Come on!

PATRICK MALONEY: --named Hillary Scholten, winning that race.

TAPPER: Come on! You guys were boosting John Gibbs, an election- denier, a MAGA Republican, so that he would beat Congressman Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Donald Trump, after the Capitol attacks.

You thought Gibbs would be easier, for your Democratic candidate to beat. So, you boosted him. That's the only reason he won that race!

PATRICK MALONEY: Well, you're using that word "Boost" to be kind of cute. And other people say we've kind of funding their campaigns, it's ridiculous. We're attacking them.

But you're absolutely right. We thought he was an easier candidate. And he has proven to be, because, he's a nut. And he's too conservative, for Western Michigan. And Hillary Scholten is getting ready to beat him. And that is my focus is making sure we bring, commonsense Democrats, to Congress, who are going to move our country forward.

And let's be clear, again, $400,000 out of a $340 million budget. So, if you want to warm up these leftovers, we can keep going. But, right now, we've got five or six days, until we have an election, and that's where my focus is. And we're going to win that seat in Michigan 3.

TAPPER: Well, that $400,000, for John Gibbs, did boost him, and he beat Congressman Peter Meijer.

Peter Meijer, who did something braver than I've - than I've seen, in terms of most members of Congress, in terms of bucking his party, to be one of 10 Republicans, to vote to impeach Donald Trump.

When people like you say, "Where are all the good Republicans," you help defeat one of them!

PATRICK MALONEY: Jake, let's be clear. If your point is that I should, in some sort of exercise of defeatism, stop trying to beat Republicans, in vulnerable seats, who are going to vote for Kevin McCarthy, and put Jim Jordan, at the head of the Judiciary Committee, where they're going to take away your reproductive freedom, pass a national ban on abortion, give you two years of Hunter Biden, and nothing else?


If your point is that I should roll over, pull a bunch of punches and, I guess, make somebody in the media feel better, because - because what? Because we hope that some of these Democrats will be nice to us? How about we elect some people, who are actually good, on issues, like choice, or gun safety, or on supporting leaders, who won't support an insurrection?

And Peter Meijer was going to vote for the majority that that on January 6, voted to set aside the election. That's a district that Joe Biden won with 56 percent of the vote, and we're going to win it.

And I have said, and I mean it, there are difficult moral and philosophical questions in politics. You better believe it. But let's be really clear. This is $400,000, in a budget of $300 million. One race, one, in the entire cycle, where we ran a general election ad that was perfectly true, calling the guy an extremist. And Hillary Scholten is going to win. That's what we're talking about.

TAPPER: All right, Congressman Maloney, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Have a good rest of your week. I know you're going to be busy.

PATRICK MALONEY: Thank you very much.

TAPPER: And when we return, Jimmy Kimmel is here! The Jimmy Kimmel! Trust me, you want to stick around, to hear him riffing you, on newsmakers, such as Elon Musk, and Ye, a.k.a. Kanye West. Don't miss it. That's next.



TAPPER: So, there's been a lot said, about Twitter's new owner, billionaire, Elon Musk, especially after Mr. Musk tweeted out a link, to a deranged right-wing website, to further the smearing of Paul Pelosi, the House Speaker's husband, whom a deranged intruder, attacked with a hammer, last Friday.

The website that Elon Musk linked to, is so nuts, it reported in 2016 that Hillary Clinton had died, and that a body double, would debate Donald Trump.

The host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on ABC tweeted after Musk did this. "It has been interesting, over the years, to watch you blossom from the electric car guy into a fully-formed piece of shit."

And Jimmy Kimmel joins me now.

Jimmy, good to see you.

Interesting tweet, strong words, and it does play right into this national conversation, we've been having, about free speech. How do you see those issues given, free speech on one hand, and yet the dangerous spread of misinformation, and hateful rhetoric that's inciting some of these attacks, on the other?

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": Well, first of all, Jake, I love hearing you curse. It's one of my favorite things. I know, it only happens like once every--

TAPPER: It's only - I only--

KIMMEL: I feel like you did it just for me, tonight.

TAPPER: I only quote people cursing. I never curse, on my own.


TAPPER: It's only when it's within quotations. The Trump era gave us - gave me a lot of opportunities, to do that, by the way.

KIMMEL: Yes, yes. No, I like it. It's like CNN after dark! I have to say, I am not - when I am - when I am the voice of decency, we've got a problem. Because the idea that this old man, an 82-year- old man, has been attacked, in his bed, in his home, by a person, who obviously has some problems? And that our first reaction isn't, "Oh, my goodness," even if they're lying, even if they're pretending to have concern?

How can that - how can the reaction possibly be - how can we move so quickly, to smearing these people, to trying to create some - and, by the way, now that the Police report is out, I haven't exactly seen Elon Musk, or Donald Trump, or Donnie Jr., correcting them, and saying, "Oh, my goodness! Now that we read the facts of this story, certainly we feel terrible that we spread these vicious lies, around, and we retract them, and apologize to the Pelosi family."

No, you'll never see that. Because, that's not how it works.


KIMMEL: Everybody is a target all the time now.

TAPPER: And it's not just the smears that they put out, about Paul Pelosi, these deranged conspiracy theories. A lot of these folks, right-wing MAGA folks try to make jokes, at Paul Pelosi's expense, ones largely based on this deranged smear that Paul Pelosi had a relationship with his attacker.

Now, you certainly are not afraid of taking risks in comedy. Where's the line? I mean, I personally found those jokes, by Don Jr., and others, just horrible, and not even remotely funny.

KIMMEL: The line is when Don Jr. tells a joke. That's when Don Jr. tells a joke, it's the line has been crossed, because, this is not a funny person. I would - I don't know what's going on, in Don's life. But it seems like an awful lot of projection going on there, to me. And I just, I don't know. The line, I guess is when an 82-year-old man, gets hit in the head with a hammer.

TAPPER: Yes, it's a good line.

This also comes at the same time that Kanye West, now known as Ye, who I know you've interviewed, in the past, he said he could say anything he wanted, anti-Semitic, and Adidas couldn't drop him. But Adidas did ultimately drop him.

On the other hand, Kyrie Irving, star of the Brooklyn Nets, he's out there flirting with anti-Semitism, continues to play.

How do you think celebrities, who spew bigotry, people who have platforms, should be treated? What kind of consequences should there be?

KIMMEL: I just, you know, makes me wonder, like, who told them this stuff? How did this get into their heads in the first place?

I mean, on one side, you could say, maybe we shouldn't take anything that these guys say seriously. I mean, if you see someone ranting and raving, on the street corner, you're not necessarily holding them accountable, for their words.

But on the other hand, these are very specific. I mean, they've singled out a religious group, and decided that all the evils of the world are somehow attached to that group. It's beyond offensive. It's actually nonsensical.


KIMMEL: And I don't think Kanye West is a stupid person. And I don't think Kyrie - I mean, Kyrie Irving does think the world is flat. So that should be taken into consideration. But--

TAPPER: He went to Duke, though. I mean, you know? He's pretty smart!

KIMMEL: Well, I mean, he went to Duke. Would he have gone to Duke, had he not been a great basketball player? That's for the Admissions people, at Duke. But it might be time to take his diploma back!


TAPPER: So, but - and yet, at the same time that we're talking about this, you and I have talked about this, privately, this era of so- called cancel culture, where careers get ruined--


TAPPER: --because somebody says something wrong, or makes a mistake. Obviously, if they commit a crime, that's a separate - that's a separate thing.

But I think, and I think you'd agree with me that there does need to be room, for people to apologize, as long as it's a sincere apology.

I saw this report, today, about this young sports reporter, named Kasey Funderburg. She objected to some racism that she saw, as a sports reporter. And then, past tweets, racist tweets that she had made, when she was a teenager, emerged. And she was fired.

And to me, that seems like, look, if she's - I don't have a - people, there needs to be space for people to apologize, in this world.

KIMMEL: Yes, I mean, if there isn't, then where do we go? I mean, it's - I mean, listen, obviously, I've been involved in a - I've said a million stupid things. And I would hope that people would decide, whether an apology is sincere.

When an apology isn't even offered, that's? I mean, listen, here's - these people are supposed to be Christians. I am a Catholic. I grew up in the church. What I was taught was that if you do something wrong, you ask for forgiveness, and you are forgiven for these things.

The idea that, that it will be anything other than that that these people, who are allegedly following the teachings of Jesus, behave in this way? It just it doesn't matter - it doesn't make any sense at all. And I don't - I just can't understand how that works, for so many people, so many Americans.

TAPPER: It's not just religious - it's not just people on--

KIMMEL: It is really scary and sad.

TAPPER: Well, it's not just religious people, on the right, though, right? I mean, there are people, progressives, on the left--


TAPPER: --that can be pretty tough about this.

KIMMEL: Yes. Absolutely, just as if not more so. But I do think that there's more openness to forgiveness from that particular side.

Yes, but with that said, people do like piling on. They love it. It makes them feel like they're a better person. There's certainly a lot of that going on.

And I'd tell you what, I've noticed, and this is just my own personal experience, I noticed that in the three days that Elon Musk has been running this Twitter that it has gotten crazier and nastier.

I mean, I'm walking in an ALS Walk, in Las Vegas, on Sunday, on my birthday, November 13th. And I posted about it.

TAPPER: Happy birthday!

KIMMEL: Thank you.

And I just got an avalanche of hate - hate. And it's just like, well you can't even - you can't do anything anymore, without being attacked. It's absolutely crazy.

TAPPER: No, I agree.

The midterm elections are approaching. I have to say, whatever you feel about Republicans taking back the House, which seems likely, perhaps as a comedian, you're looking forward to it? I mean, more prominence, for people, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who you'd like to talk about? She brings you information--


TAPPER: She brings you fodder!

KIMMEL: No, I don't - I'm not that desperate for material. I'm really not.

And I will tell you something also. I have a bone to pick with you.

TAPPER: Uh-oh!

KIMMEL: Because, we watch you, in my office, every day, before the show. And then you decide to - all of a sudden, you decide to slide into the night slot. Now, this is when I'm taping the show. It's not convenient for me at all. So, I'm very glad to hear that you're moving back to 4 o'clock. And I like to believe that you did it specifically for me.

TAPPER: I did it because of my family, and it was always just a short- term gig for--

KIMMEL: Eh! But that--

TAPPER: --for the midterms.

KIMMEL: A little bit for me?

TAPPER: If you want to tell yourself that!

KIMMEL: 40 percent for me.

TAPPER: One 40 - I mean, four?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the middle of the night, and I went downstairs, and I ate all of your Halloween candy.


TAPPER: Tradition you started, getting parents to pretend that they ate their kid's Halloween candy, and then they record the sad reaction, on video. You twisted man!

We're going to be right back with that. Stay with us.



TAPPER: And we're back with Jimmy Kimmel, who takes a perverse pleasure, in torturing America's children, at this time of year, Halloween.

So, one last thing. So, tonight, on your show, I want to show a clip, from this year's Kid Candy Prank that you do every year.

Let's show that if we can.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the middle of the night, and I went downstairs, and I ate all of your Halloween candy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought you were on a diet!


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know he told me to do it? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he a bad guy?





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's going to get diarrhea!



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's going to get diarrhea!


TAPPER: So, that was from last year's, actually. So, this is the meanest thing that I - I tell you this every year. It's the meanest thing in the world.

You get these parents, to tell their kids that the candy is gone. You play these videos. Look, when the kid says like "I hope dad gets diarrhea" that's one thing. But often they just weep! Often they weep!

Have you ever said that "I can't do this anymore. I can't. I can't do it. It's just too harsh?"

KIMMEL: Let me just tell you, where I'm coming from, Jake. First of all, kids cry like 15 or 18 times a day. So, it's not - it's not like, when you make an adult cry that it happens once every eight months.

And secondly, when I was a kid, my mom used to lay on the ground, and pretend she was dead, until we cried, OK? So, the way I see it, these kids are getting off easy!


TAPPER: What? But that's sick! That's not - that's not a justification! That's a justification, for you to be institutionalized! But it's not - this sickness that you - well, anyway. I know that you have a lot of fans, who love it.

KIMMEL: Say what you want.

TAPPER: So I'm going to--

KIMMEL: America wants it! Even when we stopped doing it, they kept doing it. So, we - you know what? We gave in. TAPPER: Jimmy Kimmel, always good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

KIMMEL: Thank you, Jake. Thanks for coming back on, at 4, for me!

TAPPER: And we'll be right back.


TAPPER: Thanks so much, for joining us tonight. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, @jaketapper.

Tomorrow, Republican senator, and possible presidential candidate, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, will join us, as we look at the midterms, now just days away. That's tomorrow night, at 9 Eastern.

Our coverage continues now, with luminous Laura Coates, and hmm? Astrological Alisyn Camerota? I'm just riffing right now.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN CO-HOST, CNN TONIGHT: Well I can see that! I can see that! I see--

TAPPER: Astounding - astounding Alisyn! Astounding Alisyn!

CAMEROTA: Better! Better!

TAPPER: I mean, that's - right.

CAMEROTA: You knocked Laura's, out of the park! And then, I could see you just--



CAMEROTA: --you just gave up for a second.