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CNN Tonight

Jim Jordan Announces Investigation Into DOJ's Handling Of Biden Documents; Five Proud Boys Members Face Trial For Seditious Conspiracy; NFL Playoffs To Begin Two Weeks After Damar Hamlin Incident; Questions Swirl Around Presley's Death; Leopard On The Loose For Hours After Enclosure Was Cut. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 13, 2023 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the new House Judiciary chairman, Jim Jordan, announcing he's launching an investigation into the DOJ's actions related to President Biden's handling of classified documents. He's demanding the department turn over a variety of information, including all communications related to yesterday's appointment of special counsel.

It's hard to believe this is what's happening one week ago. But at just about exactly this time, there was a complete chaos on the House floor. A lawmaker lunging at another lawmaker. And we still didn't know way back then because last year was a whole year -- last week -- a whole year -- didn't know if Kevin McCarthy would actually become speaker. What a difference a week makes.

And, of course, when we think about in Washington, D.C., every minute seems to be a new, well, crisis to avert or try to maintain.

I want to bring in Mychael Schnell, congressional reporter for "The Hill," CNN political reporter and commentator Ashley Allison, and Liam Donovan, former National Republican Senatorial Committee aide.

Mychael, let me bring you into this conversation because, look, we're talking about what happened last week. I bet this week, Biden wishes there were maybe a 16th, 17th, 18th round of the speaker votes. It just goes to show that, you know, (INAUDIBLE) high in April, shut down in May. He had a higher approval rating this week than he had in the past. But this is a crisis now that's starting to spiral. What do you make of it?

MYCHAEL SCHNELL, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, THE HILL: This is a big deal. And again, you mentioned last week the focus was on the speaker's race. It was on the chaos and the disarray within the republican conference. That got squared away.

And this week, we saw Republicans dominate the House floor, bring up a number of bills, some of which passed with bipartisan support, some of which were party line. But Republicans had that success on the floor, so they moved the waves for them. And now, it's Democrats who are in the spotlight as having some troubles with this handling of President Biden's documents and it now bleeding over to, as you mentioned, the House Judiciary Committee.

This is headed by Jim Jordan, a close ally of President Trump and someone who has made looking into the federal government and looking into those investigations a priority of his in the 118th Congress.

So, Republicans right now are excited at the prospect of being able to look into this investigation and look into this mishandling of documents by Biden, particularly after they had a pretty chaotic week last week.

So, as you mentioned, change -- quite a difference that a week can make, but it also shifted the tide in terms of how Democrats are doing and how Republicans are doing.

COATES: A good point, thinking about -- well, you may be thinking about salivating at the fact that there's an ammunition here and the idea of how this goes. But I do wonder, because this changing tide that Mychael is talking about, will the Biden administration realistically be bogged down by this?

LIAM DONOVAN, FORMER NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE AIDE: He can't help but have to deal with it. I think they can hope that there is a new crisis that pushes it out of the (INAUDIBLE). We're careening from news cycle to news cycle. You're always one news cycle away from your time in the barrel (ph), but I think the hope is that it turns the page quickly to the next one.

And so, I think, you know, we mentioned this earlier, but when you have the debt ceiling fight that is looming, I think they like to accelerate that because any time that the other side is in the spotlight and there is disarray, I think that is when you benefit.

It reminds me of the 2020 election where it did seem like anyone who was in the news was losing ground. So, the goal was to stand back and let the other side kind of fumble things away.

But the more the spotlight is on the president, his actions, and that split screen of the comparison to former President Trump and the muddying of the waters there, I think, is unhelpful.

COATES: It is important to think -- I mean, obviously, we know that Trump is running for re-election. Some say he's walking towards re- election at this point. We're not hearing a whole lot from him at this point in terms of where he was before. But we haven't yet heard the confirmation or the intention that Biden intends to run again.

Having said that, I wonder, just because the spotlight is there, does it necessarily mean that the average voter is leaning into this? Do you think that this is an issue that voters care about to the level that it's being focused on?


ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's one of the issues that voters care about for President Biden and former President Donald Trump. So, I don't think we can compare both of these cases. They have similar variables but very different, I think, intent and knowledge when we talk about the way we describe how President Trump has handled the situation and how President Biden has handled the situation.

Look, we can't ignore the fact that with -- coming out of the midterm, as successful as the Dems were, people probably thought that, within the first couple of weeks of the new year, the administration would announce a re-elect, and this might have delayed it.

Do I think this puts him out of the running? No. But do they want to get ahead of this? And if there are any more documents, let the process play out.

Now, here's the one thing that I think could be interesting. Trump's case could get finished before Biden's case. And so, if Trump is not indicted or is not convicted, he's in the clear, and then you have this lingering in the news cycle for Joe Biden, and they may both be presidential candidates. That's not good for the Biden campaign or potential Biden campaign.

So, I think they want to be transparent, continue to -- people are asking questions, tell the truth. But I don't think this knocks them out of the running.

COATES: I do want -- I mean, just timing of the chronology of things, I wonder which will actually resolve itself first. It is a good question, and we will see, we just have a new special counsel.

But, you know, talking about the distractions, right, the tennis match of this problem and this problem and the volleying, Mychael, what are you hearing on the Hill about what is going to be the next big fight?

You're talking about the debt ceiling, of course. You do have Secretary Yellen saying, we're going to hit it, I think, the 17th or next Thursday, right, it's coming. But some economists were saying, hold on, you're not going to default until maybe June if that's an issue. That doesn't give a lot of people a lot of confidence.

If you were the credit (INAUDIBLE), it would not be okay with the credit card companies, I would point that out. But what are you hearing, Mychael, about this idea of the upcoming fight about the debt ceiling?

SCHNELL: We're sort of at the start right now of what is likely be a six-month fight, discussion, negotiation, whatever you want to call it, about the debt ceiling.

And this was a prime -- a prime focus of the speaker race last week and negotiations between McCarthy detractors and McCarthy allies for that rules package because a lot of conservatives in those McCarthy holdouts have said, we will not raise the debt ceiling unless that is coupled with a decrease in discretionary spending. So, that, of course, frightened some Democrats. We saw the White House press secretary today said that we want to raise the debt ceiling with no condition.

So, I think that what really people are realizing on the Hill was that this is not going to be an issue that gets resolved overnight, even likely in a month or month and a half. This is going to be a long debate and negotiation. As things typically go on Capitol Hill, you don't see too much progress, unfortunately, until you get to the last minute.

I think that's an indication Secretary Yellen coming out and saying, we're going to be hitting it soon but then those extraordinary measures coming to place. I think this is sort of starting the clock on what will likely be, like I said, a six-month process to do something about the debt ceiling.

COATES: I mean, is it in the interest of the parties to have these earnest negotiations quickly, or is something enticing about the dragging out, the waiting until the last minute?

DONOVAN: Well, you can't really get to the end game until it is much closer. That level of pressure is just inherent to any must pass vehicles in Washington, D.C. But I think it's important given how quickly this time moves by that you do start. To the extent there's going to be negotiation, you better get started, or at least, I think it is important on the republican side, figure out what you want.

Mychael mentioned broadly they want some cuts. But you need to unite behind 218 votes and what that can get. Otherwise, you have no leverage and you're just kind of standing in the way. It is easy to cast just intransigents (ph). And I think the more people are emboldened to stick to their side, then you do get into this last- minute fight where it's just a game of chicken and you hope that the financial markets don't inflict a lot of pain.

ALLISON: And you might be playing the game of chicken within your own party. And so, normally, the expectation is that it's Republicans against Democrats. Well, last week, it was Republicans against Republicans lunging at each other on the House floor.

So, I think, to your point, is it better to draw it out or to get it done quickly? It depends on how the story unfolds and it depends on how you tell the story to the American people.

Coming out of a midterm, Republicans promised to deliver for Americans lower prices. Well, if you're going to let us default on our debt and potentially crash our economy, that's an opportunity for Dems to message properly.

COATES: Well, to quote the speaker of the House, it's not how you start, it's how you finish. You all remember that, right? It is ingrained in our minds now. I had a little bit of shivering for a second about that moment in time.

But I want to turn to someone now who knows a lot about handling a White House crisis. Joe Lockhart was named White House press secretary three days before the House voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998. I'm glad you're here, Joe.


COATES: Nice to see you and bring you into the conversation, because I'm wondering, and a lot of people are looking at these issues, and they're saying, look, the classified documents, discussion, the mishandling, the comparisons being drawn whether they're (INAUDIBLE) or not, a lot of focus is on the PR aspect of this.

Why didn't voters know sooner, what are the questions being asked, and there are evasive answers resulting -- is it because of DOJ? Is it not? I wonder what your assessment is as you take it all in from your prior position how this is being handled.

JOE LOCKHART, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think you're right. I think this essentially, until we get to the bottom of it, is kind of PR, political problem. And I think what you see is political communicators' instinct when they see a fire, is to try to put it out. And that is often the exact wrong thing because what that does is give it oxygen. You find out that something that was true on one day may not be true on the next day.

What they should do, I think, and I think you're seeing this in the last couple of days, is just turn it over to the Department of Justice and special counsel and say this is the proper place for it to be looked at and not spend every day answering whatever the question of the day is.

I think the second thing they need to do and then should do is draw contrast. I think on two fronts, they can do that. They are not in a position to criticize Donald Trump any longer. But they can act much differently than Donald Trump did.

Donald Trump spent months and months and months trying to stonewall the Department of Justice. This White House should be cooperative at every turn.

The second thing, and I think this is just as important, President Biden can't get bogged down in this. He has to show the American public that he's focused on them and contrast that with someone like Congressman Jordan who will, you know, take his jacket off, roll-up his sleeves and scream and yell.

And, you know, it's one of the most dependable things, I think, in Washington, which is this crowd of Republicans will always overreact. And if you just let them do that, that will work to your benefit.

COATES: It's interesting to think about the way you suggest to navigate. And some see it as a little counterintuitive. You want to almost get ahead of this, the phrase people always think about, and be responsive. And that -- it is odd to think about the way in which you (INAUDIBLE) appropriate way.

But, I mean, you were somebody who was a part of the Clinton administration during the Lewinsky scandal. So, you well know about the idea of how things can continue and spiral and haunt. And I'm also wondering, though, if it's not just the special counsel -- you mentioned Congressman Jim Jordan. I mean, you've got the special counsel, you've congressional investigations from everything, from the withdrawal from Afghanistan to conversations around the origins of COVID to Hunter Biden and beyond. I wonder, is the advice or is it prudent to fight back at each turn, or is it the idea of keeping one's powder dry and choosing your battles?

LOCKHART: Well, I think it just depends on the issue. And on this particular issue, I think the approach should be to be cooperative and to not try to delegitimize the process, because that draws a very strong contrast with the way Donald Trump has done it.

There are other issues that they should fight and delegitimize the issue. I mean, when you talk about the origins of COVID, I'm all for Republicans holding a hearing on that and having scientists come in and teach them something for a change.

But I think in this particular area, you know, there's vulnerability because these documents exist. They shouldn't be where they were found. But almost every time these things are judged, when you look at the end, not by what happened, not what was in the documents, but how the staff around the president and the president handled it.

And I think if they can -- if they handled it in a way that shows transparency and openness, in some ways, the special counsel is a gift to them because it allows them to shut down a lot of this until third party rule on it or makes some sort of judgment.

Their judgment now is not particularly credible with Republicans, not particularly credible with reporters. So, what I think they're counting on is to move quickly, be cooperative, and have the special counsel come out and say, you know, there's nothing there.

We know, though, you know, from -- if you look back as recently as 2016, there was nothing in Hillary Clinton's emails. That story was all about process. It contributed in a very strong way to her defeat and Donald Trump's election.

So, I think there's a lot of lessons in there about not getting drawn into the process stories, letting the Justice Department do their work, and focusing on all of the other agenda items you're trying to get done.


COATES: Well, we'll see if they listen to you, if past is prologue. Thank you so much. Nice to talk to you.

Well, everyone, listen, I have lottery tickets. And we're going to be checking them because the mega-million drawing was just a few moments ago. And the jackpot is an estimated $1.35 billion -- yes, with the "B" -- which is the second largest in history for those of you keeping track.

So, here are the winning numbers. I can look at it right now. I memorized the first three tickets, hold on, 30, 43, 45, 46 and 61 with a mega ball of 14. So, I'll be here with you for the next 45 minutes tonight. I'm happy about that. Thank you so much. Take a second look right now at what I got and I promise to stay in the chair even if I do win, which I did not. But I'm okay with it. It's all right. It's fine.

We're going to turn next to the five Proud Boys on trial now for seditious conspiracy. Not a laughing matter. And the 12 jurors who are looking at this case have a lot to contend with. You've got prosecutors alleging members of the group who were there for some of the most shocking moments on January 6th. We're going to break down that video -- a couple of them actually -- with an expert on the Proud Boys, next.




COATES: We're getting more details tonight from the seditious conspiracy trial of five Proud Boys. Prosecutors alleging the defendants were among the first wave of rioters to breach the building. The Capitol police inspector, Tom Lloyd, detailing to the jury today how rioters swarmed the Capitol and its officers on January 6th, recalling the harrowing moments when Officer Eugene Goodman led the crowd, allegedly including one of the defendants away from the Senate chambers, telling the jury that -- quote -- "If those doors had been breached, more than likely there would have been gunfire."

Joining me now, "HuffPost" senior editor Andy Campbell. He is also the author of "We Are Proud Boys." Andy, I'm so glad that you're here tonight because, look, as I pointed out, some of the most impactful moments people remember on what happened on January 6th includes some of the allegations towards or against these Proud Boys. And I'm wondering, you're watching this trial saying that there's a lot we still don't really know publicly. What are you looking for here?

ANDY CAMPBELL, AUTHOR, SENIOR EDITOR FOR THE HUFFPOST: Well, look, the DOJ has an uphill battle here in getting seditious conspiracy convictions because they have to prove that these guys not only acted out January 6th but that they had an agreement prior to overthrow the government, and that's not an easy thing to do.

But they have a mountain of evidence in this media that they showed today, in text messages that they have from the Proud Boys that show that the moment Donald Trump got up on the presidential debate stage in 2020 and said, stand back, stand by, Proud Boys, it's that famous moment, these guys started gearing up for what they themselves describe as civil war. January 6th was their last stand for the president they'd been fighting for in the street for years up until that point.

And so, certainly, they started amassing recruits, they started amassing equipment, and then on January 6th, they stormed the Capitol. They showed that today. But it's interesting that it may look like it's a layup to convict a number of these five defendants on seditious conspiracy charges. The defense also has a few aces up its sleeve.

COATES: Like what?

CAMPBELL: One of the most -- well, the most impactful thing that the defense for Ethan Nordean, one of the defendants, came up with, he said that they have testimony from FBI informants who were embedded with the Proud Boys, who marched with them towards the Capitol that day and was in their text messages.

They say that these informants are going to argue that the Proud Boys did not have a plan previously to storm the Capitol, that this was kind of a herd mentality thing that just cropped up randomly.

I don't know how compelling that testimony will be. I don't know how it will -- they will go to cross-examination. But we'll see. It could be compelling and good for the defense.

COATES: A really important point. Again, they have the -- prosecution has the burden of proof. And although there was the successful prosecution and conviction on several charges, including the conspiracy charges for the Oath Keepers, every trial will be separate. And the idea of proving conspiracy is not an easy one. And there's not that big track record of precedent on these matters.

But, you know, there also is this idea of looking not at just whether there was a plan. The defense is raising statements such as, look, not us, look at Trump trying to extend a 10-foot pole away from themselves. Do you think that will be successful given especially what even a jury who's likely seen the January 6th Committee presentation of evidence as well or their own eyes being residents of D.C. might reveal?

CAMPBELL: Right. Well, look, I mean, this defense team is huge and it contains a range of characters, some of whom are very serious and some of whom went completely off the rails in court over the past few days.

One of them argued, like you said, it wasn't my client, it was Trump, Trump is the one who brought everyone to D.C. and Trump is the one who sent them on the march toward the Capitol and, of course, didn't call off the violence when it happened.

One of the other defense attorneys argued that January 6th was a six- hour bad day for Congress, but it wasn't that big of a deal. He said, if this was an attack, it's the lamest attack I've ever seen. And so, some of these attorneys are not making good cases for their clients.

But, really, I think, you know, for me, going forward, what I'd like to see the prosecution do is, you know, if they have bigger fish to fry here, look at the Proud Boys connections to Trump's inner circle.


CAMPBELL: We know that the leaders here were embedded with Roger Stone, Trump's top confidante, and we know that they were in contact on that day and in text messages with each other. And so, the government has a real opportunity here to go after not just these five defendants but learn more through testimony from Proud Boys ready to testify against themselves what the connection was to Trump's inner circle --


CAMPBELL: -- and who knew what going into this.

COATES: Well, listen, as they might be saying in the courtroom earlier with oral arguments with the opening statements, the night is young and so is the case. I suspect there's a lot more to get to. And you've written the book, everyone, about the Proud Boys, "We Are Proud Boys." Andy Campbell, thank you so much.

CAMPBELL: Thank you.

COATES: Well, tonight, a judge ordered a court deposition of former President Donald Trump to be unsealed. This is in the defamation case stemming from a rape accusation made against the former president by former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Now, in that deposition, which she fought to keep sealed and which took place under oath, Trump said this of the allegation -- quote -- "But it's a false accusation. Never happened. Never would." -- unquote.

Now, Carroll accuses Trump of raping her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s. And in his testimony, Trump also criticized Carroll as what he called a -- quote-unquote -- "nut job" and called the allegation a con job and a big fat hoax.

Trump testified -- and again this is under oath -- that he did not know Carroll, that he never pressured a woman to have sex with him, and that she isn't his type, saying he wasn't trying to insult her, but -- quote -- "Because I was offended at this woman's lie. Because I was offended that she could make up a story out of cold air." We'll follow this story as well.

But up next, NFL playoffs are beginning tomorrow, and the biggest story of the season, Damar Hamlin's on-field collapse could have consequences for how that goes.

And still ahead, a leopard on the loose. How did the cat get out of its habitat? The zoo thinks, in Dallas, it was -- quote -- "intentional."




COATES: Well, the NFL playoff is set to kick off tomorrow afternoon, and among the teams playing, the Buffalo Bills. They're going to take on the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. East, just shy of the two weeks since the Bills' Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Thankfully, Hamlin was discharged from the hospital earlier this week and is now recovering at home.

Joining me now, CNN contributor and legendary sports person Bob Costas. Glad to have you on tonight. You know, it's good news about Damar Hamlin and --


COATES: -- people looking also now to what this means two weeks after and the playoffs have now started. They've had to retool a bit to take account for that game having not been played. What happens?

COSTAS: Yeah. Well, if it had happened earlier in the season when teams have by weeks, they probably could have figured out a way to get it in. Some people suggested, okay, have these two teams, the Bengals and the Bills, the teams that were on the field when the Hamlin incident happened, just have them play this week while everybody else sits around and waits.

That would be not just inconvenient but would be competitively difficult for the other teams involved in the playoffs. Plus, it would have compressed the two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl to one week. And the Super Bowl is such an extravaganza now.

The logistics, when you don't know which two teams are going to be involved until two weeks before, then it would be just a week before, the hotels, the tickets, all the logistics of that would be almost impossible or at least very daunting to undertake.

So, what they decided to do was just say, look, two teams, the Bengals and the Bills, played 16 games. Everybody else played 17. Now, had the Ravens beaten the Bengals last weekend, then they would have had to reflip a coin to see which team was home for their playoff game this weekend. But the Bengals eliminated that problem by beating the Ravens. They will play again in the playoffs this weekend, but it will be in Cincinnati.

The more interesting thing was the Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chiefs finished 14 and 3, the Bills finished 13 and 3. It wouldn't be fair to either suppose a victory and the game that wasn't played to completion against the Bengals or suppose a loss.

But if the Bills had won that game and finished 14 to 3 -- 14 and 3, I'm sorry, they would have had the number one seed because they beat Kansas City in a regular season game. So, they would have had this weekend off as the Chiefs now do, and they would have had home field against Kansas City should they meet in the AFC championship game.

The way it is now, if both teams make it to the AFC championship game, the league has decided that that game will be played at a neutral site, which hasn't been decided yet, which seems to be the most -- in a difficult situation, the most reasonable way to resolve it.

COATES: It's fascinating --

COSTAS: Got all that, Laura?

COATES: I got it all. I mean, there will be a pop quiz --


COATES: -- for everyone in the world next up. You explained it very well.


COATES: What can't be explained, though, an issue that people are looking at still, is what's happening in an issue involving the Russian anti-doping agency.


COATES: You remember this, Joe. We talked about this in the past as well. They cleared the Russian figure skater, Kamila Valieva, today saying that she violated anti-doping rules but bore -- quote -- "no fault or negligence after testing positive for a banned substance back in December of 2021." But now, the World --


COATES: -- Doping Agency is taking them under review. What's happened? What's your take?

COSTAS: Well, here's the take. First of all, Rusada, which is the Russian anti-doping agency, if you can really call it anti, they have no credibility in this. Everybody knows that dating back to the days of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union and now Russia have run a sophisticated state-operated doping program.

In fact, they did it right under the noses of the IOC when they hosted the Winter Olympics in Sochi, changing out urine samples right there while they were hosting the games. And they'll do it again in some form or fashion because that's just what they do.

On the other hand, them saying, this tribunal saying that Valieva had no fault or negligence of her own probably make some kind of sense because, unfortunately, 15 years old, she's just at the mercy of this sports machine. She may well not have known what was being administered to her. And even if she did, she had no choice to say, no, I'm not going to do this.

This is brutal system. In fact, those who watched the Olympics may remember that when she faltered and she was favored to win the gold medal, when she faltered in the singles and finished fourth, she began to cry and she came off the ice. And here was her coach berating her. Why did you quit? Why are you so soft? Why don't you try harder? This is not a warm and fuzzy situation.

So, I don't think much of the world accepts this as credible. I don't think they want to blame a 15-year-old girl for it, but they know what the Russian sports machine is about.

So now, WADA, the World Anti-Doping Association will appeal to the court of arbitration for sport, which sort of rules on these international things. And what's at stake would be the gold medal in the team figure skating, which Valieva helped the Russians win.

The Americans, by the way, finished second and took the silver. If they overturned that, then the American team would be awarded the gold.

COATES: Bob Costas. No one better. From NFL and brackets all the way to figure skating, perfect. Thank you so much.

COSTAS: Thank you, Laura. Have a good night, what's left of it.

COATES: You, too. There's a lot left there on the West Coast, so enjoy that.


COATES: Everyone, there's also more questions than answers tonight, sadly, over the sudden death of Lisa Marie Presley. We're going to give you an update, next.




COATES: Hollywood and Graceland reacting to the sudden passing of Lisa Marie Presley. She died last night hours after being hospitalized following an apparent cardiac arrest.

In her last public appearance, Lisa Marie attended the Golden Globes on Tuesday night in L.A. ehere actor Austin Butler won for his portrayal of her late father in the movie "Elvis." Here's one of her last interviews where she spoke to "Entertainment Tonight" on the red carpet.


UNKNOWN: Hey, Lisa, how are you?


UNKNOWN: What was it like watching Austin --

PRESLEY: I'm happy to see you (ph).

UNKNOWN: Hi, Lisa. How are you doing? I hear a lot about you.

PRESLEY: Thank you. I hear a lot about you.

UNKNOWN: What was it like watching Austin on stage and doing this making and the making of this movie?

PRELEY: It was mind-blowing, truly mind-blowing. I really didn't know what to do with myself after -- after I saw it.


PRESLEY: I had to take like five days to process it because it was so incredible and so spot on and so authentic that -- yeah, I can't even describe what it meant.


COATES: CNN's senior national correspondent Kyung Lah is here. Kyung, what are you learning about the family's plans ahead?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're just hearing from a family spokesperson who says that Presley's final resting place will be at Graceland. You know, that was her father's historic home. And she will be laid to rest next to her son, Ben, who died by suicide two years ago.

And that is really being marked and honored by her ex-husband, Nicholas Cage. He released a statement saying -- quote -- "Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met. She lit up every room, and I am heartbroken. I find some solace believing she is reunited with her son, Benjamin."

And we're also hearing from the Michael Jackson estate on Lisa Marie Presley. The deceased popstar, of course, was married to Presley. And in that statement, the estate says -- quote -- "Michael cherished the special bond they enjoyed and was comforted by Lisa Marie's generous love, concern and care during their times together."

But Laura, you know, there's still, as you mentioned, a lot of questions. You know, we don't have autopsy results.


LAH: We don't have toxicology results. We're not really sure what happens moving forward, but those certainly could potentially answer exactly why a 54-year-old woman would suddenly suffer from cardiac arrest.

COATES: And in fact, she was just at Graceland just on Sunday, right, giving a speech in what would be her father's 88th birthday. What can you tell us about that?

LAH: You're right about that, Laura. I mean, it's a big moment, you know, and it's something that she absolutely marched. She said that she had withdrawn from public view. She noted that she didn't want to be so public. But that it was this moment, her father's 88th birthday, had he lived, that brought her out to talk to fans. Take a listen.


PRESLEY: Thank you. UNKNOWN: We love you.

PRESLEY: It's been a while.

CROWD: Yeah.

UNKNOWN: We missed you.

PRESLEY: I missed you.

UNKNOWN: We love you, Lisa!

PRESLEY: And I love you. I keep saying you're the only people that can bring me out my House. I'm not kidding.

UNKNOWN: You go, girl.

UNKNOWN: We love you.

PRESLEY: And I love you back, and that's why I'm here. So, today, he would have been 88 years old. It's hard to believe.


LAH: And Laura, you may have seen that in the bug in the corner, in the graphic in the corner, it says Sunday. That was just this past Sunday. So, she had two very big public appearances shortly before she suffered from this cardiac arrest.

COATES: Kyung, thank you so much. I want to bring in CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, the director of the cardiac catheterization program at George Washington University Hospital. Dr. Reiner, I'm glad that you're here and to lean on your expertise. There are so many unanswered questions.

This was a 54-year-old woman dying of cardiac arrest, which I know really is the heart stopping. But I'm wondering, when you look at a case like this or hearing about it, how should people be thinking about this? Is it the same as a heart attack or is the language distinct for a reason?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: So, first of all, this is obviously a tragedy. A 54-year-old person dying suddenly at home is unexpected and really sad. It's important to understand that cardiac arrest, which literally means the heart stopping, is not the same as a heart attack. Now, heart attack is when the heart muscle dies, when the supply of blood to the muscle is interrupted, and that can cause the heart to stop, that can cause a cardiac arrest.

But there are many, many possible causes of a cardiac arrest that don't have to do with a primary cardiac problem. And time will tell. If there's an autopsy and, as Kyung said, if there's toxicology, we'll have a sense whether there was a noncardiac etiology, a noncardiac cause for Lisa Marie's death. And I think in an otherwise healthy 54- year-old, noncardiac causes rise to the top of the list.

COATES: The idea of noncardiac causes, I've also learned about the idea how it can present differently, for example, in a woman than a man. Are there things that you hope people are educated about more based on something like this?

REINER: Well, first of all, you know, we've seen in Damar Hamlin's happy ending, we've seen the importance of CPR and AEDs. In with these high- profile cardiac arrests, I think it's important for the public to understand that many of these lives can be saved if the first responders, even when they're not trained medical professionals, immediately start CPR.

So, when someone has a cardiac arrest, the clock starts. And within just a few minutes, brain injury will occur. But you can temporize until paramedics come by starting CPR immediately.

COATES: Very important.

REINER: And if you haven't taken CPR class, go ahead and do that. Learn how to use an AED.

COATES: That's a really important point, and I hope everyone heeds that advice. Thank you so much, Dr. Reiner. We always lean on your expertise. Thank you.

REINER: Thank you, Laura.

COATES: Well, a cage cat, a leopard on the lam, a day long search at the zoo, and investigators say that it looks like it was no accident.


WARREN MITCHELL, SERGEANT, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: It is our belief that this was an intentional act. And so, we have started a criminal investigation.





COATES: Well, lions and tigers and leopards now. What happened at the Dallas Zoo today? CNN's Ed Lavandera is here. Ed, nice to see you, but I'm hearing that a leopard got loose today? What more do we know?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, it was a clouded leopard that was here at the Dallas Zoo. It was an incredibly hectic day for the humans on the ground. But by the sounds of it or rather a chill day for Nova, the clouded leopard, late this afternoon, officials found the clouded leopard and it took about 30 minutes to get her back inside where they wanted to get her.

But this was discovered early this morning here at the Dallas Zoo when the animal caretakers arrived. They noticed that there was an opening in the fenced enclosure where the clouded -- there are two clouded leopards that live here, their habitat.


LAVANDERA: And they spent much of the day looking for her. Now, zoo officials have been saying throughout the day that they do not believe that the clouded leopard had ventured too far away. By nature, these are animals that live in the treetops. They don't venture far away from the habitat that they are accustomed to.

So, while the humans were scrambling to her, you almost get the impression that Nova, the clouded leopard, was just kind of chilling, hanging out in the treetops, watching all the commotion below her, perhaps. But investigators here say they believe that that enclosure with that cut in the fence was intentionally done, and they've launched a criminal investigation.

COATES: That's unbelievable. It's very scary to think about it. All is well. Hopefully, that ends well here. But the idea that they had to try to find the leopard, I mean, what did they do? Did they shut down the zoo? Was it even open? Were patrons even there while this was all happening? I can't imagine as a mom having a kid yanking at my jacket saying, mom, I think you want to look over here. What were they trying to do?

LAVANDERA: Well, you know, it did setup some alarm bells this morning that the zoo was closed all day long. The Dallas SWAT team was called out to here. But that was just the initial call. Zoo officials said, look, this is an animal that is 25 pounds, a little bit bigger than a normal house cat, but not quite as big as a bobcat. They initially described Nova, the clouded leopard, as an animal that is non- dangerous.

They were urging people to be careful. And there was some concern the cat might venture away from the Dallas Zoo. And some parts of the zoo are surrounded by residential neighborhoods. So, there was some concern. But they seemed very confident throughout much of the day that Nova, the cat, was going to stay very close to that enclosure and it sounds like that's what happened.

COATES: Man, who would cut a fence like that and endanger the animal and, of course, everyone else in that area as well? Ed, I hope they get to the bottom of this. I'm glad to know that Nova is safe tonight. Thank you so much.

LAVANDERA: You got it.

COATES: And everyone, thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.