Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Tonight

More Searches For Documents Possible At Locations Connected To Biden; GA Is The Place Where The Political Importance Of Black Voters Is Clearest; Mafia Boss And Italy's Most Wanted Man Arrested In Sicily; Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Russell Gage Injured During Monday Night Football; CNN Gets Rare Access To NFL's Medical Preparations On Game Day; Police Investigates The "Intentional" Cuts In Fencing At Dallas Zoo. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 16, 2023 - 23:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Tonight, there are multiple sources telling CNN that there could be even more searches and maybe even more locations after classified documents were found at the president's one-time private office. More, of course, found in his home in Wilmington. The White House Counsel Office saying this weekend that additional five pages of classified material has also been found in Wilmington.

So just how is the White House reacting to all of this? Here to talk about it, Republican strategist Doug Heye is back, CNN political commentator Ashley Allison, and Tia Mitchell is also here, Washington correspondent for the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution."

Let me begin with you, Ashley, because we do have the reporting that Biden is growing -- well, frustrated is the word, about how this is being handled internally. Some would say about it is about time because it is not a good look. What is your take?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think what the president was trying to do is distance himself from this issue because if they were classified documents, he wanted them found, turn over to the Archives and the DOJ.

I think the trickling out of knowing about there is a set here, there is set there, it is like the story that won't end. And so, it sounds what they're doing today is they're making a statement that we are searching as many places as possible to identify any remaining classified documents, turn them over to the Archives and the DOJ.

It is not great politically. I still stand by the fact that there are two very different cases with former President Trump and Biden. But I can understand, even though as his lawyers handled this legally correctly, with the communication's lens, it seems like there has been a few stumbles.

COATES: Tia, there is the comparison being drawn. But I want to go back to timeline if we can for a second. The timeline is really crucial to me. The idea of when did you know it and who knew it, what did you do about it. Right? For 68 days, it looks like, 68 days about they didn't say anything about the document discovery.

Now, I know full well, of course, DOJ has their rules about what they will disclose. Obviously, there is PR discussion about that very point. But I wonder, the idea of explanations, the idea of trying to be differential DOJ, is that connecting with voters or is the concern that it will not?

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: I think what is connecting with voters is kind of on that granular level, President Biden had classified documents after criticizing former President Trump of being careless with classified documents. I think that is the main takeaway from voters, and a lot of that nuance, yes, it is true, it is not the same.

The obstruction that was perceived from former President Trump is not the same. The refusal to cooperate is not perceived as the same. But I don't know how closely voters are following that.

The timeline, I also think, I'm not sure voters are really following that even. You know, the PR kind of concerns that we are hearing get to this on a more specific level that I don't think voters really care about, that voters are really following. I think the general discussion is that why does President Biden have classified documents the same way that former President Trump was criticized for having classified documents.

COATES: Back on that point, you have Congressman Comer who is investigating Trump talking about this issue about those comparisons between the investigations for Trump and not for Biden. Listen to this.


REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): There have been so many investigations to President Trump. I don't feel like we need to spend a whole lot of time investigating President Trump because the democrats have done that for the past six years.


COATES: And yet you've got the White House spokesperson reacting in some respects and giving a statement. Here's what it says. House Republicans have no credibility. President Biden is doing the right thing and is cooperating fully with a thorough review. But House Republicans are playing politics in a shamelessly hypocritical attempt to attack President Biden. That is White House spokesman Ian Sams.

I wonder what your reaction to that is, Doug. But also, what Tia was speaking, if we go back in time to how Trump was speaking about say Hillary Clinton, there is some comparisons to be drawn about the PR reactions.


COATES: What do you say?

HEYE: There's an altruism in politics that when you're explaining, you're losing. And what we saw last week and still going on now is that the White House has to explain this. And so, most voters aren't really tune in to all the details on this and where particular set of papers were in all this.

But Thursday was supposed to be a really good day for the White House. There was good economic news and that's what they wanted to drive home. And instead, we saw Biden had a press conference that didn't go well for him and a press briefing that didn't go well for Karine because they were explaining. So, they were losing and they lost out on driving a core message for them which is a strong economy.

That is the problem here politically. You don't look at this and say, well, no, it is not as bad as Trump, and I would agree, it is not as bad as Trump. But, you know, the core Biden promises is that me and my pro of teams won't make the mistakes of Donald Trump and his Adams family staff. Well, that is the problem. They're explaining, they're losing.

COATES: You know, the connection, the connective tissue here, of course, is you got President Biden, former President Trump who is hoping to becoming the president yet again. Both -- well, we haven't heard fully from the intention realized from Biden. But Ashley, I mean, both men considerably are trying to run for reelection to the presidency. What impact all of this had, do you think?

I mean, I know it stunned the world, but there's probably some who are salivating and thinking, hold on, this might be my entry way into the race.

ALLISON: Well, there's a couple ways, I think, you can look at it. The first is if former President Trump, who has already announced somewhat anticlimactically but has announced running for president, and if sitting President Joe Biden decides to run for reelection. If they are the two names at the top of the ticket, I think it crosses them out.

If on the Dem side, for some reason, President Biden decides not to run for reelection, I don't think these classified documents will play any role in any of the democratic bench on whether or not they're going to announce on how successful they will be. It will just be something of the past and a good four years for Biden.

But, if some of the democratic side, which it doesn't seem to be and I don't think it should be, decides to try and get out ahead of this before President Biden were to announce, they could really use these documents against Joe Biden to dry and take him.

But again, I think because the Biden administration, the Biden lawyers, and thought it might not be as smooth as everyone would like it to be, I think because they are cooperation with the Department of Justice, cooperating with the National Archives, they will get past this.

The question is, how many more announcements will the special counsel have and how long does that story last? At some point, they relinquished their power by being so compliant and then it's to DOJ.

COATES: It wasn't really a hemorrhage, right, Tia, but it is certainly not plodding yet, politically. And I'm wondering, Governor DeSantis looking at this and going, yes. Tell me more about this, Trump and Biden. Tell me more about your administrations on these issues. I mean, do somebody like him or others who are named in this capacity as potential presidential hopefuls who are looking back and saying this is good for their ambition?

MITCHELL: Yeah, I think anyone who has their sights set on the White House in 2024 is looking at this and trying to figure out how they can capitalize on. You know, Governor DeSantis can because he's not privy to federally-classified documents. So, he can be pretty sure that he won't have this issue like Trump or Biden.

That being said, it is still a long way away. I think there is a risk of overplaying your hand, especially when it comes to President Biden, because in the grand scope of things, we are talking about a relatively small number of documents that -- it was -- even when President Trump got issues with the documents, it wasn't that he had them, it's that when the repeated request to turn them over, it was appearing that he was not cooperative.

It's always been said that former presidents, sometimes, things get -- you know, there are a lot of documents in their papers that they turn over. Sometimes, classified record gets lost in there. So, I think it's easy to overplay and that's the risk that opponents of Trump or Biden have. But, at the same token, when the special counsel starts looking, who knows what might be uncovered, and that's the risk for President Biden going forward.

COATES: We're going to come back to you all as well and go on with this issue among other issues as well, including how -- well, Georgia, Georgia is where Tia is from -- Georgia's crucial Democrats' hopes, especially Georgia's Black voters. President Biden has made a whole lot of promises to them. The question is, has he delivered?




COATES: President Biden was in Georgia this past weekend, becoming the first sitting president to deliver a sermon from the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor. The president calling this a time for choosing, choosing between democracy and autocracy. This is also a time when Black voters in Georgia have become one of the most important voting blocks for the Democratic Party.

Joining us now to break it down at the magic wall, CNN senior data reporter, Harry Enten, is here with us. Harry, you know, you argue that Black voters are almost uniquely important to Georgia specifically. Walk us through why you think that is.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes. So, let us take a look at the states that -- all the states that Joe Biden won by less than five points in the 2020 election, and we will look at the Black voter percentage that we saw in the exit polls. What you will see here is that Georgia stands alone at 29%, right? No other state that Joe Biden won by less than five pints comes anywhere close to it.

Michigan at 12%. Pennsylvania at 11%. Another state that really rallies for Democrats in 2020, Arizona, very tight just like Georgia, well within half a percentage point for Biden, went all the way down at 2%.


So, in Georgia, Black voters are very important. But here is the other key thing to recognize about Georgia, and that is take a look at the Black voter percentage, according to the secretary of state, for whom the race is known, we are looking at those, and look at this, in 2020, Black voters made of 29%, as we just pointed out. But look at where we were in 2000, it was just 23%.

So, it is not just that Black voters make up a very large portion of the Georgia electorate, their percentage of the Georgia electorate is growing. Compare that to nationally, right, where it was 11% back in 2000 and just 12% in 2020. So, we disproportional growth in Georgia of the Black voter percentage.

And just to give you an idea of how this math kind of works right. So, look at the 2020 Georgia presidential result. The actual was Biden by just 0.2% points. If in fact the Black voter percentage of the electorate had stayed the same from back in 2000, Donald Trump would have won by about six points. So, the fact that the Black voter percentage is rising, that is a large part of the reason that Joe Biden was able to come away with that narrow victory in the Peach State.

COATES: Well, that is the presidential races. But I'm wondering, we have seen, especially for Georgia, we keep looking at Georgia, it is on everyone's mind time and time again for the Senate runoff race as well deciding, of course, who is going to be in power, the majority in power not one but really twice in as many years, how have Black voters impacted the Senate runoffs?

ENTEN: Yes. So, bigly, that's what I would say. Additionally speaking, Black voter percentage in the Georgia runoff has shrunk. But look back at the 2020 runoff. The turnout is a percentage of the 2020 general election. In the majority Black counties, it was 92%. That is that their proportion was very close to the proportion that they made up in the general electorate. Right? In all other counties, it was 89%.

So, black leaders actually made a large percentage in the runoff than they did in the general election. That is very unusual. But it is not just that they made up a large percentage. It was also that the voters who turned out, the African-American voters who turned out, were even more democratic than those who voted in the 2020 general elections.

Look at this. Raphael Warnock in the 2021 Senate special runoff, look at that, won by 86 points, Ossoff won by 84 points, considerably larger than Biden's win in the 2020 presidential election of just 77 points. And then, of course, in the 2022 Senate runoff, look at that, Warnock overall one by three. Among Black voters, he won by 93 points. Among all other voters, look at that, Herschel Walker won by 33. Black voters put Raphael Warnock back in the United States Senate for a full term.

COATES: That does look bigly. That is the word that you used and the right one at this point. Harr, we will see how it actually impacts the upcoming 2024 race as well. Harry Enten, thank you so much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COATES: And back with me now, Doug Heye, Ashley Allison and Tia Mitchell. So, you heard Harry's analysis on these points. But Biden didn't really have a big presence, say, in the Georgia special -- Georgia Senate election for Senator Warnock, right? I mean, it was a very crucial seat, Tia. What do you make of him now being back there and recognizing the impact yet again?

MITCHELL: I think Biden always understood the importance of Georgia, and that is why he stayed away during election season. That was part of the calculus, that in Georgia, that Biden and Harris would not be helpful. It was one of the only swing states he didn't visit during election season.

COATES: Why wouldn't they be? That is very telling. You have Biden who spoke about having their backs, I will have your back, you have mine. Old conversation, everyone references it. And you got Vice President Harris, a historic vice president in a democracy. Why would they have been not helpful?

MITCHELL: I think because Raphael Warnock being a different type of candidate, he is a Black man running in a state where yes, he needs Black voters, but I don't think he needs Biden or Harris to help him turn out Black voters in Georgia.

Meanwhile, he was trying to reach out to voters in the middle. In that way, he was distancing himself somewhat from the Biden administration or at least asserting independence from the Biden administration.

A big part of Raphael Warnock's campaign message was saying, hey, I can work across the aisle with Republicans. He talked more about Ted Cruz during the campaign than he talked about Joe Biden and his ability to work with Ted Cruz on the infrastructure bill to get funding for new highway, for example.

So, you know, he talked about, I can bluff my party when I need to. I spoke out and criticized them on their failure to pass voting rights, for example, and I can work across the aisle. I think he and his advisers were worried that a Biden visit would focus too much on the president, too much on the president's, you know, failures, lack of progress --


COATES: Approval rating.


COATES: Approval rating as well.


COATES: Across the aisle to across the table. Let me ask you this, Doug, because he is in Georgia. This at a time when, of course, as you all know, there has been conversations about moving the primaries up for the southern states. South Carolina being first. Georgia coming up in the ranks as well. I wonder what you make of, based on analysis of Harry, what do you think of that for Democrats versus Republicans on that new primary schedule?

HEYE: I don't think there's a big difference between the parties. And also, for disclosure, I worked -- ran communications for the Iowa Caucus in 2012. I love Iowa. But clearly, it was unsustainable for Democrats to keep Iowa and New Hampshire as one and two. However, they make that decision. And obviously, Iowa would have some counting difficulties in previous caucuses.

So, Iowa was unsustainable for Democrats. Republicans aren't going to move from that. They're going to use that to say, look, we care about rural voters, we care about rural issues. But, clearly, you're seeing a shift in how the parties are targeting voters.

I talked a lot to the point that a lot of my Republican colleagues told us to shut up about don't forget North Carolina. It had very close Senate race and it didn't get any national attention. You had African-American candidate on the democratic side.

COATES: A judge.

HEYE: A judge. And Democrats, in North Carolina, you have 11 HBCUs. When Barack Obama surprised everybody by winning in 2008, it was in part because those weren't just HBCUs, those were turnout machines for Obama and it caught Republicans napping. Don't forget North Carolina. South Carolina is a very red state. But, clearly, the dominance that African-Americans had in South Carolina is a key for them.

COATES: Not just Georgia, right? There are other states as well. I'm thinking about that. So, I just wonder about the messaging now for, say, President Biden or other candidates who are keen to these data points.

Before, his message was about democracy, about the idea -- Georgia, of course, amongst others because it was really the foil for the so- called big lie. You had Kemp. You had Raffensperger. You had people who are fighting against that narrative.

But is democracy going to be enough, the idea of looking back to January 6th? Is that going to be enough, do you think, to get voters excited for Biden in the southern states?

ALLISON: I think that it's democracy and the economy and criminal justice and policing reform and reproductive rights and you continue on and on and on.

You know, when you're looking to run a campaign, a lot of it is about the candidate, but some of it is pure math. And you look at your states where you have the right -- I do coalition work. You look where you have the right demographic.

The thing about Georgia that I think people continue to forget is that it didn't happen overnight. There was a vision, mostly led by Stacey Abrams, the people on the ground in Georgia, they believe in Black voters.

And something that the Democratic Party often gets reprimanded about, particularly by Black voters, is to show up four days before the election. Instead, four years or 10 years in Georgia.

There are states like Mississippi that have 36% Black population. And when you really think about the Democratic Party in Mississippi, it is not that large. It is not like they have a huge investment.

A state like Alabama, we get a democratic senator, Doug Jones, from Alabama in a special action. Why? Because of Black voters, 25% of the voters -- 25% Black voter population.

So, if the party were really to look at the math and see pockets where they could really turn out voters by small investments, because when you haven't been spoken to for 20 years, two minutes goes a long way in an election cycle.

I think that you can really see more Georgia, but it can't happen overnight. You have to do an investment. So, it has to be an immediate investment, an investment like a Joe Biden showing up in Georgia, going across the Black Belt us we often call it in the southern state for a long-term vision for the new Democratic Party.

COATES: Do Republicans see an opportunity as well, given those percentages she just talked about, or is it just an unattainable goal in those areas?

HEYE: Absolutely unobtainable goal for Republicans. And there is this weird dichotomy where in some pockets, they're doing better with African-American voters and Hispanic voters despite all of the things that Trump has said that should turn off a lot of those voters.

So, to Republicans, it's very high hurdles and they're self-created hurdles. And I'll say one state that we didn't talk about that just elected an African-American governor is Maryland, Wes Moore. He's not just a rising star. He's a rising comet for Democrats, it looks like.

COATES: (INAUDIBLE) this coming week, as a matter of fact, in this very issue. Stick around, everyone. We will be right back on this and more. Stay around.




COATES: Well, tonight, Italy's most wanted man is in custody after nearly 30 years in hiding. Notorious Italian mob boss, Matteo Messina Denaro, was arrested at a private health clinic after a raid carried out by more than 100 special agents.

Messina Denaro has multiple convictions for murder, including the kidnapping and death of a 12-year-old boy whose body was dissolved in acid. He was also convicted in absentia for the assassination of two anti-mafia prosecutors who were killed in separate targeted bombings in 1992.

Joining me now, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson. Joey, what a story that's happening right now.


COATES: I mean, the idea he had been given several life sentences, Joey, even while in hiding for mafia-related crimes, the big question is, what happens now?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Laura, good to be with you. So, this is 30 years in the making, right? So, to say that this is hugely significant is indeed an understatement.

To your question and the event someone is arrested, right, what you go to as well, you look to the issues of proof and do they have DNA, do they have witnesses, and do they have surveillance here to what the point you raised earlier.

He was convicted, as we look at the picture there, in abstention a number of times. And so, to the extent that you're convicted in absentia, what does it mean in English? It means that everybody has a right, as you know, Laura, to participate in the trial, to aid their lawyers in their defense, to sit through the trial and raise defenses.

When you are not there, however, the government has an obligation and the responsibility to proceed. And so, apparently, the government has proceeded. There are multiple life sentences that await him. And so, the short answer to your question is that he will be in jail, and that is essentially what happens to serve out the life sentences that he has been tried and convicted on, although he was not present for those proceedings.

COATES: Such an important point about the idea being able to still be convicted nonetheless even you're not able to participate. You can be on the lam or on the run in some respects. But, you know, so many people are talking about him being hidden by so many officials (ph), Joey. We are talking about him being held in a secret location.

And I'm wondering, is this a concern? You have 100 people going to be able to even take this man to custody. Is the concern his safety or his ability to leave?

JACKSON: You know, I think that there are multiple concerns, obviously, when you are as notorious as he has been, Laura. Involved in a family -- indeed, his brother having been convicted and served time, not rolling over on him. His sister. We know about his father. So, there are a number of things.

And so, I think as it relates to people who might be looking for him, right, in addition to, as you know, right, the safety of him, the safety of others, the safety and integrity of the entirety of the proceeding, you want to ensure that he is in a secret location.

Make no mistake about it, though. Justice has arrived. It has arrived. The wheels of justice often move, but often move very slowly. And though he's in a secret and secure location, I think that location will ultimately be in a prison for a life sentence.

COATES: And Joey, most of the time, people wonder, if someone is captured, they'll think, oh, is there an option for a plea? Will they be cooperating? Is there some sort of bigger fish to fry, so to speak? Sounds like he is really top of the food chain.

But also, those convictions, there is no incentive now really for the prosecution to be able to try to coax in. There's already a conviction that's there. Life sentence as well. But could they be trying to talk to him about how really how he was able to evade them for so long? Does he have to answer anything?

JACKSON: Yeah, you know, I just don't see that, Laura. I mean, no, he doesn't have to answer. I think the code, based upon who he is, based upon who his family is, based upon his DNA, I don't think that they will get anything at all. There's simply would be no incentive.

I think authorities are also very concerned about the people around him. You know, there have been millions and millions of dollars that have been seized from his associates, from his friends. Certainly, I know he still has other friends and associates who want him out. So, authorities have to worry about that.

But I just do not see him flipping or rolling or telling them anything. I mean, this is a long time in the making. They had to essentially find him, Laura, predicated upon knowing that he had this cancer, knowing that he needed to get treatment, didn't even know what his face looked like, had very few clues, really wants his trail over the years.

But I just don't see anything other than them getting him, him not saying a word, and ultimately him just serving out his sentence, which will be multiple life sentences.

COATES: I mean, it almost plays like a movie, just thinking about how this is all unfolded. Where he was arrested, it is a private clinic known for plastic surgery or elective surgeries. We don't yet know what he was actually receiving in terms of treatment. This story unfolds in due time. Joey Jackson, thanks for being here to help us unpack it all. Wow!

JACKSON: Thank you, Laura.

COATES: And speaking of another wow, another injury in the NFL. This time impacting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Russell Gage. I'll give you more on that in just a moment.




COATES: Bad news tonight from the Monday night football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucks' Russell Gage appeared to injure his neck when he took a hit in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. He was on the field for several minutes before being carted off the field. And the broadcast showed Gage moving his legs while they were administering care. This coming two weeks after Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field in cardiac arrest. Now, Hamlin is making a remarkable recovery.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta got a special look this weekend at what the NFL does before games to prepare for any number of medical emergencies.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamliin went into cardiac arrest, the game stopped.

UNKNOWN: Another Bills' player is down, maybe Hamlin.


GUPTA (voice-over): But for the emergency response team, everything was just getting started.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Go ahead and go over to the cot. I don't like how he went down.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): We're going to need everybody. All call! All call!

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Bring everybody. We need the air-way doc. Everybody. Bring the cot with the medics. All of you. And get wheels out here.

GUPTA (voice-over): As rare as this all is, I'm going to explain now the remarkable chain of events that came together to save Damar Hamlin's life.

ALLEN SILLS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, NFL: So, this is actually the EAP for --

GUPTA (voice-over): It starts with this. (On camera): So, what is the EAP? What does it stand for?

SILLS: It's for Emergency Action Plan.

GUPTA (on camera): And that takes place for every game?

SILLS: So, basically, any time or any place that players are going to be active, there has to be an Emergency Action Plan.

GUPTA (voice-over): They're administering CPR.

SILLS: The EAP was followed (INAUDIBLE) that night. In that moment, everyone knew what they needed to do, how they needed to do it, had the equipment to do it and felt comfortable.

GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Allen Sills is chief medical officer of the NFL. He is giving me a sideline view of the preparedness that goes into every game. And once you see this, you will probably never watch a game the same way again.

You may have missed this, a pop-up blue tent. It is on every side.

SILLS: It's like a medical exam room. Now, we kind of made this a medical space, even in the middle of a very busy stadium. It is just so much easier to do things in here because, like I said, everybody is just more relaxed. You don't have the cameras. You don't have the fans.

GUPTA (voice-over): Or this, the injury review screen.

SILLS: So, we can be down here on the sideline and the spotters' booth, if they've seen an injury, video, they will cue it up for us, put on the video, exactly what we need to see. We could ask them to run it back. We can talk and we can hear them there.

GUPTA (voice-over): The spotters' booth. They are the eyes in the sky.

UNKNOWN: Welcome, welcome.

GUPTA (On camera): Thank you. This is good.

SILLS: So, another part of our game day medical preparations. The real goal of this booth is to help spot any injuries or illnesses on the field.

GUPTA (voice-over): Can be hard to see the whole field from down there.

SILLS (voice-over): Right.

(On camera): Probably one of the most unique things in sports is the spotter can directly communicate down to the referee. These people can stop the game.

UNKNOWN: So, we watch every play probably minimally four times. And then we'll go back and watch it again. And so, you know, we just want to make sure that we don't miss anything.

SILLS: It's always about the right people, the right plan, and the right equipment. We have almost 30 medical professionals. And everyone has a job to do.

GUPTA (voice-over): ER doctors, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, paramedics, x-ray techs, and airway specialist like Dr. Justin Deaton (ph).

JUSTIN DEATON, AIRWAY SPECIALIST: So, this is the bag that I carry. It has got a number of things in here that we could use. The first thing is a portal video, laryngoscope. We have a portable ultrasound machine that we can use. But we also have ability to perform surgical airways. I really have all the resources available here that I would have in an emergency room.

GUPTA (on camera): What's the biggest challenge of that scenario versus being in an emergency room?

DEATON: Well, the biggest challenge is the external environment and the chaos of the situation. When you have a larger than average-sized person that's lying flat on the ground and not able to be elevated to a certain level with extra equipment, plus, you know, cameras and other people around, those are really the things that make it more difficult to manage.

GUPTA (on camera): How does everybody know that you are the guy in charge?

DEATON: I wear a red hat on the sideline. That signifies me as the emergency physician, the airway physician. Even the other team knows, when I come out, what my role is.

GUPTA (voice-over): Every game comes with new lessons. For example, on September 25th, when Miami Dolphin Tua Tagovailoa stumbled after a hit, he was allowed back in the game. That won't happen again.

SILLS: You know, we changed the protocol earlier this year when you and I spoke to, say, if we see something that looks like (INAUDIBLE), they're also done.

GUPTA (voice-over): And as the teams all warm up, there is one final, crucial step.

(On camera): Every time I'm in the operating room, we do something known as a timeout. Everyone stops what they're doing to make sure that everyone is on the same page. This is the same sort of thing that is happening here behind me. It is called a 60-minute meeting.

It happens 60 minutes before every game, a chance for all the medical professionals to make sure that they know who each other are, to make sure that they who is going to do what if there is some sort of crisis out on the field.

KEVIN KAPLAN, ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON AND SPORTS MEDICINE SPECIALIST: All right, so, let's start with introductions so that everybody is familiar with the medical staff that is here at the game. I'm Kevin Kaplan, head team physician orthopedics for the Jaguars.

DEATON: I'm Justin Deaton, airway medical physician.

KAPLAN: So, Justin is going to be on our 30-yard line. He stands just to our right. If a player goes down, obviously, he will know if it's orthopedic or internal medicine. He'll step out on to the field. Our all call sign is in X. So, if you need him to come out, he will come out with an X. All of the important equipment, airway, defibrillator, all the medications are all behind him with our paramedics and our sideline.


If a player needs to get taken off of the field, the ambulance is going to be in the tunnel to your right. If you need anything at all, we will be out there for you guys if you need us. Otherwise, hope we have a safe and healthy game. Good luck.

GUPTA (on camera): Keep in mind, the medical team was able to get to Damar Hamlin within 10 seconds. And speed really matters here. Every additional minute that someone in cardiac arrest goes without CPR, mortality goes up by up to 10%.

SILLS: This is a process that is in place for every single game. We train in the off-season just like the players train. And practice, we do as well. So, I have tremendous confidence, but you always want to see a game with no injuries and you want everyone to, frankly, be bored on the medical side. That's a good game from my standpoint.

GUPTA (voice-over): Yeah.


GUPTA: Laura, it was such a fascinating sideline look at just exactly how these medical teams prepare along with the athletic trainers. Just really remarkable. And keep in mind, you know, the game of football has changed a lot. You know, when the NFL started, the average lineman wait is about 190 pounds. And now, it could be over 300 pounds. They can run a 40-yard dash in five seconds.

If you get hit by somebody that that's big at that speed, it could be like 1,700 pounds of force, I was told. Literally like a ton of bricks falling on somebody. There had been a lot of rule changes, Laura, 50 rule changes over the last 20 years, but you see what is necessary, medically, to try and keep up and try and prevent these types of injuries. Laura?

COATES: That was fascinating. So important to hear that, Sanjay. We'll be right back.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COATES: So, who exactly tried to tamper with animals at the Dallas Zoo? That is the question the Dallas Police have been really trying to answer. We reported Friday, if you remember, that a clouded leopard got out of its enclosure after someone cut a hole in the fencing. Now, fortunately, the leopard was actually recaptured.

But now, police say that a similar hole was also cut on Friday in the fencing on the enclosure holding monkeys. None of them escaped.

Talking now with wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, host of ABC's "Wildlife Nation." I'm so glad that you are here. I'm a big fan of your work. I'm glad to talk to you, in particular, about what is happening, Jeff.

You know, first of all, you look at this, the idea of people trying to cut or someone cutting a hole in a fence, who would try to do this? It is an innocent act because these animals, they are not exactly the kind that ought to be running around in this particular area.

JEFF CORWIN, ABC HOST, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: Absolutely, Laura. And by the way, I'm delighted to be speaking to you. I'm a big fan of your work as well.

COATES: Thank you.

CORWIN: And I'm happy to share this information with you. These are wild animals, and they're powerful animals. First of all, I'm so thankful that the Dallas Zoo was able to recover this critically- threatened species, this clouded leopard, a feline that normally you find living in the wilds of Southeast Asia.

The Dallas Zoo is a world-class zoo. They educate millions of people every year. They do their very best to take care of their animals, which are ambassadors for the species.

This was an event that was the result of a crime. And it was either done for two reasons. It was either done for theft, potential theft, or it was done for vandalism.

COATES: You have worked with these leopards. Not this particular one in the Dallas Zoo, but the species. Tell me a little bit about what these leopards are like?

CORWIN: So, anyone who thinks they can walk up to a cloud of leopard enclosure, cut that fence, and think that little critter is just going to walk into a carry-on cage, has a horrible surprise coming their way.

I think you guys may have a photo of me working with the clouded leopard. This was a leopard at a reserve in Southeast Asia that needed a medical treatment. We had to sedate this animal. They are that powerful.

I know people keep saying that it has the weight of 40 pounds, a small dog. This is a creature that can climb up at 200-foot tall tree, jumped down 100 feet, and dispatch a deer. They are incredibly powerful animals with powerful teeth and powerful claws.

So, it was someone who was truly misinformed. Laura, there are many examples of where people -- I would not say many. There is a number of examples where people tried to steal animals from zoos. Often, it ends up badly both for the animal and for the people. Just a decade or two ago, two young men stole a Gaboon viper from the Bronx Zoo, and they ended up in the emergency room. So, these are powerful creatures.

COATES: So, I mean, the idea that somebody would have done this and what could happen. I mean, obviously, the leopard was actually recaptured. Thank goodness, it is now safely back in its enclosed habitat. There was no injury to others around. But that somebody would do this, you're right, the idea of either misinformed or far more nefarious about what a market may have been they're trying to achieve.

But also, it wasn't just a clouded leopard we're finding out. It also involved an enclosure for a breed of monkey named -- known as langurs. What are those animals like, and the idea that those did not get free, but what are these creatures like as well?

CORWIN: That's the last thing Dallas needs, langurs running around, especially since most of the homes there are one-storey or less. These are primates that live in the rainforest and the canopy. Again, very powerful creatures.


The last thing you want to do is tangle with the monkey that wants nothing to do with you. You are going to be in a serious situation. So, why are people doing this? So, there are two things. One, it is either vandalism.

It is either someone who is doing this because they want to cause damage, or maybe they are trying to make a point because they misunderstand the important conservation work that an organization like the Dallas Zoo does to protect these animals, educate them and protect their habitat, recover the species, or maybe it is someone who is trying to steal these animals.

Why? Are they stealing because they think it would be a pet? Ironically, Texas is one of the few places in the United States where you can actually have a large feline and exotic animal with a little less red tape and permits. But still, in most situations, you have to have a lot of permits, to the USDA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state and federal, to even have these animals or have access to them, organizations like zoos.

So, the black market trade for wildlife, Laura, it is about a 50 billion dollar-year industry. But that is no easy task. You just don't steal a leopard and put it on craigslist. It is a hard journey to try to sell one of these creatures.

So, I think it was someone who set themselves up for a task that literally went awry. And, hopefully, they've abandoned their efforts to try to steal these animals. Think twice. I know this is a criminal case. It could've been a lot worse. These animals could've been injured.

COATES: And others, as well. The idea of the unfamiliarity of these animals who would be outside of their known habitat and fending for their lives as well. We never know what could've happened. Really important talk to you, Jeff Corwin, especially about the idea of the spectrum of why someone might do this. But you're right, criminal investigation is underway. I hope that whoever who has done this will be held to account. Thank you so much.

CORWIN: And I'm so thankful they're back at the Dallas Zoo.

COATES: Very important. Thank you so much, Jeff Corwin.

CORWIN: Thank you.

COATES: And everyone else out there, thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.