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CNN Tonight

Foreperson In Georgia Trump Probe Speaks Out; Biden And Putin Hold Dueling Speeches As Russia Fails To Make Big Gains In Ukraine; Nikki Haley Defended Right To Secession, Confederate History Month And The Confederate Flag In 2021 Talk; Nikki Haley Defends Secession In 2010; GOP Primary Battle Lines Drawn; Senator Bernie Sanders Go Viral. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 21, 2023 - 22:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota. Welcome to CNN Tonight. The jury forewoman on that Georgia special grand jury has a lot to say about former President Trump and the investigation tonight.


EMILY KOHRS, FOREPERSON, GEORGIA SPECIAL GRAND JURY IN TRUMP PROBE: We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump. And we definitely discussed him a lot in the room. And I will say when this list comes out, you wouldn't -- there are no major plot twist waiting for you.


CAMEROTA: But should she be saying all of that out loud? Our experts will tell us.

Plus, President Biden making a major speech, saying that Russia will never win the war in Ukraine, while President Putin says it's impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield. So tonight, we'll look at the difference between what we see here in the U.S. and what the Russian people see on their T.V. screens.

And we have new reporting from CNN's KFile on what Nikki Haley said about the civil war when she was running for governor of South Carolina, in an interview that included a board member of a white nationalist organization.


NIKKI HALEY, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you had one side of the civil war that was fighting for tradition and I think you had another side of the civil that was fighting for change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe the states of the United States have the right to secede the union? HALEY: I think that they do. I mean the Constitution says that.


CAMEROTA: We have more on that new reporting coming up.

And watch what happens when Bernie Sanders accidentally photos bombs a TikTok video.

Okay. But, first, let's get right to that grand jury for woman who is speaking out tonight. Here with me in studio's former Watergate Prosecutor Nick Akerman, The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper, CNN Political Analyst Astead Herndon and Political Commentator Margaret Hoover. Great to have all of you guys here tonight. Great to have you.

JORDAN KLEPPER, CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY SHOW: Thanks for having us tonight.

CAMEROTA: Okay. So, Nick, let me play for you one more -- well, I've a few different things the jury forewoman said.


CAMEROTA: She did have a lot to say. So, I want your take on that. But, first, let me play it for you a little bit more.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We know that you all heard at least one call that Donald Trump was on during this period. This was the infamous call that the whole world has heard as it was released, when he is speaking to the Georgia Secretary of State George Brad Raffensperger. But in terms of just calls and recordings of calls, are there others of those?

KOHRS: I can tell you I heard other phone calls. I don't think I could name all of them right now if I wanted to. After 75 witnesses in eight months, it gets hard to keep all your bits straight.

BOLDUAN: Other calls that Donald Trump was on?

KOHRS: Yes, I'm positive that I've heard the president on the phone more than once.


CAMEROTA: Nick, is she's supposed to be speaking out like that?

AKERMAN: While, it's not what you usually see with a grand jury investigation. I mean, the traditional grand jury sits, it hears the evidence, it decides whether there is sufficient cause to indict and it's all secret. And this is a little bit different. I mean, Georgia has a different situation here, with the special grand jury. She claims that she staying within the parameters of what the judge told her she could say. CAMEROTA: Because she's not allowed to talk about deliberations?

AKERMAN: Right. Well, she's talking about deliberation but she's not talking about what the recommendations were, and who they recommended should be indicted. Although, I must say, she's basically said it's going to be Donald Trump, that he's going down on an indictment here.

I mean, she was asked by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today about whether or not Donald Trump, when he said that the grand jury exonerated him, whether that was true, she rolled her eyes and started laughing, which to me, was a clear sign, yes, he's going to be indicted. Donald Trump is going to be another one of these presidents who is the first one to be impeached twice and he's going to be the first one to face an indictment.

CAMEROTA: Is eye rolling and laughter, Jordan, the universal sign for that answer?

KLEPPER: Yes, I think so. I like how she played it coy all the way through. And the fact that she said there's no plot twists is so exciting to me. I've got an HBO Max account, I've got Netflix, I have plenty a plot twists. The fact that democracy might be boring is frankly the biggest tease you could have.


CAMEROTA: Astead, is this going to possibly hurt the prosecution that she's out talking to so many different media outlets?

ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, I don't know the answer as to whether it hurts the prosecution. It certainly hurts the suspense around the prosecution. This is someone who is going way further beyond, but I think anybody expected of a foreperson to say in this case.

But another thing about this case has been typical, right? Not the person speaking out of this point, not the fact that it's the former president involved, not the fact that he had been impeached two times before that.

And so, this is building up to a very atypical resolve, which we know is the former president who is the leading contender for the next nomination of being indicted again.

CAMEROTA: Margaret, your thoughts?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, the notion that there might be some real judicial accountability from sort of the third branch of government, a place where we haven't seen checks and balances on the political front, we haven't seen it sort of from the Senate in the two times that the president was impeached. He was not convicted, frankly, feels like a plot twist.

And the only thing that gives me pause about her speaking out is, frankly, her own safety. I mean, in this age of celebrity, in this age of needing attention and, frankly, in an age of increased heightened political polarization and political violence, you know, I worry about anybody sticking their head out bringing attention to a case that is so volatile and, frankly, does inspire so many wing nuts, for a better word, for a lack of a better word.

CAMEROTA: Yes, it's a valid point. And so, Nick, to that same question, is she harming the prosecution's case?

AKERMAN: No, I don't see how she's going to harm that case. The indictment will come down and the evidence will be what the evidence is. It's not going to impact what the evidence actually is.

CAMEROTA: But they won't say, that there -- the special grand jury was somehow illegitimate, or that they were in it for celebrity, or that I think there was -- I'm going to play you a little bit more sound. She talked a lot today. And at one point, she said that she was excited about shaking, I think, Rudy Giuliani's hand. None of that stuff Donald Trump can use against her?

AKERMAN: I don't see how that can be used at all in a trial. He's going to have to face particular charges. He's going to have to face charges over trying to shake down Secretary Raffensperger, he's going to have to face charges perpetrating falsehoods about the Georgia Elections Secretary Raffensperger. He's going to have to face charges about trying to importune to Governor Kemp into actually calling a special session of the Georgia legislature. He's going to have to face charges concerning sending Rudy Giuliani down to get these fake electors going and to get the legislature in Georgia to reconsider the Biden electors and vote in Trump electors. I mean, there are a series of criminal acts here. There's evidence to prove those acts. And the star witness in most of this is going to be Donald Trump, whose voice is on tape.

So, when you put all of that together, this is going to be a blip on the screen in terms of this entire case.

CAMEROTA: All right, let me play it for all of you what she says she would like to see happen.


KOHRS: I will be frustrated if nothing happens. This was too much, too much information, too much of my time, too much of everyone's time, too much of their time, too much argument in court about getting people to appear before us, there was just too much for this to just be, oh, okay, we are good, bye

BOLDUAN: And if it was just a perjury charge, or perjury charges, would that be acceptable to you?

KOHRS: That's fine. I will be happy as long as something happens.


CAMEROTA: I mean, it was eight months of her life. I don't blame her.

KLEPPER: That's a lot of time to put into it. It a feels like -- I mean, the last four years sometimes feels like the last 16 years in many people's lives. I don't know. I'm not holding my breath for accountability. I do worry about her. I think this may be a blip in terms of the prosecution and the case. But as somebody who goes out and talks to people who still support Donald Trump, I see somebody like this who goes on television, MSNBC, I believe, who seems excited about teasing what could happen to Donald Trump, and I already imagine myself engaging with folks who already see this as illegitimate because this person wants the attention. And I understand it, we all want the information but I already can tell the court of public opinion that case is starting to build itself right now.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I hear you. She's been on our air, that was a clip from our air and MSNBC, and she spoke to The Atlanta Journal- Constitution. Your thoughts, Margaret?

HOOVER: One of the things that strikes me about her, I mean, she is so sort of naively, sort of wonderful innocent about how excited she is about talking to the press about this. It just reminds me of this line from William F. Buckley Jr. saying like he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people on the Boston phonebook than the 20 people in the faculty of Harvard, I'm paraphrasing, right?

It's like this wonderful process of completely normal, ordinary people sitting down to adjudicate justice. I mean, that is the brilliance and the genius of democracy.


And you can see that there sort of in her smile and in her clear eyes.

CAMEROTA: I think she made that point, actually. In one of the interviews, I think she said it's so great. We're just normal people. We're all just regular people. Just excitable regular people, I'm paraphrasing as well.

HERNDON: I mean, hey, that's democracy in a nutshell. I mean, I think this speaks to someone who saw the reality show that was the White House come directly to them. But it's very gravely serious. To your point, this was a very like core democracy act but also core to what the American people want to see in terms of accountability. So, this is someone who rose to that task, even in this moment, as they're making a kind of a joke out of it.

CAMEROTA: One last thing, Nick. She said -- there's a quote from her in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She said several witnesses, less than a dozen, had been granted immunity from prosecutors.

AKERMAN: That's pretty amazing. That means that they -- not only that did she say they were granted immunity but that certain people already had made deals with the prosecutors before they came in to testify. So, in other words, the D.A. did her homework. She brought in people. She decided to give certain people who are lesser on the line of criminality immunity from prosecution. I mean, this looks like a pretty well thought out case. And it's going to be very interesting to see what the indictment looks like when it comes out. But I can't even remember a case where I've ever given more than four people immunity of some kind or made a deal with four people. To give it to 12 people --

CAMEROTA: Well, she says less than a dozen. I'm not sure how specific her math is.

AKERMAN: No, even if it's ten, that's a lot. But there are a lot of people involved. I mean, look at all the people that were involved in this phony elector scheme. And there are a lot of different people who can be witnesses. And the question is, how many of those people actually had direct contact with either Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman or Mark Meadows? Those are the big four that are going down on this indictment.

CAMEROTA: Nick, thank you very much. We'll keep you on speed dial. Everybody else, stick around, if you would.

So, next, we're going to show you the difference between what the war in Ukraine looks like here in the U.S., and what the Russian people are hearing on T.V.



CAMEROTA: I know, we'll get that in a moment. All right, dueling speeches today from President Biden and Vladimir Putin as the one-year anniversary approaches of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Autocrats only understand one word, no, no, no.

President Putin chose this war. Every day the war continues, it's his choice. He could end the war with a word.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: The western elites do not conceal their goals. As they say, it's a direct quote, to bring Russia a strategic defeat. What does that mean for us? It means to end us once and for all.


CAMEROTA: CNN Presidential Historian Timothy Naftali joins the conversation, back with Jordan Klepper, Astead Herndon and Margaret Hoover. Tim, great to have you.

Give us your historical perspective on what these speeches mean?

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, this is a momentous day because we are coming to the first anniversary of the start of this war. It's essential for members, leaders of the coalition, to re- up their commitment and to make it clear that even though this war is lasting a lot longer than anyone would want, in fact, nobody wanted this war, except for the Russians, that the west is willing to continue to do what is necessary for as long as necessary to help Ukraine.

So, the timing of the president's speech was natural and important. The fact that he went to Ukraine first to be physically present, because, remember, our president is commander in chief as well as being head of state and head of government. As commander-in-chief, he needed to be there, because, as he has said over and over again, our freedom is on the line. The border of our freedom, the front of our freedom is right there in the Donbas and right there in the south.

So, he goes there, and then he goes to Warsaw, the country that's a frontline country that, next to Estonia, is perhaps the most committed to helping Ukraine. It was beautiful and it wasn't about just America, it was about Poland to. He thanked the Polish people again and again. And, of course, he talked about the heroism of Ukrainians.

Instead of letting Putin frame the discussion the way the Russians wanted it to be framed, which is that it's Washington versus Moscow, he made it clear this is the coalition supporting freedom, supporting Ukraine, versus the autocrat. So, I thought the language was right, the moment was right, this was President Biden at his very best. And I think like George Herbert Walker Bush, who knew the exact right tone to use in 1989, Biden used the right tone today.

CAMEROTA: Margaret?

HOOVER: I could not agree more with you about the choreography. To go to Poland is just -- it's like double thumbing your nose at the Russians, right, first Kyiv, then Poland? I mean, you just -- you can't counterprogram Putin better. And it doesn't matter what Putin said. The president of the United States was both in Kyiv and in Poland. It was beautifully orchestrated.

This is a day where -- and I don't think it's trite what Harry Truman said, is that politics and partisanship should end of the water's edge. And it's a day where you have seen how effective President Biden has been unifying the west. But he's also been pretty effective at unifying what is otherwise a pretty hyper partisan approach in Washington. There is a lot of unity around support for Ukraine and support for the western alliance.

CAMEROTA: With some vocal exceptions.

HOOVER: Even though you have sort of an ascendant, you know, activist wing of the right, they have still managed to be there and support this alliance.

HERNDON: Yes. Let me follow up on that even. I mean, this comes at a critical time, to your point, because the tide, politically, and it may not be changing, but it certainly on the radar of both the administration, that you have more vocal minority leaders -- majority leaders in the House who are saying they're looking to put, quote/unquote, America first, and that means stepping back from the commitment to Ukraine, but you also have an increasing amount of Democrats who have said that, not necessarily in Congress, but on a local level.

I was just in Munich with the vice president at the Munich Security Conference.


And that was also the tone of the European leaders there to say that it was important to re-up the commitment right now because there was the issue that maybe the tide was turning domestically in German, maybe the tide could be turning domestically in America.

And so, yes, to your point, it was important for the White House to really choreograph that show support in this moment. But it comes as there is an underbelly of a fear of a political sea change that could be on the horizon.

CAMEROTA: Jordan, it's always interesting to hear how Russian state media is playing all of this. So, here is a little mash up of what they said today.






CAMEROTA: Okay, for people listening on the radio, obviously, I'm fluent in Russian, as I will now explain exactly what I think was just said. Basically, they say the west is headed towards an escalation. And I think we also should cautiously start to walk a path towards escalation. And they say the president said we will win despite the west playing with marked cards, despite the west's objective to destroy us, it won't work out for them. It's interesting to hear what they're being fed.

KLEPPER: Interesting, scary. We hear unity. It sounds like you were talking there over well. It's fascinating to watch this kind of a thing. And, honestly, I don't know if I have the same amount of optimism about a speech like this bringing our country together. I'd like to think it is, when I see these small but vocal examples of people who are using this yet again as a time to criticize, a time to attack, a time to maybe hold our cards when we're talking about this thing of another cold war coming, feels like there are a minority of folks who still haven't picked aside. And that pops up on days like today.

It makes me sad. I think I grew up as a kid who didn't pay that much attention to history class but I think these moments were always important. They were moments that brought this country together. I really, fingers crossed, hope that these are the kinds of moments that can do that. CAMEROTA: I don't blame him for being skeptical. Go ahead.

HOOVER: Well, I want to defer to the history and I'll just one thing and tee you up. I mean, there are some things what cold war two that are different than cold war one. And some things are the same.

CAMEROTA: And (INAUDIBLE) cold war two.

HOOVER: And there are many historians who call this cold war two. They say we're in it. Tim Naftali will weigh in, in a minute. But one thing that is similar is that -- or slightly different, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, full disclosure, I'm on the board there, this is an organization that broadcast radio behind the iron curtain so that the state media that you just heard that Putin got isn't the only thing that Russians are hearing. There are millions of Russians in Russia today who are still getting Radio Free Europe, who are still getting through VPNs and the internet counterprogramming to what Russian said.

So what is the same but also different is that the technology has changed and it has allowed us -- cold war two was different this way. And there's still an information war and a battle for broadcasting the truth behind the lines.

NAFTALI: I do not believe we are in a cold war. The Russians want us to believe we are in a cold war. But Russia is not the Soviet Union. It is not the leader of an international global coalition or movement. It is much weaker economically. It is much weaker militarily. It does not pose an existential threat to the United States or North America. It is a major regional problem in Europe. And we are the arsenal democracy. But this is not a cold war.

HOOVER: What about China?

NAFTALI: Well, that's different. That's a different crisis. China and Russia have different interests. But in terms of Russia, it is essential for Putin to get us to talk about a cold war. Because his line at home is this is about Russian sovereignty. And we have to keep saying it's about Ukrainian sovereignty. It's not about Russian sovereignty.

And as the president said today, you, Mr. Putin can end the war with a word. You come out of Ukraine, and it's over. And Putin doesn't want to accept that, because he cannot. Once he decided to annex those four provinces, he decided he didn't want to back out. He did not want an off ramp. So, we don't and should not give Putin -- we shouldn't make it easier for him to do his propaganda. He's going to do it anyway.

But we should keep in mind, this is not the cold war, this is not Kennedy versus Khrushchev, this is the world, or a lot of the world, against an autocrat.


And America is the arsenal of democracy, as we were in 1940 and early 41, when we are not part of World War II. So, that's where we are. And I think this message is a message that will help keep the coalition together. Because the minute we make this Kennedy versus Khrushchev, the Germans are going to get antsy.

CAMEROTA: Tim, great to get your perspective. Thank you very much for being here. Everybody, stick around.

So, we have new reporting tonight. CNN's KFile unearth video of Nikki Haley defending the right to secession and coming up with a curious explanation for the civil war. We have that video, next.


CAMEROTA: New reporting tonight on 2024 Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley, CNN's KFile discovered some video from a 2010 interview with a South Carolina activist group that says they, quote, fight attacks against southern culture.


HALEY: I think you had one side of the civil war that was fighting for tradition and I think you had another side of the civil war that was fighting for change.


You know what, at the end of the day, what I think we need to remember is that, you know, everyone is supposed to have their rights, everyone is supposed to be free, everyone is supposed to have the same freedoms as anyone else. So, you know, I think it was tradition versus changes the way I see it.


CAMEROTA: She also spoke about a state seceding from the country.


UNKNOW: Do you believe that the states of the United States have the right to secede from the Union?

HALEY: I think that they do. I mean, the Constitution says that.

UNKNOWN: If it became an issue where the state of South Carolina needed to secede from the Union, would you support it?

HALEY: You know, I'm one of those people who doesn't think it's going to get to that point.


CAMEROTA: Now, one of the interviewers is identified in reports at the time, and by CNN, was a man named Robert Slimp. That's a board and an active member of the White Nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens. That same white nationalist group was cited as the inspiration for Dylan Roof, the white nationalist who killed nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Now, after that shooting, Nikki Haley famously supported removing the confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds. We've reached out to that Haley campaign to ask about this interview and her spokesperson responded, quote, "Nikki Haley's groundbreaking leadership on removing the confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds is well-known," end quote.

Senior reporter for "The Root" Jessica Washington joins the conversation, along with Jordan Klepper, Astead Herndon, and Margaret Hoover. Astead, let me start with you. That was a different take on the civil war than what some of us had learned before in terms of it was about tradition versus change. She omitted, I feel an important factor, like slavery.

ASTEAD HERNDON, CNN POLITICA ANALYST: Yeah. She admitted but the change was advocating for, what the tradition was advocating for on the confederate side, which was the right to enslave. And that was a tradition that was to be held so dear.

But the thing for a Republican primary is that the right to succeed probably won't lose you all that many voters, particularly for a part of the Trump slate that actually affirms that right all the time. The problem for Nikki Haley in this situation is that she is someone who is seen as flip-flopping on the issues, and this would be another one.

The mere fact that the campaign kind of points to how she took down the confederate flag when she was on the capitol grounds after this white supremacist shooting is another example of this. It's not just that she is in an ultraconservative, or what we consider a more fringe camp, or that she's in the camp that's trying to bring together folks, it's that she's tried to have both at the same time and I think that's evident here. And that's what's going to be the challenge she has to overcome in the primaries.

CAMEROTA: So, this is from 2010. How problematic is this?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I just have a very, very different take on this. And, look, secession is not in the Constitution. I mean, there were some things that she just said that are incorrect there. But let's just go back to the Republican Party in South Carolina, in a gubernatorial primary. It is a five-way primary in 2010, okay.

Nikki Haley is the first person of color who is leading for the gubernatorial slot in South Carolina and the first woman, okay? She is trying to win Republicans. By the way, there are no white -- there were not black Republicans who she is trying to get to vote for her because there aren't black Republicans largely in South Carolina this time except in (inaudible) who is not even in Congress at the time. And she is just one -- she is leading the June 8th primary in a runoff. It is just before she comes away with the majority for the runoff of the GOP primary. She is talking to a --

CAMEROTA: So, basically, to appease the constituents there.

HOOVER: -- she is talking to the base of the Republican Party in a racist state with a racist history. And she isn't saying you all are racist, but she isn't -- and so I can appreciate that against the backdrop of the 2023, way more progressive, I think, mainstream understanding and sensitivity about race, you have to understand what she's doing there.

CAMEROTA: Bu when you say South Carolina is a racist state, you mean --

HOOVER: I just mean there is a lot of -- did I say it was a racist state? A lot -- thank you for allowing -- thank you. What my client meant to say was, look, there are a lot of pockets and I think most Republicans in South Carolina will recognize there's a lot of pockets and traditions of the Republican Party in South Carolina that still harbor racism. As by the way, witnessed by the fact that the gentleman who was interviewing her is associated with a white nationalist group.

That was a really important part of the Tea Party Coalition in 2010 that she had to get in order to win what ultimately became a historic election of the first woman of color to become governor of that state.

CAMEROTA: Oka. So, political expediency, how do you see it, Jessica?


JESSICA WASHINGTON, SENIOR REPORTER, THE ROOT: Yeah. I mean, you know, we can say it's political expediency. I think if you agree with racism, if you espouse racism, then you are being racist. I don't think there's really like a line there that you've got to disagree to get along.

CAMEROTA: But is that what you hear her saying here or is she just trying to thread some needle that doesn't ever mention slavery?

WASHINGTON: I think it goes a little bit past that. I think when you're saying that they are trying to preserve a tradition here. And that tradition was slavery. That goes a little past just trying to thread a needle. That's not really how I see it.

And I think that, it's actually not that different from what she's saying now, against CRT, all of these things. She wants to raise this part of history, whitewash this part of the history. I think it's worth listening to then and what she's saying now. And I think that's an evolution on where the party has realized they can talk about race.


JORDAN KLEPPER, CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY SHOW: Yeah, I think -- I mean, it's ridiculous tradition versus change. That's a ridiculous -- I understand the context. But even 10 years ago, that's a wild way to look at the civil war.

But I do look at her right now, and an issue she has. I went to Nikki Haley's kickoff event. She has a real tough time kicking and getting past Donald Trump. And this is -- she can't tear down any monument. These things in her party, I know they are scary, they are a bad history. But if we're going to move forward, you have to stand up and be an adult in the room and call it as you see it. Call B.S. where it is.

And I think I see this right now. And I's the same response she's giving when they ask her about the insurrection. She just keeps giving the same response.

CAMEROTA: And we're going to play some of what you find on the campaign trail, coming up.

KLEPPER: Good TV. It's great TV.

CAMEROTA: I look forward to it, as we all do. So, what is it like out on the Republican campaign trail right? Now Jordan Klepper has been on assignment for "The Daily Show," hitting some those rallies, talking to voters. He's going to bring us the highlights.



CAMEROTA: The battle lines for the 2024 Republican primary are being drawn. So, what's it like out there on the campaign trail at a Trump or a Nikki Haley rally? Back with us now, we have Jessica Washington, Jordan Klepper, Astead Herndon, and Margaret Hoover. So, Jordan, you meet interesting people on the campaign trail.


CAMEROTA: So, you were just at a Nikki Haley rally, and you met a man who had soured. He used to be a big Trump supporter, he had soured on Donald Trump and you asked him what was the tipping point. So, let's play that.


KLEPPER: When did Trump lose your support?

UNKNOWN: The nail in the coffin for me with Donald Trump?

KLEPPER: Let me guess, Charlottesville?


KLEPPER: Okay. Let me get --

UNKNOWN: You're not going to guess it.

KLEPPER: Kids in cages?


KLEPPER: The insurrection, January 6th?

UNKNOWN: The -- no.

KLEPPER: Oh, okay. Wait, hold on. First impeachment?


KLEPPER: Second impeachment?


KLEPPER: Okay. Inviting white supremacist over to Mar-a-Lago?

UNKNOWN: No, but I mean, you know, criticizing DeSantis before his election.

KLEPPER: Would not have guessed it. So that's the line, right there.

UNKNOWN: That was the nail on the cross for me.

KLEPPER: I would have guessed kids in cages.

UNKNOWN: I told you would not have guessed it.

KLEPPER: I know.


CAMEROTA: You guys, you're having too much fun there, Jordan.

KLEPPER: Weird, right? That was a great conversation. I've had worse conversations at these events. So, that was remarkably spirited.

CAMEROTA: That was great. So, what have you gleaned from being out on the campaign trail?

KLEPPER: Well, I was in a Haley campaign. It was, first of all, it was nice to be in Charleston. I spent too much time in Pennsylvania. So, it was really nice to be in lovely South Carolina. The folks there were an interesting sort. I think this is the first time we see somebody come out against Donald Trump in this non-election season. I think that is the big question we had.

Who were these folks who were Trump supporters and now becoming Haley supporters? Another person came up to me and said because Trump is a loser because the midterms, that was his big thing. But there was definitely energy at this Haley event, of people who are excited about something new. It was a little bit more wholesome than a Trump MAGA event. It was small. It was little. I don't think it has much of a chance. But there is definitely an eagerness there to have more adult conversations.

CAMEROTA: And they were previous Trump supporters, that's what you found mostly, that moved over to Nikki Haley.

KEPPLER: Most them were Trump supporters. A little bit upset with Donald Trump. But when we asked them the follow-up questions too, if Haley gets out of the race, are you disgusted with Trump to the point that you wouldn't support him now? Most of them would go back to Trump.

CAMEROTA: Interesting. So, Jessica, I mean, it's hard to know what happened on the campaign trail. These are the early days. But Ron DeSantis is sure getting a lot of attention for somebody who hasn't announced that he's running.

WASHINGTON: That is true. And he's doing the Trump playbook. He's making noise. He's being loud. Although he actually has held office, which would be different from Trump, who has some level that experience. But yeah, he's being loud, he's being obnoxious, he is saying all the anti-CRT, saying the quiet part out loud, aka, the race is part out loud. So, yeah, he's making a splash. We'll see what happens if he actually ends up coming out and trying to run.

CAMEROTA: I don't know, is it worth it to show you a poll? Is it interesting right now, Astead? You're the political junkie here

HERNDON: I think a poll of name recognition right now.

CAMEROTA: Okay. So here it is. This is a Quinnipiac poll, this is from February 9th through 14th. So, Trump 42 percent, DeSantis 36 percent, Haley five percent, Pence four, Pompeo four.

HERNDON: I mean, as we know, polling at this point particularly doesn't have a ton of weight, but I think we can glean something from this. My colleague, Nate Cohen, talked about how DeSantis at this point of the race is not like some other challenger. We should think about him as someone's coming in with a kind of top tier level stardom into a race, that would translates to money, to name recognition.

The ability to wait as the race develops, which is certainly a luxury that DeSantis will have. But what he is trying to do in a subtle contrast way is say that you can get Donald Trump the president without Donald Trump the personality, without Donald Trump the ruckus, without Donald Trump the mess. And so, what he is trying to do is to lean into a kind of governance, subtle strategy.


Where if you feel that the country is moving in the wrong direction, culturally, and you have wokeness or the like, you can still vote for this person --

CAMEROTA: (Inaudible).

HERNDON: -- absolutely, but you can do it without having a porn star scandal at the same time.

CAMEROTA: Excellent.

HOOVER: And you know why?

CAMEROTA: How do you say it?

HOOVER: Some people like that. There is a graveyard somewhere full of Republican primary contestants who were second term governors who had peaked this early in the race. I mean, Jeb Bush is in there. Scott Walker is in there. I don't think anybody wants to be peaking this early. All it does is help you with money, but $100 million didn't help Jeb Bush get the nomination.

You're right, I totally agree with the analysis that he's trying to be Trump, but just a little bit more buttoned down. What he doesn't have that Trump has is the kind of broad scale charisma. I mean, like him or hate him, Donald Trump can entertain a crowd. I have spent a little bit of time with Ron DeSantis one-on-one, I have studied his career.

This is not a personality who can entertain, broadly, who has the magnanimity, who really has the broadcast charisma that Donald Trump has. And that is a quality you need on the campaign trail.

CAMEROTA: And here's a picture that might capture that. This was President Biden during Hurricane Ian in Florida. And he's obviously comforting people. He has his arm around some of the folks there. I'm sure this is just a moment that we've captured Governor DeSantis, but he seems glum.

HERNDON: But do you know, Governor DeSantis was probably thinking about the infamous Chris Christie image when being nice to a democratic president ends up ruining your future campaign. He is trying to intentionally keep it so that he doesn't ends up having a bad moment there.

HOOVER: Maybe, maybe, or maybe he just doesn't like to, you know, look people in the eye when he's with them.

CAMEROTA: Okay, on that note. All right, is this the most Bernie Sanders thing ever? Bernie sanders caught in the middle of a TikTok video looking grumpy about it. Our panel is going to give their thoughts on what he was thinking at that exact moment.



CAMEROTA: Well, you never know who is going to accidentally photobomb your TikTok video.


Yeah, that's Senator Bernie Sanders. He's an unlikely star of TikTok. And the video has gone viral. We are back with Jessica, Jordan, Astead, and Margaret. Okay, so, if we just freeze frame them, so obviously, he was part confused, part annoyed. I mean, that's what I would think.

KLEPPER: That's kind of baseline Bernie.

CAMEROTA: Yes. You could say that about a lot of events. But if we just freeze this moment right there, what, Jordan, is this thought bubble at that exact moment as he's watching the door man and this TikTok star do a TikTok dance?

KELPPER: As somebody who lives in New York, this happens to New Yorkers four times a day. So, I think he's, like, again? There are at least three other TikTok videos that people had the decency not to upload because they are like that's Bernie Sanders. He didn't want to be in this, I won't put it up there. So, shame on these folks for getting the clips.

CAMEROTA: So, he's saying, again. Jessica, what do you think he's saying?

WASHINGTON: I want to go positive with this. I think that Bernie Sanders he's thinking maybe I'll join the dance. He was looking at it for a second. He realizes, it's not my time. It's not my time. He's got his own TikTok. There is not a man who doesn't know about technology. I think he wants to get in on the dance. And then, you know, he gave the respect, and he said I'm not -- it's not for tonight.

CAMEROTA: I like that. So, he was actually assessing right there what the dance moves were.

WASHINGTON: That's what I was thinking.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, I see it. I see it. Astead, what do you think he was doing?

HERNDON: I think he thought big tech got me again. I think he's saying he (inaudible), you know. He can't get a second of peace without the overlord of lights looking out at him.

CAMEROTA: I see that too. That makes sense. Go ahead, Margaret.

HOOVER: I think he sees the camera and I think he's -- the camera is right there, and he said, but these people are dancing and they're in my way. Can I just say one thing? TikTok is evil. We should not be doing a whole TikTok thing right now.

CAMEROTA: We shouldn't be having fun with TikTok?

HOOVER: Federal employees are not even allowed to have TikTok on their phones because it's a Trojan Horse for the Chinese government

CAMEROTA: Okay, fun police.

HOOVER: Okay. Yeah, I am the fun police here. Because you know where TikTok is fun? It's fun in China. Because you know what they do? They let their 14-year-olds watch educational material and they cut them off after 45 minutes. And then they export the opioid version to us.

By the way, that's like not my metaphor, that's the metaphor of a Nobel Peace Prize winner from last year who is a Filipino journalist who write excessively about this. Her name is Maria Ressa. You can look her up. So, TikTok is evil. And we shouldn't be watching it. And Bernie Sanders shouldn't have been on it, but it wasn't his fault. It was an accident.

CAMEROTA: Okay, way to take the fun out of the meme.

HOOVER: Sorry guys. CAMEROTA: Just because we're all being invaded by TikTok and our

minds are being controlled by it, which I know you're right. I actually know you're right, Margaret.

HOOVER: Okay. Sorry. Sorry.

CAMEROTA: Thank you for letting the air out of that.

HOOVER: Sorry guys.

CAMEROTA: I guess now you regret.

KLEPPER: Jeez, we were just, yeah.

WASHINGTON: I love TikTok.


WASHINGTON: I just sit in my bed and just scroll all the time. If it's 30 minutes, fine. There's a lot of other things I should get rid of first.

CAMEROTA: Good. Don't make that mistake again, you guys. Okay.

HOOVER: Sorry guys.

CAMEROTA: All right, meanwhile, will Donald Trump be indicted in the Georgia investigation into his efforts to overturn the election? The foreperson of that special grand jury is speaking out to CNN tonight. Stay with us.



CAMEROTA: The foreperson of the Georgia special grand jury is speaking out to CNN tonight after that high profile investigation that spanned seven months and 75 witnesses, including some of Donald Trump's closest allies. Here is what she says about possible charges for the former president.


EMILY KOHRS, FOREPERSON, GEORGIA SPECIAL GRAND JURY IN TRUMP PROBE: I will tell you that it was a process where we heard his name a lot. We definitely heard a lot about former President Trump. And we definitely discussed him a lot in the room. And I will say that when this list comes out, you wouldn't -- there are no major plot twist waiting for you.


CAMEROTA: Here with me now, we have executive editor for One World, Kierna Mayo.