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Erin Burnett Outfront
Intense Attacks, Repeated Blasts Light Up Gaza Skyline; Israeli Journalist: Thousands Of Israeli Soldiers Enter Gaza; 20 Attacks On U.S. Troops In 11 Days, U.S. Braces For More; Maine Massacre Suspect Still On Loose; Judge: Ivanka Trump Must Testify At Father's Fraud Trial. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 27, 2023 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, live from Israel. The breaking news, Israel dramatically tonight ramping up its bombardment of Gaza. One of the world's top reporters on Israel telling CNN, thousands of soldiers are entering Gaza in the past few hours from Israel. This is a new phase. What does it mean for the 200-plus hostages inside Gaza tonight and how will Hamas retaliate?
Plus, the United States on high alert at this hour, telling all Americans to get out of Lebanon, as the Pentagon announces that U.S. troops in the region have been attacked 20 times in just a few days.
And our other breaking story this hour, the massive manhunt for the suspected gunman who killed 18 innocent people in Maine. That search expanding tonight as we're learning troubling new details about when investigators believe Robert Card purchased his gun.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening and welcome to a special edition of OUTFRONT. I'm Erin Burnett, live in Tel Aviv tonight.
We begin with breaking news. A new phase, thousands of Israeli soldiers entering Gaza in the last hour or two. Those are the words of "Axios'" Bark Ravid, one of the most well-sourced Israeli reporters in the world. It comes after a night of bombardment and unrelenting attacks on Gaza. Israeli military announcing it is, quote, expanding on what is already a massive assault on Gaza.
These are live pictures of northern Gaza, completely dark. Not vision video was taken a short time ago. And you can see there, the constant shelling in Gaza. And you can see that smoke, right? That's what's actually happening there on the ground.
Huge explosions lighting up that night sky here. We can hear some of those thoughts from here. It is incredibly loud near Sderot, where Nic Robertson is.
I want to pause for a moment so you can hear what is happening just south of here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(SOUND OF ARTILLERY)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Those images were taken by our Nic Robertson, who is just two miles from the Gaza border. In this, you can see the heavy smoke drifting towards Israel from Gaza, completely obliterating any kind of view, he said. That was, he said, after heavy tank fire earlier.
And moments ago, Barak Ravid, the "Axios" reporter I mentioned, says that -- told just Wolf Blitzer just a few moments ago, and he said, and I quote him, there are thousands of soldiers entering the Gaza Strip from the north and the last hour or two. And I think we'll see more of it as hours passed until morning.
But inside Gaza, it is total or near blackout. The internet appears to be almost all out. We cannot see the impacts. We cannot see what or who has been killed, or what is happening. Most of the Internet and phone lines are down. It's a struggle to reach anyone inside Gaza.
We have, in fact, tried to reach out to some of the people you've become familiar here OUTFRONT. Mahmoud Shalabi, the aid worker and father of two young sons who earlier this week witnessed an explosion just 500 feet from his home, three young children. American pediatrician Barbara Zind who is trapped in Gaza.
Our message is, though, to them are not going through. Barbara's husband, Paul Preston who's in Colorado told OUTFRONT that he last heard from his wife just after 10:00 a.m. this morning. He's worried.
He sent us this message: In reality, my wife and the others are in a hostage situation, being held hostage by countries bickering over border opening. I'm surprised the United States is allowing so many of its citizens to be in danger.
We were able to get a brief dispatch from Ibrahim Dahman, you know, our CNN colleague in Gaza. He's been sending us these exclusive reports almost nightly from inside Gaza.
Tonight, he was able to get what one message out. And he sent us this video with a message that his family of four right now is safe, but that he hears the sound of increased activity just to the north of where he is. He is in southern Gaza.
But now at this late hour, or here, it is now an early hour, it is about 2:00 in the morning. What these attacks mean for the fate of the 229 hostages is unknown. CNN is learning that the White House is actively working behind the scenes to secure the release of those being held captive, but those talks are extremely fragile.
We do know of at least 10 Americans who are still unaccounted for. All right, we have our entire team of reporters standing by after 2:00
a.m. here in Israel where there's too much action on that Gaza border. Jeremy Diamond is along the Gaza border. Jim Sciutto is in northern Israel.
I want to begin with you, Jeremy. What is the very latest you're seeing and hearing tonight amidst these reports of thousands of soldiers, Israeli soldiers pouring into Gaza as we speak?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, more than seven hours now after Israel began this intensified bombing campaign and an expanded ground operation inside of Gaza. We are continuing to hear the steady thugs of explosions coming from inside the Gaza strip. It's extremely rare for us to continue to be hearing explosions this late at night and yet, it has been constant for the past seven hours. Not only the most intense and sustained bombardment of Gaza that we been hearing, over the nearly three weeks that we've been covering this war, but the loudest blooms shaking really this hotel, where we are, which is about six miles away from the Gaza Strip.
And we are also hearing helicopters overhead and drone activity as well. These are the sights and sounds that we have not heard over the last several weeks and the images coming out of Gaza and these strikes are just absolutely stunning and terrifying when you consider the fact that there are people in the Gaza Strip and we know that this ability casualties have only been rising over these recent days as Israel has been intensifying its strikes in Gaza and also beginning to carry out some of these targeted raids, which they say is intended to take out these Hamas tunnels and other infrastructure in preparation for a larger scale ground invasion of Gaza.
Now what we don't know, Erin, is whether or not this expanded ground operation that we are witnessing this evening whether or not that is at ground invasion. That top is really military and political leaders have been telegraphing now for days, vowing that it will come at a time and place of Israel's choosing. We don't know yet whether that has begun this evening.
But what we do know as you hear more thuds overhead right now is that this could risk the negotiations that have been ongoing, very sensitive complex negotiations in recent days to try and secure the release of some of those civilian hostages being held inside of Gaza. Earlier today, I spoke with a senior U.S. official who said that regardless of what Israel is doing tonight, expanding this operation is those talks will continue.
But, again, certainly, less optimism now about the fate of those talks than earlier in the day -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Jeremy, thank you very much in Ashkelon.
Now, I want to go on now to Eylon Levy, the Israeli government spokesperson here.
You are here with me after 2:00 in the morning. You are here for a reason. There's a lot happening right now. What is Israel doing today? EYLON LEVY, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: Israel at the moment is pushing ahead with its campaign to defeat and destroy Hamas response to the October 7 massacre. You know, it's been only three weeks since Hamas death squads invaded southern Israel butchering, burning, beheading, raping, torturing, mutilating their way through our southern communities. They killed 1,400 people, but the most spectacular and cruel violence injured over 5,000 people, took 230 people hostage into the Gaza Strip, including 30 children, including 30 children.
And Israel has decided we can no longer live with this jihad enclave on our borders. This isn't another round of conflict that's going to end with ceasefire, and Hamas deterred. This is a war. A war that Hamas declared on us on October 7th and a war that we're going to win.
BURNETT: All right. So, we now three weeks into this, thousands and thousands of airstrikes, special forces raids, largest ground assault in Gaza nearly a decade and then tonight. It has gotten bigger.
Barak Ravid, as you know, is reporting thousands of Israeli soldiers have gone in, are going in over these next few hours. What can you tell us? Are they staying in?
LEVY: Israel is expanding its ground operations. I'm not going to speculate or comment on whether this is the invasion, the incursion. But it's important to understand what's coming up.
The days ahead are going to be long, and they're going to be difficult because we are going to go after the totality of the Hamas terror and governing infrastructure inside the Gaza strip. After that, Jihadi group perpetrated the October 7th massacre and this war will end with no more Hamas in the Gaza Strip. You're going to go after every tunnel, every rocket launcher, every Hamas commander, every Hamas foot soldier, and we will totally destroy the Hamas organization so that they can never again hurt our siblings like they did on October 7th.
BURNETT: If you go after every tunnel, are you willing to accept some of the deaths of those Israeli hostages?
LEVY: We are demanding their immediate and unconditional return. The fact that Hamas abducted 230 people.
BURNETT: They're not going to do that.
LEVY: But we are demanding their return and we're demanding more international pressure because, you know, Hamas released four hostages under international pressure. That pressure both from the Israeli military and diplomatic pressure is increasing.
We're calling on the whole world to put more pressure on Hamas, on its commanders, on its supporters as well, because we want our civilians back. There's no excuse for holding them hostage inside of Gaza.
BURNETT: If -- if you continue though, this is so obviously, the reality of it is that they may not see it that way. The reality is that they may say, too bad, we're going to hold your hostages. Is it true? Is it fair to say that Israel has made a choice? That if you have to choose between hostages and getting rid of Hamas, you have chosen to get rid of Hamas?
LEVY: That is completely incorrect. Israel stated war aims, to return the hostages and to destroy the terror organization that took them -- took them captive so that they can never again abduct our civilians. Those two aims, bringing back the hostages and destroying Hamas go hand and hand.
BURNETT: All right. Can you tell us about the silence that we are seeing in Gaza tonight? Not the actual silence, but the silence from the communications perspective?
LEVY: I have nothing to comment on that.
BURNETT: Is that -- is that going to change? Or is that just a blackout --
LEVY: I have nothing to comment on that.
BURNETT: Nothing to comment on that?
And the question for you is in these hours here, as Barak Ravid is reporting, that you're going to continue to be sending more soldiers in. It -- the other night that you've gone in and you've come back out. Is there any guidance that you can give us on the plan here?
LEVY: I'm not going to comment on operational matters, but the two weeks now, Israel has been urging civilians in the Gaza Strip to move south because Hamas has embedded its tunnels under schools and homes and hospitals. Just today, the IDF released intelligence showing that Hamas's command bunker is underneath the Shifa hospital, which is, of course, an atrocious work rent use civilians that way, as human shields.
So, as Israel goes in and the days ahead, we are asking civilians to get out of the way temporarily for their safety.
BURNETT: Do you have plan for that hospital? There are thousands of people who are not Hamas also there.
LEVY: I'm not going to comment on operational matters, but we have been very clear. We're going to destroy the totality of Hamas's governing and terror infrastructure inside the Gaza Strip and we are urging civilians to get out of the way for their own safety.
BURNETT: All right. Eylon, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
LEVY: Thank you very much, Erin.
BURNETT: Eylon Levy, as I said, spokesperson for the Israeli government. And OUTFRONT now, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling and retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, are both former commanding generals of the U.S. Army Europe joining me now.
So, General Hertling, let me start with you. You heard Eylon said, obviously, not wanting to talk about operational details, but the reality of it is here you already have the biggest round of ground assault on Gaza in a decade this week. Tonight, the counterattack in Gaza is expanding. We have Barak Ravid's report that thousands of Israeli soldiers are pouring into Gaza right now and that he expects that to continue into these early hours of the morning as dawn approaches here.
What do you think we're looking at?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, we're -- we can't define it uniquely, Erin. It could be one of several things. It could be an expansion of their operations as you stated. It could be the initial stages of an assault, with more forces going in. Or it could be sending an additional message to Hamas saying we are tired of playing around with getting the hostages back. We're going to start the operation.
But from my take, truthfully, having seen this kind of operation before, with the extensive amount of bombing and artillery barrages and movement of forces, this seems to be the early stages of troop movements into the Gaza Strip.
BURNETT: General Hodges, on top of this, as we -- and we are keeping up live pictures of Gaza both to emphasize the darkness and also so people can see what explosions do light up the sky because we do here a lot of action there along that border and a lot of sound right now.
There does appear to be part of this blackout -- internet, cell outage, General Hodges. You heard Eylon Levy refused to comment on that, whether that would continue. What do you think we're looking at on that, and does that -- is that now going to just remain this way?
LT. GENERAL BEN HODGES, FORMER COMMANDING GENERAL OF U.S. ARMY EUROPE: Well, of course, I agree with how Mark has already described things to knock out the communications would be a logical thing to do for the Israeli defense force, to make it difficult for Hamas to reposition, to direct their own troops in their response.
This has a feeling to me of Israeli forces that are going to fill the spaces that are there. They're going to try and dominate as much of Gaza as they can as they continue to build up. And these first couple of sort of armored raids that went in I think were intended to develop intelligence, to figure out how has Hamas been defending? Where are there gaps? Where are they where are there potential traps?
And now you're seeing the mass of troops starting to come in and begin to fill the spaces and I think to accomplish the in-state that the advisor just -- or the spokesman just described is going to require time, but a lot of them to be able to dominate that space.
BURNETT: General Hertling, you commanded U.S. forces in northern Iraq, so that means, of course, you were in Mosul. Is this worse?
HERTLING: This is exponentially worse, Erin. There -- there were a couple of fights in Mosul. I was involved in one of them in 2007, and '08. Forces from our command fought for several months along with five divisions of Iraqi forces.
This is a tough fight. And they don't compare in terms of relative enemy action. In Mosul, we had al Qaeda in 2007 and '08. They were in the city, in and out of the city, ingress and egress.
They didn't have the kinds of supplies that Hamas has. They didn't have the underground tunnel extensive network. They didn't have as many citizens as are in Gaza, 2.2 million. They didn't have the two or three years to prepare for an invasion into the city of Mosul. They just went in and started fighting. So, this is going to be --
HERTLING: -- exceedingly tough for the Israeli army. Exponentially tough for them than what we ever faced.
BURNETT: That's a sobering reality, exponentially tougher.
General Hodges, how do you think Israeli forces are dealing with the tunnels in these ground assault on Gaza? I mean, if you're flooding thousands there tonight, tunnels are the absolute core of any assault. What do you think is happening there?
HODGES: Well, I think the Israeli defense force of their probably as well equipped and trained to do this as anybody's army. They will probably use a combination of ground penetrating radar as well as other means to identify the tunnels. And then they will be making tactical decisions about the tunnels that either get or are destroyed or sealed off or maybe they decide to go in some of them to find out where the network goes.
With that that's going to be very dangerous obviously. But I think they know what they are up against. And they probably have the right equipment and training to do this.
All right, thank you both very much. I appreciate your time.
And next, Hamas making a rare public plea just ahead of these thousands of troops pouring over the border that we're seeing now, pleading to Hezbollah for help. This as the negotiations to free more than 200 hostages, tonight, are hanging by a thread if that.
My next guest is speaking to his sources in Hamas leadership. We'll tell you what he is learning at this late or early hour.
Plus, just into CNN, the U.S. on high alert tonight. American troops in the Middle East have been attacked 20 times in just a few days. We have the very latest from the Pentagon this hour.
And there are other breaking story tonight. The manhunt for the gunman who killed 18 people, shifting to the water tonight. As we're learning more about a note the alleged gunman left behind.
BURNETT: Our breaking news continues live in Tel Aviv today. These are live images over Gaza where Israel has stepped up its bombardment in a massive way tonight. The escalation coming as Hamas is making a rare public plea for help. A senior Hamas official telling the "AP" today that they need Hezbollah his allies to play a bigger role in the war, saying, quote, Hezbollah now is working against the occupation. We appreciate this, but we need more in order to stop the aggression on Gaza. We expect more.
We expect more. That's from a position of strength that would see that the U.S. is imploring U.S. citizens in Lebanon where, of course, Hezbollah is, to live now while commercial flights are still available.
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT tonight and he is near the Israeli border with Lebanon in the north here in Israel border.
And, Jim, obviously, increased fears, especially if the U.S. says get up before commercial flights in, that that the risk is that it could happen but that would happen Israel was fighting another front in this war on the north, right where you are tonight.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Listen, there are multiple potential additional fronts in this war. If you look at the Hezbollah side to the north, from Lebanon, the attacks have been regular but limited. There were two more today and as you note, even Hamas seems to be somewhat underwhelmed by Hezbollah's involvement so far.
That does not mean that Israel is not taking that threat seriously. The towns in the north have been evacuated. Mandatory evacuations and Israel has devoted many tens of thousands of forces to the north to head off that possibility.
And keep in mind that there are other fronts that have been opened up. Iranian backed militias as you mentioned, firing on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. And then, the U.S. in the last 24 hours, firing back. Two F-16s attacking Iranian bases in eastern Syria, where they know Iranian forces themselves are based, not just Iranian-backed militias, but members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Each of those fronts as the potential to escalate from where it is today. And there is great concern of that. In particular, in reaction to an expanded Israeli ground defense in Gaza. The worry has been that if Hamas is existence is threatened, that that might be what makes the decision even with great risk faces with any an encounter or interaction with Israel that they would make the decision than that they have to get in. Have to get into the war.
BURNETT: And, Jim, these intensified attacks are happening as there are more than 200 hostages being held in Gaza. The latest number actually went up a little bit today to 229 from Admiral Hagari of the IDF. Where do the negotiations, such that they even exist at this moment stand right now?
SCIUTTO: Yes. Listen, we don't know because there's been so much contradictory information. Our colleagues were reporting earlier today that some of those involved in those negotiations believe a breakthrough is near but the IDF spokesman just a few hours ago said that that kind of talk was rumors. He used the word rumors and of course, we now see is really forces at least stepping up military action in Gaza, which would seem to prevent any substantive negotiations. And certainly, the concern has been from U.S. officials that once Israel goes in to a greater degree, that the lives of those hostages are threatened and that the possibility of substance negotiations wanes or disappears.
You did hear John Kirby from the podium at the White House this afternoon say the U.S. supports some pause in military operations in Gaza to allow for those negotiations to continue.
But tonight, Erin, we're not seeing a pause. We're seeing quite the opposite in Gaza from Israel.
BURNETT: And tonight, that is the case.
All right. Thank you so much, Jim Sciutto.
Along that Lebanon border with Israel and I want to going out to Shlomi Eldar. He's here with me in Tel Aviv, an Israeli journalist who's reported on Hamas extensively. He's also the author of "Getting to Know the Hamas".
A senior Hamas commander, obviously, you spoke to him on the day of the attacks. You texted with him. Obviously tonight, impossible to get a hold of him because there's no service in Gaza at this moment.
SHLOMI ELDAR, ISRAELI JOURNALIST: They're underground, so it's not -- it's impossible to talk to them.
BURNETT: Right, right. So, the hostage negotiations, you've done extensive reporting on that.
BURNETT: Where does this stand?
ELDAR: I think there's no negotiation anymore. And it was a negotiation and I think what we have been talking about, about small hostages that will release. I think the last one offer was that Hamas will release the foreigners. The hostages that with double citizenship and that's it. And then they came to the American, so the American delegation,
American delegation said we will not accept this selection and this selection is very sensitive and in Jewish history. So they added more hostages and just for humanitarian. But this is all.
And we have to listen to something that Moussa Abu Marzouk, the head leader of Hamas, said in Moscow. He said no hostages releasing when we don't have a cease-fire. And he explained why ceasefire. He said, there are many, many hostages that are not held by Hamas, maybe they are in families that --
BURNETT: Tried to opportunistically kidnap them for money or something.
ELDAR: Yes, for money and something, and we have to search them, and find them and even if we wanted to find them, we need a cease-fire. It's kind of game.
And the negotiation held by Qatar and I want to add something that's very important, the double edged sword taken by Qatar. On one hand, they are negotiate with Israel and Hamas, and on the other hand, they are providing asylum to the top leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh and Khalid Mashaal, and they are now a war criminal.
After October 7th, they are not the head of their organization. They are a war criminal. And this is the double game.
I would like to give you kind of an explanation that one of my friends, he's the editor of "The Haaretz" newspaper, Aluf Benn, I hope he will not angry that I took his explanation. He says it's like a Charlie Chaplin film. You give -- you give the little boy throwing stones on the glass window glass that he broke it and then they call him to repair the glass. This is the same rule that Qatar is playing.
BURNETT: That Qatar is playing?
ELDAR: And it's important because Qatar would like to be a superpower in the area, to replace the mediator -- Egypt mediators.
BURNETT: Uh-huh. So, you know, some of these hostages, they are devastated. And they are hoping against hope. They have fought for quite some time that the Israeli government would put the goals against Hamas ahead of hostages. Not all of them, but several that I've spoken to have felt that way.
What should they be prepared for now? I mean, do you think the hostages that are there that most of them will stay alive? Do you think that they could be held for a long time?
ELDAR: I think that Hamas knows how important it is to keep them alive. This is a guarantee for them. And I would just like to remind us how they kept, held Gilad Shalit for six years.
BURNETT: Six years?
ELDAR: Yes, six years. But I think the Israeli dilemma, that was taken -- the decision was taken, that we can't play into two games. All the hostages -- releasing the hostages --
ELDAR: -- or the targeting Hamas, exterminate them. I think that the public opinion in Israel asked for the government to extradite Hamas because nowhere is secure anymore in Israel. We experienced tragedy and we can't bear it anymore.
BURNETT: Shlomi Eldar, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
And Ashley Shlomi and I are here around, 2:30 Eastern Time, the U.S. is on high alert at this hour, American troops in the Middle East have been attacked 20 times over the past several days. We are live at the Pentagon with the breaking details, next.
And also breaking this hour, the urgent manhunt for Robert Card expanding. Police have uncovered new evidence including a note that could provide some very important clues about where he is tonight. We have the latest new details on that coming up.
BURNETT: Welcome back to a special edition of OUTFRONT. We are live from Israel.
And we have breaking news just into CNN. The United States on high alert tonight as Israel expands its attacks on Gaza. Pentagon officials just revealing American forces have been targeted in 20 attacks in the past 11 days. And the U.S. officials, of course, are worried that more attacks are imminent.
Oren Liebermann is alive at the Pentagon breaking all those details.
And, Oren, what more are you learning right now?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Twenty attacks over the course of the past 11 days, at eight different locations where the U.S. and the coalition have forces across Iraq and Syria, four in Iraq and four in Syria.
Let me just read this also so you get a sense of these, and it will give you an idea of how different and how varied these attacks are, and how many simply there have been. Many of these drone and rocket attacks in Iraq, Al Asad Airbase, Bashur, Baghdad diplomatic support center and Erbil. In Syria, the al-Tanf garrison, mission support site, Euphrates, the Rumalyn landing zone. and Shaddadi, Syria.
Some of these have had more than one attack over the course of the past few days, including, for example, Al Asad Airbase in Iraq, which has had at least seven different rocket and drone attacks targeting U.S. and coalition forces there. The U.S. carrying out two strikes against facilities use by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iranian-backed militias in the region to try to send a message while at the same time trying to make clear that these are narrowly tailored self-defense strikes. In that, you get a sense from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that the goal is to keep this limited and make sure the fighting we see in Gaza does not spread to the other parts of the Middle East -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Oren, thank you very much.
As we are looking at live images over Gaza here right now, giving you the time, 2:30 a.m. Eastern and look at that darkness, darkness often illuminated by light and explosions, but completely dark, since the electricity and a complete Internet blockage, completely out right now.
Many of the strikes that we have seen over these past few hours happening with just a few minutes -- within just a few minutes of each other. The "Axios" reporter Barak Ravid is reporting that right now, just moments ago, he was talking to Wolf Blitzer and he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARAK RAVID, POLITICAL & FOREIGN POLICY REPORTER, AXIOS: There are thousands of soldiers that are entering the Gaza strip from the north in the last hour or two, and I think we will see more of that as hours pass until the morning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And that picture live, that is a live camera that we now have on that Gaza border.
Let's go to Tom Foreman now at the magic wall. And, Tom, you heard Barak's reporting, thousands of Israeli soldiers now entering the Gaza Strip, starting a few hours ago and he says continuing into these early hours of the morning as we are watching.
Can you give us a sense of how widespread and intense the strikes on Hamas have been in this war?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have been unlike anything we've seen in decades, dating back probably into the 1980s, and really very, very intense. From the air, from artillery on the ground, from tanks firing 2,000 and 3,000 meters away from the sea, tremendous pressure on this entire region as Israel goes after what it says are Hamas targets.
In many ways, what is happening is Israel is trying to shape the battlefield as they were described, and we've seen tanks and bulldozers working to edge where they are taking out fences, knocking out potential tank defenses and defense positions, minefields, improvised explosives, even shaping the ground so that if they start moving in with those bigger pieces there, they won't get held up by single lane roads or berms and little hills. The way we saw the Russians get held up in Ukraine.
And, of course, Erin, we've all seen the aftermath of this tremendous, tremendous damage, some places and buildings are completely gone, whole blocks are gone. And as you mentioned, communications, resources, a lot of things, tremendously changing here under this enormous bombardment, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, and you have a sense, tom, of where they are hitting?
FOREMAN: Yeah. Yeah. We do very much have a sense of that. It's all in the northern part up here. We mentioned our friend from "Axios" there mentioned, the area he's talking about is right up here in this part. That's where he's saying Israeli troops are already in and moving.
But we know most of it is up here. You notice this color, that's because this is where most of the population was. We don't really know where they are now in this sense and we don't know how many have moved away. There are strikes down here, but this area is more than twice the population down here in terms of density of people. So most of it have been up here, that's where Hamas has been believed to be settled.
And if you look at the latest satellite analysis that we have here, every one of these little yellow and orange dots up here represents the damaged building or a bomb crater. There may be numerous explosions that went into the area.
"The New York Times" has at 7,000 different strikes so far in this in this battle. And it is not stopped yet.
So, Erin, we have an idea. It's focused in the area here where in Gaza -- where Hamas is believed to have his tunnels, its defenses and an awful lot of its command-and-control structure.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Tom Foreman.
And, next, authorities just revealing that that they have perceived more than 500 tips as the urgent manhunt for the gunman who killed 18 people expands in Maine. We're going to tell you where police are now focusing their search tonight.
Plus, we are learning about the victims, including one man who lost his own life running towards the gunman to save others.
BURNETT: Breaking news, the intense manhunt in Maine widening tonight as the search has now reached 48 hours. Police searching a lake in Maine. Investigators now say they have received more than 500 tips and 100 videos, but still no sign of the suspect tonight.
Omar Jimenez is OUTFRONT.
MICHAEL SAUSCHUCK, MAINE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSIONER: Our law enforcement has not seen him in the last two days. OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the manhunt
for the suspected mass gunman Robert Card intensifies. Law enforcement teams focusing on an area in southern Maine, the same area Card's white station wagon was found at a river boat launch after the shooting.
SAUSCHUCK: We will be putting divers in the water along the Androscoggin River which you see here.
JIMENEZ: While teams search the water, they are still out there right now.
SAUSCHUCK: And they will be there as long as they can.
JIMENEZ: Officials say the ground search isn't over.
SAUSCHUCK: They're going to be out the woods and there to be out crawling around.
JIMENEZ: Investigators swarm the area by car and helicopter today, checking all possible leads and reminding residents that Card should be considered armed and dangerous, even with the shelter in place orders not being rescinded. Authorities found an AR-15 style rifle inside Card's vehicle, as well as a cell phone and a note inside of the home. Authorities say the suspect did not expect to be alive when the note was found.
Card is accused of killing at least 18 people ranging in age from 14 to 76 years old. And injuring 13 others inside of a Lewiston bar and the bowling alley Wednesday night. One of the victims, 53-year-old, Tricia Assellin worked at Just-in-Time Recreation part-time. She was off work Wednesday night, bowling with her sister when the shooting started.
BOBBI NICHOLS, TRICIA ASSELLIN'S SISTER: We heard a loud noise. And I was not sure what it was. Until I heard another shot. And I knew and I've seen it. I could not see her. And everybody was running. And I got caught in people trampling and running out.
JIMENEZ: Joey Walker managed Schemengees Bar and Grille, one of 18 killed.
TED STEVENS, LEWISTON, MAINE RESIDENT: Joe Walker is not a number.
JIMENEZ: Ted Stevens says he knew Walker and saw him at Schemengees often.
STEVENS: They are not numbers. They were people, living, breathing, caring, loving people. And they're not anymore. And there is no rational explanation as to why not.
JIMENEZ: Walker's father said his son tried to stop the government with the butchers knife before he was killed. Even still, he says he doesn't harbor hate or anger against the government.
[19:45:01] LERCY WALKER SR., JOEY WALKER'S FATHER: You have to put that part of it, you have to put it out of your mind. You have to let the law do whatever needs to be done.
JIMENEZ (on camera): And that's the type of pain a lot of people here are dealing with in this community.
Now on the investigative side, we knew that the suspect, Robert Card, had been referred for medical evaluation. He was an army reservist, and referred after he told army personnel that he was hearing voices. Well, sources now tell CNN that they believe he purchased the high- powered rifle used in these attacks 10 days -- 10 days after -- I believe those interactions I should say happened 10 days after he purchased this rifle and what authorities say was a legal manner.
That, of course, highlights one side of the investigation as the more pressing one continues where the suspect actually is, as we had officially passed the 48-hour mark with no sign of where he may be.
BURNETT: All right. Omar, thank you very much on the ground there.
And let's go to Tim Clemente, former FBI SWAT team and former FBI special agent.
So, Tim, right now, police are searching the lake near the boat dock where the suspect's car was found. And we can see an ROV basically searching underwater. We now know that Robert Card left a note behind that suggested he did not expect to be alive when it was found. But you think there's still a strong chance that he's still alive and on the run? Tell us why.
TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI SWAT & SPECIAL AGENT: Well, Erin, there's only one of two possibilities here. One is that that note was a suicide note and it was his last will and testament to his family or friends and then he killed himself.
The other possibility is that was a misdirect for law enforcement, to leave his gun, leave his car and leave his phone behind, leave a note behind and then go on the run. He's not that far from the Canadian border. Obviously, American authorities are going to be searching for him diligently, but the Canadians may be looking for him only at the border and not beyond that point.
So I think he has an opportunity to flee into the wilderness of the Great White North and stay for some time.
Eric Rudolph was able to evade authorities in the woods and mountains in North Carolina for a few years. So a person like this could easily do it in another country for an extended period of time.
BURNETT: So hunting season begins tomorrow in parts of Maine. And they decided to prevent hunting in the four Maine areas where they are searching. But obviously, it's going to continue in other parts. So, I know you think that this may be a significant thing. Tell me what you think it means for the search.
CLEMENTE: Well, it becomes a force multiplier. If those hundreds or thousands of hunters are going through the woods of Maine and this guy is hiding out there anywhere, there's a greater likelihood that he will be seen because otherwise those woods are probably not very occupied right now except for those hunters.
And so, you have a bunch of armed men and women wearing orange and moving to the woods and if there's somebody hiding out that is holed up somewhere, I would assume that most of these hunters are aware of this manhunt and the fact that he's out there. So I'm sure there will be a lot of calls if anyone sees anything or hears anything unusual, sees footprints or see signs of an encampment that's hidden, something like that. I'm sure authorities will get a lot of great tips from this.
BURNETT: So, Tim, police rescinded the shelter in place order. I mean, what's the significance of that and what would you be looking for for them to determine whether it really was a head fake, the note, right? Whether he did try to flee?
CLEMENTE: Well, the first thing is that if there's no remains. You know, if he killed himself, there's no reason for him to travel beyond where he left the note or where he left his car, where he left his phone, if he indeed intended to kill himself.
And so, the fact that he's not there would lead me to believe that he's moved on. And the rescinding of this shelter in place order, you can't hold people for too long. If you remember back when we were covering the bombing at the marathon in Boston, you know, that's a shelter in place order that lasted a day or so at the most.
CLEMENTE: And it's hard for people to put their lives on hold regardless of how dangerous the situation and they can't put the immediate exigency of this because he's not immediately there that they can find.
BURNETT: All right. Tim, thank you very much, joining me tonight.
And next, a blow to former President Trump. A judge ruling that Trump's daughter Ivanka must testify at her father's civil trial. And it comes as Michael Cohen is speaking exclusively to OUTFRONT about his testimony in Trump trial coming face-to-face with Trump for the first time in five years.
We'll be right back.
BURNETT: We're back here live in Israel. You're looking at the live pictures out of Gaza. This is our camera on the border. We -- you can see the complete darkness. The Internet is out.
Everything has been completely knocked out there. We have seen a steady stream of explosions, though, throughout this hour. We are monitoring developments as well there, as we see our Nic Robertson can hear things along that border as well.
Developments in the Donald Trump legal saga as well to update you on because we found out that Ivanka Trump now must testify in person at the Trump Organization fraud trial. The judge rejecting a bid by her lawyers to toss a subpoena from the state from her testimony.
Keep in mind, Ivanka, of course, was initially defendant with her father and brothers but in an appellate court ruled the claims brought against her were too old. Basically, it was a statue of limitations claim.
It's a blow for team Trump, and it comes just after Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen testified against him, the first time in five years that they were face-to-face.
I spoke to Michael Cohen yesterday in his first interview about his testimony and what it felt like to see Trump up close.
BURNETT: A lot to talk to you about. But I want to begin with this moment. I mean, this is a deeply personal moment, first time in five years that you and Donald Trump are in the same room together after being in the same room together every single day for almost your entire career, for so many years.
You were sentenced to three years behind bars for what you call "dirty deeds" that you committed for -- on behalf of him.
What was it like in that room face to face?
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I walked in, I sat in because -- you know, they -- everybody, you know, witness approaching, and you know, I saw him sitting over the table. It wasn't until I took the seat in the -- by the judge's stand that I was confused on how I was going to be.
And actually I felt nothing. It was so weird that here I am sitting directly across from Donald Trump, and I felt absolutely nothing. And then directly over his left shoulder was his son, Eric, who also I maintained a relationship with. And I felt absolutely nothing.
I looked at him, and I said to myself, boy, what a sad looking, pathetic, deflated individual.
BURNETT: So, you testified that it was up to you and then chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg to make Trump's financial statements match what he wanted them to be, what he wanted his net worth to be. So, you gave an example, Michael. You said you were called into
Trump's office and I remember that office in Trump Tower. And you walk in there, big desk in the corner. And you say, quote, he would look at the total assets and he would say, I'm actually not worth $4.5 billion. I'm really worth more like six.
And then you said you would go back. You would reverse-engineer the value of his properties, one by one, to make it work. Did you make the case that Trump actually cooked the books, that he actually directed you to do that?
COHEN: The answer is, yes. I think that the attorney general's office has more than enough information. In fact, they've already lost that point. It was already determined by Judge Engoron that the Trump Organization committed fraud.
The rest of the case right now is all about disgorgement. How much money is the attorney general going to seek in terms of damages based upon the actions of Donald and the Trump Organization with a baseline -- a baseline -- of $250 million. I predict it's going to be more like over $600 million.
BURNETT: Well, Trump's lawyer, Michael -- and you make a fair point about the judge, having already come to that conclusion, right? And this is a judge trial, not a jury trial. But Trump's lawyer did reference your congressional testimony in 2019. And, of course, Michael, that's when you said you couldn't recall whether Trump or Weisselberg directed you to lie about Trump's net worth.
So, Trump's lawyer referenced that testimony in court. She asked you explicitly and directly, quote, Mr. Cohen, were you being honest in front of the select committee when you testified on February 28, 2019? You said, no. She responded, so, you lied under oath. Is that your testimony? And you said, yes.
But, Michael, here's what I want to understand -- later on in that day, another one of Trump's lawyers asked you about that same testimony, and the quote was, so, you're saying that this was truthful testimony, yes or no? Referring, again, to that 2019 testimony. And you said, yes.
So, I'm trying to understand, Michael, what were you saying? Was it truthful? Was it not truthful?
COHEN: Did he specifically -- no. Donald never came out and said specifically, Michael and Allen, I want to inflate the numbers to be 6 billion instead of 5 billion. What he does -- and I've stated this many times. I wrote about it in my books. Donald Trump speaks like a mob boss. What he does is he says, you know, I'm actually not worth $5 billion. I'm worth 6. Why don't you guys go and figure it out.
That's not specifically telling us. So, the answer is, my statement to Congress is actually accurate based upon the specific language that was asked of me. But what it didn't do -- and it does it later on in the document -- is it goes ahead and it talks about how he directed Allen Weisselberg and myself to go back to Allen's office and figure it out.
BURNETT: And you knew what that meant. So, you're saying, he didn't say, Michael, go inflate my assets. What he said was, hey, Michael, my net worth is 6 billion, go figure it out. You're saying, it's the same thing, but in terms of the actual wording used in the question, that's why you answered it differently?
COHEN: Exactly. He directed us in order to do it. The only way, of course, to do it is to increase the value of the assets in that statement of financial condition.
We did it. We then returned to his office, and it took a couple of days. We returned to his office with hand-marked up documents for his approval.
BURNETT: So, he knew what you did. He saw it? He saw the numbers?
COHEN: Of course.
BURNETT: The old numbers. He saw the new numbers. That was explicit.
COHEN: Not only was it explicit, there were some he didn't think were high enough, that we should go back and increase it thereto.
BURNETT: All right. Michael Cohen, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
COHEN: Erin, it's great to see you, and please stay safe.
COHEN: All right. I should note, Michael Cohen is the author of the book, "Revenge" and he's also the host of two podcasts, "Mea Culpa" and "Political Beatdown".
Thanks very much to all of you for joining us, as we can hear explosions in the background over Gaza. I'll be back tonight at 10:00 on CNN, but our coverage from Israel continues now with Anderson.