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Erin Burnett Outfront

Israeli Defense Minister: Intense Fighting Inside Gaza City; Israel Confirms Second Airstrike In 24 Hours Hit Refugee Camp; U.S. Citizens Among The At Least 361 Foreign Nationals Entering Egypt Through Rafah Crossing; Donald Trump Jr. Takes The Stand In NY Fraud Trial; Liz Cheney Calls New House Speaker "Dangerous"; Trump Struggles With His Own Gaffes As He Mocks Biden's Age. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 01, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Israeli troops inside Gaza City tonight. The defense minister saying Hamas fighters are coming out of underground tunnels.

And this as the first Americans have been allowed to leave Gaza, which includes the American pediatrician Barbara Zind. Her husband who's eagerly awaiting her return will be OUTFRONT.

And Donald Trump Jr. testifying in the case that could spill the end of the Trump Org. We'll tell you what he said under oath today and what happened inside that courtroom with the sketch artist.

Plus, our own KFILE digging into the new House speaker's past -- his work with a group that promoted conversion therapy, and a long record of anti-gay comments.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news inside Gaza City. The Israeli defense minister tonight saying that there is intense fighting inside Gaza City, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Gaza City, of course, is the biggest city in the Gaza Strip.

The defense minister of Israel, Yoav Gallant, says soldiers in Gaza City have described Hamas fighters as coming out of underground tunnels, from underground buildings -- from underground buildings, hospitals, and schools. So they're saying they're basically coming out of those tunnels and engaging in street fighting.

Of course, a battle in Gaza City, bloody and deadly. Israel also already announcing today that it is burying the dead from one of the deadliest days in the history of its ground operations in Gaza on the Israeli side, a total of 15 soldiers were killed there on Tuesday, according to Israeli Defense Forces.

But this all comes in the context of the loss of life in Gaza itself. Worldwide outrage is hitting a boiling point after Israel admitted its airstrikes caused a second explosion in just 24 hours in the Jabalia refugee camp. These are before and after pictures. You can see the densely populated area decimated.

The director of the New York high office of the high commissioner for human rights resigning over the U.N.'s response to the situation in Gaza, which he described as, quote, a textbook case of genocide.

We have a special report of the strikes on that refugee camp. And IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus is also here to respond.

But amidst the losses and the incredible suffering, a glimmer of hope for some today. Some innocent civilians finally being allowed to leave the 25-mile long Gaza Strip. An Egyptian official telling CNN that 361 foreign nationals have now left Gaza, entering Egypt through that Rafah border crossing. That includes the American pediatrician Barbara Zind, who we've been following on this program.

Here are images of Dr. Zind making her way out of Gaza, where she'd been sleeping in a car with other people, witnessed violence and fights over scarce food, and witnessed a toilet shared by 800 people. We've been speaking to her over these past weeks, and her husband. We're told she's now in Cairo. In a minute, I'm going to be speaking with her husband, who will be with us.

But despite this welcome news for 361 people, the context here is that more than 2 million are still stuck in Gaza and 240 of them are hostages still being held captive by Hamas from the October 7th terror attack.

Earlier, I spoke to Rotem Cooper. His parents, his mother and father, both kidnapped back on October 7th. After 27 days in captivity, his 79-year-old mother Nurit Cooper is free. He told me more about what she experienced while being held captive.


ROTEM COOPER, MOTHER WAS RELEASED BY HAMAS, FATHER STILL BEING HELD: The hard thing about it is being deep in the ground, with not knowing pretty much night from day, power outages, can be quite humid.


BURNETT: To imagine that, not knowing that from day. And that those 240 people are still suffering from that tonight.

So many developments this hour. Nic Robertson is OUTFRONT live along the Israel Gaza border. Nada Bashir is in Jerusalem.

I want to begin with you, Nic, because I know you've just -- you've been hearing a lot of explosions, seeing flashes where you are. So, what is the latest that you are hearing and learning about the fighting inside Gaza?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yeah. We're hearing some distant tank fire as well, as well as those occasional explosions, where about six and a half miles from the center of Gaza City. The commander of the ground forces in there, the Steel Division, says that the troops are at the gates of Gaza City. The defense minister described the combat there as fierce urban combat, and has been talking about the anti-tank weapons that the Hamas fighters are using.


These anti-tank weapons are designed to pierce the armor, the protective armor, that is on the tanks and these armored infantry fighting vehicles that the troops are in. And I think witness to that point, the IDF announcing 15 deaths over the past 24 hours for troops in Gaza.

There are others who have been injured in that receiving blast injuries as well. I think the strongest language that gives us a sense of the fight that's coming, of the motivation that's required for the troops in there, from the commander of the IDF forces, General Halevi, telling the troops that they are in the middle of a battle. That this will be a long war, that they will fight to the end, that they are doing this for the country, for the good of the nation, but also saying very clearly that you are now in enemy territory.

You are backed up by strong, accurate weapons, but you're an enemy territory. And I think that sets the scene of where the forces are at the moment. It's very clear as they get deeper inside those urban environments that Hamas is familiar with those environments, and they have armor piercing weapons, and plans of how to use them against the IDF.

So this is a very tough moment for where the fight goes from here, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you. As you said, just six miles from where the fighting is going on, and we know Israeli troops are in there now. They're there. Not coming in or coming out, they're there overnight.

And in Gaza tonight, a second IDF strike on the Jabalia camp. The IDF saying it's a targeted strike on Hamas. Of course, though, many innocent civilians also appeared to have been killed.

Nada Bashir is OUTFRONT in Jerusalem, and I want to warn you that some of the images in her report are graphic.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Chaos and horror at Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp. Wounded children rushed to nearby ambulances, the latest casualties of Israel's relentless aerial bombardment. This densely populated neighborhood gripped by panic and sheer disbelief -- a second Israeli airstrike in less than 24 hours.

I lost my whole family, Abu Tarim (ph) says, holding a list of those killed just today. My sister's house was struck with her children inside. My brother's

house, too, with all of his children. There is no one left except for me and my younger brother. They were innocent. What did they do to deserve this?

Israel's Defense Force says it was targeting a Hamas command and control complex in Jabalia. Hamas fighters are said to be among those killed.

But Jabalia is home to more than 100,000 civilians, according to the U.N. And while the full extent of the civilian death toll remains unclear at this stage, Gaza City defense authority has described this latest disaster as a massacre, with more casualties and more fatalities added to the list of hundreds said to have been killed or wounded in Tuesday's airstrike.

The situation is beyond belief. Many have been killed. Bodies have been left burned and charred by the airstrike, this doctor says. There isn't a hospital in the world that can cope with this kind of situation. We're having to treat patients on the floor and in corridors.

The scale of the description at Jabalia is difficult to we grasp. Many residents are still buried beneath the blackened rubble. Rescue workers and civilians dig side by side, desperate to find survivors.

This house had 15 people in it, but we still haven't been able to find any of them, Hassan Ahmad (ph) says. We have no equipment. We are digging alone.


BASHIR (on camera): And look, Erin, we've seen these airstrikes continuing to bombard parts of northern Gaza. This is an area where the IDF has warned civilians and residents to evacuate southwards, warning that those airstrikes will intensify.

But as we have seen over the course of the last three weeks, more than three weeks now, these airstrikes are continuing across the Gaza Strip, not just in the north, but in central and southern Gaza, too, in so-called safe zones, including areas where many are sheltering, including U.N. schools. And for many inside Gaza right now, the fear for them is that there is simply nowhere safe to turn -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Nada, thank you very much. Nada Bashir, as we said, in Jerusalem, reporting tonight.

I want to go OUTFRONT to the Israeli Defense Forces spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus.

Colonel, I appreciate your time again. Obviously, in these early hours of the morning for you.

You heard that man there, you know, asking the question about his family who are dead.


What did they do to deserve this?

What is your reaction, Colonel, to these accusations that you hear, that the strikes on the Jabalia refugee camp are hitting civilians? And amount to a massacre by the IDF?

LT. COLONEL JONATHAN CONRICUS, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESPERSON: Hi, Erin. Sad images, really, at the human level, when I watch it, and I detached myself from the reality that we are facing, I see sad events, and I see people suffering. And that is not something that we intend. What I could say to that man without even a drop of cynicism is, you should have evacuated, you and your family, you shouldn't have been there.

That doesn't mean that we wanted to kill anyone it just means when we warned civilians two weeks ago to evacuate that specific area because there was going to be major conflict operations, they should've heeded the warning and left. The sad reality that is unfolding now is that the civilians in Gaza are paying the price for the atrocities of Hamas.

We are fighting a battle here to defend ourselves. We cannot allow the situation for Hamas to continue to exist after the atrocities of October 7th, and in order for us to be able to safeguard ourselves, we have to eradicate Hamas wherever they are -- even if they're hiding in tunnels underneath populated areas.

BURNETT: Colonel Conricus, to the point, though, about wanting them to leave, these are 100,000 people in a refugee camp. By definition, they lack resources. Where were people like that supposed to go? Was it even reasonable to tell them to go? I mean, they don't have anything to begin with.

CONRICUS: No, no. That is unfortunately not accurate at all, and if you let me, I'd like to explain why.

If you look at the footage that you're showing, you don't see tents. This isn't some makeshift refugee camp. These are permanent dwellings of Palestinians living in a Palestinian controlled area under Palestinian rule. These aren't refugees no more than my grandparents are refugees who came from Poland and Morocco, in 1948.

This is the time scope that we're talking about. These aren't refugees, and it isn't a refugee camp anymore than half of the population in modern Israel are refugees of expulsion of -- from Arab countries in 1948. So, yes --

BURNETT: Colonel, I understand your point -- I understand your point about permanence. I'm sure King Abdullah would say the same about refugee camps of Syrians in Jordan and Egypt are the same about other refugee camps they have.

But while I understand the point you're making about the permanency of the residents, they are poor. They can't leave.

CONRICUS: And their ability to move -- Erin, yes, they could. They could. They made a decision.

Now, it doesn't -- the fact that they made the wrong decision does not make them a target. That's not what I'm saying. I am saying that we warned ahead.

Everybody in Jabalia knows the same guy who was holding the page listing the unfortunate deaths in his family, I feel for him. But he knows that Hamas is there. He knows that the place is full of what they call resistance.

All of them know it. And they knew that they would be fighting their, and they know that the safest place for them to be is not there. It's in the south.

BURNETT: So let me ask you a question about, though, how you know what your striking. Because I know you put out a statement today, the IDF did at least, Colonel, regarding the second strike in 24 hours in Jabalia camp. And a quote from it is that based on precise intelligence, IDF fighter jets struck Hamas command and control complex in Jabalia.

Colonel, of course, we all know Israeli intelligence failed in the lead up to the Hamas terror attack on October 7th. How do you know that Israeli intelligence is right now?

CONRICUS: Erin, I think you ask the same question three weeks ago, and I think I'll provide the same answer. We are basing our military operations of intelligence we continue to monitor the communications. We continue to listen and see what they're doing.

We issue information, not claims, but we issued names, faces, and positions of dead Hamas commanders and key operatives. We do that because we do still have excellent intelligence, very granular intelligence, of what they are doing, of their whereabouts.

Granted, I cannot argue with what you said in the first part. Yes, we failed on October 7th. Clearly. That needs to be investigated.

But definitely, that does not imply that our intelligence is wrong. On the contrary, we continue working based on that intelligence, and we generate more intelligence. Our ground troops are there in friction with the enemy, every encounter, when we meet the enemy, we defeat them, even if we have casualties, and then we generate more and more targeting intelligence.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Colonel Conricus, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.

CONRICUS: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, an exclusive dispatch from our journalist Ibrahim Dahman in Gaza where he visits a shelter where 20,000 people are crammed together, and they're hungry and afraid.

[19:15:07] Plus, former President Trump's eldest son takes the witness stand in Trump's New York fraud case. What did he say under oath about his father's business empire?

And new CNN KFILE reporting tonight on House Speaker Mike Johnson's past, and his controversial ties to a group that claimed it could turn gay people straight.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): It's time for an honest conversation about homosexuality. There's freedom to change if you want to.



BURNETT: And tonight, for the first time, a few people allowed to leave Gaza, Americans among them. The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza let some people through, 361, to be precise, according to Egyptian officials.

And right now, a small group of American citizens, along with a few hundred foreign nationals and dozens of badly injured Palestinians, have been able finally to leave, and they are now in Cairo, finally allowed to escape after more than three weeks under siege.

Among them, American doctor, Barbara Zind. You're looking at images of the Dr. Zind finally leaving Gaza, trapped there for 26 days.

You know here. You've seen her images almost every night, as we've been following her story. She was there to help children, and ended up in the middle of a war, surviving increasingly desperate conditions. At one point, in the end, living out of a car, sleeping there with as many as six other people, food and water an incredibly short supply.


One toilet shared by 800 people. You can imagine the lines, the agony, the disease.

Her husband Paul Preston shared updates with OUTFRONT throughout her entire ordeal, and tonight, she is now beginning finally to begin her way home to Colorado, and to see you Paul.

So, Paul Preston is with me. Paul, thank goodness. You had become increasingly anguished about her situation.

I know that you're hoping to obviously have a chance to speak with her very soon. Where is she and how is she?

PAUL PRESTON, HUSBAND OF AMERICAN WHO JUST LEFT GAZA THROUGH RAFAH CROSSING: I've just been hearing secondhand about her. She is, I think, going to be arriving in Cairo fairly soon, and it's going to stay there for a night, and then come on back to Colorado. I've heard that she is feeling okay, but then again, I haven't talked to her directly.

BURNETT: Right. And I mention there's okay, and then there's -- just dealing with what she's seen and experienced. And I know her deep care for those she is left behind.

Do you have any information as to what it was like as she left, Paul?

PRESTON: Well, she was put on a list, my sister in law, who's Palestinian, red on the Rafah Facebook page that my wife and Ramona were 15th and 16th on the list to be evacuated. So they got up early, they went to the border, they said it was -- indirectly, again, they said it was fairly orderly. People were calling up peoples names and they would come up.

There were some fighting. I'm not sure what they're fighting about. She said that she saw, quote, only two fistfights. But then, when she got to the Palestinian border crossing, she was there for like, five hours, four or five hours in passport control, and that's when I was starting to get discouraged, because she texted me then, and I was like, what's going to happen now?

But -- just conjecture, is they were removing the injured, moving the ambulances through. So once you start to, you know, go through the system, then she took a shuttle to the Egyptian part of the border, and then she got into a car arranged by PCRF. I think there were six people in the car -- they did arrange a police escort for her to get across the Sinai.

BURNETT: You know, the last time we spoke, she had to flee that same crossing because of fights over food. I want, point she got close in the hopes, and you describe these people literally fighting outside a U.N. compound for food -- for food.

You know, what are the conditions as you understand it now? I mean, I know, as you're describing, as she was leaving, only two fistfights. But what were the conditions that she was living under, and others around her living under?

PRESTON: Well, she is, like before, very fortunate. She was living in a clinic that was attached to a school, and was now sleeping inside, which was different than what was going on before. They actually had a stove that had gas so they could have some hot food, you know, before they use the campfire, when they were in the compound.

She mentioned -- she was saying that it was so bad she kind of got used to it. I mean, it was just bad all the time. The one good thing about where she was is the bombing was not as close. So that made her feel more secure.

BURNETT: Well, Paul, thank you very much. I'm so glad to speak with you, finally, with this being the reason why. And thank you so much, and I hope she's getting some rest, and we will be speaking to you soon. Thanks.

PRESTON: And we appreciate you, Erin, for keeping these people in the public eye with your stories. Thank you. BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you. It's the least we can do.

Well, Dr. Zind is one of the lucky few able to leave Gaza tonight because there are countless Gazans, well over a million, 2 million, who can't. Those include our CNN colleague Ibrahim Dahman, along with his wife and their two young boys. He's been OUTFRONT's eyes and ears on the ground in Gaza since the war started.

So, tonight, he reports from a U.N. refugee camp near Khan Younis where he says they are right now, as we are talking, 20,000 people, no mattresses.


IBRAHIM DAHMAN, CNN JOURNALIST (translated): We were at UNRWA shelter camp, west of Khan Younis. The shelter has more than 20,000 people. Everyone here has physical and mental exhaustion.


Food arrives irregularly and water is not suitable for drinking.

The food is very bad. Every two to three days, they deliver canned food. The place is very crowded. We talked to several families living in tents, many of them sleep on the floor. And if it rains, they will have nowhere to go and will get wet.

There are more than 20,000 people here, it's a very large place.


BURNETT: All right. Twenty thousand people, he says, living off of canned food, sleeping on the ground, as we're speaking now. That's our Ibrahim Dahman continuing to bravely report tonight on that grim reality as he endorsed it with his wife and young boys.

And next, prosecutors and Trump's fraud trial questioning Donald Trump Jr. under oath. Trump's legal team, though, opting not to cross the president's son. How come?

And Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna taking on the Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy for saying that he'd love nothing more than for the IDF to put Hamas leaders' heads on a stake.

Why did Khanna want this debate? We'll tell you. He's OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: New tonight, Donald Trump Jr. under oath. The former president's oldest son testifying for about 90 minutes today on the Trump Org fraud trial, denying any involvement in the preparation of his father's financial statements, including after his father became president.


And he was appointed trustee of a revocable trust.

Don Jr. saying he left all of that to the accountants. He's the first of three Trump children scheduled to testify. I'll be back on the stand tomorrow. Former President Trump himself is still scheduled to take the stand on Monday.

Erik Larson is OUTFRONT now, for "Bloomberg News", a legal reporter who is in the courtroom. And Ryan Goodman, our OUTFRONT legal analyst.

All right. So, Erik, you know, we've been talking to you throughout this trial. You were -- you've been inside throughout, you were inside for all of it today. We've got a courtroom sketch of him on the stand, because you saw for your own eyes. We just got the sketches, but there he is.

According to "The Washington Post", quote, he left the room for the afternoon break. Don Jr. paused to hover over the courtroom sketch artists work, looking at her drawing of him. It sounds like father like son.

But can you tell me about that and what the mood was like when he was on that stand?

ERIK LARSON, BLOOMBERG NEWS LEGAL REPORTER: Well, when he was on the stand, he actually started out pretty jovial. He cracked a joke at the beginning, when the judge, for a few moments, had some photographers and videographers come in to take some shots, and he cracked a joke about how, oh, I should've put on my makeup this morning, and everyone kind of laughed.

He also cracked a few jokes on the witness stand, and one point, while he was speaking really quickly. The judge asked him to slow down for the court reporter, and he joked about how he had moved to Florida, but he still talks like a New Yorker. That sort of thing.

So he was pretty laid back, especially compared to sort of the demeanor of his father when he's been in court, and speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, and lashing out, sort of at the judge.

BURNETT: Very, very angry and --

LARSON: Right. So, there was none of that from Donald Trump Jr.

BURNETT: And he seemed prepared?

LARSON: He did seem prepared. He answered the questions really quickly as -- for the first hour or so, it was a lot of background about his work at the Trump Organization, all the projects that he's worked on. Toward the end, he was asked more pointed questions about his role in these statements of financial condition. These allegedly inflated documents at the center of the case, and he got a little more animated at the point and denying any involvement in those documents.

BURNETT: And, again, Ryan, we should make the point here that this trial is not about guilt or innocence. That's been determined by the judge. All parties have agreed to that being the way this works, as opposed to a jury. So, this is about damages and what liability the former president and Trump Org may have in the overstatement.

But even if Don Jr. is telling the truth, and Eric says he made the argument, he doesn't know anything about who -- you know, what the accountants did, whether people inflated, despite, obviously, his role at the time at the Trump Org. That could still be a problem for him, right?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: It could be a problem for him in multiple ways. It's helpful to him in some respect, because it means he wasn't necessarily involved in fraudulently misrepresenting the business records, or something like that, because he didn't know it was going on.

BURNETT: Right, that's what he says.

GOODMAN: That's right. But on the other hand, it also suggests that he's not really practicing due diligence. That's in fact, part of the allegations, and the attorney generals documents submitted to the court that he should've known, or he should've explored, and he's signing the certification saying, it is according to accounting standards, and now he's saying -- what the standards are. That's one of the problems.

The other one is, maybe the judge doesn't believe him. The judge might make a credibility determination, and that's important in terms of the judges final orders will be appealed, and if he'd be overturned. If he makes some of these based on factual determinations that he doesn't find some of the witnesses credible, that is very difficult to overturn, because he's the judge in the courtroom making that kind of determination, and only he can really decide that.

BURNETT: All right. So, where do you think, Erik -- he's going to be back tomorrow, right? This was almost delayed by a day -- Michael McCartney, that was going slow. So, he's going to finish tomorrow. Where do you think he's most vulnerable as the state continues questioning in the morning?

LARSON: Well, there are several parts of the complaints that specify Donald Trump Jr.'s role in the statements of financial condition in terms of using them to get to banks, like Deutsche Bank, and verifying their accuracy as he was handing them over under the terms of their loans, for hundreds of millions of dollars. And on top of that, there is at least one example of Don Jr. and some of the others that Trump org being alerted to the fact that one of their -- one of the main assets, Trump's three story penthouse, the Trump Tower, the size of it, and the value was exaggerated by about three times to over $300 million.

And, you know, Forbes magazine looked into it in 2015 or so, and told them about it, and they sort of just said, oh well, and apparently just went ahead and submitted it to joy to Deutsche Bank and Mazars anyway.

BURNETT: Yeah. Which, by the way, I mean, there's overstating, and they sort of, you know, this poetic license in real estate, $300 million for a penthouse, years ago, that's not in that realm.

GOODMAN: No, it's not. It's an order of magnitude so out of it. So, they're in big trouble for that, yeah.


All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

And next, new reporting tonight from CNN's KFILE on House Speaker Mike Johnson's past. He's worked with a group that vowed to turn gay people straight, and has long history of anti-gay comments.


You'll hear the tape.

And is Trump now the king of gaffes?


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: We did it with Obama, we won an election that everyone said couldn't be one.


BURNETT: He says Obama, but remember, it was Hillary Clinton that he beat.


BURNETT: Tonight, dangerous. That's how former Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney described the new House Speaker Mike Johnson. Cheney once sharing an adjoining office with Johnson on Capitol Hill, so she knows him.

And it comes as CNN's KFILE has uncovered details about Johnson's history with a group that promoted conversion therapy, a long debunked theory that gay people could be made straight.

Here's some of what he said in the past.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): It's time for an honest conversation about homosexuality. There's freedom to change if you want to.



So, Andrew, that's some, you know, pretty unambiguous. But what else did you find?

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN KFILE SENIOR EDITOR: Yeah, so for years, Johnson worked with this group called Exodus International on an anti-event aimed at teens. Now, Exodus was a leader in what was called the ex-gay movement. We talked a bit about it in that intro where they claimed that you could essentially change somebody's sexuality through counseling, through prayer. They basically treated being gay as a mental illness.


Now, Johnson in this group, when he was an attorney at the socially conservative organization called the Alliance Defense Fund, collaborated on this event called the day of truth. And this was actually in response to a pro-gay event called the day of silence. It was to raise awareness about bullying for gay teens. And then, they launched this event the next day, in 2005, that was about basically they pass out cards. They would tell people that you could change your sexual behavior.

They pointed teens to their website, and this had links to Exodus's ministries, and we actually have some audio of Johnson talking about that event. Let's take a listen to it.


JOHNSON: Our race, the size of our feet, the color of our eyes, these are things we're born with and cannot change. But what these adult advocacy groups like the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network are promoting is a type of behavior. Homosexual behavior is something you do. It's not something that you are.


KACZYNSKI: And I think we should note to that Exodus actually shut down in 2013 there. Their founder issued a long apology, apologizing for the hurt and pain that this sort of thing has caused, and we actually spoke to a former executive when we were working on this story, and he said that the sort of thing was very damaging for gay teens.

BURNETT: So what else did you find on Johnson's record on gay rights?

KACZYNSKI: So, homosexuality was a very -- it was a topic he talked about a lot. When that Lawrence v. Texas ruling came down in 2003, which threw out state sodomy laws, Johnson actually wrote to say that he thought those laws should have stayed in place.

He called homosexuality, we reported last week, inherently unnatural. He called it a dangerous lifestyle. He was very against the same sex marriage, and he actually said it was going to bring down democracy, and then he said people would be marrying their pets, goldfish, cats, things like that, and even shared this sort of odd pseudo-scientific or historical theory that the Roman empire fell --

BURNETT: Because of homosexuality?

KACZYNSKI: Because of homosexuality. We have a clip from that as well.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) JOHNSON: Many historians, those who are objective, would look back and recognize, and give some credit to the fall of Rome to not only the deprivation of the society and the loss of morals, but also to the rampant homosexual behavior that was condoned by the society.


KACZYNSKI: So we did reach out to Johnson's office, we asked about those clips. We asked, is this -- does he still believe this stuff? Does he still believe in conversion therapy? We didn't get a response from them.

BURNETT: All right. Andrew, thank you very much, I appreciate it, the KFILE.

And now I want to go to Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California.

Congressman, you just heard all that. You heard those clips. This is now the House speaker. This is the person who is the speaker of the House. Does it surprise you that someone who is clearly has advocated these views is now a speaker?

REP. RO KHANNA (R-CA): It doesn't surprise me. They're obviously very extreme. They're wrong. They don't recognize the dignity of every American. And it's not what Americans believe.

But look, there's an extreme wing of the Republican Party that is determining who the speaker is, and unfortunately, Speaker Johnson is beholden to them.

BURNETT: The House just voted to kill Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's censure of Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American. Of course, Tlaib has a position on Israel, she supports a recent pro-Palestinian protest at the Capitol. She was clear about that.

You wondered how many Republicans would stand up to her right to free speech, as you see it, 23 of them did, 186 voted for censure. But nonetheless, 23 of them did stand up for her. Are you surprised about that?

KHANNA: Well, I applaud their courage and standing up for the First Amendment. Look, I absolutely condemn what Hamas did, and have stood up for Israel's right to defend itself and voted that way, but in a democracy, we should allow people to have different views.

And Rashida Tlaib has a grandmother who is in Palestine. She has lived experience. She should be able to speak out for her views, and if they're wrong, or if she has misstatements, correct her. But don't suppress her First Amendment speech.

BURNETT: You are in New Hampshire today debating Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, and at one point, Congressman, you gave him an opportunity to retract a recent statement he made. His statement said that he would, quote, love nothing more, that's what he said, love nothing more than if the IDF put Hamas leaders' heads on stakes. Okay? You gave him a chance to retract this.

I want to play the exchange.



KHANNA: I heard you say you want the Hamas leaders on stakes and at the Gaza border. And --

VIVEK RAMASWAMY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Israel wants to do that, they should be able to do it.

KHANNA: Yeah, and this is where I think we have a difference just in terms of leadership. We want to put Hamas leaders on stakes -- we should all -- if Israel were to do it, we should tell them, absolutely not.

That violates the Geneva Convention because, already, Chris Wray is saying there are heightened threats to Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans here. Why do you want to inflate the threat?

RAMASWAMY: Israel is an ally. What does that actually mean? You let an ally defend themselves as they deem fit.


BURNETT: So he stands by it, heads on stakes. If you're an ally, you're an ally, you let an ally defend themselves as they deem fit.

Why was it important to you to have this debate and conversation?

KHANNA: Well, look, I was trying to say there is look at President Obama when he got Osama bin Laden. He disposed of the remains in the sea. When you have this kind of inflammatory rhetoric, especially for someone who's running for president and in the top five, it puts all of us at risk.

It heightens the terrorist threats that Christopher Wray is talking about two U.S. troops, to Jewish Americans, to Muslim Americans. And I was hoping to engage him in a civil conversation to show substantive differences, and hopefully, to persuade people that we need more rationality and prudence and foreign policy.

BURNETT: And yet, of course, you've been very pro-Israel. You don't support a cease-fire. You've had people demonstrating in front of your office saying that you should. Obviously, people like Rashida Tlaib, who are in your progressive caucus, do support that.

You don't. Your political director resigned over your stance on this. You've held firm. Why do you believe a cease-fire is wrong?

KHANN: Well, I'm where Bernie Sanders is. And I'm where many -- Jamie Raskin is, and that is in a humanitarian pause, that we need to have Israel's right to defend itself. Israel should be able to go after the Hamas perpetrators who have committed this heinous act. Any country would want to do that.

But we need to value Palestinian lives. We can't have bombing that is going after civilians, innocent children and women. It's hard because Hamas often has those civilians in military sites, but at the same time, we need extraordinary care. And right now, I'm saying let's have a humanitarian pause with food, water, electricity, which I'll tell you is the majority progressive position.

BURNETT: All right. I appreciate your time, Congressman Khanna. Thank you very much.

KHANNA: Thank you. Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And next, Trump's made a campaign out of making fun of Biden's gaffes. But he's starting to stumble a bit too much too? Like saying he beat Obama, or that the Biden could lead the United States into World War II?

And New York making an example tonight of a student who's accused of threatening to bring an assault rifle to campus to shoot Jewish people.



BURNETT: Tonight, turning the tables on Trump. The Ron DeSantis campaign hammering Trump for a string of gaffes that he's made on the campaign trail recently, launching what it's called a Trump accident tracker, trying to get traction.

Today, the campaign mocking Trump's teleprompter reading ability, calling his performance, sad, to use a Trump word, and saying Trump is sounding a lot like Biden.

But put the politics aside because -- the attacks from DeSantis come as Trump has been trying to make an issue out of Joe Biden's age and fitness to office -- for office relentlessly. Well, so, now, you got to look at his record, too.

Kristen Holmes is OUTFRONT.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a new feature of Donald Trump's stump speech.


HOLMES: The former president delivering an exaggerated impersonating of Joe Biden, mocking the Democrats' age and fitness for office.

TRUMP: He stands there, he doesn't even know what the hell -- he can't -- he can't get off the stage. He can't put two sentences together, and he's in charge of nuclear warfare. Oh my!

HOLMES: But it's Trump's own verbal stumbles, such as predicting a future war that ended nearly 80 years ago --

TRUMP: We would be in World War II very quickly.

HOLMES: Claiming he defeated Barack Obama in an election.

TRUMP: We did it with Obama. We won an election that everyone said couldn't be one.

HOLMES: And mistakenly referring to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as the leader of Turkey.

TRUMP: Viktor Orban. Did anyone ever heard of him? He's probably one of the strongest leaders anywhere in the world. He's the leader of -- right? He's the leader of Turkey.

But Viktor Orban, and he's the head of Hungary, and he runs a tough --

HOLMES: That are giving his rivals, Democrats and Republicans alike, and opening to turn the tables.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And what Donald Trump does now, he is wedded to the teleprompter. He can't get off that teleprompter. This is a different Donald Trump than 2015 and '16, lost the zip on his fastball, has a sense of entitlement.

HOLMES: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis campaign also launched what it's calling a Trump accident tracker, to highlight the former president's verbal slips on the campaign trail.

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, meanwhile, jabbed at the former president's lack of moral clarity on foreign policy.

NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: With all due respect, I don't get confused.

HOLMES: President Joe Biden's reelection campaign is also seeking to draw attention to Trump's missteps, clipping the moments and promoting them on social media.

TRUMP: A very big hello to a place where we've done very well, Sioux Falls. Thank you very much, Sioux Falls.

STATE SEN. BRAD ZAUN (R-IA): It's Sioux City, not Sioux Falls.

TRUMP: Oh, it's -- oh is that right?

So Sioux City, let me ask you --

HOLMES: At 80, Biden is America's oldest sitting president, and would be 86 at the end of a second term. Trump is about three and a half years younger than Biden.

TRUMP: It's not too old. He's incompetent.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOLMES (on camera): And, Erin, despite this relatively small age gap between these two men, the way that voters view them is wide. In a recent NBC News poll, they found that 59 percent of voters and major concerns that Biden did not have the necessary physical or mental health that was needed to serve another presidential term. That compared to only 34 percent who felt that way about Trump -- Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Kristen, thank you very much.

And next, a warning for New York's governor after a student was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot up a kosher dining hall.


BURNETT: Tonight, you cannot get away with us. That's a quote, the direct words of the New York Governor Kathy Hochul after 21-year-old Cornell student was arrested for making antisemitic threats against Jewish students online.


GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D), NEW YORK: I want to make an example. If you do this, you will be caught. And you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


BURNETT: Patrick Dai appeared in court today. The Department of Justice alleges he threatened to shoot up a kosher dining hall. The DOJ also alleges he used several usernames to write the threats, including one called Hamas soldier.

Dai could face up to five years in prison if he is convicted. In the meantime, his parents have spoken out telling "The New York Post" that he struggles with depression. They say he doesn't have a history of violence.

Nonetheless, the Attorney General Merrick Garland today referenced Dai's arrest. He was hosting a forum on hate crimes. Of course there has been a surge in hate crimes, noting a significant, he said, uptick in threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab Americans.

Well, thank you all so much for joining us. We'll be back here tomorrow night.

"AC360" with Anderson Cooper begins right now.