Return to Transcripts main page
Erin Burnett Outfront
Trump Spars With Judge During Nearly 4 Hours Of Testimony; New Blasts In Gaza, Israel: 450 Hamas Targets Hit In 24 Hours; Putin Seizes On Israel-Hamas War To Rally Against U.S.; Longtime Democratic Rep.: "I Don't Think President Biden Should Run". Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 06, 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: Trump lashes out, taking the witness stand in his own fraud trial. OUTFRONT legal analyst Ryan Goodman is here, along with Omarosa Manigault Newman.
Plus, strikes on Gaza lighting up the sky tonight. While thousands of miles away, Vladimir Putin is embracing Hamas despite his own citizens killed and kidnapped by the militant group. So what role is Putin playing?
And James Carville is OUTFRONT even though his party wants to shut him up. How come?
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, showdown in court. Trump versus the judge, the former president taking the stand for nearly four hours in his New York civil fraud trial today -- going after the judge, losing his temper.
At one point, the judge saying to Trump's attorneys, quote, "Can you control your witness?" While Trump complained the judge was, quote, "very hostile," even saying to the judge, "It's a terrible thing you've done, you believe this political hack back there, and that's unfortunate."
Trump left the court tonight, though, projecting confidence.
(BEGIN VIDOE CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I think it went very well. I think you were there, you listened, see what scam this case that should've never been brought. It's a case that should be dismissed immediately. The fraud was on behalf of the court.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. When Trump did actually focus on the issue at hand, the issue at the core of this, he admitted about the financial documents at the center of this case. And I want to quote him because this is what he actually said today on the stand, I would look at them, I would see them, and I would maybe on occasion have some suggestions.
It's very interesting that he would say such a thing because he could have said he had nothing to do with, and that would be consistent with what his son said. But he actually said that he offered suggestions. In fact, he appears to be saying exactly what Michael Cohen said to me after he testified in this trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Trump speaks like a mob boss. What he does is he says, you know, I'm actually not worth $5 billion, I'm worth six. Why don't you guys go 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.
COHEN: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Amazing. Trump seems to be saying all that is what happened. I mean, the big question tonight, of course, is what did Trump do in that courtroom today? What did he accomplish and for whom?
I mean, keep in mind, Trump is not new to a witness stand. An "AP" tally has Trump testifying in court at least eight trials since 1986, and even in this courtroom, of course, Trump has spent a lot of time in there. This was his eighth day attending this trial so far.
So he's watched the judge. He's watched the prosecutors. God knows he watched the clerk. And while Trump tried to help himself politically today, it is not clear whether his statements hurt him legally.
Paula Reid is outside the courthouse. Paula, Trump's team, of course, praising Trump's performance. His attorney calling it brilliant.
Okay. Cut to it. I mean, as you see it, and you've been reporting on this, you've been there. Did he help his case?
PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, he might've helped his case in the court of public opinion with his supporters. He used his time on the witness stand to repeatedly attack the attorney general, to attack the judge, and insist that he was the target of political bias. But in his often long-winded answers, he provided a lot of information that will likely hurt his case.
TRUMP: I think it went very well.
REID (voice-over): Former President Donald Trump leaving court after testifying in an attempt to defend his real estate business.
TRUMP: It's a scam, and this is a case that should've never been brought.
REID: During nearly four hours on the stand, Trump continuously clashed with Judge Arthur Engoron. I'm sure the judge will rule against me because he always rules against me.
The judge responding: You can attack me. You can do whatever you want, but answer the question.
In another testy exchange, the judge had to instruct the defense attorney Chris Kise to control your client, adding, this is not a political rally. We are here to hear him answer questions, and most of the time he's not, the judge said, and then threatened to remove Trump from the stand.
On the financial statements at the heart of the case, Trump said, I would look at them, I would see them and I would maybe, on occasion, have some suggestions.
And on his role in preparing the statements, I accepted it, other people did it, but I didn't say make it higher or make it lower, he said.
When asked if he maintained accurate records from August 2014 going forward, Trump said, I hope so. I didn't keep them myself.
Trump was also questioned about the valuation of his assets, including his Trump Tower apartment, which financial statements show a more than $200 million value drop in one year. I thought the apartment was high, he said, adding, we changed it, and saying, different property assets were both high and low.
Trump has long claimed his Florida Mar-a-Lago property was undervalued, saying today, it is worth $1 billion to $1.5 billion.
TRUMP: The numbers are much greater than on the financial statement.
REID: But the judge cited a Florida tax appraisal valuing the property at just $18 million in his decision finding Trump his adult sons, and his company committed persistent and repeated fraud.
In court, Trump said, I thought Mar-a-Lago was very underestimated, but I didn't do anything about it.
Trump's conduct has become a flash point in this case.
TRUMP: You have made -- racist attorney general made some terrible statements.
REID: Even before he took the stand, Trump took aim at New York Attorney General Letitia James, later calling her a political hack in court. LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: The only thing that matters
are the facts and the numbers, and numbers, my friends, don't lie.
REID (on camera): And the courthouse behind me is closed tomorrow for Election Day. But then on Wednesday, Ivanka Trump is expected to be called to the witness stand. Now, she has tried several different ways of getting out of the appearance, but the court rejected all of those attempts. And while she's no longer a defendant in this case, she will be the third of Trump's children to testify -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Paula, thank you very much, outside that courthouse.
And I want to go now to Erik Larson. He was in the courtroom today, of course, as he's been so many days. He's a legal reporter for Bloomberg News. He's covered Trump's trials and business extensively.
Ryan Goodman also with us, the co-editor in chief of "Just Security", former special counsel at the DOD.
So, Erik, you were there today. Take us inside that room.
ERIK LARSON, BLOOMBERG NEWS LEGAL REPORTER: Well, there was a lot of anticipation, of course, as Trump was entering the courtroom. He was flanked by his lawyers and Secret Service. And he walked very slowly, had a sullen look on his face. It's kind of hunched over as he got on the witness stand that he sworn in.
And it started out fairly slowly. He was answering the questions succinctly. It went on like that for a few minutes. But then it kind of just went off the rails after that. I think it's safe to say, as was mentioned, the judge at one point threatened to throw him off the witness stand.
So, once that happens, you've got this problem going on with the witness. The defense team was asked by the judge maybe you need to take some time and talk about how to keep Trump in line with the rules, and his lawyer said, you know, he's the former president of the United States, maybe the future president. He knows how the rules work, and the judge shot back, well, he's not following them.
So, it got pretty tense.
BURNETT: And, as Paula was describing it, long and rambling. At many points, he sounds like he wasn't answering the questions.
LARSON: Right, that is what got the judge a little upset. And, actually, the attorney general's office apparently decided at some point to let him continue to give these rambling answers. Because about halfway through the day, they stopped trying to stop him, and just let him finish his train of thought, for the most part. And, at one point, the lawyer for the attorney general said that it was actually helping their case to hear all of this additional commentary from Trump. So, we'll see where that goes. BURNETT: And, to that point, I would see them and I would maybe on
occasion have some suggestions. I mean, it's almost like he sounds like Michael co -- that's in one of those instances, of course, where he was filling the air. So, what does it all amount to?
RYAN GOODMAN, PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: I do think this is very helpful to the prosecutors. They're getting a lot of what they want. They don't even need all of this. But he's saying things like that he's definitely kind of boasting about his knowledge of the assets, which is not a good thing at a certain level because he's also saying that he does in fact tell his subordinates whether or not to increase or decrease the valuation of some of the assets because he thinks some of them were too high.
And then at the end of the day, which maybe he's getting tired in a certain sense because they actually start to ask him -- well, are you signing these documents in order to induce the banks to give you these loans.
And the answer was affirmatively. And it wasn't even a little bit risky for the prosecutors to be asking that question. But to get that as the answer is basically what they need, which is about his intent, his knowledge and his purpose.
BURNETT: Right. And that he actually did it, right? You put -- you put your name on there.
So, Erik, interestingly, Trump's attorneys did not cross-and him today. How come?
LARSON: The idea is that when the defense starts its case on Monday, we're going to have a whole new set of witnesses. They decided to hold off examining him until they're able to ask him the direct questions as part of the defense case. So they will be able to present friendlier questions, questions that put him in a better light. Then it will be up to the state to do the cross-examination.
But for now, this keeps him off the stand a little bit longer, you know, make it's go a little faster.
BURNETT: I'm just looking at when we were talking there with Paula, his attorney called Trump's performance brilliant today. So, we could along those lines. I'm thinking back to Mr. Jackson when he said, you know, he could live to a hundred. But, you know, questions along the lines of that.
LARSON: Exactly. They will be able to ask him, for example, you know, detailed questions about his business acumen and all of the -- I think at one point he said that he was planning on bringing in trophies and plaques that he had received from banks from the great deals that they had done with him. Not exactly sure what he was referring to there, but he said that --
BURNETT: I think I actually know. LARSON: OK.
BURNETT: I have some of those from -- you know, at the end of the deal, you get a little plaque, a little say right thing, and it says you are part of a deal. They're not awards.
They're just a statement that the deal happened and that there were, you know, banks in charge -- I'm sure lawyers get them, the bankers get them, they're not prizes.
LARSON: Well --
BURNETT: But I bet you get what he's talking about.
So, Ryan, Trump did a lot of attacking judge, A.G., you know, we heard some of the reporting there. At one point, Trump brought up the judge's decision before the trial started, find -- you know, that the judge had found Trump liable for fraud, right, that this has already been found. This is not a jury trial, right? This is a damages trial to be determined by the judge.
Trump says about the judge, quote, he called me a fraud, and he didn't know anything about me. And the judge responded, read my opinion, perhaps, or, for the first time, right, because it was all very much laid out there, right? It wasn't personally pejorative. It was based upon numbers.
BURNETT: Trump says, I think it's fraudulent, the decision. The fraud is on the court, not on me.
Could Trump's sparring, though, with the judge have helped him?
GOODMAN: It could have. I don't think it ended up helping him. I think he might've even been strategic in trying to goad the judge into overstepping his judicial responsibilities, and he came kind of close, as Erik mentioned.
If the judge had in fact said, end of story, I don't want you to be a witness anymore, I'm just going to make an adverse finding against you, then it would've maybe had something to go on as an appeal. Or if the judge had actually said, what he seemed to intimate at some point that he would not even entertain the motion for a mistrial, that would have been overstepping it. And he seemed to be emotional on his own end as the judge that might've worked to his favor, but it didn't seem to materialize.
BURNETT: And there was a mistrial. How did that play out, mistrial motion?
GOODMAN: Right. The defense said that on Thursday they will make a motion for a mistrial based on this argument that the judge's principal law clerk who sits next to him during the trial has been inappropriate and biased and they have some various allegations. I think they may be planning on making against her. At one point,
Trump's lawyer Alina Habba complained of rolling eyes and complained repeatedly about her passing notes to the judge which the judge has said was completely normal and total right during the trail to receive this kind of an advice from his law clerk. But the defense team has really zeroed in on this clerk and suggested that they're going to make her central, you know, central to their motion for a mistrial, which, you know, is not uncommon after a trial wraps up.
But they're usually long-shot attempts and I'm not sure how this one will play out. But it should be interesting.
BURNETT: Long shot at best?
GOODMAN: At best.
GOODMAN: Yeah. I'm not sure what audience they're playing to. But it's -- I wouldn't hang anything on that if I were Trump.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.
And, next, Trump questioned about his infamous pent house in Trump Tower. This is one of the crucial assets that had been at one point inflated by several hundred million dollars. Did he vastly inflate that value? The former "Apprentice" contestant and Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman is next. By the way, she's been there many times.
And Vladimir Putin siding with Hamas. Russia hosting the group's leaders in Moscow even as they have killed and kidnapped Russians. So, what is Putin doing?
Plus, an exclusive dispatch from our journalist Ibrahim Dahman. You know him, and now he's just out of Gaza with his two young sons and his pregnant wife, but he'll tell you why he still does not feel safe.
BURNETT: All right. Breaking news. Former President Donald Trump fiercely defending his business and his wealth as he testified in the New York fraud trial threatening his real estate empire and his entire business. Trump said his net worth is, quote, far greater than the $2.5 billion he was required to maintain to keep his loans.
Trump also took time boasting about his real estate portfolio, including about his golf course in Scotland. This one is actually very interesting. He said, quote, I think it's the greatest golf course ever built. It's one of the greatest pieces of land I've ever seen.
Well, the judge was not amused with Trump's answer on that. He called it rambling and repetitive, as we have told you Trump did go on and on in his answers as the day went, four hours on the stand. OUTFRONT now, Omarosa Manigault Newman. She was a contestant on "The
Apprentice," went on to work on Trump's 2016 campaign and to serve in the Trump White House. She's author of the book "Unhinge: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House".
Omarosa, you have known him there for, in many stages, of his career and his shift from business person to president.
OMAROSA MANIGAULT NEWMAN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: Yes.
BURNETT: So, Trump clashed with the judge repeatedly today. You heard Eric who was in the room describing it.
Obviously, you know Trump well. Do you think that that -- as Eric described it, started off, you know, fine short answers and then very quickly turned into something very confrontational, very long answers? Do you think this was deliberate, it was a strategy on Trump's part? Or do you think possibly just lose his sort of control and temper?
MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Erin, thanks for having me.
I have known Donald for almost 20 years and I can tell you that that was not strategy. It's simply this: Donald Trump can't help himself. Even facing this huge, huge fine, possibly $250 million, he cannot help himself.
And, so, the folks who are saying that this was strategic, it's not strategy. Donald Trump is frustrated and he's ticked off, and he's lashing out. That's what you're seeing in the courtroom.
BURNETT: Hmm. So, okay, he acknowledged on the stand today, and this was very interesting, I thought, Omarosa, that he did play a role in documents stating the value of his properties, right? Didn't need to do that, it wasn't actually something specific, but he did, and he came out and said that.
He said he was probably involved in changing the value of his penthouse property on Fifth Avenue, which, of course, the New York attorney general says financial statements provided by the Trump Organization show that that value changed from$80 million in 2011 to $327 million four years later. Obviously, an incredible surge.
So, you've been there -- you've been there in that actual apartment -- apartment, whatever you might call it, penthouse. Do you have any doubt that Trump himself was involved in the valuing of that asset?
MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Well, we have to take Donald at his own words. If he says he helped fudge those numbers, then he certainly did.
But when we listened to Michael Cohen, who walked us through this process starting when he was testifying in front of Congress and then, of course, when he was just on the stand there, they knew that Donald Trump wanted to appear wealthier than he was, more fluent, and he wanted to stay on the "Forbes" list. So he was willing to do whatever he needed to do. Donald Trump can't
help himself. And so, if they just let him keep talking, Donald will dig a hole for himself and that's certainly what he did today on stand.
BURNETT: And, Omarosa, it's interesting that penthouse we were just looking at footage of you inside and others during your time on "The Apprentice".
MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Oh.
BURNETT: Yes, but Trump had tried to say, oh, well, part of the reason that the value changed from $80 million to $327 million, that he actually changed the square footage, that that's what the attorney general says that the square footage changed from 10,000 to 30,000 square feet. I mean, a tripling in your estimated square footage.
MANIGAULT NEWMAN: It's absolutely impossible. You'll recall that we actually lived in Trump Tower while shooting "The Apprentice". And it's very difficult to adjust or make or enlarge the space in there, although when you watch this on television, it looks larger than what it is.
I've been in that penthouse. I will tell you the only thing he could do is take over the fourth or fifth floor below him. I don't believe that Donald Trump even believed what he was saying. And, so, it is certainly fraud.
BURNETT: So, when Trump was asked about the 2021 financial statements that Judge Engoron has specifically deemed fraudulent, he testified, quote, I was so busy in the White House, my threshold was China, Russia, and keeping our country safe.
Of course, you know, in 2021, he did leave office. And these are the 2021 financial statements. Based on your experience in the Trump White House, what do you think of that defense, though?
MANIGAULT NEWMAN: I think it's the weakest defense he could asserted. You will recall that Donald Trump, because of his lack of attention span, we had to create this thing called executive time, which means that we gave him blocks of time, hours of time, two, three hours so that he could go up in the residence and watch television or, you know, play on toys or, you know, fudge numbers. I don't know.
But Donald Trump had ample amount of time to communicate with those who were still in charge of his business. And he did so quite frequently. His sons would come visit the White House.
Donald Trump to assert that he was so incredibly busy when he absolutely hated his briefings, he hated essential meetings and he hated the role of presidency. He just liked the stature but not the responsibilities.
That defense is weak and it will fail.
BURNETT: You spent obviously around the Trump family. You mentioned his sons, you know them. And of course you know Ivanka Trump as well. They all appeared on "The Apprentice" and on the campaign trail, and you saw them many times.
Ivanka Trump is expected to be the next and last witness to be called in this trial. She will be called on Wednesday. She is not a defendant but that is only because of the statute of limitations.
So, do you think, Omarosa, that Donald Trump should be worried about her testimony or not?
MANIGAULT NEWMAN: I think he should be kind of concerned. She is very much like him. I think her testimony is -- testimony I'm most interested in because she is very strategic in terms of rehabbing her image, trying to get back into, you know, civilized society and trying to make her way back into Hollywood.
And so, the things that she'd say could impact her ambitions of being accepted again in the circles that she used to run in. She will certainly plead the Fifth over and over again.
But when it comes to saving her skin, she's very much like her dad. I don't doubt she'll throw him under the bus just as quickly he will throw her under the bus, back it up and run over again. That's just how this family is wired.
BURNETT: All right. Omarosa, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
And, next, the breaking news --
MANIGAULT NEWMAN: Thanks for having me, Erin.
BURNETT: Thank you.
And we've got some new strikes in Gaza just caught on our cameras to show you here what's happening there. This tragedy continues. It comes as Vladimir Putin from thousands of miles away is watching every move.
My next guest says Putin is the real winner of the Israel/Hamas war and he'll explain.
And our journalist Ibrahim Dahman and his family did make it out of Gaza. The horrors of the war are still with them. His exclusive dispatch, next.
BURNETT: Breaking news: new explosions rocking Gaza tonight as Israel reports major gains against Hamas. Israel announcing it's destroyed 450 Hamas targets within a 24-hour span. That's what they've been spaying now for near on 30 days. You can do that math, an incredible number of strikes. These include what the IDF says overnight were key military compounds used for attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see here, all the rockets that have already been launched, pointing north into Israeli territory. This is the electricity and this electricity runs all the way into this building that is actually a mosque, from which the rocket launches are activated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And this is what's left of a refugee camp in northern Gaza following an intense night of Israeli strikes. So far the IDF has not yet commented on this incident. But the Pentagon says the U.S. believes there are, quote, thousands of civilian casualties in Gaza.
Nic Robertson is OUTFRONT in Sderot, Israel.
And, Nic, you -- I know you were just hearing some loud explosions there, of course, in the early hours of Tuesday morning now where you are. What's going on?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDET: Yeah, we're hearing fighter jets in the sky above us. We've seen flares dropped over Gaza City, heavy explosions there. Flares dropped in the sky behind us, not long ago, some very heavy detonations there as well, some of them shaking this building.
It's something that has been a persistent part of the military actually the past couple of weeks. The IDF saying there was another couple of explosions. The IDF saying that they've captured 50 Hamas rockets, now taking control of a number of Hamas rocket launch sites, some of them in children's play parks.
And also that they've cut off the north from the south of Gaza along the length of the Gaza Strip. They're operating a humanitarian corridor. The IDF keeps it open to allow some hours of the day from civilians to move from the north to the south of Gaza.
But it's really what happens next around Gaza City. We're hearing the explosions. But are the troops going in on the ground, and how is Hamas dealing with that? There's the concern about Hamas creating kill zones where they can entrap the IDF troops and rain fire on them.
We don't have visibility on that. But we can hear the explosions, Erin.
BURNETT: Absolutely. Well, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu just spoke out about Israel's plans for Gaza after the war, if you can call it that, given what he's saying. What exactly is he saying right now?
ROBERTSON: Yeah. He is saying that after the war is won against Hamas, and I think, to be really frank about that, the jury's out if he can actually deliver on what he said he'll deliver, which is completely crushing Hamas partly because the international clock on how much time he has is ticking down because the civilian casualties are so high. But he says that Israel would have to administer it and run it for a
while. We've heard that a few weeks ago from other Israeli government ministers. I think one of the interesting things we've heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu this evening is saying when asked about the question of having a ceasefire, he said no ceasefire without the full release of hostages.
On the issue that the United States is pushing for, humanitarian pauses, he is saying, okay -- well, tactical pauses maybe, we've had them before, maybe that can get some humanitarian aid in, maybe the hostages can be released. This is Netanyahu it sounds like softening his position. He's been hard-lined, no ceasefire. Now he's hinting maybe these short humanitarian pauses, this is a new position.
BURNETT: Certainly, although, as you point out, the context so crucial, right, 400, 450 strikes a day. Never mind what's going on in the actual ground. The relief, of course, would be miniscule in any such development.
Nic, thanks so much.
Nic, of course, is in Sderot where he has been for the entirety of this war. Thousands of miles away, meantime in Moscow, no one is watching Israel's war against Hamas more closely than the Russian President Vladimir Putin who is now trying to seize on the war to say that it is a battle between the United States and Israel versus the rest of the world.
Fred Pleitgen is OUTFRONT.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): As Israel's military continues its war against Hamas, Russian leader Vladimir Putin is framing the conflict as part of a global struggle of America and the West against the rest of the world.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): It's the current ruling elites of the United States and their satellites that are the main beneficiaries of global instability. They extract their blood toll from it.
PLEITGEN: While many nations around the world condemned Hamas after the October 7th raid on southern Israel, killing more than 1,400 and taking hundreds of hostages, including Russians, Russia invited a high-level Hamas delegation to Moscow for meetings.
A top Hamas leader saying the group would give preference to captives from what they call their, quote, Russian friends.
MOUSA ABU MARZOUK, CHIEF DEPUTY OF HAMAS'S POLITICAL BUREAU (through translator): This request from Russia we treat more positively and attentively than others, due to our nature of our relations with Russia.
PLEITGEN: So far, no Russian hostages appear to have been released. Still, Moscow not criticizing Hamas, instead, ripping only into Israel for the many Palestinians killed by the IDF's ongoing aerial campaign in Gaza.
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Condemning terrorism, we categorically disagree that terrorism can be responded to by violating the norms of international humanitarian law, including the indiscriminate use of force against targets where the civilian population is known to be located.
PLEITGEN: But, for years, it was Russia that waged a relentless bombing campaign against areas held by rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The U.S. and various international aid groups accuse Moscow of deliberately targeting civilian areas including hospitals and markets, killing and wounding scores even though the Kremlin has consistently denied those claims.
And Russia's war again Ukraine continues, Moscow once again harming civilian structures overnight in the port town Odesa, wounding several people.
Vladimir Putin, though, trying to argue that Russia is invading Ukraine to help the Palestinians.
PUTIN: These are our soldiers and officers and the choice of a real man, a real warrior is to pick up arms and stand in line with his brothers, be in a place where the fate of Russia and of the whole world is being decided, including the future of the Palestinian people.
PLEITGEN (on camera): Vladimir Putin there, Erin, essentially trying to pit the entire rest of the world against the U.S. and its allies, including, of course, Israel as well. This is not new from Vladimir Putin, pretty much since he's invaded Ukraine, he's been speaking about wanting a new world order, as he puts it, when in which countries like China and Russia are much stronger and the U.S. is weakened -- Erin.
BURNETT: Fred, thank you very much. I want to go now to Barak Ravid, the "Axios" foreign policy reporter, longtime Israeli reporter as well.
All right. Barak, great to speak with you, and, obviously, you hear Fred's reporting there. And you've done extensive reporting on Putin and Russia's role here.
What is Vladimir Putin doing here?
BARAK RAVID, AXIOS FOREIGN POLICY REPORTER, LONGTIME ISRAELI REPORTER: Hi, Erin. I think -- what we see from Vladimir Putin since the beginning of this war is something that at least from my point of view, was very unusual because, for more than a decade, Vladimir Putin tried to maintain a close relationship with Israel. And during this conflict, he just decided to throw Israel under the bus.
And when you think about it, when you try and go like, you know, 30,000 feet up, you maybe know the reason why. Because if you look at this war, the -- I think the person who gets the most out of this war is Vladimir Putin where after the entire world attention was on his invasion to Ukraine, now the entire attention of the international community is on the Middle East, and it gets him a lot of air to do things without anybody watching.
BURNETT: And, Fred showed that Moscow had invited top Hamas leaders to visit after the October 7th terror attacks, right? So, they made a point. It's not just saying things between the lines. It's an invitation, come visit us.
But, Barak, as you know, Hamas has been meeting with top Russian officials including the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. This has been going on for years including multiple times since Russia invaded Ukraine. So, what do you think all this means? I mean, this is an investment over time.
RAVID: That's true, that's true. But -- and it's a big but. Vladimir Putin, for years, one of his pride was that he takes care of Russian- speaking people abroad. He still sees them as part of Russia in another part of the world.
Israel is a country where you have 1 million Russian-speaking people. And many of them were harmed in the October 7th attack.
RAVID: And Putin didn't seem to care. I think that the fact that they invited the Hamas delegation a few days later, I think that was a clear message on which side Putin is on.
BURNETT: This is pretty incredible, right, 1 million Russian speakers. And I think something many may not realize about Israel.
RAVID: And some of them, by the way, some of them are hostages in Gaza right now.
BURNETT: Right, right, as he meets with Hamas. In that context, in this interview that Prime Minister Netanyahu just gave to ABC News, he says: I think Israel will, for an indefinite period, have the overall security responsibility because we're seeing what happens when we don't have it, referring to Gaza.
Now we know his ministers have said that he's intimated this before, Barak. But he puts the word "indefinite" on it.
What do you see here?
RAVID: I think that what we're going to see in Gaza is, in many ways, similar to what we see in the West Bank in the last 15 years. And this is that Israel keeps the overall security responsibility for itself coming every night into Palestinian cities to arrest suspects of terror activity. Obviously, Gaza is not the West Bank, it's not going to be exactly the
same. But I think that when it comes to the policy, Israel will try to do the same thing it is doing in the West Bank. Now in Gaza, again, after this operation will end and who knows how long it is going to take.
BURNETT: All right. Barak, thank you very much, as always, for your perspective. We appreciate it.
RAVID: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next that, exclusive dispatch from journalist Ibrahim Dahman, his young sons, his wife are finally out of Gaza. But the rest of his family is still in what he calls the Gaza graveyard.
And a top aide to the commander of Ukraine's armed forces killed by a grenade inside a present meant for his birthday.
BURNETT: Breaking news. As new explosions light up the sky in Gaza tonight, the death toll there is topping 10,000, according to Hamas- controlled Gazan health officials.
CNN cannot independently verify those numbers, although sources at the Pentagon say thousands of civilians have been killed in this war, in Gaza along with the intense strikes there have been long stretches of communication blackouts. At this hour, we still cannot make connection with aide worker Mahmoud Shalabi. We've been talking to him almost daily inside Gaza, he remains there in northern Gaza, at his home with his wife and three young children.
We are, though, now hearing more from Ibrahim Dahman, the CNN journalist who was trapped in Gaza for 28 days. His family is now in Cairo, grateful to be out, but some of the horrors continue.
IBRAHIM DAHMAN, CNN JOURNALIST (translated): Last month, my family and I fled northern Gaza.
Buildings were bombed before our eyes.
We became refugees in our own home.
I saw family members caught in the crosshairs.
ZAID, DAHMAN'S SON (translated): They don't strike hotels, right?
DAHMAN: My own children feared for their lives.
We sheltered with over 100 other families in Khan Younis. We witnessed many airstrikes and survived blackouts.
We tried to make the best of a bad situation, and distract our children.
But we couldn't shield them from the horror.
Last Friday, we were told to go to the Rafah crossing.
I was relieved to get out of Gaza.
My home has become a graveyard.
In Rafah, I saw many families hoping to escape.
My heart raced as our documents were checked.
Zaid, why don't you want to go?
ZAID: I want a safe place.
DAHMAN: There are no safe places here.
ZAID: That's true.
DAHMAN: The names of a lucky few were called to board the bus to Egypt.
Finally, it was our turn.
My wife put on a brave face.
We both worry we will never see our relatives again.
The feeling of being in Egypt is indescribable.
Are you happy Khalil? What do you want to say?
KHALIL, SON OF DAHMAN: It was difficult, but at the same time it was good.
DAHMAN: In Cairo, we no longer hear airstrikes.
My sons look happy, but I know they are traumatized. Sometimes they hear a plane overhead and think it's a war plane. I have to reassure them they are safe now.
We don't know what our next move will be. For now, we can be a normal family again.
BURNETT: And, next, James Carville is speaking out tonight, even though his own party wants him to be quiet. And he'll tell you why.
And a grenade in a birthday gift killing a top aide to the commander of Ukraine's armed forces. What happened?
BURNETT: Tonight, another high profile Democrat saying Biden should step aside and let someone else run for president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM RYAN, FORMER DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN: I don't think President Biden should run. We have talent in the Democratic Party. Let new candidates emerge in the Democratic Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That's from long-time Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, telling our Kasie Hunt, his plea comes as new polling shows former President Trump beating Biden in five of six key swing states that were pivotal to Biden's 2020 election victory.
OUTFRONT now, longtime Democratic strategist James Carville.
So, James, some Democrats are pointing out, okay, okay, but at this time in 2011, polls showed Obama likely losing his re-election. So, they say, hold on, don't get so hot and bothered abut this. So, James, can Biden still turn this around?
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't know. It's been the same poll for the last six months. All of a sudden, everybody got up this morning and had, oh, my God. This is unchanged. And by the way, this didn't even include third party. If I was a campaign manager and I was handed this poll, I would throw it back in their face.
I mean, because the third parties are -- third, fourth, fifth parties, are getting a lot of votes here. So, I don't quite know why we've had this "Oh S (ph)" reaction because it's been this way since at least the spring of this year.
BURNETT: The "Oh S" reaction.
And you're right. It has been consistent.
So, James, is it too late for Democrats to find an alternative to Biden if they go down that route, as you've said they should, as we just heard Mr. Ryan saying they should.
CARVILLE: Oh, I don't know -- people say, the talent (ph) it is and you take -- but who knows? But we've been denying this all summer. And people said, we're not going to say anything. Don't say anything, which is the equivalent of going to the doctor, don't tell the guy he's got high blood pressure. You're just going to upset him and make him worse.
I mean, that's the medical malpractice equivalent of acting like nothing is happening when clearly something is happening. And all of this --
BURNETT: So --
CARVILLE: Excuse me, Erin. All of this is predicated on certainty. All the smart people, the chin scratchers, the economists (ph), the commentators, say, look, it's going to be Trump and Biden. There's nothing you can do to stop that.
And there's no -- there are no heart attacks, there are no strokes, there are no memory lapses, there are no convictions, there are no plea deals, no upsets, no third, fourth, fifth parties and the house (ph) of strategic certainty. I think it's idiotic, but that's me.
BURNETT: So, in a recent interview to "The Atlantic," you said when you tell other Democrats your honest analysis -- and your honest analysis, of course, has been consistent, that Biden is in serious trouble, they're essentially trying to silence you.
So, you said, quote, nobody is saying, James, you're wrong. They're saying, James, you can't say that.
Why do you think this is, James?
CARVILLE: I don't know because I'm not the only guy in the world that reads polls that come out. ABC, NBC, CNN, it's all the same thing.
And I'm not supposed to say what I see. And I just disagree with that. And we've had this summer and fall of silence, and all of a sudden collectively people wake up to something that's been going on for the last six months.
And I think at some level -- and I do too. People really like President Biden. They think he's a great guy. So do I. They think he's now getting credit for a record he has. So do I.
But it's just facts of political gravity here (INAUDIBLE). Hopefully they can figure a way -- somebody can turn this around. But I'm getting more skeptical by the day.
BURNETT: All right. Well, James, I appreciate your time and thank you very much for being with me tonight. Thank you.
And next, we're going to tell you about how a birthday gift killed a top aide to Ukraine's top military commander.
BURNETT: Tonight, a top aide to Ukraine's military chief killed after a grenade that was inside a birthday present exploded. Ukraine's top military commander, Valery Zaluzhnyi, who you're seeing on your screen now, announcing the death of his close friend, Major Hennadiy Chastyakov. A Ukrainian news outlet, Ukrainska Pravda, posted these photos, which appeared to show what looked to be several grenades and the debris left behind by the explosion. Now, Ukraine's interior minister says that Chastyakov received a
birthday gift from a colleague, from a known person. And Kyiv police say that Chastyakov's 13-year-old son was helping him open the gift, was seriously injured. I mean, it's a tragic story, but it's also deeply unsettling for Ukraine to see a top aide to it's top commander this entire war killed like this.
Police say they have launched a criminal investigation. But obviously we don't yet know the details to know whether the word assassination or what would be appropriate. But they have launched a killed like this. Police say they have launched a killed like this. Police say they have launched a criminal investigation. But obviously we don't yet know the details to know whether the word assassination or what would be appropriate. But they have launched a criminal investigation.
All right. Thank you so much for joining us.
It's time now for "AC360" with Anderson Cooper.