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Erin Burnett Outfront
Israel Claims "Hamas Has Lost Control" In Northern Gaza; IDF: Israel Carrying Out Precise, Targeted Operation In Shifa Hospital; GOP-Led House Passes Bill With Dem Help To Avoid Government Shutdown; Georgia Prosecutor: Trump Trial May Not Conclude Until Early 2025; Young Voters: Biden Needs To Deliver On More Of His Promises; Video: Crowds Bused In To San Fran To Cheer For China's Xi. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired November 14, 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:
Israel says Hamas is no longer in control of northern Gaza as the Biden administration says it has new proof that Hamas is using Gaza's largest hospital as the command center.
Plus, Congress gone wild. A fistfight nearly breaking out in the United States Senate. And a congressman accuses Kevin McCarthy of elbowing him in the kidneys. What is going on? It's embarrassing.
Plus, our new series, "Voters OutFront". Tonight, why young voters are increasingly fed up with Biden.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, Israel flags -- Israeli flags in Gaza's parliament. Israel's defense minister pointing to a photo today at a press conference that shows Israeli forces posing for a picture inside Gaza's parliament and they're waving Israeli flags. The defense minister says that this means, and it shows, he says that Israel is now in control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOAV GALLANT, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): You've seen Golani troops sitting in Gaza's parliament. This is significant. I can tell you that in the northern Gaza Strip, Hamas has lost its control. Actually, we're controlling all of the area that's above and underground of the northern Gaza Strip, and especially in Gaza City.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Of course, it's obviously very charged that they would put Israeli flags in that parliament. But Israel also says it's punishing ground operations will continue and those include surrounding the Al Shifa Hospital.
Tonight, the White House says it has its own intelligence indicating that Hamas is using Al Shifa to run its military operations.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, NSC COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: We have information that confirms that Hamas is using that particular hospital for a command and control node. That is a war crime.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Al Shifa, as we've been telling you, is the largest hospital in Gaza. It's many blocks. It's about a dozen acres. E.R., surgery, maternity wards, and it is where thousands of innocent Palestinians are sheltering in parking lots and courtyards as well as whatever is underneath it. That is why Kirby went on to say that the United States does not support striking Al Shifa from the air.
Now, CNN obtained an audio message from the head of Al Shifa's neonatal unit. He made it clear in this message that we've obtained that the situation inside the hospital that he is seeing is dire.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DR. SHIREEN NOMAN ABED, HEAD OF NEONATAL UNIT AT AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL IN GAZA: Babies were evacuated to the surgical department, the adult department, and all of them are wrapped in towels. OK, not in incubators, each eight in one adult bed.
And we expect all to die because they don't have water to prepare milk for them. They don't have electricity to provide them with warmth. They don't have staff to care with them. Even the staff is scared.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: We expect all to die. No human heart can be untouched by that. According to the U.S. administration, Al Shifa has also been used to house some of the hostages taken by Hamas, 239 as we understand that at this time. Those numbers have shifted over time. But 239 is the latest that we have.
Tonight a senior U.S. official telling CNN that Israel and Hamas have been inching closer to a deal to release some of them. According to a Hamas spokesman and source familiar with the negotiations, Israel asked for 100 to be released. Hamas' military wing claims negotiations are focused on the possible release of 70 women and children. And they want a pause in fighting for five days for that.
The point is, is both sides agree that there is a discussion about a substantial number of hostages. And both saying that now to the press is a significant step. It is unclear if any deal would include freeing the ten Americans being held. Today, though, President Biden was asked and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What's your message to the families?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hang in there. We're coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Jeremy Diamond is OUTFRONT live along the Israel/Gaza border to begin our coverage tonight.
And, Jeremy, the Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claiming full control of northern Gaza and Gaza City, showing that picture of Israeli troops waving Israeli flags in the Gaza parliament. The IDF does say fighting continues in the heart of Gaza. So what more are you learning about how things really stand at this hour?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, over the last couple of weeks, we have watched as Israeli forces have been closing in on Gaza City from the north and from the south.
And tonight, Israel's defense minister now saying that Hamas has lost control of northern Gaza, including, he says, Gaza city.
This as we are hearing tonight ongoing bombardments and outgoing artillery in the direction of the Gaza Strip. And as we were watching, Israeli forces taking control of key positions, all appearing to head towards one key target, and that is Al-Shifa Hospital.
DIAMOND (voice-over): Tonight, Israeli forces say they have seized key areas in northern Gaza. After block by block battles, the Israeli military claiming operational control of the congested Shati refugee camp and key Hamas government buildings in Gaza City, including Hamas's parliament, where troops posed with Israeli flags.
The advances show Israeli troops driving toward Al-Shifa Hospital where Israel claims Hamas operates a major underground command center. CNN cannot independently confirm those allegations which both Hamas and hospital officials deny.
The U.N. says all but one of northern Gaza's hospitals have now effectively shut down due to a lack of power, water, and medical supplies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nowadays, every minute, every hour we are hearing that either a full hospital, or a department in hospital, is closing its services.
DIAMOND: At Al-Shifa Hospital, doctors desperately trying to save premature babies after a strike knocked out power to the hospital's neonatal unit.
ISRAELI OFFICER (translated): We'll even provide you with an incubator.
DIAMOND: The Israeli military now says it is preparing to send these mobile incubators to the hospital, releasing audio of an alleged conversation with a hospital manager.
ISRAELI OFFICER (translated): I'll put it at the gate of the hospital. Does that help?
AL SHIFA HOSPITAL MANAGER (translated): Yes, it helps.
DIAMOND: Meanwhile, new confidence from President Biden in a potential deal to free some of the estimated 239 hostages held in Gaza.
BIDEN: After talking with people involved every single day, I believe it's going to happen. But I don't want to get into detail.
DIAMOND: As hostage families begin a five-day mark from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a senior U.S. official telling CNN Israel and Hamas are inching closer to a deal. The broad strokes, Hamas frees dozens of women and children in exchange for as long as a five-day ceasefire, and the release of some Palestinian prisoners.
As families continue to plead for the release of their loved ones, the official cautioning a deal is closer, but it's not done.
DIAMOND (on camera): And tonight, Erin, we have heard for weeks now as Israeli officials have made clear that they believe that Hamas is operating below Al-Shifa Hospital. Yesterday, Israeli officials saying that they believe Hamas is holding hostages there, and today, we are hearing from the White House directly, the National Security Council spokesman John Kirby saying that not only does Hamas operate a command and control center under Shifa but also that it may be holding hostages there and under other hospitals -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Jeremy, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, retired Army Lieutenant General Mark Schwartz, the former security coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
And Dr. Barbara Zind, the American pediatrician who arrived in Gaza, as you know, the day before the October 7th Hamas terrorist strike in Israel. She remained stuck in Gaza for 26 days. We followed her story, of course, for weeks here on OUTFRONT, and she has spent a lot of time in Gaza over the years.
Thanks very much to both of you.
And, General Schwartz, I want to start by asking you a couple of key questions here about the situation on the ground. First, the Israeli defense minister, we heard, says Hamas is no longer in control of Gaza City or northern Gaza above and below ground.
So, if that's true, what's actually left, General?
LT. GENERAL MARK SCHWARTZ (RET.), FORMER SECURITY COORDINATOR FOR ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: Well, I think that statement by the minister of defense really emphasizes the fact that the Israeli defense forces have control of what comes into northern Gaza and Gaza city and what goes out. They've also had the opportunity over the past two and a half weeks to assess the thousands of airstrikes that occurred in northern Gaza and Gaza City.
So, the assessment of the underground I think is what characterizes that part of the statement because just yesterday when nick was in Gaza and, you know, investigating some of the damage from the strikes as well as some of the ground combat, the IDF spokesman, as I remember, made the comment that they had not physically cleared all the tunnels.
But I think they've assessed what the damage has done. So, there's still fighting going on as we've seen reported. But I think the IDF feels assured that they have control.
BURNETT: All right. I'm just going to interrupt this conversation for one moment to go to the ground to our Oren Liebermann in Tel Aviv with some breaking developments -- Oren.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the IDF has just confirmed they're moving on Al Shifa Hospital. This is a development we've come to expect over the last days and even weeks as Israel has pointed to Shifa hospital, the largest in Gaza as one of the focal points of Hamas and its infrastructure. They have accused, and the U.S. has backed them up, Hamas of using Shifa hospital as a base essentially building some of their facilities, some of their headquarters, their command and control below it.
This statement just coming out a few moments ago. I'll read you a part of this. It says: Based on intelligence information and an operational necessity, IDF forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital.
They then go on to say the IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers who have undergone specific training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment with the intent that no harm is caused to the civilians being used by Hamas as human shields in recent weeks. They say they have repeatedly warned Hamas to leave the hospital and leave the area as gun fights have raged in that area. They also say they've given opportunities for patients and others to evacuate Shifa Hospital.
And in the last line of their statement, I'll read this quickly as well. We call upon all Hamas terrorists present in the hospital to surrender.
Again, Erin, this is a development we have expected as they've moved closer to the hospital and given the amount of focus they have, or, rather, attention they have paid to it, it was assumed at some point, they would have to move on the hospital. In many ways, perhaps, if it can be proven that they are correct, that Hamas has used it as a base a way of vindicating much of what we've seen, much of what they have said over the course of the past several weeks. BURNETT: So, Oren, a couple of things that you said there. They're
saying all Hamas terrorists, they're asking them to surrender. I mean, obviously, the clear implicit -- implication there is that they believe that there are Hamas terrorists inside, that they're moving on that, specific military operation.
Is there anything in this that makes you believe that there is more to it in terms of a hostage rescue situation, or what do you read between the lines here of the information they're sharing?
LIEBERMANN: Let me take a quick look at the statement again. There's just a little bit of it I didn't read. There isn't any statement in here about hostages. There's no indication whether they believe hostages are inside the hospital.
They did put out video of Rantisi Hospital, one of the other hospitals in northern Gaza and suggested hostages may have been held in that hospital. At least as of this point, it doesn't look like the IDF has made an accusation or a statement such that they believe hostages were held at any point at Shifa hospital.
But you're right, Erin, that's certainly something we'll keep an eye on.
BURNETT: And, Oren, another thing you were talking about. They are talking about a targeted operation. They are bringing in medical teams, I guess that would presume to be somewhat in support of the civilian, the dire civilian situation aboveground in Shifa hospital regardless of what Hamas is present there, Arabic speakers as well.
Do you have any sense from your sources of while you say this is what has been expected, obviously, it's happening around, right, 2:12 in the morning where you are. Any sense of the size or scope of what this operation may be?
LIEBERMANN: That's difficult to gauge from here. We're only 40, 50 mile as way. But it's difficult to know what's happening on the ground. How many forces are moving in. What kinds of forces. This would almost certainly be a special operations raid. They have units that are focused on tunnel warfare and specialize in that.
Perhaps they are involved because the accusation has always been that Hamas is under the hospital and uses the hospital as protection above it. So, you'd have to believe that there are units that focus on special operations and operating underground. And they also say, and it's interesting, I'll point this out again. They say they are in a specified area in Shifa Hospital.
So, it implies that they at least have some indication or believe they do at least where that connects, where aboveground connects with below ground, where Hamas is using the hospital. It is a large complex. There is a main area. There are outer buildings as well from what we have seen. So, one of the things we'll learn as we see more how this played out both from the Israelis and, of course, from the Palestinians and Shifa Hospital where they focused, what they did, what kind of forces they used, and how many forces took part in this. BURNETT: All right. Oren, obviously, stand by. And, as you get more
information, you'll come back with us as soon as you do learn more.
General Schwartz, when you hear about this operation that the IDF now says as we are all speaking is going on, the largest hospital in Gaza, specified area targeted by IDF forces, asking for Hamas terrorists present to surrender as they are going in.
What do you hear is happening?
SCHWARTZ: So, I think Oren characterized it very well. I would expect there'd be Israeli special operations forces that have very good understanding and intelligence on the makeup of the overall Al Shifa Hospital compound.
It sounds like they have some pretty unique intelligence that suggests they know the area where maybe Hamas is currently present or have been in the most recent past. So, I think also a key point of that statement was a precise operation, which, you know, lends us to believe that they are going to use primarily, you know, ground forces and the use of direct fire weapons in order to clear the hospital and mitigate the likelihood of civilian casualties.
BURNETT: Dr. Zind, on this, I mean, I can only imagine what you're thinking as you hear this. You've been inside that hospital. You know people there. You've been talking to the head of the neonatal unit who ultimately had to leave. She thinks more than 50 premature babies will die. We heard her speaking there and her voice breaking.
When you hear this news and you know the complex, what do you think? I mean, it is obviously a very large -- I know it's about a dozen acres all in. It's a very large space. And they're talking about something very specific.
Can you even comprehend what such a thing might mean?
DR. BARBARA ZIND, PEDIATRICIAN, PALESTINE CHILDREN'S RELIEF FUND: Right. I'm concerned, of course, about those premature infants, the maternal fetal or newborn area is a distance from the surgical hospital and in general what they do is they have to do surgery on a newborn, they take an ambulance to get from one to the other. They didn't in this case. And the babies are right there within the surgical part of the department because they can get some warmth.
But I just think of those newborns every day that they have low oxygen, that they're not fed adequately is really permanent damage to those babies and if they survive, even. And, so, I just feel like this is -- you know, this isn't going to help those babies at all, and still you have to weigh the benefit and risk. And the risk is for those 46 babies.
BURNETT: And, Dr. Zind, on that front, as we understand this is happening right now. You heard the IDF release audio of what they say was a phone call between an Arabic speaking member of the IDF and a hospital employee saying we're going to provide incubators. Will that be helpful, and the employee responds yes.
The IDF provided this video so I can't tell you this audio. So, obviously, can't tell you ourselves that that's exactly where it came from. But what the description is if such a thing were to happen and those incubators were to get there, especially when you're now seeing military operation in a specific part of this hospital.
Would that make a difference at this point if those incubators were now just suddenly delivered?
ZIND: Well, if those incubators were so -- had their own power, or battery power, they had oxygen tanks on them that would last for a while, and there was -- they also need clean water and they need one for every baby. So, that's a lot if they are carrying all of those incubators and they are all self-contained.
Most of them aren't going to have enough power for a long period of time. They would be more transport incubators. But it depends on that. If they bring a regular incubator with no oxygen, no self-contained power, then it's not going to be very helpful.
BURNETT: General, a quick final word to you from everything you've heard. How big do you think this operation is in terms of the time it will take? Obviously, it's happening here now at 2:20 in the morning, the time it will take, the number of forces involved by the IDF?
SCHWARTZ: The IDF is clearly using the advantage of darkness and some of the unique capabilities they have to do the operation. I would suggest that it's going to take multiple hours and it's going to involve probably a couple thousand forces because the outer cordon to support the main assault force is going to go into the clearing of the hospital where they assess the Hamas operatives were located.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.
And, as I said, our Oren Liebermann is standing by. As we get more information on this, we are going to bring it to you. But we do understand, and the IDF has confirmed that this operation in Al Shifa hospital with Israeli forces going on is happening as we speak right now.
OUTFRONT next, a sitting senator challenging the Teamsters president to a fist fight during a committee hearing today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-OK): Well, stand your butt up then.
SEAN M. O'BRIEN, TEAMSTERS GENERAL PRESIDENT: You stand your butt up, big guy.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Hold -- stop it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What happened? Plus, the Georgia D.A. revealing tonight that Trump's trial is going
to be going on during the height of the presidential election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FANI WILLIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA: I don't expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And the former Trump White House attorney Ty Cobb will be OUTFRONT.
Plus, Chinese President Xi Jinping leaving nothing to chance tonight as he lands in California for his meeting with President Biden, pro- China crowds arriving just in time to welcome Xi.
BURNETT: Breaking news. The House just passing a bill to avoid a government shutdown, all but two Democrats joining a majority of Republicans to extend funding until January 19th. It's a major step, it comes as the Capitol saw pretty embarrassing day in other fronts. Senator Markwayne Mullin challenging a witness at a hearing to a fist fight. At that fight -- or the fight almost broke out, and it would have if it weren't for Senator Bernie Sanders.
Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.
SANDERS: No, no, sit down. You're a United States senator. Sit down, please.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A breakdown in decorum today on Capitol Hill.
MULLIN: I want to expose this thug to who he is.
O'BRIEN: Do not point at me. That's disrespectful.
MULLIN: I don't care about respecting you at all. I respect --
O'BRIEN: I don't respect you at all.
SERFATY: Senator Markwayne Mullin bringing a congressional hearing to a halt, standing up and challenging the witness to a fist fight in the middle of the hearing.
MULLIN: Sir, this is a time, this is a place. If you want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults. We can finish it here.
O'BRIEN: Okay, that's fine, perfect.
MULLIN: Do you want to do it right now?
O'BRIEN: I'd love to do it right now.
MULLIN: Well, stand your butt up then.
O'BRIEN: You stand your butt up, big guy.
SANDERS: Hold -- stop it!
SERFATY: The tense moment escalating quickly after the senator read tweets that Teamsters general president Sean O'Brien wrote in the past being critical of the senator.
MULLIN: What a clown, fraud, always has been, always will be.
Quit the tough guy act in these Senate hearings. You know where to find me, any place, any time, cowboy.
SERFATY: Leading to numerous attempts by the chairman of the committee to break up the altercation that ensued.
SANDERS: Hold it. No, excuse me --
MULLIN: I will say --
SANDERS: Senator Mullin, I have the mic. If you have any questions on economic issues, anything that's like, go for it. We're not here to talk about physical abuse.
SERFATY: Afterwards, Mullin said he didn't regret it.
MULLIN: I didn't start it. I didn't tweet at him. I didn't go after him. I have no beef with the guy. I mean, I don't even know the last time I've gotten in a street fight.
SERFATY: Meantime over in the House today, Republican Congressman Tim Burchett says former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy elbowed him in the back.
REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): It was a clean shot to the kidneys. And I turned back and there was -- there was Kevin.
SERFATY: McCarthy denying it, saying they were in a narrow hallway intimating he only brushed past him.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): If I kidney punched him, he'd be on the ground.
SERFATY: Burchett (INAUDIBLE) saying it was intentional.
BURCHETT: There are 435 congressmen, I was one of eight that voted against him. That hallway was -- there is plenty of room. You can walk forward, side by side. He chose to do what he did.
SERFATY: Elsewhere on Capitol Hill.
REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): That is bullshit.
SERFATY: Tensions also boiling over, and an oversight hearing.
REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL): You are doing stuff with your brother, the American public have the same questions. Why. Why should they believe? You why should they believe you?
SERFATY: Devolving into name-calling between Chairman Comer and freshman Congressman Jared Moskowitz.
COMER: You look like a Smurf here, just going around and all this stuff.
SERFATY: And this string of personal incidents up here on Capitol Hill, certainly underscores just how high tensions are running. Members have been scrambling to get the government funded before the end of the week's deadline. There also are, certainly on the House side, they have been working for ten weeks straight. That is very atypical for them. And the new speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, he chimed in on all of this today. He said that maybe a Thanksgiving break would allow at least his members a chance to get home, and cool off a bit -- Erin.
BURNETT: Nothing like working ten weeks have, huh? All right. Thank you, Sunlen.
And let's go now to former Congressman Rodney Davis.
So, Congressman, let me ask you. You know all the players involved in the chaos today. So let me just start with the Senator Mullin fiasco that happened there, in that committee meeting. Were you shocked to see a sitting senator challenge a witness to a fight, in the middle of a committee hearing?
RODNEY DAVIS (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I am shocked that the whole incident happened. Markwayne and I got elected together in the House in 2012. He's a very good friend of mine.
But let's also take a step back and ask, is there culpability for Bernie Sanders and more, in particular, his staff on the Health Committee putting Sean O'Brien back on the witness stand, knowing that there is bad blood? Did they know something like this was going to happen? And it's frustrating.
But I would tell you, there is one person I've met in my life that I would never want to get in a fight with, and that's Senator Mullin. He is one tough dude.
BURNETT: All right. So I understand that, but again, we are talking about the U.S. Senate. And just -- whether there's bad blood or not, the president of the Teamsters Union is who we are talking about. And whatever the impersonal invectives that have been lodged between the two, right, that is the largest union in the United States. They've got $1.3 million people as their members. There is no situation, it would seem, in which it is unfair or inappropriate for him to be sitting in a committee hearing, as a witness. It would seem a sitting senator should just control himself, and act with decorum.
DAVIS: Well, I've led committee witnesses on my side of the aisle, as a ranking member of the committee in the House. And you get to choose the witnesses, and if you know there's been bad blood on social media, you kind of know that there might be an outcome.
Now there would never have been a fight in the Senate hearing room, there was a lot of talking and no action.
Now, I grew up watching professional wrestling. This seems like you would be a great, a great prelogue (ph)of what could happen for charity.
If Sean O'Brien and Markwayne Mullin want to fight for charity, help people, help veterans organizations, help the Capitol Police Memorial Fund. Let's do that, because they are getting the national attention right now. I bet they would raise a lot of money.
BURNETT: They are getting in a way that is quite embarrassing, I think something the people would like to think happens, in other floors of elected representatives and other countries. And now, we see it happening here.
And on, that I want to ask you about other -- you know all of these individuals, so let me ask you about what happened on the Capitol side today, on the House side. Former Speaker McCarthy accused of elbowing Congressman Burchett in the kidneys. Now, McCarthy is denying it, but the NPR reporter who is there said she saw it happen. She saw the whole thing, and she is saying it happened.
Why is McCarthy denying it, do you think?
DAVIS: I can't answer that, I wasn't there.
But this is 100 percent personal between Tim and Kevin right now. And if I was still in Congress, I would try to sit both of them down, to try to work it out. It is disappointing that issues like this and incidents like this are getting this much attention nationwide, especially when we see what's happening in the world. And thankfully, Speaker Johnson and Leader Jeffries were able to come up with an agreement, to keep government funding going forward, after this week.
So, these members of Congress can get home, and be with their families, and calm down a little bit.
BURNETT: And we can do it all again, in early January. But you know, I guess they've got it funded until January 19th. That's the way we go, I hear you. At this point, sadly, it is something to celebrate, in this country,
when it is put off another few weeks.
All right. Thank you very much, Congressman. I appreciate your time.
DAVIS: Thank you.
BURNETT: All right. And the next, the D.A. in the Georgia case against Trump, filing an emergency motion to seal evidence, after reported interviews were made public. So, who leaked those tapes?
Plus, the breaking news, Israel saying its troops are right now, as I speak, carrying out a precise and targeted operation at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Israeli troops are actually going in, right now. We are going to go back to the ground for the latest after this.
BURNETT: We are continuing to follow the breaking news right now. The Israeli Defense Forces at this time, so it's about 2:30 in the morning in Gaza, say they are currently conducting an operation against Hamas, at the largest hospital in Gaza City. They say it is a targeted operation, inside the hospital, that the IDF forces are moving in.
It is, according to the U.S. and the IDF, that hospital is also a command center for Hamas, and a place where they have held hostages.
Oren Liebermann is OUTFRONT live in Tel Aviv, following this closely. And, Oren, you were able to confirm this and get this update from the IDF. What more can you tell us?
LIEBERMANN: At this point, the IDF hasn't made any additional statements, or put out any video. But we do expect they will have to do that, at some point, partially because of the focus on the hospital itself from the IDF, from the Israeli government. And at this point, from the U.S., saying it is being used as a base by Hamas.
They have to essentially prove that, to the outside world, and show the outside world and what they have set up to this point is true. Another reason there have to put on additional information and video, is because of the criticism they have faced for operating around the hospital, strikes that have affected the hospital, and the deaths inside the hospital. Officials there saying they have to bury people, essentially right in the hospital complex, babies have died in the neonatal intensive care units, when their incubators stopped working, and the generators went all.
This is led to a tremendous amount of criticism directed at Israel. So in some way trying to show or proof that Hamas used it, that at least tries to explain, in many, ways what Israel was getting at, as it closed in on the hospital. That information, those statements haven't come out yet. We only have the original statement from the IDF, and so, it's unclear how many forces have gone, and what types of forces though they say. They do have Arabic speakers to be able to communicate, with the officials there, the doctors, perhaps the patients.
At least as of our last updates, there were some of the 650 patients inside, and thousands of people taking shelter inside of the hospital. So, it is an incredibly difficult place to operate. The IDF has made the decision though, just a short while ago, Erin, that they are going in.
BURNETT: All right. Obviously, a significant development, although anticipated, significant that it is actually happening, as we speak.
Oren, thank you very much.
As Oren gets more, we'll go back to Tel Aviv.
Also new tonight, the Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis, now warning could take more than a year until her election racketeering case against Donald Trump and others could wrap up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIS: Yeah, I think a case will be on appeals for years. Okay, but I think that in terms of, I believe in that case, there will be a trial. I believe the trial will take many months. And, I don't expect that we will conclude until the winter, or the very early part of 2025.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And, the Trump Organization fraud trial, in the meantime another, case for Trump is a defendant, Trump today re-shared a social media post attacking both the judge and the attorney general in New York.
We took a screenshot of, it and it said: My fantasy, I would like to see Letitia James and Judge Engoron placed under citizens arrest for a blatant election interference, and harassment.
OUTFRONT now, former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb.
And, Ty, I just want to start there. That post that Trump re-shared on social media, appears to have since been deleted. But nonetheless, it was shared by him.
You believe that that could be significant for Donald Trump? How come?
TY COBB, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: Well, we do have pending the appeal of Judge Chutkan's gag order in D.C. And, these are the types of incendiary attacks that do lead to violence. He specifically asked people to conduct a citizens' arrest, detention of either James or Engoron would be a crime, if committed by any individual who was so motivated by the president's remarks. It is much like what he did on January 6th, it continues to be off the rails, in terms of the extent to which his invective infects these proceedings, and is the potential to intimidate witnesses.
I believe that at some point, comments like this will result in Trump not only being sanctioned, which will probably be the first order of business, but at some point these types of comments will result in him being put in jail, pending some of these trials.
BURNETT: This is really stunning to imagine, I mean just how this would happen, and how horrible for this country that would be, on so many different ways and different levels. Ty --
COBB: Well, particularly, particularly when like your last guest reported, we are talking very serious events, I mean, real serious events around the world. And, this petty dictator type talk that keeps coming from Trump just diminishes him and the United States every day.
BURNETT: You just heard the Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis as well. She said her case against Trump could stretch into winter, and then early 2025. Just to be clear, for anybody paying attention, that would, of course, be likely post-inauguration, right, of a new president, which could be Donald Trump if he wins.
So what does this actually mean?
COBB: Well, you might recall that when the case was first brought, I said that I didn't believe that that case could go to trial, until 2025. And, if Trump is a elected, there is a significant issue about whether the state court can proceed against him, and if it's in the middle of proceeding, as to whether they could continue with him as a defendant -- you know, the federal rule, which is only a policy, it is not in the Constitution, is not a statute, is that you cannot prosecute -- you can't indict or prosecute a sitting president during his term.
There is no law yet on what the states rights are in those circumstances.
COBB: But I think it's likely that a court may rule that there have to wait until the end of his term, to finish prosecution of him.
BURNETT: And what about -- what about in that odd window, they may be in where let's say he wins, but he's not yet a sitting president? That kind of November to January.
COBB: Right. So, you know, I think in that window, they could start the trial. But I think once sworn in, there is a substantial issue that, you know, sadly, would interrupt the trial, and would ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, as to whether the state could proceed.
BURNETT: All right. Ty, thank you very much. Ty Cobb, as I said, the former White House attorney. Thank you for your time.
And next, our latest series, "Voters OutFront", kicks off next with a look at why young voters are turning away from Biden at this time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that young voters recognize you can't bomb your way to peace and security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, RFK, Jr. speaking to supporters tonight. He's now polling higher at this point in the race than any independent or third party candidate since -- ready? -- Ross Perot. Who's backing him?
BURNETT: Tonight, Joe Manchin in a new interview, refusing to say whether he will vote for Biden in 2024.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I think that's -- it's a hypothetical question, thinking -- not knowing what we're going to have and who we're going to have. To make a choice right now, okay, let me just say, I could not vote for Donald Trump.
INTERVIEWER: But you're not convinced you could vote for Joe Biden?
MANCHIN: Well, I -- I want -- I hope changes would come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This comes as President Biden is facing an uphill battle with a key group, that put him in the White House.
Jeff Zeleny kicks off our new series, "Voters OutFront", with a look at the crucial young vote.
KERRY SINGLETON, STUDENT, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE: People may not vote, because they will all say, well, this happened under the Biden-Harris administration.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Kerry Singleton looks ahead to the next presidential election, he's thinking back to the promises he heard President Biden and Vice President Harris deliver on a visit to Atlanta.
BIDEN: Pass the Freedom to Vote Act! Pass it now!
ZELENY: On that winter day, the president was closing in on his first year in office. Hopes were high for Singleton, and other students on the grounds of Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College.
Since then, voting rights legislation stalled, the Supreme Court rejected a student loan forgiveness plan, and high prices from food to housing, are fueling economic anxieties.
SINGLETON: I do think that everyone is willing to hold the administration accountable for some of those promises that were made. And if they don't happen, I think it's going to be a scary election.
ZELENY: For all of the warning signs facing the president, a year before the election. The skepticism and apathy of young voters rank high.
NABILAH ISLAM PARKES (D), GEORGIA STATE SENATE: Folks just feel poorer right now that they did two years ago. There is going to have to be a lot of conversations about how we feel like our issues are being heard.
ZELENY: Nabilah Islam Parkes is the youngest woman to win a seat in the Georgia Senate. In 2020, she went door to door in the Atlanta suburbs, building a coalition to help Biden turned the state blue.
That coalition, she said, could fracture, by the president's handling of the Israel-Hamas war.
PARKES: I think that young voters recognize you can't bomb your way to peace and security. And so, we do feel uncomfortable with that.
ZELENY: Rachel Carroll's (ph) first vote for president went to Biden. She says she doesn't regret, it given the alternative, but finds herself disappointed by some priorities of the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they can fund a war, they can fund the money to pay off our student loans.
ZELENY: Young voters were a critical component of the presidents victory, particularly here in Georgia, where Biden defeated Donald Trump by only 11,779 votes, out of nearly 5 million cast. Exit polls in 2020 show that voters 18 to 29 made up 20 percent of the Georgia electorate, the only state of the top six battlegrounds where the percentage of young voters exceeded the national share of 17 percent.
Biden won young Georgia voters by 13 points, according to exit polls. But now, a year before the 2024 election, surveys show a far closer race, with voters under the age of 30 here in Georgia split 46 percent for Trump, and 44 percent for Biden, according to a "New York Times"/Siena College poll.
AYLON GIPSON, STUDENT, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE: The excitement is not as high as it was last time around.
ZELENY: Aylon Gipson and some of his classmates wish they had more inspirational and generational choices.
GIPSON: We have to pick between two different people who are very, very old, and with their age.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would like to see Biden pass the baton.
ZELENY: The vice president, whose college tour brought her back on campus this fall, resonates more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she sparks that inner energy. She's like, when she came to Morehouse, it was fun. I feel her passion. ZELENY: But with Biden at the top of the ticket, potentially facing a
rematch of the 2024 race, voters say the burden rests on him to deliver on his promises and not take their support for granted.
SINGLETON: Just as well hold Trump accountable, you know, we have to hold Biden accountable.
ZELENY: And, Erin, having these conversations with so many young voters makes one thing clear. The economy for them is a very top issue as well, as it is, of course, for voters across the spectrum.
Now, the Biden campaign talked to them about this, and in their strategy says they are reaching out to young voters. They are increasing their outreach, and they said that they will go after young voters where they are. And they will make this a contrast election.
But Erin, it's not as much perhaps people voting for Biden or Trump, it's concern about enthusiasm if young voters will turn out at all. That's why this is one key part of the coalition the Biden campaign is trying to rebuild.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny, in Atlanta tonight.
And, you know, when you take all of this into account, you've got to take into account that there is something else at play. Right now, there is, and that's Robert F. Kennedy Jr., because he's hoping to really make a play here in 2024.
Tonight, telling a crowd in South Carolina that he is counting on young people to do it. Here he is moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. (I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm the only one who is talking about what's happening to young people in this country.
Somehow, in the terms of lasting presidents, the young people of this country have completely lost faith in the United States of America, and lost any hope for their own futures. And that to me is the most heartbreaking data points that I've seen since I began running in this campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. Well, Kennedy is picking up momentum, so that message and other things he says, working for plenty of people. A poll from "The New York Times" and Siena College shows Kennedy now pulling a 22 percent. That is higher than any independent or third party candidate this late in the race since Ross Perot. And for that, you go all the way back to 1992.
Harry Enten is OUTFRONT to go beyond the numbers.
So, Harry, it has now been, and I am just off the cuff here saying at least six months, that we have been talking about RFK Jr. polling about 20 percent, in various polls --
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yeah.
BURNETT: -- of various people. But that number has been very steady.
Okay, who's -- who's in it? I mean, key swing states, he's polling at 22 percent. Where is the support coming from that you can see?
ENTEN: Well, it's coming from multiple groups, but perhaps the most important group is people who didn't actually turn out to vote in 2020. He is getting well into the 30s with that group, he is actually I believe leading with that group. You can see it right there, 36 percent to Donald Trump's 31 percent. These are people who didn't vote in 2020, who say they will actually come out and vote for RFK Jr. in 2024.
BURNETT: So these could be young people who couldn't vote before, or people who chose not to vote last time?
ENTEN: Correct. Remember, Ross Perot in '92, who you mentioned earlier, he was someone who brought up on traditional voters. Also, Jeff was talking about younger voters, right?
ENTEN: Among younger voters, nationally, you look at Quinnipiac University. Who leads in that group? RFK Jr. leads in that group over Joe Biden, with just 32 percent.
So the fact is that Kennedy is basically pulling in these pope folks you might not expect, who oftentimes don't turn out to vote.
BURNETT: Well, 18 to 34, 38 percent. I mean, these are significant. Nobody can look at this and not just pause. I mean, that is -- it is significant.
ENTEN: It's real.
BURNETT: It's real, and it's not just young voters. As crucial as they are, and they were crucial for Joe Biden.
BURNETT: Without them, he wouldn't be -- he wouldn't be in the White House. There's another key demographic that seems to be gravitating towards Kennedy.
ENTEN: Yeah, Black voters. You know, if we look right now, although Joe Biden has a fairly large lead with Black voters, RFK is polling well into the mid twenties with them nationally speaking. And why is that important? Because that would be the highest share of the vote for a non-Democratic presidential candidate, as long, as far back as we have exit polls.
I think you would probably have to go back to the '50s, in Dwight Eisenhower, for a non-Democrat to be pulling as high as RFK is among Black voters.
BURNETT: Right. And this -- and another crucial group, right?
BURNETT: And, of course, Biden may win it, right, but the margin -- the margin.
ENTEN: Margins are everything.
BURNETT: The margins are everything.
All right. Harry, thank you very much.
ENTEN: Thank you.
BURNETT: And next, pro-Chinese crowds right now arriving in San Francisco, just in time to cheer for Xi Jinping's arrival, as he is about to come face to face with President Biden.
BURNETT: Breaking news, you're looking at Chinese President Xi Jinping landing in San Francisco, just moments ago, set for a face to face meeting with President Biden. The two rivals meeting as relations right now between the two countries are at their lowest point at least half a century.
And this is some new video filmed by our producer on the ground. Crowds bussed in just to cheer, to give Xi that welcome as he arrives. China completely controlling the optics tonight for their president.
David Culver is OUTFRONT.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sharing a sofa and a smile at Mar-a-Lago, serenaded by former President Donald Trump's grandkids, seen in Chinese for visiting President Xi Jinping. The blossoming, it seemed, of a new friendship. And with it, closer ties between the U.S. and China.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I think long term, we are going to have a very, very great relationship and I look very much forward to it.
CULVER: Not quite how the story played out. In the six years since Xi's last visit to the U.S., U.S.-China relations have plummeted to all-time lows.
BIDEN: They must play by the rules.
CULVER: The issues? Where to begin? A bruising trade war, a devastating pandemic.
TRUMP: It came out of China.
CULVER: Rising tensions in the South China Sea, growing threats from Beijing over its goal of unifying with Taiwan, and amidst Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, an alarmingly cozy Xi and Putin relationship, and the war between Israel and Hamas, China refusing to condemn Hamas.
President Xi's first trip to the U.S. was 1985 as a local communist party official, taking in the sites. Today, he's China's most powerful ruler since Mao, demanding near total control over a population of 1.4 billion people. Xi now returns to an increasingly divided United States. Something Chinese state media repeatedly highlights in its propaganda.
But if there's one topic that consistently unites Washington, it's being tough on China, a sentiment bolstered by the downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon earlier this year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're testing us. They're mocking us. They're trying to embarrass us.
CULVER: China has its own issues. After years of record growth, the world's second largest economy is struggling. It's housing market, in crisis. Youth unemployment, at record highs. And for the first time in 25 years, a deficit in foreign direct investment. International companies increasingly uneasy putting money into China, in part because of Beijing's unpredictable crackdowns.
The U.S.'s reputation is also taken a hit in China, fueled by state media's anti-West messaging, and nationalistic post on China's tightly controlled social media, ahead of the summit, rising skepticism towards U.S. intentions.
One Weibo user posting that this is a U.S. delaying tactic, its strategy of containing China won't change, but only intensify. Another posting, anyone who thinks that China-U.S. relations will become better is simply naive. It's just wishful thinking.
Many in China supporting she's proposed new world order, one that's not read by the U.S.
The U.S. now hosting this high stakes West Coast meet up with low expectations on the outcome. No more love seat for the leaders of two superpowers. Instead, both on a hot seat with the world watching if they can tamp down tensions.
CULVER: And, Erin, tonight, we're hearing from the chairman of the House Select Committee who's demanding the names of the businesses and the people involved in a welcome dinner for President Xi, in which companies are paying up to $40,000 for a seat at the table with the Chinese president. The lawmaker calling it unconscionable.
BURNETT: Wow, that's something to think. That's a lot.
All right. David Culver, thank you very much and thanks to all of you.
Let's hand it off now to Anderson.