Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Donald Trump To Face First Criminal Trial In March; Israeli Forces Raid Nasser Hospital In Khan Yunis; NATO Defense Ministers Meet On Ukraine; Senior Hezbollah Leader Killed In Israeli Strike, According To IDF; Israel Targeted With Fresh Missile Onslaught, According To Hezbollah; Israel-Hamas War; Canada Urges The Release Of Hostages And Humanitarian Ceasefire; Russia's War On Ukraine; Missile Attack Within Russia Claimed At Least Five Lives; Targets Around Ukraine Struck By Russian Strikes; Canadian Defence Minister Speaks To CNN; One Dead In Kansas City Shooting; Landmark Vote Expected In Greece; Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage, Greek Parliament Will Cast Vote; Fani Willis, Fulton County District Attorney, Summoned To The Stand. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 15, 2024 - 14:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Isa Soares. Tonight, Donald Trump will

face his first criminal trial in March. That decision coming from a New York court today. And another case happening right now here in Atlanta,

Georgia. We'll break it down for you.

Also, ahead, the IDF carries out a raid at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis after laying siege to the facility for days. Plus, a key NATO defense

meeting happening in Brussels to discuss what's coming next for Ukraine's war effort. We'll have an interview with Canada's Defense Minister later in

the program.

Well, right now, we're tracking developments in two major legal cases linked to former President Donald Trump. In New York, a judge has rejected

Trump's bid to delay his hush money criminal trial, ruling that the jury selection will begin March 25th as originally planned.

Prosecutors allege that Trump was involved in a scheme to cover up payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The former president spoke outside

the courtroom, calling the accusations politically-motivated. And here in Atlanta, Georgia, attorneys representing the former U.S. president and his

co-defendants in the 2020 election interference case are trying to have the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis disqualified.

They claimed that she financially benefited from an improper relationship with Nathan Wade, who is the special prosecutor she hired to lead the case.

Wade was grilled on the stand today. Well, trial attorney Misty Marris joins us now for more on these cases. Good to have you with us, Misty.


KINKADE: So, I want to start with the New York case because Donald Trump did turn up to that case, he was hoping to have that dismissed, but

instead, the Manhattan District attorney set the date, March 25th, next month. Take us through the merits of that case, because Donald Trump says

even if he's guilty, it doesn't matter.

MARRIS: Right, absolutely. So, this case will be the first to go to trial with a really expedited schedule of March 25th. As you said, vehemently

argued by his attorney that, that should be pushed back for the purpose of preparing. It's scheduled to be a six-week trial.

So, the basis of this case is that he made a payment to Stormy Daniels, relating to an alleged romantic relationship, and that payment, the

prosecutors say was a violation of campaign finance fraud, because the payment itself is fine. A nondisclosure agreement, that is legal.

However, they say it was for the benefit of his campaign that he was trying to silence her, and therefore, it related to his campaign. And that he

tried to cover that up by paying his attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, these surreptitious payments that were really under the table.

Now, Trump says everything was on the up and up. This was all about just paying legal fees. And there was no violation. This was simply a run of the

mill, NDA, that is illegal document, an illegal contract entered into. So, those are the two competing viewpoints.

The way that it's being used in this particular case interestingly enough is a novel case of first impression. So, these types of charges falsifying

business records, which is the charge -- charges that Donald Trump is facing, can either be charged as a misdemeanor in New York or a felony.

These are felony charges, so, this is going to be a trail-blazing type-case about whether or not this particular factual scenario can be charged as a

felony in New York. So, it's a novel legal question.

KINKADE: And of course, here happening right now at the Fulton County in Atlanta, Nathan Wade, who is the prosecutor in the election interference

case is giving testimony. Let's just listen in for a moment.


STEVE SADOW, TRUMP ATTORNEY: OK. So, if I understood correctly, again, you tell me if I'm wrong. Is it your testimony that your wife was not in

Atlanta, Georgia, or the metro area throughout October of 2021?

WADE: No. In October --


WADE: In October of 2021, she was back and forth between here and Texas.


SADOW: So, she was at least on some occasions in the Atlanta area.

WADE: But that was during the time when we were working through the consent agreement that fell through.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, I think we pretty file appeal on relevance that answer to the question about the timing of the divorce filing and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Understood Miss Cross(ph), Mr. Sadow, where are we going from here?

SADOW: We're about to finish this area since I'm not going to be able to go any further about if we want to call the ex, we call the ex for that


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we wanted to discuss whether that's a collateral issue altogether.

SADOW: No, I'm just saying if, I didn't say we will, but we'll --


SADOW: All right, so, you said that you were aware of the contracts that Mr. Bradley(ph) and Mr. Campbell(ph) had with the Fulton County District

Attorney's Office, correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: And how did you become aware of those?

WADE: Just through conversation, they told --

SADOW: With who? Conversation with who?

WADE: Mr. Bradley(ph) and Mr. Campbell(ph).

SADOW: So, you were discussing matters with Mr. Bradley(ph) which were not related to attorney-client privilege, correct?

WADE: Related to the contract, yes.

SADOW: OK, but you were having conversations that would not -- even though, if I understood correctly, Mr. Bradley(ph) was your attorney at the

time, correct?

WADE: At what time?

SADOW: At the time that Mr. Bradley(ph) received his contract from Fulton County, which would have been beginning of January or in January of 2021,


WADE: Is that the date of his contract?

SADOW: Pretty close.

WADE: I don't know what the date of his contract --

SADOW: That's it --

WADE: Was, but if it was after the date of the filing of divorce, then yes.

SADOW: I'm not talking about -- I'm not talking about after the date of the filing of divorce. It's been represented to the court that you had an

attorney-client relationship with Mr. Bradley(ph) from 2015 forward.

WADE: Yes sir --

SADOW: Correct?

WADE: Yes sir. That is correct.

SADOW: When Mr. Bradley(ph) received his contract with Fulton County, that was in 2021, correct?

WADE: I don't know.

SADOW: We can prove that through other evidence. But at the time that Mr. Bradley was doing work for Fulton County, if I understand, you still had an

attorney-client privilege, at least, you're claiming one with Mr. Bradley(ph), correct?

WADE: Yes.

SADOW: So, when you talk to Mr. Bradley(ph) about matters with his contract in Fulton County, those were not covered by your attorney-client

privilege, correct?

WADE: They were not.

SADOW: OK, and that meant that not all communications with Mr. Bradley(ph) were covered by attorney-client privilege, correct?

WADE: Well, those certainly weren't.

SADOW: Well, but my question was, not all communications with Mr. Bradley(ph) were covered by at least as you've been represented to the

court, by the attorney-client privilege, correct?

WADE: Those communications were not.

SADOW: So, there were communications outside of the attorney-client privilege, correct, with Mr. Bradley(ph)?

WADE: Yes, if you're asking me if I ever communicated with him outside of the attorney-client privilege. The answer is yes.


WADE: I communicated with him outside attorney on purpose.

SADOW: Let's finish this up. And did you call it Roman number four? Which is defense --


SADOW: And defense exhibit number four, and Mr. Gilman(ph) went over with you, your responses to certain interrogatories on May the 30th, 2023,

remember that?

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: Not going back into those. The words and interrogatories are already in evidence, and we're not going to do that. But the ones that

we've gotten that -- gone into, there were two of them. And your answer to both of those was not correct?

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: OK. Now, on January 25th of 2024 --

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: You again were in a position that you answered those same interrogatories, two that we're talking about. I get specific we need to.

But as long as we understand we're talking about the same two --

WADE: Yes sir --

SADOW: Right?

WADE: Yes, sir.

SADOW: OK. And they are in defense exhibit number six, and they are interrogatories number four and number five.

WADE: OK, correct.

SADOW: Now, I want you to be able to see it. So, it's defense exhibit number six.

WADE: I don't --

SADOW: Does he have six up there?


SADOW: I'm told -- I'm told that you have six.

WADE: OK. Here we are.


SADOW: OK, you would agree with me that in defense exhibit number six, and we're talking about interrogatories of January 25, 2024.

WADE: Yes sir.

SADOW: That adds to interrogatory number four, that's the same interrogatory. Same words that were in the interrogatory that Mr.

Guillen(ph) went over, which was dated May 30th of 2023, correct?

WADE: Yes sir.

SADOW: And your original response in defense exhibit number six was none, correct?

WADE: Yes sir.

SADOW: Your updated response was the plaintiff declines to respond to this interrogatory and asserts his privileged pursuant to OCGA Section 24-5-505,


WADE: Yes sir.

SADOW: You know that 24-5-505 breaks down into two privileges, right?

WADE: Which is why I was specific. I said I asserted a privacy privilege.

SADOW: Well, then, that's what I'm asking you. In your updated response, there's no reference to privacy, correct?

WADE: Yes, there is. In the code section 245, there's 505.

SADOW: OK, but it also --

WADE: Comes to privacy.

SADOW: Let's go with me. OK? That code section says, does it not? No party or witness shall be required to testify as to any matter which may

incriminate or tend to incriminate such party or witness or which shall tend to bring infamy, disgrace or public contempt upon such party or

witness. You'd agree with that, right?

WADE: I'm not reading it.

SADOW: I'm sorry?

WADE: I'm not reading it. I don't have it in front of me.

SADOW: If I may, so that we can -- I can take judicial notes, that is what the rule says. If you want to ask him any follow-up question.

WADE: OK, thank you.

SADOW: You are not claiming that your answer to number four, interrogatory number four on January 25th, 2024, incriminates you, that is as in Fifth

Amendment privilege. Right?

WADE: That's correct.

SADOW: You're claiming the second part that it would -- it would bring infamy, disgrace or public contempt, correct?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me add to that, I don't think that's the full thing that, also the witness says he doesn't have it in front of them, so,

I don't know how he can respond to that. He says several times, privacy is (INAUDIBLE) --


WADE: I'm claiming privacy.

SADOW: The privilege that you make reference to is to infamy, disgrace or public contempt upon the witness, right or party? That's a section that you

were relying on, correct?

WADE: If that's what it says, yes sir.

SADOW: We will -- I could show you, but I think the court has already indicated he can take judicial notice of the statute, so you can assume

that what I'm telling you is accurate, OK?

WADE: Yes sir.

SADOW: OK. How would an answer of none bring infamy, disgrace or public contempt upon you?

WADE: So, as I explained indirect about Mr. Roman's counsel, the minute she elected to intervene into my divorce proceeding, I then started to

understand the bigger picture, which was that all the attorneys in the election interference case were colluding with Joycelyn's divorce lawyer,

and because of that, I said privacy. I don't want my divorce proceeding to bleed into this criminal proceeding. I just didn't want that.

SADOW: So, you raised a privilege, if I understand, that indicated that your answer would bring infamy, disgrace or public contempt upon you,


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to object to the relevance of this, as it's been asked in instance in the past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Sadow, where are we heading with this?

SADOW: I think I can finish that up by saying you didn't say none again. You asserted a privilege, correct?

WADE: That's correct.

SADOW: OK, and you did the same thing, did you not with number five?

WADE: That's correct.

SADOW: Is it -- that is, you didn't say none again, right?

WADE: Correct.

SADOW: Is the answer to the interrogatory number four, that you have it in front of you is the answer none. Is that the truth?

WADE: The answer is to that interrogatory is as I placed it at the time I responded, sir. That's the answer --

SADOW: I'm asking you now, is the answer to that interrogatory --

WADE: The answer is --

SADOW: None!

WADE: The answer is still privilege.

SADOW: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, he's apparently electing to apply the same privilege, Mr. Sadow, out of that exact same question.

SADOW: And I have a case which indicates that we can get beyond that if the court deems that appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to what end? To what end?

KINKADE: If you're just joining us, you're looking at pictures of Nathan Wade, who is the lead prosecutor in the election interference case here in

Atlanta, Georgia, who was appointed to that position by the Fulton District Attorney, Fani Willis.


We now know that the pair were in a -- are in a romantic relationship. And we can see that Nathan Wade being grilled by a Trump attorney who believes

both -- both of them should be disqualified from this case and the case thrown out.

With me right now is trial attorney Misty Marris for more on this. So we've just been listening to part of that testimony. Just take us through why

that was important. That line of questioning.

MARRIS: Absolutely, this is all really critical. So, basically, there's a couple of questions relating to Nathan Wade that the defense, the attorneys

for Trump and his co-defendants want to dig into. One, it is truthfulness. That's why you hear him, the attorney going after prior foreign statements.

The other is the timeline of this relationship with Fani Willis, as well as how it came to be that he was retained as a special prosecutor. Those are

critical areas for this case. And they're using a lot of information from his divorce proceeding, from his wife in order to establish both of those


Because the ultimate question is, did Fani Willis benefit from the money and from retaining her boyfriend to prosecute this case? That's the overall

picture. This is so important because it relates to the testimony of someone named Terrence Bradley(ph).

Terrence Bradley(ph) is a former law partner of Nathan Wade. He also represented Nathan Wade in his divorce proceeding. Terrence(ph) was thought

to be a star witness for the Trump team and for the defendants who took the stand on Monday, this is Terrence Bradley(ph), and I said, I cannot provide

any testimony.

I contacted the State Bar Association, it's all protected by attorney- client privilege, so I can't testify. That was a big problem for the defendants in this case, with Trump and that team. Now, you can hear this

line of questioning.

This is chipping away at that privilege, and Nathan Wade on the stand right now had said, not every conversation that he had with Mr. Bradley(ph) was

privileged. So, this speaks to two things. Terrence Bradley(ph) can speak to his relationship and the timeline with Fani Willis as well as the

circumstances under which Nathan Wade was retained for that position as special prosecutors.

So, he is thought to be a star witness, and based on this testimony that we just heard, it's likely that he will be called to the stand again to

testify with whatever outside of those parameters of the privilege exists. This is really critical to the case. This is a big moment in this hearing.

KINKADE: So, there are two key parts of this. The timing of their relationship, whether it began before he was appointed lead prosecutor, and

when it comes to costs, there was some criticism that he was under- qualified to take this position in a case involving racketeering because he hasn't had experience in a case like this before.

And whether or not she benefited from that -- from the finances that he was being paid to pursue this case. How do you see this playing out in the

coming days?

MARRIS: Well, it really depends on what comes out during the hearing because you hit the nail on the head, those are the 3840s it needs. Then,

his qualifications don't match that, which would be thought of as being the correct qualifications for a person in this position in one of the most

high-profile cases in the country.

The argument is that Fani Willis selected him not based on his qualifications, but because of their personal relationship. So, all of that

is going to be really important, and a lot of that really is going to relate to his testimony, but not only that, her testimony as well, to the

extent it is established that there was a benefit derived from his appointment as a -- as the special prosecutor in this case to Fani Willis.

It is likely if that can be established, it is likely that she will be disqualified from moving forward and handling. He will definitely be

disqualified. She will also be disqualified from handling this case, and that would also be this particular prosecutor's office.

So, the next step would be for another prosecutor's office in Georgia to take this case up. So, it's really high stakes. It depends on what comes

out in the record, and already with the testimony we've heard so far during the hearing, the timeline that Fani Willis and Nathan Wade had originally

presented relating to their relationship, a lot of inconsistencies from other witnesses who have testified.

So, the judge ultimately decides that's an important piece of this. It is a hearing the judge makes a determination on the questions of fact, and will

make a decision on whether or not disqualification is the appropriate remedy under the circumstances.

KINKADE: And just very quickly, under Georgia law, if she is disqualified, her office can't pursue this at all, it has to go elsewhere.


MARRIS: It has to go elsewhere. If she is disqualified, the office is disqualified. She is the leader of that office. And therefore, it would go

into -- there's a state agency of prosecutors, it goes there for them to decide which jurisdiction it would be, the case would be tried in. So --

KINKADE: Right --

MARRIS: The Trump team made clear, they wanted -- they want this whole thing thrown out. I think that's a stretch. But it would likely be assigned

to a new prosecutor.

KINKADE: All right, Misty Marris, good to have you on the case, we will continue to follow that court case today. Good to have you give us all the

breakdown of that. We're going to stay on this story right now. I want to bring in CNN politics senior reporter, Stephen Collinson, who joins us from

Washington, good to have you with us, Stephen.

So, of course, I want to start on this case and the significance of this case here in Atlanta because as we've just been discussing, should the

district attorney be disqualified on this case, which is what Trump's attorneys are arguing. That case will be -- could be thrown out and sent to

another office. What's the political ramifications of this? Is this a win for Trump?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: I think today in this case, specifically, it's working out quite well for Trump because as

Misty said, there appear to be increasing inconsistencies in the testimony that could lead you to think that it's possible that Fani Willis might be

dismissed from this case.

That in itself would create a delay of many months while another prosecutor gets up to speed on the case, decides whether they want to try the same

case, whether they want to change it around or actually try the case at all, that would take us well past the election, which is Donald Trump's

political aim here so that he doesn't have to stand trial, in which looks like a pretty serious allegation of election interference before November's


The other thing is that even if Fani Willis isn't disqualified from this case, what we've seen today in terms of testimony, contains enough

allegations and innuendo that somebody who is as unscrupulous about sticking to the facts as Donald Trump is, has plenty of information here to

say that, the entire prosecution, the prosecutor's office, is deeply corrupt.

It would play into his narrative, the central narrative of his 2024 campaign that he's been politically persecuted, and that's one that many of

Trump's supporters believe. So, on this case today, as it stands in this hearing, it's working out quite well for him politically, whatever happens


KINKADE: All right, Stephen Collinson, we'll leave it there for now. We will continue to keep an eye as that court case plays out here in Atlanta,

Georgia, and we'll come back with any developments. Thanks, Stephen.


KINKADE: Well, witnesses are describing a terrifying scene, sheer panic amid the sounds of gunfire. I want to turn now to the Israeli raid on the

largest functioning hospital remaining in Gaza. Doctors Without Borders also says its staff has now fled the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, leaving

patients behind.

Well, the Hamas-run Health Ministry says Israeli forces stormed the complex today, demolishing one wall and turning the hospital into a military

barrack. It says 200 patients are now being kept in harsh and terrifying conditions.

Israel says it's carrying out a precise and limited operation based on what it calls credible intelligence that Hamas held hostages there. CNN's Nada

Bashir has more, and we need to warn you, her report does contain graphic scenes.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Plunged into darkness, engulfed in smoke. This is southern Gaza's Nasser Hospital, one of the few still able

to treat patients in Gaza, hit in a direct strike overnight on Wednesday. "Is there anybody still inside?" This doctor ask. The sound of gunfire in

close proximity. "Get down", he shouts, others around him, shout, "get out".

Another hospital, now the target. More casualties are rushed to whatever safe space there is left. But there is no way to escape. This message from

a surgeon inside the hospital shared with CNN paints a terrifying picture of the situation on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israeli army forced all the patients and all refugees inside Nasser Hospital, and now, they are forcing medical staff and Nasser

Medical Hospital to evacuate immediately from the hospital. Israeli soldiers and tanks are surrounding the hospital from all sides. Shootings

and bombings still continue.



BASHIR: Outside, Israeli tanks edge closer within the hospital's grounds. The Israeli military is heard ordering civilians to evacuate. The IDF says

it entered the hospital after receiving credible Intelligence indicating that Hamas held hostages on the complex with deceased hostages possibly

still present.

Though CNN is not able to independently verify this claim. Israel's forces also say they have apprehended a number of suspects at the hospital, and

have opened a secure route for civilians to evacuate the area. But doctors and medical officials tell CNN, Israeli snipers shot dead a number of

people as they tried to leave the medical complex.

Among them, they say, this teenager, his lifeless body seen here just in front of the gates of the Nasser Hospital. A short distance away, a

Palestinian detainee appears, set up and released by the Israeli military and used as a messenger according to medical staff who spoke to a

journalist working for CNN on the ground to tell civilians here that they must leave immediately.

But soon after, doctors say he too was killed under Israeli fire outside the hospital. It is unclear from the video what happened. CNN has reached

out to the Israeli military for comment on the incident. As Israeli drones scoured the ground beneath, civilians nearby gather whatever belongings

they have left, and begin to flee.

For many, this is not the first time they've been forced to evacuate. The vast majority of Gaza's 2.3 million strong population is now concentrated

in southern Gaza ordered by the Israeli military to move south. But as troops push deeper into the besieged region with the looming threat of a

ground operation in nearby Rafah, warnings from the U.N. of a potential slaughter of the Palestinian people were more tangible with each passing

day. Nada Bashir, CNN, Cairo.


KINKADE: Well, the IDF say they have eliminated a senior Hezbollah commander and a number of operatives in an airstrike inside Lebanese

territory. The attacks took place Wednesday. Lebanese state media have reported that Israeli strikes have killed at least 12 people, including


Hezbollah says it carried out additional strikes on Israeli military positions in response. The Shia militants have exchanged near-daily fire

with the Israelis along the Lebanese-Israeli border since October. And our Nic Robertson joins us now live from Tel Aviv. I want to ask you about

those Hezbollah strikes in just a moment. But first, I understand you have some more detail from the IDF about what's happening at that hospital in


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, obviously the IDF has been under a lot of scrutiny through the day for what's happened in the

Al-Nasser Hospital. They originally sent -- they were going in there because they had credible Intelligence, that there were the bodies,

possibly of hostages being held there.

They have said that they got this from other former hostages and their sources. They're saying now that they haven't found any bodies of hostages

-- there are already hostages for that matter. They have through the day said that there were Hamas terrorists.

They said hiding behind the civilians inside the hospital, and they've now said the spokesman for the IDF has now said that they have captured several

-- what he calls terrorist operatives. One from the PFLP, who he named and two others he named from Hamas.

He said both -- he said all three men were involved in the October 7th attacks. And he described one of the men as being an ambulance driver who

actually took hostages from Israel into Gaza. Now, the IDF has not provided any visual pick, any pictures yet of these three people that they say that

they -- that they're naming here or pictures that would connect them to the events that the IDF is describing.

But the IDF clearly under a lot of pressure to explain why it's gone into the hospital in this way, and their explanation is that they've managed to

capture at least three people. They say there are others that they will name later, that were involved in the October 7th attacks.

So, no hostages, no bodies of hostages, which was their initial reason for going into the hospital. But they have through this filtration process of

checking all the civilians who come out of the building by checking them, they've been able to make these arrests, they say.

KINKADE: And Nic, I want to ask you about the IDF claims that they've killed some Hezbollah key figures in Hezbollah in Lebanon. Take us through

what we know and how is Lebanon responding?

ROBERTSON: Yes, well, Hezbollah is saying that the person named by the IDF as a senior Hezbollah figure is dead. But they're not saying that he was a

senior commander.


And the location where the IDF said that they struck in Nabatieh late last night, where the IDF says that they killed three senior Hezbollah figures,

commanders, including this person that they named. The Lebanese media said that actually inside that apartment in Nabatieh, there was a family of

seven people who were killed, including a child.

Hezbollah fired -- well, there were rockets fired at Israel's main military base yesterday that Hezbollah didn't claim that killed a soldier, seriously

injured another, and wounded some others. And Israel, later in the day yesterday, responded by firing into a number of South Lebanese towns, at

what they describe as Hezbollah targets, command and control locations, weapons stores.

Early on today, Hezbollah did fire back into Israel and it's part of a possible escalation. Neither side though escalating it beyond the, sort of,

what both sides would see as the red line that would then lead to an all- out escalation, neither side doing that. But as far as this commander is concerned, Hezbollah do admit this person is dead, but don't say that he is

a senior commander.

KINKADE: Nic, I just want to ask you again about the situation at the hospital. You said that the IDF haven't found any hostages or any bodies of

hostages, but found three people linked to the October 7th Hamas attacks. Have we seen any response yet from the Palestinians, from Hamas?

ROBERTSON: The response from medical officials inside the hotel -- inside the hospital, rather, has been that they were told that they and the

patients, the medical staff and the patients, would be safe inside the hospital, and they weren't. The hospital was hit. They say at least one

patient was killed. There have been injuries. Doctors apparently injured. Also, doctors forced to leave.

The MSF, Doctors Without Borders, an international medical NGO said that their medical staff fled the building. And one of them was actually

arrested at the IDF filtration point where they screen the people coming out of the hospital.

So, the situation inside the hospital seems to be one where according to medical officials at the moment, the Hamas-led ministry of health in Gaza,

they're saying that in the hospital there's about 200 patients and about a similar number of medical staff, doctors and dependents, who are short of

water and short of food. They describe in one of the old buildings at the hospital.

But I think what this -- what underlines this situation here at the moment is that as independent international journalists were not allowed to go

into Gaza. So, we can't go near this hospital to find out what's happening. Yes, it would be dangerous, but we can't even get close to the situation on

the ground to make an independent assessment. We're not allowed in because the restrictions the IDF put on crossing the border into Gaza.

KINKADE: Yes, you make a good point. It's very hard to verify any of these claims. Nic Robertson for us in Tel Aviv, we appreciate you. Thank you.

Well, more and more countries are voicing their concern about Israel's potential operation in Rafah. Canada, alongside Australia and New Zealand,

says it could be catastrophic and are urging Israel not to go ahead with it. Earlier, I asked the Canadian Defence Minister, Bill Blair, about how

concerned he is seeing what's taking place in Gaza.


BILL BLAIR, CANADIAN DEFENCE MINISTER: We believe that further hostilities and aggressive actions in that area would put those people in jeopardy. We

have called for a humanitarian ceasefire. And we've also asked for the release of the hostages and to facilitate aid going to those people.

You know, there are quite a number of people who have connections to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries of the world. We

have a responsibility, humanitarian responsibility, to protect innocent civilians. And that does not preclude, our very strongly held belief that

Israel has a right to defend itself. But we are very concerned about the lives and safety of innocent civilians and we've called for humanitarian

ceasefire and aid. Aid to go into that area and other steps to be taken in order to secure the peace and the security of the region.


KINKADE: Well, that was Canada's defense minister. And of course, he was meeting with other defense ministers at the NATO meeting in Brussels. I'll

have more on that conversation coming up in just a moment. We'll be right back.



KINKADE: Welcome back. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us.

Well, a wave of deadly strikes hit the Russian city of Belgorod Thursday, killing at least five people and injuring more than a dozen others,

including children. It follows a night of Russian strikes into Ukraine, which injured at least seven people and damaged residential buildings.

The exchange of attacks comes as NATO defense ministers gathered on Thursday to discuss what comes next for Ukraine's war effort. The meeting

in Brussels follows days of speculation over the alliances' own future.

NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has been trying to tamp down any doubt. He announced that a record 18 NATO nations are on track to meet the

organization's two percent defense spending target this year. Mr. Stoltenberg also took the opportunity to allay fears over America's

commitment to NATO.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: It is in the national security interest of the United States to have a strong NATO. Second, there is

actually broad bipartisan support for NATO in the United States. And thirdly, the criticism in the United States is not primarily against NATO.

It's against NATO allies not spending enough money on NATO.


KINKADE: Well, Canada's Defence Minister Bill Blair was at those meetings in Brussels today. I spoke to him a short time ago and started by asking

him how strongly he believes the alliance is right now, and whether Canada will hit that two percent target.



BLAIR: I think one of the things we have heard from all of our alliance partners is that we all need to do more. And quite frankly, Canada is not

among that 18. We -- although we are on a very positive upward trajectory in our defense spending, we have not yet reached the level of the two

percent commitment, but we're working hard towards it. But all of our allied partners spoke about the need to continue to invest more to do more

in order to strengthen the alliance and to meet the capability requirements that the new threat environment is going to require.

KINKADE: In raw numbers, the U.S. spends more than double that of all the other NATO allies combined. But right now, foreign military aid is on hold

amid political infighting here in the United States. Does that make the NATO alliance nervous?

BLAIR: Well, first of all, we've got decades. For almost 70 years, the United States has been, you know, a stalwart and an incredible leader in --

among NATO allies, and their support is absolutely critical to the alliance. And at the same time, I think every member of the alliance

recognizes that we have a responsibility to do more and to contribute more, and that's the discussion that really has taken place over the past two

years, but certainly over the last two days.

All of the members were discussing how their plans to do more, to acquire the capabilities, to invest in those capabilities, new munitions, new

systems that will help us defend. First of all, the -- all of the alliance countries, but in particular respond appropriately to the new threat

environment that's arising in Ukraine and from -- the -- on the eastern border of Europe.

KINKADE: Presidential candidate Donald Trump encouraged Russia to attack any country not contributing enough. I want to play that sound.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, well

sir, if we don't pay and we're attacked by Russia, will you protect us? No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the

hell they want.

KINKADE: So, the NATO Secretary General said that Trump was threatening the security of the entire Transatlantic Alliance. What's your response to

Trump's statement?

BLAIR: Well, frankly, I'm always very cautious about responding to some of the political rhetoric that takes place in other countries elections. And

that's how I would characterize that step -- statement. And I would balance it against my own experience with our ally of the United States. Canada has

a very important relationship through NORAD, for example, which is the North American Air Defense System. It's something that's been -- that has

kept the continent safe. They're an incredible partner. And in our NATO relationships, they've always been there.

The leadership of the United States is essential to the security of that NATO alliance. Their track record has been exceptional. I have not lost

confidence in in our American allies. I know their level of their commitment. I know their capabilities. They are -- they have every right,

though, to ask all of the NATO members to continue to contribute more. We all have more work to do. The threat environment has become more concerning

and we all have to respond appropriately.

KINKADE: The Russian president, Putin, spoke to a pro-Kremlin journalist about the upcoming U.S. election. I just want to play that sound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): For us, who's better? Biden or Trump?

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Biden, because he is a more experienced person. He's predictable. He's a politician of an old


KINKADE: Do you take Putin at his word, because obviously we are just learning that the FBI and its allies have foiled a massive Russian hacking

operation in the U.S. and in Europe. Is it possible that President Putin wants Biden, or is it likely that he's -- it could be a secret cover for a

secret hacking operation to get Trump elected? I mean, what's your thoughts on what Putin says and what he does?

BLAIR: Well, my thoughts are really dominated by Putin's actions with the illegal invasion of Ukraine. We have seen, you know, an unlawful, illegal,

aggression against a sovereign country. And, you know, all of our partners in NATO and in North America have joined together in response to that


Again, I -- we've also seen, you know, lots of misinformation, disinformation, and you know, the -- frankly, I don't find terribly

trustworthy what is said. I think people should be judged on their actions and the actions of Russia under Mr. Putin's leadership have quite frankly

been unacceptable and untrustworthy.

KINKADE: Have you got any more detail on what Russia attempted to do with this cyberattack?


BLAIR: We in Canada and among all of our allies and partners, particularly our five eyes partners, including the United States and the U.K., have

experienced a number of very significant attacks. We often are able to attribute it either to Russia itself or people acting in proxy for them. I

can't comment on their specific intent with respect to the most recent attack.

But at the same time, this is -- there is, unfortunately, has been, you know, far too much of this activity. It often is directed towards critical

infrastructure in our respective countries. It is unacceptable. We'll continue to defend itself to denounce and to attribute the actions of any

adversary in taking this action because of the impact it has on our citizens and the security of our countries.


KINKADE: Our thanks there to Canada's Defence Minister Bill Blair for joining us from Brussels.

Well, still to come tonight, we're learning new details about the deadly shooting at the Super Bowl parade in Kansas City. We'll have the latest on

that story after a short break.


KINKADE: Welcome back. We're tracking the aftermath of a shooting that left one person dead and more than 20 injured during Super Bowl

celebrations in Kansas City Wednesday. Half of the victims are under the age of 16.

Have a look at the vision we've got coming in. You can see the crowd of fans running from the gunshots. Authorities, so far, believe it was a

dispute between several people and not a terror attack. A local radio DJ was hit and did not survive. The Kansas City Police Chief spoke earlier

about her.


CHIEF STACEY GRAVES, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI POLICE DEPARTMENT: During the overnight hours, we learned there are 23 victims of yesterday's shooting.

One of our victims, Elizabeth Galvin, 43 years old, died. We're still learning about her, but know that she is beloved by many. To her friends

and family, we are with you.


KINKADE: Well, police took at least three people into custody in connection with that shooting. The incident was at least the 48th mass

shooting in the U.S. this year, that's according to the Gun Violence Archives, and it's only February.

Well, still to come tonight, the Greek parliament is set to vote on a law that would make history if it passes. We'll have a live report from Athens




KINKADE: Welcome back. Greek lawmakers are poised to take a historic vote in the coming hours. The parliament is expected to pass legislation

legalizing same-sex marriage and parental rights. The Greek Orthodox Church is openly opposing the vote. If the bill is passed, Greece would become one

of the first Orthodox Christian countries to adopt the LGBTQ+ rights. The Greek Prime Minister said, "Yes to equality", ahead of the vote.

Well, joining us for more on this from Athens is journalist Elinda Labropoulou. Good to have you on the story, Elinda. So, it's interesting

when you look at the polls. The country is quite divided. Where do lawmakers stand? Is this vote -- is this bill likely to pass?

ELINDA LABROPOULOU, JOURNALIST: It's likely to pass, but it's not going to pass just from the government alone. The government is the party that

brought the law in -- the bill in. But it will not pass just by support from the government. It will require the support of the opposition parties

as well. The liberal parties will join forces from the left, primarily.

The reason for this is that despite the fact that the prime minister has very strongly supported this bill, he has found a lot of opposition even

within --

KINKADE: Elinda Labropoulou, sorry to interrupt. We're going to leave you there and go back to the courtroom where the Fulton County District

Attorney has taken to the stand for questioning in this case of a misconduct. Let's listen in.

FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Does anyone have the three filings of Ms. Merchant? Does the court have the three filings of Ms.


SCOTT MCAFEE, JUDGE, SUPERIOR COURT OF FULTON COUNTY: When you say the filings, you mean like the pleadings?

WILLIS: The pleadings, yes, Your Honor.

MCAFEE: OK. I think we can locate those for you in the supplemental.

WILLIS: I want the one filed on January the 8th, the one filed immediately after we filed ours, and the final one.

ASHLEIGH MERCHANT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR MIKE ROMAN: If you want to take a break to get them, I can make a copy. I think we have one.

MCAFEE: You know, the only copy I have is going to have my notes on it. So, if we don't have a clean copy --

MERCHANT: If we can have a five-minute break, Your Honor --

MCAFEE: Let's take five.

MERCHANT: -- I'll get the documents --

MCAFEE: All right.

WILLIS: I'll sit here and wait for it.


MCAFEE: It was -- did we elect someone who's actually making the copy? You've got it? OK. Ms. Cross is doing it.

KINKADE: So, it looks like, they're taking a break there right now. That, of course, is the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is

accused of having a relationship with the lead prosecutor in the election interference case which is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia.

Now, of course, this is a racketeering case. And Trump's attorneys are calling for both the Fulton County district attorney and the lead

prosecutor to be disqualified from this case with the case thrown out. So, we will come back to the courtroom when the Fulton County District Attorney

Fani Willis reappears to testify.

Earlier today we saw the lead prosecutor, which of course is Fani Willis' boyfriend, testifying and being asked about the timing of their

relationship, what he was paid during the course in his role as a lead prosecutor in that case, and whether or not the attorney general benefited

from that money. We will continue to follow that.

I'm Lynda Kinkade. Stay with CNN for much more on the ongoing Trump trials. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.