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Laura Coates Live
A Deadly Israeli Strike Targets Hamas Commander In A Gaza Camp Crowded With Refugees; Trump Children Will Take The Stand In Father's Civil Fraud Trial; Matthew Perry's Ex Fiancee Speaks Out. Aired 11p- 12a ET
Aired October 31, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: And thank you for watching NewsNight. "Laura Coates Live" starts right now. Hey Laura.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Hey Abby. So good to see --
PHILLIP: Happy Halloween, by the way.
COATES: Happy Halloween! I was really torn to wear a costume or not to wear a costume. So, instead, I became an anchor. That's my costume. How's yours? Good? Is it a good one?
PHILLIP: Also here as an anchor. I guess we're twinning today. Have a good show, Laura.
COATES: I love it. Abby Phillip, nice to see you as always. We'll see you right back here tomorrow.
The deadly strike on a camp full of refugees and a chilling warning here at home, tonight on "Laura Coates Live". The images coming out of the Middle East tonight are nothing short of absolutely disturbing.
But some say this is what war looks like. The aftermath of Israel's strike on Gaza's largest refugee camp -- there are photos that show multiple large craters in the ground, shrouded by the rubble of destroyed and just obliterated buildings.
Now, we don't actually know how many people are dead. But one eyewitness says that it felt like the end of the world. And an IDF spokesman telling Wolf Blitzer this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD, LIEUTENANT COLONEL, IDF SPOKESMAN: This is the tragedy of war, Wolf. I mean, we, as you know, we've been saying for days, move south. The villains are not involved with Hamas. Please move south.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: The tragedy of war -- that phrase alone, giving a lot of people pause, thinking about what that really fully means. Then you have the idea of telling Anderson Cooper that the airstrike targeted and killed one of the Hamas commanders that was responsible for the October 7th attack on Israel, while they say he was in hiding, using civilians as human shields.
Now, as the war intensifies there while the sad reality is that fear is intensifying and growing, here. The director of the FBI is saying that anti-Semitism is reaching what he is now calling historic levels. That at the DOJ says a junior at Cornell University is now in custody following anti-Semitic threats against Jewish students, including threats to shoot students in the Kosher dining hall.
So, how can people feel safe here at home and how do we have the conversations we need to have to talk about all this? Well, I'm going to talk to a rabbi and an imam tonight about that very question.
And as friends and fans are mourning the death of Matthew Perry, his ex-fiancee has now broken her silence. What she says about what she calls their profound relationship and what she calls pain like she's never known.
We begin tonight though with a deadly Israeli strike targeting a Hamas commander in that Gaza camp crowded with refugees. Joining me now, CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Kim Dozier, and CNN Military Analyst, retired Colonel Cedric Layden, who served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force.
You know, I have to tell you, that phrase keeps going around in my mind, the tragedy of war, because on the one hand, it feels cruelly dismissive of, well, expendable people. On the other hand, it seems to be the stark reality about just what really war looks like, and we're seeing it in real time. But I still can't get my mind around it, Kim. What do you say?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It depends on the combatants. It depends on the kind of strikes. War is always horrible. But what we're seeing right now is this head-twisting destruction. And then we're hearing from Israeli military officials, well, you saw what happened on the October 7th, we're going after those responsible.
And this is a proportional response. It's hard to square the images of destruction with that statement, especially when you see civilians in pain, mothers with dead children. Well, that's happening on both sides. But it does feel like the scale is so much worse on the Palestinian side. And attacking Palestinians, they are very savvy in terms of media.
Everything that's happening is going to be seen by the world in a way that in previous wars, a lot of comparisons have been made till World War II and Pearl Harbor. You didn't have the images from that, but we're going to see everything that happens here.
COATES: You actually have some new reporting tonight from sources you've been talking to about the scope of that destruction. What are you hearing?
DOZIER: They think this is going to be a months-long campaign, the second phase, to destroy Hamas, militarily, politically, to root out everyone that they think is responsible for October 7th. And one Israeli military official put it to me that, you know, Mosul, the liberation of Mosul from ISIS, which left very little of Mosul standing, is a good comparison.
That took about nine months. Gaza City is around the same size, same amount of people in it. This is going to take a long time, and it's going to be block by block, on the ground, and also from the air, destruction.
COATES: You know, I'm no mathematician, Cedric, but if you were to try to calculate the trajectory using what you see right now -- the destruction of the buildings, of the lives, of the hospitals, of the aid that can't get there, nine months seems like an absolute unbelievable figure to have anything left in Gaza to have that bombardment.
But this word proportional is a new thing I'm stuck on now. When you see this from your intelligence perspective and military background, many people like myself who are laymen looking at all this are saying, how do you gauge the military initiative? How do you look at whether it ought to be proportional or otherwise? They targeted one particular person in underground tunnels -- with them, collateral damage.
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Laura, there are a lot of things that go into those equations, but when it comes to the law of proportionality, which is part of the law of armed conflict, you have to look at applying equal amount of force, a force that is proportional to the act that was committed on you.
So, if you are the defender, like Israel casts itself as a defender in this case, the force that they use must be a force that doesn't go beyond the necessary means to go after the people that are responsible.
So, that sounds good, but the problem is the types of weapons that are available to them and in many cases that are used are ones that will bring with them, if they are used, collateral damage, particularly in an environment like the one we see in Gaza, which, you know, as Kimberly mentioned, is so crowded.
It is one of those areas where you've got everybody on top of each other. You've got normal civilians interspersed with Hamas fighters. You have the whole Hamas infrastructure all right there. And that becomes the real problem, because how do you target in an environment like that? We had difficulties with that in Iraq. We, you know, always have difficulties with that in almost any war that we fight nowadays.
However, it's particularly acute, that difficulty is particularly acute in the Gaza situation just because people don't have any place to go. In Mosul, Fallujah, places like that, there were ways for people to get out of there to some extent, but there's absolutely no way for the civilian population to get out of a lot of these areas in a real coherent manner.
DOZIER: But in part because the mosque won't let them go.
LEIGHTON: That's true.
COATES: What you speak of is the urgency then of war and the urgency then of war and the urgency of a disproportional or proportional response of how you look at it. But what strikes many people is the timing and is there the luxury of being able to wait to have the person isolated? Listen to what General Dana Pittard in the U.S. Army had to say earlier today about whether he believes the United States military would have waited to isolate those targets or not. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And you think the U.S. would have made a similar decision or not?
DANA PITTARD, RETIRED MAJOR, U.S. ARMY: I think, not, because of, as I mentioned before, tactical and operational patience. The idea that once you have the target, then you track the target with your different sensors and systems and wait for that target to move out of the populated area or into a spot where you can minimize casualties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: What's your reaction to that?
LEIGHTON: So, I generally agree with what General Pittard was saying because that's how we fight wars. We look for the person to move. We watch for patterns of life. We take a look and see where is that person going to go if we put pressure on them in a certain way.
And we want them to move into an area where we can get them and only them as much as possible. And that's how we have prosecuted a lot of the targets, a lot of what we call high-value targets during the Iraq War and also during the Afghanistan War.
The idea was to go after that target specifically, that individual, who we deemed responsible and not hit as many civilians as was the case here.
Of course, that's the ideal world. And in the real world, there are always going to be collateral damages to civilian infrastructure, to the civilians themselves. And it's a very difficult thing to actually carry out, because there's so many variables in these situations.
DOZIER: And you have to remember, Hamas, this is by design. Hamas has put its command and control centers, its weapon storage areas throughout civilian areas on purpose. So that if Israel attacks, this is the kind of damage you see. And we also have to remember that there were 240, at last count, hostages that Israel says is being held by Hamas.
Hamas could release them and reduce the intensity of the bombing. They haven't done that. So, this is a war where both sides are taking decisions. There was a decision to attack on October 7. And Hamas knew that they were going to trigger something like this.
The problem is the White House has chosen to be in lockstep with Israel, in many cases feels it needs to be in lockstep with Israel, but it's going to have to wear the international reaction to what Israel does. And the question is, how long can you do that? And I think that's why Secretary of State Antony Blinken is headed there again at the end of the week to have some tough discussions behind closed doors.
COATES: We'll have to see what they are.
LEIGHTON: I think those tough discussions are absolutely what's going on right now because in public, you know, you don't, the administration has absolutely decided not to attack Israel in any way, but what they're doing is they're telling the Israelis behind closed doors, you've got to be careful with the civilian casualties because of the public relations issues, and because, quite frankly, you don't ever want to get into a situation where you are the one being accused of war crimes.
COATES: Well, to be a fly on the wall in those meetings. Everyone, thank you so much. Kim Dozier, Cedric Leighton, thank you so much. Well, FBI Director Christopher Wray, he was not behind closed doors. He was out in the open, and he issued a chilling warning for Americans as the Israel-Hamas war intensifies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: The ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole another level. We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration, the likes of which we haven't seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate several years ago.
Here in the United States, our most immediate concern is that violent extremists, individuals or small groups, will draw inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives. That includes not just homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization but also domestic violent extremists targeting Jewish or Muslim communities.
COATES: Well, joining me now, Danelle Harvin, the former chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the government of Washington, D.C. Danelle, I mean, you heard the FBI director. This is not for the faint of heart.
We heard about a year ago, you and I were talking about this very issue, that one of the biggest threats posed against the United States is internal. It's about political dissent and one aspect of it.
Now, you've got what's happening in terms of the rise of anti- Semitism, a rise of perhaps Islamophobia, as well, and warring factions of ideologies, as well. The fact that he is saying that this may inspire the greatest threat to the United States since ISIS, I mean, that's extremely significant.
DONELL HARVIN, FORMER CHIEF, HOMELAND SECURITY AND INTEL FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF D.C.: The actual word he uses is historic. And the director, Director Wray went on the Hill today to make three distinct points. One was to engage state and locals. May not have said that. The FBI, 35,000 agents -- they can't do this job by themselves.
The second was to engage probably our most effective counterterrorism mechanism in the United States, and that's the public. You see something, say something isn't just a saying. The eyes and ears of the public are important.
And the third part is to let the public know that the fight against global terrorism isn't just happening 6000 miles away in Israel. That fight Hamas wants to bring home to our own doorstep. They don't have to physically be here to do that. They can inspire people like ISIS did all throughout the 2010s to do homegrown terrorist attacks.
COATES: When I think about ISIS in that period of time, particularly we think about radicalization and how the intelligence officers and community was trying to figure out how to assess and determine who might be radicalized and the methodology that was used. You've spoken a lot about the protests and the reactions we're seeing not only online and in circles that may be on the off-brand social media, as well.
What are your concerns about radicalization possibly being the next frontier on an issue like this?
HARVIN: So, radicalization is a spectrum, right? You have people who aren't radicalized, people who become radicalized, and people who are radicalized and mobilizing to violence. As your previous guest talked about, the longer this goes on, the more protracted this happens. People can move quickly or slowly through that spectrum.
At some point, people are going to stop wanting to yell and hold signs up and they're going to say, we want direct action. And that's what he's talking about, that lone actor, that lone person sitting there stewing about what's happening over in Israel or Palestine and saying, I need to take direct action.
What you have with these protests are opportunities for Hamas to radicalize people long distance. You know, they're doing a very good job at missing disinformation. You know, social media right now is a dumpster fire of missing disinformation and hate.
COATES: We've noticed. HARVIN: Right, and so you see, with regular people, they're looking to
target regular people, to radicalize them, and move them quickly down the path towards violence. The other thing we're seeing now, and we've seen this historically, really since 2001 after 9-11, is that our domestic violent extremists, those people who are already entrenched in radicalization and violence, vital ideology, actually have found a likelihood, akin to Hamas.
They share a lot of the same ideologies. They're homophobic, they don't like Israel, they're anti-Semitic. And so, what you find over the last couple of weeks online is our domestic violent extremists. Our neo-Nazi groups applauding Hamas and saying, we need to do something here.
COATES: Well, you know, the identity and maybe the vision of who people think would be an extremist might be morphing in different directions, as well. I mean, just look at this at Cornell. I mean, as a matter of fact, we're learning tonight, a person is in custody for making the threats we talked about on our airwaves a great deal, a series of anti-Semitic threats, and they've identified him now as Patrick Day, a junior at Cornell University. When you look at the idea of one homegrown, now potentially campus grown, does that change the equation?
HARVIN: Absolutely. So, it also changes the scope and scale of what law enforcement has to look at. So, you know, some of these threats that were called in before, you know, if someone had a gun or had a history of that type of thing, law enforcement able to really focus their resources on that individual.
You know, these threats can be coming from an Ivy League junior, all the way to someone who's stewing, who they know about, they've been maybe monitoring. And we're not even talking about -- and that's just a domestic threat. We're not talking about, you know, potential sleeper cells, people who've come into this country, you know, with this idea of doing this type of attacks.
And so really, and that's what Director Wray was talking about, the threat environment that we're facing right now is so much greater. And the longer this conflict goes on, the more law enforcement intelligence have their work cut out for them.
COATES: I mean, how do you factor all this in and have the appropriate law enforcement to civilian ratio without becoming a police state? And then of course, there's the notions of all the civil liberties that are issues, as well. It's a very extraordinary problem that we're trying to tackle. Donell, thank you so much.
COATES: When we come back, warnings from the FBI, rising anti- Semitism, Islamophobia, as fears are spreading here, how do we have the kind of, well, uncomfortable conversation that we really do need to have? I'll talk to a rabbi and an imam next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [23:22:46]
COATES: Jews and Muslims alike in this country are, well, they're terrified and with good reason. Since Hamas' October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, the Anti-Defamation League has recorded a whopping 388 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in this country. And that's not all. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is reporting a 244 percent increase in Islamophobic incidents.
So, when we're looking in all this, is there a way to bring the temperature down? Joining me now, Rabbi Aaron Miller and Imam Dr. Talib Sharif. Gentlemen, I'm so glad that the two of you are here because, you know, we're all grappling with the kinds of uncomfortable conversations that need to happen.
And part of it is, look, the learning curve is very steep for a lot of people trying to familiarize them with this region and what's happened historically. And they are almost tripping over themselves to form an opinion, and then speak about it, and there might be some gaps in what the information is.
I wonder from your perspectives and your communities and that your communities are coming to you, what are you hearing in terms of the difficulties in processing all that is happening right now?
AARON MILLER, CNN GLOBAL ANALYST: Right, people are terrified, and the Jewish community is terrified. I have parents who don't know how to talk to their kids. I have parents who've shared with their kids. Just don't share that you're Jewish. If you meet somebody new, keep that to yourself.
MILLER: It's heartbreaking. Parents don't know how to process this. This is, generationally, the most anti-Semitism people have ever experienced. There's more anti-Semitism that has happened over the past couple of weeks than anyone's encountered in their lifetimes. And so, how do you share that with your children? How do you share that with people who don't know and understand what it feels like to be the victim of such hate?
COATES: So, in the United States of America. Parents are wondering and advising their children in some respects not to share who they are, not to share that they are Jewish. And the fear is that they will be harmed by classmates and the community members alike.
MILLER: Right, well the fear is that we walk down the street and we don't know what people are going to do. We don't know how people are going to react. And God forbid, someone hurts a child. And we've seen that in Chicago, we've seen that across the country.
Jewish community, the Muslim community is being targeted now in ways that we've never seen before.
COATES: Are you having a similar experience in conversation?
TALIB SHAREEF, IMAM, MASJID MUHAMMAD, THE NATION'S MOSQUE: Yes, Laura. And on top of what we just heard from our rabbi here, people are still trying to process. You know, their souls are heavy. Just from hearing, you know, about children, about families, grandmothers, fathers.
You know, our conversation coming here was about our families. Not the labels, not about it, but it is families. Fathers here, grandmothers. So, trying to deal with that normal piece, and then also now the conversation. It's in the air, the divisiveness that's put up there.
And there's some fear that just because they think a certain way, that they may be counseled or they may be labeled as anti-Semitism, as if they feel something for the Palestinians. All these things are coming in. And, of course, the violence and seeing the six-year, that just brings things back to home. And then the numbers are going up now.
So, yeah, those things, there are human responses. But we're starting to see some trauma. And we're just telling people, just cut the television off. Don't feel you have to get into a bob in every conversation. Just take the time for yourself. Self-care, because this thing -- it affects all of us.
You know, we all have human souls. And if you're connected to your human soul and you haven't become cold and extreme, then you're going to feel the weight of that. And we can see it in the people, and people are letting us know. So, we have to tend to and cultivate the souls of human beings.
COATES: Well, I certainly advise to turn off the TV, but not at 11 P.M. live because that's Laura Coates' show, so don't do that. Tell them to watch this program, as well. But I hear what you're saying, and I'm really leaning in, because when the soul is heavy, it's very difficult to balance a lot of things, and to balance one's temperament, and passions, and response to things.
And so, when all this is happening, and trying to process, I mean, how do you have the conversations that don't conflate the politics with the emotion. I mean, it's almost seeming like the Herculean task for everyone to do. In your roles in advising and cultivating and having these discussions, are you finding that harder to be?
SHAREEF: It is definitely harder. It's harder because of the dynamics of the politically charged atmosphere. That makes it difficult. And it's okay. People are questioning themselves, you know, it's okay. And we are telling them, you know, we all have innate feelings.
Like you say, it's a lot of information. People are trying to decipher. They're looking at their telephones. And of course, we just heard about the misinformation. Of course, the disinformation is one of the big things, as well.
SHAREEF: So, they have to go with their gut. You know, go with your gut. Don't try to be where someone else is, because that's just going to make things worse with what you're trying to deal with, your own feelings, your own thoughts about it. And again, we are saying, take time to breathe.
COATES: But Rabbi, to the point he was raising about feeling as though, you could say the wrong thing. That if you were to express a political viewpoint or express support for Palestinians, then you are viewed as anti-Semitic. Are you grappling with that among your community about how to understand the positions that are taken without feeling alienated?
MILLER: It's a nuanced conversation when we talk about anti-Semitism. Not every sentiment, that political sentiment, is an anti-Semitic sentiment. But there is a difference. And to be a Jew is to be keenly aware of what that difference is. We see lines crossed all the time on college campuses. We see lines crossed, as Imam Shareef said, on social media all the time.
But one of the things that religion offers in this time is a way to lower the temperature. It's not, can we be a thermostat, but can we be a thermometer, and collectively, as religious voices, help guide our congregants to lower the intensity of this conversation and also to acknowledge that this is politics and we're in the business of religion.
And what religion offers people is not just solace, which it certainly does, but the ability to see the divinity in God's children, the ability to see the godliness in those even who are not us. And if religion can bring us beyond ourselves, then I sincerely believe, I know Imam and I both do, that religion can bring healing to this desperate and broken time.
COATES: So, what's happening on college campuses? Cause on the one hand, you've got the youngest among us in these spaces, the marketplace of ideas, being exposed to things that the generations that came long before were tackling and trying to have. Are the colleges getting something wrong or is this part of some churning of the young impressionable mind?
MILLER: Anti-Semitism is the oldest and most persistent hatred. Anti- Semitism is the need to hate somebody and conveniently yet again, landing on the Jews. And what we're seeing on college campuses is people who are sometimes angry, confused, also trying on different ideas and different identities, drawing on the new adults in their lives, who from my perspective across the board are letting them down.
We're seeing administrators lose moral clarity. We're seeing professors feed and fuel true anti-Semitism on campuses. And so, when someone is coming to college, and it's not someone, these are kids, as you said, 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds.
And they're looking for new role models, they're looking for people to look up to in this new stage in their life, we're finding a lot of them are let down, a lot of them don't know who to turn to. And in fact, that not offering a moral voice is giving rise to these kinds of hate speech that are filling college campuses in ways that I've never seen before.
COATES: What is your take?
SHAREEF: Well, a lot of them are not getting what they need. You know, we all need comfort. We all need good advice, you know, as human beings. Because again, we get lost in all the traffic. You know, the present, we're in the present, but that inherits the past.
And again, if you don't reconcile that, and then you have youngsters who are not getting what they need, see, we should be addressing these things. This is what should be taking place in these universities, in the homes, in schools, in the levels of government.
We have to deal with it and get people, first of all, we need to see that we all one. We're all connected. You know, when I first saw my brother Rabbi here, we began, again, we began asking about families. I mean, the religious label is one thing, but we're humans first.
And I can see him, he's a father. He has children, he's a son, father's here, as well. You know, just to see each other this way. So, these kinds of conversations, if you don't have these kinds of conversations and get someone bringing us together so we can begin to see the human. This is the first level. We come here as human first.
You know, when the baby comes here and we got babies being killed right now, they're not conscious of themselves as a race. They're not conscious of their religious identity. They're not conscious of ethnicity. They're human first. That other stuff comes later.
So, we can get people just to see that. Then that'll help tone things down and we not begin to look at each other as something other than human and begin to demonize other human beings because of what others have done. This is what we see happening.
But again, if you're young, you can't process that. You need help trying to process that. You need guidance trying to process that. And of course, that's part of the job that we have right now to do just that.
COATES: Not just the young, the old, you know, the idea of thinking about how to bring that temperature down when it feels like an inferno of controversy and of difficult conversations. Thank you for having this one together with me tonight. I really do appreciate it, both of you. Thank you.
MILLER: Thank you.
SHAREFF: You're welcome, thank you.
COATES: New tonight. There's a possible motive in the Maine massacre. We'll tell you what the shooter's siblings are saying about him right after this.
[23:37:12] COATES: There are new documents tonight showing a potential motive in the main mass shooting. Two of the shooter's siblings, speaking to officials and telling them that their brother had become quote, delusional after what they call a bad breakup.
That information alone, frankly, leads to even more questions. Question that CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is not afraid to ask. And Shimon is here with me right now. Shimon, I'm wondering, what do these documents say about a possible motive here?
SHIMON PROCUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, so this all came out today from the state police just tonight from their search warrant documents. They put out information based on interviews that they did with family members and friends of the shooter.
And what we're seeing is just more evidence of this paranoia, mental illness. He for whatever reason believed people were calling him, accusing him of being a pedophile. And with the bowling alley where -- one of the locations and the bar, the other location, he thought those two places were somehow broadcasting that he was a pedophile.
This seems to be a thing with him for quite some time, for whatever reason, and right, it's just so difficult to understand. He's clearly suffering, he's going through several things mentally. But this is the one constant thing, that for some reason, he thinks people are calling him a pedophile.
COATES: Now, what am I hearing about all the warnings that may have been available to government. And I mean, I saw your incredible interview with the governor where you really tried to get an answer about what was happening. But what is the answer? Did they know? Were their red flags that are actually known?
PROCUPECZ: Yeah, I mean, they were very apparent and, you know, so apparent that when I was talking to law enforcement officials in Maine, senior law enforcement officials, they were alarmed at the fact that the sheriff's office, where the shooter lived, had contact with his family, went to his home based on a welfare check.
They got a call from the military in September saying, listen, we're concerned. We think he has the capability of doing harm. They talked about a possible mass shooting. They asked the sheriff to go to the home. The sheriff's deputy goes there on three occasions, he's there. On the September 15th, he goes, he's not home.
But then he goes back on September 16th and he sees the white Subaru that the shooter used on the day of the shooting in the driveway. He thinks he's inside, he calls for backup because he himself is concerned, and then he does nothing. He basically leaves. And then they go back the next day and he's not there. And so, then they file a missing person's report, but it's never really followed up on.
There's never really any effort that we know of that's being made to locate him. And they're aware that he has access to guns. They're aware that he has this mental illness and things are very troubling, things are going on in his life. And then also the military is telling him things. And then we find out, well, actually in the army, they actually prohibited him from handling weapons at one point.
So, there are all these red flags. All of these signs that this was a troubled person who had access to guns. And yet somehow no one thought it was best to somehow try and take him in, get him evaluated, see what a medical professional thinks, and then perhaps petition a court, which is what you can do under the yellow flag law there in Maine, and to see if perhaps they can take away his guns. But no one did that.
COATES: I mean, but first of all, I cannot imagine what the family members must be thinking, hearing all of this. I mean, you go from hearing about mass shootings and tragedies. Uvalde but one extraordinary example of what the absence of transparency and information feels like, the gut punch to hearing the information. And again a drop kick, thinking about what was possibly known and what could have if not deterred or prevented at least perhaps address some aspect of it.
Shimon you got to keep digging in. I know you will. I know you so well and thank you the community. I know when the cameras leave. It is all the more traumatic. I know that you will stay on the story. Thank you, Shimon, as always.
PROCUPECZ: Thanks, thank you, Laura.
COATES: Getting ready to take the stand, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, yep, the last name is all Trump. Each of them going to testify in the Trump fraud case, beginning as early as tomorrow. The reporter who wrote the definitive net worth of Donald Trump tells us what he expects to happen during all these testimonies next.
COATES: So, Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump are taking center stage at the $250 million civil fraud trial against the former president and the Trump Organization. With Don Jr. likely to take the stand as early as tomorrow. Here to preview all of the action in that quorum is senior editor at Forbes, Dan Alexander. He's also the author of White House, Inc. How Donald Trump Turned the presidency into a business.
Dan, thank you for being here. I mean, just thinking about the list of those who are going to testify, it's pretty extraordinary. You have some insight from the depositions, in fact. How you think their testimony is going to actually play out in court?
DAN ALEXANDER, FORBES SENIOR EDITOR: Well, it's going be interesting, you know. Each of these three kids has a different personality, and I think that we're going to see that in court. So, Ivanka Trump is smooth. You know, she's going to come off as maybe a little aggrieved, you know, tense about what's going on, but she speaks smoothly. Don Jr. is going to plead ignorance. Although his name is all over
many of the documents at the heart of this case, he's going to say, I had nothing to do with any of them. Eric Trump, I expect to be defensive and maybe a little bit thrown off kilter.
I've, you know, interviewed him in the past and have asked him difficult questions in the past and he's reacted nervously about those. And that's just talking with a Forbes reporter on a telephone. It's going to be much more intense in an open courtroom with lots of lawyers and press staring him down while he's on the stand.
COATES: And perhaps even his father sitting there as well watching to see what they will actually say. You also report Ivanka helped her father lie about his net worth. So, how did she get dismissed from this multi-million-dollar lawsuit?
ALEXANDER: It's a great question. You know, Ivanka has always sort of seemed like the favorite child of Donald Trump. And it makes sense then that he brought her with him when he went to the White House. And by bringing her with him, he also got her out of future legal trouble.
So, now, Ivanka was able to get herself removed from the lawsuit because of the statute of limitations. Her brothers, meanwhile, stayed at home in Trump Tower manning the shop and therefore were very involved in the business in recent years. And that's why they remain defendants in this case.
COATES: You know, this is a very significant case. There's many others, obviously. There's one in Fulton County. Of course, there's one with the Attorney General, Letitia James, this one, there's Alvin Bragg, there's the Jack Smith case. There's Mar-a-Lago. I mean, you can name a lot of these things.
But this seems to be the one that Donald Trump, the former president, is front row center for. It has the most, it seems, buy-in and investment to be present. What do you believe will be the lasting impact of his own children's testimony on the organization as a whole?
ALEXANDER: You know, the problem that this lawsuit is going to bring to the Trump Organization, to Donald Trump and those kids, is that it's going to remove their credibility. So, these three kids are all going to get up on the stand, and they're basically going to say, I didn't have all that much to do with this.
Now, remember, these are now the current leaders of the Trump Organization, for Don Jr. and Eric, for them to go publicly and saying, we don't stand behind these statements. We didn't have much to do with these statements of net worth that we sent to all of these lenders. That undermines credibility.
Anytime that they're going to be dealing with business partners or lenders in the future, they're going to say, okay, so Donald Trump is focused on politics. The kids say that they don't know much about these details.
And the younger people, the junior people in the Trump organization, blame the upper management. So, who can we trust in this business?
And that's going to be a challenge that I think faces them for years to come.
COATES: Dan Alexander, thank you so much. We'll be watching all this unfold. Very significant that the children will now be testifying in this matter. Thank you so much.
ALEXANDER: Thank you.
COATES: Well, as you know, the friends spoke out and now the fiancee. Matthew Perry's ex-fiancee breaking her silence on his death. That's next.
COATES: We've got more reaction to the tragic death of Matthew Perry, his former fiancee Molly Hurwitz posting on Instagram saying that he had a profound impact on her, but also saying he caused pain like she'd never known.
Making sure to mention Al Anon and the support Al Anon, excuse me, and the support the group has for people struggling with substance abuse and remembering also the good times, how the two would rewatch "Friends" together before the cast reunion even two years ago.
Rewinding scenes and appreciating the humor. So, remember those good times again, too. Before we leave you tonight, here's the last scene from the series finale. Matthew Perry asked co-creator Marta Kauffman if he could say the final line.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER ANISTON AS RACHEL GREEN, "FRIENDS": Okay, should we get some coffee?
MATTHEW PERRY AS CHANDLER BING, "FRIENDS": Sure. Where?
(END VIDEO CLIP)