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Laura Coates Live

GOP Anger Boils Over; IDF Launches "Precise And Targeted Operation" At Gaza Hospital; Fani Willis: Trump Trial Could Go Into 2025; Paul Pelosi Attack Suspect Testifies; Tens Of Thousands Rally At "March For Israel" In Washington. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired November 14, 2023 - 23:00   ET



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: She was isolated in the principal's office. She ate lunch alone. She was the only child in her class. She wasn't allowed to join recess with other children. Only one teacher had agreed to be with her as white parents refused to have their kids in the same room.

RUBY BRIDGES, FIRST TO INTEGRATE ALL-WHITE SCHOOL AS CHILD: The lesson that I took away that year in an empty school building was that none of us know anything about disliking one another when we come into the world. It is something that's passed on to us. So, every time I see that, I think about the fact that I was an innocent child that knew absolutely nothing about what was happening that day.


PHILLIP: Ruby's innocence and eventually her pain is a good reminder that for a suffering world, both at home and abroad, courage can win, even if in the tiny shoes of just one little girl and on one particular November day.

And Laura, my daughter has a book. It's called "Lady Legends Alphabet," and "B" is for Ruby Bridges, and I'm grateful for that today and every day. Over to you.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Oh, you know, I am, too. I mean, Norman Rockwell's painting hung in my dining room as a child my entire life. It was passed down to my sister, Jennifer (ph). Now, it's in her home. And I can tell you, there is not a moment that goes by when I was a student, one of a very few numbers of Black students in any of my schools ever in my entire life growing up, and I always thought about what it was like, and I am forever grateful for that little girl and the woman that she became. So, I'm so glad you honored her today. Thank you.

PHILLIP: Thanks. Have a good show.

COATES: You know, every time you think that they could not go lower, they do, tonight on "Laura Coates Live."

You know, I would say the U.S. Congress is acting like schoolyard bullies, but that might actually be an insult to schoolyard bullies. Yeah, in this corner, Kevin McCarthy, who apparently is still nursing a bruised ego over losing the speakership, may or may not have delivered a very sharp elbow to the kidneys of one Tim Burchett, who, surprise, voted to remove McCarthy as speaker.


REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): Got elbowed in the back and it kind of caught me off guard because it was a clean shot to the kidneys. And I turned back and there was Kevin. And for a minute, I was kind of what the heck just happened. And then I -- you know, I chased after him, of course.

KEVIN MCCARTHY, SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: If I hit somebody, they would know I hit him. If I kidney punched him, he'd be on the ground.

BURCHETT: Is he 12? Come on. I'm just not going to get him. I'm not going to swing at the low pitches. He knows what he did. He suffers the consequences.


COATES: You hear him say, if I hit someone, you know I hit him? An elbow to the kidneys. Ladies and gentlemen, your elected representatives at work this evening. And in this corner, you've got Senator Markwayne Mullin, who today challenged a witness to a fistfight during a Senate hearing. I repeat, a fistfight.

And it may not have been an idle thread. The senator is a former mixed martial arts fighter, after all, which isn't ordinarily a prerequisite for election to the Senate. But with the way things are now, I mean, who knows?


SEN. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-OK): If you want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults. We can finish it here.

SEAN O'BRIEN, LABOR UNION LEADER (voice-over): Okay. That's fine. Perfect.

MULLIN: You want to do it now?

O'BRIEN (voice-over): I'd love to do it right now.

MULLIN: Well, stand your butt up then.

O'BRIEN: You stand your butt up.

MULLIN: You don't do that in Oklahoma. You don't run your mouth unless you're going to answer a call. I mean, the last time I got in a street fight, I used to get paid to fight.


COATES: This is actually real life, by the way. And did you happen to hear about the Oversight Chairman James Comer, who today called Congressman Jared Moskowitz a smurf? That was also, by the way, on your dime during a hearing.


REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): That is bullshit. You look like a Smurf here, just going around and all this stuff.

REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL): You're doing stuff with your brother. The American people have the same questions. Why should they believe you?

COMER: You've already been proven a liar.

MOSKOWITZ: Who has proven me a liar, you?



COATES: I personally would have broken out into the la, la, la moment because I'm just saying I was a child of the 80s and remember the Smurfs quite well. But Smurfs fistfights, kidney punches, well, Mitch McConnell, remember him, he sounds like he's a little bit sick and tired of all of it.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): It's very difficult to control the behavior of everybody who's in the building.


COATES: Because, apparently, it's childcare. Apparently so. But some members of Congress seem to have forgotten how to do the jobs that we elected them to do. Instead, I guess we just have to expect more and more of the foolishness. I mean, if this were fiction, it would remind you maybe of something like this.



UNKNOWN: Well, I actually have a baby.

UNKNOWN: Hey, that's my baby to kiss.

UNKNOWN: You are not excusing me.

UNKNOWN: Excuse me, please.

UNKNOWN: Take a swing at my hair!

UNKNOWN: You little --




COATES: That's ridiculous. And yet, you heard what I said leading up to it, right? Got a lot to talk about tonight with men who know the House from the inside, former congressmen Fred Upton and Joe Walsh. All right, no one is punching babies, fellas. However, this is really absurd to think about.

FRED UPTON, FORMER MICHIGAN REPRESENTATIVE: You know, they just used to use my initials. And now, it's --


COATES: It's Fred Upton, everyone. FYI. You figure it out. It's a family show.

UPTON: Yeah. It's a family show. But it's cable. So, it's okay. It's all right. Don't have the FCC stuff. But, I mean, it's a mess. And we know both these guys. Both Joe and I know these guys. One guy you don't want to be in a fight with is Markwayne Mullin. I mean, we've seen him in the gym. But he's a kickboxer. I mean, that's not a guy you want to pick a fight with.

COATES: He told me once his name is not Mark, it's not Wayne, it's Markwayne.

UPTON: That's right.

COATES: Remember. And I was, like, you know what?

UPTON: I'm Fred, but he's Markwayne.

COATES: I mean, he took his, at one point, almost his wedding ring off, which, you know --

UPTON: Yeah, he did take it off.

COATES: -- to do something about it. This is -- and you heard Senator Bernie Sanders saying, you're a senator.

JOE WALSH, PODCAST HOST, FORMER ILLINOIS REPRESENTATIVE: Laura, none of it is issues-based. McCarthy and Burchett getting in a fight and Comer calling the congressman a Smurf. None of it is based on any issues. It's all performative. It's all to have a show like this talk about them. It's a party, Laura, that to my mind, my former party --

UPTON: We were both Republicans.

WALSH: Yeah, that kind of knows they're losing the House. They're going to lose the House. They don't stand for anything. And we're going to have a year of this, just lashing out at each other.

COATES: That's really counterintuitive, though, to think about it. On the one hand, if you want to have the moral high ground and be seen as the adult in the room and be able to go against the Democrats and say, they don't know how to govern, they don't know what they're doing, it would occur to me the last thing you would want is for people to know this is happening.

I assume it always happen, but it's happening in broad daylight. Is it -- when you look at this right now, are you seeing this happening in your tenure as well, even behind closed doors?

UPTON: No. It wasn't like this. It wasn't like this. But, you know, I'm not sure that the Kevin thing was all that strong. I mean, it was like, you know, a little jab. It wasn't a cross check in the Blackhawks --


UPTON: -- or the Capitals.

COATES: Well, he said, if I had hit someone, you'd know. By the way --

UPTON: He would have --

COATES: He would have known.

UPTON: If he had hit him, he would have known it.

COATES: Well --

UPTON: Kevin is a lot bigger than both of us together.


COATES: I want to play for a second, though, because McCarthy, obviously, denies this ever happening. He says it did not happen. Tonight, Burchett says the incident is a sad end to McCarthy's career. Listen to this.


BURCHETT: I'm just -- it's just disappointing that that's the way he's going to end his career spiraling out of control. And it's disappointing because we should be dealing with the budget and all these other things that I said that are really in a crisis stage right now. People like himself, it's all about them and their childish activities.


COATES: So, what impact on the Congress? I mean, obviously, the American people are watching this. On the one hand, if Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, you'd probably be laughing. But it's actually happening right now.

WALSH: -- laughing.

COATES: We are laughing, but should we be laughing?


WALSH: Because it's utter dysfunction. But again, Laura, Republicans signaled to us before they even took control of the House that it was going to be this way. They were going to investigate everything. They want to impeach Joe Biden, impeach every Democrat. So, they signal to us that these two years were going to be chaotic. It's not a surprise that they're now fighting with each other.

UPTON: And they can't get anything done. But -- I mean, instead of taking, like, Halloween -- I mean, they had Halloween off. I know they're complaining. We've been 10 weeks working. I don't know, weeks are like three or four days. I mean --

COATES: Welcome to the rest of the world --

UPTON: Yeah.

COATES: -- who works all the time.

UPTON: And meanwhile, they knew about this November 17th deadline for what, six, seven weeks now? And so now they're going to punt it into next year. They're probably not going to do a lot between now and next year, maybe a day or two in terms of legislative votes. They got a couple things they have to do like the national defense authorization bill. But in essence, we are not going to see what that next version is going to look like until they come back in January.

WALSH: There was almost a --

UPTON: It's going to be the same thing as it was this week.


WALSH: There was almost a fistfight on the floor when McCarthy first went through the process of becoming speaker.

UPTON: Yeah.

WALSH: I mean, so this is -- they've been on this road.

COATES: Is part of this because there is not the well-known and strongest of leaders heading the Republican Party right now in the House? There's no -- I mean, there's no --

UPTON: The margin of control is so slim and you have this rule that Kevin agreed to, McCarthy --

WALSH: Yeah.

UPTON: -- to vacate the chair with one vote. You know, I was a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus. We actually changed the rule. We forced Nancy Pelosi to accept a change which Kevin then reversed when he became speaker. So, literally, tomorrow, Burchett or somebody else --

WALSH: Yeah. UPTON: -- they could -- you know, the argument against Kevin was, oh, he worked with the Democrats to pass the CR, passed with one more vote than they did in September. Whose vote was it? Mike Johnson. He was a no vote in September. He was a yes vote this afternoon. So, is it going to be the same standard? Are they now going to have a one person say, we're going to have a vote to vacate the chair at some point, you know, whether it be this week or January?

WALSH: And Laura, the elephant in the room, whose party is this? This is Trump's party. They've learned from him. They imitate him. They emulate him. This is what he does.

COATES: Well, I guess they would say, bring it then, at that moment. Fred Upton, I'll use your full name, not your initials.


That was his phrase, everyone. And also, Joe Walsh, thank you so much.

So, do we just have to, I guess, resign ourselves this kind of behavior from our members of Congress and other elected officials? I'll talk about it next with professor of history and American studies at Yale University, Joanne Freeman. She's the author of "The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War." How's that for a cliffhanger, America? We'll be right back.

Actually, can I just talk to her now? Good. Okay, this -- I want to talk to you right now. I don't want to go to a break. I want to talk to you right now because, honestly, when I look at all that's happening right now, we're seeing everything that's happening in the world.

The name of your book gives me a little bit of pause because one thing is, you didn't just write it after this week. It wasn't like it's here right now when you see all that's going on in Congress. It's instead, anytime that it's relevant again, tells me this has happened before, which is very scary to think about.

I mean, you heard Tim Burchett, McCarthy's incident, juvenile at best, maybe more nefarious at worst. What do you think when you saw this?

JOANNE FREEMAN, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND AMERICAN STUDIES AT YALE UNIVERSITY: Well, certainly, speaking of someone who did write a book about physical violence in the U.S. Congress in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, there was a lot of physical violence at that time. So maybe part of what I was thinking today was all of this happened in one day. That in and of itself is not typical.

But I suppose really what it made me think of is, in a sense, something that I concluded from the work that I did on my book, which is what we're seeing is reflective of the state of affairs in Congress today in the Republican Party and the state of the nation.

And by that, I mean, if you think about what political parties typically can do, one of the things that they can do in one way or another is enforce discipline of some kind, party discipline, keep the members in line, keeping them from perhaps punching each other or maybe shoving them in a hallway or throwing out names in a hearing.

Another thing that political parties typically can do is they have an agenda or a mission or a policy that draws them together and unites them and enables them to work together and, again, tamps down some of the kind of behavior that we saw today.

So, part of what went through my mind as a historian is, well, we're looking at the impact of a party that is not a functional party and without all of the things that a party does, all of the control that it can enforce. We're seeing all of this sort of flying off at all sides as to uncontrolled behavior in Congress.

COATES: I mean, if only Congress had something to do with their time, they might be distracted enough to not fight one another. I mean, it's absurd to think about that being maybe a solution. And you're right, when you think about, you ought to have more things than this going on and policy disputes, certainly backstabbing, figuratively, all part of Washington, D.C., this another ballgame, but this kind of violence is not new.

I mean, you've written a book about it. In fact, there was an incident, a story, you talk about that, a more recent one involving John Boehner that a lot of people never heard about, some of the hostility involving the then freshman House member, John Boehner, with another lawmaker. Listen to this.


JOHN BOEHNER, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: That was on the floor of the House, freshman member railing against (INAUDIBLE). Next thing I know, I'm finished with my speech, I'm walking toward the back of the chamber, I'm up against the wall, and I've got this 10-inch blade. I mean, a 10-inch sharp blade right here. And this guy is screaming at me. And I looked at him and I went, shrew you.



COATES: I mean, first of all, I'm at the table for members of Congress and they're both like, we remember that, we know what happened that day. This is happening in some place. They became friends later. But this wasn't widely known until a couple of, I think, what, years ago. But what's your reaction?

FREEMAN: Well, it's a reminder, too, this is not necessarily an encouraging or comforting reminder, that there are lots of things going on in the Capitol that we don't know about.

So even I, as someone who spent 15 or 17 years writing this book and looking for congressional violence, it was at the last minute that that particular incident crossed my radar screen, and I thought, oh, wait a minute, if this is in our immediate past and I've been looking for this sort of material and didn't see it, imagine what else is sort of lurking behind the scenes. So, I suppose it is part of what we can frame. What we're looking at today is a reminder that what we're looking at is public and thus noticeable, but there's probably always some degree of something lurking behind the scenes.

I think that what you just mentioned a moment ago is an important part of what we're seeing here, which is precisely because there's so much at stake, right, because of the possibility of a shutdown, because of Gaza, because of Ukraine, because of having just gotten over the contest to appoint a speaker, because of any number of things that are really right now, even just the idea of the presidential election coming, all of those things are so fraught and so extreme that the fact that the Republicans can't pull themselves together, don't have a unified policy, don't have party discipline, makes that all the worse.

COATES: Hmm. If you could -- if these walls could talk and before Democrats get out their popcorn, there are flies on those walls as well. Joanne Freeman, thank you so much.

FREEMAN: Thanks for having me.

COATES: We've got some breaking news tonight. Israel says that its forces are carrying out a precise and targeted operation at the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip with hundreds of patients and staff who are still inside. We'll have the latest, next.



COATES: Our breaking news, Israel says its troops are right now carrying out a precise and targeted operation at the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip. A hospital, Israel says, includes a Hamas command center, an allegation denied by hospital officials and Hamas. Hundreds of staff and patients are reportedly inside that hospital, along with several thousand people who sought shelter from Israel's military offensive.

Joining me now to break down what is happening, retired general Steve Anderson. So, first of all, what is meant by this, and I'm quoting them, "targeted and precise operation?"

STEVE ANDERSON, RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S. ARMY: Well, Laura, what we're talking about here is precise operation in a compound. This is not just a hospital building, but it's a compound. You got 1,500 faculty members, staff members and patients, and there's probably thousands of people living in the areas, in these sheltered areas, in this area right here.

So, what you got to do is you got to pinpoint exactly what -- you got to pinpoint these spots and conduct precision operation. That doesn't mean indiscriminate fighting or indiscriminate firing of missiles. It means going in with boots on the ground to take out the bad guys. You physically have to go in and occupy these buildings. And in this case, tunnels, because there's many tunnels as we know underneath here. COATES: So, when you talk about having to know that precision, the ground operation leading up till right now would have prepared for this very moment special forces?

ANDERSON: That's exactly right. You want special forces. You want infantry troops. You want folks that are trained in how to do this. Now, they are using robots. They are using technology to the best of their ability.

But there's nothing that's going to replace a soldier that's down in the tunnel conducting an offensive operation to take out the bad guys. That's the only way to do this. There's just no technology that's probably going to allow you to overcome that basic fact. You have to have boots on the ground in the target area.

COATES: They're calling this a command center. They're, of course, denying that. But, I mean, is there an indication that this is a high value target area?

ANDERSON: Absolutely. If you look at the tunnel map here, Laura, you can see that the Al-Shifa Hospital is essentially in this area right here. Well, what do you see? You notice a lot of tunnels. There's a lot of tunnels all over that northern part of Gaza.

Now, what the Israelis have done, very good job, is cut the country in half. They have essentially come across here, they're moving up from the south, they're coming down from the north, they're also surrounding this area, and they've got this noose that they're applying.

But they've done a very effective job of conducting a campaign that allows them to essentially control this entire area, and they're conducting precision attacks inside that area, which I think is a very prudent move on their part. They cannot go willy-nilly into this Gaza City area.

COATES: Right.

ANDERSON: They need to do it in a controlled, methodical way. And the best way to do that is to surround the area and conduct precision attacks with boots on the ground on targeted areas like the Al-Shifa Hospital.

COATES: But what we know about these tunnels so far is that they could likely be housing hostages. How does that complicate it all?

ANDERSON: Complicates it greatly. You're spot on target. I mean, that is the big problem. I mean, otherwise, you know, you could do things like flood the tunnels, you cut off the air supply. But when you have hostages down there, that greatly complicates the whole thing. All the more reason to have soldiers that are trained in how to take out the bad guys. That's the only way you're going to have a chance of saving the hostages, by using people that are trained in this.

You're not going to be able to use probably technology, and you're not going to be able to do some kind of a mass weapon because if you take out the bad guys, you're going to attack the hostages. So, they've got to do it the only way possible, precision attacks with soldiers that are trained on how to do this in a tunnel environment.

COATES: So sinister to think about the reason to put those hostages in those tunnels in an area, like you say, where a hospital is needed. Unbelievable.


Thank you so much. General Steve Anderson, everyone. Thank you.

Could Donald Trump be in a Georgia courtroom on Election Day? How about inauguration day? Well, the DA down there, Fani Willis, speaks out on the Georgia elections subversion case and just how long it could last. We'll talk about it, next.


COATES: Well, new tonight, Fani Willis, the Fulton County D.A. prosecuting former President Donald Trump and many others in Georgia, says that the election subversion trial could play out well past next year's presidential race.


FANI WILLIS, FULTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: 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.


COATES: Well, mark your calendar as the early part of 2025 means by the time there's a verdict, whoever it is, will be president, will have been elected by then, and that includes maybe the former president, Donald Trump.

Now, if it goes past, say, inauguration day and he win the election, a lot of caveats here, he would already be in the White House. Sounds a lot different than what Willis told reporters back in August.


Remember this?


WILLIS: We do want to move this case along. And so, we will be asking for a proposed order that occurs a trial date within the next six months.


COATES: Six months. And at the time, everyone kind of scoffed at that notion because, of course, there are 18 codefendants. Four of them have already taken a plea deal, meaning do the simple math, everyone, and carry the one, that's 14 left.

Now, if the racketeering case involving rapper Young Thug that D.A. Willis is also overseeing, if that's a kind of preview of what's to come, then we have a long way to go. That rapper, along with 27 others, was indicted back in May of 2022. Get this, the jury selection lasted nine months and the case will go to trial on November 27th. That's almost 18 months after the indictment.

We will get some more perspective right now on all this from David Aaron, a former federal prosecutor. David, first of all, I am a little surprised that she's talking. She obviously knows that every single word she says is going to be completely leaned in on and taken apart. Are you surprised she spoke about this?

DAVID AARON, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I'm surprised that she's making public statements about it. I think when you look at what she's saying and you look at what's being represented to the court, I'm guessing that it's going to be very similar. So, she's probably not going beyond what's on the record in court. But it is unusual for a lead prosecutor or chief prosecutor to be making public statements like this.

COATES: And then what she's saying is not necessarily about the substance of the matter, but just about the realistic trial date and the process. And it always seemed a little unrealistic to people that it could be done in six months. Was that way for you, too?

AARON: Yeah. I mean, prosecutors will come out and they have a timeline in mind for their cases. But they're not the only ones in charge of that. And when you charge a case with complicated legal theories, a lot of different defendants, all of whom have the right to make motions, the schedule is going to shift. We've seen that in some of the other ongoing cases as well. It's not a surprise that a case like this could take this long if all of those defendants stay in the mix.

COATES: It's a big if because four have already said no. I mean you and I have tried cases. When you think about what your jury pool looks like, but also what's going to be the most persuasive argument to make to your jury, the idea of a looming election is going to be very, very persuasive and helpful to the prosecution. The idea of one in the rearview mirror, maybe not so much. Does this now hurt their case?

AARON: You know, of course, the judge is going to be instructing the jury not to think about any of that.

COATES: Okay. They're going to ignore that.

AARON: Exactly.

COATES: They're all going to be like, okay, thank you, your honor.

AARON: And, I mean, it's so hard to predict these unprecedented influences. How they are going to -- how they're going to have an impact on the jury or really what the consequence of former president becoming the president-elect? What consequence that could have on the judge's management of the trial?

COATES: I also look at this in terms of what has now leaked. I mean, we've heard -- we saw the proffer for Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis as well, two attorneys who have now pleaded guilty in this case. Fani Willis also filed an emergency motion to try to seal certain events, to have a protective order in this case. The fact that there were leaks at all, though, I mean, how does that bear in terms of the actual trial?

AARON: Well, first off, it was a surprise to me, probably a surprise to you as well, that there was no protective order in place.

COATES: Right. I thought that was odd, too.

AARON: Engaging in discovery without a protective order. But, you know, local practice is different in different places. So that was a surprise. I don't know how much of an impact this will have. I mean, there could be an argument that there's some tainting of the jury pool or some witness intimidation.

But really looking at the little clips that I was able to see, I don't know how much of that was coming in as evidence or really what the -- what the legal consequence of it being leaked is.

If someone did violate an order, a standing order of the court or some other directive, depending on where the leak was from, you know, there could be a consequence for that person.

COATES: Well, there's one order in Fulton County. There's one, of course, in D.C. involving Jack Smith. A gag order that they're trying to have an appeals court upheld -- uphold, excuse me. What do you make of the chance of that happening?

AARON: The order in D.C. being upheld?

COATES: Right.

AARON: You know, it looks to me like that is a narrow order that is designed to let this judge, you know, the judge in D.C. conduct that case the way that a case should be conducted. In any case, the defendant shouldn't be making comments, targeting participants in the case, prosecutors, court personnel, witnesses, jurors.

So, I think that really stands a good chance of being upheld, maybe modified a little bit. You know, appellate courts do that sometimes. But that seems like a very well-tailored order to just maintain an orderly proceeding, which is really the judge's responsibility to do.

COATES: I love that you're operating in the normal world still. Thank you so much.

AARON: Thank you.


COATES: Glad to see you. David Aaron, everyone. Listen, the man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband, he took the stand, testifying in his own defense. He claims that he became caught up in conspiracy theories and drew up a list that included even Tom Hanks.


The dramatic day in court is next.


COATES: Chilling testimony by an even more chilling plot. The man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband with a hammer, taking the stand today in his own defense. David DePape claiming that he hit Paul Pelosi because his larger plan was at risk.

And that plan included claims where he responded to exposed conspiracy theories online, he said, and involved targeting people on a hit list, a list including Nancy Pelosi herself, Congressman Adam Schiff, actor Tom Hanks, former Attorney General Bill Barr, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and a Michigan professor.


DePape has it all distorted after his exploration of Gamergate, a misogynistic attack platform against women critical of the gaming community.

Joining now is CNN senior national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, I mean, break this all down for us a little bit here. There's a lot of different conspiracy theories at play and what's happening now. How do you get from conspiracy theories to what this thing called Gamergate to then attacking Paul Pelosi?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yeah, so, we'll start with Gamergate about 2014, this sort of, you know, online effort to go after, attack, undermine, ridicule, all sorts of things, women who were either criticizing the gaming industry or were actually executives in the gaming industry.

So, what -- you need to think about sort of all of these weird things like Gamergate as sort of gateway ideology. So, none of them sort of stop where they are. They all become gateways to something else. And in this example, you know, Gamergate becomes a gateway to the conspiracy theories and then to the sort of right-wing effort and right-wing conspiracies that he becomes a part of, and then launching to Nancy Pelosi.

So, they seem different and all bizarre, but they really serve as gateways to each other, and there are people who will bridge those gateways. Steve Bannon has actually said Gamergate proved fertile ground for a lot of the efforts that he would then push to support Trump.

COATES: So, in terms of the people who might be more susceptible to -- because a lot of people are exposed to conspiracy theories. They're aware of conspiracy theories. He himself described himself as right of center. He listens to podcasts. A lot of people do. But then if somebody is -- how is somebody more susceptible to being able to do what he has done?

KAYYEM: Yeah, look, there's a lot of different elements for someone who would go from, okay, I'm just reading a lot of weird things or even going down the rabbit hole, and then I'm going to actually execute a plan against the second in line to the presidency.

So, what we do know in a lot of these instances is that they're looking to not double negative, but they're looking to not be lone wolves. In other words, they want that union, that cooperation, that community that the online groups give them. They sort of egg each other on. They're pushing each other towards more hate, more misogyny, more racism, more antisemitism, and then that pushes at least one of them forward.

Now, who's that one person? Well, what we know from a lot of these cases, well, they're white men, they are taken in by one theory, say, Gamergate, and then it becomes a gateway towards sort of right-wing extremism in this case or at least some form of political extremism. They are uncomfortable in their own skin, so to speak. They are looking for people to give them validation. And so, their hatred then gets taken by this online community, and then they go forward.

So, all of these -- I mean, the element of these men being so misogynistic and the hate-filled, I mean, a lot of that is, you know, obviously, their own insecurity and uncomfortableness in their own skin. So, like when you look at, for example, a lot of these guys who are on, you know, being homophobic, a lot of them end up getting arrested or being exposed for being gay.

If you look at the people who are critical of -- or worried about children being taken by Democrats, a lot of them have eventually been prosecuted for child pornography, if not child molestation. So, there's like a horrible nexus between the thing that they hate and the very thing that they are.

COATES: I mean, this is somebody who went through a lot of rabbit holes. He was somebody who believed that 9/11 was an inside job. He thinks that everything was a lie from the press. He's gone through a lot of rabbit holes.

And so, if you describe all that you've talked about, what is law enforcement to do? Are they only able to be reactive then? Because these are perhaps the needles in the haystack trying to figure out which person, a member of these communities, are going to be the ones that might perpetrate a crime. What is law enforcement to do?

KAYYEM: Yeah, a lot of it is going to be defense, especially against VIPs like Paul and Nancy Pelosi. I was surprised how sort of isolated Paul Pelosi was. I mean, obviously, if Nancy Pelosi had been there, there would have been more security. And the idea that this isn't sort of a political crime is ridiculous. He thought that Nancy Pelosi was in the house. He clearly was going -- was going after there. But, look, we know from deradicalization and we know from a lot of studies that have been done at this stage that the best community that can grab people out of this rabbit hole is their family and friends, is the community that sees this happening.


And then even in his case, that was true, that his community, the people around him, saw him getting more and more radicalized, more and more into these theories. But it's really -- we are very dependent on people coming forward or trying to get people out of these -- these rabbit holes that they begin in.

And remember that, you know, Gamergate is just one thing. It is -- it is that -- it is that -- it's like a gateway drug, right? You find them there, and then all of a sudden, you're going to lure them to sort of radical extremism, radical political extremism, which as we head towards 2024 is a disconcerting thought.

COATES: Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much. It is very scary to think about. It's not just disconcerting, I'm telling you.


COATES: Unbelievable.


COATES: Tens of thousands rally on the National Mall in support of Israel. One of the organizers for the "March for Israel" is going to join me, next.



COATES: A huge show of support in the capital, tens of thousands in a march for Israel, filling the National Mall. The goal was to offer support to Israel and call for the release of more than 200 hostages held in Gaza. Top U.S. political leaders were there to lend support.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We stand with Israel!

MIKE JOHNSON, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The survival of the state of Israel and her people unites us together, and it unites all Americans.


COATES: And a plea from the mother of a hostage.


RACHEL GOLDBERG, MOTHER OF HOSTAGE: We all have third-degree burns on our souls. Our hearts are bruised and seeping with misery. But the real souls suffering are those of the hostages. Why is the world accepting that 240 human beings from almost 30 countries have been stolen and buried alive?


COATES: In the lead up to the rally, the Department of Homeland Security designated the demonstration as a level one security threat, allowing for inter-agency support. And seemingly, the event went on without a hitch.

Joining me now, Julie Platt, the chair of Jewish Federations of North America, one of the two organizations that planned the rally. Julie, you just heard one of the mothers of a hostage. It seemed to really hit close to home, and for all of us just thinking about what's at stake here. What was your reaction to what she said?

JULIE PLATT, CHAIR, JEWISH FEDERATIONS OF NORTH AMERICA: I can barely stand it. I can barely stand to listen to her. And there were many families of hostages with us today at the rally. It's hard to imagine how they sleep, how they go through their days. There are little children who are hostages.

I have grandchildren. I can't imagine what that feels like. We actually just heard that perhaps there's one more hostage because I think one of the hostages may have given birth. So, to imagine that scenario as a hostage, I just can barely stand it.

COATES: That gives me absolute pause to even hear that, the idea of somebody -- anyone being taken in that way, and then to see a need for a rally and a march against antisemitism in the year 2023, then to have so many people turn out for marching. What did that mean to you?

PLATT: We believe that it was the largest gathering of American Jews in history. Our guess is about 290,000 Jews and allies of the Jewish community came together today. We needed to be in community. We needed to know we have each other, that we would be listened to in this fight against antisemitism and in our great desire to help to free the hostages.

It felt great to be together. It felt empowering. It felt like coming out of isolation in pain and fear, to stand strong and to stand as a community, and to voice our great desire for help.

COATES: There's a broad spectrum of views, even within the audience, in terms of what comes next. I want to listen to this moment. There was a call from -- in the rally, from Van Jones. Listen to what he had to say.


VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm a peace guy. I pray for peace. No more rockets from Gaza and no more bombs falling down on the people of Gaza. God protect the children. Let's end all the horror and all the heartbreak in the Holy Land.


Let's end all of it. let's end all of it.


COATES: Now, there was initial applause there, you hear, but then 60 seconds later, listen to this, 30 seconds later actually.


JONES: Let's take a stand here against anti-Jewish bigotry.


Let's take a stand against Muslim.


Let's take a stand here against hatred.



COATES: You're hearing a chant of no ceasefire, no ceasefire. Why do you think that was the chant following that statement?

PLATT: I believe that there is a fear of American Jews and in solidarity with Israel that until Hamas has been rooted out, there will be no freedom for Palestinians or Israelis. Hamas has got to be removed from power and removed from the stranglehold they have in the Palestinian territories and in Israel.

So, the worry about a ceasefire is it can't happen now. We can't have a ceasefire. What will happen with a ceasefire? They'll simply rearm. Something dreadful like what happened on October 7th might be enabled by a moment to regroup, rearm, re-strategize.


It can't happen now until Hamas has been removed as a threat, both to the Palestinians and to Israelis.

COATES: How do you reconcile the humanitarian crisis happening among the civilians?

PLATT: I do truly believe that it is the desire of the Israeli people and of all people of goodwill to deliver humanitarian aid. I know you have seen and read that it is very possible that those efforts are being blocked by Hamas itself. It is all of our desires to save lives of innocent civilians. We believe it is a Jewish value to hold on to life, that every, every person is made in the image of God. But terrorism cannot rule. It can't rule us. It can't rule Palestinians.

COATES: Julie, thank you so much. There's so much to say and to unpack, and we should not be here for any of these reasons. I appreciate it so much.

PLATT: Thank you so much.

COATES: Thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.