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CNN Live Event/Special

Hutchinson Headlining NRA Convention Amid U.S. Shootings; Manhattan D.A. Sues GOP's Jim Jordan Over Trump Indictment Probe; Leak Of U.S. Secrets Alarms Pentagon, Rattles Allies & Foes. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 11, 2023 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The news continues. CNN PRIMETIME with Kaitlan Collins starts now.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST, CNN PRIMETIME: Definitely a story, to watch, Anderson. Thank you so much.

Tonight, there are some major developments, on all of today's biggest stories.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chilling footage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New video released, in the Louisville bank shooting, shows a massacre, unfolding, in mere minutes.

As Democrats call for action on guns?

REP. MORGAN MCGARVEY (D-KY): People over guns. Kids over guns. Public safety over guns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the Republican plan to stop these shootings? We'll ask 2024 Republican presidential candidate, Asa Hutchinson.

Plus, Bragg hits back. The Manhattan District Attorney sues to block House Republicans, from looking into his Trump investigation.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): It's amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far will the GOP go to protect Trump?

And tensions mount, China ratcheting up military pressure, on Taiwan.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this a tipping point? Fareed Zakaria will join us, on what China will do next.

Also, Windy City Winners, after a fierce competition, Democrats named Chicago, the host city, of the 2024 convention, with Republicans already launching attacks, on Chicago's high crime rate. Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, will respond.

Coming up, on CNN PRIMETIME.


COLLINS: Good evening, I'm Kaitlan Collins.

And tonight, I am joined here, by an all-star cast, of my CNN colleagues, from across the network. Abby Phillip, Fareed Zakaria, Karen Friedman Agnifilo, Sara Sidner, Anderson Cooper, and Sara Fischer, are also going to join me live, here in studio, tonight.

But we're going to start first, with that dramatic new footage that we are getting, from the mass shooting that happened at the Old National Bank, in downtown Louisville, an attack that killed five people, and injured eight.

And I want to warn you that what you're about to see is disturbing.

It's a harrowing first look, at what happened, on Monday, when police officers, arrived, on the scene, along with the first images, of the 25-year-old gunman, who was an employee, of that bank, before he was shot and killed, by law enforcement officers.

Louisville Police released about nine minutes of the footage, tonight, showing multiple angles, as brave officers responded, to these urgent 911 calls.

What you're about to see next is what happened when those officers arrived on the scene.



Stop! Stop right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back up! Back up! Back up! Back up!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God! Don't have an angle.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I've got him down. I think he's down. Yank down or (ph) drop now. Yank it down on the stairs.

He's down! Get the officer!


COLLINS: It's truly incredible, to see that footage.

And while these officers were being fired upon, you can see, they continue to move forward, to take down the shooter.

We are told that the gunman purchased that AR-15-styled rifle, a week ago, legally, from a dealership, in Louisville. And now, the debate over guns in America is front and center once again.

So, for more on this, I want to bring in Republican presidential candidate, for the 2024 race. Former Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson, joins us.

Governor, thanks so much for being here, tonight.

Clearly, there are so many important headlines, tonight. We want to start with what's happening, in Louisville.

And since you are running, to be the Republican nominee, for president, if you're elected, what are you going to do, to fix and address this issue of gun violence, since it's clearly one that's not going away?

ASA HUTCHINSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the important thing is that we focus on things that make a difference. And whenever you look at what happened, in Louisville, in a tragic circumstance, thank goodness, the officers were well-trained, they responded quickly. And we're getting better at that.

The other aspect of it is of course, the identification of someone, who might be suicidal or homicidal, and they give clear signs of that. But yet, they're not identified, and given the help that they need, or taken the steps that are necessary, to prevent them, from going out and doing harm.

And so, I think that that's something that's going to continue to look at, on the mental health side. In Arkansas, we invested in that. We invested in security for our schools. And these things make a difference. And so, we learned from each tragic circumstances.

And the key again, is, let's look at something that makes a difference. And, in this case, it was the training. But we need to look more, at the mental health side, what we're doing about this and what should we do more? And I think this is an area that we can look at it, from a bipartisan solution, and hopefully, come up with ideas that will do better.


COLLINS: Is there anything on guns that you would do differently? Because, yes, the response here was incredibly quickly. But still, even in the time that it took, this shooter was still firing, when they arrived on the scene. Several people are dead. Several more, including one of those officers, is now in the hospital.

Would you do anything around restricting guns, if you are elected president?

HUTCHINSON: No, I don't think that's the solution. And so, in America, we have our Second Amendment. If you outlawed guns today, the criminals are still going to get guns. They're going to be able to do bad things with those guns. And so, we have to be able to take other steps that are protective.

In the circumstances that we see here, we did have a bipartisan bill that Senator Cornyn worked on, from Texas. That addressed some issues that hopefully will make a difference, as a result of what happened, in Uvalde, Texas.

And so, we're going to learn. But it's not going to be, by taking away the firearms, from citizens. It's not going to be, from putting further restrictions, on those. It's going to be by looking at other solutions that will be protective.

COLLINS: One thing you've said you're open to, in the past, is raising the age, to buy a gun, like an AR-15. Given what you just said, is that still something that you would support, if it came across your desk, as president?

HUTCHINSON: Well, the challenge, of course, is always defining these issues, and defining what an AR-15 is, defining what would be legal and illegal. And, of course, in Arkansas, if you're 18, you can get a shotgun. You can go out. You can do hunting.

And so, the senators took a different approach. And they looked at it from improving the juvenile records that would go in that could be reviewed, to try to prevent someone, who is 18, from getting a weapon when they've had issues, when they were younger.

So, there has been instances of where we've come together, we've adopted solutions, and, on a bipartisan basis, and has some effect. So, I think we need to continue those conversations.

But it's not about putting more restrictions, on law-abiding citizens. That's what we have to avoid.

COLLINS: I mean, this gun was purchased legally, here.

So, I just want to be clear, though. So, your position is that you don't think raising the age, to buy an AR-15, is something that would be effective, here, and is not something that you would sign, if you are president?

HUTCHINSON: I haven't seen something yet that I think would work, and that would make a difference. I'll always look at new ideas that are fair that protect the Second Amendment, but I haven't seen that yet.

COLLINS: I can't miss - move on to abortion, which I do want to talk about with you as well, without noting that you are going to the NRA forum, on Friday. What message are you going to be bringing, when you're speaking on stage, as you were scheduled to do so, Governor?

HUTCHINSON: Well, we'll talk about the breadth of issues, not just the Second Amendment.

But we'll be talking about energy policy, in the United States. I'll be talking about pushing back against a leftist social agenda that comes out of Washington, and talking about the economy.

But in addition, of course, we'll talk about school safety, and what we've done, in Arkansas, to enhance school safety, to help our local school districts, and what steps we can take. So, it's an audience--

COLLINS: What happens, Governor--


COLLINS: What happens, Governor, when it's a bank, though? This, I mean, this didn't happen in Louisville, at a school.

HUTCHINSON: Well it happened in a bank. And the banks provide security. And they have to have security plans, just like a mall. We've had instances in malls, and they have adopted security plans. So, we continue to look, at improved security.

And obviously, it's hard, whenever you have somebody that is pure evil, or somebody, who's mentally deranged. And that's why you have to have the protective measures, in place.

But we can look at what more can we do, on that mental health side, and to make sure that those that are not qualified to get a firearm, that has prior felonies, or has mental health orders that are in place, that they can't get a firearm. And that's where I think we have to look to continue to enhance the protections for our society.

COLLINS: Yes. And there's no indication yet, from the investigation, on what we heard, from officials, in Kentucky, so far that that would have been something that would have played a focus here.

I do want to talk about what happened with that ruling, from a Texas judge, last Friday night, that would effectively rule a judgment, made by the FDA, invalid, when it came to abortion medication.

Do you think a judge, in Texas, should be able to say that something the FDA determined doesn't stand?

HUTCHINSON: Well, of course, you've got two rulings, two separate federal judges, ruling different ways on it. This will ultimately probably go to the U.S. Supreme Court.


And it's not unusual, for a judge, to review the administrative rulemaking process, to see if adequate notice, if the evidence supports it or not. So it's not unusual. It's the conclusion that is different from what another federal judge has ruled.

COLLINS: But those rulings--

HUTCHINSON: Basically though--

COLLINS: I'll just note that other ruling came down, just for everyone else, who wasn't tracking it closely, came down after this ruling, from a Texas judge.

We hear a lot, from Republicans that are pro-life, or have certain abortion - positions on abortion, that they believe it's a State's rights issue. It's something for States to decide.

So, if that is the position of Republicans, then why should a federal judge, be able to decide, what kind of medication the FDA approves?

HUTCHINSON: Well, there's two issues there.

One is simply that Roe versus Wade, whenever it was reversed, by the Supreme Court, did return it to the States. And the States, right now, are making their own public health determinations, based upon our democratic process. That continues.

The other issue is the access to this abortion pill that FDA has approved. And it's always appropriate, for a judge, to review the appropriateness of it. But you've got a conflict here. I can't tell you which judge ruled the right way. Ultimately, again, that will be resolved. But that's a different issue.

The States have control over it. But the federal judges obviously can review the appropriateness, of administrative rulings. This happens day in and day out, in our society.

COLLINS: Yes. I would note, some 37 States, I believe, do allow access, to this abortion medication. That could be affected, if this judge's ruling stands.

Governor Asa Hutchinson, thank you so much, for joining us, tonight.

HUTCHINSON: Thank you. Good to be with you.

COLLINS: And here, in studio, I am joined by our Chief Law Enforcement analyst, John Miller, as well as Sara Sidner, and Abby Phillip.

Thank you all for being here.

Abby, what do you make of what Asa Hutchinson - Asa Hutchinson is one of the few Republicans, who's actually entered the race formally, so far. And this is going to be a question that all Republican candidates are asked about.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I think that what you saw there is a Republican candidate, for president, who's really sticking largely to the party line on this. But I did think it was notable that he did not want to say whether he agreed with this judge's ruling. And that kind of tracks with what you're hearing, from Republicans, privately that, they kind of think, a lot of Republicans think that this is not going to stand up on appeal. Because the contours of the decision are, by the judge in Texas, in particular, are pretty far out there, even further than I think some of them are comfortable with.

COLLINS: Yes. It's kind of in the weeds.

Sara, what did you make of what he said on - he doesn't think that gun restrictions, further gun restrictions, are the way to go after what we saw, in Nashville, and what we saw, in Louisville.


And some of the numbers that we learned, just today? The Kaiser Family Foundation put out these numbers.

One in five Americans have personally been threatened by a gun. This is a survey just out. One in five Americans say, a family member was killed by a gun. That could also be suicide. But that is part of one of the problems.

And four in 10 Americans report that there is a household - a gun in the household, which tracks, because there are 1.1-plus guns for each and every American, if you just look at the numbers.

But here's the thing that got me. 44 percent say that the guns are stored in an unlocked location. So, there are tons of things that can be done, to try and prevent accidental shootings, to try and prevent suicides, to try and prevent mass shootings. There are things that can be done. And not doing anything is the wrong answer, every time.

COLLINS: Yes. He focused on mental health, and talking about hardening schools, which is often something, we hear, from a lot of Republicans. Not from what we're hearing, though, from the Tennessee governor, I should note, who was suggesting background checks, and certain reforms that they may try to get there.

John, what do you make of it?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, I think what we're seeing is, it's very hard for Republican candidate, the president, to take a gun control position, when you look at the history.

I stood, on the White House lawn, in 1995, for the signing of the crime bill and the assault weapons ban. And that stayed in effect for 10 years. And Republican votes did not renew it.

A year ago, tomorrow, I stood on the street, in Brooklyn, wearing an NYPD jacket, giving the press conference, about the active shooter, who shot 10 people, in the subway, letting off smoke bombs, with extended magazines, with his legally-purchased firearms. And, in the short time that, we've been talking here, in the time that, we've been together, in this job? Michigan State, Nashville, I mean, you can go through the cities.

So, we are reaching a surround-sound situation, with active shooters, on a near-daily basis, in this country, and a come-to-Jesus moment, for politicians, about, "Will we just keep going through the ritual of 'Today, we'll have the press conference. Tomorrow, we'll have the vigil. The next day, we'll have the discussion about guns, and not do anything about it.'"


PHILLIP: And we should note, I mean, as you were just pointing out, the assault weapons ban, when it was passed, mass shootings went down, in this country. And I think the idea that that sort of addressing guns, as part of the problem, won't do anything, is actually not true. Sara was putting out the numbers. The numbers bear that out.

And what's, I think, very problematic, about what you hear, from Republican politicians, is that the American people, by and large, they say they want to take a surround-sound approach, to this whole thing. Deal with the mental health, deal with the security of schools, deal with the guns.

But the Republican Party doesn't want to talk about guns, really ever, and partly because Asa Hutchinson is heading over to the NRA, and that is the position of the gun lobby.

And I think one thing we don't talk enough about is that there is a financial incentive here, in all of this. There are so many guns, in this country, it is a boom time for the gun industry. And so, they are very incentivized, to really harden the battle lines, on this issue, as a political matter, even though that's not where the majority of the American people are.

MILLER: 20 million AR-15s in America. And discussion about gun control only drives sales up.

PHILLIP: Yes. It really does.

COLLINS: We'll see if Republicans - and Democrats also point back to that bill, from last summer, but say that there's not much room left, when it comes to negotiation, on Capitol Hill, following that.

I want everyone to stand by. We're going to talk about this more ahead.

Also, we're going to follow a story, here, in New York. The District Attorney that is prosecuting former President Trump, is now suing House Republicans, one of them you will definitely recognize, accusing them of intimidation. We're going to talk about the new allegations.

Plus, the former President is making this claim, about his visit, to a New York courthouse, last week.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People that work there, they were crying. They were actually crying. They said, "I'm sorry."




COLLINS: All right, there's a new twist, in the indictment, against former President Trump, tonight, as the Manhattan District Attorney that is charging the hush money case, is now suing the House Judiciary Chairman, Jim Jordan, to stop Republicans, from interfering, in his investigation, he says.

Alvin Bragg, is now asking a judge, to block Jordan's subpoena, for a former prosecutor that was in his office, Mark Pomerantz, with Bragg claiming that Republicans are harassing and obstructing the prosecution of the former President.

Jordan has not yet responded to this, or to CNN's request for comment.

He did tweet earlier today, initially, after this, saying, "First, they indict a president for no crime. Then, they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds that they say they used to do it."

Joining our table tonight is Sara Fischer; and CNN Legal Analyst, and former Manhattan Chief Assistant District Attorney, Karen Friedman Agnifilo.


COLLINS: Which is now, I've like nailed it, since you've been like such an expert, on all of this, since last week, as you were closely watching Trump go into that courthouse with us.

Are you surprised by this lawsuit from Alvin Bragg?

FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: It was a major fight-back-hard lawsuit, in federal court.

Don't forget, Alvin Bragg is a State court prosecutor, who's prosecuting Donald Trump, criminally.

This is a federal court, in the Southern District of New York, civil case, where it's Alvin Bragg versus Jim Jordan, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and also Mark Pomerantz, because he's a necessary defendant, to be joined with this.

And it's not a civil suit, for money damages, or anything like that. It's a civil suit, for an injunction, where he's asking, for specific relief, which is basically, to stop interfering, with the criminal investigation, don't make Mark Pomerantz come testify, and stay out of a New York State criminal prosecution.

PHILLIP: I mean, you know, what's so striking to me just reading the lawsuit? Well, first of all, they cite some constitutional, the State's ability, to prosecute these cases, but also just commonsense.

And I think that that's, you know, I'm not a lawyer. So I'm going to go with the commonsense part of this, which is that you read Jim Jordan's tweet, and he says, "You're prosecuting a former President for no crime."

And I think it's right there, in plain text. Republicans have determined how they feel about this issue, and they want to stop it from happening. And I do think that that kind of crosses a line.

And, on top of that, the legislative purpose that Republicans are saying, they have, is that they want to pursue, theoretically, legislation that would force State prosecutors, whenever, they're looking into a former President or, I guess, a current president, to move those cases, into federal court, which, I don't know? Karen, you tell me.

I mean, that sounds like an overstepping, and from a sort of separation - a federalist perspective. And Republicans are supposed to believe in federalism. That seems to cross a pretty bright line, yes.

COLLINS: But Sara, do you feel like they have pretty broad oversight, when it comes to Congress?

Because what they're noting there is they asked about the federal funds, and Bragg's office has said, they spent about $5,000 worth of federal money, on the investigations, into Trump, and his company, between October 2019, August 2021. Most of it, they said, was on litigation related to his court battle, over his tax returns.

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: Well, I think, the question is, this feels very unprecedented. So you asked, do they have authority over it? I mean, this lawsuit itself is unprecedented. We've never had anything like this. And I think the outcome of what gets decided here will determine that question.

I was talking to Karen, before we walked up here.

And I said, "Karen, I focus on the media. This feels like a huge deal. Am I wrong? Is it because I've never heard or seen anything like this before, where you have a sitting member of Congress, trying to sort of maneuver his way, out of this, investigation, into the former President."

And Karen, to your point, you said, "I've never seen anything like this."

FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: Yes, I've never seen anything like this before. And D.A. Bragg, in this 50-page legal filing, that was filed today, he sets out a campaign of interference, and intimidation.

Because, as you said, Representative Jim Jordan is trying to say, yes, it's because of these $5,000 in federal funds, and that - you claim that you have oversight over that.

But really, what Alvin Braggs sets out with, including all the tweets, by the former President, as well as Jim Jordan, and others, he also included the photo of the baseball bat, near his - near Alvin Bragg's head?



FRIEDMAN AGNIFILO: He talks about the racial slurs, the dog whistles.

And also that as a result of this campaign of intimidation, by Jim Jordan, and others, and Trump that has been coordinated, that Alvin Bragg, has gotten over a 1,000 threats, since then, including white powder, in his office, really hateful racial slurs that have been directed at him, and others.

And so, he's really made, I think, an excellent case that this is an effort, to intimidate him, into not prosecuting, versus legitimate legislative oversight.

COLLINS: And what he said was part of when he got all those threats was after Trump had initially said, he was going to get arrested that Tuesday, it obviously, as we know, happened two weeks later.

Trump is weighing in on his experience, talking about this, I believe, publicly, for the first time, about what happened, he says, when he went into that courthouse, in New York, last week.


TRUMP: They were incredible.

When I went to the courthouse, which is also a prison, in a sense, they signed me in. And I'll tell you, people were crying. People that worked there, professionally work there, that have no problems, putting in murderers, and they see everybody? It's tough, tough place. And they were crying. They were actually crying.


SIDNER: Who is "They?" There were a lot of reporters there. There were a lot of people there. Who was crying, exactly?

Because these kinds of things are, said, and then, it's used, on other platforms, to sort of say like, "Look, they're in support of him. The police are in support of him. The D.A., the people around the D.A., it's just political." This is just another piece of trying to make him sympathetic, and make the D.A., the devil. And the fact that there are death threats and that they are regular?

And I don't know - you have all covered, Donald Trump. You've covered the campaign. You've covered other campaigns.

I covered extremism. I got threats. And I got threats, sometimes from a certain party that would call me up in the middle of the night, to say that "We're all going to start calling you, and you know what's going to happen next." So, those are extremely scary, when someone believes that they are just doing their job.

No matter what anybody else says, he is the D.A. He's allowed to go through with this. You follow through the process. If it was you, or you, or me, we'd have to go through it. And if there were death threats? Our butts would be in trouble.

PHILLIP: Well let's--

SIDNER: As my mother would say.

PHILLIP: Let's be honest. He was not treated like any other defendant would have been--

SIDNER: Correct.

PHILLIP: --in that particular circumstances, nor should he have been. As a former President, there are just other protocols.

But the idea that the courthouse, in Manhattan, was a prison is pretty ridiculous.

And it does remind me, I mean, Kaitlan, you'd remember this, when, in the early days of the Trump administration, he went over to the CIA, and came out of there, and said, "Everybody, at the CIA, who - loved me so much, they thought the previous administration was so politicized," and that caused a huge uproar.

It's not unlike Trump to basically make things up, about what people are saying, and how they are feeling, to make a point, about how he is the aggrieved party.

COLLINS: I will say, I was on the 15th floor. I did not see any crime. But I was pretty far back behind a barricade with the still photographers.

SIDNER: I have to say this. I have to just jump in. You talked about like it being - he's saying, "Oh, it's felt like a prison." You know what? It probably felt like a prison to him, because--


SIDNER: --he can't do what he wants to do, and say what he wants to say.

PHILLIP: And, in those moments, he was not free to go.

SIDNER: That's right.

PHILLIP: He was--

SIDNER: That's right.

COLLINS: Yes. It's a moment he's never been in. SIDNER: Yes.


COLLINS: Karen, you have been such a great voice on this, such an excellent voice. Thank you for joining us, here tonight.


COLLINS: Up next, we're going to speak, with the Illinois governor, who's going to join me, on choosing - Democrats choosing Chicago, as their convention city, talking about what Republicans are saying, pushing back, because they've been highlighted the crime rates there.

Also, Fareed Zakaria is here, as Taiwan is alarmingly telling CNN, they believe China is preparing for war.




SCIUTTO: Is Beijing, in your view, threatening Taiwan, with war?

JOSEPH WU: Yes, indeed. Look at the military exercises, and also their rhetoric.


COLLINS: A blunt response there, from Taiwan's Foreign Minister, to Jim Sciutto, sending a defiant message, to China, speaking exclusively, to Jim.

And this comes, as China's military declared, they are ready to fight, and conducted an unprecedented simulation, of what precision strikes, on Taiwan, would look like. Those involved simulating a blockade, to seal off the island, which is a concern, lawmakers and officials, in Washington, have.

Also tonight, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, is rattling Washington, after he suggested that Europe maybe should not get involved, in a U.S. confrontation, with China, over Taiwan.

Want to get more perspective now, from CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

Thank you so much, for being here.

I mean, to hear those comments, so bluntly, also coming, as there are these real concerns, and criticisms, of what the French president said, about having kind of an independent stance, from what the U.S. has held - holding, on this right now.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: Yes, the whole thing seems like the temperature, on the world's most dangerous geopolitical crisis, just got hotter, as you say, at every level, the Chinese, the Taiwanese, Europe, and the United States.

Look, I think that what is happening, right now, that interview with Jim Sciutto, is very important. And if you listen to the whole thing, what the Foreign Minister of Taiwan is saying is, "Look, it's, the stakes are getting very high, and the tensions are getting very real."

And what he worries about is not just Chinese, outright aggression. But if the Chinese keep ratcheting up? And if that provokes a certain response, either from Taiwan, or perhaps from the United States? There could be a miscalculation. There could be a kind of accident. But this is really becoming the most dangerous place in the world, this small island, 100 miles off the coast of China.

COLLINS: Especially, when there's such poor communication, with Washington, and China, on some of these issues. I mean, they've been pretty blunt about it. And then, you hear Mike McCaul, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, saying that there's a backlog, in the delivery of weapons, to Taiwan.

All of this is coming though, as the U.S. is also grappling with this massive leak of sensitive Intelligence documents that are now being found online. They reveal things not just about what they really think, about what's going on, in Ukraine, also about spying, on adversaries and allies. South Korea seems especially furious, over this.

How damaging do you think this all is?


ZAKARIA: Look, the United States - this has happened before. WikiLeaks was much worse.

The truth of the matter is the United States has the world's most formidable Intelligence capability. We use it. We use it against adversaries. We also use it to collect information, from Allied States. People know this.

It's awkward. It's embarrassing. The U.S. is going to have to do a lot of diplomatic mopping up, reassuring people. The South Koreans, for example, are very upset.

But I don't think it's ultimately the most important issue. The most important issues, if you can get the diplomacy, right, if you can stay consistent, if there's nothing in the leaks, that suggests the United States is being hypocritical, it's saying one thing publicly, and doing something else privately? So far, what I've seen, has not suggested any of that.

Look, it's embarrassing that we're listening in on our friends.

COLLINS: Yes. And we've seen this before. It happened, with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

ZAKARIA: Exactly. COLLINS: What about the "Washington Post" reporting, today, though, on what the U.S. assessment is, of territorial gains that Ukraine could actually make, and what they say publicly, about how Ukraine can do this year?

ZAKARIA: I think everyone understands that when you're supporting a country, you put the best front forward. You encourage them. You don't provide as direct a - as bare an analysis. Those of us, who have spoken to administration officials, privately, know, this is what they've been saying privately, for a while. And it's not that different.

Basically, we're in a stalemate, in Ukraine, in the sense that the Russians have failed, in all their objectives. But the Ukrainians are also having much harder time, recovering, at this point, further territory, right? So, you're at a stalemate.

The question is, at what point do both sides realize they're at a stalemate, and start negotiating? I hope that we get there fast, because Ukraine is being destroyed, in the meanwhile.


ZAKARIA: So, there is every incentive, for both sides to, at some point, begin to talk, because they will both realize that neither side is going to achieve total victory.

COLLINS: Yes. And Chairman Milley, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been pretty blunt about that, as well.

ZAKARIA: Absolutely.

COLLINS: Fareed Zakaria, lovely being on with you, this late at night. It's so strange, but I've really enjoyed.

If you, of course, can catch Fareed's show, at 10 A.M., Sunday, his monologues are great. I do, every Sunday.

Also tonight, this has been a target, for GOP attacks, a poster city of sorts, for crime, and far-left politics. Why did Democrats pick Chicago, to host their 2024 convention? Illinois Governor, who is at the forefront of that search, is here, to talk about that choice, next.



COLLINS: Big news, for Chicago, tonight, with Democrats announcing that the Windy City has beaten New York, and Atlanta, to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

The event, which is going to formally nominate the party's presidential nominee, is going to be held, next August. That's one month, after Republicans have gathered for their own convention, in Milwaukee, just north of Chicago. This decision is underscoring, just how critical both parties see winning the Midwest is going to be, to winning the presidency. For many Democrats, the City has become a bastion of party values. But Republican critics are already criticizing the decision, today, and pointing to rising crime rates there.

For more on this, I want to bring in the man, who is at the forefront, of Chicago's bid, to host the Democratic National Convention, Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker.

Good morning - or good evening, Governor, I should note. I'm usually here, in the mornings. Thank you so much for being with us tonight.

I know President Biden personally called you, to break this news. What did he tell you?

GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): Well, he was on his way to Air Force One, to get on, and head to Ireland. He let me know, and then he told me that Chicago was going to be his convention city.

And I told him how thrilled that we were, and how we're going to put on the best convention that the Democratic Party has ever had. And it will be Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' convention.

And I'm really excited not just for the City of Chicago, but for the entire Democratic Party.

COLLINS: And I know that you and so many Democrats have talked about how Chicago showcases democratic values. It's the heart of a battleground region. You talk about financial resources, as well.

But you're already seeing Republicans highlighting crime numbers, public safety issues.

And I don't have to tell you that Democrats are trying to make sure voters know that they are concerned about crime as well that they are working to address it.

How do you make sure that that doesn't become a political problem, not just for President Biden, but for Democrats as a whole?

PRITZKER: Well, the mistake that Republicans have made over and over again is to simply talk about one facet of fighting crime, which is to make sure that we have police on the streets. And we believe that too.

But you know what? That's not the only way to fight crime. You need to make sure you're addressing the underlying causes of crime. And that means addressing poverty and mental health and substance use treatment. And that's what we're doing, in Chicago, and across the State of Illinois, in order to bring crime down.

But every city has been ill-affected, by a rise in crime, after COVID- 19. And we're just beginning to bring those numbers down, as a result of the policies we've put in place.

COLLINS: Yes, and I know, Milwaukee, obviously has had its issues with this as well. You've heard leaders there talk about this.

Obviously, the assumption is that it's going to be President Biden, who was there, at that convention, next August, as the party's nominee.

The latest CNN poll, though, shows that a majority of Democratic voters, and those who lean Democratic, actually say they prefer a different candidate to run.

Obviously, the President is going to be 81, next year. Do you have any concerns about his age, or if he's running against a candidate, like a Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, who is much younger than him?

PRITZKER: Look, Joe Biden's gotten more done, as president, in just two and a half years, than most presidents get done, in eight years.

Think about the major bills that he's gotten passed, with bipartisan support, I might add, Infrastructure, the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, so many things, to bring the economy back, after COVID-19.

And don't forget, this is the President that rescued people, saved lives, as a result of the distribution of vaccines, in as quick a fashion as could be.


And then, I'd just add one thing about Joe Biden, really. His superpower is that he genuinely cares. He demonstrates empathy, to families, to workers, all across the United States. And so, that's something that we're all going to be featuring, about Joe Biden.

It doesn't matter what your age is. What matters is what you can get done, for working families, across the United States. And I'm confident that Joe Biden, as a result of his record, will win.

COLLINS: Pritzker saying he has no concerns about the President's age.

I also asked him about the new fight that is playing out, over access to abortion medication, whether or not he believes the FDA should ignore the judicial ruling that came out of Texas. You can see his answer, on "CNN THIS MORNING," tomorrow.

Of course, we talk tonight about crime in Liberal cities. We're also taking a look at Whole Foods shutting down, in San Francisco, because crime has risen so poorly, there, so bad there. Alisyn Camerota has all of that, coming up, after this.

But first, Anderson Cooper joins me, on his emotional interview that he conducted, with the Americans, who survived, a kidnapping, in Mexico. Two of their friends did not.

We'll be back in just a moment.


COLLINS: New tonight, we have an exclusive interview, with the survivors, of last month's brutal kidnapping, in Mexico.


You remember their story. Four Americans, who crossed the border, from Texas, and were targeted, by the cartel, by mistake. After a deadly shootout that happened in broad daylight, they spent four days, in captivity, before they were rescued. But only two of them survived.

CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with those survivors, Latavia Washington McGee, and Eric Williams, earlier tonight. Here's what they said, about the death of their friend, Zindell Brown.


COOPER: What about Zindell?

WASHINGTON MCGEE: Me and he was in the room together. And he was fighting for his life. And they do nothing.

COOPER: They didn't do anything to treat him?



COOPER: Was he conscious? Were you able to talk to him?

WASHINGTON MCGEE: Yes. I talked to him, the whole time.

COOPER: What do you say, in a situation like that?

WASHINGTON MCGEE: I just told him, I'm sorry, because I asked him to come with me. He's like, "It's OK. I'm your brother. I'm supposed to be there for you. I love you."

And they just tied his - one of his arms, to the bed, because one of his arms was shot. So, it was kind of dangling off. So, the arm that was good, they took it and tied to the bed. It just made me, sit down, watching.

COOPER: They tied his arm to a bed?

WASHINGTON MCGEE: With ASPEN, and a zip tie.

COOPER: And is that where he died?

WASHINGTON MCGEE: They felt after he didn't fight for so long, they was like - they was going to take him to the hospital. Then, they came back, like maybe an hour later, and was like, he was dead.

COOPER: They took him away?

WASHINGTON MCGEE: They took him out of the room. I don't know if they took him, out of the hospital, out of the clinic. They made me stay, in the room, with somebody. They made me stay in the room that he was in, and the guy was at the door watching me. COOPER: So, they tell you he's - that he's gone.

WASHINGTON MCGEE: They came back. They say, "Your second brother, gone."

COOPER: That's what they said? "Second brother, gone?"

WILLIAMS: Right, because, they came to my door and told me the same thing.


COLLINS: Anderson joins us now.

Anderson, it's difficult, to hear her even tell that story.

But we didn't really understand what had happened, in those hours that elapsed, as they were being held.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, first of all, it had previously been reported that after the ambush, when they were all put into this pickup truck, it was believed that their - two of her companions, Zindell and Shaeed, had been killed on the spot.

They in fact were still alive, we just learned, from her today. And they were - they were - their bodies were tossed into the pickup truck with them. And you heard about Zindell's death. Shaeed died sooner than that. He died that that same day, in the back of the pickup truck, in front of them.

And the story she tells of, the next several days, they're moved, from one house to another.

Eric Williams was shot, in the kneecap. He was taken to a, what he believes is, a cartel clinic, later taken to what he believes, is a cartel sort of hospital, if you can call it that. He was given - they basically tried to just sew him up. They didn't really give him any pain medication.

They thought they were going to be killed. They were constantly - they had guns put to their head. There was threats of sexual violence, to Latavia. The ordeal that they went through is harrowing. And it went on until Monday, where they were finally brought to a fourth location, a shack, where they were left. Latavia tried to escape twice, we've now learned, finally rescued by Mexican law enforcement.

The other thing that we learned, which we don't know much about, but at some point, in the midst of this, a man comes to them, in one of the cartel properties that they are being held at, along in some of the properties, they were being held, with other - with Mexicans, who had been also kidnapped, by the cartel, and were being held hostage.

A man comes, says he's an American, speaks with what they believe it was in fluent English, they believed he was American, who worked with the cartel, and claimed that he was going to try to help get them back that they'd made a mistake, and he was going to try to get them back. And that man showed up days later, to take them to this shack, where they were ultimately found.

COLLINS: Wow! Anderson, thank you.

COOPER: Thanks.

COLLINS: Also, coming up next, there is growing backlash, against an American beer giant. Did Bud Light's partnership, with a social media influencer, who is trans, backfire? We'll tell you the latest, on this controversy, next.




HOWARD STERN, RADIO HOST: I wish I could call Kid Rock and have him come on the show and just tell me, "What is it... why are you so upset about this? Like how is it hurtful?"

I'm really dumbfounded by why someone would care so much that they would blow up a can of Bud Light, and say, "F*** (bleep) Anheuser- Busch." I don't get it.


COLLINS: Howard Stern, voicing some confusion there, after Kid Rock used Bud Light, for target practice, apparently, to protest the brand's partnership, with a influencer, Dylan Mulvaney, who is trans.

Since then, other conservatives have also followed suit, promising to boycott the beer, over the inclusive new campaign, also prompting this response, from Howard Stern.


STERN: I wish I could call Kid Rock and have him come on the show and just tell me, "What is it... why are you so upset about this? Like how is it hurtful?"

I'm really dumbfounded by why someone would care so much that they would blow up--


COLLINS: Harry Enten joins our table now.

Harry, obviously, this is not something that is totally new. We've seen these kinds of culture wars, with brands before.


COLLINS: How's it affecting Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light? ENTEN: I went to Google, and I looked this up, Google Trends. And what we see is that more people are talking about Bud Light now than ever before, in the history of Google searches. So, from a marketing standpoint, I guess, all news is good news, right? So, they're certainly getting spoken about.

But the thing that's interesting to me is why would Bud Light, why would Anheuser-Busch potentially alienate at least a portion of their audience? And, I think it just comes down to how Americans view transgender Americans.

And Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch is trying to go after the youth market, right? They are the ones, who are most likely to see transgender Americans, in a positive light, compared to older Americans, who are far less likely to. And I think that just speaks to what brands generally try and do, as they try and to attract young business. And that's what they're doing here.

COLLINS: Sara, what do you make of it? I mean, they haven't really backed off of the campaign so far, despite the backlash that you've seen, from people, like Kid Rock, and others?


FISCHER: These are multibillion dollar corporations. When they make a strategic marketing move, like this, there's tons of data behind it that shows it's likely to support their business, to Harry's point.

But the other thing is calculate the risk. We've seen so many brands take risks, with their marketing campaigns. And sometimes, they step in it, think about Pepsi and Kendall Jenner. But then, sometimes, it works out to be really effective. I think the M&Ms controversy, earlier this year, the joke was on Tucker Carlson, and a bunch of other conservatives, when they came out, and sort of spun that commercial, on its head.

And so, I think if you're a brand, like Bud Light, you look at this campaign, and you say, "This is going to target positively the customers that we want to target. If we face backlash, we'll survive it." And who are we facing backlash from? Honestly, it's people who, I assume, a year or two down the road, if they're stopping at a gas station, and they're thirsty for beer, they're going to still buy the beer.

SIDNER: OK, but to be fair here, like, there are some real serious issues here.

You had a Florida legislator, this week, calling transgender people, "Mutants" and "demons."

And then, you have Kid Rock, shooting beer cans, because he's upset that they have someone, who's transgender, as a part of their marketing campaign.

What's happening is transgender people already feel targeted. They already face an outsized amount of violence. And here we are again, ginning something up. For what? For what? What is the end game here?

People exist. They should be able to exist in their bodies the way that they are. And instead, you're hearing these horrible things, about transgender people. And they are going to be targets of violence, the more this sort of thing happens. That is the fear here.

COLLINS: Yes. We'll see. I mean, the question is just, of course, about what it means, for everyone, going forward, in the community overall.

Everyone, thank you so much, Sara Fischer, Abby Phillip, Harry Enten, Sara Sidner.

Thank you, everyone, for joining us.

Alisyn Camerota is up next.

And Alisyn, I hear that you have something new that is happening, tonight, at 11. What can you tell us?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT: OK. So, it's a panel of four of our fabulous reporters. They're going to share their scoops with us, tonight. And they're going to give us tomorrow's news, tonight, because they have insight, into what's happening tomorrow.

So everybody, tune in, at 11, tonight, East Coast Time.

COLLINS: All right, can't wait to watch. Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Kaitlan, great to see you.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Alisyn Camerota.