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Fed Warn Domestic Violent Extremists Pose Threat To Midterms On Same Day Pelosi's Husband Is Attacked In Home; Sources: Attacker Told Police On Scene He Was "Waiting For Nancy"; Soon: Obama Campaigns With Dems In Battleground Of Georgia; Feds Warn Domestic Violent Extremists Pose Threat To Midterms On Same Day Pelosi's Husband Is Attacked In Home; Statement: Pelosi's Husband Had Successful Surgery To Repair Skull Fracture, Serious Injuries To His Right Arm and Hands; Elon Musk Closes Twitter Deal, Fires Top Executives. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 28, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: All right, coming up this weekend on State of the Union, Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida and Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley of North Carolina. That is Sunday morning at 9:00 Eastern and then again at noon right here on CNN.

You can follow me on Twitter at JohnBerman or tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever miss an episode, you can listen wherever you get your podcasts. Coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news. Federal officials have just issued a new warning that violent extremists here in the United States are posing a heightened threat to the midterm election. This, just hours after the brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband in their San Francisco home. Sources revealing the suspect was looking for the House Speaker shouting, "Where is Nancy?" And now we're learning that Paul Pelosi called 911 during the break in and kept the line open.

Also tonight, big name Democrats are heading to the campaign trail right now. Obama, Biden, Harris stumping for candidates in critical races as many Democrats fear the momentum is with the Republicans 11 days before Election Day.

Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world, I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Let's get straight to the breaking news. Federal officials are now warning of political violence, coming hours after the very disturbing attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was hit with a hammer inside their San Francisco home by an assailant who apparently was trying to track down the Speaker herself.

Let's get straight to San Francisco right now. CNN Security Correspondent Josh Campbell is on the scene for us. Josh, we're learning new details tonight about the attack on Pelosi as we receive this new warning at the same time from federal officials. Tell us more.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. These topics very much connected. CNN has obtained this joint intelligence bulletin from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security as well as the U.S. Capitol Police warning that the perception of election fraud will likely result in heightened threats of violence. And to show you that this isn't just theoretical, we know that where I'm standing here right now in San Francisco, the House of -- the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi became a crime scene after a man came in the early morning hours allegedly conducting a politically motivated attack.


CAMPBELL (voice-over): 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi undergoing surgery today after being violently attacked with a hammer early Friday morning at the Pelosi San Francisco home. Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Special call, special call, medic 66, location --

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Police say they found Paul Pelosi fending off an attacker after responding to a request for a priority wellbeing check out the Pelosi home.

CHIEF WILLIAM SCOTT, SAN FRANCISCO POLICE: They encountered an adult male and Mr. Pelosi's husband, Paul. Our officers observed Mr. Pelosi and a suspect both holding a hammer. The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): The assailant was searching for the Speaker, according to a source briefed on the attack. He confronted Mr. Pelosi shouting, "Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?"

SCOTT: Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Two sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN the attacker hit Pelosi and attempted to tie him up after breaking into the back of the home around 2:30 a.m. A suspect, 42- year-old David Depape is now in custody. His Facebook page now taken down, had posts of memes and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol.

Not long ago, Nancy Pelosi was a target of the January 6 rioters with him hunting for and trashing her office. The motive for Friday's attack on her husband is not yet known.

SCOTT: Mr. Depape will be booked at the San Francisco County jail on the following charges, attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and several several other additional felonies.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): The Speaker's office issued a statement saying, Mr. Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery.


CAMPBELL: And Wolf, just in THE SITUATION ROOM, we now know how police were actually called here in the early morning hours. Our colleagues John Miller and Jamie Gangel reporting that Mr. Pelosi was able to dial 911. And while on the phone with police, he was speaking in code not directly saying that he was under attack but speaking in a way that allowed a dispatcher to understand that something was wrong.

They sent police here, officers arrived and were able to tackle that suspect after that attack. Again, the suspect now in custody. He faces multiple, multiple charges. Wolf?

BLITZER: All right, CNN's Josh Campbell on the scene for us, thank you very much. Don't go too far away, I want you to continue our conversation.


Also joining us, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Jonathan Wackrow and CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju. Manu, you're up on Capitol Hill right now. First of all, what are you hearing from lawmakers as we get this new bulletin in the wake of the attack? Federal officials are now warning that domestic violent extremists pose a heightened threat to the midterm elections.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, members are shocked, they're horrified and they're sadly confronting this reality. This is a reality that they have been dealing with increasingly over the last several years. You have seen the lights even just a few months ago, man was arrested outside the home of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. He had a gun.

There have been other many threats that have been leveled against members of Congress forcing them to beef up their own personal security. Just a few years ago, the Republican members of the House and Senate were practicing for a baseball game, they got -- there was a shooting that occurred with Steve Scalise. The Republican whip was badly injured at the time. We've seen everything from Gabby Giffords, the Arizona Democratic Congresswoman at the time in 2011, shot in the head, surviving that attack.

So members have been increasingly dealing with this. But they have seen this uptick in rhetoric, violent rhetoric directed against them, beefing up their personal security members of the January 6 committee. Now have their own personal security detail. And also, members are allowed to use the money that's federal dollars to enhance security at their homes. But not all members do that, including most of the members in the rank and file who are not part of the leadership do not have their own personal security, which is leading the vulnerable to these kinds of threats.

So undoubtedly, what happened here, the attack at the Pelosi home, there was no security at their home, Capitol Police, because the Speaker herself was trotting out in Washington at the time. If she were in, the detail does not extend to the family members, but it will prompt a reassessment about how exactly they deal with security on the Hill, as many members don't have any, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, good point. You know, Jonathan Wackrow, you've spent your career protecting people, you're a former secret service agent. What more needs to be done do you believe to protect political leaders and their families in the face of these heightened threats?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Wolf, listen, I think, you know, over the last two years, what we've witnessed is this rise of political violence that really represents a critical threat to our democracy. And, you know, the disturbing part of all of this to me is that with, you know, with this rise of political violence, and political rhetoric, violent political rhetoric, is the normalization of it, right?

You know, people aren't in shock anymore, when people call out your, you know, acts of violence, or even take direct action, like we've seen, not to the level that they should. All of that as a backdrop, right? We've seen all of these warnings. We've seen warnings come out earlier this year from a DHS intelligence memo that highlighted that, you know, members of Congress and their families could be targeted by domestic violent extremists.

So with all of that as a backdrop with this specific incident, I have a couple of questions. I actually want to know why the residents and the spouse of the number two person in the order of presidential succession was not protected, right? With all of these warnings that are out there, we need to apply different control measures to protect our political leaders, you know, both in the rank and file and in the leadership at all times.

BLITZER: Yes, good point.

WACKROW: We know what the warnings are, we now have to action off of them.

BLITZER: Yes, good -- very good point. You know, Josh, police say the motive of this attack is not yet known, but we're already learning of the suspects, links to various conspiracy theories. Can you walk us through how investigators are combing through evidence right now?

CAMPBELL: That's right. And this is actually a credit to the great CNN investigative team that were ahead of the -- step ahead every process of the way here. Even before police announced the name of the suspect, they were already digging into this person's background. And they found this really, truly troubling online presence where as you mentioned, he makes these Facebook posts where he's spreading conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, about the January 6 investigative committees talking about COVID vaccines.

He's also reposting videos from Mike Lindell, who, of course, is the election denying, a pillow salesman. And so it really paints a portrait of someone who potentially believe these conspiracy theories and getting to that DHS and FBI bulletin you were talking about although they say they warned of the possibility for violence, it's clear that it is already here that these words, these lies, these conspiracy theories are motivating certain people to actually act with violence.

And, you know, Wolf, I spoke just a short time ago with Congress member Karen Bass from Los Angeles. She was here in San Francisco. And she described just the fear that lawmakers are now living in knowing that there are people out there who could be ticking time bombs who are consuming all of this vitriol and then could then turn violent.

And she actually drew a direct line between the conspiracy theories in the lies of the former president and the January 6 insurrection to what happened at this residence here with the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi saying that the politicians out there, the leaders who are continuing to spread this vitriol have to understand that their actions do have consequences, and they could lead not just to violence, but potentially to death as well.


BLITZER: Yes, good point. Thanks for that. Manu, what is the Republican response to this brutal attack been so far? As you know, some Republican lawmakers and various Republican candidates out there, they're actually peddling in these conspiracy theories?

RAJU: Yes, the Republican Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell said he was horrified and disgusted about this. Some other members of the House and Senate Republicans have criticized and condemned this violence. The Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House, someone who couldn't be speaker himself into the midterms go his way through a spokesperson said that they wish Paul Pelosi speedy recovery said that he tried to reach out to the Speaker but it's not clear if they connected. Wolf?

BLITZER: Yes. So worrisome, indeed. All right, guys, thank you very, very much.

Coming up, more reaction to the attack from one of Speaker Pelosi's close allies and fellow California Congressman Ro Khanna. We'll ask him what more needs to be done to keep lawmakers and their families safe.



BLITZER: More now in the breaking news, federal officials just now issuing a new warning that violent extremists here in the United States are posing a heightened threat to the upcoming midterm elections. And it follows the horrifying attack on the 82-year-old husband of the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hospitalized tonight after being struck with a hammer by an intruder in their San Francisco home.

And joining us now, Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us. I want to begin with your reaction to this attack, this awful attack on the husband of the Speaker of the House. REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Wolf, it is absolutely despicable. I have been to Speaker Pelosi and Paul Pelosi's homes many times. They opened that home for community leaders, for philanthropy. To have someone break in and assault Paul Pelosi is just beyond the pale. It's really sickening.

BLITZER: This assailant said he was waiting for Nancy Pelosi. How chilling is that?

KHANNA: It is chilling. I mean, Wolf, one of the things I'm surprised by is that there was not Capitol Police there. I understand that the Speaker has a detail, but we really need at least for the leadership to have Capitol Police at the residences like we do for Supreme Court justices.

BLITZER: In other words, to protect family members, even if the individual who's completely supposed to be getting that kind of protection is out of town and not at that house.

KHANNA: Yes, and to protect the residences. Now, you can't do that for 535 members of Congress and Senators, but certainly for the leadership who are high profile, you can do that. And if there are some members of Congress who have threats, and unfortunately, some of my colleagues do, they need better protection.

BLITZER: Well, do you feel that you have enough protection, Congressman?

KHANNA: Well, I don't get protected. But I, fortunately, have been not subjected to the type of threats that other members have. But for some members, they have gotten a lot of threats. And I don't think we have adequate protection when members face actual threats. And I was again surprised that we don't have protection at people's residences. We're living in a very volatile time. We need to do a better job of security.

BLITZER: That's a very important point. The suspect's Facebook page had posts of various conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election and the January 6 attack over at the U.S. Capitol. I want you to watch some video from January 6. You can hear rioters chanting the Speaker's name, it's pretty chilling. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nancy! Nancy! Nancy! Nancy! Nancy!


BLITZER: It's especially chilling in light of today's attack at her home in San Francisco, where her husband was brutally assaulted. What's your reaction to that, Congressman?

KHANNA: Wolf, we have to come together as a country and turn down the temperature. I mean, it was not just the Speaker who was the subject of January 6 attacks. It was Vice President Pence. It was Republican members of Congress, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, people were talking about going through his office.

We've got to come together and say enough of this. You know, there's a scene from The Godfather, where after the Marlon Brando's son is killed, he says with the other families, let's knock this off, enough of the violence. We frankly just need a moment in Congress to say, enough with this kind of rhetoric.

BLITZER: As we say, enough is enough. We've learned that the House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy did reach out today to the Speaker and the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he is, quote, horrified and disgusted by this news. Are you satisfied with the response today from your Republican colleagues, some of whom have, as you know, and of themselves, actually traffic is some of these conspiracy theories.

KHANNA: Well, I appreciate Senator McConnell's statement. I thought it was strong. I hope Leader McCarthy will issue a strong statement. But I think we need President Trump to issue a strong statement. And I would like to see every member of Congress, every senator put out a clear, strong statement from every faction of every party.

This is a time that the country should be unified and say violence is absolutely unacceptable. Wolf, the violence today against the Speaker could be targeted against someone in another party in the next day. It's unpredictable and we all need to be opposed to it.

BLITZER: Yes, good point. All right, Congressman Ro Khanna, thanks so much for joining us.

KHANNA: Thank you, Wolf.


BLITZER: Up next, the attack on Pelosi's husband comes as top Democrats including President Biden and former President Obama are out there on the campaign trail tonight. Their reactions, that's next.


BLITZER: The White House says President Biden has spoken with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following the brutal attack on her husband in their San Francisco home. Let's go straight to CNN Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly. Phil, President Biden and Vice President Harris, they're making a rare joint appearance out there on the campaign trail tonight in Pennsylvania. But looming over all of this to be sure is the brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband. What are you learning?


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, there's no question about that. President Biden spoke with Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly after the news broke this morning by phone. As you noted, according to the White House Press Secretary, he extended his prayers and good wishes to the Speaker and her husband. The President had been informed that Paul Pelosi was expected to fully recover. He has been mostly quiet the rest of the day. He's not expected to show up in public until just a few minutes from now when he is scheduled to head to Pennsylvania, and the reality is this. Officials say the President has been kept updated throughout the day.

Wolf, as you know quite well, there's a very close relationship in a very real respect between President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi respect and relationship that's been kind of formatted over the last several decades here.

One thing we're waiting for, though, as you noted this rare joint appearance with Vice President Kamala Harris, it's something that underscores the political stakes of the moment and obviously, at one of the critical battleground states in the state of Pennsylvania, but it will also be an event happening at an annual Pennsylvania Democratic Party dinner.

Obviously, Speaker Pelosi is one of the most prominent Democrats in the country has been for decades. The expectation I'm told is that President Biden will address the attack on Paul Pelosi during that dinner. Nothing's locked in yet, but that's the expectation. The Vice President will also be speaking as well. We'll wait and see if she has something to say. But clearly, the White House is keeping a very close eye on this. The President keeping updated, Wolf.

BLITZER: Such disturbing news, indeed. Phil Mattingly at the White House for us, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, former President Obama is in Georgia, about to campaign tonight for Democrats in two critical races there. CNN National Politics Reporter Eva McKend is just outside of Atlanta for us. Eva, Georgia is the first of what several key states former President Obama will be visiting in the coming days, right?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: That is correct, Wolf. And as you can see from this line behind me, people really excited to see the former president. President Obama expected to lean on Democrats to get out and vote early. There's still about a week left to do so here in this state.

But you are correct. President Obama is in demand all across the country. He has been able to inspire and engage Democrats like few other surrogates. And so that is why Democrats facing this difficult midterm map, are leaning on him so hard.

Earlier today, we caught up with Congresswoman Nikema Williams. She is also the chair of Georgia's Democratic Party. She spoke to the sense of excitement on the ground. Take a listen.


REP. NIKEMA WILLIAMS (D), GEORGIA: Having President Obama here to not only show the significance of Georgia that we are still in this, we're still fighting. We are pushing forward towards the election day. But it's about bringing people together and exciting voters who are still looking for that inspiration.


MCKEND: Now, Georgia Republicans responding to President Obama's visit by saying where is President Joe Biden. But Obama tonight in addition to imploring Democrats to vote early, he is also expected to address the future and the health of our democracy as well. But a highly, highly anticipated appearance from the former president. Wolf?

BLITZER: Well, sure it is. All right, Eva, standby. We're going to get back to you shortly.

I also want to bring in CNN's Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein., CNN's Audie Cornish, CNN National Politics Reporter, as I said, Eva McKend, is still with us, and CNN Congressional Correspondent, Jessica Dean who's in Pennsylvania for us.

You know, let me start with you, Audie. We're standing by, as we know, to hear directly from former President Obama, who's out there on the campaign trail tonight. How do you think this attack though, on Nancy Pelosi's husband might change his message to voters?

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I don't know if it will change his message to voters. But for some context, he was, I think, a candidate who got Secret Service protection when he was still a junior senator, right? When he first announced he was running for office. So he is no stranger to threats.

Moreover, during his time in office, I think he gave speeches after something like 14 different mass shootings. He is no stranger to the idea of threat, but also to the idea of how do you speak in the aftermath of violence when people may be feeling kind of disruption and fear. And I wouldn't be surprised if he tried in some way to address it.

I think he's always had a message about sort of unifying and trying to tamp down the idea of speaking to our better natures. I think that's always been part of his brand, so to speak. And I expect to hear some of that tonight.

BLITZER: I agree with you completely. You know, Ron, we're just what, 11 days from the midterm elections here in the United States. What impact do you think this attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband will have on campaigns, both Democrats and Republicans in these final days?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf -- first of all, Wolf, I think it really underscores the reality that we don't stop and think about enough. We are a different country than we were when Donald Trump came down the escalator, you know, seven years ago. There are occasional incidents involving the left but predominantly we are seeing a steady drumbeat of threats and in some many cases actual violence from the far right over the last several years. Local school board officials, local public health officials, think of how many election officials have been resigning in recent weeks and months because of threats. Threats against elected officials, the kidnapping plot against Governor Whitmer. This is really a different country than it was in terms of having this steady backbeat of political threats almost baked in to our system at this point in a way that simply was not true through most of American history. Maybe in the period of Reconstruction in the south, but generally not. And so, you know, those kinds of concerns about the health of American democracy have been part of what has allowed Democrats to stay in the game in this midterm election, despite a broad view that Biden has mishandled the economy and in some -- among many voters' crime and immigration as well.

I don't know if it completely offsets those headwinds. The evidence is that it does not, but certainly the questions of protecting American democracy is part of the reason why Democratic voters have been mobilized to the extent they have and a difficult overall finding (ph).

BLITZER: Yes, good point, indeed. You know, Jessica, you're there, as I said, in Pennsylvania, where President Biden and Vice President Harris are scheduled to be -- to start campaigning tonight. How do you expect news of this attack will resonate there?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're just starting to see the people come in. This is a giant ballroom that I'm standing in right now. So we're going to anticipate hundreds of people, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party gathering here, and this rare joint appearance by Vice President Harris and President Biden.

And as Phil noted, we've not heard the President yet on camera talk about this attack. It's hard to imagine, we wouldn't hear him talk about that later this evening, especially in front of this large room of Democrats who have certainly will be quite concerned about how Paul Pelosi is doing and the state of his health and what this all means. So we anticipated -- it was sounds like it would be quite likely that he would touch on that.

Again, the President and Vice President here in Pennsylvania, these closing days in a critical, critical Senate race that is likely to determine the outcome of who will hold power in the Senate and they're really trying to increase turnout here in Philadelphia. If you're a Democrat that wants to win in Pennsylvania, you got to run up the score here. So they're here trying to energize the base.

But obviously, Wolf, you can't ignore a very somber tone, a very serious and sad day like this. And again, we anticipate it would be hard to imagine that they would not touch on that here and the next hour and a half when we're expecting to hear from them both.

BLITZER: I'm sure they will indeed. All right, guys, stand by everybody. We'll get back to you.

Much more coming up on the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband. And we just got a statement, we just got a statement from the Speaker's office with an update on her husband's condition. We'll share it with you right after this.


BLITZER: We've just received a statement from a spokesperson for the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her husband's condition after he underwent surgery. Let's bring back CNN' Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju, and also bring in our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. First of all, Manu, what is the statement say?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, for the first time, they acknowledged -- they confirm, the Speaker's office does that the assailant was looking for the Speaker, saying that his assailant was also acted with full force and threaten the life of Paul Pelosi. They went on to discuss his condition.

This is according to the statement from Drew Hammill, the spokesperson for the Speaker saying, "Mr. Pelosi was admitted to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. His doctors expect a full recovery."

They go on to thank law enforcement for their support for others who have shown support during this, the harrowing experience. But again, for the first time saying that this assailant who broke into the home in the middle that night, roughly 2:30 in the morning, San Francisco time was in fact looking for the Speaker who is not in San Francisco at the time, was in Washington, D.C. was able to get into the house, attacked him with a hammer, and led to a skull fracture for the 82- year-old Paul Pelosi who had surgery today. But they say successful and they expect a full recovery, Wolf.

BLITZER: Sanjay, as our viewers know, you're a neurosurgeon. So what does this statement tell you about Paul Pelosi's injuries?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this obviously could have been a very serious injury. If you think about someone using a hammer and striking someone in the head, the type of injury here that, you know, I think they were probably worried about was some sort of injury to the brain, which sounds like did not happen in this case. Even before the operation, it sounds like the doctors had told the family that they expected that Mr. Pelosi was going to recover from the operation well.

You know, when you think about these types of fractures, you know, a skull fracture, depending where in the skull, it might occur. There are places in the skull that are thicker and thinner, the type of hammer, these are all things that trauma surgeons pay attention to, but sometimes it basically involves repairing that fracture, removing part of the bone that has been fractured and making sure that it's lined up and not not going to cause a future problem.

We heard, you know, that at the time of the incident, he was -- it sounds like he was struggling with this assailant. And again, from a medical standpoint, suggested he had not lost consciousness. We know Speaker Pelosi had spoken to her husband before the operation, another good sign. [17:40:00]

And then as you pointed out, Wolf, the doctor is now saying he's expected to make a full recovery. But, you know, not to minimize the nature of this sort of injury.

BLITZER: Well, what -- if they say a full recovery, Sanjay, the doctors, but what does the recovery timeline look like for a skull fracture?

GUPTA: Yes. I think the biggest sort of point there is that this did not seem again, from what they're telling us here, to affect his brain. When you think about this type of injury to the skull, you have the scalp, you have the skull, and then underneath that you have the brain. Sometimes people can develop a blood collection on the brain or underneath some of the outer layers of the brain. That does not seem to have happened.

So for this sort of injury, typically, you know, somebody will be in the hospital for a couple of days, you know, moving around on their own, able to take care of themselves on their own. And when they're able to do that, they can go home. It's -- they may have pain, for some time, any pain medications for that. But it's usually, you know, again, based on the statement they've released, it should be a pretty, pretty fast recovery.

BLITZER: Let's hope and we wish him a speedy, speedy recovery. And I think I speak for all of our viewers here in the U.S. and indeed around the world.

You know, Manu, do we actually expect to hear directly from Speaker Pelosi today?

RAJU: It's unclear at the moment. The two statements that have come out from her office so far have come from her spokesperson. She is -- have been very busy in the last several months and weeks. She's been traveling across the country, trying to raise money for House Democratic candidates who have been trying to hang on to the majority.

Of course, the midterm elections are just a week and a half away. She's been appearing at these campaign events and the like and was back in Washington when this attack occurred at her home. But unclear when if -- when she will speak publicly about this harrowing event. But she is by with her family as they're going through this, and as Paul Pelosi is recovering from that surgery.

BLITZER: You know, Sanjay, what worries me is that he's 82 years old, Paul Pelosi. Now an skull fracture for an 82-year-old, I assume is different than a skull fracture for a 30-year-old?

GUPTA: No doubt. I mean, you know, you always got to take age into consideration with this sort of thing. The doctors have telegraphed a pretty optimistic picture here, though, Wolf. Having said that, even before the operation, they were saying he was expected to make a full recovery. So his recovery may last a little longer than others and again, I don't want to minimize this this. This is a -- it's can be a terrible injury, but it does not seem to have affected his brain, which is I think, was the big concern initially. This, I think, what their -- the statement sort of says is that the recovery should be fairly quick within the next several days.

BLITZER: Let's hope indeed. All right, thanks very much, Sanjay Gupta and Manu Raju. Appreciate it very much.

We're going to have much more on the breaking news coming up including other important news as well. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.



BLITZER: Federal officials here in Washington have just issued a warning that the perceptions of fraud in the midterm elections will likely result in increased threats of violence. This comes just hours after the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband and as we've seen violent rhetoric becomes more ubiquitous in American politics.

CNN's Kyung Lah examines these threats for a very, very timely CNN special report. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're willfully choosing to ignore the data.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise a frigging bar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am going to come after each one of you personally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will get the justice that's coming to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to be arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flee now while you can.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKERS (in unison): Shame on you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm working for the people.

LAH (voice-over): Coast to coast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People got executed for violating the Nuremberg Code and you guys are violating the Nuremberg Code too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're no longer have our consent.

LAH (voice-over): Spreading in local communities.

CARLOS ZAPATA, FORMER U.S. MARINE AND ACTIVIST: We know who your family is. We know your dog's name.

LAH (voice-over): Targeting county supervisors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time to dust off the old guillotine.

LAH (voice-over): Even educators.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're about to get a real education mother --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know your home address is on the internet, don't you? That could be a little scary.

LAH (voice-over): Frightened election officials wearing body armor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have it on on almost daily basis now.

LAH (voice-over): And arming themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a 22 automatic.

LAH (voice-over): Not knowing what danger the upcoming midterm elections might bring. A CNN special report, "Perilous Politics: America's Dangerous Divide."


BLITZER: And Kyung is joining us now live from Phoenix. Kyung, the climate that led to the Paul Pelosi attack is something that you're seeing out there on the campaign trail, right?

LAH: Yes, let's take a step back on all of this. It really stems from misinformation, disinformation, and then rhetoric fueled by transmitters. These hype -- these politicians who allow this to continue and it's also repeated in social media. So the concern on the campaign trail is that it will be then taken upon in the form of action that there will be violence whether it be at the ballot box or on the people who are the frontlines of democracy.

It is not often the famous people who have to first face off with that misinformation or that violence. The concern it is local officials. So we spend time with them, but also the people who believe that this sort of violent rhetoric should be a part of local politics. I want you to meet Carlos Zapata.


ZAPATA: When I say these things about violence and, you know, civil uprising, it's not a threat, you know. This is a warning.


LAH (on-camera): What do you mean by, it could have been violent?

ZAPATA: Because I was getting where, hey, I have guns, where are we meeting, you know? And I was like, the voice of reason, you know. I'm glad you have guns, stock up your ammo, but we're not there yet. So anybody that calls us violent or insurrectionists or, you know, outlaws we're not.

LAH (voice-over): But he did use threatening language.

ZAPATA: We also have people on the streets, we know where you live, we know who your family is, we know your dog's name.

You don't vote your way out of socialism. Once it takes root, the only way to eradicate it is to fight with arms to have a violent, violent confrontation at blood in the streets.

LAH (on-camera): Anger is OK. But this type of public anger.

ZAPATA: I don't like to live my life as an angry person, but righteous anger has a place in human society.


LAH: We spoke with Zapata in a rural northern California county, but we also went to the east coast as well as in the Midwest. These are representations of something that is now everywhere in social media, as well as in our politics. Wolf?

BLITZER: Excellent reporting. Kyung Lah, thank you very, very much.

An important note to our viewers, on Sunday, tune in to catch Kyung's CNN special report as she talks with elected officials who fear violence in their communities. "Perilous Politics: America's Dangerous Divide" begins at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Sunday.

One of the largest and most closely watched business deals of the year is complete tonight with Elon Musk now officially in charge of Twitter. CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us. Brian, there are lots of questions about what happens next now that Elon Musk is the new boss.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, Wolf. It's an exhilarating and frightening moment tonight at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. Elon Musk is now in charge, changes are afoot and the platform's content and its influence on American culture could be significantly altered.


TODD (voice-over): With a stunt where he carries an actual sink into the building. And a tweet saying, "The bird is freed," the world's richest man takes control of one of the world's most powerful social media companies. Elon Musk, the flamboyant 51-year-old CEO of Tesla and SpaceX spent about $44 billion to purchase Twitter. And for his money, he'll get to make what analysts say could be enormous changes to his new company and to the social media ecosystem.

SARA FISCHER, MEDIA REPORTER, AXIOS: The Elon Musk's Twitter takeover has caused so much upheaval in the overall social media sphere.

TODD (voice-over): Musk has said that he might change Twitter's so called content moderation policies, meaning he'd loosen them to allow more free speech. He's complained before about Twitter censoring so much content. And Musk's critics worry about what may lie ahead.

JESSICA GONZALEZ, CO-CEO, FREE PRESS: I don't think we actually want an anything goes Twitter, because we've seen that white supremacist and conspiracy theorists are willing to use the platform to spread lies and disinformation, to suppress people of color from voting and to spread hate and harassment campaigns.

TODD (voice-over): But Musk may be dialing some of that back. He recently said he doesn't want Twitter to become what he called a, quote, free for all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences. And he's just announced the formation of a new content moderation council, another major potential change that millions are watching for who will and won't be allowed on Elon Musk's Twitter, specifically, will the former president come back?

FISCHER: Elon Musk has said that when he buys the platform, he would bring Donald Trump's account back.

TODD (voice-over): In May, Musk told the Financial Times he thought Twitter should not have banned Trump after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

ELON MUSK, BUYER OF TWITTER: I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country.

TODD (voice-over): Donald Trump responded to Musk's takeover by posting a message today on his own social media platform, saying he's happy that Twitter is, quote, now in sane hands. Twitter will now be led by one of the quirkiest business Titans America's ever known.

FISCHER: Elon Musk with over 100 million followers can be somebody that can drag anyone through a Twitter fight and he's proven that he's not afraid to do it.

TODD (voice-over): Musk once tweeted a photo that's since been deleted comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. He's made misleading claims about the COVID pandemic on Twitter. Why should the average consumer care that Elon Musk will lead Twitter?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Many of its users are government officials or government accounts or politicians or business leaders. You know, that could have really important effects on how the rest of us perceive many of these topics that have so many influential people engaging on.


TODD: Donald Trump like he has before hinted today that he will not return to Twitter even if Musk lets him and will stick to his own platform Truth Social. But if Trump does that, he'll be willingly giving up a massive social media audience.


Trump had more than 88 million followers on Twitter on Truth Social. He's got about 4 million, Wolf. BLITZER: All right, we'll see what happens. Brian, thank you very, very much.

There's breaking news we're following, an update on the condition of the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, who's now out of surgery after he suffered a skull fracture in a totally a terrifying attack inside their San Francisco home.


BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says her husband is expected to make a full recovery after he was brutally attacked in their San Francisco home. Pelosi is on her way to California right now as we just learned more about the suspect who told police he was, quote, "waiting for Nancy."

Also breaking, a new federal warning that violent extremists here in the United States pose a threat to the midterm elections. I'll talk about the danger to lawmakers and their families with a key member of Congress who has experienced these kinds of threats firsthand.