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First On CNN, Paul Pelosi Released From The Hospital; Biden Out West, Trump In Iowa Five Days Before Midterm Election; January 6 Committee Interviews More Secret Service Witnesses; Anxiety Gripping Kherson Amid Ukrainian Offensive, Conflicting Signs Of Possible Russian Withdrawal. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired November 03, 2022 - 18:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news, CNN has learned that House Speaker Pelosi's husband, Paul, is back home in San Francisco after being release from the hospital just a short time ago. We are standing by for new information about his condition six days after he was brutally attacked, and I'll talk to a key lawmaker who is raising urgent questions tonight about security for members of Congress.

Also ahead for your tonight, dueling rallies between President Biden and former President Trump with the midterm campaign and the final five-day stretch as they work to influence key races in this election. Are they also setting the stage for a rematch in 2024?

And another first on CNN, the January 6th committee has now interviewed more Secret Service witnesses, including the head of then- Vice President Mike Pence's detail.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Pamela Brown, and you are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

And let's go straight to that breaking news. First, to report that Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker of Nancy Pelosi, has been released from a hospital six days after he suffered a fractured skull and other injuries in a politically motivated attack by a man who was targeting the House speaker.

CNN Special Correspondent Jamie Gangel is talking to her sources and broke this news. What are you hearing, Jamie?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Jamie, Pamela, we have been told that earlier today, Paul Pelosi was released from the hospital. As you said, it was just six days after that brutal attack last Friday. I think it's also important to remember what he went through. He was recovering from surgery to repair a skull fracture and also serious injuries to his right arm and hands. We are told that he returned home. We saw activity outside his home earlier today and that he is resting there now, that his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is there, as well as other members of the family. We expect more details on his condition later this evening. But, look, considering the nature of that attack, and that he was hit in the head, knocked unconscious, the extent of his injuries, I think it is very good news that the doctors felt that he was ready to go home. I can tell you, I spoke to people close to the family. He was pushing to go home, Pamela.

BROWN: Yes. And that can have a lot to do with recovery as well and getting out of the hospital sooner, if you have that will, right?

GANGEL: Absolutely.

BROWN: Remarkable, though, six days after he is out of the hospital.

Jamie, stay with us, I'm going to bring in our Senior Law Enforcement Analyst McCabe and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, starting with you now, what does it say that Mr. Pelosi has been released just less than a week after this attack and injuries to his skull, hand and arm? Just to remind our viewers, as well as the fracture to his skull, he was unresponsive for at least three minutes, woke up in a pool of blood.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, what it sounds, and I think Jamie sort of outlined this very well, is that he had a very significant injury, but, you know, they were able to take care of this, address this injury and he was able to recover. I mean, doctors are notoriously going to be conservative about letting someone go home from the hospital until they really feel like that person is ready. And that means really acting independently, able caring for themselves and not a persistent issue with the skull fracture.

We know, we have a better sense of what exactly sort of transpired, obviously, the injury that he had, this hammer to the head, injury happening early hours of Friday morning, operation that took several hours, according to Jamie Gangel, through the day, Friday, on his skull. You know, I just want to show as well, I mean, one of the things that happens when they think about a skull structure is what they're -- doctors are really trying to figure out, did it cause bleeding underneath the skull, that it caused bleeding within the brain? And it appears that it did not. Because even before he went to the operating room, doctors were saying that Mr. Pelosi was expected to make a full recovery. So, serious injury but it sounds like they were optimistic about his recovery almost from the beginning despite how serious an injury it was, and now, six days later, he is leaving the hospital.

BROWN: And we are just getting the statement in from Speaker Pelosi's office confirming what Jamie has been reporting. And the statement says the Pelosi family is thankful for the beautiful outpouring of love, support and prayers from around the world. Paul is grateful to the 911 operator, emergency responders, trauma care team, ICU staff and the entire ZSFGH medical staff for their excellent and compassionate life-saving treatment he received after the violent assault in our home. Paul remains under doctor's care as he continues to progress on a long recovery process and convalescence.


He is now home surrounded by his family who request privacy.

So, clearly, Sanjay, so much gratitude for the doctors, who they say gave life-saving medical care to him and he is going to continue to receive medical care. What might that look like, Sanjay?

GUPTA: Well, I mean, he had an operation on his head to repair the skull fracture. So, simply being able to follow that along and make sure there are no persistent problems, he likely may have sutures that will need to be removed. I don't know the nature, how significant these injuries were to his limbs, to his upper arms but those might be followed as well.

But my guess is, again, based on what we are hearing in that report that this will all be done sort of on an outpatient sort of level, monitoring for any infection or any worsening problems. But it looks good, Pamela, I mean, based on what we're hearing. And, again, how optimistic the doctors were from the start? That does not to minimize how significant the injury was. It sounds like he may have been knocked out for a few minutes and there was a lot of bleeding from the scalp. You can have a lot of bleeding from the scalp. At 82-year-old, you can drop your blood pressure drop quickly as a result of that. So, all those things were managed but that's what trauma surgeons. And it sounds like they did a good job in a sense that he is leaving the hospital six days later.

BROWN: Yes. And this really is good news, of course, for the Pelosi family, Jamie. What do you think about this statement?

GANGEL: Look, there were two words in there that caught my eye, and we have seen it a couple of times in previous statements, long recovery. And Sanjay can speak to this much better than I can. I know Paul Pelosi. He is really in good shape but he is also 82 years old. And I assume like anyone his age, when you go through a trauma like this, even if you have the best medical care, even if you're in great shape, it can be a long recovery. But, Sanjay, that is your expertise.

BROWN: Yes, he knows a thing or two about that, right? But I want to make sure --

GUPTA: There is the physical recovery and, I would say, the emotional recovery as well from that kind of assault, and all of that certainly goes into that. I am optimistic that he is leaving the hospital. But, Jamie, I think you are absolutely right, I mean, the recovery process, as they say in the statement, will continue for a long time in all sorts of different ways.

BROWN: Yes, it will. And, of course, he has to process everything he went through. There is security right outside of his home. We're seeing in the video outside of the San Francisco home, the Pelosi home there, I imagine, Andrew, that would be the case there for the foreseeable future. I mean, but the bottom line is no family should have to go through this for committing to public service and now Capitol police are considering 24/7 coverage for the homes of members of leadership. What do you think about that?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: As well they should, Pamela. This is a dangerous time for high-profile politicians and people in different government positions. We know that the Pelosis have been a target for a long time. They are no less of a target now that they've suffered one break-in and attack at their home. Their home has received enormous coverage and recognition with the media covering this event. So, I would expect to see a (INAUDIBLE) of security folks there.

It does expose the broader issue of how much protection can the Capitol police possibly provide 535 members and their families. Think they need an enormous provision (ph) of resources and personnel. Those things don't happen quickly. They also need to think about the procedures and the policies and the standards of security that they are able to provide to different members who face different sort of threat (INAUDIBLE), but they clearly have a lot of work to do. It's good to see our lawmakers are finally training some focus and attention on this.

BROWN: All right. Thanks so much to all three of you. I appreciate it.

Coming up tonight, I'm going to get reaction from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren on the breaking news of Paul Pelosi's release from the hospital days after he was brutally attacked. Stay with us.



BROWN: Well, we just got word on significant new interviews by the January 6th select committee. Let's go right to CNN Law Enforcement Correspondent Whitney Wild. Whitney, the committee is continuing to push the Secret Service for answers. Who did they question this week?

WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a real ratcheting up of this investigation, Pamela. They've interviewed three people in three days. The House January 6th committee is focused on the Secret Service. As we know, they are acutely interested in learning what they knew about the threats that day and what the movements were in vice presidential protection was at the Capitol as this attack unfolded.

So, here are the main names that they interviewed this week. They are vice -- the former head of Vice President Mike Pence's security detail, a man named Tim Giebels. His interview, again, really underscores the committee's continued interest in learning more about what the Secret Service knew about threats to then-Vice President Pence ahead of the attack at the U.S. Capitol.

They have also interviewed a man named John Gutsmiedl. He is a former high ranking Secret Service agent on the former president's detail. He served as the assistant special agent in charge for that detail, so very likely, deeply involved in the understanding the movements of that day and the security preparation for former President Trump, particularly when it comes to his movements at The Ellipse.

A big question for the committee, of course, is his movements following that, what his intention was, if he intended to go to the Capitol. So, John Gutsmield might have been able to answer questions about.

Finally, Pamela, they interviewed the spokesman for the Secret Service, a man named Anthony Guglielmi. He, of course, speaks for the Secret Service. The committee, according to a source, asked him several questions about how the Secret Service responded to Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony that occurred in July. So, what we're learning from sources there is that he faced a lot of questions about that. He was asked several questions about who was involved in that and how they came up with basically what their answer was.


So, Pamela, these are very critical interviews, the Secret Service really having to answer for a lot of outstanding questions that haven't been answered in the last two years.

Finally, Pamela, our sources tell us that it's very likely that the committee will bring up another half dozen or so Secret Service agents.

BROWN: Wow, talk about a big focus on the Secret Service. Whitney Wild, thanks so much.

And joining us now to talk a little bit more about this, a key member of the House January 6th committee, Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California. Hi, Congresswoman.

So, you just heard Whitney's report there. We have a lot to discuss. But, first, and I want to say, I know you can't get into specifics, but did these interviews with the Secret Service corroborate some of the key details on Mr. Trump's behavior on January 6th, his attempt to go to the Capitol?

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Let me say broadly that the committee more than a million documents finally from the Secret Service and it took a lot of pushing and it took a lot of work to go through those documents. And we are trying to see, what we found, and some of the public statements and some of the testimony don't square up. So, we are trying to get to the bottom of this, both to find out what happened, but also to make suggestions as to how we might have a better situation moving forward. And

I'll just give you one example. I mean, in the public hearing, it became clear that the president had an intent to go to the Capitol. It was clear that it was known that there were people with arms, with guns, not going through the magnetometers. And then the president told those people with guns to march to the Capitol. But it's not at all clear that anyone told the vice president's detail about this.

So, we have got a lot of unwind here both to find out what happened and also to make recommendations for change.

BROWN: All right, I want to move on to all the other news we have to talk about, and that, of course, is the attack on Paul Pelosi. CNN has learned he has now been released from the hospital. You have written to the Capitol police chief demanding answers on this assault. What do you see as the most concerning Capitol police shortfalls related to this attack?

LOFGREN: There is concern generally about threats to members of Congress, but I think we need to focus on line of succession. Whoever the speaker of the House is right behind the vice president in line of succession, continuity of government. And when you prepare the security that was provided to the speaker and her family will say what is ordinarily provided with the vice president and his or her family, there is no comparison.

So, it's really a continuity of government issue and there are a lot of questions that I pose to the police chief that I think need answers, both as to the protection of the speaker and her family but also, generally, the situation.

We do know -- I think it's important to focus on the protection. But if we are diverted from the cause of this, I think we are making a mistake. I mean, the violent rhetoric that is underway and the lack of condemnation of that rhetoric by the leaders of the Republican Party in Washington, I am not talking the regular voters out here, or normal people, but the leadership of that party in Washington has not condemned that rhetoric, and, therefore, they're creating an environment of permission, which is very dangerous.

BROWN: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, thanks so much for joining us.

LOFGREN: Thank you.

BROWN: Still ahead for you tonight, we're going to go live to the campaign trail where President Biden and former President Trump are both trying to make their mark on the midterm election.



BROWN: Tonight, both President Biden and former President Trump are out on the campaign trail underscoring the huge stakes in the midterm election now only five-day away. Our political team is on the ground and in our studio following Biden, Trump and the critical races on the ballot across the country.

First, let's go to Arlette Saenz with President Biden in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Arlette, the president is taking his message on the road on the day after his big speech about the threat to American democracy. ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Pamela. President Biden is speaking here trying to lay out the stakes of this election, arguing that it's one that's not a referendum but a choice between two visions that are being offered by Democrats and that being posed by Republicans.

Now, while the president's speech last night focused very much on trying to reject election deniers and also protecting democracy, the bulk of the speech here in New Mexico today has focused on the economy, touting the achievements that his administration accomplished over the course of the past two years. The White House keenly aware that economy and inflation are of top concern to voters heading into next week's midterm elections.

Now, the president is here in New Mexico, a state that he won by double digits back in 2020, to campaign for the state's governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who is facing a tough reelection fight from her Republican challenger who has made much of the race centered -- he is trying to center it on issues relating to crime.


The White House, while so much of the attention has been focused on trying to keep is centered on trying to keep control of the House and Senate, the White House is also trying to ensure that they hold on to as many Democratic seats and governor's mansions across the country, as governors will be key to implementing the president's agenda.

Now, the president will go on from here to California to campaign later tonight. He is also traveling to Illinois and Maryland in the closing stretch of the election. But perhaps the marquee event will be when President Biden links up with his former boss, President Obama, campaigning in Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, one of the few states where he has campaigned for a competitive Senate race heading into these elections. Just a short while ago, the president is saying that this is the most important election of our lifetime.

BROWN: All right. Arlette Saenz, thanks so much.

Now to former President Donald Trump, he is heading to an event in Iowa to shore up support for Republican candidates. But as CNN's Jeff Zeleny explains, Trump is thinking about his own political future and Iowa is a fitting backdrop.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): To say Donald Trump is coming back to the campaign trail would suggest he has ever gone away.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Make America great again.

ZELENY: But starting tonight, he is back in an if you way, four rallies in five days in a sprint to Election Day.

TRUMP: Hello, Iowa. ZELENY: Iowa is hardly the hottest spot on the map of 2022 battlegrounds, but the state has something even more enticing. It hopes to ring the opening bell of the next Republican presidential race.

As Republicans ride a wave of optimism in the final days of the midterm elections, the 2024 campaign is about to burst from the shadows and the former president is eager to solidify his role as the party's top leader, inching ever closer to announcing another bid for the White House.

TRUMP: In order to make our country successful, safe and glorious again, I will probably have to do it again.

ZELENY: The question is whether potential rivals would join him or step aside. A parade of Republicans with presidential ambitions have already visited Iowa this year, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas and outgoing Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Aren't you glad they live in the free state of Florida?

ZELENY: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is eyeing an Iowa trip of his own after his reelection campaign is complete, CNN has learned, further fueling an intensifying duel with the former president. While his loyal base of supporters is already lining up behind him, a Trump candidacy would test the full party's appetite for reliving the 2020 campaign and litigating a string of his legal challenges.

Suzan Stewart is an Iowa Republican who voted for Trump.

SUZAN STEWART, IOWA REPUBLICAN VOTER: There are Republicans who never supported him in the first place. There are others who have mixed feelings about him. But, by and large, I would say there's more die hard Trump supporters in any of those other categories.

ZELENY: Conversations with Republicans in other states reveal a measure of hesitation.

LINDA FRANK, PENNSYLVANI REPUBLICAN VOTER: I am perplexed because I was a Trump supporter and I don't know where I stand now.

BILL SUPRENANT, NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN VOTER: I feel like we got betrayed and especially when you attack the (INAUDIBLE), you don't attack the Capitol, that is for sure.

ZELENY: So, you would not want to see him run again?

SUPRENANT: Definitely not.

ZELENY: But many Trump loyalists do, and the former president has repeatedly signaled he is poised to launch a new campaign built around false questions about the last one. TRUMP: We may just have to do it again. Stay tuned, everybody. Stay tuned.


ZELENY (on camera): Now, it is unlikely an answer will come tonight at this rally in Iowa, but there is no doubt, the former president is inching ever closer to making a decision about running again in 2024. Yes, of course, he will be talking about Republican candidates here, particularly Senator Chuck Grassley, who is running for his eighth term here in Iowa.

But there is no doubt the location of this rally in Iowa, in the northwest corner of Iowa, deeply conservative area, is also a chance for President Trump to remind the voters here that he may be on the ballot in the future. Pamela?

BROWN: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much.

Well, more than 30 million early ballots have now been cast in the midterm election, but there are still five days left for voters to have their say and races that will decide control of the U.S. Congress.

CNN Political Director David Chalian is at the magic wall looking at the key Senate races. So, David, give us the state of play for the Senate.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. So, take a look here at the map. This is the current state of affairs, the 50/50 Senate, the states that are color red and blue are the states that are up for election this cycle. And, Pamela, I think you know by now the state's that we are most focused on.

The true toss-up states, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia. The way these five states fall will determine control of the United States Senate and we recently got some new polling in some of these states from Fox News, and these are all nail-biter races.


So, take a look here in Wisconsin, no clear leader, a margin of error race, Ron Johnson at 48 percent, Mandela Barnes at 45 percent. So, let's assume for the moment that Ron Johnson hangs on in Wisconsin, okay? Watch the tallies up top.

Take a look at the next poll we have in Pennsylvania, another margin of error race, no clear leader, John Fetterman at 45 percent, Mehmet Oz at 42 percent. So, for the purposes of this exercise, let's say John Fetterman wins Pennsylvania. That would be a pickup for Democrats.

And then the other poll that we have here from Fox News, again, no clear heard, a margin of error race, this is a true tossup, Raphael Warnock at 44 percent, Herschel Walker at 43 percent. Let's, for the purposes of this exercise, say Warnock holds on to his seat. So, now, you've got 49-49 with Nevada and Arizona outstanding.

And so watch what happens here. Republicans would need to win both of these. They would need to defeat Mark Kelly in Arizona and defeat Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada. That would be their path. But if that is the way this goes, Democrats would only need to hang on to one of those and it would be a 50/50 Senate with Vice President Harris making the tie vote and Democrats still in control.

BROWN: Man, the races are so tight in those key states. We'll have to wait and see on Election Day. Thanks so much, David.

And let's discuss all of this with more of our political team. Abby, I want to start with you to talk about these dueling campaign events from the current president and his immediate predecessor, President Biden, out west, we know, while former President Trump is in Iowa. Are midterm voters likely to be swayed by either messenger at this point?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that both of them are probably preaching to the choir at this point, but it's also in this window of time where, by and large, I think a lot of voters have made up their mind and both parties are trying to turn out their base, they're trying to get their voters to turn in their ballots, go to the polls. A lot of people, we have to remember, are voting right now. So, every single one of these events for campaigns is an opportunity to get people out the door, get ballots out the door. It's not a wait until November 8th kind of thing anymore for a lot of parts in this country.

BROWN: Yes. I mean, we're seeing record early voting in Georgia, other places.

So, Gloria, is Trump's decision to go to Iowa, show his eye, is less on next week's election and more on 2024 perhaps?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Let's just say I don't think he is really worried about Chuck Grassley at this time winning reelection. I think it's very nice for him to go out there and boost the 89-year-old, but I don't think he is worried about it. I think he is worried about Iowa.

I remember back in 2016, he lost Iowa. Do you guys all remember that?


BORGER: He lost Iowa to Ted Cruz and he accused of Cruz of cheating, of faking the election. And so that should have and been a hint of things to come. But I remember that battle royal. And so the question is whether Cruz is going to do it again and try and beat him again in Iowa. And what all of those other potential candidates that Jeff Zeleny was talking about, when they are going to get to Iowa, because if Trump declares pretty quickly, he will have been there already.

Yes, that is a good reminder about what happened when Trump lost. And we know he does not just let go of grievances very easily.

BORGER: Cruz did. BROWN: Exactly, he did. But there were reasons, obviously.

So, Charlie, what do you think?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what I think -- look I agree with what has been said, that these guys are trying to gin up the base. And Trump is self-serving by going out to Iowa. He is not there to help Grassley but to help himself.

I think it's crazy that Trump is going to Pennsylvania. Mastriano is in deep trouble. He's run a terrible campaign. He's an atrocious candidate. But Oz is surging and Oz is actually trying to win over swing voters and has been pretty successful so far, particularly in the aftermath of that catastrophic debate for John Fetterman. And so I think it's the worst thing in the world for Oz to have Trump in the commonwealth right now. He doesn't need him. He needs these swing marginal voters. So, that's a big problem.

But it may not make a difference at the end of the day. I think the die has already been cast in this election. It seems like things are moving pretty hard toward the Republicans in many of these places. Democrats are playing defense everywhere, from Rhode Island to Connecticut to Oregon and to Nevada. So, this is just about turning out the base right now. But like I said, in Pennsylvania Trump should stay away.

BROWN: Well, he is certainly not though at this point.

So, David, I want to go to you on this similar closing argument from Biden and former President Obama, delivering this passionate plea last night, urging voters to reject Trump-endorsed election deniers, including GOP nominee for Governor Kari Lake. Let's listen to the former president.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Why would you vote for somebody who you know is not telling the truth about something, I mean, on something that important?


I don't care now nicely they say it. I don't care how poised they are or how well-lit they are. I mean, you have people from her own party saying that is just not true and yet it seems as if it doesn't matter anymore. What happens when truth doesn't matter anymore?


BROWN: I am wondering, David, clearly, Obama is very passionate about this, why is he just getting involved now at this late stage of the campaign season?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that he can't be out there for a month. And you have to pick the time when you are going to be of most value. He is not out there to develop the message for the Democratic Party. He's out there to amplify the message for the Democratic Party and, as has been said earlier, to try and turn out voters.

Now, I think that message in Maricopa County, in Arizona, also has some persuasion elements for swing independent voters and some falling away Republican voters. But in the main, this is the time when you try to get your base out. And for Democrats, this is really important because the reason that incumbent parties generally lose in midterm elections is that their base isn't as motivated as the out-of-office party, which tends to come and vote its grievances.

And if Republicans seem to be showing movement here, it's because that is happening. I mean, there is an enthusiasm gap at least in the polls between Republicans and Democrats. So, Obama is out there at a time when it is crucial to try and spur Democratic turnout, Democratic enthusiasm, particularly among the base, particularly among the young, and try and get people out to vote.

BROWN: What do you think, Abby?

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, I think what is notable about seeing Obama out on the campaign trail is that there is a kind of energy at these events that we really have not seen all cycle for most of these candidates and certainly not when President Biden has been out to his events. And so it is a different dynamic for Democrats that he brings to some of these battleground races.

And the question I have though is, is he energizing people who are already energized or is he bringing out people who are thinking about sitting on the sidelines. For Democrats right now, that is the big question mark.

There are some key parts of their base, especially young black voters, young black men in particular, young Latino men in particular, who are considering sitting at only or even voting for Republicans. And I think there is a question about whether even Obama will reach those people. They may not be showing up at these events, but I think they can hope that they are hearing the resonance of this message on social media and on television and it's getting to them. I think that is for Democrats, the bigger question. It's not the people in that room, it's the people who are just considering turning the whole thing off.

BROWN: I want to quickly listen to something we heard -- go ahead, Gloria.

BORGER: No. I was just going to say, the one thing that strikes me about Barack Obama back out on the trail, is that he knows how to use humor but not in an awful, nasty, cutting way, but he knows how to use humor as a politician to say people, just think about this, think about what the qualities of a governor should be, and do it in a way that is not full of the nastiness that we are used to, the overt nastiness. He can be cutting but people can smile instead of people smirking and getting below the belt. And I think we have lost a lot of that in politics.

BROWN: Yes, sadly, we have. That is a really good point. Gloria, Abby, Charlie Crist, David Axelrod, thank you. Charlie -- did I just call you Charlie Crist? I was thinking about the governor's race in Florida, politics on my mind. Charlie Dent.

DENT: I've been called worst. Don't worry about it.

BROWN: All right, thanks so much, you all. I appreciate it.

And just ahead tonight, new movement in the Mar-a-Lago probe, a judge ordering testimony from a top Trump aide who can speak to whether the former president declassified documents before leaving the White House.



BROWN: Trump adviser Kash Patel will soon testify before a grand jury investigating the handling of classified records at Mar-a-Lago. Sources tell CNN Patel has been given immunity for any information he provides.

CNN's Sara Murray is following this. So, Sara, what are you learning about the deal to get Patel to testify?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, this is an interesting deal because Kash Patel, we know, is an agent of Trump, he was the national security and defense official during the Trump administration, and he was also one of the people who was designated to be interacting with the National Archives and the Justice Department over these Mar-a-Lago documents. So, he is interesting character in this.

But, essentially, what happened is the judge ordered him to testify before the grand jury. The date for that is not set yet, but said he can have immunity. This is important because he is someone who is clearly intimately familiar with how documents were handled around Mar-a-Lago but also someone who could have potentially had some legal risk.

Now, he has also said in conservative media interviews that he personally witnessed the former president declassifying records.


Take a listen to some of what Patel has had to say about this.


KASH PATEL, TRUMP ADVISER: In October of 2020, President Trump put out for the world to see, a sweeping declassification order and did it via social media. Every single Russia-gate, every single Hillary-gate, every one, those are his words. That is the precedent that the president of the United States is allowed to operate under. And then in December and January in the way out, I witnessed him declassify whole sets of documents.


MURRAY: Now, Pam, of course, it's one thing to say this in conservative media interviews. It's another thing to say it in front of the grand jury with prosecutors there. But this is one thing prosecutors want to know about how the documents were handled at Mar- a-Lago, and whether he did, in fact, witnessed president declassifying these large swaths of documents.

BROWN: All right. Sara Murray, thanks so much.

Coming up, we're going to go live to Ukraine for the latest from the battlefield, including fears of Russian tricks in Kherson, where a tough fight rages on.



BROWN: We are following conflicting signs of a possible Russian withdrawal from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, which Ukrainian officials say may be a military trick.

CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour is in the Ukrainian capital for us tonight.

So, Christiane, how are the Ukrainian's approaching these signs of a possible withdrawal.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, it is confusing as you say, and, of course, it would be the major, major military come back for the Ukrainians if they should win Kherson. It's the one major city that the Russians have occupied, and that's from the very beginning of the war.

But Russia, at least Moscow denies there is any mass withdrawal. Ukraine official says that they don't see any signs of a mass withdrawal. It's really on the local administrator who keeps saying that we're going to pull back to the east side of the river, that is the borderline there. And they have moved some administrative facilities. But there is no more clarity than that at this moment.

BROWN: And, also, we should note, you spoke to two U.S. senators who met with Ukrainian President Zelensky today, what did they tell you about their meeting?

AMANPOUR: Well, Pamela, it's really important because this comes as the bipartisan delegation comes before the midterms as you know they are in Washington. There is chatter coming out of the Republican Party and maybe some little quarters of the Democratic Party about how much of a, quote/unquote, blank check, should the United States be writing for Ukraine? And Americans suffering from their own economic pain and certainly Europeans as well.

And there is a tiny bit of wobbliness going on in the international community right now. So, I put that straight to the senator, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio and Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, he's the Democrat obviously, Portman is the Republicans. And I asked if the Ukrainian government could count on this full-throated U.S. support. This is what they said.


SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): This is not the time to back off. In fact, it's time for us to redouble our efforts because the Ukrainians have shown through their bravery, their courage on the battlefield, that they are making tremendous progress, have tremendous progress in the last two and a half months, it's because of that over desperation that Vladimir Putin is doing what he is doing behind us here tonight.

He can't win on the battlefield. So, instead, he's turning to attacks on the civilian population.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): But I think the overwhelming bipartisan majority of members of Congress respect that the Ukrainians have fought fiercely, have fought bravely. Americans have stood for freedom at home and abroad for decades and decades, and I find it hard to believe that we would abandon the Ukrainian people right now as they are facing in some ways the most challenging test of this war.


AMANPOUR: And what they are referring to actually, of course, is that this stage of the war has been one of deliberate attacks and sustained missile and kamikaze drones over the last couple of weeks on the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

So, they were referring to, you know, what is happening outside, that is very little in terms of light and life in terms of being able to go out.

So, the Ukrainians I have spoken to so far say their spirit has not been defeated and they will carry on this resistance, Pamela.

BROWN: They're amazing.

All right. Thanks so much, CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

We're going to have more news just ahead for you, including another gut-wrenching 911 call from a Uvalde student. Her plea for help during live gunfire while officers stood idly by, up next.



BROWN: CNN has exclusively obtained more gut-wrenching audio of Uvalde students pleading for help from 911 as the massacre at Robb Elementary School unfolds while hundreds of law enforcement officers were outside for more than an hour.

This is Miah Cerrillo. She was in the fourth grade at the time. She had been hit by shrapnel in the shoulders and head. She smeared blood on herself and played dead in the hopes the gunman would leave her alone if he came back.



DISPATCHER: I'm here, I'm here, I'm here.

CERRILLO: Okay. Is the killing in the building?

DISPATCHER: I'm sorry?

CERRILLO: Is the killer in the building?

DISPATCHER: Yes, he's still there in the building so I need you to be quiet and dod not open the door until we'll tell you to.


DISPATCHER: Everyone needs to be as quiet as possible.


CERRILLO: He's shooting.

DISPATCHER: Stay quiet. Make sure everybody stays quiet.


The officers are (INAUDIBLE)

DISPATCHER: Are there other officers there?


DISPATCHER: OK, Hold on. Hold on. Don't, don't do anything.

CERRILLO: The officers are in the building.

DISPATCHER: What was that?

CERRILLO: I think the officers are in the building.

DISPATCHER: OK, officers are in the building but do not open the door until I tell you.


DISPATCHER: Everyone needs to be as quiet as possible.



BROWN: So heart-wrenching.

Miah's parents say they want all the officers outside to hear the call from their daughter so they, quote, can understand what the hell the kids were going through.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.