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Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Walker Making Final Push On Eve Of Senate Showdown; Pence Responds To Trump's Call To Terminate Constitution; FBI Joins Investigation Of Targeted Attack On North Carolina Power Grid; Same-Sex Marriage Back In Spotlight In New Supreme Court Case; Idaho Police Investigating Whether One Of Murdered College Students Had A Stalker. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired December 05, 2022 - 18:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Max Foster, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I guess their brazing for the worst for the worst at Buckingham.

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Our coverage continues now with one Mr. Wolf Blitzer in a place I like to call THE SITUATION ROOM. I'll see you tomorrow.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, the final campaign push in Georgia on this, the eve of the runoff that will decide the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. CNN is on the ground as Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker make their closing arguments.

Also tonight former Vice President Pence just responded to former President Trump's call for, quote, termination of the U.S. Constitution. We're going to tell you which Republicans are actually speaking out and which are staying silent.

And the FBI joins the hunt for a suspect in North Carolina right now after a targeted power grid attack left thousands of people without electricity. I'll speak live with the state's governor, Roy Cooperm this hour.

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

We begin this hour with the last major election of the 2022 midterms. CNN's Jeff Zeleny is following all the action in Georgia for us with just hours to go before the pivotal Senate runoff.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): One final day of overtime in Georgia. SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): We are on the verge of victory. But I don't want us to do the victory dance before we actually get into the end zone.

ZELENY: Senator Raphael Warnock exceeding confidence but warning Democrats against being complacent on the eve of his runoff against Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

SENATE CANDIDATE HERSCHEL WALKER (R-GA): You can know you've got a champion in Herschel Walker.

ZELENY: With control of the Senate set to stay with Democratic hands, Walker implored Republicans to send them to Washington as a check on President Biden and his policies.

WALKER: Vote, vote, vote. If you hadn't vote, tell them to get out and vote.

ZELENY: It's the final big act of the 2022 midterm election, with Georgia voters once again having the last word. More than 1.8 million have already cast ballots but both sides know the outcome depends on Election Day turnout on Tuesday.

WARNOCK: If there's anything I'm worried about, is that people will think that we don't need their voice. We do. We need you to show up.

ZELENY: Walker faces steep challenges in money and math. Democrats have more than doubled GOP ad spending over the last month alone, an astonishing $55 million to $26 million in T.V. spots that have flooded the Georgia airwaves to the total cost of nearly $81 million since November 9th.

The former football great is also scrambling to overcome an extraordinary 200,000-vote shortfall of underperforming Republican Governor Kemp in November, a deficit complicating his path. Walker supporters are keeping hope alive.

Do you think more may come out to vote on Tuesday?

JOHN HAYNES, GEORGIA VOTER: I think it will be a lot of Republicans will be out and vote and I think a lot of them have already gone and voted. We voted early this time.

MARKIE HAYNES, GEORGIA VOTER: I think he's still good. He's got to pull it off.

ZELENY: It's voters like John and Markie Haynes who keep the outcome of the runoff hanging in suspense with their Republican votes among the record-setting early ballots Democrats are counting on.

WARNOCK: I think they're going to get this right. They know this race is about competence and character. And I remain hopeful that I'll be able to continue to do this work for the next six years.

ZELENY: The White House is also watching closely. A Warnock win would give Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate, not only breathing room but protection for the president and his agenda from the Republican- controlled House.


ZELENY (on camera): But President Biden has been watching this race from afar. He has not traveled here to Georgia to campaign to Senator Warnock. He did call in to an Atlanta radio station this afternoon urging voters to go to the polls tomorrow, describing it as critical. But the Warnock campaign simply did not want the president here. He's still not popular in some circles.

As for the former president, Donald Trump, Wolf, he actually recruited Herschel Walker to run for this Senate seat in the first place. He has also not campaigned here at the request of the Walker campaign but he I'm told, he will be calling into a telerally tonight trying to urge his supporters to turn out tomorrow for Herschel Walker. Wolf?

BLITZER: And we're going to hear a little bit of what the president, President Biden, said today in that radio interview in Atlanta. Stay with us, Jeff.

I also want to bring our Senior Political Correspondent Abby Phillip, the anchor of Inside Politics Sunday, and CNN Senior Political Analyst Nia-Malika Henderson.

Abby, as you know, both campaigns are acknowledging this is a turnout election. So what are they doing in these final hours right now to make sure voters actually show up tomorrow?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is really the key moment for both of the candidates.


And I think you're seeing in how Herschel Walker and how Raphael Warnock are campaigning the groups that they think that they need to mobilize.

You've seen Raphael Warnock spending a lot of time on college campuses, trying to get young voters to show up both in that early voting period and if they missed it tomorrow on Election Day. And Raphael Warnock -- Herschel Walker I'm sorry, is also now recruiting Trump. I mean, I think they tried to keep Trump from physically showing up in the state prior to now, but tonight is the moment when they're really counting on Republican voters, who are Election Day voters, to show up tomorrow. And I think that the fact that this telerally is happening shows that I think, on the Republican side, they are really pulling out all the stops, even if it means turning off some voters who might otherwise not be comfortable with Trump being a factor in this race.

BLITZER: Yes, good point. You know, Nia, more than 1.8 million Georgians have already voted, as you know, but neither campaign is letting off the gas right now, despite the fact that Democrats have already secured control of the Senate. Why is this race still considered so absolutely critical? NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Listen, if you're Democrats, this is going to mean you can have a true majority in the Senate, true majority on those committees. And for Biden, this means his executive appointments, his judicial nominees will have a much easier time sailing through the Senate. They won't have to rely so much on Joe Manchin, on somebody like Kyrsten Sinema either. They'll have a little breathing room.

If you're a Republican, it would be great to end the campaign cycle by ending the career of Senator Raphael Warnock, somebody who is in so many ways kind of a rising star among Democrats, so if they are able to end his career in the Senate, put Herschel Walker there. That would be some good news for the Republican Party that didn't fare as well as they thought they would fare in these past midterms.

It looks like in these past elections in Georgia that Democrats have gone a long way in terms of trying to turn a Georgia little less red. So, if you are a Republican, you really, I think, wanting to sending a message that Georgia is still very much a red state and they have got a good ground game there if they're able to put Herschel Walker over the finish line, we'll see what happens. We'll see who shows up tomorrow. Obviously, Democrats have banked a lot of early votes and Republicans will see if they're able to surge ahead in the last moments tomorrow.

BLITZER: We'll see what the Georgia voters, what message they send tomorrow.

Jeff, you just reported that Democrats have more than doubled Republican ad spending in Georgia over the past month. How much of a difference does that make in a runoff election like this?

ZELENY: Wolf, it certainly draws attention to the fact that there is an election. Look, this is a busy time. This is a busy season, of course. You can see the crowd gathering behind me here at this last Walker rally and they're playing a lot of holiday music, some Christmas music, really reflective of the fact that people have moved on from elections. But those T.V. ads certainly are keeping this race front and center.

And, Wolf, I can tell you, in a crush of T.V. ads that we see throughout the midterm election year, this is something different entirely. You literally cannot wait just a couple of minutes between ads to see Walker ads and Warnock ads and outside groups, $80 million in the last month alone. It's really extraordinary. But the disparity is also so key.

So, tomorrow night, we, of course, will be watching the outcome of this. And if it is a strong night for Senator Warnock, we certainly will be looking at these spending numbers.

So, Republican outside groups simply did not commit as much money, did not invest as much money into this runoff as Democrats did. They certainly promised to a month ago, but then when the control of the Senate did not hinge upon Georgia, a lot of the Republican investments and cavalry did not come to Georgia. So, certainly a big spending disparity, we'll see if that tracks the outcome tomorrow. But it's palpable here, the imbalance in ads, Wolf.

BLITZER: It certainly is. Abby, former President Trump is now wading into this race, holding a virtual telerally event later tonight for Herschel Walker. We're also hearing from President Biden who spoke to an Atlanta radio station today. Listen to this.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: It really is critical because, look, all the things that Reverend Warnock has supported are things that the people of Georgia care a great deal about.


BLITZER: But, interestingly, neither Biden nor Trump has actually traveled to Georgia to campaign in this runoff. So, what do you make of that fact that they're lending their voices now but they're avoiding actually showing up in the state?

PHILLIP: Yes. I mean, it is incredibly notable that both of these men didn't show up for this runoff because it really just signals that they are both very polarizing figures to some extent for the electorate in Georgia. This is an election-weary set of people, as Jeff has just described.


This is now their second runoff in two years. People are really tired. They're kind of sick of politics. And even though generally Democrats did better than expected in the midterm elections, President Biden's approval ratings are still in the low 40s. He is not a very popular person. And former president Trump is, I mean, even more unpopular, especially among Republican voters.

You know, Herschel Walker doesn't need to get all 200,000 voters who voted for Brian Kemp but skipped over his slot on the ballot, but he does need to get some of them, at least about 40,000 of them in order to win this thing. And so I think there's some real reticence to poke the bear here among moderate Republican voters who really do not like the politics that Trump represents and the tone that he represents as well.

MALIKA: Yes, and I guess, listen, if you are Herschel Walker, you've got Trump who's doing this sort of teletown hall rally, you hope he stays on script. And, listen, Donald Trump rarely stays on script. We've seen some of the things he has put out on social media over these last couple of days, the meetings those anti-Semites. So, he is very much I think toxic to Herschel Walker's campaign, but the voters in, say, rural areas in Georgia, they're still sort of followers of Donald Trump so we'll see what happens tonight with this telerally.

BLITZER: All right. Guys, everybody stand by.

And to our viewers, stay with CNN for live coverage of the Georgia Senate runoff, I'll be right here tomorrow, 4:00 P.M. Eastern as we kick off Election Night in America continued.

Just ahead, former Vice President Mike Pence now responding to former President Trump's call to, quote, terminate the United States Constitution to overturn the 2020 presidential election. But tonight, some other GOP leaders are still silent about that. Stay with us.



BLITZER: Tonight, former Vice President Mike Pence is speaking out on former President Trump's call to actually terminate, his word, terminate the United States Constitution to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to reinstate him to power.

That comes as the White House is ramping up pressure on the GOP to condemn Trump's almost unbelievable thought of shredding the document that enshrines the rights of every American.

CNN Congressional Correspondent Jessica Dean is joining us live from Capitol Hill right now. Jessica, more Republicans are, in fact, speaking out, but some top GOP leaders are still notably silent. What can you tell us?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They certainly are, Wolf, and we're still waiting to hear from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who said he'll be talking about this during his press conference, his regularly scheduled press conference tomorrow. So, we will hear from him tomorrow on this issue.

In terms of other Senate leadership, we did hear from Senator John Thune, he said he could not disagree more with what Trump had said. He's the number two, the Senate minority whip here.

We also heard in tweets from Senator Mike Rounds. He was pretty strong about it. He said, no one should be threatening to terminate the Constitution. Senator Lisa Murkowski saying that suggesting the termination of the Constitution is not only a betrayal of our oath of office, it's an affront to our republic.

Now, I was just down at the Senate votes, they just took a vote. My colleague and I talked to Senator Roger Marshall, who told us, he simply didn't know what we were talking about. He hadn't read the comments. I told him what those comments were and he said that he thought perhaps they have taken out of context, that we should be talking about other issues, other things, like gas prices, like the economy. He did not want to be talking about this, that's for sure. We also tried to speak to Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott. They did not answer any questions about their thoughts on president -- former President Trump's comments.

We also heard from his former Vice President, Mike Pence. Here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT (voice over): I must tell you that I think everyone that serves in public office, everyone that aspires to serve or to serve again should make it clear that we will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.


DEAN: Now, over on the House side, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has so far remained totally silent on the whole issue. We can point, Wolf, to one tweet though back in November, several weeks ago at this point. He noted that he was vowing to read the Constitution, every single word of the Constitution on the House floor when Republicans take over in the new session of Congress in January. But that is really the last thing we've heard and it was certainly before the former president made these comments.

And, Wolf, one thing to remember, Republicans both in the House and the Senate, don't want to be talking about this sort of thing. They had really had this reprieve with former President Trump's comments when he was off Twitter, and now that he's talking more, he's launched his bid for re-election, they're having to talk about it more and more.

BLITZER: They certainly are. All right, Jessica Dean, thank you very, very much.

Let's bring back CNN's Abby Phillip and Nia-Malika Henderson, along with CNN Senior Political Commentator, the former Ohio Republican governor, John Kasich.

And, Governor, you just heard Jessica lay out the response that's trickling in from members of your own party. Are you satisfied with the level of condemnation from Republicans in the wake of Trump's call to actually terminate the U.S. Constitution?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Of course not, Wolf. You know what, every time he said stuff over the last four, five, six years, we would say things that I thought were so out of bounds and somehow people would kind of like it. Remember, John McCain wasn't a hero because he got caught. I mean, I heard him say things like that and I thought people would just walk away, and they didn't.

But now I think the circus is sort of leaving town. There's probably still a few people going to the circus or want to go to the circus, but he's just really -- it's just ridiculous what you hear. And I don't know who could be advising him, but I can tell you he's -- whatever he's thinking, he's gaining here, I mean, and then, of course, that dinner he had with the racist, anti-Semite, it's one thing after another. So, I think, as I say, I think the circus is leaving town and people about have enough.

BLITZER: We shall see. Abby, just days ago, as you heard, Kevin McCarthy said Republicans would read every word of the U.S. Constitution from the House floor on the first day of the new Congress.


He clearly revered the document then. Are you surprised we haven't actually heard from him yet in the aftermath of these Trump statements?

PHILLIP: Not surprised at all. And I think that this situation with Kevin McCarthy really highlights what is going on here in the Republican Party.

Kevin McCarthy wants to be speaker of the House. He knows that that is going to be so much less likely if he makes Donald Trump mad, and so he's not going to say anything if he can help it, or if he says something sort of like what happened when Trump had dinner with Kanye West and the anti -- another anti-Semite, Nick Fuentes, he kind of -- he basically lied and claimed that Trump denounced those two men when Trump never did any such thing in an effort to try to avoid criticizing Trump in this critical moment.

This is what happens, I think, for a lot of Republicans. They don't like what he's doing but they cannot afford to alienate him. And so they try as much as they can to stay silent.

BLITZER: Nia, what do you think?

HENDERSON: No, I think that's right. Donald Trump is still the leader of the Republican Party despite sending the party to defeats in 2018, in 2020, in 2022, despite the fact that he mounted a coup on January 6th, despite the sort of social media presence that he's had at this point calling for the termination of the Constitution.

And so you've got leaders of the party who are still scared of Donald Trump because they know that roughly, you know, 30, 35 percent of the Republican Party is still with Donald Trump. Their hearts and minds are still with Donald Trump. They believe what Donald Trump says. And so if you're Kevin McCarthy, if you're Mitch McConnell even, I'm not sure if you at this point are prepared to say that you would not support Donald Trump in 2024. And, listen, every Republican leader should be asked that question, are they going to support Donald Trump in 2024.

BLITZER: Governor, give me your final word.

KASICH: Yes. These politicians, they want to inherit the Earth and they're going to lose their soul, Wolf. And, you know, it's just beyond the pale. I just -- I think his support is slipping. I've been saying it for a while. He's like the Wicked Witch of the West, when they threw the water on her, he's shrinking just like she did. I think we're beginning to see the end.

BLITZER: It's hard to believe a former president of the United States would actually call for terminating the U.S. Constitution. Guys, thank you very, very much. Governor Kasich, Abby Phillip, Nia-Malika Henderson, I appreciate it very much.

Coming up, the latest on the suspected targeted attacks on North Carolina's power grid that are forcing a state of emergency right now. Governor Roy Cooper is standing by live. We'll discuss.



BLITZER: Tonight, the FBI has joined the investigation into what's being called a targeted attack on a portion of North Carolina's power grid that's left tens of thousands of people without electricity as winter actually closes in.

CNN Law Enforcement Correspondent Whitney Wild has our report.


WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Moore County, North Carolina, will again plunge into darkness tonight two days after the sheriff says someone opened fire on two power substations a few miles apart in Carthage and West End, North Carolina.

MIKE CAMERON, ASSISTANT TOWN MANAGER AND FIRE CHIEF, SOUTHERN PINES, NORTH CAROLINA: Our medical calls have increased due to people being on oxygen or having other medical devices that require power. We've had an increase in fire alarms. We've had an increase in traffic accidents.

WILD: Police are working to find the person or people responsible for what they say was an intentional criminal act. So far, they are releasing little information, saying only the attack happened Saturday night and a gate at one of the substations was removed from its hinges.

Power went down around 7:00 P.M., the same time a drag show was set to take place in the area. Social media buzzed with rumors over the weekend that the attacks were some kind of effort to stop the drag show but police say so far they have found no evidence connecting the two.

SHERIFF RONNIE FIELDS, MOORE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: No motivation, no group has stepped up to acknowledge or accept it, the ones that have done it.

WILD: The attack is the type of incident law enforcement and homeland security officials have warned about as recently as last week. The Department of Homeland Security updated its national threat assessment bulletin November 30th, sounding the alarm about the potential for attacks on critical infrastructure.

The outages have left the community here scrambling, leaving 40,000 homes and businesses without power and forcing hospitals to run off backup generators. Officials are saying power isn't likely to be fully restored until Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've got no way to heat because we don't have a fireplace and then we don't have no gas grill or anything like that, so we're just stranded. WILD: At McNeill Oil and Propane in Aberdeen, Davis Clark says they are the only fuel provider for about 20 miles. First responders and public works employees lined up throughout the morning.

DAVIS CLARK, OWNER, MCNEILL OIL & PROPANE COMPANY: As soon as the power went out, we started getting calls. We've figured out a way to rig up a truck so that we could fuel emergency services, the police, fire, EMS, and that's where we started that. It was a long night, Saturday night, and we've been going ever since.

WILD: Clark is a third generation owner of the family business, and this is the first time they opened it up for drive-through service.

CLARK: I've never seen anything like it. Keep Moore County in your thoughts and prayers. I hope they find who did this because it's senseless.



WILD (on camera): What is so alarming, Wolf, is that the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo earlier this year, was saying that, since 2020, domestic violent extremists have called the attacks on electrical grid extremely attractive, saying that the electrical grid is an extremely attractive target. It's certainly something the Department of Homeland Security had been monitoring for some time.

Meanwhile here in Moore County, schools are closed tomorrow and a curfew will go into effect tonight, Wolf.

BLITZER: CNN's Whitney Wild on the scene for us, thank you very much.

Let's discuss what's going on with the Democratic North Carolina governor, Roy Cooper. Governor, thank you so much for joining us.

As you know, the FBI is investigating these targeted attacks. What's the latest in this investigation?

GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): Well, I've talked with federal, state and local investigators who are jointly working diligently to find who committed this atrocious act and plunged an entire community into darkness.

They are leaving no stone unturned to find out who did this and why. I think it's absolutely critical that we find that out.

In the meantime, making sure that people are safe and warm, we've committed significant resources from our state Department of Health and Human Resources, Department of Transportation, our emergency management. All of the traffic lights are out, so making sure that those intersections are policed, making sure that adult care homes and nursing homes have the resources that they need, because when you're completely without power, it causes significant problems.

And we've been there to help. I was there today. And I actually went to the substation, one of the substations that was attacked. We need to make sure we find this, but also we need to look forward to look at how we can harden our electrical grid and make sure that our power sources are protected.

BLITZER: Have you seen any indication at all that this was an act of extremism or potentially domestic terrorism?

COOPER: Well, clearly, this is an extreme act, to intentionally disable this substation. We want to find who did it. We want to find the motive. But, certainly, we need to be diligent and vigilant, knowing that our electric grid can be this vulnerable, that someone with knowledge of how to disable the electrical system can come in and actually do that in a very short amount of time. I think we're going to have to reassess our security that we have.

I know that I've already been talking with federal and state officials about how we do this, and obviously with the utility. I spoke with the CEO of Duke Energy today. I want to commend them for the work that they are doing to get the power back on. The system was significantly damaged, so they are doing very intricate and complex work to get it back on.

So, we need to look forward here and to make sure that not only is our grid more resilient but that we have more protection as well.

BLITZER: Because there were warnings, as you know, about a potential attack on the infrastructure, not just in North Carolina but around the country for that matter. Do you have any initial indication, Governor, before I let you go, of a motive here?

COOPER: We do not at this point. I talked with federal, state and local officials today and I think that they are making sure that they explore every potential here. Because I think if you talk to the people in Moore County, they want to find out who did this, they want to find out why it happened, and they want justice to be served. I want to make sure that that happens.

BLITZER: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, thanks so much for joining us. Thanks for all you're doing as well.

Just ahead, Moscow says two of its military airfields were attacked by Ukrainian drones, even as Russian missiles rained down on Ukraine by the dozens.



BLITZER: Explosions at two Russian air bases are now putting new attention on Ukraine's efforts to develop longer range combat drones. The Russian Defense Ministry says the attacks were carried out by Ukraine, even as Russian missiles rained down on the country.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Will Ripley reports from Kyiv.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In Ukraine, winter is coming. Snow is not the only thing falling from the skies. On Monday, a massive missile attack by Russia. More than 70 missiles launched. Ukraine's Air Force says more than 60 intercepted, forcing thousands in Kyiv to seek shelter underground.

DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: And the goal of this attack is to bring total destruction to our energy system.

RIPLEY: Crews are racing to restore power but they're running out of Soviet-era replacement parts, adding urgency to Ukraine's request for more advanced missile defense, like the U.S.-made Patriot, and more generators, the latest attack plunging entire cities into darkness.

At this fast food place, braving below zero temperatures at the outdoor grill keeps the doors open when the lights are off.


Some customers said they only want to come when there's no power because the food tastes so much better. We're just Ukrainians, she says. That's our secret ingredient. Another secret for surviving dark times, candles, a good cry, and prayer.

When you come here, what do you pray for?

We pray for peace, for the war to be over, she says, describing the hardship of life without electricity. But then I come here and remember how much time we spent hiding in basements, hiding from Russian soldiers who occupied and terrorized their town, Bucha, the site of what Ukraine calls unspeakable war crimes.

If you didn't know what happened here, this could be any church in any quiet Kyiv suburb until you look closer and notice the bullet holes, and this cross marking a mass grave for more than 100 men, women and two children.

Like five of Vira Goychuk's neighbors.

What it is --


RIPLEY: A cluster bomb?

GOYCHUK: A cluster bomb.

RIPLEY: Bullet holes in her children's bedroom windows. After living through the hell of the Russian occupation, she can handle living without power.

GOYCHUK: What is real problem is or is not electricity. We don't have any connection. So, I have kids, and if something wrong, I cannot even call to the hospital and call emergency.

RIPLEY: She tells me when the power goes out, she loses cell phone service and internet. But then --

GOYCHUK: Oh my God, it's a miracle.

RIPLEY: Is that the lights coming on now?


RIPLEY: The first place she goes, the kitchen.

Coffee, that's your number one priority?

GOYCHUK: Yes, it's my number one.

RIPLEY: She's grateful for the little things in life.

GOYCHUK: It's a moment of happiness.

RIPLEY: Grateful just to be alive.

GOYCHUK: That's it.


RIPLEY (on camera): Tonight, there are new indications Ukraine may be developing technology that would allow them to strike farther into Russia than before, to strike back after these missile strikes.

The Russian Defense Ministry says that Ukraine used combat drones to attack two Russian military airfields on Monday, one of them a strategic bomber base, Wolf, just 500 miles from Moscow. These were apparently Soviet-style drones with jet engines giving them a longer range.

And while Ukraine is not claiming responsibility for these attacks that caused massive explosions that killed at least three people, the Russian Defense Ministry says they do believe these are Ukrainian- made, perhaps a not-so-subtle signal to Moscow that Ukraine is working to strike farther than just the frontlines here in Ukraine.

BLITZER: CNN's Will Ripley reporting for us from Kyiv. Will, thank you very, very much. Stay safe over there.

Let's get some more right now. Joining us, the former NATO supreme allied commander, CNN Military Analyst, Retired General Wesley Clark. General Clark, thanks for joining us.

If Ukraine was indeed behind these strikes on these Russian airbases inside Russia, of course, what does it say that they struck so deep inside Russian territory?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it says Ukraine is developing its own technologies to do what the United States really doesn't want it to do, which is to strike Russia. And, Wolf, you have to understand these people don't want to give Russia a sanctuary from which they can be bombed and their country destroyed. So, yes, it's a natural thing, they're going to do this. This is a high-tech industrialized country. It has its own defense industry and it can produce weapons like this. So, the cure on this is get them the military assistance they need to push Russia out as rapidly as possible.

BLITZER: Do you believe Ukrainian strikes within Russian territory actually make western allies, and you're the former NATO supreme allied commander, make western allies nervous?

CLARK: Oh, sure. Of course, they're nervous. I mean, the western allies and the United States just want this to be over. And if it can't be over, they want it contained. And President Macron and President Biden agree that the condition for ending it is Russia has to leave.

And so the ideal way to do it is for Ukrainian forces to attack on the ground with air support, artillery support, and force Russia entirely out of Ukraine, including Crimea. But war seldom unfolds like that.

BLITZER: General Wesley Clark, as usual, thanks very much for joining us.

Coming up, same-sex marriage back in the spotlight in a new U.S. Supreme Court case. We'll be right back.



BLITZER: Same-sex marriage is back in the spotlight in a new U.S. Supreme Court case. The justices hearing arguments for and against a web designer who is refusing to work with same-sex couples.

CNN's senior justice correspondent Jessica Schneider has details.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Supreme Court now poised to decide whether certain businesses can refuse to work with same-sex couples on the basis of free speech.

ERIC OLSEN: Granting such a license to discriminate would empower all businesses that offer what they believe to be expressive services, from architects to photographers to consultants, to refuse service to customers because of their disability, sexual orientation, religion, or race.

SCHNEIDER: Colorado web designer, Lorie Smith, who openly declares she's selective and websites she'll design, brought the case. She's asking the Supreme Court to rule she does not have to comply with a state law that prohibits businesses from discriminating against same sex couples.


LORIE SMITH, REFUSED TO DO BUSINESS WITH SAME SEX COUPLES: The state of Colorado is forcing me to create custom unique artwork expression, communicating and celebrating a different view of marriage. A view of marriage that goes against my deeply held beliefs.

SCHNEIDER: But the liberal leaning justices expressed concern that if creators can choose their customers, discrimination could run rampant. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson asking whether a mall photographer could say only white kids can sit on Santa's lap or Justice Sonia Sotomayor asking about interracial or physically disabled couples being turned away.

JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR: So I doesn't really, there's no line on race. There is no line on disability, ethnicity, none of the protected categories, in a public accommodation law.

KRISTINE WAGGONER: The First Amendment is broad enough to cover the lesbian website designer and the Catholic calligrapher. The line is that no one on any side of any debate has to be compelled to express a message that violates their core convictions.

SCHNEIDER: Justice Samuel Alito took that argument even further.

JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO: So if there is a Black Santa at the other end of the mall and he doesn't want to have his picture taken with a child who's dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, Black Santa has to do that?

SCHNEIDER: Smith says she's in the business of expressive speech and while she's not opposed to working with same-sex couples in other areas, she argues she should be able to choose the messages she promotes, an argument some conservative justices seemed to side with.

JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH: So the question isn't who, it's what?


JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH: Why are you right about how you characterize website designers? Why are they different from say restaurants?

WAGGONER: Because they're creating speech. In those other examples, speech is not at issue.

SCHNEIDER: The Supreme Court sidestepped the same issue four years ago, ruling in favor of a Colorado baker, who refused to make wedding cakes for same sex couples, but on very narrow grounds that only applied to that case.

PROTESTER: Our rights are not up for debate!

SCHNEIDER: Now, the stakes are much higher, with concern building among LGBTQ advocates that a ruling for the website designer could be a harbinger for other adverse rulings.

PHIL WEISER (D), COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL: If there were to be a loophole of the kind discussed, people with disabilities, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, others, could find themselves without access to the marketplace.


SCHNEIDER (on camera): Now, there's currently no case before the Supreme Court that would eliminate that right to same-sex marriage nationwide. But some are on edge given the fact that the Supreme Court did overturn Roe v. Wade just a few months ago. And in that opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the court should overturn more precedence, including that ruling on same-sex marriage -- Wolf.

BLITZER: CNN's Jessica Schneider reporting for us, thank you very much.

Just ahead, an update on the Idaho college stabbings where police say one victim may have had a stalker.



BLITZER: Tonight, police are investigating whether one of the murdered Idaho University students had a stalker.

CNN's Brian Todd is following this story for us.

Brian, police unveiled some significant new details in their latest statement.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They did, Wolf, and there's no other new information on this case tonight, including newly voiced frustration on the part of parents and developments regarding the occupants of that house.

Tonight, a critical statement from police in the investigation into the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students. The Moscow, Idaho, police now say they're continuing to look into the possibility that murder victim Kaylee Goncalves had a stalker. Police say two men appeared at one point to be following Goncalves outside of a local business. But police say this was an isolated incident, not a pattern, and they say there's no evidence tying the two men to the killings.

Meanwhile, law enforcement experts tell CNN this murder probe is entering a critical stage with police starting to receive results from forensic testing of the crime scene, what kind of evidence could be crucial?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: I'd look for any kind of what they call fingernail scrapings, anything from any of the victims who, especially the ones who fought back, which might be epithelial cells, skin cells that are underneath the nails which would pretty much tell you who the killer is if you can match that.

TODD: Police have still not publicly named a suspect, have not produced a murder weapon or a possible motive for the killings.

Meanwhile, two surviving roommates who were present in the house at the time of the attack but were not harmed and who police don't believe were involved, have spoken out for the first time, giving statements saying what the victims meant to the roommates, which were read by a local pastor at a memorial service in recent days.

The pastor first reading a statement from roommate Dylan Mortenson.

PASTOR CHRIS GWINN, REAL LIFE MINISTRIES SERVICES, POST FALLS, IDAHO: My life was greatly impacted to have known these four beautiful people.

TODD: Then a statement from roommate Bethany Funk.

GWINN: I wish every day that I could give them one last hug and say how much I love them.

TODD: This comes as Kaylee Goncalves' parents told Fox News they are becoming frustrated with the investigation, in part because of how they've been communicated to by law enforcement.

STEVE GONCALVES, FATHER OF VICTIM KAYLEE GONCALVES: I do not feel confident. And that's why I push the envelope and say a little bit more.

KRISTI GONCALVES, MOTHER OF VICTIM KAYLEE GONCALVES: We just have no information as family, and it's tough day after day after day. Every day you just wake up and think today's the day we're going to hear something. And you see there's a break in the case. It'll be something stupid.

TODD: But police say they are trying to protect the investigation. And FBI veteran Steve Moore says there's a reason why investigators can't tell the parents everything.

MOORE: The police, the FBI, the Idaho state police are going to have to keep certain information close to the vest. We have already seen it demonstrated that information given to the parents has ended up in the newspaper.


TODD (on camera): Now, early in the investigation, police said there was no threat to the public, but they later walked that back. In recent days, the University of Idaho's president Scott Greene acknowledged that some students did not want to return to school until a suspect is in custody -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Brian Todd reporting for us, thank you very much, Brian Todd.

I'll be back tomorrow 4:00 p.m. Eastern for CNN special live coverage of the Georgia Senate runoff. Thanks very much for watching.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.