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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Tonight: Trump Hosting Fundraiser For Giuliani In NJ; Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville Blocking 319 Military Confirmations Over Pentagon Abortion Travel Policy; Mayor: Influx Of Migrants Will "Destroy" NYC. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 07, 2023 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Very dangerous storm has been growing rapidly, out of the Atlantic.

In the span of just 12 hours, Hurricane Lee has gone from a Category 1 hurricane, to Category 4. It's expected to strengthen further to Cat 5, as early as tomorrow morning, reach peak intensity, over the weekend.

The question is will it hit the U.S. mainland? Still unknown at this point. However, dangerous surf and rip currents could begin affecting the East Coast by Sunday.

That's it for us. The news continues. I'll see you tomorrow. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.


Donald Trump headlining a high-priced fundraiser, for his co- defendant, Rudy Giuliani, as the former President says he might try to get his Georgia election fraud case moved to a federal court.

Plus, Mayor Eric Adams going off on the issue that he says will quote, "Destroy New York City," the migrant crisis. Tens of thousands of migrant children are now starting school, here, in the Big Apple, as the Mayor says there is no end in sight to that massive problem.

And Elon Musk secretly ordered satellites turned off, the same ones that are powering Ukraine's internet, I should note. It disrupted a planned sneak attack, on Russian forces. But he told an author that Starlink was quote, meant for "Netflix and chill," not war.

I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

Tonight, in Washington, another Trump defender is paying the price, for loyalty, to the 45th President. His former adviser, Peter Navarro, has been found guilty, of contempt of Congress, after he defied a subpoena that was tied to the January 6th congressional committee's investigation.

While in Georgia, the election interference case, there, Trump has notified the judge that he may try to do what several of his co- defendants are already attempting, move the case to a federal court, and potentially a more favorable venue.

And in Bedminster, New Jersey, tonight, Trump is headlining an event, for his co-defendant, Rudy Giuliani, in an effort, to pay down his mounting legal bills. It'd only cost you $100,000 a plate, to get in the door. We know that Giuliani has millions of dollars in unpaid legal bills. That's according to new CNN reporting, tonight. He's hoping to raise at least a million dollars.

My next guest is an attorney, who is representing Rudy Giuliani, in the State of Georgia.

Brian Tevis, welcome back to THE SOURCE. Thank you, Brian, for being here.

Can you confirm that he is trying to raise about a million dollars, tonight, and how much ultimately that your client does need to raise?

BRIAN TEVIS, ATTORNEY FOR RUDY GIULIANI: I can't confirm how much he's trying to raise. I assume that they're trying to raise as much as possible. And I think that they're going to need it.

If you look at how much the State has already spent, on a case, like this, all of the district attorneys, they've pulled from the line, all the paper copy costs, all the investigative work, all the things they're doing? I don't care how much money you have. You cannot outspend the State.

And so, just being named, in an indictment, of this magnitude, and knowing the scale, the scope, the length of this trial, even the preliminary matters, is going to be extremely costly. And the State has nearly unlimited funds.

COLLINS: Yes. And of course, Giuliani has other legal fees, in addition to outside of what's happening, in Georgia.

But there's this fundraiser happening, tonight, Brian. We also know that Giuliani, and the former President, appeared together, at this Bikers for Trump rally, on Monday night.

As you know, per the terms, of Giuliani's release, they can't discuss this case, in any way, indirectly or directly, except through counsel, like you. Have you been assured that they have not discussed it directly?

TEVIS: Well, I can assure you that, as I said before, the court has made an order, and the clients are going to comply with the order. I mean, those are the conditions of bond.

And generally, in a case like this, you may have defense agreements, among the attorneys, where the exchange of information goes between the defense counsel. But I have no reason to believe that anybody is intending to violate their bond orders.

COLLINS: You were there, in the courtroom, yesterday. Of course, you started representing Giuliani, when he came to surrender, in Georgia, just a few weeks ago. Last time, it was a little unclear, when we spoke. But are you fully representing him, in this case now, going forward?

TEVIS: At this time, I'm still representing him. That's correct.

COLLINS: And do you plan to see this case, going forward, in the State of Georgia?

TEVIS: I mean, we'll be counsel for the Mayor, as long as he needs us, and as long as he wants us to be in the case.

I don't know, again, how long this case is going to be. There's a lot of questions about which quarter we're going to be in, how long is it going to go? Is it going to be October? Is it going to be March? Is it going to be years from now? There are a lot of things that can change.

And that's the case in pretty much any case. We come in and out of cases, all the time. This is nothing different than an ordinary case with that regard.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, it's certainly not ordinary case, though. I'm sure, you would agree with that.

Speaking of motions here, former President Trump has notified the judge that he might try to move his case, from state court, to federal court.

Are you planning on filing a motion, regarding Giuliani's indictment, in Georgia soon?

TEVIS: We are planning to file several motions, one of them involving the indictment. We haven't filed a motion yet on anything regarding the removal. We're watching that closely.


But for now, we're focused on what's in front of us. The State has returned this massive indictment, involving all kinds of interstate allegations, involving many people. And so far, I haven't seen anybody really pick that apart.

As you probably know, I brought in co-counsel, David Wolfe. He's been doing this forever. He's an expert in motions. And we've gone after this indictment. And you can expect to see a motion regarding it, very soon.

COLLINS: How soon? And what is that motion going to look like? Is it to sever? Is it to move it to federal court? Is it to outright dismiss these charges, against your client?

TEVIS: Well, the motion, I can say, will be filed imminently. But the content of it is going to be particular, to the indictment, not necessarily removal, but issues that we see in the indictment.

This is something that we like to do, we typically do. In any case, the first thing you start with is what is the State alleging occurred. And there are still, even though they're allegations? And an indictment is not evidence. It's merely what the State intends to prove later. But they have rules, on how they have to do that. They have to give you enough information to defend the case.

A RICO indictment is a party to a crime on steroids, so to speak. Georgia's party to a crime is also already very liberal. When you pile racketeering, on top of that, the State can bring in all sorts of extra information, and be very general, in the allegations.

And so, we hope to force them to have to focus, pick some of the avenues, that they plan to prosecute, and challenge the some of the things that we think are defective, right out of the gate.

COLLINS: OK, so you are planning to file something imminently. You're saying it's not going to be to move it to federal court or anything like that.

One other question, on Giuliani, himself, the grand jury, in Washington, D.C., is still meeting. We saw them meeting, the other day, for the first time, in about a month. It's the same grand jury that indicted the former President, on federal charges, regarding efforts, to overturn the 2020 election.

Is your client worried that he is going to be indicted, in that investigation?

TEVIS: I mean, I don't know if he's worried or not. Whenever I've communicated, with him, he seems focused. He seems the same as he's always been, whenever I've spoken to him, or we've had conferences with counsel.

Nobody wants to be indicted by the government, state, federal or otherwise. It's a stressful thing to have to undergo. It's another front, on which you have to fight. The government's trying to take your liberty. And they have, as I said before, they have unlimited resources to do it. So, certainly nobody looks forward to having to fight on the front. If that happens, then we'll be prepared to meet that as well.

COLLINS: And Brian, what's your ballpark, on how much the Georgia case could potentially cost, Rudy Giuliani, in legal bills?

TEVIS: I have no idea. That depends on how long it goes, whether people are severed. I mean, it's a difference to have a trial, between a couple defendants and 19 defendants. I mean, you have 19 cross- examinations. You have 19 questions for every juror.

COLLINS: Do you expect you'd try to sever his, from the other co- defendants, so he is tried potentially alone?

TEVIS: I think that in court, yesterday, I believe that the judge, in some of the commentary that he made, is intending to sever the two defendants, who filed speedy trial demands. What goes on past that, we're looking to see a scheduling order. We'll look and see what other defendants are doing. These are all strategic decisions that you're going to make, on a day- by-day basis, because criminal litigation is fluid. And so, we have to make adjustments on the fly, plan accordingly. But we'll address that if we need to. The main thing is every step we take is going to be done, in governor in the -- excuse me, in the Mayor's best interests.

COLLINS: Brian Tevis, attorney for Rudy Giuliani, in the State of Georgia, thank you, for your time, tonight.

TEVIS: Thank you.

COLLINS: My next guest knows a very different Rudy Giuliani than the one that we saw in that Fulton County booking photo. Ken Frydman was actually the Press Secretary for Giuliani's 1993 mayoral campaign, and has been very outspoken about him, to say the least.

I mean, what do you make of the fact, Brian Tevis, his attorney, says, they're eminently filing a motion. They'll let us know what that motion is going to look like.

Rudy Giuliani, right now, is at Bedminster, at a fundraiser, trying to raise money, to pay a lot of legal fees. Did you ever think he'd be in this position?

KEN FRYDMAN, SPOKESMAN, 1993 GIULIANI MAYORAL CAMPAIGN, CEO, SOURCE COMMUNICATIONS: No. Nobody could imagine he'd been in this position, least of all him.

But he incurred these legal fees, as a result of his trying to overturn the election, on behalf of his client, and friend, Donald Trump. So, it seems to me, Donald Trump should pony up more, for Rudy's legal defense than he already has. The last time I checked, he had contributed $340,000, to his legal defense fund.


FRYDMAN: He can certainly afford more. And again, he has about $100 million, in his own legal defense fund, Trump does.

COLLINS: Yes. And that was just a small fee, compared to what Rudy Giuliani is facing here.

When you have known him, since the 90s? What happened? What changed from Rudy Giuliani being this legendary U.S. Attorney, this former Mayor here, of New York City, into a co-defendant, in the State of Georgia, unindicted, potentially, in other cases, and the fact that he's having to fundraise so much money?


FRYDMAN: Well, he took on Donald Trump as a client. Shame on him for not knowing that he wouldn't pay his bills.

Shame on him for not knowing that he would get in trouble, certainly not to the degree that he's gotten in. I don't think he ever anticipated being indicted, certainly. But he should have known better. Donald Trump has a long history of not paying its attorneys, and not caring about, how it turns out for them.

COLLINS: How much has his lifestyle changed? I mean, CNBC said, in 2012, that he was one of the richest politicians, in America, and had a wealth of about $65 million.


COLLINS: And now he's struggling to pay, they claimed, $20,000, recently.

FRYDMAN: He had a very expensive divorce, as you know, Kaitlan. And his legal fees are just adding up every day. And he doesn't have a way, really, to make a living, because his law licenses have been suspended, in D.C. and New York. And who would hire him, as an attorney, anyway?

So, he's left to cameo appearances, and his WABC talk show, which I understand he makes about $400,000 a year. But that's just a drop in the bucket compared to what he owes.

COLLINS: And he's also selling his apartment, here in New York.

FRYDMAN: Yes, yes. He's listed it for, I believe, $6.5 million. I think he paid $4.77 million, in 2002. It's $2 million increase, but didn't appreciate the way so many other apartments in that neighborhood have. So it's a fire sale.

COLLINS: It seems like a very different Rudy Giuliani than the one that you were working for, in 1993.

FRYDMAN: It's chastened (ph) and very sad and, some say, pathetic, shadow of his former self. And I'm very sad to see it.

COLLINS: And he could end up --

FRYDMAN: Well, I think the attorneys should be telling him that his only goal should be to die a free man, and keep kicking the can down the road, and delay, delay, delay, on these legal matters, as long as he can. And same for Trump.

COLLINS: Ken Frydman, I mean, to see him in 1993, to now 2023, thank you, for sharing that insight with us, tonight.

FRYDMAN: You're quite welcome. Thank you so much.

COLLINS: And yet another Trump ally is also strapped for cash, and pleading for money, tonight.

That's Peter Navarro, who we saw, earlier today, exiting a courthouse, after the former White House official, was convicted, today, of contempt of Congress, for refusing to cooperate, with the House committee that was investigating January 6th.

Officially, Navarro was Trump's Trade Adviser, of course. But unofficially, he was also one of the chief proponents, of Trump's baseless claims, of mass voter fraud. He used his post-conviction news conference, as you see here, to make an appeal to supporters for money.

When CNN asked if he has spoken to the former President, or reached out for help, with his legal bills, this is what Navarro said.


PETER NAVARRO, FORMER TRUMP WH ADVISER: President Trump has been a rock, in terms of assistance. We talk when we need to talk.

I love President Trump. He's been very supportive of me.


COLLINS: Not really a yes, and not really a no. I should note, at the heart of this, was Navarro, claiming that Trump had put immunity privileges, over this. And that's why he did not comply. Trump never offered any testimony to that.

Navarro was now the second Trump aide, to face contempt of Congress charges. Steve Bannon is the other. He's appealing his conviction, right now.

And Navarro's attorneys are already pushing for a mistrial, arguing that jurors took an outdoor break, too close to where protesters and media usually gather, outside the courthouse. He is facing up to a year, in prison, tonight.

Also, there are now 319 military nominations that are being held up, because of one single Republican senator, who says he's not budging. How does all of this end?

Plus, as the President is taking off, for a major overseas trip, Americans' confidence, in their Commander-in-Chief, is dwindling. Brand-new CNN polling with warning lights that are flashing red, for the White House, and for President Biden, as he is running for reelection.



COLLINS: Tonight, top Democrats are digesting brand-new CNN polling that is stirring up new concerns about President Biden's reelection campaign.

Our poll of registered voters found that the President's approval rating is at 39 percent, with broad concerns, about his age, his stamina, and his sharpness, even among Democrats, and those who lean blue. More than two-thirds said that the party should pick someone other than President Biden, as their nominee.

And when you broaden it all out, to registered voters, all registered voters, nearly half say that any Republican presidential nominee, they believe, would be better than Biden, in 2024. Voters are pretty evenly split, in a hypothetical rematch, between President Biden and Donald Trump. But our poll did find that Nikki Haley could beat Biden, in this potential matchup.

Let's go beyond these numbers, with former Obama administration official, Van Jones; and Georgia's former Lieutenant Governor, Republican Geoff Duncan. They are both CNN Political Commentators.

And thank you both, for being here.

Van, obviously, as the Democrat, at this table, let me start with you. Because, I mean, what we're seeing from this is Democratic voters' confidence, in President Biden has dropped, over the last six months. I mean, how do you think the White House sees this? Is this a reality check? Or do they not buy these numbers?

VAN JONES, FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that what the White House feels is that we're -- the good that Biden has done, the improvements in the economy, the fact that the nose of the plane is pointing up, just hasn't set in yet, with voters. I think that's their view. And that there's a communications problem, in terms of explaining all that type of stuff.

I think, for regular Democrats, we've been called bed-wetters. I would say, invest in Pampers and Depends, because we are freaking out, with these numbers. People are upset and scared.

Because, Biden is someone, who brings out a lot of affection in us, but also worry. He's like that grandpa that you love, you respect. He's done so much good for you. But do you want him to take on a high- pressure job, for six more years?

It's just there's some real -- you say, we're trying to digest. We need some Pepto-Bismol, trying to digest these numbers, and what's going on.

But I think the White House thinks we are a year out, and we got plenty of time, to turn these numbers around.

COLLINS: Yes, we have certainly heard that, from some former officials, who used to work there today.

I mean, Geoff, you're the Republican here. You obviously not been sparing, in your criticism of Donald Trump, as the front-runner, for Republicans.

But when you look at these numbers, and the breakdown, Biden is in a statistical dead-heat, with Republican candidates.

He's virtually tied with everyone, including Donald Trump, except Nikki Haley. Those numbers are different there, you see, 49 percent to 43 percent. And of course, I've heard from Nikki Haley's camp. They are certainly pleased, about this.


But I mean, she's not the Republican front-runner, right now. So, how should Republicans be looking at these numbers? GEOFF DUNCAN, (R) FORMER GEORGIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, the least surprising thing, in my inbox, this morning, was that poll. There's really hard to point to any really successful wins, on Joe Biden's behalf. And, I think, Democrats are trying to find that same angle too, trying to find something to highlight, something to champion.

But Democrats have the same problem Republicans do. If Democrats nominated anybody, other than Joe Biden, they'd be 10-plus points in front of Donald Trump. And if Republicans nominated anybody, other than Donald Trump, they would be 20 points in front of Joe Biden.

And when you want somebody, like Nikki Haley, starting to climb the ladder, I think it really points back to what we saw play out, in that debate. She really took a full-throated approach, to rebuking Donald Trump, and telling him that he wasn't the nominee, and he was a kind of a fake Republican, and raised debt, $8 trillion.

And I can't help but think if we just could get out of our own way, as Republicans, and nominate somebody that's willing to talk about immigration, in a cumulative effort, talk about the border, and how secure it needs to be, but then also be willing to have that conversation, about 16 million undocumented folks here, and who deserves to stay, on temporary status, and who deserves to go back home? Talk about guns and mental health issues and concerns. Talk about those issues that the middle cares about, too.

Because I think the ultimate winning strategy, for Republican, and I can almost guarantee a Republican beats Joe Biden, in 2024, if they're willing to be a conservative, but also willing to have a conversation with the middle. That is the winning strategy.

COLLINS: Yes. And Van, I mean, what do you think about that argument?

JONES: Well, look, I mean, that sounds good, except that the Republican Party, right now, is like more interested, in attacking transgender kids, and all kind of crazy stuff. And so, you guys got a bunch of problems, on your side.

And what I would say about -- to say that Joe Biden doesn't have anything to run on, I just think that's just counterfactual. When you look at the Inflation Reduction Act? When you look at the infrastructure? Trump had infrastructure week, every week, and never got any infrastructure.

We got a whole bill done, the CHIPS Act, Hate crimes, marriage equality, I mean, you can go down the list. He has been a very productive president. But the country is just hurting and uncertain. And they don't think that his shoulders are strong enough, to carry us forward, yet. But to say that he hasn't anything to run on? You've got a bunch of stuff to run on? It's not getting through.

And the Republicans are running themselves into the ground, by talking about everything, but the stuff that people care about, which by the way, isn't jumping on immigrants. It's about these prices, and what you're going to do about that. COLLINS: Well, Geoff, let me ask you about another number that was in here that because the polling shows Republicans are more motivated to vote, than Democrats are right now. Basically, Republican voters that CNN surveyed are more excited about voting for a Republican than Democrats are, for voting a Democrat.

So, what does that mean, if you're someone, like a Larry Hogan, who is considering and leaving the door open, to a potential third-party run, that a lot of people, who used to work for Joe Biden, or currently do, say, that's the risk there in handing the election to Donald Trump than it is there for Joe Biden, especially if there is that enthusiasm gap?

DUNCAN: Well, I know Van spoke with great passion, about President Biden. But only 39 percent of America actually agrees with him, at this point in the game.

Yes, look, Larry Hogan, Glenn Youngkin, Brian Kemp, there's those that are out there that are conservative governors that have a track record to run on. And I think that they're trying to do the math, about what this buzz saw looks like, with the Republican Party. I mean, there's certainly chaos, on the battlefield.

And I certainly don't want to make excuses, for the 50-plus percent of Republicans that still answer a poll question that the election was rigged, because it wasn't. It isn't. And we're going to watch that play out. America is going to meet the real Donald Trump. They're going to meet the real Rudy Giuliani. They're going to meet the real Republican surrounding cast of characters that really tried to drag us through the mud, to just off-gas, a loss.

But that isn't leadership. I think America is one generational leader away from truly changing the direction of this country, one person that inspires this country.

If you think about it, President does very little, for the folks, listening here, tonight. They do very little of the traffic that they sit in, in the mornings, the school curriculum that they study, their kids study. What they do is they set the tempo for the country.

And Republicans and this country need somebody better than Joe Biden, and we need somebody better than Donald Trump. We deserve it, as Americans. We work too hard, to save our money, and to put our kids, raise our families. We just deserve better. And I'm hoping we see a better match-up than those two, in 2024.

COLLINS: We shall see. But, right now, the numbers look likely for that.

Geoff Duncan, Van Jones, thank you both, for your time, tonight.

DUNCAN: Thank you.

COLLINS: It is a political issue, a political move, over abortion that is garnering fierce blowback. Why this Republican senator's refusal to green-light more than 300 military promotions has top officials in the Armed Forces now sounding the alarm.



COLLINS: Today, the Pentagon said that a single senator is now holding up the nominations, of 319 senior military officials. That number, only increasing, only expected to increase.

For the first time, in U.S. history, three branches of the military are now without a Senate-confirmed leader. That's the Army, the Navy and the Marines.

At the end of the month, the highest ranking military official, the Joint Chiefs Chairman, General Mark Milley is retiring. And by the end of the year, if this continues to go on, it could be up to 600 nominations that are all on hold.

This stems from, of course, Senator Tommy Tuberville's block, of all military promotions, in protest of the Pentagon's abortion policy. Pressure, though has been mounting, on both sides of the political aisle, for the Alabama Republican, to back down. But he has said so far that he is not doing that. He said he's not budging.

Our next guest is Democratic senator, Tim Kaine. He is on the Armed Services, and also the father of a Marine reservist.

So, thank you, Senator, for being here.

Senator Tuberville, he's not backing down, he says. That's what he told my colleague, Manu Raju, yesterday. How do you see this actually ending?

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): Well, Kaitlan, this is unprecedented. Senator Tuberville has a right not to like a Pentagon policy. But he's been given the opportunity to change it.


We're on the Armed Services committee together. He was given a vote, in the Armed Services committee, to change the policy. He failed. He couldn't convince his colleagues to go along with him.

When we had the bill on the floor, of the Senate, we said, "We'll give you a vote on the floor," and he refused to even ask for a vote, because he knew he would lose both Democratic and Republican votes.

He shouldn't take out his inability, to persuade his colleagues of his position. He shouldn't take that out on hundreds of military officers, who are awaiting promotions, who are trying to move their families, across the country, who want to enroll their kids in school, at the beginning of the school year.

This is hurting our military families, and it's hurting our nation's readiness. Three of our services now, do not have confirmed Service Chiefs. It's time for the Republican minority, in the Senate, to quit enabling Tommy Tuberville, and tell him to step aside. And let's approve these military nominations, and keep our nation safe.

COLLINS: Is that a message for Senator McConnell?

KAINE: It's a message for Senator McConnell, and all the Republican colleagues.

This would not be tolerated, on the Democratic side. If I was trying to do this, on the Democratic side, the Leader would lock me in the office, and make it increasingly painful for me until I agreed to submit.

And so, what we need Tommy to do is back off of this. But he's not going to do it on his own. And it's going to take Senator McConnell, and others, forcing him, to step aside. Because why would -- why would he want to hurt the military over this?

And Kaitlan, if I could go into the policy? The policy that Senator Tuberville is complaining about, is a military policy that says, if a woman servicemember is posted, in an area, where abortion is now illegal, after Dobbs, and decides to terminate a pregnancy, the military will pay for her, to travel, to a place, where she can terminate the pregnancy, at her own costs, but they'll allow her travel, pay for travel expenses.

Kaitlan, we do this, for women, in the federal prison system. If they're impregnated, and need to terminate a pregnancy, we pay for their travel. We do it for women Peace Corps volunteers. If they live in countries, where they can't terminate a pregnancy, legally, we will pay for them, to travel to the United States, so they can make their own health care decisions.

Coach Tuberville wants the women, who have volunteered, to serve our military, to have fewer rights, than women prisoners and Peace Corps volunteers. His position is outrageous. He's entitled to it.

COLLINS: Yes. Senator?

KAINE: But when he can't convince his colleagues, he should back off.

COLLINS: Well, I mean, trust me, we had him on the first episode, of this program, talking about this, several weeks ago.

And the thing is, though, obviously, this is his position. We've heard Senator McConnell say, he doesn't agree with it.

Technically, Democrats could move one nomination at a time. It would be incredibly time-consuming. I'm well aware of that. But do you see it potentially coming to that point, if we get to October, and there is still no confirmed Joint Chiefs Chairman?

KAINE: If we do that, that's all we'll ever do, Kaitlan. We won't legislate. We won't pass budgets. We're in a budget crisis, right now. To vote on 300 non-controversial nominations, with Coach -- Senator Tuberville, demanding the maximum time on each could take us through the end of the year. The other offer some have made is why don't you pick some of the top people, like the Service Chiefs, and vote on them, and then just let Senator Tuberville punish all those down the ranks? That's not the way the military operates. Officers say officers eat last. You don't punish the people, down the ranks, to advantage the people up the ranks.

We need to confirm these people, who have spent their career, sacrificing for the country. It's the Republicans' problem to solve. They have to get Senator Tuberville to back off this unpatriotic effort, which is clearly being cheered, by our enemies, now, as they watch this.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, there was the five-week recess, I would note.

But I wanted to ask you about some CNN polling that came out today.


COLLINS: It shows that almost half of registered voters think any Republican nominee, they believe, would be better than President Biden. 67 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want the party to nominate someone else.

I mean, are you concerned? Or how concerned are you about President Biden's standing?

KAINE: Well, look, President Biden has done a great job, as President. 13.5 million new jobs, manufacturing back, inflation reducing, every day, strategies, like helping seniors better-afford prescription drugs. Clearly, those of us, who have been part of these accomplished, so we got to get out and we got to sell much stronger.

I still believe we're in kind of a post-COVID hangover, where people are a little bit reluctant, to get their hopes up, with some of the positive things that are going on.

So look, President Biden's accomplishments have been strong. We've got to get out there and sell them. I feel like the time between now and November of 2024 is going to be one accomplishment after the next, on the Democratic side, and one legal trial and tribulation after the next, for President Trump.

COLLINS: Do you think the White House needs to do a better job, selling that message?

KAINE: Yes. They are doing it.


I thought the President's speech, on Labor Day, was great. Talking about when President Trump was in office, infrastructure week was a punch line. Now, infrastructure is a headline, because America's rebuilding infrastructure, again, in a major way, probably the most major way, since the Eisenhower administration.

They are selling. And we, Democrats, in Congress, and Democratic governors have to do that as well.

COLLINS: Senator Tim Kaine, thank you, for joining us, here, on THE SOURCE, tonight.

KAINE: Absolutely, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Mayor Eric Adams, here in New York, not mincing words, when it comes to the City's massive influx of migrants.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, (D) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: I don't see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City.


COLLINS: A blunt warning.

We will speak to the former acting Homeland Security Secretary, right after this.


COLLINS: New York Mayor, Eric Adams, has a blunt warning, about the impact of the migrant crisis, here in the city.



ADAMS: Never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to. I don't see an ending to this. I don't see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City.


COLLINS: The reality, more than 110,000 asylum seekers have come through New York City, just since last spring.

My next guest was the acting Secretary of the Homeland Security Department, under former President Donald Trump.

Chad Wolf, thank you, for joining, tonight.

Obviously, as I noted, you were running the DHS -- running DHS. What do you make of these calls for more federal help? Do you think that they're warranted?

CHAD WOLF, FORMER ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY UNDER TRUMP: Well, look, I think Mayor Adams has a mess on his hands. He's trying to deal with an influx, a historic influx, of illegal migrants, there in New York City.

Look, I think the federal government needs to be doing more. And it starts with actually securing that border. You've got to be able to stop the influx of these illegal aliens, into all communities, across the country, not only New York City, in order to get your hands around the issue here.

And what the Mayor is really talking about are these downstream effects. It's particularly, in New York City, it's the amount of children, in their public education system, in their public health system. These are the real issues, of what happens, when you leave that border wide open, and you have a historic number of folks coming in.

So, the Mayor is not alone. Obviously, we have the Massachusetts governor, the Mayor of Chicago and others, all trying to deal with an influx of individuals, they have not planned for, and they do not know how to care for, at the end of the day, because the federal government is not helping them.

COLLINS: Yes. Well we've seen that even though everyone's worst fears, after the end of Title 42, back in May, when you and I last spoke, weren't realized, border crossings were actually at a low, back in June and July, the latest numbers we had.

But when it comes to the impact that we are seeing on these cities, I mean, New York has this Right to Shelter Law, where they have to shelter these asylum seekers that come here. That is part of a complicating factor here.

But if you were running DHS, right now, I mean, what would you do differently? How would you help someone, like Mayor Adams?

WOLF: Well, look, there's no easy answers. And there's no magic bullet, to solve this crisis, overnight.

Again, I come back to actually securing the border, and stopping the flow. When New York City is trying to absorb hundreds and thousands of individuals, every single week? That is problematic. And so, you've got to stop that so that they're able to get their hands around what's going on there. They're able to work with the federal government to address this.

But it all starts with actually securing the border, and making sure that we're stopping to incentivize -- stop incentivizing more and more illegal aliens, coming. When you're handing out work authorizations and work permits, and everything else that the Biden administration is doing, the flow is going to continue.

This isn't rocket science. I mean, the people have to know, inside the administration, and of course, they know that their policies will continue to incentivize these folks, and you're going to continue to have communities, like this, overwhelmed.

And once they get overwhelmed, like this, it's very little that the federal government can do. There's not enough money that you can throw at this issue. You've got to address what is the underlying cause here. And that is unchecked, and uncontrolled illegal immigration, occurring, mainly on the southern border, but also now along our northern border as well.

COLLINS: Well, that's interesting, what you say about the work requirements, because that's actually something Mayor Adams wants expedited, or of shorter timeframe, so then they can -- migrants, who are here, can get to work faster.

But a lot of Republican governors are pointing to Eric Adams' comment, hitting the Biden administration. But some of these are same governors, who have sent busloads of migrants, to places, here, like New York City.

This is something that the Mayor himself referenced today.


ADAMS: Started with a madman, down in Texas, decided he wanted to bus people up to New York City.


COLLINS: You have said that busing migrants has forced this national conversation. It certainly has. But, I mean, it hasn't fixed the issue. And obviously, people are suffering. So, do you support that happening? Or what is the solution here?

WOLF: Well, it's not going to fix the issue. Actually fixing the issue is changing the policies, and securing the border.

But look, you talked about a number, a 110,000, in New York City, over the past 12 months, I believe that was the number.

Texas absorbs around 20,000 to 30,000 a month. And so, you have you have a Governor down there that is at his wit's end, and is begging the federal government, to help him secure the border, and protect Texans.

And when he does something, like putting maritime buoys, in that river, to try to deter some of that illegal immigration? Of course, then the Biden administration, instead of working with the Governor, to try to address this issue, they go to court, and they sue him. And so, I think the priorities are backwards here, at the end of the day.

But again, there's not a silver bullet that's going, to solve this issue, overnight, not only for the Mayor.


WOLF: Not for any governor. It's actually getting back to actually securing the border, and stopping the illegal flow that we've seen.

COLLINS: So, I'm glad you brought up the buoys, because, we just heard from an appeals court that issued a temporary stay, that allows Texas, to keep those floating barriers, in the Rio Grande, at least for now.


But, I mean, there had been a ruling, from a lower court, that said they need federal approval, to put those structures, in those waterways. I mean, I know this is something that was even brought up, when you were in office, when you were running DHS, as an idea. And it ultimately did not happen.

Do you agree though that they don't have the right, without federal approval, to put those there?

WOLF: Well, look, I, as you indicated, I think this is going to be appealed, probably all the way to the Supreme Court, at the end of the day. The Governor believes that he has the authority, and the right to do that. Obviously, the Biden administration, through the Justice Department, disagrees with that.

But look, at the end of the day, this is what we should be talking about, which is, how do we stop the flow and secure that border? And instead of suing the Governor, I think the administration should actually be working with him.

If you contrast that with what the administration is doing, by trying to work with New York City, with the Mayor, with the Governor of Massachusetts, and others, to find these work permits for the illegal aliens? You have a priority scheme that is out of whack here a little bit.

Instead of trying to protect Americans, on the southern border, they're more focused on work authorization for illegal aliens. So, I think their priorities are backwards.

Look, if they don't like the maritime buoys? That's fine. Work with the Governor, to put some measures in place that actually deter the influx that he has seen, in his State, week after week after week.

COLLINS: Yes, well, I would say they did put in place a pretty strict asylum policy that even progressive Democrats don't like.

But, the last time you and I talked was in May.

WOLF: Yes.

COLLINS: Since then, there have been -- you worked for former President Trump. There have been three more indictments of him. Is former President Trump, someone that you would ever either work for, again, or support, in the 2024 election?

WOLF: Look, I had the privilege of working, with the President, very closely, in a lot of the policies, he put in, not only from a Homeland Security perspective, which I had a front-row seat for, but across the board, putting Americans first.

So, a lot of those America First policies, I think, is exactly what the country needs, today. We're on the wrong track. So, I'd be supportive of not only President Trump, but any America First leader that actually wants to get the country back on track.

COLLINS: Would you work for him again?

WOLF: If I had the privilege to, absolutely.

COLLINS: Chad Wolf, thanks so much, for your time, tonight. WOLF: All right, thank you.

COLLINS: He has rocketed people into space, taken over Twitter, literally, and reinvented the auto industry, as we know it. And now, tonight, we have learned that Elon Musk had the power, to turn off satellites that stopped Ukraine's sneak attack, on Russian forces. They needed internet.

New details on the billionaire's role, in the ongoing Ukraine war, next.



COLLINS: Some pretty shocking new details, about the scope of the influence that Elon Musk has, on the war, in Ukraine.

The billionaire secretly ordered his engineers, to turn off his Starlink satellite communications network, near the Crimean coast, last year, ultimately disrupting what was supposed to be a Ukrainian sneak attack, on the Russian naval fleet.

That is according to a new excerpt, from Walter Isaacson's biography, "Elon Musk," part of it that has been obtained exclusively by CNN. And in it, Isaacson says that Ukrainian submarine drones were fitted, with explosives, lost connectivity, and washed ashore, harmlessly, as they approached the Russian fleet.

Joining me now, CNN National Security Reporter, Natasha Bertrand.

I mean, Natasha, the details in here are pretty astonishing. What have you learned about what was behind Elon Musk's decision, here, and what the Ukrainians had to say about this?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Yes, Kaitlan. So essentially, what this biography says is that Elon Musk was driven by a fear, that Russia would respond to this kind of attack, on Sevastapol, on Crimea, with nuclear weapons, and that it would result, essentially, in a mini Pearl Harbor, according to the quote that he gave to Walter Isaacson.

Now, of course, Russian officials have used this kind of rhetoric before, right? They frequently threatened that they're going to use nuclear weapons, and that they're going to escalate in that sense. And of course, the Ukrainians have since repeatedly attacked Russian naval fleets, outside of Crimea, without any such response.

But Elon Musk apparently really took this to heart. And he believed, according to this biography, that this would result in absolute disaster. So, he ordered his engineers, to, at the moment that Ukraine was going to attack these Russian vessels, turn off the Starlink's satellite communication systems, so that they essentially could not carry out this attack.

But this biography also offers a really interesting window, into how Musk views Starlink's role, writ large, when it comes to wars. And, according to this biography, he is apparently very ambivalent about it. He said, quote, "How am I in this war? Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes."

Now, according to this excerpt, the Ukrainian officials, of course, begged him, to turn the system back on, because it is so critical, for them, to communicate on the battlefield.

And he apparently had conversations, with National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, to kind of ease Washington's anxiety, about just how much control, he appeared to have, over Ukraine's battlefield communication systems.

So really, what this shows is just how influential, and how powerful, Elon Musk, one very unpredictable billionaire, has become, when it comes to the U.S. and Ukraine's ability, to continue to prosecute this war, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes, it's quite remarkable, and just to see the influence, he has, over U.S. officials, as well.

Natasha Bertrand, thank you.

Meanwhile, another story, we are covering, tonight. He is trapped several thousand feet underground. And officials are warning, right now, that it could take days, to rescue an American, from a Turkish cave. We have the latest, next.



COLLINS: Rescuers are working, overtime, tonight, to save an American, who has been trapped, in this Turkish cave, thousands of feet deep.

Mark Dickey was part of an exploration mission, when he suffered internal bleeding, almost 4,000 feet beneath the surface. He is now in stable condition. He's at a campsite.

But it is still located about 300,000 feet down. If you look at this graphic, you can see where he is, on this winding cave map. That is deeper than two Empire State Buildings, stacked on top of one another.

Of course, the rescue team has made it down to him. They have delivered him blood. And they are sending back a message, tonight.


MARK DICKEY, RESEARCHER TRAPPED 3,000 FEET UNDERGROUND: Hi. Mark Dickey from nearly 1,000 meters. I want to thank everyone that's down here, and thank the response of the caving community. The caving world is a really tightknit group, and it is amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: Rescuers say that his condition does seem to be improving, meaning that he will be able to start the trek upwards soon. But because of that health condition, and the complex cave structure, officials say, it could take days, before Mark can actually get back to the surface.

Obviously, we are wishing them the best.

Thank you, so much, for joining me, tonight.

"CNN PRIMETIME" with Abby Phillip starts, right now.

Abby, a scary situation.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST, CNN PRIMETIME: I cannot even fathom what that depth is like.


PHILLIP: That's pretty amazing. And hopefully, he does make his way back up.


PHILLIP: Scary situation, there.

Thanks, Kaitlan. Have a good night.

COLLINS: Thanks, Abby.

PHILLIP: And good evening, everyone. I am Abby Phillip.

The United States is barreling, it appears, toward a potentially epic rematch, between Donald Trump and President Biden.