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The Source with Kaitlan Collins
Ivanka Trump Testifies As NY A.G. Wraps Up Civil Fraud Case; Beshear On 2024: Biden And Trump Will Be The Nominees; Tuberville Signals New Willingness To Cut Deal As GOP Tensions Grow Over His Military Blockades. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 08, 2023 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: News continues. We're back in an hour.
Right now, "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS."
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Tonight, straight from THE SOURCE.
Breaking news, as longest actors' strike, in Hollywood history, is now coming to an end. The Union representing tens of thousands of actors has just reached a deal. When could your favorite shows return?
Plus, Ivanka Trump, on the stand, for hours, as the State's final witness, in her father's fraud trial. What she said, under oath, as well as what she didn't?
And the Democrat, who defied the odds, once again, winning reelection, in a deep red State, with abortion rights, helping drive that victory. Governor Andy Beshear is here.
I'm Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.
We start with breaking news, tonight, because after 118 days, Hollywood actors have just struck a deal, with major film and television studios. It would end a strike that shuttered production, across the entertainment industry, for nearly four months.
The SAG-AFTRA President, and former star of "The Nanny," Fran Drescher, posted, just moments ago, on Instagram, quote, "We did it," touting a deal, she says, is three times as big as the last contract.
A spokesperson, for the Union, also just confirmed the deal, telling CNN that that strike officially ends at 12:01 AM Pacific Time.
Joining us now is Axios Media Reporter, Sara Fischer, who's been following all of this closely.
Sara, what is the -- do we now have an idea of the shape of this deal, what the terms of this? Tentative deal still has to be ratified, actually, it looks like?
SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: We know a little bit, Kaitlan. They haven't actually released the deal yet. But there are some clues.
For one, we know that this deal is going to definitely stress artificial intelligence. That has been the big sticking point, for actors, over the past few weeks. They wanted to ensure that protections, for their actors, were built into the contract.
We also know to the point about this being three times as big that there's a lot of improvements, on wage negotiations. One of the things that actors have been pushing for is to ensure that they are going to get paid out, on streaming residuals. So, for episodes, that air later on, actors will get that payment.
But we don't know the precise details yet. That will come likely in a few days, once the actors have to ratify the agreement, essentially vote on it, to ensure that it goes into effect.
COLLINS: Well, and artificial intelligence was such a big sticking point, as these negotiations have gone on. There was a lot of concern, from these actors, about how their images, their likeness would be used. Do we have any idea of how that was resolved, in this deal?
FISCHER: A little bit. So, one of the things that towards the ends of these negotiations, they were really stuck on, was something called sort of like a digital scan. And that means an actor can go in, get their image, and likeness would have scanned by AI to be replicated, and used in the future.
What the actors were fighting for, and what we believe would be, in this contract, is something that suggests they own that scan, so they can get paid out for it, in the future. Of course, we don't have the final details yet. But that's what we assume is in it.
COLLINS: And we know that as this final offer that had been made, by the studio heads, in recent days, they said, "This is our best and final offer," the Union went back over, and looked at it, for four days or so, I believe.
I think the question that people watching, who are seeing this breaking news, Sara, are going to want to know, given the fact that movie premieres were pushed, filming of new seasons had been halted, what's the -- what does this look like, and how this actually restarts, when these new movies, these new shows, actually starts to get made, when viewers actually get to start to see them?
FISCHER: So, if this contract gets ratified, in the next few days, or few weeks, Kaitlan, then we would probably look at production, starting around 2024, in January.
And that's because unlike writing, where you can just pick up the pen, with production, you have to book venues, you have to coordinate transportation, you have to move sets. We're also heading into the holiday season, which makes it tougher.
I would expect production to resume, for your favorite films and series, in January. And things that were pushed into the first quarter of 2024, those things might still air. But we're looking at a lot of things returning in the second quarter of the year.
COLLINS: All right, Sara Fischer, a lot of questions of what this is going to look like. We'll wait to see once it is ratified, the final details of this. Sara Fischer, thank you.
FISCHER: Thank you.
COLLINS: In the meantime, in what looked like it could have been, out of a movie, today, Ivanka Trump was walking out of a New York courtroom, concluding the New York Attorney General's civil fraud case that they have been making, against her father, for weeks now.
But the legal drama is not over yet. She was the 25th and final witness, for the State's case here. They rested their case, after she left the stand, today. She followed her father, of course, who testified, on Monday, and her two adult brothers, on that witness stand that you can see here, from the court sketch.
The Attorney General, making a point of talking about what it was like, to see Ivanka Trump, in court, today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL: Ivanka Trump was cordial. She was disciplined. She was controlled. And she was very courteous.
And despite the fact that she was very, very nice and very friendly, the facts basically demonstrate the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: CNN's Kara Scannell was inside that courtroom, as Ivanka Trump was, on the witness stand, for several hours, today.
Kara, what was it like, to be in the room?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Kaitlan, I mean, Letitia Jones there is -- James is completely right that Ivanka Trump was a stark contrast, from the testimony of her father, just on Monday, where he was combative and lashed out at times.
She was very polite. She was very composed, when she answered these questions, today. And she was on the stand all day long. Now, she was once a defendant, in this case. She is no longer. So, she was just there, as a former employee, testifying about her role at the company.
And the questions by the Attorney General's office, today, really focused in on some loans that she was involved with. Because remember, the allegations in this case is that the Trumps have provided inflated financial statements, to get better terms on loans. So, she was presented with some of these loan documents, involving the golf course, Doral, in Miami, Florida, as well as the Old Post Office Building, in Washington, D.C. And so, Ivanka Trump was testifying about how she had become the relationship person, with one of the bankers, at Deutsche Bank, who financed these loans. And she said she was involved at a high level. But she said she didn't recall a lot of the nitty-gritty details of the loans, and wasn't even involved that much in it, so distancing herself from the loans and negotiating them.
Now, she had been asked questions, about the personal financial statements, of her father. Like her brothers, Don Jr. and Eric Trump, who testified last week, she said she didn't prepare them. She didn't know how they came together. She didn't input any information, into the values, for certain assets. So again, distancing herself, from these very financial statements.
And in one example, today, they had presented with her, an option, she had to buy a penthouse apartment, here in Manhattan, in one of the buildings her father owns. And the listing price that she had for this was about $8.5 million. On Trump's financial statements, for that same year, it was about two and a half times higher, at more than $20 million.
She was asked about that. She said she wasn't involved in it. She didn't know how they came up with it. So again, creating -- trying to create some distance, between her and the actual statements that are the center of this case, Kaitlan.
COLLINS: And she actually has different legal representation, than that of the rest of her family, in this case. Right, Kara?
SCANNELL: Yes, I mean, almost from the beginning, once this -- after these charges were brought, in the fall of last year, she then started a different tactic, from the rest of her family.
Her brothers are represented by attorneys. But they're very working very closely with the Trump Organization team, and the team for Donald Trump.
She has brought in different counsel, to represent her, in this. And she was able to actually argue and get herself removed, from this case, as a defendant. Part of that had to do because she left the business, in 2017, to join the White House team. So, she was not around when some of these claims were still continuing. And that allowed the Appeals court, to drop her from the case.
It was a smart legal move, on her part, to separate herself, from them legally, and instead had her here, not as a defendant today, but as a witness.
COLLINS: And when do we expect the defense to begin their part?
SCANNELL: So, Trump's team will begin their defense, on Monday. They have signaled that they might call Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, back to the stand, to ask them questions, in a different way, as they can, on direct examination then cross.
They've also signaled they're going to bring in some bankers, who will testify that they didn't rely on these financial statements, when they made decisions, to make these loans, as well as some experts. And they have said that their defense could go until December 15th.
COLLINS: OK. Kara Scannell, a lot of time outside that courthouse, thank you so much, for joining us, tonight.
And I'm joined now by former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams.
Elliot, listening to what Kara said there, that there were multiple times, on the stand, today, where Ivanka Trump was saying, "I don't recall," how does that factor into how the judge is listening to that?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it all depends on how believable it was, Kaitlan. And that's the tricky thing here.
She had somewhat of a delicate needle to thread, because she, number one, needed to draw some distance, between herself and the Trump Organization, and herself and her brothers. But also, number two, not hide from the fact that her name is in fact Ivanka Trump, and up until 2017, she was an Executive of the Trump Organization. And so, there's no measure of trying to distance herself that would really be convincing to the judge.
So, look, if a witness does not recall information, and that's accurate and truthful, then they ought to say that. Now, if there's a belief that the witness is actually lying to the court, then certainly the court can push them for answers.
It seemed that the judge was at least convinced by most of her answers, based on sort of the readouts that we got, from Kara and others.
COLLINS: Yes. And there's something that the Trump legal team did here that we didn't see them do, on Monday, when Donald Trump was in court that we haven't seen them do with the Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, the adult sons. They cross-examined Ivanka Trump. After the prosecutors were done, they got up and had a line of questioning for her.
Does that signal anything to you about how they plan to make their defense, when they start, on Monday?
WILLIAMS: I think so, only insofar as the defense that they're likely to bring is that number one, "Accountants prepared this information. And it really wasn't us."
Number two, "It's a little bit blurry and valuing buildings, putting valuations on them is pretty complicated."
And then, and perhaps even number three, "This is all a joke and a witch-hunt. And you're coming after us."
And I think they'll -- oh, and also "There are no victims here. This was a victimless crime." And she even today made that point. I can't remember --
COLLINS: She talked about how happy the banks were --
WILLIAMS: How happy the banks were.
COLLINS: -- to have their business, right?
WILLIAMS: And that's exactly it. It is a much -- it's like say -- it's that same victimless-crime argument, but just said with a smile, and with more politeness. She was really saying that there weren't really consequences here.
Now, look, even if the banks were eager to do business, with the Trump family? That does not mean that they did not violate New York State law. And so, it's a little bit misleading. And you heard it from all, I guess, four members of the Trump family, in some way. It's a little bit misleading to say that, "Banks weren't really harmed," because they may have engaged in unlawful conduct, and the judge could find that.
COLLINS: Huh. Elliot Williams, so interesting. We will all be watching closely, when the defense begins, on Monday. Thank you, for your time, tonight.
WILLIAMS: Thanks, Kaitlan.
COLLINS: Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, on a winning streak, after what happened last night, the elections, the victories, in many States, and for many different policies matters. Abortion rights was once again driving voters, to the polls.
We're going to speak to a Democratic governor, who made the issue, a central focus, of his reelection campaign, in a deep red State, and still won. Governor Andy Beshear is here, next.
Also tonight, for the first time, in nine months, Senator Tommy Tuberville may be cracking the door open, to a deal, lifting potentially that one-man blockade, of Military promotions. We'll ask one of his colleagues about that ahead.
COLLINS: Tonight, Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief, mainly because of what happened, on Election Night, last night all. Obviously, that coming on the heels of major polls, about President Biden's chances, in 2024 that had had them on edge, for a few days.
The White House, today, responding to that string of sweeping Democratic victories, in States, like Virginia and ruby-red Kentucky and Ohio, last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We saw the President's values and agenda win big, across -- across the country, last night.
We don't put much stock in polls. The President's going to focus on delivering for the American people. He has an agenda that is incredibly popular. And that matters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The agenda is popular. We saw that last night. But of course, there are still questions, when you look at the bigger picture, of this. And yes, we are still a year out, from the election, on what it means, potentially, for President Biden, who is deeply unpopular, as the leader of the Democratic Party.
Right now, when you look at polls, ranging from the New York Times, to a new one released by CNN, last night, former President Donald Trump is either beating him, or within that margin of error, in national and swing state polls.
A big question, tonight, for the Democratic Party, is did they win big, in spite of President Biden, not necessarily because of him.
The party has certainly been capitalizing, on the momentum that was built, ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade.
In Virginia, it helped Democrats hold the Senate -- hold the hold the Senate, and flip the House in that State legislature that the Governor Glenn Youngkin there, was hoping to change.
And in Ohio, which we were watching closely, last night, it became the latest red State, to make sure and to guarantee a right to an abortion, in the State's constitution.
Also, there was this race that everyone was watching last night, a Democrat, winning reelection, and going back to the governor's mansion, in Kentucky, with abortion as part of the central message of his campaign.
Governor Andy Beshear beat his Trump-endorsed opponent, the very popular, in the Republican Party, Attorney General in the State. That's a State that Trump, I should note, held and won by 26 points in 2020.
And joining me now is the Kentucky Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, who just won reelection.
Governor, last night, you won by a bigger margin than you did in 2019, both in urban and rural counties. What should other Democrats learn from you, about how to win in red areas that are considered, generally, to be Trump country?
GOV. ANDY BESHEAR (D-KY): Well, I think it's all about doing your job, and doing it well. And your job, as governor, is to get things done. That means you can't be chasing whatever issue of the day there is, in D.C., but be focused on where people live their lives.
People don't wake up thinking about President Biden or President Trump. They wake up thinking about, "Do I have a good job, where I can provide for my family? Can I afford to take my kids or parents to a doctor, when they're sick? Do I feel safe in my community? Are my kids getting the best education?"
So, stick to the things that matter most to people, and then have a plan. Be running for something, not against someone. Have a plan on how to make people's lives better.
COLLINS: One issue that you embraced is abortion. Kentucky has a near total ban on the procedure.
I want to remind everyone, who isn't in Kentucky, and may not have seen it, one of the most searing ads that you ran in this race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HADLEY, OWENSBORO, KY: I was raped by my stepfather after years of sexual abuse. I was 12. Anyone who believes there should be no exceptions for rape and incest could never understand what it's like to stand in my shoes. This is to you, Daniel Cameron. To tell a 12- year-old girl she must have the baby of her stepfather who raped her is unthinkable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: It's powerful testimony, from 21-year-old Hadley Duvall.
Governor, do you think that abortion is also going to be the issue that determines your party's success in 2024?
BESHEAR: Well, certainly, I've got to say that Hadley is one of the most courageous young women, I've ever met. This was a platform that she wanted. She wanted to speak up, for people who can't. And certainly, in Kentucky, we have the most extreme ban, in America, where that 13-year-old, raped and impregnated by her stepfather, would have no options.
Now, I know that the law may be different, in other States. But I can tell you, Kentuckians overwhelmingly, regardless of party, believe, in the very least, we need those exceptions. It's about basic empathy, for somebody, who has been violated. And I certainly hope our Legislature will pass those exceptions, as soon as they come back.
COLLINS: Well, I mean, it's a Republican supermajority, in that Legislature. I mean, it's going to limit your power to do anything with abortion.
What, if anything, do you think you can do, on abortion, in your State?
BESHEAR: Well, I think that the people have spoken, pretty loud and clear. I think that the job, whether here, a Republican supermajority, or a Democratic supermajority, is to do the will of the people. And when you don't, there are electoral consequences. So, we'll be having a lot of conversations, but at least taking this part of the issue, off the table, before their elections, next year, in 2024, would not just be political (ph), but it's the right thing to do.
We had what, a year ago, or two years ago, two 9-year-olds, raped and impregnated. Now, they had the option, of having options. But right now, that doesn't exist.
The other thing, Kaitlan, is non-viable pregnancies. We had a couple that did a separate commercial, I think, for one of the IEs (ph). And they talked about having a child that wasn't going to survive, outside the womb. Yet, under our law, they would have to carry it, and then listen to their child die. It's just wrong.
COLLINS: You think there's any chance, in reality, that those arguments, those powerful arguments, are able to change anyone's mind?
BESHEAR: I do. I think that it's less me, and it's more Hadley. I think that her testimony is so powerful. I think that we can all see our daughters, in Hadley. And she's not done. She and others are going to continue to speak up, to give voice, to those that feel like they can't speak up. And that's pretty special. And she's pretty special.
COLLINS: Last night was a big night, for Democrats, overall, not just obviously, with your reelection, but also with abortion rights, in Ohio, with Issue 1 passing, and just Democrats, generally.
It's raised questions about national politics in 2024, and what that looks like. And it comes also in a week that President Biden got some pretty low poll numbers, both in a New York Times/Siena poll, a CNN poll as well.
What do you make of calls, for President Biden, someone that you did not mention very much, on the campaign trail, to step aside from running in 2024?
BESHEAR: I fully expect the President will be the Democratic nominee. I fully expect President Trump will be the Republican nominee. And while there's a lot of chatter out there, I think that's going to be the race. We'll see.
COLLINS: The last time that we had you on this show was back in April. And there had just been a mass shooting, in your State that you were dealing with.
COLLINS: Also a mass shooting that killed a good friend of yours, Tommy Elliott, who was the Chair of your Inaugural campaign. You talked to me about how you said he had a great smile that he cared so much about the City of Louisville.
How much were you thinking of him, last night?
BESHEAR: A lot. We lost Tommy. I lost the godfather to my kids, about six months later. We all lived in that same neighborhood. We lost our interpreter, Virginia Moore, who people all around the world, got to know, during the Pandemic.
We've lost some really special people. And I recognize that's a part of life. And grief is the other side of love. The more you hurt, the more you love them. But I'm thinking about them a lot.
I think about Tommy, standing at the inauguration, in this huge fur hat --
COLLINS: His hat.
BESHEAR: -- that I gave him a little grief about. And we're going to keep a chair open for him. We're going to put that hat on it.
I think about my friend, John (ph), who I think was standing right over my shoulder, four years ago, when we won.
So, I know they're looking down. I know they love me. I love them too. And I will see them again.
COLLINS: Governor Andy Beshear, thank you, for your time.
BESHEAR: Thank you.
COLLINS: Up next, some Republicans are doing a little bit of soul- searching, after last night's election. More on what it could all mean, for 2024. We'll talk about it right after this.
COLLINS: On one side, there are sighs of relief. The other, mostly some groans tonight.
It is a tale of two parties, following big Democratic victories, in Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia, last night, leaving many Republicans, now asking themselves, what went wrong.
One of them might be my next guest. Scott Jennings is an alum of the Bush White House, and Senior Adviser to Senator McConnell.
Ashley Allison was the National Coalitions Director for the Biden- Harris 2020 Campaign.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.
COLLINS: Let me start by saying you're obviously close friends, with Daniel Cameron. You've held fundraisers for him. You've given him advice. You were with him, last night.
What does he think went wrong?
JENNINGS: Well, I mean, certainly -- and first of all, I have to say, I know Andy Beshear as well. And I have a lot of respect for the campaign they ran. It was the two things you need in politics. Discipline and well-funded, I mean, and they had them both, and they did a good job, and they ran their plays, and that's why he won.
I think there's a number of things, beyond just the money. But the abortion issue, I think, did play a role. Kentucky does have a restrictive law. But what we lack is the exceptions for rape and incest. That became a huge part of the Beshear advertising campaign. And they stayed with it for two solid months, or more, on the air.
And I just, there's a lot of people that are strongly pro-life, in Kentucky, and elsewhere, who think we should have the exceptions. And I think it -- I think it did have a huge impact, on the overall discourse of the campaign.
COLLINS: Did Daniel Cameron acknowledge that last night? What was his kind of thought process, watching those returns come in?
JENNINGS: Well, I mean, look, he was, you know, there's a lot of issues that were on his mind, last night, and this morning. I saw him, before I flew up here today. I mean, he ran on mostly education and crime. Beshear ran on mostly the abortion issue, and economic development. So, they both picked two different lanes.
I think he's probably -- it's probably a little too soon, a little too raw, to do too much, issue analysis like that. But, I think, when you look at the level of advertising that was run on the topic, in Kentucky, and in other States, you saw it made a difference.
And I also think we found the limits of Donald Trump. I mean, Trump played a big role in this campaign. He's a big supporter of Daniel. He got him the nomination, when he endorsed him. And Daniel used Trump, to help close the campaign, at the end. But it didn't quite get him, over the hump.
And there are still voters, out there, who would love everything, about Daniel Cameron, except they don't love the influence of Trump, on our politics. They turned out last November, in the midterm. They don't like Biden either. They turned out some, in Kentucky, this November. We've had two straight elections with that now.
COLLINS: I want to talk about Trump's influence on this, in a moment.
But you mentioned what he ran on. He also tried to tie Andy Beshear, to President Biden a lot.
COLLINS: Andy Beshear did not try to tie himself, to President Biden, a lot. He did say there, he does believe he'll be the nominee, to those calls, for him to drop out.
What do you make of how Governor Beshear ran this race? And how he wasn't -- you know, he talked about the Biden policies, the battery plants, abortion, but he didn't talk about the President himself.
ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Joe Biden didn't win Kentucky, in 2020. So, it historically has not been a State, where Democrats win, in the presidential. But they are successful running Democratic governors.
So, I think, it makes sense, for Andy Beshear, to stand as his own independent candidate, and run the race that he did. He is a good governor. He will be. He was really good in crisis responses. He talked about, in your interview, you just had with him, about how he dealt with mass shootings.
I think one thing, on the Daniel Cameron front, though, there was this belief that because Daniel Cameron was Black, in some places, that he would get some of the Black vote that might be leaning towards Donald Trump. But a lot of Black people also remember, Daniel Cameron was a person, who did not prosecute the Police officers, who killed Breonna Taylor.
That Louisville Police Department was a central -- it became a national story. And that was under Beshear's leadership. So, I think that also, you know -- or under Cameron's leadership. So I think that that also played a little bit into the race as well.
COLLINS: Yes. You mentioned that last night. And I do think that's a part of this that maybe voters outside of Kentucky don't always associate with that race. But it is important.
Trump himself obviously, went from saying that Daniel Cameron was not actually that much of a McConnell guy, even though he's explicitly endorsed by McConnell, to now saying, today, that the reason that he lost was because he couldn't alleviate the stench of Mitch McConnell.
JENNINGS: It's interesting. We had other races on the ballot, last night.
The Agriculture Commissioner was Mitch McConnell's Campaign Chairman, won by almost 20 points.
The Attorney General now, Russell Coleman, Mitch McConnell's lawyer, won by almost 20 points.
Mike Adams, our Secretary of State, got reelected, former McConnell Scholar, at the University of Louisville, had the most votes on the ticket. In fact, Mike, my old college roommate, by the way, was the least Trumpy guy, on the ballot. And he got more votes than anybody running, last night.
Dare I say, that's incorrect, and that we found the limits of Trump's influence.
COLLINS: Yes, I'm curious, quickly, what you thought about what Senator Mitt Romney said today, as they were doing the postmortem, on Capitol Hill. This is what he told, our colleagues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): When we're talking about some social issues, they could become highly divisive. And we end up not doing as well as we could have.
I think we're winning when we're talking about the economy, when we're talking about the cost of living.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: You think Republicans realize that?
ALLISON: Well, I think, social issues are economic issues. Abortion is an economic issue. And, I think, voters are seeing that more and more, whether you have paid child care, whether you can afford those things. And so, they can talk about the economy. But voters are more nuanced than people are giving them credit for, right now.
And I agree, though, with Romney. The culture wars are not a winning path forward, for the Republican Party. And if DeSantis? You know, they're debating, tonight. If DeSantis were to become the nominee, he's the king of culture wars. And I don't think that will fare well for the Republican Party.
JENNINGS: You know?
COLLINS: We're looking to see how that -- we're close -- out of time. But quickly, Scott.
JENNINGS: Well, it was Beshear, who ran ads on abortion, not Cameron. Sometimes, in campaigns, you just don't have the luxury of ignoring things. And Beshear --
COLLINS: Well, and abortion works for Democrats, clearly.
JENNINGS: And so, it's hard to ignore it.
COLLINS: Scott Jennings, Ashley Allison, thank you both, for being here.
Pennsylvania, also a State that we were watching closely, last night that's critical in any presidential election. It had a critical night, last night. What did the Governor think of it?
Governor Josh Shapiro is here, next.
COLLINS: The groundwork, for success, for Democrats, in 2024, could potentially start with some of those victories that you saw, last night, in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
It could spark some needed momentum, for the top of the ticket, President Biden. Of course, there are big questions about what that is going to look like? We still don't know a year out. But we do know, for Biden, to keep the White House, all roads will travel through Pennsylvania, and its 19 electoral votes.
So, let's get straight to THE SOURCE, tonight, with Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, Josh Shapiro.
Governor, great to have you here, on the show.
Do you think that the success Democrats had, last night --
GOV. JOSH SHAPIRO (D-PA): Thank you.
COLLINS: -- particularly, on abortion, will translate into success, for your party, in 2024?
SHAPIRO: Well, I think what we consistently see, in Pennsylvania? And I think you saw it in some other States, last night as well, is that real freedom continues to win. The idea that those on the other side are trying to restrict people's freedom, take away their rights? That's not a formula for success.
What we saw from our State Supreme Court, all the way to our school board races, is that people want more freedom, not less. You saw a lot of that, in my race, for governor, which we won, with more votes than anyone in the history of our Commonwealth. And you saw that continue again, last night, in these important races, in Pennsylvania. And I expect it'll continue into 2024.
COLLINS: Yes, that State Supreme Court race got so much attention, more than, of course, one typically would.
But when you look at that, and you look at the other results, how do you square it being a good night, for your party, for your party's policies, but on the heels of that new polling, that we saw, that show voters don't love the party's leader, right now? Because he's trailing Donald Trump, by four points nationwide.
Which one do you think is going to matter more in 2024, when voters go to the polls, then?
SHAPIRO: I think you just have to keep looking at the actual data. And the data comes on Election Night. 2022, and again, last night, in 2023, freedom won, standing up for democracy, won. That GSD attitude that we bring every day, in Pennsylvania, Getting Stuff Done, for the good people of Pennsylvania, that won.
And I think when you look ahead to 2024, the President's got a record of GSD, whether it's helping us repair I-95, or connecting people to high speed, affordable internet, making sure our roads and bridges are fixed, in that we're having a real clean energy economy boom, in Pennsylvania, which is coming as a result of the President's investments. I think he's on the right side of freedom. He's on the right side of standing up for people's rights, and he's on the right side of getting stuff done.
COLLINS: But do you think he can overcome that given, I mean, even if you think he is on the right side of that?
And certainly the White House says a lot of this is we just need to message better on our policies. Can he overcome those pretty bad poll numbers a year out? And it is a year out. But it's also, there's not that much, there's not a ton of time to make that up.
Can that be overcome? And is it a messaging issue, in your view?
SHAPIRO: Well, look, Kaitlan, it is a year from now. That's a long time.
And there's also a clear contrast in this race, between President Biden and the former President.
There's a clear contrast between President Biden who's investing in roads and bridges and internet, and protecting our freedoms. And the other side, the former President, President Trump, who wants to restrict our freedoms, who brought total chaos, to the White, House and brought chaos, into our living rooms, seemingly every single day.
That clear contrast is something that I think, will -- voters will see more clearly, as the race joins. And as we move forward, I think you'll continue to see the President of the United States be able to prosecute an effective case, as to why he deserves a second term.
COLLINS: So, you think it'll get better as time goes on.
I do want to ask you about something else that's happening. Because you talked about your Jewish faith, a lot, on the campaign trail.
You've talked about fighting anti-Semitism, which we know has been on the rise in the U.S. And we've seen some really ugly instances, over the last several weeks, since, what, the attacks happened, in Israel.
Tonight, we're hearing from some progressive members, of your party, like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who say they believe that the President's position, on Israel, could impact his standing, with young voters.
What do you think?
SHAPIRO: Well, look, I'm much more focused on trying to see if we can destroy Hamas' capabilities, in the Middle East, and making sure that Israel -- standing with Israel, as Israel has the right to defend itself.
And ensuring that what we're seeing in the Middle East, doesn't give rise to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Arab sentiment, here in my Commonwealth, or throughout this country. No one should use what's happening in the Middle East, as an excuse, for their anti-Arab sentiment or Islamophobia, nor justification for their anti-Semitism.
And so, I think what we need to do is stand with Israel, as she defends herself, against this terrorism. We need to work hard to make sure that those hostages are released, including American hostages.
And we need to make sure that the temperature, here in the United States, is taken down, and that everyone, no matter what you look like, or where you come from, that everyone here can live in peace and live insecurity.
COLLINS: Yes. But young voters were such a key part of the coalition that put Biden in the White House. Do you have any concerns that it could alienate them, or that they may not show up to vote, on Election Day?
SHAPIRO: Kaitlan, I'm just not looking at this through a political prism. And I think it's certainly too soon, to know what the effect of this is going to be, later on, with one particular demographic. And I'm certainly not the pundit. You are. You can analyze that.
I'm focused on making sure that in the spirit of William Penn, here, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we're a welcoming warm place, for all people. No matter where you worship, or where you come from, it's critically important that everyone feels safe here. And that's what I'm focused on, as Governor.
COLLINS: I'm not a pundit either. I'm going to take insult to that.
Governor Josh Shapiro, thank you for --
SHAPIRO: I'm sorry. I mean no disrespect. I mean no disrespect.
COLLINS: No. We're glad to have you, on THE SOURCE, tonight. We look forward to having you back, again. Thank you for your time tonight, Governor.
SHAPIRO: Thank you, Kaitlan.
COLLINS: Up next, we have new developments, coming in, on Capitol Hill. Senator Tommy Tuberville's months long Military blockade. You saw it here, on the first night, of THE SOURCE.
The question is, is the Republican now finally open to ending that hold? We'll talk to one of his colleagues, next.
COLLINS: Tonight, Senator Tommy Tuberville appears to be potentially open to a deal that would end his months-long Military blockade.
Speaking with CNN today, the Alabama Republican said that he is trying to talk to the Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, about what could potentially be an off-ramp, for releasing those holds.
He didn't say exactly what he would agree to. He has not been agreeable with what they have proposed, in the past, certainly not from the Pentagon. But he did renew his openness, to potentially making a deal with them.
Of course, what's important here is the context that this all comes amid growing pressure, from his own party members, and Republicans, in the Senate, who say that they do believe those holds, from Senator Tuberville, are undermining national security.
I'm joined now by one of those colleagues, Republican senator, Mike Rounds, who serves on the Armed Services Committee.
I'm so glad you're here, tonight, Senator.
Do you think that this is a real shift in Senator Tuberville's position?
SEN. MIKE ROUNDS (R-SD): It is a shift. It is not like he has not been trying to find a path forward in the past. He has.
But I think he has recognized as well that we've got probably close to 400 uniformed officers, right now, that are waiting for either reassignment or an advancement in grade. And some of them, if they're not taken care of, fairly quickly, they may very well decide to retire, rather than move up in ranks. And we can't afford to lose that type of experience, at this point.
So, Senator Tuberville has been, you know, he's been sympathetic to that discussion. But at the same time, he truly has a real concern, with the abortion policy, which was arbitrarily imposed, by the Administration, through the Secretary of Defense. And it's really bothered him. It's bothered a lot of us.
The challenge is, is finding the right way, to put pressure on the Administration, to take out what we believe to be an inappropriate policy, regarding abortion.
COLLINS: Yes, it's 452, I believe, is the latest number, we got, from the Pentagon, today.
I think the question is, after that meeting that Senate Republicans had, yesterday, is there actually something realistic, in mind, to get him to back off of this hold? Was there anything that he didn't reject, when you all were behind closed doors?
ROUNDS: He didn't totally reject any of the offers. What he said was that he would take them under consideration.
He recognizes that time is of the essence, for a number of these individuals. And, at the same time, he believes that, his cause is just. So, right now, what we've tried to do is to find as many different options that might work for him. And, at the same time to, you know, he's made his point. The whole country understands the fact that this department, the Department of Defense, made this change. And that change -- changed policy that have been in effect since 1985. And to do that without legislative approval, it was wrong. And the Coach made that very clear.
Now, what he's saying is, is "Look, I don't want to hurt these guys. If I can find a path forward, I want to." We've offered a couple different ideas and some ways to show support for him.
ROUNDS: I think the Conference itself is pretty supportive of his goal. But we have a real concern, about the impact that it's having, on uniformed officers that really don't have any say, in trying to fix the messes there.
COLLINS: Well, and Senator, as you know, this is a policy that the Pentagon put in place, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade. That's why the White House and the Pentagon argues they felt the need to do it.
And I understand you say that you agree with his position that you don't like this policy? A lot of Republicans we've heard from don't. But is this the way to get what you want, by punishing service members and their families?
ROUNDS: I guess, that's the message that we've shared with Senator Tuberville, is that there should be a better way of doing it. It's different than the option that I would have taken. At the same time, Senator Tuberville chose this. And that's his right to do so. Now, we're trying to find the best path forward.
I truly believe that Senator Tuberville is trying to find the right path forward as well. And I think he understands that, he wants to resolve this. He told me that today that he wants to find a path forward. We've suggested some options to him that would allow him to continue to at least make the case that what they did, in changing that policy, was not --
COLLINS: Would you --
ROUNDS: -- in accordance with the law.
COLLINS: Would you vote for that?
ROUNDS: And that there could be some other options.
COLLINS: Well some Senate Democrats are maybe trying to cook up a bipartisan deal, where they would make a rules change, to a faster approval, for Military confirmation. Would you be willing to vote for that? Because they need at least nine Republicans to do so.
ROUNDS: Yes, what they would need is 60 votes in the Senate. And it would be what they call changing a standing order. It's been done back in 2013, one time. But there are some concerns with that by most of the members of my Conference, because of the timing that they're putting this in effect.
It would impact during this time in which this administration was in office. But it would not be continued on. And the chances of them continuing that on during an administration change is suspect.
COLLINS: So, would you vote for it?
ROUNDS: So, there's concern with that. Well, at this --
COLLINS: Or you're not sure?
ROUNDS: Not at this point.
ROUNDS: Look, I think there are other options available to us yet. And we're running out of time, before that might be offered, by our Democrat colleagues.
But over the next couple of days, we'd like to see, if we can find a better alternative. There are several that are being discussed. And, I think, the Coach, Senator Tuberville, is seriously considering them. We hope to have this resolved, in the next few days.
COLLINS: Yes. So you are a "No" on the rules change.
We'll see if he is a "Yes," on changing his position.
Senator Mike Rounds, as always, thank you for your time.
ROUNDS: Thank you.
COLLINS: Also, an update, from the Middle East, tonight, as the Israel Defense Forces claims it has destroyed 130 of those complex tunnels that Hamas uses, underneath Gaza. Of course, many obstacles still remain, in that underground war. We'll give you an update, next.
COLLINS: The Pentagon, tonight, announcing an airstrike, on a weapons storage facility, in Syria, that they say is used, by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and affiliated groups. That strike, the second one, in just two weeks, they say, was in response, to attacks, on American forces, who were stationed, in Iraq and Syria.
All of this is coming, as the Israeli Military provides this update, saying that it destroyed 130 tunnel shafts in Gaza, since that war began, since you saw Israel's forces moving into Gaza, of course, and that forcing thousands of Palestinians to flee.
The United Nations says, tonight, that 40,000 people have evacuated, to Southern Gaza, just since Saturday, alone. Of those, who were able to make that opening -- to the open crossing, along with the Egyptian border, many of them are still in desperate need, for medical help, tonight.
Of course, many people have been asking, as this coverage has gone on, how they can help. You can help, in these efforts, in Israel, and in Gaza. Just go to CNN.com/Impact, or text, RELIEF, to 707070, to donate. These are vetted organizations you can trust.
I want to thank you so much, for joining us, tonight.
Up next, CNN's special coverage, of the third Republican debate.