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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Hunter Biden's Attorney Responds To Nine New Tax Charges; KY Woman Approximately Eight Weeks Pregnant Files Lawsuit Challenging State's Abortion Laws; Poll: Majority Of Americans Want Government Action On Climate. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired December 08, 2023 - 21:00   ET




MIKE GOLDBERG, I.CARE: We are rebuilding the coral reefs here in the Florida Keys.

OSEI BOATENG, OKB HOPE FOUNDATION: I'm going to ensure that people in Ghana have access to health care.

DR. KWANE STEWART, PROJECT STREET VET: I see a pet in need, and a person who cares for them dearly.

ADAM PEARCE, LOVEYOURBRAIN: Trauma can be a pathway for growth.

ALVIN IRBY, BARBERSHOP BOOKS: We install child-friendly reading space in the Barbershop.

YASMINE ARRINGTON BROOKS, SCHOLARCHIPS: We all are connected because of the shared experience of having an incarcerated parent.

STACEY BUCKNER, OFF-ROAD OUTREACH: There should be no homeless vets. Period. None.

TESCHA HAWLEY, DAY EAGLE HOPE PROJECT: I don't want to be defined as a victim of my circumstances.

MAMA SHU, AVALON VILLAGE: I do want to make sure that they get all the attention and love that they deserve.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: A lot of really inspiring, remarkable people.

The news continues. THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS starts now. Have a great weekend.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Tonight, straight from THE SOURCE.

Hunter Biden claiming Republicans are trying to kill him, and destroy a presidency, after that new indictment.

How the President's son plans to fight back against nine new charges? His lawyer is here with us tonight. So, stick around for that.

Plus, Donald Trump better watch what he says, and whom he attacks, including potential witnesses, after a federal gag order is mostly reinstated.

And it has just happened again, in another red state, with a near- total abortion ban, a woman suing to terminate her pregnancy, this time, at eight weeks. Is a groundswell of these cases coming?

I'm Pamela Brown. And this is THE SOURCE.

Good evening. Kaitlan will be back with you, on Monday.

Tonight, President Biden is dodging questions, on the nine new tax- related charges, against his son, Hunter. And the White House is refusing to comment, only saying Mr. Biden, quote, "loves his son and supports him as he continues to rebuild his life."

Hunter, however, is lashing out at House Republicans, today, after his second indictment, in three months, with a bold claim, saying that they want to kill him, to take down his father.


HUNTER BIDEN, PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN'S SON, AMERICAN ATTORNEY AND BUSINESSMAN: They are trying to, in their most illegitimate way, but rational way, they're trying to destroy a presidency. And so, it's not about me. And their most base way, what they're trying to do is they're trying to kill me, knowing that it will be a pain greater than my father could be able to handle.


BROWN: Well, Republicans have been relentless, in their pursuit of Hunter, through their own investigations. But this indictment didn't come from the GOP. It came from President Biden's own Justice Department, a Special Counsel was appointed.

The younger Biden stands accused of engaging in a four-year scheme, to avoid paying at least $1.4 million in taxes, on income, and instead funding a lavish lifestyle, of drugs and escorts, including spending nearly $700,000, on payments to quote, "various women," and nearly $200,000 on adult entertainment, between 2016 and 2019.

These charges, in California, are in addition to the gun-related charges, filed in Delaware.

So, how does his team plan to fight all of this? Well, let's get straight to THE SOURCE, with Hunter Biden's own attorney, Abbe Lowell.

Abbe, thanks for being here.

ABBE LOWELL, HUNTER BIDEN'S ATTORNEY: Pamela, good to be here. BROWN: So, I've been going back through the plea agreement, the statement of facts. And didn't your client admit in open court to not paying the same amount of taxes, for these exact years that are in the indictment?

LOWELL: Not exactly, Pamela.

In the plea agreement that was negotiated and filed, back in June, what Hunter was willing to do was to admit, like millions of Americans, that he did not pay his taxes on time, that they were the tax is due, but that was only amount of a delay, not what happened today.

Let me put this in perspective, since you asked about the last. Let me show you.

On June, the 20th, the U.S. Attorney in Delaware thought, after a five-year painstaking investigation, that the appropriate resolution was to file two misdemeanor late-payment charges, in a piece of paper that was barely two pages long.

Yesterday, that same U.S. Attorney has now done a 56-page nine-count indictment.

No facts have changed, from the years that he's been investigating, after five years. The law has not changed. So, what people need to stop and ask is why was this OK, in June? And this is what he's doing now?

The only change that has occurred has been the enormous pressure, put on by Republican members of Congress, former President Trump, in order to demand that something happen, about Hunter Biden. That's what's different between then and yesterday.

BROWN: And it's certainly fair to make the point, of the gap, between the plea deal, and the two misdemeanor charges, and the three felony charges and six misdemeanors in the indictment.

But as you well know, and I know you've done countless of plea deals for clients, if a defendant pleads guilty, as part of the deal, the whole point is to get leniency, as I'm sure that you know.


And this deal fell through, right? This plea deal fell through. And do lawyers, for Hunter Biden, take any responsibility, for not putting in writing, in that plea deal, that he would get immunity, for any other charges, moving forward? Because that was one of the big sticking points of why this plea deal fell through.

LOWELL: If you look back the five months ago, when all this happened, there's blame that mostly falls on the part of the prosecutors. It was their paper. They wrote it. It was their design. It was their structure. And when the judge asked questions, rather than defending what they had agreed to, they ran away from it. But let's also put in perspective, what happened yesterday, as well as then. Where is the fairness, justice and decency in this? The charges in this new tax indictment, talk about a period, where Hunter was at the lowest ebb of his addiction. And like people, in that regard, and I know everybody in America either has somebody, in their family or friends, who suffer from addiction, he certainly did things that he's not proud of.

But wait, what happened since? He got himself sober in 2019. And he paid all the taxes that are owed in this indictment, more than two years ago, with interest and penalties. Nobody in that position would be charged the way he was, yesterday, nobody.

BROWN: But you would admit, as an attorney that having an addiction wouldn't absolve you, of potential criminal acts.

And the plea agreement that he agreed to, does talk about the fact that in that four-year period, he made millions of dollars. He was doing business deals. He had several clients he was representing, as a lawyer. So, if he was able to do that, why shouldn't he also, like every other American, pay his taxes, on time?

And in that plea deal, and I just want to read part of it for you, Abbe, to get your response, of which again, he agreed to.

It said, "At the time his 2018 tax payment was due, Biden continued to have substantial income and the ability to pay his tax liability... By late May, Biden had spent almost the entire sum on personal expenses, including large cash withdrawals, payments to or on behalf of his children, credit card balances, and car payments for his Porsche."

He admitted in court. And again, you can't use this.

LOWELL: He didn't (ph) admit in court. This was a piece of paper that didn't get filed, because the prosecutor walked away from the deal.

But I want to point out again, looking at what you just read from, every year, millions of Americans are late in their taxes. Hunter, as part of his accepting responsibility, was willing to say, "I did that."

But the most important part of what you're not saying, and what happened yesterday, is that when he became sober, what is one of the first things he did? Paid all of his taxes, paid the penalties and interest.

And the most important thing is when people are in his position, and you want to talk about what he did, and every other American, who you say pay on time, when the IRS says that you made a mistake, or you're late, or you do something, you know what they do? They audit you. They talk to you. They ask you questions. They ask you for backup.

What did the government do, in this case? They charged him in a 56- page nine-count indictment, with no notice and no warning. That's what's different. What's different is you, me and the people you're saying would have been treated differently. And there's just a very easy explanation. I want to just go back to the basics.

BROWN: I want to--

LOWELL: June 20th. Yesterday.

BROWN: And I want to pick this apart.

LOWELL: What happened in between?


LOWELL: All the Republican pressure.

BROWN: And it's fair to make that point that this is politically- motivated, as his defense attorney, look at this and look at that.

A couple of things though. You talk about, he got sober, he paid it. Well, in the plea deal, the statement of facts, it talks about in May of 2019, he got sober. Then, past the October extension deadline, November, he started to pay it back. But the government is alleging that he filed false tax returns that he made up deductions that weren't accurate. So, I'll let you respond to that.

But also, you're talking about the average American here. They wouldn't be treated this way.

Well, what about the more than 2,600 cases, for similar crimes, brought last year? I just -- I've got this case that I just printed out, from two weeks ago, in New Jersey. It was a tax case, treated like a criminal matter, for less than the $1.4 million.

LOWELL: Don't know the case you're talking about.

I can tell you this. We have presented to the U.S. Attorney, then the Justice Department, the statistics that you're looking at, I suppose. But more importantly, we went through the cases.

I can tell you that in the District of Delaware, and other places, a person, who has filed late, paid on when it was then paid and full with interest, et cetera, and had no other issues about them, and made mistakes that both went to his advantage, and went to his disadvantage, that same tax return that they're saying has deductions that shouldn't have been, has income that he should not have claimed as income.

And when that happens, I am telling you, the result in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is not to bring a standalone misdemeanor count, let alone misdemeanor counts, let alone what they did yesterday. It is usually resolved in a civil fashion.


One of the things we presented to the government, when we met, when his prior lawyers met, was to point out an example. There is a partner, at a law firm, in Washington, D.C., who didn't pay $7.8 million at all, never filed. And what happened to that partner, in a law firm? Was allowed to resolve it, civilly. There are all kinds of examples.

But again, I tell you. It doesn't matter what you or I think. What matters is what David Weiss thought, on June 20th.

And on June 20th, David Weiss, after five years thought, a two misdemeanor late payment was the way to resolve this case.

BROWN: In exchange for a guilty plea, we should note, which is often, a plea deal--

LOWELL: Two on misdemeanor.

BROWN: --gives to -- leniency though. As you -- I just think that context is important for viewers, who would not understand how the process works.

LOWELL: People would not go to jail, pleading to a misdemeanor of late filing, after they had already paid their taxes, two years later. That just wouldn't happen.

BROWN: Well, let me ask you this, because certainly reading through the indictment, first of all, it relies a lot on his memoir. And I'm wondering if you stand by everything he wrote in his memoir, or if he will argue?

LOWELL: Everything he wrote in his memoir, it's his memoir.


LOWELL: But this is what we will stand by. In the years of this indictment--

BROWN: But hold on. I want to follow-up.

LOWELL: Sorry, please.

BROWN: Again, let me ask.


BROWN: OK. So, sounds like it's a memoir. That's his accounting. And you're not going to contest that.

LOWELL: Well, I don't know what part you want to refer to.

BROWN: Well, the indictment, throughout the indictment, it talks about how he was moving--

LOWELL: How he was addicted? How he spent money lavishly? How he made the most unwise decisions about how he spent his money, his addiction, his junkies, the, quote, "Escorts?"

BROWN: Right. And how he -- how instead of paying taxes, he was spending millions of dollars, on personal?

LOWELL: You know somebody, who's been addicted, and somebody who makes bad choices?

BROWN: Look?

LOWELL: And nobody who understands?

BROWN: I'm talking from a legal perspective. Are you going to get in front of the judge, in a courtroom, and argue about his addiction, as his defense? Because many people have addictions, and they don't just get off the hook, because of that addiction.

LOWELL: Indeed actually -- actually when willfulness--

BROWN: It doesn't absolve you. And if he is able to have clients--

LOWELL: Sorry.

BROWN: --according to the plea deal, and make millions of dollars, and do business those four years? I mean, are you saying he was addicted and high and out of his mind for four years straight, and couldn't pay his taxes?

LOWELL: I am saying that in the period of time, of this indictment, he was at the worst part of his addiction. I am saying that the priorities that he made, between spending money, lavishly, and figuring out how to get his taxes paid on time, is a mistake that he's admitted.

But I'm telling you, what's the result of those mistakes? And the result of those mistakes, in every other circumstance, would not be a 56-page nine-count indictment, for somebody who paid their taxes, in full, two years before this indictment was brought, in the circumstances. That's the bottom line.

And more importantly, treating people same, no matter what their name is, is key. And I don't want to be harping on it. But I want you, and all of your colleagues, and people, who think something bad happened that should be addressed, to have the U.S. Attorney answer the question.

Why was two misdemeanors with the possibility of no jail with a plea agreement, the right result in June? And why are nine counts about the same events--


LOWELL: --what he did yesterday? Tell me what happened in between--

BROWN: And we've covered that ground. And our viewers can see it all.

LOWELL: -other than Chairman Comer, Chairman Jordan, Chairman Smith, former President Trump, that's the difference.

BROWN: And you mentioned Comer. And I want to get to him. Let's listen to what Chairman Comer said today, in the wake of this latest indictment.


REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): And my concern, is that Weiss may have indicted Hunter Biden, to protect him--


COMER: --from having to be deposed, in the--


COMER: --in the House Oversight Committee, on Wednesday.

TAPPER: Yes, he--


BROWN: So, what do you say to that? And will Hunter Biden comply--

LOWELL: So, hey?

BROWN: --with the subpoena, to testify, on December 13?

LOWELL: The day that I can make sense of the things that Chairman Comer says, is the day that I should be nominated for some great educational prize.

I would tell you, if I understand what he's saying is that the Special Counsel, now, used to be the U.S. Attorney, decided to bring these counts, to help protect Hunter Biden, in some fashion or another. If that's what he's saying, that almost is ridiculous coming out of his mouth as it is for me to repeat it.

If he's saying that somehow the U.S. Attorney did this to protect the U.S. Attorney? I'd agree with the Chairman.

He's doing this because he took such unbearable pressure, and heat, and criticism, on June, when we did the deal, that he reneged. And now, he's going to show over and over again, that he is not going to make another mistake that subjects him to that kind of political pressure.

If that's what Chairman Comer means? I might agree with him.

BROWN: And you say, he reneged. Both parties went into court that day, with a plea deal in hand, ready to agree to it. The judge raised questions, right? And there was the -- the immunity question was really a big sticking point. But I want to--

LOWELL: But it was the prosecutors, who right after that, withdrew it.

BROWN: But lawyers also defend their clients, and usually put everything in writing, and make sure that everything--

LOWELL: But you're saying-- BROWN: --is locked in law.

LOWELL: We use the word, reneged. And I want to be clear--


LOWELL: --that the entity who reneged on the deal, the next day, or the next week, was the prosecutor, who literally communicated, and said the deal's off.


LOWELL: Not that it was tweaked to deal with the judge's questions, but it was off.

BROWN: OK. Let me quickly follow up on the question, about will he show up for the congressional deposition, on December 13th?

LOWELL: Oh, you're asking about what's going to happen next week?


LOWELL: Hunter and I and his advisers are thinking about what we have exchanged with the committee. And we'll make the decision, in the next days, before that date comes to.

BROWN: So, you have no decision yet, as of right now?


BROWN: Last question for you. You're making the argument that this is basically political persecution that this is unfair, for Hunter Biden, your client, because of his last name.


Should he be pardoned? Will your client apply for a pardon?

LOWELL: Well that is just so far down the road, to even remotely believe. It's not even in the lexicon of what we're talking about.

So, when we say political pressure, to put a finer point on it? In the District of Delaware, and most places, no person has ever been charged with the gun charges that Hunter was charged with, unless it was part of a crime, multiple guns, felony record. Never happened.

Nobody, who did what Hunter did with the issues that he had at the time, who paid his taxes, two years ago, and was part of this arrangement with the government, has ever gone from one and a half pages of a misdemeanor, to nine counts and 56 pages, including felonies.


LOWELL: It just didn't happen. BROWN: All right. And I'm going to -- I'll let you read this case, from a couple of weeks ago too, of other cases, where an American didn't pay taxes, and it was treated as a criminal matter.

LOWELL: I'm not suggesting that there's none.

BROWN: But I know -- but I--

LOWELL: But I'll tell you what. I'll come back after you give me your case. And I'll show you how the cases that should be compared will show that the person who's being treated differently, is not the person in your case.


LOWELL: But Hunter.

BROWN: All right. You're welcome back anytime. Thank you so much. Abbe Lowell, appreciate it.

LOWELL: Thank you.

BROWN: Up next, the second gag order is now back on Donald Trump, with some tweaks. A federal appeals court ruling, what he says has real- world consequences.

And Israel is finally talking more about those masses of men detained, and stripped down to their underwear, in Gaza. Where have they been taken? And we're going to talk to someone, who says his brother was among them, and he says unfairly targeted.



BROWN: Well, tonight Donald Trump, once again, told by a court, he has to watch what comes out of his mouth, and out of his keyboard. This ruling, in the federal case, involving his attempt to overturn the election.

In the end, Trump can't talk about witnesses, the prosecutors, the court staff or their family members. But one change. He can still badmouth the Special Counsel, Jack Smith, himself, as well as criticize President Biden, and the Department of Justice.

The court found, quote, "Mr. Trump's documented pattern of speech and its demonstrated real-time, real-world consequences pose a significant and imminent threat to the functioning of the criminal trial process in this case."

Here to help us understand what this all means is former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu.

All right. So, what do you make of the fact that this is a second court, in recent weeks, to say, "Trump can say what he wants to say about people outside of court?" SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, FORMER COUNSEL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think those courts are all getting it right. He shouldn't be able to say anything that he wants. And they're making a really good-faith effort, to try and balance the constitutional issue.

I think there's a little bit too much controversy, directed on the constitutional issue, because this is not really a case, about his First Amendment right to speech. We're talking about his conduct outside the courtroom. And it's inside in the evidence that should really count.

And the fact that he is being told that he can't insult, or intimidate people, that's normal to control a case. And to me, he doesn't get extra First Amendment rights, just because he's running for president. Needs to be balanced. But there's nothing extra about that.

BROWN: The court notes that Trump is running for office, but quote, "Mr. Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants. That is what the rule of law means."

Is Donald Trump being treated like other defendants here?

WU: Absolutely not.

BROWN: But -- OK. OK.

WU: Absolutely not. There are so many people, who will already be in jail, for any kind of misbehavior.

And it's not even really a traditional gag order. I mean, a real gag order would be nobody gets to say anything about it. In that shooting case, in Michigan, the parents are under such a gag order. They couldn't even come to that sentencing hearing. That would be called for because of how volatile the issue is.

But the courts have bent over backwards, to make sure that he gets to speak. And with all due respect to the D.C. Circuit, I don't understand even the carve-out, logically, for him to attack, Jack Smith. I mean, to say, somehow that's political, but if you say anything to a witness, or staff of the court, that's not political? That's too fine a line.

They should really just -- if they really want to treat them, like everyone else, then quit talking about the case.

BROWN: Yes, they argue, the judges argued, in their filing, that Jack Smith is he is a top government official, and that he is up there, aligned with the institution of DOJ.

So, let's look ahead, and look at Monday. Donald Trump is expected to testify, in the civil fraud case, against him, and his company, in New York. Last time, things went off the rails, at times. His own lawyer is telling him not to testify, because of the gag order, in that case.

What are the pitfalls for him potentially? WU: It's primarily that he's not very good on direct examination, which is more friendly, he'll tend to meander some.

And if he is crossed, then it's always tough for anyone to be cross- examined. With his lack of discipline, testifying, I think it's going to go very poorly, for him.

His lawyer's remark about not testifying because of the gag order? That does not make any sense. I mean, the reason not to testify is you don't want to incriminate yourself. You want to -- don't want to be at odds with yourself. Not the gag order. No one's going to say he's violating the gag order, for testifying, in this case. That doesn't make any sense.

Also, he's testifying because it's a civil trial. You can draw an adverse inference from it. And I think he really wants to have a platform, to speak this way, and it kind of dovetails in with his political strategy.

BROWN: All right. Shan Wu, thank you very much, for offering your insights.

Up next, it was a landmark victory, in a post-Roe America. A 20-week pregnant woman, whose child would certainly die, sued for the right to have an abortion, in deep red Texas, and won. Now, her state is trying to get that ruling overturned.

Plus, there's a new case, cropping up in my home state of Kentucky. We're going to discuss, after the break.



BROWN: Well tonight, two women are fighting for abortion access, in states with some of the nation's strictest anti-abortion laws.

In Texas, Attorney General, Ken Paxton, tonight, is asking the State Supreme Court to intervene, after a local judge granted a court- ordered abortion, to a woman, suing her, to end her pregnancy. Her unborn baby almost certainly would not survive, outside the womb. Paxton is also threatening the woman's doctor, saying that if the court-ordered abortion is performed, the doctor could still face major civil and criminal penalties.

And yet, another case, tonight, this time, an anonymous woman, in Kentucky, filed an emergency class action lawsuit, asking a judge, to allow her, to terminate her pregnancy as well.

Joining us now is Brigitte Amiri, the lead attorney, in the Kentucky's Jane Doe case. She is also the Deputy Director of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project.

Thanks so much, for coming on.

First off, Brigitte, if you would, what can you tell us about where this case stands, right now?


So, today, the ACLU sued Kentucky, on behalf of Jane Doe, and a class of all pregnant Kentuckians, who are prohibited, from ending their pregnancies, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

We just filed our complaint, today. And we have filed a motion for class certification and a motion for her to proceed under a pseudonym. And that's all we have done so far today.

BROWN: How much is viability of the fetus a factor here? Obviously, in the Texas case, the woman is saying "Look, my baby wouldn't survive outside the womb. I want an abortion." How much is that central to this case?

AMIRI: The only details that we are sharing about Jane Doe is that she is a resident of Kentucky. She's eight weeks pregnant. And she's seeking an abortion. And that's really it, because we really need to protect her privacy, as you can imagine. So, that's really all we can say, about this particular woman.

She is angry that she is forced to continue this pregnancy, and not be able to terminate it, in Kentucky. And the Kentucky ban on abortion has harmed countless people, prohibiting them from accessing essential health care.


BROWN: Was your case, in Kentucky, filed in response to the Texas ruling issued, just yesterday? How much did that impact the action here?

AMIRI: It was, actually, the timing is somewhat of a coincidence.

So, we brought this case, 10 months after the Kentucky Supreme Court held in a prior case that we brought, on behalf of health care providers that health care providers couldn't raise the constitutional rights of their patients. That was a huge departure, from 50 years of precedent, from many other courts.

The Kentucky Supreme Court did say that patients could raise their rights. And so, they said we could come back to court with a patient. We've been looking for 10 months, for someone, who was brave enough, to bring this case. And we finally found Jane Doe, who was willing to sue alongside us.

BROWN: You heard the warning that Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, gave the Texas woman's doctor that if that doctor performs the court- ordered procedure, there could be some serious legal ramifications. What do you think about that? I mean, can that doctor really face legal ramifications here?

AMIRI: It is outrageous what Ken Paxton is doing. And I defer to the attorneys litigating that case, from the Center for Reproductive Rights.

I just think it's absolutely outrageous that an officer of the court, the Attorney General, would defy a court order, would ignore the rule of law. And it's just so fundamentally cruel, to the woman involved as well.

BROWN: Do you see these cases as a test for other legal action, in more states that have these restricted abortion laws? Is this just the beginning?

AMIRI: Well, we and other organizations have a number of lawsuits pending, right now, challenging different abortion bans, and abortion restrictions. And those can take different forms. Most of them are on behalf of health care providers that can raise the rights of their patients.

These cases on behalf, of individual women, class actions, is something we've seen even before Roe versus Wade -- oh sorry, before Roe versus Wade was overturned, and perhaps we will continue to see more of it as well.

BROWN: All right, Brigitte Amiri, thank you so much.

And just ahead--

AMIRI: Thank you so much for having me.


Just ahead, the images, they are striking, rows of men, detained in Gaza, stripped down to their underwear, wearing blindfolds, in Israel's hunt for terrorists.

My next guest says he saw his brother in those pictures, but claims he has no ties to Hamas. Other members of his family also killed in an airstrike. What he wants to say to the world? Up next.



BROWN: Well tonight, the U.S. stands isolated, at the U.N. Security Council, after using its veto power, to block a resolution, calling for an immediate ceasefire, in war-torn Gaza. 13 nations were in favor of the resolution, while Britain abstained. The U.S. sided with Israel's position that a permanent ceasefire, before fully destroying Hamas, would only cause more war.

Across Gaza, as the humanitarian situation deteriorates, the IDF says it is escalating its operation, against Hamas. A new video shows an Israeli flag, raised in the middle of the symbolic Palestine Square, in Gaza City. The IDF also says it tried to rescue two hostages, overnight. The battle left two Israeli soldiers severely wounded.

Meantime, Israel is speaking out about those jarring images, circulating online. They showed dozens of men, in Gaza, blindfolded and stripped down to their underwear, as they're held by the Israeli military.

Now, Israel says it is detaining military-aged men found in evacuation zones, where they have been urged to leave, for more than a month. The IDF says the men, who remain in those areas, are being treated as suspected terrorists.

But CNN has found that at least some of the men are civilians, with no known affiliation to militant groups.

In fact, our next guest, who has been on this show before, talking about his family's struggle, to survive in Gaza, says he saw his brother and nephew, in those images. He says they have nothing to do with Hamas.

Hani Almadhoun also lost six members of his family, in an airstrike, two weeks ago.

Hani, thank you for coming on. Of course, we should note, you're the Philanthropy Director for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

I'm so sorry, for the loss of your family members, and all that you are going through.

Though, we are relieved to hear that your other brother, and your nephew, who you've identified in these videos, they are back with your family. I know you've been in touch with them, about what had happened.

Take us back to the moment they were detained. Explain to us what they went through.

HANI ALMADHOUN, BROTHER & NEPHEW DETAINED & RELEASED BY ISRAELI SOLDIERS, PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN WITH FAMILY TRAPPED IN GAZA, DIRECTOR OF PHILANTHROPY, UNRWA USA: Thank you for having me, Pam. I wish we were talking about happier things. It's been too long, 62 days of extreme madness.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to pleas of my sister. She's asking me if I can call the Red Cross to figure out what happened with my brother. She had not heard from him. She's heard rumors they've been rounded up, with a bunch of men, in the family.

And I tried to look online for these Telegram channels we follow. And then, oops, I see my brother there, in his boxer.

And it just takes me back, like I'm baffled by this, because I know my brother, he's my baby brother. And this way, they dragged him, from his home, with his children. He was hanging out with his two daughters, Nuhar (ph) and Sham (ph). And IDF identifies them as Hamas combatants. I assure you, that's not true. The Israelis are so confused, right now.

And I feel it's just like, it's unfortunate. It's my little brother, who's not even in a best physical shape, to run two meters, without calling for a taxi. So, and then my nephew, who is 27-years-old, and who tried to leave Gaza, years ago, and drowned in the Mediterranean, and that's the people they're arresting.

And in fact, I know 12 people in that picture. I'm related to them. And I know these guys. Probably they're going to hate me for this. But they're not the sharpest tool in the box. And they were rounded, and marketed to the Israeli side, "Oh, these are Hamas fighters, surrendering." They're neither fighters. They're not surrendering. They're just civilians, who were there, with their families, trying to survive this.

And unfortunately, our home was destroyed, two weeks ago, when the airstrike killed my brother, and his family. So, that's why they're sheltering in that part, because that's the only standing house that our family has, right now. And we're lucky to have it.


But it was a nightmare. You look at your brother, and you feel a little bit violated, betrayed, like "This is my brother. What are you doing?" you know? And then, you hear the Israeli talking points. And then oops, this is a whole level of crazy.

Fortunately, though, they were released, after they discovered that they have nothing to do with anything. In fact, all the men, I know, from the family, were released, because they have nothing to do with anything.

But remember, there is a lot of trauma, from this, for anybody, who's watching, especially for my mom, who's lost her son. Her son has been arrested, and taken to unknown place. And it just it's a lot. You don't recover from this. This is just a -- not about justice. This feels like more about revenge.

BROWN: I want to talk a little bit more about this situation, in particular, because Israel says it's trying to figure out who the civilians are, who the terrorists are, and that they're doing this because they were finding middle-aged men, in evacuation zones, leading them to believe they could be suspected terrorists. As you know, their stated mission is to destroy Hamas.

But they say, once it's determined that they're not terrorists? They let them go, as they did to your family members. What do you say to that?

ALMADHOUN: Well, I should write them a thank-you card, for humiliating my family, and just for whatever fears they have.

Why is my family in the north? We don't have anybody in the south. And we've had family members, who got killed, in those safe zones. So, they said, "Why bother? You die here, you die there."

Unfortunately, the humiliation they've subjected these men to? My brother has seizures. And they had him naked, in the street. And they put him on the beach, in the winter, naked, taking pictures of him, verifying who he is, and then they released him after they roughed him up a little bit. And that's unfortunate, because you don't make friends this way. Are they you know -- they think -- I'm not going to get into the Hamas mentality, and the fighting.

But this is sad, because this is my brother, and my cousins. And we got scared, worried sick. And when they released them, after this abuse, we feel this is a whole new level.

We lost our brother. Last time, I was in this show, I had three brothers. Now, I have two. And the Israelis abducted one, yesterday, from the safety of their home. And all of a sudden he's a Hamas combatant? That could not be farther from the truth. He's a shopkeeper, a dad, and a guy who can't read or write. Imagine, that's what the target is? And I'm happy he's released. But obviously, this is, he's lucky.

But I wonder about the other people, who get misidentified. This is not a good situation. We get scared, worried sick. We tried to call the Red Cross. I've shared the news with anybody who would listen, including folks in the White House. And obviously, no comments (ph) there.

BROWN: And you mentioned, you lost family members. Six family members of your family were killed. You just learned about that a couple weeks ago, another brother, his wife, and their four children. We can't imagine the depths of the pain that your family is going through.

What do you want to tell the world, about who they were, and how they should be remembered?

ALMADHOUN: If we do not have a ceasefire, we're not having any opportunity, to grieve our dead. We've lost our homes. We've lost our life-saving, in those homes. It's been enough of destruction.

I'm not sure these images maybe give the Israelis some sense of satisfaction that they have some victory in Gaza. I hope they get their victory, yesterday, before today, because the price that are being paid, by Palestinians, like my brother and my family?

My brother did not deserve to die. His boys, his girls, they wanted to play basketball. They wanted to play soccer. And unfortunately, they're never coming back to this, because they were killed, in an airstrike that destroyed our home. And guess what? They died thirsty. Not only that they got killed. A day before, they were looking for water, and they couldn't find it.

And as you know, I work to support the largest humanitarian NGO. And even they, they're not able to help them, or providing power (ph). Unfortunately, there is a lot of good work that's been done in Gaza by these NGOs. But families are not really able to find food.

I wish people would really support a sustainable and a durable ceasefire. And obviously, it is important and I pray for peace for my family, and the safety of all those, who are not involved, including my family, and folks in the Israeli side as well.

BROWN: And we all pray for peace, for you and your family.

Hani, thank you, for coming on.

ALMADHOUN: Thank you for having me, Pam.

BROWN: Well, it has been a record year, for extreme weather and climate disasters, in the U.S. A new poll shows most Americans really do care about climate change, including a large number of Republicans, but just don't know what to do about it.

So, we've brought in the expert. Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," is here with us.



BROWN: Well today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced an unprecedented 25 separate billion-dollar disasters have hit the United States, this year alone. A list that includes the Hawaii wildfires, Hurricane Idalia, that powerful Category 4 that slammed into northern Florida, and several tornado outbreaks that streaked across the south. The total cost? Hear this. A whopping $81 billion.

New CNN polling, tonight, shows nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are worried about the threat of climate change. And even more, 73 percent, say it is time for the federal government, to do something about it.

And joining us now is "The Science Guy" himself, Bill Nye.

Bill, thanks for your time, tonight.

So, explain to us just how much trouble we're all really in, right now.

BILL NYE, "THE SCIENCE GUY," SCIENCE EDUCATOR & AUTHOR, "GREAT BIG WORLD OF SCIENCE," HOST AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "THE END IS NYE": Well, everybody likes to talk about the trouble we're in, and the tipping point, where there's a tipping point in climate, and it's irreversible, and everything would go very badly for everybody.

But the latest analysis is there isn't going to be a tipping point as such. Instead, the climate will just get hotter and hotter, and more and more extreme weather, for everybody, in the world, unless we get to work on reducing the amount of carbon dioxide, and methane, we pump into the atmosphere.


BROWN: Well, and on that note, it seems like the overwhelming support -- there's overwhelming support, for cutting that.

According to the CNN poll, that's up on the screen, right now, as you can see, that the majority want to cut those emissions in half by 2030. 95 percent of Democrats support it. 76 percent of Independents support it. 50 percent of Republicans support it.

But are you seeing the support reflected in the kind of policy we need, to get to that 2030 goal?

NYE: Well, everybody's talking about the Inflation Reduction Act, which was the name of the bill, but it carried a lot of climate actions. And then, there's a couple steps forward, a couple steps back, on oil-drilling policies, and so on.

But this is, this poll is great news, in that if we get the United States, to lead the world, everybody, many people involved, in Climate Action, on overseas, at the Conference of the Parties 28. And this is where people try to make deals, about how much emissions -- how much emission, each country would be allowed to put into the atmosphere, and still have a sustainable future, and so on.

But I claim that the United States is the most influential culture. Whatever else, you might say, the United States, what, our values, lead the world. So, if the United States can get in the lead? If your poll is accurate, and the majority of voters want the United States to take climate action? Then, the United States would be in the lead. And we can, dare I say it, change the world.

And so, what's happening, I believe, is everybody is starting to be affected, by extreme weather events, floods, and especially fires, the last couple of years, and it's affecting people's insurance rates. And this is affecting people's pocketbooks. And it's making everybody acknowledge that we have a problem that is worthy of being addressed.

BROWN: So, let's talk about how that problem can be solved, on an individual level, because I think that's what a lot of us wonder. What can we do, as individuals, to stop this? Recycling? Driving less?

NYE: Two things.

BROWN: I mean, what power do we have? Go.

NYE: Well, two things. Let me just start by saying -- let me disabuse us all of the notion that if you just recycle your bottles, if you just recycle your newspapers, or what have you, or carpool, or combine your errands, that would address climate change. It won't.

That's not enough. That's not nearly enough to address climate change. We've been pumping these gases into the atmosphere. We continue to emit them at this prodigious rates, we've done for decades, for centuries.

Instead, there's two things we could all do.

The first one would be what we're doing, right now. If we were talking about climate change, the way we talk about other very important issues, civil rights and so on, we'd be doing something about it.

And the second thing everybody you could do is vote. Vote. If we -- take the climate into account, when you vote. I am not telling you for whom to vote. But take the climate into account, when you vote. Right now, the other side, as my -- as people, like me refer to it, is

saying that they want to "Drill, baby, drill. We're not going to address climate change at all. It's a myth. It's a hoax," and stuff.

But what you have here, this poll that you've taken shows that people don't agree with that, that most people, the majority of people, in the United States, don't agree that climate change is not a problem, and is not worthy of being addressed.


NYE: So, if the majority of people take this into account, take climate into account, when they vote, we can have the United States lead the world, export our values, as well as our technologies, and we can make life better for everyone.

So, as I always say, let's go.

BROWN: All right, Bill Nye, thank you so much. Great to have you on.

NYE: Thanks for having me on. Let's change the world.

BROWN: The House Oversight Committee, now launching an investigation, into the U.S. Coast Guard's documented culture of racism, hazing and assault. This comes after my investigative colleagues, and I exposed the findings of reports that top Service officials tried to keep concealed, for years.

Just last week, we revealed that Coast Guard leaders hid yet another damning report, from 2015.

House lawmakers have said that the Coast Guard may have obstructed the ability of Congress, to carry out constitutionally-mandated oversight authority, and legislation, to address these issues.

Next week, the Senate is set to hold a hearing, after launching its own inquiry, into the Coast Guard, with several whistleblowers and survivors of assault, and harassment, set to testify. Of course, we'll be covering that.

Up next, Kevin McCarthy reportedly told Trump, to eff off, in a phone call, after being ousted as Speaker. But now, quite a turn-around.



BROWN: So much for any bad blood, between Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy.

There was a report, last week, that the California Republican, who is soon leaving Congress, had a tense phone call with Trump, hurling a swear word at him, after the former President allegedly refused to help save McCarthy's Speaker job. Trump was reportedly frustrated that McCarthy hadn't endorsed him.

But now, bygones.




COSTA: That's an endorsement?

MCCARTHY: I will support the President. I will support President Trump.


BROWN: So, maybe not gushing with support, but Trump finally got what he was looking for. McCarthy said he'd even consider serving in Trump's cabinet.

All right, finally tonight, move over croissants. There is a new most- wanted pastry in Paris. And it's actually not French at all. It's an American Krispy Kreme doughnut, seriously.


This week, the U.S. doughnut chain opened its first outpost in France. And the company tells CNN that 400 customers were waiting outside, for opening day, with some lining up, the night before, to snag the first few dozen freshly-glazed treats. Over the next year, the chain plans to open what it calls, 500 points of access, for the French to load up on doughnuts.

It is a full-circle moment, for the bakery. Almost 100 years ago, Krispy Kreme's founder bought the recipe, for its original doughnut, from a French chef, in New Orleans.

Well thanks for being here, with us, tonight.