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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

New Book Foreword By Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton Paints Dire Picture Of Potential Second Term; Sources: Trump's PAC Spent Approximately $50 Million On Legal Expenses; Homeland Security Committee To Vote On Articles Of Impeachment For Secretary Mayorkas Tonight. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired January 30, 2024 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: That's all the time we have. The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: And tonight, straight from THE SOURCE.

Donald Trump's former National Security Advisor is here, with dire new warnings, about what could happen, if he returns to the White House, predicting that Trump might not leave voluntarily, this time.

Also tonight, President Biden says he's decided on a response, to the deadly U.S. attack -- the deadly attack that killed U.S. troops. The world is waiting to see what he decided, with the President saying that he holds Iran responsible.

Also, we are seeing dramatic new images, of an undercover raid, in a hospital, in the West Bank, with Israeli commandos, disguised as nurses, killing suspected terrorists in hiding.

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

Tonight, with Donald Trump well-positioned, to close in, we believe, on a third Republican presidential nomination, one of his former top aides is stepping up his warnings, about what a second Trump term could look like.

And when I say former top aide, of course there are many, who have issued similar warnings, about what could happen, including Trump's own Vice President, Mike Pence. But this is one, who had an office, just steps away from the Oval.

John Bolton will join us live in just a moment. You'll recall his book, about his time working, in the Trump White House, titled "The Room Where It Happened." It's out in paperback today, with a new foreword, "The Room Where It Will Happen Again."

Bolton is arguing that if Trump gets back into the White House, it will be "The Retribution Presidency." He writes that "Trump really" only cares "about retribution for himself, and it will consume much of a second term."

It's an echo of what we have heard repeatedly, throughout Trump's campaign.


DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: For those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution. I am your retribution.



COLLINS: Bolton is predicting a continuing constitutional crisis, in which Trump would have the authority, to order his Justice Department, to dismiss two of his four indictments or, if necessary, pardon himself.

He warns that if Trump did so, and after a legal battle played out, the Supreme Court invalidated his own pardon, it might still take yet another impeachment, to actually remove him from office. Quote, "He will not depart voluntarily this time," Bolton warns.

On the foreign policy front, Bolton's message is also dire, saying that Trump's short attention span renders, quote, coherent foreign policy, almost unattainable, and that his most harmful national security failure is the quote, "Isolationist virus" now coursing through the Republican Party.

Bolton writes that it is a close contest, between Putin and Xi Jinping, who would be the happiest, to see Trump back in office. Putin will relish a second term, he writes. Trump will want to enhance his personal relationship with Xi. He adds quote, "Imagine Trump's euphoria at resuming contact with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un."

All three autocratic leaders, I should note, that Trump has repeatedly brought up, on the 2024 campaign trail.


TRUMP: Kim Jong Un leads 1.4 billion people. And there's no doubt about who the boss is. And they want me to say, he's not an intelligent man.

I got along with Putin. Let me tell you, I got along with him really well. And that's a good thing.

President Xi is like Central Casting. There's nobody in Hollywood that can play the role of President Xi. The look, the strength, the voice.


COLLINS: Overall, Bolton says this of Trump, that he's "unfit to be President. If his first four years were bad, a second four will be worse." And joining me tonight is John Bolton, Trump's former National Security Advisor, and the Author of "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," which is out today, with that new foreword, and those eye-opening details.

And Ambassador Bolton, it's great to have you here.

And as I was reading this foreword, I mean, you were saying that he would cross lines that you believe would cause a constitutional crisis. And you say that essentially would end up with him not departing voluntarily this time.


AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON, FORMER TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Well, I think what he would do, in terms of seeking retribution, through the Justice Department, what he would do, potentially through the Defense Department, and some of the other agencies of government as well, would produce constant constitutional agitation, to the point where I think it would -- it could cause government functions, almost to break down.

And when other mechanisms were applied, state, criminal prosecutions, the federal cases, congressional oversight, we would be embroiled in litigation and controversy that could make it almost impossible, to get back to normality, after he's gone. This is because, as I think we saw, beyond question, in the first term, and I tried to document in my book, he just doesn't know limits.

What he cares about is the greater glory of Donald Trump. The concept of the national interest or American national security, are things he doesn't comprehend. And as I say, the pattern he established in the first term will continue in the second, and just get worse.

COLLINS: What else concerns you, just given that you did work with him, up close? You were in the Situation Room with him. You were in these briefings in the Oval Office. I mean, what else are you worried about?

BOLTON: Well, other than COVID, which was a long-term crisis, we really were fortunate, in Trump's first term that we didn't have major international crises, this sort of thing that we remember, historically, as very tense times, in very short periods of time.

We're going through that kind of crisis, I think, now, in the Middle East. There are a lot of decisions that have to be made. I don't think Trump is capable of making the decisions, grounded in national security.

His attention span is short. He doesn't know much about world history or world affairs. He actually doesn't think they matter very much.

He thinks his personal relationships, with foreign leaders, especially the authoritarian ones, are all that matter. And while personal relations, in international affairs, are important? When you get in a situation, like we see in the Middle East, now, they're not significant.

So, faced with these decisions, Trump could go one way, in the morning, a different way, in the afternoon. He doesn't have the ability to stay consistent, for long periods of time, except on one thing, which is how he looks in the press, and in public attention. And that is very worrying.

When you're in a crisis, you need a president, who is resolute, who can keep his eyes on the prize, and worry about our national security, not his own image.

COLLINS: So basically, you're saying that you think that he thinks these relationships that he has with Putin, or with Xi Jinping, or with Kim Jong Un that they would save him, when it comes to the actual policy, and the dynamic of those relationships, and that you're arguing it won't -- it doesn't do anything for that?

BOLTON: Well, I think the hard men of history, like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, understand what their job is, for their respective country. I don't think Trump understands what the job of the presidency is for ours.

And I will say, having been in the room with him, in meeting those people, having listened in, on his phone conversations, I don't think they are really friendly, with Donald Trump.

I think they think, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and others, they think he's a laughing fool. And they're fully prepared to take advantage of him. Trump's self-absorption makes it impossible for him to understand that.

COLLINS: So, you think they'd be happy if he returned to the Oval Office?

BOLTON: Yes, I think basically -- I think they believe he's an easy mark.

Take Vladimir Putin, on the situation, in Ukraine. I think he'd love to get Donald Trump, to do what he said, on the campaign trail, and try and find Ukrainian president, Zelenskyy, and Putin, get all three of them in a room together, and Trump says, I'll solve the crisis in 24 hours.

That is impossible. And -- but when you come to the end of the 24 hours, obviously, it won't be Donald Trump that failed, because that doesn't happen. It must be one of the other two. I think he would point the finger at Zelenskyy. I think Putin would be delighted, with the outcome, at that point.

COLLINS: I'm glad you brought up what's happening, right now, because we're waiting to see what President Biden has decided. He says he's made a decision, of how to respond to that deadly drone attack.

But I was thinking back how, in your book, there was a moment, where there was a plan, to hit targets, inside of Iran, in 2019, that you say that Trump had signed off on. This was after an unmanned drone went down.

And then, in between the time that you went home to get a change of clothes, and come back to be the Situation Room, as that happened, Trump called them off. And you said you couldn't really understand why. You said, it was the most irrational thing I ever witnessed any president do.

Are you saying you would not trust Trump to handle a crisis, like the one that's happening, in the Middle East, right now?


BOLTON: No, absolutely not. I mean among many other defects, he listens to the last person that he talks to. He looks at decisions through the prism of how they will be reported, for his performance, in the press, not for what the outcome is.

For example, he did order, the early exit of Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Force.

But in listening to him, talk about his views, about why that was important, it was clear to me that it wasn't simply to eliminate this major figure, who was the leader of Iranian terrorist actions. It was because it would be such a big event, that he would get enormous credit for it.

Now, every politician thinks of his position. But only Trump, I think, in American history, can be said as a president, who thinks only of its effect on him.

COLLINS: The Biden campaign is touting this foreword in your book, which I don't think is probably a sentence that you ever thought would be said. But it is something that they're doing. I think that makes its own headlines.

They say, quote, "Donald Trump's own National Security Advisor issued a stark warning about a second Trump presidency: Americans at home and abroad will be less safe under Trump."

I mean, I know that you're not a fan of President Biden's. But given the fact that Trump is headed, for the nomination, at this point, is the country safer, with a President Biden, at the helm, in your view?

BOLTON: No, I don't think so. I think we're going to have two candidates, at least it looks that way, at this point, neither one of whom is fit to be president.

Biden's presidency, and we see it in action, right now, is extraordinarily weak. And what the consequence of that is that it puts America more in danger. It's not American strength that's provocative. It's American weakness that's provocative. And that's what we're showing in the Middle East, what we're showing in Ukraine, what I worry we're showing in Taiwan.

Trump, on the other hand, is feckless and close to irrational. So, I would like to do-over, if we could get it, of the nomination process, in both parties. I'm very worried. To me, it almost doesn't matter, between the two of them, when it comes to national security--


BOLTON: --who wins, because--


BOLTON: --they'll both be bad, for different reasons.

COLLINS: OK. If you're someone, sitting at home, right now? I just want to ask you a question, on their behalf.

If they're sitting at home, and they're thinking, I don't like either of these two, who it seems like are going to be the nominees, for their respective parties? You're warning about this constitutional crisis, if Trump takes office, but you're still saying that you think they're both equally bad?

BOLTON: Yes, look, I think the situation of the United States, strategically, internationally, today, is growing weaker, ever more rapidly, for a lot of reasons, a totally inadequate defense budget, positions in crisis situations around the world that are dismaying our allies.

Trump would be a different form of dismay for them. I do think, as I say, in this new foreword that he would withdraw from NATO. I don't think anybody should have any doubts about that point.

So, when you're -- when you're left, between two choices, neither of which is satisfactory, there is no correct answer.

COLLINS: That's quite a message.

As we are looking at what's -- what President Biden is going to do, with Iran, what do you think is the right answer, in the sense of something that deters them, and stops the over 160 attacks, a 166, I believe, we're at now, on U.S. forces, just since October 17th? But also that doesn't trigger this wider war that everyone is so concerned about?

BOLTON: Well, I think we're in the wider war now. And I think we've been in the wider war, since October the 7th.

That's the fundamental problem with Biden's decision-making, ever since that point, an absolute incapacity, unwillingness, to admit that Iran is the puppet master. And the issue really is not the conflict. The issue is what's causing the conflict.

COLLINS: He did say today that he believes Iran is responsible.

BOLTON: Yes, well, better late than never.

But it's responsible not just, for the tragic death of these three Americans, who were left vulnerable, for months, while Shia militia groups, in Iraq and Syria, were attacking American military and civilian personnel. And we responded with pinprick strikes that did not deter anybody.

But it's also what the Houthi are doing, to try and close the Red Sea, to commercial traffic, what Hamas did on October 7th, what Hezbollah continues to do, in rocketing northern Israel.


What we need to say to Iran is, your total scope of conduct is unacceptable. It is absolutely crossing a red line, to kill Americans.

And we're going to -- what we should do, but I fear we won't, is crossing Iranian red line, and strike targets inside Iran.

COLLINS: Yes. We'll see if that is an option, on the table.

Ambassador John Bolton, it's a foreword that everyone should read. Thank you, for joining us, to talk about it tonight.

BOLTON: Thank you for having me.

COLLINS: And coming up, more on the response, coming for the deaths, of those three U.S. soldiers. As I noted there, President Biden says he's decided what to do. The question is what it will be.

Also, Israeli troops, they targeted terrorists, inside a hospital, this time, undercover. It's a video you've got to see.


COLLINS: President Biden says, tonight, that he's decided how the U.S. will respond, to the deadly drone attack that killed three Americans in Jordan. But the fact is the U.S. military has been battling back, for months, against these Iranian-backed groups, in the Middle East.

A force of 10 nations is battling the Houthis in the Red Sea. We've seen the U.S. and Britain carrying out strikes in Yemen. Two Navy SEALs recently died, whilst helping to stop a ship that was full of weapons, off the coast of Somalia. The U.S. has also launched strikes, in Syria and Iraq.


Yet these attacks, on American outposts, have continued. Now, as we just mentioned, at least 166, since October 17th alone.

I'm joined now by the former Director of National Intelligence, and CNN National Security Analyst, James Clapper.

And Director Clapper, it's great to have you here.

Because, as we're waiting to see what this decision is, I mean, how do you thread the needle, between hitting back, forcefully, but also, not trying to create that wider war? JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Kaitlan, that's the key question. And actually, I'm not sure that's possible.

I think the two objectives, of inflicting enough pain, on ultimately the Iranians, to get them to call off their proxies, but at the same time, not, quote, widen the war, I think those two objectives are antithetical.

The proxies are expendable, as far as the Iranians are concerned. So, we -- I'm sure that we'll be striking out at them. But if we don't get to the Iranians, I don't believe this behavior is going to stop.

COLLINS: So, you don't think that they can be deterred, unless, there's actual strikes, inside of Iran, or actual activity inside of Iran?

CLAPPER: Well, it doesn't necessarily have to be kinetic. I think there's, you know, we have a lot of cyber tools, in our kitbag. There's a possibility for covert action. Are there more sanctions that we could impose or re-impose on the Iranians? Because the objective here is to induce a change in their behavior.

I'll also say speaking more broadly, that I don't think this issue is solvable through military action alone.

COLLINS: What else do you think needs to happen?

CLAPPER: I'm sorry. I didn't hear that. Excuse me.

COLLINS: You said, not just their military action alone. What other -- what other steps do you think needs to happen -- need to happen, here?

CLAPPER: Well, I think, big picture, if you consider what is it that is causing this aggressiveness, directed by the Iranians, but the aggressive behavior, by the proxy groups, in Syria, Lebanon, et cetera. And it's the war in Gaza that has prompted this.

So ultimately, if we're going to stop this, there has to be a political solution, in the Mid-East, meaning, I believe, a two-state solution. And that probably isn't going to happen, at least in near- term, given the adamant position, taken by the Israeli leadership, not to entertain such a possibility.

But we're just going to keep doing this over and over again, until there is only a political solution, in my view.

COLLINS: One other thing. You keep mentioning these Iranian-backed proxies, and their power. One of them, Kata'ib Hezbollah, came out tonight, with a statement, saying that they're standing down, on attacking U.S. forces, in the region. What do you think is behind that?

CLAPPER: Well, I think it's PR more than substance. The Department of Defense, I understand, has sort of thrown cold water on it. So, I would -- I would take that with a grain of salt. I really would. I'd be surprised if they stood down, just because of the possibility of being attacked.

COLLINS: It's a troubling situation. And we'll see what the U.S. decides.

Director Clapper, as always, it's great to have you on.

CLAPPER: Thanks, Kaitlan, for having me.

COLLINS: Up next, we have brand-new reporting, on what Donald Trump is spending, on his legal bills, with the official numbers set to come out tomorrow. But spoiler alert, there is new reporting that his PACs have already spent approximately $50 million, in 2023 alone, a staggering number.

Maggie Haberman is here, with her reporting.



COLLINS: We have new developments, tonight, on Donald Trump's legal problems, and how much they're costing him. The tab apparently running quite high, though I should note he is not necessarily paying the bill. His supporters are.

The New York Times, first to report, that Trump has spent approximately $50 million, yes, $50 million, in donor money, on legal bills, and investigation-related expenses, in just the last year alone. The exact numbers will come out, tomorrow, when he has to file his report, with the FEC.

But, for now, on what we do know, I'm joined by Maggie Haberman, Senior Political Correspondent for The New York Times, and Trump biographer.

I mean, $50 million, for someone, who obviously has a lot of legal troubles, is still a really astounding number.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's an eye-popping number. It is eye-popping in a couple of ways. Number one, he is not somebody, who historically has liked paying legal bills.

COLLINS: That was my first thought.


COLLINS: He hates paying his attorneys.

HABERMAN: Right. Well, this isn't his money. This is donor money. And so, it's a lot easier to pay, when you're paying with donor money, number one.

But number two, this is, it's a lot of money. It's not just him. It's also lawyers, for witnesses, as you know. It's lawyers for, I think, his two co-defendants, at least one of them. People who are not -- one of whom is on the campaign roll, the other is worked for Mar-a-Lago. These numbers are not going to get smaller, as we go forward, because he has been indicted four times, and this number got exponentially higher, last year than it was in 2022. And if any case goes to trial, this year, it is going to go even higher. And so, how much he is going to be able to continue to pay, out of Save America, and another committee that he's been using, MAGA PAC, remains to be seen.

COLLINS: But, I mean, he still has money coming in. The -- Robert Bigelow, who's a billionaire of the hotel chain, the Budget Suites, he said today, he gave Trump a million dollars, towards his legal fees, and that he's made a promise to give him $20 million more, to the Super PAC.


COLLINS: But do the actual donors, the real people know that their money is going to this?

HABERMAN: Let me just -- let me just pick that apart, the first thing that you talked about with Robert Bigelow, number one. I tried to track that down.


As far as I know, he didn't give money to the legal defense fund that Trump folks set up. That doesn't benefit Trump directly. That benefits everybody else. He can't give a million dollars to Save America, because it's capped, in terms of how much you can give to Save America. So, unless he literally handed Donald Trump, a personal million-dollar check, I don't know what that is.

In terms of the small-dollar donors, who -- remember, this Political Action Committee was seeded with money that Donald Trump started raising, after he lost the 2020 election, on his false claims of widespread fraud. And then, money had to go somewhere. A bunch of it went here.

Did his donors know this is what they were going to be paying for? No. Would they all mind? I doubt it, because some of them thought they were paying for some kind of legal fight.

And I'm sure, in their mind, you know, the number of his supporters, who I talked to, in Iowa and New Hampshire, who described the legal cases against him, as illegitimate or something they didn't believe in? I'm not sure they would care about that. But it is worth noting, it is not -- it is not his money.

COLLINS: So, not only do they not care. They're happy to do it.

HABERMAN: Some are.

COLLINS: Is he paying? Do we -- we were talking about this last night, with E. Jean Carroll, and whether or not that could come out of the Super PAC? Do we know what he is personally paying for, at this point, if anything? HABERMAN: So, a couple of things. It can't come out of the Super PAC. Legally, he can't -- that would be coordination that the Political Action Committee, which is what Save America is.

As I expect it will show in the report, we don't know for sure, but just based on the math that I know is there, unless they had a flood of donations, it would only cover a fraction. And campaign finance experts are split on whether he could use that anyway.

So yes, it will have to be from him. And he and his company are fairly indistinguishable. He did have to put up money, in the first E. Jean Carroll trial. It was $5 million. This is a lot more than $5 million.

COLLINS: And we could be getting the civil suit, for the--


COLLINS: --inflating his businesses, soon.

When I was looking at Alina Habba, when she came out after he -- after that $83.3 million verdict on Friday, I think, one question is, is he happy with his legal team, at this point? I mean, I know that's a broad term, because there's so many of them. But, I mean, what have you heard about that?

HABERMAN: So, I think a couple of things.

He's almost never happy with his legal team, at various points, and you know, this as well as anybody, especially when people just leave court. There are a couple of members, of his legal team, like Todd Blanche, who have not yet been tested in court, and it will be interesting to see how he does.

If the Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney, hush money case goes forward, in March, as we expect, and he's on that case, I don't -- I don't know how winnable this case was, for anybody, Alina Habba or not.

But Trump has certain things that he wants from his lawyers. And I think you see that.

COLLINS: You were sitting here, a moment ago, when we were speaking with John Bolton, about the new foreword that I know you read as well, and his warnings, about a second Trump term.


COLLINS: I just want to, for people who missed it, just remind people, what he was saying, about the concern of what a second Trump term would look like.


BOLTON: We would be embroiled in litigation and controversy that could make it almost impossible, to get back to normality, after he's gone. This is because, as I think we saw, beyond question, in the first term, and I tried to document in my book, he just doesn't know limits.


COLLINS: What do you make of that, paired with him later saying that it's kind of 50-50 ball, between whether he thinks Donald Trump or Joe Biden would be worse, in the White House?

HABERMAN: I think it is complicated for Republicans, and especially Republicans, who have a long history, with the Republican Party, pre- Trump, as John Bolton does, to say that they're going to support Joe Biden. It's not impossible. And I suspect you will see some doing it.

But I think this is the -- this is the box that a lot of people, who oppose Trump, especially people, who have worked either for him directly, or with him in Congress, in some way, have gotten themselves in, which is that they -- they can't say that they are supporting Biden.

They feel like they can't, for variety of reasons, either because they are elected officials still, or because they still have supporters, or donors, or what have you.

COLLINS: Political suicide.

HABERMAN: Correct. They don't like -- they don't like Biden. But, at a certain point, I mean, this is -- this is -- if something is an existential threat, it either is or it isn't. And I think that this is going to become a difficult line, for a lot of folks, to walk, as the year goes on.

COLLINS: Yes. How do the warnings carry the same weight if, you know? It was the same thing with Bill Barr. We had this long interview with him, over the summer, where he said similar. But then, at the end, you know?


COLLINS: What's he going to do?


COLLINS: Support the Republican nominee for President?

HABERMAN: Well, I mean, this is -- this is, again, where it gets very complicated.

I will say that John Bolton's book was a really remarkable book. I don't -- I can't remember reading a book like that written by anybody, who had served so closely with a president.

The NSC official, who worked on the clearance of that book, was pushed out, by the Trump administration, for approving it, and going through a normal process.


And so, John Bolton revealed an enormous amount, about Donald Trump as president. And it's important for the historical record.

But I do think that everybody, who worked for Trump is going to get pressed with the same question.

COLLINS: Yes. It's fast -- that's a fascinating part of the book, with Ellen Knight, that official who was charged with reviewing his book.


COLLINS: Because he writes about how she was basically trapped in a room, in the West Wing--


COLLINS: --with six Justice Department officials, who were pressuring her--


COLLINS: --to essentially block it, and turning it into this political thing.

Actually said she got hired back by the Biden administration--

HABERMAN: Correct.

COLLINS: --when they came in (ph).

HABERMAN: Correct. It was a -- it was a moment, when that happened, actually.

COLLINS: Maggie Haberman, as always, thank you for bringing your reporting, here to THE SOURCE.

HABERMAN: Thank you.

COLLINS: Right now, on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are in what could be an all-night committee session. You don't see a lot of work always happening too often over there.

But this is tonight, leading up to a vote, on articles of impeachment, for the Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas. Could he be the first member, of a president's cabinet, to be impeached, in nearly 150 years?


COLLINS: A live look, at Capitol Hill, tonight, as we are waiting for a vote on articles of impeachment, a vote that could come very well, when most of us are asleep, tonight, or most of you should be.


The Republican-led Homeland Security Committee is expected to vote, on two articles of impeachment, against the Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas. Republicans are arguing that he has failed to fulfill his oath of office, by not securing the U.S.-Mexico border.

That is an argument that Democrats have fiercely opposed.


REP. DANIEL GOLDMAN (D-NY): Your own party is sabotaging and undermining this administration's efforts, to address the border, while you are trying to impeach him, by saying that they're not addressing the border.


COLLINS: Speaking of the border, I should note that all of this is happening, not in a vacuum, but, as we are just learning that Senate Republican leaders are, right now, talking about potentially shelving their bipartisan immigration deal.

The one that they've been working on, since October; the one that the House Speaker, Mike Johnson, said was dead on arrival; the one that former President Donald Trump worked behind-the-scenes to kill. Yes, that one that they've been working on since October.

Joining me, here tonight, former Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee, Karen Finney. And former Senior Adviser to Mitch McConnell, Scott Jennings, who has been -- of course, McConnell, one of those people who worked on the bill.

Scott, we'll get to that in a moment.

But on the impeachment articles that we are expecting could happen, at 2 o'clock in the morning, is what we're hearing, right now?

I mean, you already know that the last time this happened. 1876 was the last time that a cabinet secretary was impeached. That was a Secretary of War, who was found to have pocketed more than $20,000 in a kickback scheme.

I should say that is not what is happening here, with Mayorkas. So, what exactly are Republicans arguing is his high crime and misdemeanor?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well they're arguing that he is failing to -- willfully failing to execute existing federal immigration law. He won't enforce it.

He's apparently, according to them, required to detain and deport illegal immigrants, coming across the border. They also think he's lied to Congress, and lied to the American people about the border being secure.

Now, we can -- we can debate about whether, using impeachment, against a cabinet member here fits the normal reasons, why we would impeach someone. And we can also wonder about the slippery slope of the weaponization of impeachment, when the next Republicans get in, and if Democrats control Congress. But bottom line, they think Mayorkas has failed. They think he has lied. And they think it rises to the level of him not enforcing existing federal law.

COLLINS: But Karen, I think that is exactly, the question here is no one doubts that what's happening at the border is a massive issue. And obviously, Republicans are not going to be happy with what the Democratic President is doing.

But the idea that it rises, to impeaching a cabinet secretary, is even something that conservative legal minds, like Jonathan Turley have said, there's no basis for it.

KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. And I think that's an important point that legal scholars, even conservative legal scholars have said, frankly, it does not rise to that level.

Look, this is about a policy difference, that it's fine for the Republicans, to disagree with President Biden's policy.

But punishing a Cabinet Secretary, for that disagreement? That's performative. That's about politics. And that is, frankly, about Donald Trump, trying to undermine this country, and trying to literally undermine the ability of members of Congress, to try to reach a deal.

I mean, ironically, think about it, instead of sitting there trying to take out Mayorkas, they could have those Republicans and Democrats, frankly, could have walked across, to the other side of the building, the Capitol building, and said, let's talk, let's try to come up with a deal.

So, I think that's what needs -- what stands out here. And I hope that Democrats will continue to call that out. Because this is not about solving the problem at the border. This is about political wins, and political -- using this issue, in the 2024 election.

COLLINS: Well, I mean, Scott, given that, the idea? Just from what we've been hearing, from sources, and we've been talking to people, about this potential deal, for months, since October, that they've been working on it.

And the idea that right now they're talking about basically getting rid of it, and just doing something on aid to Israel and Ukraine, potentially, I mean, how does that bear out for Republicans?

JENNINGS: Well, if you're -- if you're asking about the linkage between this legislation that's being proposed, maybe, and Mayorkas. Yes, it is complicated because the House Republicans are the ones, who are the coldest, right now, on the immigration deal. But they're the hottest on Mayorkas.

By the way, I should say, I mean, if Mayorkas had any shame, he would have resigned, long ago. And if Joe Biden had any sense, he would have fired him long ago. I mean, this has been an abject failure. And he has repeatedly, at best, misled the American people, and at worst, flat-out lied about what's going on at the border.


I do think the Republicans have -- are looking for accountability. That's why they're going after Mayorkas. They've not gotten any out of Biden. But they're looking to hold someone accountable, for what has become a really major issue, for their base.

COLLINS: But wouldn't the way to hold that accountable--

JENNINGS: Now, linkage with the legislation? It is a major -- it is a--

COLLINS: --to be legislation, Scott? Not--

JENNINGS: Well that -- that's my next -- that's my next--

COLLINS: I mean, why take the step of impeaching?

JENNINGS: That's my next point is if you -- if you want to -- if you want to hold him accountable, and say it's because of the urgency of the problem? That's at odds then with also saying, eh, we can wait another year, to pass a bill, because it's a major problem.

So, in some ways, holding him accountable, but then shelving, something that might help today, are incongruous positions.

FINNEY: Well, and don't forget that also Republicans walked away from the $14 billion that Biden requested, to solve this problem, in December. They decided, like, you know what? Let's just go on our holiday instead of actually solving problems. I think that's the conundrum here.

If you cared about solving problems, you wouldn't be trying to impeach the Secretary. You'd be trying to solve -- use your legislative authority, to solve the problem.

COLLINS: Karen Finney, Scott Jennings, we'll see what they do, if this impeachment does happen. They're at least getting it out of committee, tonight. Thank you both, for joining.

FINNEY: Thanks.

COLLINS: Up next for us, here on THE SOURCE, Israeli troops stormed a hospital, searching for Hamas terrorists. But they were disguised as medical workers. There is video tonight. Also backlash to what you're seeing here.



COLLINS: Tonight, the Israeli military is defending its raid, inside a hospital, in the West Bank, saying that they will not allow hospitals, to be quote, a cover for terrorism.

I want to warn you that what you're about to see is pretty graphic, just to give you a heads-up.

This is CCTV footage. It shows about a dozen Israeli Special Forces, storming a hospital, in Jenin, a city there, carrying weapons, while they were disguised as doctors and nurses, and women in hijabs.

One of the gunmen was seeing carrying a wheelchair, another carried a baby carrier, all of them walking through the hospital, while a person was left kneeling against the wall, as you can see.

The IDF says they killed three men, believed to be planning a terror attack, against Israeli civilians. One of them was claimed by Hamas, as a member. The other two brothers, who were linked to Islamic Jihad, which is another terrorist group in Gaza. The hospital says that all three men were asleep, at the time that this raid happened. Right now, no other casualties have been reported.

But we have seen crowds of Palestinians gathering, for their funeral, with tensions only soaring, in the occupied West Bank, where residents there have faced increasing restrictions, and violence, by settlers, and Israeli forces.

President Biden, in recent months, even pressed Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, to do more, to end violence, against the civilians there.

I want to bring in CNN's Military Analyst and retired Lieutenant General, Mark Hertling, tonight.

I'm so glad to have you here.

I just wonder what you make of this event overall, when you're looking at the lengths that the Israeli military took to carry this out?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Kaitlan, it's fascinating.

Because we often cite the Geneva Convention, and the different protocols of the Geneva Convention, that prohibits soldiers, combatants, from doing certain things.

It's apparent, in this video, that the Israeli soldiers, that you're seeing on the film, right now, who are dressing up, as doctors or nurses or women, which are all civilians, protective persons, under the Geneva Convention. In other words, doctors don't carry weapons. Chaplains don't carry weapons. Rabbis, imams don't carry weapons. So, those are all part of the protected persons, within the Geneva Convention.

The other thing, the facility is a protected facility, in the Geneva Convention. You don't use schools, hospitals, places of worship, things like that, to attack.

The problem is Hamas has been using these kinds of facilities. And, in this case, because it's in the West Bank, the Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations are using those facilities, specifically, so they aren't attacked. So, there's a little bit of challenge on both sides. One side, the terrorist groups are using the facilities that they're not supposed to use, which makes them a target. The other side, Israel is dressing up their soldiers, in non-uniforms, costumes, to avoid detection.

What I saw in the film was a couple things. Number one, I'll say this with a little bit of cynicism, the Israeli -- if those were Israeli Special Forces, they were not very good at what they were doing.

When you see Special Forces, going into a building, in a stack, they're moving quickly. They're not talking to one another. They know exactly what they're going to do. They know where the target is.

The one thing that did strike me was I think they were using these costumes, if you will, the scrubs, and the civilian clothes, and the different disguises that they were using, in order to get past Hamas, or IJU spotters.

There were people in this hospital that would notify those who were inside, hey, the Israeli forces are coming, I mean those security forces are the military. So, as you see, as they get into the stack, and get into this hallway, some are turning around, looking behind them, which is typical for an operation. But I think they also use these, to get past reconnaissance being conducted by Hamas or IJU.

So again, the final point I'll make, in terms of, of the law, and how it applies to any kind of action in combat, is you always have the right of self-defense. If Israel claims hey, we were defending ourselves, from a potential attack that was coming out of this hospital, and we had to use extreme means to come in? They might have a legal argument.


But I got to tell you, watching the entire film, there's problems on both sides. That facility was being used as a terrorist hide-away. The Israelis were coming in--


HERTLING: --outside of their uniforms. Both illegal.

COLLINS: And that's why we have you on, for that perspective. It's very helpful, breaking that down. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, thank you, as always.

HERTLING: Thanks, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: And also tonight, the world has lost another legend, as we are remembering the Trailblazer, Chita Rivera, next.


COLLINS: Tonight, of course, the stars lining up, to honor the legendary Chita Rivera, who has passed away, at the age of 91. For nearly seven decades, she acted, sang and danced her way, to 10

Tony nominations, high-kicking the door open, for herself, and also the generations that followed.


Lin-Manuel Miranda called her, the Trailblazer for Puerto Rico on Broadway. And that she was, when she created the role of Anita, in West Side Story, a role that was later played, by another legend, Rita Moreno, in the movie.

She was the scheming Velma, in the original production, of Chicago, a role that later won Catherine Zeta-Jones, an Oscar, I should note. Tonight, Jones is calling, to dim the lights on Broadway, in her honor. And we agree.

Thank you so much, for joining us tonight.