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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Biden & Trump Headed Toward 2024 Rematch; Special Counsel Stands By Damaging Portrait Of Biden's Age, Memory In Classified Docs Hearing; Haiti's Prime Minister Will Resign After Weeks Of Mounting Gang Violence, Social Order On The Brink Of Collapse. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 12, 2024 - 21:00   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Welcome to a decisive primary night edition, of THE SOURCE. I'm Kaitlan Collins, here in Washington, along with Anderson Cooper, in New York.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And Kaitlan, the primary dominates this hour, with President Biden clinching the nomination, just a short time ago, and the former President expected to do the same, just about two hours from now, when results start coming in from Washington State.

COLLINS: And, of course, the other big story, Anderson, here in Washington, is the reaction, to former Special Counsel, Robert Hur, and his testimony, before the House Judiciary Committee, today, taking fire, really, from both sides of the aisle, as he explained his decision, not to prosecute President Biden, over his handling of classified documents, while he was out of office.

COOPER: First, this pivotal primary night. For that, let's go straight to CNN's David Chalian.

So, where does Donald Trump stand, in the delegate count? And when do we expect him to secure the nomination?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: He's so close, Anderson. He needs 1,215 delegates, you see there in the upper right-hand corner, to win the nomination. Donald Trump is currently at 1,184 delegates. This is after he won delegates, in Georgia, in Mississippi, already this evening. It puts him 31 delegates away from the nomination.

Take a look. If you look at it by percentage, Anderson, Donald Trump has won 92 percent of the delegates awarded, so far in this Republican contest.

You see Nikki Haley, there has only won 7.1 percent. It sort of begs the question whether this nomination was winnable, for anybody, not named Donald Trump, all this time.

And take a look at what Donald Trump needs in order to win the nomination. He only needs 2.7 percent of the remaining available delegates. And we're only on the second Tuesday in March. He's going to cross that threshold, most likely, later tonight, when Washington State reports its votes after the 11 PM Eastern hour, Anderson COOPER: President Biden crossed the threshold, to what he needed, earlier tonight. Where does that delegate total stand for him?

CHALIAN: Yes. He's now over that 1,968 needed to win the Democratic nomination. He's currently at 2,011 delegates. He also won a slew of delegates, out of Georgia and Mississippi, so far this evening. And he's going to keep adding to that total tonight.

He overwhelmingly just trounced any nominal competition that he has had, in this race. So, given all the talk about his potential weaknesses, as a general election candidate, it never really materialized, inside an actual contested battle, for the Democratic nomination, Anderson.

COOPER: David Chalian, thanks.


COOPER: Kaitlan?

COLLINS: And joining me now is the National Co-Chair for the Biden- Harris campaign, and the former Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu.

Mitch, it's been about 1,225 days since the last Biden-Trump election. I'm not sure people are looking as forward to the sequel. But now that President Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee, what is going to be his priority, in the coming days?

MITCH LANDRIEU, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, BIDEN-HARRIS 2024 CAMPAIGN: Well, I think that what you saw today was really a great victory. I mean, this is -- this is the -- a nomination that's been clinched, this early, in two decades.

The President had a great day today. The Hur report, basically today, case closed, not guilty, time to move on. But don't forget that Donald Trump still has 91 criminal indictments pending against him.

So, this election, has always, it was going to be, and it's -- and it's going to be in the future, a choice between two very different people, and two very different futures for America.

You got a guy that wakes up, Joe Biden, everyday fighting for the people of America, trying to include people, trying to think about the future. Donald Trump's thinking about the past. He's thinking about revenge and retribution. And I think there's going to be a very clear choice for people going forward.

COLLINS: You mentioned that Hur testimony today. I mean, there were points, though, where you looked at the transcript, versus what you saw in the report.

But then, as Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, was questioning him, he interrupted her to say that he had not exonerated President Biden. What did you make of that moment?

LANDRIEU: Well, first of all, that is -- that is legally incorrect. When a prosecutor is trying to gather evidence, they either have the evidence, to bring a case, or they don't. If you don't have evidence to bring a case, the person is deemed not guilty. That's the way that our law works. And that is essentially what the report said, putting aside whatever the Special Counsel Hur's opinions are about the President in any other way.

And for people that are interested in whether the President's up to the job? I just refer you to the State of the Union that he gave the other night. I mean, the President is ripped up and ready to go, and is on the job, and making things happen.

COLLINS: The real part of this, though, is that his age is a concern for voters. And so, what is the plan, for the campaign, to address that, over the next eight months, for those who are concerned about it, even Democrats?

LANDRIEU: Well, let me say this. I think that it's clear that you have a 77-year-old and an 81-year-old, who are going to be running against each other. So, age is not going to be the determining factor, not of their ages. But the age of their ideas is.

And Joe Biden is thinking about the future Donald Trump's thinking about the past. There is a clear distinction between these two guys.

And I think Donald Trump is going to be on trial with the American people too, as he is in six separate courtrooms, in America, right now, which is just amazing even to contemplate.


But President Biden shows up every day. He's bringing the receipts. I don't need to go over all the successes that he's had.

The distinctions between these two guys is as wide as the Gulf. Just yesterday, President Trump said, unbelievably, that he's going to cut entitlements. Joe Biden said I'm going to protect them.

Donald Trump wants to take away health care. Joe Biden is going to protect them.

Donald Trump has eviscerated women's rights in America. Joe Biden is going to protect them.

We're going to build an economy from the bottom-up and the middle-out. Donald Trump's going to do it from the top-down. That's never worked before.

And so, we're here for the battle. We're ready to go. And the President's on track.

COLLINS: The Washington Post is reporting tonight that RFK Jr. has selected his running mate. And among the New York Times, and Washington Post reporting, the names that are out there are Jesse Ventura--

LANDRIEU: Don't say it. I don't want to laugh. I know. COLLINS: --Aaron Rodgers, Tony Robbins.

LANDRIEU: Yes, yes, yes.

COLLINS: Your name wasn't on there, weirdly. But honestly, you know--

LANDRIEU: No, thank god. I mean to tell you.

COLLINS: I imagine you running--

LANDRIEU: What a list.

COLLINS: But can I ask you what is your plan to deal with RFK Jr., because this could come down to the margins. You know how much the margins mattered to Joe Biden in 2020.

LANDRIEU: Listen, every vote, every vote counts, in these elections. And all of the experts on the panel with you know about that.

You can't tell whether he's going to hurt us or hurt Trump more. But that list is just, I don't even know what to say about that. I don't want to dignify it really, with a response.

Joe Biden's going to get up every day. He's going to try to earn everybody's votes. He's going to bring the receipts of creating 15 million jobs, having the lowest unemployment rate, in the last 50 years. Wages have gone up. As you see, inflation continues to go down. And we're going to battle to protect people's rights and freedoms in America. That's what this race is about.

And the choice is going to be between Donald Trump, and it's going to be between Joe Biden, a future that includes everybody, or a future -- or a past that excludes everybody. And we're just going to have to take the battle to them, and win in the battle place of ideas.

COLLINS: I mean it is a real question, though, of who could it hurt, or help more, Donald Trump or Joe Biden. I mean, what is the level of concern inside the campaign about him?

LANDRIEU: Well, first of all, again, like I said, every vote is of concern. There's really no way to tell. Third-party candidates have not fared very well, but they have an impact on races. But we'll let all the geniuses try to figure out what the heck, is going to matter.

But all we know is we've got to go out there, and earn everybody's vote, continue to talk to them, about the future of the country, as President Biden sees it.

You have a guy that's playing Pitty-Pat (ph) with dictators. He had Viktor Orban, at Mar-a-Lago this week. And now, John Kelly, in a book, by one of you all's colleagues, is talking about how much he reveres Hitler.

I mean, the choices are pretty clear about what direction we should be going in, in this country.

COLLINS: Mitch Landrieu, if you come out as that running mate, I'm going to call you. Thanks so much for joining us, tonight.

LANDRIEU: Oh please, oh my god. Thank you. See you.

COLLINS: Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Again, over on the Republican side, the former President waiting for polls to close, in Washington State, which is expected to put him over the top.

CNN's Kristen Holmes has been talking to her sources, in Trump-world, joins us now.

So, what are you learning about the strategy for this campaign, moving forward?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, look, they've been acting as though Donald Trump is the nominee now, for several weeks. A lot of this is trying to talk about how they're going to build out their strategy and their ground game, in those critical battleground states. We're talking about Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada.

But the other part of this is really learning how to navigate with these legal issues. And part of that is the trial that's starting at the end of this month.

And I'm talking to sources, who say Donald Trump wants to attend every day, of that trial, even the days that aren't mandatory. So, even at the beginning of the trial, when it's jury selection, and it just has to be lawyers, Donald Trump is saying he wants to attend. So, they're looking into plans for that, and also, how he's going to actually compete in a general election and campaign.

So, right now, they are talking about Wednesday, and Saturday, being the days that they actually have events, because those are the days that they aren't in court. Now, Donald Trump, he has said that he would go to court, during the day, and then in the evening, he would campaign.

When I'm talking to these sources, they acknowledge that that could be very difficult. They just don't know how they're going to get him, in and out of the city, where it's close enough, what kind of rally or event he would hold. So, right now, it's just figuring out how to navigate these several weeks of trial, which Donald Trump is going to be in court.

And of course, as we have seen in the past, he is expected to use those cameras, to his advantage. But remember, in this New York trial, this hush money case, this is not the same court, as a civil fraud trial, where there are cameras everywhere that he can go out to. We saw him trying to navigate this, when he was in court, just recently, having to walk all the way out to this pool camera, where he essentially was shouting, it's just not quite as easy.

So, they're trying to work around how they're going to use those -- that courtroom, as a campaign stop, but also how to actually work, on the campaign, because they know that this is going to be a very close election, and a tight rematch, with Joe Biden.

COOPER: Yes. Kristen Holmes, thanks so much.

Kaitlan, back to you.

COLLINS: Anderson.

We are back here with the panel, and also have David Chalian, with us, along with Andrew McCabe, Paula Reid, Tia Mitchell, Kate Bedingfield, and Doug Heye.


Doug, I mean, listening to Kristen lay out what this is about to look like, for the next eight months, is kind of scary. But if you're a Republican operative, how much scarier is it?

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's very scary, for Republicans, for a few reasons.

One is we're seeing in Georgia, Donald Trump is yes, he's winning overwhelmingly. But he's lost 61,000 Georgia Republicans, right now. He lost the state by less than 12,000 votes. That has to be very concerning.

The other thing that I think should concern Republicans is in the State of Colorado, Ken Buck has announced, his retirement, his imminent retirement soon. There are a whole lot of congressional retirements, skewing Republican. We're going to have a lot of open seats to defend. Those are hard things to do.

COLLINS: It's also going to hurt that majority that Republicans are already dealing with that was already slim.

HEYE: Yes.

COLLINS: But Tia, I just wonder, because Brian Kemp, today? This is not a surprise. He had told basically everyone that he was going to do this. But he did go and cast his vote for Donald Trump.

And I wonder as someone, who has deeply reported on their politics, what you make of that, given that is something that we could see, from other Republicans, who say, yes, I'm not a huge fan of Donald Trump's, but I also really don't like Joe Biden. So, I'm going to pick the Republican on this ticket.

TIA MITCHELL, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL- CONSTITUTION: Yes, we've heard that time and time again. Even Nikki Haley has indicated that if Trump is the nominee, she's going to support him. She definitely would not support Biden under any circumstances.

So, what we hear from a lot of Republicans, even those who are critical of former President Trump, is that when it comes down to a match-up, a rematch, they still think Trump is better for the country than Biden. They think Biden is awful. They think his tenure has been awful. They

think that they'd rather deal with another four years of Trump than deal with four more years of Biden. And we're seeing that kind of writ large.

I mean, I think it's also just like a political calculation. The Republicans, who stood up to Trump, and said never Trump, no way, not anywhere, kind of are in a political no man's land. So, I think in a way that it's understandable that those who still want to be relevant to the party, at some point, believe they have to fall in line, once it's clear that Trump is their nominee.

COLLINS: Yes, I mean, David Chalian, we're seeing that play out in Georgia, right now. I mean, can you just kind of explain what we're -- what's happening with these numbers? Because Nikki Haley is at about 14 percent. Obviously, she is no longer in this race. But what do you make of what is happening there, given that margin that Doug was talking about.

CHALIAN: Yes, but her name on the ballot still allows this protest vote, this non-Trump vote, inside the context of a Republican primary.

I mean, one of the great mathematical equations to be done, this election season, will be OK, well, how many of those folks just put on their Republican jersey, and stay with the Republican nominee? And how many are actually potential Biden voters in the fall?

But, largely, I think when you look at these two unpopular nominees, that come into focus, tonight, the negative partisanship is going to drive so much of this, because politics is always not an either-or but a both-and.

And so, these candidates are going to have to really gin up enthusiasm, in their base. And they're going to do that with the negative partisanship that exists in society, and playing into the polarization a bit. And then, they've got to be able to add to that, with some folks in the middle. And in the middle, both of these candidates are suffering.

HEYE: And to David's point, we've just had a week of Democrats, saying Joe Biden is back, he's stronger than ever. There's no question about his age, and that this is a game-changer, is what Congressman Raskin said earlier.

The game hasn't changed. If you look at the polling, Biden's numbers haven't moved. He had a very good night. But there's been no follow- through on that. And that's why this race sort of remains the movable object, against the resistible force, and voters are saying we don't want to see this movie at all.

KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Kaitlan, I think that the partisanship, the partisan divide is also the reason, the race is, is sort of effectively stagnant until it comes into focus.

And so, both Trump and Biden, clinching the nomination, tonight, that is a good thing for the Biden campaign, the sooner they can turn people's attention to the contrast.

I mean, one of the issues we haven't really talked a lot about, tonight, is abortion, which we have seen time and again, is motivating both Democrats. You talk about this base issue. It is absolutely an issue that is motivating Democratic base voters, the coalition voters, Biden needs to get energized and come out.

But we also saw in 2022, and 2023, it's motivating independent voters, suburban voters, who are also turned off by -- who are also the voters, who were most turned off by Donald Trump's rhetoric.

So, that combination is really good dynamic for the Biden campaign, and they're going to have to try to drive that.


HEYE: And a lot of Republicans down-ballot, who say a lot of crazy things, Mark Robinson in North Carolina, the gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake, who we all know, they cause problems up and down the ballot. They cause Trump problems, and they cause their other candidates problems as well.

COLLINS: The one thing though, that Mitch Landrieu mentioned there, that they're counting on as well, is Trump's criminal trials. He mentioned multiple of them.

But Paula Reid, I mean, as we've been reporting, we're not sure that any of them are going to happen, beyond the case that is slated to start in New York, later this month, the hush money case, which is seen as, I mean, the D.A.'s office says--


COLLINS: --this is still legally perilous for him, but is not seen as bad potentially as the Jack Smith cases.


REID: Yes, absolutely. If he had to pick one case to go, before the election, this would be the case that he would pick. No one wants to be criminally charged, in the middle of a campaign season, or ever.

But this particular case, the nature of these allegations, people refer to it as the hush money case. The District Attorney's office is framing it as the 2016 election interference case, arguing that the hush money that was paid to Stormy Daniels was done so, in an effort to influence the election.

A lot of folks, in Trump-world, don't believe that is something that is really going to influence voters, even if there is a conviction. But he's going to have to be in a courtroom, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There'll be Wednesdays off.

Look, I've seen -- we've seen in courtrooms across America, the campaign is very portable. He will likely turn these into campaign stops, even though he won't be able to travel. So logistically, it's complicated.

But if he had to pick one trial, this is it. And it is unclear, if they can get a conviction here.

CHALIAN: It maybe Melania Trump's least favorite trial.

COLLINS: I think that's safe to say. Notice we have not seen her out on the campaign trail, at all, this season.

But Andrew McCabe, I think we got a taste of what that could look like, if these trials were happening. They would not be on camera. But there would be reporters in court. We would have the quotes. We'd know these witnesses, who would be on the witness stand.

And one of them, we talked to him, last night, in the classified documents case.


COLLINS: He was previously only known as Trump Employee Number Five. He's now known as Brian Butler. He worked at Mar-a-Lago for a long time.

And we talked about the pressure that he faced, to stay inside the Trump fold. This is what he told us.


BRIAN BUTLER, FORMER MAR-A-LAGO EMPLOYEE, "TRUMP EMPLOYEE 5": I mean, I think the American people have the right to know the facts, that this is not a witch-hunt. I mean, he can go out on TV, and say this. That's one of the reasons for doing this. And quote, you know, the PRA says this, and that. It's all bogus. But people believe him.

COLLINS: You think it's a fair investigation?

BUTLER: Absolutely.


COLLINS: How much of a difference do you think it would make, if people could hear from the Brian Butlers, the other witnesses, every day leading up to the election?

MCCABE: Well, we're going to find out.

Because in a number of filings, over the last week or so, the Special Counsel team has turned over to the defense, in discovery, the names, the identities, of witnesses, their actual testimony from the grand jury. So, it is -- and they are fighting, right now, in court, as we know, to keep that information under seal, and not share it with the public. But we'll see how that motion turns out.

In either case, we are likely to see more and more witnesses identified, maybe some coming forward voluntarily, like Mr. Butler did, yesterday, and that will initiate a process, for them, personally, that will subject them to unbelievable scrutiny, from the defense team.

Donald Trump's lawyers will go after each and every one of these people, to uncover every stone that might have a negative fact underneath it, in an effort to prepare for their ability to cross- examine these folks, in the trial.


MCCABE: And it is going to get very tough for them.

COLLINS: He talked about the moment, where he kind of exhaled when the Special Counsel's team said, by the way, all of your testimony has now been turned over--

MCCABE: That's right.

COLLINS: --to Trump's lawyers.

Andrew McCabe, thank you for that.

Everybody, standby.

Up next, we are following today's other massive story, as the former Special Counsel, Robert Hur, in the other classified documents case, told the House Judiciary Committee why he neither indicted nor exonerated President Biden, over his handling of classified documents.

We're going to speak to former Trump Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, for his take on the testimony, and the politics surrounding it, and how it compares with his own experience, handling politically hot legal topics, many of them.

Later on tonight, new reporting from CNN's David Culver, on what is happening in Haiti, the Prime Minister resigning, a multinational security force put on hold, and armed gangs now in control of the capital. His report ahead, here on THE SOURCE, tonight.



COLLINS: Back to our breaking news, tonight, as President Biden has now clinched the Democratic Party's nomination, with a win in the Georgia primary.

This comes after we saw some fireworks, on the Hill, today, as House lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, got their first crack, at questioning the Special Counsel, who declined to charge President Biden, despite Robert Hur saying that he did determine Biden had willfully retained classified information.

Both sides arguing that politics were at play, in Hur's report, and one name in particular kept coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. HANK JOHNSON (D-GA): And you later join the Trump Justice Department, as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, working as the right-hand man, for another known Federalist Society member, Rod Rosenstein. Isn't that correct?


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Bill Barr didn't name Bob Mueller, as a Special Counsel. Bob Mueller was named by Rod Rosenstein. That's a -- that's a huge difference in how this whole thing works.


COLLINS: Rod Rosenstein was the Deputy Attorney General, in the Trump administration, and oversaw the Mueller investigation, and his appointment. He happens to be sitting next to me, right now.

Great to have you here.

As your named dropped several times, during that testimony. Obviously, Robert Hur also was your deputy, when you were, at the Justice Department. With him testifying today, and as you were able to read the transcript, of his interview with President Biden, do you think it was reflected fairly in his report?

ROD ROSENSTEIN, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Kaitlan, Rob had a difficult job to do.

He had to make a determination about whether criminal charges were warranted. And that required him, first, to determine what are the facts? And some of the facts were ambiguous. As is often the case, in these sort of investigations, you're not sure what was somebody's intent? What was their state of mind?

And so, that's what led Rob, to produce such a lengthy report, with so many details that reflected his factual findings. And then, he had to exercise judgment, about whether those facts gave rise to sufficient evidence that would warrant a criminal prosecution.

COLLINS: But do you think that that what you saw on the transcript made the report look fair, the way that he had constructed it, knowing it was going to become public?


ROSENSTEIN: Kaitlan, I've read the whole report, which is 350-some pages. I didn't read all the transcript. So, I can't answer that fully. But I think he fairly summarized what was relevant to the investigation, yes.

COLLINS: You said that you agreed with his decision, overall, on the report here, once it was initially issued, not to bring charges, against President Biden.

When it comes to the age part, specifically, there was this argument, from Republicans and -- or excuse me, from Democrats, pretty overtly that partisan politics drove his report.

What do you make of that, knowing Robert Hur?

ROSENSTEIN: That's ridiculous, Kaitlan.

I mean, what you saw today was a prosecutor, up against 40 politicians. And they have different functions. And I think that really played out very dramatically, today.

Rob Hur's job, like everybody in the Department of Justice? And he's one of the best, one of the best people and best prosecutors I've worked with, in my 30 years, in the Department of Justice, both Democrats and Republicans. He plays it straight. Here are the facts, here's my analysis. And what does it mean, in terms of the legal significance? Is the suspect, culpable or not, of committing a crime?

But politicians are interested in the political significance of those findings. But that wasn't an issue for Rob. That wasn't his agenda. That wasn't his goal. And so, he produced a report that reflected the relevant legal findings, and simply ignored the political context.

COLLINS: Republicans now want the audio, of the recordings of those interviews that he did, with multiple witnesses--


COLLINS: --including with President Biden himself.

If you were at the DOJ, today, would you support releasing that?

ROSENSTEIN: I would say yes, Kaitlan, I mean, having already reduced -- already produced the transcript, and the substance of it is all out there. And so, I don't see any reason to withhold the audio recordings, given that the transcript is already public.

COLLINS: One thing that it was strongly contrasted with, today, was Donald Trump, your former boss' classified documents indictment. Republicans saying that it was unfair that Trump was charged and Biden wasn't.


COLLINS: Democrats saying there's a big difference in what happened here.


COLLINS: We spoke with one of the witnesses, in the Trump case, last night. This is what he told me.


COLLINS: On that day, as you're loading, helping load these boxes, unwittingly, into the plane, and handing them to the pilots? Trump is back at Mar-a-Lago. And did you know that his attorneys were there that day? BUTLER: It's funny, because I remember seeing this taller guy, I think, flip-back silver hair. I think it was Evan -- who I now know to be Evan Corcoran. And I saw a bunch of other people, in the living room. I had no clue. I'm just seeing all these people.

COLLINS: And it was Evan Corcoran, Trump's attorney, and members of the FBI, Jay Bratt?

BUTLER: Which, I come to realize now. At the same time, he's going in there, the boxes are going from somewhere into a vehicle, which are eventually going to the plane, which I load, with Walt.


COLLINS: How powerful of a witness do you think he'd be, if this goes to trial?

ROSENSTEIN: Kaitlan, I'm not in position to comment, on the witnesses, in the Trump case.

I think, like any -- like every case, it's going to depend upon all the witnesses, and not just the prosecution's witnesses, but also the defense witnesses, and the theory the defendant lays out.

So, I don't think you can comment on how you think a case is going to come out, just based upon one particular witness.

COLLINS: The last time that you were on CNN, the immunity case had not yet gone to the Supreme Court. It is now before the Supreme Court. They're going to hear arguments on it.

Do you believe that presidents should have full immunity, from any prosecution, while they're in office?

ROSENSTEIN: Kaitlan, my history, I've worked on investigations of presidents. I worked on the Whitewater investigation.


ROSENSTEIN: I was responsible for the Russia Special Counsel investigation.

And the issue that those investigations raise is, is it appropriate, number one, to investigate conduct that involves the President. And then, if the evidence were to prove the President committed a crime, could you prosecute the President, either while in office or after the President leaves office?

Obviously, I believe that those investigations were appropriate that it was appropriate to conduct that investigation.

The question raised, in this case, in part is whether or not the conduct at issue, in the indictment, was within the scope of the President's official responsibilities. If it was, then there's an argument for immunity. If it wasn't, if it exceeded the legitimate scope of presidential duties, then I think that there's no argument for immunity there.

COLLINS: And do you think that what he's alleged to have done is in the scope of presidential duties?

ROSENSTEIN: I don't want to comment, Kaitlan, on the issue before the Supreme Court. I think I'll wait and see what they have to say.

COLLINS: So, you don't want to say whether or not you believe that he has immunity, in that election interference case?

ROSENSTEIN: Well, I will say that the D.C. Circuit opinion was a unanimous opinion, and was quite an effective summary of the law. The probability is the Supreme Court will uphold that. But it's up to the five justices, of the Supreme Court.

COLLINS: Yes, I've got to ask you one more thing. I know you're not overtly political. You stick to the facts and the law.

But you did work for Donald Trump, in the Justice Department. And there are questions about what that would look like in a second Trump term. And he may very well be the next president.

He posted the other day that one of his first actions, if he took office, and I'm quoting him now, would be to "Free the January 6 Hostages being wrongfully imprisoned."


I don't have to tell you, there have been more than 950 convictions.

But I mean, do you believe that would be appropriate?

ROSENSTEIN: So, Kaitlan, I worked for President Trump. I also worked for President Obama, and for President Bush.

COLLINS: Yes. You were a U.S. attorney under President Obama.

ROSENSTEIN: And my approach, like Rob's, he worked in all three administrations as well, was to focus on the facts and the law.

I don't think anybody, who commits a crime, involving assault on a police officer, should go free. So, that's my opinion about that.

COLLINS: Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Attorney General, great to have you on here tonight.

ROSENSTEIN: Thank you. Glad to be here.

COLLINS: Thanks much for joining us.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Kaitlan, thanks.

Back with our legal and political team.

Elie, your reaction to Rod Rosenstein.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: So, I am similarly impressed with Robert Hur. I don't know Robert Hur. Rod Rosenstein worked closely with him. I never have.

But let's think about what Robert Hur just accomplished. He pulled off a year-long investigation of the sitting president. He talked to dozens, over a 100 witnesses. He put together a 388-page report. And he just sat there, while 44 political members of Congress tried to pick him apart. And they didn't find a single factual error or contradiction in his report. He wasn't flustered at all. He stood by his report.

He came across to me, just as an observer, as completely non- political. He wasn't out there to harm Trump or hurt Trump or to harm Biden or to help Biden. And I think he deserves credit for that. It's extraordinarily difficult.

Think about the way that Robert Mueller came through his report, right? Not as cleanly as this. Think about the way John Durham came through his report, I think, very political, nowhere near as cleanly as this. So, Robert--

COOPER: So, you don't buy Adam Schiff's argument that the language he used, to describe the President's cognitive abilities was unnecessary.

HONIG: I agree that that particular language was unnecessary. But I absolutely disagree with Adam Schiff, when Adam Schiff tried to impute partisan motives on him. Adam Schiff was just making ad hominem attacks, on Robert Hur that Robert Hur rejected. And I believe Robert Hur.

COOPER: So, if it was unnecessary, why do you think he did it that way?

HONIG: Because prosecutors approach their jobs differently. Sometimes, prosecutors, write more or less. People could write a 100-page report, or a 20-page report. Sometimes, they include more or less detail.

And looking at that, if I was his supervisor, I would have said, we don't need this level of granularity. This is an unnecessary detail. But I don't take that to mean he's got horrible political motives. I disagree with Adam Schiff--


HONIG: --on that.

COOPER: Or, Jessica, what do you think?

JESSICA ROTH, PROFESSOR, CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW: I was going to say, I mean, the regulations that govern Special Counsels, require them, as Hur mentioned today, to explain, in a report that's submitted to the Attorney General, the reasons for their declination decisions, or prosecution decisions. Here, declination. So, he was required to submit a report that explained his decisions. But the regulations don't specify what level of detail he has to provide his reasons. And he really, in my opinion, should have exercised better discretion and judgment, about how he characterized President Biden, in the report.

I agree with Elie, it was not necessary -- first of all, it wasn't necessary to his determination that no charges were warranted, for him to characterize the President as he did. And long-standing DOJ norms provide that you really shouldn't impugn somebody's reputation, unnecessarily.

COOPER: So, if he was aware of that, and he did it anyway, is that political?

ROTH: Well, that's certainly the implication that the Democrats in Congress were suggesting.

I can't get inside his head. I don't know what his motivations were. I just think it was a serious error of judgment, at a minimum.

DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Isn't that what -- am I -- am I missing something perhaps here. But wasn't that one of the main reasons, for the declination, was that if he did go to trial, this is how he would be observed by the jurors. Therefore, I am not going to proceed with this prosecution.

ROTH: So, Hur said that, and he said, I had to explain my work, right, I had to show my work?

URBAN: Right. And show my work. Yes.

ROTH: But when you actually read his report, more carefully, I thought it actually wasn't critical to his determination.

And so, again, it goes to a question of judgment, about whether you include everything that was just -- that was -- that you noted. He says it was integral to him. So, if he's acting in good faith, that's why he included it. But I think he actually had the discretion, to make a judgment about what he included in this report, knowing that it was going to be made public.

HONIG: And let me just say, if Robert Hur had an agenda, and he just wanted to hurt Donald Trump, he could have written this report, differently. He could have written this report, to say, I believe that a prosecutor could walk out of a grand jury, with an indictment, of Joe Biden. However, I'm not confident that a jury would unanimously convict him. That would have been way more damaging. He didn't go there, though.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, by the way, Donald Trump very well may be president again. And one of his biggest regrets, of his previous term, was that he did not choose to go after Hillary Clinton over the emails.

There is a reality. And this sounds crazy to say. But it's Donald Trump, that he could direct the Department of Justice, to reopen this, were he to become president again. So, I wouldn't even argue that this is completely out of the woods. This is something that he has talked about, how he's going to use the Department of Justice, in a second term. I don't think it gets nearly enough attention.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I mean, I think that two things can be true. On the one hand, he could have been more careful. But he's not necessarily corrupt. And I think that that's what Schiff was doing, was saying, because you weren't careful, you are therefore corrupt. And I think -- I agree with you from earlier. That's dangerous.


We do want, especially on Democratic Party's, right now, we got to defend all these institutions. We don't want to, I think, cast all these kind of aspersions without real evidence.

And I didn't see the evidence. I just saw the accusations.

HONIG: That's well said.

KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know if I thought he was saying you're corrupt.

I think he was just -- I think the part of the goal that Democrats was to ascribe political motives, and to acknowledge that you are old enough and wise enough, to know that when you write a document like this, you do have some discretion, and then it will actually face some scrutiny. And people will look at your words, and they will draw judgment, from your words.

I think he was kind of more holding him accountable for, don't tell me you didn't know what people were going to take from saying he's--


FINNEY: --a kindly, old man.

ROTH: And the fact that the transcripts were released, that didn't actually really seem to support the characterization.


ROTH: I thought sort of cast this in a new light.

JONES: Yes. Now that was--

ROTH: Made it seem even more unnecessary.

JONES: Yes. It really was interesting that he literally sells Biden, you have a photographic memory, in the transcripts. But he doesn't put that in the report. So, I think that -- but that was better for Biden, legally.

URBAN: Well, listen.

JONES: It was good for--

URBAN: There's something -- something in the audio recordings, right, clearly--


URBAN: --that we don't know, because the Biden -- if it was completely exonerating, the Biden administration would have pushed those out, this morning, and everyone would be listening to them, right now.

So, there's something in those audio recordings that may go to what Hur wrote, and why he wrote it, that there may be pauses, there may be nuances, that you can't hear on a cold record, cold transcript that we're not seeing.

FARAH GRIFFIN: Well you can bet the House Republican Conference is going to call for those audio tapes, rather than--

FINNEY: Oh, they already have. They did, several times.

FARAH GRIFFIN: --securing the border and funding Ukraine.

FINNEY: We heard about that several times, today.

COOPER: So, do you think there'll be more hearings with the audio recordings? Or were--

URBAN: I think they're going to continue to ask for it, right? They're going to continue to--

FINNEY: They'll do so, right.

URBAN: --push for it.

FINNEY: And they can use it as a talking point, right? It becomes a talking point that says, where's the audio? Why don't you release the audio? We know that rigmarole, right?

FARAH GRIFFIN: But let's be clear. This hearing did not go how I think House Republicans thought it was going to. I think that they thought this was going to be a partisan Republican, who was going to side with them, and who was going to really go after Biden's mental acuity. And he didn't.

He was very nuanced. He was very careful.


FARAH GRIFFIN: He didn't overstep. And it wasn't the slam-dunk they thought that it was going to be.

It wasn't great for Joe Biden either. But that was not what the committee had set out looking for.

URBAN: By the way, another point on audio recordings that didn't get really made a lot was that the biographer, right, his when he -- his audio recordings of his conversation with Joe Biden, after the Special Counsel was appointed, he pressed delete, his audio recordings, with Joe Biden, which is a little bit, as a former -- if prosecutors, I think that is -- that's probably the no-go category.

COOPER: He provided transcripts of them.

URBAN: Yes, but, yes.

COOPER: Even the ones that were deleted. And they were able to get back. But yes.

URBAN: However, you don't--

COOPER: And they considered charging him for that.

URBAN: Yes, once you get -- once you get a notice, from the prosecutor, there's something going on? You don't go through your email--

COOPER: Not a good idea, yes.

URBAN: --and start deleting files, right?

COOPER: For sure.

URBAN: Everybody knows that.

FINNEY: Back to the emails, David, back to the emails.

COOPER: Everybody.

Coming up more, on President Biden clinching the nomination.

Plus, a reporting about how the former President plans to incorporate his trials into his campaign. We'll talk to New York Times' Maggie Haberman, about that.

Also, we'll talk to a group of undecided voters, in Georgia. Yes, some people are still undecided. President Biden won that state, four years ago, by less than 12,000 votes. That's ahead.



COOPER: Continuing with our breaking news coverage. Former President Trump is expected to clinch the Republican nomination, within the next few hours, just a short time after President Biden clinched his nomination, tonight.

That comes, as our Kristen Holmes, reported earlier that former President is expecting to use his court appearances, in the upcoming Stormy Daniels hush money trial, as an opportunity to campaign.

I'm joined now by New York Times Senior Political Correspondent, Maggie Haberman. It's interesting, this idea of using the court appearances, as a way to stay active, on the campaign trail. I mean, both, just from a practical standpoint, it makes sense. But it's also been effective for him, thus far.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. It's been what he has done this entire time. He did it through the primary cycle, to great effect.

Now, I would argue that legally, his performances in court, during the E. Jean Carroll trial, and during the New York A.G. trial, did not go particularly well for him, in terms of the judgments that came down. But they certainly created a lot of noise, and a sense of motion, as he was in these primaries, in the final stages.

And this is what that will be, especially because he's going to be in court, four days a week. Wednesdays will be a break. So, the only days that he can really campaign are Saturday and Sunday.

COOPER: And yet, he knows that so many cameras are going to be at the courthouse, and there's not videotape inside the courtroom. So, they'll need to occupy their time, talking about stuff. So, his appearances there will get tremendous pickup.

HABERMAN: That's exactly right. And this is something that we had expected was going to happen, and may still happen, if there's a federal January 6 related trial, where there won't be cameras in the courtroom. There, as you say, won't be cameras in the courtroom for the Bragg trial.

And so, Trump will go out, and he'll give his spin, and he'll say whatever he's going to say. And he's going to hope that he's going to drown out whatever the witness testimony is, and whatever damaging evidence is offered in the case.

COOPER: Is he trying to -- I mean, in terms of the campaign strategy, to build his base, is he trying to just pick away some Black voters, from President Biden, Hispanic voters, whomever he can get?

HABERMAN: I don't think that's what he's doing in this upcoming court case. I don't think that's the target. I think the target is essentially survival, to be honest.

And I think his aides are hoping that he does not do himself damage, because as we have seen, in recent days, he is saying things that are not helping him. It's not like it's always a net-plus when he talks.

But in general, it is true that part of their math is they are trying to make a play for Black voters. He's been very explicit about it. He also has been trafficking, in all kinds of racial stereotypes, as he does it.


HABERMAN: But he refers back to his record as president. Even if he doesn't pick up those votes, even if the public polling showing him getting a much higher percentage of Black voters is wrong? Part of the strategy is just peeling it away from Biden, either so people stay home or toward an independent candidate.

COOPER: It is also just bizarre. You think about John Kelly telling Jim Sciutto, about the Hitler comments, and Hitler did some good things. According to John Kelly, that's what the former President said.

It didn't -- nobody seemed to care. I mean, in any other time, this would have been just unbelievable.

HABERMAN: There's an enormous -- a couple of things, I would say about that.


There's been an enormous volume of information, about things that Donald Trump said as president, things that he said in his past. We have talked about it here. We've written about it at the New York Times. That piece of information actually first appeared in a book, by my colleague, Mike Bender.

And so, some of these things have been around so long that I actually think that the public has gotten almost numb to them.


HABERMAN: And I think that that is, for people who don't like the former President, that is part of their challenge.

If you look back at the reporting, around the Mueller report, and we wrote about this at the time, there was so much reporting that went into this investigation, and what was happening with that investigation, that the public sort of heard a lot of it along the way. So, by the time the actual report came out, there wasn't a ton new that the public was learning.

And that seems to be the case here. I think the public has tuned a lot of it out. They may not, in the fall, and I think that's what we're going to -- we're going to see.

COOPER: What do you make of the big firing -- mass firings at the RNC under -- with Lara Trump?

HABERMAN: Unsurprising, and I think it's really mostly under Chris LaCivita, who has come in as, you know, he's a top Trump campaign official, and he's the de facto Chief of Staff now at the RNC.

COOPER: Unsurprising because there's bloat there or?

HABERMAN: Unsurprising because they have been telegraphing that this was coming, for some time.

I think there is not a lot of happiness around some of the celebrating that was going on, by some folks, on the Trump campaign about it. And it's a strange message, to cheer people getting fired, but especially when you are trying to win over more votes.

But look, we will see if it makes a difference. We will see if they end up hiring some of these folks back. We will see what the RNC ends up looking like.

But it's not a surprise to see this mass shake-up.

COOPER: Maggie Haberman, thanks so much.

HABERMAN: Thank you.

COOPER: Kaitlan?

COLLINS: Anderson, Donald Trump and President Biden both winning Georgia, in their respective primaries, tonight. It's a state that is going, expected to be at least, a critical state again, this November. In 2020, Biden defeated Trump there by fewer than 12,000 votes.

CNN's Gary Tuchman is in Atlanta, tonight, with a group of undecided voters, who could help swing this election.

Gary, how are they feeling about their two choices now that it's in clear view, tonight?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, well I will tell you is when it comes to presidential elections, it's hard to find undecided voters. But they can be found. And we have found them here in Atlanta, Georgia.

This is a very important swing state, Georgia. Six voters. And since I've met you all, and talked to you yesterday, and today, has anyone changed their mind. Is anyone ready to vote for Trump or Biden, for sure?



TUCHMAN: OK. Hands are down. So, let me start asking you.

First, we have here Devani (ph) and Kashyap (ph), wife and husband.

You're not ready to vote for either of these two.

DEVANI (ph): No.

KASHYAP (ph): No.

TUCHMAN: Why don't you like Joe Biden for President?

DEVANI (ph): It's the hardest job in the world. It's the hardest job in the world. And we keep hearing stories about how he's so sharp, he's so on point, behind closed doors. But I haven't seen it. I haven't seen it. TUCHMAN: And Kashyap (ph), why don't you like Donald Trump?

KASHYAP (ph): Well, I mean, I just don't think he's a good human being. And just the things that come out of his mouth makes me cringe every time. And not to mention all the indictments against him.

TUCHMAN: So, you're both independents. Might you not vote in the election, in November?

DEVANI (ph): Unless they give us a compelling reason to change our minds.

TUCHMAN: Scott (ph), you're an independent. You told me though you're kind of a libertarian. You're fiscally conservative. But socially, you're a progressive. Do you like either of these two gentlemen for President?

SCOTT (ph), INDEPENDENT, UNDECIDED VOTER IN GEORGIA: Could there be two worse options, right? Biden is weak in all the wrong areas. Trump is a polarizing salesman, not a statesman. We need better.

TUCHMAN: So, might you not vote?

SCOTT (ph): No. There are too many reasons to go and exercise my right to vote. So, I will vote.

TUCHMAN: Who will you vote for?

SCOTT (ph): I don't know, right now.

TUCHMAN: All right.

SCOTT (ph): Considering going third-party, I think.

TUCHMAN: So, who would that be?

SCOTT (ph): I think Kennedy has a lot to offer.


SCOTT (ph): Yes.

TUCHMAN: OK. Let me ask you, Dana (ph), you are a Democrat.


TUCHMAN: But you were telling me that you wanted Nikki Haley.

DANA (ph): Yes, I think over Trump, she just seemed like she was for the people versus Trump, who I feel like is after his own personal vendetta.

TUCHMAN: And now that she's out, is there any chance you'll vote for either of these two gentlemen?

DANA (ph): Currently no. I'm undecided. TUCHMAN: So, does that mean you won't vote in the election, November?

DANA (ph): I may not.

TUCHMAN: You may not vote?

DANA (ph): I may not.

TUCHMAN: OK. Delancy (ph), you're an independent. You also liked Haley. And you told me you voted for Democrats and Republicans in the past. What do you think of these two candidates? The President and the former President?

DELANCY (ph), INDEPENDENT, UNDECIDED VOTER IN GEORGIA: Well, I'm not a Trump fan. I'll be honest.

But I like Biden. I think he's a good guy. I think he's too old, right now. I think he's just his -- his time has passed.

And I also think both candidates are so polarizing, that it's hard for our country to get behind anyone.

TUCHMAN: So might you vote for Joe Biden?

DELANCY (ph): If there's not a good third-party candidate, yes.

TUCHMAN: So, you're looking for a third-party candidate. Who might that be?

DELANCY (ph): Well, one person that I don't think wants to do it, but is Governor Kemp, because I see him--

TUCHMAN: Georgia's governor?

DELANCY (ph): Yes. Because I see him as someone who stood up to Trump, and is still popular and well-liked.

TUCHMAN: OK, well, doesn't look like he's running.

So, the final person we have here is Lou (ph). And I should tell all our viewers that Lou (ph) and I are friends. We went to eighth grade together, in the high school.


TUCHMAN: When we were in high school, Jimmy Carter was beating Gerald Ford.

LOU (ph): Yes.

TUCHMAN: But I could tell you, we've never talked about politics in all these years.

LOU (ph): Never. Right.

[21:50:00] TUCHMAN: Until the other day, when I found out that you were undecided.

LOU (ph): Yes.

TUCHMAN: You told me you know you're not going to vote for Biden. You're an independent.

LOU (ph): Correct.

TUCHMAN: But you don't like Trump very much either. And you like Nikki Haley also.

LOU (ph): I do.

TUCHMAN: So, what are you going to do?

LOU (ph): I do. I really like Nikki Haley. And I'm so sorry she dropped out of the race. I thought she was sharp. I thought she really had all the elements of what I look for in a president.


LOU (ph): But--

TUCHMAN: Might you vote for Trump?

LOU (ph): Probably will, yes.

TUCHMAN: What about third-party?

LOU (ph): If there was a great candidate that came in? Yes. But at this point, I don't know if that's going to happen.

And yes, I would probably vote for him, because I think he can execute on the things that are important to me.

TUCHMAN: I want to ask you all, if this makes you sad, as a patriot of this country. You all love your country. That's one of the reasons I wanted to talk to all of you. I asked you all, how much you love this country? And you all love it. Does it make you sad that you're not really digging these Republican and Democratic candidates for president?

DANA (ph): Absolutely, yes.

SCOTT (ph): Yes.

DANA (ph): I know, when we spoke, I was saying that since I've become of age to vote, this is the first time that I really don't know, this is the first time I feel motivated to just stay home.

TUCHMAN: Well, what I want to tell you is your vote is going to be sought, because you're from Georgia. It'll be sought big time.

Thank you all for joining us. Kaitlan, back to you.

COLLINS: Gary Tuchman, I love to hear those conversations you have with voters. Thank you, for bringing that to us.

Just ahead here tonight, we'll step away from the elections here, for a moment, focus on the political and civil turmoil that is happening in Haiti. What is going to happen now, that the Prime Minister has announced he'll step down?

Our David Culver has the latest, right after this.



COOPER: Want to spend a few minutes now, on the breaking news out of Haiti, after its Prime Minister announced he would step down, in favor of a transitional government.

One of the gang leaders, responsible for the unprecedented levels of violence, ravaging the country now says that they will not accept a new transitional government.

David Culver joins us now, from just across the border, in the Dominican Republic.

So, what do we know about this new government, when it might form, how quickly that may happen?

DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of eyes here on the timeline, of all of this, Anderson.

And it's a transitional council, presidential council, as it's been characterized by CARICOM. That's the regional bloc of which the U.S. is a member state. And essentially, it's been crafted to, at the end of everything, stabilize the government, enough to have presidential elections.

But it's going to be made up of seven different members. And they're going to come from members of different political factions within Haiti. And they're going to appoint, in the interim, a Prime Minister, and then hopefully get to that place of stability.

But you pointed out the reaction already, in Haiti. And we're hearing one gang leader, who's very popular, known as Barbecue, saying that he won't recognize anything that comes from a foreign force. That's echoed by a former coup leader, Guy Philippe, who is saying that this is not representative of the Haitian people.

And there is frustration that we actually heard more than two weeks ago, when we were in Haiti, in Port-au-Prince, that folks were saying they felt like they didn't have a voice. They'd come up to us, and they'd say, to the U.S., to Canada, to France, let us make the decisions here. So, it still remains unclear, Anderson, if this is really going to create that stability that is so badly needed, on the other side of the border.

COOPER: Yes. People are desperate for stability, given all the violence we've been seeing. What is reaction you've been monitoring from people in Haiti?

CULVER: Well when we were with you, a few days ago, when we had heard about some of the folks that we were with, a couple of weeks ago, and in recent days, it's been a desperate situation for them. I mean, it's been terrifying, for folks who, some of whom, who had seen their homes torched by the gangs that are getting more and more control, seizing a lot more territory.

Then, you've got people, who maybe not are in gang territory, but are hunkered down. They're trying to stay safe. And they're fearing that at any moment, they'll have to flee, from where they currently are.

We were even in touch with a police source, who tells us they're really frustrated. And they feel like they're the last ones holding the line right now. And they point, in particular, to the Kenyan police officers, who were supposed to be deployed any day now. But now we're hearing that Kenya has put that on hold.

Well, why are Kenyan officials pausing this? It's because they're looking at this transitional council that is not yet in place. They're saying that Ariel Henry, the Prime Minister, is resigning. So, they're saying, wait a minute, this is not what we signed up for originally. This is not the agreement that we decided to put our police forces to support. And so, they want to see, again, stability, before they're comfortable putting their forces into Haiti. And that remains unclear when it's going to happen.

Meantime, you've got the Pentagon, Anderson, tonight. They're warning that this could be a possible mass migration situation.

And you've got the World Food Programme, saying at the end of all of this, we've got to look at the humanitarian aspect, the hunger situation. People are desperate. The supply lines are getting cut off. And you have, as they characterize it, a million people now, who are one step away from famine, Anderson.

COOPER: David Culver, thanks very much.


COLLINS: Before we go, tonight, we do have a heartbreaking update, as we have now learned that one of the last six American hostages, thought to still be alive, and being held in Gaza, was actually killed by Hamas, on October 7th, and his body was taken into Gaza. That's according to the Israeli military, in an update that they provided today.

Itay Chen, a 19-year-old dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, was serving in the IDF, on the Gaza border, that day.

His parents have been working relentlessly, to bring him home, to bring awareness for the other hostages and their families ever since. Tonight, they say that their hearts are broken with this update.

Here's what they told Jake Tapper, just last week.



RUBY CHEN, FATHER OF ITAY CHEN: I actually had a dream two days ago, two nights ago, where I saw the vision of President Biden, phoning (ph) to us and saying, well, your kid, Itay, he's on a plane back home. And I still hope that that might be able to happen.


COLLINS: Ruby, his father, was raised in New York. And I should note, Itay was the second of three sons. He was a former Boy Scout, not that long ago, his dad said. He was also a fierce basketball player, and fan. His 20th birthday would have been on February 2nd. And our hearts go out to his family, and friends, tonight.

Thank you so much, for joining us.

CNN's primary coverage continues, right now, with Laura Coates and Abby Phillip.