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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Andres: Need A "Neutral" Investigation Into Strike That Killed Aid Workers "Above IDF"; Special Counsel Blasts Judge's Order In Classified Docs Case; Trump Pushes Nebraska Election Rules Change. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 03, 2024 - 21:00   ET



HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: --absolutely awesome, because the fact is if you have the voice of Star Trek with you?


ENTEN: Then what else do you want?

COOPER: How long will it actually last, the like--

ENTEN: It will only -- it depends on the location. But the whole eclipse will last for a little bit more than three minutes to a little bit more than four minutes, depending on exactly where you are. But of course, you pointed--

COOPER: It's exciting.

ENTEN: That -- yes, it's very exciting. And you pointed out the weather. At this particular point, it looks like Burlington, Vermont is the place to be. Do not go in South Texas.

COOPER: All right.

ENTEN: Because the weather there is going to be significant worse.

COOPER: Harry Enten, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

COOPER: The news continues. "THE SOURCE" starts now.


Jose Andres, his first on-camera reaction, to the Israeli strike that killed nine of his food aid workers. Israel says -- pardon me, seven. Israel says it was a terrible accident. But Andres says the aid convoy was systematically targeted.

And CNN is learning what President Biden plans to tell Prime Minister Netanyahu, in a call, just hours from now.

And an extraordinary move, by Special Counsel, Jack Smith, putting the judge, in Trump's classified documents case, on notice. What she did that set off prosecutors, and what they're threatening to do, if she doesn't back down.

And some hard truths, for Trump's Truth Social. The value, plummeting after going public. And two investors tied to the debut just pleaded guilty to federal charges. And there's a lot more.

I am Brianna Keilar, in for Kaitlan Collins. And this is THE SOURCE.

President Biden set for what will no doubt be a tense phone call, with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, just hours from now.

And tonight, CNN is learning just how furious White House officials are, after the Israeli strike that killed seven food aid workers, in Gaza, on Monday, one of them American, all from the well-known non- profit, World Central Kitchen, the group led by famed chef, Jose Andres.

And Andres is speaking out tonight, for the first time, on-camera. And he has very strong words for Israel, which has called the strike, a grave mistake. Andres says the aid convoy was, in his words, targeted.


JOSE ANDRES, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN FOUNDER: They were target, systematically, car by car. They attacked the first car. We're still trying to get all the information on what happened on the first car. We have a feeling they were able to escape safely because it was an armored vehicle.

They were able to move in the second one. Again, this one was hit. They were able to move in the third one. In the process, we know they were trying to call.

But in the chaos of the moment, whatever happened, they -- to try to be telling IDF that why are they doing that they were targeting us in a deconflicting zone, in an area controlled by the IDF. They knew that it was our teams moving on that route with two armored -- with three cars. And then they hit the third one, and then we saw the consequences of that continuous targeting attack. Seven -- seven people dead.

This was not just bad-luck situation, where oops, we dropped the bomb in the wrong place or, or -- no, this was over 1.5, 1.8 kilometers, with a very defined humanitarian convoy that had signs in the top, in the roof, a very colorful logo that we are obviously very proud of that that's very clear who we are and what we do.


KEILAR: To be clear, CNN has yet to see any evidence that this was anything but a grave mistake.

But there are so many unanswered questions, about how this happened. Netanyahu says it was quote, unintentional. The Israel Defense Forces say they did not intend to harm the aid workers. But Andres is calling for an independent investigation.


ANDRES: I need to understand that this was not by somebody that is above law and order that decided just to kill us because, I don't know, maybe because I did that tweet that was very strong against President Netanyahu. I don't know.

Obviously, that's why we need to have an investigation that is neutral, and is above IDF. I believe will be good intentions on anybody. And they will tell the story, whatever they want to say.

But what I know is that we were targeted, deliberately, non-stop, until everybody was dead in this convoy. That -- that -- that cannot be -- that cannot be the role of an army. That cannot be the role of an army that has hundreds of drones above Gaza, in any single moment.

The humanitarians and civilians should never be paying the consequences of war. This is a basic principle of humanity. At the time, this looks like it's not the war, against terrorism anymore. Seems this is a war against humanity itself.


You cannot be destroying every building. You cannot be destroying every hospital, every school. You cannot be targeting humanitarian. You cannot be targeting children. You cannot be fighting the basis of what humanity should be standing for.


KEILAR: President Biden is said to be angry, and increasingly frustrated, and offered a harsh statement over the attack, saying he was outraged by the strike.

But though the President's frustrations, over the war, are shifting, one White House official tells CNN there has simply been no shift in overall policy.

I want to bring in Sean Carroll. He is the President and CEO of Anera, which is a non-profit that has worked in collaboration with World Central Kitchen, to provide more than a quarter million meals daily, in Gaza. Both Anera and World Central Kitchen suspended operations, in the Enclave, after this tragic attack.

And, Sean, I'm so sorry, for your community that is in mourning, and that is more afraid than they have been, throughout this conflict.

I know that you spoke with Jose Andres, twice, since this attack. Can you tell us what those conversations have been like?

SEAN CARROLL, PRESIDENT & CEO, ANERA: Well, thanks, Brianna. Thanks for having me on.

You heard it in the interview there. He's -- it's difficult to talk about. He chokes up. He's very close to the people that work with him. We are very close to the World Central Kitchen and all of the people that work there.

This is the third time, three years in a row that we've worked with World Central Kitchen, in Gaza. And they've relied on the partnership with Anera, because we've been working in, in Palestine, in the occupied Palestinian territories, for 55 years. We've had the same office, in Gaza, for 40 years. And so, three years ago, in a smaller bombing campaign, they came to us, and we worked together.

And we knew on October 7th, we would unfortunately have to work again together. And I called him that day. And they provided, instantly, large support for us to start delivering meals. And now, together, we've delivered 45 million meals, about 2 million a week.

And the people that work for World Central Kitchen, like the people who work for Anera, are humanitarians, who are trying to uphold humanity, celebrate humanity, move human development and, in emergencies, provide humanitarian aid, and try to save lives and affirm lives.

And that is a big shock. It takes a big hit, when you have an incident like this.

KEILAR: Does that explanation, Sean, from Israel, a misidentification error, does that line up with your experience?

CARROLL: No, I mean, I, you know, looking at -- there needs to be an investigation. It needs to be an independent investigation. Any incident of this gravity, you can't have the parties to the conflict, the ones that may have committed an international crime, a crime against humanity, a war crime, you can't have them be the investigators. There needs to be an independent investigation.

But everything we've seen, these photos, you're showing. I mean, an accident? You hit one car. You don't hit three cars. I don't see how it could be an accident. It feels like a targeted attack. Jose Andres and the World Central Kitchen staff feel like it's a targeted attack. If it's not, let's see what an independent investigation says.

But what we're all worried about now is what does this mean for humanitarian workers? And what does it mean for the delivery of humanitarian aid? And what does that mean, at the end of the day, for humanity, and for any chance of living in peaceful coexistence?

The thing that is so shocking and sad for me is, I think, Israel hasn't yet realized that this kind of action runs against its own interests. This is not increasing the security of Israel and Israeli citizens.

And I hope that the citizens of Israel, and the government, and the military, will realize this is -- this goes against their own interests, and obviously, first and foremost against the interest of Palestinians, who are desperately in need of the humanitarian aid that we're trying to deliver day in and day out. KEILAR: We heard, as you alluded to, Chef Andres, saying that he posted a tweet, critical of Netanyahu, somewhat recently, and he's questioning if maybe Israel was upset with him, whether it may have played a role here.

I mean, what do you think? And what is the feeling, on the ground, more largely, with aid workers?

CARROLL: Look, the problem is, is none of these scenarios paint a comforting picture.

If this is retaliation, for a criticism? That's extremely scary.

If this is an accident? That's scary.

And of course, if it's a targeted attack, against a known and very clear humanitarian aid organization? That's very scary.


I think viewers should think about what if World Central Kitchen delivered meals, in Israel, to displaced Israelis, after October 7th, what if Hamas had bombed a convoy of World Central Kitchen workers, delivering meals to Israelis? What would the world's reaction be? What would the retaliation be? What would be the efforts to redouble efforts, to keep more weapons from coming in?

And so, I think the fury that the Biden administration has is needed. We need to be furious. We need to be furious to save humanity. We need to be upset. We need to be pushing each other. There needs to be an intervention. Israel's friends need to say, friend, this is not in your interest.

KEILAR: The President will have that opportunity. He'll be speaking to Benjamin Netanyahu.

But the policy, as I mentioned, overall, has not changed. So, I mean, what do you -- what do you say to that?

CARROLL: It needs to change. And again, I think it needs to change -- it needs to change to protect humanitarian workers. It needs to change to get more aid in. There's not nearly enough aid in. It needs to change, so that innocent lives aren't lost unnecessarily. And I'll say, again, I believe that even for Israel's own interest, strategic interests, interests of, of survival and peaceful coexistence, it needs to change.

So for all of the reasons, it needs to change, which is why this attack is so utterly astounding, incomprehensible, senseless. This is what it would be called, if it were a Hamas attack, on a World Central Kitchen convoy, in Israel. The world would call it a barbaric, cowardly, senseless act. Why would this be anything other than that?

KEILAR: Sean, we appreciate you taking the time, this evening. Sean Carroll, thank you.

CARROLL: Thank you for having me.

KEILAR: Israel did target those three cars, with three separate strikes. The question is whether the IDF knew, who they were targeting. They say they didn't, calling this a misidentification, even though World Central Kitchen has said they coordinated their movements, with the military beforehand.

CNN geolocated their path.

And the charity says that their workers unloaded aid, at a warehouse, in central Gaza, then made their way down, this coastal road, in what was supposed to be a deconflicted zone.

Three and a half mile south of the warehouse, the first vehicle was struck. The other vehicles continued on. And a second strike hit the second vehicle, a half mile further down the road. The third vehicle traveling another mile, and that is where a third Israeli strike took it out.

I want to bring in Bob Baer. He's a former CIA Operations Officer, who has spent more than two decades working across the Middle East.

CNN recently speaking, Bob, to an explosive weapons expert, who said the strikes appear to have been carried out, by an Israeli drone that would have operated in conjunction with a surveillance drone, meaning they should have been able to see the World Central Kitchen logo.

What do you make of that assessment?

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIONS OFFICER: Well, I would find it difficult to believe that this was deliberate, this was an attack.

I think the problem is Israeli tactics. They move very quickly. Once they acquire a target, there's no second-guessing it. And when you fight a war, from the air, like this, there will be tragic civilian casualties, as we've seen in the last couple months in Gaza. And it's the speed with which they acquire target, and then fire missiles is too fast.

And plus, Israeli intelligence, if they didn't know this was an aid convoy, is bad. It just it's awful. And this is the problem that Israelis don't know what they're shooting at. And they shoot at anything that moves. And that's the best interpretation by the way.

I was in Iraq, and almost was killed in an air raid -- American air raid that somebody who was in front of a house, with a cell phone, made a call. That phone was targeted. The guy walked away. The house was hit, killed 23 people.

And don't -- let's not forget in Kunduz, where the Air Force hit a hospital, Doctors Without Borders. They killed more than 40 people in that attack.

So, it's when you fight a war from the air like this, there will be collateral. I just don't think it was deliberate. I just think this is such an embarrassment for Israel. KEILAR: Yes.

BAER: I can't imagine anybody in the chain of command saying hey, let's kill these people.

KEILAR: And Bob, you bring up Kunduz. And to be clear, what followed from that, which was horrific, was adjustments to how airstrikes are deconflicted. They made a mistake. They thought that they were looking at someplace 400 meters away. That's where they thought militants were. And it turned out they were hitting the hospital. And they made a number of changes.


So, can you just explain how it should work, for deconflicting a strike, like this, considering they had collaborated with their coordinates, with the IDF, but clearly that didn't get up the chain, or you would expect that maybe it didn't?

BAER: It just never does. In Hollywood, it works like this. You can identify targets, cross-identify them.

And let's not forget. We hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, was on bad CIA information, and we had a lot of time to investigate that target. And it's just these mistakes are absolutely inevitable.

And Brianna, if they go into Rafah, the IDF goes into Rafah? You are going to see a lot more of this, and a lot of casualties. And this is why the administration is begging Netanyahu, not to go in there and destroy everything, because the casualties will be just horrendous.

KEILAR: Yes, and that's certainly their concern.

Bob, always great to have your expertise. Bob Baer, thank you.

BAER: Thank you.

KEILAR: Next, the gloves are off. Special Counsel, Jack Smith, dropping a blistering response, to the judge's request, in the Trump classified documents case.

Plus, Trump media mayhem. Massive money problems, plaguing Trump's newly public company, along with guilty pleas and lawsuits, against its co-founders.



KEILAR: We're back with the news tonight. Donald Trump has failed, the presiding judge denying his latest Hail-Mary attempt, to delay his criminal trial, in the hush money case, in New York.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee's lawyers are trying multiple ways to delay. All of those motions are also expected to fail. Trump's first criminal trial is expected to begin on April 15th. In the meantime, in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, Special Counsel Jack Smith's team is holding nothing back, prosecutors questioning whether Judge Aileen Cannon fully understands the case.

In a new filing, Smith's team tells the judge that she is operating under a quote, "Fundamentally flawed legal premise," one that had "No basis in law or fact."

Here's the issue here. In an order that shocked veteran legal analysts, the judge asked both sides, to present possible instructions for the jury. Instructions, I should note, in which Cannon appeared to accept Trump's claim that he had the authority, to take classified documents, when he left the White House, by declaring them to be personal.

Prosecutors say essentially, that's ridiculous, highly classified government documents are not personal. And they tell her, the Presidential Records Act, she references, has nothing to do with this case.

I am joined now by Brandon Van Grack, who was Senior Prosecutor for the Mueller investigation, also a Senior National Security Official at the Justice Department.

This is so interesting here. I have to ask how unusual is it, for a prosecutor, to do something like this, and just be so pointed in a filing, like this, with the judge?

BRANDON VAN GRACK, FORMER SENIOR DOJ NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIAL: It's unusual on top of unusual, like the fact that we're talking about jury instructions, in a case, where we don't have a trial date, like that alone is unusual.

And I think what you're seeing, in terms of the sort of harsh tone, in the government, is the fact that the judge is asking for jury instructions, on an issue that is dispositive. Like it actually -- and the government says this, it would determine the case. You don't need instructions, just determine it.

KEILAR: That's right. So, walk us through this, the jury instructions, and what is happening, and what this decision is.

VAN GRACK: Yes. And so, part of this is the frustration of rewinding, which is the issue before the court is an issue that the defendant raised, which is you should dismiss this case, dismiss it outright, because under this Presidential Records Act, removing these documents, for the White House, made them personal, and I cannot be charged. And that would be dispositive.

The government actually agrees if that is in fact the right interpretation, the verdict should be directed to the defendants.

Rather than making that decision, the judge is sort of, I think, wrestling with how important that decision is. Because think about the other way, which is if the court rules against the former President, this has been his central argument, in filings and in public, which is I have the right to do this. And if she rules that he doesn't? Then it -- then it deprives him of that argument.

And so, looking for some sort of Solomonic compromise, the court said, well, maybe we can handle this in the instructions to the jury. And what the government said is there's no reason to do that, just decide it now.

KEILAR: So, Brandon, why is this so hard for this judge, in your interpretation? Is it because she's -- I mean, she's pretty new with this.

VAN GRACK: Well, I think there are a few things, which is a part of this could be inexperience. But we are dealing with issues that very few judges have had to deal with before, period, regardless of experience.

And so, I think it is important, to take a step back, which is many of these issues are new, are sort of rarely -- rarely adjudicated. However, this particular issue is one where it seems pretty clear, in the law, and factually, as the government paints that there's no basis for fact.

And so, I think, you're also just seeing the court wrestle with how important it is. There's no reason for the judge to rule on anything else. This decision is really dispositive, I think, to both parties.

KEILAR: How do you expect she will respond? How do you think she should?

VAN GRACK: Oh, Lord, yes, I mean. Hard pass, on trying to predict what's going to happen in this case.


But what I will say is, again, I think it's really important. There are many pending motions and issues before this court right now. Most of them are not dispositive. They're should the former President get more documents? Should some names be redacted? It does not make any sense for the court to expend any resources, or time, in ruling on those, if ultimately, the court is going to decide that the President's interpretation is accurate.

And that's what the government is saying. Just make this decision, so that we can figure out what the next steps are.

KEILAR: The Counsel's filing repeatedly floats this idea of appealing to the Eleventh Circuit, if she rules against them.

And if she doesn't move quickly, right, if she doesn't act fast here, do you think there's a chance the Eleventh Circuit could remove her from the case? Is that plausible at all?

VAN GRACK: Yes, I think we're really many steps removed from that, like all the -- you know, judges do get the law wrong, like it does happen. In fact, it happens all the time. Like, that is why we have an appellate process. So, just because there's a disagreement, between the Department of Justice, and the judge, is not a basis to remove a judge. It can be a basis to appeal it. And I think that's really been the focus of not only the filings, but the focus, I think, we'll see going forward.

KEILAR: Brandon Van Grack, thank you so much, for taking us through this. We do appreciate it.

VAN GRACK: Thank you.

KEILAR: And the Trump legal drama expands. The former President's media company is now a legal battle in a legal battle, with two of its co-founders, as an insider trading scheme is tied to his company that just went public.



KEILAR: A business built around the image of Donald Trump that in reality is bleeding cash, like it's a rare Trump steak, consumed by headlines of criminal misconduct, tied to illegal backroom deals and flooded by a barrage of lawsuits.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has had a long and sordid business career. And what we're witnessing, with Truth Social, harkens back to a specific chapter in that career, one more than two decades ago.

As we speak, Trump's accountants warn the social media company is on borrowed time, due to huge money problems, leading people, who cover finance, to say stuff like this.


DAN ALEXANDER, SENIOR EDITOR, FORBES: And what you have is arguably the most hyped-up wildly trading new stock that we've seen in a heck of a long time.


KEILAR: Meanwhile, just today, a pair of big investors, in the company, pleaded guilty to insider trading. And Trump's own company is suing two of the co-founders, both former contestants on "The Apprentice."



Wes, you're fired also.


KEILAR: But flashback to the 90s, and swap social media for the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and you'll see some similarities. The headlines then were about Trump's casinos bleeding money.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the past few months, it has seemed that the clock was always ticking for Donald Trump. This is deal after deal soured. The latest focus of attention? The mammoth Taj Mahal hotel and gambling casino in Atlantic City. It is big, it is glitzy, and it is in a financial hole.


KEILAR: The future president found himself consumed by lawsuits, over everything, from unpaid bills, to his own bondholders upset, over allegations of fraud, even over who owned the sign, outside his Taj Mahal Casino. And yes, there were also legal concerns about shady deals.

Through it all, the IRS found one Trump casino broke anti-money laundering rules, a whopping 106 times in its first year and a half of operation. While another casino admitted it broke the law, when Trump's father bought $3.5 million in gaming chips, he had never planned to gamble, and what amounted to an illegal de facto loan to his son.

And just like he's doing with Truth Social, in the midst of it all, Trump headed to Wall Street, to cash in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is gambling. Investors want to bet on him again.

TRUMP: This is just the right time. And it's the right time for this industry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stock offering and a related junk bond deal are raising nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.


KEILAR: And yet, the lesson, from Trump's time in Atlantic City, is that for him, things turned out OK.

As the New York Times notes, Trump "Put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments." And "The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who would bet on his business acumen." The Times found that "Stock and bondholders lost more than $1.5 billion."

So, will the lessons from Truth Social be the same?

I'm joined now by Dan Primack, Business Editor for Axios, who specializes in the kind of market manipulations that we are seeing around Truth Social.

Dan, great to have you.

We have the former President. He sells a lot of stuff these days. There's golden sneakers, Bibles. How do you see Truth Social as an offering?

DAN PRIMACK, AXIOS BUSINESS EDITOR: I see it's kind of the stock version of the golden sneakers, right?

It's not a very good company. Truth Social, for those who have never seen it, it is basically Twitter that's been rescanned. It's got basically the exact same functionality, nothing more, a little bit less.

And -- but most importantly, it doesn't have much of a business. Last year, it lost $58 million, which isn't that big a deal for a new company. The problem is it only made $4 million, and it made less money in the fourth quarter than it made in the third.

KEILAR: So, well Trump is really good at screwing over other people, before himself, when his business dealings go south.


Here, we saw Trump lose a billion dollars on paper, at least in one day though. So ultimately, I wonder if this venture tanks would it actually have negative consequences for him.

PRIMACK: Probably not. I mean, yes, he lost a billion dollars in one day, which was earlier this week, when the financials came out.

But right now, he's up $3.8 billion from where he was basically eight days ago. That's pretty good for him. I mean, if you think about this, again, his stake right now, in Truth Social's worth $3.8 billion, on a company that makes $4 million in revenue a year.

It's a multiple -- somebody asked me the other day, where it should be trading? I mean, less, like way less. You don't see this sort of multiple in any other company in any other industry.

KEILAR: I mean, Trump does have this long record of putting his name on things that already exist in the market, from steaks to vodka.

And this current value aside, I know you kind of alluded to this, is there anything innovative, about Truth Social, considering it does cater to a different audience? Or is it entirely just Twitter repackaged, even considering that?

PRIMACK: It's Twitter repackaged for a MAGA audience.

Now, there's a little bit of interesting stuff, on the back-end, in the sense of one of their big things is they don't want to rely on Big Tech companies, like Amazon or Microsoft, who are the ones, who host most traditional tech platforms and apps. So, they're trying to do it without those companies. But that's nothing that a consumer or a user would ever see. So no, there's not really. The only really innovative thing, and it's not innovative, per se, is they've decided despite being a public company, they are not going to collect or report basic user data to investors. How many downloads, there have been, monthly active users, things like that, that whether it be Twitter, or Meta, or Snap or anybody else report regularly.

KEILAR: Here today, you have these two investors, in Trump media, in the insider trading case. They pleaded guilty, after Trump was just found liable, in the New York civil fraud case, for grossly overvaluing his assets to get loans, while undervaluing them for tax purposes.

You go all the way back, as we mentioned, to his casino ventures, and his hotel failing in Atlantic City, at really the expense of so many hardworking people.

How do you see all of these data points of questionable ethics and financial failures, speaking to the kind of businessman that we now know Donald Trump to be?

PRIMACK: I want to separate a little bit. These insider trading charges? And there was actually three charges. Two guys pled guilty today, one more is going to fight this in court. These charges were first brought, last summer, long before Truth Social went public. They are separate from Trump. In fact, they invested in this so-called blank checker SPAC that Truth Social merged with.

It is notable though that when most companies, young tech companies go public, they don't typically have a slew of lawsuits around them, even if it's not specific to the founder, to the CEO, or in this case, the majority shareholder which Trump is.

There's just this air of litigation, which revolves around this. The two co-founders you showed there, from "The Apprentice," who aren't the insider trading guys? These are different. They sued Trump first. And now, Trump is suing them back. There is litigation with the former CEO of the blank check company that has gone back and forth. So, there's just an enormous amount of litigation.

And honestly, in the end, Truth Social, when we look at its financials, it's probably going to spend as much on lawsuits as it is on anything else.

KEILAR: Yes, we'll have to see how that math adds up.

Dan, we know that you'll be on it, when we see all the numbers. Dan Primack, thank you.

PRIMACK: Thank you.

KEILAR: Next, the entire election could hinge on one single congressional district in Nebraska. No joke. We are well past All Fools' day after all. And now, Trump and his allies are trying to change the rules, to benefit him, on Election Day. We'll explain.


KEILAR: Are Donald Trump, and the Republican Party, trying to change the rules, in the middle of the game?

The former President is praising the GOP governor of Nebraska, saying he wrote "A very smart letter," a letter that urges state legislators, to change the state's election law, last minute, in an effort to siphon off a potentially crucial Electoral College vote, in the race to 270.

Joining me now to talk about this is former DNC Communications Director, and one-time Senior Adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, Karen Finney.

And also with us, Republican strategist, and former RNC Communications Director, Doug Heye.

And Doug, let's talk about Nebraska, how it divvies up its Electoral College votes. It isn't winner-take-all.


KEILAR: Biden got one of the five in 2020. That's kind of it's just what's expected, right? Trump got four. How big of a deal would it be to make Nebraska winner-take-all?

HEYE: It would only be a big deal, if it comes down to one electoral vote, right? So, this is sort of a big deal, also not. But if you get into political nerd talk, this is super interesting and super exciting.

Also have a similar dynamic in Maine. So, this is the red dot -- or sorry, this is the blue dot in Nebraska. In Maine, we have the red dot, which is sort of like the Seinfeld sweater. But ultimately, look, if it comes down to this one electoral vote, then both campaigns have a bigger issue here--


HEYE: --that they've got to worry about.

FINNEY: --bigger trouble than who wins this one?

KEILAR: But then it's not entirely impossible.



KEILAR: And hear me nerd-out on this, right? Because there is this possibility of a 269 to 269, if Nebraska were to go winner-take-all, and Biden kept his 2020 map, minus Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, which of course were big wins for him in 2020.

FINNEY: Yes. KEILAR: I mean, can you even imagine something like that happening?

FINNEY: I mean, yes, but I -- that's the stuff of nightmares.


What I will say is, I mean, so we call it the blue dot, we, Dems. And the folks who live in the blue dot, they're very proud of the fact that Democrats always win the blue dot. And in talking to Jane Kleeb, the State Party Chair there, in Nebraska, they feel pretty confident that they're going to be able to defeat this.

This is something that kind of came up out of nowhere. The legislature, they're actually debating it, right now, as we're sitting here. They were getting ready to go out of session. And it kind of popped up, because the Trump folks are trying to make this change.

On the bigger picture, it's not surprising, given the way we saw Trump change the rules, in the primary, right, to make California winner- take-all, to try to make it in Nevada, such that Super PACs couldn't basically make it so that DeSantis' Super PAC couldn't run ads for him, right?

This is what he does. I mean, this is the way he games the legal system, the way he games the tax laws, right? This is how he rolls. He's always looking for, how do I skirt the odds or change rules?

KEILAR: You said, it's the stuff of nightmares. I mean, the Biden campaign has reached out to Nebraska lawmakers. How concerned are they?

FINNEY: Yes. Well they wanted to -- I think they want to make sure that like, it was one of those, you're on top of this, right, kind of, right?

KEILAR: It's good to do, I guess.

FINNEY: Yes, just to make like, hey, we're not worried about this. Should we be worried about this? And so, I think they were felt reassured.

KEILAR: All right. So, Doug, there's this new poll.

HEYE: Yes.

KEILAR: Let's talk about how things are shaping up in this race. From the Wall Street Journal today. And what it shows is that President Biden is trailing Donald Trump, in a couple of states, Arizona, North Carolina.

There's also a tight matchup in five other battleground states. We have to be clear. You see the plus there. But those are within the margin of error, which is obviously very important. I know from statistics in college.

How are you seeing this? HEYE: Well, aside from the fact that North Carolina is on that list, and I keep reminding people, pay attention to North Carolina, there's a lot going on there, I disregard all of these numbers.

The numbers that I'm looking at right now that are most important to me are where are Joe Biden, and where are Donald Trump on issues? And what we see is on issue after issue?

Take away abortion, because Karen is going to correct me on that if I get it wrong.

On every other issue, seemingly, Joe Biden isn't just losing to Donald Trump. He's losing massively to Donald Trump. The border, God, we hear so much about that. Inflation, the economy, costs and prices, we hear a lot about that.

On those issues that voters tend to say are most important to them, Joe Biden is way underwater. He's got to fix that before he can really worry about North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida or Arizona, anywhere else.

FINNEY: Well, in this poll, though, what I will say, and actually David Chalian was talking about this earlier tonight, it does show that if when -- when they ask people, how they feel about their personal economic situation, they're starting to feel better. So, that is a positive sign.

And the other thing that I was looking at, so, the fact that we're tied, and that that's progress, and look, like it or not. And it's still early. We clearly have a lot of work to do. But it was interesting to see in a state like Wisconsin, for example, 95,000 people in the primary, on Tuesday, did not vote for Donald Trump. They came out to vote for Nikki Haley, or Ron DeSantis.

So, I see that poll, and I see what it says about Wisconsin. But then you see the actual poll, where people voted, and that's telling us something different.

KEILAR: But if you look at this as a scale, right, and you have the issues that Trump is doing better on immigration, economy and the like? And then, you have abortion, which is really--


KEILAR: --the issue of abortion, and access to reproductive care, how Democrats are motivated by that. But it's not an issue in every state, right? It's not a reality in as much in Pennsylvania as it might be in say, in Michigan. Do you think that is enough to outweigh these other things?

FINNEY: So, two things.

Reproductive rights, I mean, we're going to see everything from contraception, IVF, to access to abortion. That's the full conversation that we're going to be having, come, as we move through the election. And yes, I do think that's going to motivate people, because part of what it makes people concerned about is well, what other rights will they try to take away from me that I wasn't expecting?

Secondly, when you ask people, when you kind of get under the hood, on some of these numbers, people say things like, yes, they're dissatisfied, for example, on the border, and how they perceive Biden is handling it. But they understand, Republicans walked away from a deal that actually would have been a solution.

And so, it's similar to what we saw in 2020, where, yes, people were concerned about the economy, but they weren't necessarily blaming Biden for it.

KEILAR: Do they understand that? Is that sticking that message? Because I mean, Trump did kill the bipartisan deal.

HEYE: I don't think--

KEILAR: But I wonder if voters know.

HEYE: I don't think it does stick.

And I've worked on immigration legislation, very unsuccessfully, in the House. And the deal that was struck is a deal that in 2012, 2013, 2014, I would have only dreamed of, as a Republican, getting that good of a deal. And Republicans walked away from it. But the issue is still there.

And if we say that a picture's worth a 1000 words? Video's worth a lot more. And everybody, in the country, sees those videos of people streaming over the border at will. And they use words, like Trump uses. They use words like invasion.

FINNEY: I don't think they say bloodbath.


HEYE: They might not say bloodbath, but they say invasion. And that's happening throughout the country. And even if they don't use those words, they give Trump some quarter, for using it, and they're familiar with Trump saying that anyways. It's why he's not penalized with voters for saying that.

FINNEY: Some--

HEYE: And by the way, when Trump has bad news, he says those things, so because he's a matador, and he waves a red cape, and everybody gets distracted, and he's able to then shift the conversation the way he wants to.

FINNEY: That's fair.

KEILAR: Yes. That's -- I love that note that we end on. That's fair. Agreement there.

HEYE: You're a bullfighting fan, apparently. KEILAR: That was one.


KEILAR: Doug, and Karen, thank you so much.

Ole, right?

HEYE: Yes.


KEILAR: Something out of this world is happening people. The fever, can you feel it? It is spreading over Monday's solar eclipse. You have to make sure though, that you are ready if you're planning to watch. Just like your mom said, do not stare directly at the Sun.

We have all the eclipse tips coming up.



KEILAR: All right, people, it is almost total solar eclipse time. Did you get your special glasses, like these? Are you ready with these things?

Did you clear your schedule for Monday afternoon? Does your boss know that you won't be available, probably between the time of 2:27 PM and 3:35 PM Eastern Time, because some Americans have already made their plans, millions of people expected to travel across the country, to get a front-row seat, to this super rare experience.

Eclipse-watchers will make their way to the zone, where the Moon will totally block out the Sun. And you see that path there. It stretches all the way from Texas to Maine.

But here's the thing. Weather and clouds might get in the way of perfect eclipse-viewing, in many parts of the country.

So, here to help us find the best spot to see it, we have eclipse cartographer, Michael Zeiler.

Michael, very exciting times. And I know that you are not a weatherman, but you're probably freelancing as one a little bit. Because you map out where these eclipse shadows hit the earth.

And the weather is looking like it could be an enemy of some of these eclipse-watching parties. Where do you think people will definitely be seeing the total eclipse?

MICHAEL ZEILER, ECLIPSE CARTOGRAPHER: Well, I think that the best places -- and by the way, the weather -- the five-day project -- prediction is upending the climate odds.

Texas was expected to have the clearest skies. But Texas is now threatened by clouds.

But there are two clear zones for eclipse day, as of today's prediction. And they are from Arkansas, through Illinois, looks pretty good. And then, another area, from -- the northeast corner of New York State, through Maine, and into New Brunswick, also looks pretty good at this moment.

KEILAR: All right, that is good to know. People, there, taking note. And I'm sure hoping that holds.

You, I understand, have seen 11 total solar eclipses. Is that right? Can you tell us?

ZEILER: Correct.

KEILAR: A lot of people haven't seen one. I haven't seen one. What's it like?

ZEILER: Well, it's like standing on an alien planet for a few minutes. It's like nothing you've ever seen before. Your senses are confused, because daytime suddenly turns dark. And then you glance up at the sky. And you see the most beautiful celestial sight in the sky that exists, except it's hidden to us all of our lives. And I'm talking about the Sun's corona.

And we're excited because we're nearing the maximum of the 11-year solar cycle. So, that means that we've got a real prospect of seeing some celestial fireworks, things such as coronal mass ejections, giant eruptive prominences, and so forth. So, we're going to be watching the corona very carefully, on eclipse day.

KEILAR: Yes, I mean, the Sun could be putting on quite a show, even more than usual.

And people need to be ready, though, right? There's a key thing they need to be prepared with, total eclipse or even if they're just catching a partial eclipse. And that is the special glasses, right? Mom was right.


KEILAR: You cannot look directly at the Sun, permanent retinal damage, and all.

In the path of the total eclipse though, I just wonder, could you, at any point, take your glasses off, when the eclipse is happening? Because I know people are going to be tempted. What do you say to that?

ZEILER: Well, you bet, but only during the precious minutes of total solar eclipse. And when that moment arrives, you won't have any doubt, because you'll sense that everything suddenly gets dark. So about -- for about three or four minutes, depending where you are, it's totally safe to take the eclipse glasses off. And, in fact, you should, to see the eclipse. And if you're outside the path of totality, or before and after the

total solar eclipse, if you have those eclipse glasses? Great. But you've got a couple of other options.

One option is to go into your kitchen, and take out a colander, or a grate, and project dozens of tiny crescent shapes of the eclipse, onto a light surface. That's a great way to view the eclipse.

Another great way is to stand under a tree. And if there's a gentle wind blowing on the leaves of a tree, and that's assuming you're in a part of the country with leafed-out trees? Then you'll see an amazing array of shimmering crescent shapes on the ground.


KEILAR: That's amazing. I will say I did the pinpoint camera. Not as cool as the glasses, I suspect.

But I do want to ask you, just finally, before I let you go, does it get cooler, during the total eclipse? Is that real?

ZEILER: That's a very good point. And if the day starts out sunny and warm, don't forget your jacket.

KEILAR: All right.

ZEILER: Because you'll be surprised how cool it gets.

KEILAR: All right. Good to know, Michael Zeiler. Really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

ZEILER: Thank you.

KEILAR: And thank you for joining us.

"KING CHARLES" starts now.