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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Trump Allies Worry Rudy Giuliani Raid Sent Strong Message to Ex-President's Inner Circle, They Wonder What Could Come Next; Gaetz Associate Says Congressman Paid for Sex with Minor in Letter Obtained by "The Daily Beast." Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 30, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: The streets competing for oxygen and hospital beds, both nearly nonexistent. The desperate literally cannot breathe.
Looking at the fortunate, they managed to access oxygen on the street for a few minutes or maybe a little bit longer if they're lucky, little is just on the street.
All right, well, thank you for joining us. It's time now for Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We start with breaking news related to the investigation of Rudy Giuliani who is now trying to defend himself after Federal agents raided his apartment and office as well in New York seizing personal electronic devices in an investigation that According to "The New York Times" is tied to his involvement with the removal of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, a focal point of the first impeachment you may remember. We'll have that story with one of the reporters who broke it in just a moment.
First, hours after Giuliani told listeners to his radio show today that this investigation is about hatred of him and hatred of the former President he once represented, sources close to the former President are now talking to CNN about Giuliani. Our Gabby Orr is here with the breaking details.
So, what's been the reaction to the Giuliani raid within the former President's inner circle?
GABBY ORR, CNN REPORTER: Well, Anderson, the raid on Giuliani's Manhattan apartment and office has left quite a few Trump associates and aides feeling uneasy about what this could mean for the former President and those in his orbit.
There were several people who have said that this is something that has changed their perceptions of how willing the Justice Department might be to pursue other potential investigations into top Trump associates and those close to the President with one source telling CNN, this was a show of force that sent a strong message to a lot of people in Trump's world that other things may be coming down the pipeline.
COOPER: Do you have any sense whether the former President or his associates are -- or what the nature of their concern may be about other possible Federal or state investigations?
ORR: Well, we don't know for sure if there are other investigations that may be coming down the pipeline, as that former Trump adviser said. What their concern is, is that seeing this F.B.I. raid really sent a signal to quite a few people in Trump's orbit that the Justice Department does take investigations like this seriously and is not afraid to aggressively pursue these investigations.
And so, if there did come a point where a new investigation emerged into the former President or somebody close to him, that we could see developments like this that impact those individuals as well.
COOPER: Is anyone talking about whether or not they believe Giuliani will remain loyal to the former President?
ORR: Well, we are talking about one of the former President's most steadfast allies here. But that has not stopped at least two people close to the former President from raising the question of whether Giuliani's loyalty to Trump could buckle beneath the pressure of potential criminal charges.
It would not be unprecedented. Of course, we did see Michael Cohen, the longtime Trump fixer and former Trump attorney flip on his former boss back in 2018, and then cooperate with investigators.
But of course, Giuliani has come out and denied any wrongdoing and in the day since that Wednesday F.B.I. raid occurred, he has played up his relationship with former President Donald Trump.
COOPER: Gabby Orr, appreciate it. Thanks.
As we mentioned, "The New York Times" is reporting that at least one of the warrants in Wednesday's raid is related to the 2019 removal of the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, a focal point of the former President's first impeachment trial. Sources telling "The Times" that investigators were searching for information on Giuliani's conversations with officials in Ukraine and the previous administration about Marie Yovanovitch.
One of the reporters of that story is with us. Before we introduce him, we want to remind everyone of her testimony during the Impeachment Inquiry in 2019 and the threat she was under she says, according to a supervisor at the State Department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIE YOVANOVITCH, FORMER U AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: Around one o'clock in the morning, she called me again and she said that there were great concerns. There were concerns up the street, and she said I needed to get home -- come home immediately. Get on the next plane to the U.S.
And I asked her why, and she said she wasn't sure, but there were concerns about my security. I asked her my physical security because sometimes Washington knows more than we do about these things. And she said no, she hadn't gotten that impression that it was a physical security issue, but they were concerned about my security and I needed to come home right away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We're joined now by "The New York Times" Ken Vogel. So Ken, as we're learning that this raid has created a sense of fear for some within the former President's circle. What have you learned about how this raid on Giuliani's apartment may be related to the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from being removed?
KEN VOGEL, REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, the investigators saw evidence that relates to Rudy Giuliani's conversations with some of the Ukrainian officials who were seeking her removal for their own purposes.
They've gotten crosswise with her and were providing Rudy Giuliani with information that he thought could be used to implicate the Biden's. And he thought that Ambassador Yovanovitch was sort of impeding his efforts to get these Ukrainian officials to either provide more information, or ideally from his perspective to announce that they had launched an investigation into the Bidens.
VOGEL: So you had sort of a convergence of interest here for both these Ukrainian officials on the one hand, and Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, each had their reasons for wanting Ambassador Yovanovitch gone, and the prosecutors seem to be developing a theory based on the idea that Rudy Giuliani may have pushed for her removal on behalf of these Ukrainian officials, in which case that could trigger the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires any American who lobbies on behalf of a foreign official to register with the Justice Department. Rudy Giuliani did not do that.
COOPER: And what did you learn about what investigators are looking for on the electronic devices that they seized from Giuliani?
VOGEL: They're looking for communications with both these Ukrainian officials. These are a few Ukrainian prosecutors, who we understand are kind of in the spotlight here. One is this guy, Yuriy Lutsenko, the former top prosecutor in Ukraine, kind of the equivalent of the Attorney General there. He was a controversial figure.
He had said some things about the Bidens suggesting that he was investigating them and had actually traveled to the United States and met with Rudy Giuliani and provided a bunch of material and testimony that Rudy Giuliani calls it testimony. It was sort of an interview with Rudy Giuliani, who then took that information from Yuriy Lutsenko and provided it to the State Department, tried to deliver it to Mike Pompeo, actually.
That in and of itself -- in an effort by the way to get Yovanovitch removed because much of what Yuriy Lutsenko was telling Giuliani was about Yovanovitch, that in and of itself could trigger FARA. You don't even necessarily need to lobby for something on behalf of a foreign official, you could merely be relaying information from that foreign official to U.S. government officials. And it would seem that that was something that Rudy Giuliani did in
the case of passing information from Yuriy Lutsenko to the State Department.
COOPER: And what's Giuliani's latest response?
VOGEL: Well, it's interesting, there's a sort of pushback on this idea that he may have violated this Foreign Agents Registration Act, and his pushback is saying he didn't take any money from this Yuriy Lutsenko guy, despite the fact that he did, in fact discuss the possibility of working for him as a lawyer, but it doesn't matter.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act does not require payment as a condition to trigger this registration requirement. He also says that he didn't expressly urge Trump and Pompeo to fire Marie Yovanovitch, but he also sort of seems to take credit for it, saying that the information that he provided likely did play a role in the removal.
This is based on some interviews that I did with him prior to the raid. Since the raid, he has also blamed the Biden administration and said that the Justice Department is politicized and is going after him because of their political motivations.
But on the other hand, he's also admitting and saying that the Justice Department in late 2019 served a search warrant or searched his iCloud without his permission. Well, who was in charge of the Justice Department then? It was Bill Barr and Donald Trump.
And so the sort of explanation or the pushback that this is some kind of political investigation is undermined a bit by that admission.
COOPER: Wow. Rudy Giuliani contradicting himself. Wow, who knew? Ken Vogel, appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Perspective now from Daniel Goldman, who was the lead counsel for Democrats in that first Impeachment Inquiry, and directly questioned Ambassador Yovanovitch about Giuliani and her removal from office.
He is also former Federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, which is now investigating Giuliani. Dan, thanks for being with us. So before we get to Giuliani, specifically, this new reporting from CNN that the raid ignited a sense of fear among some in the former President's inner circle, and that -- about the very idea that other things could be coming down the pike.
As a former prosecutor, do you think some of those people should be worried?
DANIEL GOLDMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Well, you never know what a defendant will do in terms of their cooperation, and sometimes you don't know what information they have.
I'm not sure that they should glean from this that Merrick Garland is going to initiate a brand new investigation into Donald Trump. But if Rudy Giuliani is charged, and he realizes he is either facing several years in prison, or he can cooperate and reduce his sentence, and his cooperation includes criminal activity by Donald Trump or others in the administration, then all of a sudden, you have a new case that sort of have been handed to you.
So Donald Trump probably is the one who knows best whether Donald Trump has anything to worry about because if he did commit crimes along with Rudy Giuliani, if he was aware of payments being made to Giuliani, if somehow he did get any of the money funneled through Giuliani or others ultimately to hammer his business, then yes, he should be worried.
And if he didn't, and Giuliani knows nothing of any criminal activity that Donald Trump did, then he shouldn't be worried.
COOPER: In light of the new reporting everything you know from the first impeachment trial, how believable are Giuliani's claims that he was working on behalf of the President and not as an agent of a foreign government?
GOLDMAN: Well, that's clearly what his defense will be. And the problem with that defense is twofold. One, it's not an either-or situation, the prosecutors would not have to prove that he was only working on behalf of any Ukrainian officials.
If he was -- if that was a reason, he was doing it, that's enough to prove a crime. And two, he -- you know, he's already -- we've already established several of the elements of this FARA offense, because we know he didn't register, and we know that he admitted himself that he tried to influence Donald Trump to fire your Yovanovitch and he also admitted that he provided that information to Mike Pompeo.
And Ken is exactly right, that's all you have to do. The question is whether he was doing that on behalf of the Ukrainian officials, or for some other purpose. And that's what we just don't know.
And I think that the bank records will go a long way. You don't need to have a payment. But in a case like this, where there's a legitimate defense, such as the political efforts that he was making for Donald Trump, I would suspect that the prosecutors are going to want to show an obvious and clear relationship between the Ukrainian officials urging Giuliani and Giuliani agreeing to try to influence the removal of Yovanovitch for them.
COOPER: You know, I mean, no doubt there are going to be many people, Trump supporters and others who maybe look at this and say, well look, failure to register as a foreign agent. I mean, does that really seem like such a big deal? You know, is it being blown out of proportion? Why does that -- why is that -- why does that -- why would that matter?
GOLDMAN: In this -- this is the sort of the paradigmatic case of why this law is so important. We need to know who is influencing our foreign policy, and whether Donald Trump is removing an ambassador and influencing our policy with Ukraine and with Russia, because he wants to do it or Rudy Giuliani wants him to do it for their own political reasons, that's one thing.
It is entirely another thing if Russian agents in Ukraine are paying Rudy Giuliani to influence Donald Trump's foreign policy decisions. And if they're doing that, then we need to know and that's why Rudy Giuliani would need to register with D.O.J. his agency relationship, his relationship with Ukrainian officials so that everyone knows what the biases are, and what potential conflicts of interest are.
Without that, you can have foreign interference in our foreign policy. So, it's not trivial matter. This is really is a matter of national security.
COOPER: Giuliani also had a history of, you know, trying to get business in Ukraine. I don't know if that would impact, you know, cooperation with Ukrainian officials in the hopes of one day, you know, getting some more business down the road from them. I don't know if that would play a role in that.
Giuliani has been complaining about the raid and floating a conspiracy theory about the Justice Department on FOX News. I just want to play that for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Yes, the evidence is exculpatory. They prove that the President and I and all of us are innocent, they are the ones who are committing -- it's like -- it's like projection. They are committing the crimes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So he is saying, essentially, the Justice Department is projecting guilt onto him. Is that something they teach in Law School? Because that is not something I'm familiar with?
GOLDMAN: No, Rudy Giuliani really would do himself a big favor if he would shut his trap right now. Everything he is saying is a political statement, a PR, a messaging thing, trying to rally the Republican base against this prosecution. But none of that matters in a court of law and none of that is admissible in a court of law.
And all he is doing is pissing off the prosecutors who will, of course, ignore it when they're trying to act in good faith, but you're not currying any favor with people making decisions about whether or not you're going to -- they're going to try to put you in jail.
So no, none of what he is saying makes any sense nor has any influence as Ken mentioned, this investigation started under the Trump administration under the Bill Barr Justice Department and now is just being carried out by career prosecutors who are apolitical and nonpartisan and they are following the evidence and Rudy Giuliani is trying to make this a political circus, but ultimately, we're dealing with the court of law. We're not dealing with a Senate trial for impeachment, and this kind of a defense does not work in a court of law.
COOPER: Yes. And the fact that this started under Bill Barr's Justice Department is really a critical point.
Daniel Goldman, appreciate your time. Thank you.
GOLDMAN: Thank you.
COOPER: Just ahead, another Republican legal jeopardy, the latest on Congressman Matt Gaetz and a new report on a letter his former associates sent during the final months of the previous administration about a pardon.
Gaetz's spokesperson denies the story, we'll discuss what this possible new evidence means for the Federal investigations before a Congressman.
And later, new restrictions on travel to the U.S. from India. A live report from the White House and New Delhi when we continue.
COOPER: Another Republican in very serious legal trouble tonight, Congressman Matt Gaetz. "The Daily Beast" has obtained what it says is a letter from a central figure in the ongoing Federal investigation of the Florida Congressman that contains allegations by his one-time associate, Joel Greenberg that he and the Florida Congressman paid for sex with multiple women, including a minor who was 17 at the time.
The story says the letter was addressed to Roger Stone, a close ally of the former President, of course, and drafted after Greenberg had asked him for help in obtaining a pardon during the final months of the previous administration.
I'm quoting now: "From time to time, gas money or gifts, rent or partial tuition payments were made to several of these girls, including the individual who was not yet 18. I did see the acts occur firsthand and Venmo transactions, Cash App or other payments were made to these girls on behalf of the Congressman." That's actually the letter from Joel Greenberg to Roger Stone.
CNN by way has not seen the letter, cannot verify the details of "The Daily Beast" story. In response to "The Daily Beast" story, a spokesperson for Congressman Gaetz issued this statement to CNN: "Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex, nor has he had sex with a 17-year-old as an adult. POLITICO has reported Mr. Greenberg's threats to make false accusations against others and while 'The Daily Beast' story contains a lot of confessions from Mr. Greenberg, it does not add anything of substance and certainly no evidence for the wild and false claims about Representative Gaetz."
"In fact, the story goes some way into showing how Representative Gaetz was long out of touch with Mr. Greenberg, and had no interest in involving himself in Mr. Greenberg's affairs." Greenberg's attorney declined to comment to CNN citing attorney-client
privilege. CNN's Chris Cuomo said Thursday that Roger Stone told him that he doesn't buy this. Also, that he didn't help. He never took any money from anybody and he doesn't recall any letter and he has never heard of Greenberg implicating the Congressman.
He said, the portions quoted by "The Daily Beast" are out of context, incomplete and they've never tried to get Greenberger a pardon. Stone also told "The Daily Beast" that he denied asking or receiving payment from Greenberg. CNN previously reported that Greenberg has been providing investigators with information since last year, including information about encounters he and Gaetz had with women who were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex.
I'm joined now by "The Washington Post's" Matt Zapotosky who has reported extensively on this story, and Republican strategist and CNN political commentator, Ana Navarro.
So Matt, what do you make of this newest reporting by "The Daily Beast"?
MATT ZAPOTOSKY, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I should say, too, we had "The Washington Post," like CNN has not independently confirmed it. But I think it's tremendously interesting reporting, and it gives you sort of a window into what Joel Greenberg is likely telling investigators, you know, we and you have reported that he has been in some level of cooperation with them since late last year, though, he is still negotiating a possible plea deal to see if he would fully come on their side as a witness.
And now we know kind of the story, he would lay out, but at the same time, I think this sort of could have a negative impact on the case. Now prosecutors sort of have to worry is this statement that he laid out in this letter to Roger Stone consistent with what he is telling them now, that it is not that sort of another blow to his credibility?
This letter does seem sort of designed to tell Roger Stone, hey, I can really get Matt Gaetz and it's in your interest to pardon me, so that that doesn't happen. And that's not sort of the background that you want your witness testifying against Matt Gaetz to have. It sort of shows his motive.
But just really interesting reporting, and we'll sort of see how it plays as Joel Greenberg negotiates a plea deal in the investigation.
COOPER: Yes, Ana, I mean, again, I want to point out that CNN, like "The Washington Post" has -- we've neither obtained nor independently verified this letter reported in "The Daily Beast." If true, what would it mean for Congressmen Gaetz and the Trump wing of the G.O.P.?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Actually, I think for Matt Gaetz unless it means that he gets indicted and unless it means that he goes to trial and gets convicted, politically, he's in a very safe district. He could probably be getting investigated for having sex with a 17-year-old camel and he would still win in the district that he represents in Florida. But I think it's a -- I think it's an embarrassment. I think it's
cringe-inducing, and it speaks so much about how far the Republican Party has gone from being the family values party it once built itself as.
The only thing that could possibly make this scandal already involving two Florida men worse is putting into the mix, Roger Stone, a third Florida man who was convicted, let us remember for lying. And you know, as you read it, Anderson, you think you're reading a plot by (AUDIO GAP), right?
I mean, now you've got this guy asking for a pardon, and writing this letter and wanting to pay Roger Stone with cryptocurrency. You can't make this up. And in the meantime, you have silence, silence coming from Republican leadership and the Republican leadership and the Republican Caucus, but for very few members like Adam Kissinger.
COOPER: Matt, this idea that Federal prosecutors are exploring a plea deal with Greenberg, there was obviously a lot of reporting about that. His attorney had had kind of given an indication that that that was in the works. A lot of times seem to have gone by without any confirmation of whether or not there actually is an agreement. If there was an agreement, would that be something that would be known by now?
ZAPOTOSKY: Well, they have a May 15th deadline to come to an agreement, just the way lawyers and prosecutors work in this situation. They're all pushing for the best deal and I would expect, they're sort of going to push it up to the last minute, right?
Joel Greenberg is going to hold out as long as he can to get the best possible deal he can. He is accused of a lot of different crimes. I don't think prosecutors are probably inclined to just let him off with no prison time. Don't forget, he is accused of having sex with this minor too, which is a very serious Federal crime if he did so knowingly.
So closer to May 15th, I think we'll see resolution in Greenberg's case, and then once that domino has sort of fallen, we might see something with respect or not. It's just an investigation, you know, he's not charged with anything.
COOPER: And then, of course, Gaetz is, you know, fundraising as much as he can linking up with, you know, the QAnon curious Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, it's kind of what you would expect him to do, I guess?
NAVARRO: Look, it is taking -- it's taking a page from the Trump hymnal, right? It's doubling down. It's portraying himself as the victim of some sort of liberal conspiracy. But it's very hard to say that when this investigation began under Bill Barr and with Donald Trump. What's amazing to me is that Matt Gaetz has all but polished Donald Trump's shoes. And still, he didn't get a preemptive pardon. Same goes for Rudy Giuliani, by the way, whose investigation also
began under Trump, and now you've got this situation, Anderson, where Matt Gaetz is going on a road trip, I guess, with you know, Marjorie Taylor Greene like the political version of "Dumb and Dumber" going on a political trip. And it's -- and I -- you know -- but I ask myself, and again, I put this on Republican leadership, because it's amazing to me, it is amazing to me, that at the same time, they are attacking Liz Cheney for standing on principle for being an ideological conviction led Republican, they are attacking her, and yet there is silence with somebody being investigated for sex trafficking and having sex with a minor.
That is a level of shamefulness that has fallen upon the Republican Party and it all has to do with loyalty to Trump. It is no longer a party that's about convictions or principles or ideology. It is about one thing, loyalty to the Orange Emperor playing golf in Far-a-Lago.
COOPER: Ana Navarro, appreciate your time, Matt Zapotosky, as always, thank you, Matt.
More reaction to Congressman Gaetz's growing legal trouble and Rudy Giuliani's defiance as he speaks out against the FBI raid in his apartment and office. Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff joins us next.
COOPER: Returning to our breaking news the FBI raids the apartment and Office of former New York City Mayor one time lawyer of the former president Rudy Giuliani is left allies of the former president feeling uneasy about what could come next.
Meanwhile, define Giuliani speaking on his radio shows suggests the raid was unfair driven by politics.
Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Chairman Schiff. Thanks for being with us.
Given the New York Times reporting, that at least one of the warrants in Wednesday's raids on Giuliani's apartment in office was related to the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. I'm wondering if it surprises you that things have reached this stage?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It doesn't really surprise me. Giuliani was there pursuing business interest but also pursuing this smear against the Biden's to try and help his client, the president of the United States. And he was working with these unscrupulous Ukrainians like these former prosecutors named Lutsenko and Shokin. These were some of the same people that he was helping to get information that could be used against the Biden's by the President.
But also they had their own motives to get rid of the U.S. ambassador, who Giuliani felt was a thorn in his side in terms of his corrupt work in Ukraine, but corrupt Ukrainians also thought she was a thorn. And if he was doing work for them, at the same time, he was doing work for the President and not registering as an agent of a foreign power, then that could put him in really serious legal trouble.
COOPER: So even if he didn't receive money directly from Ukrainians that that were trying to influence him, that doesn't matter?
SCHIFF: Well, my understanding is that he was receiving something of value from the Ukrainians to represent them, and here he was successful in smearing and removing a U.S. ambassador, if he was getting something of value from them. It didn't necessarily need to be in cash. And what was valuable to him was dirt on the Bidens that he could help the President utilize for his campaign. But that'll be an issue that the Justice Department needs to resolve. It certainly looks right, like right now. They think if they can find that evidence. Well, that there's probable cause, at least that there is such evidence in his either home or business.
COOPER: For a raid like that to take place multiple I mean, for warrants to affirm to be issued on both his office and his home. What stage of an investigation does it does the investigation have to be at and the confidence that the prosecutors have?
SCHIFF: Well, I'm not sure that I can tell you what stage it's at, but the on the level of confidence, they'd have to be pretty darn confident that they have a good legal case to be made that these warrants will be challenged. This is not just a lawyer, but the President's lawyer, but any lawyer that has an argument of attorney client privilege, prosecutors are going to be wary about searching their devices or their homes. So, as not to intrude on that privilege. Here, they must feel that he was engaged in some crime or fraud, in which case the privilege doesn't apply.
COOPER: Is it clear to you whether Giuliani just flat out ignored the warnings from the FBI Counterintelligence Division that he was being manipulated by the Russian government either because he didn't want to believe it or because he didn't care? As we mentioned, Giuliani denies the Washington Post report that the FBI warned him.
SCHIFF: Well, that's not a surprise, either that he would deny it if he was warned by the FBI. And I have to think that if the FBI was doing a thorough job, they would have warned him, Senator Ron Johnson acknowledges that he was given a warning by the FBI, and he was in contact with some of the same people that Giuliani was, and with the same purpose of trying to get dirt on Joe Biden.
Johnson claims that while he was briefed, he thought it was done for unscrupulous reasons. So it could be used against him, which I think frankly, is nonsensical. But nonetheless, if Johnson was brief, that stands to reason Giuliani would have been given that kind of defensive briefing also.
COOPER: And you're saying is basically it possible entirely possible that Giuliani could have been working both for the President toward the goals of the President and toward goals of Russian linked Ukrainians, that they they're not mutually exclusive. [20:35:09]
SCHIFF: No, and in fact, they may be mutually reinforcing because, you know, some of these people like Lutsenko, this former prosecutor, he wanted to maintain his position in Ukraine thought that President Trump could help him do that. He also wanted to get rid of Yovanovitch who was an anti-corruption crusader and was making his life difficult. And Giuliani had his own reasons for wanting to get rid of Yovanovitch, but also to get the help of these corrupt Ukrainians to get dirt on the Bidens.
So, they were mutually reinforcing corrupt interests, operating on the part of Giuliani and these Ukrainians.
COOPER: What do you make of the investigation into Matt Gaetz into this new reporting for The Daily Beast about a letter they obtained allegedly written by former Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg, who's under a federal indictment that purports to say that he and Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women, including a minor who was 17 at a time. We haven't independently verified the letter, but your Democratic colleague Congressman Ted Lieu tweeted today, dear GOP leader, please remove Matt -- Representative Matt Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee immediately. The committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice that's investigating Gaetz, including allegedly for sex crimes to the minor, this is an untenable conflict of interest. Is it?
SCHIFF: Well, I think it probably is a conflict of interest, and I don't think he belongs on that Committee. But do I have any optimism that Kevin McCarthy would consider what the right thing to do is, no, not at the confidence at all. Kevin McCarthy has made his bed with Donald Trump and the Trump wing of the party, of which Matt Gaetz is very much in the mainstream. And even though these are really serious allegations against Gaetz, it's hard to see McCarthy taking action against them. It's hard to see the President, former president criticizing someone who's been loyal to him.
Tragically, the end of the Republican Conference in Congress is filled with these people. You know, the Marjorie Taylor Greene's in the Matt Gaetz's and others, they have become some of the dominant voices in Trump's GOP. And as Ana Navarro was pointing out, you couldn't be farther away from the Republican Party, at least used to, to say that it's good for family values.
COOPER: Yes. Congressman Adam Schiff, I appreciate it (INAUDIBLE), thank you.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
COOPER (voice-over): Up next, we have breaking news from the White House on travel restrictions due to the COVID crisis in India.
Also, take you to New Delhi. CNN's Clarissa Ward is there talking to families facing so much heartache and loss hospital staff running out of oxygen to help the sick.
COOPER: We have breaking news, the White House will start restricting some travel to the United States from India. As the COVID crisis escalates there. In a moment, we'll take you to New Delhi, where the hospitals are overrun out of supplies and the dead are piling up.
First, let's get to the latest on the travel restrictions from our chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins. So, when did the travel restrictions actually begin and who do they apply to?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Not until Tuesday at midnight. So May 4th 12:01 a.m. is when they actually go into effect. And this is something I was told was under consideration, because remember all the chaos that broke out last year, when those travel bans went into effect, people were in airports, not sure if they were going to be able to get home, spending a lot of money on tickets. And so, there are a few days here in this period, a lot of people have asked, well, why wait, if the situation is that dire in India, and you want these travel restrictions to go into place that has played a factor into it.
But it doesn't apply to U.S. citizens, we should be clear about that. So if you're a U.S. citizen, you can still go back and forth. The thing is those international testing protocols do still apply to use. So you have to have a negative COVID test before you get on the flight. If you haven't been vaccinated, you still have to quarantine for two weeks when you get back to the United States. Those things are still in place. But this new ban is going to apply to non-U.S. citizens. If they have been in India in the last 14 days, they cannot come into the U.S. that's pretty similar to the timeline for this other travel restrictions that are in place for other countries around the world.
But now they have decided to do India because President Biden said this is based on the advice that he got from the CDC as they were looking at not just those skyrocketing cases, Anderson, but also the variants that we've seen popping up in India and still big questions that health officials have about how effective those are against the vaccine and how quickly they spread, just a lot of questions that they do not yet have the answers to.
COOPER: Yes, Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. Thanks.
Last night on the program our Clarissa Ward brought us a really heartbreaking report from New Delhi where bodies are everywhere in crematoriums they are well past capacity that's been forced to crematorium has been forced to expand to an overflow area in a parking lot. Families are desperate for help, loved one trying to breathe, people finding and searching for oxygen in the streets. But medical supplies are lower used up. Almost everyone in this city has been visited by grief is what Clarissa told us last night. And the suffering continues tonight. There were 386,452 cases of COVID in India today, another record daily rise. The country also reported 3,498 deaths. Clarissa joins us again from New Delhi. So, do we know how these new travel restrictions will be received and implemented in India?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So Anderson, still very early here, sun just came up. CNN reached out to the Prime Minister's office and obviously the Indian ambassador to the U.S. But I think there will be probably an understanding that this wasn't a political decision. This was based on the advice of the CDC.
I also think that people in India have been very grateful to the U.S. for all the aid that's been coming in, 400 cylinders of oxygen arrived early Friday morning, a lot of rapid response test kits. So, there is a sense more broadly of the two countries working closely together throughout this crisis.
And the other thing that's important to underscore Anderson is that the people who are being hit the hardest here on the ground in India, by this horrific crisis are basically the poor, they're the working class, they're not people who are likely to be able to travel back and forth to the U.S. That is probably a relatively small minority of people given the broader, you know, 1.4 billion people, population of India.
So, no official reaction here, but I doubt you're going to see too much. People are very much mired in this sort of everyday logistics of trying to survive.
COOPER: I mean, we saw in your reporting last night, which was extraordinary, people searching the streets desperate to find oxygen for their, their loved ones. Can you give us an update on how widespread you know, the lack of oxygen, the lack of hospital beds is and what's being done?
WARD: Yes, I mean, usually when you cover these kinds of crises, Anderson, there's a sense that day by day, the government sort of steps in and things start to alleviate, but we're just not seeing that at all. You may remember in our story from last night, we went to this line of people who are waiting for oxygen, we went again today, and the line was even longer. Some people were waiting 10 hours, and basically that line wasn't even moving. So they're waiting for 10 hours with no guarantee that they'll even be able to get oxygen at the end of that line.
And the thing that is so heartbreaking is that everyone you talk to in that line has a story of pain, has a story of loss, has a story of fear. I spoke to one young man who was just 22 years old, desperately trying to get oxygen for his grandparents, other people trying to get oxygen for their loved ones, for their wives. And everywhere you turn in the city and you set it in the introduction, you know, everybody here has been visited by grief. There's a profound sense of that when you walk around and when you talk to people.
The government is trying, OK, they've got the Navy involved now, they've got the Air Force involved. They're deploying liquid oxygen across India's railway systems. But from what we are seeing on the ground, it simply isn't yet making a dent. And the peak of this wave could still be two weeks away Anderson.
COOPER: Clarissa, appreciate it. Thank you.
Up next, the latest in Florida's drive to enact new voting restrictions, joining other Republican dominated states which have passed similar legislation, despite the fact that there's no evidence of widespread voter fraud took place last year. I'll talk with leading house Democrat, Jim Clyburn about what he thinks that means going forward.
COOPER: Florida tonight is on the verge of enacting a series of new laws, which all in all would restrict voting rights across the state. Now among the new provisions, adding new ID and signature requirements for voting by mail limiting who can return a completed mail-in ballot and creating additional restrictions for voting using drop boxes.
Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has already said he will sign the bills into law. As we told you last night Republicans in Arizona are in the middle of their own unofficial review of more than 2 million votes in Maricopa County, despite official recounts of showing President Biden won the state. All of this resulting from the big lie fostered by Republicans that there was widespread fraud in last year's election.
South Carolina Democrat James Clyburn is among the leaders in the House and I spoke to him just before airtime.
COOPER (on-camera): Congressman Clyburn, appreciate you joining us. What do you make of these efforts by Republicans in Florida to restrict voting rights there?
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, I would remind all those who seem to feel that there's something different about having a country being declared a racist country, and have it entities within the country doing racist things. And I think that that's the problem here. A racist country would never elect Barack Obama president or Kamala Harris, vice president. But will be tolerate these kinds of racially tinge things that are taking place in Georgia, in Florida, and many other states. We now have 47 states that introduce legislative activities that would in some way, suppress voters. What is that about?
So, please stop arguing about whether or not this is a racist country? It is not. Do we have racist things taking place in this country by various jurisdictions? Yes, and we need to weed it out.
COOPER (on-camera): And as you know, I mean many of these measures being pushed by Republicans such as Florida, but around the country are predicated on the big lie, the lie that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
The fact that that not, you know, it was one thing when it was a lie told by the former president and people believed it. But it now that a lie is being woven into or attempted to be woven into actual laws around the country that will impact elections moving forward is extraordinary.
CLYBURN: It is extraordinary. And it's why George Santayana wrote years ago, if you fail to learn the lessons of history, you're bound to repeat them. We are repeated some things in history, which indicate we may not have learned those lessons. And so I would say to my Republican friends, let's stop making excuses and stop doing things predicated on what you know is not true. I don't know why we think that we do not have enough what I might call credibility without a candidate says, and without candidates, that we've got the rig the process. That's what this is all about. Trying to rig the system so that they will not have to complete or compete on ideas.
COOPER (on-camera): There's also this situation in Arizona, where the former president's allies are carrying out a opaque at the very least, it was one word to describe an audit of 2020 election ballots. There have already been multiple recounts and audits of the ballot in Arizona. The Arizona Secretary of State says it's a phishing expedition for things that don't exist.
I mean, is this what the future looks like for any race that a party loses? I mean, at least Trump allied Republicans, which is the majority?
CLYBURN: Well, it seems that way. And that's why I am very hopeful that the United States Senate will step up and do what they need to do in order to preserve the integrity of this great country.
COOPER (on-camera): I wonder what you made of Senator Tim Scott, who is your colleague from South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate. His response to President Biden's speech to Congress, saying Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Is that accurate?
CLYBURN: No, it's not accurate at all. There's been no cheating taking place. This is nothing about me. I'd like to know, how is it making it easier to vote when you take away voting places, create long lines and pass laws to make it a criminal act to give people water to drink if they get to be thirsty. What are they going to do is somebody decide, I am 80 years old, and I know what it is to be 80 and I need to go to the restroom? I'm standing this line for three hours. And if I were to go there to take the place of that person, that's going to be a violation. Come on. This is just crazy stuff.
And I would hope that Tim and everybody else would just stop perpetuating this foolishness.
COOPER (on-camera): Congressman Clyburn, I appreciate your time. Thank you. CLYBURN: Thank you for having me.
COOPER: Coming up, a welcome change of pace after another busy and frankly heavy week a preview of the upcoming CNN Original Series The story of late-night story of how comedians transformed late night television in America from its beginnings into what we watch today. That's next.
COOPER: If you watch the late-night comedians on television these days, you'd assume they've pretty much been part of the national landscape for a long time. And you'd be right. But the story of how the programs began and what they've evolved into is a pretty remarkable journey in and of itself. And it's going to be explored this Sunday in the new CNN Original Series "THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT". Here's a quick preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve Allen was the generator of a lot of ideas that were way ahead of its time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several critics through the years called my father the most imitated man in television because many of the early experiments he made were often used and developed by other comedians to great effect.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And here he is now the question man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like the question man where he would provide the question to answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Buffalo Bill. The question, when you buy a buffalo, what do you get the first of the month?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Johnny did a later version called Carnac the Magnificent.
JOHNNY CARSON, THE TONIGHT SHOW: Sis boom bah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sis boom bah.
CARSON: Describe the sound made when a ship explodes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "STORY LATE NIGHT" premieres this Sunday 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on CNN.
The news continues. "CUOMO PRIMETIME" starts right now with Michael Smerconish. Michael.