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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI); New Details on Investigation into Deadly Arrest of Black Man in Louisiana; Trump Admin. Secretly Obtained CNN Reporters Phone & Email Records; Israel And Hamas Agree To A Ceasefire; Dr. Fauci: We're Preparing For The Eventuality That We Might Need Booster Shots; Pfizer CEO: Need For Booster Vaccination May Be Coming Up Soon. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired May 20, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
There is breaking news tonight, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Just moments ago, the United Nations Secretary General said he welcomed the news. We'll have live reporting on what went into it and what may come next in the region.
Also new reporting only on CNN about the Trump Justice Department targeting a CNN journalist. We also have new information about whether or not booster shots will be needed for people who got the COVID vaccine and if so, when?
First though, we begin with Republican lawmakers in their pursuit of herd immunity from the facts of January 6th. The stampede grew today with G.O.P. senators voicing objections to the bill the House sent them to set up a bipartisan 9/11 style commission to investigate.
As for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has gone so far as to lobby senators against the bill, he spoke out today, and because he is known to be about as hard to read as a flashing neon sign, his answers to reporters today are fascinating.
For background, remember that his Republican colleagues have been telling CNN that he is against the January 6th Commission, because at least in part, he's afraid he will have to testify in front of it, which he denies.
Now, with that in mind, listen to him today with the bill's Senate passage deeply in doubt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Do you think it's a conflict of interest for members to be voting on a commission that they might have to potentially be witnesses for and provide information on?
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): No, but who knows what they're going to do on the commission? So no, I don't think so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now without reading too much into it, he sounds like a man at ease, fully expecting the bill that he opposed to go nowhere. On the other hand, he was almost certainly not at ease with the next question, which proved to be a conversation ender.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: No, I don't think so.
QUESTION: Are you absolutely certain that none of your members were in any communication with any of the people who stormed Capitol Hill?
MCCARTHY: I don't believe that they are. But thank you for the question.
Everybody have a nice day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: His answer was hard to hear. But his discomfort with the question was pretty plain to see. "But thank you for the question," he said. He wasn't even under oath. Now, that said he can probably still breathe easy now that a number of key Republicans including some who voted to remove the former President from office are either expressing doubts about the bill now in front of them or flat out opposing it.
Senator Richard Burr for one, he put out a statement saying the investigation is already being well-handled by existing committees. Moderate Ohio Republican, Rob Portman today also said a commission is unnecessary. He said a pair of Senate Committees have already looked into the attack.
But then when pressed by CNN's Manu Raju, he conceded that their joint report will mostly examine the response to the attack, but not the events leading up to it.
Now other senators, including Susan Collins have objected to wording that they say sets it apart from the bill establishing the 9/11 Commission. CNN has pulled the language of both bills and found the both were structured the exact same way.
Senator Collins also raised concerns that the Commission's work could spill over into an election year. Yet, she fully supported the 9/11 Commission, which held half a dozen televised hearings in the middle of the 2004 presidential campaign.
It is almost as if she and other Republicans are straining for something to justify the outcome that they want, which kind of sounds familiar. Remember their arguments against the second impeachment hearings?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): I'm mature, I'm going to keep an open mind as we go through this. But I do think that this constitutionality issue has to be addressed.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): It looks like we're going to be spending six, seven, eight, nine days glued to our chairs in the Senate doing nothing, but a stupid impeachment trial.
SEN. KEVIN CRAMER (R-ND): And we're talking about a standard of inciting violence and I don't think it meets that standard.
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): This is a partisan crusade. It is revenge. It is vindictive.
PORTMAN: It can be inexcusable and yet not be subject to a conviction after the President has left office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, keep in mind, this is what they were bending over backwards to excuse back and it is what they're closing their eyes to now, and Senator Thune, who you just heard there said so, out loud, telling CNN he does not want to be what he calls re-litigating the 2020 election.
But keeping them honest, that's not what a commission is about. It's about an actual attack on democracy, which you're witnessing on Republicans and Democrats and police officers and the American people. It is an event unique in American history.
Senator Thune and all the other Members of Congress voted against a thorough examination of it. They know it. Their arguments are largely intellectually dishonest. And honestly, that only makes it worse.
Joining us now, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii. Senator Hirono. Appreciate you being with us. What does it say that this commission bill, this January 6 Commission bill seems to be basically dead on arrival in the Senate.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): It's just as you say, it's their pursuit of herd immunity for what happened on January 6th. They're closing their eyes, ears, everything to what happened.
They are afraid to get to the bottom of it because they might actually be subpoenaed to testify on what they knew, what they did, what they -- you know, all of that. So they just don't want to get to the truth because they're afraid of it.
COOPER: Kevin McCarthy was personally lobbying your Senate Republican colleagues to oppose the Commission the morning after the former President released a statement calling on McCarthy and McConnell to defeat the bill. I mean, do you think that's a coincidence?
HIRONO: Not at all. They're still totally afraid of former President Trump. It's just amazing. So they've handed over all this power to Trump to continue to hold sway over them. It's more than pathetic, it is cowardly. And all I can say is that the palpable fear that they have of Trump is making them do all kinds of things that I don't know how they look at themselves in the mirror.
COOPER: I mean, I understand Kevin McCarthy, who, you know, wants the -- you know, power and he is up for re-election every two years. Mitch McConnell, I mean, he has folded to the former President, even though he criticized the former President. He is 79 years old. He's not even up for re-election until 2026. Why is he doing that?
HIRONO: Maybe he's afraid for some of his members who are running for re-election, and they want to run away from the truth of what happened on January 6th. So a lot of his members rely on Mitch McConnell for the resources they need to run for re-election, I can tell you that.
There's a lot of dark money behind these elections, and maybe that's what's going on, but they will never admit it. The fact is that they are not doing this country any favors. They're certainly not doing democracy any favors. They're not -- they are not doing any favors for the Capitol Police who bore the brunt of the violence that occurred on January 6, so all around, all they're doing is benefiting Trump.
COOPER: Speaker Pelosi has strongly suggested that she had approved a special select committee in the House to investigate what led to the insurrection if the commission vote fails in the Senate. Do you think that's the best backup plan? I mean, do you worry Republicans will just paint it obviously, or to be pretty clear, they would just paint it as a completely partisan effort.
HIRONO: Of course, they will, because people who don't even want an independent commission are definitely going to paint a select committee doing the work as also partisan, but that is where they are. And so not only do they not want an independent commission, they are prepared to criticize a select committee, which is the reason that Speaker Pelosi wanted an independent commission.
So why don't we just all face up to the fact that they totally do not want to face up to the truth of what happened on January 6th and any responsibility that Trump had because they're definitely afraid of Trump and his base.
COOPER: President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law today addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. You introduced the bill, 62 of your Republican colleagues in the House -- or your Senate Republican colleague Josh Hawley voted against it. Do you know -- do you understand their vote against it?
HIRONO: Well, you have people like Marjorie Taylor Smith and others of her ilk on the House side, you know, they -- what can I say? At least on the Senate side, everyone saw what we all saw, which was all of these depictions of AAPI community people getting beaten up, sometimes with bystanders standing by doing nothing --
COOPER: Marjorie Taylor Greene by the way.
HIRONO: Pardon me? COOPER: You said Marjorie Taylor Smith, it is Marjorie Taylor Greene, I believe.
HIRONO: Oh, sorry.
COOPER: It's okay.
HIRONO: Marjorie Taylor Greene, thank you for that correction. But you know, I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the House members are doing, at least on the Senate side. They did not turn away from the opportunity to stand with the AAPI community, and they did so except for one person we won't talk about.
So that was really important that the AAPI community that for once, the Senate and the House and the President, of course, stood with him from the very beginning, as he saw the rise in hate crimes against AAPIs that we are standing firmly in condemnation of these kinds of crimes. And in doing so, we are also standing up for other marginalized and discriminated against groups.
So today was a good day for those of us who, you know, stand with this community and want to do something about it. And I'm glad that the Attorney General was also there because he has also begun his own actions before this bill even passed, but he told me that he is going to implement the provisions of this bill so that these kinds of crimes and incidents, which are very underreported will be reported.
COOPER: Senator Hirono, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
HIRONO: Thank you. Aloha.
COOPER: Aloha. One quick note, in the preceding segment, we showed video which we identified as Senator John Thune, it was of course Senator Rob Portman of Ohio who also opposes the January 6th Commission.
Coming up next, imagine being told by police that your loved one died after crashing his car into a tree only to discover years later when parts of the body cam video are leaked, the police actually Tased, punched, kicked and dragged your loved one by his feet before he died. That is what the family of Ronald Greene -- Mr. Green is who you're seeing right there on your screen -- says happened and they want answers.
We'll show you the tape in a moment, and there's breaking news tonight on the investigation.
Then later, live reports from the Middle East and Washington as White House pressure brings a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
COOPER: There is outrage tonight over newly obtained video showing a black man being Tased, kicked and dragged by Louisiana State Troopers after struggling with officers following a traffic stop that took place two years ago, where a chase had been involved.
The video shows a dramatically different outcome from the initial crash report filed immediately after the incident, which said only Ronald Greene was not wearing his seatbelt when the crash happened that he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The family's attorneys have filed a wrongful death lawsuit and the Department of Justice is among the agencies now investigating.
Our Randi Kaye has more.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Ronald Greene is under arrest after taking police on a high speed chase in Monroe, Louisiana. Watch what happens next.
The officers Tased Greene while he is still sitting in his car. He apologizes and repeatedly tells officers he is scared as they try to force him out of the vehicle.
The family's attorney says Greene apologized in an attempt to surrender.
LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY FOR THE GREENE FAMILY: It's not only what you're seeing, but the sounds that go with it. You can hear him screaming and writhing in pain as he says, "I'm your brother, please stop. I'm sorry. I was just scared."
KAYE (voice over): The incident happened two years ago, but this is newly obtained body cam video by the Associated Press, which says the entire video is 46 minutes long.
CNN has not reviewed the full video, so we do not know what happened before or in between the three clips the AP released.
This body cam video shows Greene on the ground being handcuffed. He is face down, yet once again the officers Tase him, punch him, even kick him.
He is left on the ground face down moaning in pain according to the Associated Press for more than nine minutes while the officers use sanitizer wipes to get the blood off their hands and faces.
TROOPER: I got blood all over me.
TROOPER: I hope this guy ain't got f**ing AIDS.
KAYE (voice over): The AP says he was not given any aid during the nine minutes he was on the ground. At one point, a police officer is seen stepping on Greene, then roughly dragging Greene by the shackles on his ankles as another officer watches.
This video clip is silent. So it's unclear what's being said or why Greene who is handcuffed on his stomach and in no position to resist is being dragged.
The body cam footage tells a very different story than how Louisiana State Troopers first described the incident in their 2019 report, which said troopers tried to pull Greene over for a traffic violation, which ended when Greene crashed his car.
Another police report said Greene was taken into custody after resisting arrest and a struggle with Troopers and that he died on the way to the hospital.
A wrongful death suit filed last year by Greene's family says police told his family he had been killed in an auto accident and that one officer said he was killed immediately after hitting a tree.
Authorities have refused to make the video public.
These post mortem photos of Greene released on the NAACP Baton Rouge Facebook page show the extent of the injuries Greene suffered during the incident: abrasions on his skull and bruising across his cheeks.
Ronald Greene's mother told CNN in a statement, "They murdered him." That her son didn't have a chance.
COOPER: I mean, it is incredibly disturbing that that that tape and that's just a fraction of it, then that was leaked. What else are we learning about this case?
KAYE: Well, just tonight, Anderson, we're getting some new information. We now know that a State Police official telling CNN, telling my colleague Nick Valencia that he has knowledge, this source has knowledge of the incident. He says from the start, this was a criminal investigation from that night, this source is saying.
He said he points to the local news coverage. He says he doesn't know where this narrative came from that Ronald Greene died from that crash that night. He said this was a criminal investigation from day one according to the source.
And just a couple of little bit of information. We're also learning about the officers who were involved. Two of those officers involved were reprimanded for their actions in some part, really just for how they were using their body camera or not using their body camera. You saw there was some of that video that was silent.
One of the officers is on administrative leave, not related to this case, but to another incident. And another of the officers who you saw in that video got a 50-hour suspension. So that's just a couple of days off the job that's from the Louisiana State Police; and a third officer died in a single vehicle crash last September of last year.
So the family's attorney tonight very upset about this demanding that these officers be arrested right away. We can also tell you that the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division is investigating along with the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney's Office -- Anderson. COOPER: Randi, appreciate it. Let's get perspective now from Charles Ramsey, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former top cop in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia; also, Ben Jealous, former President of the NAACP, and now President of People for the American Way, a group calling for equality, opportunity and justice for all.
Chief Ramsey, is there any justification for dragging a handcuffed suspect face down by the feet along concrete. I mean what -- does anything you saw in that video make sense to you?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No. No, it doesn't. And there's nothing in any manual anywhere in the United States that allows for dragging an individual facedown by their ankles.
You know, it clearly is a case of excessive force. I mean between the Tasing, kicking, beating, having him in a prone position for that length of time, even though no one was sitting on him like in George Floyd's case, that is still a position that's very difficult to breathe, and part of your training tells you, as soon as you get them cuffed, roll them over or sit them up in order for them to be able to breathe.
In fact, when Mr. Greene tries to roll over, one of the Troopers actually puts his foot on his lower back and pushes him back down. So this is a very troubling case, two years old, there's no excuse for this to be held for two years. And certainly the conflict in the reporting, I mean, clearly, if the reports are accurate, they were lying. I mean, it is a cover up.
The statements being made are not consistent with what the video is showing and that's a problem in and of itself.
COOPER: Ben Jealous, you know, we saw in the George Floyd case, the initial police report that was put out, which, you know, essentially said, Mr. Floyd had a medical incident and police call the paramedics as though they were the saviors in that case.
The police report, and this is just -- it's the same kind of thing. It is, you know, anybody looking at this would start to believe you cannot trust any police report, or, you know, initial reports that are put out by a police department, and certainly raises questions about how many other incidents there are like this that just never come to light.
BEN JEALOUS, PRESIDENT, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: No, it does, and we know from the files of the NAACP that we've been working cases like this from our very beginning. One of Thurgood Marshall's earliest cases was of a black motorist who bumped a white woman and was never seen again. We actually got a conviction of that officer who got the local prosecutor to prosecute back in the 1930s.
What we know here is that we see something that looks a lot like murder, and it was covered up for two years. These officers are likely guilty of murder and any officer who covered it up is an accessory after the fact.
We have to begin going after the no snitching culture of the cops and we have to deal with the one who cover up crimes like this as the criminals they are, full stop. And then we have to deal with unions who enforce this culture of silence.
We can no longer call you a good officer if you're silent. Chief Ramsey knows what I know, we've worked on a lot of these cases together over the years. He in his role, me in mine and what we know is this, 10 percent or so of the officers are bad, 10 percent or so have the courage to stand up and like 80 percent are silent and it is the unions that enforce that silence and it has to stop.
COOPER: Chief Ramsey, I mean, these officers, these Troopers, they are literally wiping the blood off their hands. And I guess their uniforms and their faces for minutes while this man is lying down moaning. It's really just -- I mean, I've seen this now several times throughout the day.
One wonders, this tape is 46 minutes long. This is -- the leaked part is only a few minutes. Who knows what else is on this tape? Why haven't authorities -- is there some no -- is there no standard for releasing body camera footage? Is it just up to local police departments to decide?
RAMSEY: Well, each jurisdiction is different. Sometimes it's up to the police department; sometimes it's the courts that make the determination. But you know, something like this, you just cannot keep it quiet.
I go back to the Chicago incident with Laquan McDonald, where that was a year before that tape was shown. And again, you had a situation where the report did not match what you saw on the video.
This is an incredible situation the policing in the United States finds itself in right now. And the only way out of it is through transparency, it is through dealing with this head on and dealing with the reality that we've got some people that should not be wearing a uniform, wearing a badge or carrying a gun. Period.
And we've got to find a way to weed them out. It's got to become easier to be firing an officer. You mentioned the union, it is very difficult to get rid of an officer.
But the leadership has to have the will to put this out and make sure that they take care of it. There's no reason for this to have been held for two years and there is no reason for these reports.
The public may not have seen this video, but I guarantee you, the bosses saw it. People within that organization saw that video and the alarm bells should have gone off right there.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, Ben, a state official now unnamed is saying that Louisiana State Police were investigating Greene, the incident as a criminal matter, the night of his death. That was two years ago. I mean, if they were investigating this as a criminal matter, and according to Randi Kaye, some of the punishments were simply were more about them turning off the body cam sound, than actually, the death of Mr. Greene it seems.
JEALOUS: Well, Look, we have cops running departments of cops, and then we have cops investigating the crimes of cops. You know, we have civilians run the U.S. Department of Defense for a reason. It's a check on the power of the generals. Maybe it's time to have civilians run our public safety departments, run our police departments.
COOPER: Would that make a difference, you think, Ben?
JEALOUS: Oh, absolutely. Transparency and civilian oversight would make a huge difference and the reality is that policing in our country is a state by state, city by city, county by county matter.
I'd say the most courageous thing I've seen since the Chauvin trial started was on day three of that trial, the Mayor of Ithaca, New York passed unanimously through his City Council, a provision to turn his police department into a Public Safety Department and have it run by civilians and have half of the positions be uniformed, unarmed social workers because half the work is that.
You know, it's time for us to really just ask what do we need to be safe now because the inertia from slave patrols and you know, old regiments of red coats, that inertia today, that culture eats good policy for lunch every day.
We've got to break the policy, civilian oversight would go a long way.
COOPER: Charles Ramsey, Ben Jealous, I appreciate your time. It's --
COOPER: Yes, I appreciate it. Thank you.
Next, reporting alone you'll see here, a stunning revelation about the Trump Justice Department and the secret effort to obtain a CNN correspondent's phone and e-mail records. That's ahead.
COOPER: More breaking news now involves one of our own Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. But at its heart, the story striking revelations about the Justice Department in the prior administration, ultimately concerns all of us, it involves our right to know what our government is up to as well as our shared vital interests in the government not abusing its power.
Joining us with the exclusive details, CNN's Jessica Schneider. So what did you learn? JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So we've learned that the Trump administration secretly obtained these records from our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. We don't know Andersen why they were obtained. They aren't telling our Justice -- or sorry, our Pentagon correspondent, why they were obtained. But we do know the DOJ got ahold of her phone and e-mail records from June 1st, 2017 to July 31st, 2017. Those records show who she was corresponding with but not the contents of the conversations.
And we do know that during that time, Barbara Starr reported on U.S. military options being prepared for President Trump on North Korea, as well as stories on Syria and Afghanistan. But, you know, since Starr's records were secretly obtained Anderson, and all of the court proceedings surrounding the approval for the process are sealed. There was still a lot of mystery here as to why the Justice Department was seeking her records. And what exactly this pertain to, we don't know if this was a leak investigation, or some other investigation. DOJ is just not saying. Anderson.
COOPER: And do we know the reason why these records were obtained from Barbara?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, we don't know, this was all done in secret. And it's interesting, because under the media guidelines here, the Attorney General and at the time, it was Bill Barr throughout all of 2020 when these records were received, he actually had to approve of pursuing these records. And then the case had to be made in court, that the reporters didn't have to be notified because it could possibly jeopardize national security or jeopardize the investigation itself. So this was all done in secret. And we have no information except for the fact that the records were obtained.
Now, as for the former Attorney General Bill Barr, I have reached out to him for comment. He has not responded and the Justice Department here the current Justice Department, Anderson has made clear that this was all done under the Trump administration.
COOPER: So it's not known what evidence was offered by the Department of Justice to obtain these records.
SCHNEIDER: Exactly right. All of this was done in court, under seal and in secret. So presumably, they had to make a case as to why they needed these records. And as to why they didn't need to notify CNN, or our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. But all of that is still under seal. We are not privy to it. We don't have access to it. It's all secret.
COOPER: Also, just, you know, it was just recently revealed that three Washington Post reporters were told this month that they had their records obtained during the Trump administration.
SCHNEIDER: Right. And so this is what makes this even more significant, this news coming out today, about Barbara Starr's records. It was just a few weeks ago, that we learned that three Washington Post reporters had their records obtained from also in 2017. And this is significant because this is the second time in just a few weeks that we've learned that reporters from two organizations, CNN and The Washington Post, were targeted. And this -- these were two organizations obviously Anderson that the former President Donald Trump repeatedly railed against, and then the DOJ got their records.
COOPER: Jessica Schneider, appreciate it. Thanks.
Want to have more perspective, we're joined by CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers.
So Jennifer, can you walk us through in layman's terms the DOJ process for obtaining a journalist phone calls, e-mails.
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, Anderson when there's a criminal investigation, and as Jessica said, we don't know the substance, it might be leak investigation or something like it. Of course, the Department of Justice can issue subpoenas. And for reporters, it's a little bit of a different process. There are stricter procedures in place because of the importance and centrality of reporters work to our democracy. Those procedures are actually strengthened in 2015. But what they have to do is they have to go to a special unit within DOJ for the first step of approval, and they have to go 30 days in advance of when they want the records. Then the attorney general has to personally sign off on this request, on the subpoena.
And that's to make sure that this is really important. This is only supposed to be done in extraordinary cases, cases involving things like National Security, not just your run of the mill criminal matter.
And then as Jessica said, if you want to refrain from notifying the reporter about this so that he or she could fight it in court in advance, you have to get a whole another set of approvals and reviews.
So, there are strict procedures in place. The problem is there just regulations, they don't have the force of law. They're not enshrined in the Constitution. And so, it really relies on the good faith of the people at DOJ, including the Attorney General. And unfortunately, Bill Barr, under Trump's Department of Justice didn't act in good faith a lot of the time. We can't say for sure whether this was one of those instances, but there certainly was a pattern of behavior here that causes me to question whether this was a legitimate exercise of the subpoena power.
COOPER: I mean, the whole idea of federal authorities respecting freedom of the press not intruding on reporters, phone calls, e-mails, it's, as you said, it's essentially an honor system. If someone high up wants to know who reporters talking to, at least on an unencrypted, you know, communication device, or with an unencrypted app, they can get that information.
RODGERS: They can and there are circumstances where that's OK. I mean, if you're really talking about an important national security matter where you have someone very high up in the government leaking classified information that's critical to national security, I think it's OK for DOJ to issue a subpoena like that. The problem is you want to make sure that that's the situation we're talking about.
And so, you can put in place all the strict procedures you want, but without a law or without something in the constitution protecting these reporter privileges. You know, you're really relying on the good faith, and that's where it can break down.
COOPER: They would only have access to, to e-mails to phone conversations. I mean, if it was using an encrypted signal or even something with an encryption like WhatsApp, would they still have access to that?
RODGERS: Well, in this case, a subpoena can only get you the toll information. So it can tell you what numbers were called, how long the call was similarly, with e-mails, what e-mail addresses were going back and forth, not the content to get content, you need a search warrant, which means, of course, a whole another level of review by a court. So that is the additional safety procedure in place. So we're not talking about content here. We're just talking about, you know, who they're talking to and for how long.
COOPER: CNN is waiting an explanation from the Justice Department about exactly what this was all about. They didn't just go after Barbara Starr's records. They didn't just go have three Washington Post reporters records. The Trump DOJ also tried to find out who was behind Devin Nunez parody Twitter account, which, I mean, if that's part of their priorities, that's pretty stunning to me.
RODGERS: Yes, that might be the most egregious thing of all without knowing the facts, because you just can't really even think about a reason that's important enough that would require that to happen. I mean, at least you can theorize in the case of a reporter's record some sort of classified information leak or something. But trying to unmask a parody Twitter account making fun of Devin Nunez, you just can't see any legitimate law enforcement need for that whatsoever.
COOPER: Yes. Jennifer Rodgers, appreciate it. Thanks.
(voice-over): Just ahead, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. We have reports from Jerusalem and Washington about the negotiations that brought it about and the next steps for both sides, when we continue.
COOPER: Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas appears to have ended 11 days of airstrikes and rocket fire. According to latest figures from the boss run Gaza Ministry of Health, at least 232 people have died from the airstrikes, 65 of them children. Israeli officials say 12 people have died as a result of fire for militants, including two children.
We're joined now by our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman in Jerusalem and our chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins at the White House.
So Ben, the ceasefire supposedly started, what are you seeing there? Does it look like its holding?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It does look like its holding for now. But in a few years, probably it will come to an end. What we're seeing is that here in Jerusalem here -- we were hearing lots of fireworks being shot off and cars honking their horns in celebration. This is the Palestinian part of town. Many Palestinians feel that in this round, despite the high death toll in Gaza, that somehow Hamas and the Palestinians won this round. Anderson.
COOPER: And what's the feeling amongst not only officials but from citizens in Israelis on the likelihood of disagreement succeeding?
WEDEMAN: I think people believe that for the time being the ceasefire will hold as we saw back in 2009, 2012 and 2014. But the fact that we're in the -- we're just finishing the fourth war between Israel and Gaza since 2008. There isn't a lot of confidence that this will hold for more than just a few years.
Keep in mind that there was a as far as Israelis go, there was an opinion poll published on Thursday that said that as many as 73% of the Israeli population felt that the operation should continue. Because I think there is a realization that even though a ceasefire has been worked out, the fundamental problems behind this series of wars between Gaza and Israel have not been resolved and will not be resolved. Anderson.
COOPER: Kaitlan, how big a role does the White House believe it played in getting this ceasefire announced?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the President Biden is feeling pretty good tonight about the tactic that he took care of which came under fire from a lot of progressive members of his own party. who were saying he needed to be more critical of Netanyahu, he needed to come out and be called for a ceasefire, as some other Democratic leaders were Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and he refused to do that he was never publicly critical of Netanyahu. He never explicitly called for a ceasefire. The closest he got was during that readout yesterday when he said he wanted to see significant de-escalation of the violence, Anderson.
And what we're hearing from White House officials is that President Biden told aides over the last 11 days or so, you know, Netanyahu is someone I have known and worked with a long time. He saw how President Obama And Netanyahu had a very icy relationship. I think he wanted to take a different approach than that. And they felt like if they kept Netanyahu closer and they were not publicly critical of Israel didn't kind of back them into a corner, they could get the violence over faster.
And so, they're feeling pretty good about that tonight. But we should note that earlier, when we saw President Biden he did not answer our questions about whether or not what Ben was just talking about this ceasefire is going to last. COOPER: And what did he say when he spoke briefly after it was announced.
COLLINS: So, he definitely was supportive of Israel. He talked about, of course, the Iron Dome system that they've been using in response to the rockets from Hamas. And he was talking about what the U.S. has response to that is going to look like really what the next steps are going to look like. And this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: The prime minister also shared with me, his appreciation for the Iron Dome system, which our nations developed together and which has saved lives of countless Israeli citizens of Arab and Jew. I assured him of my full support to replenish Israel's Iron Dome system, to ensure the fences and security in the future.
I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy. My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: And I think Anderson, really two things are obvious, emerging from all of this, which is one, you know, this is not an issue that President Biden prioritize taking office and now it is at the forefront of issues that people are going to be paying attention to does the ceasefire last. What happens if the evictions start up and violence restarts? That's going to be something that they still have to deal with. It cannot be low on the priority list, like it will, like it was.
But also it's going to be this rift among the Democratic Party where you saw these progressive members of his party calling for a different U.S. stance toward Israel, and they did not get the condemnation that I think they would have gotten in years past the way they spoke about Israel. And so, I think it does change things going forward. We'll have to see how much Anderson of course,
COOPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins, Ben Wedeman, appreciate it. Thanks so much.
(voice-over): Still to come the debate about when Americans need to get a COVID booster shot even as vaccine hesitancy is still a real problem in the country.
COOPER: And so large part to vaccinations new cases of COVID are an 11 month low. They're expected to drop even further along with hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks, which is certainly fantastic news. Already Dr. Anthony Fauci, Pfizer and others are discussing the possibility of needing a booster shot. Dr. Fauci told The Washington Post today and I quote, we're prepared for the eventuality that we might need boosters, when that may be is unclear.
Want to talk about it with Dr. Leana Wen former Baltimore Health Commissioner and CNN medical analyst. So when it comes to boosters, Dr. Wen, Dr. Fauci said yesterday that we'll need them -- when we start to see more breakthrough infections and the CEO of Pfizer put that time period is eight to 12 months after your second shot. What's your thoughts on when and why we'll need them?
LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, I don't know at this point that we know when we'll need boosters. And that's because we're still tracking those data. Right now we know that the vaccines are they work very well against the variance of concern here in the U.S. We also know that immunity won't last for at least six months, we don't know exactly how long. I think tracking breakthrough infections, infections, and fully vaccinated people will be really important. But I also don't want for us to get ahead of the science here. And that's because while there are some people who are going to say if there's a booster I want to sign up tomorrow. Then we also know that one of the main reasons why people are hesitant to even get the vaccine actually has to do with the possibility of a booster.
And so, I don't want to accidentally deter people who are already vaccine hesitant by giving them premature information about needing a booster. Well, we don't know exactly when that is just yet.
COOPER: So, your thinking officials may be getting ahead of themselves when there's still so many people who haven't gotten -- I mean, do you think it will actually deter people from trying to even getting a first dose?
WEN: There are some focus groups that have found that for people who are vaccine hesitant, one of the main reasons that they side is this idea that we may need to get a booster. They say that means that the pandemic will just keep on going. So what's the point of getting the first shot if I need to get another one, six months or 12 months down the line?
Now, I think that's difficult for some people to understand. Because some people are saying, hey, the moment that I find that my immunity may be waiting, I want to get a booster. But recognizing that some people do have that mentality, it's important for us to not get ahead of the science, do the science. But I think when we hear the Pfizer CEO as an example, speak, he's talking to his investors, he's talking to a stakeholders. And we really should keep that in mind that that's the target audience.
COOPER: You've been clear about your view that the CDC went too far with their mask guidance, and the ripples of that are being seen now all over the country, Texas, Iowa, Utah, they're now going to prohibit mask mandates in schools and businesses, those states also have relatively low vaccination rates. Do you expect to see a corresponding uptick in cases there?
WEN: I really hope not. I am hopeful that we now have a high enough rate of vaccination in the country, that we're not going to see that uptick. But I'm also very worried because in those particular areas where we don't have high vaccination rates, those are also areas that also don't have great public health infrastructure. So ideally, what we would see is, if there are new cases, we're able to detect them, we're able to test for them, we're able to do contact tracing, and then quarantine and isolate. Well, if the public health infrastructure is not there, we may have new outbreaks and there may be new variants even emerging with that.
So, I really hope that at this point, people will do what they can. Individuals who are not vaccinated yet should get vaccinated, until then, wear a mask. And I also hope that businesses will differentiate between the essential businesses and non-essential businesses. And ones that are truly essential like pharmacies or grocery stores, ideally, they should still keep mask mandates in place to protect the immunocompromised children and other people who are not yet vaccinated.
COOPER: And the American Academy of Pediatrics updated their guidance yesterday saying that even if vaccinated adults don't have to wear masks, unvaccinated children should still do so. So can you just explain your view on where, when or if children should wear masks and what age and does lifting mask mandates put kids at greater risk?
WEN: That last part is what I'm really worried about. Because there is this pervasive narrative out there, Anderson that somehow kids don't get COVID-19 which is just not true. We know that there are 3.9 million infections among children with COVID-19, 24% of the new cases are actually in children. Thousands of children have gotten this multi system inflammatory syndrome.
And so, children don't need to wear masks outdoors, but indoors if they are around other kids who are also unvaccinated. They should be wearing masks and that includes in schools. If there are unvaccinated adults and unvaccinated children, they should all be wearing masks around one another.
COOPER: Dr. Leana Wen, appreciate it as always. Thank you.
Up next, what Britain's Prince William is saying tonight about a devastating interview his mother Princess Diana, gave the BBC and what an independent inquiry said about the interview itself, when we return.
COOPER: An independent inquiry into an explosive BBC interview with the late Princess Diana back in 1995 found the broadcaster quote, covered up the facts in how the reporter Martin Bashir secured the interview in the first place. In the broadcast she detailed the breakdown of her relationship with Prince Charles. Today in a statement Prince William characterized Bashir as quote, a rogue reporter and he said the interview contributed significantly to his mother's fear, paranoia and isolation in the years before her death. [21:00:07]
The broadcast was as Prince William, put it a major contribution to making my parents relationship worse, and as since heard countless others. The inquiry found that Bashir had acted in a deceitful way and had faked documents in order to obtain the interview. The BBC said he did apologize in writing to both Prince William and his brother, Harry.
The news continues. Let's hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris.