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AT THIS HOUR
20 Dead in Upstate New York Limo Crash; Outrage Grows in Turkey over Missing Journalist; GOP Senators Rip Court Confirmation Process; Manhunt for Masked Killer in Chicago. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired October 8, 2018 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] DEBORAH HERSMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL & FORMER DIRECTOR, NTSB: So when we talk about vehicle design and requirements, when we're looking at stretch vehicles, all of those things are off the table because, very often, what's happening is after market, they're stretched. They may come out of the factory, if it's an Excursion, will come out of the factory per specs and tested, but it may be modified after that, and there are no requirements for after-market modifications to be re-evaluated or retested. So for consumers, this is really challenging because they don't know that they're not getting the same level of safety in a regular Excursion verses a stretch Excursion.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Look, the death toll is so devastating. Do you think, when you lay it out that way, and the fact there's a big unknown for people getting into these vehicles, do you think people should avoid this kind of transportation altogether? I mean, is taking a stretch limo, one that was like this that could have been retrofitted, is it inherently dangerous?
HERSMAN: So one of the things that we know is, are occupants in vehicles, we see many fatalities every day. One of the most dangerous things each of us do is get behind the wheel of a car. We have 100- plus fatalities on our roads every day. It's great that people are paying attention to this one because there were 20 people killed in a single crash, but each day, we have a lot of fatalities. So it's inherently dangerous to be out on the road. We want that number to be zero. So whether it's addressing the driver, the vehicle, or the environment, we have opportunities to get to zero by making improvements. And you're raising great points when it comes to the vehicle, what more can we do?
BOLDUAN: Yes. Real quick, when do you think people are going to start getting some answers, from your experience on how these investigations go?
HERSMAN: You know, I'm sure they have a lot of answers that they are gathering right now. It's basically a painstaking exercise to corroborate all of the factual data.
HERSMAN: You need multiple sources.
Thank you for coming in, Deborah Hersman. I really appreciate it.
HERSMAN: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the mysterious disappearance of a Saudi journalist who criticized the crown prince. He walked into a consulate in Turkey last week, he hasn't been seen since. That's next.
[11:36:43] BOLDUAN: Outrage is growing in Turkey after the mysterious disappearance of a "Washington Post" contributor. Jamal Khashoggi, who had applied for permanent U.S. residency, was last seen entering a Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul last week but the outspoken critic of the Saudi crown prince never left the building. Some Turkish officials now believe Khashoggi was killed while inside the consulate. But the Saudis deny any involvement. They say that he left the consulate shortly after his arrival. Something clearly does not add up.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is live in front of the consulate in Istanbul.
Jomana, Turkish officials do not appear to be buying the Saudi explanation here.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, they're not, Kate. And this is something that we have heard from Turkish officials over the past week, saying they're getting unsatisfactory answers from the Saudis.
And just a short time ago, a few minutes ago, we heard from the Turkish president, President Erdogan, also saying Saudi has to really provide evidence for what they're claiming.
As you mentioned, over the past week, Saudi authorities say Jamal Khashoggi did enter this building behind me and they're saying he left a short time after that, and they haven't been able to prove it. You know, many are asking, and we have heard this from the president here, too, saying that if he did indeed leave, why not provide footage from their security cameras, video that shows him leaving the consulate? I can tell you, Kate, we have been looking around the consulate, and you can see multiple security cameras around here.
Now, we know that Turkish authorities are taking this very seriously. They launched a criminal investigation over the weekend. They're looking at everything. They're combing through security videos. They're looking at who entered and who left the consulate. They're even looking at the airport, who arrived and who left.
And one thing they're particularly interested in, they say, a group of 15 Saudis arrived here on the day of Khashoggi's disappearance. They were at the consulate at the same time he was here, and then they left the country. This is something they're looking closely at. And they also requested permission to search the consulate, while some are skeptical of what they're really going to be able to achieve nearly a week after his disappearance -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Jomana, what's the United States saying about all this?
KARADSHEH: Well, we have heard from administration officials saying that, while they're not really saying much publicly right now, there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes, that they're following up on this with senior government officials in Saudi Arabia and that different U.S. agencies are looking into this. But people we have spoken to here, Kate, say that the U.S. and President Trump have an obligation to do more. They do have a good relationship, a close relationship with the Saudi royal family, especially the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and the United States should be using that relationship to push for more answers -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Jomana, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Here with me right now is a friend of Khashoggi's, CNN's global affairs analyst, Aaron David Miller.
Thanks for being here.
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Pleasure.
BOLDUAN: I was just looking. Elise Labott, our correspondent, she just gave us some information a little earlier saying that, "Two senior administration officials tell CNN that although the U.S. is not saying anything publicly right now, the U.S. government is quietly working the case of the missing journalist across several agencies and at senior levels of the administration."
But what do you make of it? You haven't heard from the president. This is a "Washington Post" contributor, a well-respected journalist. And nothing from the White House so far.
[11:40:15] MILLER: Just on a personal note, I do consider Jamal a friend. And everyone who knew him, many of my own friends and former colleagues, saw him as a man with tremendous courage, tremendous integrity. A man who loved Saudi Arabia, truly. A Saudi patriot and a nationalist, but a man also who had profound doubts about the nature of the direction under the current Saudi leadership.
And I asked Jamal, I saw him this summer, whether or not he was concerned, why he did this, why he risked criticizing the government, even from afar, and the answer was simply, because I love my country, and I believe that.
As for the Trump administration or any administration, we have long been enthralled with the Saudis. And the Trump administration is not the first to suggest the possibility that this U.S./Saudi relationship is too big to fail. But the reality is, in the face of this wanton, brutal, if it is proven that the Saudi leadership orchestrated his disappearance and death, and if in fact the decision to do that was taken at the highest levels of the Saudi government, then the administration is obligated for many reasons to impose accountability. I would hope right now that the administration at senior levels are talking to the Saudis to basically say, we need to know exactly what happened. What was your role in this? And we need to know it. Because this administration has committed itself to reenergizing the U.S./Saudi relation. The president took his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, when his four predecessors had gone to Canada or Mexico. We have largely placated and assuaged the Saudis over the last 600 days. They owe us, frankly. And on this one, they owe us an explanation. And then we need to draw the right consequences and impose accountability. Congress will, I suspect, if the administration doesn't.
BOLDUAN: I do wonder, Aaron, how does anyone get answers at this point? If it doesn't come from, you know, a public calling out, if you will, from the very top, from President Trump?
MILLER: I agree with you. You have a dozen intelligence services in Istanbul, all with ears, all who are picking up all kinds of chatter. I mean, how do the Turks draw their conclusions?
MILLER: That Jamal entered the Saudi consulate on Tuesday, never exited. Maybe they shut down the close circuit TVs so there was no way to know if he left or not. But clearly, he didn't leave, otherwise, we would have heard from him. And the Turks claim to have video showing he was beaten, tortured, and ultimately killed. At some point, at some point, there will be a reconstitution of this narrative. And then I suspect that the proper conclusions need to be drawn, on behalf of journalists all over the world, who must fear for their personal security and for the credibility, and the value and the interest of the United States as well. Khashoggi was not a U.S. citizen. I think he was applying for a green card.
MILLER: But he was a resident here, working for "The Post" and a good decent man, Kate. A good decent man.
BOLDUAN: If this isn't something to speak out about and speak up about, what is?
MILLER: We sanctioned the -- we sanctioned the Turks for the treatment of Pastor Brunson, and he's now under house arrest. And the Trump administration found a way to do that. And I suspect they really need to deliver. Whether they will, I have my doubts.
BOLDUAN: Aaron, thanks for coming in.
MILLER: Always a pleasure, Kate.
[11:44:02] BOLDUAN: We'll keep following this.
We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BOLDUAN: As the president is taking a victory lap today over the confirmation of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans might be celebrating, but they're also recognizing what a mess the road to confirmation really was.
Listen to the words that kept coming up when Republicans started describing the nomination process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, (R), MAINE: One can only hope that the Kavanaugh nomination is where the process has finally hit, rock bottom.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, (R-IA), CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: What I would like to do when we get all done, because this is almost rock bottom, I would like to have the future mending things.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN, (R), TEXAS: We have hit rock bottom when it comes to the judicial confirmation process, and, sadly, I agree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Have we?
Joining me right now, former Republican Congressman David Jolly.
Thanks for coming in, Congressman.
DAVID JOLLY, (R), FORMER CONGRESSMAN: You got it. Good to be with you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Of course.
When it comes to what you have watched play out over the last -- let's say, the last two weeks, do you think Congress has hit rock bottom?
JOLLY: No, because understand what the leader of the Republican Party did just in the last hour. He called the charges against Kavanaugh a hoax. And those are unnerving words. My concern is, because Republicans have seen some sort of spike in intensity, that we have been talking about now for a week, that the president and his pollsters and, frankly, his followers on Capitol Hill, want to keep this very divisive story of Judge Kavanaugh out there. I think that's why we will see a made-for-TV swearing in ceremony this evening and you'll continue to hear the president speak to the darker, more divisive angels among us and not the better angels going into November 6th.
[11:50:10] BOLDUAN: Congressman, you have been a critic of Donald Trump along the way, but I keep thinking, you know you hit rock bottom when things go in the other direction. When it comes to the state of affairs, what is going to bring that about? Is it the voters or public outcry or someone standing up and being a leader? JOLLY: You know, when Bill Clinton suffered defeat of a congressional
majority in 1994, he did something interesting in his first State of the Union after that election. He said, voters in '92, when they elected Clinton, voted for change, and voters in '94, when they put in a Republican majority voted for change. He said, but it's important to understand they didn't go to the ballot box singing, they went to the ballot box shouting. I think, on November 6th, we will see a lot of voters shouting loudly.
We don't know which direction this is going to go. If you are a Democrat, you like the numbers in the House. And if you are a Republican, you like the Senate right now. At the same time, Kate, we get to judge the integrity of our elected officials. Some of these issues are structural but some come down to the integrity of our political leaders. We get to judge that on November 6th.
BOLDUAN: You had a stark assessment of the Republican Party over the weekend, saying there's no moderate wing left in the Republican Party. What do you mean by that?
JOLLY: There's not. I hate to single out Susan Collins and Jeff Flake and some of those members, but they are moderate in word, but not in deed. This should have been a confirmation process that came to a halt because there were sensible moderates within the Republican Party that, in the words of Lisa Murkowski, even if you suggest that Kavanaugh is a good man, he was not the right man for this moment in history to ascend to the court. But instead, the entire Republican Party fell in line. We know there are only anecdotal examples of moderate Republicans within the party. I happen to be one of them. There are a few remaining. But there's no block or wing that can influence and control the party. Just as you can make the argument on the Democratic side that that moderate wing has become a disappearing element.
BOLDUAN: I have been wondering this since last week, were the key Senators you're looking at, some of them, were they undecided or undeclared?
JOLLY: I think they were undeclared, and they were realizing the overwhelming political pressure that they were falling under. And instead of listening to that political pressure, they placated it, but still voted along with party lines. This was a moment to lead and we didn't see leadership emerge from the Republican Party. Murkowski deserves the recognition she did for her vote, but we didn't see that in the Republican Party. Barack Obama talked about a post-partisan Washington, a post-partisan country. We have not achieved that. And going into 2020, we are going to start asking questions. Can a two- party system really achieve a post-partisan America or do we see the emergence that we did in '92 of a Ross Perot-type figure that is actually competitive and offers a third way?
BOLDUAN: First things first. We'll see what happens going through this brutal midterm.
Appreciate your time. JOLLY: You got it.
BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.
JOLLY: Thank you, Kate. Appreciate it.
BOLDUAN: Still ahead for us, a mystery unfolding on the streets of Chicago. Police say a masked man is killing at random. He's already taken two lives. What investigators are trying to do to track him down. That's next.
[11:58:12] BOLDUAN: The FBI and ATF are joining the search for a masked killer stalking Chicago. Police say the gunman, seen in this video we are showing you, killed two people in separate shootings less than two days apart. The victims chosen at random. And 73-year-old Douglas Watts and 24-year-old Eliyahu Moskowitz were gunned down while walking in one northside neighborhood.
CNN's Ryan Young is in Chicago and he's following this.
Ryan, do investigators have any real leads at this point?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that video is their best clue. We are trying to show it to you over and over. There's still a search for this killer. They believe the video of the man dressed all in black with a mask on is something they want people to focus on, because his walk is unique. They believe he lived in the Rogers Park neighborhood where the shootings happened. They hope as people watch this maybe they can call and give them clues. So far, detectives have gotten over 150 calls about this case, but no arrests. There are 40 detectives who are working the case, 24-7. When you think about the scary details of this, the weather has been great and the men were outside. The 24-year-old was near the lake and, as he was walking along, he was shot execution style in the back of the head, and then the man just walked away. The other man, who was 73 years old, was walking his dog when he was attacked. Neighbors heard these gunshots. And they've been shaken to the core about this. They've raised $21,000 to try to catch this person. But so far, no significant leads as we are being told by police -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: It looks, from surveillance video, it's happening in broad daylight. That man walking around with that mask on his face.
Ryan, thank you so much. Investigators all over it. We'll stay on top of it as well. Appreciate it.
Thank you so much for joining me AT THIS HOUR.
"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.
[12:00:07] JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Thank you, Kate.
And welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thank you for sharing your day with us.