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CNN Poll: Dems Up In Florida With Midterms Two Weeks Away; Trump Says GOP Working On Tax Plan For Middle Class; Florida Governor's Debate Airs Tonight At 8ET On CNN; Floor Collapses At Homecoming Party In Clemson; Mitch McConnell Heckled In Kentucky Restaurant; Trump To WAPO: "There's Been Deception And Lies" By The Saudi Government; Thousands Of Migrants Moving North Along Highway In Mexico. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired October 21, 2018 - 15:00   ET


[15:00:00] FREDERIK, PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: --of the agreement, another reason the administration said they'll pull out of the deal.

And, you know, Fredricka, if you look at some of the things that the Russians have been saying throughout the course of the day, I think one of the things that they're sort of trying to scope out right now is whether or not this is really a final decision on the part of the Trump administration or whether or not there might to be some wiggle room to maybe somehow salvage these agreement.

But you know, on the whole, you can feel how the tensions between the U.S. and Russia seem to be heating up even more than they were in the past. Fredricka?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much. We've got so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom and it all starts right now.

Hello again everyone and thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

It's the final stretch to the midterms and we're just now 16 days away and the stakes are very high with control of Congress on the line. We have new polling just in to CNN giving us a fresh look at what is happening in the key state of Florida.

We haven't seen a whole lot of polling since Hurricane Michael slammed into Florida's Panhandle and the U.S. Senate race and the race for governor now have been very intense and almost neck to neck. Our new CNN polling showing that Democrats have a slight edge in those two main races.

CNN Senior Political Analyst Mark Preston is joining us live now from Tampa and that's where CNN will be hosting a debate tonight for the governor's race, so breakdown for us this polling.

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, a couple of things here. What we certainly see is enthusiasm among Democrats. Now, that's not surprising, that's something, Fredricka, we expected to see certainly at this point in the race.

Now, we can look at this poll in a couple of ways. One is that it is accurately grabbing the enthusiasm at a time when we see Democrats coming together as a party. Another way we can look at it is that this is one of the statistical outliers that randomly happen when you do polling.

Right now is, forget about the numbers, let's assume that this race is a lot tighter than what those numbers are and I think that is a more accurate way to describe where we are right now. We know both candidates are campaigning very hard. Tonight's debate is going to be their opportunity, not only to face themselves, so the first time ever they've never met, but to make their case to the Florida voters.

And even though this is a race here in Florida, Fred, we all know that this has major national implications in it with the national surrogates involved, including President Trump, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Hillary Clinton and others.

WHITFIELD: Oh, it does indeed not just for that governor's race but, of course, you know, eyes on the Senate race there and Florida, too -- .


WHITFIELD: -- where you've got an incumbent, you know, up against, you know, a former governor and what makes that and why is that was so tight?

PRESTON: Well, I tell what, Fred, you know, we talk about these two gentlemen we'll see debate tonight, you know, more on the younger side of the political spectrum really starting to meet themselves tonight.

However, we know that Rick Scott and Bill Nelson know each other very well. They spend a lot of time in Florida politics opposing each other on just about everything and right now we see them with Rick Scott trailing Bill Nelson again in this poll, but it could be one of these situations where we see Democratic enthusiasm or it could be one of those situations where it's an outlier.

But regardless, we do know that this race is extremely tight. Again, very nasty race between these two men right now. In fact, they were supposed to debate on CNN and, in fact, they couldn't come to any kind of way to do that.

So, Fred, right now, ground zero when it comes to politics, when it comes to the midterm elections, no better place to be than we where we are standing right now in Tampa, Florida.

WHITFIELD: Right. And when it comes down to the issues, you know, that are really driving or of interest to voters there, very similar to what we're seeing across the country. Health care is important, immigration is something else and, of course, the economy. PRESTON: Yes, no doubt about it. When you look at Florida, too, you can almost look at Florida as a microcosm of the United States because you have down in South Florida, you have a lot of immigration, Cuban influence, Hispanic influence down there. Well, you move up the coast and there's different influences, different typography, different kinds of industry and what have you.

So you're absolutely right, health care, the economy, immigration, all on the top of the minds of Floridians. And I got to tell you, this is one of the states, one these races where everybody in the state really seems to be tuned into, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Right. And we just saw, you know, former Vice President Joe Biden, he was campaigning in Nevada yesterday. Apparently, he will be stumping for Bill Nelson in Florida coming up as well. Mark Preston, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

All right, President Trump is hoping his midterm campaign push will secure Republicans the votes that they need to hold control of Congress. He's sticking to talking points that work for his base and driving home one very clear message.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The choice could not be more clear. Democrats produce mobs. Republicans produce jobs.

This November when you're voting, vote for the jobs, not for the mobs, just do it.

[15:05:04] The choice for every American could not be more clear. Democrats produce mobs. Republicans produce jobs. That's become a hash tag.


WHITFIELD: All right, that's the mantra the President likes to stick to right now. CNN's White House Correspondent Boris Sanchez is with us live from the White House. So, the President is on the campaign trail and he's actually really loving this.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fred. This is reminiscent of campaign 2016 when President Trump was on the road multiple stops every day, not quite as much.

But take a look at this calendar, the President hitting the road crisscrossing the country. He's got four events coming up next week. One, in Texas, in Wisconsin, North Carolina and just announced within the last hour, a rally in Murphysboro, Illinois on Saturday. And when the President is on the stamp, the other thing that's reminiscent about 2016, his unrelenting attacks on Democrats.

Yesterday in Nevada he suggested that Democrats were trying to help undocumented immigrants get welfare -- steal welfare from needy American citizens. He even told supporters that they had to vote in the upcoming election, not just to save his agenda, but to save the country.

As he was leaving that event, he also notably answered reporters' questions and he said something about -- a surprising comment about trying to pass a tax bill before November that would boost the middle class. Listen to this unexpected remark from President Trump yesterday.


TRUMP: We are looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle income people. And if we do that, it will be sometime just prior I would say to November, I would say sometime around the first of November, maybe a little before then.


PRESTON: Now to be clear, there was some talk among Republican lawmakers about passing a permanent sort of tax cuts based on that 2017 tax cut for the middle class. However, there's been no indication that that has come up again. Keep in mind, Fred, Congress is not in session again until after the election so the chances for something to pass before November are slim and none.

I asked the source in House Speaker Paul Ryan's office about this and they sent my questions to the White House. I obviously asked the White House about this, they've yet to respond, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.

All right, meantime, all eyes will be on Florida tonight when the candidates for governor face off in a debate right here on CNN. Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis is taking on Tallahassee mayor and Democrat Andrew Gillum who could become the state's first black governor. A new CNN poll shows Gillum leading DeSantis by 12 points.

CNN Correspondent Ryan Nobles joins us now from Tampa. So, Ryan, what are the voters telling you?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, it's very important to point out that even though both Ron DeSantis, the Republican, and Andrew Gillum, the Democrat, were nominated in their primaries by really reaching out to the base of their respective parties, both the right and the left, Florida is really the biggest swing state in America. And it could be those voters in the middle that decide who win this is governor's race.


AARON WARD, SMALL BUSINES OWNER: (INAUDIBLE) of it that he's run on that.

NOBLES (voice-over): Aaron Ward runs a barbecue food truck in one of the most important states on the midterm map and he thinks Floridians are sick and tired of both Republicans and Democrats.

WARD: I think people are pretty much hammered with politics. NOBLES: Political fatigue could be a big problem, especially for the two candidates for governor who won primaries by appealing to the bases of their respective parties.

ANDREW GILLUM (D), FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I believe we're going win this not by capitulating on what we believe --

NOBLES: On the left is Democrat Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee. He won his primary with the support of Bernie Sanders, calling for abolishing ICE in its current form and plugging a multi- state Medicare for all plan. Gillum believes that policy portfolio will attract voters of all stripes.

GILLUM: As you think, we talked about the issues to the primary and will in the general that whether you're an independent or a reasonable thinking Republican or a Democrat that you care about.

NOBLES: Gillum is drawing big crowds of enthusiastic Democrats, such as Tony and Belva McNair (ph).

GILLUM: I appreciate this, of course.

NOBLES: Impressed with his bright blue politics and the fact that his promised to take on President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He starts from Trump and goes down.

NOBLES: But for many Floridians, such as Meagan Morris, just being opposed to Trump isn't enough.

(on camera): So you're not even really a fan of President Trump, but you think the focus on him is too much?

MEAGAN MORRIS, FLORIDA VOTER: I think there's a lot of focus on him, probably more than any president ever. And I would like to see the issues addressed more.

NOBLES (voice-over): Separating this race from the President won't be easy, especially for the Republican, Ron DeSantis.

REP. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Then Mr. Trump said, "You're fired." I love that part.

NOBLES: DeSantis ran arm in arm with President Trump during the GOP primary, opposing tax increases, supporting construction of a wall along the border with Mexico, and voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act while in the House.

[15:10:04] DESANTIS: We need a governor who's going to work constructively with the Trump administration to advance Florida's priorities.

NOBLES: He, too, has GOP based voters fired up and his Republican supporters believe that DeSantis can attract middle of the road voters by just being himself. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But people really need to listen and follow him for that, because he was the best for the people, he was the best for Florida.

NOBLES: But at a time of fierce polarization, the middle lane in Florida politics may be up for grabs. But for Ward who talks to voters every day, the candidate that's able to attract the middle and hold their basis effectively just might be the winner on Election Day.

(on camera) How do you merge those together to come out to what is it that this one state wants?

WARD: Right, right, right.

NOBLES: That's tough. I mean, you're going to get a ton of different backgrounds trying to merge into one civilization.

WARD: Right, right, sometimes they vote Republican and sometimes they vote Democrat because it's shifting, right?

NOBLES: Absolutely.


NOBLES: And obviously the one thing that really threw this entire race upside down was Hurricane Michael. It forced Andrew Gillum, who was the mayor Tallahassee, off the campaign trail for more than a week. While he was serving the people of Tallahasse, negative ads were running all across the state hammering him and Congressman DeSantis.

And, Fred, this race has been tough. Both of these candidates have been very hard on each other in their separate rallies. Today, they're going to be face-to-face for the very first time and they are both prepared to talk tough if it comes to that. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Well, I will be watching. All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you so much. And you should be watching, too, tonight as Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis square off in Florida's governor's debate moderate by our own Jake Tapper. It starts right here on CNN tonight at 8:00 Eastern Time.

Still ahead, a terrifying collapse during homecoming celebrations in Clemson. The floor in an apartment clubhouse giving way, injuring at least 30 people. What officials are saying?

Plus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is targeted by an angry protester becoming the latest in a growing number of lawmakers facing harsh criticism in public. So what do these outbursts say about the political divide?


[15:16:15] WHITFIELD: A terrifying scene at a party in Clemson, South Carolina after an apartment clubhouse floor collapses. Take a look. This happened under the feet of dozens of partygoers, leaving a 30 people injured. But as officials tell us, it could have been far worse.

CNN Correspondent Polo Sandoval has been following the story. So, Polo, how did all this happen?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Fred, authorities there in South Carolina think that things could have been much worse, somebody could have been killed. This was supposed to be a joyous event. Some of these Clemson University students coming together to celebrate homecoming, but in a single instant, things took a terrible turn.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): These are the seconds before a packed party took a terrifying turn in Clemson, South Carolina. The video shot just after midnight, Sunday, shows dozens of dancers jumping in unison to the music before falling through the floor. They were attending a private party inside a clubhouse an apartment complex.

Young partygoers are seen plummeting into a basement below. The remaining revelers stood on what was left of the floorboards, while others tried crawling to safety. On CNN's "New Day," witness Jeremy Tester remembered being two feet from the dance floor when it gave out.

JEREMY TESTER, COLLAPSE WITNESS (via phone): When the song came on, like everybody was like in valley jumping around. You can definitely like -- you could hear the floor about to go through, that kind of, they just -- nobody really thought it was going to happen. They just kept going.

SANDOVAL: 30 people were sent to area hospitals with injuries including broken bones and lacerations. Clemson's police chief says amazingly none of the injuries were life-threatening.

CHIEF JIMMY DIXON, CLEMSON POLICE: It could have been a whole lot worse. There could have been entrapments. There could have been deaths involved.

SANDOVAL: Investigators now looking for a cause of the collapse, looking at factors like capacity of the room and its structural integrity. Property management tells CNN the complex was built in 2004.


SANDOVAL: And we should mention that, of course, there were many Clemson University students among the injured, however, this took place about 3 miles away from the campus.

Nonetheless, the head of that educational institution is taking to Twitter showing his support. Jim Clements, the president of the university twitting, "I'm monitoring the situation and my thoughts and prayers are with all who were injured." Clements goes on to tweet, "Our entire student support system will be available for any student impacted."

Fred, that's a key points here because, yes, authorities are saying that all of these people are expected to recover from their physical wounds, but that emotional trauma experiencing something like that, well, that is something that's obviously going to be much harder to recover.

WHITFIELD: Pretty scary stuff. All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

All right, coming up, lawmakers berated in public, a protester disrupts a night out for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both sides of the aisle seeing the outrage from Americans playing out in public. We'll discuss.


[15:23:34] WHITFIELD: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the latest politician to be heckled while eating out. The Kentucky Republican and his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, were at a restaurant in Louisville when this happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here. Why don't you leave the entire country?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave him alone. Leave him alone. Leave him alone.



WHITFIELD: So you see folks are being outspoken and then also you have some people in the restaurant coming to McConnell's defense, telling the men who were confronting the lawmaker to back off.

According to our affiliate, WKLY, one of the men actually threw the senator's leftovers out the door. The restaurant said it regrets the incident and wants everyone to feel safe eating there.

All right, with me now to discuss all of this, former Republican congressman of Pennsylvania, Charlie Dent, and the former Democratic governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley. Good to see both of you.

All right, so Charlie, you first, you know, talk about the political atmosphere that we're seeing. People are feeling like they want to exercise their First Amendment rights by speaking their minds when they see a public servant. They want to give them, you know, a piece of their mind. At the same time, there are those who were saying you can go too far. What is this an example of? [15:25:00]CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that case with Senator McConnell, that individual went way too far. You know, I go to the grocery store too and I would regularly have people stop me and, you know, ask a question. They're almost always civil and that's fine and appropriate. But when people kind of get in your face like that in a public venue, I think it has the exact opposite effect of what you like to have happen.

In fact, if you're really angry at an elected official, you know, go out and vote. That's how you should express your frustration of your anger rather than making some kind of a poll it seem, because I can guarantee you, it's not going to change the opinions of lawmakers. This is going to get their hackles up and it will certainly reinforce where they already are.

WHITFIELD: OK. So we've seen it just recently with Mitch McConnell. We've also seen it with Sarah Sanders. Martin, take a look at just kind of, you know, a real litany of incidents that have happened in the public recently.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you support a man that abuses women? Shame on you, Ted Cruz.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: God bless you, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shame on you, Ted Cruz. Shame on you, Ted Cruz. Shame on you Ted Cruz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we know where you live. We know where you live.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bump you out. Bump you out. Bump you out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.


WHITFIELD: All right, so, Martin, Charlie just said, you know, when something like this happens, it's not necessarily going to change the point of view of the politician. But for many of the folks who were actually expressing themselves, they are hoping that they're going to be influential. So how do you see it, Martin?

MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: You know, well, look, I think we all have a responsibility to defend and actually promote a level of civil discourse in our country. It's essential, you know. It's what you might call that spirit of moderation that allows us to disagree with one another but still find room for compromise. But -- so I would agree with everything that Charlie said.

But I think we also have to acknowledge the fact that we're actually living in very polarized, very divisive times. I mean, the President of the United States just the other night in Montana praised the congressman for roughing up, assaulting a reporter. And this happens within about 72 hours of Saudis cutting off the fingers and killing reportedly a reporter of "Washington Post," contributing reporter.

So, well, as I've traveled around the country, what I actually see are not mobs, but I see a lot of moms and they're running for office. And their messages are the messages of opportunity, dignity, and decency. And that's what I see happening and we've been winning special election after special election.

And I think that the way our candidates handle themselves, and let's keep in mind, Nancy Pelosi was harassed the other day by a crowd outside an event. And then --

WHITFIELD: In fact, we have that. Let me show that. Well, since you've made reference of that --


WHITFIELD: -- let's show that right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this piece of [bleep] Pelosi right here. [Bleep] communist. You don't belong here you [bleep] communist. Get the [bleep] out of here. Get the [bleep] out of here.


WHITFIELD: So that was as Nancy Pelosi was walking in (INAUDIBLE) Republicans. Steve Scalise, you know, who were shot and wounded during a congressional softball practice sent out this tweet out after seeing, you know, that confrontation with Pelosi saying -- I'm quoting now, "I don't agree with Nancy Pelosi's agenda, but this is absolutely the wrong way to express the disagreements. If you want to stop her policies, don't threaten her, vote. That's how we settle our differences."


O'MALLEY: Yes. Well, good for Steve -- yes, good for Steve Scalise. I think all of us have to speak up and defend that, you know, the public discourse and some decency and some dignity in our country. It's hard. I mean, the President of the United States himself when those white Nazi supremacists marched in Charlottesville said they were good people.

So this is a challenging time for all of us who's Americans. But the most important, you know, job in this election is the job of citizen. And I think that all of us have a role to play in elevating the discourse and treating each other with dignity and respect.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And I wonder, Charlie, you know, it's a matter of striking the balance, right, because there are a lot of people who feel rather empowered to say something to speak their mind because they don't have another method in which to reach out to, you know, a public official.

But at the same times, you know, same time, you hear public officials who are saying, you know, they have a right to privacy as well or maybe sometimes people are getting too close. How do you strike a balance here?

DENT: Well, look, people should express themselves to elected officials and there are ways to do it. You know, I've often found that so many people who get in their face who said, I would tell them, hey, call my office. I will happily sit down and talk with you and me with you.

And then sometimes those individuals would turn around and then say they didn't really want to meet and they just wanted a confrontation. So -- I mean, that's part of it. But I saw, Fredricka, on an earlier segment of your program, I think it was an elected official talking, we don't want people who are going to be capitulators in elected office.

[15:30:09] I mean, I think that's a big part of the problem. When some voters, you know, demand that their elected officials be inflexible, that they take a position and they hold it, any type of compromise seeking of consensus is considered a capitulation or surrender.


DENT: And I think that kind of attitude lends itself to these kinds of extreme positions. Some people will take it too far and they'll get into this elected officials face, disrespect their privacy, disrespect their families and think they are advancing a some kind of civic duty in providing a public service. They're not.

WHITFIELD: OK. So in June, there was a rally. Maxine Waters, you know, called on her constituents to push back on the Trump administration and to, "Tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere."

So, you know, Martin, what's -- how is that being deciphered if you are a public servant or even if you're a citizen?

O'MALLEY: Well, there's -- I mean, I certainly think that all of us have a responsibility here and think that there are some things that is the Trump administration has done that certainly call for us to stand up, speak out, boycott and we're going to necessary, you know, call out shame and ostracize. But I think there's ways to do that without becoming violent. And I think that's the line here.

I do believe that, you know, that there's goodness within our country that is longing to be called out and called forward in these midterms. And I think once we have the opportunity to go out and to vote, I believe that a lot of the anger in the air will start to dissipate.

I think you're going to see a huge turn out and I do believe that there's going to be a very strong year for course correction and a restoration of that spirit of moderation that's more typical of our American journey.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now. Martin O'Malley, Charlie Dent, good to see you both. Appreciate it.

DENT: Thank you, Fredricka.

O'MALLEY: Thanks Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, meantime, we're continuing our series, taking the polls of suburban women. A key voting block that could tip the scales come Election Day, 16 days from now. CNN's Ana Cabrera spoke to five women in Minnesota representing different political views and parties about the Me Too movement, President Trump's treatment of women, and the dramatic Supreme Court confirmation fight.


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It did seem that Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation process fired up both bases, both Republicans and Democrats. How did you all feel about how that went down?


MARY BATZEL, MINNESOTA SUBURBAN VOTER: I was so disheartened. And then things got better when they said they were going to investigate and then we found -- we learned that they only talked to nine people. And then -- and I'm in marketing. The message that came out that, "Oh, I'm sure she was assaulted, but it wasn't him." I was disheartened that at the end of the day, they really did call her a liar.

KRIS MINER, MINNESOTA SUBURBAN VOTER: The message needs to be truthful, it needs to be to the man that they'll be held accountable for these actions and so the women, you know, they'll be heard and that they'll be advocated for. And, you know, that's the opposite message we received when Kavanaugh was confirmed.

SCHAFF: I don't know that it was their intention to send out a message to say it's OK to harm someone. I think all of us agree that people should be heard and it should be investigated. I don't believe that they just threw it out and said, "OK, it's OK to have that behavior."

JENNA CARTER, MINNESOTA SUBURBAN VOTER: I think what was really frustrating is that if we were to say that we believe women, all accusations against -- every single accusation against him would have been investigated.

SCHAFF: Exactly.

CARTER: And only one of them was.

CABRERA: Does the Me Too movement factor into your vote?

BATZEL: Absolutely. For me, it absolutely does. CABRERA: I'm curious for those who are voting for Democrats if you're also voting for Keith Ellison, because he himself is facing his own accusations of domestic violence.


CABRERA: What about for you, Mary?

BATZEL: I am not voting for Keith Ellison and the reason is not necessarily his current issues. I think Keith Ellison is a little bit too far left of me.

MINER: I've struggled mightily in the voting booth whether I would vote for him or not. I voted early. In the end, I did vote for Keith Ellison because I feel there is too much at stake for us to take a representative who is going to do a good job in that office.

He himself had called for an investigation, which I think is admirable and I'd like to know the truth in that matter. I think it's so important that we take victims seriously and it's also important that we make sure that we don't have people being falsely accused.

CABRERA: On the issue of Me Too, the President has said he is concerned for young men in this country being falsely accused. As parents, a godmother, who are you more concerned for, your daughter or your son on this issue?


MINER: My daughter.

BATZEL: I have three sons and I'm not worried about my three sons.

[15:35:05] CARTER: There is a one in three chance that my daughter is going to be sexually harassed. There is a one in five chance that she's going to be raped and that is terrifying to me.

FRANK: You know, I send my little girl off into the world every day and -- I mean, that just kills me.

CABRERA: Just yesterday, the President is on the attack. He's on Twitter calling Stormy Daniels horseface. What's your reaction to that?

FRANK: It's completely inappropriate.

MINER: It's abominable.

BATZEL: It's absolutely unforgivable.

MINER: He's such a bully.

BATZEL: It's disgusting.

CARTER: Yes. It's -- I mean, it's bad when you can't even have public radio on in your car when your children are with you, because if they replay half of the thing that the President says, I have to explain to them what calling something a horseface means is or whatever else.

MINER: He's the leader of the free world and to put a man in that position of power, a man who's had a number of sexual claims filed against him, a man that routinely bullies and demeans women, that normalizes the bullying behavior.

CABRERA: Shirley, you've been quiet on this issue.

SCHAFF: I'm not making excuses for that because that's not my behavior, that's not my Twitter. I didn't call someone horseface. Just because I'm Republican doesn't mean that I am open to judge every single thing a politician does whether it's Trump or Paulson or my local representative that it's not encapsulating me.

CABRERA: Do you take that into consideration, though, as you're going into the voting booth?

SCHAFF: Absolutely not. No. Our number one job as a President is to keep this country safe and he has done a phenomenal job.

CABRERA: Do you feel this president respects women?

FRANK: Absolutely not.



CARTER: Absolutely not.

SCHAFF: Yes. I don't think he is trying to be disrespectful. I think he's -- that's just who he is. He's a downtown city construction Manhattan. He labeled people.

CABRERA: Can you have it both ways? Can you call somebody horseface, call another woman Miss Piggy, another woman a dog and --

BATZEL: I think it's very difficult to say --

SCHAFF: I don't agree with it. It's not me saying it.

BATZEL: It's difficult to say he represents me as president on these slots, but he doesn't represent me as president on these slots. And I just don't think you can have it both ways.

CARTER: It is feeding into the divisiveness in this country. It is tearing our country apart when we have a president that is putting out these sexist tweets. I think its unacceptable behavior. It's embarrassing and I don't actually think he's made our country safer.

FRANK: We've chosen one guy, one guy to stand for who we are as the United States. As you mentioned, we are a united group of people and we need to stand behind this. It should be, you know, the apex of morals and the person that stands for us. And, you know, my children would be in time out if they called people those names. So why do we allow this from the President? It's appalling.


WHITFIELD: All right, thanks to the ladies there talking to our Ana Cabrera.

And don't forget to join us tonight as Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis we're off in the Florida governor's debate moderated by our own Jake Tapper. It starts right here on CNN tonight at 8:00 Eastern Time. We'll be right back.


[15:42:50] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. President Trump now casting doubt on Saudi Arabia's story about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In an interview with "The Washington Post," the President now says, I'm quoting now, "Obviously, there's been deception and there's been lies."

But in that same interview, he praised the monarchy as an incredible ally and when asked about whether the crown prince may have ordered the killing of Khashoggi, Trump says, I'm quoting now, "Nobody has told me he is responsible. Nobody has told me he's not responsible. We haven't reached that point. I would love if he wasn't responsible."

Today, Saudi Arabia called the killing a tremendous mistake, blaming a rogue operation.


ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER: The crown prince has denied this. The crown prince is not aware of this. Even the senior leadership of intelligence service was not aware of this. This was an operation that was a rogue operation. This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had. They made the mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it.


WHITFIELD: All right, for the latest, let's go to CNN's Ben Wedeman in Istanbul. So, Ben, you know, how was this latest explanation from the Saudis blaming a rogue operation play, you know, in Turkey and for the foreign minister to really talk about or underscoring how, you know, this operation may have exceeded authority.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Turkish officials on the record are not commenting at the moment about this case. But we go -- do know that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday is going to be holding a ruling party conference where he has said he is going to reveal the naked truth, that they're going to uncover all the details that they've collected on this particular case. So certainly stay tuned for that one.

But if we look at the interview of Adel Al-Jubeir with Fox News, certainly it raises questions. In the interview he said we don't know the details of what happened, but that came less than 48 hours after a statement issued at 1:00 a.m. yesterday by the Saudi government explaining that he was killed, suffocated as a result of an altercation inside the consulate on the 2nd of October.

[15:45:12] He also said during that interview they don't know where the body is, even though a source inside the royal palace in Riyadh told CNN's Clarissa Ward that the body was handed over to what they describe as a local collaborator. Now, could that local collaborator be a Turkish employee of the embassy?

We do know that tomorrow, more of those employees are going to be questions by the Turkish prosecutor. But by and large, every statement that the Saudis put out, an interview by the Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, a report from Reuters quoting a Saudi -- a senior Saudi official in Riyadh today, all of them seem to raise more questions than provide any answers. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: Yes, instead of becoming more believable, everything that's being said starts to sound even more unbelievable because they're -- it's just not making sense. All right, Ben Wedeman, thank you so much.

All right, coming up, hundreds of people in the migrant caravan are now seeking asylum in Mexico, but thousands more are returning to Honduras. We'll get an update from the ground, next.


[15:50:51] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. President Trump is vowing to stop migrants south of the border from entering the U.S. and blasted the courts in the process. The President just tweeting this saying, "Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught o f illegal aliens from crossing our southern border. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first and if they failed to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable."

Well, these as thousands of migrants are pushing their way north through Mexico, many from Honduras. Take a look at this video showing the sea of people moving along a Mexican highway. You're about to see right there.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is with migrants and near the Mexico City of Tapachula. So, Patrick, you know, looking at the stream of people behind you, are most of these people, you know, taking this journey on a regular basis because they're, you know, looking for seasonal jobs or are many of them making this journey for the very first time to cross the border?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're making the journey because say there's nothing for them back home. The economy is collapsed in places like Honduras that it's become (INAUDIBLE), that they've been threatened by gangs or that they have young children that they want to have -- those children to have a better life than they have had.

You just see the stream of people coming behind me. It's been like this all day long. Of course, it started out this morning pretty much on the border with Guatemala. And like a marathon, everyone started up at the same time. And now they're only about a mile away from where they're going to sleep tonight.

It is thinned out a lot because people are walking in different paces, and now you see some of the people are stragglers, are limping, they are -- have stopped to eat, or because they've not been feeling well, or because they're just very tired. It's been an exhausting day for them, but it's the first of many if they expect to get to the United States.

We've seen Mexican police throughout the day here, sometimes with a lot of riot gear on, very heavily armed but they have not stopped any of these migrants, at least that we have seen. There are so many people on the road heading north now. It just seems impossible, at least for the moment, for anyone to do anything about it.

WHITFIELD: And then when looking at the makeup, you know, of people who are walking by you, Patrick, are they mostly men, mostly women, children?

OPPMANN: You see families, you see single men, young men, who say they want to go and find work in the United States. I've seen children who've been separated from their parents, which is just heartbreaking because in a situation like this where people are pushing and sometimes they're split off and families that have been separated along the way, so it's very chaotic. There's nothing organized about this at all.

People don't even know where they're heading tomorrow. It's really very much invented. But when you talk about to them about what President Trump has said about this group, they say, [foreign language]. "We're workers, we are not criminals." They say they want to go to the U.S. to find an economic opportunity, that they love their home country but that things have gotten so bad there that they have to go and find another place to live, that they have no choice and certainly no one would want to make this journey.

It is exhausting. We march with them, walk with them for several hours today and it is absolutely blisteringly hot here. I would want to turn around if I were them any number of times. They say though, Fred, that they've just have no choice, they have to continue forward.

WHITFIELD: All right, Patrick Oppmann, thank you so much.

All right, coming up, Florida is in full focus with the midterms now just 16 days away. Are Democrats taking advantage in the critical swing state? And up next, a look at the newly released CNN polls as we gear up for a crucial debate between gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum tonight on CNN.


[15:58:57] WHITFIELD: All right, coming up in a brand-new episode of the CNN Original Series, "This is Life with Lisa Ling," Lisa meets with the hidden victims of violent crimes, children whose parents are responsible for infamous killings. Here's a preview.


LISA LING, "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" HOST (voice-over): Tonight, we're meeting two children of notorious killers.

(on camera) Your father was responsible for so much carnage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spent so much of my life wondering why he chose the path he did.

LING (voice-over): What's it like to be the child of a murderer?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just unimaginable to go from thinking that your father's prince charming, to realizing he's the boogeyman. And the boogeyman is real.

LING: And what, if anything, can they tell us about what motivated their fathers to kill?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't put together how a loving father could also be capable of such terrible things.


WHITFIELD: The all new episode of "This is Life with Lisa Ling" airs tonight, 10:00 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.

Hello again and thanks so much for joining me this Sunday, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. All right, it's the final push to the midterms. We're just 16 days --