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CNN NEWSROOM

Was Khashoggi's Body Dissolved in Acid by Saudis; Oprah and Pence Face Off on Stump in Close Georgia Race; First Medical Marijuana Drug Comes to the Market. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 1, 2018 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00] DANIEL KELLY, FORMER LAWYER FOR INMATE ACCUSED OF KILLING BULGER: It really defies logic. Someone who was not just an informant but a fairly notorious one for such a long, long time was bound to have enemies probably anywhere, in any facility in the country. The idea that they could put him in such a violent environment and that he would be able to make, it's pretty unusual they would think that. As it turns out, he made it only a couple of hours.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Sounds like a lot of questions for the prison system. Daniel Kelly, thank you very much.

Coming up next here, the investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turns up new details. Reports suggesting, he was strangled and may have had his body dissolved in acid. We will take you to Turkey live in moments.

[15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: New horrific details about what may have happened to "Washington Post" journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey last month. His body has still not been found. But the Post is reporting that Turkish officials believe Khashoggi's body may have been dissolved in acid after he was first strangled and then dismembered.

Saudi officials have changed their story several times about what happened to him, only recently acknowledging Turkish evidence that concludes the journalist killing was premeditated. Jomana Karadsheh is with us now in Istanbul. And Jomana, what are you hearing about what happened?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well you know, Brooke, over the past few weeks we've been really trying to piece together what happened. And this has really been based on the drip feed of leaks we've been getting from Turkish officials here. You've had the shifting Saudi narrative as you mentioned. But for the first time the chief prosecutor for Istanbul who is leading the criminal investigation into the killing of Khashoggi came out with a statement, the most detailed account of what they believe took place inside the consulate on October the 2nd.

Again, as you mentioned, they say that this was a premeditated act, something we've heard from Turkish officials. They're saying that almost immediately after Khashoggi entered the building, that he was strangled to death, his body then dismembered and destroyed.

Now "The Washington Post" speaking to a senior Turkish official reporting that one theory the Turkish authorities are pursuing is the possibility that acid may have been used to dispose, to destroy his body, either here at the consulate or at the nearby counsel general's residence. They say that biological evidence that was collected from the garden of the consulate supports this theory.

We've been speaking to a number of Turkish officials and they say that this is one of a number of theories that they're looking at, and that is why they are really pressing the Saudis for answers. They are quite frustrated at this point with what they're saying is this lack of cooperation from the Saudis. They say they've put forward, Brooke, these pretty straight forward questions of where are the remains of Khashoggi and who ordered the killing? Who dispatched that hit squad that carried out the killing? And they're not getting the answers. The chief prosecutor for Saudi Arabia was here for three days, and Turkey was hoping they're going to get answers from him. They did not. One senior Turkish official is telling us that it seemed to them that the Saudis were not really interested in cooperating. It seemed like they were more keen on finding out what evidence Turkey has -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: I cannot imagine what this family is going through. They just want their father's body. Jomana Karadsheh in Istanbul. Jomana, thank you.

Meantime, here at home, two huge events we're waiting for. Five days to go until the midterms. First, the vice President and Orpah getting ready to face off in Georgia in the nail biter race for governor. Plus, the President making an announcement regarding immigration today as he unleashes ploy after ploy to rev up his voters. Stand by.

[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: The two main candidates vying to become Georgia's next governor relying on huge names, major star power today to help push them over the finish line. You have vice President Mike Pence, he's in Augusta, Georgia, getting ready to headline a second rally today for Republican Brian Kemp. And in the Atlanta area Orpah Winfrey has been campaigning for Democrat Stacey Abrams, who hopes to become the nation's first black female governor.

And I had a chance to go to Stacey Abrams' home in Atlanta back in June as part of my digital series "AMERICAN WOMEN IN POLITICS". And we started with one of the biggest criticisms really from Republicans, from her opponent, her debt.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: You talk about owing $50,000 in back taxes, $170,000 in credit card and student loan debt. That's $200,000 roughly. Your critics would say, my gosh, she wants to run the state of Georgia's economy and she can't control her own personal finances. To them you would say? STACY ABRAMS, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GEORGIA GOVERNOR: I am

responsible for my parents, for my niece and for my grandmother. Having grown up in dire straits, I understand how important it is to have a leader who can make the choices to make sure everything gets taken care of. What drives me is that I think that poverty is immoral I think it is economically inefficient and I think it's solvable. And I think no matter what space you stand in to tackle those challenges, the opportunity to make things better is always there.

BRIAN KEMP, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GEORGIA GOVERNOR: I'm Brian Kemp. I'm so conservative I blow up government spending.

BALDWIN: Your opponent --

KEMP: I own guns that no one's taking away.

BALDWIN: White Republican male. I saw ads talking about big trucks, deporting undocumented immigrants, chain saws ready to rip up regulations. Is Georgia ready for you?

ABRAMS: Absolutely. I come to this race understanding that our diversity is a strength. And, no, I am not like what has preceded me, I look very different. But that difference is about my experiences, and my sympathy and empathy for the communities who need a voice.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[15:45:00] BALDWIN: Oprah today, former President Barack Obama tomorrow, campaigning in Georgia for Stacey Abrams. And Kemp will campaign alongside President Trump this weekend. But in order to do that Kemp just backed out of Georgia's final governor's debate. With me now, Laura Bassett, she's a senior politics reporter for the Huffington Post. She was been covering this contentious and fascinating race. So, good to see you.

LAURA BASSETT, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER, HUFFINGTON POST: Good to see you.

BALDWIN: But the fact that Kemp bailed on this debate. It had been on the books for six weeks to fully embrace the President, who has his own star power. What do you think that was really about?

BASSETT: I think he didn't want to debate Stacey again because I don't think it would have been good for his campaign. He knows that he's under a lot of fire for his voter suppression efforts, multiple lawsuits, facing multiple lawsuits. And he didn't want to answer those questions. It's much better for him to stand up next to Trump and be that caricature of the southern white boy, the Trump voter, that he thinks might galvanize white voters in Georgia. Which is really what he needs to combat this massive voter turnout that Stacy is turning up.

BALDWIN: What do you think of -- I'm from Atlanta, born and raised. And to see Orpah in Marietta, Georgia campaigning for the woman who would be the first black female governor, never would have thought that would have happened 20 years ago, ten years ago. What do you make of this today?

BASSETT: I think it wild. Of course, it's significant that Orpah has come down to Georgia and that Trump and Pence have come to Georgia. Obviously, they're all scared. They know that the polls are razor thin. It's an absolutely historic race. I think what's more significant than Orpah is the ground game for Stacey is made up of poor women. It's made up of working class, urban women, domestic workers, women of color, more than 300 of them knocking on doors across Georgia to turn out people of color for Stacey. And so, sure I think maybe Orpah will lend star power to this, but we should also focus on the women who clean houses all day and then at night go and knock on doors for this woman. There inspired like they never have been.

BALDWIN: You wrote a whole piece on that.

BASSETT: Yes.

BALDWIN: I want to home in on that, because it reminded me I also took a trip down to Alabama to focus on all these black women who are running for office, this historic number of black women. In doing so, I went because they were so inspired by the win of the first Democrat Senator in Alabama in over two decades and who brought that win home, black women. And you see how they showed up then for that special election? It just makes you wonder.

BASSETT: Black women are an organizing force. I mean they are delivering elections right now for the Democrats. And they've always been really powerful since the 60s, since before that. Organizing in churches, having lunches, this is a very strong community of women. They're fierce. I spent some time with them in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. And they do not take a night off. Maybe they take Sunday off. But I saw them knocking on doors of houses that had confederate flags in the yard. I saw white people try to intimidate them with dogs in the backseat, taking photos of their license plates and these women just were not fazed. They handed out literature. They said we're domestic workers and we're here to let you know about a very strong candidate of color.

I think what people don't realize is that Georgia had Democratic governors up until 2002. And the reason it flipped to a red state, or one of the main reasons, is the controversy over taking the confederate flag out of the state flag. So, these racial tensions have long existed in Georgia and I think have really made the difference in terms of whether it's a red or a blue state. So, the idea that a black woman could win in a state like Georgia right is really exciting and phenomenal.

BALDWIN: It's extraordinary, as you mentioned, Obama and Trump will both be there tomorrow and over the weekend. Laura, thank you so much.

BASSETT: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Laura Bassett, nice to see you. Coming up next here, it's a first for the FDA, the agency has just

approved the first medical marijuana drug to come to market, and it could be life-changing for some patients. Sanjay Gupta joins me live.

But, first, let's take a moment for a segment we call mighty millennials. It highlights a new generation of political candidates and this year an unprecedented number of millennials is running in state legislative races. According to Axios it's about 700 in total. Most are Democrats like 33-year-old Emily Randall, the first in her family to graduate college. Randall is running for state senate in Washington's 26th district after working in healthcare for a decade.

But over in Washington's 28th district, a 29-year-old Latina has become a rising Republican star. She is Maya Espinosa. She is an elementary school and music teacher and small business owner, and four years ago she founded the Center for Latina Leadership to provide an avenue for Latina voices so that they can be heard in state government. Mighty millennials. We'll be right back.

[15:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Now to some big medical news. The first prescription drug made from marijuana is now available. As of today, in all 50 states. This drug is approved to treat two types of severe epilepsy that begin in early childhood, and CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been following the development of this drug for years and the families who have waited for it to become available.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In 2013, I first realized the possibility of marijuana as a medicine when I met Charlotte and her mother, Paige.

PAIGE FIGI, CHARLOTTE'S MOTHER: It's OK, baby.

GUPTA: This is Charlotte in the throes of a seizure. Nothing made them stop, until they tried CBD, a compound found in cannabis.

[15:55:02] FIGI: I measured it with a syringe and squirted it under her tongue. She didn't have a seizure that day. And then she didn't have a seizure that night. I just thought, this is insane.

GUPTA: It worked for Charlotte, and so many other children. But at the time parents were forced to concoct the medicine in their kitchen sinks, unsure of the dosing or the purity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So, we just add more oil then or we add more weed?

GUPTA: Good parents who would do anything to try and help their children.

Like John and Donna. Their daughter, Jonna, named after both of them, also had unstoppable seizures since she was a year old.

DONNA CORNETT, JONNA'S MOTHER: They did not give us a lot of hope, you know, for her future.

GUPTA: At one point, doctors even told them to start looking for hospice care.

CORNETT: We wound up moving over her neurological care over to NYU because they were doing the cannabis oil study at the time and we wanted to participate in that.

GUPTA: That cannabis oil study was the beginning of the Epidiolex trial for treatment resistant epilepsy. Dr. Orrin Devinsky oversaw the trial at NYU.

DR. ORRIN DEVINSKY, NYU COMPREHENSIVE EPILEPSY CENTER: Some of these kids right now, who just, their lives were completely transformed. They went from having hundreds of small seizures a day, kind of sitting in a wheelchair slumped over with almost no interaction with the environment, to being seizure free. Their lives were transformed.

DEREK BURGESS, JONNA'S FATHER: From the first time we had an EEG recording Jonna, that showed she was having over 100 seizures a day. The last EEG we did with NYU showed one seizure over a 24-hour period.

GUPTA: Dr. Devinsky will be the first to tell you Epidiolex is not a miracle drug. Far from it. While some have had dramatic improvements, others had no improvement at all. And there is the pesky fact that cannabis is still considered an illegal substance by the United States government.

JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental.

GUPTA: In fact, the company making Epidiolex is not based in the United States, but in the U.K.

GUPTA (on camera): Wow! This is pretty spectacular.

GUPTA (voice over): Dr. Geoffrey Guy is the founder and chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Epidiolex. I visited their labs outside London. This is where they turn the plant into a medicine.

DR. GEOFFREY GUY, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, GW PHARMACEUTICALS: We're able to say what each individual (INAUDIBLE) does. We can then breed into the plant that materials that will provide us with a range of beneficial effects.

GUPTA: The price tag for all that, $32,500 a year. So far Jonna has been receiving the medication through a clinical trial. Her parents hope insurance will cover the cost going forward.

CORNETT: I think everything who has a child with significant medical needs is always hoping for a miracle. But in lieu of that, I think we just want her to keep, you know, moving and making steady progress, as she has been.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Sanjay, I mean, this is a huge deal.

GUPTA: No question. I mean, look, five years ago people wouldn't have imagined we'd be at this point now where you have an FDA-approved drug. And what's so interesting, Brooke, is typically the science comes first, right, and then the cultural changes, the social changes, legal changes. Here this was all driven by, you know, mainly concerned parents who said not only does this stuff seem to work, it's the only thing that works, and, you know, we need to do something about it. So, five years later you have this day.

BALDWIN: It doesn't come cheap. Now that it's FDA-approved and available by prescription what, options do families have to get this covered?

GUPTA: It's really expensive. And, I mean, it's outrageous in terms of how prohibitively expensive it's going to be. We talked to the pharmaceutical company about this. They say, look, we're going to create a situation where anyone who needs it will be able to get it. They'll provide assistance. But that's a problem and, you know, maybe as more people use this and other indications for this come about, the price will come down. But that's a big barrier still. Along with the fact that CBD is still considered illegal in this country so you have this balance that still needs to be figured out.

BALDWIN: 30 seconds. Are there more marijuana drugs on the horizon?

GUPTA: The pharmaceutical company GW, again, says that there are. They are coming up with other formulations and indications, diseases that they think that they can treat. You also have, you know, people who have been working in the CBD world for a long time outside of pharma, more on the supplemental side. Who've also been doing their own research like Charlotte's Web that you saw there.

BALDWIN: Sure. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a pleasure to see you sir.

GUPTA: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you very much and thanks for become me. I'm Brooke Baldwin here in New York. Let's go to Washington. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.