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Maryland Challenges Trump's Whitaker Appointment as Unlawful; Incoming Oversight Democrats Will Investigate Trump, Including Hush Money Payments, Making Obamacare Unstable; Norton Holmes: Trying to Impeach Trump Would be "Thankless," "Waste of Energy"; Barrage of Rockets Launched from Gaza into Israel; NYT: Audio Recording May Link MbS to Khashoggi Murder; Source: Boeing Withheld Info on Plane Model Involved in Crash; Trump's Caravan "Emergency" Simmers after Midterms; Matt Lewis to Trump: Ditch Pence for 2020, Add Nikki Haley. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired November 13, 2018 - 13:30   ET


[13:30:00] ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, (D), DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: All of that is going to be grist for the mill to at least two or three Oversight Committees, and especially my committee, Oversight and Government Reform.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: That's not the only thing that Democrats say they want to look at. When we listen to your fellow Democrats, they are talking about investigating the president on, for instance, hostility to the Mueller investigation, these hush money payments that were made with his knowledge and input to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. What should get the first look? What is the most egregious or the biggest priority?

HOLMES NORTON: If you were looking at what you get the first look, it seems to me, frankly, it wouldn't even be oversight notion. Because there are so many. It would probably be stabilizing the ACA, the Affordable Health Care Act. The reason I say that -- and by the way, we have to look at that as a matter of oversight. The reason I say that --


KEILAR: For the committee, you think the ACA should be the priority. More narrowly, if the Oversight Committee were to look at something, what is the priority?

HOLMES NORTON: If the Oversight Committee were to look at something, we would have to look at what the president means to do with respect to this appointee. We couldn't avoid it.

KEILAR: To Whitaker.

HOLMES NORTON: Whitaker would have to come first. But I caution and I think we understand that we have got to try to legislate at the same time. The reason I mentioned the ACA is we saved it. They tried their best to kill it. They even ran on preexisting conditions near the end. KEILAR: Well --

HOLMES NORTON: So why can't we legislate and do oversight at the same time? If all we do is oversight, we will be punished for that.

KEILAR: True. It might be a thankless job trying to legislate with a Republican Senate, for sure.

HOLMES NORTON: That's why I mentioned the ACA.


HOLMES NORTON: They were running on this issue. So let's try to fix the ACA.

KEILAR: On oversight, do you think the Democrats should file articles of impeachment. Do you see a path where it goes in that direction?

HOLMES NORTON: I have been in the House when the House was Democratic before and the Senate is Republican. The first thing I ask myself when I file a bill is, can I get it through the Senate, or am I making a point for my constituents? Why would we go down the impeachment road when we can't get it through the Senate? And the Senate impeaches, does the real impeaching. We don't indict, as it were. What a thankless, useless waste of energy that would be.

KEILAR: You are not saying there are not impeachable offenses. You're saying it's a pointless, futile act?


HOLMES NORTON: This is what I'm saying is. I'm saying let Mueller do his job. When he tells me there are impeachable offenses, I have to consider whether or not the Senate is ready to convict. That's what they would have to do. We would only indict.

KEILAR: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, thank you so much. I really appreciate you being here.

HOLMES NORTON: Always a pleasure.

KEILAR: A Boeing jet falls from the sky and now questions over whether the deadly crash could have been easily avoided.

Plus, Monica Lewinsky getting candid in an emotional new interview. Hear why she is speaking out about the Clinton scandal.

And we are just getting in new live pictures of a fire that has just erupted in California as 44 are now confirmed dead in the state.


[13:38:09] KEILAR: There are growing fears that Israel may once again be on the brink of war with Palestinian militants in Gaza. Hundreds of rockets and mortars have been raining down on both sides of the Israeli/Gaza border in the most intense exchange since the war back in 2014. There have been casualties on both sides. Escalation of violence began after a secret Israeli mission failed and ended up in a bloody gun fight.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is in Israel, joining us now.

What do we know about the word of a new ceasefire?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are statements coming from Gaza, Brianna, from the Joint Operations Room, which is the spokespeople for the Palestinian militants in Gaza, saying they reached a ceasefire brokered between the Egyptians, between Israel and Gaza. That took place about 4:45 p.m. local time so just a couple of hours ago. It seems the ceasefire has held. And this is the longest period without rocket fire and without Israeli air strikes.

Israel has denied knowledge of a ceasefire. And yet, in looking around, it seems to have held. That brings to an end the most violent 24 hours we've seen since the end of the 2014 war. Israel said more than 400 rockets fired over the course of the last 24 hours, one killed in those rockets, as well as seven Palestinians killed, according to the Ministry of Health, in the more than 150 air strikes in Gaza over the last 24 hours.

Brianna, the obvious question, will the ceasefire hold?

KEILAR: We will watch with you.

Oren Liebermann, thank you so much, from Israel.

Now to Turkey where there appears to be new evidence linking the murder of Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The "New York Times" is reporting that a recording shows a member of the team sent to Turkey to kill Khashoggi can be heard on the phone afterwards saying, "Tell your boss." "The Times" says intelligence officials said the reference is to the crown prince.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in Istanbul.

What can you tell us?

[13:40:05] JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, as you mentioned, the reporting from the "New York Times." And we have spoken to three people familiar with the audio recording of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi that Turkish authorities have. They say, in this reporting is captured a phone call by one of the 15 members of this hit squad. We know, based on his name, CNN has reported on him extensively in the past. He's a member of the inner circle of the crown prince. He makes a phone call to his superior, in which he said, quote, "Tell your boss," something like the deed is done. They don't specifically mention the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman. But as you mention there, intelligence officials in the United States believe that is a reference to the crown prince, something we've heard from U.S. officials in the past saying that something like this that involved members of the inner circle could not have taken place without his knowledge. It's not irrefutable evidence, but some in the intelligence community believe this is as close it gets to a smoking gun linking him to the killing -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Jomana Karadsheh for us, in Istanbul, thank you.

A pilot's group told CNN that Boeing withheld information about potential hazards on the model of the plane involved in last month's Lion air crash. The "Wall Street Journal" first reported that Boeing was aware of problems with new flight control features, and those features may have played a role when the Lion air flight crashed off of Indonesia, killing everyone on board.

I want to bring in aviation and government regulation correspondent, Rene Marsh, here with me.

This is so sad, the idea that maybe this could have been preventable if more information had been shared.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Right. That's the bottom line. I spoke with the Allied Pilots Association, a labor union representing several pilots, and they say they were not told about the potentially dangerous feature, especially on the 737 Max Eight and Max Nine. These are high-tech new aircraft by Boeing. This new feature with the flight control system is supposed to help the pilot avoid stalling the plane. In other words, preventing the pilot from raising the nose of the plane too high. What the system does and what the pilots say they didn't know is that the plane's system could actually automatically push the plane's nose down in such an unexpected drastic way that the pilots can't recover from it.

The spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, who is an American Airlines pilot, said the plane is safe, but the problem and the danger comes in when the pilots do not know how the system works. Boeing is saying they are still investigating and that the plane is safe.

One last thing. This affects 246 planes worldwide, 45 of them right here in the United States.

KEILAR: It makes you wonder if that's why the information was not shared. It's important to share that information.

Rene Marsh, thank you so much.

MARSH: You're welcome.

KEILAR: It was called a national emergency, an invasion of America's lands by gangsters, terrorists and thugs and also maybe a political stunt. Up next, a reality check on the caravan.

Plus, Vice President Nikki Haley? My next guest says the president should dump Mike Pence in 2020. He'll make his case after the break.


[13:47:48] KEILAR: Reality in 2018 is often blurry, especially here in Washington. Let's clear some things up on the scary caravan talk we heard ahead of the midterms. Just seven days ago, as voters headed to the polls, the president, along with his favorite TV network, were beating the drum on the looming so-called "invasion" heading to the U.S. in the form of a caravan of migrants coming from south of the border.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At this very moment, large well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border. Some people call it an invasion. It's like an invasion.

That's an invasion. I don't care what they say. That's an invasion of our country.


TRUMP: Last week, I called up the United States military. We are not playing games, folks.


TRUMP: Because you look at what's marching up, that's an invasion. That's not -- that's an invasion.

When you look at that bridge loaded up with people, that's called an invasion of our country.


KEILAR: So here's what happened. The president billed it as a national emergency so urgent that he sent thousands of troops to the border to put up razor wire, troops who do not have the authority to detain undocumented immigrants, despite the inconvenient fact that this caravan was hundreds and hundreds of miles away. Still is. And also, the inconvenient fact that there's no evidence that this caravan included gangsters, thugs, criminals or, quote, "unknown Middle Easterners," as the president claimed. Critics called all of this a political stunt.

So was it? Let's take a look at the numbers. In the week leading up to the election, FOX News mentioned the caravan 733 times. In the week after, up until yesterday, FOX News mentioned "caravan" just 126 times.

As for the president, in the weeks leading up to the election, he tweeted about immigration and the caravan nearly 25 times. Since the election, once.

More numbers for you. There are currently 5800 American troops on the border, many of whom will miss Thanksgiving with their families while the president likely dines with his in Mar-a-Lago. And the caravan is 2800 miles from the border.

So after all of this, it seems we have gotten the all-clear, the emergency is over and the solution to the caravan invasion all along was not the troops or walls. It was apparently just getting past the midterm elections.

Now that the midterms have come and gone, except in Florida, of course, we can start looking ahead to 2020. But for President Trump, the 2020 ticket seemed like an afterthought during his post-Election- Day press conference.


[13:50:24] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You know the Democrats are already looking ahead to 2020. Do you want to lock down your ticket now, sir? Will your vice president be your running mate in 2020?

TRUMP: Well, I haven't asked him but I hope so.

Where are you?

Mike, will you be my running mate? Stand up, Mike, and raise your right hand, please. No.


Will you?

Thank you. OK, good.


TRUMP: The answer is yes.


KEILAR: Here with me now, we have CNN senior political reporter, Nia Malika Henderson. We have Matt Lewis, CNN political commentator and senior columnist for "The Daily Beast."

You, in your new op-ed for "The Daily Beast," you have one big 2020 suggestion for President Trump, and it's to ditch that guy that we saw him saying yes to just a few days ago, dump Mike Pence, put Nikki Haley on the ticket. Why?

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, the fact that Donald Trump said, "Will you be on the ticket with me," doesn't persuade me it's going to happen. In fact, it made me think, well, maybe he actually he will get rid of Mike Pence --


KEILAR: Really?

LEWIS: Yes. Donald Trump says something one day and he's been known to change his mind from time to time.

KEILAR: Yes, he has.

LEWIS: But, look, I think it makes sense. The midterms ended up -- when the polls closed, it looked like a pretty good night for Republicans. Every day, it looks worse and worse. What do you do to fix that, if you want to be reelected? There were two major problems. You've got the Rustbelt. Delivered Donald Trump the presidency in 2016, did not go well on Tuesday night. And then you've got the suburban women problem, which has been a problem with Donald Trump. I don't know how you fix it. But one of the ways -- because, look, Donald Trump is not going to change his character, he's not going to tone down his rhetoric, he's not going to pivot, he's not going to triangulate. That's what normal presidents would do. What could he do? What tool is left at his disposal?


LEWIS: It's changing out and bringing someone like -- I would say, someone like Nikki Haley would be the best option to --

KEILAR: It seems like crazy talk in other administration.


KEILAR: But, you know, a lot of things are in the realm of possibility when you talk about Donald Trump.

Mike Pence, Nia, gave Donald Trump some conservative street cred. Aren't some folks going to miss Mike Pence if he's gone?

NIA MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: Totally. You think about white evangelicals. One of the reasons they're so on board with this president is because of Mike Pence.

One of the problems with your theory, even though I think it's creative -- I read your piece -- is that it's sort have been tried before. McCain tried that with Palin. In 2011, there were discussions about whether or not Obama should dump Biden and put Hillary Clinton on the ticket. There were all sorts of focus groups. They decided it was not worth the trouble. Did really add anything to his reelection.

But listen, Donald Trump loves the drama. This would be sort of an ongoing reality show about Mike Pence.

LEWIS: You can imagine him auditions people --


LEWIS: -- floating the idea. Mike's been great but, you know.

HENDERSON: Yes, but, you know.


KEILAR: Making him sweat a little bit.


KEILAR: I wonder what you guys are prognosticating as you look ahead. In your op-ed, you list Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown as a good choice for Democrats. Our Chris Cillizza has California Senator Kamala Harris at the top of his list.

Both of you, give me a couple who you think are good picks to watch for 2020.

HENDERSON: One of the picks I've been saying, and people are like really? I think Bob Casey. He's this kind of bland Midwesterner. Democrats need to pick up Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. Maybe bland compared to the very non-bland and exciting and controversial and all-over-the-place choice Donald Trump will be, maybe you go in the opposite direction with somebody like Bob Casey.

KEILAR: It would be a choice then.

What do you think?

LEWIS: I agree that we always vote for the opposite of the guy. But I think there's different ways you could be opposite of Donald Trump. In the 21st century, I can't imagine saying I want the more boring candidate. Someone different, someone more serious. So I think -- this will also sound crazy. But again we live in interesting times. I think Beto O'Rourke would be a better candidate than most of the people running. Because it's a change. He's the opposite of Trump, but it's a generational change. Trump is a bridge to the past, I'm a bridge to the future. I think Beto O'Rourke could win over some of those suburban moms. I think he probably could play pretty well -- who knows what he even does in Texas.

KEILAR: I'm going with Oprah still.


LEWIS: She's obviously --


[13:55:57] KEILAR: Nia, Matt Lewis, appreciate it. Thank you so much to both of you.

The trial of world-renowned escape artist and drug lord, El Chapo, is starting today in New York. Officials are calling it the most high- risk hearing the city has seen in decades.


[14:00:05] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for joining me on this Tuesday afternoon.