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CNN NEWSROOM

Death Toll Rises to 50 in California Wildfires; Red Cross's Safe and Well Program Helps Loved Ones Find Fire Survivors; Trump Reportedly Berated British Prime Minister Theresa May in Call; CIA's "Project Medicine" Explored Use of Truth Serum for High-Level Prisoners after 9/11; First Lady Says White House Aide "No Longer Deserves" to Work in White House. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 14, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


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[14:30:23] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The death toll in the California wildfires has now climbed to 50. Firefighters are slowly but surely making progress on these two monster fires ravaging both ends of the state. Southern California's Woolsey Fire about 47 percent contained and the state's deadliest and most destructive fire, the Camp Fire, is now 35 percent contained.

And then there's this. A Los Angeles area woman, who raced to Malibu to save her horses, was overwhelmed by the fast-moving flames. She told KABC that she was forced to jump into her car and get out as fast as she could.

I'm going to play this for you. You can hear her pleas for help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REBECCA HACKETT, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: Oh, my God, oh, my God. Please, God. Please, God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God, please leave the horses safe. Please, God, please. I'm looking at this -- oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Please, good, please. Oh my God. Oh, my God, please let me out of here. Please, God, please let me out of here. Please, God. Oh my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! What am I doing? Oh, my God! Oh, my God, please help me. Please let me out. I'm in serious danger. Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

(CAR HORN)

HACKETT: Help me. Oh, my God, what do I do?

I just thought maybe I was going to die. I just thought, I can't turn around, I have to keep going.

That's all I could think, I just have to keep driving because if I don't, nobody is going to come in here and save me.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: Rebecca says she drove through those flames for about two minutes and, miraculously, she told our affiliate that she managed to save 48 horses.

People in Malibu are not only concerned about escaping these fires. They're worried about finding missing loved ones, neighbors. Of course, they're worried about thieves. Look at this Instagram post from the singer, Pink, her husband. Shows this group of men behind a sign that reads, "Looters will be shot on sight." The Harts own a home in Malibu and had to evacuate.

Meantime, the Red cross is actively trying to reunite separated family. They set up a public Web site called Safe and Well, designed to help families communicate with each other and let others know you're safe.

With me now, Dan Halyburton, with the American Red Cross.

Dan, a lot of people don't know where their loved ones are. Cell towers are down, homes are gone. They're taking names and scribbling them on sides of shelters. How are you helping?

DAN HALYBURTON, PUBLIC AFFAIRS VOLUNTEER, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Well, the Red Cross is working so hard to connect to that. I've talked to so many people and the stories are repeated much like the one you just talked about, escaping flames, separated from their loved ones. Some reunited right here at this shelter, an elderly couple that found their way down the mountain and were here at are Red Cross shelter. Our safe shelter is up and running. We've had 65,000 searches. Inside the shelters, you'll still see signs with pictures of loved ones. There are so many things to do here. Certainly, sheltering people, taking good care of them, making sure they're fed but you job one is helping people find their loved ones.

[14:35:04] BALDWIN: What do you want to get out for people who are looking for their folks. How can people locate loved ones?

HALYBURTON: The Safe and Well Program really lets us get to know which of the people that are being evidence is for and make sure not only are we looking for them but at the same time we're protecting people's privacy. We're very aware of that. We want to be careful about how we move forward on that. We're doing that. Safeandwell.org. You can go to redcross.org and find it there as well. We really encourage people to use that system. It's been working well. A lot of people are going there.

BALDWIN: Can you tell me one story of a family member you were able to connect with a lost loved one?

HALYBURTON: Yes, the couple I mentioned. I spent a lot of time with them. They came down the mountain separately. They drove through flames and fire. In that case it was just good fortune they both happened to be directed to the same shelter in Gridley, California. I saw another couple come together, a man that was staying here at the shelter, the family found out that he was here and they came by to pick him up. There was a very emotional embrace, really wonderful scene as those -- a brother and sister came together. So fortunately we're seeing it every day and we're working to try to make that happen as often as we can.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness for the American Red Cross and its Safe and Well Program.

Thank you very much, Dan. Appreciate all that you do.

HALYBURTON: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, sleepless nights, rainy days, angry rants. New details emerging about President Trump's overseas visit to Paris. Including why this president reportedly berated Prime Minister Theresa May after she called to congratulate him. The prime's former communications director joins me next.

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[14:41:05] BALDWIN: President Trump reportedly berating the female leader of America's closest ally, British Prime Minister Theresa May, who was calling President Trump to congratulate him on the Republican Party's midterm election wins. The "Washington Post" is reporting the president took issue with the prime minister on a multitude of topics, Iran, trade, Brexit. This happening during President Trump's trip overseas. As he traveled to Paris on Air Force One last weekend, sources telling "The Post" that his mood was sour and his conversation with May was, quote, "acrimonious."

With me, Katie Perrior, a former communications director for British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Katie, nice to you have on. Welcome.

KATIE PERRIOR, FORMER COMMUNIATIONS DIRECTOR FOR BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY: Hi. Good evening.

BALDWIN: You know Prime Minister May well. How do you think she would have taken Trump's reported berating over the phone?

PERRIOR: Well, Theresa May actually doesn't really get that offended by these kinds of conversations. She keeps her cool, she will just plow on trying to get her points across. I've listened in to many of those telephone calls between President Trump and the prime minister in the past and he doesn't really let you get a word in edgewise. It's her job to get him back on track on the subject she wants to talk about this. She won't be fazed by this.

BALDWIN: You were in the room when the prime minister first met President Trump. How did that go?

PERRIOR: It went well. It was friendly. Don't forget, we were the first foreign leader to visit America after the inauguration. So President Trump didn't really know what he was doing. It was his first kind of big visit. So we kind of led the way a bit. She did a brilliant job getting a commitment on NATO, which is something we didn't expect. When we came out of the room, President Trump said, "Who won that, me or you?" Everything's a game, everything's a competition. I think she takes it in stride. She's a stateswoman here and he had a lot to live up to.

BALDWIN: So you say this recent conversation, she wouldn't be fazed by it, she's slightly busy. Today is a big Brexit moment for her. She may not have time to worry about Trump at the moment.

Tell me this, Katie, how does it play in the U.K. when the U.S. president gets heavy handed with Theresa May?

PERRIOR: I think with any foreign leader with our prime minister we get quite defensive, if we're backed into a corner. It's not going to set her off track. We have faith in terms of her international relations more than President Trump. It saddens me because as Brits we want to think that relationship is genuine. We expect more from our foreign leaders. President Trump should not be berating Theresa May and giving her a hard time on the telephone because she will go into the European Union and back him up as nobody else will. She believes we need free trade agreements with these countries and she want to do deals. Doing deals with a man who keeps ranting and raving all the time is probably not a smart idea. He needs to get back to the table and calm down.

BALDWIN: Final question. What do the Brits think of the way the U.S. president communicates?

PERRIOR: Oh, we view him with amusement in the U.K., which saddens me because I respect the office of the president of the United States. But the president himself, we're amused by him. His public polling ratings in the U.K., I would hazard a guess being a former communications director at Number 10 Downing Street, I'd have to guess they'd be pretty low. The kind of stocking present we get at Christmas is Donald Trump toilet paper. That's should give you an indication of our view.

[14:45:03] BALDWIN: Wow. That's a wow.

Katie Perrior, thank you very much.

I'm not sure how this president would feel that he's amusing Brits. Perhaps he'd enjoy it. Who knows?

Katie, thank you very much, in London for us tonight.

Ahead on CNN, a newly declassified report from the CIA. What it reveals about the agency after 9/11 exploring the use of what they refer to as truth serum on detainees.

And what we just learned about the incident in prison involving the confessed Parkland shooter now facing additional charges for attacking a guard and taking his stun gun. Those details ahead.

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[14:50:11] BALDWIN: Today we are learning in the aftermath of September 11th, the CIA explored using a truth serum on terrorism details. We're getting this from a newly declassified report. The ACLU fought the government for two years to get this information out there.

Here's what we know. The program was called Project Medicine. The documents reveal CIA doctors researched this possibility of using a psychoactive drug, called Versed, as a truth serum to interrogate high-level prisoners. The report notes, use of the drug would most likely face legal challenges and the whole thing was dropped in 2003.

With me former CIA operative and current CNN intelligence and security analyst, Bob Baer.

Bob, what was the thinking behind this? How would this have worked?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY ANALYST: Well, we have to remember in 2002/2003 the CIA was desperate to ferret out the next attack after 9/11. They always used truth serum, it's always been a holy grail because so many who show up at the CIA's door are making up stuff. They always thought about some kind of truth serum to get them to tell the truth?

BALDWIN: Does it work?

BAER: No, it doesn't work. That's probably why they didn't use it after 9/11. In the old days, they were using LSD to try and break people. It didn't work. They never came up with a solution to get people under some sort of narcotics to tell the truth.

BALDWIN: LSD didn't get people talking back in the day?

BAER: No. This were micro dosing -- even friends of mine with LSD, hoping they would be more forthcoming. It was another failed experiment.

BALDWIN: I just need a CIA translation.

This is from an ACLU staff attorney saying, "A down side of using this drug was a requirement for presumably physician-assisted intravenous administration." It adds, "Noting that LSD could be administered silently." What does it mean, silently?

BAER: Well, they put it in people's coffee. That's what they did in the 50s, put it in people's coffee at work. With this they give them an I.V. But frankly, wouldn't you rather get an I.V. drug rather than being waterboarded?

BALDWIN: Yes, yes. It seems to me it wouldn't be effective for people to start talking. I can't imagine, detainees, of course they're full of stories. But you would know how this works and how it wouldn't.

BAER: Back in the old days, we just didn't know how to get people to tell the truth, money, threats, the rest of it. We did try truth serums in the old days but just never worked and I doubt they work today.

BALDWIN: Got it.

Bob, thank you.

BAER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Bob Baer, in Washington.

New details just in about the president's mood inside the White House as the shake-up looms and the first lady publicly calls on him to fire a top national official.

And underway in Florida, a judge is about to decide whether thousands of ballots that had been tossed out can be included in the recount. One official saying she is, quote, unquote, "in prayer mode" just to meet the deadline.

We'll be right back.

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[14:58:18] BALDWIN: The confessed Parkland school shooter is facing new charges today. The suspect is being charged with two counts of aggravated assault after an attack on a jail guard. The incident report says last night a guard asked him to stop dragging his sandals while walking around the day room. In response, he rushed this guard. The report also indicates he tackled and repeatedly punched the guard and was able to grab the officer's stun gun. Eventually, the guard gained control and the suspect was taken into custody. The suspect is waiting for trial for the February mass shooting at his former school. He has confessed to killing 17 student and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

We continue on. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me here.

We start with this post-election cliff hanger consuming the White House. Who will President Trump fire next? Sources say he's weighing a major shakeup in his ranks, including several senior positions.

Today's latest twist in the West Wing drams involves deputy national security adviser, Mira Ricardel. Wait for it -- she did show up to work today.

The normally mundane move is raising some eyebrows after first lady, Melania Trump, in an extraordinary move, called for Mira Ricardel's dismissal through that public statement 24 hours ago. And Melania Trump made her comments minutes after President Trump help a public event with Ricardel just over his left shoulder. Ricardel is far from the only Trump official whose job could be in jeopardy. Officials saying President Trump wants his White House chief of staff, John Kelly, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gone.

So let's go to our CNN White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, and CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Ladies, good to you have both on. Gloria, starting with you and your new reporting on the president's

mood --