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Wildfires Continue to Burn in Northern and Southern California; President Trump to Visit California to Assess Damage by Wildfires; Couple Takes in 93-Year-Old Veteran who Lost Home in California Wildfire; CIA Concludes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Ordered Killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi; President Trump States Written Answers to Special Counsel Mueller's Questions Completed; Some House Democrats Do Not Support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker; Berkeley- Stanford College Football Game Delayed Due to Wildfires. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 17, 2018 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:13] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. President Trump is in route to California this morning preparing to visit areas ravaged by the wildfire burning across northern California.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the president, California's governor, governor-elect, all touring the communities together, these communities that are devoured by the Camp Fire. They're meeting with victims and emergency responders as well.
Now, before leaving the White House, the president did touch on the morning's other breaking news. The CIA says Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, ordered the murder of "Washington Post" writer Jamal Khashoggi. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The CIA is going to be speaking to me today. We have not been briefed yet. As of this moment we were told that he did not play a role. We're going to have to find out what they have to say.
I'll be doing that while I'm on the plane. I'll be speaking also with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: So we're following both of these big stories.
PAUL: CNN's Paul Vercammen in Chico, California. We do want to begin with CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood. Sarah, good morning to you. What are you hearing?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning, Christi, and the president clearly had a lot on his mind as he left the White House this morning, touching on the news that the CIA has concluded that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman did order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The president said he hasn't been given that assessment from the CIA, but like you've just heard, he will be receiving that briefing from the intelligence community while he's on his airplane.
He also touched on the Mueller investigation, saying that he'll be submitting written answers to the Special Counsel's questions next week. And he reaffirmed his confidence in Vice President Mike Pence on the heels of a "New York Times" report that the president has questioned the loyalty of his VP.
But the focus of his day will be on those two fires rages in California. The president set to talk forest management when he touches down in California. Just last week he threatened to cut federal funding for California forest management. He's continued to criticize California's handling of wooded areas as a factor in having these fires rage. Take a listen to what he said this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be talking about forest management. I've been saying that for a long time. And this could have been a lot different situation. But the one thing is that everybody now knows that this is what we have to be doing. Very expensive issue, but very, very inexpensive when you compare it to even one of these horrible fires. And it will save a lot of lives in addition to a lot of money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now, the president will be making two stops in California as he surveys the damage with Governor Jerry Brown and his newly elected successor. The president is expected to get an update on the response to those fires, Victor and Christi.
PAUL: Sarah Westwood, we appreciate it, thank you.
BLACKWELL: President Trump's visit comes as officials reveal the number, and it's really stunning, of those unaccounted for in the Camp Fire. It's now more than 1,000. Meanwhile, three wildfire deaths in southern California bring the total number of dead across the state to 74. The Camp Fire is now the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. Let's bring in Paul Vercammen. Paul, the sun's coming up there. People are waking up in those tents. What are you seeing and what are you hearing?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're seeing, Victor and Christi, you're right, the sun now rising here, shedding light on what's popping up here, which is a village of those people who are now out of their homes. As you may recall, some 52,000 people had to be evacuated in the Camp Fire, and 9,000 or more single family homes destroyed, 12,000 structures. So frankly, there's a lot of people who are homeless.
And the specter of rain is on the horizon for Wednesday. They are dealing with a lot here. I would say there are hundreds of tents now ringing this Walmart in Chico, California. They're really up against it, awful air quality right now. And there's even a flu outbreak in some of the shelters. A lot to reckon with for the people here in Chico.
By the way, the fire itself is basically 50 percent contained. It's burned about 140,000 acres. They will be back on the fire lines again today, most of it burning to the east of this area right now. And they're hoping that this air quality improves, not only because it's just absolutely awful to breathe, but because they want to get up those planes and those helicopters, critical in that fire fight, Victor and Christi.
PAUL: Hey, Paul, what are firefighters' plans today?
VERCAMMEN: Well, their plan is to hit it from the ground. And as we said they also want to try to get up into the air.
[10:05:00] As you may know we're at the foot of the Sierra. So you've got a lot of steep canyons, ridges, not always the most accessible by crews with engines. And so they hope for an aerial assault. But as I said, if they don't have visibility, which has been very difficult, they can't fly all of those planes and they can't fly their helicopters. So we'll have to see just what the rest of the day brings. But it is -- it is just thick with smoke, if you can't tell by looking at this camp site behind me.
PAUL: All right, Paul Vercammen, thank you so much. It really gives us a sense of what those people are dealing with there as they wake up there, and I'm sure wondering what they're going to do. We're hearing the stories that are so awful, but there are pocketed in these stories, other stories of courage, and generosity and kindness, and Tracy Grant and Josh Fox are one such couple. They are hosting, look at this, a 93-year-old World War II veteran at their home after that man's town burnt down. They are with us now from California. Thank you both for being with us. We certainly appreciate it. Tracy, I wanted to ask you, how did you meet the veteran? And what is his name, by the way? I feel bad calling him veteran. Can I please know his name?
TRACY GRANT, "ADOPTED" 93-YEAR-OLD VETERAN AFTER HIS HOME WAS DESTROYED: His name is Lee Brundidge.
PAUL: Lee. Thank you. And how did you meet him?
GRANT: I was feeding and aiding some of the evacuees in a parking lot, and he was just sitting there in his car all by his lonesome, sorry.
PAUL: So how did you come to realize that he was living in his car?
GRANT: I had sat and talked with him for a while, and asked him a few questions. And he had told me his gardener had woke him up, said there was a fire, got his car out, and he just drove and followed the traffic to the parking lot where I had found him.
PAUL: So then how did it come to pass that you offer him a place in your home? How did he react to that?
GRANT: He didn't want to go. He -- I told him you're not staying here by yourself, and he kind of joked with me that his lady days were over. And I said, whether they are or not, you're coming home with me.
PAUL: So Josh, tell me about your reaction when you found out that this was the offer that lovely Tracy here has made?
JOSH FOX, "ADOPTED" 93-YEAR-OLD VETERAN AFTER HIS HOME WAS DESTROYED: Well, when she had said, you know, that he was a veteran, you know, and elderly, I was behind her 100 percent, especially when he was alone. He had spent quite some time in the parking lot, almost 24 hours there before he came to the house. And so I found out on Friday because cell service was sporadic. I didn't get to talk to Tracy for a day. I didn't find out until a few hours before I got home that he was there.
PAUL: So how is he doing, Josh?
FOX: He's doing great, actually. He's a little reserved on his emotions about his house and the devastation. But he's -- he seems like he's very comfortable at home. He's got his chair. He's got the dogs. He seems very comfortable.
PAUL: Are they your dogs or his dogs?
FOX: They are now.
GRANT: Yes, he adopted our dogs.
FOX: They're our dogs, but yes, he's pretty well claimed them.
PAUL: So you talk as though this is a pretty long-term thing. Is that the plan?
FOX: It's up to him. We're -- he can stay with us for -- until forever, as far as we're concerned. But it's entirely up to him. With as much devastation as is in the town, even rebuilding, it seems like it's going to take years for the infrastructure to get back.
PAUL: I have no doubt, I'm sure a lot of people are moved by your kindness, Tracy Grant and Josh Fox, showing us how it is done to take care of each other. Thank you both so much.
FOX: Thank you.
GRANT: Thank you.
PAUL: Bless you, yes, thank you.
GRANT: It's our pleasure, thank you.
PAUL: OK, thank you so much. Good people out there, good people out there.
So in the quest to -- as people try to figure out if the person that they love that they haven't heard from, is just missing somewhere, or if they -- it might be a worst case scenario, the American Red Cross wants to clarify this for you. They want to try to bring you together. So they're asking evacuees to visit this site, SafeAndWell.org, and you can register on their list. That's where people then can check to see if the person you're looking for is there, and also let others know that they're safe. If you haven't been able to get a hold of somebody, go to that site and let them know that, yes, you're OK. Hold of somebody, go to that site, let them know you're OK. For others ways you can help those affected by the California wildfires as well, go to CNN.com/impact, and thank you for doing so.
[10:10:05] BLACKWELL: Soon to come, there are new developments in the murder case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi that implicate the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. A friend and editor that recruited Khashoggi to the "Washington Post," she joins us next.
BLACKWELL: Right now the president is on his way to California to assess the damage of those deadly wildfires before he boarded his fight. This is what he told reporters, that he will be briefed by the CIA later today on its assessment of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. His remarks come after the CIA concluded that the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered Khashoggi's killing last month.
Joining me to talk about this is CNN intelligence and security analyst and former CIA operative Bob Baer. Bob, good morning to you.
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So let's start here, you're former CIA. "The Washington Post" reports that the CIA is -- they've concluded that MBS ordered this.
[10:15:03] They have a high degree of confidence in this assessment. The president says that he still has some things to consider. What does it take for the CIA to get to this level of certainty?
BAER: Oh, Victor, it takes a lot. Most of this intelligence is based on intercepts, on calls and e-mails between the Saudi ambassador here and his brother. And you go right through the Turkish evidence, photographs, the tapes, from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. And this is as good as it gets. And for the CIA to come out and say the crown prince was responsible for the premeditated murder of a "Washington Post" journalist, you've got to have a lot of proof.
BLACKWELL: And based on your knowledge of the Saudis and the hierarchy of the government and the royal family, what's the plausibility of the latest story that several men were sent over to bring him back, there was a sedative that went wrong, and then they dismembered him? This is something that the president could even consider?
BAER: I can't see how -- that's an absolute, total lie. They've got the audio. They're waiting for Khashoggi to enter. They're rehearsing how they're going to murder him. The Turks have this on tape. You have the phone calls, and you also have the fact that Saudi Arabia is run by one man, the crown prince. He alone would have ordered this. There are no rogue operations run out of Saudi Arabia. I worked with Saudi intelligence, I know those people. They follow the orders of the king, period.
BLACKWELL: So let's talk about it from the perspective of what's next here. You'll remember that for years President Trump has railed against President Obama for his red line in Syria, saying that if there is some evidence that Assad used chemical weapons against his people, that will warrant some military action. Of course, that happened and President Obama did not order military action. I want you to listen to what the president said to Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" and let's talk on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a lot at stake, and maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There's something -- you'll be surprised to hear me say that. There's something really terrible and disgusting about that if that were the case. So we're going to have to see. We're going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Severe punishment, the president promises here. Has he drawn his own red line here?
BAER: He did draw his own red line, but the fact is, will he stick to it? We already know that he'll say one thing and do something entirely different. And he's, frankly, terrified of the situation in Saudi Arabia, not to mention that he's been in business with the Saudi royal family for years, as has his son-in-law, Jared. So there's a conflict of interest here, American credibility is at stake. And are we going to let a man who's frankly psychopathic, a cold-blooded murderer like this continue to rule in Saudi Arabia, which I think is inherently risky because it could get a lot worse. And we don't want to see that country blow up because it would really affect us.
BLACKWELL: So let's pull that thread. How does the U.S. relationship with the Saudis have to change after this independent of the specific consequences for the murder of Khashoggi?
BAER: I think the Department of Justice should indict the crown prince. This murder was apparently plotted on U.S. soil by a Saudi diplomat, the brother, the ambassador. We should at the very least sanction him. Giving him a pass with the CIA report coming out, I just don't see how you can do that. And any claim to human rights, the rule of law, is gone if we don't do something against the crown prince.
BLACKWELL: Bob Baer, always good to have your insight.
PAUL: And global opinions editor for the "Washington Post," Karen Attiah is with us. Karen recruited Khashoggi to "The Post" about a year ago. Thank you so much, Karen, for being with us. First and foremost, how are you doing?
KAREN ATTIAH, GLOBAL OPINIONS EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it's a whirlwind. It's a mix of emotions hearing that the CIA has finally come out and said that they have evidence that the crown prince ordered this. Just yesterday I was at the restaurant where Jamal and I had our last lunch together, and I just -- it was hard for me to hold it together. I thought to myself, if this were happening to any other Saudi journalist, what would Jamal say? And I just think if he were here, he would have just said this is an unmitigated disaster for the country. He would have -- he would have not perhaps seen a way out for this crown prince. And it just hit me again over this past month that I won't be able to talk to him and we won't be able to hear his perspectives.
[10:20:02] But at the same time I'm hoping that his spirit finds some comfort, that at least we're getting closer to the truth of who -- of his murder.
PAUL: I'm so sorry because I can't imagine having to try to reconcile something like this. I wanted to ask you about him, about Jamal, because, as you heard here, the allegation is that part of the evidence is a phone call that he allegedly received from the crown prince's brother assuring him that he would be safe if he went to the embassy. Did you know about that phone call?
ATTIAH: I knew that he was in touch with officials, and I knew that they had tried to convince him to go back, to go back to Saudi Arabia. But he said he was not at all interested. He feared being arrested. I heard even from friends that, particularly when it came to embassy visits, that Khalid bin Salman told him he would be safe. So I did hear that from friends of Jamal's. So I was aware that he was in contact with the authorities, including with Khalid bin Salman, which makes all this all the more upsetting and disgusting that a sitting ambassador from Saudi Arabia would be part of this, this horrific plot. I don't think Jamal saw any of this coming, not this sort of fate.
PAUL: And with that said, what do you think the president should do? What do you think the U.S. government should do?
ATTIAH: Well, first of all, I think at the very, very least, Khalid bin Salman, who has been spreading falsehoods from the beginning, claiming that Jamal left the consulate, saying that there was no such murder, at the very least he should be persona non grata in Washington and formally expelled.
And President Trump himself said in his interview with "60 Minutes," that you guys said in your segment that there should be severe punishment for all those involved. And now that our own intelligence officials have intercepted very, very, very credible evidence that Mohammed bin Salman ordered this, the sanctions and the consequences should go all the way up to him. He should be a pariah and should not be able to step foot in this country ever again ultimately. And I think that we should be looking at our arms deals to Saudi Arabia, we should be reexamining completely whether or not putting our trust in this reckless prince is good for the U.S./Saudi relationship and good for the Middle East.
I don't think it is. I think we're on a path with Mohammed bin Salman to instability for the entire region, and this is not what Jamal wanted. Jamal said that the Saudi Arabia deserves better than what the crown prince is giving to them.
PAUL: All right, Karen Attiah, again, we're so sorry, and sending definitely prayers to you and all of your colleagues. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.
ATTIAH: Thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: President Trump says he's now finished writing answers to those questions about the Russia investigation. He'll be sending them to Robert Mueller next week.
BLACKWELL: President Trump says he's now finished answering questions on Russian election meddling and will be submitting those questions -- or the answers, rather, to special counsel Robert Mueller next week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you submitted your answers to the special counsel?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, we do that next week. They're all done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: The president huddled with his legal team for at least three days, and sources say he and his legal team were not happy with some of those questions covering the transition period after 2016 election. They believe it could be off limits as they pertain to the presidency.
Let's talk politics now. With me Maria Cardona, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist, and Alice Stewart, CNN political commentator and former Ted Cruz communications director. Ladies, welcome back to the show.
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Victor.
BLACKWELL: So let's start here with this source telling CNN that the Republican chair of House Judiciary is preparing subpoenas for the former FBI director James Comey, the former attorney general Loretta Lynch, to investigate or continue their investigation into the FBI's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mail server. What do they hope to accomplish in just the few days left? And where do they expect this will go once Democrats get the gavel, Alice?
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a classic case, Victor of distraction, and to take the eye off the of what the real matter is. I think That will end up not going anywhere because that's really not what the focus is. And the real focus for us as a nation overall is to get to the bottom of interference in our election process. And certainly the Mueller investigation, we all tend to forget that's the focus of this investigation.
And I would like to believe the president when he says there's no coordination and no collusion. And if that's the case, then let's answer these questions, let's get everything out in the open, and let's move forward. It is a great idea for him to answer questions in writing as opposed to in person because he tends to have a loose relationship with the truth.
[10:30:00] But it's a little unprecedented for an attorney to allow the client to write the answers to the questions. But that's fine. If he wants to take this as a take home test in school, he's welcome to do so. But this is a great step in this full process for the entire country to get these questions answered, get the Mueller investigation down the road, and let's put this behind us.
BLACKWELL: Maria, I assume you're going to agree with Alice that this is a distraction, these subpoenas to Lynch and Comey?
CARDONA: Oh, there's no question about that. It's -- first of all, it's completely unnecessary. I think it's sort of the last hoorah in terms of a political stunt to do exactly what Alice said, to distract from what the real issue is.
James Comey and Loretta Lynch from the beginning had said that they would completely answer questions voluntarily and in public. Clearly, they have nothing to hide. So this is not just a political stunt, but it's a political stunt that is going to waste taxpayer money, resources, and time. And what we need to do right now is to focus on the business at hand, which is, again, as Alice said, to get to the bottom of what happened with the Russia meddling into our elections and to, frankly, figure out what role Trump and his campaign had in helping the Russians to meddle in these elections, if any.
BLACKWELL: So --
CARDONA: And if they are convinced that there's nothing there, then they wouldn't be so resistant to Mueller getting to the truth.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about potential political stunts here, with the president this morning saying I like Nancy Pelosi. I think she deserves to be speaker of the House. And if she needs a few Republicans to jump on board, Maria, he says he can deliver them. Is he getting involved to make a mess, to make sure this lucrative, as he would put it, foil for the Republicans stays at front and center?
CARDONA: That's the question of the hour, Victor. I don't know what goes on in Trump's mind. It would be a scary attempt to try to get in there. But he is right in that Nancy Pelosi does deserve to be speaker and that she will most likely be the next speaker of the House of Representatives. I don't think that she will need any Republican votes. But, look, in the spirit of trying to find a new and better, more productive direction for our country, absolutely Democrats and Nancy Pelosi herself would welcome any Republican votes that this president says he could garner for her. I think it would be great for the American people to have a show of that kind of bipartisanship so that we can actually find real sensible solutions to the nation's problems.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about how realistic this is, Alice. Can the president deliver Republicans? I just can't imagine a Republican going back to his or her district and not expecting a primary after supporting Nancy Pelosi, for whatever reason to be the next speaker of the House.
STEWART: You hit the nail on the head, Victor. It's a grand gesture for the president to offer to corral votes for Nancy Pelosi. But any Republican that follows through on that, as you say, they might as well get a U-Haul truck and move out of Washington.
BLACKWELL: Does he know that, though. Does the president know that he can't get Republicans to vote for Nancy Pelosi?
STEWART: I assume so. Any Republican would certainly know that. But you're also right, Nancy Pelosi is a great foil for the Republicans. Her name I.D. with regard to opposition by the Republican voters across the country is tremendously high. She is a great person to campaign against.
The problem is, she is not -- she doesn't -- not only not going to get Republican votes, she doesn't have the Democrat votes in order to make this happen. And they're going to be a very difficult challenge for her and her team to get those votes. And Maria is right, the Democratic Party, if they want to succeed and move forward, they need to get a fresher face. I don't care the age of the person.
CARDONA: I didn't say that.
STEWART: It needs to be a fresh face with a new vision.
CARDONA: I didn't say that.
STEWART: And it needs to be someone who can bring together progressives in all facets of the Democratic Party.
CARDONA: That is Nancy Pelosi, that is absolutely Nancy Pelosi. There is no one better at the task at hand to move forward with this nation's business, with a newly elected Congress, to be able to pass legislation. There is no more effective speaker of the House in a generation than Nancy Pelosi, and she will be the next speaker.
BLACKWELL: We'll see if she can get the votes. There are more than a dozen Democrats who say they will not support her. She is great at counting votes. We'll see if she's got the count right. STEWART: She will not be the speaker.
BLACKWELL: Maria Cardona, Alice Stewart, thank you both.
CARDONA: Thanks so much, Victor.
CARDONA: Thank you.
PAUL: Funny you're all talking about this, because so are we in the next block with Representative Terri Sewell. We're going to ask her what she thinks about Nancy Pelosi and what she thinks about what the said this morning. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If she needs any votes, if she asks me, I will give her the votes to put her over the top.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[10:39:29] PAUL: It's 39 minutes past the hour right now. And this week House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she is confident that she will be the next speaker of the House. The letter that's circulating on Capitol Hill shows multiple incoming freshman will indeed support her for the position. But a potential challenger may be out there. Representative Marcia Fudge met with Pelosi for almost an hour yesterday and said she has not made up her mind yet, but she is receiving a lot of support and encouragement.
[10:40:00] Democratic congresswoman from Alabama Terri Sewell is with us now. Terri, thank you for being with us, we appreciate it, congresswoman.
REP. TERRI SEWELL, (D) ALABAMA: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you. So first and foremost, will you vote for Nancy Pelosi for House speaker.
SEWELL: I am. I'm a supporter of Nancy Pelosi. I believe that this country elected for divided government and want a House majority. And I believe that the trifecta of leadership that brought us the House majority should be the leaders in the new Congress. So I'll be voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. I'll be voting for Steny Hoyer for majority leader, and of course my dear friend and colleague Jim Clyburn for majority whip.
PAUL: I want to ask you about Congresswoman Marcia Fudge from Ohio. She was asked if she's concerned about the fact that there are many in the CBC members who have pledged their support to Pelosi because we know that Congresswoman Fudge may be looking for that position herself. Let's listen to what she said here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARCIA FUDGE, (D) OHIO: Most of them endorsed before they even knew I was going to even think about it. So no, absolutely not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could you flip those votes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many?
FUDGE: I don't know. How many people endorsed her?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: What is your reaction to that?
SEWELL: Listen, Marcia Fudge is a great leader. She was an able and experienced leader, she ably led the CBC caucus and Congressional Black Caucus. She is truly a fighter and a voice of importance in our caucus. But she has not committed to running yet. There's only one announced candidate, and that's Nancy Pelosi.
PAUL: If she does, would you flip? As she indicated there, she thinks she could flip some votes.
SEWELL: Yes, I think that it's important that we -- that we, as a caucus, come out united. I know that Marcia is committed to that as well. I think it's really important that we stay focused on what the American people want, which is they want a government that's going to actually work for the people, and I know that Marcia as well as Nancy Pelosi, as well as our leadership team will be laser focused on making sure that we have an agenda that works for the American people and working families.
PAUL: There are people who do not support Congresswoman Pelosi. Interestingly enough Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is one of them, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut is do not support her. What does it say to you, all of the years she has put into the House, all of the money that she has raised for the party, that she has to fight for that position at this point in her career?
SEWELL: Look, I think that elections, leadership elections are often messy. But I think at the end of the day the Democratic Party will come together, our caucus will come together behind the leadership that has led us to the majority, the current leadership, and that we will move forward on behalf of the American people. I think that's critically important.
You won't hear me say anything bad about Marcia. Marcia is awesome, and an amazing leader. But I do believe that it's important that we have the stable leadership that we currently have leading us forward. We need to be ready, day one, when we take back the House, to roll up our sleeves and fight to protect preexisting conditions, to make sure that we lower drug costs for the American people. I stood on the Ways and Means Committee, I look forward to working on health, on trade. I also sit on the Intelligence Committee. I know that it's important for the American people that we get to the bottom of the Russia investigation, but we also bring back stability into this body. And I look forward to doing that and working with our leadership to do that. PAUL: Let me ask you, if I could, about the news this morning that
the president is getting briefed by the CIA on the death of Khashoggi, of Jamal Khashoggi, that he was, according to the CIA, ordered murdered by the crown prince. If that is the case would you push for a more thorough investigation into what happened?
SEWELL: I think that it's important, irrespective of -- that we have enough -- we know enough now to ask for a further investigation on this issue. You know, I sit on the House Intel Committee, and I know that Adam Schiff will be laser focused on making sure that we protect the investigation that Mueller is currently doing. But we also must also get back to the business of national security. I think that under the current leadership, the Trump administration, there's been less transparency. I look forward to having more open hearings on the Intel Committee under Adam Schiff. I expect also for us to be working and laser focused on transparency and accountability. This administration needs to be held accountable. But we also need transparency when it comes to our national security.
PAUL: And if it is the case the crown prince ordered it, what do you think should be done?
SEWELL: I think that we have to investigate and make sure that we hold the people accountable who actually committed this crime.
[10:45:00] I think that it's -- I think the American people want to know that we are getting to the bottom of our facts, and the fact that we are still not sure exactly what happened to this journalist is a problem. And I think that you'll see a stronger House and Senate asking for accountability when it comes to finding out exactly what happened to this murder.
PAUL: Congresswoman Terri Sewell, always a pleasure to have you here, thank you.
SEWELL: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: So hat are you doing tonight? I know what you're doing.
PAUL: That was a little provocative. What are you doing?
BLACKWELL: I know you're watching Saturday night's lineup here on CNN. At 7:00 it's "The Ax Files" with special guest Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. At 8:00 it's CNN's Special Report, "Ted Turner, The Maverick Man," followed by CNN Films "We Will Rise," that's at 9:00, and at 10:00, another CNN film, "The End, Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House." That's what you're doing tonight.
Also, another big football weekend. Coy Wire is in Nashville, tailgating for some SEC football action, Vanderbilt hosting Ole Miss. Coy?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. I forgot my cowboy hat, dang it. But it's only 9:00 here in Nashville. But you can see folks are already gearing up, getting ready for college football Saturday. We're going to whip you through some of the top sports stories of the day, coming up right here on Newsroom after the break.
[10:51:04] BLACKWELL: Big rivalry game is being called off because of the California wildfires.
PAUL: Coy Wire has more on this morning's bleacher report from Nashville, home of this week's TUMS Ultimate Tailgate. Hey, Coy.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christi. Hi Victor. This is a scary situation in the Bay Area, affecting lives right now and games. And some games are cancelled, some relocated out of state. And now one of the greatest rivalries, Stanford and Cal, postponed due to the dangerous conditions. It's a rivalry I know well from my playing days at Stanford. Folks gear up all week, all year for this. But you can see those photos from inside Cal stadium and around Berkeley, officials not wanting to take a chance of putting players or the fans' health at risk. The game is going to now be played on December 1st.
How about Notre Dame today? They're trading in that classic uniform look for another classic uniform -- pinstripes, suiting up at Yankee stadium. And the Irish are going to play in the biggest matchup of college football today, number three Notre Dame and their faithful fans hoping to stay undefeated against number 12 Syracuse. The Orange, they're going to be wearing out iced-out look aiming to put the Irish's playoff birth in jeopardy.
Now we are here in Nashville for our TUMS Ultimate Tailgate. And what music legend you may not associate with this city just received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Elvis Presley. Loved Nashville. Did you know about 230 of his songs were recorded right here at historic RCA Studio B. It's been here for 61 years, and the place was essentially built for the king of rock and roll. Folks were taking turns, sitting for photos with a 1942 Steinway and Sons piano where the king himself would sit sometimes for hours just warming up for his recording session by singing gospel music. Fats Domino played on that piano. Even stars of today like Adele, Carrie Underwood, JD McPherson, they all sang at this studio on the foundation that Elvis laid for them and so many more right here in Nashville.
Now, our TUMS Ultimate Tailgate wouldn't be complete if I didn't get a chance to eat. I'm going to make you guys jealous back in studio. I have sweet tea brined honey bourbon wings. Your taste buds just watered, Victor. I saw you drooling. Pull out our handkerchief, brother, I wish you were here with me.
BLACKWELL: Do not come back to Atlanta without those.
PAUL: There you go. You've got to bring some to him.
BLACKWELL: That's it.
PAUL: Thank you, Coy.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy.
WIRE: You're welcome.
PAUL: So a blunder leads to the complete ruin of a multimillion dollar NATO warship. We'll tell you what happened.
[10:57:57] PAUL: As an ER doctor in New York, CNN hero Dr. Rob Gore was frustrated by how many young men of color were being hurt and killed in street violence. Today his nonprofit, the Kings Against Violence, assist victims of violence, mentors and supports more than 250 at risk students.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROB GORE, CNN HERO: I don't like pronouncing people dead. It's probably the worst thing that I've ever had to do. I want to preserve life. When I see patients that are coming in with violent injuries, when it's somebody who looks like you from your neighborhood, a lot of this stuff really hits home. You realize I don't want this to happen anymore. What do we do about it? It's important that we start training young people and help them learn how to become change agents, working with them on a middle school level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I love what he's doing there. Go to CNNheroes.com right now to vote for Dr. Gore or any of your favorites, Top Ten Heroes, that's CNNheroes.com.
BLACKWELL: So this Norwegian Navy warship was built to withstand battle sadly couldn't stand up to an oil tanker. Here's the story. The ship was being used for navigation training in Norwegian waters when it crashed into the tanker on its way out. The tanker was fine, but the Navy crew had to drive it up on the rocks to stop it from sinking. Official tried to use cables to keep this 5,500-ton ship upright, but they snapped. Eight people on board were hurt, but officials are still investigating what caused this crash.
PAUL: Always so glad to have your company. We hope you make good memories today.
BLACKWELL: Much more ahead in the next hour of CNN's Newsroom. We turn it over now to Fredricka Whitfield.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Victor and Christi, thank you so much. We've got a lot on our plate as I know you have all morning, so it's the handing the baton.
PAUL: Take it away.
WHITFIELD: Now it's our turn. Thanks, have a great one.
It's 11:00 on the east coast. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Newsroom starts right now.
Destruction and despair in parts of California, at least 74 people dead and more than 1,000 others missing in wildfires burning across the state.