Return to Transcripts main page


Democrats Best Trump in Poll; Kennedy Challenges Markey for Senate; Navy Acknowledges UFO Video. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 19, 2019 - 08:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: A brand-new look at the status in the Democratic presidential contest. This new poll showing Joe Biden out in front with 29 percent. In this poll, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren pretty much tied there at second place. Everyone else, way behind.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: You're really infusing this with the drama that it, I feel, requires.

BERMAN: I'm trying. I'm trying.

Joining us now is CNN political director David Chalian.



BERMAN: Dramatic in each and every way without even trying.

David, so when you look at this poll, Joe Biden right around 30 percent, where he has been consistently. You have that second tier. What do you see?

CHALIAN: Yes, I mean, this is a little different than the NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll we saw earlier in the week where Elizabeth Warren carved out that second place position all by herself.

I -- you know, I do think, as always, John, right, you have to look at these polls in totality and not just one at a time. And what you see here, and I think there's something really important in this poll underneath that tells us why we see this here, you see this top three, right? And, like you said, everyone else is just in a different universe beneath them right now.

And when you look at the numbers, you once again see Democrats are so hungry for somebody that can beat Trump over somebody they just agree with or like their policies on. And only three candidates, now Joe Biden by far and away the most, by 25 to 30 points, he is seen as the one that can beat Trump, but only Sanders and Warren even join him in double digits. Nobody else is close. So -- so that is part of what -- of what's driving here that these

three frontrunners in the primary are seen also, again, Joe Biden with a clear lead here as the one that can beat Trump, but as seen as the three with the best chance of defeating Trump.

CAMEROTA: So let's just look at those head-to-head matchups that you're referring to, just so that everybody can visualize it as you speak.

Joe Biden gets 52 percent to President Trump's 38 percent today. Sanders, 48 percent to President Trump's 40. Warren, 46 to 40. And then Harris, 42 to 40.

You know, the president famously doesn't like polls that don't go his way. But this is a Fox News poll. I think that he is inclined to look at those.


CHALIAN: Well, we should just be clear, Fox News polling has nothing to do with the ideological bent that we see in their primetime programming. They're totally legit polling operations.

CAMEROTA: The polling has always been found to be fair.

CHALIAN: So the fact that the Fox News name on it, we shouldn't assume anything about the poll. This is, you know, an approved poll by our standards.

I will say this, Alisyn, looking at those matchups. What I think is more important than the Democratic numbers performing against him is that Donald Trump doesn't get above 40 percent in any matchup. That, if you are in Trump campaign headquarters, that is a problem. Like, that is -- that is going to be tough to re-create that path to 270 electoral votes if a year from now he's also sitting at his -- at his number there at 40 percent.

BERMAN: I will say, the other thing is that Joe Biden, the margin that Joe Biden enjoys over President Trump in the head-to-head is very different than all the other candidates. Bernie Sanders is the closest there, but he's double what Elizabeth Warren is.

CHALIAN: Totally.

BERMAN: David Chalian, I'm --

CHALIAN: But, John, I would just say this.

BERMAN: Go ahead.

CHALIAN: I would be shocked if the margin on election night a year from now, no matter who the nominee is, is that -- is that wide.

BERMAN: No question.

CHALIAN: Yes. BERMAN: No question. They reflect two completely different things. You know, one reflects where people are considering now and really their enthusiasm in the Democratic primary. Absolutely.


BERMAN: I'm going to exert some Massachusetts privilege here, David.


BERMAN: I think it's fascinating. Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts is going to challenge Democratic Senator Ed Markey, the incumbent Democratic senator. You just don't normally see this type of thing. There really isn't much of a difference between these two men on the issues. But what it is, is a generational challenge inside the Democratic Party, which is something a lot of Democrats, young ones usually, are calling for.

CHALIAN: Yes. I mean you remember, right, when Barack Obama got to the United States Senate and Harry Reid famously was giving him advice, you know, not to wait some time to run for president. Sometimes that generational change just takes over no matter who the well-liked, established party regular is there in the seat.

What is so fascinating about this, of course, you just showed the poll numbers that show that Kennedy really could, you know, give Markey a serious run for this, a lot of the establishment already lining up behind Markey. By the way, including his fellow senator, Elizabeth Warren, who had already endorsed Markey, but when pressed and asked about Kennedy and his challenge says she has no complaints. This is her former law student. Somebody who has endorsed her presidential campaign. And Elizabeth Warren now is caught between these two, already on Markey's side, but not really wanting to mix it up inside that primary.

CAMEROTA: David Chalian, very interesting. Thanks so much for seeing us today.

CHALIAN: Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: Now see this, OK?

BERMAN: This is really -- I don't -- this is probably the most important story.

CAMEROTA: I feel we've buried this. Why have we wait -- why didn't we lead with this.

There have been mysterious objects, OK, caught on video by U.S. Navy pilots. This is real. This has been confirmed as real.

BERMAN: The video has been confirmed as real.


What are these? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BERMAN: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

"The Washington Post" reports that a promise made by President Trump to a foreign leader reportedly troubled a U.S. intelligence official so much that a whistleblower complaint was filed. Now the intelligence community's inspector general will be on Capitol Hill this morning to brief a House panel behind closed doors.

CAMEROTA: In an exclusive CNN interview, Iran's foreign minister is threatening all-out war if Saudi Arabia or the U.S. launches a military strike against Iran. This comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the attack on a Saudi oil field, quote, an act of war.

BERMAN: A federal judge is denying bail for an American Airlines mechanic accused of trying to sabotage a flight. Prosecutors say the mechanic had ISIS propaganda on his phone and told a fellow employee he travelled to Iraq to visit his brother who was a member of ISIS.

Millions of people are under a flash flood emergency in parts of Texas. Some areas are reeling from 20 inches of rain. Some from much more. This is from the remnants of a tropical storm. A hospital in the town of Winnie, Texas, has been evacuated because of those rising floodwaters.

BERMAN: And Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, now says he is deeply sorry for this yearbook photo tweeted by "Time" magazine showing him in brown-face at an Arabian Knights themed gala. It happened back in 2001. He was a teacher at the school. Trudeau also admitted he wore similar makeup at least one other time.

For more on the "Five Things to Know," go to for the very latest.

CAMEROTA: All right, this next story is so important, we're on the stairs for it.

This video of a UFO is real, OK? Look at your screen. That's what the Navy says. The U.S. Navy now confirms UFO videos made public by "The New York Times" and a UFO research group back in 2017 are the real deal.


What does that mean?

CNN's Randi Kaye explains.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is that thing?


RANDI KAYE CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Images of that rotating thing captured by U.S. Navy aircraft. Sensors locking in on the target.

Commander David Fravor saw it firsthand during a training mission, describing it like a 40-foot long tick tack, maneuvering rapidly and changing direction.

COMMANDER DAVID FRAVOR, U.S. NAVY PILOT (RET.): As we both looked out the right side of our airplane, we saw a disturbance in the water and a white object, oblong, pointing north.

KAYE: The object was first sighted in 2004, then similar objects again in 2015. Footage of the sightings, declassified by the military, weren't made public until December 2017 by "The New York Times" and a group that researches UFOs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a whole fleet of them (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My gosh. They're all going against the wind. The wind's 120 knots to the west. (INAUDIBLE).

FRAVOR: This was extremely abrupt like a ping-pong ball bouncing off the wall. The ability to hover over the water and then start a vertical climb from basically zero up towards about 12,000 feet and then accelerate in less than two seconds and disappear is something I had never seen in my life.

KAYE (on camera): The Navy says it still doesn't know what the objects are and officials aren't speculating. A Navy spokesman simply confirming to CNN, the objects seen in various clips are unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs.

KAYE (voice over): The UFO reports were first investigated by a secret $22 million program. Part of the Defense Department budget that investigated reports of UFOs. The program has since been shut down, but it was run by a military intelligence official who told CNN they found compelling evidence that we, quote, may not be alone.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my God.

BERMAN: Yes. How do you explain that?

CAMEROTA: I don't. I mean if the Navy says that those videos are not hoaxes, they haven't been doctored, those are real, what are they?

BERMAN: The truth is out there. I'm telling you, "The X Files" are right.

I once drove to Roswell, New Mexico, because I was so passionate --

CAMEROTA: And what did you see there?

BERMAN: I'm convinced. I'm convinced.

You know who else is convinced? Brad Pitt.


BRAD PITT, ACTOR, "AD ASTRA": Either we're not alone in the -- in the universe or we're completely alone. And either outcome is equally terrifying.


BERMAN: So Brad Pitt is scared, right? He gets very personal about a lot of things, including his new film and how he once confronted Harvey Weinstein with Christiane Amanpour. That's next.



CAMEROTA: Actor Brad Pitt has a new space epic called "Ad Astra" that opens this weekend in theaters. It's about an astronaut looking for his missing father. Pitt spoke with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about masculinity and venerability and the movie and in his own life and confronting Harvey Weinstein years ago on behalf of his then girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is very different as a -- as a sci-fi film, as a space odyssey. And we're going to get into that.

But, in general, what do you see as the big difference in terms of this one versus others that have been out there?

BRAD PITT, ACTOR, "AD ASTRA": Well, in this one, for one, you know, usually in sci-fi, we're dealing with aliens that are either out to destroy us or impart some benevolent wisdom upon us and we're going to evolve either way. And this one started with a quote that's attributed to Arthur Clark, which is, either we're not alone in the -- in the universe or we're completely alone. And either outcome is equally terrifying.

AMANPOUR: It is also about loneliness. It's also about father and son, their relationship. It's also about masculinity and vulnerability. You said it's -- you know, it's come at a time in your life where it's interesting for you to grapple in such a public way with those emotions.

PITT: Well, I mean, on one hand, you know, you get older and you just get tired of protecting yourself or having any secrets, you know? You just want to get on with it. And we wanted to get on with it in this film in a way. AMANPOUR: You've been through some fairly public, you know, sad things

recently. You've been divorced and publicly you then spoke about what it was like to go through one of these things that not many men talk about and many men don't think it's OK to get help for certain things like alcohol and other kinds of substance.

Can you tell me so that other people, you know, who are in that kind of situation might get a little bit of a, you know, a boost from somebody like you if they need that kind of help?

PITT: Certainly for me, you know, what I -- what I realized was I was -- I was running to things to avoid -- to avoid tough feelings, painful feelings. I just didn't know how to deal with them. And looking for anything I found that I used for escape, to escape, those kinds of -- I guess difficult feelings. I don't know how better to describe it. And that can be anything. That can be drugs, booze, Netflix, you know, snacks, anything -- I don't want to be -- I don't want to, at this point, to be running from anything.

AMANPOUR: I was just interviewing Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who've written "She Said," and it's the inside story of Harvey Weinstein and how they reported and broke the news that launched the Me Too movement. And they have a lot of great things to say about Gwyneth Paltrow and how instrumental she was in helping them when they needed to sort of connect the dots.

But I wonder if you feel, you know, you can add anything to that because you do come out as, you know, one of the heroes of this story. You confronted a guy that very few people were willing to confront apparently.

PITT: Oh, well, I think that's a -- I mean, a bit much. I have a couple things to say. I mean, at that moment, you know, I was just a -- I was a boy from the Ozarks on the playground. And that's -- I mean, that was -- that's how we confronted with things.


And wanted to make sure nothing happened further because she was going to do two films.

You know, I think the -- the interesting thing is that we -- Hollywood specifically, but the workplace, men and women's dynamics is being recalibrated and recalibrated in a very good way. And it's -- it's long overdue. And I do think that's an important story to tell.


BERMAN: Really interesting.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting.

BERMAN: I also learned something about you, which is you think Leonardo DiCaprio is a better actor than Brad Pitt.

CAMEROTA: Don't let Brad hear that. He's listening right now. BERMAN: You know, I'm team Brad.


BERMAN: I'm team Brad.

CAMEROTA: I'm just kidding.

BERMAN: All right.

The breaking news this morning. "The Washington Post" reports the president made a promise to a foreign leader. A promise deemed of urgent concern within the intelligence community. What was that promise? Next.