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Ambassador Philip Reeker Set To Testify Today In Impeachment Probe; Millions Facing Critical Fire Threat In California; Houston Astros Beat Washington Nationals In Game Two; Judge Hands Dems Victory By Ruling Impeachment Inquiry Is Legal; Judge Rules House Investigators Can See Mueller Grand Jury Docs; WAPO: Trump's Strategy Shifts As Efforts To Stymie Inquiry Fail; Graham's Resolution Condemning Impeachment Has 50 Co-sponsors; Russian Agent Maria Butina Is Back Home; PG&E: 850,000 Customers May Lose Power As Fire Conditions Worsen; U.S. Budget Deficit Balloons To Nearly $1 Trillion For Fiscal 2019. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 26, 2019 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Federal judge ruling the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump is legal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five more witnesses coming up, another witness on Saturday.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think they want to impeach me because it's the only way they're going to win. They've got nothing.

STENY HOYER, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I don't want to put a time limit on it, but I think we're close. We need to dot the I's and cross the T's.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please stay home unless you're being evacuated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone evacuate. The flood is coming up (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay off the highways so that emergency vehicles can get around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This World Series, these are two really, really talented teams, really good teams, really driven teams. It takes fours wins and no one's got it yet (ph).


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning and Happy Saturday. The weekend is with us.


PAUL: And this poor is not getting a weekend.

SAVIDGE: I'm with you too.

PAUL: I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Great to be with you.

PAUL: So good to have you here. So let's talk about the top stories today starting with a rare Saturday deposition on Capitol Hill.

SAVIDGE: Ambassador Philip Reeker is set to appear before three House committees today. That will be at 11:00 a.m. He is the top State Department official who oversees U.S. policy in Europe and Eurasia. If he testifies, Reeker would be the latest career diplomat who has complied with the House subpoena to appear specifically going against the expressed wishes of the White House.

PAUL: In the meantime, PG&E may shut off power to nearly a million customers in California to prevent a, quote, "catastrophic wildfire." Now, the company said it's making that decision by 8:00 A.M. local time. This planned power outage could last for several days.

SAVIDGE: And Houston Astro fans are celebrating and probably breathing a sigh of relief after a big win this morning. The Astros could tie up the World Series tonight as they play on the road in Washington. They beat the Nationals four to one in game three last night.

A federal judge has ruled that the impeachment inquiry being held right now in Congress is legitimate. It's seen as a major victory for the Democrats and significantly undercuts the Republican argument that the process is invalid.

PAUL: Yes. The same judge also ordered the Justice Department to give Congress grand jury information that had been redacted from the Mueller report. She ruled that the information is in the public interest and should be released. Want to go to our Kristen Holmes in Washington right now. So Kristen, good to see you. I know the president's pushing this message that he's being treated unfairly. Is there any indication that's working, particularly with his supporters?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christi. That's an interesting question. It really depends on who you ask. You know, I was in Pittsburgh earlier this week with some of his most ardent supporters who did say the impeachment inquiry was a sham, that it was a witch-hunt, but we're looking at a bigger picture here. Think about the people who are still on the fence who don't know exactly what to believe and this lawsuit -- or excuse me, this ruling really undermines this idea that it is a sham, that the Republicans have been pushing, that President Trump has been pushing.

Whether or not this will stop them, we know President Trump has always liked to paint himself a victim since before he even took office on the campaign trail saying that everyone was out to get him. And in fact, yesterday at an event for criminal justice reform, he was touting his accomplishments there. He seemingly looped himself and the impeachment inquiry into a conversation about past injustice in America. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In America, you're innocent until proven guilty and we don't have investigations in search of that crime. It's a terrible thing. It hurts people very badly and it divides the country. Innocent people or those surrounding innocent people, we're being destroyed and humiliated. We have so many people that have been hurt, destroyed and humiliated in ways that we've never seen before in the history of our country.


HOLMES: Yes. So right there it's kind of unclear. He uses a little bit about the impeachment there talking about himself, but then also clearly talking about the past legal system and the injustice there, but again, clear here that he is painting this picture that he is innocent.

SAVIDGE: I'm wondering is the White House sort of believing that they're losing the PR battle here in this impeachment probe?

HOLMES: I would say this, Martin. They know that they need help. We know that they are looking outside of the White House here to kind of build a communications team. President Trump himself has said he doesn't need a war room. He's implied to his staff that he is the one- man rapid respond.

And I'll take a -- take a look here. These are the tweets last night. He's clearly setting up some sort of messaging here. You know, he talks about how the Democrats should be sued, that they no longer want the whistleblower to testify and this of course somehow undermines the situation, that he again refers to the perfect Ukrainian call.

[06:05:06] This is his messaging. The White House as well as Republicans on Capitol Hill, they want a more strategic approach. They want to streamline this so that they have the sort of war room that we saw when President Clinton was going through this process. So again, they are looking outside, trying to bring in outside counsel.

And I want to say this. Senator Lindsey Graham was asked directly this week whether or not he felt that they needed a different strategy and he said yes. They needed some sort of communications system going forward and we do know that Republicans lawmakers have been up at the White House talking to the president daily trying to figure out what exactly this is going to look like moving forward.

SAVIDGE: Yes. We'll wait to see. Kristen Holmes, thank you very much for that. And we are expecting another busy week on Capitol Hill. Former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman scheduled to testify on Monday. He listened to that July phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president, but he has asked a court to decide if he must testify in the impeachment probe.

PAUL: Alexander Vindman, the Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council, is expected to appear Tuesday and then the next day, lawmakers are expecting to hear from Kathryn Wheelbarger, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

SAVIDGE: And then if subpoenaed, Tim Morrison, a national security council official who's been identified as a key witness in the probe, he's expected to testify. And now let's bring in federal prosecutor Shan Wu and Emily Larsen, political reporter for the "Washington Examiner." Good to see you both this morning.



SAVIDGE: Shan, let me start with you. Federal judge, as we've just reported, has ruled the impeachment inquiry is legal. How significant is that, especially for Democrats going forward here?

WU: I think it's significant. It's really just a sign to the GOP that all they can do is delay. I mean, there's no real substantive defense. There's no substantive merit, nothing to be gained by trying to attack the process. I think it's interesting, too, that the same judge is releasing the Mueller information because unlike the Nixon and the Whitewater impeachment investigations, these Democrats don't have the benefit of a special prosecutor specially assigned to this topic.

Mueller tangentially has information that may be relevant to some of it so it's important that's being released now, but one of the reasons they had to proceed in private is they don't have the benefit of a special counsel having done closed, private investigations leading up to this.

SAVIDGE: Given, Shan, the fact that the Mueller probe seems so ancient history now, is there information that could come as a result of this that would be helpful for the impeachment inquiry?

WU: It's hard to know without seeing exactly what's being revealed, but I would say generally what could be seen as part of the pattern of the obstruction, part of the pattern with being open to reaching out for foreign influence, that could form part of what we're seeing with what he's -- what he, Trump, has done with the Ukraine.

SAVIDGE: Emily, let me ask you this. What does that ruling do as far as knock the legs out from under Republicans who say that this whole impeachment inquiry was delegitimate?

LARSEN: Well, I don't expect Republicans to stop saying that the impeachment inquiry is not legitimate, but it does really put a blow in the Republican strategy on how to fight the impeachment inquiry. It looks like that trying to stonewall and not let -- and the Trump administration not letting people release documents to the congressional committee's asking is really not going to work, especially with the weight of an impeachment inquiry behind that.

One of the things that Republicans have been saying is that this isn't a legitimate inquiry or a process because the House hasn't voted on it, but one of the things in this ruling said was that it doesn't need a vote in order for it to have the weight of impeachment and so I think that's going to be important going forward. SAVIDGE: Right. And another thing that was brought forward here was the judge said that the whole strategy of obstruction on the part of the White House actually was going against them here and that was part of the reason the judge ruled the way she did.

LARSEN: Certainly and I think that's something that the president and his advisors are going to consider going forward is how much is blocking and trying to use the same tactics that they use during the Mueller investigation might actually hurt them in impeachment with the weight of the inquiry behind it.

And so that's something to consider, but at the same time, the rhetoric we hear from the White House and from top Republicans in Congress I don't expect to change all too much because no matter what the courts say, I think they're going to -- still going to see this as a corrupt process or a delegitimate process and so between the -- the difference between what we're hearing from Republicans and the courts I think is going to be something to look at going forward.

SAVIDGE: Shan, what about this whole thing of messaging? The White House just can't seem to get its message straight and is now trying to come up with the right messenger.


WU: Well, yes. I think to Emily's point, they aren't likely to change their sort of blurry attempt at messaging, primarily I think because President Trump thinks he won in the Mueller situation by being obstructionist. So that's -- he's a one-trick pony. That's the only thing they know how to try and they only have two choices. I mean, their messaging can either be that we are being unfairly treated. When they lose that and the impeachment moves forward, their only other choice is to lean into it and say, OK, we've done nothing wrong.

And ultimately that's where they're going to arrive at, but I would look to see continued confusing messaging coming from the White House because the person at the top simply rambles about whatever he feels like, goes with his gut on messaging. It's going to be very hard for the Republicans to have a solid communication strategy with the White House because this White House has repeatedly shown itself to be incapable of a disciplined message strategy.

SAVIDGE: Emily, let me ask you this. Again, the judge is ruling here. What does that seem to do to Lindsey Graham's resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry because it has now, I believe, 50 co- sponsors?

LARSEN: Well, certainly it does sort of fly in the face of Lindsey Graham's resolution saying that this is an unfair process, but I think the biggest thing about this resolution is how it's going to affect all of the Republican senators who have signed on to it, particularly those who are looking at reelection in 2020 and potentially really difficult races.

They're sort of in not that great of a situation here because if they don't sign on to the resolution then they can get the wrath of Trump and looking like they're not going to back the impeachment resolution, but if they do sign on to it, then they look like maybe they're deciding how they're going to vote before they hear all of the evidence.

There have been -- I think there are three senators now who are Republican senators who are not signed on to this impeachment inquiry, in part some of them saying that they want to see all of the evidence before they commit to it.

SAVIDGE: And it will be interesting to see how those three act in the aftermath of this ruling. Emily Larsen, Shan Wu, good to see you both. Thank you very much.

WU: Good to see you.

LARSEN: Thank you.

PAUL: And breaking overnight, a convicted Russian operative has just returned to her home country. Moments ago, Maria Butina arrived in Moscow. Take a look here.

The Russian national pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government as she tried to infiltrate conservative political groups and promote Russian interests. After serving more than 15 months behind bars, she was released from a federal Florida prison yesterday and immediately deported. And again, there she is with flowers apparently in hand welcomed home to Moscow.

SAVIDGE: Welcome back. Meanwhile, a fire emergency in California. New evacuations underway, massive power outages planned for tens of thousands as fears really grow that the wind and extremely dry conditions expected this weekend could be historically bad.

PAUL: Also, while the attention's on the impeachment inquiry, behind the scenes, the Trump administration is pushing ahead with the appointment of new judges. We're going to take a look at how that's going to rebalance the justice system in the years ahead.

SAVIDGE: And we saw something in our nation's capital last night that hasn't happened in 86 years, but it was not the result of National fans we're looking for. Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, Martin. Baseball fans in the city getting to celebrate their first World Series game since 1933, but the Astros ruining at the party. I'll show you how game three unfolded coming up.




PAUL: Seventeen minutes past the hour right now. I want to show you some of the latest pictures that we're getting out of California as we're learning of new evacuations this morning in effect for at least parts of Sonoma County in Northern California there. Officials are really worried about some extremely dry conditions that are lingering, strong winds that could be the ingredients for a really dangerous firefight this weekend.

SAVIDGE: The out-of-control Kincade Fire has already burned more than 23,000 acres. Health officials are also worried about the poor air quality from all that smoke and there are also concerns about the fires burning dangerously close to powerlines. PG&E says damage on one of their transmission towers may have sparked the fire and today the California utility says it may cut off power preemptively to some 850,000 customers across Northern California as they issue a very dire warning about the dangers still ahead.


ANDY VESEY, PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY: I have been in this business for more than 40 years and I have worked all over the world and I have never seen overall conditions like the one we are seeing and forecasting for this weekend.


PAUL: And with Southern California, the Tick Fires burn more than 4,000 acres thus far and some residents in Los Angeles County are being allowed to go back home, but firefighters there are keeping an eye on some hot spots that could certainly spark up again they say.

SAVIDGE: CNN's Nadia Romero has more now on the fires that are burning across California.


NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Tick Fire in Southern California engulfing homes, evacuations mounting.

KATHRYN BARGER, LA COUNTY SUPERVISOR, FIFTH DISTRICT: This is the largest evacuation that we've had in Santa Clarita.

ROMERO: A similar scene at the Kincade Fire in Northern California, forcing hundreds there to flee ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Geyserville is under mandatory evacuation.

ROMERO: ... where flames already scorched more than 20,000 acres ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The winds are just blowing embers all over the roads.

ROMERO: ... with bad air quality spreading.

SARA CODY, DIRECTOR OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT, SANTA CLARA COUNTY: Those particulates can go deep down into your lungs.

ROMERO: Back in Southern California, on the ground and Santa Clarita, fire crews working overtime as the howling winds help the flames spread, battling against the L.A. County Fire Department. DARYL OSBY, LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: Approximately 20 mile- per-hour winds with gusts up to 30 to 40 mile per hours. So we're going to work on containment.

ROMERO: Up north, vineyards are burning in Sonoma County's wine country as planes drop retardant trying to suppress the flames.

GAVIN NEWSOM, (D) CALIFORNIA: We have the best and the brightest in this business, some of the finest folks that exist in the business doing heroic work.

ROMERO: PG&E reporting an outage of a high-voltage transmission line was spotted right before the Kincade Fire sparked.

BILL JOHNSON, CEO, PG&E: And what appears to be a broken jumper on one of our transmission towers.

ROMERO: The investigation into what started both fires in Southern and Northern California continues.


SAVIDGE: Thanks to Nadia Romero for that update.


PAUL: Want to go to CNN Meteorologist, Ivan Cabrera now. Ivan, help us understand really what the threat is over the weekend because as I understand, this is an event that's going to last until at least Monday..

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's going to last till Monday, Christi. Martin, good to see you. And it is continuing to get worse. Notice the theme there. Largest ever, worse ever, never seen anything like it. These are people that have been working these fires and have experience of many decades here. You follow the theme there. Every single year it just seems to be getting worse and not seems to be getting worse at this point, it just is, right?

So this is what we have going. The Diablo winds, aptly named for this time of year, right? The fuels are there as far as the dryness of them. We have the winds that are going to exceed at times 70 mile an hour gusts and we're going to continue to see that spread as we head through the day tonight and heading into tomorrow specifically. There you begin to see some pink.

So let's talk about and show you what's going to be happening here over the next few days. Less people effected up to the north, but I think this is the area where it's going to be worse, guys. Seventy, again, mile an hour winds. We're talking about winds coming off the mountains here. They dive down through the valley and go back up across coastal range and then come back down and all the while we continue to see that wind and that dry air continuing.

Look at the wind speeds here over the next several days here, 20, 30, 40 and then at some point here we're going to begin to relax those winds, but we're talking Sunday night into the early part of Monday and I'm afraid that by the time that happens, it's too late here because the fire spread (ph) is going to be significant.

Boy, are we covering a lot of stuff. I've just jumped over to the Gulf. If you haven't heard of Olga, yes, we had a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. It's post tropical, but it's still causing problems and I think we will continue to see a significant flood threat because of all the rain that's already fallen and (ph) some areas under this flash flood watch have picked up upwards of 10 inches of rainfall. California could use that. Not going to get an inch and even less as we continue to see Olga's remnants impacting with the southeast. We'll continue to keep you posted on the ever changing fire conditions in California as well, guys.

SAVIDGE: Ivan Cabrera keeping a track on fires and the potential for flooding. Thanks very much.

PAUL: Thanks, Ivan. Well, despite President Trump's promises to shrink or even eliminate the U.S. budget deficit, it's ballooned to nearly $1 trillion at this point. We're talking about this and more with Scott Jennings and Shermichael Singleton who are up next.

SAVIDGE: And not one, not two, but five. You are looking at Justin Walker. He is the fifth judicial nominee to be confirmed despite being labeled not qualified by the American Bar Association.




SAVIDGE: We are awaiting new testimony this morning in the ongoing impeachment inquiry. This time it is Philip Reeker's turn to answer questions. He's a top State Department official who oversees European policy.

PAUL: Sources say he could corroborate previous testimony and shed light on his interactions with the former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. A former State Department official says Reeker was kept in the loop on U.S.-Ukrainian relations. That's following accusations that the president abused his power by putting pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

Let's talk about everything here. Scott Jennings, CNN political commentator, columnist for "USA Today" and former special assistant to President George W. Bush with us, as well Shermichael Singleton, Republican strategist. Gentlemen, thank you both so much for being here. We appreciate it.


PAUL: I want to start, though --

SCOTT JENNINGS, COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Morning. PAUL: -- with the impeachment inquiry and the federal judge here that orders that the Justice Department has to turn over redacted portions of the Mueller report by next week, October 30th, to the House Judiciary Committee. Senator Lindsey Graham we know already has a resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry and there are now 50 Republicans who have co-sponsored that. Scott, this federal ruling, this federal judge seems to legitimize the proceedings of this inquiry. What is the Republican strategy at this point?

JENNINGS: Well, the Republican strategy is to call attention to what they believe is a secretive process in the House that's not being done out in public for everyone to see. It's being done behind closed doors and they're using selective leaks to paint a picture that we -- where we don't have the full context of what's being said in the testimony. So the Republican strategy is to really try to delegitimize the process.

Now, the facts are going to come out and the facts are the facts and over time, you'll see more information and I assume, at some point, Nancy Pelosi will have to take this thing public. She can't conduct the whole thing behind closed doors because at some point you got to put articles of impeachment on the floor and you have to have a vote, but the Republicans right now I think are having some success at convincing the American people that if Pelosi had real confidence in what she was doing, she would be doing it out in public ...

PAUL: OK. Before -- well ...

JENNINGS: ... and having a vote to even open an inquiry in the first place.

PAUL: But Scott, on these three committees, there are Republicans that sit on these three committees. It's not secretive. They have the opportunity to ask their own questions.

JENNINGS: Sure. Republicans are in the committees, but my point is and I think what the Republican strategy is -- you asked me about what the strategy is -- is to say why do these things behind closed doors? Why not put it out on display ...

PAUL: Well ...

JENNINGS: ... for all the American public to see?

PAUL: So are you saying that the -- when they talk to the whistleblower that that should be public and the whistleblower shouldn't be protected, although by standards and protocol he should be, he or she?

JENNINGS: No, I'm not arguing that whistleblower should have their cover blown, but I think when you do have people come in under subpoena that are public officials currently serving in our government it's a legitimate question to ask why is it that their testimony can't be done in public and must be done behind closed doors?

PAUL: All righty. Shermichael, I wanted to ask you. This redacted material, it doesn't -- as I understand it, it doesn't connect with the Ukraine call necessarily which is the impetus for the impeachment inquiry. This is about the Mullen report. So how do you connect those two?

SINGLETON: I mean, I'm not exactly sure how they're going to connect the, two which I found this to be extremely interesting and I think if Democrats fall into the trap of bringing up the Mueller investigation and probe again, I think it would be a catastrophic mistake. If you look at some recent polling that's out, let's say Iowa for example, only 7 percent of Independent voters there believe the impeachment inquiry is a critical issue.

When you look at most battleground states writ large, it is not a top five issue of concern for voters.


And so to some (ph) of what Scott was saying, I think, Christi, what you're seeing Republicans are doing is not necessarily attacking the substance of the inquiry, they're attacking the process, they're attempting to raise doubt in the minds not of Republican voters because Republican voters are with the president and not with Democratic voters because they're going to be against the president.

But with that 15 percent of folks who are in the middle, specifically those in key swing states who we know have sort of somewhat seen a 2 percent or 3 percent increase in support for an impeachment inquiry, but for the most part, that's sort of flat line. And so, I think what Republicans are attempting to do strategically is make sure that those numbers do not increase. Which I think is a benefit to this president.

PAUL: But per protocol -- excuse me, per protocol, they are following procedures because this is going to go public mid-November.


PAUL: Is it not fair argument to say we don't want to -- we don't -- we don't want to give any sort of sway or taint the testimony from anybody else based on somebody else's previous testimony, which may have been public?

SINGLETON: Well, look, I always say when I try to describe this to people. I say imagine this as being the grand jury process of this entire thing.

PAUL: Right --

SINGLETON: Democrats are trying to get information, they're trying to sort of collaborate with one person has said against what another person has said. And keep in mind when Trey Gowdy ran a committee in the initial process of Benghazi hearing, a lot of those meetings and questionings were held behind closed doors before they went public.

So, again, I understand the criticism from my side, and I think that criticism is to Scott's point raise some doubt in the minds of independent voters. But I think Democrats are following protocol in the rules as written in the house.

PAUL: OK, I want to move to the federal deficit for 2019 budget year. It is reportedly now $984.4 billion. That's the highest it's been in seven years. The Trump administration and the Congressional Budget Office are projecting it's going to hit a trillion dollars in this budget year. And Scott, I mean, that scares a lot of people.

During 2016, the president promised that he was going to reduce or eliminate the budget deficit, and now it seems to be surging. Is there a plan? Do Republicans have a plan to reduce it?

JENNINGS: Well, I think Republicans would say they'd love to cut spending, but that the increase-spending we've seen in Washington is a by-product of divided government. I mean, we saw actual revenues surge by 4 percent for the federal government last year, but spending surged twice that much -- twice that much largely on things like defense spending and entitlement spending.

You know, over the last ten years, my wife and I have had a lot of kids in the house. I've learned one thing that it's never popular to be the one parent who says no. That in order to really say no, you have to have both parents showing true resolve. And I don't think we're --

PAUL: Yes --

JENNINGS: Ever going to see spending cuts until both parties step forward together and say, enough is enough, we have to cut spending. The problem is --


JENNINGS: Spending is popular. The domestic spending priorities is the American people haven't really changed. They want stuff and there's always been one party that wants to give it to them.

PAUL: Shermichael, is the tax plan adding to this tax cuts?

JENNINGS: Yes, I mean, of course, it is. And I never supported the tax bill that was passed because the CBO at that time said that it would increase the deficit. I mean, the only thing that the president has going for him is the strength of this economy. And I think Republicans are extremely hypocritical because when Democrats were in power, we argued so much about fiscal responsibility about cuts.

And now that we're in control, we have the Senate, we have the presidency for a while, we had the house. What did we do? We only added to the budget. And I can imagine there are millions of people across this country who wish they had an limitless credit card where they could keep swiping and swiping and swiping. That's not the reality. So, at some point here, we have to balance this budget.

PAUL: All right, Scott Jennings and Shermichael Singleton, we appreciate you both being here, gentlemen, thank you.

SINGLETON: Thanks so much, guys. JENNINGS: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: The World Series made its return to the nation's capitol for the first time in a long time. Andy, you weren't there back then, but here you are --

SCHOLES: Yes, in game --


Yes, in game three ended just about six hours ago, but it didn't quite go the way the fans here in D.C. wanted. We'll show you how the Astros got back into this World Series coming up.



SAVIDGE: Well, the Houston Astros, they are back. In the World Series, they picked up a huge win in game three.

PAUL: Yes, Andy Scholes is in Washington, kind of a tough place for it to -- for them to have their win. You know --

SAVIDGE: A lot going on these days.

PAUL: Yes, there's a lot going on, Andy.

SCHOLES: Yes, good morning, guys, you know, the fans here were ready for the World Series. It's the first time it's been here in the city in 86 years. So, this is the first time the Nationals as a franchise got to play a World Series game at home. You walk around anywhere here in Washington D.C., all you see everywhere is "Go Nats!"

And the fans were just ready to go nuts last night at the ballpark in game three with the team up, 2-0. But every time the Nationals had a chance to do something big, they just came up short. The team going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. And they left 12 runners on base.

Now, the crowd here was able to get all hyped up in the bottom of the sixth inning. That's when Gerardo Parra came up to pinch-hit, and they played his walk-up song which is "Baby Shark" which has basically become the anthem for the Nationals. But again, that inning, the Nationals just couldn't find a way to knock in any runs. The Astros would come through to win game three, 4-1, your final, to get back into the Series.


DAVE MARTINEZ, MANAGER, WASHINGTON NATIONALS: The fans were awesome. I mean it was electric. The boys in the dug-out, you know, they were fired up, they were. I'll relay a message to the fans, bring it again tomorrow. I mean, it was great and I loved it.

AJ HINCH, MANAGER, HOUSTON ASTROS: We're not afraid of playing in any venue. This is a great atmosphere, the fans here were incredible and just alive like you would expect in the World Series. And our players thrive on that too.



SCHOLES: All right, and Nationals fans, they hope to see a win tonight in game 4. The first pitch just after 8:00 Eastern, and it's again, a very expensive ticket. Standing-room only tickets for tonight going for more than $900. All right, right now, with the Astros' win, that does guarantee a game five on Sunday, and President Trump plans on attending.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he spoke with President Trump and in order to not disrupt the fans getting in and out of the stadium, President Trump says he'll arrive after the first pitch and then leave before the game is over.

Now, these days we all know there's plenty of disagreement here in the nation's Capitol, but one thing everyone can agree on for at least a couple of weeks is cheering for the Nationals. And I caught up with our own Nationals super fan Wolf Blitzer, and he said, it's just a very special time here in the city.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN: It just brought the whole community together during a rather tumultuous political environment, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. You see them all at the games. I go to a lot of the games. They're always there. Everybody loves the Washington Nationals. We're on a roll right now, and you know, let's hope for the best.


SCHOLES: Yes, and you might have seen me, guys, wearing an Astros jersey while I was talking to Wolf. I was born and raised in Houston, so I wanted a few, maybe that left the stadium with a little bit of a smile on my face. But hey, it's 2-1 now, just hoping for a great World Series.

SAVIDGE: Oh, that's great, we'll look forward with it -- look forward to it with you, that's what I meant to say. Great seeing you, Andy.


Have fun --

PAUL: Thanks, Andy.

SAVIDGE: Following the letter of the law and moving to more serious topics, the constitution sets forth no specific requirements for becoming a federal judge. We'll tell you how the president is taking advantage of that.



PAUL: Well, whether he wins a second term or not, President Trump's impact on the courts is going to last for decades. The Republican-led Senate is confirming a president's judicial pick really at a rapid pace at this point.

SAVIDGE: The way he's changing the course actually is very strong with his base. But as CNN Correspondent, Tom Foreman tells us, there's a problem, a number of nominees are headed to the bench despite being labeled not qualified by the American Bar Association.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): A federal judge who, imagine this, will uphold the laws and the constitution as they're actually written.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another judicial confirmation, another controversy.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Very few are related not qualified -- are called not qualified, but he's one of them.

FOREMAN: Justin Walker, 37 years old, an assistant professor of law. He's the fifth Trump judicial nominee the American Bar Association has labeled not qualified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nominations confirmed.

FOREMAN: But who this week was confirmed anyway on a party line vote, backing the president's earlier proclamation, the entire court system is changing at a record pace.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we're going to be putting in a lot more.

FOREMAN: It's true, George W. Bush sat 152 judges, Bill Clinton, 154, Barack Obama, 94. But they were two-term presidents. Trump has already sworn in 157.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you worked on any other criminal case?

FOREMAN: Democrats are howling over the sheer number and the idea that some nominees appear distinctly unprepared. Indeed, eight have earned that bar association label not qualified. But many Democrats are even more concerned that Trump is picking judges principally because they are favorable to conservative views on everything from immigration to gun control to gay rights to abortion laws.

CHRISTOPHER KANG, CHIEF COUNSEL, DEMAND JUSTICE: Conservatives for decades have understood that our courts are a political body.

FOREMAN: The president's supporters deny a political agenda, but they crow about how many of his picks are in their 30s and 40s. LEONARD LEO, TRUMP JUDICIAL ADVISER: The president has said on quite

a number of occasions that he looks for people who are not only extraordinarily well qualified, but who are young because judges serve for life, and it's good to have someone on the bench who's going to be there for a long time.

FOREMAN: And that is already settled. Impeachment or not, re-elected or sent away, Trump's judicial legacy will remain.

STEVE VLADECK, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We'll still be talking about judges appointed by President Trump, you know, well into the 2050s and even the early 2060s.

FOREMAN (on camera): And don't expect this much of judges to end any time soon. In the coming weeks we should see more of them, some, whose qualifications or lack of the same will have Democratic alarm bells ringing. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: Tom, thank you. So, the Trump hotel in Washington as you know has been circled by a lot of controversy and lawsuits. Well, there's news now that maybe there could be a selloff. Details on reports that the president may be checking out of his own hotel so to speak.



PAUL: Fifty two minutes pass the hour, and I want to give you this update about someone that we met last year. Life has been changed by the top 10 CNN Hero Amanda Boxtel. Her organization provides free or low-cost cutting edge therapy to people with mobility impairments. Here's Anderson Cooper.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Three years ago, Nate White injured his spine in a kayaking accident and was told he'd never walk again. But his hard work and determination along with Amanda's incredible help has paid off.


COOPER: A year ago, he did this. And now just three years after his accident, he's doing this.

WHITE: Amanda always believed that I was going to be walking again.

AMANDA BOXTEL, ENTREPRENEUR: He's living the miracle of what we all aspire for. This is the power of technology that everybody should have access to. That's my goal.


PAUL: The 2019 top 10 CNN heroes will be revealed next Wednesday. Find out who is going to get this year's honor.

SAVIDGE: After years of backlash over taking over Washington's historical post office and the turning it into a hotel, the Trump Organization is reportedly thinking about selling it.

PAUL: Yes, this news comes amid questions about possible ethics violations on the part of the executive branch. CNN Politics and Business Correspondent, Cristina Alesci walks us through this.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christi and Martin, the Trump organization says it is exploring a sale of the right to lease the hotel because all of the controversy surrounding it. But there's more to this story based on my reporting. Let's take a look at the statement that Eric Trump put out. He is running the Trump Organization on a day-to-day basis, and he tells us, quote, "people are objecting to us making so much money on the hotel, therefore, we may be willing to sell.

Well, first of all, ethics experts have a problem with any amount of profit the president makes from this hotel because they believe it's a conduit for corruption.


Two, there are open legal questions of whether the president's company is actually legally allowed to accept payments from foreign and domestic government entities, and that issue is the subject of at least three lawsuits. And as for Eric's claim that the hotel is making a ton of money, well, it's unclear.

I've reported on this property for years, and while it's true that the business profited during the inauguration, after that, it does appear that the hotel's business did trail off a bit. Now, remember, many companies that hosts conferences in D.C. or have their executives visit the city, they may not want to book there to avoid controversy altogether, so the Trump Organization might be losing out to competitors on that specific front.

The Trump Organization also has to be careful not to market two foreigners. So, the business may have decided to explore how much it could make by unloading this property. Now, the "Wall Street Journal" is reporting that the Trump Organization wants $500 million for the lease rights to the building. That's a lot of money.

In fact, the paper says a deal of that size would make the transaction one of the biggest hotel deals in the city's history. Christi, Martin?

PAUL: All right, Cristina, thank you so much. We'll be right back. More on a major win for the Democrats as it seems to be. A judge ruling that the impeachment probe is legitimate.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A federal judge ruling the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump is legal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five more witnesses coming up, another witness on Saturday.

TRUMP: I think they want to impeach me because it's the only way they're going to win. They've got nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to put a time limit on him, but I think we're close.