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New Fire in California; 49ers Hold off Cardinals; Americans Divided on Impeachment; Conditions Worsen for Asylum Seekers; Unchecked Bullying on FaceBook. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 1, 2019 - 06:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, another California wildfire. This is a new fast-growing fire. It is burning at this hour in Ventura County, California. About 5,000 acres in this area have already been consumed. And 7,500 residents in Santa Paula, northwest of L.A., have been forced to evacuate.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is live in southern California with the breaking details.

Omar, again, I mean every morning we talk to you and it seems as though a new fire has cropped up overnight.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. I mean this is what officials were fearing coming into this week. And this was not how Halloween night was supposed to go for residents here in Santa Paula, California, again, northwest of Los Angeles. They, yesterday evening, were dealing with this. This is the latest -- among the latest fires to break out across this region, the Maria Fire, as we've been observing here. And the night choppers have been out and busy. They've been working on this throughout the evening. This is actually the only state where crews are able to work at night because they, in their words, say they just can't afford to allow these fires to burn without making any progress over the course of the evening.

Now, one thing that was interesting, we heard what sounded like an explosion right in the direction of where these main flames are just a few moments ago. We're trying to confirm exactly what that was.

But you hit on something that's really critical over the course of this. That, look, we started the week in Los Angeles dealing with the Getty Fire. Then we made our way over, back here to Ventura County, to deal with the Easy Fire. That's the one that threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Yesterday, we went to San Bernardino to deal with the Hillside Fire. And now you're seeing just how widespread the Maria Fire is across this canyon here. Thousands of residents facing evacuation.

The point is, these winds, these high winds we have been seeing, have been wreaking havoc on southern California, and crews are hoping to use a bit of relief in the winds today, that we have seen compared to previous days, to try and make progress on these and tackle and basically get these closer to extinguishment for the more than 11 active fires across the state.


JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: Omar, thank you for that amazing reporting these past few days. Just horrific stuff in California.

Meanwhile, Thursday night football featured a battle between two of the league's most exciting device rivals, the San Francisco 49ers going into this game undefeated and the Arizona Cardinals.

We've got Carolyn Manno, more with the "Bleacher Report."



Well, The San Francisco 49ers are undefeated. A big reason why has been their defense. That's been the story. But on Thursday night, we saw something just a little bit different. Their quarterback had a chance to show what the team's offense is capable of this season. It's got a lot of people thinking about the Super Bowl already.

Jimmy Garoppolo and the 9ers offense executing on big downs, cashing in on Arizona's mistakes. Tight end George Kittle drew comparisons to Rob Gronkowski on Twitter and the end of the first quarter, answering an opening drive score from Arizona. A beastly 30 yard touchdown run.

The Cardinals did fight back, though. Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray finding Andy Isabella in the fourth quarter. An 88 yard touchdown. Two point conversion. That would bring the game within three.

This second round pick has wheels, John, let me tell you. Outran four defenders. 9ers facing a third and 11 from their own 48 yard line here. Garoppolo hitting his newest offensive weapon, former Bronco Emmanuel Sanders, 16 yard catch. Veteran receiver a very welcomed addition to San Francisco. Would kill the clock from there to remain undefeated on the year.

And the district of champions is preparing for, you like that, another victory parade. Eighteen months after the Capitals brought the Stanley Cup to the district in three weeks, after the Mystics won their first WMBA title, the Nationals are back as World Series champions. That's first baseman Ryan Zimmerman who had the honor of carrying the trophy off the plane from Houston on Thursday. The first World Series championship for the franchise.

So tomorrow's parade starts at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. It ends with a rally near the Capitol. So I'm saying, if you're at home, maybe leave the car at home. You know, just prepare accordingly for traffic. But it should be a lot of fun.

CAMEROTA: He was carrying a trophy and a baby. That was a -- MANNO: Yes, double fisting.

AVLON: As one does.

CAMEROTA: Yes, yes --

MANNO: A different kind of double fisting than what we've seen in this World Series.

CAMEROTA: Carolyn, thank you very much.

So FaceBook says that they do not tolerate bullying. But a new CNN investigation finds that the platform has done nothing to stop harassment. Our findings of this investigation, coming up.



CAMEROTA: It's been an historic week in Washington. The House of Representatives moving forward with public impeachment hearings against President Trump.

How is all of this playing and how is it going to play for the election?

Joining us now is Michael Smerconish, host of CNN's "SMERCONISH."

So, Michael, we've just gotten this new poll numbers out and it shows the country is completely divided. This is an ABC News/"Washington Post" poll, 49 percent of Americans say yes should President Trump be impeached and removed from office, 47 percent say no. I mean that is just, you know a complete divide. And if you look at the battleground states, as you know, they are much more against impeachment than the national poll.

And so what does that tell you about Nancy Pelosi's motives? I mean clearly this is not a politically astute move.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: (INAUDIBLE) reflect the president's approval rating. And that's been relatively consistent throughout the course of this process.


If I'm Republican strategist in the Senate, if I'm Mitch McConnell, if I'm the White House and I look at the battleground data, I want to push this into 2020. I want to have this playing itself out against the backdrop of Americans voting in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary because I think it strengthens my argument that the resolution of this should be at the ballot box.

AVLON: You know, Michael, you know, President Trump famously said he doesn't want or need swing voters in this election. That generally flies in the face of reality. One deep dive under this brand new poll, as a fellow independent you'll be interested. Among independents the top line is actually reversed, 47 percent say they support, 49 percent currently opposed.

The president has an opening here. And his opening campaign ad during the World Series seemed to double down on trying to appeal to those swing voters. This was really a good ad. Democrats have acknowledged that.

What was your take?

SMERCONISH: It reminded me of a defense lawyer who, in a criminal trial says, hey, I don't like my client either. You don't have to like my client, but just know that he didn't commit the crime. That's what I thought of.

And, John, my second reaction is, wow, that they're able to spend this amount of money, this early on, when, by way of comparison, Joe Biden, I think, at last report had $9 million in cash on hand. So it really spoke to the power of incumbency, of not having to face primary challenges, at a time when the Democrats are all, of course, locked in a battle against one another.

CAMEROTA: Oh, President Trump's campaign is flush with cash.



CAMEROTA: Flush with cash. While the Democrats are dividing the pie, you know, into so many people. The president, his campaign, can do whatever they want.

So here's a little piece of that campaign ad to show everyone.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats would rather focus on impeachment and phony investigations, ignoring the real issues. But that's not stopping Donald Trump. He's no Mr. Nice Guy, but sometimes it takes a Donald Trump to change Washington.


CAMEROTA: Yes, and --

AVLON: No Mr. Nice Guy.

CAMEROTA: And he didn't have to be because, you know, if you show that he's busy getting al-Baghdadi while they're busy, you know, at the podium sort of arguing this, I mean that's -- those are effective optics.

SMERCONISH: Yes, I think that he's going to replace the Rolling Stones with Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" from circa, I don't know, 1973 or '74 at the next rally.

CAMEROTA: Which is the best song ever.

AVLON: I appreciate the Alice Cooper reference early in the morning. Day after Halloween. I think it's appropriate.

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, you know, Michael, I mean, I think that what you often hear pundits say is that, well, when this impeachment process moves to the public phase, then you'll see the public polling change.

But I'm -- I don't know that to be true because much of this has been public. I mean we talk every day about the opening statements. We read what, you know, comes out of some of these closed door hearings. And so what do you think?

SMERCONISH: I think you made an excellent point earlier in the program today in noting the way the vote fell along partisan lines. Two Democrats stepped out. Zero Republicans. John Avlon pointed out, you've got all of these impending retirements. And, still, that didn't give any Republicans the courage to do what perhaps some thought was necessary.

So it looks like, regardless, Alisyn, of what comes out in these public hearing, members of Congress are going to be completely lock- step with their parties.

AVLON: But, Michael, just, final point, I mean, what does that say about our ability to reason together. The official White House statement basically says the president has done nothing wrong. This is an illegal impeachment proceeding. It's somehow unconstitutional.

Does it mean that Republicans aren't willing to listen to facts? Does it mean we can't have a conversation about the facts?

SMERCONISH: John, I don't think that this is a battle of what went on here. It's a completely consistent story. And the testimony yesterday was just further confirmation. It's now an issue of, what are we going to do about it? You know, and to Democrats, it's an impeachable offense.

I found interesting, Senator Pat Toomey's comments yesterday where he acknowledged wrongdoing by the president and essentially said, OK, but the bar for impeachment is really high, and this doesn't match that level.

CAMEROTA: Michael Smerconish, thank you very much for your take, as always.

AVLON: Thanks.

SMERCONISH: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: And be sure to watch "SMERCONISH" tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

AVLON: All right, humanitarian crisis at the border has been out of the headlines amid the impeachment drama, but the human suffering is only getting worse. We've got a new CNN report from one of the camps in Mexico where thousands of migrants are awaiting their immigration decision. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


AVLON: All right, President Trump insists things are better along the U.S. border with Mexico, but in reality, the humanitarian crisis is getting significantly worse. A short walk from the border into Mexico, and scores of asylum seeking migrants living in quickly deteriorating conditions while they wait for the U.S. immigration cases.

CNN's Nick Valencia got a firsthand look at conditions in one makeshift tent camp.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In this migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico, the suffering is everywhere.

Angela, the mother of this sick two-year-old, says that two months ago they cross into the United States seeking asylum. After three days in U.S. custody, they were put on a bus and driven into Mexico. It's part of the Trump administration's migrant protection protocols. A policy which now requires migrants, like her, to remain in Mexico for their asylum cases to be called on, if they cross illegally or without proper documentation. More than 55,000 people are now scattered in camps all throughout the U.S.-Mexico border.

VALENCIA (on camera): he says she's really worried about her kids. They're not getting enough water. They're not living a very healthy life right mow.

VALENCIA (voice over): The camps are overseen by the Mexican government, which is publicly committed to protecting the migrants, but their asylum proceedings and, in many ways their fate, is entirely controlled by the United States.

MATTHEW ALBENCE, ACTING ICE DIRECTOR: What we have seen, which is consistent with my experience, as we have seen time and time again, that when individuals cannot come into this country illegally, and be released from detention, the numbers of those individuals that try to come to this country decreases.

VALENCIA (on camera): This is as a result of U.S. policy?

ROCHELLE GARZA, STAFF ATTORNEY, ACLU OF TEXAS: Yes. This entire encampment, these conditions, they deaths, these drownings, all of it is a result of U.S. policy.

VALENCIA (voice over): ACLU of Texas staff attorney Rochelle Garza says the migrants are being denied due process. She says their fate is being decided in an unprecedented way in makeshift tent courts. The policy is being challenged in court. But, for now, is being allowed to proceed. The Department of Homeland Security has credited the program with slowing the flow of migrants at the border.

[06:50:01] VALENCIA (on camera): You hear the president say that things have gotten better on the border and then we walk through scenes like this.

GARZA: It's gotten better because they feel like they've gotten rid of the problem, right? It's out of -- out of sight out of mind.

VALENCIA: It's just sort of shutting it five feet from our boarder.

GARZA: And it's right at our doorstep of the United States. And this is entirely our fault. This whole thing, how these people are living.

VALENCIA (voice over): This is what life has come to for 42-year-old Avelina Makia (ph). Like most mornings for the last three months, the Honduran migrant can be found here on the banks of the Rio Grande, washing her clothes in the same filthy and contaminated water that others are now using to bathe.

VALENCIA (on camera): She says she knows that the water is dirty, but they themselves can't be dirty. They need to still keep some dignity.

VALENCIA (voice over): But migrants here told us it's hard to keep their dignity when you're forced into a situation like this. A place where the camp grows every day, and the few resources available are used up.

Today, one of the biggest problems, there were only a handful of bathrooms for the more than 2,000 migrants who call this camp home.

VALENCIA (on camera): What can't be translated on camera is the smell. There's not enough bathrooms for all the migrants that are here. And all around us in this encampment, like here, toilet paper and human feces everywhere.

VALENCIA (voice over): For some, like this couple told us, life is worse here than in their home country of Guatemala.

VALENCIA (on camera): So you're with your wife and your three-year-old and you were all kidnapped together.

VALENCIA (voice over): They don't want their faces seen because they say they were recently kidnapped and extorted by expected cartels while living in Mexico.

VALENCIA (on camera): He says he's thinking about going back because it's been a lot of time spent here and they're getting sick.

VALENCIA (voice over): Going back to a country they fled because of violence, only for it to follow them. Now living in questionable conditions, they're scared for their lives.

VALENCIA (on camera): What is your worst fear at this point?

GARZA: I fear for every single human being that I've talked to, I fear for their lives.

VALENCIA: You fear that they won't be able to make it out of here alive?


VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Matamoros, Mexico.


AVLON: And we should note that CNN has received a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection in response to Nick's reporting, and it says in part, Customs and Border Patrol has enrolled more than 55,000 people in the MPP, Migrant Protection Protocols, returning many to Mexico to await their immigration hearings. Mexico is providing humanitarian protection and even work authorizations to these individuals during their stay.

CAMEROTA: All right, thank you for that reporting.

Meanwhile, FaceBook is under fire for its policy not to fact-check political ads. Now a CNN investigation raises new concerns that the social media giant is soft on bullies who abuse others online with hateful and violent rhetoric.

CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen spent six months investigating this.

So, Elizabeth, tell us your findings.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, what FaceBook says is that they don't tolerate bullying. But what we found is that there is a lot of bullying, and some of it is very, very disturbing.

I want to introduce you to Ayesha Odem (ph). Ayesha's brother has immune issues and so she goes onto FaceBook and she advocates for people to get vaccinated so that people like her brother will be protected. She opened up her FaceBook Messenger, that's the private messenger -- direct messenger service on FaceBook on day in April to find this message. I want to show it to you. It says -- it calls her the "n" word. It calls her an obscene word. It says kill yourself. Kill your kids. Kill your parents. That black box there, those are graphic instructions on how to slit your wrists.

She was, as you can imagine, very, very upset about this. She reported it to FaceBook. And what they did was that woman who wrote her that message, she was not allowed on Messenger for 30 days. That was it. She could do anything else she wanted on FaceBook but she couldn't send private messages for 30 days.

And when CNN, when we sent it to them and said, really, that's all you did, then they took that woman off the platform. But it took us to get involved for that woman to be kicked off the platform.

And this was not her first offense. She had done other things like this before.

So we asked FaceBook about this and they gave us this statement. So I'm going to read this to you now. Facebook says that, we want members of our community to feel safe and respected on FaceBook and will remove material that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them. We try to empower our users with controls such as blocking other users and moderating comments so they can limit their exposure to unwanted offensive or hurtful content. We also encourage people to report bullying behavior on our platform so we can learn to review the content and take proper action.

And that's according to a FaceBook spokeswoman -- person.

AVLON: Elizabeth, I mean they say they want people to report them, but they knew about this message because it was reported to them. So what about the ones that aren't reported?


COHEN: You know, the people that we talked to, where their messages aren't reported, and we, unfortunately, have dozens of horrific messages using all sorts of obscene language that we can't even talk about on television, and nothing was done. Those people, as far as we know, as far as FaceBook has told us, nothing happened to those people because FaceBook didn't know about it. FaceBook really emphasizes people need to report this content us to.

But I was talking to people, for example mothers who lost their children. Their children died of vaccine preventable diseases. So they went on FaceBook to encourage vaccination and got these horrible messages and they said, we got thousands of them. There was no way we could possibly report them. Not to mention the fact that we were mourning the loss of a child. So they do go unreported. And FaceBook puts the onus on people to report them. They, by their own admission, are not very good at proactively finding these types of horrible messages.

CAMEROTA: I mean what are they good at, Elizabeth? And I -- the reason I say that is because they -- they talk the talk of they want to do the right thing. You know, they're trying to do the right thing for democracy. But then when it comes to action, they just fall down. And I don't know, I can't tell if it's lack of manpower or lack of caring or why?

COHEN: You know, Alisyn, I've talked to several people who say exactly what you say. I mean these are people who study social media. And they say, we don't get it, why can't FaceBook do more. And FaceBook says, look, some people will call each other the "n" word or other terrible names in jest. So we don't want to punish someone if they're just using a certain word or the "b" word kind of in jest to each other as true friends. So how are we supposed to detect it?

You know, I talked to some folks who specialize in these kind of algorithms and they're like, wait a second, they should be able to do this. There are ways to detect when this language is being used in an offensive, hurtful way. For example, to go back to that message that I showed you earlier, you call someone the "n" word, you say slit your wrists, kill yourself, kill your parents, kill your children, and you give graphic instructions on how to slit your wrists and you can't find that? Some people really find that hard to believe.

CAMEROTA: Yes, it is.

Elizabeth, thank you very much for bringing us the findings of your study on this.


CAMEROTA: OK, on a lighter note, the comics take aim at the House vote formalizing the impeachment process. Here are your "Late Night Laughs."


SETH MEYERS, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": According to NBC News, after being named President Trump's cyber security adviser in 2017, Rudy Giuliani got locked out of his phone after entering an incorrect password ten times and had to visit the Apple Store to have it fixed. Even worse, his phone is a Samsung Galaxy.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON": Some big news out of Washington today, the House passed the rules for the impeachment probe, clearing the way for the potential impeachment of Donald Trump.

Yes, and right after it passed, Rudy Giuliani butt dialed 911.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": Both sides used visual aids, so you could easily tell whose side they were on.

Congressman Steve Scalise's poster was there to underline his central message.


REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): This is unprecedented. It's not only unprecedented, this is Soviet-style rules.


COLBERT: Ah, yes, the classic Soviet-style rules for impeaching their leaders. Remember Stalin was in power only 30 years when he was impeached by dying.

JAMES CORDEN, HOST, "THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN": Here's House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking next to a huge printout of an American flag on an easel. Nancy Pelosi had a printout. She's in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. It's literally the easiest place on earth to find an actual American flag. Like, I don't know, maybe just use this bigger one that's right behind you. I don't know.


AVLON: It's right there.

CAMEROTA: That's brilliant.


CAMEROTA: I hadn't thought of that until the comedians open our eyes.

AVLON: The camera angle really could have addressed that.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's right.

All right, meanwhile, President Trump and Nancy Pelosi speaking out in separate and new interviews after the impeachment vote.

NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's misconduct has compelled us to continue to move forward with an impeachment inquiry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In all the hearings, there's nothing compelling, nothing overwhelming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've seen damning evidence the president abused his power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Morrison's (ph) testimony is very damaging to the Democrat narrative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every single administration witness we have heard from has corroborated the central facts of this case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't seen anything in the transcript. I haven't seen anything he's done that I think is wrong.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The most important thing for the American people to realize and understand is no one is above the law.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: Another beautiful sunrise shot.

AVLON: Oh, love it.

CAMEROTA: It is beautiful.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. John Berman is off. John Avlon is here.


Happy Friday. Good to have you here.

AVLON: Happy November.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

The impeachment inquiry is moving forward with public hearings in just weeks. President Trump responding to yesterday's historic House