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New Polls: Biden, Warren, Sanders Lead Field; Buttigieg Softens Claims About Two-Person Race With Warren; Whistleblower Makes Offer To Republican Lawmakers; Dems Prepare Next Phase Amid Likely W.H. Defiance Of Subpoenas; Conway Says "I Don't Know" If Trump Held Up Ukraine Military Aid; New Poll: 49 Percent Of Americans Support Impeachment & Removal; Indigenous Leader Who Was Rainforest Activist Killed In Ambush. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 3, 2019 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:50]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: All right, hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

It may be hard to believe that we are now just one year away from the 2020 election. And as Democrat canvass across the country, three new polls show former Vice President Joe Biden in the lead, with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders close behind, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg in fourth place. But during a recent interview with Showtime's "The Circus," the South Bend Mayor suggested the race for the Democratic nomination will come down to him and Warren. Buttigieg seemed to walk back those comments on ABC this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, there is a tremendous amount of energy for a range of candidates who are extremely capable. I'm proud to be part of the most diverse field, I think, ever in Democratic presidential politics and some formidable competition.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN Political Correspondent, Abby Phillip is following Mayor Buttigieg on the trail in Iowa today, and CNN Correspondent, Jessica Dean is following Biden in Virginia. Good to see you both. So Abby, you first. New polling showing Mayor Buttigieg with strong support among Iowa voters. What is his message for them today?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the purpose of this bus tour, a three-day swing that the mayor is doing throughout the state of Iowa is to really lock in any momentum that he might be able to get from that liberty and justice dinner just a couple of nights ago where he delivered a speech that was pretty well received. But all along Pete Buttigieg has been trying to capture some of the same kind of energy that actually catapulted former President Obama from that then called the J.J. Dinner to winning Iowa later on when the caucuses happen. That's the same kind of energy that Pete Buttigieg is really trying to tap into here. He's been talking a lot about these comparisons, really leaning into them.

Many of his supporters as they introduce him out on the trail here this weekend talking about the parallels and the language between those two candidates. But as you indicated, he's also coming a little bit under fire from some of his Democratic rivals as he's trying to draw contrast between him and Elizabeth Warren.

Some of the other candidates noting his rise are indicating that Pete Buttigieg might be going a little bit over his skis. He suggested that this race was a two-way race between him and Warren. He has now fully walked back that comment.

Kamala Harris criticized him for it, saying that it was naive. And Pete Buttigieg told reporters on the campaign bus this afternoon that Kamala Harris was right, that this race is still very much fluid, and it is. Iowans usually do not decide on their nominee this early in the race, and so right now, even though there is a lot of momentum for Buttigieg, his team is very well aware that there is plenty of room to go before the caucuses.

WHITFIELD: And then Jessica, what about Biden and his camp? I mean, how were they feeling today about these new polls showing, you know, there are four kind of, you know -- the top four, and then number two and number three not that far behind Biden. Are they energized or are they worried?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, when you talk to the Biden campaign, they're pleased with these polls and there's a couple reasons why that they'll say. They'll say, number one, these are reinforcing an argument that they have been making for months now that Biden is the one candidate that can create this diverse coalition of voters, Democratic voters, that can get behind Joe Biden and propel him to a victory if he's the nominee in 2020. They're talking about African-American support, Hispanic support, independents, working class voters, that he can really bring those people together and he's the candidate to do it.

The second thing that they like to point out is, especially in that ABC/Washington Post poll, that there are two stats there about who can best take on President Trump, and who's the strongest leader. Joe Biden has a double-digit lead there among all the candidates and that goes back to their electability argument.

That's the argument again they've been making over and over on the campaign trail, both from the candidate and the campaign, that Joe Biden is in a unique position to take on Donald Trump. And that in a year when Democratic voters are looking at this broad field of Democratic candidates that they want someone who can take on and win against President Trump in 2020.

[15:05:07]

And if that's the calculus that the campaign says that Joe Biden is their person to do that. So those are the numbers that they're happy to see, and that electability argument, Fred, is one we continue to hear from this campaign over and over again.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jessica Dean, Abby Phillip, thanks to both. We appreciate it.

OK, let's talk further now. I'm joined now by Mark McKinnon, former Campaign Adviser for President George W. Bush and John McCain, and now the co-host of Showtime's "The Circus" and Patti Solis Doyle, the former Campaign Manager for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Good to see you both.

MARK MCKINNON, CO-HOST, SHOWTIME'S "THE CIRCUS": Hi.

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Hi.

WHITFIELD: OK. So, Mark, you first. This morning, Buttigieg walked back the comments he made, you know, on your show about it being a two-horse race. Let's remind everyone what he did say on your show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUTTIGIEG: I think this is getting to be a two-way. It's early to say it. I'm not saying it is a two-way, but I think --

JOHN HEILEMANN, "THE CIRCUS" HOST: But you see that? You see it's coming into focus, you and Warren?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes, and certainly a world where we're getting somewhere is that world, where it's coming down to the two of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So Mark, what was your impression when he was jovially saying that?

MCKINNON: Well, that's not the sort of thing you should say out loud as a candidate, but there was actually some evidence for that Friday night at that dinner. Not only did he have a terrific speech that was very well received, I was blown away by the number of people he turned out. It seemed like he had like a quarter of the arena filled, as much or maybe even more than Warren forces did, and they turn out a lot of people as well.

So, he's really moving in Iowa. And, by the way, those national polls are good for Biden, but he's running like fourth in Iowa right now. If Biden doesn't finish in the top three in Iowa, that's a big, big problem.

WHITFIELD: So, Patti, last week in your times in Siena College released a poll showing Mayor Pete Buttigieg, you know, emerging in that top tier among Iowa voters, but there have been major concerns about his favorability particularly among African-American voters. Buttigieg said this morning, when he walked back, you know, a little of that enthusiasm on this week, he did say that he plans to be bolder and a unifier. So how can he do that? DOYLE: Well, look, I agree with Mark in that you don't really say that out loud when you're on the hunt in Iowa, but he does have a strong organization there, he has strong momentum, and as Mark said, there is a huge crowd for him. I remember being at that dinner in 2007, and Barack Obama just lighting the joint up. And after -- I mean, one could argue that that what sort of catapulted him to the presidency. I'm not sure if that's what happened on Saturday night for Buttigieg, but it was a really good performance.

The other thing I'd say about that comment is, you know, the only way to do well in Iowa is to beat expectations. And raising expectation at this point is just really not a good idea. And in terms of whether doing well in Iowa will help him further down the road with African- Americans. You know, if you win Iowa and you get some momentum behind you and then you go on and win New Hampshire, you know, who knows what could happen.

WHITFIELD: Yes. So Mark, did that interview take place before or after he saw that crowd? And maybe he was --

MCKINNON: It was before. Patti makes a great point about expectations. It's really all about expectations. And if you had said six months ago that Pete Buttigieg might run third in Iowa, that would be a huge story. Now with him saying that it's a two-person race, he's going to have to finish second, the -- his own expectations.

WHITFIELD: So with, you know, overall, with such a diverse Democratic field and even Buttigieg, you know, herald that, you know, does Iowa matter as much as, you know, the primary races do in states like South Carolina or even, say, Nevada? Mark?

MCKINNON: Well, I think it does and here's why. It's particularly through this year I think because of New Hampshire. Warren and Sanders are both from New Hampshire, so that sort of baked into the cake if they're likely to do well probably run one too. So, therefore, people aren't really putting as much emphasis and focus on New Hampshire, which does mean that Nevada and South Carolina may be more important. But it really puts a premium on Iowa.

WHITFIELD: And Patti, you know, is this the time now then, you know, for campaigns to really start concentrating on any particular strategy changes, especially ahead of the next debate?

DOYLE: I think what the candidate should be doing is what they are doing, and that is fooking their time, energy and resources in the first four states, particularly Iowa, for the reasons that Mark mentioned. We are going into what is going to be about a month of public impeachment hearings, and that is going to take up a lot of oxygen in terms of the media. So these candidates need to --

WHITFIELD: Those senators, you know, who are on the campaign trail will have to get away from the campaign trail in which to focus on those impeachment proceedings, potentially.

DOYLE: That's right. And the other candidates who don't have to be at the hearings should be pounding the pavement in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina.

[15:10:02]

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it right there. Mark, Patti, good to see you both. Thank you so much.

MCKINNON: OK, good night.

DOYLE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, as the President continues to attack the credibility of the whistleblower, a new offer to Republican lawmakers, next on that.

Plus, tonight at 8:00, the witnesses, the testimony, the latest evidence join Anderson Cooper for a CNN Special, The White House in Crisis: The Impeachment Inquiry. That's tonight starting at 8:00 Eastern.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A new offer on the table as the impeachment inquiry looms over Capitol Hill. This morning, the whistleblower's own lawyer said his client would be willing to have Republican lawmakers submit questions to his client directly without having to go through the committee's Democratic majority. The questions could not seek any information that would reveal the whistleblower's identity, however.

Republicans have repeatedly blasted the whistleblower over the complaint of that now infamous July phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian President Zelensky. Meanwhile, President Trump is sharpening his attacks and demanding to know the whistleblower's identity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false story. Some people would call it a fraud. I won't go that far, but when I read it closely, I probably would. But the whistleblower should be revealed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[15:15:02]

WHITFIELD: President Trump is also railing against two new polls out this morning showing where Americans stand on the impeachment inquiry. Both polls showing support for impeaching and removing President Trump from office.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is at the White House for us. So Jeremy, what else do we know about this offer, you know, from the whistleblower's attorney that Republican lawmakers could ask written questions?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fred. What we know is that the whistleblower had previously offered to answer questions under oath and in writing from the House Intelligence Committee as a whole. But now under fire from Republicans who have been complaining about the process of this impeachment inquiry, this whistleblower is offering to answer questions in writing directly to these House Republicans on that committee. So that is a new development.

But the President, meanwhile, is continuing to level attacks at this whistleblower, accusing this whistleblower of being a Democrat and a never Trump or something that he has also accused other current and former administration officials who have testified about his dealings with Ukraine. What we do know also is that the President is facing this pretty difficult week, potentially, on Capitol Hill as Democrats continue to question current and former administration officials, despite the President's attacks on this whistleblower.

We know that several current and former officials have already corroborated the many allegations leveled at the President in the whistleblower's complaints, and one of the whistleblowers who could potentially continue to corroborate information in that complaint is the former National Security Adviser John Bolton. And House Democrats are seeking his testimony towards the end of the coming week.

The President was asked this morning as he arrived at the White House about Bolton and whether or not he would be OK with him testifying. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's up to him and up to the lawyers. It's really up to the lawyers. I like John Bolton, I always got along with him, but that's going to be up to the lawyers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAMOND: And Fredricka, we should note that the President has not always gotten along with John Bolton. In fact, that's the reason why the President dismissed him over the final months of John Bolton's tenure as National Security Adviser. He and the President did not get along and the relationship had really soured. So perhaps the President saying now, I like John Bolton, perhaps concerned that bad blood could influence his testimony.

One thing is clear is that despite the President continuing to point to the lawyers when he is asked whether somebody should be allowed to testify or not, the White House is giving direction to current and former officials not to comply with this investigation, not to testify in this impeachment inquiry. In fact, tomorrow, Rob Blair, an Assistant to the President and the top Adviser to Mick Mulvaney, he was scheduled to testify, but under direction the White House, he is refusing the House impeachment inquiry's request that he give a deposition on Capitol Hill. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right, Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much at the White House.

So where does the impeachment inquiry go from here? For that, let's turn to former Federal Prosecutor, CNN Legal Analyst, Shan Wu. Good to see you, Shan. So the whistleblower's attorney offering to Republican lawmakers that he or she is willing to answer their written questions. How unusual is this?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's not too unusual. Sometimes whistleblowers in different contexts will appear, perhaps with their identity shielded. It's not very necessary in this case, Fred, because a whistleblower by definition isn't necessarily the lynch pin of an investigation, they are blowing the whistle to start the investigation. That's what this person has done, and now there is tons and tons of independent evidence that's developed from that, so it's really not necessary. But obviously the whistleblower is not afraid to answer questions, they simply want to protect their identity.

WHITFIELD: All right. So there have been so many testimonies behind closed doors, the depositions, if you will, and now a vote has been taken in the House which advances it now to the next phase, and it will be public, many of these testimonies. So kind of describe for us, what is next in this next phase. What would this public phase look like?

WU: So the public phase is meant to begin to inform the American public as to where the impeachment will be going. So while the previous phase was particularly behind closed doors because they needed to do the investigation privately to make progress, now they need to select what is the most critical evidence in terms of witnesses and documents, to begin to build their case to the American people via the representatives in Congress as to what is really important about this. That's what's coming next.

WHITFIELD: So some of the people who have already given their depositions would be called back, but not necessarily all of them would be called back for this public testimony.

WU: That's exactly right. If you make the analogy to a criminal process, a grand jury prosecutor may put in a lot of different documents and witnesses. They are not all going to be called at the trial. The trial is public. Now, this is not the trial coming up, but we're getting to the public stage of the impeachment process.

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WHITFIELD: So when it comes to this due process, you've heard a lot from the White House and supporters of the President talking about due process. White House attorneys will be participating, to what extent in this next phase?

WU: So it's important for us all to remember that there's no real rules here. It is a political process. Each time is going to be a different set of rules.

It looks like Nancy Pelosi is allowing for the possibility of letting the White House lawyers participate at the inquiry stage as supposed to the trial before the Senate which is a whole different situation. I think that's wise. There is no due process requirement. This is not a criminal trial, it's not a civil trial, but it's wise to allow them to participate. It seems fair and, importantly, for the people watching, the American public, they'll have more confidence in the information being presented if the President's lawyers get a chance to examine it, to test it as well.

WHITFIELD: Shan Wu, thank you so much.

WU: Good to see you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: You as well.

All right, straight ahead. It may be a year until the general election, but a handful of high stakes races will be decided this Tuesday, the matchups joined big name supporters all ready.

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[15:25:14]

WHITFIELD: All right, we're exactly one year out from the general election and just days from some state elections that have been thrust into the national spotlight. Some Democratic presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are stumping for Virginia legislative candidates while the Vice President attended a state GOP meeting this weekend.

CNN Ryan Nobles has more on the races to watch this week and why the stakes are so high.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are three states in particular that have races that could give us a sense of where things stand in terms of momentum heading into next year. First, in Virginia. That's a state that's trending blue, but where Republicans have been able to hold onto control of both Houses of their general assembly, but by slim two-seat majorities. Democrats feel bullish about their chances, tying responses to President Trump. It's a recipe that worked well two years ago as they cruised to victory in statewide races.

But Republicans do have a chip of their own to play, attacking Democratic candidates by connecting them to trio of scandals involving the governor -- Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. If Democrats went big particularly in the swing districts in play in Northern Virginia and outside Richmond, it could be a sign of how President Trump has a growing problem with suburban voters.

Two red states, Mississippi and Kentucky will elect governors on Tuesday. Kentucky might be the most intriguing. The incumbent Republican Matt Bevin has an approval rating that is under water. But his opponent Andy Beshear is the son of a popular former governor. This race could come down to what voters care more about. Local issues or the national issues denominating Washington.

Bevin, of course, is stuck close to President Trump. In fact, the President will headline a rally for him Monday night. If Bevin pulls it out, it could be a sign of just how much strength Trump still has with Republican voters.

And finally, Republicans and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves are in the driver seat in Mississippi, but the Democrats are hopeful that conservative Democrat Jim Hood with the Attorney General could surprise everyone. It will be tough, though, because in addition to winning the popular vote, gubernatorial candidates must also win a majority of the state House districts. That will be an advantage for the GOP.

Three states a lot on the line. At the very least, a glimpse on to what voters are thinking about heading into 2020.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, still to come, fresh pushback from the Trump White House on the impeachment inquiry. Republican Presidential candidate Bill Weld responds live, next.

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[15:31:48]

WHITFIELD: Democrats have set up another ambitious schedule this week as they expand their impeachment inquiry. This morning on CNN's State of the Union, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said she does not know if President Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA BASH, CNN HOST: So you feel totally confident that at the core of this, the heart of this there was no quid pro quo?

KELLYANNE, CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I feel confident about that Ukraine has that aid and is using it right now that is because this President that they have at the last administration --

BASH: Kellyanne, you very notably won't say yes or no.

CONWAY: It doesn't --

BASH: Quid pro quo, yes or no?

CONWAY: First of all, I just said to you I don't know whether aid was being help up and for how long.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, with me right now is Bill Weld, he is a Republican candidate running for president in 2020 and a former Governor of Massachusetts. Good to see you.

WILLIAM WELD (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Fredricka. WHITFIELD: Great. So you heard the adviser. You know, she won't answer whether there was a this or that, and the President on his return, you know, from New York also said that, you know, there was nothing wrong and that now he's also demanding that the whistleblower, the identity, be revealed and he's challenging the media to get to the bottom of exposing the identity of the whistleblower. What's your reaction to how this White House is handling this?

WELD: It looks to me like some lawyer has told Mr. Trump, you're supposed to say there was no quid pro quo. But, you know, you can't put the genie back in the bottle once it's out and you've committed the offense. And the President very obviously, four days before his phone call, suspended $400 million in aid to Ukraine which desperately needed it for Javelin missiles to fight the Russian tanks. They're in a shooting or a hot war with Russia.

And -- Then the President said, you know, we could keep doing good stuff. I need a favor from you, though. It couldn't be clearer, and this is exactly what the framers were worried about, inviting foreign interference in our affairs. I don't think they ever dreamed it would be in an election. And the other thing is corruption of office, using your public office for personal and private gain. Those are the two things that are the most quintessential removable offenses under the constitution.

WHITFIELD: So even when the President said or was asking China, and he said it in front of the cameras, live cameras, you know, China, look into the Bidens. And today Steve Scalise, the Senator, was asked about that, and he said, you know, everyone knows that the President was being rhetorical.

And as you, a Republican running, you know, for president, how do you distinguish yourself and not appear as though you're on board with what Democrats are saying, because that is a strategy of Republicans? How do you distinguish yourself to voters that you are a Republican but you're not necessarily trying to sound like the Democrats?

WELD: Well, I was a federal prosecutor for seven years, and I wound up heading the Criminal Division Justice Department and I've tried and supervised many obstruction of justice cases. And the evidence that President committed obstruction of justice is overwhelming. One thousand former federal prosecutors, most of them career people, not Republicans or Democrats, signed a letter saying that the President's conduct in obstructing the Mueller investigation was clear and convincing evidence of a crime.

[15:35:08]

And the caper with Ukraine is even worse. And you can't commit a crime and then say, well, I later joked about it in public, therefore, you have no evidence. It's like some of the stupidest criminals I've ever prosecuted thought they can't prove anything unless it's in writing. No. People's actions and people's words constitute evidence of a crime. And when it's overwhelming, as it is in this case, it's an easy indictment or an easy conviction in this case. WHITFIELD: So you're saying, you know, this is not an issue of Republican versus Democrat, it's an issue of right and wrong. Well you know The Washington Post, you know, has been reporting that an increasing number of Republican senators are considering acknowledging that there was a quid pro quo on that July 25th call, but that it wasn't illegal. What do you think about that strategy?

WELD: No, it was clear from all the facts and circumstances of that call that it was a violation of the constitution. It's exactly what the removal clause was included to address. People were worried and nervous about having an executive in our constitution in the first place, because they didn't like King George III and they had no executive under the previous regime, the articles of confederation, so they had to be persuaded that it wasn't fatally dangerous to have a President in the first place.

And that was done by the people who wrote our constitution by including the removal power. It wasn't that after thought, it was part of the grand

bargain that undergirded our Democratic checks and balances in the constitution.

WHITFIELD: So Governor, you're one of three Republicans now challenging President Trump for the nomination. There will be no debates, there will be no town halls as we know. Five states won't even have primaries. So given those obstacles, what do you see in your path for the nomination?

WELD: Well, first of all, the three of us had several televised debates among ourselves, so, you know, I don't give the President a lot of credit just for not having the guts to stand up and debate. I frankly think it's because he knows he doesn't have a knowledge base on any of the great issues that would be debated. He even tried to cancel the New Hampshire primary, and you can imagine that went over like a lead balloon in New Hampshire.

People here -- And I send you greetings from Manchester -- they're not stupid. They know that a lot of New Hampshire's clout comes from that primary. So the fact that the President is running and hiding, I don't think takes anything away from the fact that he has nothing to say to these obviously impeachable and removable charges. They happen to be criminal as well in the case of obstruction. But I'm not even thinking about that, I'm thinking about the constitutional provisions for impeachment and removal not being abandoned. If we don't act on these facts, then no president would ever be removable from office, and that's not what the framers of our constitution had in mind, frankly.

WHITFIELD: And I know you are in it to win it, but if you do not get the presidential nomination, you have said, you know, you would vote for Biden in a heartbeat.

WELD: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Do you still feel that way? WELD: Absolutely. I would not support Donald Trump given how he's lived his life and how he's comported himself in office as President. I would not support him for any office in the land under any circumstances whatsoever.

WHITFIELD: And then there are new polls showing, you know, there are four at the top. Biden is still at the top, but, you know, second and third place, Warren and Sanders, are kind of closing in on him. Well, you have your own race. How do you look at the competition here?

WELD: Well, I'm trying to stay out of the Democratic primary, but it's no secret I've known Joe Biden well and favorably for decades. You know, I admire them all. I see them. Sometimes I get invited to these same deals that the Democrats are doing, like the NAACP convention and climate race. And I think if you look at the press, they think I hold my own versus these Democrats. I like them all as people. I particularly have struck up good relationships with Mayor Pete, and with, believe it or not, Cory Booker who I didn't know well before this started, but he's got a lot to say.

WHITFIELD: All right, Governor Bill Weld, good luck to you. Thank you so much.

WELD: Thanks, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: We'll be right back after this.

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[15:43:32]

WHITFIELD: For years, the fight over who controls the Amazon rainforest has been a deadly one. The latest victim is an indigenous leader who was part of a group known as the guardians of the forest. He was killed and another activist was injured Friday when loggers allegedly ambushed them.

News of the killing is reverberating around the world. As CNN's Shasta Darlington reports it's also a sign of how illegal loggers and settlers have become more brazen under Brazil's President.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULO GUAJAJARA, INDIGENOUS RAIN FOREST PROTECTOR (through translator): We are protecting our land and the life on it, the animals, the birds, many things.

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paulo Paulino Guajajara's right to protect his indigenous land was abruptly taken away Friday. According to authorities in Brazil, the indigenous leader was killed by a group of loggers who ambushed him in the same area he once swore to protect, the Arariboia reserve in the state of Maranhao in Northeast Brazil.

Guajajara was part of one of Brazil's largest indigenous groups known by the same name. In 2012 they formed the Forest Guardians, a community effort dedicated to patrolling the land and protecting the rights of the people that inhabit it. At the same time of his death he was being accompanied by another guardian, Lyapsiya Sosa (ph), who according to authorities, is seriously injured. They were both looking for water, not far from home.

[15:45:01]

Brazil's Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sergio Moro, called the incident a terrible crime and promised to spare no effort to bring those responsible to justice. Justice, a word many believe arrived too late.

For years Survival International, an organization that works to protect tribal peoples, has warned about the great risk assumed by the so-called Forest Guardians. They claim that while the Arariboia reserve is officially protected by the state, it has been the target of constant attacks and threat by loggers and miners, inspired, they say, by the pro-deforestation policies implemented by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There won't be a single centimeter for indigenous reserves for Quilombola people.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): Last June, Guajajara and other indigenous leaders recorded a video warning about the attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Loggers are paying gunmen to kill some of the Guardians of Arariboia. We want the Brazilian authorities to help protect the lives of the Guardians whose lives are being threatened.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): That same month, according to official numbers, deforestation in the Amazon accelerated more than 60 percent, compared to the same period last year.

But with deforestation, other consequences emerge. Several studies affirm that the number of fires each year is highly correlated to deforestation and the severity of the drought during the dry season. This year alone, the number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon was 25 percent higher than the average number of fires in the same period from 2010 to 2018, facts that President Bolsonaro insists on minimizing.

JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The Amazon is not being devastated nor is it being consumed by fire, as the media is falsely portraying.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): In the midst of the fire and the threats are the indigenous tribes. For them, the message is clear.

GUAJAJARA (through translator): I'm scared a little sometimes but we don't let ourselves be dominated by fear. But we have to lift up our heads and make things happen. We are believing and fighting.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): A fight that Guajajara can no longer continue,

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, find out how a boat stuck for more than 100 years above Niagara Falls. Now rolls aggressively with the currents.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:51:15]

WHITFIELD: All right, we're finally learning some good news about the wildfires in California. Most of the fire is still considered active or either well under control or almost out and that's thanks to the thousands of firefighters who have been battling the frames alongside hundred of inmates. Fire officials tells CNN that about 400 inmates became firefighters after going through a rehabilitation program that requires them to work 24 hours straight during emergencies. And in return, we're told, most get two more days off their sentences for every one day they serve as a firefighter.

A boat that spend more than 100 years stuck on the rocks above Niagara Falls was knocked free by last week's storm that hit the northeast. Officials say the old iron barge flipped over and is now even closer to the edge of the falls on the Canadian side. Niagara Park staff say that it's anyone's guess if it will remain in its new perch for another hundred years.

And talk about resilience. About two weeks after falling and fracturing his pelvis, former President Jimmy Carter is out of the hospital and teaching Sunday school. The 95-year-old was supposed to be in bed resting, but instead, Carter returned to church this morning to lead a service on life after death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT: Job address a question, very profoundly, is there life after death? He said well, if a tree can sometimes from (INAUDIBLE) like cut a tree down, a tree can come back to life. So why couldn't a human being come back to life if God wills it? Because we believe that God is omnipotent and God can do anything. Is that right? We believe that God can --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. This is the second time in recent weeks Carter was sent to the hospital after falling at home. Last month, he hit his head and needed stitches, but then the next day, he was back to his routine of helping to build homes through his habitat for humanity group.

All right. Last week, Elizabeth Warren revealed how much her Medicare for All plan would cost and "Saturday Night Live" wasted no time making fun of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Senator. My current insurance isn't perfect, but with your plan, I'd have to give it up and that makes me nervous.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Your insurance is like a bad boyfriend. Girl, listen to me. You need to leave him. He is draining you. You deserve better. Don't (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know, you're right. I'm settling, but I'm just scared to leave because what if it's the best I can get.

WARREN: Girlfriend, how much is your deductible?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: $8,000. I don't even have dental. My teeth hurt so bad.

WARREN: All right, you listen to me, you beautiful (INAUDIBLE), here's what's going to happen. You're going call them and you're going to end it. And I'm going to come right over with an apple strudel and we're going to post up on the couch and watch my favorite show, which is somehow "Ballers" and then one day, one day, blue cross blue shield is going to text you from the club saying, baby, I miss you and you're going to say new phone, who dis? OK, girlfriend, you're going to be just fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: SNL also poked fun at Conan the hero dog.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does it feel to be getting all the credit for killing -- Baghdadi?

[15:55:01]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, it was a team effort from day one, it's always been ISIS. If you're (INAUDIBLE) you sniff mine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right, one year from now, Americans will turn to the ballot boxes with a monumental decision to make. Will they choose four more years of President Donald J. Trump? Will a Democrat be elected to office or could be someone who hasn't even yet entered the race?

Well there are three new polls out today giving us an indication of where the race for the Democratic nomination stands. Each point to a three horse race with former Vice President Joe Biden leading the way. But there isn't a lot of wiggle room as Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are both within shouting distance. We have a team of reporters on the trail in Iowa this afternoon. Let's begin with CNN Political Correspondent Abby Phillip who is following Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Abby, a new polling showing Buttigieg is in the thick of the race in Iowa. What are voters there saying about him?

PHILLIP: Well, Fred, here in Iowa, we're in Charles City in the middle of a three-day swing, a bus tour around the state.