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New Polls Show Biden, Warren, Sanders Top 2020 Pack; Elizabeth Warren Hosts Pair Of Town Halls In Iowa Today; Whistleblower Makes Offer To GOP Lawmakers; House Dems Prepare Next Phase Of Impeachment Inquiry; German City Of Dresden Declares "Nazi Emergency"; Woman Reveals Her Life Inside White Supremacist Group; New Poll: 49 Percent Of Americans Support Impeachment And Removal; McDonald's CEO Out For Violating Company Policy. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 3, 2019 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:00]

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: -- here in Iowa, we're in Charles City, in the middle of a three-day swing, a bus tour around the state. And what Pete Buttigieg is trying to do here is solidify what they see as momentum here in Iowa. They think that this is really the crux of -- of their campaign's ability to gain momentum elsewhere in some of these early primary states and the message that you're hearing from Pete Buttigieg this weekend and on Friday at the Liberty and Justice Center, a big gathering of Democrats here in the state is that this campaign for him is about the day after President Trump.

He's talking a lot about who is the candidate who can unify the country once Trump is out of office. And you're also hearing him draw some contrast with Elizabeth Warren, who is also near the top of the field here in Iowa. He's been talking a lot about Medicare for All. Talking about whether it is actually affordable and he proposes something different. Medicare for All who want it.

So we're seeing Buttigieg both talking about his ability to bring people together and talking drawing this sharper contrast with his competitors. He's talking about generational change, noting that he is the youngest candidate in the race right now, but he's also saying to voters that if they are looking for an alternative to Joe Biden, looking for an alternative to Elizabeth Warren, he is the person who could potentially do that.

And one more thing, Fred, here in Iowa, we're hearing a lot more from Buttigieg about Barack Obama. He's drawing those comparisons, really leaning into them because in 2008 when Barack Obama won this state over Hillary Clinton who was then a better known, more politically seasoned candidate, that catapulted him into the top tier and the rest of the remaining contest. That's exactly the kind of momentum that Buttigieg wants to tap into here in Iowa -- Fred.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: All right. Let's go to CNN Correspondent, Leyla Santiago now following the Warren campaign.

So, Leyla, you know, Warren is hosting a pair of town halls today, right, and how are voters responding to her plan on how she will pay for Medicare for All?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Listen, I've spent the last few days in Iowa talking to voters, asking that very question and I found a bit of a mixed bag. Just about everyone I've talked so says look, I love that she has plans. That's a check for her. We like that. Not everybody on board with the funding for this. A bit of a mixed bag in terms of who sees that as actually feasible.

This morning, Senator Sanders in an interview said that his plan was more progressive. Even said that Warren's funding plan would hurt in the process of creating jobs and remember, he's -- he wrote the bill. Right? That's what he likes to say. He says it a little bit differently, but yes, this is what he likes to say and he is criticizing her funding plans for that.

Now she is fighting back here in Iowa saying that this is a plan that will not raise taxes for the middle class and she continues to say that it will put $11 trillion back into the pockets of Americans because she will not have co-pays, deductibles and premiums, but there's one new talking point that has come out since she released her plans, which is she's saying where's everybody else's funding plan for their health care proposal?

That is sort of where she's been targeting her opponents who came after her in the last debate. That's what we've seen her do in Iowa. And we should take note that in Iowa and the latest poll from "New York Times" and Sienna College, she's actually topped the list. Coming off as the number one candidate for now for caucus -- for caucus goers. She was just asked about that and here's what she had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't do polls. We've still got a lot of days until the Iowa caucuses. I'm just out here like I am right now in Davenport, just trying to meet as many voters as I can face-to-face. Do as many selfies as I can. Talk about why I'm running for president. And what I believe we can do. What we can do together. Hope and courage, win elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANTIAGO: And we're in Muscatine now where Senator Warren is expected to arrive. They'll be opening the doors here shortly and we're expecting her to continue to let voters know not only about her plans, but now how she plans to pay for them.

WHITFIELD: All right, Leyla Santiago and Abby Phillip, thank you so much.

All right. Let's look into this a little further now. Joining me right now, senior editor for the Atlantic and CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. Also with us, political reporter for the "Washington Examiner" and CNN contributor Salena Zito.

Good to see you, both. All right, Salena, you first. So you, you know, have been traveling across the country speaking with voters. When you look at these polls out today showing kind of the top four. You know, Biden's still ahead, but, you know, Warren and Sanders are right on his heels. Does that match with what you've been hearing from people?

SALENA ZITO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Definitely. That's definitely what you see in Iowa. I was in Iowa a couple of weeks ago but also what I see -- the state I'm sort of focusing on a lot is South Carolina.

[16:05:01]

I think at this time, it might end up being the most important state in sort of sorting these things out. Voters in South Carolina love Biden. In particular, the African-American voters. And I think that's a really important thing to look at because Iowa, New Hampshire, tend to be whiter or are whiter than the national electorate where in South Carolina, it's much more reflective of what a general election would look like.

WHITFIELD: And, Ron, you know, we see all of these campaigns putting a lot of stock into the Iowa caucuses, but then you wrote in a new article on CNN.com that maybe Iowa isn't the best litmus test for the 2020 race. Why?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's the paradox. I mean, candidates are devoting more attention to Iowa, probably than ever before and yet Iowa's odds of picking the ultimate winner may be lower than it has been. Look, Iowa has picked the winner over the last four contested Democratic nominations. Everyone in this century. The winner of Iowa has gone on to win even when New Hampshire diverged and preferred somebody else.

The problem is exactly what Salena said that we are seeing Iowa is a 90 percent white electorate. New Hampshire is a 90 percent white electorate. The overall Democratic primary electorate is only 60 percent white and what's happening this year is that to a greater extent than in the past, white voters are diverging from African- American voters.

I mean, you have a particularly Warren and Buttigieg are very strong among those college educated white voters and you can win Iowa and New Hampshire by being strong among college educated white voters but you can't win South Carolina only that way. You need to break into the African American community.

And so far neither has shown any ability to do that. So you have the possibility of a divergence between South Carolina and then if that happens, a long grinding fight all the way to the finish line.

WHITFIELD: And, Salena, you already said that it's South Carolina that could be really so potentially, you know, pivotal.

Let me talk about Mayor Pete Buttigieg, you know, Salena, because he made some headlines after that, you know, Circus interview saying that he saw it as two-person race between himself and Elizabeth Warren but then he kind of walked back those comments today on ABC's "This Week." Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), 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: So, Salena, at the same time in that interview, he did, you know, admit there's a deficit when it comes to his appeal among African-American voters. You talk about how important they are particularly in South Carolina. But he did pledge that he is going to be bolder and a unifier. Will that be enough to, you know, make up for the deficit that he's feeling among a certain electorate?

ZITO: Well, I mean I think that's his big challenge and I think we're just going to have to wait and see. He -- in my interview with him a couple of months ago, he portrayed himself as the Midwest answer. Sort of the intellectuals' Joe Biden, but he doesn't have that cachet, that relationship that Biden has with the African-American voters and he is much more to the left than African-American voters who tend to be within the scope of the Democratic Party, tend to be more conservative than white intellectuals.

WHITFIELD: Ron, President Trump was able to win states, you know, in 2016 that were long thought to be Democratic strongholds.

BROWNSTEIN: Right.

WHITFIELD: Talking about Pennsylvania, Michigan, you know, Wisconsin. So is it your feeling that he can feel just as confident going into 2020?

BROWNSTEIN: Not just as confident. No. I mean Democrats can't be confident that they're going to definitely win those back, but Trump is in a weakened position. I mean, look at all of the national polling that was out today. He did not exceed 42 percent of the vote against any Democrat in this -- you know, in this polling that came out from both FOX and NB -"Wall Street Journal." His approval rating is somewhere between 40 percent and 45 percent.

And, you know, the likelihood is that his vote is going to match very closely to what his approval rating is, and in particularly for those Midwestern states, the single most important thing that has happened in those three rustbelt states that he dislodged from the blue wall, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, is that he has lost ground among blue-collar white women. Not so much the men. They are still there. But if you look at his polling numbers among the women, and I think this started when he tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and he's never quite recovered from that, he's down in the low 40s.

He was -- he won in the high 50s among them in 2016 and he simply cannot -- I don't think if that is where he ends up on Election Day, I don't think he can make it up in those rustbelt states.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: But it may be -- it may not be where he ends up on Election Day.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and Salena, his approval ratings, I mean, there's a variation, you know. Nationally, it's still, you know, somewhere in that 30 percent thing. Not so great but then he himself was, you know, touting again today, look at my approval ratings. I mean, you know, they dipped a little bit among Republicans but still very high. Is that enough for him?

ZITO: Well, I mean, I guess we're going to have to wait to see. I think there's two things here that we have to keep an eye on.

[16:10:03]

And I think Ron might agree with me on that. As he said, suburban women and white women and -- and sort of where they go, and I think that depends on who the candidate ends up being for the Democrats. Now let's just take Pennsylvania for example. If it's Elizabeth Warren, that's going to be a problem.

As Democrats tell me here in my state, you can't win Pennsylvania without Western Pennsylvania. And making policy statements like banning fracking on day one not only hurts here in Western Pennsylvania but it also hurts here in the Scranton area where there's sort of an economic boom.

But also on the insurance issue. We haven't talked about this enough, but there are a lot of people, suburban voters, who work in the insurance industry. And it gives them a sense of uncertainty and so that's what I'm watching in my state.

WHITFIELD: All right. All fantastic.

BROWNSTEIN: I was going to say --

WHITFIELD: Real quickly you can say.

BROWNSTEIN: I was going to say, real quick. Fred, there are a lot of dials.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: You know, and that's the basic debate among Democrats. Is it turning out more minorities in young people? Is it winning back more blue-collar and white-collar whites who voted for Trump that may have soured on him. And so some extent that is the fundamental choice they face in what kind of nominee they select.

WHITFIELD: All right. You got it all in. Thank you so much, Ron Brownstein, Salena Zito. Appreciate it.

ZITO: Thank you. WHITFIELD: All right, President Trump and Republicans demanding now

that they be allowed to question the whistleblower and now the whistleblower's lawyer is suggesting something like that could happen. See what the conditions could be, potentially. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:15:09]

WHITFIELD: A new offer on the table as the impeachment inquiry looms over Capitol Hill. This morning, the whistleblower's own attorney said his client would be willing to answer written questions submitted directly from Republican lawmakers, but the questions could not seek any information that would reveal the whistleblower's identity. Meanwhile, President Trump is sharpening his attacks and demanding to know who the whistleblower is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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 from the whistleblower's attorney?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Fred, Republicans have been complaining about the process of this impeachment inquiry and they've been complaining about access to this whistleblower. Just a few days ago they called for the whistleblower to actually come and testify publicly before the committee.

Now what you are getting now from the whistleblower is that the whistleblower through his attorney, Mark Zaid, is offering to answer Republican lawmakers' questions in writing under oath but directly from these Republican members to try and address potentially some of those concerns. That is not changing anything, though, for the president who this morning continued to attack the whistleblower and made clear that he wants this whistleblower's identity to be revealed despite the whistleblower protections that this individual is afforded under U.S. law.

And of course the president is focusing on this whistleblower despite the fact, Fred, that we have seen numerous current and numerous administration officials corroborate key aspects of that whistleblower's complaint as it relates to this quid pro quo, for example, surrounding security aid to Ukraine. The president, though, will face the potential testimony for more officials this week who could also corroborate those aspects of that whistleblower complaint.

One of those officials is potentially the former National Security adviser, John Bolton. Democrats are seeking his testimony later in the week. Here's what the president said this morning when he was asked about Bolton potentially testifying.

(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 that has been the president's answer when he has been asked about potential testimony by individuals. He keeps pointing to the lawyers, but we should note, Fred, that the president has already -- and his administration have already sought to block the testimony of current and former officials including those who have been subpoenaed -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much.

So if House Democrats want to have a productive week in this impeachment inquiry, they'll need witnesses to show up. What could happen if no one does?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:22:08]

WHITFIELD: House investigators are gearing up for another ambitious schedule of testimony in the impeachment inquiry this week and they are also bracing for more witnesses to defy the subpoenas at the behest of the White House.

With me now, Ross Garber. He teaches impeachment law at Tulane Law School and is a CNN legal analyst.

Good to see you, Ross.

ROSS GARBER, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good to be here.

WHITFIELD: All right. So is the White House running a potential risk of the president facing obstruction of justice charges, you know, in the Articles of Impeachment, particularly if the White House continues to order witnesses to ignore House subpoenas?

GARBER: So sure. There is that risk. The House decides what to impeach the president for and what to not impeach him for. I don't think any court is going to second guess what the White House does and back in Nixon, the Judiciary Committee actually had articles they proposed for obstruction of justice. Now those were never voted on by the White House and similar articles were proposed by the Judiciary Committee but rejected by the House and Clinton.

I think the big question, though, is going to be whether the president makes the case for why these folks are refusing to show up and why the --

WHITFIELD: How would he do that? In what manner would he will be making that case?

GARBER: Yes. Yes. So there are actually sort of interesting and potentially valid issues. The first is the issue of complete immunity. And that's being argued in court right now with former White House counsel Don McGahn. Previous administrations, both parties, previous Justice Departments, both parties, have said the president and his senior advisers are absolutely immune from having to sit down and testify before Congress.

The second issue is executive privilege. A little bit different. That's sort of -- you know, they have to show up, but they don't have to answer questions about certain issues and you know, these issues actually implicate --

WHITFIELD: That would be applicable to classified type of information, though. Right?

GARBER: Well, actually -- yes, not just classified information. Again, presidents of both parties dating back to really George Washington made the argument that an executive privilege prevents senior administration officials from testifying about sensitive issues. National security. Diplomacy. Law enforcement. Military issues. And the Supreme Courts actually ratified that notion. Now there's a big question about whether that applies here.

WHITFIELD: So I was going to ask.

GARBER: Yes.

WHITFIELD: But does this fall into that category?

GARBER: Well, so what's interesting is --

WHITFIELD: Especially when there's the language of the favor and, you know, going after a political opponent?

GARBER: Yes, so --

WHITFIELD: How's that national security?

GARBER: It's very interesting, and we haven't really seen the White House kind of make this argument but let's -- I think we're going to anticipate them doing it. I think what they'll say is the Supreme Court says it applies particularly in its height in national security, diplomacy and military affairs. I think what the White House will say, well, obviously this affects all three. It's the relationship between the United States and Ukraine, involving the State Department, involving diplomacy, involving military aid.

[16:25:01]

You'll hear from the White House, sort of fits squarely within that sort of national security, diplomacy, executive privilege exception.

WHITFIELD: Democrats also want to hear -- interview former National Security adviser John Bolton. His attorneys, you know, are saying Bolton won't appear without a subpoena. So talk to me about conditions in which a witness who is called, you know, can make. Is he in a position where he could say, you know, I'll be there, but only if you subpoena me?

GARBER: Yes, so it's a great question because technically, you know, just like before, the House controls the impeachment process. They can issue a subpoena, they can tell them to show up. Now whether he actually does is another matter and what we've seen is the White House has had a hard time actually forcing people into the chair to testify because they've had to go through a long litigation process which wouldn't end anytime soon.

So in this situation, a lot of them, the witness actually does have some potential ability to affect the conditions under which they might testify and I think that's what's going on here. I think what we're seeing is John Bolton's lawyers trying to negotiate something with the House.

WHITFIELD: Ross Garber, always good to see you. Thank you so much.

GARBER: Good to be here.

WHITFIELD: All right. With far-right activity on the rise around the world, CNN meets a woman drawn into a white supremacist group right here in the U.S. Next, we'll hear her warnings about the so-called alt-right and why she calls it a cult of racism.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:30:34]

WHITFIELD: All right. A major city in Germany has declared a Nazi emergency. Counselors in Dresden have passed a resolution warning of a growing far right movement. The city is where an anti-Muslim movement first emerged in 2013 and regular rallies are still held there.

A far right party known for stoking anti-immigrant sentiment also had a strong showing in this year's state election there. Counselors say the declaration is symbolic and has no legal consequences. Historically, Dresden is known for being destroyed in one of the most devastating bombing campaigns of World War II.

The surge of hate isn't limited to Germany. Right here in the U.S., one report says attacks by far right extremists have more than quadrupled since 2016. CNN's Elle Reeve has the dramatic story of one woman who was drawn in to a far right group dominated by men. And she's talking now about why she got out.

(START VIDEOTAPE) ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The face of America's white power movement is screaming young white men.

UNIDENTIFIED MEN: One people. One nation.

REEVE: But there are a very small number of women who joined. (Samantha) was one of them.

SAMANTHA, FORMER FAR-RIGHT GROUP MEMBER: This I wore to the last alt- right party that I ever went to.

REEVE: The 29-year-old tells new friends she spent a year in a cult, a cult of racism. After she left, she feared being exposed for what she'd done. Now, she wants to come forward on her own terms and warn others about the power of online radicalization. She welcomes us into her home. We agreed not to show its surroundings or share her last name due to safety concerns.

How important do you think that sense of alienation is in attracting people?

SAMANTHA: One hundred percent. I think alienation is like the number one reason that people join. I was seeing this guy. And I was going through a lot of turbulent like emotional and just personal, mental things where my sense of self was pretty damaged.

It was just this emersion into the culture of it with someone that I so badly wanted the affection of and the approval of just it didn't take much. It's not as if this person was like strapping me down like I was hungry to learn. I was hungry to figure this out.

REEVE: On January 1st, 2017, you became a member of Identity Evropa. Can you explain what that is?

SAMANTHA: It was a white civil rights group or a white advocacy group I believe was the term. Identity Evropa was trying to project this image of being -- I mean, you known, clean cult, law-abiding, nonracial slur using, polite, kind, handing out water bottles to old ladies on the street just like a nice group of people.

REEVE: They didn't want to look like the skin heads.

SAMANTHA: No, absolutely not. The language that was used was always pro-white. It was never anti anything else. And so, it made it really easy to ignore the parts that you don't want to see.

REEVE: Like violence.

SAMANTHA: Yes, violence or just blatant racism.

REEVE: Today known as the American Identity Movement, Identity Evropa was created in 2016 as a kind of fraternity to promote white power with a more clean-cut face. It's all very old, very antiquated ideology just packaged in khakis and loafers.

The alt-right is far more hostile to women than previous iterations of the white supremacist movement. It emerged from an internet culture that cross pollinated with men's rights and incel forums, an online subculture of men who are involuntary celibate and blame women for it.

Samantha says there are only a handful of women in IE when she joined. She kept her day job as a manager at a cocktail bar even as she interviewed up to 20 people a week to be new members of IE.

SAMANTHA: I wasn't the only interviewer.

REEVE: Part of her job was to screen out Jews. She was named women's coordinator. And she says she helped membership grow to about 50 women in a group of roughly 1,000 people. Why did you do it so much?

SAMANTHA: Because it felt good to help. It felt good to be productive and to feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself.

REEVE: Samantha's rise in the alt-right parallel to the rise of the alt-right in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MEN: You will not replace us.

[16:35:00]

REEVE: In the spring of 2017, members of the movement were feeling emboldened.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will faithfully execute.

REEVE: Donald Trump had been sworn into office. Steve Bannon was a White House aide.

UNIDENTIFIED MEN: You will not replace us.

REEVE: And protests like this one referred to as Charlottesville 1.0...

UNIDENTIFIED MEN: Russia is our friend.

REEVE: ...which Samantha helped coordinate, were popping up across the country. Then she started a new relationship with a rising leader within Identity Evropa and was welcomed into the movement's inner circle.

SAMANTHA: We took a weekend and went to a bunch of parties in New York.

REEVE: What kind of parties?

SAMANTHA: Nazi parties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this is the type of awful tool.

SAMANTHA: I went to a book burning that was pretty scandalous. It's all so surreal. Like you're literally standing there going, I'm at a book burning in someone's house. Like there are families that live next door. There's probably a nice person who lives across the street. And I'm burning books about Jewish people. Like, it was just so, I don't know. It just feels -- like it doesn't even feel like it's wrong or right. It just feels unreal.

REEVE: Did you guys present yourselves as like a white power couple?

SAMANTHA: Yes, kind of. I think that's how people looked at us that we would be like the next generation of, you know, a power couple within the white movement.

REEVE: So, in public, you were a couple. But behind the scenes...

SAMANTHA: The misery was growing exponentially like every day. I had tried to break up with him several times. I had told him I couldn't do it anymore. I tried to do all these things, but I was so afraid.

REEVE: A name among the internet Nazis was White Sharia. It's a racist's interpretation of Islam that portrays women as subhuman.

SAMANTHA: As a woman, you are a secretary, mother, babysitter, but never an equal.

REEVE: Private messages to Samantha show that while the women might have played along in public, in private, they found it disturbing. But at the same time, Samantha says they felt trapped, afraid that they'd be doxed. That means your identity and personal information is released online.

Samantha says she and her boyfriend broke up privately but he wouldn't move out. There were shouting matches, financial struggles. She realized the only way to leave the relationship was to also leave the movement. The reaction was more degradation.

SAMANTHA: I was told a lot that I would be really good, that I could probably hold a lot of Nazi semen and birth a lot of Nazi babies whether I liked it or not. That they would break my legs, that I couldn't run away, and then I would just be killed afterwards.

REEVE: The threats scared her. But they were clarifying. In October 2017, she quit IE. She eventually stopped making excuses and realized she had actively promoted racism.

SAMANTHA: All of the weird propaganda that I was buying into, all of the ideology and rhetoric, it just immediately hit me that it was all bull (bleep). It just all hit me how much of an idiot I was.

REEVE: The American Identity Movement tells CNN it is unaware of anyone being coerced to stay in the organization. Today, Samantha has joined a different kind of organization one that helps people leave hate groups. She hopes coming forward with her story can make a difference.

SAMANTHA: For a lot of people, I don't think it's about the politics. I don't think anyone wakes up and says like I really want to make a poster about being racist. And I just think that the alt-right really knew how to play on just like weird new form of nihilism that people are feeling.

REEVE: Samantha says she joined a fraternity based on hate because it gave her a new sense of meaning. She didn't realize how fast they could turn that hate on her. Elle Reeve, CNN New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:43:03]

WHITFIELD: In exactly one year, millions of Americans head to the polls for the 2020 general election. But first, voters must decide who will represent the Democratic Party.

Three new polls out today suggest we could be headed towards a near three-person race for the nomination. Here to dissect these polls is CNN senior political writer and analyst, Harry Enten. Harry, good to see you. So, what stands out to you when you look at these new numbers?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND ANALYST: You know what, I love three polls in one day. It's like a polling Christmas for me.

Look, I think that these three polls tell a similar story, right, that's Joe Biden hanging out, high 20s around 30%. Elizabeth Warren in second place, you know, generally hanging on the low 20s. And then, you have Bernie Sanders who despite his heart attack has actually been holding in the polls right around, you know, high teens, maybe 20% in his best sort of poll.

And I think these three polls just sort of tell that consistent sort of picture of Biden still ahead nationally, Warren sort of closing or perhaps stalling out, and Sanders hanging around in third place.

One other thing I'll just note, and that's from the poll that came out from NBC News "Wall Street Journal", Amy Klobuchar clocked in with 5%, Kamala Harris clocked in with 4%. That counts towards qualifying polls for the December debate and I think that's important because that essentially means that Kamala Harris is qualified for the December debate while Klobuchar is now just one poll away.

WHITFIELD: Wow. And then there's Iowa. A lot of candidates are in Iowa with this weekend. What have you been noticing there?

ENTEN: Yes. Look, Iowa is one thing. Nationally, it's a completely different thing. If you look in Iowa right now, essentially what you see if you look across the average of polls is Elizabeth Warren's pretty much ahead but not very far ahead. In fact, she's within the margin of error of Biden. Elizabeth Warren at 22% in average of polls, Joe Biden at 18%, Bernie Sanders at 16%, basically sort of that same place he is nationally.

But the big difference between national and Iowa in terms of someone jumping up is Pete Buttigieg who is in the high teens, around 15% to 20% depending on which poll you look at on Iowa. And that's very different from the national picture.

And that of course is a big deal because obviously Iowa leads off the primary calendar. But it's also an indication that Buttigieg does very well with white voters and they are plentiful in Iowa versus nationally where they're considerably less of the vote.

[16:45:17]

WHITFIELD: And then what does history say about leaders in the Iowa polling?

ENTEN: Yes, I think this is rather important. So, I went back. I looked at all of the polling leaders at this general point, late October, early November at this point on both the Democratic and Republican side. And I think there are two key points here.

Number one, across all those races, Elizabeth Warren's 22% at this point is the weakest for any front-runner. And that's key because that means that this race is wide open.

But also take a look at the furthest right hand column who won the Iowa caucuses based upon where they were polling at this point where the frontrunner was polling at this point. Pretty much any of the frontrunners who are polling below 49% went on to lose the Iowa caucuses. They didn't win the Iowa caucuses. They didn't win the nomination.

So, Elizabeth Warren's 22%, yes, that's good. She's out ahead right now. But the fact is based upon history that is far from a guarantee that you're going to go on to win Iowa let alone the nomination.

So, all of this sort of points to me, we have a wide open race. It's very, very messy. Any of those top four; Sanders, Warren, Biden or Buttigieg, could go on to win Iowa.

In fact, I wouldn't honestly be surprised if someone not in the top four, whether it be someone like maybe Klobuchar who's perhaps climbing a little bit both nationally and Iowa, actually goes on to win. So a very wide open picture with three months to go.

WHITFIELD: All right. Harry Enten with the numbers jackpot of the day.

ENTEN: You know what, I try my best. That's a lot of (CROSSTALK) jackpot.

WHITFIELD: You always deliver.

ENTEN: It's whatever. I try.

WHITFIELD: It works. All right, thanks so much, Harry.

ENTEN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well speaking of polling, a pair of new national polls on impeachment have President Trump pretty fired up. We'll tell you what he said at the White House this afternoon. And Richard Miles spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Now, he's one of our top ten CNN "Heroes" for 2019.

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RICHARD MILES, CNN HEROES: My mom would always tell me when you look out the window don't look at the bars, look at the sky. I could change my perception within the place of incarceration.

At the end of the day, be confident in your change. The idea really started from inside. People get out and they come right back in. I said if I ever get out, man, we're going to start a program and we're going to help people.

Acknowledgment, transparency, and forgiveness. These are the three essential things we need when we're coming back home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Richard's program, "Miles of Freedom", has helped about a thousand people restart their lives after prison. Go to cnnheroes.com to vote for your favorite CNN hero of the year.

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[16:51:47]

WHITFIELD: All right. This just in. The CEO of McDonald's, Steve Easterbrook, is out after he allegedly violated company policy. According to a statement from McDonald's, Easterbrook demonstrated poor judgment involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee. I was quoting that statement.

He has since been the CEO since 2015. McDonald's forbids managers from having romantic relationships with direct or indirect reports employees.

"Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies" is back tonight with an all-new episode. And this week, we get a look inside the case to stop a would-be spy from selling secrets to an enemy nation. It turns out that spy had buried the stolen documents all over the east coast. Here now is a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY WALKER, FORMER COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SPECIAL AGENT, NATIONAL RECONNAISSANCE OFFICE: I remember coming out here many times. You can see how rough it is and how remote it is. There's no one here. And there's no one to see you. Never in a million years would I expect to be in the woods digging holes to find classified information. In a sense, we're digging for treasure.

There was critical information buried out here that was important to the defense of the United States and we had to find it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: Joining me right now, Gary Walker. He is a former counterintelligence special agent with the National Reconnaissance Office that worked this case. Good to see you.

So, this case begins with a letter mailed to some of the United States' biggest enemies, right. Explain what that letter spelled out and who was considered the enemy.

WALKER: Well, the letter was sent -- was provided to one of our adversaries. And we actually had got access to that letter through FBI channels. And what the individual was trying to do was he was actually trying sell classified information to an adversary in return for a large sum of money.

And what he was offering was really some of our most sensitive, classified information that he had taken from our classified systems while basically internet surfing during his -- the course of his day while working.

WHITFIELD: How were you led to the suspect?

WALKER: Well, the FBI actually had been conducting an investigation for some time prior to coming to my organization, which is the National Reconnaissance Office, counterintelligence office.

And once we were briefed on the details of that investigation to that point, I was actually initially a little skeptical about what was going on and if it was in fact a spy.

However, after some time, I took a look at it, did an initial inquiry, and took a little bit of some information, did some coordination. And then, we learned that more than likely, it was a spy. And we had to actually conduct our own internal inquiry of our employees at the National Reconnaissance Office.

And what we used were really standard counterintelligence, investigative approaches to actually take a large pool of individuals and weed that pool down to some likely suspects. And doing so, we were able to identify Brian Regan.

[16:55:06]

WHITFIELD: Now -- and so, you did capture, you know, Brian Regan before he actually left the country, right? And the plan was or his plan was to approach foreign leaders personally.

But then this operation, even trying to pursue him, was a national security risk, to what degree?

WALKER: It was a national security risk mainly because he had access to some of the most sensitive information. And what we were trying to do is limit not only his ability to capture that information from our systems but to actually make contact with another adversary. And what we had to do was closely watch him.

And at the time, the tools in place to do so weren't exact and they weren't perfect. So, we really, really had to do our best to ensure that we had to catch him in the act of actually collecting the information but as well ensure that he never got that information to the adversary.

WHITFIELD: Gary Walker, it's certainly fascinating. I thank you so much. And thanks for your service and all of this and all of these endeavors. The all-new episode of "Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies" airs tonight, 11:00 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.

And thank you so much for being with me this whole weekend. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. "Newsroom" continues right after the break with Ana Cabrera.

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ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello on this Sunday. You are live in the CNN "Newsroom". I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And this is a milestone weekend on the road to election...