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Trump Claims He Has "Real Polls" As Three New Polls Show 49 Percent Of Americans Back Impeachment; Polls Reveal Tight Race For Democratic Nomination; ISIS Claims Three Attacks Since Naming New Leader; Transcripts From The Impeachment Inquiry's Closed-Door Interviews Could Be Made Public As Early As This Week; California Suffering From A Number Of Wildfires; CEO Of McDonald's Is Out; Two Kenyans Won The New York City Marathon Today In The Women And Men's Division. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 3, 2019 - 19:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Top of the hour, you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. It's great to have you with us.

And this is a milestone weekend on the road to Election Day 2020. It is now just one year away, November 3rd next year. And American voters are making it known how they feel about issues that will impact their vote for president -- health care, climate change, terrorism, and the possible impeachment of President Trump.

First, the Democratic primary. Three new national opinion polls released today showing former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the Democratic field. The same three surveys show Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders right behind him.

On the subject of impeaching President Trump, the polls show a nation split nearly down the middle. This is just one of those polls. From NBC News and "The Wall Street Journal," 49 percent of respondents, regardless of party affiliation, now say the President should not only be impeached but also removed from office. For some perspective, just one month ago, those numbers were more or less flipped with 49 percent opposed to Trump's removal.

Let's go to CNN's Jeremy Diamond at the White House. Jeremy, safe to assume the President isn't thrilled with those poll numbers. In fact, he told you face-to-face today that he has information we don't.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. Look, this issue of impeachment is an extremely polarizing one. And while Americans remain deeply divided over whether or not to impeach the President, the trend is in the direction of increasing support for impeachment.

And in the -- in the three most recent national polls, we're seeing more Americans supporting impeachment and removal of this president than the number of Americans who oppose it.

So I posed that question to the President, confronting him with these most recent polls. Here's how he's responded.


DIAMOND: Mr. President, according to several recent polls, more Americans want you to be impeached and removed from office --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Jeremy (ph), you're reading the wrong polls.

DIAMOND: -- than the number of Americans who don't. Fox News --

TRUMP: You're reading the wrong polls.

DIAMOND: -- "Wall Street Journal" --

TRUMP: You're reading --

DIAMOND: -- NBC, ABC, "Washington Post," all those polls --

TRUMP: Let me just tell you, I have the real polls. I have the real polls. The CNN polls are fake. The Fox polls have always been lousy. I tell them they ought to get themselves a new pollster.

But the real polls, if you look at the polls that --

DIAMOND: (INAUDIBLE) 50 percent of Americans want you to leave.

TRUMP: If you look at the polls that came out this morning, people don't want anything to do with impeachment. It's a phony scam. It's a hoax. And the whistleblower should be revealed because the whistleblower gave false information.



DIAMOND: And, Ana, while there's nothing to support the President's claims about having real polls, we know that it is common for the President to go on and attack polls that he does not like what they reveal.

What we do know, though, is that there are some silver linings here for the President. Republicans remain largely in lockstep with the President in all of these most recent polls, and we know that the President has certainly been using this as something to energize his base as he heads into the 2020 election.

CABRERA: And this impeachment inquiry continues this week. And now, even the whistleblower is going to make him or herself available to Republicans, right, who are against the process. Will those Republicans take that offer?

DIAMOND: That's right. Well, the whistleblower through his attorney is making himself available for questions from Republican lawmakers, at least written questions, and willing to answer those. Whether or not that will be enough for Republicans is an open question. We know that they have been extremely critical of this impeachment

process over the last recent weeks. And one thing that they have called for is for the public testimony of this whistleblower. That -- there's no indication that that will indeed happen.

What is clear, Ana, though, is that this impeachment inquiry has moved so much beyond this whistleblower. It has become so much bigger than this one whistleblower complaint. And we have already seen, in the testimony from recent weeks from current and former administration officials, that many of the allegations that the whistleblower made in that complaint have been corroborated -- Ana.

CABRERA: Jeremy Diamond at the White House. Thank you.

With us now is CNN Senior Political Analyst, David Gergen. He was an advisor to four presidents, both Republican and Democrat. And also with us, CNN Legal Analyst and Former Federal Prosecutor, Michael Zeldin. Gentlemen, always good to have both of you here.


CABRERA: David, let me start with you because you just heard President Trump say he has the real polls on impeachment. You know, a week and a half ago, he said, quote, I'm the team when asked about his impeachment defense team. Does he understand the gravity of this?

GERGEN: You sometimes wonder. What we do know is his, right, natural reflexive action that when the polls are good, he claims them and says they're -- oh, they're wonderful polls. And when they're bad, he insists that they're fake and that -- that he has the inside knowledge. We don't know what that is. I think it doesn't exist.

There may be one poll that is highly suspect in the field. There has been one on the conservative side that the -- the procedures they used have mostly discredited that poll, but that has some -- that has given the President better numbers. But it's just -- they're just not the believable credible polls.

CABRERA: Michael, this week the impeachment inquiry entered this new phase. It's supposed to open public hearings and, you know, testimony being made public as well that's been happening behind closed doors. But you say impeachment and removal perhaps aren't the only likely outcomes here, right?


MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he can be impeached, he can be convicted, he can be removed, and he then can be disqualified. But there also is potentially a middle ground here, which is that if the public testimony doesn't rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanor worthy of removal from office, then I think a bipartisan censure motion could be a viable option. Then we can move on to the 2020 election and then see what the American people want.

CABRERA: What would a censure do? ZELDIN: It would just criticize the President for abusing the powers

of his office for personal gain. It doesn't remove him. It's just like in high school, it's a mark on your permanent record. It's an indication that both sides of the aisle said this is not acceptable conduct, and it's to be condemned, and the American people should understand that we as a nation will not tolerate this.

CABRERA: So a lot of it up to now is about getting the facts.

ZELDIN: Right.

CABRERA: And before there is even a drafting of articles of impeachment, that hasn't happened yet. We're not there yet.

ZELDIN: Right.

CABRERA: But as this investigation is continuing, the White House is instructing current officials not to testify, not to talk to Congress. In fact, there was a hearing this week regarding former White House Counsel Don McGahn, and the DOJ suggested House Democrats are just subpoenaing these White House officials really to get to the President. And they're claiming he has total immunity. Is that true?

ZELDIN: Well, they are seeking witness testimony for the purpose of gathering information to determine whether the President violated the oath of his office, so in that sense, yes. But that's always the way it is with witness testimony.

In this case, there is, I think, pretty clear precedent that the advisors to the President don't enjoy absolute immunity like the President does. There's been one seminal case on this. And now that we're in impeachment proceedings, the powers of the House are even greater. I think it's a delay tactic on the part of the White House, and the courts, hopefully, will rule in favor of the House receiving this information so we can understand best what happened.

CABRERA: David, take a listen to counselor of the President Kellyanne Conway's new defense of the President's actions on Ukraine.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: So you feel totally confident that, at the core of this, the heart of this --


BASH: -- there was no quid pro?

CONWAY: I feel confident about the fact THAT Ukraine has that aid and is using it right now. That is because of this president that they have it. The last -- the administration --

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

CONWAY: It doesn't -- first of all, I just said to you -- BASH: Quid pro quo, yes or no.

CONWAY: -- I don't know whether aid was being held up and for how long. I knew that there were two senators, a Democrat and a Republican, who called over from Ukraine and inquired about the aid, but we're trying to impeach a president here now in this town across this country. Why? Because nothing in this conversation, so far, resonates to the country --


CABRERA: So, David, first, it was no quid pro quo. Then it was, get over it, it happens in politics. Then it was, it probably happened but it's OK or it's not impeachable. And now, it's I don't know. Why do these goalposts keep moving?

GERGEN: Yes. Because they always get discredited and knocked down. And, you know, the Republicans have -- have launched -- they raised an objection and the -- the Democrats tried to meet that objection and we move on until the next time when Republicans say you can't have this or can't have that.

Listen, I -- I want to go back to this question of censure. I think it's an interesting one. It may well come up before this is all over, but I would argue that it would take a significant shift of public opinion in the direction of the Democrats in order for Republicans to vote on -- to vote for censure.

In other words, if we remain a divided country as we are now in these polls, basically 49 to 49 who -- who -- so 49 who want his removal, 49 who are opposed, then I don't see the Republicans sort of saying, you know, we will concede on the censure point. I think -- I think the President gets acquitted and moves on, tries to use it as best he can, and -- and it will make a difference.

But beyond that, it does seem to me that when the -- Kellyanne Conway's come out, when the President comes out as he did today, we listen with boredom (ph) to what they say, but I think they hurt themselves when it's so clearly not true.

Things that -- when they say things that are so clearly not true, it is like -- this is like a game and it -- to go back to your original question, they need to take this very, very seriously because a lot hinges on this. It could well be not just a question of the President's removal but who's going to win 2020.

CABRERA: Michael, beyond the political ramifications, are there any legal ramifications for the changing defense like we're hearing from Republicans?

ZELDIN: Well, I think the way they're moving is, in some sense, the way Bill Clinton moved, which was, I didn't do this, then there's the discovery of the -- the dress and the stain. And then, I did do this and it was wrong, but it's not impeachable.

[19:10:04] I think they are getting to the point where they recognize that what

the President of the United States did was a violation of his public trust, and it's indefensible. So now, they have to say, but it's not impeachable, it's not a high crime and misdemeanor. It doesn't rise to the level that the Founding Fathers want. And I think that's where they're going to have to pitch their legal defense because you can't defend the -- the behavior of the President. It's not defensible.


CABRERA: And meantime, impeachment is taking up so much oxygen right now, of course, in Washington. But in our national conversation, David, take a listen to what 2020 candidate Andrew Yang had to say about the current focus on impeachment.


ANDREW YANG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am for impeachment, but the fact is when we're talking about Donald Trump, we are not presenting a new way forward and a positive vision for the country that Americans will get excited about.

That's the only way we're going to win in 2020, and that's the only way we're going to start actually solving the problems that got him elected. Even when we're talking about impeaching Donald Trump, we're talking about Donald Trump, and we are losing.


CABRERA: David, do you agree?

GERGEN: I'm not sure they're losing. These polls that came out today still have Biden up eight, nine, 10 points ahead of Trump, so I don't think the Democrats will toss this away.

I do think it's in their strong, strong interest to get this over and done with, one way or the other, before we start getting into the primaries when the -- both parties are going to want a way to communicate during that time. And that is a time also when it's really important to know where do the -- you know, that's when a lot of the public will start tuning in more than they have so far to figure this out.

And it's, you know, going to be -- so I would think they'd want to finish the -- the public hearings before the Christmas break, before the holiday break, and have the -- and the Republicans are going to be interested in moving along swiftly. It could be by the end of January or early February just as we hit the Iowa caucuses, this could all be wrapped up.

CABRERA: The Iowa caucus is now about 90 days away, just three months away.


CABRERA: David Gergen and Michael Zeldin, gentlemen, good to have you here. Thank you.

GERGEN: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: It may be hard to believe that we are just exactly one year away from the 2020 election. Three new polls giving us an indication of where the race for the Democratic nomination stands. We'll break it down next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: More now on that emerging horse race in the Democratic presidential contest. Three polls with the same names at the top -- Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. And although his numbers are still in the single digits, Pete Buttigieg reliably in fourth.

Leyla Santiago is in Muscatine, Iowa and with the Warren campaign for us. Right now, Elizabeth Warren is surging in the polls, but her rise is inspiring other candidates to take shots at her, specifically over her Medicare for All plan. Biden and, now, even Sanders are attacking her. How is she responding?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, just as she wrapped up here tonight, she's wrapping up her selfie line right now. One of the things that she brought up, and it wasn't even really asked from any of the folks here, was the issue of electability.

So certainly, she is telling voters that she is the one and -- and really using this Medicare for All pitch to talk to the middle class, saying, look, I plan to fund this without raising taxes to the middle class. That was the plan that she released this week after really getting criticized on the debate stage by Buttigieg, by Biden.

And she really was consistent in the three points that she used to respond to some of that criticism in what you heard right now, telling the middle class that she will put $11 trillion back in their pocket and not raise taxes. Looking to the -- to her opponents to say, where are your plans? I released mine, and now where are yours?

And then this was interesting, this morning in an -- in an interview, Senator Sanders said that his plan was more progressive, even said that her plan could be harmful when it comes to job creation, and yet she remains aligned. When asked she said that she is still with Bernie, that she co-sponsored the bill. They just a different way of getting there.

So she is really still leaning heavy on -- on her progressive partner here in this race, not seeing a need to distinguish herself clearly right now for Senator Sanders -- or from Senator Sanders, rather. How long she will maintain that strategy, though, we'll have to wait and see.

CABRERA: Yes, she's trying to stay close to him even as he's sort of pushing back on the differences in their health care plans. SANTIAGO: Right.

CABRERA: Leyla Santiago, thank you for that reporting.

David Gergen is back with us now along with CNN political analyst Sarah Isgur. And let's take another look at the top-tier candidates based on at least the newest polls -- Biden, Warren, and Sanders. In all three polls, those three are at the top.

Just briefly, what do you each see as each of their biggest vulnerabilities? And, Sarah, I'll start with you.

SARAH ISGUR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, obviously, with Joe Biden, what we've seen is that he's vulnerable to a series of attacks both within the Democratic primary but also from Republicans, and he's unable, I think, to answer those attacks particularly forcefully yet. And so, I know that -- that one of his vulnerabilities is that sense that in a general election, he could fall apart.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, I think, both have an electability issue. Will the party then move too far left to capture some of those independents in Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin, in Michigan? And Pete Buttigieg, you know, single digits.

CABRERA: Yes, even though he's reliably in fourth, he just can't seem to break through, at least in these most recent polls.

Same question for you, David, Biden, Warren, and Sanders' biggest vulnerabilities?

GERGEN: Well, Joe Biden, he has got a lot of vulnerabilities, I think, more than anybody expected at this stage of the campaign. It's not just -- it's not age, it's whether he has -- you know, whether he's -- if he has all the mental faculties he had before when he was, you know, very sharp in the Senate.

And is he going to -- the -- the biggest fear among a lot of Democrats is they'd nominate him and then he falters in the homestretch. He has some physical problem or mental problem or whatever it is, and then they're sort of stuck in that situation. And nobody knows how to get around that, but there he is.

I will say, even though he's been out of the limelight and been carefully, carefully coached and everything like that, these polls today show that he still got a very significant lead over Donald Trump in the general.


GERGEN: You know, nine -- eight, nine, 10 points. So he's still a formidable candidate in that sense. So I think Sanders has the greater vulnerabilities because of the -- because -- not only his age but his health. And he is sort of yesterday's news with Elizabeth Warren coming charging down -- down the -- down the stretch here.

[19:20:11] And Elizabeth I think has run the best campaign of -- out of all the

candidates. She, by far, was the most articulate. She's the most substantive, but she remains -- has a toxic quality. I think Sarah is right about that, that there is a toxic quality that -- and -- and she does not do as well in a general, and a lot of Democratic activist strategists are just scared of her.

And -- and I think that if she were to take this health care plan and leave herself more flexibility on Medicare for All and also keep open the possibility that people can keep their -- their private health insurance, she will do a lot better. But I think if she runs on getting rid of the private health insurance any time in the near future, that's going to be a significant liability for her.

CABRERA: And now, for the first time, this weekend, Sanders is actually criticizing Warren's Medicare for All plan.


CABRERA: Here is what he said, quote, we do disagree on how you fund it. I think the approach that I have, in fact, will be much more progressive in terms of protecting the financial well-being of middle- income families. And he goes on to say, you know, our plan is better. Sarah, is this the first crack in their alliance?

ISGUR: Well, I'm not sure it's ever been an alliance on Bernie Sanders' side. Elizabeth Warren has been sort of drafting behind him, but Bernie Sanders has a problem. I don't see him regaining that strength over Elizabeth Warren.

His biggest strength is trust within the Democratic base. He is certainly seen as authentic. You know, what you see is what you get. I think there are still some who don't necessarily trust that Elizabeth Warren is as progressive as she says. But Bernie Sanders, at this point, has been on a slow trajectory downward, and I'm -- I think it might be too late.

CABRERA: I want to pick up actually on what you talked about in terms of progressive versus more moderate because in the Fox News poll specifically, we see Biden leading in two key areas. He is the candidate voters think could beat Trump. He is also the candidate who most shares their views on the issues.

Again, this is just among Democratic primary voters. David, does this poll indicate that Democratic voters are actually more moderate and less progressive?

GERGEN: Yes, yes. The activists who vote in primaries and then vote in caucuses on both sides of the aisle, the -- the Democratic activists tend to be much more liberal than the mainstream Democratic voters.

Something similar is true on the Republican side. You've got the activists who really want your hard right when you're in -- if they -- they want, you know, tough stuff, but there are a lot of moderate Republicans out there, middle of the road Republicans, that you want to pick up in places like Pennsylvania that are going to be critical down the stretch.

CABRERA: I want you to listen to a comment Mayor Pete Buttigieg made that's getting a lot of attention.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think this is getting to be a two-way. It's early to say. I'm not saying it is a two-way, but I think --

JOHN HEILEMANN, SHOWTIME HOST: But you see that? You see it coming into focus. You wouldn't want it?



CABRERA: So asked by a reporter then about those comments, he said he didn't think that came out right. But David Axelrod, the chief campaign strategist for President Obama, tweeted this, quote, the campaign strategist's nightmare -- when the candidate goes all pundit in an interview. Unhelpful.


CABRERA: Sarah, do you see that comment doing any serious damage?

ISGUR: No. I -- I think that Pete Buttigieg, his role in this race is to represent a new generational voice that I think is very welcome in the Democratic Party in terms of helping at the debates and other things. Do I think a lot of voters are ready to vote for him yet as their nominee this time around? No, but I think it's doing him a lot of good. I think he's helping himself whether it's four years from, eight years from now, et cetera.

Moments like this are, you know, bad for cable news. They're not bad for caucuses.

CABRERA: Sarah Isgur and David Gergen, thank you.

GERGEN: Thank you.

CABRERA: More witnesses are set to come forward this week as the impeachment inquiry enters a new phase, but at what cost? How the proceedings could be a gift to U.S. enemies, next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: It's been a week since ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself after being cornered by U.S. forces, but the terror group isn't dead yet. They had claimed responsibility for three attacks this week that left at least 56 people dead, although it offered no proof it carried them out. CNN's Sam Kiley explains what these latest attacks say about the

terror group's viability following the death of its leader.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The so-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the murder of Malian soldiers on Friday and then a subsequent killing the following day of a French soldier in that same country.

This should be seen really as part of their attempt to claim responsibility whether or not they actually participated in any of these terrorist acts because their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead and the territory that they once controlled that made them so magnetic around the world is no -- no longer under their control.

They have offered absolutely no evidence for their role in these Malian attacks, and we've seen this very frequently in the past. Whether or not there are actual self-starting individuals who claim allegiance to the so-called Islamic State or whether there was an actual plot that had its roots somewhere in the areas under the control of the Islamic State has often been very, very hard to prove.

And that really is where the former caliphate is now going to have to focus its efforts in trying to build its brand against the longer more established al Qaeda that never tried to control any state and particularly in places like Afghanistan and Somalia where the Islamic State is trying to get a foothold.

Their greatest rivals and greatest threat to them physically is less the international community, drone strikes, driven out of the United States and that kind of thing, but rather al Qaeda. Because al Qaeda wants to remain the premier jihadi organization worldwide.


Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


CABRERA: Now back here at home. California suffering from a number of wildfires as President Trump is threatening to pull federal aid to help fight those fires in that state and the governor just responded.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[19:34:25] CABRERA: Welcome back.

Transcripts from the impeachment inquiry's closed door interviews could be made public as early as this week. Up to this point all witness testimony has been private. And what we know has come from the release of opening statements and leaks from those inside the room. That brings us to the Presidential brief with CNN National Security

Analyst, Samantha Vinograd. It is a segment, of course, we bring to you every weekend with the most pressing national security issues President Trump will face tomorrow.

So Sam, Democrats are also discussing a time line for public impeachment hearings that they are saying could happen before thanksgiving. Is that timetable important for them?


SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, these proceedings are key. But from a security perspective, Ana, they aren't cost free. Just to date with the closed door testimony, our enemies have learned intimate details about the innermost workings of the U.S. government including who listens to presidential phone calls, information about various classified servers. That helps foreign intelligence services prioritize where to focus their efforts.

Now if transcripts and deposition are release and public hearings are held, even more information is going to become public. That puts us as a disadvantage. I mean, just think about it. It's not like we have Kremlin officials testifying publicly about where Vladimir Putin stores his classified communications. This gives other countries a leg up.

At the same time the public content of the depositions and hearings will be crime fodder for manipulation by foreign intelligence services. For example, we know the Russians want to undermine the credibility of our institutions, our own intelligence community assessed that. When we have more public information, we should assume that Russian bots trolls and fake personas will be manipulating to undermine our credibility.

CABRERA: Now, this week, we are expecting to hear from national security council lawyers, potentially at least. They have their depositions scheduled, whether they show up is another thing. How important is their testimony?

VINOGRAD: Well, as you mentioned NSC lawyers are lawyering up. Then it is unclear whether they will comply with these subpoenas and actually show. But let's think about what these NSC lawyers actually do. I used to work with them every day. They are referred to as hashtag legal, the legal directorate the White House. And (INAUDIBLE).

They report both to national security adviser as well as to the White House council. They review every memorandum that goes to the President and national security advisor. They review memoranda of presidential communications before their stored. They also weigh in on internal processes and listen to concerns from NSC staff.

But the key point, Ana, is they do not have the authority to make major decisions without top cover, again, from the national security advise or the White House counsel. And this raises the key point. The White House counsel is driving the impeachment strategy for President Trump when in fact he may be at the heart of a lot of the activities investigators are looking into.

CABRERA: So amid the impeachment inquiry, let's pivot because there's something else that's taking place and it's important. The President issued a new proclamation capping the number of refugees the U.S. will admit in the next fiscal year. What kind of security impact could that have?

VINOGRAD: Well, as you mentioned, he has issued a new cap, 18,000. Again, he doesn't have to meet that cap. He could allow in fewer refugees. Well, he is letting in fewer refugees, the scale of the problem has not decreased. Quite the opposite. We have more refugees globally than any time since World War II, and half of these refugees are children.

Now the President's team is saying that he has his new refugee camp because he is focused on solving the crisis that drive refugees, he really hasn't done that. You look at Venezuela or Syria, for example. And he is focus in resettling refugees in countries close to home.

Well, Ana, I visited the refugee camps in Jordan where there are so many Syrian refugees. Countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Bangladesh and Kenya are already overburdened with refugees. If we refuse to do our part, it is likely that these countries, many of whom are lower income are going to be overburdened, that is destabilizing from a security perspective, not to mention the fact that these children are in inhumane and unsafe conditions.

CABRERA: Sam Vinograd, thank you very much for that information.

The impeachment inquiry, the witnesses, the testimony, the latest evidence. Join Anderson Cooper for a CNN special, the White House in crisis, the impeachment inquiry next.

We will be right back.



CABRERA: Major business news. Just into CNN, the CEO of McDonald's is out after admitting to some personal behavior that he calls a mistake. Steve Easterbrook has been the McDonald's CEO since 2015. In a company wide email obtained by CNN Easterbrook told fellow McDonald's employees that he engaged in a quote "consensual relationship with someone in the organization, a relationship that violated company policy." McDonald's has already named a new CEO.

Hope. It is what families in California cling to in times like this when they or someone their love loses everything in a wildfire. And while firefighters work around the clock battling more than a dozen wildfires and working tirelessly to re-instill that hope, President Trump points the finger and places blame on twitter.

Trump tweeted in part quote "the governor of California Gavin Newsom has done terrible job of force management." Newsom quickly responding, you don't believe in climate change? You are excused from this conversation.

CNN Meteorologist, Karen Maginnis joins us now.

And Karen, the U.S. national climate organization or assessment I should say reports that half of the increase in western wildfires is due to climate change. How are the two related?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we have a laundry list of things that have happened not just in California, but because we are specifically talking about the fire dangers they have seen this year, the year before and the year before that that have greatly impacted the folks there.

A longer fire season. Now the Cal fire director said here on CNN in the past 24 hours we no longer have fire seasons. They are fire years because as fire danger persists throughout the year. It used to be during the three hottest months of the summer. And then the secondary season in the fall which are the dry seasons and warmer temperatures are beginning early. They are hotter, and they last longer. So things are drying out. So a lot dryer conditions. And then you add that an environmental factor in that we have the beetle that is infiltrating a lot of these forests out across the west.

All right. Is this pattern familiar? If it doesn't look familiar, it will become familiar. We have got this big trough across the east and we got a high pressure ridge across the west. This year was very entrenched. It was not moving very much. We got the winds coming around this. They go down the mountains. They compress. They heat up. And we saw wind gusts as high as 90 miles an hour fanning those flames.

All right. Let's tell you a little bit more about what's at stake here. We talked about the fire seasons. Well it's fire years last year, so one of the most devastating years we have ever seen with more than 100 people killed in devastating fires. And in the past ten years the average number of major fires across California, 250. But you go back 30 years and it's more like 140.

So just in that span of time, a dramatic increase in the number of major fires. Also, it stays dryer longer and hotter temperatures. Ana, it looks like not just in the short-term but the long-term a lot of considerations to be made here.


CABRERA: It really matters. Very eye opening. Thank you, Karen Maginnis.

Coming up this week's "THIS IS LIFE" takes a closer look at the small fraction of the population, women who kill. The unique circumstances these women share.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



CABRERA: Training, planning, mind over matter. The words of a runner. And no doubt a concept Joyciline Jepkosgei and Geoffrey Kamworor are familiar with. Both won the New York City marathon today in the women and men's division. Both are from Kenya. The 26.2 miles race travels through New York City five burros.

For Jepkosgei, this is her first time running the New York City marathon and she recorded the second fastest time ever in the women's open division in this New York City marathon's history finishing in two hours and 22 minutes. Now Kamworor, won the men's event for the second time in three years. Good for them.

In America only 11 percent of murders are committed by women. So what is it that drives such a small number of wives, mothers, sisters and daughters to kill. It is a question that Lisa Ling looks to answer on her all-new episode of "THIS IS LIFE" airing tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going through deja vu right now. Emotional. The house is up here on the right side.

LISA LING, CNN HOST, THIS IS LIFE: On the right side or left side.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will be on the right hand side.

LING: Crystal takes me to the house where she and Richard lived together. A house that would shutter out from the world. You OK?


LING: You were really isolated up here.


LING: Were there days that you just didn't even leave the property?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Days and days and days. I wasn't allowed to come to the mailbox. He didn't want me associating with neighbors or the mailman.

LING: It's real because the only other person who really knows what happened is dead now. Why should people believe you?


CABRERA: Lisa Ling joins us now.

Lisa, that's one of two women you profile in the episode. They both have very different stories. But what did you learn over all about women who kill?

LING: Well, Ana, I have to say this episode of "THIS IS LIFE" tonight is both engrossing but also incredibly devastating. As you mention, only -- about 90 percent of murders that are committed in this country are committed by men. And women account for just over 10 percent.

But the victims of women who commit murder are often their partners or their own children. And in the case of the woman you saw, Crystal, she took the life of her husband after she alleges she had endured years and years of abuse. But when she went to trial, those years of abuse were not admissible in court. And so, the jury had to base the decision on the crime that happened that day.

CABRERA: In your reporting, it's interesting you found startling inequality in the way the legal system treating female versus male killers. Why are women sentenced to so much more time than the male counterparts for the same crimes.

LING: You are right. Women are often given much harsher sentences. Men who take the lives of their partners will often get two to four years. They will make sentence that much. Women on the other hand will often get average of about 15 years even though the person they killed often were the same people who battered them.

So I don't really know the answer. I wish I knew. But because women murder so far less infrequently than men, they are often very sensationalized and we all have read the headlines. Often those headlines are not accompanied by stories of men who murder.

CABRERA: Female killers are also portrayed differently than men by the media, right. I mean, that's the point you are giving at. What does that tell us about the way society views women who kill?

LING: To me it just seems like society finds these kinds of incidents really scintillating and fascinating and also more unforgiving, I think, because they don't happen as often relative to how often men kill. They -- we as a culture have become more unforgiving of these kind of crimes when women commit them.

CABRERA: Lisa Ling, it sounds like a fascinating episode. As you said, so disturbing as well.

Be sure to tune in to the new episode of "THIS IS LIFE with Lisa Ling." It airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern and pacific only on CNN.

Thanks, Lisa, for joining us.



CABRERA: A boat that spent more than 100 years stuck on the rocks above Niagara falls was knocked free by last weeks storm that hit the northeast. Officials say this old iron barge flipped over. And it is now even closer to the edge of the falls on the Canadian side. Niagara staff says it's anyone's guess if it will remain in the new perch for another 100 years.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has made healthcare, right, a big part of her campaign, specifically Medicare for all. Now she just has to sell that plan to people weary of giving up private insurance. "Saturday Night Live" has some ideas in how to get people onboard.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, senator. My current insurance isn't perfect but with your plan I would have to give it up. That makes me nervous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your insurance is like a bad boyfriend. Girl, listen to me. You need to leave him. He is draining you. You deserve better. Dump his (bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. You are right. I'm settling. But I'm just scared to leave because what if it's the best I can get?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much is your deductible?

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Listen to me you beautiful (bleep). Here's what's going to happen. You are going to call him and you are going to end it. And I'm going to come over with an apple strew (ph) and we are going 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 are going to say new phone, who this? OK, girlfriend? You are just going to be fine.


CABRERA: And that's going too to do it for me. I really appreciate you joining me. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thank you for being here. Enjoy the week ahead.

I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

The "White House in Crisis: The Impeachment Inquiry" with Anderson Cooper starts now.