Return to Transcripts main page


Trump Receives Polarized Reception At UFC Fight In New York; White House Chief Of Staff Top Aide Was Told Not To Testify; Trump Rails Again On Whistleblower At Center Of Investigation; Trump On Border Wall Breach: You Can Cut Through Anything; Judge Grants Restraining Order Against Trump Administration Policy Set To Deny Visas To Immigrants Who Can't Afford Health Care; Migrants Suffer Deteriorating Conditions Waiting For Asylum; Firefighters Battle Maria Fire, Some Evacuation Orders Lifted; Airbnb Bans Party Houses After Halloween Shooting Kills Five. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 3, 2019 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump left behind his political troubles in Washington to go attend a mixed martial arts event in New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This House impeachment inquiry is moving very fast and it is getting closer and closer to the president's inner circle.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This whole impeachment scam. That's exactly what it is, it's a scam. It's a hoax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day, the standard goes down and down and down, and I think the conduct of the president has been reprehensible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And now, it is my pleasure to introduce a very special guest, the hero who took down the leader of ISIS, Conan, the K9 commando.

So, you have the floor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That blinkman (ph), he can't wait to lick it.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning to you. Happy to be with you.

The president wakes up in New York City today after a late night fight in Madison Square Garden and that was a distraction a moment away from the impeachment inquiry back in D.C.

(VIDEO PLAYING) CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You hear and see there kind of a mixed reaction from the crowd at the mixed martial arts fight he attended with his sons Eric and Don Jr.

BLACKWELL: A similar scene outside the garden where he was met by both protesters and supporters. Their sign to -- hear the chanting.

PAUL: Earlier in the day the president was in a fighting mood it seems taking to Twitter, hitting at the impeachment inquiry, calling out the credibility of the whistleblower who started it. And (INAUDIBLE) top Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff for he says, playing politics.

CNN Correspondent, Kristen Holmes was at the UFC match last night. So, talk to us about that crowd reaction first of all and good morning.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. And I have to say it is a miracle that I am still standing because President Trump didn't get wrapped up until 1:00 a.m. which meant we weren't in bed until 2:00 a.m. So I'm really proud that we are making it on today.

But like you said this reaction was so incredibly mixed. It was truly half boos and half cheers. You had an entire section that was sitting directly behind me yelling impeach Trump. A couple of signs went up that said, remove Trump, impeach Trump.

On the other side you had a big section of people who is cheering for him. Actually, at one point during the fight when it was quiet that section started cheering his name over and over again. And I think this is a really interesting look a group of people here which kind of represents the country. You have thousands of people here from all walks of life and you're seeing that they are really split on how they feel about President Trump.

BLACKWELL: All right. Kristen, looking ahead to what is next in the impeachment inquiry, we have learned that one of Mick Mulvaney's top aides will not testify tomorrow, regardless of a subpoena being issued. Why? We know that some members of the administration have decided to show up despite what the administration says is their decision not to participate.

HOLMES: Right. So, Victor, this is Robert Blair. He is not a household name. He is kind of behind the scenes guy and adviser to Mick Mulvaney. As you said a special assistant to the president.

And last night, late last night we learned that he would not be showing up on Capitol Hill tomorrow. Essentially his lawyer saying that at direction of the White House which was given advice by the Department of Justice they would not show up even under subpoena.

And what's interesting here is that he is a member of a large group of White House aides that Democrats had asked to come testify this week as this impeachment inquiry was really ramping up after that Thursday vote. And President Trump was asked on his way to New York last night whether or not the White House was going to actually allow these aides to testify. Take a listen.


TRUMP: I don't know. You'll have to speak to the lawyers. Nancy Pelosi has become unhinged. Something wrong with her. If you look at what is happening, if you look at the poll numbers, if you look at the poll numbers in the swing states, they are saying don't do this, don't do it. I'm fine with it. We did absolutely nothing wrong.


HOLMES: And we, of course, we know that this is a talking point for Republicans that this is going to be dangerous for Democrats come 2020. And I do want to note there are about three other aides who are supposed to show up on Capitol Hill tomorrow. We still don't know if they'll actually come to testify.

PAUL: And, Kristen, we know Speaker Pelosi has said this investigation could certainly broaden. Is there anything indication why President Trump seems on Twitter overnight to be concerned with the whistleblower again?


HOLMES: I've talked to a lot of aides about this and it appears that the strategy that the president is using is essentially to discredit the base of the entire investigation. Of course, this all started with that whistleblower complaint. We'll pull between here. This is just one of his many attacks he had last night saying, "The Whistleblower has disappeared. Where is the Whistleblower?"

This is just an example of him, essentially, building the case that the whistleblower was a pawn, that the Democrats used him to complete this political scam, this sham impeachment inquiry something that we know president said -- President Trump has said over and over again calling it a hoax, a witch hunt. So, this is all starting with that building block. Essentially saying that if it's built on something that Democrats were using as a political pawn, then how can it actually be a real inquiry?

BLACKWELL: All right. Kristen Holmes for us there in New York. Kristen, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

The attorney who represents the whistleblower is, again, denying President Trump's claims that his client acted on behalf of Adam Schiff and other Democrats. Mark Zaid tweeted this.

Neither whistleblower nor legal team had any contact with Congressman Schiff. Nor did the Congressman or any congressional person play any role in crafting or submitting complaint. Complete red herring.

BLACKWELL: CNN Political Commentator Errol Louis is with us this morning. Errol, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So, we saw the tweets from the president where is the whistleblower. There are also members of Congress who are calling for the name to be released publicly. Some are even linking through Twitter to articles that guess at the name of this whistleblower.

First, let's talk about the danger that presents but also the relevance of the whistleblower at this point, because the president, through word and document release and members of the administration through testimony, have confirmed many elements of the initial complaint.

LOUIS: Well, that's right. I mean, where the complaint came from has really, if you're interested in the facts, almost no relevance at this point because the White House's own transcript sort of tells you everything you need to know. The Congress is charging ahead with all kinds of other additional information that corroborates it.

So the identity of the whistleblower is not necessary from a legal standpoint or from a fact finding standpoint. What it is necessary for and we can see what the president is trying to do here, the White House wants an enemy. They want somebody that they can demonize. You can't do that if you don't have a name, if you don't have a profile, if you don't have somebody who you can sort of pick apart and that is what the president is trying to do.

BLACKWELL: Now, we also heard from the president that he now says he would love to have the Ukrainian president, President Zelensky, visit the White House. Ambassador Taylor, you'll remember and our viewers will remember, testified that the U.S. diplomats wanted that deliverable in order to get that White House visit, that public assertion that there will be an investigation linked to the president's political opponents.

Is a White House meeting problematic now? I mean, Ukraine is a U.S. ally and enjoys bipartisan support but is it a problem to have Zelensky at the White House?

LOUIS: It certainly won't answer the questions about what happened and why pressure was put on him and whether or not it's going to lead to his -- the impeachment of President Trump. I think though that -- look, some good could come out of this. It is still true that there is a shooting war going on there, that Russian operatives are there threatening the independence of a sovereign nation that is an ally of the U.S.

There could be something that comes out of this that is actually not bad if the prestige of the White House, of the presidency and of the U.S. government is genuinely conveyed, along with, frankly, the military aid that was at the heart of all of this.

BLACKWELL: Let's look ahead to the upcoming week. Most of the House is back in district but tomorrow four witnesses are scheduled to appear before the those three committees. John Eisenberg, Michael Ellis, both lawyers with the National Security Council. Robert Blair, assistant to acting chief of staff. Mick Mulvaney says he will not show. Brian McCormack with the Energy Department.

After the reporting over the weekend that Colonel Vindman says that Eisenberg told him not to discuss the call between presidents Trump and Zelensky. And then he, then moved the record to a higher security server, he is probably the headliner of the day. Do you expect they will show?

LOUIS: You know, it's an interesting kind of a question. Some of these folks as you know have lawyered, Victor, because they don't want to get caught between what their employer is telling them to do and what a legally valid subpoena compels them to do.

I think the White House will probably sooner or later realize that this strategy of keeping their people from testifying just means that folks that they would rather not hear from are building the record, you know? I mean, they're going to have to figure out what their strategy is really going to be. If they have got insiders who could possible put forward an interpretation that is favorable to the White House it would be in their interest to have those people show up and speak truthfully under oath.


BLACKWELL: Finally here, the president back in his former home state now of New York at this UFC fight. You have a piece on this weekend, "The politics behind Trump's move to Florida are crystal clear." For people who were not aware with all the headlines the president changed his residency from New York to Florida.

You named three in this, right? What's at the top? We only have time for one. What's the most important?

LOUIS: Yes. Sure. Look, the leading reason is political. Florida is a true swing state and it went twice for George Bush. It went twice for Barack Obama. It went barely by 1.6 percent, 113,000 votes for Donald Trump. He has got to win Florida if he wants to get re- elected. That's why he kicked off his campaign there and this just takes him further down that road of becoming a native son rather than a tourist.

BLACKWELL: Legal and financial are the others. I encourage people to head to and read that. Errol Louis, thanks so much.

LOUIS: Thank you, Victor.

PAUL: And still ahead Facebook has not been getting likes from lawmakers this week obviously, in the debate over freedom of speech versus censorship. We're going to be discussing what this means for the potential spread of misinformation in the 2020 elections.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a teenager in Florida is accused of trying to find a hit man on Instagram to kill an employee at his high school. We have got the disturbing images that led to his (END VIDEO CLIP) arrest.

PAUL: And migrants are suffering from deteriorating living conditions at the U.S./Mexico border as they wait for their asylum cases to be called. How families are coping.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She said she's really worried about her kids. They're not getting enough water. They're not living a very healthy life right now.





TRUMP: I haven't heard that. We have a very powerful wall. But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything.


PAUL: President Trump there that was last night responding to a "Washington Post" report that gangs in Mexico have been using saws to cut through the border wall at the U.S./Mexico border.

BLACKWELL: Yes. It's a hundred dollar saw you can buy at a basic home improvement store. The president there said, you could cut through anything. Back in September he stood next to a section of the fence much like the one that had been cut through and called it virtually impenetrable. Now agents say that smugglers are creating openings wide enough for people and drugs to pass through.

A judge has blocked a Trump administration policy that would deny visas for immigrants that could not afford health insurance. Now this was said to go into effect today.

PAUL: The temporary ruling bans the White House from applying policy for 28 days now. A group of U.S. citizens sued the administration arguing that it's a new form of -- quote -- "family separation."

President Trump issued the order last month saying hospitals and health care providers were going unpaid. However, Kaiser Family Foundation told CNN in 2017 three-quarters of the uninsured people under age 65 were U.S. citizens.

Now President Trump says things are getting better along the U.S./Mexico border. The reality is they are getting worse for families, these families who are waiting for their immigration cases to be called on.

BLACKWELL: Less than a five-minute walk from the Texas border, thousands of migrants are living in camps with deteriorating living conditions. CNN's Nick Valencia went there.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Matamoros, Mexico.


PAUL: Coming up, an Airbnb or I should say generally Airbnb is cracking down after five people are killed at a Halloween party on one of their properties. The major changes you are going to see the next time you stay in one of their rental homes.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a man who protected the rainforest of Brazil is ambushed and murdered by loggers. The growing threat facing indigenous people as they fight to protect the Amazon.


BLACKWELL: Well, it's taking some time to get here but some good news finally on those wildfires in California. Twelve of the 13 fires are still considered active, though, in California, are well under control or mostly out.


Most evacuation orders have been lifted in northern and southern California.

PAUL: The Maria Fire in Ventura County specifically is what's of concern still this morning. More than 1,000 firefighters were assigned to that yesterday and it's burned more than 9,000 acres thus far. Evacuation orders in several locations though have been lifted so at least able to tell you as Victor said, some good news off the top there.

And Airbnb says it's cracking down on so-called party houses. As we learn this morning that a fifth person has died from a shooting at one of their rental homes in California. Of course, it happened on Halloween.

BLACKWELL: So, the company's CEO announced on Twitter yesterday that they will do more to combat unauthorized house parties by upgrading their policies, including creating a party house rapid response team. Thursday's shooting happened at a Halloween party at an Airbnb rental that prohibited parties.

Police say the party was advertised on social media, more than 100 people from across the bay area showed up. There has been no suspect arrested so far.

Now, let's go to Florida where a teenager there is facing some charges after police say he tried to find a hitman on Instagram to kill a school employee.

PAUL: Investigators say they obtained private direct messages from an account registered to 18-year-old Nicholas Robert Godfrey. Now, according to police he later confessed to sending those messages.


SHERIFF CHRIS NOCCO, PASCO COUNTY, FLORIDA: "I need a guy who could kill someone." Another quote was, "We have $100,000 for the victim's head." And a third quote was, "No joke. I need him eliminated as soon as possible."


PAUL: The suspect is facing charge of first-degree attempt to solicit murder. And police didn't say whether they knew of a motive yet.

In Brazil, the fight over who controls the Amazon rainforest is deadly. The latest victim an indigenous leader who's part of the group known as the Guardians of the Forest. He was ambushed and murder by loggers on Friday.

BLACKWELL: As CNN's Shasta Darlington reports it's a new sign of how illegal loggers and settlers have become more brazen under the government of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro.


PAULO GUAJAJARA, INDIGENOUS RAINFOREST 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 Northeastern 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, Laercio (ph) Souza (ph), who according to authorities, is seriously injured. They were both looking for water, not far from home.

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 (from captions): 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 (from captions): 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: In the midst of the fire and the threats are the indigenous tribes. For them, the message is clear.

PAULO PAULINO GUAJAJARA, INDIGENOUS LEADER: I'm scared a little sometimes, but we don't let us ourselves be dominated by fear. But we have lift up our heads and make things happen. We are believing in fighting.

DARLINGTON: A fight that Guajajara can longer continue.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paolo, Brazil.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN NEW DAY: President Trump says that he would love to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visit the White House despite the July phone call between the two that's now at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN NEW DAY: I'm going to ask Congressman Gregory Meeks what he thinks about the invitation and whose party plans to move forward with the impeachment process. Stay with us.



BLACKWELL: Welcome back.

Social media giant Facebook, it's under a lot of scrutiny this week over their political advertising policy. The company has decided not to fact-check ads from political candidates to avoid what the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is calling censorship.

PAUL: When the policy came to ahead, the company allowed a fake page that claims to be linked to President Trump's re-election campaign, one ad on its platform.

Jamie Turner, CEO of is with us now.

So I want to ask you -- first of all, thank you for being here.


PAUL: Thank you.

So this week, we know 250 employees signed this open letter on employing the company to change its policy and implement some sort of reforms. At what point is free speech censorship, because that's Mark Zuckerberg's defense here?

TURNER: It's exactly his defense. He's saying, listen, we're going to stay out of this. This is a free speech issue. We're going to go in and just let politicians run what they want to run. The problem is that politicians can then go in and lie and say something that's not true. Zuckerberg is saying, hands off. We're just going to let the consumer, political consumer make a judgment about whether or not they believe this politician or not and that's policy that we're going to follow. And it's created a P.R. nightmare for them. It's just blowing up in their face and a lot of people are pushing back on it saying, that's not right to allow people to go ahead and lie.

PAUL: It almost makes it sound like they are being lazy. They don't want to verify what they are allowing on their site.

TURNER: Yes. Here is the issue is they have third-party fact- checkers for all other advertising. However, with politicians, they go in and they say, we are not going to do third-party fact-checkers. A lot of it might be that Facebook is going on and saying oh, my gosh, we'd ne having to hire reams and reams of fact-checkers.

But I really think the issue comes down to a 1934 law by the Federal Communications Commission for broadcasters that basically said, if you're going to run an ad on broadcast, you have to run ads for both parties, for both sides of the spectrum and you should not censor those ads. So I think what Facebook is actually doing is saying that's the law for broadcasters, we don't fall under that law. But I think we're going to just follow it because it's a safe thing for us to do. And it's blowing up in their face. It's been a disaster.

BLACKWELL: And I suppose the argument that even Zuckerberg, whether he fully believes is or not, suggests that there should special regulation for this space versus television and radio and newspaper. Let me ask you this. How do they reconcile this decision not to fact- check with the claims you're just -- that they are rather profiting off of misinformation campaigns?

TURNER: Yes. Well, I'm glad you asked that question. They don't make a ton of money. Only 0.5 percent of their ad revenues come from political advertising. So even though that's out there that they are making money off of this, in fact, Elizabeth Warren said, oh, Facebook is making a ton of money, they don't make a ton of money. It's not worth 0.5 percent on your ad revenues to go through the P.R. nightmare they're going through right now.

I think, really, literally, Zuckerberg is sitting around, going, how do I handle this? The best thing I can do is follow the law or what I would do if I were on their board of directors, I would say, just don't run political ads.

BLACKWELL: Like Twitter?

PAUL: Yes.

TURNER: They should. They really should either evolve the policy and say, we are going to fact-check it or go in and say, you know what, we don't want the P.R. nightmare around this and we don't want the revenue around this. Let's just back off and say we are not going to run political ads anymore, it would be a very clean, crisp logical thing for them to do and why they are setting themselves up for legislation, which is the worst outcome for them because then they've got to follow all these laws, new laws that are written. They don't have control over those laws. I would just say --

PAUL: Extract themselves altogether.


BLACKWELL: Well, this is certainly a space that is evolving day-by- day.


BLACKWELL: Jamie Turner, always good to have you here.

TURNER: Great to see you, guys.

PAUL: Good to see you, Jamie.

TURNER: Yes, good to see you.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, he said they had a beautiful call. That's what the president called it. Is he hoping for a beautiful face-to- face in the Oval Office? President Trump says he would love to host the Ukraine's president at the White House.

Congressman Gregory Meeks joins us next, and we'll speak with him about his reaction to that. It's on the other side of the break.



BLACKWELL: President Trump is offering an invitation leaving it open on the table for the man on the other end of the call that started this entire impeachment inquiry.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he'll probably come but I would certainly say I'd invite him. He is a nice man. I spoke to him twice. I think I spoke to him two times. I would love to have him come to the White House if he'd like to come, and I think he'd like to come. I think he'd be here very quickly.

He's a good man. He was elected on the basis of corruption. Corruption is incredible in Ukraine, which bothered me a lot.


BLACKWELL: Now, president is saying this is the House is moving forward with the impeachment inquiry.

PAUL: President Trump allegedly held that nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine and refused a White House meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky until Ukraine publicly announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York is with us now. He serves on the Foreign Affairs and Financial Services Committee. Congressman, good morning to you.

REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): Good morning.

PAUL: Thank you.

So President Zelensky is certainly a central figure in the impeachment investigation. Do you believe he should come to the White House?

MEEKS: Look, I believe that Ukraine is a natural ally. I want to make sure that we they stick by our allies, protect them against our common enemy, Russia. And I'm glad and I hope that the president will come on the side and make sure that we're helping Ukraine against his friends from Russia, who he seems to lean toward all the time.

So if the president has shifted, want to work with our ally so that we can make sure that we protect them against the people that are killing them on a daily basis, yes, I welcome that.

PAUL: I know that you're on the Foreign Affairs Committee, as I just mentioned, and you've been involve in some of these closed-door meetings. John Eisenberg is on deck tomorrow to be reviewed. He is a top lawyer on the White House's National Security Council.


Here is what's important about him, just for our viewers. Alexander Vindman had said Eisenberg is the one who told him not to say anything about the July 25th phone call when he brought up his own concerns. And Eisenberg was also the one who moved the transcript of that call to a secret server. What do you want to hear from him tomorrow?

MEEKS: What we want to hear, basically, his side. What we're trying to do in a deliberative manner is to hear from all of the witnesses. And we want to know what he said, why he said it and why it was significant and important out of his mouth. And what we are doing is, you know, we are the ones that are trying to get witnesses, whether it's a diplomat from the State Department or a person in the military or someone that's in the Trump administration to hear their testimony so that we can then come up with what ultimately did take place.

This is a fact-finding. We're trying to find out what took place and what didn't take place. So it's important to hear from him as to what his thinking was and why he said what he said to Mr. Vindman.

PAUL: Congressman, I know you can't offer what you have heard up to this point from these interviews that you've done from this testimony, but has what you have heard emboldened you to continue with this impeachment inquiry or has it caused you to maybe second-guess some things?

MEEKS: No. I think that it has been very consistent, from the whistleblower, on everything seems to have been corroborated. From what the whistleblower said initially has been corroborated by witness after witness after witness. And I think it's significant, and I'm glad that we're now moving to the second phase were we will soon be able to see all of the transcripts so that there is nothing that is held back and the American public will be able to listen to the witnesses themselves.

I have found them to be remarkable, especially those that -- you know, they didn't enlist or become part of our intelligence agencies because they were a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. These are courageous individuals who love America. And what they do and what they have done and their thoughts is simply because they have put America first and what they were trying to do, not a president first.

You know, sometimes I hear the president talk about they are never- Trumpsters. Well, that's right. They were never-Trumpster, they were never people with Obama, they were never people with anyone. They were people who there to do the best that they could for the people of the United States of America to stand up for our Constitution unlike what I'm hear from the president who clearly seems to abuse his power and --

PAUL: There are some solid economic numbers that we heard on Friday. 128,000 jobs were created in October because of the G.M. strike, that's far and away, much more than was expected. There was $75,000 expected from economists. The ISIS leader has recently been killed. Is there some credit that is deserved to give to the president right now?

MEEKS: Look, what I would say right now, I'm happy when we go and got al-Baghdadi, that is great and I take my hat off of to our men and women in the military, by the way, the same military and intelligence agencies that the president criticized all the time. You hear what he said about even the generals that used to work for him, he goes back criticizes them and all of our intelligence agencies who he seems to undercut. So I really think that some of what they have done is despite the president, because the president didn't trust anyway. He says they don't matter, only he knows all the intelligence.

PAUL: We have less than 20 days away from an impending government shutdown. What's the Congress doing right now to avoid that?

MEEKS: Well, I know that we in the House have already passed several bills to make sure that we avoid that. We've sent it over to the Senate. And as negotiation is taking place now between the House and the Senate, we try to make sure that we have a bill that could push forward. I clearly hope that the president will work with us in moving that forward, but he has had the habit of trying to change the topic. So when he sees that the pressure is on in regards to the impeachment, I hope he doesn't then think that he can try to make the budget issue an issue that derails what we are moving forward and doing. We can do more than one thing at the same time, I think, on behalf of the American people and we'll get a budget done.

PAUL: All right. Congressman Gregory Meeks, we appreciate seeing you this morning. Thank you so much, sir.

MEEKS: Good being with you.

PAUL: We'll be back.



PAUL: A top 10 matchup in college football, huge stakes for the playoffs.

BLACKWELL: Coy Wire is here with all of the details. Hey, Coy.


Florida and Georgia, two SEC East rivals, and they are playing in what was essentially de facto college football playoff play-in game, a great scene down in Jacksonville.

Check out the stands, split between the orange and blue and red and black. Georgia's Brian Herrien with a catch of the year candidate, the Bulldog running back, watch this from a different angle. He reels this in and outstanding one-handed diving catch from Jake Fromm. Fromm had himself a game, 279 yards passing and two touchdowns including this 52-yard strike to Lawrence Cager to ice the game.

Bulldogs win 24-17, giving them the inside track to the SEC title game and a potential matchup between next week's big matchup in the SEC West, which is number one, LSU, and number two, BAMA.

All right, what a scene at the parade in Washington, D.C. yesterday, the Nationals and their fans celebrating the team's first World Series title. Champagne flowing, confetti flying, and, of course, Baby Shark bumping on the speakers.

The team's rally song, Baby Shark.

This team, what a remarkable story. They started the season 19-31 and then pulled the biggest turnaround of any champion in the World Series history.

The Chicago Bears, they are 3-4. Their head coach used a PowerPoint presentation about the Nationals to find some motivation for his team.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATT NAGY, CHICAGO BEARS HEAD COACH: How ironic in our situation. How amazing is that that people who stick together, people that get tighter through adversity, people that never quit, people that say, so what, now what, all that stuff, right?


But then they do it. And that's what they did, they did it.


WIRE: Great message from coach there. I'm not sure about the method of PowerPoint presentation, Coach. The Bears lost three straight games but they try to turn things around today against the Eagles. And I apologize to both Christ, Victor and to all of our viewers for playing that Baby Shark tune because it's probably going to be stuck in your head all day. You're welcome.

BLACKWELL: It will be.

PAUL: Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: You're welcome.

PAUL: Thank you.

First, Saturday Night Live gives Conan, the ISIS hero military dog, a press conference. Listen to this (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were involved in a terrorist raid. Was that scary for you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little sure, but it could have been worse. The terrorists have guns and explosives but at least they don't have vacuum cleaners.


BLACKWELL: All right. We will have more from SNL coming up next hour of your New Day. We are back in a moment.


PAUL: I want to introduce you to one of our top heroes for 2019 here.


RICHARD MILES, CNN HERO: My mom would always tell me, when you look at the window, don't look at the boss. Look at the sky. I could change my perception with then 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.


PAUL: Richard's program, Miles of Freedom, has helped approximately 1,000 people restart their lives. Go to to vote for your CNN Hero of the Year. We'd love to hear from you.