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Big Wins for Dems in Kentucky and Virginia; Sondland's New Recollection; Arrest in Mexico Massacre; Bye Bye Blind Spots. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 6, 2019 - 04:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Big blue wins in ruby red states where power is shifting and what it means for 2020.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: A big revision from a top witness in the impeachment probe. What Gordon Sondland suddenly recalls and how it wrecks the White House defense.

ROMANS: An arrest after nine Americans were massacred in Mexico. The family says they was targeted because of past conflicts with drug cartels.

MARQUEZ: And we've all been thrown off by blind spots while driving. Now, a teenager has a solution and a $25,000 prize for her work.

ROMANS: All right, that's cool.

MARQUEZ: All right. I would say, just ignore the blind spots.

Welcome to the viewers in the United States and around the world. This is EARLY START, I'm Miguel Marquez, keeping Dave Briggs' seat warm.

ROMANS: Nice to see you. Nice to see you this morning. He's off today.

I'm Christine Romans. It is Wednesday, November 6th. It is 4:00 a.m. in New York. It is 1:00 a.m. in California.

And breaking overnight, an ominous election night warning for President Trump, as reliably Republican seats going to Democrats.

In ruby red Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear claiming victory in the governor's race. No CNN projection yet, but Beshear leads Republican Matt Bevin by several thousand votes with 99 percent of the votes count. Bevin refuses to admit to defeat.


ANDY BESHEAR (D), DECLARES VICTORY IN KY GOVERNOR'S RACE: It's a message that says our elections don't have to be about right versus left. They are still about right versus wrong. I haven't had an opportunity yet to speak to Governor Bevin, but my expectation is that he will honor -- he will honor the election that was held tonight.

GOV. MATT BEVIN (R), KENTUCKY: Would it be a Bevin race if it wasn't a squeaker? I mean, come one. I mean, really and truly, this is a close, close race. We are not conceding this race by any stretch. Not a chance.


ROMANS: So, it's too early to tell whether voters pick the Democrat over impeachment concerns or if local issues like Medicaid work requirements and teacher pensions were the deciding factors.

MARQUEZ: Now, Kentucky Republicans are rushing to distance themselves from Bevin, pointing to his high disapproval ratings. One veteran Kentucky Republican telling CNN: We found out that being an a-hole is slightly worse than being a liberal. Notes that President Trump rallied for Bevin on Monday.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're sending that big message to the rest of the country. It's so important.

You've got to get your friends, you've got to vote because if you lose, it sends a really bad message. It just sends a bad -- and they will build it up -- here's the story.

If you win, they're going to make it like ho-hum and if you lose, they're going to say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world. This was the greatest. You can't let that happen to me!


MARQUEZ: Well, overnight, we saw more of the same from the president. Three separate tweets pointing out Republicans won other statewide races, taking credit for Bevin's supposed surge while distancing himself from a likely loss.

ROMANS: All right. A huge night for Democrats in the state of Virginia. CNN projects they will flip both chambers of the legislature. That gives them full control of the state government for the first time since 1994.

And there were two other notable winners in the state. Shelly Simmons ousted David Yancey for a seat in the House of Delegates. In 2017, Simmons lost a tiebreaker lot draw from a glass bowl.

And remember the cyclist who lost her job after flipping the bird at President Trump's motorcade in 2017. Her name is Juli Briskman and CNN projects she is the new supervisor for Algonkian District in Loudoun County. MARQUEZ: Now, Republicans did manage to score one big one win. CNN

projects Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in the Mississippi governor's race. President Trump endorsed Reeves and held a rally for him in Tupelo.

Elsewhere, Jersey City, New Jersey residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of stricter regulations on short-term rentals. That is expected to shrink the number of Airbnb listings there. It's a big setback for Airbnb as it prepares to go public.

ROMANS: In Arizona, initial election results show more than 70 percent of voters rejected a initiative to make Tucson a sanctuary city. Tucson is located 50 miles north of the Mexico border.

And Scranton, Pennsylvania, has its first female mayor. Paige Cognetti, a former Democrat, ran as an independent when the local Democratic committee refused to endorse her. One other thing, she is eight months pregnant.

MARQUEZ: A very big blow to President Trump's impeachment defense. Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, revising his testimony from three weeks ago to admit there was a quid pro quo imposed on Ukraine.


Sondland says he now recalls telling a Ukrainian official on September 1st, resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that he had been discussing for many weeks. That anti-corruption statement was supposed to target the Bidens.

ROMANS: All right. Sondland's revision blows up the timeline peddled by the White House. It is the first clear acknowledgement that the request for a public investigation was on the table after Ukraine was told in late August that aid was held up. Trump allies have claimed that was not the case. So it could have been used as leverage. The timing is super important to the White House, the White House case here.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't think this moves the impeachment needle.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I'm pretty sure how it's likely to end if it were today. I don't think there's any question it would not lead to a removal.


MARQUEZ: Now, David Hale is expected to appear at the impeachment inquiry today. He is the third-highest-ranking official at the State Department. Investigators have requested White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify on Friday. It seems unlikely he will comply with that request. Last month on national television, Mulvaney confirmed the quid pro quo. Hours later, he denied it.

Now, breaking overnight, Mexican authorities say a suspect has been arrested in the massacre of nine members of a Mormon family who were traveling on the Mexican side of the southern U.S. border. Officials say the suspect had several assault rifles and was holding two hostages who were bound and gagged.

ROMANS: Children who survived the ambush were taken to hospitals in Arizona Monday, heart-wrenching new details now emerging. The victims included three mothers and six children, ages 12, 11, 10, 2, and 8- month-old twins.

The survivors' story just as harrowing. A 13-year-old boy unharmed in the attack, he walked about 14 miles to get help after hiding his bleeding siblings in the bushes. Now, family members believe a history with the cartels could mean they were targeted.

CNN's Matt Rivers has more from Mexico City.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a country that has seen, on average, every single day so far in 2019, nearly 100 people murdered. And yet, this massacre of nine people in northwest Mexico has really shocked this country.

Here's what we know so far.

The people come from a community of people who are generally Mormon, who have lived in northwestern Mexico for decades.

The three women, driving three different cars, left that community in a convoy for safety's sake. Safety in numbers is the concept. But it was at 3:00 p.m. that armed gunmen attacked that convoy, shredding the convoy with bullets and lighting at least one of them on fire. And that's when the nine people who lost their lives were killed.

Other children were injured but managed to escape and were transported eventually to hospitals in the United States.

Mexico's government is saying that this could be a case of mistaken identity. This is in a part of Mexico where cartels regularly fight with each other over lucrative drug smuggling routes to the United States.

There is other speculation, however, by the family that we spoke to today of some of these victims that say perhaps these people were targeted themselves because they live in that area they've had run-ins with the cartels in the past.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've had confirmation that this was orchestrated as a provocation for the cartel over here in Sonora where we live, and our family was picked to be the ones to stir up trouble and to start a war. It was an attack on innocent civilians on purpose.

RIVERS: President Trump tweeting that now is the time for Mexico to go to all-out war against the cartels, offering U.S. assistance. But the president of Mexico responded to that by saying that he appreciated the offer of U.S. support but that this was Mexico's problems to solve -- Christine.


ROMANS: All right. Matt Rivers for us, thank you so much for that.

All right. Elizabeth Warren squaring off with the head of a big bank. Who and why, next.



ROMANS: A news flash. Bankers are not fond of Senator Elizabeth Warren. Their criticism is usually behind closed doors. But JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said this out loud.


JAMIE DIMON, JPMORGAN CHASE CEO: She uses some pretty harsh words, you know, some would say vilify successful people. I don't like vilifying anybody. You know, I think we should applaud successful people.


ROMANS: Warren wears the criticism from bankers like a badge of honor, tweeting Jamie Dimon and his buddies are successful in part because of the opportunities that we all paid for. She added, the system is working great for the wealthy and well-connected and Jamie Dimon doesn't want that to change. I'm going to fight to make sure it works for everyone.

Now, Warren wants to tax companies, investors, and the ultra rich. Earlier this year, she released a plan for the most affluent Americans whose networks exceeds $50 million. That wealth tax a centerpiece to fund several of her proposals, including her universal child care and Medicare for all plan, something that critics say that her plans could not be paid for just by taxing the super rich.

MARQUEZ: Joe Biden is going ant attack against his chief Democratic rival, Senator Elizabeth Warren as well, calling her elitist and out of touch.


The former vice president responding to comments Warren made after the Biden campaign dismissed her Medicare-for-All funding plan as mathematical gymnastics. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If anyone wants to defend keeping those high profits for insurance companies and those high profits for drug companies and not making corporations pay a fair share in taxes, then I think they're running in the wrong presidential primary.


MARQUEZ: Now, Biden in a media post says such comments are condescending to the millions of Democrats who have a different view, adding: It's representative of an elitism that's working and middle class people do not share. We know best, you know nothing.

A Warren campaign spokesperson declined to comment.

MARQUEZ: Defense Secretary Mark Esper is declaring to urge President Trump not to dismiss or change the sentences of service members facing war crimes allegations. According to Fox News, the president has ordered a review of charges against Army Lieutenant Clint Lawrence and Army Green Beret Major Matt Goldstein. And he's reportedly considering restoring the rank of former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher who faced a court-martial for premeditated murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice.

Three Pentagon officials tell CNN an information packet is being sent to the White House to make sure the president understands what these soldiers did and how his actions could undermine the integrity of the military justice system.

All right. The Queen dissolves Britain's parliament today. The campaign for the December election begins today, as the prime minister heads to meet the queen. CNN is live in London.



MARQUEZ: Well, it's campaign kickoff day in the U.K. again, with a December 12th general election just over a month away. This morning, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson heads to Buckingham Palace for a meeting with the queen to formally dissolve parliament.

CNN's Max Foster is live in London with all the latest news -- Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Miguel, it's formality, recently. There's been some recent rule changes in modern history, which means this is just a formal moment, really etiquette. Boris Johnson will head to parliament and say that parliament has already been resolved. And the queen will sign a symbolic proclamation, really.

But what it does is really starts the beginning. It's the firing gun, really, for the start of the election campaign that's going to be really, really intense, it seems. After the palace, Boris will head down to Downing Street, have a speech. His opposite number of in the labor party will have a speech as well.

And just to give you a sense, Miguel, of the sort of tone going into all of this, this is an interview that Boris Johnson did for "The Telegraph" today. The tragedy of the modern labor party under Jeremy Corbyn is that they detest the profit motives so viscerally, they point they fingers at individuals with a relish and vindictiveness not seen since Stalin persecuted the kulaks.

Some debate about whether Stalin starved the kulaks. These were peasants who were quite wealthy back in the day. But to compare Jeremy Corbyn to Stalin is not going down well. Jeremy Corbyn has responded saying, the nonsense the super rich will come out to avoid paying a bit more tax.

So, this debate is going to be about class, about wealth. It's going to be really tough as well with these two very strongly minded individuals going into the campaign.

MARQUEZ: Well, and the good thing is once this election is done, all of our questions about Brexit will be answered and we'll really understand where the future is.

FOSTER: We really can't understand.

MARQUEZ: Not at all. Not at all.

Max, thank you very much.

ROMANS: All right. She's not yet old enough to drive, but 14-year- old Alaina Gassler engineered a solution to eliminate car blind spots. She's an eight grader from Pennsylvania. She won $25,000 for her invention in a nationwide science competition.

So she first noticed the problem when her mom didn't like driving the family's Jeep Grand Cherokee because its "A" pillars caused blind spots. Gassler tells CNN, since you can't take it off the cars, she decided to get rid of it without getting rid of it.


ALAINA GASSLER, PRIZE WINNER, 2019 SAMUELI FOUNDATION: I did that by having a camera behind the A-pillar of a car. And the camera sent video to a projector that projected the image onto the pillar, essentially making it invisible.



MARQUEZ: That's kind of cool.

ROMANS: It is so cool. Gassler says she was motivated to work on the design after learning how dangerous blind spots can be, and especially because her older brother just started driving. This generation is going to save us.

MARQUEZ: You can project an entire film in the car, as you drive.

ROMANS: Keep your eyes on the road.

MARQUEZ: All right. While I'm texting.

Big win for states Republicans have dominated for decades. Just local politics or should the president be concerned?



MARQUEZ: Big blue wins in ruby red states, where power is shifting and what it means for 2020.

ROMANS: A big revision from a top witness in the impeachment probe. What Gordon Sondland suddenly recalled and how it wrecks the White House defense.

MARQUEZ: An arrest after nine Americans were massacred in Mexico. The family says they were targeted because of if past conflicts with cartels.

ROMANS: And we've all been thrown off by blind spots while driving. Now, a teenager has a solution and a $25,000 prize for her work. There is hope for us yet.

Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm Christine Romans.

MARQUEZ: And I'm Miguel Marquez, keeping Dave Briggs' seat warm.

It is 29 minutes past the hour. We're right here in New York.

Now, breaking overnight, an ominous election night and a warning for president Trump as reliably Republican seats go to Democrats.