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Big Wins For Democrats In Kentucky And Virginia; Gordon Sondland Revises Testimony To Admit Quid Pro Quo; Arrest In Killings Of Nine Mormon Family Members In Mexico. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired November 6, 2019 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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 Gov. 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Now, it's too early to tell whether voters picked the Democrat over impeachment concerns or if local issues like Medicare work requirements and teacher pensions were decisive.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: 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."
Note that President Trump rallied for Bevin on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: Overnight, we saw more of the same from the president -- three separate tweets pointing out Republican won other statewide races, taking credit -- the president taking credit for Bevin's supposed surge but distancing himself from what's likely a loss.
MARQUEZ: And a huge night for Democrats in the state of Virginia. CNN projects they will flip both chambers of the Legislature there. 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 Simonds ousted incumbent Republican David Yancey for a seat in the House of Delegates. In 2017, Simonds lost a tiebreaker on a lot draw from a glass bowl, amazingly enough.
And remember the cyclist who lost her job for flipping the bird at the president's motorcade in 2017? Her name is Juli Briskman, and CNN projects she is the new supervisor for the Algonkian District in Loudoun County.
ROMANS: All right.
Republicans managed to score one big win. CNN projects Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Democratic attorney general Jim Hood in the Mississippi governor's race. President Trump endorsed Reeves and held a rally for him.
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 and it's a big setback for Airbnb as it prepares to go public.
MARQUEZ: And in Arizona, initial election results show more than 70 percent of voters rejected an initiative to make Tucson a sanctuary city. Tucson is located 50 miles north of the Mexico border.
And, Scranton, Pennsylvania, it has its first female mayor. Paige Cognetti, a former Democrat, ran as an Independent when the local Democratic committee refused to endorse her. And one other thing, she's eight months pregnant -- go, mom.
ROMANS: All right, more on this and the significant revision to impeachment testimony to tell you about. Plus, civil rights leaders face-to-face with Mark Zuckerberg. They want answers about political ads and they were not totally satisfied.
ROMANS: A 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 first, quote, "...resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks."
That anti-corruption statement was supposed to target the Bidens.
MARQUEZ: Sondland's revision blows up the time line being peddled by the White House. It is the first clear acknowledgment that requests 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 not have been used as leverage.
Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't think this move the impeachment needle at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: 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.
ROMANS: Let's talk to "CNN POLITICS" lead writer, Zach Wolf. He joins us live from Washington. Good morning, Zach.
And you have an "Impeachment Watch" newsletter and there's plenty of material every morning for you to include.
This Gordon Sondland development -- that now he has gone back three weeks later and revised his testimony to say, in fact, I now recall speaking individually to this Ukrainian official about this quid pro quo.
How significant is this?
ZACHARY WOLF, DIGITAL DIRECTOR, CNN POLITICS: Well, you know, you talk about that "Impeachment Watch" newsletter. We're trying very hard not to spam people but they're making it extremely difficult because things keep happening at an increasing clip.
This is -- you know, he said I now recall this key -- you know, this key conversation where he basically told a Ukrainian official the military -- the military aid would be held up. That seems like an extremely key detail to have essentially forgotten.
Did he do it on purpose? Was it willful misremembering? Like, what leads someone to forget such a conversation, especially when the congressional testimony you went to give under oath in the first place was specifically directed as this very issue?
He was only backed into remembering it by the testimony of two other individuals.
So this is an incredible turn of events and really goes at the heart of Donald Trump's defense in this entire case.
MARQUEZ: And once the president -- as candidate Trump became sort of the leading contender, Sondland was behind him. This is not like this was somebody who didn't like the president for a long time. He gave $1 million to the --
ROMANS: Inaugural event.
MARQUEZ: -- inaugural events.
This is somebody that expects would say -- I mean, there must be something to this that the reason -- this is -- two weeks after he testifies he then sends a letter to -- saying oh, I just remembered this.
I mean, was he concerned that there was hard evidence out there in text messages, in e-mails that the quid pro quo was just too obvious?
WOLF: Well, we already knew about the text messages --
WOLF: -- that specifically mentioned quid pro quo that he had responded to on that day and a week later. So there were contemporaneous conversations between him and Bill Taylor, a top official at the embassy. Between him and President Trump, who apparently at one point dictated, essentially, the idea that there was no quid pro quo. And now, that's something that Sondland is going back on.
This is a -- this is a stunning reversal at a time where you're not really supposed to go and revise --
WOLF: -- congressional testimony because you're supposed to tell the truth.
ROMANS: Well, as more testimony comes in painting a different picture or at least filling out the picture, one wonders if he decided he had to go back and make sure that he had that conversation on the record as more people talk about the contours of quid pro quo. We -- there's some scheduled depositions in the impeachment hearings today -- the inquiry today -- and there are multiple witnesses expected to skip.
What about the Republican response here in the White House? How much longer can it go on? For example, Sen. Lindsey Graham says he's not even going to read this testimony. How much longer can that response go like this?
WOLF: It sure seems like it can go on a while -- the testimony that's not happening. Democrats would essentially have to go to court to compel that. We've seen some evidence the courts would be in no hurry to compel any sort of testimony.
So this is kind of going on two tracks where you have a lot of career State Department officials who are essentially playing ball with the impeachment inquiry. And then, you have these political appointees and White House officials who are not.
I think as long as that dynamic exists it's going to be difficult for Democrats to essentially sway Republicans. As long as this feels political -- and it's hard to figure out how it doesn't -- as long as Republicans are holding the line.
We sort of -- Mitch McConnell's right. We see where this is at.
MARQUEZ: And with the elections last night, impeachment sort of playing so big in Washington, maybe it's playing out in the hinterland. But we certainly have that same situation where you have the suburbs going for the Democrats --
MARQUEZ: -- and rural areas going for the president.
I mean, how do you read the results last night across the country?
WOLF: Yes. I think in Virginia it's increasingly not a swing state, it's a blue state more and more. So that -- you know, Donald Trump may be accelerating some of the political changes that are happening in this country because of Democratic shifts.
But I'm not sure that we should read too much into the Republican governor losing in Kentucky because that is a very specific situation. A Republican won in Mississippi.
WOLF: -- people can look at this and read whatever they want to. The Virginia result, for my money, is probably the one that should be most worrying to Republicans.
ROMANS: All right, Zach Wolf. Nice to see you this morning. Thanks, Zach. MARQUEZ: Spammer in chief -- thank you very much, Zach Wolf.
ROMANS: "Impeachment Watch" newsletter. Thank you.
MARQUEZ: 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.
And heart-wrenching new details now emerging. The victims included three moms and six children, ages 12, 11, 10, two, and 8-month-old twins.
Survivors' stories just as harrowing. A 13-year-old boy 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. Just an awful story there.
All right, 46 minutes past the hour.
Some of SoftBank's biggest tech bets are leading to multibillion- dollar losses. The group reported a $6.5 billion loss on its mega tech funds, including the Vision Fund. That holds investments in Uber, WeWork, Slack, and other major startups.
SoftBank's investments have been riddled with issues. In the July to September quarter, Uber fell 34 percent. The ride-hailing company fell to a fresh low Tuesday after reporting a billion-dollar loss in the third quarter.
SoftBank rescued WeWork last month after its failed IPO attempt -- remember -- taking majority control of We Work. SoftBank's rescue package valued WeWork at about $8 billion. That's less than half of what SoftBank poured into the company.
We'll be right back.
ROMANS: Appetizers, entrees, and democracy. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the hot seat once again, this time in his own home. Zuckerberg breaking bread with civil rights leaders at a private dinner over growing concerns about Facebook's political ad policy.
Donie O'Sullivan is a CNN politics and technology reporter. He joins us live this morning from a tech conference in Portugal. Donie, what happened at this dinner?
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN POLITICS AND TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Good morning, Christine.
Yes, that's right. I'm here at one of the biggest tech conferences in the world, Web Summit, and there's been -- there's a lot of talk of how Silicon Valley is going to handle the upcoming elections, of course. Next year's presidential election in the U.S. and also, next month's U.K. election.
And as you mentioned, that is what was on the menu at Mark Zuckerberg's home in California on Monday night when he hosted civil rights leaders from across the U.S., including the Rev. Al Sharpton.
And we are told from people who attended that event that there was many concerns brought up of Facebook's policy to not fact-check politicians. We saw criticism of that policy from across the political spectrum, particularly from Democratic candidates in recent weeks.
It does seem, however, that Facebook is not budging on this. That they will not fact-check politicians and that they will allow politicians, including the Trump campaign, to target American voters and voters in the U.K. and around the world with lies.
MARQUEZ: (Audio gap) has been getting out there and trying to be more engaging and get Facebook's side of it out there. He faces two issues -- not just the political ads but also lots and lots of privacy concerns. I take it he got not just the appetizers and the entrees but an earful from these leaders.
O'SULLIVAN: Absolutely. We were told that it was steak and scallops which were on the menu on Monday night. But, yes, quite a bit of tension around that table.
And a really extraordinary statement from the head of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. This is a civil rights group that has been working with Facebook for the past few years trying to improve civil rights on the platform.
They said you are using -- they told Facebook you are using First Amendment principles as a smokescreen to advance Facebook's corporate self-interest. That is, of course, in response to Mark Zuckerberg's defense for allowing politicians to buy ads with lies on the platform. So what they're really saying there is that you guys are sort of cherry-picking what amendments you want to use, what laws you want to reference, but really you are doing damage to American democracy.
And also, they brought up an issue as well that Facebook has introduced policies over the past year, including banning white nationalism. They say that it's great that Facebook is announcing these policies, that they have a good set of community standards, but they're not doing a great job in actually enforcing them.
And I should mention that this letter from the Lawyers' Committee, which was sent to Mark Zuckerberg, also cc'd William Barr and all the attorneys general from across the 50 states of the United States. So it will be interesting to see if any of those respond.
MARQUEZ: It's fascinating as social media takes a bigger part of our lives how we are still grappling with what it actually means and how we'll treat it going forward.
Donie O'Sullivan, the best assignment on Planet Earth in Portugal. Have a great time there. We look forward to your reports.
ROMANS: To think -- to think that Facebook started as a place where you could rate how hot a girl was.
ROMANS: That's how it started.
MARQUEZ: And it's just taken off. It's incredible.
ROMANS: All right.
MARQUEZ: Now, a school resource officer in Broward County, Florida has been suspended without pay after being charged with child abuse. Deputy Willard Miller turned himself in Tuesday.
The incident occurred back in September and was captured on surveillance video. A 15-year-old female student can be seen lightly kicking the officer. A little more than a minute later the teen is thrown to the ground and handcuffed.
Police say Miller's actions by any measure were unacceptable.
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SHERIFF GREGORY TONY, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: And whatever type of verbal dialogue was going on, it makes no sense and it wasn't necessary. I would hope that every cop in America would disagree with that type of response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Now, Deputy Miller is being held on a $5,000 bond.
ROMANS: All right, cold air now pushing into the U.S. from Canada, bringing heavy snow into parts of New England.
Pedram Javaheri is in the CNN Weather Center.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Miguel and Christine, good morning, guys.
Yes, the cold air beginning to filter in across portions of the Great Lakes and eventually, that is the story across the northeast. And wait until you see what the 7-day forecast has in store.
But not too bad to get you started here on your Wednesday. Middle-50s out of Boston and New York. Same story out of Chicago.
But you'll notice where all of the cold air is bottled up into the Northern Plains, struggling to make it to the freezing mark across Minneapolis. And then the story really shifts into a major cold air outbreak, potentially over the next week or so. So here we go. As we go into early to mid-next week, potentially dropping 30 degrees below average into portions of the northeastern United States. But it's trying to get in a few snow showers across the Great Lakes and get into the areas of the highest elevations of the New England region there.
You could see some additional heavy snow showers -- as much as eight inches possible from tonight into early tomorrow morning. Again, you've got to get into the Adirondacks and the Catskills to see that.
But the trend looks as such here with New York climbing up to 61. You notice the dive -- the trend there. Forty-two degrees come Friday afternoon.
And if you think that's cold you look at the forecast into early next week. Potentially, a shot at wintry weather. Highs by Tuesday next week into the lower 40s -- guys.
ROMANS: All right, so it is winter, officially. Thank you so much for that, Pedram.
A stunning vulnerability found in popular voice-controlled smart devices like Google Home, Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri. Researchers say hackers can use a simple laser pointer to take over devices, even from outside your home. They discovered it's possible to make anything that acts on sound commands to act on silent light commands.
Since many systems don't require authentication, hackers would not need a password or a pin. They just need to be in the object's line of sight.
MARQUEZ: Now, she's not yet old enough to drive, but 14-year-old Alaina Gassler engineered a solution to eliminate blind spots in cars. The eighth-grader from Pennsylvania won $25,000 for her invention in a nationwide science competition.
She first noticed the problem when her mom didn't like driving their family's Jeep Grand Cherokee because the A-pillars in it 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.
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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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUEZ: Now, Gassler says she was motivated to work on the design after learning how dangerous blind spots can be and especially because her older brother had just started driving.
ROMANS: It gives hope for all of us.
MARQUEZ: She gives us hope, absolutely.
ROMANS: That's great. Mary Barra, Elon Musk -- somebody give her a --
ROMANS: -- a grant or an internship because she's smart.
MARQUEZ: Says Christine Romans. Do it now.
ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.
MARQUEZ: And I'm Miguel Marquez. "NEW DAY" starts right now.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, November sixth. It's 6:00 here in New York.
And the president waking up this morning to huge setbacks at the ballot box and in the impeachment arena.
Breaking overnight in Kentucky, the Democrat, Andy Beshear, is declaring victory in the governor's race over the incumbent Republican governor, Matt Bevin, who has not conceded yet. This is a state that President Trump won by 30 points in 2016.
He was there just two nights ago to push for Bevin but it wasn't enough -- not enough to counter what might be described as a suburban tsunami there and also in Virginia, where Democrats flipped both the House and the Senate for the first time since 1992.
We will tell you what this trend means for 2020 in just a moment.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, also a setback for President Trump's impeachment defense. A crucial witness and a key Trump ally revising his testimony and admitting there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine.