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Nikki Haley Reveals Behind-the-Scenes Plan from former Top Officials; Democrats Not Happy with Michael Bloomberg Joining the Race; Televised Impeachment Hearings Just Three Days Away. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired November 10, 2019 - 17:00   ET




ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in a CNN Newsroom. Thank you for joining us. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And tonight, the president's former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley is now pulling the curtain back on disturbing conversation she had behind the scenes at the White House.

In a brand-new memoir, she reveals two of the president's advisers at that time tried to recruit her to, quote, "save the country by undermining the president." And these were no low-level staffers. We are talking about the former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and the former White House Chief of Staff, John F. Kelly.

Now according to excerpts published by the Washington Post, Haley writes, "Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president they weren't being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country. It was their decisions, not the president's, that were in the best interest of America, they said. The president didn't know what he was doing."


NIKKI HALEY, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: It absolutely happened. And instead of saying that to me, they should have been saying that to the president. Not asking me to join them on their sidebar plan. It should have been, go tell the president what your differences are and quit if you don't like what he's doing.

But to undermine a president is really a very dangerous thing, and it goes against the Constitution, and it goes against what the American people want. It was -- it was offensive.


CABRERA: Haley also writes that Tillerson told her people would die if President Trump was left unchecked. Tillerson did not give a comment to the Post and Kelly, according to the paper decline to comment other than to say if providing the president, quote, "with the best and most open legal and ethical staffing advice from across the government so he could make an informed decision is working against Trump, then guilty as charged."

CNN by the way, has reached out to both Kelly and Tillerson for comment as well, and the White House, too.

Of course, this is all playing ahead of a huge week, on that we'll see Americans gathering around television sets in their living rooms, in offices, in restaurants in the tradition of the famous public hearings that came before Watergate, Iran-Contra, Clarence Thomas, the Clinton impeachment, this is history.

This is when you need to tune in more than ever. These hearings in the run up to a likely House vote on impeachment are a test for the country and what Americans believe in.

Let's get straight to CNN chief media correspondent and anchor of Reliable Sources here on CNN, Brian Stelter, White House press secretary during the Clinton administration, Joe Lockhart, and Republican strategist, Doug Heye.

And Doug, this isn't an anonymous source saying the country needs to be saved from the president, but two of his former top officials, the secretary of state, the White House chief of staff, what should Republicans who have been so loyal to this president take away from this?

DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think that the challenge is there's going to be maybe what Republicans should do and what Republicans will do which is what we've seen really over the past couple of years play itself out. There's been a lot of serious questions raised. Not just in Nikki Haley's book, but throughout the past couple of years.

And we've seen some of what Kelly and Tillerson perhaps were thinking about play out in the situation with Turkey and Syria where lives have been lost and troubling policy has been enacted.

But ultimately if you look at the quote from General Kelly, I think Joe would agree when you work on statements, you want to have a very strong statement but sometimes you don't say no. And what that statement is a very strong statement that doesn't say no.

CABRERA: Kelly said something similar in fact along those lines when he insinuated that left to his own devices, the president will commit impeachable acts. Listen to what he says he told the president as he was leaving office.


JOHN KELLY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place. I said whatever you do, don't hire a yes man. Someone that's going to tell you, or won't tell you the truth. Don't do that. Because if you do, I believe you'll be impeached.


CABRERA: So, Joe, we have Tillerson gone, Kelly gone, Nikki Haley gone, Mattis gone. Who in the White House is telling the president no?

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No one. That's all of the people, all of the traditional guardrails are gone and he did exactly what General Kelly told him not to do. He's hired someone who just goes out and implements his policy.

And that is actually ironically, I think what may get him in the most trouble which is if Mick Mulvaney, it does testify under this whole court system, he said from the podium in the White House briefing room that what he did was at the direction of the president.

He didn't tried to take the responsibility himself, he didn't tried to insulate the president. He said well, I did what the president told me to do and that goes contrary to what I think General Kelly was warning.


CABRERA: And isn't this also what anonymous was warning about, Brian, a whole year ago back in 2018 with that op-ed --


CABRERA: -- writing back in September, "We believe our first duty is to this country and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our public. That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our Democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he's out of office."

STELTER: And anonymous has this book length version of the op-ed that's going to drop in about a week. But already excerpts have been coming put. It's number one on Amazon which tells you there's a lot of interest in whatever this person wants to say.

I know the person is being criticized for hiding under the cloak of anonymity, but then again, we don't know what position this person is in and why they may feel they need to be anonymous, so I'd say let's wait to see what it says in the book.

But look, the picture that's being painted all the colors are the same. Whether it's a description from Nikki Haley about what was happening with John Kelly. Whether it's anonymous accounts from this author, whether it's accounts from people who have left the administration.

They're all described in a very consistent story. And I think for Republicans who continue to say that it's all fake news, you know, people see right through that. As you said, that's why Wednesday is a test for the country. It's the beginning of a test for the country because all of these facts have been lining up for the better part of three years at this point.

LOCKHART: I think a lot of what we've seen what she's talking about we've seen before but let's not forget this book is a political document for Nikki Haley. CABRERA: Yes?

LOCKHART: She has -- she had a decision to make. She was one of the people who defied Donald Trump while she was the U.N. secretary on a couple of issues. I think on Charlottesville for one.


LOCKHART: Where she said, you know, she made a strong statement, but she wants to be president. She wants to be the candidate in '24. She might even want to be the V.P. candidate and I think she's sorely disappointed the Republican never-Trumpers because she's come out very strongly and created this it's a little bit of political jiu-jitsu of yes, the president's done some things wrong, but I'm not with the people who have criticized him. I'm a Trumper at heart because that's where the Republican Party is.


CABRERA: And she's talking it by in light, certainly.

STELTER: Allow me to say what a week for a book tour.


STELTER: What a week for a book tour in the midst of impeachment. Her book comes out on Tuesday.

CABRERA: Yes. And then you also reported last night John Bolton plans to write a book.

STELTER: Yes, he does.

CABRERA: And that will be out before the 2020 election. I just wonder though, Doug, you know, going back to what we're reading in these excerpts from Nikki Haley. If John Kelly were chief of staff today instead of Mick Mulvaney, do you think the president would be facing impeachment?

HEYE: Absolutely. You know, the president is his own chief of staff, his own communications director and every other role that traditionally would be served by loyal staff to the president. A lot of the staff is loyal to the president. But filling out those roles as they were supposed to.

Joe Lockhart was the press secretary for Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton wasn't Bill Clinton's press secretary. It's not really the case with President Trump and so the situation that he's in, while it is entirely political and I think there are some analogies to the 1997, '98 impeachment move with Republicans where Republicans wanted to get Bill Clinton just like a lot of Democrats want to get Donald Trump.

There's a lot of evidence for why Democrats may want to do that, but that atmosphere is out there and Donald Trump acts in his own way and as we've seen with Trump supporters, they're now saying if you shoot somebody on 5th Avenue, we'll have to ask why he shot the person. That may not be the best move moving forward.

CABRERA: Do you think John Kelly could have maybe prevented the president from pressuring Ukraine?

HEYE: No. If Donald Trump wants to pick up the phone and make a phone call, he's going to do so. You know, we've talked for years now, well if only Donald Trump puts down his phone and doesn't tweet so much, we know that's not going to happen.

STELTER: He's actually tweeting more than ever now.

HEYE: Yes.

STELTER: He's actually tweeting more than ever because he's trying to scream more loudly in his own defense.

CABRERA: Yes. In fact, let me just even read one of his tweets today which was interesting. The call to the Ukrainian president, he still says was perfect and that's in big capital letters. He said, "read the transcript," which it's interesting that he thinks that because he does say in that call do me a favor though, which of course is his own words an evidence that Democrats are using as part of this impeachment inquiry, but then he talks about Republicans. And he writes this message to them.

Republicans don't be led into the fools' trap of saying it was not perfect. But it is not impeachable. No, it's much stronger than that. Nothing was done wrong.

LOCKHART: Yes, he's -- I think where the Republicans are going to land is what you're beginning to hear, which is the president didn't use the best judgment. We don't think that call he should have made the call that way. But this is certainly not impeachable.

And the problem with Donald Trump is he just can't, he's so thin skinned, he can't take any criticism. You'll remember, in comparing to 1998, President Clinton was open to being censured by -- he knew the mistake he made, he apologized and we were in negotiations with the Republicans on a censure.

But the Republicans in the House said that's not enough. We're going to impeach him. But Trump is unable to not understand that everything he does is perfect and as a politician, that create some challenges.


CABRERA: And he sounds like he's saying, guys, get in line.


CABRERA: This is the message you should be saying.


STELTER: Yes. he doesn't want anybody to give an inch.


STELTER: You're saying Clinton willing to give a foot.


STELTER: Trump is out there always saying he has a 95 percent approval rating in the polls, which is a lie.


STELTER: But he's says that I think because he wants Republicans to believe that if they defect, they're the only ones. Right?


STELTER: He wants people to feel lonely without him.

CABRERA: He's a guy who knows how to market a message. LOCKHART: Right.

CABRERA: And he is good with his words when it comes to saying things that are catchy that people can grab on to and sink their selves into.

I want to play for you what we heard from Congressman Eric Swalwell earlier today about just how much evidence the House has, and I really want everyone to listen to the words he chooses to use.


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): We have enough evidence from the depositions that we've done to warrant bringing this forward. Evidence of an extortion scheme using taxpayer dollars to ask a foreign government to investigate the president's opponent.


CABRERA: So, Joe, because you were a former White House spokesperson, I wonder do you think it would serve Democrats will start using words like extortion or bribery instead of quid pro quo?

LOCKHART: Yes, I think Democrats over the last week or so have moved away from quid pro quo because that's a legal term that people don't really understand, it doesn't have you know, meaning like extortion and bribery do.

And Republicans can say, there's, we know even if there was a quid pro quo, Republicans are going to have a lot more trouble saying even if there was extortion and bribery, that's OK. So that's why you've seen the shift in language and that's what this is.

I mean, it's you know, it's not a, this is not a criminal trial where you're saying you violated this statute. It's a political process. Where Democrats say you extorted a foreign government, you bribe them with the idea of a visit and with $400 million and I think that's a lot more powerful. CABRERA: Let's look about -- let's think about what we're going to

see this week on television. Right? This is your wheel house. But based on what we know in terms of viewership, you think back to some of these other scandals, Iran-Contra, Watergate, certainly the Clinton impeachment. How important is this week these terms of getting the American people invested and interested early on?

STELTER: Well, this is the first internet impeachment. Right? When you, when you're in the White House, Joe, the internet was still mostly a text media. Most people weren't really online yet. There were so smart phones.

So, this is the first time we're going to have an impeachment process that is clipped and condensed and distorted and remixed and all of these ways shared on social media. The reality is most people will not watch live. Although many CNN viewers will.

Most people will end up watching clips and then hearing about it later in the day as it's being digested whatever said at the hearings. I think that's really important. You know, both Democrats and Republicans are going to be trying to control that messaging war. I also think that episode one, so to speak, matters a lot. And I hate to say because we're talking about basic democracy at risk here.

But from a television perspective, Democrats have to come out strong in their first episode. For the same reason that when we're watching on Netflix or listen to doing a podcast, we only choose to keep listening if we're interested in episode one. So, I think the Democrats know that. But I'll be interested to see what kind of show they put on Wednesday morning to try to hook people.

CABRERA: Gentlemen, thank you all for that great conversation. Doug, I owe you the first question next time.

HEYE: No problem.

CABRERA: Doug Heye, Joe Lockhart, Brian Stelter, I really appreciate it all.

STELTER: Thanks.

CABRERA: Now the majority of the 2020 field today out bashing billionaires, going as far as saying Democratic votes aren't for sale as a new wealthy candidate toys with jumping into the White House race.



CABRERA: Just 85 days now until the Iowa caucuses. And the 2020 Democratic field could actually grow before it gets trimmed down.

Reaction is pouring in after former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially filed to run in Alabama's Democratic primary next year. He's planning to do the same we're told in Arkansas before that state's deadline on Tuesday. Bloomberg is laying the ground work should he decide to run.

Now here's how Democrats he'd be running against are responding.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When people look at the White House and they see this multimillionaire including by the way independents, moderate, Republicans and now he's messing up so many things, I don't think they say, we need someone richer. I think you have to earn votes and not buy them.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we need is a dynamic democracy. Not some billionaire who decides that he wants to run for president of the United States because he's a billionaire.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that our elections should not be something that are bought by billionaires.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that Mike is expressing concern about this primary field and he should not have concern.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mike is a solid guy unless he (Inaudible). I have no, no problem with him getting in the race.


CABRERA: OK. Not exactly a warm reception. CNN's senior political analyst Mark Preston is joining us now from Iowa. Mark, a lot of the other candidates have attacked Bloomberg's billionaire status. Should they feel threatened?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think they should and for this reason alone. Michael Bloomberg can write any size check that he wants. He can use that money to run ads as many times as he wants.

In fact, he's doing so already. And the criticism you're hearing from the field right now are from folks that feel threatened or they feel like they can get some political currency out of attacking Bloomberg.

So, whether or not Bloomberg is for real about this, Ana, who knows. But he's certainly taking steps towards it and if you are in the current field right now, I would be concerned only because Michael Bloomberg certainly has a background, he was three terms as a New York mayor, but he also has the money and whether or not he can win the nomination is irrelevant at this point. It's really can he cause problems for the other candidates in the field.

CABRERA: He's known for being a data guy, though. But in a Fox News poll from late October, 32 percent of Democratic primary voters said they would never vote for him. The same percentage who would consider voting for Bloomberg, only 6 percent said they would vote for him.

So, Bloomberg can't feel good about those numbers, then again though, he was only a hypothetical candidate when that poll was taken. PRESTON: Not too surprising though. So, if you look at -- if you look

at the third of folks who said that they would not vote for Michael Bloomberg, you go back in history and look at what his political affiliation was.

He was once a Republican then he was an independent, then he's Democrat. So certainly, if you were from the left, if you're somebody who is supporting Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, if you are a liberal Democrat, someone who's proud of it, talks about it, then you're not going to be a Michael Bloomberg person.


So that certainly makes sense. But Michael Bloomberg is a guy who looks at data, he looks at where the numbers are. And clearly, there was something that he saw in the numbers he at least wanted to float this idea that he was going to run.

CABRERA: OK. Speaking of billionaires, you're there in Iowa for tonight's CNN town hall with businessman Tom Steyer and a recent Quinnipiac poll from Iowa has Steyer polling at 3 percent there. Nationally, he's just polling around 1 percent. This is a guy who's been spending a lot of money on ads as well. What do you think his message will be tonight to try to gain more traction?

PRESTON: Well, Tom Steyer is interesting because he's somebody who is writing his own checks as well. He's very much like Michael Bloomberg but he's not somebody who's going to be endeared to the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party, so he has problems there.

We're in a state right now that is very liberal on the Democratic side. That's not going to work well for Tom Steyer. And in fact, if you take Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg and put them together, they seem to have similar problems.

Their problems are is that they have an incredible checkbook that they're able to work off of, yet those are the types of things that is really enflaming the liberal left. Those folks who are writing checks for $100 or $25.

From tonight, though, I think we'll talk Tom Steyer talk about impeachment, he's been leading the fight against that, he's put a lot of money towards liberal issues including climate change. And I think that you're going to hear a very somber, serious tone from Tom Steyer.

He's somebody who's trying to reach out to those Biden voters. Perhaps the Klobuchar voters, the 4 or 5 percent that she has and try to build a coalition around a more centrist ideology. So that's Tom Steyer's plan. That's Michael Bloomberg's plan. Certainly, that's Joe Biden's plan. We don't know if any of those plans are going to work though.

CABRERA: All right. Mark Preston, as always. thank you, sir. And make sure you tune in tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m., I should say, for the CNN town hall with Tom Steyer live from Iowa.

This week, the stakes rise dramatically as the impeachment inquiry moves out in public for all of America to see. Our Elie Honig is here to answer your questions about this crucial next phase when we come back.



CABRERA: If the impeachment inquiry were a play act one, it would be over. And act two where the drama builds even more would be getting underway. On Wednesday, witnesses will begin testifying publicly for the first time and this is huge. So far, all testimony has been in private and it wasn't until just recently those transcripts from inside those hearings started being released.

That brings us to cross exam with CNN legal analyst Elie Honig who's here to answer your questions on impeachment. Elie is a former federal and state prosecutor.

So, Elie, up until this point, many witnesses we've heard from at least through the transcripts that have been released have testified about what they learned of Trump's plans and dealings with Ukraine but didn't say he told them directly. One bureau wants to know could the president have a defense along these lines.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, Ana, the impeachment defense has been all over the map. But this week, we saw a new defense emerging which is essentially this was all the work of people around Donald Trump but not necessarily Donald Trump himself.

So let's assess. First of all, it is really hard to square that with the July 25th phone call between Trump and Zelensky where we see Donald Trump making demands directly to the president of Ukraine in his own words.

Now this week, some of the testimony that you talk about brought us really closer to the inner, inner circle of the West Wing. We learned that Mick Mulvaney was essentially involved in the withholding of foreign aid. We learned that John Cipollone, the White House counsel received one of the complaints that came up through the ranks. And John Bolton disapproved of what was happening and sounded an alarm.

So, the question now is, will these people testify? We know that Mulvaney and Bolton have already said no. We are not obeying our subpoenas. Now House Democrats have a tough decision. Are they going to fight to enforce those subpoenas? I don't think they're going to have enough time in courts. I think they understand that.

But let's be clear, all of these people can choose to testify if they want. Look at Vindman. Look at Taylor. Look at Yovanovitch. They came forward, they testified. And I think by failing to do so, it's unavoidable. Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton and everybody else who's hiding here is keeping the full truth from coming out.

CABRERA: And now the president and his defenders continue to say the whistleblower needs to testify.


CABRERA: They want this person's identity revealed. One viewer wants to know what legal consequences could there be to publicly identifying the whistleblower.

HONIG: So, there are two categories of law potentially in play here. First, there are civil and administrative penalties. Civil law says you can't take personnel action to punish or retaliate against somebody who's come forward with information. It doesn't use the phrase, whistleblower.

And that means you cannot demote somebody; you cannot fire somebody if they've come forward with information. The penalties here though, are primarily administrative and financial. But where the real teeth are is over on the criminal side. I believe there are criminal statutes that we should be looking at here.

Witness tampering. It is a federal crime to try to intimidate a witness, to try to get them to influence or delay or prevent their testimony. Also, it is a crime to retaliate against a witness. To take harmful action against somebody to pay them back essentially for coming forward with information.

Now will our Justice Department take action here? I don't know. Bill Barr has shown very little interest or inclination in doing it, but to me, this is not, this can't be about politics. Protecting witnesses is core to what we do in our justice system.

CABRERA: So, if the House impeaches and the Senate convicts, which is unlikely because at this point of the political playing field we're dealing with, but one viewer wants to know if that happens, can Trump appeal in court?

HONIG: I think he might try. Donald Trump has said before I'm going to go to court to try to stop this impeachment, but if he does, it is a virtual certainty he will not succeed. The Constitution gives the Senate the sole power to try impeachment. Sole power.

No mention of the courts and the Constitution makes no mention of any appeal rights. Now we have a precedent here. It is the Nixon case, but not Richard Nixon, Walter Nixon, who was a federal judge in 1989 who was impeached, convicted, removed, and then appealed and the Supreme Court in 1993 said you cannot appeal. You have no right of procedural appeal. So that is right on point if Donald Trump goes to the court, I believe he will lose.

CABRERA: Quickly, your top questions this week.


HONIG: Yes. First of all, how will the Roger Stone trial impact what we're seeing on impeachment? Similar themes here if the Trump campaign and people around him being willing and eager to solicit foreign election aid. Second of all, will House Democrats take up those subpoena fights in the courts? The clock is ticking, I don't think they have time, I don't think they're going to. And third, the big question in the week, what will we learn from our

live witnesses we're going to hear this week from Bill Taylor, George Kent, Marie Yovanovitch -- we already have a pretty good sense of what they will say from the depositions, from the big question as Brian Stelter was just talking about, is will seeing them live on camera really move the needle and really change any opinions in the public at large.

CABRERA: It's going to be a long week.

HONIG: It should be fun.

CABRERA: An interesting one.


CABRERA: Elie Honig, as always, thank you. Make sure you read Eli's column on and submit your own questions.

Latino voters could decide which Democrat faces President Trump next November. Will Elizabeth Warren be that candidate? Hear her pitch to them, next.



CABRERA: For weeks, impeachment has been the i-word getting the most attention, but on Tuesday a different i-word returns to centerstage, immigration.

The Supreme Court will take up a case to determine whether the president's plan to end the DACA program is constitutional. The fate of 700,000 young migrants known as DREAMers hangs in the balance.

Immigration is also a key issue for the 2020 Democrats as they make a pitch to Latinos, a crucial voting bloc. For Senator Elizabeth Warren, that pitch includes the possibility of suspending deportations.

CNN's Leyla Santiago has more.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Her cry comes with her story. Her husband, she says, still detained by ICE. The translator at the Mijente town hall, she asks Senator Elizabeth Warren --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you pass a moratorium on deportations?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am open to suspending deportations, particularly as a way to push Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.

SANTIAGO: That's new for Warren. Not included in her immigration plan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good to see you, too.

SANTIAGO: After the town hall, we asked --

You're leaning toward one way or another, a moratorium on deportations given that yesterday, Senator Sanders' plan does include that, and you were asked that today.

WARREN: So, the way, the way I would describe it is I should not be spending its resources deporting people who pose no threat to us.

SANTIAGO: So, is that a yes?

WARREN: Well, it's a don't spend your resources on our neighbors and friends.

SANTIAGO: And Warren made her case, three daughters of immigrants sat in the front row, now eligible to vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In 2020, I'm looking for a candidate that will not only show their support for immigrants like me who have college degrees, who are fluent in English, who have upward mobility, I'm looking for a candidate who will support by parents, who will fight for people like my parents.

SANTIAGO: Barbara Steidten (Ph) is part of a fast-growing piece of the potential electorate. Hispanics are projected to make up more than 13 percent of eligible voters including 20 according to the Pew Research Center. Possibly exceeding the share of black voters for the first time. And she says focusing on immigration is not enough to win her vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Health care and immigration is up there, but now after a (Inaudible) we see Latinos actually really worried about discrimination against Latinos and immigrants.

SANTIAGO: Sergio Garcia Rios is an expert on Latino and government studies. He argues Latinos will be critical in states like California, Arizona, Florida, Texas in 2020. But they shouldn't all be courted the same way by candidates.

Are you doing anything different for the Latino voters themselves?

WARREN: I think showing up is critical.


WARREN: And I also think talking about what would touch their lives is critical. And part of that is about immigration. But it's also about education.

SANTIAGO: As 2020 candidates figure out the best way to reach the Latino community, plans, town halls, tweets, Steidten (Ph) insist candidates must understand the diversity within the Latino community.


CABRERA: That was Leyla Santiago reporting.

We are following some breaking news this hour. Bolivia's president Evo Morales has resigned. We'll have the latest details and why this matters next.



CABRERA: Breaking news here on CNN. This is out of Bolivia, a South American country rocked by violent protests in recent days and now in complete turmoil. You can see in these live pictures, crowds are gathering. And CNN can now confirm that Bolivian President, Evo Morales in office since 2006, has resigned.

Let's get right over to CNN's senior Latin affairs editor, Rafael Romo. Rafael, now we hear even the vice president of Bolivia has resigned. What's happening here?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, essentially, the whole government is gone. And now the question is who's going the take power. It appears it's going to be the president of the Senate, but the situation is very, very unstable.

And Ana, Bolivia is not necessarily a country that makes headlines in the United States very often but it is very important for two reasons. Number one, geopolitically speaking, the government of Evo Morales was socialist and they were happier to negotiate with countries like China. And way too happy sometimes to rail against the United States. Reason number two, they have some of the largest deposits of lithium in the world.

Now what happened to the last three weeks? They had an election on October 20th that a vast portion of the electorate considered fraudulent. They went to the streets. There was a lot of violence. And in the end, after three weeks, the commander in chief of the armed forces and the national director of police invited very diplomatically, but very firmly, the president to resign.

And just a few hours ago or less I should say, a little over an hour ago, President Evo Morales resigned. Now it is a question as to what happens now in terms of doing a new election, who can participate in that election and who effectively holds power right now in Bolivia. But just like you said at the beginning, Evo Morales is no longer the president of Bolivia, Ana.

CABRERA: Talk to us more about what this could mean now for the stability in South America. How important is Bolivia to trade, which you mentioned, and security in that part of the world?

ROMO: Well, Evo Morales used to be part of an axis of leftist leaders who as I said before railed against the United States. I'm talking Bolivia, Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, Lula da Silva in Brazil who by the way was just freed from jail. And so. the balance of power between the left and the right is at stake here. Argentina's right-wing president just lost the election and so it

depends on what happens next in Bolivia to see what's going to end up happening to the region as a whole, but it is very interesting to me how what happened today has been interpreted in very different terms by different countries.


Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro calls it a coup d'etat, while on the other side of the political spectrum say that democracy is about to return to Bolivia, Ana.

CABRERA: OK, Rafael Romo, thank you for that reporting.

They used to be a common site along South Africa's coast, but the iconic great white shark has mysteriously disappeared this year, but why? We'll take a look.


CABRERA: When it comes to pregame displays, it's going to be hard to beat this one. This is in Argentina where a sports club arranged for a hologram of a flaming lion to prowl the roof of their new stadium. Wow. That's pretty impressive technology right there.

OK. Great white sharks, the massive carnivores who have inspired books, movies and countless nightmares are mysteriously disappearing from one of their most famous hunting grounds.

CNN's David McKenzie takes us off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa where experts are worried about these predators in peril.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got (Inaudible) at the back of the boat.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've come to dive with an apex predator.

This island is probably the world's most famous location for seeing great white sharks.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There he is. There he is.


MCKENZIE: And we see plenty of sharks.

That was incredible. It came right after us and checked us out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right there, right there, right there.

MCKENZIE: But no great whites. These sharks are scavengers not the iconic hunter that made this bay famous. After millions of years, in 2019, the great whites of Cape Town have vanished.

CHRIS FALLOWS, PHOTOGRAPHER: For me the loss of the great white sharks is losing part of my soul, you know. This is an animal that's shaped my life. It's given me some of the greatest highs of my life.

MCKENZIE: Chris Fallows, the photographer who put these sharks on the map, is forcing himself to speak in the past tense.

The first time you saw this, what was it like?

FALLOWS: It was unbelievable. I mean, everybody is fascinated by great white sharks, but flying great white sharks. To see this super predator taking to the air showing all its athletic prowess it was fantastic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This past season they haven't seen a single shark.

MCKENZIE: On the cliffs above, shark spotters used to take these sightings for granted. This year they've recorded zero great whites, not a single one.

What if they don't come back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We're just going to have to wait.

MCKENZIE: Fisherman like Solomon, Solomon say there are more seals now too competing for the catch. It seems the ecosystem is already feeling the effect.

SARA ANDREOTTI, BIOLOGIST, STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY: The impact of losing an apex predator for the marine environment is going to be huge.

MCKENZIE: Biologist Sara Andreotti says the zero sightings is alarming but not surprising. She predicted the collapse years ago. In 2012, by studying genetics, she found that the population was smaller and more vulnerable than anyone imaged.

What were your reaction to the population of great whites in South Africa?

ANDREOTTI: Concern mostly, but also shock. We were expecting to find a 1,000 or more individuals around here.

MCKENZIE: Overfishing, shark poaching and the weak gene pool have all contributed.

ANDREOTTI: People don't like to listen to sad stories and it is difficult to realize that humans could have had such an impact on such a prehistorical iconic predator.

FALLOWS: Unless we really step up our efforts to conserve what we have left South Africa's once bountiful shores are becoming more and more empty by the day.

ANDREOTTI: If there's are any hope for the great whites to return, he says the focus should now be on what needs to be done, not about what once was.

David McKenzie, CNN, False Bay, South Africa.


CABRERA: New stunning claims this evening from former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley. Details on how some of the president's top cabinet members including his former chief of staff allegedly tried to recruit her to work around the president. Reaction ahead.



CABRERA: Swinging might seem like an outdated term from the 1970s but even today millions of Americans have dabbled in what's called the lifestyle.

In this week's episode of This is Life, Lisa Ling attends the largest swinger party in the country. Here's a preview.


LISA LING, CNN HOST: OK. So, tonight is the night that I will be going into the play room. And I'm extremely nervous about it. As it turns out, you can't wear just anything to the play room.

To keep up an intimate vibe, there's a strict ban on street clothes. Only pajamas, underwear or less. That's why I decided to recruit my mom friend Jackie. Will you hold my hand for this?


LING: I've been trying to kind of prepare myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you're going to be surprised. I think it will be good. At first, I thought maybe I was intruding or looking at something I wasn't supposed to, and so I had to kind of give myself permission just to go ahead and watch.


CABRERA: Curious? The new episode of This is Life airs tonight at 10 Eastern and Pacific here on CNN.

He's one of the president's fiercest defenders but Senator Lindsey Graham wasn't always so keen to defend Trump.

Here's Jeanne Moos.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham pretty much on the same page, but when Graham said he's not reading the pages of impeachment transcripts --


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I'm not going to read these transcripts. The whole process is a joke.


MOOS: The jokes flew. La, la, la, it was compared to sticking fingers in your ears, especially since last month the senator said --


GRAHAM: If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing.


MOOS: Hard to be disturbed if you won't read the transcripts.


STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I would just summarize the transcripts in three little words, OK? Lindsey, don't look away, Lindsey. Don't, don't look away. Lindsey, don't look away. Lindsey.


MOOS: Lindsey Graham these days was portrayed as off the rails.


GRAHAM: What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent. They seemed to be incapable of performing a quid pro quo.

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: Yes. The old he could have committed these crimes. He's too stupid defense.


MOOS: On offense, an anti-Trump PAC put up a billboard in South Carolina showcasing something Graham once said about Trump.


GRAHAM: I think he's a kook. I think he's unfit for office.


MOOS: Graham's anti-trump singers linger.


GRAHAM: He's a race baiting, xenophobic religious bigot.

He's becoming a jack ass.


MOOS: But now Graham jokes about their rocky past.


GRAHAM: And he says I don't have your phone number and I said there's a reason for that.


MOOS: The reason being candidate Trump gave out Graham's number.




MOOS: Graham responded with a cell phone destroying video.

These days they often talk on the phone and now Graham has joined Trump in his reluctance to read. The president wouldn't like reading those old quotes.


GRAHAM: And you know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.


MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.


GRAHAM: This is kook land.


MOOS: New York