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London Terror Attack; House Judiciary Committee's First Hearing Set for Wednesday; Slain Suspected Terrorist Accused of Killing 2 has been Identified. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 30, 2019 - 08:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terror once again in the heart of London.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked like a shine of light come across from the man on the floor and I realized quickly it was a knife.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody basically under the tables.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A flood of people just running and not really knowing what was happening and just fear, like a huge amount of fear on their faces.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The White House hit with a new impeachment deadline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler telling President Trump in a letter he has now until next Friday to determine whether or not he'll participate in the next round of impeachment proceedings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you complain and complain and complain and then you have an opportunity to put your story to the American public and you don't want to do it, it shows you don't have a very good story and a very good defense.



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you on this Saturday. We're glad to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. The top stories this morning -- we begin with video you will not believe until you see it. By standers tackling the London Bridge terrorist with a fire extinguisher and a narwhal whale tusk plus new details about the terrorist Ghaidi(ph) past, how he played a part in a plot to try to blow up the London Stock Exchange.

PAUL: And the impeachment inquiry moves to a new phase. The president this week facing a deadline to decide whether he wants a lawyer to represent him. In the meantime, the Democrats are trying to convince a skeptical public that the president deserves to lose his job.

SAVIDGE: Also ahead, because surviving Thanksgiving dinner wasn't hard enough, the weather threatening to spoil travel home for tens of thousands across the country.

PAUL: So Congress is returning from Thanksgiving break this week, impeachment hearings are back in the House. In fact, several public hearings on impeachment are scheduled throughout December starting with the judiciary committee and that happens this Wednesday.

SAVIDGE: These hearings could be Democrats last chance to boost support for impeachment before a full House vote. CNN's Kristen Holmes is in West Palm Beach, Florida, this morning and Kristen, the White House can participate in the impeachment hearings but will they? What are you hearing?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Martin. Well that is the big question here whether or not they are going take up Chairman Nadler on this participation in these impeachment hearings. Just to give you kind of an overview here, Nadler sent out this letter extending the deadline. It was supposed to be on Wednesday now it is on Friday for the White House to decide whether or not it will have counsel there. And what this would consist of is the ability to cross- examine these witnesses. It would be the ability to suggest their own witnesses, to summarize and present their own evidence.

So this would be an opportunity to really have the White House engaged in the process. Now we're hearing from the White House and from sources within that they say they are reviewing this proposal but right now even though no final decisions have been made they are leaning towards not sending any sort of representation to this hearing to be involved in any part of this process, which might seem surprising given the fact that President Trump has repeatedly -- repeatedly slammed the process saying that he was unable to have any representation. Take a listen.


TRUMP: There was no due process. You can't have lawyers. We couldn't have any witnesses.

They're not allowed to ask a question.

Because it's the minority. We have no lawyers. We can't question.


HOLMES: So even there with all of this saying that the process is the problem now White House essentially leaning towards not having a lawyer present. Allies telling you that it's because they don't want to validate the impeachment proceedings.

PAUL: All right, Kristen Holmes, appreciate the update so much. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: I'm joined now by Guy Smith. He's a former White House - yes, a former White House adviser to President Clinton. He also served as a special adviser to President Clinton during his impeachment which makes you the perfect person to have this next conversation with. Thanks very much for joining me this morning.

GUY SMITH, ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you for having me back.

SAVIDGE: Let's start with the question of the moment which is what Kristen was just referring to and that is whether or not the president should have his own attorneys participate in what's coming next?

SMITH: Well, as you and I have talked before, the White House is woefully unprepared to deal with this and this is another example. Since the intelligence committee hearings ended more than a week ago every single day one of the other White House and Republican excuses has been taken away. And now he's saying well we can't have lawyers -- well now they are invited to have lawyers to actually have their own witnesses to cross-examine witnesses and to not do that puts themselves more at a disadvantage, and we know that they don't have a very good story but if they don't have their lawyers defending them at all, they are going to be in even worse shape.


And this narrative that's coming out of the media that the polls show no movement, it's important to remember that when Nixon was at this stage, the American public was only around 25 percent. This is already at 50 percent for impeachment and removal. It is a significant number.

SAVIDGE: All right. Let me -- we're going to run out of time so I'll go with this one here. We know House lawmakers here have been working this as their own sort of investigation. Back in the Clinton investigation you had an independent counsel and I'm wondering whether that is a significant difference and which one you would favor, which process?

SMITH: Well, either one, seems to be working but you're right. The special counsel in the Clinton era spent a year developing testimony and then had 36 boxes delivered in vans up to the Congress. It was a big deal. Everybody had to go and read it in a secret room and that kind of stuff. In this case, that didn't happen. So the House committees have been doing the investigation. And now the Judiciary Committee is going to consider the results of that investigation and also consider their own further investigation. What you're going to see coming out of the Judiciary Committee is details of the articles of impeachment and then there will be more forthcoming, more things will come. I don't think you're going to see a vote before Christmas and the reason I don't think that is because there's going to be more damning revelations that are going to come out.

SAVIDGE: And keeping with this sort of theme of Clinton and Trump and the comparison, it appears that the situation is going to end up very much the same in that you're going to have a trial in the Senate and it appears at this point that the Senate is not going to convict. What will that mean for the legacy then of Donald Trump?

SMITH: Well, I think what it does and I agree with the assessment today is very unlikely that we'll see a conviction. But what's happening is that it is damaging Donald Trump politically. Fatally, I think. Think about this. Just the CNN poll this week had women at 61 percent wanting impeachment and removal. That's a staggeringly high number in women, are disproportionately a large portion of the electorate. And remember, people say Democrats and Republicans - Republicans 90 percent supporting but remember Republicans are only 30 percent of the electorate. Then there's the Democrats and then there's the independents and we're also seeing the number for impeachment growing among independents. So your question is it puts re-election of Trump in danger, and it also puts the Senate majority of Republicans at risk. This is a big deal. And it only take four seats to change the Senate from Republican to Democrat and there are more than four Republican Senators up for re-election who impeachment can create a real problem for them in their states.

SAVIDGE: Yes. Guy Smith. Good to see you again and talk to you. Thank you very much.

SMITH: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: We're seeing some dramatic new video of the moments these brave Londoners we've talked about came together to stop the suspect in yesterday's terror attack.

SAVIDGE: We want to remind you, the suspect was armed with a knife -- actually two knives. These brave bystanders grabbed whatever they could. One man had a fire extinguisher and then another a most unusual tool a narwhal tusk. Two people died in that attack and three others injured.

PAUL: Phil Black is with us. Phil, first of all, what are police saying about these bystanders and the fact that they were using whatever they could to try to subdue the suspect.

PHIL BLACK: Christi, Martin good morning. Yes, the man with the knife made the initial headlines but everyone here in the U.K. is much more interested today I think in those brave few who acted seemingly with little hesitation to stop this man at great risk to themselves. Notably those two people who you've mentioned there who improvised, who thought very quickly, grabbing what to hand. One person grabbed a fire extinguisher, blasted that in the face of the attacker. While the other person grabbed that extraordinary weapon really, a narwhal tusk that was hanging on the wall in Fishmonger's Hall where all of this started.

A narwhal is a small Arctic whale distinctive because it has a single tusk sticking out of its head. That's what he grabbed. That's what he then used to effectively drive the attacker, corner him against a wall and from that point other people were able to rush in. Again, more brave bystanders who saw all of this unfolding rushed in with little thought to their own safety were able to pin this man to the ground and then disarm him.


And then it was a few minutes after that that armed police arrived, saw what appeared to be a suicide vest. We know it now be fake, but they didn't know it in the moment so at that time it seems they had little choice but to neutralize that potential threat and he was shot dead. Extraordinary bravery, that's what everyone is talking about here, including the police commissioner just a short time ago I think put it very well when she visited this site and she said what we saw was the worst of humankind but the best of human spirit.

Boris Johnson the prime minister was up on that bridge behind me just a very short time ago. This is what he said about yesterday's events.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We saw in four minutes the terrorist, the assailant was tackled within five minutes; quite incredible response by police. Also want to pay tribute, again, as I think the whole country is to the sheer bravery of those members of the public who went to deal with him spontaneously, putting their own lives at risk.


BLACK: So the Queen Elizabeth released a statement from Buckingham Palace expressing sadness of having heard the attacks but offering her enduring thanks to the police and emergency services who responded and, of course, she describes the brave individuals who put their own safety at risk to help and protect others.

SAVIDGE: Amazing stuff Phil Black. Thank you very much for that. Just so astounding to see how quickly people responded without regard to their own safety.

PAUL: Yes, good people - good people out there. There's dangerous flash flooding in Arizona we want to tell you about. A family was left stranded by it and there is a search right now for three missing children.

SAVIDGE: Plus, Black Friday shopping came to a halt at one Syracuse Mall after shots were fired.

PAUL: And Pete Buttigieg riding a wave of support in Iowa and New Hampshire ahead of the 2020 primary season. A lack of support from African-Americans though, could really complicate his road to the nomination. We'll talk more about that.



SAVIDGE: The three children are missing after floodwaters - sorry -- swept a car away in Arizona. Another four children and one adult were rescued. That car was attempting to cross a creek near the New Mexico border last night.

PAUL: All seven kids and two adults were in the car together. We don't know their ages nor do we know how they're connected but officials are warning people in the area, please be very careful if - even if you don't see rain because it's that water that maybe deeper and rushing much more violently than you think as you head toward it.

This weekend millions of you are in the path of this storm that's sweeping from the west coast to the east. We're talking about snow and rain. So that doesn't look good for people who are trying to travel.

SAVIDGE: No, it's got the ingredients of a nightmare, potentially getting ready just as people are rushing home from the holiday. CNN's Ivan Cabrera has been tracking it all and he joins us now with what we can expect.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so we had the Thanksgiving Day problem on storm number one guys and now we have storm number two getting going. Maybe you had plans to go to Arizona. This is probably not what you expected at the Grand Canyon. Blizzard-like conditions as folks take a gander what was going on yesterday. Incredible amounts of snow not just in Arizona but New Mexico, Colorado, as well. I want to show you, the snow is pretty much done here but where you're seeing in red and orange are wind warnings still and watches that basically translate into 50 to 60 mile-an-hour winds.

All that snow that has fallen is still going to blow and we're talking about conditions that are treacherous on the road. Yes, then we're adding more snow, a lot more snow with storm that still ongoing. This thing is cranking up and wait until I show you the northeast. But right now, wait til I show you the northeast but right now first things first. This is for today. It's snowing and snow heavily along with the wind and so you have blizzard warnings for portions of the Dakotas into eastern Wyoming as well. This is for today and tonight accumulations heavy. Now this area can take it, sure but when you're traveling and trying to get back home it's going to be a problem I think.

Minneapolis you'll have issues today at the airport. Now I have fast forward for you on Sunday, because this is the mess that's going to develop. That storm that's going to come out of the Dakotas, there it is but a secondary storm is going to form. A coastal low -- a nor'easter if you will and that will bring not just rain and windy conditions but now we're look at a wintry mix and also the potential for heavy snow from Boston and points to the north and west and we're talking here anywhere from 12 to 18 inches. Lesser amounts as we get closer to the coast. This is the forecast for the airports today. Minneapolis and Chicago and then heading in to tomorrow, guys, we're looking for the mess across the northeast, all red there and by the way, check with your carrier. A lot of waivers from multiple airlines being given out so if you don't want to travel on Sunday and Monday, they got you covered.

SAVIDGE: Just extend your stay although maybe your relatives won't be too keen about that.

CABRERA: Keep the in-laws a little longer.

SAVIDGE: Absolutely. OK, thanks Ivan very much.

Police say that a man was shot in the leg while he was shopping Black Friday in Syracuse, New York. The Destiny USA Mall had to be evacuated around 7:00 p.m. last night. At first people thought the loud bangs they heard were fireworks. The victim is a man in his 20s. He was taken to the hospital but he is expected to be OK.

PAUL: And police are still searching for the suspect here. They say they don't think this was a random attack however. Security in that area, those has been amplified in the coming days.

SAVIDGE: Still ahead, it's our top story this hour. Police identifying the suspect in the terrorist attack in London. Coming up, how those brave Londoners were able to stop the suspect from continuing his rampage.

PAUL: Also, a baseless smear and a violent threat earns a Republican challenger to freshman Democrat Omar a lifetime ban from twitter.



PAUL: So twitter permanent boots a Republican challenger to Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar from its platform. We're talking about Danielle Stella. She suggested that Omar be tried for treason and hanged. This is a candidate for the United States Congress saying this on the internet.

SAVIDGE: Yes, Stella posted a vile and baseless smear about the Somalia-American on Tuesday that Omar passed sensitive info to Iran. Now there is no evidence to support that claim but that didn't stop Stella from saying that Omar be put to death if that accusation could be verified.

PAUL: The Minnesota Congresswoman responded on Twitter say this, quote, violent rhetoric inevitably leads to violent threats and ultimately violent acts.

Republicans back impeachment, they're not just being very up front about that apparently publically. This is the argument from at least two former Republican members of Congress this week. Take a listen.


JOE WALSH, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: We have a president of the United States, pardon my language this Thanksgiving, John (ph), who literally just make [ bleep ] up. When you talk to Republican voters they are generally tired of all of this.

JOE WALSH, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: We have a president of the United States, pardon my language this Thanksgiving, John (ph), who literally just make [ bleep ] up. When you talk to Republican voters they are generally tired of all of this, like there's no question having spoken to many of them privately; they're absolutely disgusted and exhausted by the president's behavior. They resent being put in this position all the time.


PAUL: Here's the catch. An overwhelming number of Democrats back impeachment and removal. That's the latest CNN poll. You see the numbers there on your screen. It shows the Republicans who are behind impeachment, that number much smaller.


So far, the harshest criticism of the president is coming from former members of Congress as current GOP members stick with the president. In fact, some are even propping up the same Ukraine conspiracy theories the president has been pushing to blunt the impact of the impeachment hearings.

So what does that say about today's GOP? We want to talk to Republican Strategist Shermichael Singleton about that. CNN political commentator Scott Jennings with us as well. Gentlemen, glad to have you both here. Thank you for being here.


PAUL: First of all I want to get your reaction to the news about Daniella Stella suggesting that Ilhan Omar should be tried for treason and hanged. Scott, what's your reaction to that. Is that the right way to go about this?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it's generally not an advisable political strategy to use such violent rhetoric in your campaign. Sounds like based on my reading of the articles about it that she's had some issues following twitters rules before so I'm not surprised the company took the action they did. There's a lot of reasons to argue against Ilhan Omar's re-election. That doesn't strike me as a good strategy to do it. My advice to political candidates out there is stick to the tissues and leave the violent rhetoric on the sidelines.

PAUL: All right. So we continually see and we just saw the numbers here, Shermichael, former Republican numbers that seem to be coming forward to speak against the president right now regarding the impeachment hearings. Do you think that the concerns of both Charlie Dent and Joe Walsh are even heard by the party and I say that in preface to listening to the two of them right here so we can get a sense of what's happening. Listen to what the two of them said. Joe Walsh and Charlie Dent.


JOE WALSH, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: We have a president of the United States, pardon my language this Thanksgiving, John (ph), who literally just make [ bleep ] up. When you talk to Republican voters they are generally tired of all of this. CHARLIE DENT, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Like there's no question having spoken to many of them privately; they're absolutely disgusted and exhausted by the president's behavior. They resent being put in this position all the time.


PAUL: Shermichael, is that accurate?

SINGLETON: I mean yes, I think it's accurate. I mean I have a lot of former colleagues that work on the Hill and they do pretty frequently and regularly, you know, state some of their boss' frustration with the president, particularly during the impeachment process because it's made it relatively difficult for many of them to defend him. One, because the narrative is always changing and number two, they're not getting a directive from the White House on communications, messaging points that the president will stick to as he's not traditionally a pretty disciplined person.

But here's the point Christi, most politicians generally speaking are concerned with one issue - self preservation and a lot of Republicans have seen what has occurred to previous former elected officials who have spoken out against this president who has in the poll you cited - has a 90 percent approval with Republican voters. And so though they may personally have some concerns or quite frankly dislike of the president's character, they recognize that the individuals who voted for them also voted for him and they support him overwhelmingly. And so I think you - you would be very surprised, I would argue, to see a Republican come out and speak directly against this president.

You've seen someone like a Mitt Romney for example. But Mitt Romney has the luxury of realizing even if Trump wins reelection, he will still be in office not having to deal with the backlash that could potentially come. So I think again for many of these members they're concerned about assuring their own base of supporters and making sure that they can win reelection and that means not speaking out against President Trump.

PAUL: Scott, speaking of the impeachment process here, we know that he has two deadlines ahead of him as to whether to make the determination as to whether he and his attorneys should take part in this impeachment hearing. He's been complaining about this left and right saying that they haven't been a part of it, that they haven't been able to bring their own witnesses. Shan Wu was on a couple hours ago and he's a defense attorney. He's a former federal prosecutor. He said the president needs to take part in this. Do you believe that's the case?

JENNINGS: Well, I mean I think the question for the - the technical question for the White House is would it make a difference? It the looks me like the cake is already baked and the House has already decided to impeach the president and there may not be much that the president's lawyers even if they put up a good defense can do about it.

So I think the tactical question is do you participate now or hold your powder for the Senate trial? I would like to see the president put on a defense because, obviously, it means, you know, they will make an argument that Republicans as Shermichael said could stick to. But in the absence of that, I guess we'll get that on the floor of the United States Senate down the line. I really think though, the outcome here, just to skip to the end is already pre-determined.

The House has decided to impeach the president. The Senate is highly unlikely to convict the president.


I'm not sure they're going to lose a single Republican vote because of some of the political dynamics you all were just discussing. So for the president, I think what he has to do is keep his party together and keep his party in line behind a set of defenses that will work for public argument. One thing that they are going to have to wrestle with is that more information keeps coming out and they're - they're probably not going able to stick with some of the defenses the president has been using so far. It doesn't mean the Republicans are going to want to throw him out of the office but it does mean when the facts show up that you have to respond to the facts and not try to tell people the sky is purple when it's blue.

PAUL: All right. Shermichael Singleton and Scott Jennings, gentlemen, we appreciate you both being here. Thank you.

SINGLETON: Thanks so much Christi.

JENNINGS: Thank you.

PAUL: And listen, we're staying on top of the developments from the terror attack in London. Investigators identifying now the suspect as a convicted terrorist who was released from jail just last year.

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile we're seeing video of the moment that a half a dozen Londoners confronted the suspect. The suspect was armed with a knife. They grabbed whatever they could, one man used a fire extinguisher, another grabbed a narwhal tusk.

PAUL: Do you see it there? Tom Gray is a London tour guide. He was on the London Bridge as this incident unfolded. Here's what he describes what happened.


TOM GRAY, WITNESS: Me and my colleague Stevie (ph), we were driving northbound over the London Bridge and we sort of came up to behind a double-decker bus and we noticed several people sort of jumping from the left side of the bridge and (inaudible) and sort of out to the right. And so we just peered our heads around and sort of saw that there was one chap running away from about sort of five guys running him down with a fire extinguisher.

So Stevie (ph) and I just thought what to do and just kind of ran toward it, left the cars where they were and then tried to do our best to apprehend the suspect. So when we got there, he was wielding two knives. One was sort of duct taped to his hand. So all I could do after the guys held him down and were sort of pinning him to the ground, kind of stamp as hard as I could on his wrists trying to release the knife. As it were, sort of kick the knife away and it went sort of northbound up London Bridge and then after that the police and response really quick got there almost instantaneously yet at that point we were told he had a bomb vest on so we kind of cleared house and got out of the way and at that point saw the guy get shot a couple of times and then hit the deck. And then after that, we basically - I hid behind a school bus fully loaded with children and kind of made sure that the girls in the back were OK. And smiling and be like, fine, it's OK. You're all right. Got the bus turned around and they sort of went back south over London Bridge. At that point we were told to stay where we were because we were then told he had a gun as well so kind of just stay put.

We heard another shot then a small, sort of little explosion and we just heard, run. So we sort of turned and high tailed it South over London Bridge and sort of heard 15 or so gunshots and then just hung around south bound of London Bridge and just waited to see how it could be useful for anyone and sort of let anybody know sort of any information.


SAVIDGE: Amazing courage there on the part of just people doing what they could.

PAUL: It is and the detail he gives, those are the things we don't see when it's happening. A school bus and kids. Just glad for those brave people who took it upon themselves.

SAVIDGE: Yes, indeed. Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg riding a wave of support in Iowa and New Hampshire ahead of the 2020 primary season. But a lack of support from African-Americans could complicate his road to the nomination. Austin, Texas, mayor and Buttigieg supporter, Steve Adler, he'll join us next to talk about it.

PAUL: We want to give you a reminder Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa are waiting for you live as they name the 2019 CNN Hero of the Year. CNN Heroes, an All Star Tribute, it just makes you feel so good. It airs December 8th at 8:00 p.m. only here on CNN.



SAVIDGE: A new ad from the super P.A.C. highlights the resume crossover between two candidates and raises big questions about why one is at the front of the 2020 pack and the other is not.

PAUL: United We Win, back Cory Booker, here's the new ad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a Rhodes Scholar, a successful mayor, a uniter. No -- not that guy. It's Cory Booker. Corey doesn't just talk he brings people together to make things happen. This Rhodes Scholar mayor has what it takes to beat Donald Trump.


Paul: So the ads part of a $1 million last ditch plan essentially to help Booker qualify for next month's Democratic debate. Booker himself was asked about the ad yesterday on CNN and he said he's really not comfortable attacking his 2020 rivals.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does that attack ad make you uncomfortable going after Pete Buttigieg like that?

CORY BOOKER, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I only saw the clip you did. I don't know if it was done tongue-in-cheek or funny. I just have a philosophy which is I will do nothing to tear down the character of anybody in this race.


SAVIDGE: Meanwhile Mayor Pete Buttigieg is getting traction in polls nationally and in polls in those early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. In the latest CNN poll, he broke double digits registering at 11 percent, fourth behind Joe Biden. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

While he's broken into the top tier of candidates he still faces challenges finding support with the key constituency -- African- Americans. Some events over the last week have either caused more problems or at least illustrated why some African-American voters don't see him as viable Democratic nominee for president. For example comments Buttigieg made in 2011 about minorities and education. They have resurfaced. The then candidate for mayor said quote, kids need to see evidence that education is going to work for them. There are a lot of kids especially in the lower income minority neighborhoods who literally just haven't seen it work. There isn't somebody they know personally who testifies the value of education unquote.

Senior writer for "TheRoot," Michael Harriot, took issue with that writing quote, this is not a misunderstanding. This is not a misunderstanding. This is not a misstatement. Pete Buttigieg went to the best educational institutions America has to offer and he, more than anyone on the God damned planet knows that everything he just said is a baldfaced lie. Apologize for the language but that's a direct quote.

Joining me now to talk is it about Austin Mayor Steve Adler. He is an early endorser and supporter of Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Thank you very much for joining us this morning.

MAYOR STEVE ADLER, (D-TX): Thanks for the invitation.

SAVIDGE: You know the writer of that piece was trying to point out Buttigieg didn't talk about the systemic racism that causes problems for minorities in the education system and Buttigieg told reporters that the comments don't reflect what he understands about obstacles for students of color and what they face. If he understands, why do you think he's having such trouble communicating to black voters and getting them to support him?

ADLER: Well, I think that the issue of race and race equity is one of the most complex issues facing American cities across the country. And then Mayor Pete is at the front lines of this discussion that's happening. There are complicated issues. I know that the work he has done in South Bend reflects a real intent and practice to make things more transparent, the work he's done with police, with community policing, with body cameras.

SAVIDGE: But he always hasn't had a good result in working with the police department there especially when it comes to the hiring of minorities and getting them more involved on the police force.

ADLER: Well, he has - he's increased the minority participation on the police force but he also recognizes that it goes beyond the police force. He's working with racial equity in all the areas that you see systemic racism and institutional bias. So the Douglas Plan he propose deals with access to capital and jobs and education and health care delivery because that complex issue pervades everything. His discussion has been about systemic issues and I'm looking forward to him having the chance to introduce himself in South Carolina to the voters and to voters across the country.

SAVIDGE: Well as he sort of makes this introduction, it hasn't always gone smoothly. For instance another problem the mayor had said being gay helps him relate to experiences of African-Americans. It's not sitting well with some black voters because critics have called that naive and misguided. In essence that a person who is gay can choose whether or not they come out and publicly express that. A person of color is publicly out there to begin with. So to suggest that there are similarities between the two seems really an overreach.

ADLER: Well, I don't think that's what Mayor Pete has said. I think he recognizes the difference and he specifically spoken to the differences between his experience and the experience of being black in this country. He recognizes the systemic inequities that are involved in the racial issue. I think what he was saying and the way he described what he said was to recognize that he has seen the benefit of having allies, of having people from all walks of life join together to lift those that are marginalized and that's what he was speaking to and I think that's real true. If we're going to make actual progress on the race issue in this country it is going to take all of us pulling together and that's what he was speak to.

SAVIDGE: What does he need to do? Is it a victory that he needs to connect with African-American voters or is it a message that he needs to better define?

ADLER: You know, I think that he has to do a better job and have the opportunity to introduce himself to the voters in South Carolina and everywhere else. You know, I spent a lot of time as a mayor work with Pete and I've seen the programs he has adopted. I've seen him in front of town hall meetings in his community. I've seen him work. I know that in his heart, it is his keen focus to ensure that he builds a better America for African-American people in this country. I know that's where his heart is. And I have faith that when he has the opportunity to actually talk about what he has done, to talk about the Douglas Plan that is on his website, which is the clearest and broadest addressing of race equity issues in this country, that people are going to get a chance to know him and then I think they will support him.

SAVIDGE: Mayor Steve Adler we do thank you for coming in and speaking to us this morning.

ADLER: Thank you.

PAUL: All right, it is the biggest weekend in college football and nothing apparently is sweeter than sending your rivals home for the winter, so says...

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, we have some good highlights coming up Christi. Nebraska hasn't beat Iowa since 2015 and they needed to win this one to make it to a bowl game but it's not going to happen. It's what happened to the hero of Iowa after the game that's the real story here. That's coming up on "New Day."


SAVIDGE: All right baring the championship, this is the biggest weekend in college football.

PAUL: Bragging rights on the line, Coy.

WIREL: I mean rivalry weekend, this is what it's all about. Today we have some huge games. You have Ohio State going to Michigan. You've got Alabama playing Auburn, huge playoff implications there. But yesterday, what a game. In Charlottesville, you had Virginia who hadn't beat Virginia Tech in 15 years, people, but the Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins, was a man on a mission; 475 yards of total offence, three touchdowns and there are more than just bragging rights on the line this time around.


They are fighting for a trip to the conference title game. UVA has a three-point lead late and the Hokies looking to make a comeback. But the Wahoo wrecking crew sticks a nail in the coffin. The forced fumble in the end zone tackle for the touchdown. That's it. The Commonwealth Cup resides in Charlottesville is for the first time since 2003. They will face number three Clemson in ACC title game. Here is the locker room.



(END VIDEO) WIRE: Yes, now let's go out ot Nebraska where Coach Scott Frost needs a win to get his guys into a bowl game but they're facing 17th ranked Iowa and haven't beaten them in four years.

The Corn Huskers Wyatt Misoure Ties it up in the third. It stays that way til the final six seconds. Iowa kicker Keith Duncan from 48 yards out, the walk-on junior nails it but it doesn't count. Frost calls a time out. Have to kick it again. All eyes on him. No scholarships, no problem. Duncan does the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag. No. No. No. And he's blowing kisses toward the Nebraska sideline. What an incredible story. He's quietly become one of the best kickers in the nation this season. So afterwards, here's their locker room. His team is lifting their hero and this was after Coach Kirk Ferentz surprised him by giving him a full scholarship.

There's a little positivity for you this Saturday morning. We'll be back right after the break.



PAUL: Programming note to tell you about. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking questions on the impeachment, the 2020 election, and more. This is a live CNN town hall moderated by Jake Tapper. Be sure to watch Thursday night 9:00 eastern right here on CNN.

SAVIDGE: In the meantime, thanks for starting your morning with us. We're back at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for "CNN Newsroom."

PAUL: We'll see you then. "Smerconish" is back after a quick break. Stay with us.