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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Pelosi Suspect Charged With Attempting To Kidnap House Speaker, Attempting Murder; Interview With Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA); DOJ: Suspect Confessed Pelosi Hostage Plan, Intended To Break Her Kneecaps If She "Lied"; Bellwether Races That Will Determine Who Controls Senate, House; South Korea In National Mourning After More Than 150 Killed During Weekend Crowd Crush; Russia Targets Ukraine Infrastructure In Fresh Round Of Missile Strikes; Powerball Drawing Reaches $1 Billion For Only The Second Time. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 31, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: And you can see Don's complete interview with Jon Fetterman. That's tomorrow morning. That's on "CNN THIS MORNING" with Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins, the new morning show debuting tomorrow at 6:00 AM Eastern.
Thank you so much for joining us, everyone.
I'm Kate Bolduan. AC 360 starts now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The suspect said, "He was going to hold Nancy hostage." And if she did not tell him the truth as he saw it, he would break her kneecaps.
John Berman here, in for Anderson. Those words from a Federal criminal complaint spell out an attempt to take House Speaker Nancy Pelosi captive, interrogate her, and beat her savagely if the answers did not come out right, which the complaint says the suspect, one David DePape considered a certainty.
Late today, we saw a separate State charges as well including attempted murder, more on that shortly. But just stop and think about what is already on the table.
According to Federal authorities who have now charged him with assault on Paul Pelosi and attempted kidnapping of Nancy Pelosi, this man says he wanted to break the kneecaps of an 82-year-old woman and do it to make a political point. Quoting again from the filing, "In the course of the interview, DePape articulated he viewed Nancy as the leader of the pack of lies told by the Democratic Party."
The document goes on in graphic detail about what the suspect said he intended, but its bottom line is simple enough. According to the suspect himself, this potentially deadly attack on Paul Pelosi was part of a politically motivated attempt to kidnap and harm the Speaker of the House, the most powerful woman in American politics, second in line to the presidency. Yet as shocking as that is, it should not be surprising, not when you consider the way Pelosi has been openly demonized, often using violent imagery to do it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, if it isn't big Jim Lamon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're tired of being pushed around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And open borders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And gas prices.
JIM LAMON (R), ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE: The good people of Arizona have had enough for you. It's time for a showdown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That Arizona Senate candidate paid big money to air that ad during the Super Bowl, and he is not alone.
According to "The New York Times," citing data from the tracking from Ad Impact. So far this year, Republicans have spent more than $61 million on ads attacking Speaker Pelosi, ads that have now aired about 143,000 times. Now, by no means are all these ads violent, but you can see how frequently she is targeted.
That's on top of all the conspiracy theories from the far right and the 2020 election lie which has practically become a token of faith among even some otherwise mainstream Republicans. Put it all together and you have a toxic well spring for some to drink from. Even worse, it's not surprising and not even new or even strictly partisan.
Listen to this Georgia Republican election officials warning about where such things might lead from December of 2020.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABRIEL STERLING, COO OF THE OFFICE OF THE GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: It has to stop.
Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language. Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. Someone is going to get hurt, someone is going to get shot, someone's going to get killed, and it is not right. It's not right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That's a Georgia Republican just a few weeks before a violent mob would storm the Capitol. Behind those doors, by the way are the Speaker's offices and those rioters, one of whom police fatally shot were trying to get to her.
The former President and others would subsequently try to make a martyr out of the dead rioter incorporating her in turn into the myths and conspiracy theories about the insurrection all there for the next deranged person to drink up.
So we've already seen lies and incitement, some of them targeting Speaker Pelosi by name. We've already seen warnings it would lead to violence. We've seen the violence, we've seen the violence justified with more lies, and now in the wake of this latest act of political violence, we're seeing more attempts to explain it away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With Paul Pelosi, that's a terrible thing. With all of them, it is a terrible thing. Look at what's happened to San Francisco generally. Look at what is happening in Chicago. It was far worse than Afghanistan.
Look at what happens in Chicago in one weekend, last weekend was brutal. It was like a warzone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: See, not politics, just crime, which was a talking point for a while until something more toxic came along, a conspiracy theory that the crime was actually about something else. We won't even dignify it by mentioning the details.
But it was enough for Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, to tweet it out with the line: "There is a tiny possibility there might be something more to this story than meets the eye." He later took that tweet down, but not before it had been retweeted more than 28,000 times.
That conspiracy theory he reposted came from a website that once falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton had died and been replaced by a body double.
The suspect's Facebook page was full of memes and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and January 6th. An acquaintance told CNN, he seemed "out of touch with reality."
But even if that's the case, even if he is especially susceptible to all the lies, conspiracy theories and ads with violent imagery, it doesn't mean public figures who should know better also are.
Elon Musk wasn't out of touch with reality when he amplified a conspiracy theory. That Senate candidate knew what he was doing when he made that ad of him shooting Nancy Pelosi. Donald Trump knew what he was doing when he glossed over the attack on Paul Pelosi as just more of the same big city crime.
And this Congressman knows what he is doing here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS HOST: On your Twitter feed, you posted this video we're going to show, just a few days ago where you're firing a gun and it says "Enjoyed exercising my Second Amendment rights. #FirePelosi." Why is there a gun in a political ad at all?
REP. TOM EMMER (R-WI): It wasn't an ad.
BRENNAN: Hashtag -- or a tweet.
EMMER: I was tweeting something that I had just done.
BRENNAN: #FirePelosi with a weapon.
EMMER: Well, now you're --
BRENNAN: Wouldn't a pink slip be more fitting if it's about firing her.
EMMER: It's interesting --
BRENNAN: Why a gun?
EMMER: It's interesting, exercising our Second Amendment rights, having fun --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: "Having fun," some fun.
CNN's Josh Campbell joins us now from San Francisco where the District Attorney late today announced charges against the suspect.
Josh, the suspect is expected to be arraigned tomorrow afternoon on State charges. Let's listen to a San Francisco DA, Brooke Jenkins said just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE JENKINS, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Two police officers arrived at the front door two minutes after that 9-1-1 call. When that door was opened, the defendant was holding his hammer, which Mr. Pelosi appeared to be attempting to control by holding a portion of that hammer.
The defendant then pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently struck him in the top of his head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: The DA was also asked if this was an assassination attempt. What was her response?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: She thinks this was and that is one of the charges that the District Attorney's office announced today, John, attempted murder. And she says that particularly in the final moments of this incident at the residence here behind me early Friday morning that as police arrived, that this suspect struck Mr. Pelosi according to CNN sources that was at least two times fracturing his skull. Again, she thought that he was trying to kill Mr. Pelosi.
We also learned according to this new FBI affidavit today that it wasn't just Mr. Pelosi that was an intended target, but also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and in really chilling detail according to the confession of the suspect himself, the FBI says that his goal was to take Speaker Pelosi, break her kneecaps, and I know this is repulsive, but just to give you a sense of the level of level of vitriol that we're talking about here, he wanted her to be wheeled in to the Capitol as a display to other Members of Congress, in his words, saying that there are consequences to your actions. Just truly, truly troubling details we learned today -- John.
BERMAN: So Josh, in addition to the Federal assault charge, explain the other Federal and State charges this suspect is now facing.
CAMPBELL: This was a big day in the investigation, John.
Within a matter of hours, we saw the feds come in and then State officials with a litany of charges and in addition to the one, attempted assault of Mr. Pelosi, that charge was actually assaulting a member of a public official.
This suspect has also been federally charged with attempted kidnapping, that pertains to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because again, in that confession, the Federal government alleges that the suspect said that he wanted to take her hostage.
In addition to the Federal charges, on the State side, we are talking about attempted murder, we are talking about assault, we're talking about elder abuse, that is one of the charges.
And it's worth pointing out that if this guy is convicted, he is almost certainly going to jail for a very long time. The Federal charges alone carry a combined sentence up to 50 years in prison -- John.
BERMAN: What about Paul Pelosi is condition? How is he doing tonight, Josh?
CAMPBELL: He remains in intensive care. This was a very violent struggle. This was a very violent series of injuries that he received. We're talking about someone with a fractured skull. He has a lot of recovery ahead of him, which is why it has been so repulsive to actually hear a lot of politicians, a lot of political leaders actually laughing and making light of what happened in this violent struggle. The spouse of a US House member being brutally assaulted, an 82-year-old man, again, a fractured skull, extremely serious injuries. He is continuing to recover from the hospital tonight.
BERMAN: Josh Campbell, thank you for your reporting. Please keep us posted.
Joining us now, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, also CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, John Miller himself, a former senior FBI official.
Andy, I want to start with you. What stands out to you about the charges we've seen so far both Federal and State?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, John, the thing that jumps out to me once you get past the gory details in the affidavit, the thing that jumps out to me is a question you've been hearing a lot of people say and talk about today in the coverage is, is this an act of domestic terrorism?
There are some very clear signs in this affidavit that the government believes it is an act of domestic terrorism. First, of course, is that the agent, the affiant, whose words we are reading, is someone who is a specialist in investigating domestic terrorism. So that tells us the Bureau sees this case, this investigation as one that is being managed by the Counterterrorism Division.
And then secondly, I would say, John, the facts as alleged by the government in the affidavit fit perfectly the statutory definition of domestic terrorism. So 18 USC 23315, I believe, which basically defines an act of domestic terrorism as a crime at the Federal or State level, it's a violent crime, and one that is committed for any one of a number of different intents, one of which is to influence the conduct of government.
Well, the facts that we have read in this affidavit about this individual's intent to shatter Nancy Pelosi's kneecaps, to have that work as a message to the rest of Congress when she is wheeled back into the Capitol. I mean, I think, there is no question that that fits very squarely the definition of domestic terrorism,
BERMAN: Domestic terrorism, John, do you agree with that?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: I think when you look at the suspect's statements, and when you look at the suspect's actions, it's almost like he read the two statutes and then tried to meet every violation of the statutes that he could.
I mean, you've got two cases here, John. One is the DA's case, which is a simple case, and very important, that's a felony that occurs in the presence of police officers recorded largely on body camera, where that is a probable cause arrest. Mr. Pelosi is a witness, but they could have made that arrest without him.
The Federal case, they'll have to prove those elements about his motive to intimidate government officials in the performance of their duties, but when you articulate allegedly, in your interview with the FBI, the Capitol Police and the San Francisco Police Department that your goal was to have Nancy Pelosi return in a wheelchair with broken kneecaps to Congress, to intimidate not just her, but the entire two bodies of Congress, you're pretty much meeting this statute. BERMAN: Yes, it sounds like that is the definition of the statute. And just in terms of the sentence that you might face from domestic terror versus the other charges here, Andy, any distinction there?
MCCABE: Well, the interesting and somewhat confounding thing about the law on the Federal side, John, is that domestic terrorism, though it's defined in the Federal statutes, there is actually no criminal penalty for it.
So if you can believe it, in this day and age, we still don't have -- committing an act of domestic terrorism is not officially a crime at the Federal level.
However, the two charges that he faces federally, already, as Josh Campbell indicated, will bring him an extensive jail term if he is convicted, particularly that first charge of intimidating, retaliating against a Member of Congress or Federal official by attacking a family member,
BERMAN: Let me just play a little bit of what the San Francisco attorney just said in her press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENKINS: It is something that we have to take very seriously and it is very sad to see that we are once again at a point in history where people believe that it's okay to express their political sentiments through violence.
And so I think it really demonstrates that we have to calm things down, we have to decide that we are going to be more respectful as an American society, that it is okay to disagree, but it is certainly is something that has unnerved us all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So Andy, you've been in the public eye for some time and probably experienced threats on social media and elsewhere. What's your take on this?
MCCABE: Yes, John, you know, it's absolutely terrifying and I can only imagine what the Speaker and her family are going through right now.
I think this is something that unfortunately, many, many people who find themselves by virtue of the work that they do in the public eye and through the lens of politics, and everybody has strong opinions about that, you become a magnet for this sort of contact, this sort of criticism.
You don't worry about it for yourself, but you really worry about it for your family. It's easy to find people nowadays, it's easy to know and figure out where people live, and that is the -- you know, that's the terror that we all live with.
I have plenty of people who have reached out to me aggressively over the years and each time it happens, it is shocking and really, really unnerves you and your family.
BERMAN: So John, one of the things you hear some people say whether it be on social media or on conservative networks is that this guy was mentally disturbed. He didn't have his wits about him. This wasn't political. This was someone who was just crazy, for lack of a better word.
But does being disturbed preclude being able to be influenced by the type of violent political rhetoric that's out there?
MILLER: No. And I think, you know, when we look at the legal history here, he clearly knew right from wrong, he clearly didn't like the fact that Mr. Pelosi called the police. He clearly articulated that he was going to not surrender, but fight the police. He clearly knew that he was going to assault Mr. Pelosi, he has a very clear vision.
And by the way, this goes beyond even what we have been talking about. I've been talking to people associated with the investigation, briefed on the case for a couple of days now. In his interviews, you know, he spoke negatively, not just about Nancy Pelosi, not just about the Democratic Party, he singled out individuals like Hillary Clinton, he singled out Hunter Biden, and he singled out others.
But here is something really interesting. He also made the statement allegedly to the investigators that he wanted to use Nancy Pelosi to lure another individual to him, which is -- think about that for a second, John. He has assaulted the husband of the Speaker of the House. He is prepared to tie him up and stay in the house for more than a day or so for her to return, where he then expects to kidnap and hold her and then assault her and then use her before or after to lure a third individual in his sights of that residence. This has taken some real turns.
BERMAN: It only gets more chilling the more you learn.
John Miller, Andy McCabe, thanks to both of you.
Next, we'll talk more about the threats so many lawmakers now face and what is being done to protect them. Joining us a friend of Speaker Pelosi and fellow California Congresswoman who herself has experienced violence of close.
And later, how people in South Korea are struggling to come to terms with the death of at least 155 people when a Halloween celebration became a deadly crowd surge.
BERMAN: As news of the Pelosi attack was breaking on Friday, a Pennsylvania man was pleading guilty to Federal charges of making threats on the life of California Congressman Eric Swalwell. Sadly, this is no longer a rarity for Federal lawmakers. CNN's Whitney Wild has been looking into the security situation and joins us now.
Whitney, as you know, just earlier this month Republican Senator Susan Collins was saying she "wouldn't be surprised if a Senator or House member were killed." So, what's the level of concern tonight among lawmakers not just for themselves, but also perhaps their families?
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a particularly heightened concern because what law enforcement sources have told us is over the last two years, these threats to lawmakers that we've reported on extensively also include threats to their family and we know that there are some Members of Congress who are very frustrated by the fact that they've had difficulty getting Federal funding, or at least getting, you know, Federal resources to protect them.
For example, Adam Kinzinger, telling my colleague, Zach Cohen, that he brought a threat that he says was directed to his wife and his young child. We know he has an infant at home and he brought it to Capitol Police, and they basically said, "Look, you are among a lot of people who gets threats."
And ultimately, John, this comes down to a resources issue. Capitol Police simply does not have the people to put a detail on every single member of Congress. So this is another stark reminder of how serious the security situation is, and how difficult it is for law enforcement to get in front of -- John.
BERMAN: Yes, 435 members of the House, a hundred members of the Senate, so how does the Capitol Police -- how do Capitol Police officials make decisions about where to allocate protection?
WILD: Well, significantly, it is threat based. So what they basically do is they take a threat assessment for each member, and then they decide what is an appropriate security package for that member. And sometimes that package comes and goes, a member gets a detail, a member doesn't have a detail for a period of time, depending on the threat landscape.
But quite often, the major concern is outside of the building, because once you're inside the building say of January 6, for the most part, it is an extremely secure location. The place is just crawling with Capitol Police.
The major concern for law enforcement is once those members go back to the district where they don't have as much protection. And so now, this is starting a new conversation about what the options might be.
We know congressional sources have told us that there is a lot of discussion underway about what can be done for members, as well as their families once they go back to their home districts -- John.
BERMAN: So if they are going to boost security, any sense of a timeline for when it would happen? WILD: We don't know that yet, and the reality is this is going to take a lot of logistics, because, again, as I said, Capitol Police is already strained to deal with the mandate that they have now. They are trying to assess a heightened threat landscape, they're trying to physically protect that area.
This continues to be, you know, an extremely volatile time, threats- wise. So they are swamped with work just here in Washington. What they can do is start working more closely with their law enforcement partners across the country to assess what security gaps their law enforcement partners on the ground may be able to fill.
Quite often what Capitol Police will do is work with a local police department to say okay, can you pick up this? Can you pick up that? We see that sometimes when Members are going on the trail, for example, but it takes a lot of coordination. This is not an overnight fix, and it's going to take ultimately more funding.
We know that Senator Chris Murphy told my colleagues earlier today that they are looking at all of the security options particularly for these high-profile members and leadership -- John.
BERMAN: It is an enormous task.
Whitney Wild, thank you so much for your reporting.
With us now, a member of the California congressional delegation, Democrat Jackie Speier.
Nice to see you tonight, Congresswoman, thank you for being here.
I know you're not just a colleague of Speaker Pelosi's, you're also friends So what's your reaction to these chilling new details from the FBI affidavit including the possible desire to hold Speaker Pelosi hostage, break her kneecaps. What do you think?
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): Well, John, when I heard the references to the affidavit, I literally had chills running up and down my spine. I got teary-eyed. I can't begin to tell you how it pains me for the Speaker and Paul Pelosi and their children and grandchildren.
And what it says to all the other members and all the other potential members who are running for office, and the fear it is going to place in all of them is, is this really worth it?
I mean, what has happened in this country has happened as a result of Donald Trump giving license to people to spread the QAnon message and to attack.
So he himself has attacked Speaker Pelosi 800 times based on a "New York Times" analysis of all his tweets. And more recently, he has said things like, well, you know, people are really angry, and there's going to be some terrible things that are going to happen to those Members. You have people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, saying that the Speaker should be executed and hung. Words matter, and Members of Congress who speak in those kinds of terms should be called out.
I led a censure of Paul Gosar because he had put Congresswoman Ocasio- Cortez in a meme in which she had the crosshairs of a gun.
We've got to stop it, and for the most part, we have basically just kind of chalked it up to, well, that's just their extreme rhetoric. Well, their extreme rhetoric is turning into horrific actions, and I think that we've really got to do more.
Now, there have been 10,000 threats alone in the last year that had been reported to the Capitol Police, 10,000. It's more than doubled in the last five years.
I've had a number of threats that were actually taken to Court, convictions actually provided, and people are now serving time in jail. But we don't necessarily recognize that all of these cases could in fact be legitimate under certain circumstances.
BERMAN: You're talking about the language that is being used here and how people are speaking of this. One thing I do want to say is Donald Trump, when we played the sound earlier did say what happened to Paul Pelosi was unfortunate, but then he likened it to crime in other cities.
Kari Lake who running for Governor in Arizona, appeared to joke about the attack on Paul Pelosi, when she was answering a question about school security. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARI LAKE (R), ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: It is not impossible to protect our kids at school. They act like it is.
Nancy Pelosi, well, she has got protection when she's in DC, apparently her house doesn't have a lot of protection. But --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: A laugh line there. What does that say about the state of politics in this country?
SPEIER: It says to a specific universe of people, as long as it's not happening to their people, they think it's pretty funny that it is happening to the other party, and acceptable if it's happening to members of the other party.
Until the Republicans speak out strongly against this and join with the Democrats to make sure that any conduct by Members in Congress, or people that try to address Members of Congress in vicious ways are properly handled, it's going to continue, because it has been licensed by the former President, and frankly, not many people have been held accountable.
BERMAN: How does it impact your ability or Members' ability to do their jobs?
SPEIER: You know, I've done two Town Halls in the last five days. I'm more anxious, and I think for all Members, there is going to be more trepidation associated with them being out with their constituents.
For the longest time we were doing telephone Town Halls, and that's pretty safe. But you know, your constituents expect to see you and shake your hands and be able to ask you questions, and that is going to become something that Members are going to really evaluate very carefully.
And whenever I do have meetings like that, there is local police that are called upon to be present. So, it's a resource issue as well for the local police.
BERMAN: Congresswoman, stick around here for a second. We just got a new statement from Speaker Pelosi. Let me read this out loud. It says: "Since the horrific attack on Paul early Friday, we've been deluged with 1000s of messages conveying concern, prayers, and warm wishes. We are most grateful. Thanks to the excellent trauma care medical team at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Paul is making steady progress in what will be a long recovery process."
A long recovery process. Your reaction?
SPEIER: Well, that was one of my fears. I mean, you can't have a fracture to the skull and not be concerned about blood leads. It may have affected I mean, I don't even want to anticipate what the what the issues are. But if she's saying long recovery, that means it has impacted part of his functions. This is so egregious. And I think the American people need to sit back for a moment and think about as something like that happened in their home, how would they feel their sanctuary. And this was someone who was hell bent on doing vicious actions that he succeeded. So, my heart just aches for them and for their whole family.
And they have been so devoted, and she has given so much of her life to this country and to make sure that children, particularly in that country, are well served and pass through so much legislation that frankly, without her would not have passed, whether it was the Affordable Care Act, the infrastructure bill and so many bills.
BERMAN: Congresswoman Jackie Speier, we do appreciate your time that, I thank you so much for being with us.
SPEIER: Thank you.
BERMAN: Coming up, we will turn to the midterms just eight days away and a look at some bellwether Senate and House races including new polling on key Senate races that could determine which party is in charge next term.
BERMAN: All right, we are eight days away from election day, more than 21 million Americans have already voted early and about the only thing we can say for certain are the key Senate and House races to watch and why they may be bellwethers for the midterms as a whole. Tonight, we have new polling and some of those key Senate races that will determine which party is in the majority come January.
I'm joined now by John King. We are at the magic wall. Eight days to go, John, what are you looking at?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So obviously 50-50 tie as we had in Vice President Harris breaks it, so Democrats control the Senate. So, here's where we are, John, eight days out of one week really of campaigning left the yellow states for the tossups, the light red are the lean Republicans, the light blue is the lean Democrat. Let's look at these four new polls because they impact how you look at this. Let's just go through them quickly. And then we'll do the steaks.
John Fetterman, the Democrat up in Pennsylvania but just up in Pennsylvania, just outside the margin of error. Republicans believe they can close on this race. Democrats want to hold it, very close in a state now held by a Republican. That's Pennsylvania.
You move to Georgia, no clear leader here 49-46, the Democrat, the incumbent Raphael Warnock ahead if you want to call it that, but not inside, statistically, that's a tie. And remember, on election night, if nobody gets 50 plus one, we have a runoff in December. So, Georgia, very close race to the end.
Now out to Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto is the most vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbent. Republicans think they're going to close and win this race. Barack Obama is heading out there in the final days to help with turnout. But again, you don't need me to tell you that 47-47 as dead heat.
And then Arizona is interesting, because if you look at the polling numbers, Democrats feel a little better about this based on the numbers. The incumbent Democrat is Mark Kelly, that six points so it's outside of the margin of error, just barely. But Obama added a stop, John, added a stop in Arizona in the final day. So that tells you Democrats are a little nervous. So, what are we looking at here? Democrats want to pick this one up. They desperately want to pick this one up. The Republican incumbent, why do they want to pick that up? That would get Democrats to 51 if they hold this one, and that one, but what if Democrats lose this? Right? This is the most likely one to flip right now. This is why these four races are likely to determine control of the Senate. If that happens, Democrats are back to 50. But what about Georgia, if Republicans who pick up Georgia this is all hypothetical at home, we're just walking through this in the final days here. This is why Rick Scott thinks they can get to 52 because he thinks Rick Scott who runs the Senatorial Committee for the Republicans. He thinks they're going to close strong and get Pennsylvania, he thinks they're going to get Georgia, and he thinks they're going to get Nevada and get to 52 doesn't mean that's not going to happen. But those four races likely to decide in the end, whether this stance or whether it flips.
BERMAN: And very quickly, a couple of sleeper races, Harry and those have pointed out, New Hampshire and perhaps Ohio where the parties have hopes, but may not turn out to be they want -- where they want.
KING: Right. You come back to it right now. These are races Democrats. Number one are the Republicans still think we lean New Hampshire blue, the Republicans think they can have a late charge there. We'll see if that happens, Maggie Hassan has had trouble getting about 50 and the Democrats when it's whether it's Ohio, whether it's Wisconsin, whether it's North Carolina, three races in states you would think in a Joe Biden's first midterm should be leaning red. They're remarkably competitive. We'll see.
BERMAN: John King at the magic while I predict you will be here for many, many hours.
KING: I suspect all of us going to have some long hours.
BERMAN: And a weeks to go.
KING: Week plus ahead.
BERMAN: Thanks so much, John. Appreciate it.
The latest on the ground in Seoul, South Korea after a deadly Halloween disaster over the weekend left more than 150 dead including two Americans.
BERMAN: South Korea today grieving the loss of at least 155 people who died over the weekend after Halloween festivities led to a massive crowd rush. Authorities say at least 149 people have been injured including 33 seriously. With the nation now in a week-long mourning period questions are emerging about the government's handling of the incident and the lack of crowd control leading up to the tragedy.
CNN's Paula Hancocks is in Seoul with the latest.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Once the heart of Seoul's nightlife, now the site of endless grief and loss. South Korea was in a period of national mourning, for 155 lives lost in a crowd search Saturday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was just obviously waves of people coming in. This is like the middle of Itaewon. So, waves are coming in from both sides. And more people fell (INAUDIBLE). There's so many people (INAUDIBLE). And I like turn around and I told the crowd come this way. People are dying.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): South Korean officials now admitting there were no guidelines for dealing with the Halloween festivities, a street event without a host. They deploy just 137 police officers to deal with tens of thousands of partygoers. Multiple eyewitnesses say they saw no attempt to control the crowds.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was about like, you know, you versus other people. I just wanted to get out of there. I was using my arms squishing out like I don't care that my clothes were getting ripped. I had like, you know, bruises on my arms and stuff from trying to maneuver out. It was just shoulder to shoulder, people just couldn't breathe. The shorter people were just trying to look up in the air to get some sort of air.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): The tragedy has echoed around the world, 26 foreigners lost their lives here. The victims some teenagers many in their 20s including 20-year-old American college students Stephen Blesi from Marietta, Georgia who had only been in South Korea for two months.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like I have a hole in me a big hole in my chest. I can't tell you the pain that is. I wish I would have not let him go.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): And Anne Gieske, a nursing student from Kentucky who was studying abroad in Seoul, the niece of representative Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, in a statement he called her a gift from God. Just two of hundreds of families dealing with life changing events of that night grieving with a nation in shock and demanding answers.
HANCOCKS: We're seeing a massive outpouring of grief here in Seoul. This is one of the makeshift memorials. This is just less than 100 feet where many lost their lives, people laying flowers, bringing tributes to those victims we saw earlier, one man who was here who lost his big sister, he said he didn't want to leave the spot where she had died.
Now, some of that anguish is turning to anger. Where were the police? Where was the crowd control? Just over 300 feet away across the road is a police station. Had they seen anything? Did they try and help the situation? These are the questions that investigators are going to be asking and these are the questions that many people coming here emotional, tearful laying flowers want to know the answers to. John.
BERMAN: Yes. Unimaginable tragedy. Paula Hancocks in Seoul Thank you very much.
In Ukraine today, Russia launched a new round of missile attacks on key infrastructure facilities leaving parts of the capital without electricity or water. Russian President Vladimir Putin claims the strikes were partly in response to Ukraine's attack on a Russian fleet in Crimea. According to a Ukrainian power company, the country's energy system has suffered more attacks since October 10th than in the previous eight months of the war. This comes as Putin says Russia is suspending but not ending its participation in the Black Sea Grain Export deal with Ukraine. The UN brokered agreement was seen as vital to addressing the global food shortage.
Joining me now in southeastern Ukraine with the very latest, CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward. Clarissa, let's start with the strikes on civilian infrastructure. What's the latest?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, this is becoming a sort of grim routine every single Monday morning. Now the last four Monday's Ukrainians wake up to air raid sirens and the sounds of Russian missiles slamming in to key civilian infrastructure around the country. Today it hit 10 different regions, 18 different installations. It was still actually a remarkable success on the part of the Ukrainians in the sense that they are claiming the Air Force that they manage to intercept 40 of the more than 50 missiles that flew into Ukraine, but still the ones that did manage to achieve their targets have done significant damage.
So, you had hundreds of thousands of homes without any power. In Kyiv today, you had 40% of people in Kyiv without any water, you started to have lines forming on the street at makeshift water pumps that were erected. The mayor telling people to go out and try to basically stock up on water in case this happens again. And here in Zaporizhzhia where we are as well. Rolling blackouts, 200,000 people without power, the power has now been restored. But there was a time today when the children's hospital here was running on emergency power. And the real fear, John is that this is not a sustainable situation because while the Ukrainians keep desperately and quickly trying to build back the second these attacks happen, there is a rate of attrition and damage and there is a sort of level of stress that the grid has come under now, which is very difficult to repair, John.
BERMAN: That attack on the Ukrainian people because they refuse to be occupied. Clarissa Ward in southeastern Ukraine. Thank you so much for being with us. Stay safe.
Still ahead, more on those bellwether congressional races we mentioned earlier. Congressman Tom Malinowski is warning his fellow Democrats that the fate of the house could be decided in his New Jersey district, and he's facing a tight race. The details ahead.
BERMAN: As we mentioned, we're just eight days from the midterms. Another tight race we want to focus on tonight is a New Jersey seventh congressional district held by Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski. He's facing a tough reelection bid in a district he says is crucial for Democrats. He's calling on the party to take more action.
CNN's Manu Raju has the details.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski has a bunch warning for fellow Democrats.
REP. TOM MALINOWSKI (D-NJ): I don't think the Democrats can hold on to the House without this district. I think this is a bellwether for the country.
RAJU (voice-over): Just four years ago, Malinowski in the crop of Democrats swept swing districts in America's suburbs, and gave them their first majority in nearly a decade.
MALINOWSKI: And this is where it gets serious --
RAJU (voice-over): Now, they could be in danger of being swept away in a red wave.
MALINOWSKI: This is a district that wants leaders who get shit done not batshit who are not leaders who are batshit crazy.
RAJU (voice-over): The GOP offensive stretching deep into blue terrain. Through the Northeast were a top Democrat, New York Sean Patrick Maloney is on the ropes.
REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-NY): I've always fought for results --
RAJU (voice-over): In benefiting from elite infusion of campaign cast from national groups, including one he runs.
The first on CNN, with the Democratic campaign arm is expected to drag additional resources to give Malinowski a late boost.
CAROL SENFF, TOM MALINOWSKI SUPPORTER: If anyone is looking to pour some money our way, we will certainly be receptive to it.
RAJU (voice-over): As Malinowski barnstormers through his district from the affluent New York suburbs.
MALINOWSKI: Very nice to meet you.
RAJU (voice-over): Into more rural areas dominated by Republicans. He's bracing for a cliffhanger.
MALINOWSKI: Wonderful to meet you. This is the basically the median congressional district in America. Half of them are more Republican, half of them are more Democratic. Whoever works harder is going to win.
RAJU (voice-over): Now facing the same foe he defeated by just 1.2 years ago.
MALINOWSKI: Senator Kean.
RAJU (voice-over): Former State Senator Tom Kean Jr, the son of ex- Governor Tom Kean. The razor thin 2020 when was before his district lines were changed to be more favorable to Republicans. And in swing districts like this one, some see another advantage. Donald Trump is no longer president.
LEONARD LANCE (R-NJ) FMR CONGRESSMAN: He's not on the ballot this year.
RAJU (voice-over): That's Leonard Lance, the ex-GOP congressman who lost his seat in 2018 to Malinowski a minute anti-Trump wave.
MALINOWSKI: Because inflation --
RAJU (voice-over): This time there's voter anger over sky high inflation.
LANCE: We have a record of the Democratic Party in control of both the Congress and the presidency. And the overwhelming issue is the state of the economy.
RAJU (voice-over: Kean is seeking to ride the national environment while avoiding scrutiny on the trail, rarely holding public events and refusing to tell CNN where he was campaigning.
New Jersey Political watchers say that is not an accident.
(on-camera): Is this his campaign strategy to essentially (INAUDIBLE) --
CHARLIE STILE, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE RECORD OF BERGEN COUNTY: I think it is, I think it's, it's, I think his strategy is kind of like, run out the clock. Avoid the local gatekeepers.
RAJU (voice-over): As Malinowski has bashed cane over abortion rights.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tom Kean Jr. voted against New Jersey's law, protecting a woman's right to choose.
RAJU (voice-over): Republicans are spending millions more than Democrats on TV ads here in the final weeks. Attacking Malinowski were facing a House Ethics probe after failing to disclose stock trades during the pandemic as required by law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just another insider politician trying to get rich in office.
RAJU (on-camera): How much does that hurt you the fact that you're facing this ethics investigation?
MALINOWSKI: All I did was filed paperwork late. It's very hard to respond to it unless you put millions of dollars on the air, calling out a lie as a lie.
RAJU (voice-over): Manu Raju, CNN Bridgewater, New Jersey.
BERMAN: Our thanks to Manu for that.
Coming up, something sweeter than candy this Halloween that could put you on Easy Street for the rest of your life. Details next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BERMAN: About two hours from now America could meet itself a new billionaire, the Powerball drawing for tonight has reached a billion dollars only the second time in its history, it's been that high. If no one wins, the drawing for Wednesday will increase to $1.2 billion. Now if you do win tonight and take the cash payout, it's only worth about half a billion dollars. So pretty good money though.
The news continues. Time now for Jake Tapper in "CNN TONIGHT."