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Massive Twitter Layoffs Begin One Week After Elon Musk Takes Helm; U.S. Intel Officials Believe Iran Is Seeking Russia's Help To Bolster Its Nuclear Program; Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday, Set Your Clocks Back. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 04, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: In the next 30 minutes, thousands of employees at Twitter will likely be finding out if they are out of a job. The new CEO, Elon Musk, is reportedly planning to lay off around half the company's workforce just a week after taking over the company.


The sudden and massive job cuts are already leading to at least one lawsuit from employees arguing that Musk was legally required to give them all more notice. Oliver Darcy has the very latest on this. He's joining me now. Oliver, what are you learning about this?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yes. Well, Kate, it's a tough, tough day for employees over at Twitter. We're already seeing that some of them are posting on the platform, which they've worked out for so long that they have been locked out of company systems, presumably because they are among the employees affected by these mass layoffs, which are underway this morning.

Twitter employees were notified last night via a memo that they would be receiving an e-mail in their inbox today, basically alerting them to their fate at the company. If they are staying with the company, it'll go to their company inbox. If they are being let go, it's going to be sent to their personal e-mail with instructions on the next steps.

I should note, Kate, a lot of employees are handling this very tough day with really good stride. You're seeing a number of them post reminiscing on the time they had at the platform, the friends they made, and what they learned, so kudos to the tweeps for being able to take this day with such good stride. That said, you know, they -- Elon Musk, while he's executing these lawsuits, he could find himself in some hot water, as you alluded to, there is already one lawsuit that's been filed against Twitter for potentially violating a federal regulation that requires them to notify employees 60 days in advance if there are going to be mass layoffs at one site.

The attorney who is leading this lawsuit against Twitter, she told CNN in statements that Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, has made clear that he believes complying with federal labor laws is trivial. She goes on to say we have filed this federal complaint to ensure that Twitter will be held accountable to our laws and to prevent Twitter employees from unknowingly signing away their rights. And one final point, Kate is that this comes right before the midterm elections. Twitter's a hugely important communications platform. And now it's, of course, been thrown into chaos.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Oliver, thank you for that.

Joining me now for more on this is CNN political and economics commentator, Catherine Rampell. She's also an opinion columnist for the Washington Post. Catherine, I want to get to Twitter, but I first wanted to just get your take on the jobs report that came out earlier this morning. What do you think this report is telling us? 260 -- I want to make sure, 261,000 jobs added to the economy last night, what do you -- last month. What do you think the report is telling us about the economy right now?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Generally, a very strong report, this is not the kind of report you would expect to see if the economy were actually already in recession. As you point out, stronger than expected hiring this past month, some revisions to previous months, unemployment is close to its pre-pandemic numbers.

However, there are some signs of worry, including the fact that a lot of people dropped out of the labor force altogether in the past month, meaning that they're neither working nor looking for work. And we're already experiencing pretty widespread labor shortages, which are contributing to inflation. So that sign that people are dropping out of the labor force is not what we want to see certainly not what the Fed wants to see.

BOLDUAN: Yes. What do Democrats and Republicans quite frankly, in the final stretch of the election, what do you think they see and do with this report?

RAMPELL: Democrats, of course, are going to tout these numbers. They're going to point to the fact that there has been record job growth since Biden took office, more than 10 million jobs added, you know. Whether that's due to things that he's done is up for debate. But they're going to run with the top-line numbers.

However, you know, Americans have indicated that their worry right now is not the availability of jobs it is the price of almost everything that they buy. And so, you're going to see Republicans continue to hammer home these concerns about inflation, the fact that wages have not been keeping pace with earnings growth. And even though we didn't get direct numbers on inflation in today's report, we're going to get some numbers next week, shortly after the election, that probably show once again, that wages are falling behind prices. So, you know the same narratives we've been hearing so far, we'll probably continue.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Let's talk about Twitter now. So, the headline of your new column in the Washington Post does not mince words and definitely grabbed my attention when you wrote, world's richest man decides to set $44 billion on fire. What do you make of Elon Musk just in this latest round laying off what some are reporting are going to be, you know, half of the employees?

RAMPELL: I think this is partly a function of policies Elon Musk wants to implement, right? If you're going to police content less, if you're going to moderate content less, you don't need as many staff to do that. It's also a function of what he needs to do, however, because he massively overpaid for this company. It's now taken on a lot of debt and they have to cut costs.


There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So, they're letting a lot of people go as you pointed out, you know some of that is probably going to get tied up in some form of litigation. But beyond that, I do wonder what it's going to do for revenues going forward.

Advertisers are already really freaked out about what this platform will look like in the world of less content moderation. They don't want their logos alongside antisemitic tweets or, you know, neo-Nazi content, the N-word things like that. And if there are not the staff around to assure them that, you know, they're not going to turn Twitter into, I think -- I think Elon Musk refers to it as a -- as a hellscape, all -- you know, no holds barred hellscape, something like that. You know, advertisers are going to continue fleeing for the exits.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Let's see, first what happens today and then the fallout and ripple effects from there. I mean, it's still unclear exactly what the end goal I think -- the vision I guess of the real vision of what Elon Musk wants to do or see Twitter becoming, and we're all along for the ride to see that. It's good to see you, Catherine. Thank you.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: So, we have new exclusive reporting to CNN that Iran is looking for Russia's help now to bolster its nuclear program. Those details next.



BOLDUAN: CNN has exclusive new reporting that U.S. intelligence officials believe Iran is seeking Russia's help to bolster its nuclear program. Nic Robertson is in Ukraine with the exclusive details. Nic, what are you learning?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, part of the leverage would be, of course, that Iran is now helping Russia at a critical time. And it's not clear if there is a quid pro quo but what Ukraine is understood by these intelligence sources to be doing is looking for an alternate way to develop its nuclear program. If it doesn't manage to reconstitute that international nuclear deal it had with the United States and other international partners. The reason being that that deal is in jeopardy is Iran has already overly enriched uranium way beyond the thresholds that it had agreed in that deal. Of course, it's -- the United States pulled out of the deal under President Trump at the time. Now, Iran seems to be making a calculation that that deal won't happen or if it happens, it won't last long. And it needs an alternative means to actually guarantee that it can produce the nuclear material that it wants to and the concern, of course, that moves it closer -- ever closer to the pathway to making a bomb. Several years ago that was placed at about a year -- a year long. Now, it's in terms of months, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. So this, of course, is a deep concern that Iran would try to align itself and leverage help with Russia in this way.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Nic, thank you so much for that reporting. Thank you.

So, whether you want to or not, get ready to fall back once again on Sunday, Daylight Saving Time, why do we have it, does everyone hate it as much as I do, and will it ever end? Harry Enten with his take, that's next.



BOLDUAN: It is that time of year again. Sunday, most Americans will be saying their clocks set back one hour, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time and marking the beginning of the twice-a-year debate on why we do such a thing when so many people dislike it so much. Harry Enten has actually done a deep dive into this because he shares my obsession with why the heck we do it.

So, Harry, you know this from me because we've talked about it. But as someone who grew up in northern Indiana, it's a very special place that sometimes was on East Coast time, and then sometimes was on Central Time. So, Daylight Savings has always been a big part of life and a big topic of conversation. How do other people -- I think my feelings are well known now. How do other people feel about daylight savings?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Well, we don't tend to like it. We don't like this idea of switching the clocks back and forth. Only a third of Americans, if you look at an aggregate of polls say they actually liked this system of switching back and forth. Here's the problem. 38 percent of Americans want permanent Daylight Saving Time. Notice, no S, it's not plural. And 26 --

BOLDUAN: I know, but let me -- wait, this is a big deal.


BOLDUAN: If you use it -- if you shorthand it to daylight savings, I'm cool with it. I do know that as Daylight Saving Time, please continue. OK, go.

ENTEN: There we go. For 26 percent of Americans want their time, so essentially, you have this split, right where most Americans don't like the current system. But they can't agree on what system we should actually go to. So, you know, we're basically a divided nation on politics and we're a divided nation when it comes to how we should tell time.

BOLDUAN: That is like the perfect encapsulation of what we live in right now. What is the real history around daylight savings?

ENTEN: Yes. So I think a lot of people hear this myth that like Benjamin Franklin started it. It was actually just a joke for him. You know, Daylight Saving Time, at least in this country really started around World War One. It was, you know, this idea to save energy.

But DST doesn't actually do that. States went back and forth with some states having it, some states not until 1966. And then you had the uniform Time Act of 1966, which basically standardizes the current system across the country where, of course, we have Daylight Saving Time in the summer, and we have Standard Time in the fall -- late fall in the winter.

BOLDUAN: So, trying to save energy but now we will just expend a bunch of energy fighting about it, or its days numbered. I know the country is divided, but as there -- I -- there's always talk about movement towards ending it.

ENTEN: And there's always movement and never seems to go anywhere. And here's the reason why there doesn't seem to be any real movement to really get rid of it. So you know, the most important thing you need to know about this is that even if we hate it, people can agree on a solution as we spoke about in slide one, there's competing industries that can agree on what's best.


So, like the golf industry wants Daylight Saving Time all the way around all year round because they want people you know driving after dark. Well, the movie industry, of course, doesn't want Daylight Saving Time. So, an earlier nighttime so people go out to the movies. And here's the thing you should know. We had a try a permanent daylight-saving time in the 1970s, but people hated it. So there's no real solution here.

BOLDUAN: I don't -- I'm speechless. I think everyone just didn't go with my solution, which is permanent.

ENTEN: There you go. Whatever you want.

BOLDUAN: Anyway, it's good to see you, Harry. More people need to say that. I'm just going to leave it there. It's great to see you, buddy. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

And thank you all so much for joining us "AT THIS HOUR, I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after this break.