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Biden And Xi Meet For 3 Hours Amid High Tensions; Dems Keep Senate, Control Of The House Remains Undecided; TSA To Conduct More Training After Man Gets On Plane With Box Cutters. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 14, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Biden says there's no need for a new cold war between the U.S. and China. The president is speaking after a three-hour sit down with Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. Let's discuss this and the press conference that the president just held. Joining me now, CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger, he's a White House and national security correspondent for The New York Times. And CNN national security analyst Beth Sanner, she's a former Deputy Director of National Intelligence.

Beth, as a former National Security Official, what did you hear in that press conference from Joe Biden after this meeting? What does it say about what really happened behind closed doors for three hours?

BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Only repeated a couple of things like how frank he was and how frank Xi was. And so, I do think that there was quite a bit of honest discussion, which is great, actually. So, I think that you know there's some good news coming out of this and that I do think that there was a long, a very, very broad, and also a very direct conversation between the two. And that there are some mechanisms coming out of that to manage tensions.

But I also think hidden in all of this is an overarching sense of competition between the U.S. and China, each other, and also our place as leaders in the world. And I think that there's also some hints of just the total -- you know the baseline of confrontation that we have, that's not going to go away.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And, David, let me play something that gets at what Beth is kind of laying out, it's also a moment that caught your attention. Let me -- let's play this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We were very blunt with one another about places where we disagreed or where we were uncertain of each other's position. And we agreed we'd set up in which we did, mechanisms, whereby we would meet in detail with our -- the key people in each of our administrations to discuss how we could resolve them.


BOLDUAN: What areas is he talking about, David, do you think and how much progress is having -- how much progress is there in having this mechanism that he's now announced is in place?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, the mechanism, Kate, I think, just restores things to the way they were before relations spiral downward. I agree completely with what Beth said, but I think I would go further and say that the relationship between Beijing and Washington right now is probably at the lowest point it's been since Nixon first did the opening to China 50 years ago. That's saying a lot.

I think that the areas where he was referring to about bluntness probably started with Taiwan, and probably continued with China's nuclear expansion, which looks like if you believe the Defense Department, they're going to try to get up to about 1000 weapons and begin to approach the size of the U.S. and the Russian Arsenal's, which creates a sort of three-way nuclear dynamic that's going to be hard to manage, certainly human rights, Hong Kong, and so forth.

And certainly, on the Chinese side, the new U.S. sanctions against China. That deprives China of some of the most advanced micro- electronics that we and the rest of the West make in a clear effort to try to gain some time and slow down both their military and commercial development. So I'm sure this was pretty blunt that scarceness of what we heard versus the three and a half hours we know they met, even allowing for translation, that's a long time to be sitting there for an argument.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And so, Beth, where does this go from here? What do you see as the biggest coming flashpoint?

SANNER: Well, I couldn't agree with David more that our relationship is at a low point and I think that this allows maybe a way forward of managing some of those tensions, but we should not fool ourselves.


We have irreconcilable differences here and we have flashpoints coming up that are going to really test this relationship again and again. And so I do think that the trajectory for the relationship continues to be downward coming out of this, but maybe managed downward in a way that prevents anything from becoming an imminent crisis. But we're going to see more congressional activity and more executive branch activity that constrains China because of the fears of China for our national security interest. And that is going to put us back, you know, once again in the hot seat.

BOLDUAN: It's good to have you both. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

So, former Vice President Mike Pence takes on Donald Trump.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president tweets, Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done. That angered me.


BOLDUAN: Mike Pence's former chief of staff, still a close advisor to the man joins us next.



BOLDUAN: It has been nearly one week now since Election Day and votes are still being counted. Democrats though are celebrating now that it is clear that they will hold on to their Senate Majority after Nevada's Catherine Cortez Masto won reelection. And then in the House, well, control that chamber is still not decided, several races yet to be called. Where it stands now Republicans still need to pick up really just six more wins to regain control of the House. 19 races are still undecided.

As we mentioned, one of the biggest results of the election came just this weekend Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto pulling it off and now giving CNN her first interview after the win in Nevada, which handed Democrats control of the Senate. Here's a preview of what she told our Kaitlan Collins.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN called this race for you on Saturday night. Obviously, it was a major projection given what it signified for Democrats. Have you heard from your Republican challenger Adam Laxalt yet to concede the rice?


COLLINS: Do you -- do you expect that you will hear from him?

MASTO: It's going to be up to Adam.

COLLINS: It's going to be up to Adam. Obviously, for President Trump recently came to your state to rally with him. He had endorsed Adam Laxalt. Do you think that visit turned any voters off of Adam Laxalt and had them vote for you instead?

MASTO: You know, I can only tell you as I was talking to so many events, I was proud to have not only the support of Democrats but many Republicans who had the courage to come forward and support me and a nonpartisan so, I was just honored to have just that diverse support from so many Nevadans across the state.


BOLDUAN: Kaitlan joins me now. Kaitlan, it's great to hear from the senator after the win. What else did the senator have to say?

COLLINS: Yes, this is such a notable interview. It's her first national interview since she won reelection since CNN called it for her on Saturday night. And obviously, her victory was everything to Democrats because initially, she was one of the most endangered incumbent Democrats. This is where Republicans were zeroing in trying to pick up and flip that Senate seat for control of the Senate, potentially. With her victory projection on Saturday night, obviously, she not only won reelection, she defeated those Republican hopes of clenching power in the Senate.

And so, she had a lot to say we talked about what this race looked like. We talked about her opponent Adam Laxalt. Obviously, as she noted there, he has not yet called her to concede this race. But we also talked about -- you know what the message she believes was sent with voters reelecting her. We talked about the Latino vote and what it looks like when the -- with the Republicans trying to make inroads there. She's obviously the first Latina senator, so a lot of questions there and also what Democrats are going to do when they get back to Washington. She was about to get on a flight and go back to DC. And so those are big questions all as well. We'll air it tomorrow. But yes, notable that she has not heard from her opponent in this. Whether or not she does that remains to be seen.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Kaitlan. Thanks for jumping on to bring us that. You can see the full -- the full interview with Kaitlan tomorrow on "CNN THIS MORNING." Thanks, Kaitlan.


BOLDUAN: So, Republicans are clearly unhappy with the midterm performance so far, and the blame game has definitely begun. Debating now who or what is behind it and what that is going to mean then for their leadership going forward.

Joining me now as someone who has some good perspective on that is Marc Short. He's a former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence. It's good to have you here, Marc. Also, Donald Trump's Legislative Affairs Director at the beginning of the White House -- his White House years, which you know exactly what these conversations are like on Capitol Hill then. You were bullish and hopeful on Republicans' chances in the midterms. What do you think happened?


MARC SHORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: I think that the issue set was still in Republicans' favors, Kate, which I think makes it somewhat more perplexing and concerning because if you look at the independent voters and looking at their exit polls, 75 percent felt the country was headed in the wrong direction. And yet, when given an option, in many cases, they still sided with the party that they said they wanted to get rid of.

And I think that much of this comes back to candidates in Republican primaries who made statements about the 2020 election that I think was intolerable for many of the independent voters and unwilling to support them, even if they were saying I'm looking for a change in inflation, I'm looking for a change in border situation, I'm looking for somebody helped solve the crime battles, they still felt like if somebody's going to deny the results of the 2020 election, that's a bridge too far. And I think that's what hurt Republicans.

BOLDUAN: Elected Republicans -- there is a bit of a debate on what -- I mean, your take is very good, of course. But elected Republicans seem to not be landing on what they attribute the losses to and who and what is behind it. Rick Scott, he says that -- the way he puts it is our voters just didn't show up. We didn't get into voters. It was a complete disappointment. That part is definitely true. But Chris Sununu, a very different type of Republican right now saying that it gets back to -- I think, what he's getting at as candidate quality because he says, we've got to fix extremism in our party right now. The issues we can get to later. If it's one or -- if it's one or the other, which one is it?

SHORT: Yes, I'm not sure there was as simple as one or the other but I do think that actually, Republican voters did show up. If you look at the turnout, there was Republican plus three over Democrats. It's where the independents broke was against Republicans. And if you look at the overall vote tally across the country, Republicans outgain Democrats by a little more than 5 million votes. And so I don't think it's that Republicans didn't show up. Our base did show up. I think the challenge was that too many of our candidates were unappealing to independent voters, even if they were saying I want to change direction and country.

BOLDUAN: Even think a lot of them kind of looking back too much not necessarily looking forward enough.

SHORT: I think that's exactly right. Elections are about the future, and if we're continually talking about the past, it's not helpful.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about -- let's talk about potentially some future that may be happening. Your former boss, Mike Pence, he has a book -- he has a book that is releasing. He's out talking about it. He just did an interview with ABC News. And I want to play part of that for everyone this part he's asked about January 6 and his reaction. Listen to this.


PENCE: 2:24 p.m., the president tweets, Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done. It angered me. But I turned to my daughter who was standing nearby and I said it doesn't take courage to break the law. It takes courage to uphold the law. And the president's words were reckless. It was clear he decided to be part of the problem. I can't account for what the president was doing that day. I was at a loading dock in the Capitol where a riot was taking place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But why wasn't he making these calls?

PENCE: Then, it'd be a good question for him.


BOLDUAN: Marc, what was happening in that silence? Obviously, Mike Pence can speak for Mike Pence. But that pregnant pause, what are -- what do you see going on there?

SHORT: Well, I think it was a tragic day, Kate, it was a tragic day to revisit it and discuss it in a lot of ways. But I think that -- you know, to the specific answer to that question, I think that what Mike Pence did in that moment of January 6, 2021, was to actually work the problem.

BOLDUAN: But this is -- was he -- is he struggling to decide how to answer it? Is that what I'm seeing?

SHORT: Oh, no. I think that the answer you heard is the way it's described in the book, too. And so I think -- I think that that's very consistent with what he's written.

BOLDUAN: And it's important for him to speak up and for people to hear his perspective, a very unique perspective on not only his time in office but on that -- on that horribly tragic day. But an obvious question, of course, is what took him so long?

SHORT: Well, I'm not sure it did honestly, Kate. I think if you go back to the events of January 6, he wrote an open letter to the American people and to members of Congress, explaining the decision that he reached on that day. He has spoken out on occasion, but this is his opportunity, his book. I think he honestly has always felt that when you're in the front center of the country the way that you are as president or vice president, it's appropriate to step back for a while. And I think that he did step back.

But I think he has his book out now. He's telling that story. But what's also important for your viewers is that he also counts four years and what he views his incredible success in the administration and a lot of pride to the policies.

BOLDUAN: And I have heard him since January 6 saying working alongside Donald Trump was the -- was the -- I think the way he put it is an honor of his lifetime. But that leads me to an -- I don't necessarily want to say there's incongruency there. But I'm just thinking back to my family and friends back in Indiana, my home state, Pence's home state, and the people who voted for Trump voted for Pence and now see this at this point him coming out to speak of Trump is reckless and dangerous and being part of the problem and wondering what does Mike Pence really think.


SHORT: Oh, I think it's actually crystal clear. I think he's very proud of the four years. It feels like it was a historic four years to accomplish a lot for the American people. But he's also said that January 6 was a tragic day and as you heard him saying in that interview believes that there was a lot of irresponsibilities that can lead, Kate -- was leading up to that day for weeks. I think is been chronicled. There was a lot of conversation about the reality that vice presidents never had this constitutional authority and Republicans would never want Kamala Harris to have that authority in 2024. And so this was an argument that was made in the White House for weeks leading up to January 6, it wasn't really about just one day.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And much more to hear from the former vice president as he continues to mull his decision to run in 2024, and you'll be a very big part of the conversation if and when he does. It's good to see you, Marc.

SHORT: Kate, thanks for having me.

BOLDUAN: I really, really appreciate it. And a programming note on that. Mike Pence will be joining Jake Tapper for a live "CNN TOWN HALL," Wednesday night at 9: 00 p.m. Eastern. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: The TSA is now admitting to screening mistakes after a man with box cutters was allowed through security and onto a flight over the weekend. He reportedly threatened passengers during that flight. The agency now says it will conduct additional training in light of this. Pete Muntean is live at Reagan National Airport with more for us. Pete, what are you learning?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, you know, this is really interesting because this all happened on the Frontier Airlines flight on Friday. But the big question now is how these box cutters got through TSA screening in the first place. The agency tells me it's reviewing this at the highest levels of the TSA. And also, they are admitted to some pretty big failures here.

The TSA says this man who has not yet been identified came through security at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. They reviewed the tape there and the TSA says he showed up with a temporary driver's license, put two banks through the screening equipment. That screening equipment did not detect these knife -- these box cutters. And then the bags were actually physically searched by TSA officers there on the scene.

One of the officers and this is where it gets really interesting, Kate, found one of these box cutters and handed it back to this man. That is against the TSA's own procedures, a lot of big questions about that. Then the TSA says the second box cutter was simply not discovered. I want you to listen now to passengers who are on this Frontier Airlines flight. And they describe a pretty terrifying scene when this man started making threats with a knife.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he went to go to the bathroom, the passenger in the window seat looked at me and said hey, like he has a knife and he told me that he was threatening to stab people we need to go say something.


MUNTEAN: The individual workers involved in this will go in for retraining. There is a nationwide bulletin to all TSA workers nationwide to make sure that they are paying closer attention and stepping up their vigilance especially with a Thanksgiving rush only nine days away, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Pete, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

And we also continue following the breaking news out of Virginia, the deadly shooting at the University of Virginia, three members of the football team are -- have been killed and police say the suspect a fellow student now in custody. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King begins after this break. Thanks for being here.