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At This Hour

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries Elected House Democratic Leader; U.S. Advances To World Cup Knockout Stage; Officials Warn Of Air Hazards As Two Volcanoes Erupt In Hawaii. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 30, 2022 - 11:30   ET




MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are really intensive here. As we have entered the outskirts of Bakhmut which is certainly for everything we're seeing everything, we've been told is now the most fiercely contested patch of ground in the entire Russia-Ukrainian conflict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking in a foreign language.

CHANCE: OK. Let's go. So fierce, we made a rapid exit, leaving the relentless barrage behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking in a foreign language.

CHANCE: Much of this battle is fought avoiding the artillery threat in underground bunkers like these, where local Ukrainian commanders like Pavlo (PH) can respond to Russian attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking in a foreign language.

CHANCE: There are assaulting acquisitions from early morning until night. He tells me. But the real problem is we are heavily outnumbered, he says. But the innovative use of low-cost tech is helping to bridge that gap. In another frontline bunker, we saw how commercially available drones are giving Ukraine an edge.

Wow. That's incredible because you've just seen an artillery strike in this position that the Ukrainian drone operators have identified as being full of Russians like you can see Russian soldiers as we look at them live now running for cover as Ukrainian artillery pounds deposition positions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking in a foreign language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our position.

CHANCE: But battery commanders at the frontline like Tuman (PH) tell me they're now running low on ammunition rounds.

TUMAN: Speaking in a foreign language. CHANCE: That even guns sent from the United States are breaking under such constant strain. They need more of both, they say if this battle for Bakhmut is ever to be won. Matthew Chance, CNN in Bakhmut, Eastern Ukraine.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Matthew, thank you so much for your continued work there.

I do want to get back to Capitol Hill right now. We have some news coming in over there. House Democrats have just elected a new generation of leaders. Manu Raju is standing by with us with the breaking news on this. Manu, what are you hearing?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, Hakeem Jeffries has now just been elected by House Democrats as the next Democratic leader. This is a historic move because he will be -- he will now be the first black leader of any caucus in Congress in U.S. history. And just moments ago, the Brooklyn Democrat was named as the person who will succeed Nancy Pelosi by his caucus voted by voice vote essentially. He had run unopposed.

This had been expected in the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi's decision to step aside and no longer run the caucus that she has dominated over the past two decades and said paving the way for this new generation of leaders. Now, Jefferies will also have a leadership team that is all brand new. In addition to that, have Katherine Clark, the Massachusetts Democrat, she's expected to be the number two, she'll be voted on here in a matter of minutes as well.

Pete Aguilar of California will ground out the top three members, also new, much different generation three outgoing members, Pelosi, Steny Hoyer is the number two, Jim Clyburn, all in their 80s different than a much younger generation 50s and a 40-year-old as well in the top three positions, but significant here as the Democrats prepare for life without Nancy Pelosi and life in the House Minority next Congress, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes. They have -- they have a leadership set. Now, what is it -- what is the -- what are they going to be up against in the next Congress? We will definitely find out. It's good to see you, Manu, thank you so much for that.

So, let's go to China right now because the government is easing some of its strict COVID restrictions -- some, while also attempting to suppress the growing nationwide protests against them. I'm going to show you this new video showing protesters throwing bottles and other objects it appears at riot police before they're tear-gassed. Ivan Watson is watching all this for us live in Hong Kong. Ivan, how are -- how is the government responding to these protests?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, it looks like a two-pronged strategy here, Kate. On the one hand, you've got the government vowing to strike hard at once against what it describes as hostile forces. So, all of the levers of power of this police state in China to censor, to intimidate, flooding areas where protesters had gathered in some cities with police to just try to make this go away. On the other hand, you have local governments easing some of the COVID restrictions that help triggered this unrest in the first place.

And I think the images you're looking at right now from Guangzhou, this southern city, Tuesday night are a really good test case. That's where you had these confrontations, violent sometimes last night, and then the very next day, the government says hey, we're going to lift locked down from four districts of the city. Lockdowns have been in place to some degree since the beginning of this month.


No news at all about these protests in any of the state media. What is big news is the death of a former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, who governed in the '90s and then the early aughts. He is being heralded by the government, by the Communist Party. The current leader Xi Jinping is the chairman of his state funeral committee.

But this is important at this tense time. How will the government deal with ordinary Chinese people if they want to gather in places for vigils to commemorate the death of a former leader of China? The government doesn't want people gathering right now, so it's something we have to watch very closely. There is some historical precedent, the passing of another senior communist leader in 1989, helped usher in the Tiananmen Square protests. So, we're going to watch this closely, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. It's good to see you, Ivan. Thank you for that.

So, incredible new pictures are coming in of the world's largest active volcano erupting. Hawaii's Governor joins us next.



BOLDUAN: Officials in Hawaii are warning that is -- that lava is flow -- are warning residents and citizens as lava flows from the world's largest active volcano. And it's now just a few miles from the Big Island's main highway. The volcano erupting for the first time in decades. Just look at these beautiful all-inspiring images. Also, while a neighboring volcano continues to erupt as well as it has been for more than a year. That so-called dual eruption, causing excitement, obviously, look at this, but also, understandably, some concern.

Joining me now is the governor of Hawaii, David Ige. Governor, thank you so much for coming in. You've issued an emergency order this week in response to the eruption. What is that allowing you to do now?

GOV. DAVID IGE (D-HI): Yes, thanks, Kate -- thanks, Kate, for having me on. You know, the emergency proclamation just allows us to be proactive. We would make available all of the emergency responders should it be necessary to activate the National Guard to help with control and keeping people away from the volcano, or should evacuations be necessary. That would just allow us to act quickly and promptly.

BOLDUAN: Which obviously, you know, is it -- is important when you're talking about a volcanic eruption. We're showing our viewers these beautiful images -- stunning images from the flows. I mean, a volcanic eruption like this is, at the same time stunning and exciting, but also obviously, dangerous. What are your priorities right now? What are you most concerned about?

IGE: You know, certainly, we continue to monitor the air quality around the eruption. We have a series of air quality monitors around the island and our website that provides up-to-date information. You know, the concern is about dangerous gases from the fissures and the most dangerous is sulfur dioxide. You know, we encourage visitors to continue to come, it's safe to visit the islands but certainly, observing the volcanoes should occur at a distance. You know, it's not safe to get up close.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. So, the U.S. Geological Survey says that the lava flow is now within about four and a half miles from the main highway that runs across the center of the Big Island. What's happening with that?

IGE: You know, certainly, we are monitoring the flow multiple times a day to keep track of it. That's -- it's still a ways away from Daniel K. Inouye highway, but that is the main highway and so, we are watching that carefully. You know, we are concerned because visitors and residents are stopping along the highway and sometimes drivers are not paying attention fully. And so we are concerned about traffic control on the highway. But it's still a ways away, and we'll continue to monitor and watch it.

BOLDUAN: Finally, you touched on this but I think probably on top of a lot of minds is there a lot of people who have holiday plans -- lucky enough to have holiday plans to come visit Hawaii. What should people do? Should they still be -- should they still come?

IGE: Certainly, we would encourage everyone who has plans to visit the islands to continue. It is completely safe. The eruption site is high up the mountain and it's in a relatively isolated location. It is safe to view the volcano. And as you said it is spectacular from afar. And so, certainly, we encourage those who have plans to continue to come. We certainly would like to have them visit here.


BOLDUAN: Absolutely. It's good to see you, Governor, thank you for coming in.

BOLDUAN: Let's turn to this now --

IGE: Aloha.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Survivors of the deadly mass shooting at the Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, they've now filed a $50 million lawsuit against the company. Erica Hill joins me now with more details on this. And this is really interesting how this is -- how this is coming about and what they're -- what they're accusing the company off here, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR & NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. So, some of the initial questions were what did Walmart know about this shooter? When did they know it? Could the company be held liable?

Well, now an employee, Donya Prioleau has been employed with Walmart in this store for about 18 months. She maintains in this complaint that in fact, she herself filed a formal complaint in September of 2022. She -- about his behavior, comments that he had made to her --

BOLDUAN: Just a few months -- just a few months ago.

HILL: Just a few months ago. Her mother then went in and spoke to the manager and said, hey, what more can you do? I'm concerned for my daughter's safety. The complaint alleges the manager told her mother there was not much that can be done because he's liked by management. Then we know what happened last week.

Donya Prioleau was in the break room when the shooter entered, says that bullets whizzed by her as she witnessed her colleagues being murdered. She ran for safety. The impact of those moments -- her mother detailing that impact this morning on ABC. Take a listen.


BRENDA ALLEN, MOTHER OF PLAINTIFF DONYA PRIOLEAU: Psychologically, she's tormented right now. She's having a lot of sleepless nights obviously. She's had several panic attacks. But all of a sudden I hear like these shots like a pop, pop, pop. She's saying he's killing everybody and I know he's going to be after me. I'm next. They did say you go ahead you know you can file a -- file a formal complaint, but it didn't go any further than that.



HILL: So, in the lawsuit alleging negligence, they knew -- that they knew of his "propensity for violence, threats, and strange behavior, but didn't do anything." CNN has reached out to Walmart. We haven't heard back. In the day -- the day after the shooting, they did tweet that they were making significant resources available but again, no response yet to CNN on this lawsuit.

BOLDUAN: So, thanks, Erica for bringing that. I really appreciate it.

So, the U.S. team advancing now at the World Cup, questions though looming about one of its top players -- the top players on the team about their head of the next match. We're going to take you there next.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tyler Adams pass to McKennie, just make it a big run, it's bad for him. Josh has snuck in behind Jesse a little bit to Pulisic, scores.


BOLDUAN: A goal to make history. Team USA star Christian Pulisic was the -- with the deciding goal to send the Americans onto the knockout stage of the World Cup. But it did come with a cost -- an added cost. Pulisic was injured in that play and taken to the hospital. So far, he is made it clear that he expects to play on Saturday when the U.S. faces off now against the Netherlands. We shall see.

Joining me, right now, in the meantime, is ESPN commentator Patrick McEnroe. OK. So, what is your take on this big one?

PATRICK MCENROE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you said it to me yesterday, Kate, you said this was how did these guys handle the pressure. And you know what? They handled it. I mean, that -- we saw the end of that goal, OK? The beginning -- you know that there were 11 passes that all came together.

BOLDUAN: That's the thing about soccer, tease to one begets the point.

MCENROE: But that's the beauty of it. That's the beauty -- it's the ultimate team game. You can make the argument our football to a great team game too.


MCENROE: But soccer, everybody has to be working together. And you saw the great skill, the great talent of our young players coming together in that one moment. You know, there's been other teams in U.S. Soccer history that have made it this far. In fact, they've made it even a little bit further in the World Cup. They played with a tremendous will.

This team, to your point yesterday, showed their will. But what I see is they have a lot more skill in the way they play. I'm going to say it now football, not soccer. They're playing football for the first time. And this is why I think people, Kate, are so excited about this team because you see the potential.


MCENROE: There are so many young players on the team. They've run out of gas at the end of a couple of these games, including yesterday against Iran where they had to scramble. The last 20 minutes was biting the teeth -- I mean, but they're biting the nails.


MCENROE: With the pressure that was on them. Because you remember Iran just needed a draw --


MCENROE: -- To move on in advance. So, it was awesome, extremely exciting for these young guys. And to see them, the camaraderie between the players, and also -- let's also point out for our friends at FIFA, OK, that despite all the protests, despite all the political ramifications coming into this game, both teams played hard, played with a lot of sportsmanship. And at the end of the game, you saw them hugging each other.

BOLDUAN: That's why actually I want to ask you about that.


BOLDUAN: If we have the images I want to put -- I want to put them up because there were these images at the end of the game that -- I mean, they speak volumes. You see after the win, the loss --


BOLDUAN: Some of the American players comforting the Iranian players. And Walter -- sorry, Walker Zimmerman, who was actually asked about these moments in these images today. Let me play this.


WALKER ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDER, U.S. MEAN'S NATIONAL; TEAM: Yes, we know first and foremost as competitors, what it's like to lose. We also know the stakes of a World Cup. And then on top of that, everything that you know, they're dealing with emotionally and so we just, you know, congratulated them on their effort and empathize with them, and let them know that we were, you know, proud of the way that they competed on the field in the game last night.


BOLDUAN: What did you see in that moment?

MCENROE: That's what it's supposed to be all about. I mean, this is exactly what events like this, sporting events are supposed to be about putting aside the differences, going out there playing hard, the better team won on this day, and respecting the opposition.


This is why I say to FIFA, allow the players to speak out, it's OK. They can handle it. They handled it with a plum with the way with Tyler Adams our Captain, a 23, the way he handled those questions from the reporters the day before the match. This is what it should be all about the great competition at the end great camaraderie.

BOLDUAN: And there are many ways to make a statement if you will, right?

MCENROE: Yes. BOLDUAN: This kind of humility and good sportsmanship -- I mean, they -- a quieter maybe but no less striking and important, you know, showing love, support, and respect. It's good to see you.

MCENROE: It was nice to meet you.

BOLDUAN: Let's see what happens on Saturday.

MCENROE: Yes. Netherlands, baby.

BOLDUAN: There you go. Thank you all so much for watching. I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after this break.