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Eight Days Left For Congress To Avoid Government Shutdown; WH: Israel To Begin Daily Four-Hour Humanitarian Pauses; Trump Attorneys To Begin Defense In NY Civil Fraud Trial. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 09, 2023 - 11:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Government shutdown if no deal is reached, and we're aware of no signs that a deal is about to be reached. Joining us now from Capitol Hill, Congressman Greg Murphy, a Republican from North Carolina.

Congressman, thank you so much for being with us. Eight days away. Can you guarantee the voters of North Carolina there won't be a shutdown?

REP. GREG MURPHY (R-NC): Oh, I can't guarantee anybody anything. I've never been able to do that as a physician or a surgeon. So, I sure can't do it as a member of -- in the politics.

What I will take -- guarantee you is that we're working hard to try to find some resolutions, things that Republicans can agree upon. There are also bumps and bruises that we have to get -- go through. And we've got eight days, and I feel very, very good. Speaker Johnson is providing the best leadership possible and trying to bring all the different constituencies together to try to avoid a shutdown.

BERMAN: It's 11:30 a.m. Do you know what the plan is?

MURPHY: No. That's when Speaker Johnson -- we just pulled one vote just because we didn't have all the -- all the people online with this. And so, they're working to create different options for folks.

BERMAN: But right now, there's no set plan?

MURPHY: Well, John, I mean, I'm not the Speaker, I don't know the exact thing, what he's working on the different folks that have voted against this bill or say that we're going to get a bit -- go to events -- vote against it. He's working with those individuals to try to bring it closer, to try to bring us things to the floor next week to avoid a shutdown.

BERMAN: No, I -- and I absolutely know you're not the speaker. But presumably, you'll hear about a plan before I will.


BERMAN: So, I was just asking if he has conveyed to the rank-and-file members at this point, what the path is going forward. MURPHY: Well, we have a different thing. We have laddered C.R., we have clean C.R., which Republicans are just not going to go through. Some type of negotiated C.R. with the Senate. They have a lot of different options, really. And we have -- again, we have eight days to try to work something out.

I think we end up having a C.R. of some type. We're going to have to -- nobody wants a government shutdown. We want to fund the government. But we also want appropriations bills.

We want the government to actually run like it's supposed to, not be jammed with this huge omnibus bill that Senator Schumer likes to send to us with a big stinky Christmas package. We'd like to actually govern like we're supposed to govern. Like our founding fathers wanted us to.

BERMAN: In the impeachment inquiry into President Biden, there have now been subpoenas issued for both Hunter Biden and the president's brother, Jim Biden. If they are not responsive to the subpoenas, will you vote to hold them in contempt?

MURPHY: Absolutely, absolutely. Why would they not be? What do they have to hide? I don't think so.

You know, here's the deal. John, it's very, very clear, why the hell would Hunter and Jim create 20 shell companies to not have -- to be legal? We've seen time and time again, and Representative Comer has proven this, there was money influencing peddling that Biden had during his last couple of years as vice president.


MURPHY: And then after -- right afterward, they wanted to gain the money back. You know --

BERMAN: Let me just --

MURPHY: You know -- yes. Go ahead.

BERMAN: Today's as you say -- yes, absolutely. Why have you changed your position on holding people in contempt of Congress? You voted against holding Steve Bannon in contempt.

MURPHY: Well, I think is a little bit different when you have the president of the United States, we have somebody who's not an elected official, you know, the president of the United States was selling his influence, his son was selling his influence --

BERMAN: No, but I don't understand. We're talking -- but the people you're talking --

MURPHY: It's a little bit higher different standards, John, when you have somebody who's in elected office, versus somebody who's not in elected office.

BERMAN: Steve Bannon wasn't an elected office -- MURPHY: He's the president of the United States. He was the vice

president of the United States.

BERMAN: I'm sorry -- I'm sorry. Who are you saying -- who are you saying was in an elected office here when you're talking about holding people in contempt of Congress for being non-responsive?

MURPHY: Well, what -- tell me what office Steve Bannon was in.

BERMAN: Well, tell me what office Hunter Biden is in.

MURPHY: No. I'm not talking about Hunter Biden. I'm talking about Joe Biden, the president of the United States to save my --

BERMAN: You haven't subpoenaed him. You haven't subpoenaed him.

MURPHY: Of course, the influence peddling.

BERMAN: I'm asking -- I'm asking if Hunter Biden or Jim Biden, the brother and son of the president who are not elected officials, if they are not responsive, will you hold them in contempt?

MURPHY: Well, John, just to -- think about this, John. If you -- if you've seen the infer -- the facts -- the facts that have occurred, we see that there's been influenced peddling. I mean, the president of the United States, vice president at the time, said point blank, if you don't fire a prosecutor, I'm going to withhold money. So, that's a crooked deal in itself.

BERMAN: But you were talking about what happening in Ukraine.

MURPHY: So, it's all a scheme. If we don't get these individuals -- if we don't get these individuals -- (INAUDIBLE)

BERMAN: Congressmen, I was trying to understand the difference -- I'm just trying to understand the difference when you're talking about congressional subpoenas. You voted against holding Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress when he didn't appear before the January 6 Committee, which was a committee you know elected for by Congress.

MURPHY: Was Steve Bannon related to the president of the United States? No, he wasn't.

BERMAN: He was --

MURPHY: No, he wasn't. There's a little difference played in that.

BERMAN: He was a former employee of President Donald Trump. And the other people who you did not vote to hold in contempt literally worked for the former president, Donald Trump. So, my answer to that is yes.

MURPHY: Yes. When you have a son that is using the Biden brand -- when you have a son that is using the Biden brand and created illegal out -- illegal activities --illegal issues, rather, to use his father's brand if they're going to come and ally and the same thing with his brother James, it's an entirely different standard. It's an entirely different standard, John and you know it.

BERMAN: I just have no idea why I'm actually still confused. We're talking about private citizens. And my question to you is if they are not responsive to the subpoena, would you hold them in contempt?

You say yes, for Hunter Biden. You voted no for Steve Bannon. And then you talk about there's a different standard for elected officials, but neither of them are elected.


MURPHY: John, Hunter and Jim are related to the former vice president and now the president of the United States, intimately involved in business dealings. Remember, Joe said he didn't know anything about Hunter's business dealings. He didn't know anything of that point- blank lie as Sam Donaldson, a good guy, he exposed Biden to be a fraud decades ago, and now we're seeing that he's actually lying again.

Joe Biden is a pathological liar. And his Hunter -- son Hunter is intimately involved in these influence-peddling schemes. They're two entirely different issues, John. And trying to put them together. It's just really conflating the issue.

BERMAN: I was asking you about congressional subpoenas. But we do appreciate your time, Congressman Greg Murphy from North Carolina. Thank you very much. Sara?


MURPHY: All right. Have a good day, John.

SIDNER: Nice interview, John. All right, ahead. American citizens are still stuck in Gaza though, we're seeing more foreign nationals able to flee. Ahead, we're going to talk to an American about their fight to get their family member and American citizen out of Gaza.



SIDNER: There are new developments in the Israel-Hamas war. The White House just announced Israel will start implementing four-hour pauses of military operations in areas of Northern Gaza. Each day, the pauses are meant to allow for humanitarian assistance to get into the besieged enclave and allow civilians who are allowed to leave to get out. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued to insist that there will be no ceasefire.

We've also learned that the CIA director -- CIA director met with the head of Israel's Mossad and Qatar's Prime Minister in Doha today on those -- 239 hostages who have been kidnapped from Israel by Hamas and are still being held captive in Gaza. One idea that's being floated. A humanitarian pause, in exchange for the release of 10 to 20 hostages.

Something that President Biden has said that he could support. We just heard that from him. He also said today that he has been pushing Israel for longer pauses than just those three days. Now in Gaza, the effort to get foreign nationals out of the country is continuing. 312 people were evacuated through the Rafah Crossing today, along with 12 critically wounded Palestinians.

I am joined now by Mai Abushaaban, whose family members, as I understand it, just were able to get out of Gaza. And her attorney, Maria Kari, who has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government on behalf of Palestinian Americans, who have simply been unable to get out of Gaza. Thank you both, for joining us on the CNN today.


SIDNER: Mai, I want to start with you.


SIDNER: I'm -- I know this has been so incredibly a nightmare for you. I want to understand just how you've been able to get through this and what your family went through to get out of Gaza.

ABUSHAABAN: Right. So, I mean, I'm very relieved that they're home. But it's also bittersweet and heartbreaking because they leave behind so many of our loved ones. And we feel like our evacuation is not a win for the Biden administration or the State Department.

I'm very terrified for my loved ones there. You know, there -- we're talking about children, brothers, fathers, doctors, journalists, each and every one of them is at risk. There's no -- (INAUDIBLE) Four-hour humanitarian pauses aren't enough. And we're calling on the Biden administration to really push for a ceasefire and protect the lives of not only my loved ones but 2.3 million Palestinians that are living in Gaza.

When I talk to my mom and sister, they describe things to me that I can only imagine. The pictures coming out of Gaza -- the videos that we see on Instagram are nothing compared to the reality of the situation. And it's traumatizing, you know, at least they were able to get out.

But what about the other people there? What's their fate going to look like? And how's life going to look like for those 2.3 million Palestinians who are still stuck in Gaza?

SIDNER: Yes. And I know that your family has to be traumatized. And anyone going through that -- living through that seeing and feeling what is happening there is going to have to deal with that for a very long time to come. Can you give me some sense of what the issues were trying to get them out? Because there are other people who are still trying to do so, what happened with your -- I think it's your mother and is it your sister?

ABUSHAABAN: Yes, it's my mother and sister. So, I think for us, there were two main issues. One, the communication from the State Department was very vague. And it did not provide concrete directions in moving forward or any sort of guidance that could be trusted.

My mom and sister had to go to the border five times, and they were evacuated on their final attempt. That is completely unacceptable. And it's something that as American citizens or as just people in general, we shouldn't have to go through that false sense of hope five times and then you know, not sure if you'll be turned away or if you'll be able to make it into safety.

And the second issue was the lack of cell service and Wi-Fi, being able to communicate with my mom and sister, if there were updates from the State Department. And if the State Department needed to contact them, they had very little means to do so just because there's no connection, no internet, no Wi-Fi, no way of getting in touch with the outside world.


SIDNER: I cannot imagine going to that border five times, knowing that there are still airstrikes, there is still a ground war going on, and then not being able to leave. Thank, God, that they are out and that they are in a safe place.

Maria, I want to ask you about who is still left behind. And you will file a lawsuit against the State Department. Can you tell me a little bit about why and what it is that you are asking for?

KARI: I can definitely tell you that there is a lot of Americans still on the ground. Americans and their family members. Just this morning, I was hoping to get in touch with 11-year-old Adam, a U.S. citizen who's currently there with his parents. They've attempted to cross a couple of times already.

You know, every day I wake up, I check on the phone to see how they're doing. It really does feel like I'm checking to see if they're still alive. My understanding is that there's no concrete numbers from the State Department at this point. We're hearing foreign people have been able to leave Gaza, but there's way more people that are still stuck -- way more Americans.

This failure to get people out, it's -- there's simply no words. I can tell you that evacuations like this are nothing new for the State Department. The State Department and the Department of Defense sometimes work in conjunction to do these --

SIDNER: Right.

KARI: To do these types of evacuations. One that I'm reminded of is Afghanistan in 2021. And I worked on that one. And I still see that that trauma in my clients two years later, I still see that sense of betrayal, and I'm worried for the mental health ramifications for the people that we did get out.

And I'm really concerned now with reports of people starving to death. You know, that -- it's -- we've been saying that this is a matter of life and death. But I think it's a matter of time until one of my clients dies. SIDNER: Which is just a horrible thought and something that just sort of have to live with in your life, that level of anxiety. I want to end with Mai. How are you doing, Mai, after going through this trauma and knowing that there are so many people stuck in harm's way in Gaza where your mother and sister were just able to escape?

ABUSHAABAN: So, for me, I -- like I said, I'm relieved to have them back. But the fight isn't over. As an American citizen, I feel like I'm obligated to use my voice to represent people who don't have the ability to speak out, or just say that they're -- you know, they're essentially dying in Gaza.

People are dying. And they're calling for a ceasefire. And they want to live, and they want to be able to go to school and work and go back to their homes. There's no reason why my little cousins should be making a to-do list for after the war, which includes things like taking a hot shower, eating a home-cooked meal, those are things that we take for granted on a day to day basis. And those should be given basic rights for not only kids in Gaza but adults who are also stuck there as well.

And that's why I'm really pushing for the Biden administration to call for a ceasefire. What's happening in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis. And words can't describe how severe the situation is there. And I will continue to use my voice to fight for justice and to fight against the oppression and the occupation that the people in Gaza are experiencing. It's unacceptable yesterday, it's unacceptable today, and it will be unacceptable tomorrow.

SIDNER: Yes. I'm really sorry to hear about your cousins making those lists. Those are the kinds of things that human beings should be able to have a hot shower, the ability to eat, the ability to get clean, fresh water. So, thank you so much, Mai Abushaaban, for explaining what your family has been through. I am so happy to hear that your sister and mother at least are safe at this time. And, Maria Kari, we'll be checking back in with you to see how this lawsuit progresses and how your clients hopefully will be able to get out of harm's way. Appreciate you.

KARI: Thank you.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up for us. Donald Trump's legal team about to lay out their case. With the judge already ruling he's liable for fraud, what's their plan to contain the damage? We'll be back.



SIDNER: We've heard that -- from the prosecution next week, Donald Trump's legal team will have the chance to mount a defense for the former president in his civil fraud crime -- trial here in New York, where he has already been found liable by the judge for fraud. Today, the New York Attorney General's Office is asking the judge to block several of Trump's expert witnesses from testifying. They say their testimony relates to issues that have already been resolved by the judge.

CNN senior legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, at least a lot to say, Elie Honig. We know who you are.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You got to say Alie. I mean --

SIDNER: Just like my homeboy Elliot here, as usual. Look, we had the fourth member of the Trump family testify.


SIDNER: Ivanka Trump testify. Did her testimony add a whole lot? She had it -- she did a lot of things of not being able to recall on the stand.

HONIG: Yes, it was relevant, but I don't think it was a game-changer, either way. You were -- you were right. There was a lot of I don't recall, and I wasn't involved in that. But the A.G.'s office wasn't really able to come back from that.


HONIG: There were several times she said I wasn't involved, for example, in the creation of these financial statements. And they didn't have proof to the contrary. In contrast, to her brother, Eric Trump, who tried the same tactic earlier in the week, but was directly confronted with e-mails that contradicted that. That was a bad moment for Eric Trump.


HONIG: A good moment for the A.G.


HONIG: We didn't have that kind of sort of you know, holy smokes moment with Ivanka.


SIDNER: The prosecutors had receipts in the Eric Trump testimony.


SIDNER: They did not have the same thing for Ivanka.


SIDNER: I want to ask you about what the defense -- what does it look like? Because there is forensic accounting, and there's already been a big decision by the judge in this.

HONIG: Yes, really important to keep in mind, the judge has already ruled against the Trumps in favor of the A.G. on one count. There are six other counts in play here. I look for two things with the defense.

First of all, I think they will try to justify their valuations. I think they will provide expert witnesses and others to say these valuations were not in fact inflated. They're sort of committed to that.

SIDNER: Right.

HONIG: Because in some instances, Donald Trump said that even our estimations were still low. We'll see if they can back that up. I have my doubts. But we'll see.

The other thing is what we call materiality, the second part of the defense. And that means in order for it to be a fraud under the remaining counts, somebody has to have actually believed the representations and relied on them. And so, we're going to see I think, various bankers who made the loans saying those valuations, we saw them, we have our own experts, either.

We didn't care. We thought they were fine. We made the loans. They repaid us with interest, no materiality, no harm, no foul.

SIDNER: OK, quickly because --


SIDNER: This has been interesting. Donald Trump on the attack all the time against the judge -- against whomever. That's normal for him, but not for most defendants.


SIDNER: You've also heard a lot from the A.G. Letitia James has come out and -- I'm going to just pull up this tweet real quick.


SIDNER: She's daily sort of come out and spoken to cameras, but then she also has been tweeting during this trial. She talks about Donald Trump taking the stand in our trial against him. He has repeatedly and consistently lied. You don't hear that very often during a case from prosecutors. What do you make of her actions sort of during all of this?

HONIG: I think it's inappropriate, and I think it's troubling to have the Attorney General, the elected top law enforcement officer of the state, actively commenting on witnesses before, during, and after their testimony, Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump. To put tweets like this saying he's lying while on the stand, completely inappropriate, would get you disciplined, maybe fired from DOJ, could cause a real problem. I think she needs to -- if she wants to be above the fray, she needs to be above the fray.

SIDNER: Elie Honig, thank you. You're the best.

HONIG: All right. Thanks. SIDNER: I'm heading over to my friends over here.

BERMAN: And thank you all for joining us. This has been CNN NEWS CENTRAL.

SIDNER: Well, hello.