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Scott Drops Out of Race; Johnson Pitches Two-Part Plan; Susan Page is Interviewed about Scott Dropping out of Race; Wegovy May Reduces Heart Attack Risk. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired November 13, 2023 - 09:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Surprised even his own campaign staff and announced he is suspending his campaign.


REP. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate. I am suspending my campaign. I think the voters who are the most remarkable people on the planet have been really clear that they're telling me, not now, Tim.


BERMAN: CNN's Eva McKend is with us now.

And, Eva, I read that his own campaign staff learned about the suspension by watching that interview on TV.


You know, this, no doubt, was a decision informed by his faith. The timing more surprising than the announcement itself. There were several warning signs, though. Most of the people in his camp, they had been telling me for weeks that they were going to press on until Iowa. Iowa or bust you would often hear.

But his team had worried about qualifying for the fourth Republican debate next month after being the last candidate to meet the donor and polling thresholds to make last week's debate.

Here's how they're thinking about this. They're telling us, "Tim ran an optimistic, hopeful message, but that's not where the Republican base is right now."

By leaving the race now, people close to his campaign say he can return to the Senate without an embarrassing finish in Iowa. But it is remarkable because he didn't even make it to his home state of South Carolina. And he has the money to do so.

His opponents, like Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, and others, they're praising Scott for being a good man of faith, a man of integrity. Something else, John, that really sticks out to me, you know, he was the only candidate explicitly endorsing a 15-week national abortion ban in this contest. Something that he thought would really help him we with evangelical voters in Iowa. There is now no one else in the field, no one prominent in the field endorsing that 15-week ban. They're all saying leave it to the states. Perhaps a strategy to appeal to as many voters as possible.

BERMAN: Yes, not even mid-November, and a candidate with a lot of money dropping out. It will have ripple effects.

Eva McKend, thank you very much.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, this morning, House Speaker Mike Johnson faces a test, and it's becoming a two-part test over his two-step plan to avoid the government shutting down again this week. The new speaker is already facing some opposition from fellow House Republicans, potentially setting up a similar but no less challenging math problem for him. Lose a few Republicans means you may need to go get support from Democrats.

CNN's Lauren Fox joins us from Capitol Hill this morning with the very latest.

Lauren, what is the sense there now this morning after this -- we were talking about the two-part plan just at the end of last week. What's the sense you're getting there today?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, in some ways this is not exactly what Democrats wanted, but a key issue here for them was that this short-term spending bill could not have any spending cuts included. This plan keeps government funding at the current levels that it has been at for the last year. So, that's a major victory for Democrats. And because of that fact, there are a number of conservatives who are now saying that they are opposed to this, that they will not support it on the floor. More than four Republicans now saying that they will not back this. And that means Johnson's going to have to get some Democratic support when this comes to the floor as soon as tomorrow.

Now, one thing to keep an eye on is how many Democrats get behind this proposal. And are Republicans able to pass a procedural rule vote tomorrow on their own, or do they need Democratic support for that as well? Those are some of the key things to keep an eye on.

Meanwhile, in the United States Senate, you also have a lot of Senate Democrats keeping their powder dry about this. An initial statement from a Democratic leadership source was essentially that this is a bill that keeps spending at current levels. Obviously, Kate, that's another big victory for Democrats.

But, again, this is going to set up a very unique fiscal cliff because it's going to happen in two parts. If this bill passes, part of government agencies will run out of funding on January 19th. The other half will run out of funding on February 2nd. So, it's going to be a very busy winter if, indeed, this bill can get through the United States House and Senate and signed by the president by Friday.

BOLDUAN: And before those dates, the one you see on the wall right there is also the important one, November 17th. That's when funding will be running out if they don't get this one over the finish line.

Thank you so much, Lauren. It's good to see you. And also a lot of people still wondering what is in this two-step process.

FREDRIKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, absolutely. Well, I have a few answers for you.

Speaker Johnson's two-part proposal, well, it looks like this. He's pitching what is known as a laddered clean continuing resolution. It would fund the government at current spending levels, without any other changes to existing law or spending cuts.


The first bill would fund several government programs until January 19th, included military construction, agriculture, veterans affairs, transportation, housing, energy and water. The second bill would keep the rest of the government funded through February 2nd. Neither bill includes additional aid for Israel or Ukraine. And if this passes the Rules Committee, then it just needs a simple majority on the House floor. But Speaker Johnson can only lose four Republican votes.


BERMAN: All right, let's get back to Tim Scott, who is still not running for president anymore, and has still suspending his presidential campaign. With us now, Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for "USA Today,"

Susan, great to see you.

So, we heard that quote. Eva reported that there were Scott supporters who were saying, Tim Scott wanted to run this hopeful, optimistic campaign. That's just not where Republican voters are.

So, where are they?

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "USA TODAY": Yes, this is not the year of the happy warrior. This is the year of the apocalyptic message on both sides about how catastrophic things are in this country, or how catastrophic they'd be if the other guy was elected. So, he was -- he was out of step.

Now, that doesn't mean we won't have the possibility of seeing him again because I was struck by his answer last night to whether he was interested in running for vice president on a Trump ticket, and he said that was, quote, "not on my to do list." Well, that is not exactly a Sherman-esque statement of saying, if elected I will not serve. I mean how hard would it be to put it on his to do list if Trump did that? BERMAN: That's like, I have no plans to be on the ticket. Well, you

know what, you make those plans later on. These things can change. He did not shut the door to being anyone's running mate there.

There was actually a fair amount of establishment support for Tim Scott. In some ways he was -- if there is still a Washington Republican establishment, he had the support of some Republican senators publicly and behind the scenes. Where do they go?

PAGE: Yes. Well, he's - he's a well-liked figure. He's a respected figure. He's got a very conservative voting record, but he has worked with Democrats on several issues across party lines. So, where does his Republican support go? Well, they probably hang out for a while to see how things go. And you might think they would naturally go to Nikki Haley, his fellow South Carolina Republican, and that's - and that's possible. But with Trump's really formidable lead, they may also be nervous about supporting anything but Trump.

As you saw the - the -- Scott himself did not make any endorsement in the race. So, maybe we've got a little holding period.

Nikki Haley has been the South Carolina candidate who has been surprisingly strong in this race, and now she is almost in a two- person race to be number two for what that's worth.

BERMAN: You're talking about Nikki Haley there. She's got this big ad buy. She's dumping $10 million into early states there. Where do you see her running? Will she position herself as the anti-Trump as Iowa approaches, or will she try to be all things to all people?

PAGE: Well, she has been both a conservative Republican who served in the Trump administration, you'll recall, but has been more willing to be critical of Donald Trump than the other people who have been in that field. She was an earlier critic, for instance, than Ron DeSantis, who has now been more critical of Trump lately.

You know, the thing that has propelled, I think, Nikki Haley is that she's done so well in these debates. That has really prompted people to take another look at her.

We have another debate coming up. It may be the smallest yet. It may be down to four people on that debate stage. And that is, I think, deals to Nikki Haley's strength.

Iowa will be important. That's where DeSantis is staking his claim. And then New Hampshire, which is the least predictable of the primaries that we'll have.

BERMAN: Right.

PAGE: They are lite deciders and they are independent minded.

BERMAN: Yes. And they really like to shake things up. To be clear, New Hampshire voters like to mix it up as much as they possibly can.

Very quickly, the Kate Bolduan theory of the Republican primary is that consolidate - there are some people who think consolidation. If they could only get down to two candidates then someone could take Donald Trump on head-to-head. But Kate keeps on mentioning, if you look at the polls, there's not necessarily evidence of that. That consolidation might actually help Donald Trump. Where are you?

PAGE: Well, I think all the -- everybody could consolidate and Trump would still have a majority of the Republicans. But the one thing that might make a difference is, we know that criminal indictments haven't shaken Trump's support. We don't know what happens, what a criminal conviction might do. And that's one reason we are going to be continuing to watch this race closely.

BERMAN: Right, although I will say that that trial, the federal trial in D.C., doesn't start until March 4th. So a conviction, if you do the math there, a lot of the primaries, a lot of the voting will already be over by that point.

Susan Page, great to see you. Thank you very much.


PAGE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, John, still ahead, the latest from New York Mayor Eric Adams after FBI agents seized his phones and iPad as part of an investigation into campaign fundraising.


And we're learning more about what happened last night when U.S. Secret Service agents assigned to President Biden's granddaughter opened fire on suspects trying to break into a car.


WHITFIELD: New York Mayor Eric Adams says he'll work with investigators after reports surfaced that he is under a federal corruption probe. According to "The New York Times," authorities are investigating whether Adams pressured city officials to open Turkey's new consulate despite safety concerns. It's part of a broader investigation into campaign fundraising and foreign money.

CNN's Gloria Pazmino joining us now.

Gloria, what more are we learning?


GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, I think we should take a step back here first and remember what we learned last week on Friday, and that's that the electronics of Mayor Eric Adams were seized by the FBI after they presented him with a search warrant. And the reason I think that's important is because we have to remember that we're talking about the sitting mayor of the largest city in America. And the FBI felt the need to present a case to a district court judge to get a probable cause search warrant to get a hold of the mayor's phones.

Now, we don't know why exactly just yet, but certainly these FBI investigators seem to think there is some sort of evidence in those electronics that they needed to get a hold of. Whether they show that there was a crime committed, we just don't know that.

We also don't know if it will show that it was the mayor who in any way is culpable here so far. He has not been named as an official part of the investigation.

Then we flash forward to the weekend, and on Sunday we learned that part of this investigation is specifically looking into whether or not the mayor used his authority in September of 2021, shortly after having secured the Democratic nomination, to help out his constituents. The Turkish consulate, as you said, was rushing ahead to open up their headquarters. They had yet to secure a certificate of safety. And Eric Adams allegedly stepped in to try and get the fire department to approve that quickly so that the Turkish consulate could have its event and open on time.

The mayor has issued a statement in response to this. Essentially acknowledging that he did try and help the consulate. He said that, "as borough president, part of my routine role was to notify government agencies of issues on behalf of constituents and constituencies. I have not been accused of wrongdoing and I will continue to cooperate with investigators."

So, Fred, what the mayor is saying there is that he believes that this communication with the Turkish consulate was just part of his job he was doing as borough president. But that will, of course, be determined by investigators who are also looking into whether or not the campaign accepted donations from foreign nationals.


WHITFIELD: All right, still the beginning stages. Gloria Pazmino, thank you so much.


BERMAN: All right, new this morning, former British Prime Minister David Cameron is the new British foreign secretary. This is part of a surprise reshuffling of the U.K. cabinet by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Cameron, who resigned after the Brexit vote in 2016, says he, quote, "gladly accepted" the new role.

Today marks one year since the brutal killings of four University of Idaho students in a house close to campus. Students at the university will hold a candlelight vigil to honor the victims tonight. A trial date has not been set yet for the suspect. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Thanksgiving a little more than a week away, and it promises to be a frenzy. AAA is projecting one of the busiest holiday travel seasons on record, with more than 55 million Americans hitting the trail. That is a 2.3 percent increase over last year. It marks the third highest Thanksgiving travel forecast on record.


BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, a landmark study about the already wildly popular weight loss drug. What it now means for heart health as well potentially.

And Donald Trump Jr. is getting ready to take the stand in New York. Why the defense is bringing him up as their leadoff witness and the Trump family defense -- and what that means the Trump family defense is going to look like as they try to battle these accusations of fraud.



BOLDUAN: A big new finding from a landmark clinical trial about the weight loss drug Wegovy. New data showing that it may also be good for your heart. The trial finding dramatic - a dramatic cut in the risk of heart attacks, stroke and other heart related deaths in certain patients taking the medication.

CNN's Meg Tirrell is here. She's got more on this.

Meg, what does this trial show? What do you see in this?

MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, this is such a big deal because we've actually never seen a clinical trial prove that a weight loss drug alone could have these kind of heart benefits. We've seen it with drugs for diabetes -


TIRRELL: But we've never seen it even with lifestyle interventions, diet and exercise, actually show a reduction in heart attacks and things like that.

And the thought is, it's because nothing has actually produced this level of weight loss. And so this is a major clinical trial, 1,700 participants followed for an average of more than three years. Everybody had existing heart disease, so a prior heart attack, stroke or peripheral artery disease. And everybody had a BMI of at least 27. So considered in the overweight category. And what they found, and surprisingly, is that there was weight loss of almost 10 percent in this clinical trial of a patient's body weight.

They also saw improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, triglycerides and a marker of inflammation.

And, most important, that heart result, a 20 percent reduction in the risk of a heart attack, stroke or heart related death. So, that is the key finding. And it was presentation to this massive conference of cardiologists, the American Heart Association meeting over the weekend in Philly. I was there. This is a huge room full of heart doctors who are going to start prescribing this drug, if they're not already, to their patients.

BOLDUAN: So, what is the - what did the trial show about safety?

TIRRELL: Well, that's a major question, right, because so many people are starting to take these drugs.


TIRRELL: It didn't show any new safety concerns. It did show that 10 percent of patients on Wegovy actually stopped the trial because of GI related side effects. So, nausea, vomiting -

BOLDUAN: We've heard that - we've heard that with all of them essentially.

TIRRELL: Exactly. We have. And so that was compared with 2 percent on placebo. So, it was, you know, a considerable number of patients experienced those but nothing new and major that raised concerns.

BOLDUAN: These drugs across the board are expensive.


With this new finding, the cardiovascular benefits -


BOLDUAN: Does that change anything with insurance being able to cover it?

TIRRELL: Doctors are really hoping it does. This drug costs $1,300 a month without insurance coverage, and it's been really spotty to try to get that coverage because insurers typically have viewed weight loss as more of a cosmetic result. And so if you can show health benefits -

BOLDUAN: This seems to - yes.


BOLDUAN: This shows a really different direct health benefit.

TIRRELL: Yes. And so the question is, will it get covered only for people who fit into this category of having cardiovascular disease, or will it be covered more broadly for people using it for weight loss to try to prevent a primary event. And we'll see whether that becomes the case.

BOLDUAN: So interesting, though. And how big this study is, is super noteworthy as well.

It's great to see you, Meg. Thanks for bringing that to us.

TIRRELL: Yes, good to see you. Thanks.

BOLDUAN: John. BERMAN: All right, any moment now, Donald Trump Jr. takes the stand to testify in the civil fraud trial against the family business. This time he's a defense witness. We will cover the first questions to him live.

Secret Service agents assigned to the president' granddaughter opened fire on suspects attempting to break into a government vehicle. We're getting new reporting just in.