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Prior to Vote, Speaker Johnson Speaks to Prevent Government Shutdown; After Entering Guilty Plea in Georgia Case, Ex-Trump Attorney Discussed Election Reversal Efforts with Prosecutors; During a Rally in New Hampshire, Trump Refers to Political Left as "Vermin"; Once Again, Trump Says if Reelected, He Would Use DOJ as a Weapon Against Political Rivals; $6B in New Climate Funding Unveiled by Biden; Paul Pelosi Describes Horrifying Assault in His Home to Jury. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired November 14, 2023 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: This is a different situation. The innovation that we've created, this new vehicle that the Democrats initially said was so frightening, actually turns out to be something that will change the way we do this. And so, this is a very different situation. We're taking this into the new year to finish the process and get back to the original way that this is supposed to work.
And by the way, the House Republican Conference is committed to never being in this situation again. I'm done with short term CRs. We are. We're resolved. So, what that means is you're going to see, in the beginning of this next year, we'll be walking and chewing gum at the same time. We're going to get the appropriations process running on time as it's supposed to be under law.
The Budget Control Act of 1974 has very specific provisions in there on how this is to be done. Congress hasn't done that for as long as we can remember. But we're going to get back to that because that's good stewardship, the American people deserve it, and the debt situation we find ourselves in necessitates that.
So, let me go over here and I'll go back for it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just on a personal level, how are you feeling about the reality, like you just mentioned, that you do have a small majority, you are having to work with a Democrat in Bolton and a Democrat in the White House, so you have to pass something that's kind of against your conscience. How are you feeling about that?
JOHNSON: Well, look, getting us beyond the shutdown and making sure that government stays in operation is a matter of conscience for all of us. We owe that to the American people. I believe that we can fight on principle and do these things simultaneously. When you have a small majority, it requires -- some things are going to have to be bipartisan.
But I think these are issues that every member of Congress should agree on. We are on an unsustainable track with our debt. There -- there's no two ways about it. And I think everybody recognizes that we've got to get down to the matter, the heart of this to change the way we do business. We have an important role to play in the world, but we have to take care of our own house first. And these things must be done simultaneously, and it needed to start a generation ago. It hasn't, and we're on the job now. We're going to make it happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last question.
JOHNSON: Last question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the CR, I mean, what -- this whole Congress has been kind of a struggle to pass conservative land appropriation bills. What gives you confidence that you can pass appropriations bills in this time frame that are going to be confidence? I mean, obviously Democrats will come over and help out. Are you confident that you can have this appropriation bills on (INAUDIBLE)?
JOHNSON: Yes. Part of the reason I'm confident about this is, I've been drinking from Niagara Falls for the last three weeks. this will allow everybody to go home for a couple of days for Thanksgiving. Everybody cools off. Members have been here for, as Leader Scalise said, for 10 weeks. This place is a pressure cooker. And so, I think everybody can go home. We can come back, reset. We're going to get our group together. We're going to map out that plan to fight for those principles. And we have some great plans in the playbook already. And I look forward to rolling that out. You'll see much more of that.
We got to go. I thank you for your time.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: All right. A confident new house speaker in Mike Johnson. They're optimistic and emphatic on avoiding a government shutdown this Friday. He says, it is absolutely imperative to get his two-tier continuing resolution deal done and keep the U.S. government open. And just ahead of that, he also said it's imperative the U.S. sends aid to Israel. We're going to break down all of his comments right after this short break.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: The boss is not going to leave under any circumstances, that is what we now know Donald Trump's former attorney Jenna Ellis told Georgia prosecutors after she agreed to cooperate with their election subversion case. In a new video obtained by "ABC News" and "The Washington Post", Ellis is -- with that quote, is seen describing a conversation that she had in late 2020 with Dan Scavino, a top Trump aide, where Scavino allegedly told Ellis this. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNA ELLIS, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: He said to me in a kind of excited tone, well, we don't care and we're not going to leave. And I said, what do you mean? And he said, well, the boss, meaning President Trump, and everyone understood the boss, that's what we all called him. He said, the boss is not going to leave under any circumstances. We are just going to stay in power. And I said to him, well, doesn't quite work that way, you realize? And he said, we don't care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: A statement from the past, but one that could also offer a window into the Trump approach for the future. Like his current campaign to get back into the White House. And it's not just those videos, it's also even more recent videos like this one from just this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT AND U.S REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country. The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave than the threat from within.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Yes, saying that with people holding up signs, peace through strength behind him. Incongruous.
Joining us right now, CNN's Political Director David Chalian. So, David, the trials, the speeches on the campaign trail, and also his commentary and interviews, when he does interviews, it's being seen as Trump leaning even harder into his strongman tendencies and affection. Is this a road map to victory?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, Kate, I think that you are right about the thread that is through all of this.
This is somebody, making no -- not hiding, in any way, the notion that he believes in a more authoritarian, dictatorial, anti-democratic approach to leadership. That is clear. Nobody should be surprised. Nobody watching, nobody in the country should be surprised if a year from now, Donald Trump is won. We're in a Trump transition. And these things are coming to fruition because he's telling us all right now.
Now, hearing Jenna Ellis, who was part of the team committed to perpetuating a lie about the 2020 election and somehow calling a legitimate election illegitimate is certainly rich as she now tries to, you know, save her own hide here with this deal. But make no bones about what Donald Trump is campaigning on. He is campaigning on a more authoritarian vision. for American leadership than even what he put forth in his first term.
BOLDUAN: Yesterday, Trump's campaign managers issued a statement saying that reports that Trump would, "Weaponize the Justice Department if elected were, in their view, purely speculative and theoretical." But we also have Trump saying this essentially himself in his own words in a recent interview, saying that if I happen to be president and I see somebody who's doing well and beating me very badly, I say go down and indict them. So, theoretical and speculative, they don't seem to match here.
CHALIAN: They do not. It is not speculative at all. And we've seen very close allies to this president, Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon and others, talk in detail about the plans that are being discussed. Now, what I find fascinating about the Trump campaign leadership team putting out that statement is, it seems to me a very clear signal that there was some concern about how this was being portrayed, that there is some sense that this may not be, in terms of a general election message, everything that they want to put forward yet, and they want to control that a bit more than they feel it's being in control right now.
BOLDUAN: That's a really interesting point. It's great to see you, David. Thank you so much.
I'm going to go now to the White House. President Biden is speaking on climate change
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: On climate change and for developing climate solutions.
Today, today I'm proud to announce that my administration just released the fifth climate assessment on the nation's history. It didn't just come from out of thin air. Written over four years, 750 authors and experts, thousands, thousands of American contributors from every single state in the nation, as well as several territories and tribes. It's the most comprehensive assessment on state climate change in the history of America, and it matters. This assessment shows us in clear scientific terms that climate change is impacting all regions, all sectors of the United States, not just some, all.
It shows that communities across America are taking more action than ever to reduce climate risk. It warns that more action is still badly needed. We can't be complacent. Let me say that again, we can't be complacent. We have to keep going. Above all, it shows us that climate action offers an opportunity for the nation to come together and do some really big things.
You know, I've seen firsthand what the reports make clear. The devastating toll of climate change and its existential threat to all of us and is the ultimate threat to humanity, climate change. I've walked the streets of Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Puerto Rico, where historic hurricanes and floods wiped out homes, hospitals, houses of worship, just wiped them right off the map. I met with families in Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi, where catastrophic winter storms and tornadoes devoured everything in their path, schools, businesses, police stations, firehouse.
I've seen firefighters in Idaho, Maui, and New Mexico, California, Colorado, where wildfires destroyed whole neighborhoods and sacred tribal sites spreading smoky haze thousands of miles and forcing millions of Americans to shelter in doors and unsafe air to breathe. Look -- and by the way, and I've flown over all these areas in helicopters. They tell me that more of our forest land has -- forest has burned to the ground that make up the entire state of New Jersey, the entire state. Some say, Maryland, New Jersey, but the force is it's that -- it's just gigantic and has incredible impacts.
Record temperature in Texas, Arizona and elsewhere, affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100 million Americans. And this summer, and this fall have been the Earth's hottest since the global records began to be kept in the 1800s. Think about that, the hottest we've ever recorded in history. It's an impact -- it impacts the decades are making because inaction was -- there was inaction for much too long.
Look -- but we're acting now. We have been acting. We've come to the point where it's foolish for anyone to deny the impacts of climate change anymore. But it's simply a simple fact that there are a number of my colleagues and other side of the aisle, the mega Republican leaders who still deny climate change, still deny that it's a problem. My predecessors, much of the mega Republican Party, in fact are -- feel very strongly about that. Anyone who willfully denies the impact of climate change is condemning the American people to a very dangerous future. The impacts we're seeing are only going to get worse, more frequent, more ferocious, and more costly.
Last year alone, natural disasters in America caused $178 billion in damages. They hit everyone no matter where -- what their circumstances. But they hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Seniors, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness who have nowhere to turn. Black, brown and tribal communities, territories that are most exposed and lead -- have the least resource, fewest resources.
But folks, none of this is inevitable. None of it is inevitable. From day one, my administration has taken unprecedented climate action. We're working with everyone from mayors, to county officials, to entrepreneurs, to academics, business leaders, labor leaders, tribal leaders. We're focused in all parts of America, cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural communities and tribal nations.
And here's how. We're using a law that I got passed when I first came to office called the American Rescue Plan, to help states and cities become more resilient to climate change, promoting energy efficiency by weatherizing homes. Reducing flooding by building infrastructure to handle storm surges. Opening cooling centers impacted centers where there's particular great heat impact in people who need shelter.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I signed two years ago, and the most significant investment in our nation's infrastructure in American history. Roads, bridges, ports, airports, high speed internet, delivers clean water to your community, lowers your energy bills, upgrades your electric grid so you don't have to power them -- so you don't have to lose power, I should say, when storms and heat waves hit. The Chips and Science Act, I signed last year -- excuse me. I signed last year. Excuse me. I signed last year. positions us to lead in semiconductor manufacturing innovation which is critical to clean energy development and deployment. Semiconductors are those small little computer chips you all know, the size of the tip of your little finger that power everything in our lives from smartphones to appliances. We invented those chips. We invented them. And we're the -- other countries started making them, and we weren't, not anymore. We're making these chips here in America.
My Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant climate investment ever anywhere in the world. Among many things it does, it offers tax credits to make your home more energy efficient, upgrading windows and doors to keep drafts out and heat in, tax credits to installing electric heat pumps and solar panels on your roof, saving hundreds of dollars and ends your family bills. Tax credits to buy electric vehicles as we build the electric vehicle future here in America.
We're transforming clean energy development that's threatening good paying jobs, including union jobs, in all of America. We're already attracted over a half -- we've attracted a half a trillion dollars. A half a trillion dollars in private sector investment from my Investing in America agenda in clean energy and advanced manufacturing.
We're just getting -- and we're just getting started. I mean, really, we're just getting started. All told, my Investing in America agenda and those bold climate laws are the most ambitious in American history. Today's release, the Fifth National Climate Assessment, is a critical part of that effort. It lays out the threats and dangers, but most exports would acknowledge it. It also shows solutions are within reach. Solutions are within reach. It takes time for the investments we're making to be fully materialized. But we just have to keep at it. We need to do more and move faster and we have the tools to do it.
And for the first time ever, we're also releasing a report with a new online tool that I just was shown a moment ago in the other room. So, everyone can explore exactly what's happening in their state, their city, and their county by going online to whitehouse.gov/nca.
Whitehouse.gov/nca, that's very different from the previous administration that tried to bury this report. They didn't even want to make sure this this report even came to light. We're shining -- we're sharing this report in detail with the American people so they know exactly what they're facing and what we're going to have to do.
But that's not all. Along with this assessment, I'm announcing $6 billion in new investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make communities across the country more resilient to climate change. This funding will be administered by the Department of Energy, the environmental protection agency, the Department of Interior, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency that's going to be focused on key climate goals, including modernizing our aging electric grid to withstand extreme weather which is causing fire -- the -- these forest fires when those towers come down and lines snap and catch fire.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: All right. President Biden announcing new climate initiatives. This, as he talks about this new climate assessment.
I want to get to CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir, who I believe is near Niagara Falls, not far from Buffalo. We can see the water pouring out behind you there, Bill -- no, talk to us about the assessment here. And what was important about what the President just revealed?
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, just the fact he's doing this, John, is such a marked difference from five years ago. This is a congressionally mandated report. 750 scientists, experts, and over a dozen different agencies. Five years ago, the Trump administration put it out on Black Friday, hoping that no one would notice. This administration has built podcasts and websites and you just heard him talk about an interactive map where people can really understand how this is impacting them.
Overall, this report is very stark. It says that the global warming has sped up in the last five years. it's more intense here than the rest of the world. The United States is warming up more. Water is a huge problem, not enough or too much. It is unfair. It is ungodly expensive on the American economy, on productivity, on mental health, on traditions from fishing to winter sports. All of these things are slowly going away even though the cheapest forms of energy man has ever known right now are solar and battery or onshore wind.
But the richest companies, multinational corporations in human history, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco and others show no signs of changing their business model. So, right now it's sort of a fight between invested interests and a cleaner future right now. But really, this administration really leaning into this and really the most robust way we've ever seen right now.
And now putting some money behind updating the electrical grid, which is this creaky big Rube Goldberg machine, the biggest machine, really, in the world that somehow works, it needs to be modernized as well. As well as helping out communities that have the smallest carbon footprint, but are suffering the most, tribes and communities of color, those sorts. So, funding for those as well.
BERMAN: Yes, if there is anything that needs an investment, the electrical grid, as you said, this Rube Goldberg construction there, it's a miracle it works at all. Bill Weir, great to have you. Thank you very much.
We got a lot of news developing. We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: The federal trial of the man charged with attacking Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband resumes this morning in California. Yesterday, Paul Pelosi told a jury for the first time the horror he felt when he was struck in the head with a hammer inside his own home. He also talked about the moment of despair before police arrived.
CNN's Veronica Miracle joins us now. Veronica, Pelosi went into great detail about all that he experienced.
VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, he really did. And this was the first time that he had publicly spoken about his -- about the attack on him. In fact, he said that, outside of speaking with prosecutors and investigators at his bedside in the hospital, he hasn't talked to anybody about the very traumatizing moments when he was attacked and all of the details leading up to it. He hasn't seen any of the video that was released back in January, the body camera video or the 9-1-1 calls. He didn't want to relive it.
He also told his family members not to do so. He didn't want them to be traumatized. But he did go in great detail during his testimony. And he actually seemed quite jovial. He was making jokes. He didn't seem emotional, and he was able to take the jury step by step through exactly what happened.
He said, he was incredibly shocked when he woke up in the middle of the night and he saw the suspect, David DePape, standing near his bedside. He said, he recognized that somebody had broken into his home and it was looking at him with a hammer and ties. And he recognized that he was in serious danger, so he tried to stay as calm as possible.
Throughout the ordeal, he said he was just trying to negotiate with DePape, trying to slowly get out of the room and stay calm. He was eventually able to get to his cell phone and call 9-1-1, and subtly tell a dispatcher that he needed help.
Throughout this process. He said that DePape was telling him he was looking for Nancy Pelosi, his wife. That she was the leader of the pack.