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News CNN Poll Shows How Biden Stacks Up Against Rivals; House Ethics Chair Introduces Santos Expulsion Resolution; Israel Says Tunnel Shaft Found At Al-Shifa Hospital, Hamas Denies. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 17, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, new this hour, fresh CNN poll numbers in New Hampshire show us where President Biden stands against his Democratic opponents and Donald Trump. Of course we will break all of those down for you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, moments ago, the motion filed to expel Republican George Santos from Congress after the scathing ethics report. We're getting a new whip count in and we're seeing a momentum swing against Santos.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We've lost most of the intensive care patients who were on ventilators. That is the grim update from the head of the burn unit inside Al-Shifa Hospital. The Israeli operation there continues with Israeli forces making grim discoveries of their own. I'm Kate Bolduan with John Berman and Sarah Sidner. This is CNN News Central.
SIDNER: All right, now to a fresh new poll, just in to our CNN Newsroom this hour, out of the first of the nation primary state of New Hampshire. Democratic voters there showing support for President Biden as their nominee and saying their party has the best shot of winning the 2024 presidential election if he is at the top of the ticket.
Let's discuss now with CNN political director David Chalian. David, Joe Biden won New Hampshire of course in 2020, how do voters there grade his performance at this point in time?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning, Sara. Yes, this is brand new exclusive CNN poll with the University of New Hampshire. And you see there, Joe Biden's approval rating in the Granite State stands at 44 percent, this is overall, 55 percent disapprove so upside down, but a tick better than his overall national approval rating. Look at it broken down by party, Sara, you see, overwhelmingly 85 percent of Democrats approve of the job that Joe Biden is doing in New Hampshire, 23 percent of independents though, that is a warning sign there for Joe Biden.
And of course, only 2 percent of Republicans approve of the job he's doing. You just showed those primary numbers. Take a look again, 65 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire are going to write in Joe Biden's name. He's not on the ballot because New Hampshire has violated the party rules still trying to go first, even though Biden has deemed South Carolina to go first this time around, but 65 percent, big lead, willing to write in his name. Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson at 10 to nine not gaining much traction.
What is the biggest concern Democratic primary voters have, well clearly a majority have one concern, it's the President's age, 56 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire say age is their biggest concern about Joe Biden, not electability or poor performance of the job or can't unite the party.
And you noted that the top, Democrats think he is their best shot despite the concern about age, 54 percent of likely Democratic primary voters say Biden is the guy that gives them their best chances at keeping the White House in Democratic hands, 28 percent like someone else, 18 percent unsure.
SIDNER: All right, now to the battle that a lot of people will be paying a lot of attention to and what this poll says, how does Joe Biden stack up to Donald Trump in New Hampshire?
CHALIAN: So we didn't test the actual horse race here, but what we do see is that while Joe Biden's favorability numbers are underwater, Donald Trump's are worse. So 34 percent have a favorable view of Joe Biden, overall New Hampshire 53 percent unfavorable. That's a net negative of 19 points. But look at Donald Trump, 27 percent favorable, 63 percent unfavorable. That's a net negative of 36 points. That is a problem in a state that has four electoral votes, but one that you're going to see both sides compete at.
Why is Donald Trump so unpopular? Well, maybe his legal woes because among New Hampshire voters, 58 percent say legitimate prosecutions are taking place that this is a legitimate effort, 41 percent say they're politically motivated as Donald Trump asserts, 62 percent of Granite Staters say that Trump didn't commit crimes for which he's been charged, 34 percent say no. So nearly two thirds in New Hampshire do believe he is guilty and committed a crime.
And take a look here about by party if you break down, 98 percent of Democrats believe he's committed crimes, 61 percent of independents believe so. And even, Sara, one in five Republicans in New Hampshire think Donald Trump has committed crimes.
SIDNER: Wow, those are really stark numbers. The independents in both of those polls, a very important group of people, especially in New Hampshire, we will be watching. And of course, we'll be listening to you all day, because you have a lot more in these polls that I'm sure you're going to get to throughout the day. Thank you so much, David Chalian.
CHALIAN: Thanks, Sara.
SIDNER: All right, Kate. BOLDUAN: So things are moving fast on Capitol Hill it seems right now. The Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee has just filed a motion to expel Republican Congressman George Santos, a significant move by a noteworthy lawmaker. This is the Chairman, the Republican chairman of the Ethics Committee that just spent months going through all of the claims against George Santos. The vote could happen soon after lawmakers returned from Thanksgiving break.
And there does seem to be growing momentum among Republicans that they have now seen enough after that devastating ethics report, a 56-page report released yesterday laying out the wild claims that Santos wildly misused campaign funds on everything from beauty treatments to personal trips to high end shopping at retail stores. CNN's Lauren Fox joining us now from Capitol Hill with much more on this. Lauren, what are you hearing from lawmakers? It is significant that this is common -- that this motion comes from the ethics chairman.
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This is especially significant given the fact that the Committee report didn't include any recommendations to expel George Santos, the argument being that continuing their investigation to get to that point would have taken so much more time.
But obviously this is a very important step, given who the messenger here is. There have been previous attempts to expel George Santos from Congress, those attempts coming from his colleagues, Republican colleagues from the state of New York, but this is significant because now there is an ethics report. And as members are reading it, they are changing their minds about how to proceed with a vote if and when it comes to the floor to expel George Santos.
At this point, CNN's count has at least a dozen Republicans who have now said they are willing to try and oust Santos from Congress. And this is a really high bar. It would take two thirds of the House of Representatives to pass it in assuming all of the Democrats support it. That means that you need about 50 Republicans to back that resolution.
Now, we won't see what is going to happen until after the Thanksgiving recess. Lawmakers are away for the holiday next week. But when lawmakers return, you can expect that this could come up for a vote. And we should also know that George Santos is going to have more to say he is holding a press conference on November 30th on Capitol Hill. That is when we could hear any additional news that he has about his plans.
He said yesterday in a tweet, he does not plan to run for reelection. But given the pressure he's getting, does that mean that he could step aside? Obviously we'll be watching very closely. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Lauren Fox, good to see you. Thank you. John?
BERMAN: All right, with us now CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten. And the important thing to watch is how many Republicans in the House of Representatives turn against him if they can get to that two thirds measure to expel him from Congress, and we're watching that count very carefully. What they're watching those members is sort of how unpopular George Santos is. So put it in historical context.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes. So let's take a look here. These are the lowest approval favorite ratings that I could find from this century. And this is amongst folks on constituents. Look at George Santos in New York third district from earlier this year, just 7 percent had a favorable view of him. That's tied with Bob Taft, who of course, was convicted of a crime just before this poll was taken. Bob Menendez, who's obviously right now in some major trouble in some federal cases at 8 percent. And of course, Rod Blagojevich, who of course, was a infamous convicted criminal at 8 percent. So he is amongst the lowest at this point.
BERMAN: I will say, you know, welcome to the modern era, where two of the numbers on this board are from this moment, if this were the, you know, Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, you know, some would say, Johnny would say, you know, George Santos is unpopular, so unpopular, and they will say how unpopular is he? He's so unpopular.
ENTEN: That, and by the way, I love Johnny Carson, believes held by a few. So of course, we mentioned George Santos has favorable rating, 7 percent. That's in New York's Third District, nationally for the other ones. The earth is flat, 10 percent of Americans believe the Earth is flat. The U.S. faked the moon landing. Look at that, 12 percent. So the fact is, George Santos is less popular than a bunch of conspiracy theories that no one should believe. He is below the Mendoza line. You can pretty much get 10 percent of Americans to agree on anything. But even in New York's Third District, you can't get 10 percent of voters to say that they like George Santos.
BERMAN: So George Santos is losing to the Earth is flat right now. There was a poll taken in his district before this ethics report came out whether he should resign, what did people think?
ENTEN: Overwhelmingly, yes, 78 percent. Overall of all voters say yes, he should resign. But here's the key nugget, right, you know, you're talking about that whip count in the House of Representatives. They're going to need a lot of Republicans. In New York's Third District, he is not a popular guy amongst Republicans, 71 percent of Republicans earlier this year said that they believe that George Santos should resign. So the fact is that Republicans boot him from the Congress, a lot of Republicans in that third district will be quite all right.
BERMAN: So I said Republicans in Congress are looking at his overall approval numbers right now, what they're also looking at is New York's Third Congressional District. If they lose George Santos, if they lose that seat, it makes their margin so, so narrow. So talk to us about that district?
ENTEN: Yes. I mean, look, it's a district that Biden won back in 2020, right? But it's also a district that Joe Pinion won and the 2022 U.S. Senate race. So it's one of these sort of purple districts, one that voted Democratic in 2020, but then switch Republican in 2022. So this could be a tossup come 2024 or, you know, even earlier, maybe than November, if of course, he resigns.
BERMAN: All right, Harry, thank you very much.
ENTEN: Thank you.
SIDNER: All right. Thank you. And thank you, Harry. Good to see you.
The first time ended in an explosion but SpaceX is now set to try again to launch the most powerful rocket ever built.
Plus, a new rape and abuse accusation against Sean Diddy Combs, why his ex-girlfriend says she is now filing a lawsuit and his response.
And one man's desperate escape from Northern Gaza with his two-year- old son, the family carrying makeshift white flags to show they're just civilians trying to flee to safety. You have to see this harrowing firsthand account that is coming up.
BOLDUAN: This morning a doctor working inside Gaza's largest hospital is offering a grim assessment. The head of the burn unit at Al-Shifa told Al Jazeera, most of the ICU patients on ventilators have died now due to a lack of fuel and oxygen. And the IDF operation there continues today. Among with the IDF says they have discovered is this, the bodies of two Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas, they are 65- year-old Yehudit Weiss and 19-year-old Noa Marciano, a corporal in the IDF. Their bodies have now been taken back to Israel.
The IDF estimates around 237 hostages are still being held by Hamas inside Gaza. And the IDF also has released this with regard to their operation at the Al-Shifa Medical Complex. Video of what they say is an operational tunnel shaft at the hospital. The IDF has said for years, Hamas hides its operation underneath has hid and shielded its operation by hiding it inside and underneath that hospital there. U.S. intelligence from the Biden administration, they say backs up that claim.
Joining me now for more on this and some perspective on this ongoing operation is the former director of communications for U.S. National Intelligence, Shawn Turner. It's good to see you again, Sean. I want to ask you first about --
SHAWN TURNER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR U.S. NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Good to see you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: I'm going to ask you first about the images that have been released from the IDF about the -- with regard to this operational tunnel shaft. It does seem -- that does seem significant. But it also seems what they have released from what they say they have so far found in their operation is still a ways to go to backing up what they say is this vast infrastructure that Hamas command has within the hospital, a command center if you will, which we've also heard from the White House. What do you see in this?
TURNER: Yes. It was good to see you Kate. You know, when I look at these images, couple of things come to mind. One, you know, we've known for a very long time that there is a vast tunnel infrastructure underneath Gaza. Its military and intelligence imagery has shown us that there are entry and exit points. And there's been clear understanding that Hamas operates underground. What has not been clear to this point is exactly where the major command nodes are.
That's something that not only has U.S. intelligence struggled with, but certainly Israeli intelligence has struggled with, understanding that as well. So when I look at these images that have been released, I'm not terribly moved or surprised that they found this this tunnel entrance there. What I'm more interested in from an intelligence perspective, is where exactly -- what exactly are they finding in that space? Because what's there will tell us whether or not there is actually a command center there, whether or not that space has power and has internet access.
I mean, all of those sorts of things that we know are underground. Until I see those things, I think it's difficult for us to make any claims other than there's a tunnel infrastructure and there's an image of a space underneath there.
BOLDUAN: Shawn, I also want to ask you about, you now have the IDF has talked about two bodies of two hostages that have been recovered and taken back to Israel and ongoing negotiations from sources over the -- a kind of a larger release of hostages. First and foremost, why would the hostage taker in this case, Hamas, agree to release a sizable number of hostages that they have, as the White House says is under intense negotiations right now? Like give me some intelligence into this?
TURNER: Yes. Yes, you know, Kate, this is not an assessment that anyone wants to hear. But I think that we're at a point where the likelihood that we will see a negotiated release of hostages is diminishing every day. And I think it's -- that it's diminishing faster every day. And I know that is a grim assessment. Well, look, here's the bottom line, as we continue to learn more about the situation on the ground, as we continue to see images of what's happening in Gaza, not only at Al-Shifa but other places. Those images, that situation will have an impact on the terrorists who are holding these innocent civilians, these innocent hostages.
They are going to make decisions based on what they are seeing. And unfortunately, you know, those decisions are going to be as the result of the pressure that they feel. I think that we're at a point where the most likely scenario for the release of these hostages will come through intelligence, where the Israeli Defense Forces are able to learn more about where these hostages are in to carry out precise military operations for the release of these hostages.
Now, again, that's not an assessment that anyone wants to hear. But we have to be realistic about the situation on the ground and the impact it's going to have on the terrorists who are holding these hostages. I do not think there is a good, you know, reason that we would see a large scale release of hostages at this point, considering what we're seeing happening on the ground in Gaza.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Sean, thank you as always for coming in. Appreciate it. Sara?
SIDNER: Yes, that'll be really, really hard for the families to hear.
All right now to Gaza where it's too dangerous to stay and given only 30 minutes to leave, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is now sharing the story of one family and their desperate escape out of Northern Gaza. Now like any war, it's disturbing. There are graphic images and it is gruesome, but it is important for you to see what is happening on the ground there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language).
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gaza City, two- year-old Walid distracted through his family's most difficult night of the war so far.
With daybreak, the Israeli military calls with an order, you have 30 minutes to get out. It was 9:30 a.m. on November the 10th, with makeshift white flags, they say the military told them to hold up, they prepared to move.
RAMI ABU JAMUS, RECORDED FAMILY AS THEY FLED TO SAFETY IN GAZA (through audio translation): We stay together, we don't rush. If there are strikes or shooting, it's not at us. We walk together slowly. Slowly together. No rush. The Israeli army knows and I am recording because the army knows.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): With the little they can carry, they head out, and into the unknown. Some too frail to walk.
ABU JAMUS (through audio translation): Carry him! Carry him! Put him on your back.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Journalist Rami Abu Jamus is filming the forced evacuation of his family, along with more than 30 of their neighbors. His phone in his right hand, and in the, other his son Walid.
ABU JAMUS: (Speaking in Foreign Language).
KARADSHEH (voice-over): He speaks French with his son, looking for his wife ahead.
ABU JAMUS: (Speaking in Foreign Language).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language).
KARADSHEH (voice-over): While waiting for other elderly neighbors, struggling to catch up.
ABU JAMUS (through audio translation): Carry him, Eyad. Put him on your back. Don't be scared. Stay on the right. Don't be scared. Be careful around this spot.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): That constant buzz you hear is Israeli drones overhead. It's the soundtrack of Gaza, for years. As they get to the other side of the street, Rami spots his neighbor, Abu Ahmad, something is not right.
ABU JAMUS (through audio translation): What's going on Abu Ahmad? What's wrong? It's all in God's hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through audio translation): My son, Ahmad!
ABU JAMUS (through audio translation): It's all in God's hands. It's all in God's hands. It's all in God's hands.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through audio translation): I told you, let's stay at home, my son! I told him, let's stay at home!
ABU JAMUS (through audio translation): Let's carry him. Let's carry him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through audio translation): I told you, let's stay at home, my son! Let's stay at home, my son!
ABU JAMUS (through audio translation): Let's go. Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through audio translation): If only we had stayed at home, God! Ahmad? Ahmad! Are you breathing my son?
ABU JAMUS (through audio translation): Yes, he is breathing. He is breathing. Breathing? Let's carry him.
Yes, yes. Carry him. Carry him. Pray to God. Pray to God. He is still alive. There's breathing.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Ahmad was shot in the head, he didn't make it.
ABU JAMUS: (Speaking in Foreign Language).
KARADSHEH (voice-over): And around the corner, two others, a man and a woman also shot. It's uncertain who opened fire on the group. CNN geolocated these videos, and traced this deadly journey out of central Gaza City. We provided the Israeli military with details of this incident, and these coordinates. But they did not respond to our request for comment.
ABU JAMUS: Hello?
KARADSHEH: Hello, Rami.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): We reached Rami, now in the south. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through audio translation): There were no ambulances.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Like most here, they were on their own. They got to Shifa Hospital, but so did the war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through audio translation): Total panic at Shifa Hospital. Look at the dead bodies. Not even a morgue. Gaza has fallen.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Witness to it all, two-year-old Walid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I kept trying to make sure he's not scared, and make him feel like he is seeing around us as a circus, or an amusement park. I don't know if I succeeded. Even the journey of humiliation, where you take a donkey here and a horse there, I was trying to make that entertaining for him.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): I asked Rami why he decided to film.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I just want this to get to the world so they know the injustice that we are facing. They cast doubt on everything we do. They are stronger in every way, not just militarily, but with the information that comes out, the narrative that comes out, the news that comes out. What they say is the truth, and our words are lies.
Please, just deliver our message. I don't want anything else. I don't want all of those who have been killed who have died in vain.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Rami doesn't know what they'll do now. But, he says he will only leave his homeland, forced at gunpoint, or dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through audio translation): My dear, my dear. Give me a kiss.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.
SIDNER: And Jomana has certainly delivered that message to the world, what a harrowing story. Israel says it has tried to call people in Gaza to evacuate areas where military operations are currently underway to minimize civilian casualties. But there has been worldwide criticism on the number of people civilians that have died in Gaza. The Ministry of Health controlled by Hamas says there are more than 11,400 people who have been killed, including 4,700 children. John?
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