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Soon, House To Debate GOP Rep. Santos Expulsion Resolution; Musk To Advertisers Fleeing X: "Go F Yourself"; Vermont Shooting Victim Details Harrowing Ordeal To CNN; Fierce Fighting As Russian Troops Advance On Ukraine's Eastern Front; Blinken Speaks After Meeting With Israeli Leaders. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 30, 2023 - 14:30   ET



LEIGH ANN CALDWELL, EARLY 202 CO-AUTHOR, "THE WASHINGTON POST": But right now, they say it's the precedent. But there's also a lot of politics in play.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: We should point out, he hasn't been convicted, but members of his staff have pled guilty to crimes and are implicating him.


ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And look, he can certainly make his case before Congress. He will certainly make his case in a court of law.

He's had the opportunity repeatedly to address these claims individually. As he said this morning, I'm not going to unpack this at this time.

Well, there's no time like the present. And if people have questions, then they deserve answers.


Thank you, everyone.

Stand by as we wait for this debate to begin.

Coming up, Elon Musk isn't looking to woo any boycotting advertisers back to X. That is pretty clear. Instead, he has a four-letter word for them that you can't say on television. We'll have the details next.



SANCHEZ: Elon Musk is finally apologizing for an anti-Semitic tweet he supported on his social media platform earlier this month. It comes after more than a dozen advertisers, including major media companies, cut ties with X. But when it came time to address those companies, he didn't apologize. Instead he -- just watch.


ELON MUSK, X OWNER: If somebody's going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yourself. Go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yourself.


MUSK: Is that clear? I hope it is.


SANCHEZ: CNN's senior media reporter, Oliver Darcy, joins us now.

Oliver, what do you make of this defiant stance by the head of X?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: It's certainly, Boris, not going to bring back those advertisers that left his platform, those advertisers he desperately needs if he wants to keep X afloat.

Because X is primarily -- they generate most of their revenue from advertisements. Without companies like Disney, Apple, IBM, advertising on the platform, they're not going to be bringing in much revenue.

Let's listen to Elon Musk as he explained what's going to happen to the site because these advertisers are boycotting it.


MUSK: What this advertising boycott is going to do, it's going to kill the company.


MUSK: And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company. We'll document it in great detail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But those advertisers are going to say, we didn't kill the company.

MUSK: Oh, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to say --

MUSK: Tell it to earth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're going to say, Elon, that you killed the company because you said these things and they were inappropriate things and they didn't feel comfortable on the platform. Right?

MUSK: Let's see -- let's see how earth responds to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) DARCY: What's remarkable here, Boris, is that Elon Musk is not taking any real responsibility for these advertisers leaving the company. Of course they're leaving because of his unhinged behavior on the platform.

Over the last year, since he took over, he has smeared journalists, he's launched ugly attacks against the Anti-Defamation League and George Soros. He's promoted conspiracy theories like Pizza-Gate, even as of late. And of course, he's made that anti-Semitic endorsement.

So there's a lot of behaviors advertisers are seeing from Musk, which they don't want to associate with. That's why they've fled his platform in droves.

But he's blaming them of this self-inflicted wound. It's remarkable to see -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Oliver Darcy, thanks for telling it to earth. Appreciate it.


KEILAR: Well, it was like being in a living nightmare. That's how one of the three Palestinian college students who was shot Saturday in Vermont is describing his terrifying ordeal.

And 20-year-old Kinnan Abdalhamid and his mother, Tamara Tamimi, appearing today on "The View" to talk about the trauma they're both living with.


KINNAN ABDALHAMID, VERMONT SHOOTING VICTIM: It was almost surreal how quickly he did it. I still kind of remember it.

And even at the moment it was kind of moving in a nightmare. It's, like, not -- the way I perceived it wasn't the same. It really felt like I was in a living nightmare.

TAMARA TAMIMI, MOTHER OF VERMONT SHOOTING VICTIM: We're incredibly concerned for his friends who are still in critical condition.

It's hard to make sense of this. It really is. Except just to say, when people are dehumanized and there's rhetoric by government officials and by the media where Palestinians are not really seen as human, right?

We, you know -- with this conflict in Gaza, we have the U.S. administration doubting the number of people that have died. We have to sort of prove how many babies have been killed.

And at this time, quite honestly, I feel like no Palestinian is safe anywhere.


KEILAR: Now this is the suspect, Jason Eaton. He's 48. Being held without bail on three counts of attempted second-degree murder. Law enforcement officials are still determining whether this attack can be charged as a hate crime.


And any moment now, we're expecting Secretary of State Antony Blinken to speak. We're watching live pictures coming to us of this event waiting to get underway. He's going to be speaking after his meetings in the Middle East, critical meetings. We'll have those comments ahead for you.


SANCHEZ: This is a live view from a podium in Tel Aviv, Israel, where we're anticipating remarks from U.S. Secretaruy of State Antony Blinken.

The secretary of state visiting the Middle East and Israel for the third time since the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7th. The secretary of state has met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abass.

This press briefing coming as we await word to whether the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas may be extended by another day or so. We'll bring you his remarks live when they happen. So stay tuned for that.


Now we want to pivot to another global conflict and an extraordinary view we're getting from inside the trenches in Ukraine. Soldiers are fiercely fighting to keeping Russia soldiers from surrounding a key city in the eastern front.

CNN's Anna Coren spoke with a Ukrainian commander about an intense battle that he captured on film as Russian tanks nearby shelled their positions.



ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the pre-dawn light, a cacophony of military firepower fills the air.


COREN: Incoming explosions --


COREN: -- outgoing fire.


COREN: As one of Ukraine's assault infantry units of the 47th Mechanized Brigade tries to take back trenches in Avdiivka captured by Russian forces.


COREN: "We need drones, we need drones", says company commander, Oleh Sentsov, filming on his GoPro.

"The bastards are sitting in the tree line shooting at us," he explains.


COREN: In a rare interview, the former filmmaker, imprisoned by the Russians in 2014 for five years, tells me about last month's mission in what has become one of the hottest spots on the Eastern Front.

SENTSOV (through translation): My goal was for people to watch this and know what this war is really like.

Because it's very important to record this so that people know now and know later what a cruel and terrible war it is.

COREN: One of his troops has been hit.


COREN: They remove his body armor to reveal a bullet hole.


COREN: As they apply a chest seal, the team has even bigger problems than they had.


COREN: "Duck, the tank is coming," yells one of them.


COREN: And then the war from the sky begins.


COREN: "Drone, drone, FPV," yells a soldier.


COREN: "I see it," another shouts back.


COREN: Minutes later, another soldier is hit. This time, shrapnel to the legs.


COREN: While talking on the radio reporting on his injured troops, Oleh also gets hit --


COREN: -- but doesn't realize for a few moments.



COREN: "There's a small hole. I see the blood. You're bleeding," says the female paramedic.

Quickly patched up, Oleh remains focused and composed, until, suddenly, they hear the rumble of tanks.

Oleh's unit tries to bury themselves in the earth as one drives by.


COREN: The female paramedic cries --


COREN: -- "We are surrounded, the tanks are shooting on us."

Approximately 40 tons of terror, so close the earth is shaking.


COREN: Drone footage taken by the Ukrainian military shows four Russian tanks firing on the tree line.

Positioned in those trees are three Ukrainian assault groups in trenches spread out over a kilometer.

Oleh's unit is in the middle. They were the only ones to be spared.

SENTSOV (through translation): We failed to hold our position and had to retreat. We had injuries but survived. But the other two groups were almost completely destroyed.


COREN: This is the first time Oleh has failed a mission as commander in the almost two years that he's been here.


COREN: The 47-year-old tells me, he wants the world to know the truth on the frontline.

A war, this father of four, is returning to this week.

Anna Coren, CNN, Kyiv.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANCHEZ: Our thanks to Anna Coren for that look at what life is like on the ground for soldiers in Ukraine.

On NEWS CENTRAL, we're tracking two live events.

First, another look at that room where we're anticipating Secretary of State Antony Blinken is going to take to the podium at any moment to answer questions from reporters as we await word on whether the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel may be extended by a day or two.

Meantime, major news out of the U.S. capitol. Lawmakers in the Hose are introducing a resolution for the third time to try to attempt to expel Republican Congressman George Santos of New York. Santos, of course, accused of a slew of crimes.


He could become the first member of the House of Representatives expelled from the body without being convicted of a crime since 1861. We have a live report when we come back.


KEILAR: All right, let's listen now to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: On my last visit here. I discussed the potential for humanitarian pauses to facilitate the release of Hamas' hostages, the surge in humanitarian assistance, the protection of Palestinian civilians.

And I said that there were a number of issues that needed to be worked through but that the United States was committed to achieving these goals.

Today -- today marks the seventh day of the humanitarian pause in Gaza and the United States worked closely with Israel, Qatar and Egypt to put in place.

The seventh day that hostages have been freed and are returning home to their families. The seventh day that significantly more humanitarian assistance is getting into the people of Gaza who need it. And the seventh day that civilians in Gaza have been able to move to safer areas.


I've come again here today to advance a number of goals. Our immediate focus is working with our partners to extend the pause so that we can continue to get more hostages out of Gaza and more assistance in.

We share the elation, the relief of the families from more than a dozen countries, including the United States, who have been reunited with their loved ones. And yet, there are scores of family here in Israel, the United States, and around the world whose loved ones continue to be held captive and who are desperate to get them home safely.

We will not stop working until we get every hostage back home with their families and loved ones.

At the same time, we continue to surge humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Together with the U.N., partners in the region, we have significantly increased the flow of food, water, medicine, fuel to power desalination plants, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure.

Just over the past week, the mechanisms that we helped to negotiate and implement, had more than doubled the number of trucks getting into Gaza.

But this is still not enough to meet the needs of its people, which is why we continue to work urgently to get more aid in and to get it in faster.

Sustaining and increasing the flow of humanitarian aid, in particular fuel, restocking stores with commercial goods. These are vital to lives and livelihoods and well-being of men, women, and children.

That's especially true for the most vulnerable parts of the population -- children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with disabilities.

And it's even more pressing as winter sets in, bringing with it heightened infection of disease outbreaks.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also made clear that Israel intends to resume its military operations against Hamas when Hamas stops releasing hostages.

As we've said from the outset, Israel has the right to do everything it can to ensure that the slaughter Hamas carried out on October 7th can never be repeated.

Hamas cannot remain in control of Gaza. It cannot retain the capacity to repeat that carnage.

That was only underscored by this morning's appalling terrorist attack on people waiting at a bus stop in Jerusalem, which killed three Israeli civilians and wounded at least six others, including two American citizens.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for that attack. It called its perpetrators heroic.

We mourn those killed just as we mourn the loss of every civilian life, Israeli or Palestinians.

But as I also said, since I first came here after October 7th, the way Israel defends itself matters. It's imperative that Israel act in accordance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war. Even when confronting a terrorist group that respects neither.

In my meetings today with the prime minister and senior Israeli officials, I made clear that before Israel resumes major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians.

That means taking more effective steps to protect the lives of civilians, including by clearly and precisely designating areas and places in southern and central Gaza where they can be safe and out of the line of fire.

It means avoiding further significant displacement of civilians inside of Gaza. It means avoiding damage to life-critical infrastructure like hospitals, like power stations, like water facilities.

And it means giving civilians who have been displaced to southern Gaza to return to the north as soon as conditions permit. There must be no enduring internal displacement.

All of this can be done in a manner that still enables Israel to achieve its objectives.

Of course, we know that every one of these elements is made more complicated by the fact that Hamas intentionally embeds itself with civilians within and below hospitals, schools, apartment buildings, refugee camps.


But Israel has the most sophisticated -- one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world. It is capable of neutralizing the threat posed by Hamas while minimizing harm to innocent men, women, and children. And it has an obligation to do so.

Ultimately, that's just not the right thing to do, it's also in Israel's security interest.