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Pence: Republican's Will Have Better Choice Than Trump In 2024; Republican Lawmakers Push Back, Dodge On Trump 2024 Bid; 2 Dead After Rockets Or Missiles Hit NATO Member Poland; FBI Director Warns Of Spike In Anti-Government Extremism. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired November 15, 2022 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: David, I think that's up to the American people. But I think we'll have better choices in the future.
DAVID MUIR, ABC NEWS: Do you believe you can beat Donald Trump?
PENCE: Well, that would be for others to say, and it'd be for us to decide whether or not we'd want to test that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly not entitled to it, and I won't certainly like to make any decision, you know, this soon.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you think he's the best candidate for your party?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I don't know that he's the best candidate for the party or the worst. Again, that's something we'll decide a year from now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to see the party move forward. I think anytime you, you know, are focused on the future, you can't so much go to the past.
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R) MASSACHUSETTS: We need as a party to move past President Trump.
SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): Fealty to Donald Trump is the primary criteria for selecting candidates, we're probably not going to do really well.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Olivia what are your thoughts as hear all that?
OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER ADVISER TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Well, it's is certainly interest interesting. I've been waiting for this moment for quite some time now. And so, I think, you know, I think we gone to -- it's really fascinating to watch. I think it's going to get really ugly very quickly. Look, everything I'm hearing is that Trump will announce that he's
running tonight, and look, I don't think he'll have a policy platform that he'll be presenting. He never really does. I think it's going to be mudslinging right out of the gate. I think he'll be attacking DeSantis, Younkin others that's he's already been attacking.
It will be interesting to see what he says about Mike Pence since his book is just released today and he's got, you know, all these media appearances happening right now. I agree, I hope there will be better choices certainly for the party instead of this wrecking ball of destruction that Donald Trump has been. But we've seen this show before and, look, I think that if he runs, he has a very good chance of being the Republican nominee.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Olivia, we just played some of ABC News's interview with the former vice president, and he wouldn't go there. Do you think that he should be reelected, well, that will be for others to decide. Can you beat him? Well, we'll let -- why doesn't he just say it, full throated, assertive answers to these questions about Trump, about his own political future. You know him better than anyone on the screen right now. Why does he just kind of go 75 percent of the way there?
TROYE: Well, one, look, Mike Pence is not a confrontational person. He never has been. His demeanor is to sort of just be more quiet. The gentleman approach, which I think when it comes to Donald Trump, you can't do that. And I think at some point Mike Pence is going to have to decide whether he's going to fight with the boxing gloves in the ring with Donald Trump or he's going to get taken out. That to Donald Trump is.
And so, I think he's being very careful. Because I think he's already in a difficult, challenging position given that Trump supporters hate him. They think he's a traitor to our country. I would say the opposite. I would say that people that, you know, the person that they follow is actually the traitor to our democracy.
But I think, you know, I think he's in a tough spot. I think he'll have to tout the accomplishments of the Trump presidency that he was a part of while separating himself and saying I am a normal, rational, conservative from the Reagan era -- because I know he loves President Reagan. And I am at least sane compared to the Donald Trump option.
CAMEROTA: The I'm at least sane is the winning motto for candidates nowadays.
TROYE: Go GOP.
CAMEROTA: Yes, exactly. Olivia Troye, Nia-Malika Henderson thank you very much.
All right, we have more on our breaking news ahead, reports that missiles or rockets or projectiles of some kind have landed in Poland killing two people, reaction from the Pentagon and the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy next.
CAMEROTA: We are following breaking news. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy just said that Russian missiles hit Poland saying, quote, the terror is not limited to our national borders, end quote.
BLACKWELL: But the U.S. has not yet confirmed exactly what happened. Reports say that two projectiles hit a polish farm near the border with Ukraine and that two people have been killed. Now, it is unclear where the missiles or the rockets come from or who's responsible.
CNN's Oren Liebermann joins us now live from the Pentagon. We also have with us CNN anchor and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto back with us. Oren to you first. How is the defense secretary responding to this?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, first, we anticipate a call between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his polish counterpart. If not now sometime in the near future and we'll certainly look for a readout of that call. That comes as the U.S. and the Pentagon try to get a better understanding of exactly what happened here.
The Pentagon is being incredibly careful. In a press briefing just a short tame time ago, the Pentagon Press Secretary General Pat Ryder said they're aware of the reports. They're looking into it. They're trying to get a better sense of what happened. But no definitive statement on what exactly caused the explosions or these deaths or crucially where those came from. Was it Russia that fired these missiles. We've already seen the Ukrainian accusation that you just mentioned.
And the Russian denial claiming that images from the village of Przewodow have nothing to do with Russian weapons. The U.S. certainly looking for a lot more clarity and understanding than a simple Russian statement in that sense. Asked whether there was any change to U.S. force posture in Europe or any steps the U.S. was taking, here's what the Pentagon had to say just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIG. GEN. PAT RYDER, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: And when it comes to force protection, we always take the safety and security of our troops, no matter where they're serving, very seriously, and so we're very confident any force protection measures that we take whether it be Poland or elsewhere. But again, you know, we're not going to get ahead of ourselves here. We're going to get the facts and when we have more to provide, we will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: You heard that emphasis at the end there, the getting the facts. General Ryder said they have not seen any information to corroborate this was a missile attack on Poland or that these were in fact missiles. They're looking for that information and certainly we keep pressing them on what information they have or what they're looking for to corroborate what happened here. Crucially the Pentagon isn't going to ahead of the White House here as the whole U.S. government looks for information. And it seems like the U.S. isn't going to get ahead of Poland in coming out with some of that information.
CAMEROTA: Jim, you have also cautioned not to get ahead of ourselves here. So, what happens next particularly as it relates to NATO?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, caution is the word, and I've spoken to a NATO official who is similar to Pentagon official.
Said the following: We are looking into these reports closely coordinating with our ally Poland.
Caution is the word here. They want to confirm exactly what happened before they decide on a response. And there are multiple possibilities. This could have been a Russian missile. It came at the same time as many other Russian missiles were fired across the territory of Ukraine including the western part of Ukraine bordering Poland. So, it came at the time of Russian missile strikes.
It's possible this was a Russian missile that went off target. It's possible it was a Russian missile hit by Ukrainian air defense, and then went off target. It's also possible as a military official raised to me, that this was a Ukrainian air defense missile that either missed its target or ricocheted off its target and fell inside Poland.
I mean, with that range of possibilities they want to get their ducks in a row first, U.S. and its NATO allies before they decide on a response. But to be clear, they are taking this very seriously because something deadly struck NATO territory in the midst of an ongoing war in Ukraine brought by Russia and in the midst of a war that Russia has been firing indiscriminately hundreds of missiles at Ukraine over the course of the last several months.
As a U.S. lawmaker said to me a short time ago, he is surprised this hasn't happened yet given the volume of ordinances that have been dropped on the country. But again, to Oren's point and to what I'm hearing from NATO as well as NATO allies in the region, they want to know first what happened here. Then they will decide on a response.
CAMEROTA: OK, Jim Sciutto, Oren Liebermann, thank you very much for all of the reporting, and we'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: FBI director Christopher Wray warned that domestic violence extremists still posed a significant threat and he pushed back on a conspiracy theory that government informants contributed to violence on January 6th. CAMEROTA: CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez joins us now.
So, Evan, what did he say?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor and Alisyn, you heard the FBI director really push back, something you're expecting to hear a lot once Republicans as expected they take over the House of Representatives, which is this idea that the FBI and the homeland security department are overblowing the threat of domestic terrorism and, you know, the January 6th insurrection was really the work of FBI informants. He pushed back very strongly about that. And he reiterated, both of them actually spoke about how there's this increasing threat that began really before 2020, and it is continuing to this day. Listen to the FBI director.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Well, certainly we have seen over the last several years really going back to maybe the summer of 2019 an increase in domestic violent extremism, and we are concerned about the lethality, especially of racially motivated violent extremists and then the spike that started in 2020 of anti-government, anti-authority violent extremism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PEREZ: And the FBI director said they have investigations of this type in all 56 field offices of the FBI. And look, the backdrop is that the former president is about to likely announce that he's running again. It's going to give rise to a lot of these threats that you can expect the FBI and the Homeland Security Department are going to have to grapple with -- Victor and Alisyn.
BLACKWELL: Evan Perez, thank you.
The mystery deepens at the University of Idaho after four students were found dead inside a house near campus. The latest on the investigation and the weapon police believe was used. Next.
CAMEROTA: Classes are back in session today at the University of Idaho as officials continue to investigate the very bizarre deaths of four students at an off-campus home. Police in Moscow, Idaho, believed a, quote, edged weapon, in other words, something like a knife, was used in what they are calling homicides but no weapons have been located.
BLACKWELL: And no suspect has been taken into custody either, but investigators say they believe there is no eminent threat to the university or surrounding community.
CAMEROTA: I'm baffled by this one. This doesn't make sense. How could there be four homicides basically on campus, off-campus housing, and there's no threat to the community, and they don't have a suspect and it's not a murder-suicide, they said. BLACKWELL: It seems like too many questions to get to that conclusion
at this point in the investigation.
CAMEROTA: Yes, they need to share more information, and we're trying to get more information out of them.
BLACKWELL: All right, let's give you good news now. This is about a key measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that last month's wholesale prices rose at a slower pace compared to last month.
CAMEROTA: The annual rate was 8 percent, somewhat better than forecasted. Investors hope that cooling inflation will lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by smaller amounts in the next few months.
OK, it is supposedly a go. NASA for the third time cleared its new Artemis 1 moon rocket for launch. This launch attempt will take place early tomorrow morning just after 1:00 a.m.
BLACKWELL: Now NASA's decision comes after month of delays including suffering minor damage late last week from hurricane Nicole. This flight, no humans on board, is expected to send the spacecraft on a test mission around the moon. All right let's hope it get off the ground.
We're following breaking news out of Poland where rockets or missiles reportedly landed and killed two people. Polish authorities are about to address it.
"THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts after a short break.