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More Than Six Feet Of Snow Paralyzes Parts Of Western N.Y.; A.G. Garland Names Special Counsel To Oversee Trump Probes; Police: Four Idaho Students Were "Likely Asleep" Before Stabbings; Biden's Granddaughter Marries At White House; Japan: Latest N. Korean Missile Had Potential To Reach U.S. Homeland; Kim Jong-Un's Daughter Makes First Public Appearance; FIFA Boss Goes on Tirade Against Western Critics on Eve of World Cup. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired November 19, 2022 - 13:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Deadly snowfall in western New York State is wreaking havoc. The historic storm has dumped more than six feet of snow in some areas. That record breaking total paralyzing a region that is used to dealing with major winter storms. The extreme snowfall making travel nearly impossible.

Driving bans and states of emergencies are in place to keep people off the roads. The NFL moving this weekend's game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns to Detroit, as snow blanketed Highmark Stadium. The bills hoping to travel out today. CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is tracking this dangerous storm for us. And Polo Sandoval is in Buffalo. Polo, let's go to you first. What do you see?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. You know, sadly, the storm becoming deadly after yesterday, there were two people that suffered heart attacks while removing snow and sadly passed away. So authorities are hoping to prevent any future loss of life by calling on folks that if you have everything you have right now at home, don't need to go anywhere.

Stay put, let the snow continue to accumulate after the snow event is over, then they can get some help in trying to remove some of that snow. The other priority is getting people off the streets. Largely here in downtown Buffalo you could take it all in, Fred. People are heeding the warnings, we've seen very few vehicles that are not emergency responders, that are not snow plows, most of the folks that we've seen are choosing to go out and explore on foot.

Though they have to do it carefully with the winds just being extremely intense. The temperature supposedly, it's about 29 degrees. I checked it a while ago, but it feels like about 15 degrees up. And in terms of what authorities are hoping that the message gets out will actually be is that people simply stay off the roads right now as you're about to hear from one of Erie County's top officials. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL NEAVERTH, COMMISSIONER, ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES: Make sure that you're not the reason why ambulances or fire apparatus or the plows can't get through, stay off the roads. It's Saturday, there's absolutely no reason to be out there today. The only people that need to be out there are public safety individuals. So stay off the roads.


SANDOVAL: Recently in New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a native of buffalo say that this is unlike something that many of the residents you have ever seen, basically calling on people to stay home, that the worst or rather than that we're not out of the woods yet. In fact, even calling on the National Guard to come in and assist. One of the ways that they're going to be helping here, Fred, is by assisting folks, dialysis patients to actually go get their treatment that they have to have done.

Assisting them and leaving their homes, taking them to get that medical attention, or at least that care and then return home. And then of course not so much a priority. But still certainly something that people are talking about here. The Buffalo Bills game scheduled for tomorrow was supposed to happen here. Clearly that that wasn't going to be possible. So they relocated over to Detroit.

So, right now what the team is doing, and even some of the first responders chipping in their own way to make sure some of the members of the team can make it to the airport to make that afternoon flight. That airport is open but again, that's just less of a priority right now. It's about making sure that nobody -- the folks that don't need to be out are staying home with all of this still a threat.

WHITFIELD: Right. Intending to the vulnerable communities as you just outlined. Thank you so much. All right. Allison to you in the weather center. So Buffalo's mayor is hoping to get his city back on track sometime early next week is that going to happen?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: As long as people heed the warnings and they stay home unless they absolutely have to leave. That's the thing, you're going to get breaks from time to time in the snow and what we don't want is people everybody rushing out when there's an hour break to go out and do things and block the roads. There are going to be breaks. Right now Buffalo Watertown both experiencing that but we expect that when to shift later today.

And that snow is going to come right back adding additional snow on top of what they've already had. And they've had a lot. Look at this, Orchard Park 77 inches, that's over seven or over six feet. Hamburg also over six feet. Same thing with natural bridge. Even Blasdell looking at 71 inches in Watertown. Just about 60 inches of snow. More is still expected not just today, but also through the morning hours tomorrow.

And its other states too. We want to emphasize. This isn't just New York, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, all picking up over two feet of snow. So again, the main thing here, Fred is if you don't have to be out, just stay home. Look out your window, and enjoy how beautiful it looks from inside.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Well, this lake effect snow it's the real deal. All right, Alison Chinchar, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

All right. Now to the new developments in the criminal probes of Donald Trump. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to oversee ongoing federal investigations into the former president.


The move comes just days after Trump announced that he was running for president in 2024. And he is already lashing out at this announcement, calling it an abuse of power and saying he won't partake in the probe. Veteran attorney Jack Smith, who recently prosecuted war crimes at The Hague will lead the department's probe into Trump's possible mishandling of classified documents and key parts of the January 6 insurrection case.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz joining us right now. So Caitlin, good to see you. So what is the new special counsel saying now that he's in charge of the investigations?

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Fredricka, the emphasis here is how experienced and apolitical Jack Smith is. This is an attorney with a relatively low profile, and so low profile in Washington, especially that I talked to many prominent lawyers here who had never even heard of the guy in recent years. And he hasn't even lived in the United States because he has been in the Netherlands prosecuting war crimes for several years.

So here is the statement that he made taking upon this very important historic assignment yesterday. He said, I intend to conduct the assigned investigations and any prosecutions that may result from them independently. And in the best traditions of the Department of Justice. The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch, I will exercise independent judgment and we'll move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome, the facts and the law dictate.

This is a consummate prosecutor. That's the type of statement that you would expect someone with a lot of prosecutorial experience. And I want to emphasize that question of pace. That's going to be something that there's going to be a lot of attention paid to how fast does an investigation move forward. We know that both this January 6 investigation around the political circles of Donald Trump, the possible obstruction of Congress and also the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation.

Those are both pretty mature investigations, there have been searches and seizures, lots of Grand Jury activity, teams already established for Smith to step into. And so we're going to be watching in the coming days what his first decisions will be. Here's how Donald Trump however responded last night he clearly is over it.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This horrendous abuse of power is the latest in a long series of witch hunts. It started a long time ago. I thought the investigation with the document hoax was dying or dead or over and the investigation into January 6 in my very peaceful and patriotic speech. Remember? Peaceful and patriotically was dead especially after the record setting 40-point loss of Liz Cheney in the great state of Wyoming. I thought it was dead.


POLANTZ: And an important acknowledgement both from the former president and with the Justice Department's appointment there is that this investigation really is about Donald Trump. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right, Katelyn Polantz, thanks so much for that. Let's talk more about all this with Shan Wu. He is a former federal prosecutor and a defense attorney. Shan, great to see you. So helped me understand, you know, your point of view before this appointment. And now since the appointment, you recently wrote an opinion piece making the case that appointing a special counsel for these Trump probes would be a mistake. Do you still feel that way?

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I do. It wasn't required. And let me clear up a couple of things first. In no way do I question Merrick Garland's integrity, certainly don't question the competence or ability of Jack Smith. What I question is why, after all this time, does Garland now decide to appoint a special counsel. And the answer of course, is because Trump declared his candidacy.

And that's the problem. It really does the opposite of what Attorney General Garland wants to do which is to insulate the department from politics and partisanship. Look at the reaction to his announcement. All heck has broken loose. Trump is going on their way is calling this a witch hunt, Republicans are calling for a special counsel for Hunter Biden. Other people who are very anti-Trump are angry at Garland feeling that he has punted the football.

And that's what's happened. He's turned the special counsel into a political football at this point.

WHITFIELD: interesting. As opposed to Merrick Garland saying, because of the stated intention of running in 2024 by Trump and Biden, it's necessary to have a special counsel because among the investigations is the peaceful transfer of power, the threat to a peaceful transfer of power, and now you have those same or possibly the same people involved. Meaning a Trump and a Biden, maybe -- there may be some revisiting or concerns of threats to a peaceful transfer of power.


That's what we heard from the U.S. attorney general yesterday. And you think that explanation doesn't answer some of the critics on the offset?

WU: Oh, it clearly doesn't answer them. It's not that his rationale makes no sense. I mean, the special counsel regulations basically comprise of two elements. One if there's an actual conflict of interest and two extraordinary circumstances. So, there's no real conflict of interest here. Unlike when Trump was president and Mueller was investigating actions that concern him. There's not this problem of the executive branch trying to investigate itself.

But there certainly are extraordinary circumstances here. And that's what Garland is looking to. And, you know, ultimately, that is a discretionary call on his part. I mean, he's a man of great integrity. He's following his own moral compass. But if the intention was to insulate the department from political rancor and partisanship, it certainly is not going to do that. They were already proceeding in a very honorable fashion, good investigation going on.

And I hope this doesn't cause a lot of delay, but it's actually just caused a huge frenzy now that he's announced that. And in fact, some people seem to believe that appointing a special counsel indicates there'll be charges. It doesn't. It's just appointing somebody independent of Garland himself to look at the case necessity.

WHITFIELD: All right. Shan Wu. Good to see you. Have a great Thanksgiving week.

WU: You too.

WHITFIELD: All right, still to come. The end of an era and a major shakeup for House Democrats after our Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces she will not seek reelection as head of the caucus. We'll discuss what this means for the future of the party next.



WHITFIELD: A major shakeup in Washington. The U.S. Congress will soon look a lot different with new leadership and a GOP controlled House. Let's bring in CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer who is a historian and professor at Princeton University. Always good to see you, Julian.


WHITFIELD: So Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepping down as House party leader. New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is the favorite to succeed her which would make him the first Black Party leader in Congress. And despite that history making and passing of the baton, he is facing a divided Congress. So I wonder, you know, how will the unity and his party perhaps help equip him.

ZELIZER: Well, he comes in, he doesn't have the same kind of experience, obviously as Speaker Pelosi did. But with Republicans in control of the House, it will offer a reason for democrats to stay on the same page. There's nothing like being in the opposition that can unite and paper over some of the divisions. So, I think he'll still have a lot to work with, but he will be in the minority and republicans will use their power ruthlessly.

WHITFIELD: So unity within the Democratic Party. It's the flip, you know, the complete opposite in the GOP. There's a lot of infighting, particularly if Kevin McCarthy becomes the House speaker. So do you see the Republicans coming together and passing an agenda with the Kevin McCarthy in leadership or do you see it going a different way?

ZELIZER: Most likely, they will unify. Republicans have been a pretty disciplined party when it comes time to vote. They're not in the business right now of moving legislation because it won't get through the senate, nor will President Biden pass or sign a lot of what they're going to offer. So they're focused on investigation and obstruction. And my sense is, once the next few months settle, you'll see even Republicans from some of those districts in New York that flipped, still coming along with the caucus. So I wouldn't underestimate the ability of the GOP to stay on the same page.

WHITFIELD: Does that seem like a potentially winning strategy that there are so many pronouncements coming from members of the GOP who say they want to conduct all of these investigations, which is essentially looking back whether it's, you know, details about the withdrawal of Afghanistan or looking into Hunter Biden. Does it seem as though they're dismissing what voters were telling them at midterms?

Voters said they want -- they want people to look ahead, they want lawmakers to be looking ahead.

ZELIZER: It depends on your definition of winning. If winning is to stop the Biden administration to focus on scandal rather than on issues. They can still be very effective despite that criticism. But they do risk misreading what the public is looking for right now. And they also open themselves up to the risk of -- in 2024, President Biden pointing to the, you know, a "do nothing Congress" to paraphrase President Truman and saying they're too extreme to govern.

So they're walking a very fine line and this is the challenge McCarthy if he is speaker will face.

WHITFIELD: Julian Zelizer, always good to see you. Have a great Thanksgiving week.

ZELIZER: You as well. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Coming up. New details on the investigation of the fatal stabbings of for Idaho college students. Investigators hope surviving roommates might be able to help them figure out what happened and why. We'll go live to Idaho next.


WHITFIELD: The search for answers intensifies after four University of Idaho students were brutally killed last weekend. Authority shared key details with the quadruple homicides Friday saying the four victims were likely asleep before the attacks. The coroner says each student was stabbed multiple times likely from the same weapon and that some victims had defensive wounds indicating a possible struggle.

After a week, still no identified suspect or murder weapon. I want to bring in now since Camila Bernal who is live for us in Idaho. Camila, what are authorities saying today?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey Fred, you're correct. No suspect, no weapon. They're now saying they talked to at least 38 people, conducted 38 interviews and are reviewing hundreds and hundreds of tips trying to figure out how this happened. One thing though, that a lot of people here say is that they're confused. They're scared because initially authorities here said, look, you have nothing to worry about, there is no threat to the community.


And then they said wait, actually be very vigilant because we don't have an arrest in this case. One thing, though, that they are saying is that this was a targeted attack. They have not given the reason why they believe this was targeted. But they're saying in their eyes, this was targeted. Now, according to the latest information that we got, some of the things you mentioned, yes, they believe that all four of these students were sleeping at the time of the attack.

They believe that all of them were stabbed multiple times. It's unclear exactly if they fall back or which ones of them fought back, but at least one of the parents, the dad of Xana Kernodle saying that he believes his daughter fought back. He says she talked to her the night of the attack. Here he is.


JEFFREY KERNODLE, FATHER OF XANA KERNODLE: I heard from her before we went out. I think midnight is the last time I heard from her and she was fine. They were just hanging out at home. Bruises, you know, maybe occurred by the knife or whatever. She's a tough kid. Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it.


BERNAL: Now authorities also asking local businesses if they've sold a knife recently, they also collected things from four different dumpsters in the area trying to find evidence. And they released a timeline, a map of where these students were on the night of the attack hoping to get more tips. They say that two of the students, they were at a fraternity party from eight to 9:00 p.m.

The other two, they went to a local sports bar from 10:00 to about 1:30 in the morning, then they go to a food truck at around 1:40 in the morning. They're all believed to be home right around 2:00 in the morning. And according to authorities, the attack is likely happening in those early morning hours. But remember the 911 call that was made at around noon on Sunday. They're still not saying who made that 911 call.

But what authorities are saying is that the two other students that were in this house here behind me that were likely asleep at the time of the attack. They're saying they don't believe those are the suspects. But of course, there's still a lot of questions as to this investigation. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right. Camila Bernal, thank you so much. Keep us posted. I want to bring in now CNN senior law enforcement analyst chief Charles Ramsey for more perspective on these attacks. He's a former Washington, D.C. police chief and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner. So good to see you, Chief. So, based on the information available, what's your assessment of the state of the investigation about where in the investigation are we?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST CHIEF: Well, they're obviously combing through a lot of evidence. It's my understanding they brought the FBI in. The FBI has profilers that they're probably using blood spatter experts, the state police are involved. So they're bringing as many resources as they possibly can to try to figure this out. But it's still it -- to me, it's pretty strange.

I mean, the bodies were found on the second and third floor. I don't know where the roommates were sleeping at the time, so they had to not hear anything. So there are still a lot of unanswered questions. But if the scene was as bloody as they say it was, and four victims stabbed to death, I have no reason to think it wasn't pretty bloody. I mean, they may have a footprint that they're looking at, maybe try to identify the type of shoes, is it male or female.

I mean, all those kinds of things are taking place right now. This was a party house, according to the sister of one of them. So obviously, there are a lot of people that need to be interviewed. They did take video of themselves inside the house. So they probably took video during parties. So you got to identify those people and bring them in as well. So, I mean, it's just one thing after the other that you've got to do is a lot of work that has to be done on this case.

WHITFIELD: So at least publicly Moscow police are revealing some of the things that they have ruled out that the victims were not tied and gagged during the attack. The coroner said the autopsies did not find signs of sexual assault, that it's their belief that they were sleeping at the time of the attack. So, you know, you mentioned FBI forensic authorities would be playing a role here.

How do they assess some of the possibilities based on some of the things that have been ruled out?

RAMSEY: Well, I mean, it's amazing. Some of the things they can do forensically. Certainly the medical examiner plays a critical role, but they'll be able to determine is the person right handed, are they left handed. I mean, there are a lot of things that they'll be able to determine. The type of knife they've already determined, the type of knife I believe, that was used to commit the crimes.

I would imagine that the -- Chapin and Kernodle I believe is her name, boyfriend, girlfriend. They were probably in the same room. And I would think they would have attacked the male first and that would account for the defensive wounds on the female because that would have certainly caused her to wake up and fight the attacker. So there's a lot of things we try to recreate what happened.


And there's something else that I read, was that there's some kind of transportation they got from a private party, whatever that means, but it wasn't an Uber. So who was that person? Who called the police?

I mean, you know, to say that it's an unconscious person when you've got that much blood on the scene, that in itself is a bit unusual and the bodies weren't found until several hours later.

So they've got a lot of work ahead of them. And it probably will come down to finding something on their social media or a tip from the public that will lead them to the killer or killers that were involved in this.

WHITFIELD: Again, another thing being ruled out, no signs of forced entry.

RAMSEY: Right.

WHITFIELD: And family of one of the victims said that home, as you mentioned, was known to be a party house with a keypad lock that requires a code.

I wonder, you know, if that is something, a tool in which to indicate who may have also had entry or access, fingerprints, that kind of forensic evidence.

RAMSEY: Well, that would be something they'll certainly be looking at. My understanding is the door was open when police arrived. That could be either open because that was the entry or that's how they got out. There was also a sliding door apparently that could be used.

So if that's a party house, a lot of people in and out of there all the time. If the code was not protected, people could come in and out at will, that makes it more complicated in trying to narrow things down.

I believe they'll eventually get to what took place, but it's going to take an awful lot of work. But they do, again, have the resources. They've brought in the FBI. They have the state police there working alongside of them.

So now it's just processing everything and getting as much information as they possibly can to narrow it down until they can find a suspect.

WHITFIELD: Terribly sad feeling for the families involved.

RAMSEY: It is.

WHITFIELD: It's incredible.

Chief Charles Ramsey, good to see you. Thank you so much.

RAMSEY: Thank you, Fred. WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un

oversees the launch of a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile and declares his country will react to countries with nuclear weapons. What is he up to?



WHITFIELD: A day of celebration at the White House for President Biden and his family. We're getting a first look now at this morning's wedding of his oldest granddaughter, Naomi Biden. She is the daughter of Hunter Biden.

The ceremony taking place earlier today followed by a luncheon inside. It's the 19th wedding in the history of the White House.

CNN's Kate Bennett is live for us at the White House.

So this is the first wedding to take place outside of the South Lawn. You mentioned earlier, no tents, and now we see, no tents. A little chilly. But, I mean, it made for a beautiful picture.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It really did. The temperature around the time of the ceremony, which was about an hour and a half ago, ended then, was about 39 degrees, so it was definitely chilly.

The guests in the front row, the family, the president, the first lady, they had blankets for them on their laps to keep them warm. Other guests had -- you know, shawls were handed out.

So guests were obviously a little chilly, but worth it, I would imagine, to be present for this wedding between Naomi Biden and Peter Neal, who are now married.

I'm hearing a few details from the ceremony. Both of the bride's parents walked her down the aisle, Hunter Biden and his ex-wife, both walking Naomi Biden down the aisle.

I'm also told the couple wrote their own vows to one another for the ceremony. The bride did walk down the aisle to "Bittersweet Symphonies." That was her walk-in song.

It's interesting because the Biden family is also celebrating the president's 80th birthday tomorrow. But first they want to get through this evening's festivities.

So most of the guests have left. The luncheon was just for the family and the wedding party.

Later tonight, around 7:00 p.m., guests will return for a black-tie party, a big blowout with dancing and cake and dessert, a reception here at the White House.

One other thing the White House has not yet confirmed but I hear from two sources who tell me that the bride's gown was designed by Ralph Lauren, the iconic American designer, the long-sleeved gown. She had a very long train.

And it was predicted that Ralph Lauren might be the designer because she was spotted at his fashion show in New York earlier this year, and that sort of tipped it off.

I'm told she'll be wearing a completely different outfit this evening for the reception and that obviously it will be a different kind of feel than the chilly South Lawn was for their wedding ceremony earlier today.

WHITFIELD: Iconic moments were just crafted, right? You can have an inauguration in weather like this outside, I guess why not a wedding --


WHITFIELD: -- on the White House lawn with weather like this, too?

Thank you so much, Kate Bennett. Appreciate it.

All right. North Korea firing another test missile Friday. Japanese officials say this ballistic missile has the range to reach the U.S. mainland, and it marks the 34th day this year that the regime has carried out a missile test.

It also saw the first public appearance of dictator Kim Jong-Un's daughter, who appeared at his side as he oversaw the launch.

Let's bring in David Sanger. He is a CNN political and national security analyst and White House and national security correspondent for "The New York Times."

David, good to see you.

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL & NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good to see you. And boy, those were some pictures from the White House.

WHITFIELD: Really gorgeous. Hard to go wrong on the White House grounds for an event, right?

SANGER: That's right.

WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk about this, North Korea. It's not the first time, you know, it's been assessed that North Korea has an ICBM capable of hitting North America. But why is this time different, David?


SANGER: Well, the most interesting thing this year so far has been the frequency of these tests. So, clearly they are moving toward trying to demonstrate they have a range of missile capabilities from short, medium, and long range.

They've been trying to make the case they can launch from a submarine, although we're not certain of that.

What was interesting about this and the previous ICBM launches is that they're doing this very high parabola. In other words, shooting almost straight up, going well into space, and coming back down, but not going a long distance where it would be unclear where it would land and perhaps highly provocative.

So in order to make the case that they could strike the United States, they would basically have to flatten out the parabola here and go a considerable distance.

They also have not yet proven that they can shrink a nuclear weapon -- and they've tested six -- down to the size that they could fit into the nose cone of one of these missiles and that it could survive reentry into the atmosphere.

So they're making the case that they can shoot a missile, but they haven't yet proven they could actually detonate one near an American city.

WHITFIELD: So maybe it's just their hope that the inference should strike enough fear and concern and, you know, elicit the attention that it always seems to seek?

SANGER: That's right. You know, I think when you do sort of step back and look at the past couple of months, though, there's a concerning new energy to using nuclear weapons as a threat.

We've seen Vladimir Putin do this, obviously, in Ukraine. And my guess is that if he's set back again on the ground you'll see those threats again.

We have seen Iran make significant strides toward being able to produce a nuclear weapon quickly. We don't believe that they have actually produced one yet.

But they have been enriching at such a pace, according to reports we just got this week from the International Atomic Energy Agency, that they obviously could produce the material into a weapon in pretty short order.

And now you see North Korea. So, you know, we're back to nuclear politics, something we thought was dead after the end of the Cold War. And it's come back full force.

WHITFIELD: I mean, the U.S. response has been, you know, continue with the military exercises or perhaps even increase those military exercises with South Korea.

What are the options that you think the U.S. might be entertaining right now?

SANGER: Well, the problem right now is the U.S. is fundamentally -- it does not want to recognize North Korea as a state. President Bush didn't want to do that with the first nuclear test happened. President Obama didn't want to do this. And of course, we saw that Donald Trump thought he could negotiate with Kim Jong-Un and somehow solve this problem. At one point, he said to me that North Korea will be on the way to giving up their weapons within six months of his meeting in Singapore. Instead, they have added to their arsenal.

So what's gone on at this point is North Korea is effectively a nuclear power, whether or not we want to admit it or not. And we do not have the wherewithal at this point to go focus on how to go deter this in a large way.

And so what we're basically doing is ignoring them, which is what the Obama administration did. That's fine if you suspect they're not going to use these weapons. And I suspect they probably wouldn't.

But the difficulty is all of our efforts across Democratic and Republican administrations to deter them from increasing the size of their nuclear arsenal and improving their missile base have failed.

And by the way, so did a series of electronic warfare and cyberattacks that we did on the missile program back during the Obama administration.

WHITFIELD: Quickly, what's with the messaging or symbolism of Kim Jong-Un appearing in that photo with his daughter?

SANGER: This is fascinating. We've never seen her before. We think she's about 12 or 13 years old.

The pictures were shown with her at the missile test site. As somebody put on Twitter -- I think it was Ian Bremer -- gives a whole new sense to take your daughter to work day, right?

I mean, first showing he associates her with North Korea's nuclear weapons. Some people have suggested that maybe this means he is indicating she's a successor.

WHITFIELD: All right.

SANGER: Maybe years in the future.

WHITFIELD: Yes. I feel like there's something to that whole next generation thing. Especially as he knows what's going on in Washington, and there's been a lot of speak this week about the next generation. So maybe that's his way of saying, us, too, here's our next generation.


SANGER: Making the point. Exactly.

WHITFIELD: Yes. All right. David Sanger, thanks so much.


WHITFIELD: You as well. Coming up, human rights organizations slamming FIFA's president after he called criticism of Qatar's treatment of migrant workers a hypocrisy just hours before the World Cup is set to start for the first time in the Middle East. We'll discuss after this.



WHITFIELD: The opening match of the World Cup is now just one day away. But today, instead of hyping up the tournament, the president of FIFA is pointing the finger amid a slew of controversies.

A growing chorus of critics has taken issue with Qatar and its human rights record, including its use of migrant records to build facilities for the World Cup and their treatment of the LBGTQ-plus community.

Today, the FIFA president blasted those notions as hypocrisy.


GIANNI INFANTINO, FIFA PRESIDENT: For what we Europeans have been doing the last 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give more lessons.

This moral lesson giving, one-sided. It's just hypocrisy.


WHITFIELD: CNN sports analyst and sport columnist for "USA Today", Christine Brennan, with us now.

So, Christine, what do you make of the FIFA boss doing this and apparently over an hour span?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Yes. It was remarkable. And just a little defensive, Fredricka. Gianni Infantino, a stunning press conference.

You're on the eve of the greatest event of your sports, other than the Olympics, the biggest, other than the men's World Cup in sports around the world.

And this is how you are spending your time, defensive, pointing fingers, talking about hypocrisy. What a disaster, absolute disaster. But it is totally in keeping with the fact that they made this terrible mistake, picking Qatar, a country that is smaller than Connecticut, has the population of Chicago.

They're trying to wedge this huge event into this tiny country. There were allegations, of course, of going under the table back 12 years ago when Qatar beat the United States to win the rights for this World Cup.

And every step along the way in these dozen years there's been controversy. So it is fitting that this would be all dumped right there in that press conference at this moment, exactly not the way that FIFA wanted to enter this marquis event.

WHITFIELD: Then what kind of position does this put the athletes in?

BRENNAN: Well, some of them, the U.S. men's soccer team, who fought hard for the women to get equal pay a few months ago, they will be wearing a rainbow patch. It is part of their logo, in solidarity for the LGBTQ community.

Some athletes, of course, will speak out. These are young men living in a very different world than these old FIFA executives and all the people that made this terrible decision 12 years ago to put the World Cup there.

So they will go and do what the athletes did at the Beijing Olympics. They're going to compete.

And I think once the games begin, I think, hopefully, for FIFA and the athletes, we can focus on that. But this backdrop, this story line, all the controversies will never go away.

WHITFIELD: Qatar has spent and estimate of hundreds of billions on the World Cup by making it by far the most expensive to date. Do you think the country is trying to sports-wash its image around the globe when it comes to human rights?

BRENNAN: Absolutely, Fredricka. There's a lot of that going on these days. LIV Golf with the Saudis and MbS, that blood money. And of course, Beijing hosting not only the Summer in 2008 and then the Winter Olympics in 2022. China with its repressive government and all of the human rights violations there.

These worldwide leaders of sport never learn. They keep going back to these places. They're friendly to them, the autocrats, hanging out together.

But in reality, it is just devastating for the sport. And it brings up these questions we must ask. I'm pleased, as a journalist, you as a journalist, we have to talk about this.

And hopefully, frankly, it shines a light on all the abuses, the human rights violations, the terrible treatment of the workers, migrant workers, obviously, the rights of those who are oppressed in Qatar.

That is, I guess, the positive that we see in this. We get to shine that light on that and talk about that the next few weeks while, of course, the soccer games go on.

WHITFIELD: Right. These discussions, these decisions are upstaging the actual event, the game of football or soccer that will be played. And first game is Monday, the U.S. against Wales.

So let's talk a little sports then. How is it looking?

BRENNAN: I think U.S. men's team is certainly prime to make a run. Obviously, the nation, the U.S. is waiting to see our men's team do something in the World Cup after being away for several World Cups. The women, of course, dominate the World Cup.


But they're a young team, a strong team. And they could do very well in group B. They will play Wales, they'll play England. That'll be a great match.

Of course, the timing is so strange because we are right in the heart of the college football season and the pro season again here.

Again, it will be interesting to watch, Fredricka, the TV ratings and how Americans focus on soccer when they are really focused on college and pro football.

WHITFIELD: Yes. I mean, and you mentioned college football. Our hearts -- I mean, everyone's hearts are bleeding for the UVA team a week after what transpired with the loss of three of their players, shot to death by another former player and today a memorial on campus. So, you know, did want to make mention on of that.

Christine Brennan, thank you so much.

BRENNAN: Fredricka, thank you.

WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.