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Five Killed, 18 Injured In Colorado Springs LGBTQ Nightclub Shooting; White House Begins Notifying Approved Student Loan Relief Applicants As Program Remains Tied Up In Courts; Justice Alito Refutes Claim He Leaked 2014 Supreme Court Ruling. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired November 20, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. Thanks for joining me. I'm Paula Reid in for Fredricka Whitfield.
Developing now, new details just released after a deadly mass shooting at an LBGTQ night club in Colorado. Police finished a news conference moments ago where they identified the suspect is now in custody. At least 5 people were killed, another 18 were injured. The shooting happened just before midnight at Club Q in Colorado Springs. They say two people inside the club fought to stop the carnage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF ADRIAN VASQUEZ, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Initial evidence and interviews indicate that the suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting at people inside as he moved further into the club. While the suspect was inside, at least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. We'd owe them a great debt of thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: CNN's Nadia Romero is following all the latest developments. All right, what more are police saying at this point?
NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, we learned so much in that press conference, but still so many unanswered questions. So, let's start first with the victims. We know that, at this point, there are 5 people who were killed, 18 others injured. But that number could change, could fluctuate over the rest of today and over the next couple of days.
We know that so many people are still within the ICUs. Three different hospitals right now are treating some of those patients, have treated some and released them, others still remain in the ICU with critical injuries. And we know that they were transported by ambulance, by police patrol cars, and some people self-transport, they took themselves to the hospital. So that's why that number has fluctuated in the overnight morning hours and could change throughout the day. Now, family members are still being notified about those who have been impacted, those injured and those killed. That happens first before their names will be released to the public. So, we do not know the names of any of the victims at this point.
Now let's talk about the suspect. His name was released at this press conference, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich. That's who police say is the suspect. And witnesses say that he entered that nightclub, Club Q, in Colorado Springs, and immediately opened fire. And that's when we just learned, as you just heard, that at least two people inside of the club were able to tackle him, disarm him before police arrived to stop the shooting from happening before more people were injured.
Now, we are still trying to figure out that suspect's motive. We asked the police -- different media people asked the police during that press conference what was the motive. If you look at the statement that was released by Club Q on their Facebook page, very clearly, they believe that they were targeted because this is an LBGTQ community, a nightclub. They were supposed to be celebrating today transgender remembrance day, having a drag show, as well. That's not happening, that celebration, instead in the process of mourning right now. And they also called this a hate attack.
So, I want you to hear from the district attorney of this area as he explains and answers a question, will this be treated as a hate crime or investigated as a hate crime. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ALLEN, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, EL PASO COUNTY: This will be investigated and is being investigated in that lens. But I can tell you that the current bias motivated crime statute in the state of Colorado provide some elevation, but will not elevate beyond what will likely be charges in this case, which will likely include first degree murder, extreme indifference murder, those types of charges, which are all Class 1 felony murder charges. So, the bias motivated crime statute doesn't really come into play in this case because it doesn't elevate it beyond as what we have as the very top level charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMERO: And, Paula, this is something that we see in other cases as well, where a hate crime charge is not as high up as a priority or severity of a charge as, let's say, a first-degree murder charge. And you heard the district attorney there say that that may not be included in their charges because there are more severe charges at hand. But it does mean something to the community, to the families when hate crimes are called hate crimes and investigated as such. But, again, that's something that we will have to wait and see how things plays out.
REID: All right. Nadia Romero, thank you so much for that great reporting. And now to give us some more insight, former NYPD Detective and Law Enforcement Consultant Tom Verni. All right, Tom, thank you so much for joining us.
Police say this was a 22-year-old suspect, he used a long rifle, he continued to move through the club during the shooting. What does that tell you?
TOM VERNI, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Good morning, Paula, and my sincere condolences to the family and friends of those killed, and my thoughts with those that are injured hoping that they'll make a full recovery. You know, look, it's another sad day in America where we have someone who is clearly troubled, who has access to a firearm, and he goes out and commits heinous acts such as this.
This is not uncommon from what we have seen in prior mass shootings. This particular shooting brings up those thoughts of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Florida about six years ago. And we have these individuals, again, with firearms that come in and, for whatever reason, at this point, the motive is still clearly unknown, that he went into commit all kinds of carnage.
Thankfully, we had some club goers that had the mindset and the wherewithal to kind of stop and think about -- not think about their own personal safety and to interrupt this horrific act and take action. And thank God for that because this could have been a lot worse.
REID: It's incredibly brave. Now, police are crediting those two heroes for fighting the shooter and putting an end to the bloodshed. Is this really what it takes? If you don't want to see this kind of mass carnage, do we now need to rely on civilians to stop this?
VERNI: You know what? Unfortunately, that's what it comes down to. In the security world, you know, particularly this is usually relegated more towards like schools, where we reach the run, hide, fight methodology.
So, if there's an active shooter comes in, you would ideally run away from the shooter. You would attempt to hide from the shooter until authorities arrive. But if confronted directly, and there's nowhere else to go, then your next best option is to try to fight the shooter to disarm or disable them temporarily, to interrupt their ability to continue shooting. And that and upon itself may save more injuries and more lives from being lost.
REID: So, based on what we know right now, what questions do you still have? As a law enforcement expert, what questions would you be asking right now to figure out exactly what happened here and why?
VERNI: Well, the law enforcement authorities there, I'm sure, I'm sure they are local and potentially state authorities and maybe the FBI at some point, will get involved to find out who this character is. What is his problem? What set him off and where it made him feel the need to grab a firearm and walk into a crowded nightclub on a Saturday night and just start indiscriminately shooting people? So, they're going to be combing over any social media that he might have. I'm sure they are going to do a thorough background check as to everyone that knows him, wherever he came from, to find out what his deal is, and whether or not he legally had the ability to have access to that firearm or not.
And whether he legally obtained that firearm or not doesn't make a difference at this point because the act itself is just so unbelievably heinous, that it just boggles the mind as to what would make someone think that that was such a good idea to do on a Saturday night.
REID: Of course. Tom Verni, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate your analysis.
VERNI: Sure, any time.
REID: And investigators tell CNN that an attack against a New York City synagogue may have been prevented after two men were arrested. The NYPD says 21-year-old Christopher Brown faces charges of making a terroristic threat, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.
22-year-old Matthew Mahrer faces a single charge of criminal possession of a weapon. Officials say online threats were traced to a vet clinic where one of the suspects worked. Now, police later recovered a backpack containing a Glock semiautomatic firearm, a ghost gun with an extended magazine and a laser sight. They also say one of the suspects had a Nazi arm band, a large knife and a ski mask.
And police in Raleigh, North Carolina, say a young girl who was hit by an out of control vehicle during a Christmas parade has died. Witnesses say the pickup truck suddenly lost control as it led a float carrying members of a dance troupe Saturday. Police identified the 20- year-old driver was identified as Landon Christopher Glass. He was arrested and faces several charges, including a misdemeanor death by a motor vehicle. Glass is being held on a $4,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.
And new this morning, police in Idaho say a 911 call made last week in the mysterious death of four college students came from a cell phone belonging to one of the surviving roommates. Investigators did not disclose the caller's identity, setting the ongoing investigation. They also say the call was made from inside the residence.
Now, I want to bring in CNN's Camila Bernal who is live in Idaho. Camila, people across the country are talking about this case and the mystery surrounding it. So, what more are you learning about this investigation?
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Paula. So, we are learning a lot more about these two roommates that were here at the house at the time of the attack, but that survived. In addition to the information about the 911 call, authorities are saying that these two roommates were also out on Saturday night and returned home at around 1:00 in the morning. They then slept through some time on Sunday.
We know that the four victims that were killed that night, they got home at around 2:00 in the morning. Two of those victims, Kaylee and Maddie, they got a ride home that night, and authorities now saying that the driver is not a suspect in this case. But they're also saying that Kaylee and Maddie later on that night made multiple phone calls to a man.
It's unclear who this person is. Authorities are not saying, they're saying this is all still part of the investigation. And what they're also saying is that, keep in mind, there is no suspect, there is no weapon. They're asking businesses in the area, have they sold a knife recently? There's still a lot to be done here. But they are saying one thing, and that is that they believe this is targeted. Here is the state police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AARON SNELL, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, IDAHO STATE POLICE: We still contend that this was targeted. We cannot divulge the information of why believe that or how. That is integral to this investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNAL: Now, there's been this back and forth. Initially, they said there was no threat to the community. Now, they're saying be vigilant because there is no suspect, there is no arrest. So, of course, people here are confused and frustrated and, frankly, scared.
Police a week later are still asking businesses and homes in the area for surveillance video. They're specifically asking for surveillance video between 3:00 and 6:00 in the morning. Again, there is so much to do here, so many unanswered questions. We are awaiting a press conference later on this afternoon. Paula?
REID: Definitely more questions than answers in that highly unusual case. Camila Bernal, thank you so much for that great reporting.
And still ahead, student loan limbo. The White House starts letting people know they're approved for debt forgiveness, but just one problem, they can't actually give them the money. Details ahead.
Plus, Supreme Court Justice Alito is denying a claim that he leaked a landmark 2014 ruling, this, of course, just months after the Roe v. Wade ruling was leaked. Details, next.
REID: Well, the Biden administration isn't letting legal challenges stop them from letting people know they're approved for student debt relief. The education department is just starting to notify applicants that their requests have been approved, with one important caveat, they can't actually give them the money because lawsuits. Now, CNN's Jeremy Diamond joins us now. Jeremy, you've got to feel for people. They applied for this relief. They're told they're going to get it, but they can't because it's all tied up in the courts. So, how is the administration handling thing?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no doubt about it, Paula, a lot of people in limbo right now. You may remember that a whopping 26 million people applied for the student debt relief, and beginning yesterday, the Department of Education began notifying the roughly 16 million people who were approved for this suit and debt forgiveness program.
But in that same letter, they also let people know that they aren't going to be able to approve those funds as of yet while these challenges play out. The secretary of education in this letter to folks who he is notifying says, quote, unfortunately, a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present. We believe strongly that the lawsuits are meritless and the Department of Justice has appealed on our behalf.
He goes on to say that the Department of Education will discharge the approved debt if and when we prevail in court. That is, of course, the big question right now. Because earlier in the week, we saw the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issue a nationwide injunction against the program, the Biden administration on Friday asking the Supreme Court to allow the program to go into effect while those legal challenges play out.
The other question that remains is whether or not President Biden is going to decide to extend that moratorium on student loan repayments. You may recall that that payment freeze, which has been in effect throughout the COVID pandemic, it was set to end on January 1st, coinciding with this student debt program.
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, on Friday saying only that the president is examining all potential options, but the White House really putting the onus on those Republican-led state that have been pushing to sue and to end this program.
REID: That's a really interesting reporting, Jeremy, that one of the options is potentially maybe extending that student loan payment pause.
Now, Jeremy, the president is also celebrating a few milestones this weekend with a big birthday and a wedding at the White House. What can you tell us?
DIAMOND: Yes, that's right. The president is celebrating his granddaughter Naomi's wedding at the White House just yesterday and today is President's Biden's 80th birthday. He's celebrating that with a brunch with family and the White House thrown by the first lady. That is a private event close to the press.
But two sources familiar with the planning of all of this told our colleague, Kate Bennett, that the timing of the wedding happening the same weekend that the president turns 80 was no coincidence, saying that the age issue is something that the president is not trying to draw attention to.
Now, the president has been asked in the past about questions about his age and his fitness to continue to serve, if he were to serve -- to run for re-election and serve a second term. He would be 86 by the time he got out of office. The president said, though, he's just said, watch me. He's pointed to his record of accomplishments in his first two years of office and he believes that that is enough to address those questions about age.
Nonetheless, we know that a majority of Democrats in several polls, even Democrats have said that they would like somebody else to run for president as their nominee in 2024. For now, though, President Biden has said that it is his intention to run. We will see. He is set to make that decision sometime in the beginning of next year. Paula?
REID: All right. Jeremy Diamond, student debt relief obviously a big campaign promise. He's got to sort that out if he wants to run again. Thank you so much.
And Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is denying accusations that he leaked a Supreme Court decision before it was publicly announced. A former evangelical activist is claiming he knew about the outcome of a 2014 decision before it was announced, according to The New York Times.
In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts this summer that was originally obtained by The Times, Reverend Rob Schenck says he was told by Gayle Wright, a wealthy political donor, about the discussion involving a decision on contraception and the Affordable Health Care Act. The letter said Wright had dinner with Justice Samuel Alito and his wife and claims they spoke about the upcoming ruling.
Now, CNN Supreme Court Reporter Ariane de Vogue joins us now. Ariane, I'm so glad you're here, one of the best Supreme Court reporters in the country.
Obviously, one of the biggest questions in Washington for the past several months has been who leaked the abortion decision. But what do we know about this 2014 decision, and what does this mean for the court?
ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Right. As you say, this man, the Reverend Rob Schenck, he was an opponent of abortion. And at that time, he ran this nonprofit and, basically, through donors, he was trying to get access to the Supreme Court justices.
And he said in this New York Times story, that back in 2014, he had one of his biggest donors, Gayle Wright. She told him that she was going to have dinner with the Alitos. She was going to ask about this important, pending decision and try to find out the outcome. And he says that she called him afterwards and basically said, look, Alito is going to write this and we're going to win this case. So, flash forward a few years, he, the Reverend Schenck, has now become a supporter of abortion rights, right, and he learned that Chief Justice John Roberts last spring was going to launch this investigation into who leaked the decision overturning Roe, and he said, look, I have information that could be interesting to you.
It's worth noting, though, that Justice Alito issued a really strong and rare statement. They usually don't speak up. This is what he said to The New York Times, and we obtained it, too. He said, I never detected any effort on the part of the Wrights to obtain confidential information or influence anything that I did in either an official or private capacity, and I would have strongly objected if they had done so. And I also talked to Wright yesterday and she said this story was patently not true.
But, Paula, what's interesting about this story, it may not be so much about the leak and whether it happened or not, but that it really shows this behind the scenes effort to try to influence the court. That feels really political, and that really bothers the justices. Because if the court begins to look like a political body, the fear is the public is not going to take their decisions seriously. That is what is of real concern and that might be the big import of this story, Paula.
REID: It's a great point, Ariane because this comes as public approval ratings for the court are at an all-time low, and a lot of questions, as you said, about political influence, questions about Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife's involvement in January 6th. I mean, how do you think that this will impact the public perception of a court?
DE VOGUE: Right. Well, we're seeing right now that the polls show that the public is really questioning the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, and we're also seeing the justices themselves worried about it. Last summer, we saw Elena Kagan give about three appearances, and she really talked publicly about that decision last term overturning roe, 50-year-old precedent, just because there had been a change in the membership of the court. And she said when the court rules like that, it calls into question the legitimacy of the court.
But, interestingly, Chief Justice John Roberts, in his own public appearances, and Samuel Alito, they really pushed back. They didn't name her, but they said you can't question the legitimacy of the court just because you don't like its opinion. So, this is really bringing up these issues that are concerning, not only to the country but the court itself.
REID: Ariane de Vogue, thank you so much for helping us make sense of that.
DE VOGUE: Thank you.
REID: And after months of controversy and anticipation, the World Cup has kicked off in Qatar. We'll take you there live, next.
REID: After months of controversy, it's finally match day for the World Cup. The host nation, Qatar, kicking off the tournament a short time ago against Ecuador, and Ecuador has drawn first blood with an early goal.
CNN Sports Anchor Don Riddell is in Doha for all the action.
All right, Don, all the buildup, all the controversy, but today, it's all about the game, right?
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes. Thank you Paula. Finally we're talking about the football. The build-up to this tournament has really lasted 12 years. It was in 2010 when Qatar so controversially won the right to host the 2022 World Cup. Finally we're watching a ball being kicked on the field and it's been a very dramatic start to this World Cup tournament.
The host nation, actually conceding the ball into the back of their net after just three minutes. That goal was quickly ruled out for off side and Ana Valencia was the Ecuadorian player, the captain that put the ball into the back of the net after 15 minutes, 16 minutes he got a penalty, and he did score. So Ecuador now leading this Group A game by a goal to nill.
So much pressure on these Qatari football players. They are the only debutant nation in this tournament. They've never played in the World Cup tournament before. No host nation has ever lost the opening game, only once has the host nation failed to get out of the group, but Qatar are really up against it. This is the easiest game they will play in this group.
They're also going to run into Senegal and the Netherlands, so they really need a result tonight if they're going to go any further in this competition you would think. And so far, it's pretty much one way traffic against them.
REID: Well Don, tomorrow we get a slew of match-ups including the U.S. team playing against Wales. What should we be watching in that game?
RIDDELL: I mean, very, very exciting for all the American fans to see that team back in the World Cup. Remember they so unfortunately missed out on playing in the tournament four years ago. So this is their first World Cup appearance in eight years, and remember they're going to be hosting it in four years time. So a lot of excitement, a lot of hope around this -- this team.
Big game against Wales in Group B. Earlier in the day, their group rivals England and Iran are going to be playing each other. I think if Iran are able to get a result against England, that will be great news for the American fans. So Americans might be cheering for Iran as well tomorrow, and it's been a really special weekend for these American players. You know that just a short time ago on your show, that President Biden has been celebrating his 80th birthday this weekend, also his granddaughter's wedding.
He made a quick moment to catch up with the American team and send them all the best.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: You guys, I know you're the underdog but I tell you what man. You've got some of the best players in the world on your team and you're representing this country and I know you're going to play your hearts out. So let's go shock them all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: Yes, so much excitement for this American team and tomorrow's going to be a much busier day. Three games Paula on the docket tomorrow and after that it's going to be four games everyday for the next two weeks. So this tournament is really going to take off in a hurry pretty soon.
REID: Wow, well best of luck to Team USA. Don, thank you so much for your reporting.
RIDDELL: Yes. All right.
REID: Also in the sports world, NBA star Kyrie Irving already serving a suspension for sharing a link to an anti-Semitic movie on social media issuing another apology as he prepares to make his return to the court. CNN's Carolyn Manno is here with more. All right Carolyn, this controversy has been going on for quite some time. What more did he have to say and do you think this -- this will make the difference here?
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS JOURNALIST: Well as you point out Paula, I mean, this thing has dragged on and I think that's why seeing Kyrie Irving actually apologize was the most impactful part of all this. You know, before this point there had only been issued statements. There had been social media posts which indicated remorse but now we're actually seeing it.
I mean, that initial suspension was at least five games but the Nets really wanted him to go through a series of additional steps to earn his way back to the floor. He met with the NBA's commissioner, the head of the Anti-Defamation League. He met with Jewish leaders in what he called very moving and very impactful conversations. He learned a little bit more about how his post hurt people he said, and when he did do that interview with SNY last night he said that hurting the Jewish community was not his intention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYRIE IRVING, NBA BASKETBALL STAR: I don't have hate in my heart for the Jewish people or anyone that identifies as a Jew. I'm not anti- Jewish or any of that. I am a person that believes that we all should have equal opportunities and -- and that we should all shower each other with love and that should be at the forefront. But it wasn't in that initial conversation and I -- and I take my accountability and I want to apologize for that because it came off the wrong way completely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANNO: Irving's missed a total of eight games including all four of Brooklyn's games on a west coast road trip. Now that they've come back to Brooklyn, he could be back in the line-up tonight against Memphis. I mean, his status has been changed Paula from out to questionable. This is certainly the latest in a series of controversy since he came to Brooklyn three years ago. A lot people know that last season he missed 35 home games, he refused to be vaccinated against COVID, hearing him talk right there I can tell you that he sounds a little bit different. You know, he's not quite as argumentative.
MANNO: The Nets are a disappointing 7 and 9 under their new head coach. They need to get back on track and I think him actually apologizing in front of the camera and seeming to, you know, sounding like he's sorry is going to be a big first step in getting back on the floor, and hopefully getting the Nets back on track.
REID: All right. Carolyn Manno, thank you. And another relentless round of strikes in Ukraine overnight, explosions rocks the area near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, reigniting concerns of a potential nuclear disaster. We're live in Ukraine next. But first, this quick programming note, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was a rising star in the Democratic party when she was shot at a political event in 2011. A new CNN film tells her inspiring comeback story, watch Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down, tonight at 9pm .
REID: Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for this weekend's shelling in and around the area around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency said that more than a dozen blasts shook the area around the plant. CNN's Sam Kiley is in Odessa, Ukraine. All right Sam, what are the two sides saying?
SAM KILEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well essentially the Ukrainians are blaming the Russians saying that the pattern of the shelling, which they say was heavy impacted a series of technical locations, switching gear and that kind of stuff, and indeed the diesel generating back-up systems for two of the reactors, five and six that had been brought back online to supply power into the Ukrainian national grid.
And that the Ukrainian line is that this was an effort by Russia to continue to break -- break the capacity of Ukraine to keep itself warm during the winter and to try to break it's electrical network. Now the Russians, as always, have denied any kind of shelling in or close to the Zaporizhzhia power station. Remember that the power station itself is under Russian military control but manned by Ukrainians and overseen by a very small group of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Authority.
So, it's a complex environment. The IAEA, the UN body does say that they did see impacts, some of them visible from the power station itself. They were very close indeed to the power station, hitting some critical infrastructure. Not causing or threatening to cause any kind of radiation leak, now we've seen this kind of back and forth now over who's hitting in that area for some time.
Arguably both sides have been doing it, it's also been a location that has been used as a fire base by Russia for raining rockets and artillery shells across the river onto cities like Nikopol who last -- which last night reported dozens of impacts coming from Russian lines. Paula.
REID: Sam Kiley in Odessa, stay safe. Stay warm, thanks so much Sam. House Democrats are preparing to usher in a new generation of leaders on Capitol Hill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is stepping aside after leading the Democrats for two decades. New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries appears poised to take over Pelosi's leadership role if he wins the nomination. Jeffries will be the first black party leader in Congress.
He'll also face the daunting task of countering a new Republican majority. Now CNN's Daniella Diaz joins us now. So a daunting task indeed, now you know Jeffries was, of course, on "State of the Union" this morning. What was he saying about his-- his ability and his willingness to work with the new GOP majority?
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Paula, it was very interesting, you know, our Jake Tapper asked him what is your relationship, like, with the Republicans on the House side, the other side? What is your relationship like with McCarthy? Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): I haven't had a conversation with Leader McCarthy recently. I do have, I think, a much warmer relationship with Steve Scalise. Look forward to working whenever and wherever possible however, Jake, with the entire House Republican Conference and the leadership team to find common ground, to get things done for everyday Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAZ: Paula, this is going to be the first time in nearly -- in two decades as you noted that there's going to be new leadership in-- in the House Democratic Caucus. Hakeem Jeffries expected to become the Minority Leader. He will be facing a -- a -- a possible House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and that is a whole entirely different situation as well, because right now as it stands McCarthy does not have the votes he needs to clinch the speaker's gavel.
DIAZ: There needs to be at least 218 votes in favor of him. A simple majority for him to become speaker come January, in the new Congress, as of now he doesn't have that. We know of at least four House Republicans who either are a hard no for McCarthy come January or say that they will strongly vote against him.
Hard nose being Nat Gates, of course also, Bob Good, Andy Biggs, Matt Rosendale, these are Republicans who have said -- come out against McCarthy which complicate the math Paula coming to January. He's going to need at least every other House Republican to vote for him to be speaker because we don't expect any Democratic members to support him for that bid for leadership. So it's going to look incredibly different here Paula come January with a possible House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
REID: Daniella, you are going to be busy. I hope you're ready for the next year that's coming at you. Thank you so much for that reporting. And heavy snow continues to bombard parts of western New York, as residents try to dig out from an already historic amount of snow. We'll go live to Buffalo, next.
REID: A landmark deal reached at the COP 27 Climate Summit will help vulnerable countries cope with climate disasters. Delegates from nearly 200 countries agreed to set up the quote, "lost and damage fund". The complete COP 27 Agreement also reaffirmed the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a key demand from a number of countries.
While the agreement represents a breakthrough in what has been a contentious negotiation process, it did not strengthen language around cutting, planet warming greenhouse gas emissions. The final text also made no mention of phasing out fossil fuels including oil and gas and the European Union's climate chief says the deal is not enough.
And right now nearly 6 million people are under a winter weather advisory with heavy snow continuing to pummel western New York today. The National Weather Service warns of winds up to 30 miles per hour that can produce heavy snow at a rate of up to three inches per hour.
Already the historic storm dumped more than six feet of snow in some areas of western New York, including Orchard Park where the Buffalo Bills play which saw an incredible, wait for it, 77 inches of snow forcing the Bills to move today's match-up to Detroit. Now CNN's Gloria Pazmino is live in Buffalo. OK, Gloria. Hope you're doing OK out there. What are the conditions that you're seeing where you're at?
GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Paula, the big clean-up is beginning. Look at how much has gathered here over the last several days. The worst is over in terms of the snowfall here for this area where we are, but it's not over yet. I just want to show you, look at that front door directly here behind me.
It is completely blocked, right to halfway up to the door, you cannot see the steps or how to get into the house behind me. I know it's hard to see because you can't actually see the pavement. That's a residential street. We've been making our way around Buffalo in the last two hours or so trying to get a sense of the clean-up. Now the major thoroughfares have been cleaned up. They are open again but a lot of the side streets, like this one that you see here behind me, still unplowed.
Now local officials are asking people to be patient. It's going to take a while to clean all of this up and it's very difficult to navigate in this. People are out here with their heavy equipment, with shovels, with snow blowers, with brooms, anything they can possibly find to start that clean-up process. Like I said, major thoroughfares are open but Governor Kathy Hochul asking people for patience and here in Buffalo, things are pretty calm. The wind has significantly picked up and so it's a moving a lot of that snow around and creating all the -- the, you know, the snow drift back and forth. And later tonight, believe it or not, there will be more snow on the way, Watertown, just about 200 miles to the north of here is expected to get more snow.
So this is not over for some parts of this state, but now a long clean-up process ahead. The mayor of Buffalo telling us yesterday he doesn't expect to see things getting back to normal until early next week. And actually we just spoke to a woman who lives on this block here behind me, it was her first time getting out today.
She said she had to walk through this very deep path. She finally made it out. She was telling me there's only so much cooking and baking one can do while being snowed in, but, you know, Buffalonians take this kind of thing in good spirits. They're used to it and if anybody knows how to clean this up, it's definitely the people of Buffalo.
REID: Absolutely. They know how to handle this, but good luck to you Gloria. Stay warm up there and thanks for that great reporting. And there is nothing like a mother's bond with her child, even in the animal kingdom. Cameras at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas captured the heartwarming moment a chimpanzee mom reunited with her baby.
REID: Doctors say they had to take the newborn away due to low oxygen levels after complications at birth Now as soon as the mother sees her baby reach up, she rushes to pick him up and hold on tightly. Now zoo officials say the mother had to undergo an emergency c-section on Tuesday. She was separated from her newborn for two days. Now the zoo also released this picture of the new baby boy.
Zoo officials say his mother is recovering well. I'm Paula Reid in for Fredricka Whitfield. Thank you so much for joining us. Coming up, Jake Tapper talks to Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Republican Congressman Adam Kinsinger.