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Congress Reaches Last Minute Deal To Avoid Government Shutdown; Interview With Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA); Former Federal Prosecutor Suspected In Florida Stabbing. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired October 01, 2023 - 15:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: All right, hello again, everyone, thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

And we begin this hour with the federal government fully operational and funded, a shutdown crisis averted. At least, for the next 45 days.

Just a few hours before midnight deadline to shut down the government. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan spending bill that will last until November 17th.


WHITFIELD: The breakthrough came after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy surprised everyone by pushing a short-term spending bill through the House with Democratic help. It's a deal that may cost McCarthy his speakership. Republican hardliners are now vowing to bring a motion to the floor to oust the leader for ignoring the spending cuts conservatives were demanding in a package.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I do intend to file a Motion to Vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week. I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy.

Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. He lied to Biden, he lied to House conservatives.

The only way Kevin McCarthy is Speaker of the House at the end of this coming week is if Democrats bail him out. Now, they probably will. I actually think that when you believe in nothing, as Kevin McCarthy does, everything is negotiable.


WHITFIELD: All right, we've got a team of correspondents covering these developments for us. Arlette Saenz is at the White House where President Biden spoke about the new deal saying he's happy about the continuing resolution, but sick and tired of the brinksmanship.

But let's begin with Eva McKend in Washington there. Eva, you know what kind of tremors on Capitol Hill are being felt with threats against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy? EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Fred, the speaker is clear eyed about what lies ahead. He says he'll survive challenges to his speakership from the most right leaning members of his conference, all but daring them to bring it on.

Let's listen.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Yes, I'll survive. You know, this is personal with Matt. Matt voted against the most conservative ability to protect our border, secure border. He is more interested in securing TV interviews than doing something.

He wanted to push us into a shutdown, even threatening his own district with all the military people there who would not be paid only because he wants to take this motion.

So be it. Bring it on. Let's get over with it and let's start governing.

If he is upset because he tried to push us into shutdown and I made sure government didn't shut down, then let's have that fight.


MCKEND: So as you can hear there, he is very much ready for this fight. But Fred, we're likely entering a historic week. McCarthy would become the first to have his gavel challenged in over a hundred years.

But if Gaetz is successful in his quest to oust the speaker, it's not clear who would succeed McCarthy. Thus far, Democrats have shown very little indication they want to bail him out and this is also a test for Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, as well, as his caucus will look to him for guidance.

And new today, Arizona Congressman Eli Crane, he is one of the hardline Republicans who have been critical of McCarthy. Well, he's signaling support for ousting the speaker, as well -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Eva McKend, thanks so much. To the White House now, and Arlette, President Biden, he is weighing in on this new deal and he is also putting pressure on Speaker McCarthy to live up to his promises, so to speak. What is he saying?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Fred. President Biden is urging Congress to get to work at this moment, as there's just another deadline looming about 45 days away. That is how long the continuing resolution that was passed yesterday will fund the government for and the president wants to ensure that there isn't a "manufactured crisis" that arises again next month.

Now, one thing that the White House has done throughout this process is they've really taken this hands off approach, but they have tried to exert some pressure on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from afar. And you heard that from President Biden today, as he urged McCarthy that in this next round of funding discussions to fund the government for an extended period of time for at least a year, but also to adhere to those agreements that they made a relating to the budget back when they struck that debt ceiling deal a little earlier this spring.

But take a listen to President Biden, as he expressed some of his frustration with the moments that the Congress was facing just yesterday.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm sick and tired of the brinksmanship, and so are the American people. There is no excuse for another crisis.

Consequently, I strongly urge my Republican friends in Congress not to wait. Don't waste time as you did all summer. Pass a year-long budget agreement. Honor the deal we made a few months ago.


SAENZ: Now, the other element that President Biden wants to see is having Congress pass additional aid for Ukraine. He had requested about $24 billion in assistance for the war torn country. That is something that was not included in this bill that was passed on Saturday.

The president and Democratic leadership have said that they expect House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to ultimately hold a vote on Ukraine aid, but McCarthy so far hasn't signaled how exactly he will do that.


This morning, speaking to CBS, he suggested that he may want to see Ukraine funding tied with additional funding for border security, which could set up a new fight heading into that deadline on November 17th.

President Biden did have a warning, saying that there is still time, but time is short and there is real urgency to ensure that they get this aid to Ukraine and the president tried to stress to allies that the US will try to pass that aid.

It's unclear how exactly it will get through the House, especially if you have had some significant Republican resistance to additional funding for Ukraine.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now. Arlette Saenz, Eva McKend, thank you so much.

So let's turn to Congressman John Garamendi to get his point of view on all this. He's a Democrat from California and senior member of the Armed Services Committee.

Congressman, great to see you. REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Always good to be with you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Thank you. So this 45-day short term spending bill. I mean, it didn't include funding for Ukraine. Do you believe Speaker McCarthy will bring a standalone Ukraine aid bill to the House floor for a vote? Or do you think he will try to couple it with border security, and therein lies yet another potential fight?

GARAMENDI: Well, I think there's something before that, and that is, if he does bring it, what are those crazy MAGA Republicans going to do? They may very well, and they've already threatened to pull the plug on McCarthy and it very well may be that this Ukraine funding will be the final straw.

So he's going to have to be bold, he's going to have to put on his big boy pants and, and accept the responsibility that he so badly wanted over these many, many years and that is to lead and to take the consequences of leadership.

We absolutely have to fund Ukraine. The $24 billion that the president has recommended is the appropriate amount not only for Ukraine over the next several months, into the next year and beyond, but also to replenish our own stockpiles of munitions, and the various pieces of equipment that we have sent on Ukraine.

So we've got to get this done, and we ought not wait until 17th, the next deadline. We can get this done next week. Tying the border wall into it, do separate bill and see how many votes there are for that.

WHITFIELD: When we heard the President earlier today about in the noon hour or so, today, he alluded to a promise or deal or some sort of agreement that he and House Speaker McCarthy seemed to have made on US assistance to Ukraine. What do you believe that constituted? Just kind of a gentleman's agreement or, you know, something more concrete?

GARAMENDI: Well, I really don't -- I do not know what that discussion was all about, but it has been very, very clear what the president wants. It is the $24 billion. He's laid out in that request exactly how that money would be spent, where it would go, and he has also provided a very stringent review that the money be spent appropriately, that there be no corruption involved in any part of that, all of that is part of the total deal, and frankly, it's very necessary.

So going forward, whenever they may have agreed to, it is time for McCarthy to honor the agreement. We do know that he did not honor the agreement that was made for the debt limit, that legislation was about in May. There was an agreement, it was actually part of the law itself, and it was no sooner signed by the president then the Republican caucus ran away from that agreement.

And so it's a matter of trust, as Reagan likes to say, trust and verify. Well, we are into the verify part of it right now.

WHITFIELD: Well, do you feel like House Speaker McCarthy can be trusted? Because you know, if you recall, even more than a week ago, he did not or at least in front of the cameras, he did not meet with President Zelenskyy, whereas, you know, Mitch McConnell did in front of the cameras. And of course, we know Zelenskyy made his rounds on Capitol Hill at the White House and at the Pentagon.

Did that kind of convey anything there about McCarthy's commitment?

GARAMENDI: Well, you can pull up his own words, the TV will show it that he was saying at that time that he did not support additional funding without safeguards. He never get defined what that meant. But he put a big if in front of the funding.

But I will tell you this. This is far more than his ability to stay on as speaker. This is really about the ability of the United States to honor its commitments and the commitment to Ukraine is far more than just Ukraine.

It is, if we pull out, Zelenskyy said very clearly, if the United States doesn't continue to help, Ukraine will lose. Now consider what that means. That means NATO is in serious, serious trouble because now you have a powerful Russia that would control Ukraine.


And the message to China about Taiwan is ominous. It basically means you cannot trust the United States, if we do not fund this.

So the speaker has to recognize that this is a whole lot more important, whether he will continue to be the speaker. Speakers come and go, but this is a moment for the United States to stand tall, honor its commitments. And, frankly, to ensure that there is peace in Europe as this war winds to a conclusion, and that conclusion will only be a successful victory by Ukraine.

WHITFIELD: You're seeing some real messaging being sent to our allies, and it sounds like you're worried about that.

GARAMENDI: Well, absolutely. Absolutely.

Those of us that have been following the Ukraine war and the China, these two things are tied together. It's not by chance that Xi and Putin meet and talk, and that North Korea gets involved in this.

This is really about the willingness, Ukraine, and the continuation of America's support for Ukraine is really a message about our willingness to sustain our allies and our own position in the Pacific.

If we fail -- if we fail with Ukraine, that is we back away or we somehow limit their ability to succeed, then that message will be symbolic for Xin Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, and you can bet that they will very quickly encircle Taiwan, choke it off in one way or another and perhaps even -- because they will know that the United States is not a steadfast partner.

We have to be that, otherwise we're going to see flare ups of war -- a very, very serious war around many parts of the world.

WHITFIELD: Congressman John Garamendi, thank you so much for joining us this Sunday.

GARAMENDI: Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, still to come, a former federal prosecutor is now the suspect in a stabbing that happened on a Florida Interstate. Details on the investigation, next.

Plus, Target is closing stores in several major cities across the country. What's behind the closures?

And tempers flare at the Ryder Cup. What -- wow -- led to this moment? It was in a parking lot, a confrontation between Rory McIlroy and a caddy.

All of that, coming up.



WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back.

Two children under the age of 12 are among the five people killed after a semitruck carrying ammonia overturned on a highway southeast of Springfield, Illinois Friday night.

Environmental officials say the semitruck was carrying about 7,500 gallons of ammonia. Early estimates from the agency say more than half of the toxic substance was released. About 500 residents in Effingham County were evacuated and are now told it is safe to return home.

The NTSB and Illinois State Police are investigating the accident.

A former federal prosecutor has been arrested in connection with a stabbing attack on a Florida Interstate. Florida Highway Patrol charged 38-year-old Patrick Scruggs with stabbing an incapacitated driver, Tuesday, in Tampa according to arrest records and we're learning a witness caught all of it on camera.

CNN's Isabel Rosales is joining me with details.

It's going to be tough to dispute the video.

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's just a bizarre situation overall. We're still trying to work out these details and understand how this could happen in the first place.

But here's what we know: This all happened on Tuesday according to Sergeant Steve Gaskins with the Florida Highway Patrol in a press release that he gave us.

There was a driver slumped over in his car for unknown reasons, then have a Good Samaritan named Ahmed Gahaf and his wife who tried to help out that driver. That driver came back to awareness, ended up accelerating forward, hit Gahaf's car and then he also hit a secondary car. Inside of that car, according to rush report was Patrick Scruggs who got out, shattered the window of that formerly incapacitated driver and then attacked him with a knife.

So this video obviously, pretty graphic right here. Let's go into that one more time. We see within the video Gahaf, the Good Samaritan, he's on the phone with 9-1-1, and he does that, he is right there on the side of the bridge right there before this portion. He tried to actually stop Patrick Scruggs, who then, it appears to be he attempted to make a swipe at him with that knife and then repeatedly stabbed the driver of that original car. That driver was injured, serious injuries, but is expected to survive.

Now, Patrick Scruggs is a former federal prosecutor. According to his LinkedIn, he spent 10 years at the US Attorney's Office in Tampa. And then in the summer, he joined a private law firm right here in Atlanta.

Now Scruggs was involved in the initial court appearance on behalf of the US government on Adam Johnson. He is known as the lectern guy. So the picture of Johnson became kind of a viral image of January 6. It was that image of Johnson making off right there with Nancy Pelosi's lectern.

So again Scruggs, on behalf of the US government was involved in that initial court appearance of Johnson.

Now, I spoke with the Good Samaritan, Gahaf, who's on that bridge, the Howard Franklin Bridge, I-275 southbound on that day, attempting to stop Scruggs from attacking this driver and here's what he had to say about that interaction.


AHMED GAHAF, SAYS HE ATTEMPTED TO STOP FORMER PROSECUTOR: When he came in too close to me, like one foot away from me, from my chest with a knife, he say, "You too, you want to kill me?" Like that's what he said to me. You know what I mean? And I backed from him and still with 9-1-1.


And he kept going to stab him. I tried you know, is -- he do it, you know, wrong way. You know, he may not -- no one reason.

I cannot believe it, you know, this is what is driving me crazy. He knows the law.


ROSALES: Right and he can't comprehend how a former prosecutor could have done something like this, he says.

Now, we did hear from Scruggs' attorney. His name is John Nohlgren and he is urging the public to keep an open mind reminding folks that his client is innocent until proven guilty just like anyone else. Also saying this: "This was a chaotic situation involving multiple crashes caused by only one person on one of our area's busiest bridges. That person was not Mr. Scruggs. There was much more to this incident than what is being reported and we are diligently working to bring to light the full facts of what occurred."

Scruggs is out on bond, $65,000.00.

WHITFIELD: Wow. That's a lot.

All right, keep us posted. Thank you so much, Isabel Rosales.

All right, turning now to a major escalation in retail crime. Both large and small stores are struggling to contain the rise in theft, that includes everything from petty shoplifting to organized sprees of large scale robberies that clear entire shelves of products.

It is prompting more store closures as well.

CNN's Veronica Miracle has details.


VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Retail crime is again front and center as major brands close stores.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're locking up the toothpaste.

MIRACLE (voice over): The latest, Target closing nine store citing theft and organized retail crime, threatening the safety of our team and guests and hurting business.

At this San Francisco Target, soon to close, even general merchandise is behind Plexiglas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't surprise me.

MIRACLE (voice over): Regulars say they've seen the crime firsthand.

MIRACLE (on camera): You live across the street, tell me what you see here on a daily basis happening at this Target.

HARVEY ZEPEDA, LIVES NEAR TARGET: At least once twice a day, I will see the homeless come in here. They steal stuff, they take off running. The majority of them get caught, but there's quite a few that do get away.

MIRACLE (voice over): This Target joins to others in Oakland closing on October 21st, along with three in Portland, Oregon, two in Seattle, Washington and another in New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We take officers and we put them either in garage or out here.

MIRACLE (voice over): The NYPD says Target was paying for increased patrols at the East Harlem store, but that's continued. Target is just the latest to take drastic action.

Starbucks closed 16 stores last year citing safety concerns.

We spotted grocery stores in San Francisco locking up coffee. Another, cable-locked frozen foods.

In the 30 minutes CNN spent at this San Francisco Walgreens in July, we saw three people, including this man steal.

MIRACLE (on camera): Did that guy pay?

EMPLOYEE: Come again?

MIRACLE: Did that guy pay?


MIRACLE (voice over): New data from the National Retail Federation says 28 percent of retailers reported closing stores due to crime. $112 billion in losses last year is an $18 billion jump over the year before.

From Nordstrom in Los Angeles to Lululemon near Atlanta --

EMPLOYEE: Get out.

MIRACLE (voice over): And now, an Apple store in Philadelphia, dozens of high profile smash and grabs have business owners calling for tougher laws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want everybody to know this will not be our last protest.

MIRACLE (voice over): This week, Oakland small businesses went on strike closing their doors for hours. Standing in front of a shuttered restaurant, they demanded public officials do more.

GREG MCCONNELL, ADVOCATE AND OWNER, THE MCCONNELL GROUP: This restaurant survived Occupy Oakland and the riots. This restaurant survived the pandemic, but this restaurant can't survive crime.

MIRACLE (on camera): The morning after Target made the announcement, there was a line of cars here. People were being turned away from getting into the San Francisco Target that's closing.

It turns out, this store and one in New York, they've abruptly changed their store hours. They are going to be now opening later.

So already, communities are feeling an impact. The stores across the country are not officially supposed to close until October 21st.

Veronica Miracle CNN, San Francisco.


WHITFIELD: Thank you so much, Veronica, for that report. All right, coming up, a surge in asylum seekers at the southern border is raising humanitarian concerns. CNN traveled to the border and spoke with migrants attempting to go through that dangerous journey to the US. That's next.



WHITFIELD: US Border Patrol agents are breathing a little sigh of relief today after a government shutdown was averted. Border Patrol agents are considered essential employees and would have been forced to continue to work without pay if the funding bill was not passed.

CNN's Camila Bernal has more on the influx of migrants desperate to get to the US.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A dramatic increase --


BERNAL (voice over): Hundreds of migrants almost constantly arriving in waves into the California border.



BERNAL (voice over): Sometimes 50 or a hundred, or just five. Many with the help of a so-called coyote or smuggler. We ran into one operating openly at the border. He asked us not to show his face and distort his voice for fear of being killed.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (on camera): Just to get to the US, you need at least $2,500.00.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (voice over): The illegal trafficking of people operating almost like a travel agency.

The coyotes arranged the trip starting in the Middle East, Asia South or Central America then they buy plane tickets and tell migrants exactly where to go, with each paying a few thousand dollars or between nine to twelve thousand for Mexican nationals, the business is lucrative.


(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (on camera): He says, they're at war with another cartel and so, the only way they can get money is by bringing people in.

(ALEXANDER speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (voice over): People like Alexander.

(ALEXANDER speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (on camera): He says, he came here because of the violence that you live in Colombia.

JACQUELINE ARELLANO, BORDER KINDNESS: The number of hundreds of people being here at any given time over the last couple of weeks is not normal.

BERNAL: Behind me is Mexico. This is an area in Boulevard, California where there is a gap in the border wall, so a lot of the migrants are able to just walk into the United States.

They continue this walk along the border wall and eventually turn themselves into Border Patrol. This is where that asylum process begins.

ARELLANO: They don't have food and they don't have water and they don't have supplies on them.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (voice over): Jacqueline Arellano with the nonprofit, Border Kindness --

(JACQUELINE ARELLANO speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (voice over): Says, there is not enough to address the need.

ARELLANO: Just regular folks patching up together a humanitarian response to a huge crisis is not sustainable.

BERNAL (voice over): This week, the County of San Diego with a bipartisan vote unanimously declared a humanitarian crisis.

NORA VARGAS, SAN DIEGO COUNTY SUPERVISOR: The reason why we're advocating that the federal government get engaged in this process is because this is a federal issue. We are talking about asylum seekers that, you know legally have a right to be here and to be processed and to get to their final destination.

BERNAL (voice over): The hope is that the federal government provides for migrants like Mayra.

(MAYRA speaking in foreign language.)

BERNAL (voice over): And 1000s of others who after being processed by Customs and Border Protection will eventually be released in the streets of San Diego.

(MAYRA speaking in foreign language.) BERNAL (on camera): She says, she wants to work, be honorable and have a good job.

BERNAL (on camera): But first, they wait in the desert. These makeshift shelters, their only protection.

Camila Bernal, CNN Boulevard, California.


WHITFIELD: Thanks so much, Camila.

All right, Congress lost a legend last week when Senator Dianne Feinstein passed away and she has now returned to California with close friend Nancy Pelosi by her side.

Senator Barbara Boxer joins me live next for a look back at Feinstein's legacy.



WHITFIELD: All right, a final journey home for the late Senator Dianne Feinstein. Her flag-draped casket was flown back to California yesterday aboard a military plane accompanied by her longtime friend and fellow California lawmaker, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

The House Speaker emerita talked about their close friendship this morning on CNN.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): With Dianne, it's obviously official, it's political and it is very personal. This is a woman who she left on her own terms.

She was my neighbor, my friend. My family loves her, personally, politically in every way.

We always say if Dianne and I ran against each other, my daughter, Nancy would probably vote for Dianne. That was the love that existed.

But love is a good word for her because she loved people. She loved California, she loved America, and to bring her home in the grand way that we did, thank you, President Biden, draped in the flag. She was such a patriot.


WHITFIELD: Joining me now is another Feinstein congressional friend, former Senator Barbara Boxer. So good to see you.

I mean, you and the late senator made history together in 1992. It wasn't that long ago that you and I were kind of were talking about that, and you were, you know, reviewing those thoughts and feelings and what it was like to be the first two women elected to the US Senate from California, you know, as the first elected pair of female senators from any state and a lot of people called that the Year of the Women.

What are your thoughts and feelings now, your good friend and former colleague now in her passing?

BARBARA BOXER, FORMER US SENATOR: Well, my thoughts are these: A: She's getting that sendoff that she deserves. This is a woman who never stopped working for one second. She told me this job, she said, it is my calling.

When I went to tell her I was going to run it 2016, she was mad at me. She said, You're the chairman of the Environment Committee. You can get public works done, and you're the chairman of Ethics, why are you leaving? And I said, Well, Dianne, 40 years, that for me is good. I'm going to do other things with my life.

But she said to me, Barbara, my work is a calling. She meant that, and you saw that and in the in the worst of times. Health-wise, she put one foot in front of the other with great difficulty. I think that she would be pleased to hear the stories we are all telling about her, her effectiveness and her kindness and her toughness.

And I also think she would have been pleased that a government shutdown was averted. Now, that may sound funny, but listen, her last vote was to keep the government going. So that was Senator Feinstein, you know, common sense needs to prevail.

WHITFIELD: And that was the day before her passing, and here we are looking at pictures the two of you back in 1992, you know, and I wonder how often you think about what the two of you did, you know how you made an imprint on history, and how you really laid the groundwork work for so many other women whether it be in the body of the US Senate or just women who felt like they were making their way, and owning whatever place they made for themselves.


BOXER: You know, my daughter, Nicole often tells me Mom, don't forget about -- don't forget about what you guys did together. And she's right to remind me, because when I see those -- that video, it brings back the memories. People don't realize what prejudice there was back then against women.

People would say, and we were running at the same time, which is very unusual, because of technical reasons, two seats were open. And people would say to us, oh, I could vote for one woman, but I couldn't vote for two. And, oh, I could vote for one woman from the Bay Area, but not two, and then the final blow, I could vote for one Jewish woman, not two.

And we would say to them, did you ever think about voting for two Protestant men? What difference does it make? So we tried to use our sense of humor. She always said two percent, maybe for the fat content of milk, but it's not good to just have two percent of women in the Senate.

And we held hands all the way through. And what's interesting, Fredricka is, we came from different factions of the Democratic Party, and as a matter of fact, 10 years prior, when I ran for the House, she supported another woman, a different woman, a wonderful woman, but I won that race.

But even with that background, we knew fate had thrown us together and we were bound and determined to work for California, side by side.

WHITFIELD: So even with your political differences, what do you believe the key was in how the two of you could work together, would even develop this kind of sisterhood, right? And feel like, you know, we don't have to embody one point of view, one political persuasion to work together, but we have the commonality that we want to do the right thing. How did you do that, do you think?

BOXER: Well, we talked about it a lot. We went out for dinner, I'll never forget it and we were differing on some issue. And we said, look, it's rare that we differ. But when we do, we're going to respect each other, we're not going to stab each other in the back, we're going to tell each other what our plans are, and let the chips fall.

But on the issue of representing our great state, we were literally joined at the hip, and I'm only five feet tall, barely. And to me, she was a giant, you know, she's probably five seven or something. And so we used to kid around, I'd say to her, I'll take the short senators and lobby them for California. You take the tall ones.

But that sense of humor aside, the fact that we did have different coalitions in the Senate really helped our state, because when we got there, you can't believe this, in 1993, we got sworn in. There was an expression that went around.

ABC -- Anybody But California -- there was prejudice against our great state. We thought, well, we were the Golden State. We have Silicon Valley. We have all the defense installations. We have Hollywood. And so that meant that we didn't have any problems. The state our size now pushing 40 million people, of course, we have a huge number of problems.

And I really think we turned that around, and by the time I left, we didn't see that kind of prejudice against our state.

WHITFIELD: Wow. And then I wonder now while you know, your beautiful reflections on your former colleague, I wonder what do you believe the criteria should be? I mean, who should be her successor, even though that might be temporary?

BOXER: You know, Gavin Newsom has stated he's going to appoint an African-American woman to fill out the term and he will do so. We have a very interesting race going on with three leading Democratic candidates, a great field and the people are going to decide this.

You've got to put your faith in the people. WHITFIELD: All right, Senator Barbara Boxer, thank you so much for sharing your reflections. All the best to you, and of course, you know, our hearts go out to everyone who celebrated and had the honor of knowing the great Dianne Feinstein.

BOXER: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right this hour, former US President Donald Trump is campaigning in Ottumwa, Iowa.

It comes a day before Trump is due in New York civil court for his fraud trial after a state appellate court denied a motion to stay the trial last week.

A law enforcement official telling CNN the former president is expected to attend the trial tomorrow. Trump so far has said he may attend.

Let's go to CNN's Alayna Treene traveling with the former president in Iowa. So Alayna, what is happening? He's campaigning hard today, but is he making his way to New York in time for tomorrow?

ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Well, that's still to be seen, Fred. From our understanding, they have left the door open to whether he's going to be in New York this week. But today, his focus is on Iowa.

And listen, Fred, you know, Donald Trump is trying to make this race seems like a 2024 rematch of Trump versus Biden, but his campaign is not slowing down when it comes to campaigning in the early primary states, specifically, here in Iowa.


We've seen Donald Trump has been, you know, relatively modest about campaigning in Iowa so far, especially when you compare it to his Republican challengers who have been visiting the state relentlessly.

But that's starting to change today. It is one of two stops Trump will be making in Iowa this week alone. He's also expected to visit the state later this month for a third time. And so he's really ramping up his travel here in these early states.

And when I talk to his campaign, his advisers tell me that look, even though Donald Trump is polling very well right now and dominating the fields compared to his Republican challengers, they are afraid of getting complacent, and they really don't want him to slow down at all.

And they also tell me that, look, they are hoping they need to win at the end of the day in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in South Carolina and their hope is that, if they can win big in the early states, that momentum will carry over to the general election and that is really what you're going to hear from him. today.

He's going to be talking to these voters, he's going to be using that typical Trump rhetoric that we hear often on the trail. He will also use some Iowa specific language, you know, talking about agriculture, talking about wanting voters here to keep the energy up, and to make sure that they come out and vote on January 15th for the first Iowa caucus -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. And Alayna, it little looks pretty electric behind you there. Is there anyone who is speaking before the former president?


WHITFIELD: Are they just all riled up and excited for his arrival?

TREENE: Yes. That's right. I mean, look, this is a very typical Trump campaign rally. You have people dancing, you have people cheering. The president will be taking the stage -- the former president will be taking the stage here soon and a lot of people are excited.

But I will say, I did talk to some Trump supporters and rally goers before they entered the event, and not everyone here has made up their mind. One voter in particular, her name is Pat Inman (ph), she told me that she's gone to a lot of different campaign speeches by people like Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Ron DeSantis, not just for former President Donald Trump, and she said as of now, her mind isn't made up. She's not sure that she's going to be voting for the former president.

So I think you're going to hear a lot of Donald Trump trying to convince people like Pat Inman to vote for her -- to vote for him come January.

WHITFIELD: All right, Alayna Treene, thank you so much.

All right, Jose Andres and his family are discovering the roots of Spanish cuisine. Across six mouthwatering episodes, the Spanish chef and restauranteur will introduce his daughters to a different region of Spain highlighting each area's unique food. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ines and I are getting ready for the festival, a week-long celebration of Andalusian food, drink and culture. And yes, of course we need to look the part.

How does it look?

Ines, you look stunning.

INES: Thank you.


INES: I know, it is my first time as a grown up in a flamenco dress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look beautiful. I love your colors. I like it.

Cires and all of Andalusia is famous for flamenco music and dance.

It's a whole culture that first came to Spain as early as the Ninth Century, performed originally by the Roma people known as gitanos here in Andalusia.


WHITFIELD: Ooh, I like it. Let me get my passport ready. To watch "Jose Andreas and Family in Spain" tune in tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern right here on CNN.

We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right, baseball's playoff matchups are officially set, but there are still some details that need to be settled. Here is CNN's Coy Wire with what's going on in the world of sports.


We know who is in the postseason, and by the end of the day, we'll know the matchups, the seedings, and who gets goodbyes. The reigning World Series Champion, Astros, they celebrated with a refined toast heading to the postseason for a seventh straight year after beating the Diamondbacks.

And on the right check out the Marlins partying hard after making the playoffs for just the fourth time in team history after they beat the Pirates seven to three.

Now even though Arizona had just lost to the Astros, they still threw a pool party. Look at the cannonball and that's because they clinched a wildcard playoff spot, thanks to a loss by the Reds. This is Arizona's first playoff appearance in six years.

The Texas Rangers, they clinched their first playoff berth in seven years with a six to one win over the Seattle Mariners. Just two years ago, this team lost more than a hundred games and finished last in their division. Now, have a chance to win the American League West if they win today or the Astros lose.

Check this out: Team USA's Patrick Cantlay sank a putt on 18 to beat Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick at the end of yesterday's Ryder Cup action in Rome, Italy.

Emotions were running high and then check out this drama. Rory did not appreciate Cantlay's caddie, Joe LaCava, who is perhaps celebrating a bit too long or too hard. LaCava still has words for Rory as he was lining up to sink a putt that would have tied the match.

So let's take this out to the parking lot where Rory McIl-rage is ripping into LaCava with some fierce finger pointing. The four-time major champ clearly frustrated. His teammate, Shane Lowry had to come in and defuse the situation, and then he eventually would walk back over to LaCava, the caddie seemingly having a conversation like hey, this isn't supposed to happen in golf.

All right finally, in pop news, ticket prices surging for a potential Taylor Swift appearance tonight at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Apparently, there's an NFL game happening, too.

Speculation that Swift will appear to see Travis Kelce and the Chiefs take on the Jets has sent tickets to the game soaring 40 percent, many wondering if the global pop icon is dating the NFL star after she cheered on the Chiefs while sitting next to his mom last weekend.

WHITFIELD: Well, something's going on.

All right, Coy Wire, thank you so much.