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CNN International: Israel Agrees to 4-Hour Daily Pauses for Civilian Evacuations; Netanyahu: No Ceasefire Until Israeli Hostages Released; Democratic Senator Joe Manchin Says He Won't Run for Reelection; Questions About U.S. House Speaker's Personal Finances. Aired 4-4:30a ET
Aired November 10, 2023 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and all around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. Bianca has the day, in fact the fortnight off, but ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.
Israel agrees to daily pauses in fighting so civilians can flee northern Gaza, but it insists there won't be a ceasefire until the hostages held by Hamas are freed.
Plus, a maid, a plumber and even a woodworker who work at Mar-a-Lago could be called to testify against their boss ahead. What the special counsel wants to know from Donald Trump's employees.
And West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says he won't run for reelection and some think the Democrat is getting ready for a possible presidential bid.
ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.
FOSTER: It is Friday, November the 10th, 9:00 a.m. here in London, 11 a.m. in Gaza, where a hospital is reporting Israeli strikes have hit near two hospitals in the past couple of hours. According to Al Awda Hospital 10 employees were injured and many vehicles and parts of buildings damaged.
The IDF says much of the fighting in Gaza has been focused on locating and destroying the maze of tunnels that Hamas has built beneath Gaza. Israel says many of those tunnels are connected to hospitals and schools.
Meanwhile, we're waiting to hear if Israel offers another opportunity today for people to flee northern Gaza. The IDF began to open the safe passages last weekend, and now says it'll do so for four hours each day. But the Prime Minister stood firm on his most basic demand regarding Hamas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: One thing we haven't agreed to is a ceasefire. A ceasefire with Hamas means surrender to Hamas, surrender to terror and the victory of the Iran's axis of terror. So there won't be a ceasefire without the release of the Israeli hostages.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Elliott is here so another hospital hit.
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Well, what this hospital is saying is that there were two strikes in the vicinity of the hospital that 10 staff members were injured, a number of vehicles, including ambulances, were also damaged. Now the IDF didn't get back to us specifically on this incident. But they do say that when they are attacked that they simply respond to where that attack is coming from, while at the same time trying to minimize civilian casualties.
So the IDF, as you were just saying, has said that there are, you know, they've found plenty of tunnels and other, you know, infrastructure from Hamas close to kindergartens, underneath hospitals and the like. Again, as I say, we haven't got specific comment on this particular incident, but you know, and we will obviously you know try and get some more on that from the IDF if they have more on that specific incident.
FOSTER: Meanwhile, no progress on a ceasefire, but we are getting these daily pauses. How long? How often?
GOTKINE: It's almost like, you know, when it's a ceasefire, not a not a ceasefire. And the answer is when it's tactical -- tactical, localized pause as it's being described. So Israel's kind of formalizing what it's been doing on an ad hoc basis up until now, which is creating these evacuation corridors, humanitarian corridors, whatever you want to call them. To enable civilians in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, where it's operations against Hamas are focused, to enable them to move safely to the southern part of the Strip to, well, relative -- to relative safety.
At the same time, they say they're going to be opening up a second evacuation corridor and that certain neighborhoods will be designated to be free from fighting during that 4-hour window to enable civilians to go out to try to get water, food, or medicine, if indeed there is any to be had. So they're kind of formalizing what was already happening anyway on an ad hoc basis. But the calls for a humanitarian pause for two to three days from the U.S. and the broader calls from Arab leaders, such as those in the Emirates and Qatar, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Those are not being heeded. So it's falling short from those, even if it is, as the U.S. calls it, a step in the right direction.
FOSTER: Can we assume that the pauses are linked to the hostage negotiations?
GOTKINE: I don't think we can necessarily make those assumptions. I suppose, from Israel's perspective, they are trying at the same time to balance their military objectives, which is to destroy Hamas militarily, prevent it from holding sway in the Gaza Strip, and from threatening Israeli civilians again.
And at the same time, trying to, you know, talk separately to try to get the hostages released. But Israel is adamant that there will be no ceasefire until those hostages, 240 or so, are released.
And they're kind of reflecting what the Israeli public's saying. According to a poll published this morning by the Institute for the Israeli Democracy Institute, which is an NGO, 38 percent of Jewish Israelis who make up 80 percent of the population, say 38 percent of Jewish Israelis, believe that fighting should not stop, but that negotiations to secure the release of those, hostages should continue.
And of course, we saw that video of two hostages. An elderly wheelchair bound Israeli woman and a 13-year-old boy put out by Islamic Jihad, the smaller militant group in the Strip. They said that they were being treated well. They said that they missed their family and friends and they said that if any harm came to them, it would be on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's head. One can only assume that they were directed in some way to say what they were saying. And but -- and there's talk about maybe they would be released on humanitarian grounds, but for now this is the latest on the hostage situation.
FOSTER: OK, Elliott, thank you.
CNN had an opportunity to get a first hand look at the situation on the ground in northern Gaza. Our Oren Liebermann went there embedded with an Israeli military unit to be transparent or and reported from Gaza under Israeli Defence Force escorts at all times and as a condition for journalists to embed with the IDF. Media outlets must submit footage filmed in Gaza to the Israeli military for review. CNN didn't submit its script to the IDF and had editorial control over the final report. As you're about to see, the area is a far cry from what it used to be before the war.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Through the breach, we enter northern Gaza at the Erez border crossing. The land here, once fertile farmland, is barren and the trees that might have provided enemy cover destroyed. In the distance, smoke from an Israeli airstrike is a stark reminder that this is day 34 of a war that may stretch much longer.
On Thursday, the IDF chief of staff and the head of the country's internal security service entered Gaza and promised strength through cooperation.
Everyone is doing everything, said General Herzl Alevi, just so you can be as strong as possible.
Along our path in northern Gaza, the signs of civilian life have given way to the constant hum of drones and the distant echoes of artillery.
Our time with the IDF began at the coordination base for the border crossing, the first international media to visit the site. The terror attack on October 7 hit hard here. The scars of machine gun fire and RPGs still visible.
The base was mostly empty on the holiday, but not entirely. The IDF says nine soldiers were killed here and three kidnapped. It took 12 hours for Israel to regain control of the base. Now it's one of the main gates to Gaza.
A month into the war, more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, according to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Ministry there.
The IDF says 35 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the Strip since the start of the incursion. The October 7 attack by Hamas in Israel killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
We stopped at an overlook near the town of Jabalya.
LIEBERMANN: One of the things uncovered here on this hill near Jabalya is a meeting point of three different tunnels. And you can see if you take a look, that's one, two, three. They came together here, and it let Hamas move underground quickly below the feet and out of sight.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Colonel Tal, the tank commander, says there were many explosives here, there were many trenches, there were a lot of weapons and ammunition. We found here a storage site with many explosives against tanks, RPGs. Even from a distance, the scale of the destruction is stunning. Apartment buildings, homes, neighborhoods, decimated.
Colonel Tal says the area is almost completely evacuated. We don't see civilians in our eyes. We see sometimes terrorists, but the majority of civilians haven't been here in a while. They've all gone south in the direction of the heart of the Strip.
As we talk, we hear rocket fire and see the trails of the launches, triggering red alerts in Ashdod. After about 90 minutes inside northern Gaza, we make our way out, hugging the border wall for safety. Even here, so close to the exit, we stop briefly so the dust clears and we can make sure the way ahead is safe. In the distance once again, the smoke from another strike.
LIEBERMANN: Israel has said they have effectively encircled Gaza City in northern Gaza and the IDF said on Thursday they will deepen their ground operations there. A big focus, as we've seen, has shifted to the tunnels as the IDF tries to get at those and destroy Hamas's underground infrastructure.
Oren Liebermann, CNN, in Tel Aviv.
FOSTER: Let's turn to Ory Slonim. He's a former special adviser to Israel's defense minister and joins me now from Netanya in Israel. Thank you so much for joining us.
ORY SLONIM, FORMER SPECIAL ADVISER TO ISRAEL'S DEFENSE MINISTER: Thank you.
FOSTER: In terms of that progress that Oren was reporting on there, how would you describe the control that Israel versus Hamas now has of Gaza City in that northern part of Gaza?
SLONIM: I think that first. Of all we have to -- we have to remind ourselves how it began, because it is I believe I'm a I'm very experienced for the last 35 years and never, never occurred such a kidnapping is such a hostage taking, like happened in Israel on Shabbat, October 7. It was a kidnapping of, of all people above the age of 85. Of mothers and kids, kids without their mothers and young, the youngsters who came to the desert to dance and they were being taken as hostages. Some of the girls there were raped in public, so we don't have to forget it.
I think that the responsibility of solving this ugly hostage project is in the Government of Israel on the Prime Minister. And they should not -- they should not stop the war for any humanitarian issues. And this is not the issue. I have to remind you that for the last fortnight, every day 100 or 120 trucks are entering Gaza with humanitarian equipment and they -- we could not even send an asthma inhaler or medicines even for an hour. So we're talking about something which is a jungle. So I believe that the Government of Israel shouldn't -- shouldn't have a ceasefire until the last hostage is coming to Israel. And all these pauses, I hope, won't be used by the Hamas for doing, you know, the bad things they're doing.
FOSTER: In terms of the hostages, horrific situation obviously for them and their families, we spoke to someone who had a relative held hostage yesterday. And I asked her what she thought of about the bombing of the tunnels. Because the assumption is, isn't it, that the hostages are held in the tunnels? She said she supports the IDF on their current strategy. But there is a huge risk, isn't there, being created for the hostages by bombing the tunnels?
SLONIM: I think that the whole project of the tunnels in Gaza, which is being built for the last, I believe 10 or 15 years, is for that purpose. And even if the hostages are there and I believe that some of them are there, Hamas should they bring them out. They are the owners of this early cannons. They should bring them out and send them to Israel, and then Israel will cease-fire. Not a minute before. Because I can tell you that we are living in a in a democratic country which has Parliament, the government rules. And on the other side, it's an organization, a terror -- terrorist organization. No rules, nothing to -- nothing to compare. So you can imagine your countries with the terror organization on your borders and doing such an inhuman. It's a crime against humanity. It's not a war.
FOSTER: Interesting polling coming out of Israel. Obviously the Prime Minister doesn't have majority support, but there does seem to be a lot of support for the IDF and the way they're carrying out this campaign. But in -- and more people now wanting some sort of negotiation on the -- at the same time as the military operation. And when we're talking about negotiation, we're talking about swapping hostages for Palestinian prisoners, aren't we? Do you support that? And if so, how many? I mean, are you up for the idea that all Palestinian prisoners should be released in return for the hostages?
SLONIM: Let me tell you very precisely. I want the last hostage. The last hostage to come back to Israel and then we can negotiate it -- negotiate everything. And I don't care if the our government will release the prisoners. But I'm not the negotiator this time. And I leave it to the government.
But I believe that first everyone, every nine months babies and every 85-years-old man or woman. One of them is living with the balloon of oxygen. He didn't get it in for a month. How can he live? So first of all, send all the hostages back, and then we'll talk about everything.
FOSTER: And what happens to Gaza after all of this? I know the Prime Minister's talked about -- talked about being responsible for security of Gaza but not of governance. So that suggests it's not an occupation. But a lot of people would say it's an occupation without taking responsibility for governors -- governance in Gaza. What would you like to see afterwards and how do you see a future for people living in Gaza when Israel's in control of it effectively?
SLONIM: I can tell you what I think about the future of Gaza. There is one, I believe one main issue. Gaza shouldn't be a governed by terror organization. They should be governed by anyone who is not a terrorist. And I don't care. I don't want to -- the people of Gaza and most of them are innocent. They are not part of this organization, should live there in peace and you know, and without any problems of fighting us, and we won't fight, fight them. Our fight is with the terror organization that you all have to imagine. If you all have it on your borders. You will do the same.
OK, Ory Slonim, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate your time today. Thank you for joining us.
SLONIM: Thank you.
FOSTER: International organizations and aid groups called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Thursday, warning the situation they could quickly spiral out of control. The plea came at an international humanitarian conference with Gaza in France, intended to coordinate aid and determine how to help those impacted by Israel's ground and air offensive.
French President Emmanuel Macron opened the conference in Paris, saying the work needed to be done to bring a halt to the fighting.
Thursday marked the anniversary of the Jewish pogrom known as Kristallnacht in 1938, which many now see as a precursor to the Holocaust. This was a scene at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate to mark the occasion with the words "Never Again Is Now."
In November 1938, Nazi mobs attacked and burned more than 1,000 synagogues in Germany and Austria. Thousands of Jewish businesses were vandalized. More than 90 Jews were murdered and 10s of thousands of Jewish men and boys were arrested. With anti-Semitism again on the rise, hundreds also turned out in Copenhagen to mark the grim anniversary. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOREN GADE, DANISH PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: We've come here to so we do not forget what happened 85 years ago. It was the start of Holocaust, the darkest chapter in the history for hundreds of years. And of course also in the light of what happened the 7th of October, where 1,400 Israelis were slaughtered in the Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Olaf Schultz said he was ashamed and outraged by the recent incidence of anti-Semitism in Germany.
Now a shocking day for Democrats, as West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announces he won't be running for reelection. What it could mean for his party and what it might be doing -- what he might be doing, instead? Have a guess now.
Next on CNN also, we tell you what CNN has learned about who could testify at Donald Trump's trial for allegedly mishandling classified documents.
And the Vatican is out with new rules on baptizing Catholics in the LGBTQ community. Those details when we return.
FOSTER: In a surprise development, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says he won't run for reelection next year. It's a major blow for Democrats hoping to keep his seat in the deep red West Virginia. But Manchin isn't quitting just to spend time with his family. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): What I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together. We need to take back America and not let this divisive hatred further pull us apart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: What does it mean? Manu Raju has more from Capitol Hill.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Joe Manchin making a decision that will shake up the United States Senate and has huge ramifications in the battle for control of the chamber by announcing he will not run for reelection in West Virginia.
He would -- had a difficult time winning against Jim Justice who is the sitting governor, someone who is running in the Republican primary and the front runner for the party's nomination. Polls have shown that Manchin was struggling against Jim Justice. But by Manchin stepping aside it will be much harder if not impossible for Democrats to win that seat, to keep it in their hands.
That means if the seat flips red, Democrats will have a much tougher time keeping the majority. Right now it's 51-49. If one seat goes to the Republican side, it's 50/50. Also Manchin is a central player for so many years in the Senate, given his conservative politics and the fact that he is a swing vote on so many key issues.
And just in Biden's first few years of offices being a central player in some of the president's key legislative achievements, whether it's Inflation Reduction Act or the Infrastructure Law, or playing a key role in the bipartisan gun safety legislation.
But that doesn't mean that he's beloved by Democrats. In fact he has been on the outs for Democrats for some time. Many progressives, liberals angry of him not agreeing to change senate filibuster rules which would allow them to pass a whole suite of Democratic legislation. Also a whole range of issues he has pushback on them on which has made him a pariah among the left.
That is also fed calls of potentially Manchin running a third-party -- a third-party candidate in the presidential race.
He suggested it in his announcement video that he's going to try to galvanize, to see of there's a movement of people both sides of the aisle, where they can figure out a way to work together.
What does that mean? Will he run for president in a third-party ticket? He does not address that. That speculation will only continue. But he says it is time for him for a new chapter in life for a 76- year-old Democrat who has had a huge impact on West Virginia and the politics here in the Senate.
Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.
FOSTER: Also on Thursday, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy unloaded on fellow Republicans who ousted him from his leadership position. In an exclusive interview with Manu, McCarthy criticized Congressman Matt Gaetz and Congresswoman Nancy Mace. The two joined six other Republicans to vote McCarthy out as speaker last month. Here's more of what McCarthy told Manu about Gaetz and Mace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): People have to earn the right to be here. And I just think from, I mean, he'll admit to you personally, he doesn't have a conservative bent in his philosophy and just the nature of what he focuses on. And if you've watched just her philosophy and the flip flopping. Yes, I don't believe she wins reelection. I don't think she'll probably have earned the right to get reelected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: McCarthy's comments come as his replacement, Speaker Mike Johnson, still hasn't shown how he had avoided a government shutdown, which is next week potentially. Johnson also facing questions about his personal finances from journalists and a good government groups. They are wondering why a U.S. congressman doesn't have a savings account and may not even have a retirement account. CNN Washington correspondent Sunlen Serfaty explains.
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Freshly minted Speaker of the House Mike Johnson facing questions over how he keeps his own financial health in order.
REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: Look, I'm a man of modest means.
SERFATY: CNN's review of Johnson's personal financial disclosures and campaign financial documents since coming to Congress in 2017 revealed that the new speaker appears to be living paycheck to paycheck.
Financial records show that Johnson, like many Americans, does not appear to have much of a safety net. For the past two years, he has not reported any assets, and has never reported a checking account on financial disclosure forms.
The speaker's office says, he has a personal bank account, which is exempt from House reporting roles because it's non-interest bearing.
Meaning he does not have to disclose this type of account under House rules.
While it is unknown how much is in that account, a source with knowledge of his financial situation tells CNN that account is not a big enough to be leaving large sums of money and interest on the table.
All this as Johnson's liabilities are plenty, a mortgage for his family home value between $250,000 and $500,000. A personal loan from 2016, between $15,000 and $50, 000, and a home equity line of credit taken in 2019 for less than $50,000.
As a congressman, Johnson was making $174,000 a year. His salary will now jump to $223,500 as speaker. And he has made over $100,000 teaching online courses at Liberty University since 2018. Last year alone, Johnson collected nearly $30,000 from the college.
On Capitol Hill, to save money on steep D.C. rent, Johnson is one of the many members of Congress that sleep in their offices. A source with knowledge says the speaker will continue sleeping in his office for now, but did not know if that will always be the plan going forward.
JOHNSON: There are a lot of things on the minds of the American people --
SERFATY (voice-over): Johnson's financial standing in stark contrast to many of his colleagues on Capitol Hill, with the median network of his colleagues in 2018 at just over $1 million.
Some former speakers have done well. Nancy Pelosi is worth more than $110 million.
Before coming to Congress in 2017, Johnson was a lawyer. In 2016, he reported making over $200,000.
JOHNSON: I was a lawyer, but I did constitutional law, and most of my career I spent in the nonprofit sector.
SERFATY (voice-over): And has said that much of his money goes to taking care of his large family.
JOHNSON: We have four kids, five now, that they're very active and have kids in graduate school, law school, undergraduate. We have a lot of expenses.
SERFATY (voice-over): That financial reality, not unlike most American families.
JOHNSON: I didn't grow up with great means, but I think that helps us be a better leader, because we can relate to every hardworking American family. That's who we are. And I think it governs and helps govern my decision in how I lead.
SERFATY: Now we don't know much about Speaker Johnson's wife and her full financial picture, but we do know she is earning some income and it's coming from a few places.
A Christian counseling company, her work with the Louisiana Right to Life Educational Committee, as well as a general listing on this disclosure forms for various clients.
Now lawmakers, they are not required to reveal the amounts of money their spouses are earning, but Johnson actually does in some of the earliest disclosure forms. He reveals that she's made about $45 to $50,000 a year, but he has not declared her salary since 2021. Again, all of this a very limited snapshot into her side of the earning for the family.
Sunlen, Serfaty, CNN, on Capitol Hill.