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IDF Denies Claims It Has Laid Siege To Gaza City Hospital; Blinken: Far Too Many Palestinians Have Been Killed; Interview With Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA); Trump Calls For Federal Election Trial To Be Televised; House GOP Pursuing Two-Step Plant To Avert Govt Shutdown; Report: October Warmest On Record, 2023 Likely Warmest Year. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired November 11, 2023 - 18:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

Good evening.

We begin this hour with a critical situation unfolding in Gaza. This, as intense fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants continues around Gaza's biggest hospital Al-Shifa. Doctors Without Borders, which has staff inside says the clashes are stopping them from evacuating patients and that the hospital has lost power.

The director of Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza says two babies died after a generator was damaged in that hospital. The IDF says it is working on a plan to help evacuate infants from the hospital's pediatric unit and denies claims the hospital is under siege. Israeli officials say the military can "coordinate" with anyone who wants to leave the hospital safely.

In the meantime, the Red Cross says Gaza's healthcare system has passed the point of no return. As the clashes continue near the Al- Shifa Hospital, intense fighting is taking place over the streets of northern Gaza.

Let's go straight to CNN correspondent, Oren Liebermann, who is live in Sderot, Israel with war on this.

Oren, what are you seeing right now?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, there is at least a brief lull in the fighting and the strikes we're seeing from where we are on the northeast corner of Gaza, essentially just a few miles from the Gaza Strip.

I do hear a drone overhead. We have heard some intermittent artillery fire. It was much more intense and much more consistent a couple of hours ago. We have also heard fighter jets overhead. Now crucially, we haven't seen the results of those strikes, meaning we haven't seen the impact point, and that would at least seem to suggest that they are taking place a bit farther south from our vantage point here. Jim, as you rightly point out, much of the fighting right now focused in northern Gaza around the Shifa Hospital. Officials from the Hamas- controlled Ministry of Health say the hospital itself is surrounded, in dire need of food, electricity, and water which is making a critical humanitarian crisis inside the Strip and a medical crisis, even worse, as you point out, Doctors Without Borders says that the situation there is getting to the point of no return in terms of the ability to treat patients there.

The hospital itself treats about 400 patients, but just as importantly, there are some 20,000 people taking refuge within the hospital. Officials there say the hospital itself, the main complex hasn't been struck but some of the outer areas in the intense fighting around there have been damaged, the maternity ward, external clinics there. Doctors Without Borders also says that bodies are piling up and that in and of itself is becoming a danger from disease.

On the point about the neonatal intensive care unit, I'll get a bit more into that quickly. Now, the generator was damaged. That generator powered the incubators and when those incubators went down. As of the last update, a total of three babies died in the neonatal intensive care unit there.

Israel says there is no siege on the hospital and that the east wing of the hospital remains open for those who want to evacuate. The IDF says they also assisted with evacuations from Rantisi and Al-Nasr Hospitals, and as you point out, they'll get ready to evacuate the pediatric unit or part of it tomorrow from the Shifa Hospital.

They say they've taken over, at this point, 11 Hamas military posts in northern Gaza, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promises the mission to take out Hamas and to remove them from power there will continue. The next challenge is going after the underground infrastructure, and that Jim, will be an incredible challenge, indeed.

ACOSTA: And Oren, tomorrow, the Rafah border crossing is expected to open for some foreign nationals on an already approved list that was released last week. What can you tell us about that?

LIEBERMANN: This has been an ongoing challenge trying to get foreign nationals who are inside Gaza out through the Rafah Crossing, that's out through Sinai into Egypt so they can essentially get out of a war zone, but that process has been slow and very painstaking.

Two diplomatic sources in Cairo who have been working on this talk about how difficult it has been to get them on an approved list, get them through the vetting process that has to go through Cairo, Jerusalem, Ramallah and then get them out.

One of them described it and I'll read this sentence as: Long non- transparent, and arduous about getting them out.


The Rafah Crossing did not open on Friday. It is expected to open tomorrow so some foreign nationals can get out, but they have to be on an approved list as you point out, and we'll see if the situation changes there and forces it to close, that's been very touch and go since the very beginning -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Oren Liebermann, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

IDF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus joins us now from Tel Aviv.

Colonel, thanks very much.

I want to ask you about what's taking place right now with the Al- Shifa Hospital. What can you tell us about what's being done to make sure some of these innocent civilians can get out of there, the babies that have been talked about and so on. What is going on there with this hospital? What can you share?


Thank you for having me. We are on day 36 of the war and 239 Israeli hostages are still being held in Gaza. Regarding the hospital, we are in contact with local authorities in Gaza, with the manager and others, and assisting them and then informing them where they can go in order to evacuate from the area and we are also trying to coordinate the safe removal and transport of the remaining patients that are still inside the hospital.

I want to emphasize, we haven't struck the hospital and we are not surrounding it or applying any pressure on it, and we have troops in the vicinity, but we have not been engaging with the hospital or any parts of it.

ACOSTA: And so I guess maybe you can help us clear this up. Why is it that the Health Ministry there claims that the hospital is completely surrounded. We've also heard from a spokesperson from the Israeli military, I guess, one of your counterparts that a wing of that hospital is still open for people to safely evacuate. Help us sort that out. What's going on?

CONRICUS: Yes, indeed. That is what we've told the Palestinians as well that the Eastern wing is open, and that all of the people that are there, the displaced persons that have been seeking shelter, as well as others who are in the compound can move safely, and we have instructed them even by the names of streets and locations, where they should go, when we will do the next humanitarian window.

And as you know, we've been doing that for the last five days in various locations in the Gaza Strip where we've been stopping our fire, calling Palestinians and telling them to evacuate. The main road is Salah al-Din, the main thoroughfare of the Gaza Strip, but then also Al Rashid Street, the coastal road, we've opened that up as well, during select hours of the day -- daytime hours, which allows Palestinians to move and to go to relative safety in the south, again, under our commitment not to strike civilians and out of a respect for the sanctity of human life, which is much more than what Hamas is doing at this time.

ACOSTA: And so what can you tell us about these reports that we're seeing about tanks surrounding the hospital. Is that happening? And are you conducting an operation in that area? I know you've said in the past, Colonel, that you don't target hospitals, and that sort of thing. But you've also said and others have said with the IDF that sometimes the hospitals and these kinds of civilian facilities are used by Hamas for their operations.

And so is there an IDF operation going on in that area to find them in and around that facility? That hospital?

CONRICUS: Yes, our troops are definitely nearby. We have troops that have approached that area from various locations. We have to understand that the viewers who may not have been following or just joining. The Shifa compound is indeed a hospital, but underneath are layers and layers of Hamas military activity that they have established underneath the hospital, whereby they are using the hospital for military needs, which is a war crime. It's against the Geneva Convention. They are endangering the protected status of the hospital by doing so.

And what we have done, first and foremost, is to inform the Palestinians and also the world that we know that Hamas is using the hospital for military purposes, we know that it is full of Hamas combatants that are seeking shelter and trying to hide away from our forces underneath the hospital.

That is also one of the reasons why we are trying to evacuate it because we don't want Hamas to continue to use these people as their human shields in the future.

ACOSTA: I mean, that sounds like a very difficult and complicated operation that you're trying to undertake then. What happens to the hospital at the end of all of this? Does the IDF seek to control it? Take it over? I mean, if you have to get Hamas terrorists who are hiding inside tunnels underneath the hospital, one would think at some point you have to take over the hospital or take over the area around that hospital. Is that something that you're seeking to do?


CONRICUS: Well, I agree with you totally that it is a very complex situation and one that we would rather not find ourselves in, but ever since October 7th, we are in this situation where we have to fight inside Gaza, and we have to strike Hamas wherever they are hiding, underneath civilians, in the tunnels, and also underneath hospitals.

And our aim is to dismantle all of Hamas military infrastructure, and Hamas has embedded a significant portion of their military capabilities, specifically under Shifa, and it is our aim to dismantle all of their military capabilities.

I cannot go into further details about what when and where it will be done. I can say that it would be best for everybody involved, including those who will need the hospital the day after the war for Hamas to come out of their hidings and stop abusing civilian infrastructure for military purposes. If they don't, of course, we will have to respond accordingly and implement our military plans.

ACOSTA: And, Colonel, I'm sure you saw this, that the Secretary of State Tony Blinken, of course, he's a part of the Biden administration. They've been very supportive of the Israeli government, of the IDF throughout all of this, but the Secretary of State did say, in the last day or so that there have been too many Palestinians killed in the Israeli operation in Gaza. What's the response to that?

CONRICUS: Well, I agree that there are many people that have been killed and I am sad about civilians that have nothing to do with fighting who are killed or wounded or displaced by fighting. That is not our goal. And I think that the Israeli government and the military has been very clear and forthcoming that we are not fighting against the civilians. We try to do everything we can to get them out of the battlefield so that we can focus on fighting Hamas.

And I think that the government and the military, and we're talking, you know, at the military level, we're communicating with our military counterparts, we are not only telling them what we're doing, we're showing them what we're doing, and what Hamas is doing, their violations and how they are using the civilians as human shields and we are showing what we are doing, the measures that we are implementing, in order to minimize the damage to civilians.

I definitely hope that, you know, these numbers can come down and what we're achieving is basically, we're emptying northern Gaza of civilians temporarily, exactly in order to minimize and lower the amount of civilian casualties, that is our aim, because we seek that operational freedom to be able to go after Hamas.

Hamas is under pressure. You know, they're under pressure. Now, they're indicating that they're under pressure. There have been reports of them shooting at evacuees, and all kinds of efforts by Hamas to stop evacuations in various locations. We understand that they're under pressure because they want these civilian casualties.

ACOSTA: Colonel, to that point, because of the difficulty and dealing with these humanitarian pauses and opening them up and opening up these corridors and so on, the president of the United States, President Biden did say in just the last couple of days that he thinks that these pauses need to be longer. Are you open to that? Longer pauses?

CONRICUS: Yes, you know, already on the ground, these pauses, they have an effect on our combat rhythm and the ability to conduct our missions, because you know, when you apply pressure on your enemy, you want that pressure to be relentless.

And the fact that we stop during many hours of the day has a price for us, a combat price. What we already have done, also responding to those requests and statements made by the president and others is to add hours. It started with four hours, and now it's five, maybe it will be expanded more. We added another route, right? It was only the central route, and now we've opened up a northern route as well along the coast, Al Rashid Street in addition to Salah al-Din.

So we are definitely listening. We're definitely trying to find good ways of evacuating civilians to minimize the effect on them, while still doing what we need to do. And this is important, we're not in Gaza, for the amusement of it. We are there because we are fighting Hamas. They need to be dismantled, otherwise, we won't be able to live safely in southern Israel, and we need to get our hostages back.

ACOSTA: And I understand that, but you brought up hostages. One of the items that has been discussed in all of this is and you're probably aware of this, there are multiple parties involved in these kinds of talks, that the longer the humanitarian pauses potentially that could lead to the release of hostages. There have been negotiations going on to that end.


Are you open to that?

CONRICUS: Yes. I'm not entirely sure that that is the correct working assumption. I think that what Hamas is trying to do, both its internal leadership and its overseas or external leadership, they are basically trying to play for time and they're trying to force Israel through international pressure while using the hostages, the poor women, children, babies, and elderly people that they've been holding for more than 36 days. They are using them as leverage in order to get the IDF to back off and relent in our military pressure.

I think that is what has been clear, there won't be any kind of ceasefire before we get hostages back. Talking can be done, that's all fine, but there needs to be continuous pressure on Hamas. That is the only thing that is effective.

And by the way, maneuvering on the ground, creating that kind of friction on the ground between us and enemy forces, creates intelligence and creates other opportunities that hopefully we will be able to leverage in order to get our people home.

ACOSTA: Okay, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, thank you once again for your time. We appreciate it this evening. Thank you.

CONRICUS: Thank you for having me.

ACOSTA: All right, coming up, we are six days from a government shutdown. Back here in Washington, House Speaker Mike Johnson just released his plan. Does it have legs? We'll see what happens. That's next.



ACOSTA: Today, we have seen growing pro-Palestinian rallies around the world and that included a march outside President Biden's home in Delaware as people chanted "ceasefire." Now, CNN's Kevin Liptak is in Wilmington, Delaware for us. Kevin, those are some pretty loud and large protests. What kind of reaction are you getting from the White House?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER:` Yes, pretty sizable. Hundreds of people there outside of President Biden's home here in Delaware. The White House not responding specifically, but certainly aware of this growing anger among a certain sector of the American population at how President Biden has been handling this conflict.

And he may not have seen these protesters at firsthand here today, but he has seen them over the last several weeks, including in Illinois this week when the president was visiting. He's also been interrupted twice during speeches by people calling for a ceasefire, and you also see this growing calls internationally for the president to sort of change course, somewhat.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron today saying that a ceasefire would benefit Israel and saying that bombing of civilians is not justified, saying that he hoped leaders, including in the United States would join him in those calls.

We also saw last week the majority of this Democratic Caucus in the Senate writing the White House, asking for more details about the $14 billion request for emergency military assistance to Israel asking for what the US can do to guarantee that Israel is mitigating the civilian deaths.

And so President Biden certainly still standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel in this conflict defending its right to defend itself, saying it has a responsibility to go after Hamas. But you are hearing Biden and other administration officials injecting more caution into their language. Certainly, you heard that from the president's top diplomat, Antony Blinken this week saying that far too many Palestinians have died in this conflict, saying much more needed to be done to prevent civilian deaths.

What the president has done is pressed the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on what he calls humanitarian pauses, and Israel did say this week that it would begin those four-hour pauses daily, but when the president was asked about that earlier this week, he said that he had hoped Netanyahu would have agreed to them a little earlier -- Jim.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. And Kevin, on a separate front, I understand the White House has just reacted to this proposal from the new House Speaker Mike Johnson to keep the government open. What's the White House saying?

LIPTAK: Yes, it is safe to say, it's not a positive reaction. And remember, Jim, this is kind of their first real interaction with the new House Speaker. They are in many ways still getting to know him, getting to know his tactics and his standing. But in the statement, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre says that: "This proposal is just a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns -- full stop." And she goes on to say: "With just days left before an extreme Republican shutdown, and after shutting down Congress for three weeks after they ousted their own leader, House Republicans are wasting precious time with an unserious proposal that has been panned by members of both parties."

So certainly not a welcome reception to this proposal that the House Speaker put out earlier today, sort of two-tiered proposal for funding the government, but certainly, time is ticking down before government funding runs out and a shutdown would begin Saturday morning -- Jim.

ACOSTA: Yes, we're just six days away.

Kevin Liptak, in Wilmington, Delaware for us. Thank you very much.

Let's discuss more now with Democratic Congressman John Garamendi of California who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. He's also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. I do want to talk about Israel in just a moment. But first off, your reaction to this plan from the new House Speaker to avoid a government shutdown and just six days from now.

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): We're going to have to have a continuing resolution because the Republican chaos caucus has been totally unable to move long term appropriation bills. I think there's only three that have passed the House thus far. The last five weeks during this chaotic period, three of those appropriation bills have been stuck. They cannot get the votes themselves and they've refused to reach across the aisle to work with us on the long term appropriation.

So yes, we're going to almost certainly have to have a continuing resolution, however to go to January 15th and then on to February simply will continue the chaos for at least another three, three-and- a-half months.


ACOSTA: And Congressman, turning to what's taking place in Gaza right now. Just a few moments ago, Kevin Liptak, who is following the president for us were showing this pro-Palestinian rally outside or near the president's home in Delaware. They're happening all around the world. There was a huge one in Washington just last week and there seems to be a fissure that has developed inside the Democratic Party over this issue.

Are you worried that these protests, this divide that as developing inside the Democratic Party could become a political problem come next year? It does look like there is some kind of a fissure emerging in your party over this?

GARAMENDI: Well, I think there is all around the world enormous concern, empathy, sadness about the horrific things that have happened in Israel and in Gaza. There is no way that a caring human being can look at all that has taken place to the Israelis, as well as to the Palestinians in Gaza and not want it to stop.

And there are many ways that that can happen. A pause is in fact, a stop, at least for a temporary period of time. And a ceasefire also, is a stop, usually, for a specific period of time.

Israel has the right to protect itself. I personally believe that the aerial bombardments from rockets or from airplanes dropping bombs has to stop. There seems to me to be no reason for that. The ground action that is taking place has to be very, very carefully done, and the Palestinians in Gaza have to be given time to evacuate whether they're in a hospital or in a building. There's no other way. They have to be given the time to do that, if that's through a pause or a ceasefire, short or long term, that has to happen.

ACOSTA: And do you think the Israeli Defense Forces are doing enough to make that happen? I know if you heard a few moments ago, when I was speaking with the Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, who is a spokesperson for the IDF. They seem very reluctant to have longer sustained pauses, even if it means releasing hostages because they're concerned that Hamas will reconstitute itself or continue to use these hostages as leverage.

What's your sense of it? Are the Israelis doing enough to protect civilians?

GARAMENDI: Well, more than 11,000 Palestinians have died as a result of what's taking place in Gaza. At the same time, we've seen over what -- 1,600 Israelis have died in the onslaught that that Hamas did to Israel more than a month ago. So there is a lot of harm going on here.

My personal opinion is that the aerial bombardments, whether they are by rocket or plane must stop. And there must be a pause in the action so that civilians can get out of the way. It's clear that the IDF is going to continue to pursue Hamas fighters in Gaza and I believe that can be done with a minimum of civilian casualties by very carefully conducting it, taking time. It has to be block by block. That's all understandable.

With regard to the hospital, the hospital has to be protected. Bottom line, the hospital has to be protected. And that can be done at the same time that Israel is either preparing for the next action following a pause or if it's a ceasefire for whatever period of time, then with the hospital protected, and with the civilians given the time to get out of the way, then Israel will, in my view, be able to pursue the Hamas terrorists in a way that reduces casualties and could be successful.

ACOSTA: And just follow up on that, do you think the Israeli Defense Forces are doing enough to protect the Shifa Hospital that is very much in the news right now? I'm sure you've been hearing some of that discussion?

GARAMENDI: Well, that's what I said a moment ago, that hospital has to be protected. Under no circumstances should Israel attack the hospital. That's just plain wrong. But at the same time, we have work to do in Congress. Israel is going to need continuing support and all this talk about the continued resolution missed in that discussion is the support for Ukraine, as well as for Israel.

And so this is a very complex situation on the ground for the Israeli Defense Forces, one in which it seems to me they need to prioritize civilian safety and take the time -- it'll be longer to be sure -- to go after Hamas once they have secured the safety of the civilians, that cannot be done unless the United States continues to support Israel.

And that is the supplemental appropriation that the Republicans have refused to even take up, as well as the Ukraine supplemental appropriation. All of these things fit together.


GARAMENDI: It is complex. But in my view, the safety of the civilians in Israel, as well as in Gaza, is of utmost priority.


ACOSTA: And Congressman, if I could just ask you a quick political question from the campaign. Former president, Donald Trump, according to the New York Times and some reporting that we've confirmed over here at CNN, has proposed mass deportations. His team is talking about mass deportations and even camps for immigrants for the purposes of deportation, if he is put back in the White House, if he's reelected president. What's your response to that?

GARAMENDI: It doesn't work. It doesn't work. What we saw during the first Trump administration was a horrible incidence on the border. Children being separated from their parents, having no idea where the parents are. And totally, even after these many, many years, unable to reunite families.

Trump has no real plan other than cruelty. We have to have a secure border. In that supplemental legislation that I talked about a moment ago, there is a half a billion dollars to hire more than 4,000 border security people. The Republicans are refusing to move that legislation that would allow immediate men and women on the border to secure the border as it is now, as and also to build additional walls.

So President Trump cannot become president again. He has made it very clear that he intends to terminate our democracy, as we know it, should he be reelected. And this border thing that he came up with is one more example of the inhumane treatment that he provided during hits on the border to asylum seekers.

We cannot go back there. We have to secure the border. We have to have decent and wise immigration reform. Once again, the Republicans have been in power in the Congress for a full year, not one effort to really come to grips with the immigration laws of the United States. They did pass H.R. 2, which, again, simply carries on the failures of the past. ACOSTA: All right. Congressman Garamendi, thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it.

GARAMENDI: Thank you.

ACOSTA: All right. Coming up, could a federal trial involving former president, Donald Trump, be televised? We'll discuss that next.



ACOSTA: Former president, Donald Trump, is joining calls for the D.C. trial on charges he tried to overturn the 2020 election to be televised live from the courtroom. That's right, you heard that correct. That trial is scheduled to start in March. Several media outlets, including CNN, had previously filed motions to the court requesting that cameras be allowed in. With me now is a defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu.

Shan, I mean, this is - Trump is calling it - calling for it to be televised, then what's the holdup? The federal judge should say, okay. But the other question here is this sort of fights against his attorneys saying we need to delay these cases.

I mean, if Trump wants them televised, he sound - he doesn't sound like he wants them delayed.

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he might be thinking since he wants to delay so he can campaign, he may as well just campaign during the trial ...


WU: ... which is what he'll do anyway. I think it would be wonderful they televise and I think it's an archaic rule not to have TVs in the federal courtrooms, including the Supreme Court. I just don't think that's going to happen. I think it's just a publicity ploy on his part.

ACOSTA: And why is that? I mean, it's just not allowed.

WU: Yes, the judiciary has its own administrative body and they don't allow it. Chief Justice Roberts could have some sway on that if he would weigh in on that. But for the Supreme Court, even, I know it's such a huge revolutionary step that during COVID they began to live broadcast audio. And as you were saying earlier, I mean, at least you could live broadcast your audio, that'd be something.

ACOSTA: Right, yes. Now, we were just saying during the commercial break talking about the prospect of all this, the Supreme Court puts out audio.

WU: Right.

ACOSTA: Why aren't these other federal courts doing it? Why is that? Why are these rules seemingly so outdated when it comes to covering these cases and having television coverage?

WU: I think the thinking of the judges and certainly someone like Roberts is that by having TV cameras, you somehow create a circus atmosphere with the litigants and the lawyers playing more towards the cameras. I think that really is a very outdated notion. People are very regular people that live in the real world, not the bubble, are very used to video, very used to cameras being on.

And the judge can still control the courtroom. It doesn't mean that they lose control of the courtroom just because the recordings going on.

ACOSTA: I was going to say, has anybody watched Dateline in the federal court system?

WU: Right.

ACOSTA: I mean, we've had televised trials for how long now?

WU: Yes.

ACOSTA: Let's switch gears, in Florida, the judge in that case, Aileen Cannon, has decided for now not to delay the classified documents trial. What did you think of that?

WU: I think she has learned the lesson from being - really put down dismissively by the 11th Circuit in that way back when the special master debacle, and so she's being a bit more cautious. Nonetheless, Jim, this is an easy case to delay even for legitimate reasons.


And if she has any sort of leanings towards wanting to help Trump by having a delay, it's going to be easy for her to do it and she can do it really by creeping towards it.

She changes the briefing schedule a little bit. She actually sounds like she's going to have an adversarial type hearing about the classified information issues. All these things will eat up time and get closer and closer to a time when you can't have it before the election.

ACOSTA: And does it make sense to have a little space between the January 6th trial and the documents trial? To some extent, I mean, folks can have an argument about which one is more important. But the January 6th trial, it sounds as though Judge Chutkan is really determined to have that trial held before the 2024 election.

WU: From a prosecution standpoint ...


WU: ... it would make sense to have a little space. I mean, even though you may have different teams, it's the same DOJ, it's a very high stakes, very complex trial. It would make sense to have a break there. From the defense standpoint, obviously, the more breaks you have, the better it is. I think the problem here is that there is a political aspect to it, not in the sense of bias. But the real point is if it's not done before the election, two things happen, voters don't get to know what happened from the trial, the outcome. And two, were he to be elected, everything would grind to a halt and probably just go out the window in terms of the federal charges.

ACOSTA: Right. Because if he's elected, we all know what's coming next. He's going to want to pardon himself ...

WU: Exactly.

ACOSTA: ... and then there'll be a whole other court hullabaloo over that.

All right. Shan Wu, thank you very much. Great to talk to you as always, appreciate it.

All right. The clock is ticking towards a potential government shutdown. House Speaker Mike Johnson laying out his plan earlier today, but are all of his parties on - party members on board? It doesn't sound like it. We'll talk about that in just a few moments.



ACOSTA: In just six days, the federal government will run out of money. But Republican Speaker Mike Johnson says he has a plan to keep it up and running.

CNN's Annie Grayer joins us now with more. Annie, what do you think? What's going to happen here? We're kind of at the phase in all of this where the speaker throws out something that he perhaps knows is not going to be the final product, but he has to do it for political reasons.

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: So the plan that Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled today is essentially creating two government funding deadlines after November 17th. One will keep the government funded until - part of the government until January 19th. The rest will go until February 2nd. This plan doesn't have any spending cuts. It just keeps levels where they are. There's no additional aid for the wars in Israel or Ukraine.

And now, Jim, we're already hearing mixed reviews about this plan. There are at least three Republicans from the far right of the House Republican Conference who are against this because there are not enough spending cuts for them. Republicans can only lose four votes if all Democrats vote against the bill.

But we're unclear where Democrats in the House stand because there aren't spending cuts in this bill, though. It is a welcome sign for ...

ACOSTA: And may be tempted.

GRAYER: ... they may be tempted, we have from one Senate leadership Democratic aide signaling that the Senate is open to this plan because there's not the deep spending cuts that the right had wanted. The White House, though, in their statement, called it an unserious plan.

So, again, you kind of see how mixed it is. But do these dynamics seem familiar to you? This just shows that what Speaker Mike Johnson is navigating is very similar to what former Speaker Kevin McCarthy had to handle when - leading up to the September 30th funding deadline.

Of course, McCarthy ended up putting a bipartisan bill on the floor and we know what happened next, McCarthy was ultimately ousted. Will Johnson face a similar fate? Unlikely. But just the dynamic, the divisions in the House Republican Conference very much still alive and well.

ACOSTA: Yes. And I wonder if that gives Johnson a little bit of leverage in all of this, because he knows, well, maybe I won't get thrown overboard in the way that Kevin McCarthy was.

All right. Annie Grayer, we have a lot to talk about in the coming days. Six days to go. Annie, thank you.

You have probably felt it and now science is confirming it. October was the warmest month on record. We'll talk about that next.



ACOSTA: You probably notice it feels like fall is coming later than usual this year. The European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service reporting this past October was the hottest on record and 2023 is "virtually certain to be the warmest year."

CNN Chief Climate Correspondent, Bill Weir, is following all of this for us. Bill, I try not to make too much of when I can walk my dog in my shorts and it's 75 degrees outside in November, but I was doing that a couple of days ago. But as it turns out, we do have actual data and actual science that tells us it has been really warm this year in October in particular.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. And not just in certain locales. This last 12 months, Jim, off the charts and people felt it everywhere. Yes, the Copernicus, the European Space Agency officially making October the warmest ever. But then Climate Central, a non-profit, looking back at the last 12 months, comparing them to ice core data and lake bed sediment where they can look way back in time. We just lived through the hottest 12 months of the last 125,000 years, at least. The warmest planet human has ever trod upon right now.

There's the number in Fahrenheit that's over three degrees warming up. Of course, it's above the 1.5 Paris climate accords there. But just look at how off the charts this is. The bar on the right there, 2023. ACOSTA: Wow.

WEIR: We're not just breaking these records by a little bit, but shattering them by so much that it's really dropping the jaws of climate scientists who've been thinking about this for years. But - and then El Nino, the natural warming cycle, is just winding up. So that hasn't even fully kicked in. This is fully the result of climate change brought about by fossil fuel pollution.

ACOSTA: And what is all of this doing to ocean temperatures, extreme weather? In Washington, we're being told that there's going to be - could be a lot of snow this winter because of some of this. What can you tell us?

WEIR: It's messing with the water system in so many ways, the water cycle that is in so many ways. At the bottom of the world, it is a record low for sea ice. Look at how far up out of normal that is for Antarctic sea ice. For a long time, we thought the South Pole was stable while the North Pole was melting rapidly. Now there's a lot of things happening down there. That affects sea level rise.

And all of this is connected with currents and these sorts of things. Only Iceland and Lesotho in South Africa were the only countries in the last 12 months cooler than normal.


Everywhere else, 90 - over 90 percent of humanity experienced extended periods of heat, over 10 days of intense heat. The worst was in the southwest of the United States, where Phoenix was over 115 degrees for almost three weeks there. This is a new normal. This is going to be one of the cooler years of the future and it's a wake-up call for communities everywhere to get ready and adapt to this and then try to mitigate the warming going forward. The sooner we decarbonize, the more is saved.

ACOSTA: Yes, no question about it. And we're feeling it year after year after year. It's almost like we're setting new records every year. It's very alarming, Bill. We're - can't think of a better person to talk to about this than you. As always, we appreciate you coming on, talking about climate change. Such an important topic. Thanks so much.

Coming up, Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson joins us live. I'll ask him about the Republican plan to keep the government open. There he is. We will be with him in just a few moments. Stay with us.