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CNN This Morning

Russia Withdrawals from Kherson; Doris Kearns Goodwin is Interviewed about her New Book; Piece of Challenger found in Atlantic Ocean. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 11, 2022 - 08:30   ET



WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": She showed her son's body for everybody because she recognized that this could happen to anyone if we don't get on top of it. And the last part of this, I'm hoping, we'll be able to have Mrs. Bryant in front of a jury to ask her about this.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: It's important that you bring that up because -- you talked about Carolyn Bryant.


LEMON: She is the woman who accused Emmett Till of whistling at her.

This summer there was a grand jury in Mississippi. It declined to indict. She's a white woman who accused the 14-year-old of making advances toward her. The jury found that there was insufficient evidence to indict Carolyn Bryant of kidnapping and manslaughter.

Do you think the Till family will ever see justice, because justice may not be in the traditional way of a guilty verdict.

GOLDBERG: No, it won't be in the traditional way.

LEMON: Do you think the family will see justice or has it seen justice?

GOLDBERG: I hope it does. I hope it does. I think, for me, I want her to either say, I don't care that that's what happened, or, yes, I did it and I'm terribly -- and I take responsibility. That's what I want.

LEMON: And this movie, I told you I watched it a couple times.


LEMON: Because it's a very dignified movie.


LEMON: And while it did anger me, it also filled me with pride.

GOLDBERG: Yes. LEMON: Because of the way - the way it was shot. The way the homes look. It reminded me of my youth.


LEMON: The way that people carried themselves. The way the dressed. The way they spoke. The pride that they had. The family connection that they had.

GOLDBERG: The movie was made for everyone. Because we -- you know, we don't show the violence, because we all know what that is.

LEMON: You hear some of it. You cut to the darkness.

GOLDBERG: You hear it, you know, but you don't see. You know what's happened.

LEMON: It's a similarity to what's going on now because we - I want to talk about what we're dealing with now with his whole lack of civility in our culture. You can speak to people any kind of way.


LEMON: I have to say, Whoopi, you've got guts. You said, I'm out of here on Twitter. I'm not dealing with it. And (ph) it gets better. How -- why did you make that decision?

GOLDBERG: Because I just felt it was too sloppy for me. You know, I - I always thought Twitter was there, you know, to talk to people and share ideas and that. And then it got really crazy and I stopped reading it.

LEMON: Toxic?

GOLDBERG: Very toxic. And - and especially because I'm on a daytime show. So, you know, I - you know, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) this and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and this and, you know, it's like after a while it's like, listen, either find something else to say to me or leave me alone. So -- in watching everything going on, I just thought, I -- do I need to be here? I didn't. And so I left.

LEMON: Do you think that we will get to a point, back to a point, where people -- where we see other people as human beings?

GOLDBERG: Yes, listen, all of that -- we have always faced this. It's not new. But somehow we, as a race, as a human race, rose up and said, here's what's acceptable to us, here's what's not acceptable.

LEMON: So, Tuesday, you know, everyone said, well, Joe Biden, he's too old, and people -- his approval rating. What -- do you - what do believe? Because it looks to me like he's winning.

GOLDBERG: Well, I think the people -- they may not like everything he's done but they like a lot of what he's done. They like that he's trying to get it done. They see what he's trying to do. That's the beauty of all of this. LEMON: You know Dr. Oz?

GOLDBERG: I know Dr. Oz. I don't know what happened to him. I don't know. Don't even ask me. I don't know. You know, I don't know what happened to a lot of really smart, good people. People I could fight and argue with about our ideas. But it was never -- it was never like this. It was never toxic like this.

LEMON: I never told you this but I -- it was relatable to me, you, early on, because of who I am and what I am, right? I had to sort of live -- I created my own fantasy, right, to get by.

GOLDBERG: Uh-huh. Right.

LEMON: And when I saw you, you're like, you know, this is my hair. You know, you created a fantasy character in order to survive as a child.


LEMON: You were basically telling my story. So, I thank you for that.

GOLDBERG: Thank you for telling me.


LEMON: We ended that by saying, I was - I said to her -- I was talking about when she was the comedian, she would put on the fake hair and like this solid (ph) fantasy, this was before she became, you know, the movie star that she is. But I was -- I ended by saying thank you, because I'm enjoying "The View," sitting here with Whoopi Goldberg. So, everybody time I talk to somebody like Whoopi or, you know, a Bryant Gumbel or whatever, I have to pinch myself. I love Whoopi.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: This -- I loved that conversation even more than I thought I would. And I think this is why it's a gift to get to sit next to you, to you guys every morning.

LEMON: Oh, Poppy.

HARLOW: But, really, like, that's an interview that was so important for you to do in that way and hear that from her and feel the mother's grief through her.



HARLOW: And that fight to bring it to everyone in the film.

LEMON: And relatable to everybody. Everybody can relate to that.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

LEMON: It's about - it's really about family. So --

HARLOW: Thank you for that. LEMON: Yes, thank you.

I - look, I've got to say again, Whoopi -- thank you, Whoopi. I'm sure you're not going to see this if you're watching now, as you're preparing for "The View," but if you see this, thank you for everything that you do for really the culture and the idea of listening to everyone. She's on a show called "The View." What Whoopi does, she listens. She states her opinion. If she gets it wrong, she says, I got it wrong, I'm sorry, right? And then she moves on. And I learned that from Whoopi.

But what I also learned from Whoopi and from interviewing people like -- well, I shouldn't say interviewing -- is that the difference is what we do here, and I think we have to sort of change, you know, our thinking. We shouldn't be interviewing people.

HARLOW: Talking with them?

LEMON: We should be having conversations with people. The what - the great thing about the great Larry King on this network was, Larry was not an interviewer. Larry was a good conversationalist.

HARLOW: He would lean in, right, and say --

LEMON: Through the conversations he got the answers from people. And that's what I tried to do with Whoopi. And that's what I try to do as I sit here every single day is have a conversation with people and not interview them.

So, Whoopi, thank you for helping me along that journey. The best.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Great conversation.

LEMON: Thanks. Yes, thanks.

COLLINS: All right, we've been telling you about how Russian troops are withdrawing from the key city of Kherson. CNN's Nic Robertson has been in towns that are celebrating their freedom from Russian occupation. He's joining us live right now from Ukraine.

Nic, you know, your shots have been fascinating all morning, seeing these people around you celebrating. This seemed to be a lightning- fast retreat. What have you been seeing?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I mean, literally, in the last hour I can say that I've seen tanks heading down this road next to me towards Kherson, that direction. Seeing armored personnel carriers who are literally sitting, chatting to some troops by their armored personnel carriers at the side of the road that were just stopping to get something to eat and suddenly they got a call, move on out. There is a lot of men and materiel, military materiel, moving on down the road to -- towards Kherson.

But I think what's sort of been the most unexpected and harrowing as well is to be in this town of Sevirika (ph) that was - that was literally liberated by the Ukrainian troops just yesterday, and talk to the town people there. I was speaking with a 15-year-old girl there who told me, in the last few days, she had been kidnapped by the Russians. They'd put a hood over her head. They'd taken her away to a house. They threatened her. They wanted to know where the Ukrainian troops were. And she said, I was just afraid that these guys were going to rape me.

I spoke to an old woman who was in - who was in tears, tears, at the side of the street, partly in relief, but she was reliving moments of her experience under the Russian occupation there. She told me that they pulled me from my car and threatened to kill me, threatened to bash my brains out. This is an old lady. An old lady. Must have been maybe in her - in her 80s. A pensioner. They threatened to do that her.

We saw people hugging in the streets. Seeing friends and relatives that they hadn't seen for so long. There's a sort of a quiet euphoria, the freedom, but it's come all of a sudden. And it's come all of a sudden because the Russians have retreated quickly. And more Ukrainian troops are moving further towards liberating the town of Kherson.

And we're told by Ukrainian officials that they are close. It's not done yet, but they are close to taking Kherson.


COLLINS: Wow. It's remarkable, the first major city that fell to Russian forces. We are watching it closely. Nic Robertson, I know you are. Thanks for being on the ground. We'll get back to you.

HARLOW: Just a few moments ago, President Biden, there you see him, as they just -- Air Force One just landed in Egypt, where this administration is looking for major movement and some kind of victory fighting climate change.

COLLINS: And votes are still being counted in Arizona and Nevada. We ae live on the ground in both states. We're getting closer. We're not there yet. We'll bring you the latest.

LEMON: Got to love (INAUDIBLE).



COLLINS: Moments ago, President Biden arrived in Egypt for the United Nations climate summit, known as COP27. You're going to see him meeting with the Egyptian president just a few moments from now. He is also set to deliver a speech in front of world leaders gathered there. He wants to tout a landmark climate law that passed in the United States, but a lot of those leaders, especially the ones of developing nations, they want to talk about money. They have been criticizing the United States and other industrial nations for causing climate change. They say they want reparations. Biden is set to talk about new plans to further cut U.S. methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and also some new climate initiative partnerships. HARLOW: Well, this morning, votes are still being counted, and we

don't know what the balance of power will be in Washington, but we know what history tells us, and history has shown that the party in power almost always loses seats in either the House or the Senate or both. So, how will the results of this midterm shape the direction of our country for the next two years and beyond.

Joining us, we are very lucky to have this morning Pulitzer Prize winning presidential historian and "New York Times" best-selling author, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her latest book is phenomenal, "Leadership in Turbulent Times."

Doris, thank you very much.


HARLOW: What a moment to get to have you, right?

So, I want to talk about what it means to have democracy on the ballot, really. It was in the midterms. And if you can talk to us in the context of what Lincoln said, right, as the Civil War was beginning, about the question that the country must settle. I think that applies now, no?

GOODWIN: Without even a question it applies now.


GOODWIN: I mean what this democracy - I think sometimes we forget the simple definition. It's a system of government when people can vote their leaders in or throw them out, which means you have to accept when you're thrown out, and you have to accept loss.


The peaceful transfer of power, old George Washington started this, critical. Lincoln said, the central idea, when the Civil War was starting, was that the idea was, can a government exist -- continue to exist if the people who don't accept the election, the democratic south, decide to break up the union because they lost. He said, if that's true, then we have no - democracy is an absurdity. That's what we were facing now. The people who lost the election would not accept it. And it's a fundamental problem for our democracy. But people came out and voted on this. That's what happened in the midterms.

HARLOW: Yes, it really did.

COLLINS: And what surprised us Tuesday night, right, was that we thought it was going to be this red wave and it, obviously, was not. A lot of people got that wrong.

What did you see as what really motivated voters? Because we looking at polls. The inflation was top of the mind for a lot of them but it clearly wasn't the only thing that they prioritized. GOODWIN: You know, there's certain times in history when you think about something larger than yourselves. FDR talked about that. During the midterms, in 1942, people were really upset about having only one cup of coffee a day. That's all they were allowed because the coffee beans had to go somewhere else. They only had five gallons of gasoline. But he said, at some point they're going to understand that they have to sacrifice for the home front, for the war front.

I think that's what happened here. People understood, there's something wrong about people who don't accept the loss in an election. They were who - on the ballot, those election deniers, and that's who Trump put on the ballot. That was the litmus test for them to be there. They know it's wrong for your kid not to accept a loss. They know it's wrong if you say, as President Trump did, I will win. If I win, it's up to me. But if I lose, it's somebody else's fault. There's fundamental human qualities that I think struck a chord in all those people who came out.

Forty-four percent said democracy was the important thing for them. We didn't guess that. We thought the short-term things were more a concern. I think it's a great moment where you can care about your nation and care about democracy.

LEMON: The simple question is, where are we when it comes to nation, our democracy? Is there a - and you're an historian, is - can we look back on a time that gives us hope that we got through the similar to those stories?

GOODWIN: Oh, we've always gotten through tough times. I mean I think that's what history - that's why I love history so much. I mean just think about what people who were living through the Civil War felt. What people who were living through the Great Depression felt. What people felt int hose early days of World War II when it didn't look like the allies and democracy was going to won (ph).

And they didn't know what we know now. They didn't know how the story would end. They didn't know that the Civil War would end with the union restored and emancipation secured. They didn't know that depression would come to an end with the mobilization of war. They didn't know the allies would win World War II. So they lived with the anxiety we're coming through now.

But we came through each one of those times with greater strength. And I think there may have been a moment, what we saw in the midterms, were people were voting what they knew was wrong, what they knew was right. And there's still a lot more that has to happen. There's gerrymandering. There's too much money in politics. There's the division that's still there. But, finally, people got to vote last night.

I thought after January 6th, that line in the sand would be drawn. And it wasn't. I still can't believe that. As an historian, I thought people will say, this was the moment when the chaos ended. And then I thought it would be last summer when the hearings were so powerful. But this was the first time people could vote on what they saw happening with these election deniers and making a central point in this whole election that people who supported the lie should be the people who were voted in, regardless of their experience or anything else, they were put on the ballot, and people said no.

HARLOW: My favorite book of yours, other than "Wait Till Next Time," (ph) because, you know, Brooklyn and your dad, is "Team of Rivals." So, as we look forward to maybe a split government and the president saying, I'm going to work with Republicans, you know, talking to McCarthy, what do you think will happen? I mean, he talks -- President Biden talks a lot about Lincoln.

GOODWIN: I think it will depend a lot on what the Republicans decide to do if they do win the Bouse. I mean the interesting thing that happened, we can look back at Clinton. When Clinton lost that huge election in 1994, he then was able to make some compromises with Gingrich. Welfare reform took place. He wins that 1996 election. And then he comes back into power. And then they go too far and they impeach him.

In 1998, he's one of those people that defies predictions that the Democrats win the House. And they win seats in one of those off-seat years.

So, it depends on how extreme the Republicans go. What they're going to do. Are they going to hold a whole bunch of impeachment things. And they going to try and make some compromises on things, as well as what President Biden, who says he's willing to do these things, as long as it's not Medicare, Social Security and certain things that he's drawn a line in the sand on.

HARLOW: Thanks for giving us hope this Friday morning.

GOODWIN: We've got to have hope. That -- there's no other way, right?

LEMON: By the way, that's a cool shirt. It's so --

GOODWIN: Thank you. It's my "people" shirt.

LEMON: It's very hip (ph).

HARLOW: I love it.

GOODWIN: Thank you.

LEMON: It's so great to see you.

HARLOW: Doris, love having you on.

GOODWIN: I'm so glad to be with you.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

HARLOW: The one, the only, Doris Kearns Goodwin.

GOODWIN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Thank you. Thank you. Oh, OK, now this, a piece of debris from a dark day in American

history has just been discovered deep in the Atlantic Ocean.


We'll tell you what it is, next.


COLLINS: A search team looking for a World War II airplane that was lost at sea got quite the surprise when they actually found something else on the bottom of the Atlantic. A piece of debris from the space shuttle Challenger that, of course, to the nation's horror exploded after taking off in 1986.

CNN's space and defense correspondent Kristin Fisher joins us now.

Kristin, you know, obviously these explorers, I imagine, were pretty shocked when they found this piece of the Challenger.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: They couldn't believe it, Kaitlan. And what tipped them off to it was, if you're looking at that video that they were taking as they were filming this discovery, you can see kind of those white square tiles And what those are, are the heat shield tiles. Those are that really distinctive, really critical part of the space shuttle that would form the underbelly of the space shuttle. And those heat shield tiles would protect it from the high temperatures on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. Of course, this Challenger mission never even made it that far.

It was discovered actually back in May by a team led by Mike Barnett. They were putting together a film for The History Channel. They weren't quite sure what it was. They thought they knew what it was. They brought it to a former NASA astronaut. He thought it was Challenger. They then brought it to NASA. And NASA confirmed it in August.

So now, you know, Kaitlan, the big question is, you know, what is NASA going to do with this. Right now it's just, you know, on the bottom of the ocean floor off the coast of Florida. So, this, by law, remains the property of the U.S. government, but NASA says they're still trying to figure out a way -- what to do with it to honor the legacy of Challenger and the seven astronauts that died on that fateful day back in 1986.

COLLINS: It's really fascinating. I can't wait to see what they do do with it.

Kristin Fisher, thank you.

HARLOW: All right, President Biden is meeting with Egypt's president right now. He just landed there. He is about to speak at this big COP27 climate conference in Egypt. We will bring you there, next.


LEMON: Time now for heroes on Veterans Day. Meet a combat vet who helps others - other wounded warriors use art as an outlet for their pain and trauma. Richard Casper's organization is called Creative Vets.


RICHARD CASPER, FOUNDER, CREATIVE VETS: Art is so emotional and vulnerable. It's what allows you to understand that it's OK to not be OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My artwork is a presentation of some of the guys that we lost when we were deployed. I built a complete mock-up of a casket.






CASPER: Most of the veterans have never really told their story to anybody before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will shoulder the burden as they already have done.

CASPER: And I try to explain to them in the beginning, it's going to be easier to tell your story once you create your art piece because you're not going to be talking about you, you're going to be talking about your art piece and focus on it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): There's something breaking out of me. I know there is a life (ph).


CASPER: I want them to know that art's an option for healing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I've seen some things a man just can't unsee. I'm dealing with demons. I'm dealing with me.


LEMON: I think they're all heroes. So you can go to for more.

HARLOW: Thank you to everyone who has served this Veteran's Day. LEMON: Amen.

COLLINS: Absolutely.

HARLOW: Have a good, safe weekend.

LEMON: That's it for us. Have a great weekend, everybody. See you Monday.