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CNN This Morning

Ballot Counting Continues, Senate Control Hangs In The Balance; GA Gears Up For A Runoff, Senate Control May Be On The Line; Pres. Biden Will Meet With Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping Monday; Celebrations Begin In Kherson City After Russian Departure; Pres. Biden Presses Urgency Of Action On Climate Change At COP27; Expert: Musk May Have Violated FTC Consent Order With Layoffs; Chappelle Under Fire For Past Comments About Transgender Community; Chappelle Hosting "SNL" Tonight After Report Writers Staged a Boycott. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 12, 2022 - 08:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm sure they'll find a meaningful way to use that piece. Kristin Fisher a fascinating story. Thank you.

The next hour of "CNN This Morning" starts now.

And hello, everyone. Welcome to "CNN This Morning." I'm Amara Walker.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN SANCHEZ: Good morning, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez.

Democrats are edging closer to control of the U.S. Senate with a key victory in Arizona last night. Votes though are still being counted in another tight race in Nevada with razor thin margins. What that means for the balance of power as both parties are now looking to the future?

WALKER: And cheering jubilation in the streets of Ukraine a celebration of Kherson after Ukrainian forces, retake that key strategic city. CNN -- you see Nic Robertson there in the middle of it all, CNN is live there with reaction from the people and what this major setback for Vladimir Putin means for the war.

SANCHEZ: Plus, turmoil in the tech world as Silicon Valley is hit with a wave of layoffs. We're going to dig deeper into what's behind this collapse.

WALKER: Plus, comedian Dave Chappelle is set to host SNL tonight, but his appearance isn't coming without some controversy. Which Chappelle's campus saying about rumors of a writer boycott ahead of his appearance tonight.

Hello, everyone, it is Saturday, November 12th. Thank you so much for waking up with us this morning. Boris, it is great to see you and be with you. I know, it's been a very busy week. But I'm glad to see you here.

SANCHEZ: Grateful to be with you always, Amara, who we should note is revealing personal details about me on the air this morning.

WALKER: I didn't tell anyone your age.

SANCHEZ: Make me feel and look old, yes.

WALKER: Twenty-one, 21 again.

SANCHEZ: Thanks a lot.

WALKER: You're very welcome.

SANCHEZ: Well -- I'll take that. I'll take that. Thanks so much, Amara.

So, we start this morning with a question that everyone's been trying to answer since Tuesday night who is going to control Congress. The State of play shifted overnight when CNN and other major outlets called the Arizona Senate race for Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly. That is a big boost for Democrats. Overnight, Kelly acknowledged the call tweeting out this picture with a simple message. Thank you, Arizona.

WALKER: Results so far show Democrats and Republicans will have 49 seats each in the chamber, leaving two races to determine who will control the Senate. In Nevada, the Senate race between Republican Adam Laxalt and Democratic Catherine Cortez Masto is virtually tied a win in Nevada with secure Democratic control of the upper chamber with about 50,000 votes left to be counted. And the Senate race in Georgia is headed off headed to a runoff next month after neither of the Democratic incumbent. Raphael Warnock nor his Republican challenger Herschel Walker received more than 50% of the vote and libertarian candidate Chase Oliver getting just over 2%.

CNN's Nadia Romero, joining us now from Atlanta with more on these rules for the runoffs. Hi there, Nadia.


This is Deja vu for Georgia voters and for Senator Raphael Warnock because in back in 2021, this is how he won his seat through a runoff election. So here we go again. The rules still changing quite a bit. So, let's talk about the runoff elections in Georgia as a whole. Usually, you see these runoff elections happening in the south in the Bible Belt, and states that were formerly slave owning states. And that is why so many people, including the Georgia NAACP says that there is a racist element to why we have runoff elections as a total.

So, when you look at the voting that would happen in the 1870s. In the reconstruction era after slavery, when black men were allowed to vote, you have to think about the mindset of those land owning powerful white men who were in the south at that time, they're used to owning people who look like me, and to now some of those people with brown skin are able to vote, how can you continue to control them? Or some what are you by a runoff system. So, if you have four or five people running for an election, if you didn't get 50% of the vote plus one, then you had to go to a runoff. So, the top two candidates will face off again, a weeks later.

So, you dilute that black power. If you have one black candidate, and then you had three or four other white candidates. Now all those white candidates can throw their power behind that white person, the white population can now throw their power behind that candidate and ensure that a black person could never win. And that is why if you look at the fact that Raphael Warnock was the first black person elected to the Senate from the state of Georgia. How could that be knowing that at times in the state the black population was up to some 40%, there's always been black people in this state always voting, always a prominent force. But still, it took to 2021 before Raphael Warnock was able to make that achievement, that accomplishment.


So here we are with this system that is in place. But the system has changed since the 2020. election with a Senate bill that was passed by a Republican controlled legislature here in the state of Georgia. And that limited early voting, which tends to favor Democrats. And that's really something you can see all across the country mail-in ballots, absentee voting, early voting, favoring black voters and, and Democrat voters. And you're also seeing that that timeframe was shrunken, that was taken down. Same things happening now when it comes to this runoff election. Two years ago, people were having nine weeks to vote for runoff now that's down to just four weeks.

And so, if you wanted to participate in this runoff here in the state of Georgia, you would have had to have had your ballots requested already by now. Because if you think about the time it takes to get that ballot to you make your selection, send it back and have it counted on time, we've really shrunk that down in half. And so that's another claim of criticism that there's an effort to suppress the vote here.

But we know Boris and Amara that this is such an important election, because the entire country is watching Georgia yet again. And you know how important it is just turn on the TV, turn on your radio anywhere in Georgia, you're going to hear a campaign ad, it was the number two most expensive Senate race this last election cycle.

WALKER: Fascinating.

SANCHEZ: Depending on what happens in Nevada, it could become the center of the political universe in the United States. Again, Nadia Romero, thank you so much for that.

So, Republicans may not have performed as well as they expected during the midterm elections. But there is new CNN exit polling that shows the party has made inroads in some areas with a fastest growing demographic of new voters in the country. And some communities there were notable declines from 63% support for Democrats among Latino men in the last midterm election to just a little over half this year. Meantime, support for Democrats among Latinos also dropped from 73%, four years ago, to 66% on Tuesday.

Now, these shifts may not seem like much, but as we watch racist decided by very thin margins in places like Nevada and Arizona, some Democrats are urging the national party to do more to address and reverse these trends.

Joining us to discuss is Melissa Morales, she is the founder and president of the Latino voter advocacy group, Somos Votantes.

Melissa, thank you so much for being with us this morning. Your organization helps to educate and mobilize Latino voters. You've also had a history of endorsing Democrats. Why do you think the party saw that shift among Latino voters that's been going on now for several elections?

MELISSA MORALES, FOUNDER, SOMOS VOTANTES: Yes, you know, I think it's interesting that I saw the exit polling that you were talking about. And again, it is, as you said, it's a national exit poll. So, we certainly see I think, Florida and the shifts that we've seen in Florida disproportionately represented in that. You know, I think Florida is, is a cautionary tale about what happens when you sort of let your foot off the gas or take Latino voters for granted. We've seen massive Republican gains in Florida over the past few cycles. But I think in the rest of the country, when we look outside of Florida, we see definitely a much bigger picture of stability in the Latino vote, you know, sort of on par with where we were in 2020, and maybe even some Democratic gains.

And I think, you know, the Latino, the Latino red wave certainly did not happen in the way that Republicans had hoped. And there's a lot of analysis to be done, a lot of races still to be called. But I think I'm looking at some key points when I say that, you know, I'm looking at the fact that Mayra Flores, who was sort of the figurehead for Republicans for this Latino red wave lost her congressional seat on Tuesday. I'm looking at the fact that Democrats have elected an incoming wave of Latino Democrats, you know, thinking about Delia Ramirez and Greg Casar and Maxwell Frost. And I'm looking at an analysis that was put out by the Economist, you know, very initial analysis that showed that Democrats actually made some of their biggest gains in counties with large numbers of Latino voters.

And so, again, I think there's, you know, there's still votes to be to be counted and analysis to be done over the coming months. But I do think that, you know, we did not see the Latino red wave happen, and certainly not in the way that Republicans had hoped.

SANCHEZ: I think you're right about that. But in some states and some races, the margins were so thin that it could have made a difference. I'm thinking specifically about other reelection races. One of them in Arizona, I think we have to at graphic up now and in Georgia as well, Raphael Warnock. Both those candidates got less support from Latinos this time around I think it was within the single digits. But it's still considerably less. Do you think the National Party has to do more to address that?


MORALES: You know, I think that, you know, key here is really about investment. Right. And when we're looking at a state like Florida, that's certainly one side of the coin. And what happens when you sort of pull investment from the state and then states like Arizona, as you mentioned, in Georgia, where there has been this massive investment, you know, by groups like so most by Democrats in the Latino community, I do think we're looking at a little bit different, you know, when we're looking at Senator Kelly, he was elected in 2020, which was a presidential year sky high turnout, I think midterms is always going to be a little bit different. I think we'll know more once the analysis gets in.

But I think the lesson to be taken as you know, for Democrats, like you cannot take your foot off the gas right now it has to be about massive investment and continued investment. And I think he definitely in states like Arizona, Nevada, all obviously still to be called but incredible investment in Nevada this year, but also in states that we don't traditionally talk about when we're talking about the Latino vote. States like Wisconsin and Michigan, and as you said, the incredibly crucial state of Georgia. So, most is headed to Georgia and certainly planning to invest there in this upcoming runoff.

But I do think that that that is the lesson for Democrats here is there has to be continued investments. And I think that, of course means resources, right time, money and energy. But it also means policies. I think, a reason why Democrats were able to hold, you know, hold Latino voters this this year in a way that they were is because of the policies that we've seen passed over the past two years by President Biden and the Biden administration and Democrats, specifically, you know, key economic policies. I grew up in in rural Kansas and a hardworking family that really struggled to meet make ends meet. And so, I have seen firsthand the direct impact that these kinds of policies can have on voters. And so, we have to continue and have on families and you know, make a real difference. So, we have to continue to make those sorts of investments. And I think on the economy, yes, but on other issues, too, like climate and like immigration.

SANCHEZ: Sure, sure. Melissa, I wanted to zoom in on Florida, because it's fascinating to me for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I am a Florida man, I grew up there. But this win by Ron DeSantis, was not only really convincing and historic in the size of the margin, but also who he is winning with, obviously, South Florida, Cuban-Americans traditionally vote more Republican than other Latinos.

But DeSantis did really, really well among Puerto Ricans and other Latin Americans as well, who tend to not give Republicans majorities. DeSantis one majorities with those voters. What do you think he is doing right?

MORALES: You know, I don't know that this is really about DeSantis. And I'll take this back to investment because I also have worked in Florida since 2014, and ran the statewide at ease there and in both '18 and '20. So I think, you know, we talked a lot about the shifts that we saw in Florida and the Latino vote in 2020. But, you know, for those of us who were paying attention to Florida politics, those shifts started in 2018.

And that was really a result of the fact that Republicans and the Trump campaign made a strategic decision that they said that they thought that they could pick up games with Latino voters in Florida, and they were on the ground in 2016. And honestly, they never left. There were they had a huge visible presence in Florida, you know, in Miami-Dade for the last six years now. And I think that gets back to the story of investments. You think that that's what happens when you take Latino voters for granted. That's what happens when we don't invest in communities, which I think is why the sort of cautionary tale is we have to be investing -- continuously investing in states like Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.

SANCHEZ: Melissa, one more question for you. As you know, Sean Patrick Maloney the chair of the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee. He was voted out on Tuesday night. Tony Cardenas, the congressman is potentially positioning himself for a leadership position there. Do you think that would be the right move? Do you support his efforts?

MORALES: You know, I try to stay out in New York politics as New Jersey resident. And so, I will keep my opinions out of that one.

SANCHEZ: Well, we appreciate your time and perspective. Melissa Morales, thank you so much.

MORALES: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: Meantime, a high stakes political drama here in the U.S. and high stakes diplomacy for President Biden who is in Cambodia right now for a meeting with Asian leaders. It is the latest stop on his week- long trip overseas.

SANCHEZ: Yes, he arrived in Cambodia after attending the COP20 Climate Summit in Egypt. His next stop is the G20. Summit in Indonesia where he is going to have a historic meeting his first face to face sit down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


WALKER: And as we know tensions have remained high for quite some time, especially after Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan.

CNN senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly is traveling with the President in Cambodia. What's on the agenda? And what can we expect from this meeting between President Biden and Xi Jinping?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Amara look, I think you view this entire foreign trip through the lens of the President building towards that extraordinarily high stakes meeting. As of this moment, the President should ensure while be heading to a gala with Asia Pacific leaders here in Cambodia, dodging the torrential downpour behind me to some degree. But even this meeting, this meeting with ASEAN leaders, is largely about trying to impress upon them that they remain central to the United States strategy in the region. And it's really been a geopolitical battle, maybe not as explicit as it is implicit between the U.S. and China in terms of kind of who holds the upper hand in the relationship economically, in terms of maritime rights, kind of across the board with the countries in Southeastern Asia, all leading up to that trip to Bali, here in a couple of days.

Now that at that G20 Summit, there'll be a number of issues on the agenda that leaders will have to grapple with, most notably probably what's going on in Ukraine, the continued efforts by the U.S. to rally what has been a rather surprisingly unified coalition, unbreakable to this point, despite all of the economic headwinds and challenges, European allies, other allies in the Asia Pacific region as well have been facing. But when you talk to U.S. officials, they acknowledged that after nearly two years of no face-to-face, sit downs tensions that continued to rise in an increasingly muscular China and a president now and Xi Jinping that has just been given kind of, to the extent you can have more power. I'm not sure you see it in China right now, in the wake of the People's Congress that just finished up this meeting will be focused on not necessarily major deliverables. Obviously, that's diplomatic speak for what leaders often trying to come out of face-to-face bilateral engagements with.

Instead, it's more about understanding when you talk to White House officials understanding the perspectives, the red lines, where each leader sits on critical issues like Taiwan on maritime rights, things like that, that have the possibility of creating very real problems in the future. Right now, they want an understanding that just simply doesn't exist between the two countries as those relations have continued almost in a downward spiral over the course of the last few years. That will be the focal point of that meeting here in Cambodia. There'll be driving towards that there'll be a critical trilateral meeting with the leaders of South Korea and Japan tomorrow that the President we focused on. China will also be a central component of that meeting, again, all driving towards that first face-to-face sit down. Everybody here acknowledges.

Certainly, keeping an eye on the domestic political situation. But in terms of the geopolitical situation, no more important meeting between two leaders coming at the tail end of President Biden's second year in office, guys.

SANCHEZ: Yes, a very, very important meeting that Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser described as simply making sure that they set the table so that there is no miscommunication in the future. It gives you an idea of just how high tensions are.

Phil Mattingly reporting from Cambodia, thank you so much.

Still ahead, celebrations in the streets after Ukraine retakes the city of Kherson. What this major defeat for Russia could mean for Vladimir Putin.

WALKER: Plus, it's been a chaotic week to say the least actually for Twitter. But the social media giant isn't the only tech company getting hit with layoffs. So, we're going to take a look at the turmoil happening inside Silicon Valley.

Plus, comedian Dave Chappelle gets ready to host SNL tonight, but there are signs of trouble behind the scenes. We'll explain. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


WALKER: New this morning in Ukraine, celebrations are underway in the southern city of Kherson after the Russian occupied town was liberated by Ukrainian troops.

SANCHEZ: The retreat of Russian forces from the area marks one of the biggest setbacks for the Kremlin since Putin's invasion of Ukraine began eight months ago.

Let's take you there now with CNN International diplomatic editor Nic Robertson, who joins us live from Kherson. Nic, it has now been a couple of days of celebration there and earlier you were surrounded by people reveling and chanting the mood obviously a very bright one.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Oh, it is. I mean, in the background here, you can probably hear people singing the national anthem, they've laid out a huge, long Ukrainian flag along here. People are having a moment of euphoria, a moment of jubilation, a moment of gratitude and thanks. They've been thanking the soldiers who've been coming into the town here. This has been something people here have been waiting eight months for eight months of living under Russian occupation.

And I'm joined just now, by Alexei (ph). Alexei (ph), you were a journalist, you lived here through these past eight months. Tell me all about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was harder the beginning. And then you decided to stay. And then you leave through. And then you hope for things to go as soon as possible. And it's the moment of freedom that comes right now and so many choices.

ROBERTSON: And how do you feel today with this moment of freedom, liberation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are emotionally exhausted. Every three hours, we have to take rest and then you're overwhelmed again and again.

ROBERTSON: And what were the hard things for you, you talked to me about going out and filming on a bicycle, you put a GoPro on your bike and you were able to send some of the material out from here and keep the world informed. What was it like for you taking those risks with Russian troops that to bring the world the story of what was happening here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the basic fears here that someone's spot you, the fear that someone gets through the door into your house and kidnaps you. And the rest, just do what you have to do. And you know, no one's going to do it. So, you take the little camera and you do it.


ROBERTSON: And the fears of somebody knocking at the door and taking you away. Where other people take it away?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It happens to the night.

ROBERTSON: The Russians come?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the Russians come. They come in the group and they just take people and all of their belongings and fail to be relieved. How many were they? But there were five places where they were held and tortured.

ROBERTSON: So, is it sinking? And do you believe you're free to believe you're liberated now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was very lucky. It's a feeling of people I met today on my (INAUDIBLE) people they say they never felt like this. Never in the life.

ROBERTSON: Yes. Alexei (ph), thank you very much.


ROBERTSON: Guys. I want to introduce you now to Daniel his unit is Ocean 12 -- Oceans 12 unit. Right. Your special forces? Yes.


ROBERTSON: Tell me about liberating the city?

DANIEL: Our unit was the first unit yesterday to come in. I think it's 11 been already here. And my commander put the flag on the on the top of the building. So, it was really, it was a real blast for us finally, because it was before that day before 11th, yesterday, it was five days of hard work. Real hard work.

ROBERTSON: Heavy fighting.

DANIEL: Yes. And Ukrainian soldiers, as always just confirmed again like that they are stronger than the Russian. I don't know if I can call them army.

ROBERTSON: And how does it feel? And how does it feel for you to come in? I've seen people coming. I've seen you signing flags for people. I've seen people come and given you hope. They want their pictures taken with you. How does it feel for you to be a liberator of this city?

DANIEL: I don't think I'm the liberator of the city.

ROBERTSON: One of the liberators. Yes.

DANIEL: Honestly, they are the superheroes, because they've been here for nine months.


DANIEL: They've been here for nine months. Men were taken hostages. They were they were kicked. They were tortured. Women didn't know where their husbands are or where their children are. So, I think they are the heroes. And thanks to them when they told me, thank you, I tell them thank you. Because they lasted so long. And it's really hard. And for the last seven days they didn't. And even now they don't have lights. They don't have water. People are exhausted, and I cannot imagine how happy they are right now. So, it's thanked them. I thank them for lasting.

ROBERTSON: Daniel, thank you for telling us what it was and how it was to get here.

DANIEL: Russians will die. Russians will die.

ROBERTSON: A lot of people have said this. And I think a lot of people also want to have peace in the future --


ROBERTSON: Thank you very much. Thank you. There's a lady here telling me this should be -- that Kherson should be free and liberated. She was she was very grateful.

But I think that's the sentiment here. Like there was a very hard fight for here, people --


ROBERTSON: Thank you. Thank you, ma'am. Thank you very much indeed. Thank you. That it was very hard, the past eight, nine months. But the Russians are just across the river. And there's a real fear. There's a real fear that the city could be shelled. And they everyone here knows the war is far from over.

WALKER: Nic, that gentleman you spoke with earlier who said that emotionally, it's been exhausting. I mean, you can only imagine. Right. I mean, the, the jubilation they're feeling now but of course, the unpredictability of what this all means. And of course, what (INAUDIBLE) --

ROBERTSON: This -- yes, you see it on people's faces.

WALKER: Absolutely. We can see it from here. Just incredible reporting. Nic Robertson, thank you for bringing those interviews to us. Appreciate, it.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Nic.

Coming up, a call for action. President Biden urging global leaders to keep their eye on the ball in the fight against climate change. But is he pushing hard enough? We're going to discuss, next.



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: On his wait on the second leg of his international trip to Asia, President Biden made a brief stop in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt to speak to the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, proclaiming the U.S. is back to lead on climate change. The President told the audience and the world that it is vital that they all take action.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let's build on our global climate progress, raising both our ambitions and the speed of our efforts. The science is devastatingly clear, we have to make vital progress by the end of this decade.


WALKER: For another week, leaders and representatives from nearly 200 countries are discussing clean energy and limiting the damage done by the warming climate.

A new U.S. draft report highlights the importance of slowing climate change. The report warns many of the harmful impacts that people across the country are already experiencing will worsen as warming increases and new risks will emerge.

Joining me now to talk about it all is Dr. Kim Cobb, she is the director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society. Appreciate you joining us. So first of all, President Biden is going to be heading to the G20 in Bali for face to face meeting with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping Monday.

All eyes are on this meeting. Because as we know, you know, intentions are quite high. And China and the U.S. need each other when it comes to working together on combating climate change. How important is their cooperation?

DR. KIM COBB, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE AT BROWN FOR ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY: Well, it's critical at this stage that everybody look for what we can do individually as well as on the global stage to combat rising emissions.


The U.S. has brought a lot to the table this year, with the summer passage of the Inflation Reduction Act under the Biden administration, poised to bring our emissions down 40 percent by 2030, you know, not enough to reach that 50 percent reduction by 2030, to limit warming to that 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But just yesterday at COP27, the Biden administration saying that they were doubling down on their efforts to combat rising methane emissions in this country with pledges to reduce methane emissions, of course, a potent greenhouse gas by as much as 80 percent 87 percent by 2030.

So bringing a lot to the table, but obviously looking for leadership role, because the U.S. can't do this alone. They're going to have to inspire other countries to come with us on this path to reduce emissions dramatically this decade. WALKER: How much influence do you think Biden has on the global stage when it comes to urging nations to do something? I mean, is America back when it comes to leadership in that?

COBB: Well, I definitely hope so. Obviously, we've had a vacuum of leadership for several years now, this administration seeking a global leadership role. However, the path ahead is daunting. The Global Carbon Project releasing their new estimates for 2022 emissions globally ticking up by 1 percent on 2021 emission levels, the wrong direction.

So what we need to do is think about how we can come together as international partners to bring that curve down and start turning it around to achieve those 50 percent reductions by 2030. Obviously, the U.S. has an important role. Our emissions last year as a country ticked up as much as 1.5 percent. So this really speaks to the need for very near term action.

But it also reminds us that international agreements are only part of the solution here. We have national level pledges, state level pledges, local pledges, as well that are going to have to come together to look at what can be done over these next precious years of emissions reductions action.

WALKER: You know, the U.N. Climate Summit after Summit, we, you know, we hear about this very dangerous threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The global average temperature has already risen around 1.2 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution. Is this something that's reversible? You know, I feel like a lot of pessimists would say, it almost sounds inevitable that we're going to get to 1.5.

COBB: Well, we're fighting to keep warming to 1.5 right now. And that is the most ambitious target that's on the table. So, in fact, that is correct. But we do know that every increment of warming is connected with any host of increasing and worsening climate and weather extremes.

Now, this is outlined in detail in the National Climate Assessment draft that just dropped this week as well, connecting the dots for what this means for our country.

And I note, of course, that the tally for climate and weather extremes in this country is in the hundreds of billions of dollars of damages per year, as compiled by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

So this is something that is already costing our economy, and we need to get to work while we keep communities safe from the damages that are expecting for the next few decades of continued warming.

WALKER: And when it comes to potential agreements from COP27, I mean, how does the energy crisis in Europe complicates things, especially now that we're seeing, you know, Europe turning to coal, again, because of the Russian gas supply, you know, decreasing significantly, does this mean we're going to take a huge step back? COBB: Well, I think it is a reminder of how important it is to accelerate this transition away from fossil fuels and the dependency on economic systems and geopolitical tensions that they are associated with, if we had been closer to achieving our renewable energy goals. In the last five years, we wouldn't be having this kind of energy crisis in Europe right now. So that's one reminder.

But, obviously, we're going to be reeling through a large scale global energy crisis for some time in the future. Big decisions ahead, are we going to use this opportunity to accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels towards low carbon energy sources? Or are we going to double down on fossil fuels in this most critical moment of our fight against global warming?

WALKER: Dr. Kim Cobb with Brown University, thank you so much, Kim.

COBB: Thanks for having me.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Still ahead, big layoffs in big tech. The tech sector in limbo amid job cuts and hiring freezes. What does that mean for Silicon Valley's future? We have more next.



SANCHEZ: Elon Musk could be facing some significant fines after laying off thousands of Twitter employees. And legal experts tell CNN those layoffs may violate a consent agreement that Twitter made with the Federal Trade Commission. Under the consent order, Twitter has to provide a warning 14 days before making any structural changes. But Twitter isn't the only tech company seeing big changes. And the face of uncertainty economic conditions, the tech industry has seen a string of layoffs this year.

Our next guest writes, quote, "At least part of the surge in layoffs was self-inflicted. When the companies enjoyed soaring profits and a belief that the pandemic-fueled boom times would keep going, they aggressively expanded by hoarding the most fought-over and expensive resource in the software business, talent.


Joining me now is Erin Griffith, a technology reporter with The New York Times. Erin, we're grateful to have you this morning. First, I wanted to start with --


WALKER: -- yes, I want to start with that. The sense that layoffs are coming at a ton of major different tech companies, what are you most looking out for? What strikes you the most about this news?

GRIFFITH: Well, we've been seeing layoffs basically, since the start of the year. You know, startups have been sort of chipping away trying to cut costs. And, you know, in the face of all of this uncertainty, but I think the Meta news this last week with 11,000 employees getting let go is really a sign that we're going to -- this is not just a startup problem. This is not just a couple of companies that may be overhyped or overspent, this is kind of a systemic issue for the tech industry.

And so right now, some of the bigger tech companies haven't done mass layoffs, like Meta/Facebook have. But I think that I'm looking out for that. Now, a lot of them are freezing, they're trying -- freezing hiring, they're trying to cut costs. And I think going forward, we could see even deeper cuts, as the uncertainty continues through the next year.

SANCHEZ: And Erin, the estimate is at about 100,000 tech employees laid off, if that correct?

GRIFFITH: We've seen 100,000 jobs cut in the tech industry this year, according to layoffs at FYI, which is a site that tracks this and that spans, not just, you know, some of the younger companies like Robinhood, Snap, some private companies that are very valuable, Stripe as a payments company.

These are all companies that are cutting thousands of jobs, and some of them throughout multiple rounds of layoffs. But, you know, the bigger companies, Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce are also starting to do some deeper cuts as well.

SANCHEZ: And ultimately, where do you see those employees going? Like, what -- where does that wind up affecting the U.S. economy in a way that they can find new jobs potentially?

GRIFFITH: I mean, it's interesting, because we have been on this massive bull run for tech over the last decade or so. And that has really fueled a talent war, where in the tech industry, you know, people are in such high demand, particularly engineers, but across the board that often, you know, if your startup fails, or something happens, you can easily find a new job in the tech industry, because the demand is just so high and they're all hiring and staffing up so aggressively.

That could start to change. And we're seeing that now where, you know, people that had never had to work that hard to find a job in tech before may have to think a little bit harder or try a little bit harder, particularly the last few years. The hiring wars during the pandemic have been really aggressive and so that could change.

SANCHEZ: Erin, so many more questions to ask. We didn't even get a chance to get into the soap opera over at Twitter. We got to leave the conversation there. Erin Griffin, thank you so much for the time.

GRIFFITH: Thanks for having me.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: All right, up next, representatives for Dave Chappelle pushing back after a report claimed Saturday Night Live writers were staging a boycott ahead of his hosting gig. The latest surrounding the Studio 8H drama, that's next.



SANCHEZ: Tonight, comedian Dave Chappelle is set to host Saturday Night Live but it comes as unconfirmed reports about backstage drama are swirling, namely a possible boycott by SNL's writers. CNN's Jason Carroll has more on how Chappelle's past comments fueled backlash over tonight's gig.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anticipation building at 30 Rock home of NBC and Saturday Night Live where comedian Dave Chappelle is set to host SNL's post-Election Day episode this weekend.

DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: This is Dave. He tells jokes for a living. He's also about to host Saturday Night Live for the third time.

CARROLL (voice-over): But this time, questions about possible problems behind the scenes. Chappelle's representatives pushing back on unconfirmed reports that SNL writers were staging a boycott related to the comedian's previous comments about the trans community, telling CNN, "We've seen nothing to support media reports of a writer's boycott. In fact, the writers delivered over 40 sketches for Dave's consideration and collaboration."

Chappelle has come under fire for comments about the transgender community and his stand-up routines. Most recently, in his Netflix special, "The Closer."

CHAPPELLE: Gender is a fact. This is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact.

CARROLL (voice-over): A Reddit user captured this Instagram story from SNL writer Celeste Yim, who wrote, "I'm trans and non-binary. I use they/them pronouns. Transphobia is murder and it should be condemned." It is not clear if this was aimed at Chappelle, Yim did not respond to CNN requests to comment about him hosting.

News of Chappelle's return it was met with some backlash on social media. As some pointed out the show announced in September it was adding its first non-binary cast member Molly Kearney. Chappelle began his post-election hosting for SNL in 2016, following the election of Donald Trump.

CHAPPELLE: All my black friends who have money said the same thing when Trump was elected. That's it, bro. I'm out. I'm leaving the country. You coming with us. Nah, I'm good. I'll stay here and get this tax break. See how it works out.


CARROLL (voice-over): And he continued in 2020 after Biden won. CHAPPELLE: I thought we were having a comedy show. It's like a woke meeting in here.

CARROLL (voice-over): Now Chappelle was set for another go in front of SNL's live studio audience, as both his critics and fans wait to hear what he will say next.


SANCHEZ: Jason Carroll, thank you so much for that report.

Amara, as you know, SNL often does really well when they have controversial guests. I remember when Donald Trump hosted in the lead up to the 2016 election, they did really good numbers.

WALKER: Maybe this will help. We'll see.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Thanks so much for being with us this morning. We'll be back in just an hour.

WALKER: Smerconish is up next. We'll see you then.