Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

3 Dead in UVA Campus Shooting, Manhunt for Ex-Football Player; Biden, Xi's High-Stakes Meeting Underway Amid Tensions; The Narrow Path for Democrats to Keep Control of House; Chappelle Talks Anti- Semitism in SNL Monologue, Sparks Backlash. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired November 14, 2022 - 06:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.


Good morning, everyone. It is Monday, November 14. And we're going to, right off the top, begin with some breaking news.

There's a manhunt underway for an active shooter at the University of Virginia. Right now, the school is on lockdown. At least three people are dead, the shooting taking place at the school's main campus in Charlottesville. Students have been advised to shelter in place.

Straight to CNN's Joe Johns, standing by a block away from the scene. Joe, this morning, what has happened?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Don, three dead, two injured here at the University of Virginia. That according to a statement from Jim Ryan, the university's president.

It happened around 10:30 Eastern Time right down the street from here. This is across from the Fine Arts Building. The authorities continue their search for the suspect.

The campus is in lockdown. People have been told to shelter in place, and classes have been cancelled for the day, as the search for this shooter continues.

Apparently, this was a student who police believe actually committed the shooting -- Don.

LEMON: Joe Johns, we'll continue to check back in with you, that breaking news coming out of the University of Virginia, on lockdown after a manhunt for a gunman.

JOHNS: Still can't hear.

LEMON: Thank you, Joe Johns. Appreciate it.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Tragic situation.

Also happening right now, President Biden is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines at the G20 summit in Bali. It's their first in-person sit-down since Biden took office.

Moments ago the two leaders briefly spoke about what they hope to get out of this meeting. Listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And as you know, I'm committed to keeping the lines of communications open between you and me personally, but our governments across the board. Because our two countries have so much that we have an opportunity to deal with.

XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world.


HARLOW: Let's go to our colleague, M.J. Lee. She joins us live from Bali.

M.J., great to have you. So China and the United States, obviously, see each other -- to say competitors is not to say enough. But Biden also made clear he doesn't want conflict. He talked about ways that they can manage. I think that was the word he used, manage the relationship. What should we know?

M.J. LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy, good morning.

We are currently watching such a significant piece of history unfold in U.S./China relations. The two leaders of these two superpowers have now been meeting for well over an hour here in Bali on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

And you saw when the two men greeted each other, there was a real warmth and almost familiarity. But they expressed to each other as they talked about the fact that they've known each other for years, the importance of their bilateral relationship, and the fact that they need to keep open minds of communication going forward.

This is all pretty remarkable if you think about the fact that this meeting is taking place at such a real low point for U.S./China relations, exacerbated in part by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Taiwan.

Taiwan is just going to be one of the very challenging issues that the two leaders are going to be discussing.

And I should just note, we don't know when exactly we will see President Biden emerge from this meeting. U.S. officials have said that they have set aside at least a couple of hours for the two men to talk. But again, there is no time limit set on this important summit.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And M.J., the expectations also seem to be pretty modest of what they're going to come out of this meeting with. I know that they're not expected to issue a joint statement. We will hear from President Biden in a press conference. But what is -- what is the White House expecting when it comes to what they're actually going to get out of this meeting, potentially?

LEE: Yes, Kaitlan, you're absolutely right. U.S. officials have been pretty clear in setting the expectations ahead of time, telling reporters over and over again, we're not going for a set of deliverables here. There's certainly not going to be a joint statement.

And I just want to point out another sort of interesting dynamic heading into this meeting. You know, it is difficult to overstate what a significant moment this is for the Chinese leader.

This is his first time leaving his country during the COVID pandemic, as China, of course, has imposed severe lockdowns and restrictions. And U.S. officials have said that itself have made it a little more challenging in recent years -- recent years to get a read on Beijing and its intentions.


So hopefully, they say this is one more opportunity, an important one at that for them to understand exactly what these redlines are that Beijing has right now on a whole host of issues.

COLLINS: Now, absolutely. A very high-stakes meeting. M.J. Lee, we'll stay with you this morning. Thank you so much.

LEMON: Well, this morning, Democrats are celebrating. Narrow Senate majority after victories in critical races in Arizona and Nevada, and they're hoping for another miracle.

And that would be keeping the House. So let's tell you where it stands right now.

Control of the lower chamber is still undecided. Right now, Republicans are in the lead, inching closer to the 218 seats that they need to win the House. Several races in key districts still remain uncalled. Thousands of votes remain uncounted, Poppy.

HARLOW: And the uncertainty of control comes as Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate brace for tense talks after their party's disappointing election results.

This week they will hold a series of closed-door meetings to determine -- really an autopsy, right -- what went wrong for them and what they predicted. And assign the political fate of their current leaders.

However, on the Democratic side, it's a little different. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the Democrats are asking her to consider another leadership bid, should Democrats be able to eke out a win in the House.

COLLINS: Big questions about what that could potentially look like. So we're going to bring in CNN's senior data reporter, Harry Enten, to join us.

And Harry, this was once unthinkable that we're even having this conversation on the Monday after the midterm elections. How many races are still uncalled in the House, and what are you watching this morning?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, so let's just sort of lay out where things sort of are and sort of the uphill climb that Democrats are sort of facing. Right?

So if we just look at the districts right now, not just where we projected a victory, but also where difference candidates are leading of the different parties, what you see is that Republicans are up in 222 districts to Democrats' 213.

Now obviously, we're not there yet where we can project a Republican win in the United States House of Representatives. So let's kind of go through the math and give you an understanding of why it can be sort of potentially difficult for Republicans to lose that lead and for Democrats to kind of come back.

But we'll start off with sort of the easiest of the easy seats where Democrats can gain.

So this is California House 13. This is one that we discussed on Friday. You can see here, that Adam Gray, the Democrat, is down by well less than a percentage point. He's down by just 84 votes.

When we spoke on Friday, he was down by about two points. Well, over -- in the thousands of votes.

So this is an easy type of district. But then it gets significantly harder from there.

So we'll go to California's 22nd District. David Valadao is up by 5 percentage points, with about a 3,000-vote lead. When we spoke on Friday, that lead was 8 percentage points.

But look here. Just 39 percent of the estimated vote in. This is the type of district that, back in 2018, this old district -- it wasn't numbered the 22nd -- but Valadao was running. He held a lead until about a month after the election.

I'm not saying we're going to be here for a month. I hope not. But this gives you an idea that we might be in for the long haul.

But then let's go to Arizona 1. Because I think this really gets at why it's so difficult for Democrats to make up the ground that they need to in order to take back the House.

You can see here the incumbent, David Schweikert, is ahead. And you can see now that there's 96 percent of the estimated vote in.

When we were speaking on Friday, Schweikert was trailing. He has gained and gained and gained as more mail votes have come in from the district, the 1st District of Arizona. So it's not just about Democrats gaining back districts where they've

been trailing the entire time. It's about holding onto the leads in the districts that they currently have. And this is an example of a district where they weren't able to do that.

COLLINS: And so as we're still waiting on the House, you know, the big news over the weekend was on Saturday was when we called and said that Democrats are projected to hold the Senate. That is such a big decision, a big factor into all this.

People are still watching Georgia to see what happens there. Tell us the difference in if they have the majority as it stands right now, or if they get Georgia, and they've got 51-seat majority.

ENTEN: Yes. You heard, you know, President Joe Biden saying, I really want that first -- 51st seat. And you can see there's a block of text on this, Jane. Perhaps you know this early in the morning, I'm not sure you can necessarily read it.

But what essentially, it is, when you have a tie in the United States Senate, it basically slows everything down. And you need to discharge votes that essentially are needed to get a full Senate to vote. And it takes hours of debate.

And this is especially a case where you're trying to run through traditional nominations, and there are a lot of them that are out there. It just slows the pace down.

Having a true majority lessens the chance of a tie. It speeds things up. And also, important for Democrats, there's less reliance on moderates like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. And so it just makes things significantly easier.

COLLINS: This is a line that the White House loves to see, because of course, that has been one of the biggest thorns in their side, in their years in office so far.

Harry, thank you. We'll be checking back with you to see what's going on in the House.

ENTEN: You, too.

COLLINS: Up next, we do have Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who's going to join us live here in studio. We'll tell you his reaction to Democrats maintaining Senate control, whether or not they are going to potentially control the House, and where the party's agenda is right now.


Comedian Dave Chappelle saying that he denounces anti-Semitism and stands with the Jewish community as he hosted "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. We'll tell you more about the monologue that everyone is talking about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON FOUNDER: One of the things that I don't like about the current environment is that I think there's a lot of division. I think that people use conflict as a tool to achieve their own ends. I don't think it's a good tool.


LEMON: Well, that is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He's sounding off there on division in America. More from the CNN exclusive interview straight ahead.



DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: I denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms. And I stand with my friends in the Jewish community. And that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.



LEMON: That is comedian Dave Chappelle, leading his SNL monologue with Kanye West's recent anti-Semitic comments. The comedian also referencing Kylie Irving, NBA star who was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for comments after sharing a link to an anti-Semitic documentary.

Here's more from his monologue.


CHAPPELLE: I know he got into some scrapes before, but only when he's in trouble I pull up. I pull up immediately. And this time, I was like, You know what? Let me see what's going to happen first. Let me just see.

I been to Hollywood. I don't want y'all to get mad at me. I'm just telling you, I've been in Hollywood. This is just what I saw. It's a lot of Jews. Like a lot.

This is a rule. You know, the rules of perception. If they're black, then it's a gang. If they're Italian, it's a mob. But if they're Jewish, it's a coincidence, and you should never speak about it.

I know the Jewish people have been through terrible things all over the world, but -- but you can't blame that on black Americans. You just -- you just can't.

Early in my career I learned that there are two words in the English language that you should never say together in sequence, and those words are "the" and "Jews." I never heard someone do good after they said that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Well, that did not take long -- well, this didn't take long, for the head of the Anti-Defamation League to respond, Jonathan Greenblatt, writing, "We shouldn't expect Dave Chappelle to serve as society's moral compass, but disturbing to see SNL not just normalize but popularize anti-Semitism. Why are Jewish sensibilities denied or diminished at almost every turn? Why does our trauma trigger applause?"

Let's bring into the conversation, or start it, at least, with CNN anchor and correspondent Audie -- Audie Cornish.

Hello to you.


LEMON: And he had to know it was going to cause some controversy. So what do you --

CORNISH: Which was the point, obviously. He was trying to show this is what it's like to walk some sort of line, some sort of rhetorical line. Everything about it was constructed to play-act out the idea of cancellation.

LEMON: You think it was more about cancellation, sort of bringing people's attention to cancellation, rather than -- this is what -- this is what I heard from some of -- you know, Jewish folks, friends I know said, I didn't think it was a big deal. He walked really close to the line. He straddled it.

And others were offended by it, as Jonathan Jonathan Greenblatt was.

But the question is, if you're not offended by other things like comments about the trans community, even Dave Chappelle's own comments about the black community, then how can you be -- would it be hypocritical to be upset about comments about the Jewish community?

CORNISH: I don't want to police how people hear things. Because people have the right to be offended. And jokes always have a person who is a victim of the joke. That is a fact.

Comedians, of course, are currently struggling with the fact that those victims can now speak out and back. And so they are accountable for the laughter.

But, you know, Chappelle has this very sort of -- he's on a pedestal in terms of his position in the culture. SNL puts him on after big elections. And his show, "The Chappelle Show," was known, basically, for straddling the line with kind of spiky commentary on race, et cetera.

I think the problem right now is that he's sort of dragging into the limelight a kind of black strain of anti-Semitism from the '90s, but he's not reckoning with it with the same precision that he does with, say, Trump voters.

So earlier in the monologue -- you didn't play it -- but he spoke about the appeal of Trump to certain voters who -- he called Trump an honest liar. The idea that Trump somehow was exposing political and economic sort of imbalances and exploitation that he could take advantage of that the average person couldn't.

So he was like, hey, everybody loved that Trump said X, Y, and Z and exposed X, Y and Z. With that, he's like laser-precise.

COLLINS: I know. That really stood out to me, too.

CORNISH: And then with the anti-Semitism, to me, it's just sort of like he's -- to give an example way back when he talked about "The Chappelle Show" being cancelled, he did this -- not being cancelled -- I'm sorry -- when he took a pause from "The Chappelle Show" and walking away.

You know, later he told Oprah that one of the things that sort of bothered him was, at one point, doing a skit where he was in black face -- you had to be there -- and a white crew member laughed a little too hard.

And he said, you know, I was worried about being socially irresponsible. I was worried about that laughter.


It is very strange now to see him all these years later not being worried about that laughter, not taking that same care.

LEMON: Quickly, the question, though, is is it culturally productive? Because they're saying he's starting a conversation, but --

CORNISH: No one needs to start a conversation about anti-Semitism. Been around for a minute. I think we all know the points of it. I think that you have to ask yourselves, is he exposing some sort of culture truth to your ear, or is he whitewashing, echoing, amplifying toxic ideas and laundering them through his own reputation as a comedian.

LEMON: Is he making -- is he excusing what Kyrie and Kanye West said or did?

CORNISH: I almost think that's not the point. You know, he's obviously -- for the jokes, it's easy for us to focus on those things. But we're reckoning broader -- we're reckoning with anti-Semitism more broadly in the culture. And this is a very specific cultural platform. And I think how we hear it is in that context.

We can try and make it little, like it's about Kyrie, it's about Kanye, it's about this, it's about that. Really, it's about are we back to a point where it's OK to talk in this manner in every sector of public life and not expect there to be a social penalty?

Because the thing he's complaining about, cancellation, which he has not experienced, right? Still on SNL, still having -- selling out venues. Netflix, totally fine. The employees who complained got fired. He's fine. But the thing he's complaining about is the social penalty for saying something that people find to be inappropriate. And that is going to happen to you, no matter what, as long as you're a comedian.

COLLINS: And he made the point about we need to be able to talk, was kind of -- I don't know what his exact quote was, but that was kind of where he was going in that part of the monologue, was saying that people are too scared to say anything.


COLLINS: Essentially these days.

CORNISH: And ask yourself, do you feel like you could say anything in that room? Is that starting a dialogue? Do you feel like -- you know what I mean, that that sparked anything other than, Oh no, not again?

I think there is a way maybe to try and do what he did in the past, which is to needle us all in these sensitive places where we could be doing better. I don't know if he's doing better.

And talk about scared. Even now, I'm sure if I say something that annoys him, he'll do what he did in his monologue, which is reference some woman news commentators about -- by calling her the "B"-word.

COLLINS: I thought about that.

CORNISH: What's that supposed to be? You know, this is not a person who's prepared to have dialogue, in my opinion. It's a person who's doing what he does, monologue.

HARLOW: I wonder what you think about two things. One, the moment. This moment, where there has been a huge increase in anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic attacks and attacks on Jewish people.

And secondly, you know, I can't sit here and pretend I know what it's like to be Jewish and listen to this. I mean, one of my Jewish friends wrote me after this and said, you know, the takeaway here isn't that anti-Semitism is wrong. It's that it's about publicly voicing anti- Semitism is wrong. It's a horrible takeaway, right? At night, we can't walk in those cities.

CORNISH: But we also don't have to be Jewish to understand how toxic that is. You know, I think if you -- if you have to sit down with a child and explain the joke.

HARLOW: Right.

CORNISH: and you find yourself being like, OH, I don't want to repeat any of this, probably a problem. You know, do you want to convey the idea to a child that you're OK with that?

HARLOW: Do you agree with that?


CORNISH: If not, don't.

HARLOW: Do you agree with that, that the overall message wasn't that anti-Semitism is wrong? Or -- it's that, you know, well, publicly saying these things is wrong?

CORNISH: I know. This is the problem with racism and anti-Semitism and these "isms" in general. I think it was Toni Morrison who said it sort of forces you to spend time talking about it instead of doing the work you were meant to do.

So I am not meant to try and excuse, understand what Dave Chappelle is doing as an artist. I think what I'm trying to reckon with, as a person who also watches politics play out in the culture is, why are we laughing? And when is it OK to just be like I don't want to laugh at that, you know, without being called, like, a bummer, wet blanket, or whatever, politically correct.

It's OK for some of us to say that's not funny.


LEMON: Yes. And the interesting thing -- and I know we have to run. Is that what is the difference, folks will say, in -- we did this the last time that he did "SNL." The difference between social commentary and comedy, but the thing is he comes wrapped in -- as a comedian.

CORNISH: Yes, and it's a dance a lot of comedians play, especially the last few years when they've been posing as news anchors. So we're going to see it a lot.

HARLOW: Thank you, Audie.

CORNISH: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Appreciate it. Thank you.

HARLOW: Right now Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in the liberated -- again, liberated -- city of Kherson. Remarkable what has happened there as CNN is on the ground talking to people who survived the Russian occupation.

Plus, a Democrat in Washington state beat her Trump-backed opponent and flipped a key House seat that hasn't been held by Democrats in a decade.



DOUG MASTRIANO (R), PENNSYLVANIA GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE: As difficult as it is to accept the results, there is no other course but to concede, which I do. And I look to the challenges ahead. Josh Shapiro will be our next governor.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: That's Doug Mastriano, one of the leading voices pushing former President Trump's lies about the election, now conceding his race for Pennsylvania governor.

That was four days after CNN projected that he lost to Democrat Josh Shapiro.

A few hours before Mastriano actually acknowledged his defeat, Dana Bash asked Josh Shapiro about how long it was taking him.


JOSH SHAPIRO (D), PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR-ELECT: I mean, who cares if he calls, right? You know, he doesn't get to pick the winner. The people pick the winner.


COLLINS: Had he won, Mastriano would have gained the power to appoint the state's election [SIC], raising concerns, given his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.