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Trump Launches 2024 Run Amid Probes And GOP Midterm Disappointments; Beyonce And Jay-Z Tied For Most Grammy Nominations Of All Time; A Look At The Demise Of One Of Crypto's Biggest Players. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired November 16, 2022 - 07:30   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The reaction to the former president throwing his hat into the ring has been really interesting. You see even Murdoch-led newspapers --

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. That's the New York Post. You can barely see it.

LEMON: This is -- this is the New York Post. Do you see that? You can barely see it because it only says "Florida Man Makes Announcement." So, boy, how things have changed.

Let's bring in now CNN political analyst and senior political correspondent for The New York Times, Maggie Haberman. She's also the author of "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America."

This says everything.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES, AUTHOR, "CONFIDENCE MAN: THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP AND THE BREAKING OF AMERICA": There is nobody who knows better than Rupert Murdoch that the way to upset Donald Trump is not to say his name. And so, it isn't just that he is not the full front page and that he's the banner on the bottom, it's that he's identified as "Florida Man." And they're not trumpeting him.

There is a move away from Trump. I don't want to overstate this. He is still the frontrunner. He is still the establishment. He is still a former president.

But there are a number of people in the Republican Party who are going to start making clear that they think he is really bad for the party in ways that I think they couldn't quite articulate the same way in, say, 2016 because he didn't have a record, January 6 hadn't happened, and we haven't seen all the election denialism of the last 20 months. And so, I think all of that becomes a compelling factor.

LEMON: Is it weird to think like what should -- was it overnight? Because if you're just at home watching, you're like well, wait -- these people have been behind Donald Trump forever.

HARLOW: Don's right. It feels like overnight.

LEMON: Well, it feels like overnight, right, that there's --


LEMON: -- been this shift. Was it Tuesday?

HABERMAN: I think it was largely Tuesday, yes. I mean, I think that if the Republicans had the night that they were forecasting in all of these polls that turned out not to be right, then I think you would have seen people saying well, you know, Trump succeeded. A lot of the candidates that he backed, particularly in the Senate -- this is a slate of candidates that he largely either encouraged or actually recruited in the case of Herschel Walker.


Now, there's a long way to go. Lindsey Graham was down there with Trump this weekend at Mar-a-Lago, or at least in Florida, urging him not to run. Lindsey Graham then, last night, puts out a tweet about what an incredible speech this was. Because there's often this habit where people who are critical of Trump then publicly praise him lavishly so that they can get back on his good side.

And so, we haven't done seeing that dynamic yet, but there's definitely a shift.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: What about Trump himself, though? Because watching that speech last night -- we watched it together -- that versus Trump in 2016 -- big difference.

HABERMAN: It was pretty subdued. And what I would say wasn't different was the grievance -- this sort of I alone can fix it attitude that we have seen him say over and over again, and claiming that he finished things that he didn't finish when he was president. Making statements about how his presidency went in ways that it didn't go.

There was a sort of 'playing the old hits' sense of this. So in that way, it was a lot like 2016. But I agree with you. This is not somebody who seemed like he's raring to go again.

This is not somebody -- now, some of that might have been, Kaitlan, because they knew that networks would not take him live if he was yelling, if he was talking about the 2020 election over and over again. I think there was a real effort t keep him from doing that so the cameras would stay on him. And then, as the cameras went off you saw him sort of slide away from that.

He doesn't seem happy. He just seems angry.

LEMON: It felt like the colorized version of your favorite movie. I mean, like, why on earth did they do this? I mean, just the reaction from all of us because believe it or not, we like all text each other, right? It was -- it was -- there was an energy that was not there. And the reaction from people that I -- were texting me and in the room with saying this is so low-energy.

What happened? I mean, it feels like a movie. Like, I've seen this before and I really don't want to see it again.

HABERMAN: It was so low-energy that Jeb Bush called it low-energy on Twitter, which was -- which was one of the knife twists that we saw from a bunch of people last night.

But it was. And part of that, Don, is because it was a -- it was a speech. It was a teleprompter speech and he never does well with a teleprompter speech. He always says his party --

LEMON: But Maggie, I think it was something beyond that.

HABERMAN: I agree with you that it was something beyond that, but I think that when that is the set-up, that is always a recipe for not doing well for him.

TEXT (JEB BUSH, TWITTER): "WOW! What a low energy speech by the Donald. Time for new leaders! #WEAK #SleepyDonnie."

Look, I've been saying for months his heart is not in this and I do think that you saw that last night. He really wants to be president again. He wants the power of the office. He wants the protection from investigations.

I don't think he wants to go do the work for two more years. This is the earliest that he has declared a presidential candidacy in the last three that we have seen him run, and this is a long time.

HARLOW: He clearly wants to be Grover Cleveland but there are so many differences in terms of defying history. The only other former president who has done this -- a Democrat, but also won the popular vote I think, like, every time.

And I just wonder. You've said, Maggie, there is nothing you could learn about Trump that would surprise you. And did --

HABERMAN: That's quite literally true.

HARLOW: And even -- so nothing last night surprised you?

HABERMAN: No. Because last night was -- again, it was a litany of things that we've actually heard him say over and over again. I mean, I think part of why people were not so roused by the speech is that it would -- it felt very familiar.

And then particularly when he gets to the part about -- he literally said I'm a victim. He was talking about the investigations into him. And I was -- that was the one thing -- I wasn't surprised but I was struck by it because that is something you're going to hear over and over again. He went head-on into the investigations into him.

COLLINS: And he brought up the Kim Jung Un letter that he is under -- HABERMAN: Yes, I know -- yes, yes.

COLLINS: -- investigation for taking to Mar-a-Lago. That really --


COLLINS: -- stood out to me because he's literally under investigation for that.

The other thing, though, is Ivanka Trump --

LEMON: I think it was happening with Ukraine in the background, right? Remember the other reason that he was --

HARLOW: The first impeachment.

HABERMAN: The first impeachment, yes.

LEMON: And then he had Ukraine happening --


LEMON: -- as he was --

COLLINS: And he came out and said Russia fired the missile. That's not true.


COLLINS: Ivanka Trump put out a statement saying that she's not going to be involved. She said she supports her father and she loves him. She said she's not going to be involved in politics this time around.

TEXT: "I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena."

COLLINS: Were you surprised by that? What did you make of that?

HABERMAN: I wasn't surprised by that. I know that she, I think, has -- look, the Trumps in general, as a family, to varying degrees like press coverage. She's much more like her father than, frankly, some of her other siblings in that respect. And so, I think she wanted a news story about what she was doing.

But I do think that she had a pretty hard time at the end of the administration. She was there on January 6 with her father. She was -- is widely credited for -- with -- by people who were there with being one of the people who got him to eventually tell the rioters at the Capitol to go home. And I think that she felt sort of burned by the experience.

Now, we've never really seen history before where you have individual staff members putting out their own statements about what they're going to do, but it is a reminder that he is going into this campaign in a different way than he was last time. Just earlier this morning, Axios reported -- Jonathan Swan -- that

Steve Schwarzman, the CEO --


HABERMAN: -- of Blackstone, is not going to be with Trump. Steve Schwarzman is one of the few donors Trump had left so that is actually a really big deal.


HARLOW: I kept wondering what's he going to do.


HARLOW: What is Schwarzman going to do?

LEMON: The billionaires are --

HABERMAN: And now we know.

HARLOW: Now we know.

LEMON: -- leaving.

Just real quickly, I have to ask something, and please follow up on this. It struck me when you said his heart is not in it -- and maybe it's a very simple answer. Is it just because he can't help himself? Why?

HABERMAN: He needs the attention, needs the protection of the investigations, and very much misses the power that the office had. It's really that simple.


Thank you, Maggie. Appreciate it. Fascinating as always.

Tonight, former Vice President Mike Pence, who could be a Trump challenger, will join Jake Tapper for a live CNN Town Hall. Make sure you tune in. It's at 9:00 eastern right here on CNN.

So, this is a fascinating story that Poppy has been educating all of us on.

HARLOW: Oh, please.

LEMON: No. You know the inside -- the ins and outs of this. Sam Bankman-Fried is, in his own words, fried, I guess. What the former crypto king is now saying about his fall from the top.

COLLINS: And why Taylor Swift fans have bad blood with Ticketmaster. Lawmakers also now voicing their own displeasure.

HARLOW: I want to go.









LEMON: Every day this summer I heard this song like about 80 times and I loved it. I played it. Talk about a renaissance. Beyonce has made Grammy history again.


LEMON: Renaissance, her first solo album in six years, picked up nine nominations for the 2023 award, making her the top nominee this year. It also ties her with her husband, rapper Jay-Z as the artist with the most Grammy nominations of all time. Her nine nods this year, along with Jay-Z's five, puts the couple at a whopping 88 nominations each. Goodness, gracious.

Beyonce overtaking Sir Paul -- Sir Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones, and Kanye West.

Queen Bee -- or Queen Bey -- look, don't get mad at me, beehive. I don't know if it's Queen Bee or Queen Bey. I'm a fan -- already won more Grammys than any woman in history -- a record 28. If she were to win four more this year she'd become the most-awarded artist.

And the Grammys will also be must-watch T.V. Beyonce will square off with another powerhouse singer. She's going to face Adele in three major categories, setting up a rematch of the 2017 awards. Remember this moment?


ADELE, SINGER-SONGWRITER: I can't possibly accept this award and I'm very humbled and I'm very grateful and gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyonce. And this album, for me -- the Lemonade album was just so monumental, Beyonce. It was so monumental.


LEMON: Aww, that's so nice. That's how --

HARLOW: That's how you do it.

LEMON: When I sit here every morning I think the same thing -- HARLOW: Aww.

LEMON: -- about these two. I get to sit here with you guys. It's so monumental.

COLLINS: Who is it -- you're Adele? We're going to have to --

HARLOW: That's what he says every --

LEMON: I don't -- I guess I could --

HARLOW: That's what he says every commercial, people.

LEMON: Beyonce -- I like to call her Be-yonce just as a -- pretend I know her.

HARLOW: She is --

LEMON: She's amazing.

HARLOW: -- a force. That's so great to see.

LEMON: Yes, both of them. Both of them. She is also.

HARLOW: Both of them. Both of them.

OK --

LEMON: Speaking of forces in the crypto industry, right?

HARLOW: Yes. So, crypto in crisis -- you guys know this -- as the collapse of one of its biggest players is partly to blame. Sam Bankman-Fried built FTX into a huge crypto exchange valued at $32 billion over just three years. Well, last week, it imploded sending aftershocks throughout the industry.

He issued a mea culpa on Twitter Thursday, saying I'm sorry. I f-ed up. I should have done better. On Friday morning he resigned as CEO and announced the firm is going into bankruptcy.

And now, some comments he made months ago when he was considered a white knight in the industry -- they have not aged well -- listen.


SAM BANKMAN-FRIED, FOUNDER AND FORMER CEO, FTX: I'm not concerned about more regulations. I think getting consumer protection in areas where there is not currently enough can be extremely helpful for a robust ecosystem. I think it's just important to do so in a way that fits the product.

We should hopefully end up in a world in which we're not the ones making financial decisions on behalf of our users. We want to offer the price that there's demand for.

I'm going to be here for the long term. I have no plans to leave. That is not something that is on my horizon. And I would not be -- I would not be spending a lot of my energy looking at a succession plan that was not going to come into effect here.


HARLOW: Here with us now, someone he actually spoke to -- New York Times crypto reporter David Yaffe-Bellany. He's interviewed Sam Bankman-Fried and it's a hard interview to get. And he told you it could have been worse.


HARLOW: When I read your piece -- first of all, congrats on getting the interview.


HARLOW: When I read your piece, I thought two things. I thought hubris and I -- it reminded me of move fast and break things. What do you think?

YAFFE-BELLANY: I mean, it was an interesting window into his state of mind during this incredible crisis that's hurt hundreds of thousands of people. That's destabilized the industry. That's cost him his reputation and his fortune practically overnight.

I mean, he sounded remarkably relaxed to me. I was kind of shocked by his tone at certain points. At the end of the interview, he was joking about these cryptic tweets that he was posting, talking about the video games that he was playing.

I mean, he was certainly repentant and at times seemed almost kind of agonized by what had happened, but the overall tone was really kind of peculiar. He didn't sound like somebody whose life had just been ruined.


LEMON: If you -- you know, the catch line for this show is bringing the world home. Why are people -- if people are sitting in New York, if they're sitting in Iowa, if they're sitting in Minnesota, or Louisiana, or Alabama, why should they care about what this young kid is doing -- or has done?

YAFFE-BELLANY: So this guy was kind of a self-styled crypto diplomat. His whole plan was to kind of bring crypto to the masses to try to explain it to people and to kind of represent himself as the non- scammy end of the industry. And to really kind of bring this kind of experimental technology into the mainstream.

He testified in Congress. He was a growing force in Democratic circles -- a huge donor to Joe Biden and to other politicians over the years. And also someone who was kind of trying to style himself as a major philanthropist. And so, his fall ripples kind of far outside the crypto world. LEMON: Just one more thing I want to ask you. I was speaking with

people who are in the finance industry, right, and know about these things, and they still don't understand what's crypto themselves. And they work in the industry. And so --

COLLINS: Well put.

LEMON: And -- plus, they're like this is not -- it's all so weird because it's not regulated or whatever. I mean, what is your answer to that? What is this?

YAFFE-BELLANY: I mean, that's the $10,000 question. I think crypto is really poorly explained by the people who work in it. It is genuinely very complicated to understand. And I think the industry is still sort of grasping for a real kind of practical application beyond the sort of casino-style gambling that Sam's company sort of offered to the -- to the masses.

And I think that's why regular people have trouble grasping it. Because really, there hasn't -- they haven't -- the industry has not articulated what the technology does particularly clearly.


COLLINS: But we've also heard from crypto experts that the warning signs were there. Like, yes, it is difficult to understand and maybe it does need to be regulated than it is. But people say we could see this coming.

But I was just so fascinated because you're someone who spoke with him when very few people have spoken with him. He has said very little publicly. And he just doesn't seem to have had any regrets about this.

YAFFE-BELLANY: I don't think that's entirely fair. I mean, he expressed numerous regrets to me. He apologized.

HARLOW: Saying what?

YAFFE-BELLANY: He said he feels horrible about the damage that this has done.

But the tone was sort of discordant with that at times. I mean, he sounded -- he sounded relaxed. He was -- he was laughing at times. It was a -- it was a strange experience speaking to him. But I do -- I do think that there's some level of regret.

Now, he's caused immense damage though, and so an apology isn't going to cut it for most people --

HARLOW: Right.

YAFFE-BELLANY: -- and frankly, it shouldn't.

LEMON: Regret -- is he --

HARLOW: I -- LEMON: Is he -- is he worried though about regulations, about investigations, the SDNY? Is there concern on his part about that or is he just brushing it off?

YAFFE-BELLANY: I asked him how do you feel about the prospect of going to prison because that's certainly on the table here. I mean --


YAFFE-BELLANY: I mean, he's being investigated by SDNY. Legal experts say that based on what he's accused of doing it sounds like he committed a crime. And he wouldn't -- he wouldn't go there. He wouldn't comment on that.

HARLOW: Potentially by using --

LEMON: He just said no comment?

HARLOW: -- his customers.


HARLOW: Money to prop up the hedge fund part of it.


YAFFE-BELLANY: He said -- he said I'm not going to talk on the record about that.

LEMON: That was it.

HARLOW: I am so struck and troubled by the fact that it's still not regulated. So we've asked for the SEC chair Gensler to come on. He's welcome any day.

Sheila Bair is going to join us this week, who is former head of the FDIC who has compared this to Madoff in a sense.

How is it that this can be so risky for so many people across the country, as you said, and regulators don't have a handle on it? And why is it so hard to regulate? It just seems like Washington is way behind the ball.

YAFFE-BELLANY: I mean, government moves slowly, especially on new technology. I mean, that's a historic problem. It's not specific to crypto at all.

LEMON: It's like the internet, right? The same thing?

YAFFE-BELLANY: And there's -- and there's debate --

HARLOW: But you wouldn't put planes in the air without regulating them. You don't put things out there that --

LEMON: My analysis of that -- the internet -- it moved so fast.


LEMON: It happened so quickly that it was tough for people --


LEMON: -- to regulate.

YAFFE-BELLANY: I mean, really, the equivalent metaphor is if like someone in their backyard launched a plane into the air and suddenly the government was like there are planes flying everywhere. We have to figure out what to do about them.

And so, that's the -- there's a struggle in Washington now between different factions --


YAFFEE-BELLANY: -- that disagree over how this industry should be regulated.

HARLOW: I just think a lot of people wouldn't get on that plane. A lot of people are on this plane.

LEMON: But a similar thing --

YAFFEE-BELLANY: A lot of people are on it.

LEMON: -- did happen with drones, right, and they had to figure out how do --

HARLOW: Oh, yes.

LEMON: -- how do we deal with these drones that are --

COLLINS: Do you feel like he has a strategy for how to handle this?

YAFFEE-BELLANY: I really -- I really don't think so. I mean, last week he was scrambling to line up new financing before the bankruptcy filing to kind of prop up his company and kind of keep it alive. And he tweeted yesterday that he's still trying to do that even though he's no longer chief executive. He's facing all these investigations. He's been kind of widely maligned by his own employees -- by executives he used to work with.

So, I don't know. I think there's maybe a little bit of kind of magical thinking going on there. He thinks that he can -- he can turn this around. But he's got good white-collar lawyers working for him now and I'm sure he's getting good advice from somebody.

HARLOW: That's who always gets paid in these things --

LEMON: Maybe this will --

HARLOW: -- the lawyers.

LEMON: -- be the thing that gets them to pay attention to regulating. HARLOW: Yes, yes -- it does.

Thank you. Your reporting was so good.

YAFEE-BELLANY: Thanks so much.

HARLOW: We appreciate you being on very much.

All right. Speaking of tech giants, Elon Musk with a new warning to his staff -- his employees this morning, telling them in an email to commit to me, quote, "hardcore" or be fired.


COLLINS: Plus, CNN THIS MORNING is live in Poland and in Brussels, Belgium at the NATO headquarters as we learn it was likely Ukrainian forces, not Russian forces, that fired that missile into Poland yesterday. Our coverage continues ahead.


LEMON: Up and at 'em, everyone. Top of the hour. Good morning to you. It is Wednesday, November 1-6 -- 16.

And there is a lot going on this morning and we need to get right to it, including new information about who may have launched that missile into Poland. Two people were killed in the blast and multiple foreign officials are saying it could have been an accident. We're going to have a full discussion with the former defense secretary Mark Esper in moments.

HARLOW: Plus, the New York Post describes it as, quote, "A Florida Man Made An Announcement" last night. That is very telling from the Post. How conservatives are reacting to Donald Trump's third bid for the White House.

COLLINS: And a historic leap forward for NASA's moon program. The Artemis 1 rocket successfully launched this morning after some late drama on the launch pad.

LEMON: We're going to begin with the breaking news, though. U.S. officials confirming it was likely Ukrainian forces, not Russia, who were responsible for the deadly missile strike that killed two people in Poland. Russia denied any involvement from the outset.