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Ex-Trump Allies, Donors Ditch Trump As He Launches 2024 Run; Jonathan Karl: Trump May Not Still Have The Juice To Win Again; New Video Shows Jay Leno In Hyperbaric Chamber After Burns. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 17, 2022 - 08:30   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Republicans have gotten control of the House just barely. And in the aftermath of no red wave, you're seeing more and more former allies of the former president giving him the cold shoulder, including his own former Vice President.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I think we'll have better choices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better choices?

PENCE: Than my old running mate. I think America longs to go back to the policies that were working for the American people. But I think it's time for new leadership.


COLLINS: Pence making those comments as Trump's former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, "we need more seriousness, less noise and leaders who are looking forward not staring in the rear-view mirror claiming victimhood" after Trump said he was a victim on Tuesday night. We're also seeing a growing number of the GOP billionaire mega donors distancing themselves from Trump including Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, who told CNN he believes it is time to move on from the former president.

Citadel Group Hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin also says he plans to back Ron DeSantis, when and if he runs. A spokesman for the cosmetic heir Ronald Lauder conforming to CNN that he is also not going to be backing Trump's 2024 bit. So joining us now to talk about all of this who better than ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent, Jonathan Karl who is the author of the best-selling book, 'Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show' which is now available in paperback we should note.

John, you and I covered the Trump White House together, spent many years in that briefing room. It is remarkable to me though, to see these donors, these people close to Trump who aren't running for president 2024 turning on him in this way. And I wonder if you think it's final?

JONATHAN KARL, AUTHOR, BETRAYAL: THE FINAL ACT OF THE TRUMP SHOW: Well, you certainly see that. And also, I mean, I was at Mar-a-Lago for the announcement. And what I found striking is that there was virtually nobody there from the previous Trump campaigns, from the Trump White House. I mean, they're at least for now, you know, standing back, they're not rushing to join in.

They're not, you know, I mean, some of them have completely turned on Trump, others have simply turned away from Trump and don't want, you know, greeted this announcement with a degree of dread. Some of them got called and invited to come. Many of them decided not to come. I mean, there was only a single member of Congress there, all these loyalists that he has in the House, and he still has loyalists in the House.

But the only one that managed to come was Madison Cawthorn. And he's only going to be a member of Congress until the first week of January because he lost his reelection. So will it last? That's a great question, Kaitlan. I mean, the thing that did Republicans fear most about Trump at this moment is that - is that if he cannot win the Republican nomination, he will allow nobody else to win.

That he will seek to destroy anybody who tries to take up his mantle. First and foremost, Ron DeSantis.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Jonathan, when I saw the Schwarzman news, Steve Schwarzman, the founder of the private equity, you know, giant Blackstone saying, All right, I'm out. And then Ken Griffin at Citadel, I'm out and Ronald Lauder. I mean, you know, how significant do you think that is not only with the money being gone, but just for Trump wanting to have the support of, you know, these New York billionaire guys?

KARL: You know, these are the people that Trump likes to think of as, almost as peers. I mean, I guess not that high, but you know, but - but - but big, you know, serious people and I so I think it is significant in that sense. But in terms of the money, you know, Donald Trump has turned into a fundraising machine raising money off the backs of people that don't have millions of dollars.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: There you go.

KARL: Most of the money that comes in is in $10, $25, maybe $50 donations, you know, from people who are, you know, working class who go to those - who go to his rallies, you know, and you know, some call it a grift. You know, the big - the big rip off as the January 6 committee put it, but he raises a lot of money in those small increments from - from those donors. He doesn't necessarily need Steve Schwarzman to write a big check.


LEMON: So that's - that's from the rich folks. You're absolutely 100 percent right about that and that's a sad thing in all of this. A lot of poor people are giving money to Donald Trump some of it is going to go legal funds and so on.

So - the - OK, so without - he needs money to run, right? No doubt, he needs a lot of money, those billionaires can help him but he also needs a megaphone. He needs a platform. And he is losing that. If you look at what's happening with conservative media, the Rupert Murdoch media, Fox News, The New York Post, and so on and so forth.

And then he doesn't have Twitter, he may get it back. So how much harder does that make it for him if it does to run for president without that sort of, you know, free PR machine?

KARL: Well, there was - there's a lot of comparisons to 2015 saying, well, you know, he didn't really have the big donors back in the - in the first part of 2015. He didn't have much of a staff. It was a handful of folks working out of the fifth floor of Trump Tower. But, but what he did have Don, as we all remember, all too vividly, is he had the megaphone.

I mean, he was - he was, you know, he did interviews all the time, you know, network interviews, ABC, CNN. You know, Fox, of course, that's - I mean, if you look, one of the striking things about Trump in this period, has been the interviews that he does, he does interviews with internet programs that, I mean, nobody's ever heard of.

I mean, this is a former president of the United States and interview, as you guys all know, an interview with a former president is generally a big deal, you know. You know, Donald Trump's like phoning in with, you know, people that were kicked off radio in Pittsburgh, and now have, you know, some show on the internet that has, I mean, it's really a good show. Does it have any? Who knows?

He - and I think that's what drove him to make this announcement. I mean, think the legal stuff clearly contributed to it, the fear of an indictment coming and wanting to get in front of that, but also, you know, Trump has a sense of the room and I mean, the room and in a big way, he knows when his - when his message is resonating, is getting out, and when it's starting to fade, and I think that there was a fear that that he was rapidly losing that megaphone.


KARL: And by the way, you know, Fox you know, Fox is not as you know, Fox. I mean, we'll see if they come back, but you know, they're not going to cover him the way they covered him in the past.

COLLINS: Which has made him in turn very critical of Fox. John Karl, thank you so much for joining us and breaking all this down after your Mar-a-Lago experience. His book, 'Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show' out in paperback today. Make sure you pick it up.

LEMON: Thanks, John. Up next we're going to speak to the doctor treating legendary talk show host Jay Leno after he suffered serious burns from a gas fire. He is showing us new video of Leno in a chamber getting treated. You don't want to miss that.


LEMON: So comedy legend Jay Leno's recovering from significant burns to his face, hands and chest that he sustained from a gasoline fire when he was working on a car. The former Tonight Show host will still need at least one more surgery later this week. We want to bring in now Dr. Peter Grossman, the reconstructive burn injury surgeon who is currently treating Jay Leno. Thank you so much for joining us, Doctor, how is he doing?

DR. PETER GROSSMAN, RECONSTRUCTIVE BURN INJURY SURGEON TREATING JAY LENO: You know, all things considered, he's doing pretty well. He's got some serious injuries, but he's got a very positive attitude. And hopefully with a little bit of time he'll be home and - and back to work and at some point soon.

LEMON: Yes, so we understand he's in a burn chamber, correct? And there are some video that was released that you allowed to happen.

GROSSMAN: Well, he's in - he utilizes what's known as a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. He goes in there a couple times a day. The purpose of the oxygen chamber is to decrease some of the swelling that occurs with injury. It also increases the oxygenation to the tissue, which is helpful in the healing process, and decreases bacteria that can occur in all types of different wounds and particularly in burn wounds as well.

So hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the tools that's used to improve many patients who have burn injuries and other types of wound injuries.

LEMON: Is he going to suffer any long term, will he have scars?

GROSSMAN: You know Don, it's a little too early to tell right now. We're hoping to get him as close to the pre injury status as we can. But his injuries are serious. There may be some long term marks that you'll see. At this point in time, though, it's just a little bit too early to know.

LEMON: Well send him our best doctor, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

HARLOW: Absolutely.

GROSSMAN: You bet.

LEMON: Thank you.

HARLOW: All right, coming up next Airbnb rentals soaring higher than pre-pandemic levels. The CEO is even, I'm not kidding renting out a room in his home and he came to tell us about it and a lot more Brian Chesky is here live on CNN, this morning.



HARLOW: All right, the economy feel shaky, right? Especially Silicon Valley. Many more Americans looking for some extra income. One company is benefiting from that that is Airbnb. In fact, the company's founders actually started it renting out air mattresses in their home. This was in San Francisco during the 2008 recession. Well, now Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky is I'm not kidding, doing it again, renting out a room in his current San Francisco house, which is just a little bit bigger and a little bit nicer than when you launched the company. Look at this.


BRIAN CHESKY, CEO, AIRBNB: Well, I'm taking photos this house because I'm going to put it on Airbnb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This place right here?

CHESKY: Yes, I live here. So I'll be here. But I'm going to put this room on Airbnb. If you're coming to San Francisco, and you need a place to stay, I'd love to host you.


HARLOW: He's with us now. Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb. Welcome to CNN this morning.

CHESKY: Thank you for having me today.

HARLOW: We're glad to have you in studio. OK, so you're here to talk about a lot. We're going to get into a lot. But why are you renting out a room in your house? Why and the bigger - you're announcing some big changes to the platform?

CHESKY: Yes. Well, let me let me answer both those questions. Why am I first renting my home, my house? Well, I was the first host. My roommate Joe and I you know, 15 years ago couldn't afford to pay rent, a design conference come to San Francisco, all these hotels are sold out. We said let's get your bed and breakfast for our - for this conference.

I didn't have any beds but Joe had three air beds. We pulled them out of closet and we called them air bed and breakfast. 15 years later, I thought, you know, a recession is now looming, obviously if not already in one. Everyone was born during a recession. Back then in 2008, many people were looking to make extra money. They turned to Airbnb.

And we thought now's a really good time to show people that if I can host, you can host too. So what we're doing is we're trying to make it much easier than ever for people to put their home on Airbnb and we basically have two updates. First is a product called Airbnb setup. It's exactly what it sounds like. We're going to make it really easy to set up your Airbnb.


We thought well, how are we going to do that? Some of the best ways to learn something new is by learning from someone who's done it before so we have all these super hosts around the world and we thought what if we create something kind of like a genius bar where we match you to other super hosts on your phone who can walk you through the process?

And next we said, well, what's the biggest fear people have? A lot of people never thought about having other people in our home. So when I told my mom, I'm doing it again, she's like, you're crazy. She found out actually yesterday on television. And - but the good news is, we are now verifying the identity of every single person on Airbnb in the top 35 countries, and by next spring, it will be 100 percent. So we're doing a lot more protections as well.

HARLOW: By the way used to live with your mom. This happened during the pandemic.

CHESKY: Yes, yes.

HARLOW: The whole other story.

CHESKY: I would.

HARLOW: He outed himself. But on a more serious note, I mean, there have been so many layoffs in Silicon Valley right now. And it seems uniquely centered right now on you guys on Silicon Valley. Is Airbnb preparing to lay anyone off. And if not, are you hiring?

CHESKY: We're hiring. Yes, no, we're not - Two and a half years ago, we lost 80 percent of our business in eight weeks. People were predicting we were going to go out of business, we did a layoff back that.

HARLOW: You had to layoff 25 percent.

CHESKY: 25 percent. And that doesn't even include contractors. Then when you do a layoff, a lot of people leave after the layoff because they figure like maybe there's opportunities elsewhere. And this is not an - this isn't a much better economy where the people had other options. People thought a travel company is not the place to be during a pandemic. So a lot - a lot of people left and we just hunkered down.

It was like 1000 of us got in a foxhole, rebuilt the company from the ground up. And we stayed really lean. And because we stayed lean, we generated a lot of free cash flow. So we're stepping on the gas, we're not putting on the brakes.

LEMON: People are wondering, why is your approach different? If you look at what Elon Musk is doing, he's telling people that they - that they must return to the office that they have to work these extremely hard core, long hours at high intensity. Your approach is the opposite?


LEMON: And you're not - you're not cutting, you said, you're growing.

CHESKY: We're growing. We're not cutting, we're not making people go in office but we're doing really well.

LEMON: Why not?

HARLOW: But I think Don's trying to ask too, is Elon Musk wrong approach?

LEMON: Well, I don't know. I mean, just compare and contrast. Why you and you're right. I mean, that's a good question.

CHESKY: Well, let me let me tell you why we're not making people go back to an office. And I can also tell you like, so I think the future is flexibility. And I think after compensation, the most important benefit for people of the laptop job will be flexibility. And the reason why is because I think this is going to be employee and market driven market, not an employer driven market, maybe a recession it is.

And we companies want to have the very best people. And the best people are in San Francisco, the best people are in New York, the best people are everywhere, they're distributed. So I now have to believe that I have a greater competitive advantage by limiting people to a commuting radius outside of my office, which means I have not as much talent, but I get enough benefit of the being - of them being in an office.

Most companies, we found that were just as productive on Zoom, if not more productive, but we can also hire from everywhere, we can increase diversity. And I think the way to predict the future is to look what young people and young companies are doing, and they are voting with flexibility. So that's where I think the future is going. But you know, every CEO has a prerogative to run their company differently. He's chose one path with flexibility, we've chosen another.

COLLINS: And so you're permanently remote.

CHESKY: We're permanently pretty flexible, remote. But I also think pure Zoom has some downsides. This is one of the loneliest times in human history. And you know, the office is now Zoom, the theater is now Netflix, the mall is now Amazon. We also don't want to live in dystopia where people never leave that house. Yes. And so that's why we're trying to still gather employees, at least one week, a quarter. And so we tried to do a lot of gathering.

But we've not chosen this whole five day week or even three day week hybrid, we think the world may be going a little different direction.

HARLOW: Let me ask you about big tech, because you're - you're part of it. Right? And there's been a lot written about the big tech billionaire bros. And I'm not saying they're all the same, because they're not but you told me once when we talked about a year ago, I think a lot of people in society don't think Big Tech has their interest in mind.

CHESKY: Yes. HARLOW: Meta right now Facebook, what's happening at Twitter, FTX and the crypto crash? Is this a paradigm moment for Big Tech? Like is this a moment of reckoning?

CHESKY: I think it's like we're all in a nightclub, and the lights just came on. And so I think that, you know, suddenly I think there's this exuberance and euphoria. And now we all have to like take hard looks at things. And I think there's been the ultimate reality check. And I think you could say that about a lot of different sectors, a lot of different industries.

My concern with crypto wasn't the underlying technology. My concern with crypto for example, has always been the frenetic, like get in before it's gone. And I just think that was not a responsible like approach and I think Silicon Valley has done so many amazing things for the world. But we have to be careful, fetish - having a fetishization of new technology, as if the new technology is going to solve all the problems that the last technology created.

We need to marry technology with the humanities. We need more diversity in Silicon Valley but that diversity should not just be demographic diversity.


We need artists, humanity - humanists in this - in this industry, we don't just want to AB test our way towards the next great experiment. I think that will be very dangerous, because human beings are on these platforms.

LEMON: Well, as Kaitlan and I just pointed out, people don't want to go into the office anymore, specifically.

COLLINS: No, I think people do want to go to the office. I actually disagree with that.

LEMON: Do you think people want to go into the office?

CHESKY: I think that some people do. Some people don't. And I think a lot of young people that want to make friends want to go in the office, think other people have families and others, maybe less so. I don't think we want to go office five days a week, some people do. I mean, we're generalizing.

LEMON: So is that sustainable? That's the question.

CHESKY: Which part? The plan?

LEMON: Yes. Is it sustainable for people not to go into work, or to have this sort of hybrid situation that you're.

CHESKY: I don't think pure remote is sustainable. And I don't think that three days a week, or maybe - maybe three days a week, five days a weeks is sustainable. I think we end up with something in between, I think everyone's like kind of negotiating and diverging towards this in between. And we're all going to design it together. We've chosen more of an immersion where you have flexibility, like you want to go away for the summer, you can go away for the summer. But then we're going to gather together for like, really big burst of time. And then when you do gather together, I don't think, I mean I don't know if the purpose is to go to office, just sit at a desk. And then be in a conference room, if you're going to be together be together to do somebody - somebody--

COLLINS: With intention.

CHESKY: It's the person who designed the Apple office, the Apple campus Norman Foster. I've met him once. And he said, the office of the future must do what your home cannot do. What Zoom cannot do. And so if the office didn't exist, imagine there were no offices, would we invent them? And if we invented an office from scratch, what would it look like? I don't know. But it wouldn't look like this.

HARLOW: If you walk around the Apple campus, you see how that is true.


HARLOW: Before you go, I don't think people know this about you. So you made a big call on the January 6 insurrection day. You said we're done. We're not renting out these Airbnbs for the for the inauguration. You were really worried about it. And you got a lot of people who said that was a political move. You then went on to say the company is not donating to any election deniers.


HARLOW: Can you just speak about making those hard decisions as some see as politically divisive in a moment like this when America still feels so divided?

CHESKY: This is really hard. When do we weigh in? When don't we weigh in? We're - I don't consider us that much of a political company. There's a - there's a balance. We want to leave with values. At the same time, we have 4 million people in some nights living together from nearly every country in the world with different political backgrounds and we have to be able to be bridge builders, bringing them together.

So I've chosen to weigh in when they are issues that we know something about. When there was a travel ban. In early 2017, we said well, we know something about travel. So we're going to speak out against that and we spoke out against it. We even put together a Super Bowl ad. There are there other issues that we don't weigh in as much. So I think it's really about do these issues, connect to who you are as a company what you stand.

HARLOW: Still no donations to election deniers.


HARLOW: OK, Brian Chesky.

LEMON: Very good. Good for you. Thank you for doing that. Good for you.

HARLOW: Thanks for joining us.

CHESKY: Thank you very much.

HARLOW: Come back. Thank you.

CHESKY: All right. Thank you.

COLLINS: All right, Justin, CNN has learned President Biden told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he actually hopes that she stays in her leadership position. This as she is set to announce basically any moment now her political future.

LEMON: Plus a quick shout out our friend Audie Cornish's new podcast out today, The Assignment. She knows the assignment.

HARLOW: It's so good.


COLLINS: Such a good name.

LEMON: Yes, pull out of their digital echo chambers, which everyone needs to do. Look at that. Great picture, isn't it?


LEMON: We love Audie.

COLLINS: She's awesome.

HARLOW: She's the best.

LEMON: or wherever you get your podcasts, back in a moment.