Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

More Than 5.5 Feet Of Snow Has Fallen In Parts Of Western New York; Attorney General Merrick Garland Names Special Counsel To Oversee Trump Probes; Police: Four Idaho Students Were "Likely Asleep Before Stabbing; Elizabeth Holmes Sentenced To More Than 11 Years Behind Bars; University of Virginia Shooting Victim's Mother Says He Was Warning Others When Shot; North Korea Launches Long Range Missile Capable Of Reaching United States. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired November 19, 2022 - 07:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Good morning, everyone. And welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. I'm Amara Walker.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): And I'm Martin Savidge, in for Boris Sanchez, parts of New York, getting slammed with what already is, in some areas, a historic snowstorm.

SAVIDGE: With more than five feet of snow and life-threatening conditions, we'll have the latest forecast ahead.

WALKER: The Justice Department appoints a special counsel to oversee to federal investigations into former President Trump. What it means now for his potential legal Jeopardy?

SAVIDGE: And turmoil inside the world of Twitter. And social media platform faces another chaotic week, following a staff exodus. Is the social media platform on the brink of collapse?

WALKER: Plus, police revealing new details about the killings of four University of Idaho students. We're going to have the latest on the investigation as a search for a suspect intensifies.

WALKER: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. It is Saturday, November 19. And welcome, Martin. It's so nice to have you in studio.

SAVIDGE: Thank you. It's great to be here and great to be with all of you at home.

We begin in Western New York, where there are millions of people that are getting slammed by a massive lake effect snow storm.

SAVIDGE: More than 5-1/2 feet of snow covering the town of Orchard Park that's right near Buffalo. But many areas have seen just over an inch of snow.

WALKER: The winter storm has been blamed for at least two deaths so far. Officials say those two people died after suffering cardiac arrest while shoveling or blowing snow.

In an area familiar with heavy snowfall, officials are taking no chances. A state of emergency is in place now for 11 counties. And Erie County issued a combination of travel bans and travel advisories to peak -- to keep people off the roads.


DAN NEAVERTH, COMMISSIONER, ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY EMERGENCY SERVICES: Make sure that you're not the reason why ambulances or fire apparatus or the ploughs can't get through. Stay off the roads. It's Saturday. There's absolutely no reason to be out there today.

The only people that need to be out there are public safety individuals. So, stay off the roads.


WALKER: The storm has forced airlines as you would imagine to cancel flights and also knocked out power to 1000s of customers. And the region is bracing for more.

CNN's Gloria Pazmino is live in Buffalo this morning. And CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN Weather Center.

SAVIDGE: We begin with Gloria. And Gloria, and people are, of course, used to heavy snow in that part of the country. But this is on the borderline of historic.

GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN NEWSOURCE NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Absolutely, Martin. And not only that, but it is actually quite dangerous, and you heard it from the county executive. They are asking people to stay home and out of the roads, unless they absolutely have to go out there.

Just take a look here behind me. You can see the stop sign almost covered all the way half halfway to the top. The area here in downtown Buffalo has been getting hit for several hours to south towns pummeled yesterday. And now, we are beginning to see the effects of this lake effect snow.

Now, overnight, several rescues from people who were out on the road dozens of vehicles had to be abandoned. And more than 300 tickets were actually issued to motorists who went out there when the driving ban was in effect.

As the county executive said, if you are out there right now you are only adding to the problem. There is cleanup crews that are trying to keep up with the effort here.

You know the snow has not stopped falling yet. So, this is going to take a while. And this snow. It is not only extremely wet, but it is heavy. It is packed. There is ice underneath it.

So, if you do not need to be out there right now. Stay home. Wait it out. The county executive also just said, know your limitations, if you are going to be doing any cleanup.

Unfortunately, two people have died as a result of the storm suffering cardiac episodes while they were trying to clean up. So, if you absolutely do not need to start cleaning up. Just wait it out, let the professionals handle it. And just wait it out.

The storm is not over yet here downtown Buffalo, we are expecting to see more snowfall over the next several hours. And although Buffalonians are quite familiar with this, it's still extremely disruptive. Things very much at a standstill right now.

WALKER: Gloria, you are tough. I don't even hear your teeth chattering. I remember standing on the snow my days in Chicago, and I remember I had to take those portable heat packs. I don't know if you know this or you kind of shake it in, and I would just stick it all over my body, keeping myself warm.


PAZMINO: I'm covered in dumb, you just can't see though.

WALKER: Are you? Oh, good. Good, smart woman. Gloria, good to see you. Thank you so much.

And CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar is live in the CNN Weather Center with more on this.

And Allison, I was just listening to Gloria talk about, you know, wet snow, which means that it's heavy, right? So, that there's implications when it comes to roofs, snow on roofs, and also power lines.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and that's a concern, because right now, the city of Buffalo is getting a little bit of a short window break.

And so, the inherent thing that people want to do is they want to go out. They want to clear it out while they've gotten a little bit of a break. But be careful when you do that. Because again, this isn't just two to four inches of snow, it is two to four feet of snow.

And so, you don't want to be rushed in that process. Again, know your limits.

Right now we're getting a little bit of a break in Buffalo. That band is just off to the north side. But look, it's not the only state. New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, all looking at ongoing snow right now. It's just going to shift back and forth.

So, we talked about the break in Buffalo. It's expected to shift back into the city tonight and continue through Sunday morning. So, it's a very narrow window there, folks. This is a look yesterday at Buffalo where the cameras located. It's not snowing, but you can see just about a mile or two off into the distance, it's coming down in blankets.

And again, it was coming down at three, four, even five inches an hour at some point yesterday.

Buffalo itself picking up just about 14 inches. That is a daily record. But again, here's the thing, you look at that narrow line, it doesn't shift all that much, but even a few miles makes a huge difference.

We've just got some new totals in now. Take a look at this Natural Bridge in New York, just shy of six feet. 70 inches of snow and it's still snowing in a lot of these places.

Orchard Park, Blasdell, Hamburg, all over 60 inches. So, you're talking five and almost six feet of snow.

For those unfamiliar with where those cities are, they fall in these pink highlighted areas here. So, you've got two separate areas, both for areas around Lake Ontario as well as Lake Erie.

But it's not just those Lakes, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, you're also dealing with some pretty significant lake effect snow as well, not just for the last 24 to 48 hours, but for the next 24 to 48 hours.

So, as we go through the weekend, we can expect more. Most areas when we talk about additional snow, we're going to be talking in the range of about six to 12 inches, but there will be some spots, especially up across Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where 20 to 24 inches on top of what we've already had is not out of the question.

And so, again, Martin and Amara, I mean, it's just it's kind of mind boggling to think about two more feet on top of four to six feet already.

SAVIDGE: Yes, absolutely, it is. And as we started off, talking about the weight on roofs is truly a danger.


SAVIDGE: I mean, collapsing buildings and roofs has led to fatalities.

WALKER: Well, but does that mean if that's that much snow. I mean, for people in single family homes. I mean, are you going to be able to open your door when it's all said and done?

CHINCHAR: A lot of people at that point go out to the garage because it lifts up versus going out or in. So, you can lift the garage and maybe exit out that way.

SAVIDGE: Yes, you really got to have an escape room.

All right, Allison Chinchar, thank you so much for that.

SAVIDGE (voice over): And coming up in the next hour. We'll get an update on the situation in Buffalo from the mayor, Mayor Byron Brown.

SAVIDGE (on camera): Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he is appointing a special counsel to oversee the ongoing federal investigations into Donald Trump. WALKER (voice over): Jack Smith is his name. The former head of the Justice Department's public integrity section will lead the department's probe into the former president's possible mishandling of classified documents and key parts of its January 6 case.

Trump who has announced he is running for president in 2024, just this past week, is of course, lashing out at the Special Counsel appointments saying, it's "a horrendous abuse of power".

Here is Garland explaining his decision.


MERRICK GARLAND, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: Based on recent developments, including the former president's announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.


SAVIDGE: And joining us now to give his perspective is former U.S. Attorney Michael Moore. Thank you very much for joining us this morning, Michael. And, you know --



SAVIDGE: So, I get the Justice Department the conflict of interest and of course why they do this. I'm wondering, what do you think this appointment means for Trump?

MOORE: Well, I'm glad to be with you. And I think the appointment is a little bit interesting and that you don't usually see this as far along in the investigation. The whole idea of the appointment is to try to remove the appearance of any conflict, but they've been subpoenaed people, they've been having grand juries, they've been fighting about the documents in court already, the government has.

So, it's the time is a little suspect and maybe a little disingenuous to say I'm just now learning that maybe we're going to have a Biden- Trump election. I'm not sure. I believe much of that.


For him, I mean, I think it continues to give him a megaphone, it continues to sort of amplify his say that this is -- he feels like he's being persecuted, that this is a witch hunt.


SAVIDGE: Yes. I'm a victim. I'm a victim. What she always said.

MOORE: Well, and it's smart on his part, if you think about it, because he's lost everywhere in the courtroom. But when he lose in the courtroom, he try to move to the newsroom, so that you can maintain control of the news cycle.

I don't know that it means a lot as far as what the investigation does. I think this is a prosecutor who, by everything I know, is a law-and-order guy who likes indictments. I wouldn't be surprised to see some cases moving along. I don't think it necessarily speeds it up. If anything, I think it might slow it down.

SAVIDGE: What about indictment? Do you think it makes it more likely?

MOORE: I don't know about that. I mean, I think that you're going to see some people in his orbit indicted, I think that's likely to say. I don't know about Trump. I think probably the worst case he's got against him from the federal side would be the documents case.

But I don't know that you need a special counsel at this point to do that.

It gives Garland some cover on both the -- for the Trump supporters who think that maybe it's just political, but it also gives him some cover on the -- on the non-Trump supporters, who can -- because he could say why didn't make the decision not to indict.

WALKER: Yes, but, when you -- when you talk about it, it possibly slowing things down, though, but it could that case be made that it might speed things up as well, because if Trump has announced he's running in 2024, there is a campaign season that they're up against, which could force the special counsel to move maybe even faster if there is an indictment?

MOORE: And I think that's sort of the unique posture that we're in, because the whole idea of the Special Counsel is to be apolitical, and to have no political considerations in your investigation.

But to think that he might speed up a cause of a political campaign, it flies in the face of the reason for his -- for his appointment. So, you're going to have some of the same prosecutors working on the case, that's not going to be different, that we already know, people from the Justice Department is sort of move in over to the special counsels team.

So, those things will go on, the question will be what does he need to do to get up to speed? What does he need to do to feel comfortable if he's going to make a recommendation? And again, it's just a recommendation that attorney general at the end of the day has to approve the decision?

WALKER: But why is that appointment, the timing of it suspect to you? Because, I mean, obviously, we were all waiting to see if Trump would actually make it official, there was a lot of talk that he might run, and he finally announced it. And that's why, the attorney general came out to say, all right, because of this announcement, we will now have to appoint an independent counsel.

MOORE: I don't think you needed Nostradamus to tell us that Trump was going to run. I mean, I think he's been sort of signaling this all along. And at the very least, you're talking about an investigation into the guy who ran against your boss, if you're Garland in -- you know, in the last election.

So, you still have the same concerns about some appearance that there might be a political payback, or there might be something -- some reason that you would want to have somebody come in.

And so, now, after the investigation is going on, after they conducted a raid, and apparently approved a raid on his residence, after they came in, and they've been talking in court, and I've got a special master looking at documents. And after we've had grand juries in Washington, talking about the January 6 events and other obstruction about the 2020 election.

It's just an unusual time. And a special counsel, is generally like Mueller was, you're brought in to start the investigation so that the investigation looks clean from the outset. And that's not what happened here.

And so, I don't know. I mean, there have been other political cases we know about, and you hadn't had special counsel. This seems a little different to me. You know, we don't want to second guess everything Garland does, and that's not that wouldn't be appropriate. He might know stuff, and certainly does that we don't know.

But to say it's because suddenly Trump announced he was going to run. And the Joe Biden is saying he's going to run. That seems like not the strongest answer I might give on the question.

SAVIDGE: Yes. The January 6 investigation has been underway for two years.

MOORE: That's right.


MOORE: And we've been subpoenaed people and having grand juries, and now suddenly, we're going to think there might be a conflict. That seems a little, a little bit of a stretch to me.

WALKER: What I can't imagine this is going to really offer that layer of protection or insulate the DOJ from political attacks. Because obviously, with Mueller's appointment, we know -- we know, there was a lot of attacks of witch hunt and other claims of that sort.

MOORE: Yes. That's right.

WALKER: Yes, but we have to leave it there. Michael Moore, thanks for coming in and great to see you this morning.

MOORE: Great to be with you all. Good to see you all too.

WALKER: All right. Still to come this morning. As a search for a killer continues in Idaho, police are releasing new details including a timeline of leading up to the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students.

WALKER: We'll tell you what we're learning.

SAVIDGE: Plus, meeting face to face for the first time. What Vice President Kamala Harris discussed with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


Plus, a mass exodus at Twitter. Is leaving the future of that social media site in limbo, and it puts privacy as risks for users?


WALKER (on camera): New details this morning in the -- in the investigation into the brutal stabbing of four University of Idaho students.

WALKER (voice over): Authorities say they were likely asleep before being attacked, but that some of the victims had defensive wounds, indicating a possible struggle.

SAVIDGE: The family member of one of the students told inside edition that her sister Kaylee Goncalves was a fighter.


ALIVEA GONCALVES, SISTER OF KAYLEE GONCALVES: All of this is so confusing to us because Kaylee is not stupid. She's a smart girl. She's a strong girl. She's a mean girl. She's a fighter.

SAVIDGE: Police also say that two of the victims used a private party to get a ride home on the night of the stabbing.

Previously, investigators believed that they had gotten into an Uber. CNNs Veronica Miracle has the very latest on the investigation for us.


KAYLEE GONCALVES, IDAHO MURDER VICTIM: Did anybody do their chores today? I'm just going to do it.

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Video of three of the University of Idaho stabbing victims, posted on Kaylee Goncalves's TikTok account, shows the roommates, all pretending to be each other. Getting a glimpse of their friendship and their lives together in the three-story house, just weeks before they were brutally murdered.


MIRACLE: On the night of the murders, Ethan Chapin and Xana Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi fraternity, at the University of Idaho, between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves, visited a local sports bar from 10:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Then, a food truck around 1:40 a.m. Police releasing a map showing those exact locations for the first time, hoping new leads will break the case.

AARON SNELL, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, IDAHO STATE POLICE: We believe that releasing information about the location of the victims throughout the night might generate some information that we can follow up on.

MIRACLE: Police say all of the victims were home by 1:45 a.m. Their bodies found on the second and third floors of the home.

Is the first floor where the roommates were sleeping?

SNELL: Yes, we have now identified where the remains were.

MIRACLE: But the biggest question is who killed them and why? There are still no suspects.

SNELL: We still contend that this was targeted. We cannot divulge the information of why we believe that or how. That is integral to this investigation.

MIRACLE: Police are clarifying why they're not releasing more information about the victims' roommates who were at home during the attacks.

SNELL: In a case, someone may potentially be a victim. They may be a witness or they may be a suspect. In this case, we don't know what the roommates are exactly at this time

MIRACLE: Xana Kernodle's father saying he talked to his daughter that night she died.

JEFFREY KERNODLE, FATHER OF XANA KERNODLE: I heard from her just before we went out. I think midnight is the last time I heard from her and she was fine. They were just hanging out home.

MIRACLE: Her father too distraught to be interviewed on camera, saying he has learned that his daughter had defensive wounds, showing she fought her attacker.

KERNODLE: Bruises, you know, maybe occurred by the knife, or whatever.


KERNODLE: She's a tough kid. Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it.

MIRACLE: The county coroner confirmed to CNN that some of the students likely had defensive stab wounds to the hands, and there were no signs of sexual assault, or an issue of drugs or alcohol.

But each student had multiple stab wounds?

CATHY MABBUTT, CORONER, LATAH COUNTY: That's correct. That's really the main thing that I saw, was a lot of blood.

MIRACLE: The victims' friends and co-workers say now they just want to honor their memories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just brought light to the room that they were in. They were always positive.

MIRACLE: Police say there were no signs of forced entry into the home. And now, Xana Kernodle's father, telling our affiliate that in order to get inside the house, you either have to do the door code to get into the front or go through the sliding glass door in the back.

So, he presumes that whoever did this new how to get inside the home. Veronica Miracle, CNN, Moscow, Idaho.


SAVIDGE: In other news, Elizabeth Holmes, a disgraced entrepreneur, behind the blood testing startup, the Theranos is now headed to prison for at least the next decade.

WALKER: Holmes was sentenced on Friday, following her conviction in January for defrauding investors, while running the failed company. CNN's Natasha Chen has more.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Martin and Amara, Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison, as well as three years of supervised release after that. She was fined $400. But a separate date will be set to determine restitution, a possible $800 million.

Holmes was convicted in January on four counts of defrauding investors, but found not guilty of defrauding patients. She had at one time been an icon in Silicon Valley for being a young female entrepreneur, starting the company Theranos, and claiming her technology could use just a few drops of blood to conduct a variety of tests. But that technology didn't work.

Prosecutors said when faced with failure, she chose fraud. A separate trial earlier this year found Theranos' second in command Sunny Balwani guilty on 12 counts on fraud.

Holmes has to turn herself into custody next April, and that may have something to do with the fact that she is currently pregnant.

Her pregnancy and her 1-year-old child with partner Billy Evans were brought up by some of her supporters when they wrote to the judge, stating how one must consider very young children growing up without their mother.

There were more than 100 letters written in her support. Holmes had a chance to speak for herself on Friday before the judge read her sentence. She was emotional and telling the court, "The people I tried to get involved with Theranos were the people I loved and respected the most. I am devastated by my failings."

Her team is expected to appeal her conviction and sentence.

Amara and Martin, back to you. WALKER: What a fall for Elizabeth Holmes.

SAVIDGE: Yes, really.


WALKER: All right. With GOP lawmakers already taking aim at the Biden administration, how the White House is bracing for the legislative showdown? That's next.


WALKER: Well, the White House this morning bracing for a showdown with Republicans and their subpoena power when they take control of the House next year. Republican leaders this week are laying out a number of investigative targets focused on President Biden and his family's business ties.

SAVIDGE: James Comer, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee says he wants to talk directly to members of the Biden family, including his son, Hunter.

Meantime, House Republicans are also putting DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on notice to potentially testify about border security.

CNN's Arlette Saenz is at the White House this morning. And Arlette, the Biden administration is calling this a politically motivated and a waste of time. Sounds interesting.

What are the investigation is about and how is the president preparing to defend himself and his family?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, good morning, Martin and Amara.

The House Republicans have really been signaling for months that they were prepared to launch these investigations.


And over here at the White House, they have been preparing for this announcements that came this week as House Republicans really laid out their plans into what exactly they would be investigating.

It really ranges among a host of issues. These are these are expected to be investigations from various committees, including the House Oversight Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and others.

And those topics are set to include things like the COVID-19 pandemic, also, that withdrawal from Afghanistan, which has been something that Republicans have said they wanted to look into for over a year now.

There is also questions about Southern border security that they want to look into. And probably perhaps the most personal one for this White House is those investigations that they are planning into the president son Hunter and his foreign business dealings. Now, the House Republicans have already been saying and requesting information from this White House and they've also put some members of the Department of Homeland Security on notice, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, saying that he and others will be requested to testify before Congress when they reconvene in January and House Republicans take over the majority.

But over here at the White House, they haven't been engaged in month long preparation, hiring a new lawyer to oversee these investigation -- requests that will be coming their way.

They've also been meeting with lawyers from top departments. From the Justice Department to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

For the president, for his part, he has said that he believes that these investigations are going to be a sideshow. He had a press conference recently, he described it as a bit of comedy.

WALKER: Yes, and Arlette, you know, the president also fighting fires on another front today over that controversial decision by the administration to grant immunity to the Saudi Crown Prince MBS, even though U.S. Intelligence said he approved that operation that resulted in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist.

I know there has been fierce and angry backlash. What does that been like? And how is the White House defending this about face?

SAENZ: Yes, this is a move that really has come as a surprise to some lawmakers and also human rights groups, and frankly, the fiancee of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Now, the Biden administration has said that this was a determination based on Saudi Crown Prince's -- Mohammed bin Salman's role as the country's prime minister, the head of foreign government.

That this is something -- immunity is typically granted in cases that involve of foreign heads of government. But take a listen to how White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended this decision yesterday.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States consistently has afforded head of state immunity to heads of governments, such as prime ministers, consistent with customary institutional law, U.S. practice on this issue is long standing and consistent, including a number of head of state immunity cases from the past four administrations.

SAENZ: So, there, she is saying that this is a long standing legal practice that the United States offers. And that she, the White House and other agencies has also argue that this is not based on the merits of the case. You all remember that the Biden administration did determine that the crown prince likely ordered that operation, that brutal operation that murdered, that Washington Post journalist.

SAVIDGE: Arlette Saenz, thanks very much, reporting from the White House. Good to see you this morning.

Now, let's bring in our CNN political analyst Rachael Bade. She is co- author of the political -- POLITICO, rather, playbook. And she also co-wrote, Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress's Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump.

Good morning to you, Rachel. Got to say, you're quite a week to come back from maternity leave. So, welcome back.


SAVIDGE: Let's kind of lay out the state of play here. Democrats, of course, still in the control of the Senate and White House for a little while, but Republicans will be in charge of the House, we know, starting in January.

So, they're going to be setting the agenda, pushing new legislation, and most importantly, launching oversight investigation. So, what are the biggest threats that are facing the president and his family right now?

BADE: Look, I think, Republicans have obviously not been shy about saying they're going to go after President Biden the same way that Democrats did President Trump in terms of their investigations. Of course, there's a big difference here. The level of scandal that sort of surrounded the Trump White House was, you know, tenfold compared to what we're seeing with the Biden administration right now.

And I think, you could sort of break these Republican investigations into sort of two categories if we're being honest with each other one.

One is going to be sort of legitimate investigative oversight. Questions surrounding the pull out of Afghanistan. That's have long sort of haunted the Biden administration, given that Americans died, and a lot of people died. I think that sort of inquiry is going to -- is going to have legs.


But there's also be a very politicized investigations, things like investigating Hunter Biden, the president's son's business dealings. And you compare that to Trump profiting off the Oval Office himself. There's really not much in terms of matching up things -- matching things up there. Very different sort of investigation.

One thing I would say to keep in mind is that as we -- I reported, in my book, unchecked, Republicans were privately very concerned that Trump was ignoring oversight during all those years in the White House. And he was basically ignoring subpoenas, not cooperating with Hill investigations.

It will be interesting to see if the Biden White House does the same. Given that there is now a precedent for a president to completely stonewall investigations that they don't want to cooperate with.

And so, we'll see if Biden does that as well. SAVIDGE: Right. It is -- it will be an interesting juxtaposition. I want to play for you a clip from our Pamela Brown's interview that she did with Representative James Comer. He is, of course, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee. And take a listen.


REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): There is no plans to subpoena Joe Biden. There are plans to subpoena Hunter Biden.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR AND SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Why then would you not subpoena Joe Biden if this is all about Joe Biden?

COMER: Well, it's complicated to subpoena president of the United States.


SAVIDGE: It seems hard to believe that there is no plan to go after the president. And so, I'm wondering, do you think he's being coy here? Or, you know, even if the president isn't subpoenaed, surely he's going to be drawn into these investigations?

BADE: Sure. I mean, just look at Democrats oversight of President Trump. I mean, there was no understanding even on the part of Democrats back then that they were going to be able to subpoena the sitting President of the United States.

Usually, with congressional oversight, you sort of start with lower level underlings, people who might know something about a scandal, and then you work toward the president's inner circle.

And so, what we will likely see is Republicans going after Cabinet secretaries, going after top Biden advisors. But regarding the president himself, I don't think Republicans are under any impression that they could win something like that. And it would go to court, it would sort of drag things out. And frankly, they could actually get more information, if they focused on people who are underneath the president.

SAVIDGE: I want to before we run out of time, ask you this. So, Republicans, of course, campaigned on crime, they campaigned on the economy, and they campaigned on the border. Is this going to be -- to go after these investigations, does the public sit there and say, well, wait a minute, you were going to fix things for us not go after people for us.

BADE: Yes, Republicans have put himself in a really tricky position. I mean, they did campaign on all these things, like you mentioned, and yet this is divided government. So, they could pass as many bills as they want to try to do things on inflation or, or what have you.

And we might not see things go through the Senate and make it to the president's desk. So, a lot of empty promises there that they campaigned on. The other thing I would say is you got to watch these moderate House Republicans, who came to Washington again, talking about inflation, they have no interest in the spotlight turning to an investigation of Hunter Biden. And, in fact, worried that that could have a blowback for them politically.

And with McCarthy having such a slim majority, that could really cause a problem for him. He's going to see a very divided conference where you have members like Comer, and Jim Jordan, the top ally of Donald Trump, who want to have these very aggressive investigations.

And then these moderate Republicans who are saying, wait, this is a total distraction, we need to be focusing on the issues that we ran on, to try to, to try to keep our seats, frankly in 2024.

So, it's going to be a lot of infighting amongst Democrats, as well as the fighting obviously, between the Biden administration and these House Republicans.

SAVIDGE: It's going to be a tricky road for them to navigate. All right, Rachael Bade, great to see you again. Thank you for joining us.

BADE: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: We want to add a quick programming note to make sure to tune in tomorrow night at 8:00, as Sara Sidner host "MICHELLE OBAMA'S MISSION", a conversation with Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney and Melinda Gates. And that will be right here on CNN.


We'll be right back.


SAVIDGE: Vice President Kamala Harris speaking for the first time as Vice President with China's President Xi today. Harris and Xi had a brief meeting on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bangkok.

WALKER: In a tweet, the vice president said she spoke to Xi about maintaining open lines of communication between the two countries. And Chinese state media reporting, President Xi told Harris, he hoped the U.S. and China could bring their relations back on a "healthy and stable track".

Now, the meeting between Harris and Xi comes as there is renewed focus on combating North Korea's escalating missile tests.

SAVIDGE: On Friday, North Korea tested another in an intercontinental ballistic missile. It was the 34th this year they had tested. This one was capable we're told of breaching the United States.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Kim Jong-un introduces his daughter to the world, holding her hand as he guides the launch of his country's most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.

North Korea claims it tested the new type of ICBM Hwasong-17 on Friday. His wife and child at his side, Kim is quoted as saying he will react to nukes with nuclear weapons, and total confrontation with all out confrontation, pointing firmly at the United States and "other hostile forces."


Japan's defense minister says this ICBM could theoretically travel more than 15,000 kilometers or 9,300 miles if fired at a regular angle, meaning it could hit mainland United States.

ANKIT PANDA, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: I don't think this necessarily represents a game changer. We've known that North Korea has the ability to arrange the continental United States for more than five years now.

So, the basic picture between the United States and North Korea remains the same.

HANCOCKS: Forces at the U.S. Misawa Air Base in Japan were ordered to shelter in place shortly after the launch.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This conduct by North Korea most recently is a brazen violation of multiple U.N. security resolutions. It destabilizes security in the region, and unnecessarily raises tensions.

HANCOCKS: Vice President Harris met with allied leaders on the sidelines of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Thailand, all condemned the launch and vowed to work closely together.

Physical responses were swift. Japan dispatched aircraft and F-15, filming this, what they believe to be the contrails or vapor trails of the ballistic missile.

The U.S. and South Korean Air Forces took to the air in a joint drill, simulating aerial strikes on mobile missile launches.

The launch follows strong words from North Korea's foreign minister Choe Son-hui, who warned the U.S. of a fiercer military counteraction, and condemned President Biden's discussions about Kim Jong-un's missile program at the G20 summit earlier this week.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm confident China is not looking for North Korea to engage in further escalatory mean.

HANCOCKS: But North Korea continues to break its own record for firing missiles with 34 days of launches this year.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

WALKER: Still to come this morning as concerns grow over the fate of Twitter, it's more than just a social media site to millions around the world. We'll explain. Next.



SAVIDGE: Here, "TOP STORIES" that we are following this morning. The mother of Mike Hollins, one of the survivors from Sunday shooting that killed three University of Virginia football players says her son was trying to warn others before being struck by gunfire.

WALKER: Hollins remains hospitalized and has undergone several surgeries after being severely wounded when a fellow student opened fire on a bus. Returning to campus from a class trip.

SAVIDGE: An airline passenger has been detained and arrested after allegedly charging and banging on the cockpit door for a flight from Poland to -- landed at JFK Airport. That was last night.

WALKER: Yes. Flight crew and passengers kept the man restrained until police boarded that plane, but a flight attendant was hit in the head. It's unclear what charges the man is facing. But officials say that decision will be made by the FBI.

SAVIDGE: Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, continuing his chaotic reign, I guess, the way to describe it over the social media platform. On Friday, Musk unbanned several controversial Twitter accounts and is currently running a public poll on whether to reinstate former President Donald Trump's account.

WALKER: CNN's Oliver Darcy breaks down Twitter's tailspin and what it means for the future of the social media site, and its users.

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER (on camera): The future of Twitter is uncertain after a mass exodus of staffers has depleted the company of key personnel really needed to run this social media web site.

DARCY (voice over): Earlier this week, Elon Musk gave staffers a choice. Staffers who were remaining after he implemented those big layoffs earlier this month. The choice was do hardcore work, or leave Twitter altogether.

Hundreds of staffers apparently chose that they wanted out. They wanted to leave the company and not engage in this supposed hardcore work. And that's raised questions about whether this social media site, this platform can stay online.

It's also raised questions about user privacy and user data and what might happen to it if this platform does fall apart at the seams.

Even the White House is now raising these questions, calling on Twitter to detail to the public how user data is going to be secured.

But we should remember why this is so important. Twitter is not just a social media web site. Twitter is so much bigger than that. World leaders like the president of the United States, they communicate on Twitter.

DARCY (on camera): Celebrities, brands, they make major announcements on Twitter. Dissidents in countries with oppressive regimes, they organize on Twitter. And journalists, they news gather on Twitter.

It's very important. It's like the digital town square. And so, if Twitter were to fall apart, if it were to die, it would have serious ramifications for how information flows across the globe.

Of course, Twitter right now is still online, but we'll see what happens in the days ahead.

Oliver Darcy, CNN, New York.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Yes. Thank you very much. Well, it is a nice day for a White House wedding. It's kind of Billie Eilish.


Next, we'll have a preview as President Biden's eldest granddaughter gets ready to walk down the aisle.


WALKER: A big weekend. A celebrations kicking off at the White House today. The president's eldest granddaughter is set to walk down the aisle on the South Lawn.

SAVIDGE: CNN's Kate Bennett gives us a preview with more.

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (on camera): That's right, Amara and Martin. Today is the big day for Naomi Biden, it's her wedding at the White House. Only the 19th wedding at the White House to take place in American history.

She is, of course, Joe Biden's oldest granddaughter. She's marrying her boyfriend or fiance, Peter Neal on the White House South Lawn, today at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception, a small luncheon for just family and the wedding party.

And then, later in the evening, guests will come back for dessert and dancing, and an evening reception at the White House.

It's a very exciting time. But not only is it Naomi's wedding weekend, it's also President Biden's 80th birthday. He turns 80 on Sunday, of course, making him the only octogenarian in the White House, in the presidency in American history.


So, big for us lots of celebrations happening at the White House.