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CNN This Morning

U.S. Averts Government Shutdown; Congress Comes Together to Avoid Government Shutdown; Largest Health Care Strike in U.S. History Could Start This Week; 75K Plus Kaiser Permanente Workers Could Strike Wednesday; New York Attorney General's Civil Fraud Lawsuit Against Donald Trump and his Eldest Sons is Set to Begin Tomorrow; Trump's $250 Million Fraud Trial Begins Monday; Late Senator Dianne Feinstein Returns to California; Pelosi Accompanying Senator Feinstein's Body to California; New Aid for Ukraine Axed as U.S. Government Avoid Shutdown. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 01, 2023 - 06:00   ET




OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to CNN "This Morning." It is Sunday, October 1st. We've made it to October. I'm Omar Jimenez.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good to be with, Omar. I'm Amara Walker. Here is what we are watching for you this morning. The U.S. averts a government shutdown, at least for now. But more questions than answers remain especially when it comes to the future of the house speaker.

Plus, the largest health care strike in U.S. history could start this week. 75,000 workers ready to hit the picket lines without a deal. We are going to speak with one of them.

JIMENEZ: Also, the trial in the New York attorney general's civil fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump and his eldest sons is set to begin tomorrow. We will have a preview of what to expect.

And the final journey home for a political trailblazer. The late Senator Dianne Feinstein returns to California. We will have more on the emotional return and her lasting legacy.

First, a sigh of relief this morning in D.C. as Congress comes together to avoid a government shutdown, for now. The last-minute deal came in the final hours before the critical midnight deadline. When it looked like nothing was going to pass, Congress quickly reversed course. With Democratic support, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy got a deal together that will extend government funding for 45 days.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You have members in your conference that won't let you vote for appropriation bills, doesn't want an omnibus and won't vote for a stopgap measure. So, the only answer is to shut down and not pay our troops? I don't want to be a part of that team. I want to be a part of the conservative group that wants to get things done.


JIMENEZ: Obviously, political implications for McCarthy in this as well. The bill then quickly passed the Senate and was signed by President Biden before time ran out.

WALKER: He signed that bill with less than an hour to spare. So, talk about running up the clock. So, the short-time -- the short-term deal will keep the government open through November 17th. It includes funding for national disaster aid and a measure to keep the FAA operational. But some things were left out, including funding for Ukraine and border security. Not everyone, as you'd imagine, is pleased with the way that things went down in the end.


REP. TROY NEHLS (R-TX): I think it's shameful in many, many ways.

REP. WESLEY HUNT (R-TX): We cannot continue to kick this can down the road.

REP. RALPH NORMAN (R-SC): I am disappointed. I wish we had followed it. We just didn't fight.

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): We should have forced them to come to the negotiating table and come to conference and hash out our differences.


WALKER: So, the question now is, will these hardline Republicans who were against this clean bill, will they try to retaliate and do as they vowed to do, working to remove the house speaker, Kevin McCarthy, from his seat? We have live team coverage all morning long following these developments out of the nation's capital. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is at the White House with reaction from the president.

But first, let's go to Annie Grayer. Annie, good morning. What's the next move?

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, good morning, Amara. The next move for Kevin McCarthy is to dig in and dare his hardliners to try to oust him.

Going into Saturday, it seemed like we were headed towards a government shutdown, and that's because Kevin McCarthy was only work within his Republican conference to try to keep the government open and he -- there weren't the votes to do so.

So, Saturday morning when house Republicans met, that was the posture, was preparing Republicans for what a government shutdown would look like. But then, a number of McCarthy's allies stood up and said, we don't want a government shutdown. This would not only be horrible for the country, but be really bad politically.

So, with enough groundswell of support, McCarthy felt like he had the support to do the one thing that he could to keep the government open, which was work with Democrats. And that's exactly what he did. He put a short-term bill on the floor to keep the government open for 45 more days. Democrats support in the House and the Senate. And here we are this morning not in a government shutdown.

But by keeping the government open -- and here as you can see, this is more just what's included this that bill, by keeping the government open McCarthy is doing the one thing that his attracters, like Congressman Matt Gaetz warned him you have. Matt Gaetz has said, if McCarthy worked with Democrats to keep the government open, he would make a move to oust him.


Take a listen to how Congressman Kem Buck frames the current situation.


REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): He promised when he ran for speaker that we would have 12 votes on 12 separate bills, and he did not fulfill that promise. Then he promised the president a very high number on spending and he promised other Republicans in the House lower numbers. So, he has made promises that conflict with each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Monday when you all come in, will there be a motion to vacate the chair, meaning throw him out?

BUCK: Well, I am not going to make that motion. Matt Gaetz may make it, some others may make it. But he's going to have to rely on Democrats again to survive and to keep his speakership.


GRAYER: So, on Monday, when members return, we'll have to see if someone like Matt Gaetz makes a move to try and oust McCarthy. But for now, McCarthy is confident that he has enough support to stay in his job.

JIMENEZ: And it will be interesting to see if Democrats come to his rescue there. Annie, I want to ask about one other thing because, look, deadline day in Congress usually does include some bit of chaos, but shortly, before the vote, Democratic representative, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, was caught on camera pulling the fire alarm. What are you learning about what happened? What is he saying? What is his explanation for this?

GRAYER: Well, Omar, this situation is still unfolding. But I want to start by just reading you a statement from Congress Bowman since the incident happened. He said, today, as I was rushing to make vote, I came to a door that is usually open for votes but today would not open. I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door. I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused. But I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. So, that's the latest from Bowman explaining what happened. But Republicans are accusing Bowman of delaying an official proceeding, because when Bowman pulled that fire alarm, the House was open and voting. Bowman has spoken to the Capitol Police and investigators involved. So, we're going to have to see how this plays out.

WALKER: All right. Annie, thank you for that. And, Priscilla, to you. The president quickly signed the bill into law last night. He didn't have much time to even sign the bill because it was -- he had less than an hour to spare. What was his reaction to this quick turnaround?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: His reaction was twofold, relief that a crisis was averted, but critical that there was a last-minute scramble to begin with. Let me read you the statement from the president released yesterday evening. He said, "Tonight, bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate voted to keep the government open, preventing an unnecessary crisis that would have inflicted needless pain on millions of hardworking Americans." He went to say though that we should have never been in this position in the first place.

Now, over the course of the day, White House officials had been in touch with lawmakers as all of these fast-moving developments were unfolding, including in direct conversations with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Now, as you noted earlier, there are disaster relief funds included in this bill. That's important because those are funds that the White House has been talking about for some time. They had been running almost close to empty, which meant that they had to delay recovery projects that really only focus on life-saving issues and support.

And so, now, they will have those funds, which is some relief for this White House and this administration. But what it doesn't include is Ukraine funding, something that the president has talked about at length. And we've learned that officials were disappointed by that and they had reached out to lawmakers about making sure that that was included, including a top Pentagon official. But in the end, that was just not part of what was included this this bill, although a White House official tells me that they fully anticipate that the house speaker will eventually introduce a stand-alone bill to provide Ukraine that funding.

But the bottom line here is that this caps a dizzying week where millions of federal workers thought they wouldn't be going into work tomorrow.

WALKER: A dizzying, a chaotic and a very stressful. Pricilla Alvarez, thank you for that. Annie Grayer, thank you for your reporting as well.

JIMENEZ: So, lots to talk about here. Joining me now is CNN political analyst and historian Julian Zelizer and reporter for Semafor, Shelby Talcott.

So, look, where do we want to start? Shelby, no secret, Congress likes to get it done at the last minute. And despite any pessimism going into Saturday, they found a way to get it done for now. And Speaker McCarthy took a big political risk in putting in a bipartisan stopgap bill on the floor. But it was the catalyst to get things going. What comes next for McCarthy and what is your sense of what happened yesterday?


SHELBY TALCOTT: REPORTER, SEMAFOR: Yes. I mean, I think what's next is, obviously, a fight to hold onto his position as speaker. The hard right faction has made it very clear they are not happy with what happened. Now, what's interesting is a lot of that faction has not yet come out and explicitly said that they planned to try to oust Speaker McCarthy, but it's certainly an option.

Now, on the flip side, as we heard just a few minutes ago, Speaker McCarthy seems to be kind of egging them on. He is fully prepared to handle this fight. And so, that's going to be something that I anticipate could play out in the coming days.

Now, overall, as you said, this situation came down to the wire. And so, it will be really interesting to see what happens in 45 days when the short-term spending bill is up. You know, I anticipate it to be a fight again. It's probably going to come down to wire. But this is often how Congress works. And so, I wouldn't quite rule it out yet that things will continue to move forward.

JIMENEZ: Yes. And, you know, obviously, 45 days will be here before we know it. I want -- Julian, I want you to take a listen to Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday refusing to say if he would work with Democrats and then after the successful House vote.


MCCARTHY: If somebody wants to make a motion against me, bring it. There has to be an adult in the room. I am going to govern what is best for this country.


JIMENEZ: So, obviously, that was just his part after the House vote. But still very defiant. Of course, he understood the dynamics going into what he put out on the floor, what he helped advance forward. Contextualize the dynamic here in Congress, especially on the House side, because whether it's the budget, debt ceiling, getting the speakership itself, McCarthy has faced this threat from a faction of his own party as some major decision points, have you seen this type of dynamic before and is it one that's sustainable?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. I mean, you can look back to Speaker John Boehner who faced a similar problem with the Tea Party, this is a chaos and dysfunction, this is the nature of contemporary congressional Republican politics. And I think McCarthy is in the same position that Boehner is. He's facing also the potential threat to be ousted, but he is betting that in the end that the hard right doesn't have enough support to do that and that the moderate Republicans who are essential right now to maintaining the majority will be valuable enough that he can protect himself.

And I think he is just going to kind of keep going through this kind of politics indefinitely, at least until the next election.

JIMENEZ: Well, and, Shelby, now that McCarthy's speakership is on the line, it puts Democrats in an interesting position because while they have opposed him in the past, it becomes a question of who would replace him if Republicans decide to vote to oust him, and because this bipartisan stopgap bill passed the House overwhelmingly with only one Democrat not supporting, I want you take a listen to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries after the vote.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: The American people have won. The extreme MAGA Republicans have lost.


JIMENEZ: So, if a motion is brought to oust McCarthy, will House Democrats come to his rescue?

TALCOTT: This is the big question. And I think Democrats are really split on it. You know, will whoever replaces McCarthy be someone that Democrats feel like they can work with, or is this going to be someone who is even more difficult to get things done with?

Now, I also think it's important to note that a lot of Democrats, essentially all of them, are really frustrated that McCarthy decided to sign on to this impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden. And so, I think that's going to be kept in mind when the question is asked, do we help save McCarthy's job?

JIMENEZ: Yes, I mean, and look, the solution here is really only to keep the government open for 45 more days. But Republican lawmakers are still facing the same divisive issues that caused the government to almost shutdown in the first place, namely, lack of funding for Ukraine, for example.

Julian, given the current congressional dynamic, are you optimistic that Republicans could get a full spending bill before November 17th, even more specifically, a spending bill that the Senate can support?

ZELIZER: I am not very optimistic. I don't think the Republican caucus in the House is going to change very much from where they are today and I think all this was, was a band-aid. It was just delaying a decision and I think we are going to face this again.

And in some ways, that's what a lot of Republicans want. It's not simply the outcome, it's the continual chaos, and it keeps the debate focused on do we fund the budget as opposed to other kinds of bigger initiatives that the country needs to deal with. And so, I think we're going to be in the same place come November.

[06:15:00] JIMENEZ: Well, we will see. We know Congress likes to take it to the last minute. So, I have a feeling maybe November 16 we run this back and see where we end up. Shelby Talcott, Julian Zelizer, thank you so much.

For everyone, be sure to watch "State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash" as they speak with Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and one of the GOP hardliners at the center of this funding battle, Congressman Matt Gaetz. It all starts at 9:00 a.m. only on CNN.

WALKER: Yes, the drama is not yet over. Still to come, another industry on the verge of a strike. More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers set to picket in what would be the biggest health care strike in U.S. history. The union's executive director joins us next.

Plus, Former President Trump's $250 million civil fraud trial set to begin Monday in New York. Will Trump be there in person.

Also, the body of Senator Dianne Feinstein returns to California with close friend Nancy Pelosi by her side. We're going to take a look back at Feinstein's iconic legacy.



WALKER: Well, right now, negotiators are scrambling to reach a deal and avoid the biggest health care strike in U.S. history. At midnight Pacific time, a contract for Kaiser Permanente employees ran out.

JIMENEZ: Yes. More than 70,000 -- 75,000 workers across the country will strike starting Wednesday if they can't reach a deal. Kaiser Permanente says operations will be continuing as normal this morning, but the clock is ticking. They released a statement just a few hours ago saying, they reached tentative agreements in four spots, but continue to negotiate.

We're speaking -- we're going to talk with some union members right now. I want to introduce them, Caroline Lucas, the executive director for the coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and Ultrasound Tech Georgette Bradford. So, good morning to both of you. Thank you for waking up with us this morning.

I want to talk about Kaiser Permanente's statement in a second. But first, to you, Georgette. A bit part of all of this is staffing shortages and what it's doing to health care workers and patients. What has it been like?

GEORGETTE BRADFORD, ULTRASOUND TECHNOLOGIST: You know, thank you for asking that question, Omar. As an ultrasound technologist request Kaiser for nearly 20 years, I have never seen it this bad.

For me, in the facility, my co-workers are stressed. They are burned out. Leading to injuries. And we are also losing fellow co-workers to the burnout and the heavy workload because of the Kaiser short staffing crisis. But what does mean to my patients? I do breast imaging. I work in a breast imaging center. And so, a lot of my patients are coming in because they feel a lump or because something's been seen on their mammogram.

And when they are delayed by weeks, by weeks, to get their exam, the amount of torture and anguish and worry that is inflicted on my patients not only is unacceptable, but I feel it's immoral. And I wouldn't want that to happen to my family member. I wouldn't want it to happen to your family member. And that's something that Kaiser executives can't avoid by bargaining in good faith and coming to the table to fix the short staffing crisis.

WALKER: So, Caroline, then lay out for us what union workers are asking for. Of course, I would imagine it would include addressing the staffing shortages, but what else?

CAROLINE LUCAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COALITION OF KAISER PERMANENTE UNIONS: You know, absolutely. What we are worried about is fixing long-term the Kaiser staffing crisis. This has been a crisis that's been brewing for years and Kaiser executives just aren't acting with the urgency that we need to create some long-term stable solutions to this crisis.

JIMENEZ: And, Georgette, you laid out a little bit of what you had been through, you know, in your more than decade there. How have things shifted in your time? I know you said you have never seen things this bad. How have they shifted, and what have you heard from other workers, especially we're not that far removed from what I am sure is an incredible strain on you all during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BRADFORD: Yes. You know, what we have seen and what I have seen in the change is a lack of the available staff to see our patients, not only in a timely manner, as I spoke to that one patient that had to wait weeks to get their exam, but also, when we get them in the exam room, having to wait minutes, sometimes up to an hour or more just to be seen.

I've had patients even leave in the middle of their exams, between a mammogram and an ultrasound because the wait was entirely too long. I've dealt with coming in weeks on end where before we even start the day, we are already short staffed, we're already working in the hole. And that has progressed constantly. It's escalating. It's been compounded by the pandemic. The pandemic has caused our members to leave the industry early, early retirement. We have lost members. We have lost over 60 members in my union to COVID. And so, this is a crisis of a health care staffing situation in our facilities.

WALKER: So, Caroline, what do you know about where negotiations stand, and how workers are preparing for this strike? Can it be avoided? And if I can go back to ask my first question to you again, if you can lay out what exactly the union is asking for, again, you are asking for raises and job protections as well, correct?

LUCAS: Absolutely. So, let me just say, Kaiser executives can avoid this today by reaching solutions, by reaching long-term solutions. Wages and benefits are an important component of an ultimate agreement that protects staffing levels that makes sense for patients and for workers. It's one component. It isn't the only component, what we really need deep investments and the infrastructure that helps secure our work force. And that's something that we haven't seen Kaiser act creatively about. Kaiser executives haven't listened or barring end in good faith with frontline health care workers who have the solutions to a lot of these complex, thorny issues.


WALKER: Well, how are the negotiations going? Do you know? And is a strike avoidable at this point?

LUCAS: Absolutely, a strike avoidable. No worker goes into health care to be on strike. They all go into health care to provide that health care to folks. So, we are hoping that Kaiser executives show up and listen and bargain in good faith. We are here day and night. We have been here day and night. We'll continue to be here until the moment folks walk out Wednesday morning.

JIMENEZ: And, Georgette, we've seen strikes in the auto industry, the entertainment industry, now potentially health care here as well. Does that say anything to you as someone who is in a work force that could potentially be affected? When you see some of the issues they are fighting for, does any of that resonate with you?

BRADFORD: It does resonate with me in two ways. It resonates with me in that I know that there needs to be a sea change, that it's time for workers to really stand up for not only the communities that they serve, but also the work that they do.

It's clear that the frontline workers and any industry are the experts in what they do, and I think that is kind of the genesis of what some are calling a hot union summer with all of this activity. But I will say though that we have an opportunity during these negotiations with Kaiser to bring Kaiser back to its legacy, allow Kaiser to lead again in the industry, but they can't do it without being hand in hand with the frontline health care workers to solve this short staffing crisis.

WALKER: Well, we wish both sides all the luck in these negotiations and, of course, no one is hoping for a strike. So, we hope that something can be worked out before Wednesday. Caroline Lucas and Georgette Bradford, thank you much for your time.

So, if Kaiser Permanente workers go on strike, they will join tens of thousands of others already on the picket line as Omar was mentioning. On Friday, the United Auto Workers Union expanded their strike to more plants.

JIMENEZ: Yes. The UAW president, Shawn Fain, fought back against Ford's claims they were close to reaching a deal. He had called too optimistic. And meanwhile, the SAG-AFTRA Actors Union heads back to the bargaining table tomorrow. SAG-AFTRA president, Fran Drescher, told CNN Thursday that while they are happy the Writers Guild came to an agreement, one size does not fit all. SAG-AFTRA has been strike nearly 10 weeks. Meanwhile, still ahead for us, a shutdown was averted on Capitol Hill, but not without sacrifices. And that includes aid for Ukraine. More in the implications of that decision next.



WALKER: The fraud trial against Former President Trump and his sons is set to begin Monday after State Appellate Court denied Trump's motion to delay the civil case.

JIMENEZ: Yes, Trump and his co-defendants face a $250 million lawsuit for grossly inflating asset valuations on financial statements. New York State Court has increased security ahead of the trial and plan to keep the measures in place for the duration of the trial.

CNN's Kara Scannell has more.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Tomorrow, opening statements are expected to get underway in the New York Attorney General's civil fraud trial against Donald Trump and his eldest sons. New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges Trump and others enrich themselves by using fraudulent financial statements to obtain loans and insurance. The case will be decided by New York Judge Arthur Engoron.

Last week, he ruled that for a decade Trump and others engaged in persistent fraud and inflated the value of Trump properties, including Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago and numerous golf courses on their financial statements. He also canceled business certificates for several Trump entities. James is still seeking to hold the Trumps individually accountable and prove they conspired, falsified business records, issued false financial statements and engaged in insurance fraud.

The state said it plans to call 28 witnesses, including the former president, his sons, Don Jr. and Eric, and Ivanka Trump, as well as Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen, whose testimony on Capitol Hill sparked the investigation. Trump has called the investigation politically motivated and has denied any wrongdoing. The judge has set aside as much as three months for the trial, the first in a crowded calendar of trials for the former president who is facing four indictments and other civil lawsuits.

Omar, Amara?

WALKER: All right, Kara, thank you.

Lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill are promising to revisit aid for Ukraine. This after additional money for the war-torn country was stripped out of yesterday's 45-day continuing resolution. The Senate was originally considering more than $6 billion in new aid for Kyiv. They actually had bipartisan support in that chamber. But in the end, as time was running out, the money for Ukraine was entirely left out of the stopgap measure. In the House, 90 Republicans voted against it, and so did a single

Democrat Mike Quigley. He says leaving out Ukraine aid is a victory for Russia.


REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): Putin is celebrating. We got 45 days to fix it. I don't see how the dynamics change in 45 days. Like, oh, well, I'm more worried about Americans than Ukrainians. It's a false choice. This is all about if you want to be an America first, you better support Ukraine.



WALKER: All right, joining me now is retired Air Force Colonel and military analyst, Cedric Leighton. Thanks for joining us this morning. I would imagine that you agree with the lone Democrat who voted against the Stopgap Bill because the fact that Ukraine aid was left out. Do you agree that this will embolden Putin?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I do, Amara. And good morning to you. I think one of the key things to think about when it comes to what Congressman Quigley said is that if you take this aid out, if you don't put it into the package that -- you know, in terms of the financing for the federal government, it really becomes a problem because it sends signals. It does embolden Putin. It does embolden Xi, quite frankly, over in China because one of the key things here is that the money speaks.

The money speaks well because what it does is it becomes weapons that can be used for the Ukrainians, that the Ukrainians can use to prosecute their counteroffensive and that the Ukrainians can use most importantly to defend the sovereignty of their country. And that's really what we're looking at here.

WALKER: And broader too geopolitically, I mean, I guess this also underscores America's wavering stance on Ukraine, right, especially when it comes to 2024, depending on who will become president in 2024. How do you think Kyiv and European allies are reacting to this specific measure, leaving out the bill, and the fact, you know, down the road that this will continue to be a polarizing issue?

LEIGHTON: Yes, I think they're concerned about it. I mean, particularly if you're putting in Kyiv and you're looking at what's going on in Washington, you're seeing a really dysfunction. And of course, this is exactly what Putin has been waiting for. He's been waiting for the West to be divided, the West to be wavering. And when that becomes a reality, Putin will think that he has scored a victory and that he can then prosecute the war to a much greater extent than he's been able to do that so far.

And if that becomes a reality, then the situation on the battlefield is going to be much, much worse than it has been up to this point. WALKER: Yes, I mean, let's talk about the situation on the

battlefield. What is the latest? I mean, we're hearing a lot about Russia bombarding Ukrainian cities and some of the heaviest fighting has been happening in Zaporizhzhia and the Donetsk regions in recent weeks. What's the status?

LEIGHTON: So, the basic status, Amara, is that the Ukrainians have made very incremental gains in their counteroffensive, especially in the Zaporizhzhia region, and to some extent, around the city of Bakhmut that of course has been fought over for so long in the Donetsk region. So, the problem that we run into is that we've waited too long to provide the weapons and the ammunition that has been provided to the Ukrainians in order to prosecute this counteroffensive.

But without this, the lines would have collapsed. They would have gotten much, much more encircled around Kyiv and other major cities in Ukraine. And it would have been a real problem for the Ukrainians to maintain the viability of their fighting forces.

At this particular point, in essence, yes, it looks like a stalemate, but the very fact that Ukraine has been able to protect its sovereignty for a large portion of its country, that of course is a major achievement for them, particularly when we remember what things were like at the beginning of this invasion back in February of 2022 when it looked like the Russians were going to take Kyiv in a few days.

WALKER: Yes, yes. Boy, have things changed. Colonel Cedric Leighton, I appreciate you joining us this morning. Thank you.

JIMENEZ: Up next, history at Harvard. The Ivy League University does something for the first time and it's nearly 400 years of existence. We'll fill you in after the break.



JIMENEZ: Well, let's take a look at some headlines we are following this morning. About 500 residents of a South Central Illinois neighborhood are being allowed to return home this morning after a deadly ammonia spill on Friday. Fire officials say testing shows it's now safe to go back after a semi-truck tanker crashed, spilling more than half of its 7,500-gallon load. Five people were killed in the crash and numerous others hurt. The tanker has been drained and taken to a secure location.

WALKER: A federal judge has blocked two provisions of a near-total ban on abortions after 12 weeks in North Carolina while a lawsuit is pending. One provision blocks surgical abortions from being performed only in hospitals and other facilities like abortion clinics. The other blocks doctors from having to document where the embryo is within a uterus before prescribing a medication abortion. Planned Parenthood and other advocates filed a lawsuit against Senate Bill 20 that blocks doctors from performing abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

JIMENEZ: And a historic first. Harvard University inaugurating its 30th president, Claudine Gay, the Ivy League institution's first black person and second woman ever to lead. Gay received a PhD from Harvard in 1998 and joined the faculty in 2006.


CLAUDINE GAY, PRESIDENT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: I stand before you on this stage with the weight and the honor of being a first, able to say I am Claudine Gay, the president of Harvard University.



WALKER: And the body of California Senator Dianne Feinstein was returned to her home in San Francisco on board the president's military fleet on Saturday. She was accompanied by longtime friend and Democratic colleague Nancy Pelosi.

JIMENEZ: Yes, Feinstein died Thursday night in Washington, D.C. following months of declining health. She was 90 years old. CNN's Randi Kaye. has more on her life and her legacy.


DIANNE FEINSTEIN, FORMER CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC SENATOR: I became mayor as a product of assassination of the mayor being killed and the first openly gay public official being killed.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): For Dianne Feinstein, tragedy paved the way for opportunity and a career in politics that would last decades.

FEINSTEIN: Both Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk have been shot and killed.

KAYE: It was 1978, San Francisco's mayor along with town supervisor Harvey Milk had been shot dead. Feinstein had been serving as president of the county board of supervisors and was sworn in as the city's first female mayor. Fast forward to 1984, when Feinstein found herself on the short list of VP candidates for Walter Mondale. That didn't pan out, but Washington, D.C. eventually did.


KAYE: In 1992, Feinstein won a special election and packed her bags for the nation's capital, becoming the first woman to represent California in the U.S. Senate.

FEINSTEIN: I won among men. I won among women. Now, what that says is that to me the fact that I'm a woman is there, but it's incidental.

KAYE: Incidental perhaps, but hard to ignore, especially given all Feinstein has done for women of future generations. On a long list of firsts, Feinstein served as the first woman to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first female chair of the Intelligence Committee, and the first woman to chair the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Today, there are 25 women serving in this chamber, and every one of them will admit they stand on Dianne's shoulders.

KAYE: Feinstein fought for the issues that were important to her, like gun control. One of her more notable successes was helping push through the federal assault weapons ban in 1994.

FEINSTEIN: There's no Second Amendment right to bear every type of weapon that you know of.

KAYE: She was also a leading voice on legalizing gay marriage and LGBTQ rights, and she helped create the nationwide AMBER Alert System. Feinstein, a Democrat, had a unique ability to reach across the aisle, where she found a friend in Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Elaine and I were actual friends of Dick and Dianne.

KAYE: Feinstein was born in San Francisco in 1933 and graduated from Stanford University in 1955.

ANNETTE BENING, ACTRESS: I want to find out what was on the tape.

KAYE: Her high-profile Senate career was featured in the 2019 film The Report. Feinstein was portrayed by actress Annette Bening in the film, which tackled the subject of the CIA's use of torture after 9/11. As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein fought with the CIA for years over releasing the investigation into the agency's use of enhanced interrogation techniques.

In February, she confirmed she would not run for re-election, telling CNN the time has come. Feinstein was the longest-serving woman in the U.S. Senate.

FEINSTEIN: It's what I meant to do, and as long as the old bean holds up.

KAYE: Her desk in the Senate chamber now draped in black. Dianne Feinstein was 90 years old.


WALKER: An icon indeed. Randi Kaye, thank you. Senator Feinstein was 90 years old. We'll be right back.


JIMENEZ: After 161 regular season games, the Major League Baseball playoff field is now set.

WALKER: Yes. CNN Sports Anchor, looking dapper as always, I love the pink, Coy Wire joining us now.

JIMENEZ: Always looking short.

WALKER: Doesn't he look great?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: I love sitting next to her. You know that, Omar.

WALKER: So, they have a lot to play for in Sunday's final game.

WIRE: Yes, we know who is in the postseason. We just don't yet know the match-ups. So, lots of play for Sunday. Who's going to play, where, do we have a bye? That sort of thing. We'll know by the end of this day.

The Texas Rangers, they clinched their first playoff berth since 2016 with a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners. Just two years ago, this team lost 102 games and finished last in their division. Now, they'll have a chance to win the American League West with either a win or a loss by the Houston Astros.

Speaking of the reigning world champs, the Astros were headed to the postseason for a seventh straight year after beating the Diamondbacks 1-0 in Arizona. Houston has been to the World Series four times in the last six seasons, winning it twice.

Even though the Diamondbacks just lost that game, they threw a pool party in the outfield and that's because they still clinched a wildcard playoff spot thanks to a loss by the Cincinnati Reds. This is Arizona's first playoff trip in six years.

The Marlins booking a spot for just the fourth time in team history with a 7-3 win over the Pirates. This is Miami's first postseason appearance since the short in 2020 season and first in the full season since 20 years ago. That's when they won the World Series.

Let's go to college football now where OJ's Northwestern and my Stanford got snatched yesterday while Amara's USC dominated Colorado. But a week after losing on the last second touchdown, the Ohio State 11th ranked Notre Dame had to come up clutch against 17 Duke down by one with time running out. That was Audric Estime for the 30 yard touchdown with about 30 seconds to go. The Irish improved five in one in the season and they still have their playoff spot alive.

OK, finally, in pop news, ticket prices are surging for a potential Taylor Swift appearance tonight at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. And apparently, there's an NFL game there happening too. Speculation that Swift is going to appear to see Travis Kelce and his Chiefs take on the Jets sent tickets soaring 40 percent. And then you're wondering if the global pop icon and the NFL star are dating as she cheered on the Chiefs last week sitting next to Travis' mom.


WALKER: What do you think? What do you think?

WIRE: I mean, I think they're at least friends.

WALKER: At least friends.

WIRE: He gave her a friendship bracelet. That's a pretty big deal.

WALKER: Oh, that's so sweet. Well, no, really though, I think so many women and I was -- I've been hearing this anecdotally who don't watch football and ladies girls are now tuning in --

WIRE: Tuning in.

WALKER: To see what she's wearing.

WIRE: Yes, they had their demographic from 12 to 19.

WALKER: Seriously.

WIRE: Watching last week's game went soaring because of this as well. So, a whole new audience for the NFL.

WALKER: That'll be your headline tomorrow, right?

WIRE: That's right. Did she tell us?

WIRE: Swifties rally up.

WALKER: Thanks, Coy.

Up next, Congress avoids a government shutdown with just hours to spare. Will it cost Kevin McCarthy his speakership? Next.