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CNN This Morning

Today, Trump Takes the Stand in New York Civil Fraud Trial; IDF Says, 450 Targets Hit, Hamas Compound Captured; New Poll Shows Trump Leads Biden in Five Battleground States. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired November 06, 2023 - 07:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you managed to eliminate all of Hamas, what next?


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, so glad you are with us. As you can see, there is a lot happening on this Monday morning, especially with the former president.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: A big day at home. A big day internationally, but a big day in a courtroom here in New York City. This morning, Donald Trump is set to take the witness stand with his business empire and reputation on the line. The former president's civil fraud trial is set to resume just a few hours from now here in New York City.

His case strikes at the heart of Trump's identity. Prosecutors accusing him of exaggerating his wealth by billions of dollars and manipulating the value of real estate properties.

HARLOW: And this all comes as Trump faces 91 felony charges in multiple criminal cases while also the Republican front runner for the White House in 2024.

Senior Legal Affairs Correspondent Paula Reid here with us. It's just such a juxtaposition, to see this polling to see how well Trump is doing, and then all of the charges against him, and then he will take the stand today in just a couple of hours in New York.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Look, I have covered former President Trump's legal problems for, I think, coming up on a decade now, and this today, this really is a significant moment. He is being called to be a witness for the prosecution in their case.

Now, the judge has already found the former president and his co- defendants committed fraud, and this is more focused on the penalties. And what is at stake here is possibly his business' ability to do business in the state of New York.

But as you alluded to in the intro, what's also at stake here is this persona that he has built as a billionaire business tycoon. It strikes to his very identity, but also, you know, what he has tried to sell to voters. So, it's such a significant moment today.

MATTINGLY: Ten years of legal issues, four years in the White House, decades -- you've covered him so often in so many different venues, in so many platforms. What do you expect when he takes the stand today?

REID: I know not to event try to guess. Because at times, the White House, for example, he would come into a press conference, and sometimes he would behave in one way, other times it would be unexpected. He would lash out. He would ramble.

This is a tightly -- this is supposed to be a very tightly controlled environment. This is a witness stand in a court of law. He is trying to convince a judge, there's no jury here, that he did not commit fraud. He should be focused. He should be disciplined. But we know this is personal for him. He's watched his children testify. This is about his business. He's already attacked the judge's clerk multiple times. He's gone after prosecutors.

So, if you look at what happened over the past few weeks, I would expect this could be a little rowdy, and it's as much a test for Trump to stay disciplined as it is for the judge to try to keep him in line.

HARLOW: Can you talk about what's on the line here, because there are already key rulings that this judge has made in this case, which is sort of different than I think most people would think a trial would go. What's been decided and what's on the line?

REID: Sure. So, this is a civil case. And the judge has already found that the former president and his co-defendants committed persistent and repeated fraud. So, now the judge is deciding how much they have to pay in penalties and prosecutors want to take away the license, and the ability of this organization to do business in New York.

Now, even if that happens, that is something that will likely set off years and years of appeals, but there's what goes on in the courtroom and then there's the larger court of public opinion. The former president has tried to sell himself for decades now, to brand himself as a very successful businessman. So, to have the ability to do business taken away in the state of New York, that would really be a blow to that brand, even though he has tried to spin this as him sort of being a martyr.

MATTINGLY: Right. Are you our eyes and ears today or are we going to be able to see any of this on camera?

REID: We have a whole team of people inside the court, outside the court. I believe I'll be outside the court with our colleague, Kaitlan Collins. Inside the court, we'll have a whole team. There is a little bit of access, a little glimmer of access in this court. You get a spray, some photos, the photos we have seen of the former president, his lawyers, his sons as well at the defense table. but there's not a continuous stream.

And if I may get on my soap box for just a moment, it is very important for people to be able to see how this plays out, because, otherwise, the former president walks to the cameras outside the courtroom and gives his version. We're going to do the best we can to give people accurate updates on our reporting from our colleagues inside the courtroom, but you won't be able to see it.

MATTINGLY: That's the best of team of the business.

HARLOW: That's for sure. Eventually, a transcript, right?

REID: Yes. Eventually, a transcript a little bit later. But in real time, we'll get updates from our incredible team inside and try to help people understand exactly what's going on.

MATTINGLY: A busy day. Paula Reid, thank you so much.

HARLOW: Thanks, Paula. New overnight, Israel released new video of ground and air operations in Gaza. The IDF says it has struck 450 Hamas targets and captured a Hamas compound in just the last 24 hours. It comes as Israel intensifies offensive targeting of Hamas' infrastructure both aboveground and underground.

Just moments ago, we did hear from the U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken, as he was leaving Turkey after a 2.5 hour meeting there with his Turkish counterpart, speaking about expanding humanitarian assistance inside of Gaza and the mission to rescue those hostages.



ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: I can say that this is an intense focus for us and we also believe and we're seeing that other countries can play an important role in helping to get hostages back.


MATTINGLY: Seem as Jeremy Diamond is live in Sderot, Israel. Jeremy, the last 24 hours are the latest display of Israel's plan to fight Hamas' ongoing operation. What's the latest?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Phil. Israeli forces now saying that they have completed their encirclement of Gaza City and saying that they have cut off the Gaza Strip, the northern part of the Gaza Strip from the south.

Of course, that is above ground at least, Israeli officials acknowledging that Hamas still has tunneling capabilities to get from the northern part of Gaza to the southern part, and that still represents a major challenge.

But overnight, Phil, we watched as there were what the IDF described as significant extensive strikes on Gaza. They said that they carried out over strikes on over 450 targets in just the last 24 hours. We were at this position last night watching those bright flashes and

really loud booms as that intense bombardment continued. And we have also watched in recent weeks as many of those strikes have resulted in significant civilian casualties, particularly as Israel has targeted densely populated neighborhoods in Gaza.

They say, these Israeli forces say that there are Hamas underground facilities below those targets. But, of course, we have watched as women and children have been among those killed in many of those strikes.

Telecommunication services were also cut off in Gaza for much of last night, those Palestinian telecommunications companies saying that services are beginning to be restored today.

HARLOW: Jeremy, you had extraordinary access inside of Gaza. I think people over the last month have wondered, why aren't we seeing more in Gaza? Because a lot of journalists aren't allowed to get in there. You got in with the IDF. I want to play some of that for people.


DIAMOND: We're right now at an Israeli military post inside the Gaza Strip, about one kilometer inside of Gaza. Gaza City is just this way.

And as you can hear behind me, there is a lot of ongoing fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants. What they are trying to do right now is to flank the Hamas positions. That's what the battalion commander just told me. And all of this intended to try and cut off Gaza City from the southern part of the strip as Israeli forces also move in from the north.


HARLOW: And, Jeremy, we should note that all footage filmed there had to be submitted to the IDF before we could bring it to air. But CNN agreed to this so people could get a glimpse of what is happening on the ground there. Talk to us more about what you experienced and what you saw.

DIAMOND: Yes. Again, it was a limited vantage on the operations of Israeli forces inside of Gaza, but it was an important one because it is the first time that we have gotten to -- been able to get into Gaza since the beginning of this war started and to get a sense of how close Israeli forces are to Gaza City. I mean, the contact lines where we were, were, we were told, were about a hundred meters to the south, 200 meters to the north. You could hear fighting happening all around us, small arms fire as well as short-range missiles being fired by Israeli forces nearby.

And one of the points that the forces there wanted to emphasize is their work to try and establish this humanitarian corridor for civilians to flee from the north to the south. Now, there have been a lot of questions about this in particular, because in the past, when Israeli forces have told civilians to flee on certain routes, those routes have also been struck by Israeli airstrikes. And just moments ago I asked the spokesman for the IDF about how they are distinguishing between Hamas fighters and civilians who may be using those evacuation routes, and he made clear that anywhere we see Hamas activity, we will strike. And so that does raise questions about the ability of civilians to safely use some of those routes.

Now, one thing that was also clear in this that the commanders on the ground repeatedly stressed to me during this embed opportunity that I had this weekend was the extent to which they may have control of certain areas above ground. That six kilometer stretch from the Mediterranean Sea all the way to Israel's border with Gaza just south of Gaza City is where they say that they have effectively cut off north from south. They have posts like this one that I visited all along that six-kilometer stretch. But they made clear that there are significant underground tunnel facilities they have yet to discover.

Just in that post where I was there, there were three underground tunnels that IDF forces had discovered and destroyed but they know that many more remain. We have already seen in recent days as Israeli forces inside of Gaza have been ambushed by Hamas militants using those tunnels.

And it was interesting, as we were traveling in this armored personnel carrier into Gaza, every few minutes, this vehicle would stop the gunner would look around using visual sights but also the cameras that they have inside this vehicle to make sure that there were no Hamas fighters emerging from those tunnels to ambush this convoy with anti- tank missiles, which they have been known to do.


HARLOW: Yes. Jeremy, it's extraordinary to see. Thank you for that -- for all that reporting.

MATTINGLY: Well, there are bruising new poll numbers that show President Biden underwater among several key voting blocs. We're going to break down the data.

HARLOW: Plus, what voters who helped Biden defeat Trump in 2020, what are they saying now.


HARLOW: So, there is a new poll out from The New York Times and Siena College, and it is concerning, should be, for the Biden campaign this morning. The president is trailing Donald Trump in five of the six key battleground states that helped Biden win the election in 2020. Voters were blunt about why one voter in Pennsylvania telling The Times, quote, at least I think Trump has his wits about him, close quote. Another voter in Nevada says, quote, I don't see anything that Biden has done to benefit us.

Biden is losing support with two key voting demographics, black and Hispanic voters.

[07:15:02] Senior Data Reporter Harry Enten here with all of it. It seems like you know that movie, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.


HARLOW: Is that the name?

ENTEN: That's pretty close to the name.

HARLOW: That's what this poll feels like.

ENTEN: That is exactly what this poll feels like. I mean, this is just bad news all around for the current president of the United States. And let's break it down by the Sunbelt and then the Great Lake battleground states and just how big of a change are we talking about here. Look, these are the Sunbelt battleground states, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada. Biden won all of these. He won all of these.

Look at the 2023 polls. This is among likely voters. The numbers you showed earlier were among registered voters. Look at this, Joe Biden ahead -- excuse me, Donald Trump ahead by five in Arizona, five in Georgia, 11 in Nevada.

You know, I went back and looked at the Nevada polls from 2020, you know how many of those polls that Joe Biden trailed to Donald Trump in? A great big zero. And now we're already just in 2023 and he trails in the one poll that meets CNN's standards for publication already.

Look at the Great Lake battleground states, all right, again, Biden versus Trump, 2020 results. Biden won all of them. Here, we have a tie in Michigan. We look in Pennsylvania. Look at that, another state where Donald Trump is ahead, Wisconsin, perhaps the best number for Joe Biden in this particular polling data set.

But, overall, if Donald Trump wins the states that he's leading in, in these polls, he will, in fact, be the president of the United States.

MATTINGLY: Is there one problem or is there're 50 different policies they don't like? What's the primary issue here for Biden?

ENTEN: I think the primary issue in all honesty, folks, is age. It's age in two different ways. Here's this question, which I think is just so important. Is just too old to be an effective president, the vast majority, 70 percent of likely voters across these six battleground states say that Joe Biden is just too old. It's a problem of age. Donald Trump, although he's only slightly younger than the current president of the United States, just 39 percent say he's too old to be an effective president.

This number has been going higher and higher and higher in the words of Jackie Wilson. Four years ago, this number was in the 30s. Now, it's 70 percent. It's a matter of perception, even though the numbers on age aren't too different between the two of these.

I think the question for Joe Biden is, how do you solve this particular problem given he's just getting older? Maybe it's to boost Donald Trump's numbers up a little bit, we'll have to wait and see, but age in another way as well. Look at voters, millennials, age 30 to 44, the 2020 recall vote in this poll across the six battleground states. Look, Joe Biden won these voters in 2020 by 14 points. Look at the 2023 poll across these six battleground states. Donald Trump is up by a point.

There's been a lot of leakage among younger voters in particular. All their voters are basically staying the same, but younger voters moving towards the former president of the United States and away from the current president of the United States.

HARLOW: There is a new part of this poll that is actually -- it's crucial. It was just released by The Times this morning. What does it tell us about if Trump is convicted and sentenced in the federal election subversion case?

ENTEN: So, I think, you know, if you're a Republican, you look at these prior poll numbers, say, great, Donald Trump, well ahead, he's ahead in the Republican primary, he's ahead over Joe Biden, the general election. But, of course, he has all these trials that he's facing.

So, what happens if Trump is convicted and sentenced in federal court for the 2020 trial? Look at this, Joe Biden ahead in Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. So, we still have a year to go. A lot can change. If Trump gets sentenced --

HARLOW: Ahead by 14 in Wisconsin, that's interesting.

ENTEN: Ahead by 14 points in Wisconsin. We still got a lot of time to go, a lot of variables that we have to work with, folks.

MATTINGLY: On point. Harry Enten, I appreciate you.

ENTEN: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Thanks, buddy.

HARLOW: So, striking actors maybe inching closer to a deal with the big Hollywood studios. The latest on those negotiations, next.

MATTINGLY: And a Ukrainian soldier who lost his leg battling Russia ran, ran the New York Marathon yesterday. His inspiring story, that's ahead.




VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: The price is high, like I said, because the war takes the best of us.

But we are not ready to give our freedom to this (BLEEP) terrorist Putin. That's it. That's why we are fighting. That's it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: That was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reaffirming his defiance of Vladimir Putin as tensions grow in Kyiv over the status of the war. Two years in, and the battles are still raging.

One wounded Ukrainian soldier made the trip to New York City to run in yesterday's marathon. Roman Kashpur lost his lower right leg in 2019, and is still on active duty. But in addition to fighting for his country, he's also on a mission to inspire others.

CNN's Gary Tuchman joins us now with his story. What did you see?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Phil, Roman had never been to the United States in his life. His first visit here, though, is providing a lot of inspiration.


TUCHMAN (voice over): Among the tens of thousands of runners at the start of the New York City Marathon is this man in the white shirt giving a thumbs up, a soldier from Ukraine, who stepped on a Russian landmine that exploded. His name is Roman Kashpur.

Welcome to New York City.


TUCHMAN: Two nights before the marathon, the organization in charge of the race, the New York Road Runners, honored distinguished participants. Roman Kashpur was one of them, carrying an Ukrainian flag with the emblem of his Army regiment.

He's running the marathon with a prosthetic leg. He lost his lower right leg as a result of the explosion, which occurred in 2019 during the continuing battles with Russia, which ultimately led to the Russian invasion and current war.

Roman tells me, right away I touched my leg to see if the artery was damaged. Once I made sure everything was okay, I pulled out a tourniquet and tied it up. And then my comrades came out to help me.

Even with the serious injury, this husband and father of two young boys reported for duty after the Russian invasion last year, performing surveillance missions. But now the 26-year-old has taken a break with the encouragement of his military superiors.

And with his wife awaiting him at the finish line, Roman is running New York along with Ukrainian-American friends.


His goal is, to try to break six hours. He says he had never done distance running before he was wounded. So, he trained and participated in the London Marathon this past April, ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington last weekend, and now running the biggest marathon in the world.

Roman Kashpur says he is still active duty military but says his primary role now is to inspire other Ukrainian soldiers who have been wounded like him.

He declares that when you survive what I survived, you have to have a bigger mission. You need to do something with your life. So, as he runs, he is taking pledges for a Ukrainian charity called Citizen Charity Foundation to raise money for other wounded Ukrainian soldiers.

Rob Simmelkjaer is the CEO of the New York Road Runners.

ROB SIMMELKJAER, CEO, NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS: So, to have the example of someone like him who has overcome these injuries inflicted during war, it's just an inspiration.

TUCHMAN: With the Ukrainian flag over his head, Roman Kashpur closes in on the finish line, and he breaks six hours. 5 hours, 54 minutes, 54 seconds, to be precise. His wife, Julia, at the finish line to greet him.

Congratulations, Roman.

KASHPUR: Thank you, thank you so much.

TUCHMAN: Can you ask his wife, Julia, how she feels about him finishing?

KASHPUR: She's very excited and happy.

TUCHMAN: And very grateful for all her husband's accomplishments.


TUCHMAN (on camera): Now, Roman plans to continue running and continue raising money. There are six major marathons in the world, New York, Boston, Chicago in the United States. Outside the United States, you have Berlin, London and Tokyo. He's run London. He's now run in New York. And he plans, Phil, in March, to try to run Tokyo.

MATTINGLY: I mean, it's impressive to run those able-bodied with no issues. That is a remarkable story, a remarkable man.

TUCHMAN: It's really inspiring.

MATTINGLY: Gary Tuchman, great story. Thanks so much. Poppy?

HARLOW: Leave it to Gary to warm our hearts on a Monday morning. Gary, thank you.

The film and T.V. actors' strike maybe close to being over more than three months after it began. Right now, the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee says it is reviewing the, quote, best and final offer from the major studios in a statement the union says, we are reviewing it and considering our response within the context of the critical issues addressed in our proposals.

So, the union's demand for an 11 percent wage increase in the first year of the proposed contract term has been a big roadblock. The studios had only agreed to 5 percent. We will keep you posted on where this goes.

MATTINGLY: Well, Donald Trump spent his weekend on the campaign trail in Florida, but in a matter of hours he will be testifying in a New York courtroom. Coming up, we're going to ask his former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci what we can and should expect today.

Stay with us.