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Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur; Pricing for Thanksgiving Meal; Haley Moves into 2nd in New Hampshire. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 17, 2023 - 08:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paradise, California. So, they went through his. And so I made it an effort to get into this position so that I could be beneficial for the department and be there for the families and friends because I have families and friends in Paradise that lost their homes and everything.

MIKE VALERIO, CNN NEWSOURCE NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For now, it's been 100 days of work. Both officers remain hopeful there will be answers and eventual solace for the families of the four who are still missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I set out to this, it was, no stone unturned, no one left behind. And I am hopeful and committed and dedicated to make sure that I reach that goal.

VALERIO: Mike Valerio, CNN, Los Angeles.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, coming up next, CNN's Nima Elbagir returns home to Sudan to shed light on the atrocities of war, all while avoiding confrontation with paramilitary groups that don't want her covering that story. You are going to want to see this.

Stay with us.



Communications in Darfur have been actively blocked by the Rapid Support Force, or RSF, in its battle with the Sudanese army for control of Sudan. Our Nima Elbagir and her team traveled to Chad, to a border town, where many survivors of atrocities have fled.


And before you watch this, a warning, it is very difficult to see.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): One by one, survivors come forward wanting to share, to document what has happened to them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I held by five-year-old brother and ran with him in the mosque. The RSF chased us, shooting at us. A bullet hit my brother's head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The RSF said, leave these ones. We will find better ones to sell. These ones, let's rape them.

ELBAGIR (voice over): Textbook ethnic cleansing. These are the hallmarks of genocide.

We interviewed over a dozen survivors and eyewitnesses who witnessed the abduction of at least 200 other girls. Through their testimony we were able to pinpoint key neighborhoods in Al Geneina where civilians were targeted and where women were being sold from slave houses. Places like El Jaba (ph) and Halyla (ph) and al Zamadumatry (ph), where survivors say they counted 75 girls abducted in one fell swoop. There is nowhere safe in Al Geneina.


MATTINGLY: CNN's chief international investigative correspondent Nima Elbagir joins us now.

The thing I - sorry for pausing. What I struggle with is, this isn't the first time with Darfur. So many public officials said in the wake of the last time this wouldn't be happening again. You covered that initial campaign (INAUDIBLE) is it worse now?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, unfortunately, because - because - because the world looked away. And so the same forces who perpetrated that horror now are better equipped, better trained, better supported. The Russian proxy militia Wagner is a key backer of theirs. And so they are now in a much better position to wreak so much more havoc and they know that the world stood by the last time and allowed it to happen. So, they are also incredibly empowered.

HARLOW: Nima, let's watch a little bit more from your reporting.

Here it is.


ELBAGIR (voice over): As the sun sets, our situation becomes more precarious.

ELBAGIR: We've just been held at every -- almost every single checkpoint, despite all the assurances we were given. It's now 10:00 at night and we - we still are an hour and a half before our destination.

Every moment that we are delayed, it gets more and more dangerous.

ELBAGIR (voice over): And delayed again, and again, and again. Luckily, we managed to get in touch with a distant cousin of my

father's, who allows us to bed down in her new, not yet furnished, home. The team is exhausted. We need to get some sleep.


HARLOW: You know, seven months into the conflict, and it has not received much attention. Certainly not the headlines that we need to be seeing around the world. We just saw how hard it was for your team to get in. Is a lack of access a big reason for that?

ELBAGIR: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I also think part of the issue is also that we're not hearing strong enough statements from people like Secretary of State Antony Blinken. That there is this consistent equivocation of one side is bad and the other side is bad, which, as you - you know, Poppy, from all your years of doing this job, causes the audience to glaze over. Oh, well, then there's nothing here to do.

This is ethnic cleansing. This has all the hallmarks of genocide. And the fact that, you know, potentially this is a second genocide in one region within one century, who do you blame? I think - I think the blame has to rest firmly on the global community and on world leaders who clearly have not prioritized this.

And what's extraordinary is that it's the survivors who are advocating for themselves, who are bravely speaking out to people like us to put that burden on people who have already suffered so much to me is just heartbreaking.

MATTINGLY: Nima, you have one of the most incredible bodies of work on all issues like this.


ELBAGIR: You're very kind.

MATTINGLY: No, I'm - but I'm being serious. And if you don't believe me, look at the awards. It's amazing. The work is incredible. But the balance here - and I know you probably don't want to talk about yourself, but you're a journalist. How personal was this? You received threats. You were evacuating your family. What's that like?

ELBAGIR: I think the hardest moment for me came with regards to the threats that you mentioned, is when I was having to think about, well, have I put my team in danger? Have I put Barbara and Alex, who have agreed to come on this journey and actually were, you know, dragging me along sometimes, have I put them in danger?


But I think the commitment to making sure that we didn't waste this opportunity of a whole hour on the whole story on Sunday on, you know, U.S. television. It's a huge opportunity.

But I did sometimes feel like I had competing personalities in my head. There's the kind of - the journalist part of you that goes into autopilot and does what it needs to do, and then there was just this other little voice being like, I remember when I was here. I know that person. We were -- we were walking through a lot of these cities and people were coming up to me, people who I had friends in common that we'd both lost during this conflict. There was an almost hourly reminder of how close this was to my family.

But the team is amazing. They do the work with me. And they really kept me able to do the job we needed to do.

HARLOW: The indefatigable, unparalleled, so many words to describe your bravery and your importance to this network. Nima Elbagir, thank you.

ELBAGIR: Thank you so much.

HARLOW: You can see the full story on a new episode, as Nima said, "THE WHOLE STORY WITH ANDERSON COOPER." It is Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, only on CNN.

MATTINGLY: Well, moments ago, a billboard went up in Manhattan's Times Square showing pictures of Emily Hand, who was initially believe to have been killed during the October 7th Hamas attacks but is now believed to be among the 237 hostages.

HARLOW: Her father, Thomas, was there -- you see him right there -- to see the billboard go up this morning. Before learning that his daughter ways live, he had told our colleague Clarissa Ward that learning of what he thought was her death was better than her being held captive by Hamas. Now he is waiting for a chance to hug his little girl.


THOMAS HAND, DAUGHTER EMILY IS A HOSTAGE IN GAZA: She - she can't have a birthday like a normal child. So, we, the world, are honoring her, her life, her birthday, by doing whatever we can to keep her alive in our hearts and minds. We were hoping that she would be back by now. That was -- that would have been our prayers answered. But she's not. She's still down in the - in the tunnels. So, now we have to hope that she'll be back for Christmas.


HARLOW: Today is Emily's 9th birthday. Happy birthday, sweet Emily.

We'll be right back.



MATTINGLY: In less than a week Americans are going to fill their tables with families, friends, and, of course, lots of food for Thanksgiving. So, just how much is it going to cost to feed your whole squad this year? Who else would we ask? I don't even need to intro you anymore, but it is CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten. This has been the question in politics for the better part of the last

year or more.


MATTINGLY: How are Americans feeling about the economy heading into the holiday season?

ENTEN: They do not like it, Phil.

How do you feel about the nation's economy? Just 26 percent of Americans say it is good, 73 percent, the vast majority, say it is poor. And that is despite the fact that, in fact, we are seeing some prices going down. A gallon of milk is down about, you know, 25, 30 cents. A gallon of gas, look at that, down 40 cents. That 16-pound turkey that perhaps we're all going to enjoy, look at that, down by more than a dollar. And I think that's one of the big questions is. Americans are saying the economy is poor but, in fact, there are a number of prices that are actually going down.

MATTINGLY: So then why?

ENTEN: Why? Why? Because maybe we shouldn't just be comparing to a year ago, we should be comparing to pre-pandemic. Gallon of milk up nearly a dollar. Gallon of gas up 50, 60 cents. That 16-pound turkey, look at this increase, up nearly $6, $7. My goodness gracious. So, I think a lot of Americans are comparing it to the pre-pandemic economy.

And if you look at that overall price increase, this four-year period, since October of 2019 according to CPI, look at that, prices are up 20 percent. Compare that to the normal four-year period since 1948, it's up just 11 percent. So, prices are falling (ph) much, much higher compared to what we normally see over a four-year period.

I will give you one piece of good news, Phil, though. Airline prices, they're actually down since pre-pandemic and they're also down significantly from a year ago. So, if you're looking to fly out to see folks, pretty good time to do so.

MATTINGLY: That's a good piece of advice. I would love Harry Enten at my Thanksgiving table. We should like auction that off.

ENTEN: Oh, my God.

MATTINGLY: Don't go anywhere. Come on back.

HARLOW: Please don't try to sell my friend.

MATTINGLY: Not like that. Not -- he would be a great addition.

HARLOW: Mattingly.

MATTINGLY: Can you imagine him fighting with your, like, angry, crazy relative that's with you?

HARLOW: Do you want to come over? I already have to cook for 12 people after anchoring this show because Mattingly's going on vacation.



HARLOW: Sorry. No one's bitter.

MATTINGLY: Welcome, Ron.


HARLOW: Welcome, Ron Brownstein, to the table.

BROWNSTEIN: Don't let me interrupt. Yes. Yes.

HARLOW: And you are invited, Harry.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Welcome.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Let's talk about Nikki Haley.

BROWNSTEIN: The rise - what was it? What was the alliteration earlier in the show, the Haley -


HARLOW: Hype. The Haley hype.

MATTINGLY: Haley hype.

BROWNSTEIN: Hype, yes. Yes.

HARLOW: So, talk to us. The new CNN polling shows her really gaining. She's still 22 points behind Trump, but 20 - you know, above 20 there.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely.

HARLOW: Twenty in New Hampshire.

BROWNSTEIN: Another Monmouth/"Washington Post" poll today with basically the same result.

Look, I think Haley's in a situation where her path beyond Iowa has much more runway than Ron DeSantis. And that is important because ultimately one of them has to eclipse the other in order for this to become a race. And we don't know if it will or not.

DeSantis, right now, looks like he's kind of on the same road to nowhere as the last three Iowa winners. Huckabee in '08, Santorum in '12, Cruz in '16, all followed the strategy that DeSantis is following now, which is, consolidated evangelicals, really burrowing in on Iowa.


They all immediately went off the rails in New Hampshire. None of them even got 12 percent of the vote. You can see in our poll that he's pretty much on that same potential path.

Haley, on the other hand, has room to grow in New Hampshire. So far she's consolidating the parts of the party that are the most resistant to Trump, college educated, moderate and, in New Hampshire, independent voters. And if she can perform reasonably well there, you can imagine she then, obviously, has a leg up in what has been traditionally the most important state on the calendar for Republicans. South Carolina, which has picked the winner in every contested race except one since 1980.

So, right now, you would say that I think she - you know, DeSantis is still ahead in national polling. He still probably is ahead of her in more states. But you could imagine a scenario where she eclipses him in New Hampshire and South Carolina and is clearly the alternative to Trump at that point. The question is, is she a truly viable alternative to Trump. And to do that she'll have to broaden the audience she's attracting at this point.

ENTEN: There's one candidate that wasn't mentioned there that I think holds the key for Nikki Haley in New Hampshire, and that is the man with 14 percent of the vote, Chris Christie.



ENTEN: If you look at our polling, you look at the second choice of the Chris Christie supporters, overwhelmingly for Nikki Haley.


ENTEN: They are not folks who like Donald Trump. And I think there's going to be a real question that Chris Christie is going to have to ask himself going down the road as we head towards January is, do I really want to beat Donald Trump, because if he does, he may have to get out of the race.

BROWNSTEIN: You can imagine Sununu and Christie both, Governor Sununu and Christie both endorsing Haley at some point before that New Hampshire primary. And then, you know, that's - you know, then she's a -- the problem she's got is that she kind of needs a stair step. She needs - she needs - she needs acceleration at each step. If she could get ahead of DeSantis in Iowa, then she could be sort of like Gary Hart in 1984. It didn't matter how many points you lost by. If you're the surprise second place winner, you get momentum in New Hampshire. If could do unexpected well in New Hampshire, that would give her a better shot in South Carolina.

The problem she's run into is that the governor of Iowa decided, for her own reasons, to endorse DeSantis, making it less likely that Haley gets the true lift out of Iowa that she'd probably need, even with a Christie endorsement, to genuinely threaten Trump in New Hampshire. MATTINGLY: Can I flip over to the other side of the aisle because I've been wanting to ask both of you about this. What's going on right now in the Middle East and what that does for the Democratic coalition. We've obviously seen the protests. We understand that there are splits and divides. You see them on Capitol Hill. You see them from progressive activists. It's there. Is it something that will be lasting and problematic politically? And do we even know?

BROWNSTEIN: First of all, it's real, right?


BROWNSTEIN: I mean Democrats are divided 50/50 on whether they support Israel or the Palestinians more in this conflict. In polling that came out this week, Quinnipiac, there's much more resistance to military aid to Israel among Democrats than there is among Republicans. Exact opposite of the situation in Ukraine.

I would say, yes, but Biden does have an opportunity to ameliorate it. I mean the question is whether active fighting is over long enough before the 2024 election where he can pressure Israel into resuming something that looks like a genuine peace process, a two-state, you know, negotiation toward a two-state solution. They have never obviously born out historically. But if Biden can engineer that next year, I think some of this - some of this diminishes, especially if he's running against Trump, who is (INAUDIBLE) many of those young voters believe.

ENTEN: You know, I'm reminded of a clip I remember watching the McLaughlin group on YouTube before the '92 election, about a year and a half out, in which Fred Barnes (ph) said essentially that, on the strength of his victory in the Persian Gulf War, George H.W. Bush is going to sail to re-election. And then essentially another one of the panelists came on and said, oh, please, a year and a half from now the Persian Gulf War is not going to be on even the top 15 list of issues.

We are still a year out from the election. Could this have a long lasting effect? Yes, sure. But the fact is, we're still a year out and there are going to be many issues that come up. So, I'm not exactly sure at this point that this divide, which is very real, as Ron pointed out, will ultimately have an impact when people actually vote come (INAUDIBLE).

HARLOW: Many issues like the economy. Tell people what we were just talking about here in terms of inflation and unemployment.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, I mean, it's -- look, I mean, clearly the big cloud for Biden now is inflation. It is - it is overshadowing all the positive news he can point to in the economy, particularly low unemployment and the genuine investment boom, over $600 billion in private sector investment tied to the three big bills he passed in his first two years.

You know, you kind of wonder if it was the opposite would people be just as discontented, if we had low inflation but high unemployment. Inflation reaches more people. I mean that is the challenge. And people feel it more often. It's like a shoe that is constantly pinching every time you go to the grocery store, every time you fill up, and especially with housing costs and rent. That is the big challenge. He may have to shift his focus more from jobs to what he's doing to try to help people with their daily bills.


HARLOW: Yes. Yes. And I was saying there's not a stopgap for it. It's like there's no - yes.

MATTINGLY: Ron Brownstein, Harry Enten.

HARLOW: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: I mean the dude cited, YouTube, McLaughlan Group and Fred Barnes.


MATTINGLY: You don't want that at your Thanksgiving table? You do, Poppy Harlow.

HARLOW: First of all, I invited him. Did you invite him on vacation? No.

MATTINGLY: You want to come?

Thanks, guys. We appreciate it.

Well, Fox Sports and Amazon Prime Video host Charissa Thompson is under fire this morning after revealing that she sometimes made up quotes from coaches when she was an NFL sideline reporter. Thompson making that revelation in the podcast "Pardon My Take."


CHARISSA THOMPSON, HOST, FOX SPORTS AND AMAZON PRIME'S "TNF": And I've said this before, so I haven't been fired for saying it, but I'll say it again, I would make up the reports sometimes because, a, the coach wouldn't come out at half-time or it was too late and I was like, I didn't want to screw up the report. So I was like, I'm just going to make this up because, first of all, no coach is going to get mad if I say, hey, we need to stop hurting ourselves. We need to be better on third down. We need to stop turning the ball over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pressure the quarterback.

THOMPSON: We - yes, exactly, and do a better job of getting off the field. Like, they're not going to correct me on that. I'm like, it's fine, I'll just make up the report.


HARLOW: Thompson, though, facing fierce criticism from several reporters who say she hurts the credibility of the job and the trust of the coaches. Veteran sideline reporter for CBS, Tracy Wolfson, says, "this is absolutely not OK. I build trust with coaches and never make something up. I know my fellow reporters do the same."

And as you were saying, some of the best sports reporters are on the -

MATTINGLY: Sideline.

HARLOW: Sidelines.

MATTINGLY: They're great. Don't do that, guys.

HARLOW: Have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for being with us. See you Monday.