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CNN This Morning
Children from Gaza With Urgent Medical Needs Arrive In UAE; A Colorado Judge Finds Trump Engaged In Insurrection, But Keeps Him On The Ballot; Sean "Diddy" Combs Settles Abuse Lawsuit with Former Girlfriend; Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter Enters Hospice Care. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired November 18, 2023 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey everyone. Good morning and welcome to CNN This Morning. It is Saturday, November 18. I'm Amara Walker.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thank you for being with us. Here's what we're watching for you. The first plane carrying people injured in the fighting in Gaza arrives in the UAE this morning as we're learning of a worsening situation at hospitals in Gaza.
WALKER: A Colorado judge says former President Trump did engage insurrection but rules he can stay on the Republican primary ballot. The reason for the judge's ruling and what comes next.
BLACKWELL: SpaceX will try again today to launch its Starship rocket, the most powerful ever built. We have details on the launch and what it could mean for human exploration of the moon and Mars.
WALKER: More than 100 days after the devastating Maui wildfires, officials are still searching for missing people, how they're working to bring closure to those families, coming up on CNN This Morning.
BLACKWELL: This morning, a plane carrying 15 people from Gaza, including children with urgent medical needs, has landed in the UAE. They're the first of 1,000 children who will get treatment under an initiative by the UAE's president. The Palestinian Ministry of Health says the crippling fuel and water shortage in Gaza has led dozens of hospitals to close. The Al-Shifa hospital says most of the ICU patients who were on ventilators have died.
Heavy shelling continued in northern Gaza overnight where Israel Defense Force, they continued their ground incursion into Gaza. Hamas officials now put the Palestinian death toll in Gaza at more than 12,000 with an estimated 5,000 children among those killed.
WALKER: Today marks six weeks since the terrorist attacks in Israel that led to the country to declare war on Hamas. Israeli police say that the death toll from the Nova music festival has reached 364. That is up from 270.
The music festival was ground zero for thousands of unsuspecting people attending the festival who were killed or taken hostage by Hamas. CNN's Nada Bashir now is in Jerusalem. Nada, what is the latest?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Of course, devastating news there with regards to the increase in the number of Israeli citizens believed to have been killed at the Nova Music festival, a significant increase, according to reporting from Israel's channel Twelve, citing police information.
And of course, it is understood that 40 people who were at the festival were taken hostage and taken into Gaza. And there is certainly mounting concern around the safety of those hostages inside the Gaza Strip.
We saw yesterday overnight heavy shelling once again across northern Gaza. And there is, of course, also huge amounts of concern for the safety and security of civilians inside the Gaza Strip, not least those at hospitals across northern Gaza, where, as we understand, many are simply unable to evacuate at this stage.
We heard this morning from a doctor at the Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital and what has been the focal point of an ongoing Israeli military raid. The Israeli Defense Force saying that they are on lookout for a command and control center, a Hamas command and control center they believe to beneath the Al-Shifa hostel.
At this stage, no concrete evidence of this command and control center. They say they have found evidence of tunneling infrastructure, of an operational tunnel shaft and military equipment inside the hostel.
Of course, CNN is not on the ground. It cannot independently verify those claims, and those claims have been denied by both Hamas and medical officials on the ground.
But there is huge concern around the safety of those patients inside the hospital, hundreds of patients, hundreds of medical staff, and of course, thousands of civilians who flocked to Al-Shifa to take shelter at this hospital following the destruction of their homes.
We have seen widespread destruction across northern Gaza this morning, where we did hear from one doctor speaking to the Qatari News Network Al Jazeera saying that the hospital had been ordered, according to the doctor's medical directors, to evacuate the complex by the Israel Defense Forces.
Now, the IDF has denied these comments. There were zero orders for civilians for patients to leave the hospital. But this doctor has said that a number of patients did indeed evacuate, with some 120 said to have remained who simply aren't able to evacuate. And of course, that is one of the key issues here. We have heard those
repeated orders for civilians to evacuate northern Gaza to move southwards. But the warning that we've been hearing from doctors both on the ground and medical officials across the board working with teens on the ground, is that there are many patients who cannot be evacuated.
And we saw today that first evacuation flight landing in the UAE, including children who are in need of urgent medical care. But there are many, many more patients inside Gaza desperately in need of medical care. But the situation is deteriorating. Many hospitals are in operational and as we have seen that death toll is continuing to rise.
BLACKWELL: Nada Bashir for us in Jerusalem. Thank you so much.
Donald Trump will be on the ballot in Colorado's Republican presidential primary.
WALKER: Last night, a judge rejected an effort to disqualify him based on the 14th Amendment's ban on insurrectionists running for office. Now the judge says Trump did participate in the January 6 insurrection, but that ban does not apply to presidents. CNN's Marshall Cohen has more.
MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Victor and Amara, good morning. A major, major ruling in Colorado last night. The judge concluded that Donald Trump engaged in the January 6 insurrection and that he incited violence that day. That is a stunning finding.
But Judge Sarah Wallace in Denver said that the 14th Amendment's ban on insurrectionists holding office does not apply to the presidency.
The provision mentions senators, representatives and other office holders, but it doesn't say anything about the president. And based on that, which some people have called the technicality, the judge said that Trump must remain on Colorado's Republican primary ballot.
That means this is another victory for Trump. He has already beaten back similar constitutional challenges in Minnesota, Michigan and New Hampshire. The liberal watchdog group that filed the lawsuit in Colorado has said that they are going to appeal the decision. Most experts believe that this will reach the Supreme Court in some fashion one way or another.
But look, this 102-page ruling offered a searing condemnation of Trump's conduct after the 2020 election. The judge said that Trump, quote, actively primed the anger of his extremist supporters and that he, quote, acted with a specific intent to incite political violence and direct it at the Capitol.
Now, Trump's lawyer in the case, Scott Gessler, took issue with those findings, but he did praise the ultimate decision to keep Trump on the ballot. Here's what he said last night to our colleague Kaitlan Collins. Take a listen.
SCOTT GESSLER, DONALD TRUMP ATTORNEY: We're respectful that the judge made the right decision. I understand she threw a lot of shade on President Trump, and we're not happy about that and we disagree with it. But at the end of the day --
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: But I guess my question is --
GESSLER: And we're respectful of this, that she's respecting the Democratic processes.
COHEN: And by the way, in that ruling, the judge also said that Trump's actions on January 6 were unlawful, but this was not a criminal case. Trump is separately facing state and federal charges in connection with attempts, his attempts to overturn the 2020 election. And to those charges, he has pleaded not guilty. Victor and Amara.
WALKER: All right. Marshall Cohen, thank you for breaking that down for us. Let's bring in CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson. Joey, good morning to you.
Let's take a look at Section 3 of the 14th Amendment one more time. Because the judge said that in this amendment, it does not explicitly mention the president. No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress or elector of president and vice president or hold office, it goes on to say, anyone who's engaged insurrection that has been named shall not be holding these positions.
Joey, what is your take on this? Because I do find it quite remarkable that the judge would say the president, former president, engaged insurrection, yet he can still run for the presidency.
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. Amara, good morning to you. So believe it or not, I think the judge's decision was brilliant. And I'll tell you why. Now we've spoken off, or we started speaking about the actual law, this was really a bifurcated decision in the 102 pages.
What do I mean by that? I mean that there were critical rulings based upon the facts. The judge concluded that there was an insurrection here. The judge credited the January 6 report suggesting and saying that this was a president who engaged in an insurrection against the United States. He didn't condemn the protesters at all and the rioters. He didn't tell him to go home. It took him 3 hours to do so. He didn't provide law enforcement reinforcements to assist in any regard. The speech that he engaged in was not protected political speech because it incited imminent lawless action.
Wow. She said a lot as it relates to the facts. Pivoting, right, hammer to your core question, which is the law, should we not believe our lying eyes as it relates to the section you just put up? 14th Amendment, Section 3. Here was her issue. Her issue was that it talks about senators, it
talks about Congress, it talks about electors of the president. It says any office, but it doesn't say the president. And so the judge was very constrained with respect to making that decision.
And so she says, right, let's leave it up to higher courts to assess whether the legislative intent and history in making this amendment, crafting it, developing it, applies to the president. I'm not going to do so. But in every other regard, Amara, it was a sweeping and condemning indictment with respect to his conduct. She just held short of saying that section applied, let other courts do it, and that's sure to be what's going to happen.
WALKER: So, understood. So that the judge has basically made precedent with this ruling, right. This one in Colorado. It is expected to appealed, as you heard from Marshall Cohen. It is expected to reach this whole issue of the 14th Amendment is expected to reach the Supreme Court of the United States.
But the fact that you have this precedent, and then you've also had judges or similar lawsuits in Minnesota and New Hampshire that were dismissed on procedural grounds. A judge in Michigan ruled that this was a political question, not one for the court to decide.
Knowing that, do you expect this to be an uphill battle then for these voting groups once it gets to these levels?
JACKSON: So you know what, Amara, it could be. And just pivoting quickly to the other cases that you mentioned, which rightfully were rejected on procedural grounds. If you look at the issues, for example, in Minnesota, what the judge said is not made a ruling on the merits, as this judge really did, but said, listen, the Republican primary in Minnesota, it's an internal process. This is not the general election. It's not ripe yet for my determination, said the judge in Minnesota.
Similarly, if you pivot to Michigan, what did the judge say there? No ruling on the merits. The judge at this point said, hey, we're going to pause because this is a political question. Congress decides this. I'm a judge. I shouldn't decide this.
So the issues in Colorado, Amara, really was the first time a judge made a factual determination on the merits of the president's conduct, but stopped short because of what you showed at the outset of this segment. 14th Amendment, Section 3 doesn't say president. I can't decide that. Let an appellate court decide.
So, yes, I mean, you can look at it as an uphill battle because it'll go through the appellate court. But no matter what we were talking about Amara this morning, whether it was the other way, the judge ruled that President Trump's off the ballot, it's going to go to the higher court anyway. And that, quite frankly, is where it belongs.
WALKER: OK. Now, this is just one of a few legal issues that Trump is facing. This is probably the least of which, arguably, we just heard that the Fulton County prosecutors in this Georgia election interference case, they're asking for a trial start date of August 5 of 2024. As you know, that's right in the middle of the general election campaign.
Just feasibly speaking, practically speaking, knowing that Trump has three other criminal cases beginning in March of May of next year, two of which are federal cases, how is this all going to fit in, especially if he's going to be expected? And some of these trials are all, correct me, to sit through these trials?
JACKSON: Yes, without question. And so what happens, Amara, in a criminal case, you need to be there. Right. Civil cases, as we saw in New York, you can helicopter in, you can helicopter out. I'm going to go to Florida now. Today I'm going to appear in court. That's a civil case. Civil cases relate to other issues which concern money, not liberty. Right.
So liberty interests where your liberty is on the line. He could face jail time. That's right. I said it. President of the United States, you have to physically be there.
To the question of the logistics, if you're talking about a case beginning, right, in March, conceivably the case, depending upon how the case proceeds could end by May. Guess what? You have another trial then in May to take up, and you could conceivably finish that case by August.
So guess what? You can then sit for another trial, which begins in August. But of course, the Georgia prosecutor has said that case may end after the election.
And so it may be difficult. There are always logistical issues. There are sometimes delays in cases. But it's certainly conceivably possible that you can get through at least a couple of these trials. Maybe not Georgia, but the federal trials prior to the election.
WALKER: A lot of juggling to do. Joey Jackson, thank you so much. Good to see you this morning.
BLACKWELL: Just ahead, House Republicans ramp up their calls to expel Congressman George Santos in the wake of a scathing ethics report. So is he on his way out of Congress?
Plus, the second launch attempt or the most powerful rocket ever built. SpaceX is just hours away from making another run at launching starship. And the Maui wildfires, 100 days later, hear from two officers who are still searching for four people months after the fire's tour through paradise.
BLACKWELL: Some House Republicans once scandal plagued Congressman George Santos ouster from Congress, the Republican House ethics chairman, introduced a resolution Friday to expel Santos after an ethics report found that he had broken federal laws, stolen from his campaign and lied to voters and donors they alleged.
WALKER: Lawmakers are expected to address the resolution once they return from their Thanksgiving break. CNN's Melanie Zanona has the details.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL REPORTER: Yes, good morning, guys. The House is moving closer to expel George Santos from Congress, which would be a largely unprecedented and dramatic step if they were to succeed.
But on Friday morning, Michael Guest, the Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee, filed a resolution that would expel George Santos, and that is going to tee up action potentially after the Thanksgiving break.
Now, past efforts to expel George Santos have failed. It is a high bar. It requires a two-thirds majority for passage. But having the weight of the House Ethics Committee and the weight of this damning report behind it is significant.
And already we have seen a number of Republicans, new Republicans come out and say they will now support expulsion after previously voting against it. And meanwhile, the new speaker, Mike Johnson, is essentially giving members a green light to vote their conscience.
I want to read you part of the statement that came from his spokesman, Raj Shah. He said the speaker has reviewed the report and its very troubling findings as members from both parties, members of the Ethics Committee and Representative Santos return to Congress after the Thanksgiving break, Speaker Johnson encourages all involved to consider the best interests of the institution as this matter is addressed further.
So, we'll see what Santos decides to do. At this moment, he says he will not run for reelection in 2024. He is claiming that he will stick around and serve out his term as long as he is allowed. But some Republicans are at least hoping that he resigns before they have to expel him.
Santos, for his part, has been defiant, says that he is innocent, deserves his day in court, and has also announced that he will hold a press conference on the Capitol steps on November 30. But we'll see if that winds up being his last press conference here on Capitol Hill. Victor and Amara.
BLACKWELL: Thank you very much, Melody. CNN political commentator Errol Louis joins you now from New York to discuss. Errol, let's start with George Santos. A resolution to expel him failed a couple of months ago. Do you expect that this one will be successful? It does not look, at least yet, that he is willing to resign. ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Victor. I don't
know that it's going to be any different as far as the actual outcome. There might be a few members who had said, oh, well, we need to give him due process and let's wait for the ethics committee report.
Okay. Now they have the report. Now they might feel more likely to try and vote for his expulsion. But the reality is George Santos, by saying he's not going to run for reelection, pretty much took away a lot of that argument. If you just wait, he's going to go away, is what he said.
The reality also is that he's facing very serious criminal charges. And if that federal prosecution goes forward and he is convicted, he may in fact, just resign. I mean, at that point, there's really not much point in hanging around. But for a lot of the members, I think they're going to just wait and see it play itself out rather than take the act of voting to expel him.
BLACKWELL: Speaker McCarthy did not back his expulsion and several other Republicans, in part because the majority is so slim that they need that vote, the seat expected in a special election based on other factors. Democrats believe they have a good shot at that, and some Republicans believe it as well.
So what do you glean from the statement from now, Speaker Johnson spokesperson, where he says, Speaker Johnson encourages all involved to consider the best interest of the institution as this matter is addressed.
LOUIS: You know, Victor, I read that as code for saying, listen, any of us could wind up in some kind of an ethical soup at some point. Do we really want to cross that line and make it so that when someone's in trouble, even before their legal case is played out, we can vote toss them out.
And a lot of members feel that for substantive reasons, that -- when people have voted in their home district for a person, that decision should not be lightly overturned and anyone could be unpopular. Anyone can draw the attention of a two-thirds majority, and we don't necessarily want to play that game. It would introduce a number or a level of volatility into governing the country that I think Speaker Johnson was asking people to be a little bit mindful of.
I don't think there's going to be an expulsion vote to tell you the truth. I mean, I don't think -- it's not what members of Congress came there to do. It's not what makes them feel good about their job. I think what they have is a political problem, Victor, where he is tarnishing the Republican brand, and there are lot of Republicans who want him out of there, and they want to cast a vote for expulsion so that they can go back to their district and say, look, I tried to get rid of the guy, but as far as what's good for the country, what's good for the institution, you don't necessarily want to have to go through this every Congress because there's always going to be a joker in the deck. BLACKWELL: All right. Two-thirds vote needed to expel him. Let's turn
now to the race for president. The Biden campaign says that they are now going to start turning up the heat on Trump, highlighting his plans for the DOJ, abortion politics as well, his use of terminology like vermin.
It is obviously not too late to do that. We're still a year out from the election. But considering the recent polls and the trends of the polls over some time, would you have expected this to start sooner than a year out?
LOUIS: Well, you know, it's interesting. I did not expect it to crystallize quite so clearly and so early that this is going to be in some ways an extension of the 2020 race, that Joe Biden is going to try and disqualify Donald Trump, or at least suggest to voters that he, Donald Trump, is not prepared and not qualified and not fit to hold the office.
Every candidate says that about their opponent on some level, but Joe Biden really built his candidacy around it, saying that we've got to go in an entirely different direction because Donald Trump cannot be allowed to sit in the Oval Office.
And I didn't know that it was going to emerge quite so quickly that it's going to be exactly the same argument again. I think that's partly why the polls show voters are so dissatisfied. They're sensing that we're getting more of a rerun than a look at what the future is going to hold for the country.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, that 2020 battle for the soul of the nation argument that the president used. I wonder, as we look at the politics of 2024 and the policy of the moment, is there residue of the dissatisfaction we're seeing among Democrats? 56 percent in the new poll show that they believe that the IDF has done too much in Gaza. The president is not calling for a ceasefire, despite some in his party, a growing number, who are calling for him to urge one.
Is it harder now to make that case stick considering the constituencies who for whatever percentage voted for him because they thought he could restore the soul of the nation as they watch now what's happening in Gaza and his refusal to do what they want call for a ceasefire?
LOUIS: Well, listen, this is the turbulence within the Democratic coalition you traditionally see. There are a lot of voters, especially younger voters, who are very unhappy about what's happening. And the polls reflect that, where Biden is getting low marks on foreign policy, even from a lot of Democrats, especially the younger ones.
Now, he is not going to change. I mean, this is core to who he is, not just because he's the commander in chief right now, but because he used to chair the Foreign Relations Committee. He's got longstanding relationships. This is what he believes. This is why he went into public service.
He has a vision of the world and America's place in it. And that does not include backing away from allies like Israel. And that's just not going to change. So, you know, what you see is what you get. What you got is Joe Biden supporting Israel.
What can change in the next six months, for example, is that if the IDF, if Israel get to some kind of stable place in Gaza where there's a rebuilding process, where Hamas has been destroyed, where it starts to settle down a little bit, then Biden in hindsight might be seen as having done the right and proper and wise thing.
But that's just a big question mark. And it's not in the hands of the president or the Democrats or really anybody in America. A lot of this is going to play out on the ground in the Middle East.
BLACKWELL: Yes. And we might be a ways out from that. Errol Louis, thank you so much.
WALKER: Still ahead, a second launch attempt months in the making. Today, SpaceX hopes to send the most powerful rocket ever built into space. We're live at the launch site. Next.
BLACKWELL: Sean "Diddy" Combs and his former girlfriend Cassie Ventura have reached a settlement after she accused the music mogul of rape and physical abuse. Ventura who is also a singer claims that she was lured into a fast-paced and drug-fueled lifestyle as she was signed to his record label Bad Boy.
In a statement obtained by CNN, Combs now says that, "we have decided to resolve this matter amicably. I wish Cassie and her family all the best. Love."
WALKER: Former first lady Rosalynn Carter is now in hospice care at her home in Plains, Georgia. The 96-year-old was diagnosed with dementia back in May. The Carter center released a statement saying, quote, "Jimmy Carter and his wife of 77 years are spending time with each other and their family."
The former president also began home hospice care in February after a series of short hospital stays. He is 99 years old. And in less than 90 minutes, the most powerful rocket ever built, SpaceX's mega rocket Starship is set to attempt a second launch from Texas after a delay on Friday.
BLACKWELL: This lift-off comes after months of rebuilding and clearing red tape after an April explosion that stopped its first test flight. CNN's Kristin Fisher joins us now live from South Padre Island in Texas.
So, a lot of excitement again today. There is a really small, tight window in which this can go up. Tell us about what's expected. KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are hundreds, if
not thousands, of people lined up along this beach and on the causeway to get into South Padre Island. Some have been camped out overnight to watch the launch of the most powerful rocket ever built, Victor, and yes, we had a one-day delay due to a technical issue with the rocket that they fixed and now just about 20 minutes ago, Space X said we are go for launch.
The rocket is looking good. The weather is looking good. And just a few minutes ago, we got the confirmation that they are beginning to load the propellant, the fuel into this massive 400-foot-tall rocket, which is just behind me over in Boca Chica or what SpaceX likes to call Starbase. That is SpaceX's starport, you know, their version of an airport to get this rocket up into orbit, hopefully.
And you know that first attempt in April ended in an explosion. There is a good chance that this one could as well. This is just a test flight on -- but SpaceX has been making tons of improvements over the last seven months. They have rebuilt the launch-pad, which was totally destroyed by those big 33 engines last April. They have come into compliance with a lot of the issues that federal regulators found with the FAA and with the fish and wildlife service.
And then they made some upgrades to the rocket itself, improving the engines, 33 huge engines all have to ignite at the same time at the base of this super heavy booster. And then the other big moment that we're going to be watching for, Victor, is the moment that the second stage, the bottom of the rocket, the booster and the top stage, the starship spacecraft, the moment that those two separate.
They're going to be trying something new called the hot stage maneuver, Victor, and that's a moment, if they can get through that, there is a good chance that they can get this rocket all the way almost up into orbit, Victor.
BLACKWELL: All the way almost.
WALKER: Yes --
BLACKWELL: It's a start. Kristin Fisher joining us. Thank you so much. All right, coming up, the Israel Defense Forces, they say that they are determined to advance wherever Hamas exists. We'll discuss what that looks like on the battlefield next.
WALKER: This morning, the first plane carrying critically ill children from Gaza landed in the UAE according to the country's state-run news agency. Their president is trying to evacuate 1,000 children from the war-ravaged Gaza to get medical help. Most hospitals in Gaza have now shut down from damage or a lack of fuel. I think the last count was 75 percent of the hospitals have now shut down. Meanwhile, the IDF says it will advance to anywhere Hamas is found,
including the southern part of Gaza. There is growing indications that a ground offensive there could be imminent. Joining us now is CNN military analyst, Colonel Cedric Leighton. Colonel, good to see you, good morning.
First off, regarding Israel saying that now the northern part is -- of Gaza is now under Israel's control, they on Wednesday dropped leaflets across the southern part of Gaza calling for civilians to evacuate and head to known shelters. If you're a civilian there, what are you supposed to do? Because that means all of Gaza now is fair game.
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, that's for sure, Amara, good morning to you. It's really -- I think quite confusing for civilians there in Gaza because they don't have the extensive shelter system that Israel has, for example. So this -- you know, these kinds of directives with there, not being an area that is off limits to either airstrikes or artillery strikes, that really puts the civilians at considerable risk.
Now, the challenge, on the other hand, the challenge for the Israelis is this. They know that interspersed among the civilian population, even in the south, there are going to be Hamas fighters, and that is going to cause them quite a bit of difficulty just from a military operational perspective. So the Israelis have that challenge.
But on the other hand, the Israelis have a duty to make sure that they minimize casualties among the civilian population, and that's something that I'm not sure that the way they're going about this will ensure that kind of safety for this -- I think safety is kind of, you know, it's been left in the rearview mirror at this point.
WALKER: Yes, and back to Al Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, there's been so much attention surrounding this hospital as it was under siege. Can you just help put us -- put into context, these competing claims that we're hearing from Israel, which is backed up by the U.S., saying that Hamas has been using the compound as a command and control center.
Hamas, obviously, denying that, calling them baseless lies. And then on Thursday, the IDF released video, we can see it there that showed what they say is Hamas' operational tunnel in the grounds. We have yet to see, however, a larger scale command structure at Al Shifa. We cannot here at CNN independently verify claims on other -- each side.
Do you think we'll ever see evidence? Do you expect to see more evidence of this larger command and control center?
LEIGHTON: So, this is going to be really interesting because the Israelis are doing their darnedest to find that kind of evidence and provide it to the press and, you know, to the -- to the world at large. So the problem that we might run into is this. The command structure for Hamas is a bit more fluid than you would find in a standard military force like the Israeli army or the American military.
So, we might not see, there might not be a command center in the classic military sense of that -- of that term. You know, it's very easy to just use a bunch of cellphones and some radio and have pretty much the same effect as you would have, especially when you're talking about a fighting force like Hamas with the same kind of structure that they have.
So, there might not be a command center in the classic sense, and that is going to create real problems for the Israeli narrative.
WALKER: Yes, makes a lot of sense. Colonel Cedric Leighton, unfortunately, we'll leave it there. Thank you very much.
BLACKWELL: Still ahead, it's been 100 days since wildfires left parts of Paradise in ruins. And still officials are not giving up on efforts to find four people still missing.
WALKER: It has been 100 days since a horrific wildfire destroyed the city of Lahaina on Maui. And law enforcement is still launching new searches for those who are still missing.
BLACKWELL: CNN spoke to Maui police officers who up until now have not spoken publicly about their search efforts for the four people, a former NASA engineer, an author, a mother and father. CNN's Mike Valerio interviewed officers who were some of the first to rush out and start searching.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to go!
MIKE VALERIO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than a 100 days later, it is still nearly incomprehensible, taking in all that is lost.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're there with the person that's there sobbing, and you see firsthand the trauma.
VALERIO: Maui police officers Brad Taylor (ph) and Stephen Lancedell (ph) are two of the heroes whose taskforce has investigated every single missing person's case from the Lahaina fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are working towards the goal of making sure anybody who has a lost loved one, we're able to find them or give them closure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, come on, come on, hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!
VALERIO: But that has been elusive for the families of four people not seen since the paroxysm of the fire. Among those who are still missing is Robert Owens (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We learned that he used to work for NASA as an engineer. Paul Brescesky (ph), he is a resident of Lahaina. He is a local artist, a boat builder, a wood worker, and he's a published author and also a father of two. Elmer Stevens (ph), he also frequents Lahaina, he's a father of two and he does find solace in the quiet pleasures of life.
VALERIO: The fourth still missing is Lydia Kalumer (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lydia (ph) is a Lahaina resident. She is a mother, a wife, a well-respected community member.
VALERIO: According to "Honolulu Civil Beat", an astounding eight of Colomos (ph) family members lost their lives in the Lahaina fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still are getting family reference samples coming in.
VALERIO: Tony Earles leads the Maui Police CSI team. And he says as of now, there is one set of human remains that hasn't been identified yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have ideas of who we think it is.
VALERIO: But he adds, when it comes to putting a name to the remains --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can guarantee it will be days, if not weeks, or maybe even months.
VALERIO: This week, officers Taylor (ph) and Lancedell (ph) are planning new burn zone searches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve and I are still going out into the rubble, into the burn zone. We'll find new information out and we're really -- we want to make sure -- we want to get the rest of those people.
VALERIO: Officer Taylor told us, he knew some of the victims.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the unfortunate ways I found out was we would get the DNA confirmation sheets. And I was reading through it, it's like find out who it was and I read the name and it was from a former co-worker. She used to work for the police department. When I started my career, I worked closely with her.
VALERIO: And officer Lancedell (ph) was already changed, deeply affected by devastating wildfires.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My hometown is Paradise, California. So they went through this, 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 had families and friends in Paradise that lost their homes in everything.
VALERIO: 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.
WALKER: Thank you, Mike Valerio. Still ahead, if you are hitting the road for Thanksgiving, you may have to deal with the storm system starting up. Next, which parts of the country need to plan a little extra travel time?
BLACKWELL: We're tracking wet weather across the west coast and other parts of the country as we head into the busiest travel week of the year.
WALKER: Forecast is also keeping an eye on a possible late season tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar has the details. Hello, Allison.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, METEOROLOGIST: And good morning. Yes, we've got two separate systems that we're keeping an eye on, on both coasts. The first one is just wrapping up across portions of the northeast, the secondary one out to the west. And that's going to be the one we follow for the next few days. But we start in the northeast.
Again, you can still see there's a few light showers around Boston, Portland, stretching down to New York. But give it about a few more hours, and this will finally start to wrap back up and we'll get some sunshine back into the forecast, especially if you have travel plans later in the day. Out to the West, we've got a lot of heavy rain that's going to start to filter in across northern and central California and then spread northward into Oregon and Washington, especially as we go into the afternoon and evening hours.
But that's the system that we're going to watch progress eastward over the coming days. Here is a look as we spread into the day on Sunday. You can see we've got some of that rain and even snow for the higher elevations, but also starting to see some rain develop along the central and southern plains. That's really going to fill in by the time we get to Sunday night.
So, again, any travel plans there, Dallas, Tulsa, up through Kansas City, likely to have some delays. Then by Monday, here is the big factor. Is that low pressure system continues to spread off to the east, we also start to see a new threat, that's going to be severe thunderstorms. Yes, we're talking damaging winds, also the potential for some tornadoes, places like Houston, New Orleans, stretching up through Little Rock and Jackson, Mississippi. But also, that rain getting all the way up towards Chicago, you're
looking at Des Moines, across portions of St. Louis. That system then spreads into Tuesday. And this is going to be the big travel concern day. So, if you are driving, maybe have some flexibility with your plans and cannot go on Tuesday, that might help.