Return to Transcripts main page

CNN This Morning

U.N. Official: Horrifying Blast At U.N.-Run School In Gaza; Biden Stands Firm On Rejecting Ceasefire At This Time; Biden Threatens Visa Bans On Extremists Attacking Civilians; WHO Leads Mission To Visit Al-Shifa Hospital With U.N. Workers; Florida Man On Mission To Revive Coral Reefs; GOP Candidates Campaign In Iowa As Caucuses Draw Closer; Trump Goes On The Attack In Iowa; House Ethics Chair Introduces Resolution To Expel Santos; New York City Mayor Eric Adams Setting Up Legal Defense Fund. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired November 19, 2023 - 06:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to CNN THIS MORNING. It's Sunday, November 19th. I'm Victor Blackwell.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker. Thank you so much for being with us. Here is what we're watching for you. President Biden is rejecting calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. Plus, what Israel's prime minister is saying about hostages being held by Hamas.

BLACKWELL: Republican presidential candidates are in Iowa and on the attack. What they are saying about the president and each other.

WALKER: There's good news for people hitting the roads this Thanksgiving holiday. Gas prices are at their lowest levels in years and analysts say they are likely to drop even more.

BLACKWELL: Yes. But bad news if you are flying it's shaping up to be a wet week ahead with several systems that could slow down travel across the country in the air. We've got your holiday travel forecast.

WALKER: We begin this morning with reports out of Gaza where there was an explosion at a U.N.-run school. We want to warn you. The video you're about to see is disturbing.

Video shows dozens of bodies, including women and children. The school was being used as a shelter. One U.N. official called the carnage horrifying. A U.N. agency confirmed the school was hit Saturday but did not give further details.

WALKER: President Biden again rejects calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. He says that will give Hamas an opportunity to regroup and rebuild their stockpile of weapons. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is live for us in Delaware. But we begin with Jeremy Diamond from Tel Aviv. Jeremy, give us the latest from the region there.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are seeing scenes of absolute devastation inside the Gaza Strip. The United Nations says that the al-Fakhoura School in Jabalya refugee camp, was struck yesterday. They say that they do not know what the source or cause of the strike on the school was, but already Egypt and Qatar as well as other Arab countries are already beginning to blame Israel for this.

But what is clear is the scenes of absolute devastation that we are seeing in videos from this incident. Bloodied bodies in several rooms on two floors of this school complex, including many women and children among the dead. In one room you can see a dozen bodies covered in dust -- desks smashed, a huge hole in the wall of one of those rooms. And the Israeli military has said that it is aware of the incident but it did not know who was responsible for the strike. And it said as of now that they have no comment.

Meanwhile, we see that at the al-Shifa Hospital there are efforts underway to evacuate those 32 premature babies who were in that neonatal unit, were moved to a different wing of the hospital after a generator was struck and power went out to the incubators there. The Israel military, of course, has said that they delivered mobile incubators to that hospital and now it appears that a plan is underway with the World Health Organization to evacuate those babies to a hospital in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, yesterday United Nations workers also visited the al-Shifa Hospital and they described devastating conditions at that hospital calling it a death zone with a mass grave of about 80 bodies at the hospital's entrance. They also said that patients and staff who are still there feared for their safety and were pleading for a way to coordinate an evacuation route out of there.

The Israeli military, meanwhile, is continuing its campaign in the northern Gaza Strip. They say that they are conducting clearing operations in northern Gaza to destroy tunnels and other Hamas infrastructure. Last night, I was in Tel Aviv where we had thousands of people rallying for the release of those hostages being held by Hamas. It's not clear whether the pressure that they brought to bear will get the Israeli government to reach a deal with Hamas to secure the release of dozens of hostages in exchange for a multiday pause in fighting.

But what is clear is that it at least resulted in the Israeli prime minister agreeing to meet with the families of those hostages. That meeting is set to take place on Monday as we see that negotiations between Israel and Hamas mediated by Qatar are still ongoing.

WALKER: Jeremy, thank you. And let's go now to Priscilla Alvarez. And, Priscilla, those calls for President Biden to broker a ceasefire, you know, continue. But in a new opinion piece in "The Washington Post" the president is doubling down saying, no, there will be no ceasefire.


PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right, Amara. He is reaffirming the administration's position on this and arguing that a ceasefire could be exploited by Hamas. Instead, the administration has been pushing for humanitarian pauses so that hostages that are held by Hamas can be released but also so that more humanitarian aid can get into Gaza.

But notably two other things the president mentioned in this op-ed included a warning. Two extremists were attacking civilians in the West Bank saying that the United States is prepared to issue visa bans. And the president also calling again for a two-state solution. This is an idea that the president has long endorsed and says is the way forward.

Of course, that will remain a steep challenge for the region but the president says in this op-ed -- quote -- "Our goal should not be simply to stop the war for today. It should be to end the war forever, break the cycle of unceasing violence, and build something stronger in Gaza and across the Middle East so that history does not keep repeating itself."

Now, the president also called on Israel to follow humanitarian law and protect innocent civilians. But zooming out here, this was an op- ed that not only touched on Israel but also Ukraine. The president reaffirming the administration's position that it supports both Israel and Ukraine at a critical moment.

Now, recall the president has asked Congress for billions in additional funding to support both of these conflicts. And the president making the point again that these conflicts while they are unfolding abroad do affect U.S. national security and it is incumbent on the U.S. to support especially to not cede any ground to Russia and President Putin or to Hamas. So, the president taking those positions again in "The Washington Post" in this opinion piece that ran just yesterday and what the administration sees as an inflection point. Amara.

BLACKWELL: Priscilla Alvarez for us there in Delaware. Thanks so much.

Let's bring in now CNN global affairs analyst Kim Dozier. Kimberly, good morning to you. Let's start with the president's op-ed in "The Washington Post." And I want to pull out specifically what he says about a ceasefire.

He says, "As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a ceasefire is not peace. To Hamas's members every ceasefire is time they exploit to rebuild their stockpiles of rockets, reposition fighters and restart the killing by attacking innocents again."

This is not conditions based. This is not if they, you know, release hostages or if they shift something, then there can be a ceasefire. It doesn't seem like this gives the president room or maybe he wants room to step away from that. He seems like this is cemented and will not change here.

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It seems that the president is referring to legal definition of a ceasefire where both sides stop fighting while a political solution is sought as opposed to how they are terming humanitarian pauses or tactical pauses that allow hostages to be released or allow Palestinian people to move from one location to another. But he is really -- it seems using this op-ed to reach perhaps the Democratic Party, this might be as domestically focused as it is internationally focused. He has seen the polls that young people, especially in his party, hate what they see going on right now in Gaza and don't understand Biden's policy. It seems this is his way to articulate what Hamas is doing, what it has done, and what he thinks is the appropriate reaction to that.

But of course, he also recommends a two-state solution which at this point this Israeli government doesn't seem remotely interested in and has declared itself against in the past. But he also talks about wanting to sanction or somehow crack down on extremist Israeli settlers, which is a first. We haven't seen that mentioned before. And there are settlers within Netanyahu's own government right now.

BLACKWELL: Jeremy just mentioned the dozens of babies that are in extreme there at al-Shifa Hospital. Doctors say that those who are on ventilators have died. Saturday doctors said that they were told by the IDF to evacuate the hospital and six doctors would stay to care for 120 patients who were so sick that they could not move.

The IDF says that this is a -- that there is Hamas activity there, either inside or below the hospital facility. What is the role of this facility specifically as we focus on it increasingly on this debate over a ceasefire and what this means for Israel and the IDF as they continue this battle against Hamas?

DOZIER: The al-Shifa Hospital has become Gaza in miniature. Everything that's happening there is what we see happening with Hamas, fighting within civilian areas and from civilian areas.


Right now, there are still fighting reported by the World Health Organization team that visited this site and they only were there for about an hour, but they were slowed down from visiting because apparently fighting nearby. That shows that it is an active combat zone.

But the Israelis still haven't managed to find the evidence they need to prove to the world that it was also some sort of command center, which would strip the hospital of its protection ostensibly under Geneva Conventions. But to do that, they need to be able to gain access to the whole neighborhood, and you can see why they'd want staff to move out of the area.

But at the same time, it is so hard to watch. Having watched Israelis over the years rush to disaster zones around the globe, be they earthquakes or hurricanes, they know how to rush medical aid into a given location. So, when you don't see that happening, it raises questions in the eyes of the world, you know, do they want to help people here or do they just want them to move out?

BLACKWELL: Yes, more than a month and still these hospitals increasingly are collapsing and they are not getting the resources they need. Our reporters are citing evidence that this fight against Hamas will start to move southward. And I want you to just walk through us -- with us if one plus one plus one equals three in this case.

One, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have moved south adhering to the warning from the IDF. Hamas uses the civilians as human shields. And, third, IDF says that they will root out Hamas wherever they go.

If Hamas is now under or amongst these people in the south, we should not only expect that there will be attacks and now these doubly dense places, but it makes sense to follow the history of both the IDF and Hamas in this war. So, we should -- we are expecting to see that there will be attacks where the IDF has told the civilians to go.

DOZIER: Exactly. Attacks and counterattacks. Hamas has that tunnel network that is mostly in northern Gaza, but in southern Gaza it's pretty extensive especially right near the border to smuggle things in and out of Egypt. Also, Hamas fighters will surely have fled northern Gaza and hidden among the population because that's what you do in an insurgency or in any sort of fight where you are faced with a superior force. You hide until you can fight another day.

And the Israeli Defense Forces have said that they are going to root out Hamas wherever they are. They are in all of Gaza. And so, expect to see more nightmare situations, including situations like we saw in the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital where it looked like that was an Israeli missile. And later it was proven to be or the best intelligence estimates were that it came from terrorist rockets. So, we don't know what hit that U.N. school, for instance, and without people on the ground to do independent verification of the munitions that hit, we really won't know.

BLACKWELL: All right. Kimberly Dozier, thank you.

WALKER: Still to come, Trump on the trail and on the attack. The former president unleashed some of his harshest words against his successor.

Plus, Iceland on the edge. Parts of the country are on high alert over fears a volcano rumbling under its peninsula will erupt. Hundreds of earthquakes have been reported as magma appears to be heading closer to the surface.

BLACKWELL: And we're introducing the 2023 top 10 CNN Heroes as you get to vote for your favorite CNN hero of the year in the next three weeks. Mike Goldberg is a leading -- he's leading a mission in Florida to receive -- I should say revive coral reefs that are suffering due to unprecedented high ocean temperatures. And he is mobilizing thousands in the dive community to help. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coral reefs, without them, nothing is here. Simply put, they are what it is that brings the ecosystem together. Sadly, I have watched us lose that coral reef and the disappearance of that diverse marine ecosystem. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. I.CARE, are we ready?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Let's go down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then I said, I want to do something. I truly believe we are going to be successful with this restoration work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is amazing how fast this coral is growing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see things every time I go in the water that give me hope. I love being a part of it. I wake up every day and say, look what I get to do.



BLACKWELL: Mike and his team of recreational divers have transplanted more than 15,000 corals. Go to right now to vote for him to become CNN hero of the year or any of your favorite top 10 heroes.


WALKER: Top GOP candidates converged in Iowa this weekend with only eight weeks left until the Iowa caucuses on January 15th. Even though he is leading by a wide margin in the polls, former President Donald Trump told his supporters Saturday not to be complacent and to get out and vote. He also gave some of his harshest attacks on President Joe Biden to date calling Biden a -- quote -- "stupid person."


He also attacked his mental fitness, suggesting without evidence that Biden is on medication. Governor Ron DeSantis is pursuing an all-out strategy in Iowa in hopes of a win in the state that would build momentum to carry him through other primaries. DeSantis' attacks on Trump are also becoming increasingly vitriolic, calling the former president a lame duck and saying his candidacy for president is -- quote -- "high risk with low reward."

Joining me now is CNN political analyst Julian Zelizer. Julian, good morning. Good to see you. You know, none of the attacks on Trump --


WALKER -- seem to be sticking at all. He is still the runaway frontrunner, as you know, for the Republican primary. Is there anything left that could derail or shake Trump's campaign?

ZELIZER: Not much. I mean, two things everyone's looking for. A, anything involving these cases, these legal cases that are out there against him, if those develop in ways that undercut him and his campaign. And, look, the other candidates are staying alive as the song says. They are just trying to stay in this and hope that Iowa or New Hampshire create results that produce momentum for them down the line.

WALKER: In New Hampshire, a new CNN poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire shows Nikki Haley in second place just behind Trump. Trump with 42 percent support. Nikki Haley with 20 percent. Chris Christie 14 percent, and Ron DeSantis, I think, just nine percent, single digits here. What is more notable to you, Haley's rise or DeSantis' slow fall?

ZELIZER: Well, DeSantis' fall is already something we know about and we have seen. I think the direction is pretty clear. Haley's rise has been significant. She is the top other than Trump candidate.

The question is, what does that add up to? Is that the title? Or is there a way to turn that into serious competition to the former president? As of now, that still seems unlikely.

WALKER: Yes, because she is a distant second even though she is the leader of the pack who are trying to challenge Trump. You know, several recent national surveys, when we talk about the general election, they have consistently shown Trump with an advantage over Biden, albeit many of these polls show only two to four-point advantage for Trump.

But Biden is the incumbent. I don't think Trump had an edge like this at all in the 2020 campaign. What has changed for Biden?

ZELIZER: Well, some of it is when you are president, the problems of the country become your problems. And so, this is a natural phenomenon for an incumbent. We have seen this before, even with former President Obama. At this point, it's also a turbulent time both in the country and overseas. And so that often hurts the incumbent as well.

And then there is going to be questions strategically. I mean, is Biden doing the right thing right now? Does he have enough operation, for example, in the swing states?

And so, all of those are questions front and center. The good news is, incumbents can recover from this, if you are a Biden supporter. The bad news is he's not in a position or strength right now and Trump is just getting started.

WALKER: OK. But as you know, there have been calls, including from Democratic strategist, David Axelrod, you know, who said President Joe Biden should really reconsider his bid for 2024 coming within the Democratic Party. Is there even time to find a viable alternative less than a year out from the general?

ZELIZER: Well, there is time, but it's unlikely. I mean, Biden is not stepping down. He is the candidate at this point and there is no indication he is listening to those kinds of suggestions. So as long as he is in this race, which he is, it's going to be increasingly difficult as the clock keeps ticking to put someone else in a primary position that can defeat him.

WALKER: You wrote a piece on and the headline reads that expelling George Santos won't solve the problem. You write in part, "Like Trump, Santos is a symptom, not the cause of what has been happening to the Republican Party. Eliminating him from the caucus will not solve the problem at the core of the party. Trump remains front and center as he continues to spread lies about the election that he lost."

If Trump and Santos are the symptoms, what's your diagnosis?

ZELIZER: Well, the party needs to reform itself. I mean, the party has entered an era where disinformation, falsehood is all common currency for party leaders. And until a new generation emerges that really says, that's not the way we are going to do business, we are going to be conservative but we're going to do it in a way where there is guardrails to how we conduct our politics, you are going to keep having new candidates who reflect this style of partisanship.


Whether it's Trump or whether it's whoever comes after DeSantis or some of the other Republicans who we see every day.

WALKER: Julian Zelizer, appreciate your time this morning. Thanks.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, New York Mayor Eric Adams is getting ready to fight the corruption investigation around his 2021 campaign. The latest on the probe and what Adams is now doing to pay for it all.


WALKER: Police have ended a manhunt in Memphis after finding the suspect in several shootings dead from what appeared to be a self- inflicted gunshot wound. Police found 52-year-old Mavis Christian Jr. inside his vehicle after three women and a 13-year-old girl were killed and another teen wounded in several shootings yesterday.

BLACKWELL: Police say they happened across multiple locations in the city and they say they believe Christian was related to at least some of those killed. Officials have not identified any of the victims or their relation to the suspect.


New York City Mayor Eric Adams is setting up a legal defense fund now as he faces a wide-ranging corruption investigation into his 2021 campaign.

WALKER: The FBI is reportedly focusing on campaign money, political favors, and possible foreign influence, all part of a growing probe into Adams and his circle. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amara and Victor, good morning. The Eric Adams campaign quite upfront about why they're establishing this legal defense fund. In an affidavit signed by Eric Adams himself and obtained by CNN, the campaign rights at the so-called Adams Legal Defense Trust is "necessitated by and intended to defray legal expenses in connection with inquiries by the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York related to the operations of the Adams 2021 mayoral campaign committee."

Meanwhile, we should note that according to city regulations, any New York City employee is allowed to essentially fundraise to cover any legal bills. However, they do have to adhere to some very strict regulations and restrictions. I want to show you just a few of what those are. For example, donations, individual donations, they cannot exceed $5000. All of those legal expenses they have to be disclosed.

Adams also cannot solicit any money from any subordinates or anyone doing business with the city. And also, they cannot accept any money from corporations or companies. So, these are really just a few of those regulations that dictate who can donate and exactly how much and perhaps even when.

Meanwhile, Adams himself continues to maintain that he has not been accused of any wrongdoing, though he did retain that private attorney as this investigation presses forward. Amara, Victor?

WALKER: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you.

Iceland has declared a state of emergency as a monitor of volcano rumbling under their southern peninsula.

BLACKWELL: The town of Grindavik had to be evacuated after it was rattled by more than 1000 earthquakes over the past week. The video you see here shows a damaged road with steam leaking out from underground. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Amara. Well, the authorities here in Iceland do say that they believe a massive eruption could very well be imminent here in the South of Iceland. And as you can see behind me, there is a checkpoint there because that area is now completely cordoned off.

Of course, the main sort of focal point that the authorities are concentrating on right now is a town called Grindavik. And we've seen the footage from that town of streets that are already cracked there steam coming out of those cracks as it seems as though the magma in that area is trying to make its way to the top and burst through the Earth's crust.

Again, the scientists here on the ground are saying they believe that that is something that could happen in the very near future. I want to show you around just a little bit because you can see right behind me there is a sign here that says Grindavik and that is crossed out. That's 10 kilometers away. So, about -- I'd say about 6 1/2 miles. But also of course, the world-famous Blue Lagoon as well closed off.

But if we look in the distance, you can see there's a mountain back there with some steam coming up next to it. That is a geothermal power plant. And the authorities here are also very fearing that they believe that that power plant could be in danger as well from lava flows. And that's why they're trying to build sort of a trench system or barrier system to redirect the lava if and when the eruption does happen. Again, the authorities say right now big emergency situation on the ground. The town of Grindavik has been evacuated. There's some people who can go back for a short period of time and pick things up, but the authorities also say that that might stop in the not-too-distant future if the situation continues the way it has been, guys.

WALKER: All right, Frederick Pleitgen, thank you. Rescue crews in the Indian Himalayas are trying a new plan to reach 40 construction workers who have been trapped in a collapsed highway tunnel for a week now. The options now include constructing escaped tunnels as well as drilling vertically from the top of the mountain down to the workers.

Officials say the trapped men are safe. They have light, and they are receiving oxygen, food, water, and medicines through a pipe.

Still ahead, a gift to be thankful for. Gas prices tumble as millions of Americans hit the road for the holiday weekend. But will the weather be as kind?



BLACKWELL: Do you want some good news? I feel like we need some good news.

WALKER: And you get to deliver it. We do.

BLACKWELL: So, ahead of the busy travel week, the busiest of the year, gas prices are dropping.

WALKER: Yes. And it's quite different, right, from what we experienced over Labor Day weekend, when prices at the pump were near all-time highs. CNN's Matt Egan is here to explain why it's happening and how low it's expected to go.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Victor and Amara, the last time it was this cheap to hit the road for Thanksgiving, almost no one was on the road. It's just in time for the holiday rush this year, gas prices are falling dramatically. The price of a gallon of regular is now down by more than $0.50 just since mid-September, falling to 10-month lows.

And if prices stay in your current levels, this would be the cheapest Thanksgiving Day gas price since 2020, when of course COVID prevented many people from traveling. None of this is to say that gas prices are dirt cheap. They're not. If you look back to 2019, the national average then on Thanksgiving Day was $2. 59 a gallon. Still though, this is good news for consumers.

And it is possible the prices go even lower in the coming days. GasBuddy expects the national average will drop to $3.25 a gallon or lower by Thanksgiving Day. And that is well below last year's level of $3.57. And this would translate to American spending $1.2 billion less on fuel this Thanksgiving week. And it's not because people are driving less. AAA projects just over 49 million Americans are going to hit the road this Thanksgiving. That is up almost two percent from last year.

So, why is it getting cheaper to fill up? Mostly it's because oil prices have been in a deep slump driven by concerns about oversupply and about weak demand, especially in China. No matter the reason, there are now 10 states where drivers are being greeted by sub $3.00 gas including Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. And GasBuddy says there is a growing chance that the national average will go below $3.00 a gallon by the end of the year. That, of course, would be something to celebrate.

Victor and Amara?

WALKER: Matt Egan, thank you. And even as gas prices are cooperating with travelers, the weather, if you're flying, may not. The week-long West Coast rain -- that's not good cause I'm heading to the West Coast -- is heading into the Rockies today.

BLACKWELL: All right, I guess that's the end of the good news.

WALKER: For me, at least.

BLACKWELL: The system could also bring stormy weather and delays along the East Coast this week. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is with us. Help find some like, I guess, little nugget of something good in all this mess for us.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know what? Yes. So, if you get stuck in traffic, just remember, you didn't pay that much for that gas than probably you did last year.

BLACKWELL: OK. There you go. All right.

CHINCHAR: There you go. Exactly, yes. And unfortunately, we are likely going to have some travel delays both in the air and on the roads over the next several days as this system right here focused across the central U.S. begins to progress eastward. Today, we've already got some showers and even thunderstorms across the U.S. Snow is falling across portions of the Mountain West.

But this whole system is going to progress eastward, so you've got rain that eventually make it towards Chicago, Saint Louis, down through Memphis, and even the potential for some severe thunderstorms on the South side once we get to Monday. That low pressure system deepens. It intensifies. So, now you're looking at the potential for damaging winds, tornadoes for areas like Shreveport, Dallas stretching down towards Orleans.

Then once we get to later Monday, that low begins to continue eastward. Cincinnati, down to Atlanta, over towards Washington, D.C. and New York by the time we get to Tuesday. So, Tuesday likely to be a bit of a hot mess, especially if you've got any connections say in some of those cities like New York, D.C., or Atlanta. Once we get to Wednesday morning, the focus now becomes all up and down the East Coast, especially cities like Boston and New York likely going to have some travel delays there. So, push it forward to tomorrow, the big concern cities, they're going to be Denver, Chicago stretching down towards Saint Louis. By the time we get to Tuesday, still looking at especially the morning hours for Chicago and Saint Louis, but now you start to see some of those air concerns traveling East. So, New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, even stretching down into New Orleans for a lot of these areas because again, this system is going to continue to progress eastward.

By Wednesday morning, as the system is finally starting to push farther out to the east, we still have some concerns along the East Coast. Tuesday, by the evening, you're still looking at New York and Washington, D.C. But by the time we get to Wednesday morning, it's starting to wrap up. Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., all the way down through Atlanta. So, again, as you pack those bags, Victor and Amara, maybe pack a little bit of patience to go with it.

And remember, yes, maybe you paid a little bit less for the gas if you end up getting stuck behind the wheel.

WALKER: Yes, but if you end up getting stuck in traffic, then you're -- you know, car is running, then you're wasting the gas, which means you're wasting your money. OK, sorry, I'm a pessimist.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Amara. Thank you, Allison.

WALKER: Misery loves company, because now I'm going to probably have to deal with delays, you know, when I get to the airport.

BLACKWELL: All right, still ahead, a Jewish World War II veteran says Antisemitism in this country is the worst he's ever seen it. And now, just shy of his 100th birthday, he's using his experience as a concentration camp liberator to educate others.



BLACKWELL: Amid reports of rising Jewish hate across the country, a Jewish World War II veteran is using his story to educate young people and combat Antisemitism. Hilbert Margol was one of the first Americans to uncover the atrocities of the Dachau concentration camp.

WALKER: Now, nearly 80 years later, he says he believes Antisemitism is as bad as it has ever been in this country. CNN's Gary Tuchman has the story.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Hilbert Margol, who lives in Atlanta, is three months away from his 100th birthday. Just before his 21st birthday, Army Private First-Class Hilbert Margol, a Jewish soldier, was deployed to fight the Nazis in World War II.

HILBERT MARGOL, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: And when the Battle of the Bulge broke out, they rushed our three infantry regiments as fast as they could get them over there.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): The battle of the Bulge was ending as Hilbert on the right and as late identical twin brother Howard on the left arrived in occupied France. The two gunners in their 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division ended up in combat and headed across the border to Germany.

MARGOL: We couldn't be more than three yards away from our howitzer because we could get fire missions morning, noon, and night.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): On April 29th, 1945, the brothers Margol investigated a horrible odor they smelled. After about 15 minutes walking through the woods, they saw an open train box car in the German city of Dachau.

TUCHMAN: What did you see in the box car?

MARGOL: Nothing but deceased bodies. We had a little brownie box camera we had liberated a couple of weeks earlier, so we decided, well, let's go ahead and take a picture of that box car, which we did.


TUCHMAN (voiceover): The brothers knew nothing about Nazi death or concentration camps, but Hilbert and Howard were among the first American soldiers on the scene. They were the liberators of the Dachau concentration camp, where more than 40,000 people were murdered by the Nazis.

BETTY ANNE MARGOL, WIFE OF HILBERT MARGOL: Are we going walking before we eat dinner?

MARGOL: No, I don't feel up to.

B.A. MARGOL: You don't feel up to? OK.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Hilbert and his 94-year-old wife Betty Anne have been married for 75 years. For most of those years, he didn't talk about the war, didn't reveal his emotions. But several years ago he was an honored guest at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and walked through a train box car exhibit.

MARGOL: Now, this was a very nice-looking boxcar. But when I got in that boxcar to walk through it, that's when I broke down.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Gilbert Margol has since been on a mission to teach and inspire. He speaks to schools and organizations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen let's give a warm welcome for Mr. Hilbert Margol.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Late last week, it was to hundreds of students at Atlanta's Saint Pius X Catholic School.

MARGOL: No doubt it is close to 32,000 prisoners in those barracks when we were there that Sunday morning. TUCHMAN (voiceover): But he's never considered his speeches more

important than he does today because of what happened in Israel on October 7th.

TUCHMAN: In all the years you've been back from the war, and it's been almost 80 years, have you ever seen Antisemitism in this country as bad as it is today?

MARGOL: No. I've had to mention incidents growing up, Jacksonville, Florida and in business, but nothing, nothing like it's happening now.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Hilbert's son Jerry says he's never seen his 99- year-old father struggling with his emotions like he is now.

JERRY MARGOL, SON OF HILBERT MARGOL: He wants to talk about it and go a little deeper, but he can't. It's too painful to think that all this could happen over again.

MARGOL: If it doesn't slow down, if it doesn't change --

TUCHMAN: The Antisemitism?

MARGOL: Right. Then who's next?

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Before we left Hilbert Margol, we thanked him for his heroism.

MARGOL: I never considered myself a hero because to me the heroes, the true heroes are those that didn't make it back. Those are the true heroes.

TUCHMAN (voiceover): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


WALKER: Our thanks to Gary Tuchman for that report.

Up next, after a tumultuous week off the field, Michigan football looks to make history on it. We're going to tell you about the remarkable feat they achieved that no other college football team has done.



WALKER: If there is a sport that thrives on glitz and glamour, it's Formula 1 racing, of course.

BLACKWELL: Now, add in one of the most iconic boulevards in the world, the Las Vegas Strip, and the stage is set for the crowning moment to what is already the most dominant F1 season ever. Coy Wire is here for the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix. It did not disappoint.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: The F1 says that 315,000 people attended this weekend's events there for F1. And you know Vegas now has to put on a show, right? Celebrity. These came out in full force. Master Chef Gordon Ramsay cooking it up. Shaq Diesel, Shaquille O'Neal was in the house. How about Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Steve Aoki and the OG bad girl RiRi? Check her out. Rihanna in the house.

But no one has been batter, as in better in F1 history than Max Verstappen this season, 17 wins in 20 races for the two-time defending champ. And Max adds another jewel to his crown, overcoming the penalty on the very first turn of the race. The Dutchman holding court for most of the night, taking the checkered flag by a comfortable margin, and getting his 18 champagne shower of the campaign.

All right, a massive day in college football. Number three Michigan at Maryland again without coach Jim Harbaugh second straight game because of the team science stealing scandal. The Terps had him on the ropes. They're rallying from 20 down and they had a chance to take the lead. But Josaiah Stewart comes up huge, forcing the Wolverines' second safety of the day, sealing a 31-24 win. Michigan, becoming the first college football team ever to win 1000 games. Next Saturday it'll be a battle of the undefeated Michigan and their arch nemesis Ohio State.

Let's go to Number 18, Tennessee where not even Dolly Parton and Peyton Manning could salvage the day on Rocky Top. After giving up a touchdown on the first play of the game, number one Georgia eviscerated the Vols 38 to 10. The two-time defending national champs have now won 28 in a row. That ties the SEC record. Next up will be Alabama in the conference championship game December 2nd.

Number four Florida State facing North Alabama, but in their 58-13 victory, they suffered their biggest loss of the season. Star quarterback Jordan Travis in his final game at Doak Walker Stadium suffering a devastating injury after being tackled in the first quarter. Emotional scenes, people gathering around him. His leg was placed in an air cast before he was carted off the field. No updates have been given on his injury. Travis is a team leader, one of the best quarterbacks in the country, helping lead the Noles to a perfect 11 and 0 this season.

The number five Washington Huskies pull off another nail-biter, this time at number 11 Oregon State. Michael Penix bolstering his Heisman resume with three touchdowns in a 22 to 20 win, staying at perfect 11- 0. Each of their last seven wins have come by 10 points or fewer. Next up, the Apple Cup rivalry game with Washington State, then the PAC 12 championship game in two weeks.

Finally, the cutest thing you'll see all day, BYU receiver Talmage Gunther creating life-long memories on senior day where players typically have their parent with them. But Gunther celebrates by running out with his 3-year-old son Drew before facing Oklahoma. Once- in-a-lifetime moment. He and his wife actually have two sons. And they used to have to work full-time early on in their college career to put themselves through school. And there he was celebrating a great moment on his last day on that field.

WALKER: That little boy kept up.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I was going to say. He is still running. Yes, it's the cutest thing of the day.

WALKER: Yes, it's so sweet.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy.

WIRE: You got it.

BLACKWELL: Our next hour of CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.