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Biden and Xi Meet During G20 Summit in Bali; Three Killed Near University of Virginia; New Investigations Opens into the Sudden Collapse of FTX Crypto. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 14, 2022 - 05:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Right now on EARLY START, he said-Xi said. Joe Biden and Xi Jinping face-to-face in the same room. What are they telling each other? Manhunt on campus. Three people killed near the University of Virginia. Police say the suspected gunman is a former football player.

And crypto crisis. New investigations just opened into the sudden collapse of one of the most powerful players in the field. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, I'm Christine Romans, this is EARLY START. President Biden and China's President Xi Jinping are meeting at this hour on the sidelines of Group of 20 Summit in Indonesia.

It is the first time the two leaders have met face-to-face as presidents. Both men have reason to feel energized. Both men -- we've just -- talking to CNN's Kevin Liptak is live in Bali, Indonesia, following this for us. Good morning Kevin, good evening there. There were months of preparations --


ROMANS: Between Xi and Biden. And they're scheduled to meet for the next couple of hours, right?

LIPTAK: Yes, we're about 20 minutes into this meeting. Officials say they didn't have a time cap that they put on it, but estimated it around a couple of hours. But they held out the possibility that it could go a little longer.

Now, it's back in July that these officials -- that these two leaders both decided that they wanted to meet face-to-face after two years in office, President Biden wanted to get into the same room, kind of look Xi in the eye and sort of set a baseline for this relationship that really has deteriorated so rapidly over the last several months.

And so, we did see them shake hands. We saw them sit down at the table. And we heard some very brief opening remarks. Listen to a little bit of what President Biden had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As the leaders of our two nations, we share responsibility, in my view, to show that China and the United States can manage our differences, prevent competition from becoming anything near conflict, and to find ways to work together on urgent, global issues that require our mutual cooperation.

And I believe this is critical for the sake of our two countries and the international community.


LIPTAK: So you hear President Biden sort of setting out his expectations for this meeting. White House officials say that they don't expect any kind of joint statement that comes out of this, any kind of list of areas where they are cooperating with China. Instead, they want to do -- they want to, quote, what they call "build a floor".

Essentially prevent this relationship from deteriorating any further. I mean, want the two leaders to identify areas where each of their staffs can go back, talk to each other and sort of come up to an agreement. Now, I do think that there was actually quite an important thing that President Xi said in his remarks.

It seemed very specifically-targeted to President Biden who has this long history on the world stage. He said, a statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world. So, that is the tone for this meeting that is now under way.

Certainly, President Xi has a lot of differences with President Biden. Things like Taiwan, things on trade, and so, this could be a contentious meeting. We will know in a few hours when President Biden comes out and gives his characterization of these talks in a press conference from here in Bali.

ROMANS: Yes --

LIPTAK: Christine?

ROMANS: I mean, President Biden, of course, has continued President Trump's tough trade stance with China and even ratcheted it up a little bit. So a lot there for them to discuss. Kevin Liptak, thank you so much, nice to see you. All right, back here, the University of Virginia campus is locked down this morning, and the search for a suspected gunman is intensifying after a deadly shooting near campus.

School officials confirm three people are dead and two others are injured. The suspect identified as a football player at UVA in 2018 on the loose and believed to be armed and dangerous. It's not clear whether he is still a student at the school. Police are urging everyone on campus to shelter in place this morning.

Still no clarity this morning on control of the house. Democrats have already secured the Senate. Right now, Republicans have 212 seats and Democrats have 204. There are 19 races still undecided. Republicans need six more wins to reach the clinching number of 218. Many of the undecided races are in California where counting mail-in ballots can take weeks and significant shifts can occur late in the process.


Arizona and Oregon also have uncalled races. Democrats officially locking up control of the Senate when incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto defeated Adam Laxalt in that tightly-contested Nevada Senate race.


CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, SENATOR-ELECT OF NEVADA: I am so grateful to every volunteer who knocked on doors, who made phone calls, who wrote postcards and letters, and who had the courage to publicly stand up and fight for our state.


MASTO: So when far-right Republicans said that they knew better, I knew we would prove them wrong.


ROMANS: All right, with 98 percent of the votes counted, Cortez Masto's margin of victory is just over 6,000 votes. The win by Cortez Masto gave Democrats their 50th Senate seat, securing control of the chamber for the next two years. In Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are ramping up their get-out-the-vote efforts.

But the Senate already in Democratic hands, they're trying to inject interest and stir up voter engagement ahead of their December 6th runoff election.


HERSCHEL WALKER, CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATOR: If you voted the last time, go vote for me again. But tell the people that didn't vote for me, they need to vote for me because they didn't vote for me, they're going to have the government running their lives. And I tell you what? The government can't even run its own life. Don't let them have running your life.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK, CANDIDATE FOR U.S. SENATOR: People of Georgia need a champion. And a champion for working people. That's the work I've done my entire life. It's the work I've been doing in the Senate. It's work I'm actually able to do. Herschel Walker is not. He's not able to do this work. He's demonstrated that he has neither the competence nor the character.


ROMANS: In Arizona, the governor's race there is still too close to call. Democrat Katie Hobbs has a slim lead over Republican Kari Lake. Election officials say there are roughly 160,000 more ballots to count. More than half of them originating in Democratic-leaning Maricopa County.

Right in Pennsylvania, Republican challenger Doug Mastriano has conceded the governor's race after spending months parodying Donald Trump's election fraud lies.


DOUGLAS MASTRIANO, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA: As difficult as it is to accept the results, there is no other course, but to concede, which I do. And I look to the challenges ahead. Josh Shapiro will be our next governor.


ROMANS: It's not clear whether Mastriano ever called governor-elect Shapiro. Shapiro tells CNN's Dana Bash, he is not waiting for the phone to ring.


JOSH SHAPIRO, GOVERNOR-ELECT OF PENNSYLVANIA: I mean, who cares if he calls, right? You know, he doesn't get to pick the winner. The people picked the winner.


ROMANS: When asked if he was thinking about a presidential run in 2024, Shapiro said his ambition right now is to, quote, "get a little sleep". Right, GOP candidates pushing Donald Trump's lies about election fraud paid a price at the polls. Republican contenders for secretary of state went down to defeat in the battleground states of Michigan, Arizona and Nevada.

Election deniers for other state offices also faced fierce headwinds in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. All right, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the newly-liberated city of Kherson a short time ago. He's getting a first-hand look at what retreating Russian forces left behind. Nic Robertson is live on the ground for us in Kherson. Nic, what more do we know about Zelenskyy's visit?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, he was in the main central square here. There was heavy security in the center of town early on this morning for his arrival. This is the first time for him to come here. The city was only liberated on Friday, Monday morning, he's here early.

His message is one for the people of this city that we're thinking about you, we're trying to help you, this of course, a city of formally more than quarter of a million people. It doesn't have electricity. It doesn't have running water. People have no way to stay warm at night. So, there's a lot that the people here want. They want communications.

You might be able to see a cellphone tower behind me, that went up overnight here. So there's a bit of connectivity coming back to this city to connect to the rest of Ukraine, and that's what Zelenskyy's messaging here today is about. We're here. We want to reconnect you to the rest of Ukraine.

But there's also a message, a diplomatic message here, a message for Russia, a message for the international community. He said we are moving forward. We want peace, but we want peace for the whole of our country, which is a very clear reference to he's not going to set -- he is not going to accept President Putin's version of peace which is Russia occupies the east and the south of the country. A strong message.

Also on the edge of the city, he is expected or very likely to go and view the Antonivskyi Bridge which was really where the Russian forces were -- well, was the beginning of their defeat here. Ukrainians were able to use those highly-sophisticated and accurate HIMARS rocket systems that the United States sent, they helped cut that bridge.

The Russians on this side of the river here couldn't get their supplies in, and eventually they retreated and they retreated across the pontoon bridge right next to the main bridge.


We were down there earlier on today. There are scavengers down there. But this is the scene of Russia's retreat through that bridge. All of this, Zelenskyy taking in today as he said, that part of what he wants to do here is to -- is not only to connect Kherson to the country, but connect himself to the emotion here of people, because that, he said, is a motivating force for him, trying to deliver for the country right now.

ROMANS: Fascinating, and that's of course, that bridge video exclusively to CNN, just fascinating. Right, Nic, nice to see you, thanks, Nic, keep us posted. Right, back here, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is out. Christopher Magnus; the former Tucson police chief resigned over the weekend. He was asked to step down by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Magnus has been criticized for being out of touch with the agency and for his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. But now, deputy Commissioner Troy Miller will serve as the acting commissioner. All right, President Biden meeting right now with the president of China.

What does Xi Jinping want from the U.S.? Plus, a deadly collision between two vintage planes at an air show. What went wrong? And new investigations into the stunning implosion of the crypto exchange, FTX.



ROMANS: The world's two most powerful economies face-to-face. President Biden and China's Xi Jinping meeting at the G20 Summit in Bali. Biden is fresh off midterm election successes, and Xi is celebrating unprecedented third term. CNN's Steven Jiang live in Beijing following all of this for us. We know they're meeting behind closed doors right now with their advisors. What is Xi hoping to achieve from this meeting?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CORRESPONDENT: Christine, I think many say Xi wants time so that China could become self-reliant in key technologies to upgrade its economy, but more crucially, to upgrade its military to catch with the U.S. So, he doesn't want a conflict with the U.S. just yet, and obviously he can afford to play the long game here.

As you mentioned, having just assumed that precedent-breaking third term, paving the way for him to rule for life. So as you and Kevin were saying earlier, he struck a more conciliatory tone in the opening remarks we just heard. And both leaders refer to their past encounters. But the problem here is, this relationship is in a free fall, not because of a lack of rapport between the two men who have known each other for years.

It is this fundamental difference in terms of how they view their own strengths and the other's intentions. Obviously, from Washington's perspective, China under Xi Jinping has become more authoritarian at home and more aggressive abroad. But from Beijing's perspective, the Biden administration has been doubling down on building this anti- China coalition to continue its rise on the global stage.

Mr. Biden has not only kept most of Trump-era tariffs on China's imports, he's been ramping up restrictions in terms of export controls, especially on crucial semiconductors, not to mention the president has said more than once that the U.S. is committed to defending Taiwan militarily.

So that's why Xi Jinping has been indicating that he is shifting the ruling communist party's top priority from economic growth to national security. That's something he reminded his top generals just a few days ago, that the focus of their training should be fighting and winning wars.

So Christine, it is really this kind of rhetoric and policy directions from Beijing made this meeting between the two men so critically important despite the low expectations.

ROMANS: Yes --

JIANG: Christine?

ROMANS: Absolutely. All right, Steven, thank you so much. I know you're watching everything that's happening here. So keep us posted. I want to bring in CNN political analyst Josh Rogin now to talk about this a little bit. Josh, you know, expectations are pretty low for this meeting. I guess a positive outcome would be, what? Stopping the relationship from getting worse?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's right, Christine. You know, the goals here were set very low because there's nothing really that either side is willing to give. China is not about to do anything that the United States wants, such as easing up on Taiwan, easing up on Hong Kong, easing up on the Uyghurs or stopping its overall economic or military expansion and aggression. And the U.S. is not about to give China any of its concessions either,

meaning, looking the other way while the Uyghur genocide goes on or abandoning Taiwan or stopping its confronting of China's trade practices. So there's really no room for anything positive on either side. So I guess putting a floor under the relationship is the best we can do.

And again, that -- I think Steven was exactly right. This is a relationship that's set to go down even further --

ROMANS: Yes --

ROGIN: But the trajectory and how it goes down are important. And we have to keep talking. And I think that's a small goal, but a worthy one at that.

ROMANS: There were opening remarks from the two men as they came into the room with their advisors before this meeting. I want to listen to a little bit of what President Xi said in those remarks.


XI JINPING, PRESIDENT, CHINA (through translator): The China-U.S. relationship is in such a situation that we all care a lot about it, because this is not the fundamental interest of our two countries and people. And it is not what the international community expects us.

As leaders of the two major countries, we need to chart the right course for the China-U.S. relationship. We need to find the right direction for the bilateral relationship going forward and elevate the relationship. Great changes are unfolding in ways like never before. Humanity are confronted with unprecedented challenges.

The world has come to a cross-roads, where to go from here, this is a question that is not only on our minds, but also on the mind of all countries.


ROMANS: And at one point, he sort of acknowledges the relationship needs to improve. He talks about all of these challenges. You've got Taiwan, North Korea, the trade dispute still between the U.S., you've got climate.


I mean, what are the most -- I mean, important issues, I guess all of them to be discussed today?

ROGIN: Right. This is a version of what Xi Jinping has been saying for quite some time. He is a big advocate of what he likes to call a new model of great power relations. It's something that he originally pitched to President Barack Obama ten years ago when he first became the president of China.

It essentially means that he thinks the U.S. should treat China as its equal and stay out of its internal affairs. Now, when it comes to cooperation, there are several areas that the Biden administration has tried earnestly to increase cooperation on China including climate change, Iran, things like counter narcotics, counter piracy.

The problem is, there's been little to no response on the Chinese side. And you know, it's very easy to say that the U.S. and China should cooperate more, but it takes two to tango, Christine. And if there's no willingness on the Chinese side to engage in, for example, just climate change talks, just for one example, then there's not much progress --

ROMANS: Yes --

ROGIN: To be made. So, I think that's the real problem here.

ROMANS: And there are also loggerheads over trade here. You know, the Biden administration has not backed away from Trump's trade -- tough trade policy with China, keeping all of those tariffs on it. And then adding limits on exports of chips and chip technology. So the tension on trade between the two countries has only intensified, right?

ROGIN: Well, that's right. But again, it's not -- we shouldn't both size this. China has been --

ROMANS: Right --

ROGIN: Engaged in a pattern of economic aggression, including IP theft, unfair trade practices, et cetera, for many years. And the Biden administration is continuing the effort to stop that. Now, because they've actually increased the technology restrictions, it looks like a pattern of economic containment. It is a pattern of economic containment.

That -- in that sense, the Biden administration has ramped up the trade and technology war. But the Chinese government hasn't stopped any of its unfair trade practices either. This is why I think that despite a nice meeting that they may have over the next two hours, none of these fundamental differences --

ROMANS: Yes --

ROGIN: Between Washington and Beijing are going to be solved any time soon, and the relationship is going to get worse before it gets better. That's the reality.

ROMANS: And well, we're going to hear from the president at 8:30 Eastern Time. President Biden. So, thanks so much, Josh. In about three hours, we'll hear what the president has to say about that meeting. Nice to see you.

ROGIN: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, quick hits across America right now. The TSA says screening errors allowed a man with two box cutters to board a Frontier Airlines flight and threatened passengers. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Atlanta Friday. No one was injured. The National Transportation Safety Board is now leading that

investigation into the fatal collision of two vintage planes at a Dallas air show over the weekend. All six people aboard those planes were killed. NASA is moving forward with the Artemis 1 moon mission after the rocket was recently plagued with leaks and damage from Hurricane Nicole. Lift-off is now set for Wednesday morning.

All right, next, a deadly blast on a street in Istanbul. Police think they know who is behind it. And new calls to put the selection of Republican leaders in the Senate on hold.



ROMANS: A suspect is now in custody along with 21 other people after a deadly blast in Istanbul.




ROMANS: At least, six people were killed and 81 others injured in the heart of the city on Sunday. Turkish officials say security video shows a woman at the scene getting up from a bench just minutes before the explosion and leaving behind a bag. Let's bring in CNN's Scott McLean. Scott, Turkish officials are blaming Kurdish separatists for this bombing?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we're getting a lot of new information on this, this morning, Christine. So officials say that they combed through some 1,200 different security cameras in Istanbul to piece together exactly what happened. Yesterday, the justice minister described what he saw in one of those security camera footages, which is a woman sitting on a bench, as you said, she waits there for more than 40 minutes.

One or two minutes later, that bag is still on the bench, she's gone, and then the blast goes off. It is not clear at this stage precisely how that bomb was detonated. Whether it had a timer or it was detonated by her or someone else remotely. Police said this morning that based on that security footage that they were able to comb through, she took a taxi to another part of town, an overnight police tracked her down to an address in the western part of Istanbul and they released a video.

You watched part of it there of her arrest at gunpoint inside of her apartment. They also in that video showed them searching through that apartment where they found what appears to be cash, jewelry, they also found -- appears to be a gun, a clip and a box of ammunition as well.

They also searched 21 properties associated with people who had been in contact with her. And they actually say now, that they've arrested some 46 people in connection with this. They say that this woman is a Syrian national, and they say that she confessed to being trained by the PKK and other Kurdish separatist militant groups inside of Syria before she crossed the border into Turkey to carry out this attack.

No group, though, has officially claimed responsibility for this, Christine. I should point out as well that it is common for Kurdish militant groups to be based in Iraq or Syria. It's a little bit easier for them to operate there than it would be in Turkey because Turkey has really been in conflict with Kurdish separatists for now four decades.

This conflict has cost some tens of thousands of lives. It has also made Istanbul and other cities across the country real targets for terror attacks. Quick -- one quick mention about the victims in that.