Return to Transcripts main page

Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Sen. Joe Manchin Announces He Won't Run for Reelection; IDF: Israel Extends Today's Humanitarian Pause to 6 Hours; Trump: "You're Probably Going to Have to Let It Play Out"; Cold Front Heads to the East Coast After Record Highs. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 10, 2023 - 05:00   ET



KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: Good day to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Kasie Hunt.

Right now on EARLY START:

Joe Manchin maneuvering. The senator says he's not running for reelection. So what will he do?

Plus, Israel just announced a new evacuation window for Gaza. How many will escape the war zone in the coming hours?

And the FBI investigating suspicious letters sent to election offices in six states. Who's behind it and why?

Good day to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Kasie Hunt. It is Friday, November 10th. Happy Friday!

It is 5:00 a.m. here in Washington, where Democrats are nervous after West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announced he will not run for reelection. That will be a tough blow to his party's hopes for holding on to the closely divided Senate. Democrats can only afford to lose one seat, and West Virginia is now a bright red state.

The chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Steve Daines, immediately released a statement saying: We like our odds in West Virginia.

The other reason for Democrats to worry, this line from Manchin speech on Thursday saying he won't run for reelection.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): What I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.


HUNT: Manchin was not any more specific than that about his post- Senate plans but, let's remember what he did, stoking speculation about a third party presidential run and a No Labels for him in New Hampshire in July.

Let's bring in Hanna Knowles. She's national politics reporter for "The Washington Post".

Hanna, good morning. I'm very grateful to have you here.

Manchin has said repeatedly that he'll never run as a spoiler, but I've talked to a lot of people around Manchin over the months, and it's very, very clear to me that he is seriously entertaining doing this. And we can talk about the Senate implications in a second, but I really want to start here, which is that he is going to spend the next couple of months really stoking speculation and I think that's going to generate a lot of concern in the White House.

What's your reporting around this?

HANNA KNOWLES, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yeah. Well, so, my colleagues talk to someone involved with this kind of mysterious committee that popped up today just before Manchin made his announcement called a draft Romney Manchin committee. And they say they have no affiliation with these candidates, and Romney and his team kind of pushback on that.

But, you know, clearly, there have been groups interested in drafting Manchin. Manchin has been considering this. He's very much not ruling that out here, and yet, he's likely looking at a week with so much anxiety for Democrats about Biden and how he would fare in that likely rematch with Trump. And this just ratcheted up.

HUNT: Yeah, and I think, we should underscore no labels, this a third party outfit, they do, and you alluded to this, I have significant challenges in terms of valid access. Doing that is an incredibly difficult and expensive.

But we really have, seen all the polling shows that frankly, voters are looking for somebody that's not Donald Trump or Joe Biden at this point. I mean, Jill Stein announced she's going to run on the Green Party ticket.

There were reports out there -- I mean, I covered Hillary Clinton's campaign, and they named her as a spoiler back when she ran in 2016. And there was reporting that they've been talking to the White House about that. I was just so many dynamics.

Let's talk about the Senate, though. The reality is it is incredibly narrowly divided Senate, right? And for a while there, it was 50/50. Then, obviously, that shifted slightly further in Democrats favor. But it's easily the case that control of the Senate could come down to the fact that there is no longer, it seems, almost entirely possible that one Democrat could get elected in West Virginia.

What was Mitch McConnell's role in getting Joe Manchin to make this decision, and how is Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader, handling it?

KNOWLES: Gosh. You know, that's a great question. That's what my colleagues I'm sure are working on and have been working on.

The Democrats responded, and you know, they're projecting what optimism they can about their path to holding that narrow, narrow majority they have. But they would have to hold Ohio.


They would have to hold Montana. You know, those are tough races. They feel like they are very good candidates, but really, everything has to go their way. They're defending way more seats than Republicans this year.

HUNT: And how do you think that cuts in a presidential year, because it's actually very different to be on the ballot as a Senate candidate won the presidential election going on that it is in an off cycle.

KNOWLES: Yeah, that's a really good point, too. I mean, I do think that having that presidential turnout in place like Ohio, for example, a place that really does like Donald Trump. That probably makes Sherrod Brown's life harder as he seeks reelection there.

HUNT: Yeah. I mean, Sherrod Brown's situation Ohio, of course, has really become a deep red state. However, I will say that the lessons learned on Tuesday around abortion, I think, have given his campaign quite a bit, at the, least a lot of information about the opportunities available to him.

Hanna Knowles of "The Washington Post", thank you very much for being with us this morning.

KNOWLES: Thanks.

HUNT: All right. Just in now to CNN, Israel has agreed to a six-hour humanitarian pause in northern Gaza today.

On Thursday, the White House announced that Israel's agreed to daily humanitarian pauses of at least four hours. Already, over the last few days, Israel has been pausing the violence so civilians can evacuate south.

The move announced Thursday by the White House appears to add Israel's formal commitment. The White House called the daily pauses a positive first step in the easing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. President Biden says he's been pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for even longer pauses in military action.


REPORTER: Mr. President, are you frustrated with Prime Minister Netanyahu that he has not done more of the things you've asked him to do?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's taken a little longer than I hoped.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HUNT: All right. Elliott Gotkine is live in London for us.

Elliott, good morning to you.

What is your sense of how this is playing out behind the scenes. Is it surprising that Netanyahu has agreed to these pauses at all, or is there a recognition that they're very necessary?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN REPORTER: I think there's a recognition, Kasie, that Netanyahu is doing this because of pressure from the White House, because we've seen the pressure that the Biden administration is coming under to do more. But Netanyahu is also under pressure, not just from people within his own governing coalition, but from Israelis as a whole. There was a poll that came out just this morning from the Israeli Democracy Institute, which is a nongovernmental organization, showing that 38 percent of Israelis don't want the fighting to stop, but do want negotiations to take place to try to free the 240 or so hostages that Hamas and militant groups are holding, which they abducted on October the 7th.

So Netanyahu has broad domestic support to continue fighting. And I suppose by doing this, what they're calling a tactical localized pause. You can call a humanitarian pause or whatever you wish. By doing this and enabling Palestinian civilians in the northern parts of the Gaza Strip, where Israeli operations are, focused to have this safe corridor, which today is going to be open for six hours, in which the White House says will be open for four hours every day now, by doing so, the White House says this is one step in the right direction.

But it still falls short of what the White House would want, which is a longer humanitarian pause, perhaps of a couple of days or more. And it's way short of what Arab leaders, we have the Emirates and Qataris calling for an immediate cease fire, international aid organizations, and many of the international community calling for a cessation of hostilities. But Israel's position is unwavering. And that is that there can be no cease-fire until those hostages are released.

And that latest released by the small militant group of Islamic Jihad of two Israeli hostages, an elderly wheelchair-bound Israeli women, the other, a 13-year-old boy, speaking to the camera, saying that they missed their family and, friends and if anything happens to them, it will be on Netanyahu's head, I don't think it's likely to soften the will of Netanyahu and his government. If anything, it might harden it, Kasie.

HUNT: Yeah, just so -- just so difficult.

All right. Elliott Gotkine, thank you very much, really appreciated. Have a nice weekend.

And coming up here, Donald Trump refines his stance on Israel. What would he do?

Plus, suspicious letters possibly laced with fentanyl sent to officials in at least six states. What police are saying about that. And Congress no closer to a funding plan as another government shutdown looms just a week away.

Stay with us.



HUNT: Welcome back.

Former President Donald Trump now suggesting the U.S. should take a hands-off approach to the Israel-Hamas war.

Here's what he said during an interview with Univision on Thursday when asked how America might stop the civilian killings in Gaza.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: So you have a war that's going on, and you're probably going to have to let this play out. You're probably going to have to let it play out because a lot of people are dying.

There is no hatred like the Palestinian hatred of Israel and Jewish people, and probably the other way around also. I don't know, you don't -- it's not as obvious, but probably that's it too.


HUNT: All right, let's bring in CNN's Max Foster, who is live from London.

Max, always wonderful to see you.

Trump also said Israel needed to do a better job of public relations. And he pointed to this rash of pro-Palestinian protests in the U.S. And obviously, earlier in all of this, he went after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not being prepared.

What are -- what is your sense of what's going on here?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that clip, you know, if you move away from a lot of how he says it, and specifically what he's saying, and what he means, which I will try to do with Donald Trump when it comes to actual policy at least, it's pretty significant.


What he's effectively saying is that, you know, he doesn't see -- if we look back at his previous tenure as well, and how he played that out and what he saying here about this crisis, he doesn't see America as that international policeman, which actually, the rest of the world has relied on for decades and decades and decades.

So focusing more on American problems, which a lot of Americans will relate to, but outside America, that does have a huge impact, because you and I talk a lot about this new world order that Russia and China want to create. America pulling back from the international stage is saying they're not going to get involved in crises like the Middle East is craving a vacuum, and you know who's going to step into that.

So, it has huge repercussions, that little sound-bite for me, when I look at it. If it does get into power, we're going to see America less present on the international stage, certainly militarily, it seems.

HUNT: Yeah, it honestly is really, really interesting. I'm thinking about how Vladimir Putin is backing off of Israeli support for Israel that he previously had in the sport of this. And Trump does have a way of picking up on things that are going on in the electorate and putting his finger on things, as uncomfortable as realities that might be, he does have a really strong nose for. And it's interesting to me that this is what he's picking up.

Let's also, Max, talk about Nikki Haley, because in the Republican primary debate, she did seem to gain more ground there. She's sort of becoming the person who is first in the race for second place.

But, she did make this statement about Vivek Ramaswamy on the stage, because the two of them really tangled. Take a look at what she said.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm telling you Putin and President Xi are salivating at the thought that someone like that could become president. They would love --


HUNT: What's your take away from there. What does the international community think of anything? Are these two known on the international stage? What's the impression?

FOSTER: Well, you know, the people that know about international policy, certainly know about Nikki Haley. She is the sort of towering figure. She's got a lot of experience and certainly stands out in that sense in the lineup with all the other candidates.

But if you're not into international policy, I don't think you necessarily know who she is. People are watching these debates in big numbers at all here because Donald Trump isn't involved and they wonder why they're taking place, so they're not learning about her there.

I think you really need to be looking at Ramaswamy if you're talking about international profile, because he is a big deal on TikTok. My kids will show me TikTok's with him in them very regularly.

HUNT: Are you serious?

FOSTER: They never show me TikToks with Nikki Haley and let me just say that. I mean, in terms of profile, I would say he's the only person my kids

and their friends can pick out in that entire lineup, apart from Trump.

HUNT: That is wild, and extremely, extremely interesting. You know, Vivek went after Nikki Haley's daughter over TikTok, so the fact that people overseas know him for being on TikTok -- hmm, okay.

FOSTER: It's not necessarily his own profile, there is that as well, it's also people just picking up clips from the debates and they're always about him. And there are the ones that go viral over here.

HUNT: I guess that is kind of the what he set out to accomplish.

All right, Max Foster, thank you as always, my friend. Have a great weekend.

FOSTER: Thanks, Kasie.

HUNT: All right. Police investigative suspicious powder inside envelope sent to election offices across the U.S. We're going to tell you where they were found.

And, the former House speaker unloads on his GOP critics. The latest from Kevin McCarthy.



HUNT: All right. We've got quick hits across America now.

Federal law enforcement is on high alert after suspicious letters were sent to election offices across the country, possibly linked with fentanyl. The mail was found in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, and Texas.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heads to Israel on Sunday, making him the first Republican presidential candidate to visit since the Hamas attacks last month.

And Donald Trump Jr. will be the first defense witness to be called on Monday in the Trump Organization's civil fraud trial in New York. The state attorney general rested her case earlier this week.

All right, colder air begins to sweep toward the East Coast after record breaking heat earlier in the week.

Here to tell us all about that cold front, we've got our weatherman, Derek Van Dam.

Derek, always wonderful to see you. Happy Friday. What do we got?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS CERTIFIED METEOROLOGIST: Yeah. Good morning, I just hope that our viewers don't get upset with me for delivering bad news because we're lining up the weekend with rain, but we desperately needed. It's that cold front that you talked about, you mentioned.

I'm here to tell you that we are going to get that much needed relief, but it's also going to cooler temperatures. Wearing kind of a soggy weekend places like Louisiana, Mississippi, into Georgia, even parts of the mid-Atlantic.

Check this out. This front and the rain band stretches from the Rio Grande all the way to New York City. So over 1,500 miles, that's a large rain shield. It's slowly advancing east, and as it does so, it's cooling our temperatures and going to stall across this area. So we'll continue that surge of moisture and wet weather for places like Atlanta to Mobile, all the way to Tallahassee.

But here's the temperature change for this time yesterday. A good 20 degrees Fahrenheit colder this morning as you step outside the door in Nashville and Memphis. Bundle up, it's a different day, what a difference a day makes, right?

There is the front kind of slowing things down, and there is the copious amounts of moisture that will indict the deep south through the weekend. But I as I said, we needed the rain, and I meant it.

Check this out, 73 percent of the state of Louisiana under extreme drought. That is the worst category of drought.


Well, that's a level four out of five, I should say. And you know what, that's bad news, because that situation has been coming fairly dire over the past few weeks and months, but will need this rain. We'll take whatever we can get, even if it remains kind of light and spotty through the course of the weekend, but nothing light about that. We have upwards of 4 to 6 inches of rain over the next couple of days.

And we cannot forget about our friends along the West Coast, because this is been big on social over the past couple of days. We're picking up on the signs of our first big winter system, or late autumn system, that is going to bring us some atmospheric river of rain into places across the southwestern U.S., including Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. So, something will monitor for next week -- Kasie.

HUNT: All right. Weatherman Van Dam, thank you very much, as always.

VAN DAM: Have a great weekend.

HUNT: Have a good weekend. See you on Monday.

VAN DAM: You too.

HUNT: All right. Coming up next, why Senator Joe Manchin's latest decision is sending ripples of fear through the Democratic Party.

And two more hostages in Gaza could be released. We're going to have a live report from Tel Aviv.



MANCHIN: I've made one of the toughest decisions of my life --