Return to Transcripts main page
Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin
Truce Ends, Israel Resumes Combat Operations in Gaza; Soon: Lawmakers Set to Vote to Expel Embattled Rep. George Santos; Reports: Israel Had Hamas Attack Plan More Than a Year Ago; Today: Trump's Lawyers Appear in Georgia Election Subversion Case. Aired 5-5:30a ET
Aired December 01, 2023 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: Right now on EARLY START:
No deal to keep the truce alive. The fighting has resumed in Gaza.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He thinks Biden and Harris have done a great job. He thinks the economy is working because of their policies.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (R), CALIFORNIA: Here's a guy who celebrated Bidenomics just this week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Ron DeSantis debates a Democrat who's not even running for president -- yet.
Two governors in a fight for attention on Fox.
HUNT: Good morning to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Kasie Hunt. It's Friday, December 1st. Happy Friday.
It's 5:00 a.m. in Washington. It's noon in Gaza where overnight, the Israeli military said its resumed combat operations in the Gaza Strip, accusing Hamas of violating the truce by firing rockets toward Israel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR DORON SPELLMAN, ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESMAN: So, there have been multiple rockets. They have been intercepted, which shows that Hamas has moved back into an attacking position. Amongst the Israeli people, we intercepted the rockets thankfully. Otherwise, they could have fallen on communities, on cities, on kindergartens.
Again, we're just now getting back to life after the tragedies of the last 55 days. Children are going back to school here. It is Friday morning and once again we intercepted those and we've resumed our combat missions against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: The Hamas controlled ministry of health says 32 people have been killed since the fighting began five hours ago. The fighting resumed just minutes after midnight eastern time when a seven day truce between Israel and Hamas expired.
On Thursday, Hamas released eight women and children hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinians freed from jail by Israel.
CNN's Scott McLean is following developments. He joins us live now from Istanbul.
Scott, good morning to you. What is the status of negotiations to try to revive the truce? Is that still happening?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, so the talks are still ongoing. Yesterday, the Qataris, Egyptians, Americans, were all pushing for the truce to be extended, but ultimately, it is Israel and Hamas that need to agree.
The Qatari foreign ministry put out a statement saying that, yes, the talks are ongoing but also that the continuation of the bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip is in their words complicating mediation efforts. And we are seeing very chaotic scenes coming out of Gaza already as the IDF-bombing campaign begins. We have seen pictures come out of Khan Younis, out of Rafah in the south. We have also seen hospital saying that there are people coming in from other parts of Gaza as well. And people picking through rubble already, trying to find if there are any survivors left underneath.
Now, the Israeli prime minister says that the reason that the talks fell down is because Hamas violated the terms of the agreement. And the IDF spokesperson earlier today was much more specific than that, saying that there are 17 women and two children that Israel believes are still being held as hostages in Gaza.
And yesterday, the Israelis reluctantly agreed to accept only eight women and children rather than the expected ten as part of this deal. And so, perhaps we have reached the point where Hamas has run out of women and children hostages that it is willing to hand over. Now, we're getting into a situation where it is men and Israeli soldiers that are being bargained for. Israelis are well aware that they're going to command a much higher price.
Yesterday, a member of the Israeli Knesset, former Israeli ambassador to the U.N., said that as long as Hamas has hostages that it is willing to hand over, Israel is willing to talk about the price even if that price is higher.
But he also made clear and this is something that the Israelis have said from the get-go, that they believe their military campaign inside Gaza is helping with hostage negotiation, putting more pressure on Hamas to ultimately turn them over -- Kasie.
HUNT: All right. Scott McLean for us in Istanbul this morning -- Scott, thank you.
There will be some deja vu today for Congressman George Santos as he stands before the House this morning for his third expulsion vote. The outcome at this point remains uncertain. Top Republicans are telling CNN that they expect the vote to be close. Santos is accused of blatantly stealing from his campaign in a damning ethics report.
He however is not going down without a performative fight lashing out at his colleagues and reporters at a news conference yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): If I leave, they win. If I leave, the bullies take place. This is bullying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: All right. Let's bring in Lindsay McPherson. She's a congressional reporter from "The Messenger".
Lindsay, it's wonderful to have you this morning.
You know, we've both seen a lot on Capitol Hill. This was quite the performance from George Santos yesterday.
Where do you feel the momentum is, is he on his way out, are there enough Republicans? We should remind everyone it takes two-thirds of votes in the House to actually force him out here.
LINDSEY MCPHERSON, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, THE MESSENGER: Right. It certainly seems like the momentum is leading towards his expulsion. However there were a lot of members still on the fence as of yesterday. I've been reporting on this all week asking members where they will come down on this.
But it seems like he is likely to get to the two-thirds threshold which is 290 members of the House. There are a number of Republicans, several dozen who have come out against -- or in favor of expelling him along with most Democrats are expected to expel him. So, it seems likely but not certain that he will be expelled by the end of the day.
HUNT: Yeah. So, you know, he is not long when he argues that this is relatively unprecedented, right? There have only been five prior expulsions. The majority of them were people who fought for the confederacy in the civil war. The more modern two were people who are convicted of crimes and he has not yet been convicted.
What makes this different? Why are Republicans willing to throw him out for this?
MCPHERSON: Right, the ones who are willing to throw him out are saying that this is unprecedented, the amount of shear lies and deception that he has called, these allegations that have been raised against him, you know, started with his campaign, defrauding his donor, lying about his finances, and, you know, misappropriating campaign funds. So, he was elected on a lie unlike some of these other people who have been expelled in the past or under scrutiny in the past where it didn't necessarily start with the lie.
So they think his whole career, you know, 11 months that it may be and the campaign before that, is defrauding the public and the institution as well. He has lied in disclosure forms to the House.
So they think that you should set a new precedent here rather than wait for trial. The evidence is overwhelming. However, other people like you said, you know, said he has not been convicted yet and he should stand in trial and have that full due process before they vote to expel him.
HUNT: So, Lindsey, I had Congressman Dan Kildee came on the show yesterday. And he is leaving Congress. He is a Democrat, in a very close contested swing district.
And he was basically lamenting how the institution has changed in -- honestly in the Trump -- in the Trump era, he said that it felt like Paul Ryan was speaker a hundred years ago. And I think that it speaks to one of the other elements we're seeing here, which is that part of the reason we've gotten this far, is that in the past, shame was enough to make people who were caught doing things like what Santos has been clearly caught doing, to get them to resign on their own as opposed to having to be thrown out of the body. Typically, leadership had more power around this.
What has changed to make it so that instead, Santos is out on the steps of the Capitol, you know, fighting in a press conference instead of doing what he's been urged do behind closed doors?
MCPHERSON: Right. I -- that is totally true a lot of people have resigned in the past. The institution has changed a lot that some members like George Santos have become kind of these household names. Like they are on social media, they are out on TV a lot, they like to be performative.
And so, they are not necessarily there to serve the institution so much as they are there to serve themselves and to get that media attention. And I think a lot of people feel that way about George Santos and his defiance of not resigning could be playing in to that. And other people who have not committed the same allegations of wrongdoing who similarly are very defiant against their leadership. And it is just not the same chamber that it used to be.
HUNT: Sure isn't.
All right. "The Messenger's" Lindsey McPherson, thank you. Happy Friday. Appreciate you being here.
MCPHERSON: Thanks, Kasie.
HUNT: All right. Still ahead, a damning report about what Israel knew before the Hamas attacks on October 7.
Plus, Trump lawyers in a Georgia courtroom today. We're going to tell you what they are arguing in his defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWSOM: There is one thing in closing that we have in common is neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: Two governors sparring in a highly unusual debate. How Ron DeSantis, who is actually running for president, fared. That's just ahead.
HUNT: Welcome back.
New concern in Israel this morning over reports that the government knew details of the Hamas attack plan more than a year ago and did nothing. Stories in Israel's "Haaretz" newspaper and "The New York Times" describe the 40-page plan which Israel code named Jericho Wall as a blueprint for the Hamas attack. "The Times" says the document laid out point by point exactly this kind of devastating invasion that led to the deaths of about 1,200 people.
CNN's Max Foster is live for us in London.
Max, good morning. Always good to see you. Happy Friday.
This is really tough reporting. What was the response within the Israeli government according to these accounts to this Jericho Wall plan?
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this has been an ongoing piece of reporting hasn't. I mean, there has been some Israeli media reporting on this recently. And people have had various sources going right back really since shortly after the attack itself.
What "The New York Times" has done is actually seen documents it says which does push it forward. So one of the document necessary looked at was a military assessment reviewed by "The Times" that said that officials in the Israeli military's Gaza division, which is responsible for defending the border of Gaza, said that Hamas' attentions were unclear. It is not yet possible to determine whether the plan has been fully accepted and how it will be manifested.
So it was just a wrong reading on this intelligence. And we can see that because it happened exactly it is it was laid out.
[05:15:01] HUNT: Right. I mean, the reporting basically says that the Israelis looked at this and said it was aspirational, basically dismissing that they could ever actually do something like this. And as you and I have discussed many times, as this war began, the Israeli government had really been focusing on what was going on in the West Bank.
How do you think this is going to contribute to the already considerable anger at Benjamin Netanyahu, at the government of Israel, on the part of its people for, you know, honestly -- some of them have been saying, you know, that for the hours that this attack was occurring, they felt like Israel wasn't even a state, that they weren't protected by the people that were supposed to protect them.
FOSTER: Ultimately, he was running the country at the time, so he does carry some responsibility. I think what he's going to -- he had suggested before he didn't see any intelligence. We're now hearing from a spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister, that the spokesperson refused to comment on whether the Israeli prime minister has seen the report. So, slight change in the language there.
But either way, it's going to be very bad news for him after, you know, this phase of military action whenever it comes to the point where the government starts questioning the prime minister and what he knew. Ultimately, he does have responsibility, but he may have some sort of get out to some extent if he hadn't actually seen the report. But then there is a problem with the system which he oversees.
So very bad news for Benjamin Netanyahu who's currently getting the war, he's running a war cabinet. So, I think that they will probably say it's not for now.
HUNT: Yeah. I mean, that he was under pressure from our colleague Dana Bash a week ago -- a couple of weeks ago, refuse to say, said, you know what? The time for these questions is not now. But I have a feeling that it is coming faster as we as this all unfolds.
Max Foster, thank you very much. Have a wonderful weekend.
FOSTER: Thanks, Kasie. Have a good weekend.
HUNT: I'll see you Monday.
All right. Still ahead here, a U.S. senator saves a fellow lawmaker quite literally during lunch. We'll tell you what happened.
And rain and snow on the way for parts of the U.S. Our weatherman Derek Van Dam will be with us live, up next.
HUNT: Welcome back.
We got quick hits across America now. Lawyers for Donald Trump in the Georgia election fraud case will be arguing First Amendment rights in a Fulton County hearing today. According to a court filing, they plan to argue that Trump's conspiracy theories and voter fraud claims are protected speech. So he never should have been indicted.
Now this, Senator Rand Paul using the Heimlich maneuver to save his colleague Joni Ernst when he saw that she was choking on some food during a party lunch on Thursday. Ernst thanked Paul, a physician, on social media. She said, quote: Can't help but choke on the woke policies Dems are forcing down our throats. OK. We're glad Senator Ernst is okay.
And the Bidens taking part in the 101st National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Presidents Park in Washington last night. Thirty- mile-per-hour winds toppled the 40-foot Norway spruce earlier this week. We're glad that it is back standing.
All right. Let's get now to the weather. Heavy rain hitting parts of Hawaii bringing much needed drought relief to those islands and rounds of rain and snow in the Pacific Northwest, giving a soggy start to the weekend in the East as well.
Our weatherman Derek Van Dam is tracking all of it for us.
Derek, happy Friday.
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS CERTIFIED METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Hey, same to you.
Yeah, it's really wild weather week. And today, we got tons of weather headlines stretching from coast to coast. Let's start across the Pacific where we've just turned past midnight Friday morning local in Hawaii, and you can see the entire state -- the entire island chain is under a flood watch.
But get this, there is actually a winter weather advisory for the big island at the highest elevations. Moanalua getting some fresh fallen snow. Not so untypical this time of year, but very cool to see nonetheless. You can see the rainfall totals here, kind of a drought busting situation. Remember we've had over 90 percent of the state of Hawaii under drought conditions for the past several months.
Across the Pacific Northwest, several rounds of rain and snow, we call them atmospheric river, they are rivers in the sky that will produce a significant amount of snowfall and rain in the lower elevations. We're talking feet of snow and several inches of rain. You can see the onslaught of moisture just impacting places like Seattle, Portland, all the way to Eugene with snow across the Inner Mountain West.
But it is not just Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest that's going to be wet this weekend. Check this out, big east coast snowstorm -- I should not say snowstorm, rainstorm. It is warm enough for rain. St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, all the way to New Orleans and Charlotte, check out the rainfall totals the next couple of days. Expect wet weather especially across the Southeast and light snow across the Great Lakes really.
And did you feel this? In southern California, hit me up on Twitter, just east of San Diego, a very shallow 4.8 magnitude earthquake struck overnight. No injuries, no damage, but something interesting to talk about this morning.
HUNT: Indeed. I'm glad everyone is all right.
Derek, our weatherman, thank you very much. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.
VAN DAM: You're welcome. You, too.
HUNT: See you Monday.
All right. Just ahead here, combat resumes in Gaza after a weeklong pause. What happens to the remaining hostages?
And disgraced Congressman George Santos doubles down ahead of a vote to expel him, that's today.
HUNT: Good morning. Thanks for being up early with us. It is just before 5:30 here on the East Coast, 2:30 out West.
And right now in Gaza, the truce is over. Israel has resumed combat operations. The Israel military says Hamas violated the truce by firing rockets towards Israeli.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. COL. PETER LERNER, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESMAN: We are currently mobilizing. We're taking the fight to Hamas. We are engaging them on the ground. I won't go in to specifics but indeed we are utilizing all of the forces in our capability from ground forces to labor forces and air forces. And Hamas, they made a big mistake by not fulfilling their side of the agreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUNT: In Gaza, the Hamas controlled ministry of health says Israeli strikes have killed 32 people since the fighting began 5 1/2 years ago. Israel resumed fighting just after midnight Eastern Time when the seven day truce between Israel and Hamas expired.
On Thursday, Hamas released eight civilian hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel. Hostages released earlier in the truce now beginning to tell their stories, describing the conditions and in some cases, many cases, all cases, the horrors of their.