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Univ. of Florida No Confidence Vote on Sasse; January 6th Committee Moves Foard with Secret Service Interviews; Kanye West has Disturbing History of Admiring Hitler; Ravens Hand Brady Third Straight Loss. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 28, 2022 - 06:30   ET



ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Fetterman's halting performance after his stroke. There you have Schumer saying that he doesn't think it damaged Fetterman's chances.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, ,you know, we have the same phenomenon going on in both Georgia and Pennsylvania. If you think about it for a minute, the act of disqualifying a candidate, just sort of saying, look, this person is simply not fit for office, that's relatively difficult compared with riding on the prominent national issues that people think about every single day, like crime, like the economy, like the inflation that they deal with every time they make a purchase.

So, for Fetterman to be disqualified - I watched the debate from end- to-end. I think anybody who's ever dealt with somebody who's had a stroke, or had a heart attack, or maybe dealing with the early stages of dementia, elderly relatives, it wasn't that far off from, you know, different experiences that a lot of people have had. So, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Pennsylvania voters didn't really move one way or the other based on that particular performance.

I mean, you know, there are two senators right now that had strokes earlier this year, and they're serving with no problem in the Senate right now. So, the idea of knocking out Fetterman, I could easily believe that that's not necessarily going to be how voters react.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Errol, this New York gubernatorial debate was just fascinating, and not the least because you moderated it, obviously. But I just wonder, what would - what did you think coming out of the debate? I mean this is such a tight race. And what do you think of where the race is right now?

LOUIS: Well, you know, it's interesting, I - Brianna, I thought that there were striking differences between how the candidates see the same facts. Meaning, they weren't necessarily arguing that, you know, oh, New York's in good shape or New York's in bad shape. Everybody knows that there are problems here, just like there are around the country. But they really differ in the dimensions of it.

So that the challenger, Lee Zeldin, which a challenger has to do, has to say, look, things are really, really, really bad and we need to replace the leadership at the top of the state. Kathy Hochul was relatively more sedate in sort of saying, like, listen, we've got problems but here's what I've done about this one, that one, this one, that one. Laid out a real broad menu for New Yorkers about which version of reality they want to subscribe to. So, that, to me, was very, very striking.

I mean Lee Zeldin is saying we have to save the state. And there are a lot of New Yorkers who are saying like, well, we've got problems but it's not like we're going under for the third time. Of course, a lot of people do feel that way.

KEILAR: Errol, great to have you. Thank you so much for your analysis this morning.

LOUIS: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: And the University of Florida's faculty senate voting no confidence in the school's process of choosing Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse as its next president. The vote was 67 to 15. And it comes after Sasse was named as the sole finalist to lead the university. During the visit, Sasse faced a large student protest, mainly against his stance on same-sex marriage and other LGBT issues.

CNN's Leyla Santiago is live at the school in Gainesville, Florida.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Alex, it was an overwhelming vote from the faculty senate on this no confidence resolution. And it essentially kind of attacked the process for -- that led to Senator Ben Sasse becoming the sole finalist for this position.

So, let's back up. How did we get here?

Well, earlier this year, Florida passed a new law that changes how university presidents are selected. Essentially makes the identity of candidates private for much of the - of the selection process. And so last night, in an emergency meeting, you heard from faculty that said, this is a flawed process and we demand more transparency.



BREANN GARBAS, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Candidate emotions aside, we do not have trust in the process of the presidential selection. It needs to improve. There needs to be a much broader conversation about it.


SANTIAGO: Now, one of the members of the selection committee also spoke at that meeting saying that the way that Ben Sasse -- Senator Ben Sasse became the sole finalist was when they got to the process - the part of the process in which the identities would need to be revealed of other candidates, and they dropped out from that point. So that's the faculty's take, really taking issue with the process.

We talked to students who echoed what you were talked about there, Alex, the - the issues with the senator's stance on same-sex marriage. They take issue with that, fearing what that could mean for inclusion on campus. For the senator's take he has said that he can put politics aside. He has been the leader of Midland's university in Nebraska. And he is also someone who has not necessarily always toed the party line. His supporters here say that they - they like that he is someone who has gone against the party at times, even being critical of President Trump.

MARQUARDT: All right, Leyla Santiago, thank you so much for that report. Appreciate it.

Now, it was a busy legal day for former President Trump. The latest in the Mar-a-Lago document and tax returns case.


KEILAR: And CNN on the front lines of the RSV surge in Missouri as the virus fills up hospital beds and keeps patients waiting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are at capacity on many days, and it's one patient in, one patient out.



MARQUARDT: A busy legal day for former President Donald Trump. His defense team and federal prosecutors met in a sealed court hearing on Thursday that was related, at least in part, to the Justice Department's ongoing demands that all documents marked classified be returned to the federal government.

And, an appeals court cleared the way for the IRS to turn over Trump's tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. The Supreme Court could still intervene if Trump appeals to them.

And the House's January 6th committee is moving forward with Secret Service interviews. The committee wrapped up its review of more than one million pages of Secret Service documents and plans to bring in top agents and officials to testify in the coming weeks.

Joining me now with more is CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elliot Williams.

Elliot, lots to get to.


Let's start with what we know and what we don't know about this sealed court hearing on Thursday. It's sealed, which tells us that we don't know very much, but what do you glean from the details that we do have?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the mere fact that it's happening in Washington D.C., Alex, is itself significant. We know there was at least one grand jury subpoena issued out of the federal court in Washington D.C., so perhaps it's related to that. Whether that's individuals' compliance with the grand jury or whether it's a demand for more information or they're negotiating over documents that the Trump team could provide. But, necessarily, we just don't know. Both because the hearing itself was sealed and the subject matter, like I said, grand jury proceedings, which are always secret, is also sealed.

MARQUARDT: What side has the incentive to have this happen in - here in Washington?

WILLIAMS: Oh, absolutely the Justice Department has an incentive for it to happen in Washington. Look, there are a few different federal investigations, at least as far as we know, happening, Mar-a-Lago in Florida, a federal investigation into document retention, but there's also maybe a case for obstruction of justice here in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department has every incentive to try to get their cases brought here in Washington, D.C., if they can, just because the jury pool is going to be far more favorable to the Justice Department here than down in Florida.

MARQUARDT: All right, Trump's tax returns, of course, he's been fighting for a very long time to have those turned over. We have a federal appeals court now declining his request and the House Ways and Means Committee set to get those returns from the IRS.

How likely is it that they do get his tax returns?

WILLIAMS: I think they do at some point. Look, this appeals court decision was pretty straightforward. This was just a review of an earlier decision that laid out all the reasons why the former president ought to turn his tax returns over. It's a -- even though they're of different political parties, it's a duly exercised committee of Congress following a legislative function. They are -- they're doing work around the presidential audit program and possible legislation there. That's pretty lock, stock and barrel, something that Congress is allowed to investigate.

Now, the president - the former president's making the argument that, well, it's a Democratic witch hunt and the court says, well, they're run by Democrats but that's the way our government works. And, at the end of the day, it's pretty straight forward.

MARQUARDT: Do we expect that he will appeal to the Supreme Court?

WILLIAMS: He certainly can. And, again, given how relatively simple the legal issue is here, it's hard to see how the Supreme Court steps in. But you never know. MARQUARDT: All right, let's talk about the latest in the January 6th

investigation. The - the -- obviously there's been so much focus on the Secret Service.

Let's quickly remind our viewers what Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House staffer in the Trump White House, said about the role of the Secret Service on January 6th.

Take a listen.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: The president said something to the effect of, I'm the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now. To which Bobby responded, sir, we have to go back to the West Wing. The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and, said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We're going back to the West Wing. We're not going to the Capitol. Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel and Mr. -- when Mr. Ornato had recounted this story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.


MARQUARDT: Now, we understand that the committee has wrapped up their review of these documents. They're going to start talking to Secret Service agents. What do you think they should be focusing on when -- as they question these Secret Service agents?

WILLIAMS: Yes. So, I think there's two buckets of things they ought to question on. It's, number one, things like we just saw there, which is clearing up factual questions that came up in their first hearing, what - is there really a dispute over the president lunging, information that was provided to the president, how much the Secret Service knew about threats to Mike Pence. Just the things that have already been mined in these hearing, right.

Separately, there's a world of making the Secret Service better as an organization that Congress ought to be doing, right? Number one, why are they deleting all their text messages? Where did the text messages go? Who's in charge of this place? And I think government at its best is when you have a Congress that is not just trying to bring criminal charges but actually trying to make an agency, a very important public safety agency like the Secret Service, work better. It's called congressional oversight. And that's the second bit that they should be working on here.

MARQUARDT: All right, Elliot Williams, we had lots of ground to cover. We did it. Thank you, as always, so much for your expertise. Really appreciate it.

WILLIAMS: Lightning round. Love it.

MARQUARDT: Take care.

All right, CNN uncovering Kanye West's disturbing history of admiring Adolf Hitler. What we're learning this morning.

Plus, the nose of this plane ripped off, the windshield smashed. How pilots managed to land the plane after getting hit by severe weather.

We'll be right back.



KEILAR: A CNN exclusive.

Sources say Kanye West has a disturbing history of admiring Hitler. This comes after West made several anti-Semitic remarks over the past few weeks.

CNN's Chloe Melas joins us now with more on her exclusive reporting.




Yes, I spoke to former employees of Kanye West, one of which described an incredibly hostile work environment during his time with Kanye.


MELAS: CNN has exclusively learned from several people once close to Kanye West that he has long been fascinating with Adolf Hitler. A business executive who worked with West told CNN the artist created a hostile work environment over his obsession with Hitler and spoke openly about reading Hitler's manifesto Mein Kampf, saying, quote, he would praise Hitler by saying how incredible it was that he was able to accumulate so much power and would talk about all the great things he and the Nazi party achieved for the German people.

That same executive reached a settlement with West and his companies, which CNN reviewed. According to the agreement, West denied the executive's allegations.

According to four sources who spoke with CNN, West, who now goes by Ye, even suggested naming his album after the Nazi leader in 2018. Universal Music Group, which owns Deaf Jam Records, said in a statement to CNN that its relationship with West ended last year, writing, quote, there is no place for anti-Semitism in our society. We are deeply committed to combatting anti-Semitism and every other form of prejudice.

These revelations come just weeks after West tweeted he was, quote, going death con three on Jewish people, resulting in Twitter locking his account. A former TMZ staffer, Van Lathan Jr., claims West made anti-Semitic comments during a 2018 interview.

VAN LATHAN JR., FORMER TMZ EMPLOYEE: He said something like, I love Hitler. I love Nazis. Something to that effect when he was there. And they took it out of the interview.

One of the producers at TMZ actually stood up and said, I'm Jewish and that is offensive to me, what you just said.

MELAS: A source who was at the TMZ interview told CNN West had favorably referenced Hitler. Lathan says TMZ took the comments out of the interview. CNN has reached out to TMZ but did not get a reply.

In that same interview, West declared slavery was a choice. And earlier this month West caused offense when he wore a white lives matter t-shirt at a runway show for his fashion brand. Some consequences of West's comments were seen last weekend when a group of demonstrators appeared with this banner on a freeway overpass in Los Angeles.

LZ GRANDERSON, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES": With everything that we know that's going on in terms of hate crimes, in terms of anti-Semitism, in terms of racism, we're in a climate right now that's very, very tense.

MELAS: West's brand is being hit hard.

KANYE WEST: I can say anti-Semitic things and Adidas can't drop me.

MELAS: Earlier this week, Adidas dropped West. The German sportswear brand says the loss of its lucrative Yeezy collaboration is expected to cost them up to $250 million in its fourth quarter.

TED DEUTCH, CEO, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE: Jew hatred is on the rise in this country. And what this whole Kanye episode shows is that we need to take it seriously.


MELAS: Kanye West has still not returned CNN's repeated requests for comment.


KEILAR: All right, Chloe, thank you so much for that. Chloe Melas.

Ahead, the new study this morning on how blood pressure medication could reduce dementia risk.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, there's a fire. You got to get out.


MARQUARDT: A stranger rushing to wake up an Iowa family when their home goes up in flames in the middle of the night.

We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


MARQUARDT: The Ravens handed the Buccaneers their third straight loss, marking Tom Brady's first three game losing streak in 20 years.

Andy Scholes is in Houston, the site of tonight's game one of the World Series, with this morning's "Bleacher Report."


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alex, you know, we're just not used to seeing these kind of things from a Tom Brady led team. The Bucs have now lost five of their last six games. And Brady did set an NFL record last night in the first half, but it's not one of those records that you really want to brag about. The 45-year-old becoming the most sacked quarterback in league history, passing Ben Roethlisberger.

The Bucs actually did have a 10-3 lead in this game at halftime, but then Lamar Jackson just taking over. Baltimore scoring on its first four possessions after halftime. They go on to win 27-22. So, for the first time in Brady's storied 23-year career, he's two games under .500.

Meanwhile, here at Minute Maid Park, we've got game one of the World Series between the Astros and the Phillies. This park no stranger to the World Series. The Astros have been in the fall classic four out of the last six years. The Phillies, meanwhile, they're back in the World Series for the first time since 2009. And after squeaking into that last playoff spot in the National League, the Phillies beat the Cardinals, then they beat the Braves, then they beat the Padres. And Philly certainly has that team of destiny feel to it.


BRYCE HARPER, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES DESIGNATED HITTER: I think, as a team, kind of just hit on all the right cylinders at the right time and started playing good baseball.

RHYS HOSKINS, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES FIRST BASEMAN: It's just a fun time to be a Philly, really. We're having as much fun as we've had all year.

LANCE MCCULLERS JR., HOUSTON ASTROS PITCHER: We've got to roll with the punches. We put ourself in that situation originally. We've clawed our way out and we've shown the world that we're a heck of a baseball team. And it would be great to cap it with a trophy.



SCHOLES: And, Alex, Orbit, the Astro's mascot, just came by. He's wanting to give us his prediction for the World Series. Orbit, what have you got?