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CNN Election Night In America Continued; Sources: Trump Family Divided Over A Likely 2024 Run. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired November 11, 2022 - 16:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: It was so much. Thank you, Boris. Have a great weekend.


GOLODRYGA: Stay with CNN, everyone.

Election Night in America Continued starts right now.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Good afternoon. I'm Erin Burnett and this is CNN's special coverage of Election Night in America Continued yet again, because we are still on the edge of this cliff.

Three days since voters went to the polls, and the suspense is still growing, because votes are coming in. We're getting closer and closer to knowing, but still close to call. And control of the Senate and the house are still both up in the air as I speak.

We are watching right now Arizona and Nevada. That is where it's all at. Two key states with margins that are simply so razor thin, we do not yet know who will control the senate.

Let's take a look at Arizona. The Democratic Senator Mark Kelly is expanding his lead right now over the Republican Blake Masters. Every new batch of votes that come in, that lead has increased. 24 hours ago, we were just shy of 100,000. Now we're at isn't 115,000 in terms of the margin that Mark Kelly is ahead by.

And just a short time ago, Bill Gates, who was the top official for Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona, home of Phoenix, told CNN that they will be releasing more votes in the coming hours. To be specific, 60,000 to 70,000 and they hope to be finished counting in the coming days.


BILL GATES (R), CHAIR, MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISOR: We anticipate that will be early next week. Based upon the clip at which we're going again maintaining that focus on accuracy. I would anticipate very early next week.


BURNETT: Very early next week, but of course, we get to a certain point where mathematically, we'll be able to make a call on that race. Obviously, we are not there yet.

Now, let's take a look at Nevada, the other crucial race. The Democrat, Catherine Cortez Masto, continues to close the gap with her Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt, although he still ahead by just shy of 9,000 votes and keep again there, it's all about that margin compared to the votes still outstanding and there, according to CNN's estimate, 95,000 votes remain to be uncounted. So you can't call a race like this.

We are standing by for new vote totals that could come at any time and change who is in the lead, change these margins. If the two incumbent Senate Democrats, though, in Arizona and Nevada win re-election, Democrats would have a majority in the Senate. That would call the Senate and that would be regardless of happens next month in the Georgia runoff.

Meantime, let's take a look over at the House, where obviously it's still too close to call. Democrats still have a path to maintain control, it is a path that has been narrowing more and more. Still exists, though.

We have a team of reporters standing by. Gary Tuchman is in Nevada, Kyung Lah is in Arizona, these two crucial states.

Let's begin in Arizona, though. The latest numbers do show, Kyung, the lead for Senator Mark Kelly expanding right now.

What is the very latest that you know in terms of when new votes are going to come out and how many of those new votes may come out relative to what's still outstanding?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, let's talk about first about timing. What our anticipation is, and I'll be a little generous, but the county officials have said the 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time hour. Yesterday, they were quite exact on 10:01. But a little after 10:00 is when he we expect this latest batch to come through.

What is going to be there? You laid it out, Erin, about 60,000 to 70,000 is the estimate of how many votes are going to be released this evening. Let's give you a live look inside this place where the counting is taking place. This is through a window and you can see that this is the adjudication center.

They're still going through the ballots. They're still trying to work through what is a difficult and slow process to make sure these are verified votes and that they are counted accurately. But here is the thing. This tonight, what happens this evening could be very important, because of that 60,000 to 70,000 votes that are coming out, more than half of them will be mail-in ballots that were dropped off on Election Day.

Why is that important? Well, the Blake masters campaign, the U.S. Senate Republican nominee, he held a -- his campaign held a background call with reporters, sort of laying out their thinking. They believe that those votes are going to break their way. They are putting their eggs in this basket. They need these votes to go their way. They need a percentage of them to go their way and that is why we are watching this so carefully.


The Republicans in this race firmly believe that they will. How much, we don't know. How decisive, we don't know. But we do know that from the county, it's going to be about 60,000 to 70,000 votes. Erin, we are anticipating that there will be an update in just another couple of hours from the county. There's going to be what they have regularly had as an afternoon press conference. So, hopefully, a few more details in two more hours -- Erin.

BURNETT: Right, hopefully so. And we've been here every day at these times and they have given those updates. Let's hope that we get that and see exactly where we stand as everyone in the whole country is waiting for this.

Gary Tuchman is live in north Las Vegas where we're focusing, of course, on Nevada.

And, Gary, I understand, you just got out of a Clark County press briefing. The bulk of uncounted votes in Nevada are from Clark County, as we understand it, Las Vegas. So what did they tell you about where they are on the timing here?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right. The biggest chunk of votes are in this building, the election department in Clark County, Nevada. We just went inside the building. We saw the tabulating going on.

Here are the numbers that we can tell you and more about the timing. There are 50,000 ballots ready to be counted, 16,000 of those ballots will be tabulated today. We will see those numbers tonight. Thirty- four thousand of those ballots may be tabulated today and counted tonight, but if they're not finished, by tomorrow, they expect all 50,000 of those ballots to be counted and we will see those numbers.

But, and this is a big but the, in addition, there's another 15,000 votes that are provisional ballots or have to be cured. The deadline is next week for that. So this is a potential of up to 62,000 more votes to be counted. In addition, you are allowed to mail in your ballots, as long as they're postmarked by election day to arrive today and tomorrow. An additional number is 104 ballots, a small number that arrive today. More ballots to arrive tomorrow.

So that's the timing. Those are the numbers. We talk to the county election boss about people who are worried and complaining about this taking too long.


JOE GLORIA, CLARK COUNTY REGISTRAR: We're not purposefully holding this process back. We're doing everything in our power to move ballots forward as quickly as we can, but the statutory deadlines that we have in place, I can't do -- finish all the mail until it all comes in.


TUCHMAN: Three very tight races, high-profile races, senate, governor, secretary of state and they are still counting -- Erin.

BURNETT: And we have a key race alert in the state of Arizona.

This is in the governor's race. Right now, Katie Hobbs is ahead of Kari Lake and our update here, literally, this is how tight it is and how much the count matters, 56 more votes have just come in. They are for Katie Hobbs. She has expanded her lead by 56 votes.

Keep in mind, obviously, her lead is now almost 27,000 votes, but, you have hundreds of thousands of votes still outstanding in Arizona. But every vote counts and every update at this point matters to all the people involved.

So, let's talk about all of this now with our panel on this election night continued. John Avlon, our senior political analyst, Audie Cornish, anchor and correspondent, Margaret Hoover, a former George W. Bush White House staff member and veteran of two presidential campaigns for the GOP, Karen Finney, former senior spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, and Charlie Dent, the former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania.

OK. Thanks to all of you.

So here we are, Margaret, in a situation where 56 votes -- every single vote trickling in here matters. Every vote as it's being counted, especially in the Arizona governor's race, where Kari Lake has been continually alleging that they're purposefully dragging their feet, even though, of course, they're working 14 hours day on what is a federal holiday today.

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, a lot of people around the country are looking at Arizona wondering, why can't you do this faster? And this is the beauty or maybe not so much the beauty of federalism. Every state counted on their own.

Recall, I mean, it's really interesting that right now Florida, which has many more millions of people and expanse two time zones is able to get it right in a relatively quick period of time, but not so long ago, Florida was keeping us all hanging on the edge of our seats as well.

So, they should be able to do it faster. They ought to get on top of it. And all it does is allow for people like Kari Lake to undermine confidence that people have in the system. And that's not good.

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It's through that, though. Number one, she would have done it no matter what. She did it on the way in. She was going to do it on the way out. That is part of the playbook to be in this wing of the party, right? To say, there are fundamental problems with the vote.

But also, voting is -- like, counting is not a race, right? We are uncovering the count. We are -- it's like a little bow that you unwrap and you're like, tada, here's the answer.


But no one pulls ahead, no one falls back. And I think the more we get out of this mindset, the better we can actually prepare the voters for times when it does get more complicated.

BURNETT: This is true, although I will say yesterday when bill gates, and he hopefully will in the next hour or so give an update on where he is, but he did feel the need to compare Arizona to Florida and say, here's how we're different. Here's why our rules are different --

CORNISH: He also said ahead of time he would be doing these briefings. They learned a hard lesson from the last election and they have spent so much time trying to counter misinformation and trying to counter people who do not trust them. And there have been -- it's sort of flown under the radar, but they've been letting people come and visit offices and like a lot of the secretaries of state have taken this moment very seriously.

And I don't think it's an accident that we all know the name of Bill Gates and just think Maricopa County instead of the other guy. He was prepared for this, right? He wanted to get out in front of disinformation.

BURNETT: Yeah, John?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. Look, this is one of the great challenges of our time. This is where disinformation and misinformation meets the heart of democracy. And look, a lot of these things are also an issue of statute. If you've got all mail-in voting, you've got to make sure that all the ballots are accurately counted that were mailed by election day.

BURNETT: And someone has to open the ballots. There's these actual physical steps.

AVLON: There's military ballots and overseas ballots and have come in later and no one should want to disenfranchise their votes. Let's get the count right and it's a matter of reminding people that this is really election week in America. Some states will come in later.

The people who will try to undermine confidence for their own self- interested reasons should be treated like what they are, which is people who are trying to act as arsonists in our democracy for their own reasons.

BURNETT: Karen, I want to ask you, we obviously can't call Arizona in any way, for the governor, not for the Senate. But it's conceivable that you could end up where Kari Lake wins the governorship and Mark Kelly wins the Senate. How does that happen? KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Democracy. It could

absolutely happen given that, look, people feel differently about what they want from their governor than what they want from their senator. They appeal to different bases. I mean, anything is possible.

But I think the most important thing to what John was saying is, I think voters need to understand, this is the process working the way it's supposed to, right? The fact that it's taking longer to count is a good sign, not a negative. It was the GOP that turned it into a bad thing. But it's actually a good thing.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, what I've learned, too, is that -- you know, I've run for office 13 times, undefeated and unindicted, so far. Now, having said that --


BURNETT: The second one --

FINNEY: So far.

DENT: Having said that, what I've learned is that in this country, we know how to run elections well. We're pretty good at it. Yeah, I wish they would count a little faster in Arizona, but nothing nefarious is going on.

The bottom line is, though, the problem we always experience, at least we did in 2020 is what happened after the election. And those who cannot accept an outcome and the Electoral Count Act reforms are really important, but that's what we need to focus on, the post- election activities. We'll get an accurate count in all of these states and will be able to move on unless we have these conspiracy theorists trying to undermine the confidence again.

AVLON: And I'd say, it is a reminder that we've had incredibly close elections before. It's not just George W. Bush winning Florida by 537 votes. You know, in 2020, Iowa's second district was six votes. So, you know, decisions --

BURNETT: We all remember that night, when John King is on the phone with the two women counting the votes. Like, hold on!

AVLON: Just a reminder, every vote counts and folks have got to show up. And that's what this is about.

BURNETT: Absolutely. Now, one thing when you're seeing what happened, obviously, Congressman, is that this didn't go the way the Republicans thought it would. Whatever ends up happening in the outcome, your margins are not what they would have expected in any way, shape, or form. It could go even worse for them. They could lose the Senate.

So Pat Toomey, you obviously know him well. His Senate seat is the -- he vacated it. John Fetterman won. It's now flipped for the Democrats. I talked to him yesterday and he made it pretty clear who he thinks is to blame for the Republican performance. Here he is.


SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): President Trump had to insert himself and that changed the nature of the race and that created just too much of an obstacle. And by the way, it's not just Pennsylvania. Look, all over the country, there's a very high correlation between MAGA candidates and big losses, or at least, dramatically underperforming.


BURNETT: Okay, didn't mince words, right? I mean, Pennsylvania and across the country.

DEAN: Yeah, Pat and I held the same House seat and we communicated yesterday. And I totally agree.

A lot of this Republican disaster on Tuesday was attributed to Donald Trump. I mean, just in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Pat's seat. You know, Donald Trump endorsed the two candidates that Republicans really didn't want for governor, especially. They didn't want Doug Mastriano, but Trump endorsed. They preferred Dave McCormick, but he went with Oz who had residency issues. It's going to be a problem.

But he mucked it up. Not just here, but in a number of competitive races around the country.


He is going to own much of this fiasco, because he cost -- in the case of Pennsylvania, he cost a whole bunch of -- Mastriano cost a whole bunch of down-ballot candidates --

BURNETT: Three House seats, a Senate seat, and a governorship.

FINNEY: The problem that I have with this, though, is that this is the party that you wrought. When the Republican --

DEAN: I actually didn't wrought it.

FINNEY: Other than Charlie. Let me just correct that. So when you -- I'll say that to Pat Toomey. Pat Toomey, this is the party you wrought. When you don't stand up to Donald Trump when he stands in Charlottesville and says there are good people on both sides, this is what you get.

You get a party that went all in on extremism, you get leaders who are so afraid of their base, they're terrified to on a president when he says and does these outrageous things. So, why should be surprised that this is where we are?

BURNETT: Well, the people who stood up disappeared.

HOOVER: The people who stood up are sitting in seats like Charlie Dent is sitting in right now. But, look, there are two things.

One thing I would add to this, certainly, the conservative universe and the Republican ecosystem today and for the next several days will be blaming Donald Trump. And if you open up "The Wall Street Journal" editorial page, it's all blaming Donald Trump.

But no one has taken into account yet, at least on the conservative, the role that abortion played because abortion was on the ticket also in Pennsylvania. So, that played a huge role. And let me just tell you, nobody at the Federalist Society 40th anniversary last night mentioned that.

BURNETT: No, no. And by the way, we'll talk more about that, because polls show abortion to be such a distant, distant second or third in terms of anything anybody cared about. Not with the exit polls showed. It was number two.

All right. Just ahead, another batch of results expected tonight out of Nevada. So we're going to dig deeper on that into what happens next in the race that could decide the Senate. It is tightening, literally, as we speak, as these votes come in.

We'll be right back.



BURNETT: All right. We are back.

It's election night in America continued yet again. And Nevada, where officials in Clark County say they'll be releasing results from about another 16,000 ballots tonight is a crucial focus.

Remember, this is a traditional Democratic stronghold in the state. There are 50,000 ballots there that remain uncounted. It's potentially, then, welcome news for the Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who has been steadily narrowing the gap with her Republican challenger, Adam Laxalt.

The governor's race also influx here as you can see, Joe Lombardo right now is ahead. The Republican challenger for Steve Sisolak, the incumbent Democratic governor.

This is obviously a very close one to watch, but Joe Lombardo's lead now is just over 21,000 votes. So let's go to our political director, David Chalian.

So, David, what do you know about the outstanding vote in Nevada? I mean, that, you know, so we can know who can narrow it and how.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: So, Erin, this is an estimate. This isn't an exact number. But our estimation of what is outstanding in Nevada is that there are 95,000, approximately, votes outstanding. Votes that are remaining to be counted.

And what our decision desk did, Erin, was put together a calculation of what each candidate would need of that outstanding vote in order to win the race. So you noted Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democratic incumbent is behind right now. She needs a greater share of this outstanding vote, 52 to 54 percent of that 95,000 outstanding vote is what she would need to win this race.

Obviously, Laxalt, who's ahead right now by roughly 9,000 votes would need a smaller share. 43 percent to 47 percent of the outstanding vote is what he would need.

So I look at this graphic here, Erin, as a bit of a viewer's guide, so when we get more vote from Nevada in the system, be looking to see, is Catherine Cortez Masto in that range? Is she getting 52 to 54 percent of that batch out of Clark County? Is she getting that out of Washoe County up in Reno area, when they deliver? Those are two Democratic strongholds.

She's been getting her sort of percentage overall in those counties are hovering around there. So does she increase a little bit, her performance there, that actually mirrors what she needs to win this race?

BURNETT: So those are the crucial things to watch. And everybody at this point watching this bit by bit needs to know that, right? So when the votes come in, you look at 10,000 votes, what's your share? Isn't in that 52 to 54 percent?

All right. Thank you very much. David Chalian, giving us the numbers we need to know.

Let's go to Elizabeth Thompson now that we have those, because she is the editor of "The Nevada Independent".

And, Elizabeth, okay, 24 hours ago we spoke and you told me that all signs at the time were suggesting that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto would be able to pull ahead of Adam Laxalt because of where the votes were outstanding and because of the margin she was winning of those outstanding ballots.

Have you seen anything that would change your view of how this race ends up?

ELIZABETH THOMPSON, NEVADA INDEPENDENT EDITOR: Not really. In fact, I've got an additional piece of information that's got me persuaded that when we get this next data dump from Clark County, and also from Douglas County, which is the last big ruby red rural county that we're sort of waiting on, we might be pretty close to having a clear winner or at least one that we can project.

And the reason I'm saying that is that the mail ballots collected today in Clark County and yesterday all total was only 700 ballots. Earlier this week, we were thinking, gosh, we don't know how many mail ballots are out there that might come in on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, but if the trend holds tomorrow, there's hardly any mail ballots coming, and that means the ballots we have in hand might give us a decision.

BURNETT: All right. So you think you may perhaps be closer to calling it than you would have thought. Just to be clear, the trend still from the way you're doing for the math are for Senator Cortez Masto to win and retain her seat.

I also want to ask you about the governor's race in Nevada. This one looks a little bit different, when we look at the overall headline number run. The margin of victory for the Republican, Joe Lombardo right now, how much he's ahead. He still leads Governor Steve Sisolak by three percentage points and that's more than 28,000 votes.

So how do you see this one, because if you're talking about the way you see the math, Catherine Cortez Masto could pull out that Senate seat. The governor ship right now doesn't look that way in terms of the headline count.

THOMPSON: That's right. That's exactly right. We -- I think everyone in the state right now is grappling with the probability of something that hardly ever happens, which is that an incumbent governor gets defeated when he runs for a second term. We haven't called the race yet. My team right now is crunching the math 17 different ways for all the counties and what we know about ballots that still need to be cured and so on and so forth.

But I think we're getting pretty close to being able to make a call. And I would think that after we get this next data dump at whatever time that happens today, that we probably can call it. And in all likelihood, it will be the Republican Clark County sheriff, Joe Lombardo, who comes out on top.

BURNETT: So you would have the Republican for the governorship and the Democrat for the senator seat, if you go -- if you are able to make that call. Why do you think that would be? You talk about how unusual it is, right, to see a split ticket like this, to see a split ticket where it's the incumbent governor who gets handed the loss. If that's how this turns out, why do you think it was?

THOMPSON: Well, there's going to be more split ticket stories than just that in Nevada, but these two top of the ticket races are interesting.

Look, Governor Sisolak, the incumbent Democrat had the misfortune to be governor when the pandemic hit Nevada. And Nevada was hit harder that be any other state by far because of our tourism-driven industry. So the choice to shut down the Las Vegas Strip for two months, which resulted in a loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

We had a million people applying for unemployment benefits. The unemployment system was a disaster. People waited for months and months and months to get their first benefit check. There was also rampant fraud the governor was dealing with.

Just kind of a perfect storm of very ugly economic details in Nevada that I think is probably, if Sisolak loses, is probably what sank him.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Elizabeth, but hopeful news in terms of if you want to know an outcome that they feel that we may be getting close to possibly calling Nevada. We shall see, as this next set of numbers comes out, we hope, anticipate tonight.

Thank you again, Elizabeth.

And coming up, John King at the wall. He's going to break down these two big Senate races for us, each of these outstanding counties, these pockets of votes and you will see which party should be more optimistic when it comes to control of the Senate.



BURNETT: Back now with CNN's special coverage of election night in America continued yet again. That's my own personal addition, the "yet again."

John King is with us at the magic wall because -- John, it's just going on yet again.


BURNETT: Yet again.

OK. So Democrats are increasingly optimistic about keeping control of the Senate, when they look at how things are playing out drip by drip in Arizona and Nevada. How likely is that scenario?

KING: Let me give you the three least-spoken words in Washington. I don't know.

Now, we can back up, because they're partisans and they're allowed to have their passions, right? I count votes and do math. I understand it. Let me give you the scenario.

This is why Democrats are optimistic. And you can decide at home if you share their optimism or not. In a minute, we'll get to the unanswered questions that leave me in the "I don't know" phase.

Why are they optimistic? Here's where we are right now, 48 Republican seats, 49 Democratic seats. These three, Georgia, we have to wait until December, and Nevada and Arizona, which you were discussing earlier in the program.

So, why are they optimistic? They look in Arizona and see Senator Kelly with a 100-plus vote lead and they are confident a lot of ballots still to be counted. Democrats are confident that he will hold that lead.

So, just for the sake of argument, we don't know that. We'll get to that in a minute. Then you were just having the conversation with a journalist, a very fine journalist in Nevada. At the moment, the Republican candidate Adam Laxalt is ahead there. The take of many on the ground, the assumption is, when they count these ballots, that it will follow 2020 and those mail-in ballots will be mostly Democratic. They believe Senator Cortez Masto can overcome that gap. That's where they base the optimism.

If that happens, right, and she does that, where are you? Then Democrats get to 50 and that's all they need, Erin. If those two western states actually fill in blue at the end, Democrats have the Senate and Georgia is then gravy.

You're trying to get to 51. If it doesn't happen, and let's say this one stays red in this hypothetical, well, then it all comes down to Georgia. Democrats are voicing that optimism on the fact they think that they're going to pick those both up. We're not there yet. I get their thinking and this scenario that plays out. You say, that's reasonable to think, but we're not there yet.

BURNETT: All right. We're not there yet, and I can't believe I'm saying this, because here we are yet again. We may not be there yet for quite some time, not just because the Georgia runoff isn't until December 6th, but because these races that are so close could trigger recounts, court challenges, all kinds of things that need to go through their process and their system.

So we may not know who controls the Senate for quite some time.

KING: We may not know, but we should have some very good clues later today and through the weekend. And yes, and we should respect the process, right?


The state laws, if they're close enough, automatic recounts, good, do them. Losing candidate, even if you're outside the bars can request a recount. In some states, they have to pay for that, that's perfectly fine. No one should get upset about that.

If someone sees something and they go to court, OK, we went through that in 2020 and 70-plus of them were thrown out because the Trump people have no grounds. But let's have an open mind and see what happens.

But back to these two races quickly. We're going to get more votes here tonight. And what we're going to get tonight especially out of Maricopa County are what we call the late early. We have people who dropped off their ballots in envelopes on Election Day.

In 2020, a vote in an envelope is disproportionately Democratic. Is that true in 2022? It's Republicans who actually win the Election Day vote. That's just what we don't know. This is a new world and a different experience. If it tracks, if it's an envelope, it's disproportionately Democratic, then Senator Kelly will win.

If Republicans tend to vote more on Election Day, they put in an envelope and didn't want to wait in line and dropped it in a drop box that way, we don't know. So, there's 290,000 of them here in Maricopa County. We're going to get a sampling of them tonight. That will give us a big clue as to what are those ballots, because we went through 2020 and learned a lot from that experience.

Can we apply that to 2022. We'll know a lot better tonight and the same thing was true when you were counting of the uncounted ballots in Nevada. We just need more to say, is this like 2020 or do we have to have an open mind and just keep counting?

BURNETT: Right, right. I mean, it's just an assumption, right, that, well, if people who vote early tend to be Democrats, there's all kinds of assumptions baked into the system. But things have changed over the past few years. I mean, when you look at 290,000 votes on election day, late earlies, maybe we don't know a lot about those people yet. What would drive you to do that as opposed to send it in earlier? And we're going to find out.

All right. John King, thank you.

KING: It's great story. Let's not try to write the final chapter. Let's let it write itself.

BURNETT: That's right, because it is yet again election night in America.

KING: Yet again.

BURNETT: All right, next, with Donald Trump preparing for his daughter Tiffany's wedding tomorrow, he's fuming over the election. He's been erupting on social media, posting screeds. We've got new reporting on where things stand ahead of a 2024 run potential and what Trump is still calling his special announcement next week.



BURNETT: All right. Just days ahead of Trump's, quote, very big announcement, a divided Trump family is gathered right now in Mar-a- Lago. Trump's youngest daughter, Tiffany, is getting married there and that comes amid reports that Trump is in a foul mood over the Republicans' lackluster performance and tensions within his own family over another potential run for the White House.

Certainly, his anger has been very visible in social media screeds he's been posting in the past couple of days.

Our Kate Bennett joins me now with so much reporting on this.

And, Kate, you're reporting that Trump is on the outs with his wife, Melania, after the election. And that obviously could be significant here in his decision making. What do you know?

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, sure. This is something that Melania Trump is extremely private, as we know. So when her name came up earlier this week in I believe a Maggie Haberman report that he was blamed, that Trump was blaming Melania for his endorsement of Dr. Oz, because Melania Trump was a big Dr. Oz fan, something that he mentioned during his rallies, it's not secret that she liked him.

She doesn't like being in the news, so that caused some friction. Clearly, when Donald Trump is in a not-so-great mood, what a lot of people do is sort of avoid him. And that's what's happening now. However, tomorrow is Tiffany Trump's wedding, so it's a family

gathering where the patriarch is not exactly in the mood to perhaps host everybody, you know, for this event tomorrow for his daughter.

BURNETT: No. I mean, honestly, the post in recent days, it's not just talking about himself as a very stable genius, it's claiming credit for the rise and fall of Facebook and Twitter and screeds on Ron DeSantis and racist name calling of Glenn Youngkin. It has been -- it has been even for him a very, very high level.

I mean, so Jared and Ivanka are obviously going to be part of this event this weekend. And they were pivotal in his first term. Where do they stand on all of this?

BENNETT: Well, it's interesting that you say that, because they don't stand anywhere near Donald Trump, for most of the reasons that you just mentioned. These tirades, these mood swings, this obsession with the political culture. Lots of the people I spoke to for the story say that Jared and Ivanka are just simply not interested in dipping back into that political life. Not only do they have zero interest in joining a, perhaps, second go-around at the White House with Donald Trump, perhaps, they don't even want to campaign with him.

Ivanka was asked to participate in some midterm campaigning and she declined. And we didn't see her on the trail. This is a couple who though they were instrumental and ubiquitous presences in the West Wing during the Trump administration, want nothing to do if there is a next time unlike their father, they have moved on. So that's where they stand.

BURNETT: Yeah, well, it's going to be fascinating to see, obviously, with the wedding tomorrow, this, quote/unquote, big announcement next week, and a former president clearly in some sort of psychological turmoil. Thank you.

BENNETT: All right.

BURNETT: All right. Now, Trump's relationship with his former Vice President Mike Pence is also, well, strained is a kind word. Pence has been hinting at his hone potential White House run and has been detailing the final days in the White House in his new book out next week. According to an excerpt in "The Wall Street Journal," Trump told Pence that he was, quote, too honest, and would, quote, go down as a wimp.

CNN's Brian Todd has more on what we're learning about the Trump/Pence relationship.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The former vice president's new accounts depict a convenient political partnership deteriorating in a matter of a few short weeks.

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: We forged a close personal relationship. But in the end came on difficult times. TODD: As he rolls out his book, "So help me God," excerpted by "The

Wall Street Journal," Mike Pence for the first time reveals specific quotes from then President Donald Trump as Trump tried to persuade, cajole, and then arm twist Pence to reject the election results on January 6th.

In the weeks leading up to January 6th, Pence writes, he tried to convince Trump that he didn't have the authority to decide which electoral votes should count. Pence says Trump told him, quote, you're too honest. Hundreds of thousands are going to hate your guts. People are going to think you're stupid.

SUSAN GLASSER, CO-AUTHOR, "THE DIVIDER: TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE": This is a classic Trump interaction. It's all about him. He has no interest in principle.

TODD: On the morning of January 6th, Pence writes, he got a call from the president. Pence says he reiterated that he didn't have the power to decide which votes should count. Quote, the president laid into me. You'll go down as a wimp, he said. If you do that, I made a big mistake five years ago.

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR, "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": Trump always tries to eviscerate people that he deems to be disloyal, especially at key moments. So it's no surprise that he went after Mike Pence.

TODD: In these excerpts, Pence gives new detail on the harrowing moments when rioters inside the Capitol and outside were looking for him.


TODD: The Secret Service, Pence writes, wanted to get him out of the building. Pence says he argued with his lead agent. Quote, I pointed my finger at his chest and said, You're not hearing me. I'm not leaving. I'm not giving those people the sight of a 16-car motorcade speeding away from the Capitol.

They agreed to move the vice president to a more secure spot at the loading dock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were doing it in the blind. They didn't realize what was going on outside because the incident command structure had fallen apart at the U.S. Capitol. Pence's new book could be the opening salvo in a dual between the former allies for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. For months, they've been sparring from a distance.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Mike, and I say it sadly, because I like him, but Mike did not have the courage to act.

TODD: How might Donald Trump wage what will likely be a very personal battle?

D'ANTONIO: He will use every private conversation the two of them ever had. He will use the accusation of disloyalty. He'll do whatever he can to both shame Pence and out him as something other than what he claims to be.


TODD: CNN has reached out to Donald Trump's camp for a response to the new excerpts from Mike Pence's book. We have not heard back. But Trump just a few days ago again criticized Pence for not sending the 2020 electoral votes back to the states -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Brian, thank you very much.

And a quick programming note: the former vice president will join a live studio audience and Jake Tapper for a CNN town hall next week on Wednesday. You can see it at 9:00 Eastern.

And coming up, Republicans were sure that President Biden's poor poll numbers would be a weight around the ankles of Democrats running for office. It didn't exactly work out that way. Our Harry Enten joins us with the answers.



BURNETT: Welcome back to CNN special coverage of Election Night in America, Continued yet again.

Right now, President Biden is headed to Cambodia for a summit of world leaders going straight back out to business, taking the world stage after Democrats beat expectations in the midterms, despite what were frankly poor poll numbers and approval numbers for President Biden.

I'm joined now by our senior data reporter, Harry Enten, to understand how this happened. Because his approval rating was not good and usually in a midterm a president's isn't, but his was bad, and yet --

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: And yet and yet and yet. You know, if you look back over the past few midterms where you had a president's approval rating under 50 percent, we're talking Donald Trump, we're talking Barack Obama, we're talking Bill Clinton, we're talking seat losses in the House, 40, 50, sometimes upwards of 60 seats. That is not going to be the case this time. Democrats are going to have a loss of less than ten if the current numbers hold.

It's unbelievable. It's such a historical anomaly. And, you know, when you dig deeper into the numbers, in fact, when you look among the 10 percent of the electorate that somewhat disapprove of Joe Biden's job performance, they actually voted for Democrat candidates. This whole thing is sort of off the hook and just really frankly odd.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, it's sort of the hockey stick of elections. In fact, when you look at this and go back nearly a century, this still stands out.

ENTEN: This still stands out. It's -- again, this is one of the best performances for a president's party in a first midterm. At this point, if the numbers hold, they're not going to lose any Senate seats. They're going to lose probably less than ten house seats.

That's only happened a few times. You can see in your screen right now, we're talking FDR, we're talking JFK, we're talking George W. Bush. That is it. This is basically four times in a century, and I can assure you that the rest of those times obviously we didn't have polling in '34, but the president's approval rating was above 60 percent. This is -- this is amazing.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, just to go back to 20 years ago, you were coming off of 9/11, there were very specific extenuating circumstances.

ENTEN: Right.

BURNETT: This extenuating circumstance may be election denialism and Donald Trump. I mean, we don't know but --

ENTEN: I think that Donald Trump's unpopularity, basically, you know, there was 20 percent of the electorate that didn't like either one. You thought if you didn't like Joe Biden you would vote overwhelmingly for Republican candidates. But, in fact, that didn't happen.

BURNETT: It tainted -- it tainted them all.

ENTEN: It tainted.

BURNETT: All right. Now, you've got the former president about to make an announcement next week. He thought it was going to be with thunderous applause announcing his bid to run again. Maybe he still does it, but obviously it's a very different environment.

A lot of talk about President Biden, whether he'll run, and overwhelming kind of perception in certain Democratic circles that he shouldn't.


He's just too old, pass the baton. Do you have any insight from the data?

ENTEN: You know, I recall, the same exact argument being made four years ago. Joe's over 75, he shouldn't run. In fact, the majority of people in the electorate had either concerns or extremely unenthusiastic about it. I think it's 62 percent it was in NBC News poll. There you see, had reservations and were very uncomfortable.

And guess what happened?

BURNETT: He got four years older.

ENTEN: He got four years -- he got two years older during the campaign. He's now considerably older. But back in 2020, he won the presidential primary and won the presidency.

So I don't take these concerns too much. It's something theoretically. But when it comes to the ballot, they actually voted for Joe Biden. BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: And we will have more on the president's thinking about the next two years in Washington with a live report from Cambodia, which, of course, is where he is. That's host of the summit of world leaders I just mentioned.

Plus, the latest on a close house race few saw coming. Pro-Trump Lauren Boebert fighting for her political career next.