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House Still Undecided After Democrats Defy Odds To Hold Senate; Biden Rides Midterm Into High-Stakes G-20 Summit; Zelenskyy Makes Surprise Visit To Kherson After Russian Retreat; Three UVA Football Players Killed, Two Students Injured In Shooting; Dave Chappelle's Monologue On "SNL" Criticized As Antisemitic. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired November 14, 2022 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. I'll see you tomorrow.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, control of the House still up for grabs tonight with Democrats now holding the Senate. The leadership race also unsettled right now as Speaker Pelosi weighs her next moves and Republican leaders face a conservative revolt.
President Biden is riding the midterm momentum on the world stage meeting face-to-face with Chinese President Xi. Mr. Biden sounding hopeful that competition between the superpowers won't become what he calls a new cold war.
And in Ukraine right now, President Zelenskyy making a surprise visit to the newly liberated city of Kherson and vows to reclaim occupied territory what he calls step-by-step. CNN is on the ground as humanitarian aid finally begins pouring in after months and months of Russian control.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Let's get right to our top story, control of the House of Representatives and party leadership, both hanging in the balance tonight. Right now, the House GOP is holding its first post election meeting and sources now tell CNN Congressman Kevin McCarthy is making a unity pitch as he tries to wrangle votes for a potential speakership if Republicans take the majority in the House.
CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju has the latest.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As Republicans move closer to securing a razor thin House majority, they are confronting this question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we have the wrong strategy.
RAJU: Republicans are likely stuck with a narrow House majority, which will make governing difficult and complicate House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy's path to the speakership. Democrats like Michigan Hillary Scholten, who picked up a GOP seat, says voters sent a message.
REP.-ELECT HILLARY SCHOLTEN (D-MI): People are tired of the divisiveness and the extremism that today's Republican Party embodies.
RAJU: As the incoming freshmen gathered in the Capitol today, McCarthy was behind closed doors trying to lockdown the votes to become speaker and wielding the support of former President Donald Trump, also winning the backing of the staunch Trump ally and controversial conservative, Marjorie Taylor Greene.
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): It is very, very risky right now to produce a leadership challenge, especially for speaker of the House.
RAJU: Also backing McCarthy, incoming Republican Mike Lawler, who won one of four key GOP races in New York, likely enough to secure the majority.
REP.-ELECT MIKE LAWLER (R-NY): I think, ultimately, you know, you can always quibble about margins but a majority is a majority. I fully support Kevin McCarthy and will support him for speaker.
RAJU: Yet McCarthy can only afford to lose a handful of GOP votes to win the 218 he needs in January to become speaker. And in Arizona's Andy Biggs is considering a challenge to deny him the votes.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I would rather be water boarded by Liz Cheney than vote for Kevin McCarthy.
RAJU: In the Senate, an even bigger GOP debacle after Democrats retained the majority following victories by Arizona's Mark Kelly and Nevada's Catherine Cortez Masto, and could add a seat after next month's runoff in Georgia.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The red wave proved to be a red mirage.
RAJU: Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell facing backlash from some conservatives who want to hit the brakes on this Wednesday's leadership elections.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): It would be insane if we re-elect the same leadership two day from now.
RAJU: Trump is blaming McConnell, is that fair?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that is not fair at all.
RAJU: All as Democrats are prepared for their own shakeup once Speaker Nancy Pelosi decides whether to step aside.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): My decision will be rooted in what the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus.
RAJU: New members of Congress, including the first Gen Z member, 25- year-old Maxwell Frost, are watching closely.
Do you think that your leadership team should reflect the younger class of members?
REP.-ELECT MAXWELL FROST (D-FL): Yes. I think generally we need younger people in office across this country and in Congress. I do think we should have young people represented in leadership as well.
RAJU (on camera): Now, Republicans are still meeting behind doors for about almost two hours as they discuss the next potential leadership team. This is ahead of tomorrow's meeting in which McCarthy just needs a majority of his conference to be nominated as speaker.
He is expected to get that.
He did not face any challenge in the room, we're told. No one came up and said that they would challenge him, although they may do that tomorrow. He did face some sharp questions, but he ultimately got a standing ovation from his members as he made a pitch for unity to his conference.
Now, on the Senate side, there is a potential that there could be a challenge to Mitch McConnell, even though he does have the votes locked down to become the leader again. Rick Scott is going into McConnell's office for a meeting to decline to say that -- he indicated he has not made a decision yet on whether to challenge McConnell for leader.
BLITZER: All right. We'll see what happens on that front. Manu Raju, thank you very much.
I want to check in with CNN's John King. He's over at the magic wall for us. John, as you know, control of the House of Representatives is still very much undecided. Give us latest on the key outstanding races and the battle for power in the U.S. Congress.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: If we come back to the House in just a second, Wolf, we have one governor's race we have yet to call, just one, and it is right here in battleground Arizona. It is possible, it is possible we can project this race later tonight, no promises. But Katie Hobbs, the Democrat, has a 24,719 vote lead. Kari Lake is the Republican challenger. She keeps voicing confidence she will catch up as more votes come in. Wolf, tonight, we're expecting more votes from Maricopa County. That is Arizona's largest county by far, and more votes as well from Prima County, the second largest county. You'll notice, both of those are blue. The Democrat, Katie Hobbs, is leading in both, but Kari Lake believing she can make a comeback, especially in Maricopa, again, perhaps later tonight we'll get some.
Now, let me come back to your question about the House. Let me pull out to the national map and take a look. And this is just -- wow, we are six days after Tuesday Election Day. Republicans are leading in 222 races, Democrats leading in 213. But this is the number that matters most, 212 races have been called for Republicans. They, Wolf, are still six shy of what Manu was just talking about, the 218 you need to have a House majority. Democrats are at 204.
Now, can the Democrats pull this off mathematically? Yes. But what is the most likely scenario? A narrow Republican majority. Let's look. These are the 19 uncalled races, yet to call these races. You see them on the map. There is one in Maine. There is one in New York. Most of them are out here in the west, including in Alaska. Several of these perhaps when late votes come in later today, we may be able to project tonight as well, but just think about the math for Democrats.
Republicans only need, as I said, Republicans are at 212. They only need six more. They're leading in ten. So, Democrats have to take away some of these races where the Republicans are leading. When you look at the map, it is possible, Wolf, possible, but, again, pretty tough.
Lauren Boebert's district here in Western Colorado, she's obviously a Trump accolade, very well-known to conservative circles, not done but she's up by 1,122 votes. That's not a lot, but when you're at 99 percent of the estimated vote in, that is hard math to overcome.
Let's pull out, I just want to look at a couple of these out in California. You look at this race right here, John Duarte only up by 84 votes. So, there is one maybe Democrats could get. David Valadao to the end, they're still counting mail-in ballots, they're not due until tomorrow, 2,800 votes again.
So, is it possible Democrats get some of these races? Yes, Wolf. It is also possible though some of these blue flip red as those mail-in ballots come in. So, not mathematically eliminated yet the possibility of a Democrat's holding the House but if you look at this, Republicans are leading in ten races, ahead in 222, 212 called, six more would make Kevin McCarthy speaker. But as Manu noted, if Republicans, as is likely, get that majority, it is going to be tight.
BLITZER: Very tight, indeed. All right, John, stay with us. Don't go too far away. We've got more questions for you.
I also want to bring in CNN Special Correspondent Jamie Gangel, CNN National Politics Reporter Eva McKend and CNN Contributor Evan Osnos. Jamie, let's begin with this fight for leadership that's going on among Republicans in the House of Representative and the Senate for that matter as well. I know you're well plugged in. What are you learning? JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's talk about the House. Kevin McCarthy is the leading candidate. And most of the people I spoke to, the Republicans who think that he will get there if they win the majority and he becomes speaker. That said, they are going to make him fight for it, every single inch of the way. I just heard from a Republican member of Congress who said he is still vulnerable. He's going to have to work for it.
What is interesting though, Wolf, is it is not always predictable. We just heard in Manu's piece Matt Gaetz say that he would rather be water boarded by Liz Cheney, I think he's a little obsessed with Liz Cheney than vote for Kevin McCarthy. On the other hand, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is normally a bomb thrower, now says it is very risky if they don't support Kevin McCarthy. I never knew she was risk- adverse but it speaks to the tumultuous situation Kevin McCarthy is facing.
BLITZER: And, John, what are you hearing about speaker Pelosi? Does she want to stay as the Democratic leader in the House even if she's no longer going to be the speaker, just the minority leader, or does she have other plans?
KING: She's choosing her words very careful carefully and very cautiously, because two things. Number one, there is a remote possibility hold the House. That is a very, very, very, very -- I could add a few more very remote possibilities. But, number two, does she want to stay as the minority leader? Could she stay as the -- does she want to? No. Could she? Probably not. But, Wolf, she has leverage. She has leverage over the future leadership elections and she does want to have a better sense of where things are. The Democratic elections are for two weeks. Republicans are going first. Let them go first. Get the lay of the land and then play your cards. Not now.
BLITZER: Let me get Evan Osnos, the Biden biographer, into this conversation. What do you make of the possibility that the next two years for the Biden administration will see the Democrats in control of the Senate but the Republicans in control barely in the House of Representatives but a big fight going on for leadership?
EVAN OSNOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is a lot better than it could have been. Joe Biden was banking on it being the worst possible scenario, which is Republicans in control of both Houses. He is obviously looking at some of this election -- some of this leadership fight in the House and I think with a little bit of satisfaction.
Look, Democrats have been contending with these kinds of internal rivalries, perhaps not this pronounced but serious electoral challenges and political challenges they've had to negotiate over the last couple of years. Now, the shoe is on the other foot, doesn't change the fact he's going to be dealing with a complicated picture. And they figure are going to have to figure out where are those small moments of opportunity, areas of political common ground, where they might be able to make some progress. BLITZER: Eva, you're just back from Georgia. You spent the last month
or so doing excellent reporting for us from the scene in Georgia. In three weeks, there is going to be this Senate election, this runoff election, December 6th, between Walker and Warnock. What is your sense right now? How does it look?
EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Wolf, we are essentially in overtime. The arguments that Senator Warnock and Herschel Walker are making mirror what they said during the general election. Senator Warnock said that this race is about competence and character, arguing that Herschel Walker is ill-prepared for the United States Senate, and also indicting him on these character issues, whereas Herschel Walker essentially says Warnock had just been a vessel for Joe Biden, who cares more about the Democratic elite in Washington than he does everyday Georgians. That remains unchanged for now, these core arguments.
What is different now is this voter education that is happening. Both of these candidates really educating their voters about how the runoff process works, how much time that they have when the early vote starts and the date of this is December 6th. Senator Warnock up with an explainer video that he's pushing on YouTube really to target younger voters, and that is the challenge that they, not only do they have to get out all of the voters that voted in the general election, they now have to look and assess to see who didn't turn out and try to get those voters as well.
BLITZER: Yes, it's going to be tight. And it is significant, John, you and I have covered Congress for a long time, the difference between a 50/50 Senate and a 51/49 Senate right now, 51 Democrats, 49, depending on what happens in Georgia right now, the difference could be pretty significant for the Biden administration.
KING: Enormously important and well beyond the vice president getting to leave town more. The vice president has to break the tie right now. I say that jokingly. Look, if you might think 51, you still don't have 60, why does this matter? Number one, if you have 51, Democrats get a majority on all of the committees. They're not evenly shared. You can move things through committee much faster, much easier with your simple majority in the committee, and that means judges, that means the president could have a post-midterm cabinet shakeup.
Number two, if the Democrats lock that seat up in Georgia for six years, the Democratic map this year in the Senate was favorable to Democrats. In 2024, it is a really tough map for the Democrats. If you can keep Georgia blue for six years, it just makes the math down the road a little bit easier and you'll take a little bit easier.
BLITZER: Yes. And I'm sure that is what the Democrats want. That's why irrespective of the fact that we've projected the Democrats will be the majority in the Senate, this contest that's coming up December 6th in Georgia will be very, very significant, not just for the people of Georgia but for the country as a whole.
Guys, everybody stay with us. We have a lot more news to discuss, including the former vice president, Mike Pence, slamming, publicly slamming former President Trump, calling him reckless for his Twitter attack as January 6 rioters closed in on the U.S. Capitol. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Let's get right back to more analysis from our political experts in Jamie Gangel. I want your reaction, the former vice president, Mike Pence, was interviewed by ABC News. And this was an exchange, an important exchange on how he felt about the former president of the United States. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2:24 P.M., the president tweets, Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done.
MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: It angered me. But I turned to my daughter who was standing nearby, and I said it doesn't take courage to break the law, it takes courage to uphold the law. I mean, the president's words were reckless. It is clear he decided to be part of the problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Very blunt statement from the former vice president of the United States. So, where do things stand right now between Pence and Trump, especially given the fact that, what, tomorrow night Trump is about to make what he calls a big announcement?
GANGEL: You know, it was blunt, but it was also Mike Pence blunt. No one on the January 6 committee would describe it that way. The people, the officers who were in the crowd that day would have, I am sure, much harsher words.
But let's just look at Pence and Trump. If Trump does actually announce tomorrow, we can bet one thing, Mike Pence is not going to be his running mate this time around. This book tour -- Mike Pence has made no secret that he wants to run for president and this book tour sort of launches an exploratory committee even further. But the reality is whatever the relationship between those two men, Donald Trump, according to my Republican sources, still commands 30 percent to 40 percent of the Republican base. And when you're talking about who else might be in the running, the name you hear is not Mike Pence. It is Ron DeSantis.
BLITZER: He did really amazingly well in his bid for re-election in Florida. There's no doubt about that.
Eva, as I said before, you're just back from Georgia, a big Senate rematch coming up on December 6th. What if any impact would a Trump announcement tomorrow night that he's re-election have on that contest?
MCKEND: So, I know there is a lot of consternation from Republicans about this, worried that it might adversely impact Herschel Walker.
BLITZER: The Republican?
MCKEND: Yes. But I just don't know how much it moves the needle in either direction. Seeing Trump supporters with Trump hats at a Herschel Walker rally, it was a staple to see Trump hats in the crowd. But if you are a moderate or an independent voter and were you sort of put off by Herschel Walker and you voted for Governor Kem, but you either voted for Senator Warnock and you split the ticket or you skipped the Senate contest, I don't see how Trump endorsing his candidacy really changes your mind either way. I think maybe a little bit too much is being made of this.
Herschel Walker has work to do himself as a candidate to convince those voters. That is really, I think, what is going to be more consequential than anything that Trump does or does not do.
BLITZER: How closely do you think President Biden is going to be watching this race that is coming up in Georgia?
OSNOS: He's going to be watching very closely. I think as we've heard from John King and others, it is going to have a huge impact on the actual operates of the Senate, how much room do they have to legislate, how much room do they have to control committees and the agenda. And, of course, also it will shape the overall political picture.
Whether or not Donald Trump announces for president, this is something that is going to define the next few years of Joe Biden's life. He is a man after all who will tell you that he has now beaten Donald Trump, in effect, twice and maybe more if you count the 2018 midterms.
BLITZER: So, what we've just seen over last few days in the midterm elections, how is that going to impact President Biden's decision whether or not to seek re-election?
OSNOS: Well, I think it does impact his decision in the sense that he says, look, I defied history, I gave you the best midterm result in 20 years of any president, I know that I'm not the most popular guy, midterm exit polls showed that, but watch me. This is the thing he says privately, watch me, right here. He is now traveling to Egypt, to Cambodia, to Indonesia, take measure of how I do the job and then decide.
BLITZER: All right. Guys, thank you very, very much, good discussion, important analysis.
And an important note to our viewers right now, tune in to CNN this Wednesday night 9:00 P.M. Eastern for a special town hall with the former vice president, Mike Pence. That is coming up this week.
Also coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM, President Biden tries to ward off fears of a new cold war after meeting with China's president. But will the talks be enough to overcome unprecedented tensions? Stay with us.
BLITZER: President Biden going into a very high-stakes meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the G-20 summit right now with political wind in his sails after the poor Republican showing in the midterm elections that left Democrats in control of the United States Senate.
CNN's Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly is traveling with the president in Bali, Indonesia.
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I absolutely believe there need not be a new cold war.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For President Biden, the most consequential meeting of his presidency coming at a moment fierce competition between the U.S. and China has edged closer to outright confrontation.
BIDEN: And I believe this is critical for the sake of our two countries and the international community.
MATTINGLY: A risk reflected not just by Biden but by Xi Jinping.
XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT: Currently, the China/U.S. Relationship is in such a situation that we all care a lot about it because this is not the fundamental interest of our two countries and peoples and it is not what the international community expects us.
MATTINGLY: Biden's first in-person sit-down with Xi driven by the highest stakes.
BIDEN: I do not think there is any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan.
MATTINGLY: Taiwan's future battles over technology, human rights to economic challenges, a wide-ranging three-hour meeting to take down the temperature.
BIDEN: We were very blunt with one another about places where we disagree.
MATTINGLY: The inflection point for two leaders who have known one another for more than a decade --
BIDEN: We were not going to be able to work everything out. I'm not suggesting this is not kumbaya, everybody is going to go away with everything in agreement.
MATTINGLY: -- Biden and Xi pledging to reopen long frozen lines of communication between their top deputies. The meeting coming as Xi sits at the apex of his power after securing a norm-breaking third term, something Biden said hadn't shifted the Chinese leader's approach.
BIDEN: I didn't find him more confrontational or more conciliatory. I found him the way that he's always been, direct and straightforward.
MATTINGLY: As he touted his own political capital in the wake of history-defying midterm results.
BIDEN: What these elections showed is that there is a deep and unwavering commitment in America to preserving and protecting and defending democracy.
MATTINGLY: The two leaders actively engaged on issues of mutual interest, including climate change and international aid, as Biden pushed Xi to make a more concerted effort to manage North Korea's rapidly escalating actions.
BIDEN: I thought they had an obligation to attempt to make it clear to North Korea that they should not engage in long-range nuclear tests.
MATTINGLY: A bilateral relationship defined by mistrust and opacity but touching on every corner of the globe.
BIDEN: I want to be clear and be clear with all of the leaders, but particularly with Xi Jinping, that I mean what I say and I say what I mean.
MATTINGLY: With the risk of miscalculation could bring catastrophic consequences.
BIDEN: That is the biggest concern I have, is a misunderstanding about intentions or actions on each of our parts.
MATTINGLY (on camera): And, Wolf, White House officials were very clear in the lead-up to this consequential sit-down. There were no expectations of some major breakthrough or resetting of the relationship. In fact, they frame this meeting as trying to set a floor for a relationship. That is how low the relationship had gotten.
However, expect U.S. officials to move quickly to try and secure those new open lines of communication. In fact, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to head to Beijing at President Biden's request sometime early next year, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. We'll see what happens then. Phil Mattingly in Bali, Indonesia, at the G-20 summit, thank you very much.
Also tonight, Ukrainians are celebrating one of the country's most significant victories against the Russian invaders, Moscow's humiliating retreat from southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
CNN International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson is on the scene for us tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): Flanked by troops who helped liberate the city, President Zelenskyy made a lightning trip to Kherson Monday, the nation's most significant victory in months.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: This is the beginning of the end of the war. You see our strong army. We are step-by-step coming to our country, to all the temporarily occupied territories.
ROBERTSON: A moral boost for the country and president alike. Zelenskyy pledging peace on Ukraine's, not Russia's terms, and vowing to reconnect Kherson's residents to the rest of the country.
Today's flags a much needed temporary cell phone tower erected reconnecting residents to loved ones cut off since the retreating Russians destroyed the phone and internet services. And a truck full of humanitarian aid, the first to arrive since liberation 72 hours ago, candles, bread, water handed out to eager residents who have been without electricity and water since the Russian retreat.
How much is this needed here?
SVEYATOSLAV YRASH, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT: Desperately. I was thinking about people what is lacking, what they have, what they've lost and basically sort of (INAUDIBLE) on work. Shops are crazy expensive or the work.
ROBERTSON: In the city's neighbors, poorly stocked street markets hint at how much more help is needed, some goods, like drinking water, nearly impossible to find.
What help do you need from the government now here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Electricity, water, and very hot in the home -- or very cold.
ROBERTSON: Within hours of Zelenskyy's visit, Russian artillery destroyed a house in the north of the city, a reminder Russian troops are not far away. Where they retreated Friday, the pontoon they used to flee across, now partially sunk. The once mighty Antonovsky Bridge crippled by U.S.-made HIMARS that helped triggered the Russian collapse in tatters, too. But the Russians didn't go far.
And that is where the danger is for Kherson. Just on the other side of the bridge, that is where the Russian positions are. They've dug in within easy shelling range of the city.
Zelenskyy's visit perhaps the closest to the frontline since the war began.
ROBERTSON (on camera): And just to give you an idea, Wolf, of how quickly the story is moving here, since we were at that bridge in the morning, Ukrainian troops are advancing on the other side of the river, continuing their push. This is what President Zelenskyy said this morning when he came here. We are moving forward. And it does seem that their forces haven't stopped at the strategic river. They've actually crossed the river and are now chasing those still apparently retreating Russian forces.
We've been able to hear over the last few days and, again, even this evening and into the last couple of hours heavy bombardment of those Russian positions just across the river, Wolf.
BLITZER: CNN's Nic Robertson in Kherson for us, stay safe over there, Nic. Thank you very much.
Just ahead, the January 6 select committee's hopes for a former President Trump's testimony are squashed again.
Trump now suing the committee to fend off its subpoena. We'll discuss what comes next in this legal battle right after this.
BLITZER: Former President Trump is making new claims right now about the classified documents that he took from the White House with him to his Florida home saying they are his personal property.
CNN's Sara Murray is working this story for us. Sara, so, why does Trump think that these documents, these are highly classified documents and there are hundreds of them, why does the former president think they're his personal property?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, this is an argument that they're making over the remaining documents, not the classified ones, prosecutors are looking over these, but these remaining documents that are in dispute that the special master is looking at.
And Trump's team is saying -- Trump is saying essentially, I was president and presidents get to decide what are personal records, what are presidential records. When I was president, I decided these are my personal records, I took them with me to Mar-a-Lago, that should be allowed. Justice Department is saying this is not how that works. These don't become your personal records just because you say they are. That defeats the entire purpose of the law. And they also pointed out that Trump is trying to argue these are personal records but also that they could be covered by executive privilege and prosecutors are saying this is gamesmanship.
BLITZER: Trying to delay what's apparently going to happen.
We're also learning right now the outcome of a very separate investigation into Rudy Giuliani's dealings in Ukraine. What is going on?
MURRAY: That's right. Remember back to 2021, Rudy Giuliani's home was searched, his office was searched. So, what we learned today from federal investigators, they informed a judge that their foreign lobbying probe was going to close without any charges, so Rudy Giuliani not going to face any foreign lobbying charges as part of that probe. His attorney says that is wonderful news.
Of course, Giuliani still has some other legal exposure in Georgia, where there is a criminal investigation ongoing into efforts into meddling in the 2020 election. Giuliani has been told he is a target in that investigation.
BLITZER: Yes he has. All right, Sara, thank you very much, Sara Murray reporting for us.
Let's get some more on what is going on. The conservative lawyer, George Conway, is joining us, and CNN Legal Analyst Norm Eisen is joining us as well.
George, in the Mar-a-Lago investigation, what do you make of this Trump legal argument that we just heard about.
GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER: It is not a legal argument, it is a ridiculous argument. The notion that these personal records are -- that he could just define what a personal record is, it just is fallacious. It's based on a misreading of the case law. It is contrary to the statute, the statute specifically defines presidential records, the records that were prepared for or given to the president in the course of his duties. And if that is true, then they're presidential records. And he can't simply say, oh, by stealing them, I am making them personal records.
And even if they were personal records, they would still be potentially subject to subpoena. There is no reason that the Justice Department couldn't have personal records. In fact, President Trump lost a case in the Supreme Court, where the New York district attorney subpoenaed essentially personal records of President Trump. So, it doesn't make any difference. And the notion that a document could be both executive privilege and personal at the same time is completely nonsensical. If it's executive privilege, it's because it was given to him in the course of his duties to assist and advise him, and that's not personal under the statute.
BLITZER: Yes, good point. Norm, Trump's lawyers write this, and I'm quoting right now, it is the president's designation, not the appearance on content of a given document that is determinative. What is your reaction to that?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, as you know, I was responsible for these issues in the office of the White House Council in the Obama administration. And it is just false. I mean, again and again, we hear this same theme from the former president that he is above the law that governs all other Americans. We have a Presidential Records Act. There are -- not only that statute, there are regulations, there are executive orders that are in place. And, Wolf, it reminds me of his argument that he could declassify documents just by thinking it. It doesn't work that way. There is a process. That is what you have in a rule of law system. So, I think the courts are going to give short shrift to these positions.
BLITZER: Also, George, today is the day that the January 6 select committee had hoped to get testimony from the former president. Was that wishful thinking, especially now that he's actually going forward and suing the select committee?
CONWAY: Well, I wouldn't call it wishful thinking. I think it was an important thing for the committee to do to show that Trump is unwilling to defend his conduct and explain his conduct under oath, and he never was going to do that. I mean, his criminal exposure is so great. I mean, he pled the Fifth Amendment 440 times in the state investigation in New York. That is what he should have done here if he were to show up to testify. I think instead of doing that and subjecting to that embarrassment, I think his lawyers has just decided to try to run out the clock. It is a meritless lawsuit but it is not likely to be resolved before the end of this Congress and at which time the committee, as I understand it, is going to dissolve.
BLITZER: We shall see what happens. Does the select committee, Norm, have any options to speed up this process or will this lawsuit be enough for Trump to run out the clock?
EISEN: Wolf, I think it probably will be enough for Trump to succeed in his usual delay tactic. I largely agree with George's assessment of the arguments.
I do think that there is a non-frivolous, in the raft of arguments that Trump has thrown out here, the spaghetti that is dripping off the fridge.
There is one argument that does have more weight to it. That's the separation of powers argument. It was just resolved by the Supreme Court in the Mazar's case that I helped when I was impeachment co- counsel.
And the question is, how far could Congress go given constitutional separation of powers? Other than that, his arguments are make weights, but they will be enough for the courts to delay this appearance and this document subpoena until the Congress is no longer seated.
BLITZER: And we're told that the January 6 Select Committee has just released a statement saying they will now evaluate next steps given what is going on right now.
Norm Eisen and George Conway, thank you for joining us. We'll continue this reporting.
Coming up, fear and anguish over at the University of Virginia right now after three student athletes are shot dead. What police are now saying about the suspect's arrest and past gun violations. That's next.
BLITZER: Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, say they've made an arrest after a gunman fatally shot three University of Virginia football players. The suspect also a UVA student is finally in custody after a lengthy manhunt.
CNN's senior national correspondent Miguel Marquez has our report.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the middle of a press conference, the news everyone was hoping for, after more than 12 hours of lockdown and fear, at another major American university.
CHIEF TIMOTHY LONGO SR., UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA POLICE: We just received information the suspect is in custody.
MARQUEZ: Henrico police said they picked up University of Virginia student Chris Jones about 75 miles outside of the Charlottesville campus. The former UVA football player is accused of opening fire late Sunday.
JAMES E. RYAN, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: The shootings occurred on a bus full of students returning from a field trip. Three victims did not survive.
MARQUEZ: The dead all football players, all with their lives ahead -- Devin Chandler, D'Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr.
UVA's president says Jones wounded two other students, one in good condition, the other critically injured.
RYAN: My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all of those who knew and loved them.
MARQUEZ: The incident has shocked this community of 27,000 students, especially shaking more than 500 students locked down overnight, as officers desperately searched campus for the suspect.
ROB WEGMUELLER, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: We heard some of the shots and then almost immediately rumors were flying.
PETER LARSEN, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: We were basically turning the lights off, hunkered down, trying to just stay put. I was feeling pretty anxious.
MARQUEZ: This is not the first time Jones has come to the UVA police department's attention. They say he was involved in a threat assessment with the investigation revealing a 2021 concealed weapon violation.
This is a third shooting incident tied to a Virginia school this year alone. In February at Bridgewater College, a former student-athlete was accused of killing two police officers. Days later, near the Virginia Tech campus, a gunman shot five people, killing a teenager. Jones, for now, faces three counts of murder.
MARQUEZ (on camera): And we suspect, Wolf, that there will be many more charges to come when he's formally arraign here on the UVA campus. You know, it was very, very somber and sedate today. Now lots of students are coming out. There is a -- a service that's going to be held just a short way from where we are right now, and all over campus you're seeing signs pop up with Charlottesville strong and UVA strong and the numbers 1, is a and 41 for those three players, the jersey numbers, that they wore -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Horrible, horrible situation.
All right. Miguel Marquez, thank you very much. We'll have more news right after this.
BLITZER: The iconic show "Saturday Night Live" is no stranger to controversial, but the opening monologue by this weekend's host by host Dave Chappelle is being called anti-Semitic.
CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, growing controversy surrounding comedian Dave Chappelle's "Saturday Night Live" opening monologue.
DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: I denounced anti-Semitism in all its forms, and I stand with my friends in the Jewish community, and that, Kanye, is how you buy yourself some time.
TODD: For more than six and a half minutes of his 14-minute monologue, Chappelle riffed on the Kanye West and Kyrie Irving controversies with the Jewish community, on West's previous tweet that he would go, quote, death con 3 on Jewish people.
CHAPPELLE: He broke the show business rules. This is the rule. You know, the rules of perception. If they are Black, then it's a gang. And if they're Italians, it's a mob. But if they are Jewish, it's a coincidence and you should never speak about it.
TODD: With every joke, the audience roared with laughter.
CHAPPELLE: This is just what I saw. It's a lot of Jews.
But that doesn't mean anything, you know what mean? Because there's a lot of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri. But it doesn't mean we run the place.
We could maybe adopt the illusion that the Jews run show business, not a crazy thing to think, but it's a crazy thing to say out loud.
TODD: Tonight, Chappelle and "SNL" are being blistered. The Anti- Defamation League tweeting disturbing to see @nbcsnl not just normalize but popularize anti-Semitism. Why are Jewish sensitivities denied or diminished at almost every turn. Why does our trauma trigger applause?
Adam Feldman, theater editor and critic of the entertainment magazine "Time Out New York", tweeted: Everyone knows Kanye is nuts. Chappelle posits himself as a teller of difficult truths. It's worse.
But "Entertainment Tonight" host Nischelle Turner doesn't think Chappelle is anti-Semitic.
NISCHELLE TURNER, HOST, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": Do I think that Dave Chappelle is intentionally trying to thought provoke, needle, cause conversation, maybe cause some people to have very difficult conversations? Absolutely.
TODD: CNN has reached out to representatives for Dave Chappelle and NBC for response to the criticism from the ADL and others. We've not heard back -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, reporting for us, Brian, thank you very much.
And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.