tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN December 23, 2019 4:00am-5:00am PST
for the holidays. >> if there is ever an argument we need mr. duffey to come testify, this is that information. this email is explosive. >> meantime, lawmakers are away for the holidays as the stalemate on impeachment continues. speaker nancy pelosi is refusing to send the articles of impeachment to the senate. she wants assurances that the senate trial proceedings will be fair. one democratic senator now says he's open to acquitting the president if the evidence doesn't add up. joining us now, errol louis, tallulah renepa. it's great to have you here with us on "new day." margaret, let me begin with you. what's the white house's response to their arguments being blown out of the water by this new email chain that was released? >> john, the white house is treating this as if it was not a
substantially changing the story. so are republicans right now. what we're really seeing is that they are saying, hey, we already knew all of this, doesn't make any difference. but i think there are two things to look at. one is what we can't see in those emails. the redacted portions could be very interesting. and the other is the conversation that must have happened at some point during that hour and a half. what did the president say after the phone call and before those emails that were released that caused the emails to take place? >> errol, here are just a couple of portions for these emails released because of the freedom of information act request. we wouldn't have seen these. obviously the white house is not voluntarily turning over all of the documents that house and senate democrats say they need to connect all these dots. luckily, we know a little bit about this. michael duffey who is the -- who was the person who was tasked
with trying to freeze this aid, he's the society director of national security programs. he says, given the sensitive nature of the request, i appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute direction. in other words, he knows that the idea that his freezing these aid that was congressionally approved and signed off on by the sick tear of state and secretary of defense, he knows this is trouble. >> oh, absolutely. and listen. look, first of all, credit where it's due. the senate for public integrity that asked for these documents and kind of went to court and pressed the administration. that's the only reason we have these emails now. the reality is that, lots of people knew immediately after that call was over as we now know from a lot of the testimony that led up to the impeachment. national security staff started contacting lawyers. people started locking up information. and now it appears that budget information as well, budget officials immediately recognized
that there was something a little bit amiss here. two subordinates of mr. duffey ended up quitting over what they saw as a violation of the law. one of the underlying stories that hasn't really gotten enough attention here in the rush to impeachment is that it is actually illegal for the president to not spend money that has been dually appropriated by congress. i think that's why you see these emails going back and forth and the sensitive nature of this. that they know they're supposed to spend this money. they know they've been told to do something that's not quite right and possibly illegal and started to behave aaccording toing. >> doug jones of alabama went on the sunday shows and said he was open to acquitting the president because he wasn't sure all of the dots had been connected. let's take a listen. >> i've been trying to read this. i'm trying to see if the dots get connected. if that is the case and i think it's a serious matter, i think it's an impeachable matter. but if those dots aren't connected and there are other explanations that i think are
consistent with innocence, i will go that way too. i've got to make sure that what i really want to see, though, is to fill in the gaps. >> how much do the emails like this connect the dots and fill in the gap? >> well, they start the process for democrats that aren't quite there yet. you know a number in the house are already there. they say the evidence is already there. in the senate they are calling for more witnesses. they say they need to hear from people like mr. duffey and like mick mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, and john bolton in order to connect the dots. to know this was an improper scheme to leverage this military aid as a quid pro quo to get these investigations. there are a lot of dots that need to be connected for some of these democrats and someone like doug jones, he is looking at this evidence and taking this all in. also realizing he's a politician as well and comes from a state that trump won by 30 points and
he's up for re-election in november. he's weighing both of those things and trying to figure out the best path forward. i think there are a number of senators especially among democrats that want to get more information to connect the dots. there are some that do not want more information even as new emails have come out. they don't want to hear anything more. they don't want to hear from the witnesses. you do see these diverging paths as to what the trial may look like. it's not clear yet they're going to be able to come to an agreement on how to move forward with the trial. >> how can you not want more firsthand information? how can you say you want the dots connected but not want witnesses at the trial who have firsthand information? i know we made the point before, but americans believe that trials have witnesses. and 71% of americans republicans and democrats alike believe there should be witnesses at this senate trial. because otherwise what is the
trial? >> well, it's interesting. we've been talking a lot about what is nancy pelosi really trying to get out of this delay? does she really expect that mitch mcconnell is going to say, you got me. democrats can have everything they want. and if not, what is she trying to get? part of that, i think, is just to let the president stew a little bit and let the political reality take effect. but i think another part of it may be giving space to these democrats who -- for whom it may be a difficult vote to explain to their constituents, look, i was on the fence about which way to go. but the inability to get this information leaves me no choice but to vote this way. that's one alternative. to also say to those republicans who may not be willing to acquit the president, but have concerns, this is kind of a path of opportunity for them to voice some of those concerns. so that may be part of what's going on. i still think there's a piece of these negotiations we don't
really understand yet. the email revelations, while they don't blow open any kind of new narrative that we didn't understand at all, they raise some new questions about what we can't see. but they are obviously conversations that take place between that phone call and the time the emails were sent. >> to be clear, it's 91 minutes between the time the president speaks to the president of ukraine and this email is sent. errol, real talk here. talking about pelosi trying to withhold the articles of impeachment, what's her leverage? >> i think she's got more leverage than we think. when she says she wants to hear about a fair process, she wants to hear about what kind of witnesses will be there. she's going to do that before she decides which of her team will go over to the impeachment manager. are they going to play it hard or soft. are they going to send over women legislators? we don't know what she has in mind. so she's holding her own cards
close to the vest. and i think she's got leverage in the sense that, you know, mitch mcconnell plays a very tough guy when he says he doesn't want to do it at all. he's going to sort of have it all his own way. but he's got members of his conference facing re-election. they've got some concerns. they've got some problems. they need to make sure it looks fair as far as their constituents are concerned. and so nancy pelosi is well aware of this. and i think she's going to use that to her advantage as well. >> toluse, there's been breaking news this morning and that is the department of justice last night filed basically a court filing, a stay they're trying against this federal appeals court that was going to decide whether or not don mcgahn has to testify. so what you hear republicans -- what they've been saying for weeks or months is why aren't democrats doing this the proper way? why are democrats rushing this instead of going through the
court system? and now the department of justice is trying to stop the one case making its way through the court system, don mcgahn. they're trying to stymie that. >> yeah. we've seen attorney general bill barr really act as president trump's personal lawyer. you've heard from trump's personal lawyers in these cases say the president should not have to agree to any subpoenas or turn over any documents. and he has control over his former officials and can direct them not to testify. now you're seeing the justice department weigh in essentially not go quite as far as saying all of these people are immune from having to testify. but really going further than what we've seen in the past in terms of the justice department trying to protect the president and protect them from having people testify. and even going up against the courts who have already weighed in on this matter and said, yes, don mcgahn should have to testify and the people who the -- who work for the president have their freedom, freedom of speech and can testify. the president can't direct them. he's not a king.
he can't tell people what they have to do even after they leave his service. so it's clear that bill barr is going to try to push the envelope and really try to protect president trump and try to shut down any of these investigations. he's been at the forefront of this. i'm not sure they're putting their full weight behind trying to keep people who president trump doesn't want to testify out. >> toluse, errol, margaret, thank you, all, very much. a tsa whistle-blower is sounding the alarm over what he says are major security issues at u.s. airports. >> my biggest fear is having something happen that costs american lives and i didn't step up and put a stop to it or at least try. because it's going to. it's not a question of if. it's a question of when.
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a tsa whistle-blower sounding the alarm about relaxed security at u.s. airports. alleging that officials are putting speed ahead of safety. cnn's renee marsh has this cnn exclusive. >> reporter: more than 40 million u.s. airline passengers are expected to go through airport security check points this holiday. but this tsa security director says you may not be as safe as you'd think. >> what they're doing is injecting danger into the system. jay branard has been with the tsa for years. he says tsa are cutting corners to shorten wait times. one is they reduced the sensitivity on all walk-through metal detecters across america. >> they're reducing the concentration of metal in those machines. >> reporter: how do you know that? >> there's a memo out that supports it.
>> reporter: quote, changing all metal detector settings to the tsa precheck setting. to normalize the passenger experience. brainard says the practice continues today. >> you could have a 30-minute wait time and they treat it like it's a national emergency. it is such an unhealthy obsession of placing speed over security. >> reporter: brainard says that obsession also led the tsa to disable technology on x-ray machines that screen carryon bags in precheck lanes. this internal memo states as of last month, those x-ray machines should be operated without the autodetection algorithm enables. >> a box will come around and surround the item and say stop and take a look at this. that box is no longer on the screen. tsa has made changes to the settings which really hamper the ability of the operator to detect explosives in the bag.
they have been putting millions of passengers into tsa precheck who are not precheck. you do not have an entire population in precheck that are not vetted. >> reporter: cnn put this to tsa administrator. he said the agency is not prioritizing wait times over security. >> i won't discuss any of our particular procedures, but we do provide the level of security that we think is appropriate based on the risk of the passenger. >> reporter: brainard said the issues he's raised is problematic for an agency with a 95% failure rate in detecting dangerous items at the check point. that's according to a government audit in 2015. another audit two years later found there were still v vulnerabilitie vulnerabilities. >> when you sit back and watch these things happen, it is the most frustrating thing you could imagine. >> reporter: going public is his last resort. he's filed an official whistle-blower complaint with the office of special counsel.
he sent complaints to dhs, tsa, and sent letters to congress. not just about the metal detecters, but also the x-ray machines. a policy change allowing some passengers with medical devices to do a self-patdown and a new policy called blended lanes. where precheck and start passengers are mixed in one line. something that could confuse screeners. >> you know, the last time i checked, our detection rates were not stellar. it doesn't make sense to introduce this variable. >> reporter: writing, there is a substantial writing to osc discloses gross management and specific danger to safety. >> my biggest fear is having something happen that costs american lives and i didn't step up and put a stop to it or at
least try. because it's going to happen. it's not a question of if. it's a question of when. we are long overdue for another attack. >> reporter: tsa did take action on one of brainard's complaints. he says they continued to use on ineffective test to determine if new hires were color blind. a disqualifying medical condition even after concerns about the tests' effectiveness were raised. >> if you had something in a bag and somebody were color blind, they wouldn't see the bomb if it were the only thing in the bag. >> reporter: they're now doing a test for new hires. but according to this memo, the tsa agency will not finish testing the existing workforce until the end of next year. brainard knows despite whistle-blower connections and consistent top ratings on his performance evaluations, speaking out could cost him his job. >> i fully expect that the first discussion they're going have is how they can fire me. >> reporter: but he believes these issues are too urgent to keep quiet. to be clear, no changes have
been made to the body scanners that travelers go through. cnn reached out to both agencies investigating brainard's complaints but no comment from either. brainard has secured a whistle-blower attorney in response to the complaints raised in our story. the head of tsa told me that whistle-blowers and i'm quoting, provide a very valuable service and it's our responsibility to fully investigate those concerns to see if they represent a valid security risk or not. but the tsa say they have not completed their assessment. renee marsh, cnn, washington. >> our thanks to renee. i hope they fully investigate it because those were troubling claims by that whistle-blower. >> unbelievable. he's a pretty senior official to be raising these concerns. big deal. as you know, republicans appear to support the president regardless of any evidence that comes out against him. why are so many in the gop unable or unwilling to speak out? new reporting next. lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose.
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especially from members of his own party. but how does he get it? this was a party, you'll remember, that was largely critical of him as a candidate. what magic trick has he done? joining us now with the answer to this, cnn political analyst jonathan martin. he's a national political correspondent from "the new york times" who wrote a fascinating piece about this over the weekend and cnn political commentator and former republican congressman charlie dent. great to have both of you to try to crack this code. jonathan martin, your piece with maggie haberman is fantastic. you went back and talked to some republicans who had to leave congress after they expressed any criticism about president trump. if republicans ever express any displeasure with something he's done or discomfort at something he's said, what happens to them? >> well, it's hard to stay in congress. it's certainly hard to stay in the gop caucus. so what happens is you have a lot of members who vote with
their feet like the gentleman on the screen to my left there mr. dent who retired instead of staying in congress. so i think that's what happens. people obviously leave. they quit, resign, retire. they don't want to have to defend some of his conduct. look. with president trump, you know, it's less about supporting the agenda than it is about supporting him. all politics is personal for this president. and he watches the shows as the calls them religiously and knows who is saying what good and bad about him. literally every day he keeps tabs about that. so it's different than past presidents who i think tolerated a certain degree. didn't like it, but they tolerated a certain degree of criticism because they recognized that it was founded at usually some home state political demands on the politicians. with trump, there's no acceptance of that. and it's not about, you know,
policy. it's about him personally. oftentimes, he says something pushing the rhetorical envelope. when you criticize that, then he comes back and blasts you. so it doesn't usually start on policy. it often starts on his personal conduct. >> a lot of people wish for undying loyalty. how is it that president trump achieves it from republicans? >> it's amazing. too few members have spoken up since the president took office. and that excellent reporting by jon than and maggie, they focused on dave trott from michigan. but the problem was there weren't enough people like dave trott and myself and others who were speaking up at the time. we could have altered the president's behavior, i believe, if more of us had spoken up and called out some of the outrages. but because most members were afraid as jonathan said, they were concerned about being attacked by the president. and again, this had nothing to
do with policy. it all had to do with being local to the man. and that was really what was so troubling for so many. 40% of house republicans have either retired or were defeated since donald trump took office. that ought to tell you something. >> but jonathan, what are they so afraid of? >> why? >> why are grown men and women afraid of a nasty tweet? i've kbgotten one. it's not that bad. >> because if you are in elected office, you respond to incentives. the incentives often rotate around three things. money, media, and votes. and president trump controls all that. voters, donors, and press he has an enormous view over. you looked at those three elements, that deterrent if you get re-elected, you want to stay in office. and if you speak out against
him, he's going to imperil your chances to win a primary the following year if you're in the house and stay. because if you come after him, he's going to come after you and ensure that you don't survive your primary. and so that's why people who do want to critique him usually retire or in the case of mr. amash from michigan, they dropped their party affiliation. he's running as an independent next year. so it's purely a matter, alisyn, of political survival. they just don't think that the voters are going to let them criticism trump going into their next primary. it's not about president trump himself. he's the vehicle. it's the voters that frighten them. >> this is what i think that people who have never served in congress don't understand. is being a member of congress that great that you are willing to fore sake your principles, not speak out when he, you
know -- when he insults john dingell? that you're willing to walk away from whatever spine you had beforehand? why do they make these sacrifices? >> well, look. serving in congress is certainly a great honor, privilege, and responsibility. but -- and i enjoyed every moment of it. but the job didn't mean everything to me. i was never going to put myself in a position where i was going to try to defend the indefensible or explain the inexplicable. the job isn't worth it if you're going to just simply espouse things you don't believe in or defend conduct that you know is indefensible. so i think a lot of members -- i always said this. they have to think more about their legacies than their elections. and frankly, if they stand up and do what is right quite often voters are going to reward them. i understand the primary pressures out there. i used to get them too. you know what? you know what you do with a primary opponent?
you go beat them. you don't hide under the table and worry that, you know, worry about coming out from under it because somebody's going to attack you. you got to go fight. this is politics. got to be tougher than this. >> about the republicans that you spoke to that were forced out of congress or forced into early retirement because they dared to speak out against president trump, how are -- i mean, are they regretful if they spoke out? >> yeah, no. if anything, the sentiment that you get from talking to folks like mr. dent did and congressman dave trott from michigan who i spent some time with last week is they spoke out more when they were there. some believe they would take a harder look at president trump. some of that courage may not all be there if they're in congress. but the sense is certainly they wish they had done more when they were there and they felt constrained, obviously. but looking back and watching
the president's conduct day in and day out that they would have liked to have done more at the time, i think. >> what i've noticed, charlie, it's not just people afraid of the president's wrath. it's also people who like the praise -- the president's praise. there's something kind of intoxicating about being on the end of that praise. er ergo, a democrat in new jersey until last week and he publicly gave his support to president trump. so watch this moment. >> you have my undying support. >> thank you. thank you very much. >> always. >> and by the way, same way. >> thank you. >> i'm endorsing him. okay? we're endorsing him. >> delicious. just a delicious exchange for congressman van drew.
all i can say is -- look. i've served under three presidents and it's certainly nice when they say nice things about you. but i was in situations with george bush and barack obama and then of course donald trump where we had to diverge. we couldn't agree. and you recognize that your job is to be a check. it's not to be a rubber stamp for any president. you have to stand up sometimes when you disagree and tell the president. it's okay. and i found that, you know, i could do that with president obama and president bush and still have a relationship being friendly. most adults understand that. presidents understand that except this one, apparently. >> okay. >> yeah -- >> wrap it up, john. >> yeah. real fast, i'm just trying to imagine the look on bush and obama's face if somebody had been sitting in the oval office next to them and pledged their undying loyalty. i think they would have gotten that sort of smile on their face
and had a chuckle and rolled their eyes. but this president not only likes it, he expects it. and he relishes it. and it works. >> he appears to have an insatiable appetite for it. john, thank you for your reporting in "the new york times." and charlie dent, thank you for your perspective. >> merry christmas. one of the president's strongest allies in congress lindsey graham is facing a re-election challenge. up next we're going to speak with one of the democrats hoping to unseat him in the new year. lactaid is 100% real milk, just without the lactose. so you can enjoy it even if you're sensitive. yet some say it isn't real milk. i guess those cows must actually be big dogs. sit!
i said sit! a president who abuses power. and obstructs justice. the impeachment of donald j. trump. he was supposed to protect our constitution. not trample on it by asking foreign countries to undermine our democracy for his personal political gain. trump broke his oath to america. members of the house and senate must now do their constitutional duty. if you agree, sign our petition at need to impeach.com need to impeach is responsible for the content of this advertising.
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supporters. especially when it comes to the president's battle against impeachment. but how will graham's defense of the president factor into his raise for re-election next year? joining me now is senator graham's democratic opponent jamie harrison. great to have you on "new day." let's start here. you know, a lot of folks stereotype the south. and it breaks down upon closer inspection. first district in south carolina was just won by a democrat. but when you look statewide, it is a steep climb. you haven't had a major democrat win in state office since 1999. graham has won by 15 points his last two races. why do you think you have a shot? >> thank you first and foremost having me on this morning. partly, lindsey graham has never had a candidate like me. someone who grew up here in south carolina, understands the hardships that many folks face each and every day in this state. but at the same time raising significant resources in order
to put on a great ground game and a great race. he's already admitted that i'm the greatest challenger that he's ever had in his time in the united states senate. but this is what's even more important. we are rolling up our sleeves addressing the issues that people care about here each and every day here in south carolina. whereas we once had a senator that did that. lindsey graham. but he doesn't do it anymore because he cares more about washington, d.c., and being relevant in d.c. than he cares about being relevant here in south carolina. we are helping people address the issues that they're dealing with and lindsey graham is up in washington trying to be important. >> why do you think lindsey graham changed? went from being a tough critic of the president and obviously a good friend and ally of john mccain to being the exact subpoena sit overt-- opposite o past two years.
why do you think that changed? >> it goes down to relevance. lindsey graham had an interview in "the new york times" early part of this year. he said the two most important things to him was getting elected and being relevant. he didn't even utter the two words south carolina in the interview. what's important to me is helping people. we started a program here in south carolina called harrison helps. we go all across the state of south carolina rolling up our sleeves, helping people address the issues they're dealing with. and we're building this new movement because we see the gap right now that lindsey dpram is totally focused on -- he has become an entity in washington, d.c. but we need people here to address the fact that our hospitals are closing. right now just recently was announced that north charleston a city right outside of charleston is the number one city in the country in terms of convictions. so we're building this new
movement. i want people to join us at jamieharrison.com. it's time to send graham home. >> what do you say to people who say, look. not necessarily as popular as people think. but the economy is doing well in south carolina. that's the bread and butter issue they'll pay attention to. how do you deal with that as a democrat? >> economy can't be doing too well if we have a city that is the number one city for j evictions in the country. that means the cost of rent is higher and is increasing at a higher pace than the wages in those communities. in north trarlts and charleston is a booming part of south carolina, but our people can't keep up. the tariffs have had a huge impact on our state. they had to lay people off. and so for some wall street and all of those folks, yeah, their
stocks may be doing better. but for people on main street, they're suffering. they need a senator he's going to focus on them. lindsey said about the tariffs we have to experience a little pain. i don't know what pain he's talking about. maybe his elbow is sore from golfing so much, but the real people down here are really experiencing pain. >> senator kbram talked a lot about the textile industry when he first came into the senate. obviously he's become a pit bull on impeachment. were you in the senate, how would you vote on impeaching president trump? >> well, if i were in the senate right now and i would take that oath of office which basically meant that needed to be an impartial juror, i would want to hear both sides of the issues. but right now we have lindsey graham saying he's going to be -- he's not going to be fair. and he's not even going to pretend to be. i mean, people in south carolina send you to washington, d.c., to
do your job. he takes two oaths of office. one to protect and defend the constitution of the united states and the second oath that he's going to take is to be an impartial juror. we want to hear the president's side of this issue because these are very credible accusations that have been made about him. you know, stepping over the rule of law. and so we want to hear about that. you would think that our senator would want to hear that. but again, he wants to be relevant. he wants to be the best friend of the president. instead of being the best senator that south carolina has. and that's just really, really sad. >> so i guess your answer is you'd keep an open mind and want to see witnesses. jamie harrison, i want to thank you for joining us. >> that's exactly right. thank you. happy holidays to you. we have breaking news right now. death sentences handed down in the murder of "washington post" columnist khashoggi. who was sentenced to death and
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♪ ♪ beautiful dreamer ♪ wake unto me ♪ beautiful dreamer awake unto me ♪ there's a booking for every resolution. book yours, at booking.com we do have some breaking news this morning. saudi arabia has sentenced five people to death for the murder of jamal khashoggi. but what about the man who the cia says ordered that hit? nic robertson is live in london >> reporter: very interesting, the saudis announcing this without any sort of drumroll coming ahead of it. no sort of international journalist able to get to the
press conference in riyadh to ask the pressing questions. this is a trial, an investigation that's had very little transparency. what we do know now is that five people have been sentenced to death, three people have been sentenced to a maximum of 24 years in jail. those five sentenced to death, that is for directly participating in the murder of jamal khashoggi, but i think the real headline here is that three people have no charges against them and these at least two of them are very, very close to crown prince mohammed bin salman. therein lies the big clue here. this is saud al qahtani, very close to the crown prince and ahmed al assiri the deputy director of intelligence have no charges against them. this does seem to distance the crown prince from the killing of jamal khashoggi, a rendition gone wrong is what the saudis have always claimed. those five people facing the death penalty, the saudis haven't announced who they are,
but we do know from the investigations at the u.n. special reporter that two of the people facing the death sentence were mutreb the intelligence official in charge of the operation and dr. t otaibi, the bone saw doctor. they were heard discussing how to dismember him. so this verdict does seem to, in a way, distance the crown prince, distance the crown prince from any involvement in this killing. john? >> thank you, nik. breaking overnight, the taliban is claiming responsibility for an attack that killed a u.s. service member in afghanistan. the taliban spokesman says that u.s. and afghan government forces were targeted with ieds while conducting a raid in the northern province of kunduz. at least 20 have been killed in combat this year. it comes as the u.s. and taliban
are at an important stage in peace talks. paris' notre dame cathedral will not hold christmas services following the fire in april. this is the first time in more than 200 years that famed cathedral has not held christmas services. it stayed open for christmas during the nazi occupation in world war ii. they will celebrate midnight mass on christmas eve at a nearby church. >> heartbreaking. all right. torrential rain and flash floods forcing the airport in fort lauderdale, florida, to briefly close overnight. weather conditions have caused major delays and flight cancellations elsewhere. how this weather impact delay travel this week? well, cnn meteorologist jennifer grey has your forecast. jennifer? >> if you're leaving today it's going to be trouble, especially in the southeast. we've had relentless rains, especially if you're taking the roadways because we have had nonstop rain all weekend long across much of the southeast.
now this will exit the region for today. so if you are leaving say later this afternoon or even tomorrow you will be in much better shape. flood alerts up for portions of georgia, south carolina, flood warnings, flood watches in effect. you can see watch south carolina. that's where the bulk of the rain is going to be today, so dangerous travel on the roads there. but it does leave by early tomorrow morning so you might want to hold off there if you have a little flexibility because tomorrow looks much better across the southeast. we're talking about two to four inches of rain between now and tomorrow morning around the charleston area. could see even more, four to six inches, and so that's a lot of rain in one day. that's why those flooding concerns are there. but much milder air is going to start settling in. no white christmases across much of the east or the northeast, much of the northeast, because temperatures are going to be pretty mild. 48 degrees in d.c. on wednesday. new york will be at 43.
look at the south. atlanta almost hitting 70 degrees tomorrow. we will be running more than ten degrees above normal alisyn? >> thank you very much for that look ahead. more people along the west coast are getting hit hard by the affordable housing crisis. some left homeless are getting a lifeline in a parking lot. cnn's dan simon explains. >> is it somewhat comfortable? >> not at all. >> no? >> it's very uncomfortable. >> reporter: each night lauren climbs into the back of her toyota prius turning it into a bed. >> my knees basically are to here and my torso barely fits in here. it's like this. >> reporter: she is part of a surging population of homeless in california living in their vehicles, cars and rvs. 16,000 in los angeles county alone. more than a quarter of the nearly 60,000 homeless throughout the county. >> even though it's on wheels it's still a house. >> reporter: meghan and
sherronda are living in this rv on the outskirts of san francisco. >> i like being in control and i get to change my neighbors all the time. >> reporter: without it they say they would be on the streets living in a tent here they say they can spread out and cook their own meals. it's an element of the crisis far less visible but no less painful for people like meghan sue who says she was evicteded from her home three years ago after her husband died of cancer. >> i didn't money for the first, last month's down payment. i didn't have credit because it was in my husband's name. >> reporter: homeless advocates say the growing number of people living in their vehicles has prompted a need for so-called safe parking spaces. >> the two largest populations that apply to a safe parking program, seniors over the age of 62 on a fixed income and people under the age of 40, saddled with college debt. >> reporter: emily manages the non-profit safe parking l.a.,
which works with churches and other organizations to provide parking spaces at night for the homeless. this lot in l.a.'s korea town has rest room facilities and situated in a quiet neighborhood allowing occupants to get some rest. how long do people typically use the lots? >> i mean it could be anywhere from a week to very sadly it could be over a year for someone who is -- has very high needs working with a case manager. >> reporter: san francisco has opened up its first safe parking lot joining other bay area cities like sanjay gup jose and oakland. safe parking lots have reached other states as well, including oregon and washington. >> i don't have to worry about being raped, i don't have to be worried about being robbed in the middle of the night. >> reporter: lauren, now an uber driver, calls the l.a. lot a lifesaver. she's been using it since june. a college graduate, she worked a number of decent paying jobs before things bottomed out. she recently enrolled in a
computer coding class determined to make a better life for herself. >> i'm going to be an office worker again. i'm not going to be here doing this. i'm moving out of this situation. >> reporter: making a night's rest enabled by a safe parking space all the more important. dan simon, cnn, los angeles. >> that is really interesting how that move can actually help lift people out of their situation. >> it can help people in a tough time during the christmas season. >> we want to thank our international viewers for watching. for you cnn newsroom with max foster is next. for our u.s. viewers, democrats are ramping up their demands for the senate impeachment trial. "new day" continues right now. >> newly released e-mails reveal that white house has ordered to freeze ukraine aid came roughly 90 minutes after president trump's call with president zelensky. >> this e-mail is explosive. >> the president is making the stakes.
i don't know if this call was a mistake. >> they're looking for a fair trial, not a fake trial. >> this is the last episode of 2019, but if you're back, this is the first episode since i left back in 1984. if you had told me 30 years ago that i would be this boring, stay-at-home, you know, house dad and bill cosby would be in jail -- >> who is america's dad now! >> this is "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. >> i'm sorry we cut that off. his facial expression after that was very bill cosby also. >> classic jello pudding pops. a lot there that was epic. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to your "new day." monday, december 23rds, 8:00 in the east. john berman is off. john avalon is here. great to have you here. democrats are continuing their calls for key trump administration officials to testify in president trump's upcoming senate trial, especially now that we've seen
these newly released e-mails. the e-mails reveal an official from the white house budget office ordered the pentagon to suspend military aid to ukraine 90 minutes after that now infamous call on july 25th between president trump and ukraine's new leader. it was on that call, you'll remember, that president trump pressured president zelensky to investigate mr. trump's political rival. the e-mails also show that the white house budget office knew that the hold on the aid would raise concerns and so he told others to, quote, keep quiet about it. >> democrats are pouncing on the new chain of e-mails. senate minority leader chuck schumer says it's more important now that white house officials testify in the upcoming impeachment trial. lawmakers are on holiday break as the stalemate continues. new from overnight a court filing from the justice department arguing that the courts should not weigh in on the dispute between the house and the trump administration over the former white house counsel don mcgahn's testimony
in light of impeachment proceedings. >> we have a lot to talk about. bring in cnn justice correspondent lauren jarrett, senior global affairs correspondent bianna golodryga and commentator joe lockhart. none of these new e-mails had been released thank goodness because of a freedom of information act, we wouldn't know about these e-mails otherwise, the white house as you knows has stonewalled all sorts of documents but now we see they happened 90 minutes after the phone call on july 25th, that the office of budget in the white house had to put this freeze on it, what does that mean, that the president didn't like what happened on that phone call, that somehow president zelensky didn't curry enough favor that president trump didn't think the favor was actually going to go through? why would he do it 90 minutes later? >> the president was making a demand and the demand was not agreed to on the phone call. 90 minutes later the president's wishes they had been working