tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN November 14, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
all of which helps you do more than your customers thought possible. comcast business. beyond fast. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. we begin with this postelection cliff hanger consuming this white house. who will president trump fire? as sources say, he's weighing a major shake-up in his ranks, including several senior positions. today's latest turn in this whole west wing drama involves deputy national security adviser mira ricardel. wait for it -- she showed up to work today. the normally mundane move raising some eyebrows after the first lady called for his
dismissal. recardel is far from the only trump official here on shaky ground. officials saying he wants his white house chief of staff john kelly and homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen gone. there's this "washington post" story detailing his darkening mood from one trip to another, including his paris trip to his staff appointments. let's take a guess that mira stayed as far away from the east wing as possible. >> reporter: as far as we know, she did. that is about the only normal course of business that is going on here. it is extraordinary that melania trump weighed in with just a
24-word statement yesterday that ricochetted all across the white house here and all of washington that she wanted her gone. well, she is still at work. we do still believe that the president, as we reported yesterday, he was telling advisers that he is going to likely side with the first lady and thinks she will be gone at some point, but it is going to be more of a softer departure, not being thrown out immediately. all of this is coming as john bolton, the national security adviser and his allies are trying to convince the president to keep his deputy in. but john bolton is in singapore, half a world away here at meetings there. so he is not here standing by this. perhaps that had something to do with the timing of yesterday. but this is not the only drama happening. we are talking to a variety of officials who are saying just like that "washington post" report did that the president is in a sour mood, a dark mood, a depressed mood. we've not seen him much at all. after seeing him day by day,
hour by hour before the midterm elections, the applause at those rallies, he's retreated into a bit of a silence here at the white house. he'll be seen later today at a prison reform event. it's clear that his mood is dark. he's trying to decide what staff changes he'll be making. and you mentioned kyrsten nielsen is at the border with jim mattis. i can tell you there's a cloud hanging over everyone's future here. >> this just happened. the republicans just elected kevin mccarthy as the house minority leaped der, as expecte. what's his relationship like with president trump? >> reporter: president trump was working behind the scenes trying to get mccarthy elected.
he'll go from being the majority leader to the minority leader once the democrats assume control. the president is close with mccarthy. there was a bit of an internal shuffle. was there going to be someone rising up and challenging him from the freedom caucus. that really didn't materialize. the president is an ally with kevin mccarthy. certainly one of the many signs of the changing order in washington is kevin mccarthy will be the minority leader, not the majority leader. we are keeping an eye on john kelly, will he stay on? john ayers is being considered for his position. >> jeff, perfect segue because he mentioned nick ayers.
nick is the man who may be john kelly's replacement as the white house chief of staff. maybe. ayers has not only grown pretty close with this president but also to the two members of trump's inner circle with the most job security, ivanka trump and jared kushner. word is that ayers is valued for his political acumen, something the president says the current representative is lacking in. you were pursuing that trump had offered kelly's job to numerous others, including nick ayers. >> the way the president speaks
about job offers is not the way that perhaps you or i would recognize an official job offer. he speaks in a sort of stream of consciousness way so there was some confusion about this. when i began asking question about nick ayers and john kelly and whether or not he might replace him, it seemed like the white house was very concerned. i was brought into the oval office where a series of very high ranking government officials disputed my reporting, including nick ayers, including the president and including the vice president. and including john kelly. not only did they say that the job was not offered, but towards the end of my time in the oval office for that interview, nick ayers and john kelly actually physically embraced and called to me from across the room and i turned to see them hugging each other and they said they were friends. this was in the context of the president telling me that there was no chaos, that everything is running smoothly, everyone is
happy. now of course the way that his officials talk to each other and to reporters when he is not in the room and the way that he talks to his own officials is quite different based on my reporting, based on cnn's reporting and reporting from almost every other outlet covering this white house. >> incredible. hugging it out to show job security is one way to go about things. i want to ask you more about nick ayers. i read this huge piece that vicky ward wrote in she writes is known to be exhaustingly charming. he has a panache you don't normally encounter in d.c., floppy blond hair, wide smile, swift stride, expensive sput. his greatest weapon is a southern drawl that makes you
feel as if everything is happening in slow motion. . what is he like? >> it's a fantastic feature. it gives you a sense of who nick ayers is and how he's perceived in washington right now. he does have a lot of enemies. in a lot of ways it's surprising the president does seem to like him. he's the kind of operator, the type of striver, who you would think based on everything the president has said before he would not like. but apparently he has managed to get close to the president and get close to his daughter and son-in-law and to really make some allies that are very important in this west wing. >> you said it. the word is white house aides, they don't want him there. "the washington post" reporting there that during trump's home from paris, aides were like filing in to go see the president saying that if he were to appoint ayers as chief of
staff, it would lower morale, trigger potentially an exodus. why don't they like him very much? >> i think he's viewed as a striver, as an operator. i think he prompts some fear among people who have managed to survive there for a long time. and it's not surprising people want to hold on to their jobs when somebody comes in who seems to be able to have the president's ear, to be able to be in important meetings and meet with the president privately, it's not shocking to understand why that might prompt some fear. but i would add that all of these conversations that we have about chaos in the west wing, about an upheaval, a lot of this doesn't pan out. the president doesn't fire people. he likes to force them to stay on until they're so demoralized that they eventually evaporate
and have to be replaced. throughout the first year, it was always when is sean spicer going to be fired, when is reince priebus going to be fired? a lot of people who have been mentioned as being on the chopping block next have managed to hold on, keep their heads down and survive a little bit longer. when we have these conversations, oftentimes it results in the president being frustrated that things are being leaked to the press, people like you and me, and other reporters at cnn and he changes his mind because he doesn't want to give the press the satisfaction of r. the midterms were not good for him, no matter how much he tried to convince everyone they were. when things are not going well at him, he's in the corner and he points the finger at those around him. it's not surprising he would be trying to make some changes given all that. >> i'm stuck on the word you
used when you go away from the white house, evaporate. >> i'm going to evaporate right now. >> thank you, olivia. >> the president has tweeted multiple times about the caravan, many of them fleeing gang, terror and poverty. let's go to cnn politics reporter and editor at large chris cizzilla. if you're the president, it's like caravan? what caravan? >> it's remarkable. i don't think it's by accident, brooke. if you remember at all any campaign rally the president held in the run-up to the election, this is kavanaugh and caravan. he mentioned in three weeks 45 times, nine times he mentioned the caravan.
breaking news, these were not positive mentions. let's go to one example. i think we have a tweet that is sort of what trump said. many gang members and some very bad people are mixed into the caravan heading to our southern border. please go back, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. you get the idea. point being he was villainizing these people, painting it as an invading hoard who were on the border of our border. they never were. these are numbers pre-election. let's pop up the numbers since the election. these will probably not surprise you. we went down to two mentions. to both of these mentions, one was on election day about arizona, one was basically linking to his presidential proclamation saying we need to tighten the border. two, caravan mentions, zero. if you think that was accidental, i would like to
introduce you to something called campaign politics. the truth of the matter is this was never an urgent issue. these people were a thousand-plus miles away from the border. whatever you think of them, they were not on the edge of the border and they were no evidence as donald trump suggested unknown middle easterners and nasty criminals. why do i know this? because the facts bear it out but also this -- he stopped caring the day after the election. i don't know what else you could possibly conclude. >> to also further your point, if you are so concerned about invaders and very bad people, wouldn't you be on the border today instead of your secretary of defense? >> correct. i always tell people, we've talked about this on air before, look at donald trump's twitter feed because it's the best
encapsulation of what's on his mind at any time. his twitter feed has not made mention of the border. it's just he has stopped caring about it because it was a means to an end. it was a means to frighten his base into voting. it worked okay. not overwhelmingly. but that's why he did it. he didn't do it because this caravan ever posed a serious and immediate and urgent threat to our country. i'll remind people, sorry, one last thing, there are 5,000 troops that donald trump has sent down to the border. this is not just about rhetoric and tweets and what he says on tv. this is also about 5,000 men and women who are down there right now with an unclear mission. >> who are away from their families for veteran's day weekend as karen tumulty pointed out in her piece yesterday. chris cizzilla, thank you very
much, my friend. appreciate that. just in, a federal judge in florida is expected to rule on thousands of previously tossed out ballots that can be a game changer for this razor tight senate race. this comes as florida governor and senate candidate rick scott says he will now recuse himself from the recount process. and the most destructive and deadliest fire in california history. what fire crews are up against. and parts of malibu still remain under mandatory evacuation. the husband of pop star pink is sending a warning to looters suggesting they could be shot on sight. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin.
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any moment now we're expecting a decision from a federal judge in florida to rule on whether or not thousands of previously tossed out ballots can actually be included in the state's recount. this is about ballots with signatures that do not match the signature on file. and while it could be hugely significant, it is just the latest of several lawsuits being addressed in this massively chaotic recount. one official said she is officially in prayer mode just to reach the recount deadline. >> the contentious senate race between republican rick scott and bill nelson is now being
recounted. a confident rick scott showed up on capitol hill today for his photo. there are something like 12,000 or 13,000 vote difference between the senator and governor here, all vying for the senate seat. are the ballots at issue in this signature ruling enough to close the gap for nelson? >> well, we know that there are at least 20,000 rejected vote-by-mail ballots in the u.s. senate race or i guess in florida's elections. this lawsuit also includes rejected provisional ballots. probably not enough to narrow that gap, but percentagewise there are going to be more from the larger counties in florida where nelson did better than scott. so certainly if those ballots are included in the count, his chances of narrowing the gap and pulling ahead of scott are better than they are now, and
right now it's still a pretty far long shot. >> there's been all this county about the broward county election supervisor, brenda snipes. the president said, quote, when they call this woman incompetent, they're wrong. she's very competent but in a bad way. will that just add more fuel to the fire because there are already a lot of calls for her to step down? >> absolutely. any time the president weighs in, he certainly stokes the base. a lot of people have seen matt gates' videos of trucks in the middle of the night, claiming there are ballots being shipped in. of course there's no evidence for any of that. but i think it's fair to question whether brenda snipes is going to make it to 2020, which is when her term would be up. she's already said that she may not run for reelection. she may not get there.
the governor has the ability -- >> but even if she does bow out, she still would be in charge through the 2020 election, correct? >> right, yes, correct. she would still be overseeing the 2020 presidential election if she's still in office at that point. >> what did you make of governor scott showing up in his freshman class picture up on capitol hill today? >> we know that recounts rarely overturn the results of elections, so he has every right to feel confident. he certainly wants to project that he has already won. i think part of the republican line is that this election is over and that the recount is seeking to change the results when really it's more like we're in overtime of the elections if we're going to use football analogies like marco rubio and that, you know, the outcome is still in doubt to some extent. >> well, here's for people who don't no what you're references. marco rubio compared all this to
a football game tweeting "imagine if an nfl game was treating 24-22, but in the final seconds hits a three-point kick to go in. then after game lawyers for losing team get a judge to order rules changed to that last second field goals are only one point." 266 ballots found at an opa-locka mail facility. that's one example. >> he also has lawsuits before him related to the state's method for including or rejecting undervotes or overvotes, which is ballots where maybe a voter -- their
vote wasn't counted where they circled a name instead of bubbling in, which is what you're supposed to do or maybe they accidentally marked bill nelson's name and bubbled in rick scott. so that was rejected. the judge has a lawsuit challenging that process before him and he has a lawsuit challenging the deadline looming tomorrow at 3 p.m. for the machinery counts to be submitted given there's obviously some question whether at least in palm beach county whether that deadline is going to be met. >> david smiley, thank you very much from florida for us. coming up next, the painstaking process of trying to find and identify those who are missing amidst california's deadly wildfires. and while parts of malibu remain under evacuation, there are rare scenes where surfers and fire
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[ neighing ] [ sigh ] it's bring your own phone, not pony. so i could've taken the bus? yeah. bring your phone. switch your carrier. save hundreds a year with xfinity mobile. call, click or visit a store today. the death toll in the california wildfires has now climbed to 50. firefighters are slowly but surely making progress on these two monster fires, ravaging both ends of the state, southern california's woolsey fire and the camp fire is now 35% contained. and then there's this -- a los angeles area woman who raced to malibu to save her horses was overwhelmed by the fast-moving flames. she told kabc that she was
forced to jump into her car and get out as fast as she could. i'm going to play this for you. you can hear her pleas for help. >> oh, my god, oh, my god. please, god. please, god. oh, my god. oh, my god, please leave the horses safe, please, god, please. i'm looking at this -- oh, my god. oh, my god. oh my god. oh my god. oh my god. oh my god. oh my god. oh my god. please, good, please. oh my god. oh, my god, please let me out of here. please, god, please let me out
help me. oh, my god, what do i do? >> i just thought maybe i was going to die. i just thought i can't turn around, i have to keep going. that's all i could think, i just have to keep driving because if i don't, nobody is going to come in here and save me. >> rebecca says she drove through those flames for about two minutes and miraculously she told our affiliate that she managed to save 48 horses. >> people in malibu are not only concerned about escaping these fires. they're worried about finding missing loved ones, neighbors. of course they're worried about thieves. look at this instagram post from the singer pink, her husband, shows this group of men behind that reads "looters will be shot on sight." the harts own a home in malibu
and had to evacuate. there is a web site called safe and well, designed to help others communicate with each other and let them know you're safe. a lot of people don't know where their loved ones are. cell towers are down, homes are gone, they're taking names and scribbling them on sides of shelters. how are you helping? >> well, the red cross is working so hard to connect to that. i've talked to so many people and the stories are repeated much like the one you just talked about, escaping flames, separated from their loved ones. some reunited right here at this shelter, an elderly couple that found their way down the mountain and were here at are red cross shelter. our safe shelter is up and running. we've had 65,000 searches. inside the shelters, you'll
still see signs with pictures of loved ones. there are so many things to do here. certainly sheltering people, taking good care of them, making sure they're fed but you job one is helping people find their loved ones. >> what do you want to get out for people who are looking for their folks. how can people locate loved ones? >> the safe and well program really let's us get to know which of the people that are being evidence is for and make sure not only are we looking for them but at the same time we're protecting people's privacy. we're very aware of that. we want to be careful about how we move forward othat. we're doing that. safeandwell.org. you can go to redcross.org and find it there as well. we really encourage people to use that system. it's been working well. a lot of people are going there. >> can you tell me one story of a family member you were able to connect with a lost loved one.
>> yeah, the couple i mentioned. i spent a lot of time with them. they came down the mountain separately. they drove through flames and fire. in that case it was just good fortune they both happened to be directed to the same shelter in gridly, california. i saw another couple come together, a man that was staying here at the shelter, the family found out that he was here and they came by to pick him up. there was a very emotional embrace, really wonderful scene as those -- a brother and sister came together. so fortunately we're seeing it every day and we're working to try to make that happen as often as we can. >> thank goodness for the american red cross and its safe and well program. thank you very much, dan. appreciate all that you do. >> coming up next, sleepless nights, angry days. coming up, why this president reportedly berated prime
president trump reportedly berating the female leader of america's closest ally, british prime minister theresa may, w w calling president trump to congratulate him on the midterm election wins. and the president took issue with the prime minister on a multitude of topics. as he traveled to paris on air force i last weekend, sources telling the post that his mood was sour and his conversation with may was acrimonious. with me, former communications director for british prime minister theresa may. katie, nice to you have on. welcome. >> good evening. >> you know prime minister may
well. how do you think she would have taken trump's reported berating over the phone? >> well, theresa may actually doesn't really get that offended by those kind of conversations. she keeps her cool, she will just plow on trying to get her points across. i've listened in to many of those telephone calls between president trump and the prime minister in the past and he doesn't really let you get a word in edgewise. it's her job to get him back on track on the subject she wants to talk about this. she won't be phafazed by this. >> you were in the room when the prime minister first met president trump. how did that go? >> it went well, it was friendly. don't forget, we were the first foreign leader to visit america after the inauguration. so president trump didn't really know what he was doing. it was his furst kind of big visit. so we kind of led the way a bit. she did a brilliant job getting
a commitment on nato, which is something we didn't expect. when we came out of the room, president trump said "who won that, me or you?" everything's a game, everything's a competition. i think she takes it in stride. she's a stateswoman here and he had a lot to live up to. >> so you say this recent conversation, she wouldn't be fazed by it, today is a big brexit moment for her. how does it play in the u.k. when the u.s. president gets heavy handed with theresa may? >> i think with any foreign leader with our prime minister we get quite defensive, if we're backed into a corner. it's not going to set her off track. we have faith in terms of her international relations more than president trump. it asaddens me because as brits
we want to think that relationship is genuine. we expect more from our foreign leaders. president trump should not be berating theresa may and giving her a hard time on the telephone because she will go into the european union and back him up as nobody else will. she believes we need free trade agreements with these countries and she want to do deals. doing deals with a man who keeps ranting and raving all the time is probably not a smart idea. he need to get back to the table and calm down. >> final question. what do the brits think of the way the u.s. president communicates? >> oh, we view him with amusement in the u.k., which saddens me because i respect the office of the president of the united states. but the president himself, we're amused by him. his public polling ratings in the u.k. i would hazard a guess
being a former communications director at number 10 downing street, i'd have to guess they'd be pretty low. the kind of stocking present we get at christmas is donald trump toilet paper. that's should give you an indication. >> wow. that's a wow. i'm not sure how this president would feel that he's amusing brits. perhaps he'd enjoy it. who knows. katie perrior, thank you very much. >> ahead, newly declassified report from the cia. what it reveals about the agency and the youth of truth serum on detainees. >> and the confessed parkland shooter now facing additional charges for attacking a guard and taking his stun gun. those details ahead. -wrinkle crm in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair®
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today we are learning in the aftermath of september 11th, the government considered using a truth serum. the program was called project medicine. the documents reveal cia doctors researched this possibility of using a psycho active drug called versed as a truth serum to interrogate high-level prisoners. the report notes use of the drug would most like live face legal challenges and the whole thing was dropped in 2003. with me former cia operative bob
bear. what was the thinking behind this? how would this have worked? >> well, we have to remember in 2002/2003 the cia was desperate to ferret out the next attack after 9/11. they always used truth serum, it's always been a holy grail because so many who show up at the cia's door are making up stuff. they always thought about some kind of truth serum to get them to tell the truth? >> does it work? >> no, it doesn't work. that's probably why they didn't use it after 9/11. in the old days they were using lsd to try and break people. it didn't work. they never came up with a solution to get people under some sort of narcotics to tell
the truth. >> lsd didn't get people talking back in the day? >> no. this were microdosing -- even friends of mine with lsd, hoping they would be more forthcoming. it was another failed experiment. >> i just need a cia translation. this is from an aclu staff attorney saying a down side of using this drug was requirement for presumably physician assisted administration. it said lsd could be administered silently. what does it mean, silently? >> well, they put it in people's coffee. that's what they did in the 50s, put it in people's coffee at work. with this they give them an i.v. but frankly, wouldn't you rather get an i.v. drug rather than
being waterboarded? >> yes, yes. it seems to me it wouldn't be effective for people to start talking. i can't imagine, detainees, of course they're full of stories. but you would know how this works and how it wouldn't. >> back in the old days, we just didn't know how to get people to tell the truth, money, threats, the rest of it. we did try truth serums in the old days but just never worked and i doubt they work today. >> got it. bob, thank you. bob baer in washington. >> new details just in about the president's mood inside the white house as the shake-up looms and the first lady calls on him to fire a top national official. and in florida a judge is about to decide whether thousands of ballots that been tossed out can be included in the recount. one person saying she is, quote unquote, in prayer mode just to
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the confessed parkland school shooter is facing new charges today. the suspect is being charged with two counts offing ing aggr assault on a jail guard. the report also indicates he tackled and repeatedly punched the guard and was able to grab the officer's stun gun. the guard gained control and the suspect was taken into custody. he was being taken to trial after having confessed killing
17 student and teachers at marjory stoneman douglas high school. you're watching cnn. we start with this postelection cliff hanger consuming the white house. who will president trump fire next? he's weighing several shake-ups in his ranks. the latest involves deputy national security adviser mira ricardel. wait for it -- she did show up to work today. the normally mundane move is raising some eyebrows after melania trump called for mira ricardel's dismissal 24 hours ago and melania trump made her comments minutes after president trump made an appearance with
ricardel. so let's go to our senior white house correspondent kaitlan collins and gloria borger. ladies, good to you have both on. gloria, starting with you and your new reporting on the president's mood. do tell. >> reporter: well, brooke, there's a ton of us who have done a lot of reporting today about the president's mood and i think we can all agree that it's foul. he spent a month receiving nothing but adulation out on the campaign trail. came election night he thought he was going to do better than he did. i'm told that he told a friend of his, look, this could be good for me because i can fight these democrats. you know, the president likes to punch back and he finally has an enemy in the house democrats and he thinks that's going to work for him. on the other hand, he's upset about what happened in paris, and he understands