tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN December 4, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PST
hello, everyone. thank you so much for joining me this sunday. i'm frederica whitfield. it is count down to decision day in georgia. on tuesday the state will select its next u.s. senator, and that choice will determine whether democrats will seize a more solid control of the senate or remain a 50-50 split with the vice president having to break tie votes. incumbent democrat rafael warnock and his challenger, republican herschel walker, are making their last pitches to voters. holding rallies across the state. early voting now over in georgia. more than 1.8 million ballots cast so far. but with just two days remaining
before today's runoff election it is still anyone's guess as to who will come out on top. eva, no rest for the campaigns in these final critical moments before tuesday, right? >> well, fred, senator warnock has outpaced herschel walker a bit in these final days. yesterday herschel walker didn't hold any public campaign events. he was at a tailgate party where he greeted fans and supporters, took photos but did not give remarks or answer questions from the media. meanwhile senator warnock held three public events. one of them was for the asian american community. and i think that is interesting because that really illustrates that here in georgia you cannot ignore any demographic, any part of the state. you have to be successful in cities, suburbs, small towns as well. and with black voters, asian american voters, latino voters
and an all out effort to get out the vote in all these communities because the margins are so thin in this battleground state. take a listen to what he said at that aapi event last night. >> we've seen record voter turnout during that period, but don't spike the football. don't dance before you get in the end zone. we've got to take this thing all the way home. if you know somebody who hasn't voted, tell them to vote. >> now, herschel walker will return to the campaign trail today in a public event in loganville central to walker's argument for election has been that senator warnock is too closely aligned with president biden and biden's economic agenda. meanwhile senator warnock will continue campaigning today in gainesville and with students in athens. that's actually walker's home turf. athens of course where walker
gained his football fame. fred? >> right. at the university of georgia. thank you so much. appreciate you. and don't forget we'll have full coverage of the georgia runoff race on election day starting at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. all right, new today a massive power outage is still affecting people in north carolina after what investigators call a, quote, act of violence at multiple sites. gloria, what is going on? >> reporter: fred, we're trying to learn more and more about this troubling incident in north carolina. moore county that's about 50 miles to the northwest of fayetteville, and as of this moment more than 40,000 people are being affected by this power outage. now, here's what we know so far. it affected several communities across the area starting around 7:00 in the evening last night. and as local authorities began to investigate what was happening, they went out to see
why we were having these power outages, the sheriff posted on facebook just a short while ago -- i want to put up part of what he said. that while they were conducting these investigations, utility companies began responding to different substations, and evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites. now, we do not know yet exactly what this intentional vandalism is referring to. that is currently being investigated. but we do know that this is affecting thousands of people across the region, and as you know, fred, you know, sometimes we take power for granted. but, of course, so many people rely on it for essential things like medical equipment and being able to do their work. we also just got in a tweet from the governor, and i want to also just read that to you because it
shows that this is something that the governor is monitoring. governor cooper said he has spoken with the duke energy and state law enforcement officials about the power outages in the county. they're investigating and working to return electricity to those impacted and the governor is saying the state is providing whatever support might be needed. we're still waiting to know more what is behind this alleged vandalism and also to know how much longer it's going to take for local officials to get the power back on in that area. >> right. in addition to those emergency vulnerabilities for people, i mean it's cold. it's getting colder, you know, by the day so that power is sorely needed. thank you so much. for more now i want to bring in cnn national security analyst juliette kayyem. good to see you. as you heard from gloria, she's
got good information there, but there's a lot of questions unanswered. given what we do know, what's your instinct tell you here? >> this seems purposeful only because electrical companies like duke electricity, they are pretty good at being able to monitor and to respond to sort of a single outage. and what they have described and are experiencing now is multiple nefarious activity at different locations. so you wonder whether there's an -- you always worry about insider threat, but that some group of people simultaneously brought down different nodes of the electrical grid. what does that mean? it makes it harder as you were saying to recover because you're not looking at a single point. you have to go to multiple points to get the system back up and running. this is impacting a lot of people. it doesn't happen that often. sabotage of critical infrastructure is something we worry about, and therefore there's a lot of defenses for it. but if someone plans multiple
targets, it will take some time for it to come back up. there is a separate issue going on that people will be monitoring online. we're not reporting it yet, but maybe there is a group somewhat taking claim for it. so that's going to be part of the investigation, which is important because you want to get to motive. why would someone want the electricity out? was there an event they were trying to sabotage? >> so help us understand what are the threads investigators will be looking for that would give better detail as to who this group of actors are, those who are claiming, you know, some responsibility here, whether this is strictly domestic, if there's foreign actors. >> so right now at least the threat stream looks like it may be a domestic group that has a -- that is uncomfortable with lgbtq rights. this at least where investigators will begin because
of some of the representations made by leaders of that group publicly because they think they're untouchable. it's one of the weirdest aspects of the world we live in now is that people do these things and they want to take credit for it. so they're going to start with that group or those people and one of the things i'm looking at is was there an insider threat? to be able to hit multiple nodes, it doesn't take a genius but you're looking at insider threat and interviewing people, figuring what communications were going on. while that investigation is going on you're simultaneously trying to get the electricity back. it is winter and the holidays. you're going through a multitargeted venue attack against critical infrastructure that is not done without some organization. and it is not taken lightly, so these people will be facing
significant criminal sentencing if they are convicted. >> yeah, we're talking about impacting 40,000 customers. i mean, that's the figure given to us. >> it's significant. yeah, it's not guns or bombs but it's impacting civilian life and therefore it has its consequences at least in terms of criminal liability. >> so while this investigation will zero in on those vulnerabilities of the infrastructure near simul simultaneously it has to address what seems to be vulnerabilities, right? >> that's right. duke energy to their credit has been on this since it started last night. they've been communicating with the public, and obviously they're in touch with the governor and others in leadership there to say they will get it back on. they have to look at their vulnerabilities. it's unclear right now based on the reporting what kind of attack this was.
i don't -- you know, in terms of what brought multiple systems down. but the fact that they were simu simultaneously -- simultaneous means it was purposeful -- >> and then the act of violence language, that's interesting. >> exactly. and therefore suggests someone got -- someone or some people got close to the infrastructure. that's why you start with insiders or people who may have known this system. it doesn't take much. our critical infrastructure is vulnerable. you can look outside. a lot of our wires are not underground like they are in european countries and elsewhere. so they're going to be exposed. but the goal now is get this stuff up and running as soon as possible, and then the force of the law against people who are being cute or whatever they think they're doing because they simply don't like the way the world is today. >> juliette kayyem, good to see
you. thanks so much. >> thank you. coming up, another barrage of russian missiles striking ukraine overnight as ukrainian officials warn that russian troops have a new town as their prime target. we're live in kyiv next. plus rivers of lava are flowing toward a major highway in hawaii. the beauty is spectacular, but concerns are growing about the plumes of toxic volcanic gases spewing into the air. we're on the big island straight ahead. with easy-order platts and lunchboxes perfect for any party. pool parties... tatailgates... holiday parties... even retirement parties. man, i love parties. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing dove 0% is different. we left aluminum out and put unbeatable 48 hours freshness and 1 quarter moisturizers... in. dove 0% aluminum deodorant. instantly dry feel and kind on skin. ♪ [christmas music] ♪ ♪ ♪
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of -- has now become the focus of russian forces. >> reporter: it's actually in the eastern ukraine donetsk region. i was here and that was where the fighting was, the illegal annexation of i'crimea started. now we're being told the town is the target number one by russia. this is the word from ukrainian officials by the eastern group of armed forces, their spokesperson saying ukrainian troops are there, they're holding out but under heavy fire at the moment. russian units had been appearing to make some progress in recent days as they attempt to move further west, attempt to demonstrate at least some success on the battlefield after getting pummelled by ukrainians on pretty much every front line that exists here in ukraine. for the ukrainian troops now trying to fend off the russians, it's a very difficult situation,
the ukrainian military says, but currently under control. as we go down south to kherson, the liberated city where there are some areas under russian control, they've been firing very heavily on these civilian areas in liberated kherson. in fact, there was one civilian killed, two injured just today. you're talking about private apartment buildings that are being bombed, not to mention all the hazards russia has left behind in the aftermath of their occupation. not only did they loot and plunder peoples personal possessions, valuable artifact but also left behind mines and tripwires and other dangerous objects. in fact, more than 4,200 explosive devices have been found by the ukrainians. they've destroyed more than 1,200 of them since they've moved back into that area. but the good news at least the electricity in kherson is back up to 75% capacity as the work continues around the clock to repair the power grid here in ukraine. but, of course, fred, there's
growing fear here in kyiv and across this nation the russians are planning yet another major strike on civilian infrastructure targets particularly power stations. the russians they believe are going to try to plunge this nation back into darkness at some point in the coming days with another massive round of rocket and missile attacks, fred. so certainly lots happening, whether it be on the front lines, you know, the fighting happening there, but also fears of yet another onslaught of rockets and missiles that could hit all over this country. >> sadly. civilian targets remaining the priority target for russia. will rippley in kyiv, thanks so much. chinese officials are signaling that there could be an easing of the country's zero covid policy after a wave of protests in more than a dozen cities and university campuses. but top officials have not laid out a road map for any changes even as the frustration spreads. cnn's salina wang has more from beijing. >> reporter: the video is
extreme and troubling. a man in the port city dragged off to quarantine by police officers. es to resist the hazmat clad authorities with all his might as they force him off the couch. the man apparently trying to avoid being sent to one of the quarantine facilities setup around the country for covid case and close contacts. many of them run-down, dirty, and unsanitary. it's not the first time authorities and covid enforcers have been caught on camera taking extreme and sometimes violent measures. but this time local authorities apologized and said it suspended those responsible. the incident only one in a series of extraordinary videos still emerging from china. residents destroyed covid testing booths. police in riot gear immediately swarm in. and years of pent-up anger over china's draconian covid lockdowns boiled over into us
unprecedented protests across the country. some even chanted for xi jinping to step down. authorities are cracking down on protesters, but it appears they've heard their demands, and for the first time a clear shift in tone. china's top official in charge of the country's covid response said the country is now facing a new situation regarding the pandemic. in recent days some major cities across china have eased their rules around covid. in beijing public transportation will no longer reject passengers without a negative covid test result taken within the last 48 hours. and authorities adjusted equestrian teen measures and scrapped a district wide testing plan. >> we're pleased to learn the chinese authorities are adjusting their current strategies. >> the chinese government has still not said if it will transition away from zero covid, and many in china still sealed in. and people's daily lives still
dictated by a web of covid restrictions. salina wang, cnn, beijing. >> and in this country congress is up against the clock to get several key pieces of legislation across the finish line before the end of the year. and before a new leadership moves into power. next how the incoming democratic minority is already plotting to retake the house. (vo) this holiday season verizon gives you the new iphone 14 pro. plus a apple watch se, ipad and beats fit pro. all on us. and unlimited planans for everye start at just $35 a line. verizon it's the subway series menu. 12 irresistible subs. the most epic sandwich roster ever created. ♪ it's subway's biggest reesh yet! mom didn't know which way to turn. but thanks to the right plan promise from unitedhealthcare
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pieces of legislation with deadlines looming this week the house is expected to vote on a same-sex marriage bill and lawmakers must also deal with government funding, the debt limit, and national defense. and with just weeks to go before the new congress is sworn in, in january house republicans will move into the majority, and democrats will have a new minority leader with new york congressman hakeem jeffries taking over for nancy pelosi. and in his first major interview since being elected democratic leader jeffries is telling cnn how he plans to win back the majority. cnn's isaac deveer landed that interview and joining us now. i isaac, tell us more what he had to say. >> jeffries is coming into this role filling in for nancy pelosi, obviously big shoes to fill. it's a two-year majority.
that would be a big history defying thing for a majority that lasts that amount of time. but jeffreys thinks he can do it because the margin is small enough and he can push against republicans he says have not been able to get away from extremism. asked him for example when we were talking on friday what do you think of kevin mccarthy and he said to me kevin mccarthy and i served in congress. i said do you respect kevin mccarthy. he said to me i respect kevin mccarthy is the leader and may be the speaker in january depending how things go. this is the kind of response you should expect to see out of jeffreys. they don't have to agree on what the terms of any legislation are but can really go after republicans. >> jeffries won unanimous support from democrats in the house, but you also had an opportunity to hear from progressives about him, and what did they have to say? >> look, i started out covering
new york politics. i first met hakeem jeffreys in 2006, and over the course of this time he has always made progressives and activists on the left a little suspicious of where he stands and whether he's one of them. that continues now even though as you say he got a unanimous vote when he was elected leader. the feeling is -- i talked to congressman jamalbeauman, a congressman from new york who said to me i agree on the issues but it's an issue how it's going to work out. he said to me jeffries said to him a long time ago, look, i'm going to be the guy that goes into the room, you're the one that goes and gets handcuffed. it's a different role, but he said to me we should trust him in that room. and that's the question here. it's a question of style jeffries has. it's not as brash and not as
rhetorically connected to a lot of what you see out of the left of the party and whether it's enough what they get done to satisfy not only more active voters but a bigger number of progressives who actually are going to be making up house democrats when they're sworn in january. >> all right, fascinating conversations. isaac, thanks so much. >> thank you. a former new york governor is just back from a humanitarian trip to ukraine. we'll ask george pitacki about conditions he experienced on the ground as winter sets in. is gentle. bar, it not only cleans, it hydrates my skin. as a dermatologist, i want what's best for ouour skin. with 1/4 moisturizing cream, dove is the #1 bar dermatologists use at homeme. ♪ subway's drafting 12 new subs for the all-new subway series menu the new monster has juicy steak and crispy bacon. but what about the newoss? it looks so good it makes me hangry!
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targets ukraine's power grid. and the governor is joining me right now. governor, so good to see you. i do want to begin with what things looked like while you were there in the ukraine. >> well, frederica, you just mentioned the power outages, and we couldn't get across the border initially because they had a power blackout at the border itself. and it's getting very cold in ukraine, and without power and heat the people are going to be suffering enormously. and that's the whole point of putin's attacks is to destroy the electric and heating infrastructure so that the ukrainians suffer greatly this winter. we brought in 15 large industrial sized heaters. each one is capable of heating four large apartment buildings. and these are desperately needed. and we know that president zelenskyy is taking some of them. he's creating centers where people can go and get heat and electricity at a center when they can't get in their homes and parpts.
i know he's using some of these for that. it was very emotional for us to be able to do what we can to try and help the people of ukraine get through this winter. >> and it is remarkable the rezil s resiliency of the ukrainians enduring so much now. what is your reaction to those able to cope even with this constant bombardment? >> it's amazing, frederica. what we saw right after the war first started in early march was the resilience of the people. they were asking for weapons to help their sons, their brothers, their husbands win the war in the east. and now nine months later it's the same thing. they don't have power, they don't have heat. they're living in shelters, but you ask these displaced people what do you need, and they say don't worry about us, we'll get through this, help our husbands, help our sons, get us the weapons, get us what they ned to
win this war. so i've never seen such a spirited people who understand that they're all in this together. there's absolutely no question that the one thing they want to do is win this war. and if it requires some sacrifice and suffering for them to get to that point, they're prepared to make it. >> does this mean you're onboard with the biden administration's push for continued moneys towards ammunitions and supplies -- military like supplies for ukraine to defend itself against russia? >> absolutely. this was our war. you know, putin invaded a democratically elected pro-western, pro-american democracy. and who are his allies? north korea, iran. they're supplying him weapons. this was an evil effort to destroy a pro-western -- proamerican democracy by putin who has been an enemy of america since long before this war began with his cyber attacks and
disrupting tactics on the internet. so i completely support we must do more militarily to help them. but frederica, i've got to tell you one thing. congress appropriated billions in humanitarian aid. this was our fifth trip. the pataki center volunteers have been all over ukraine. we've seen no signs of american humanitarian aid. so let me say this kevin mccarthy says no blank check, we need accountable. we need accountability. none of it's in ukraine, maybe it's in poland. but we did these 15 massive generators with donations and a volunteer organization. >> what convinces you -- what convinces you that moneys for humanitarian assistance have not been received?
perhaps not in the locations where you were, but what convinces you it's not been received there and other parts of ukraine? >> we haven't seen it. we haven't seen it in lviv, haven't seen it in kyiv and the south and west. you know, every trip we go, i look for it. and i say oh, thank god u.s. aid is arriving, we don't have to do this again. i'll tell you, frederica, this is not a pleasant experience to do this, but we're doing our small part. i think -- ask the u.s. government that, ask them where the humanitarian aid is, how much has gotten into ukraine, where is it? and i'd love to find the answer to that. there's billions in aid there, then we don't have to make these trips, don't have to ask for aid and donations. we haven't seen a sign of it yet. hopefully we will soon. >> you also brought hundreds of footballs. you were thinking of the young people, the kids, to ukraine to help keep the enthusiasm going
for the little people, right, into the sport and just work through their anxieties sometimes through some fun athletic activity. and i understand the nfl was part of that effort. can you tell me about that? >> yes, the nfl has been enormously helpful. we call it footballs for freedom. in one of the trips to kyiv we gave a football to one of zu zuhensky's top ministers and he said this is great ukrainians love american football. which was a shock to us. they have hundred of players so they said they would love to participate in something like this. so we took them hundreds of football donated by the nfl, we took them a giant locker and jerseys and other things and met with the president of the ukrainian american football league who's just a great guy. by the way, they're all soldiers. and the president of the league who was there with us had just been rotated from the front line
a month ago. and we were with the soldier. it was both uplifting and also sad. we were with a soldier who plays american football. his brother was killed in kherson and his brother was playing on the american team. and we went and visited his grave. to see all these new graves of young soldiers -- not soldiers. he was an i.t. technician, the workers defending their country just lying there was really tragic. just in my mind reconvinces me we must do everything we can to help the ukrainians. they're fighting our fight. >> sounds like your visit and your contributions made a really big impact. new york governor george pataki, thank you so much. >> thank you, frederica. all right, we vow to keep on dancing. that's a quote and a promise from the milwaukee dancing grannies who will perform this
afternoon at the waukesha christmas parade one year after six people were killed at that event. one of the leaders from the group is joining me next. pool parties... tailgates... holiliday parties... even retirement parties.s. man, i love parties. subway keeps refreshing and refreshing let's try the tissue test. ooof, still yellow. there's toothpaste white and there's crest 3d whitestrips white. whitestrips safely work below the enamel surface
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the waukesha, wisconsin, community is gathering for its annual christmas parade today. and with celebration comes mixed emotions after last year's tragic event. six people died after a man intentionally drove his suv into the parade route, striking 68 people. well, this year's event will honor the victims as part of the peace on earth theme.
and among those killed were three dancers from a beloved group known as the milwaukee dancing grannies. the group performs in wisconsin parades for many occasions bringing smiles to the grouds. and they've been doing so since 1984, and now they are ready to return and honor the beloved grannies that they lost last year. one of the members is joining me right now. jeanne is one of the coleaders for the milwaukee dancing grannies. good to see you. how are you doing today? >> hi. >> this will be a return to the place that brought so much tragedy, but you all as a group continue to uplift everyone and at the same time pay homage to those who died. so how are you feeling? >> correct. it's going to be an emotional day, but it's going to be a much
needed day, another day of healing. and, you know, we're going to have sadness, remembrance, we're going to have a lot of joy and a lot of happiness. today is our day. it is waukesha's day to show strength, resilience, courage, healing as we all come together showing the waukesha community, the state of wisconsin, the country and worldwide that we own the streets of waukesha. >> so i mean i imagine as you all -- leading up to today you've been together, rehearsing. you had to work through your routine, your dance, but then emotionally you would to be mindful and work through all of that. so describe what that journey has been like. >> right. there were many ups and downs,
challenges, you know, so many different things when this happened. of course everybody's in shock, we didn't know what hit us. we didn't know anything at that time. you know, trying to deal with what did happen to the group, you know, the four that we lost, the injured. are we fog to keep this group going? you know, just everything, and when this happened of course it was right at the beginning of the holiday season. so not only did we have to deal with the tragedies and everything but our own personal lives, our holiday seasons. and again, talking and planning and everything as far as if or how are we going to move this group forward. >> and when you say the four that we lost, you are making reference to three were dancing grannies, right, and then one was a spouse of one of your dancing grannies.
>> correct. bill was a volunteer at that parade. >> okay. and then i understand you were actually not there that day last year. so as a result you also, you know, are experiencing kind of a survivors guilt. >> correct. correct, yeah. big time. correct, i was not there that day. i chose not to perform in that parade. actually the green bay packers saved my life. i'm a big packers fan, and i went out with friends for the packer game that day, and i was signed up for all the other parades except for the waukesha parade. >> oh, my goodness. yeah, i can hear it in your voice it's a continued struggle today, right? >> it is. like i said it's a mixed bag of
emotions. >> so in a facebook post this morning the group called today one of the most important meaningful parades in granny's so how will the group and the audience, you know, try to remember those lives lost today? what do you think that connection will be like when you all perform, or when you attend that parade today? i can only imagine what it will be like. i'm sure the clouds are going to be a lot, and, again, we're going to have the tears of joy, the tears of sadness, just everything is going to be going through us, and talking about
them, remembers them yet moving forward and having the support of everyone around us, not only waukesha, but everyone. >> you will be performing 4:00 your time, can you describe your routine, or what you all have planned? i know sometimes you may have somebody planned and then there's some spontaneity, but what can you reveal about what to look forward to today. >> right now we are performing four songs, the songs we were hit on in the tragedy parade, we will not be performing. we have not performed it all christmas season long. there's going to be many people with us, some of the families of
the deceased will be joining us. we will be handing out some grannies waukesha strong, and carry posters of the fallen four. again it will be a spectacular, heartwarming, sad parade. >> yeah, it will indeed. but important nonetheless. >> very much, yes. >> jeanne, thank you so much for sharing with us today, and, you know, our prayers go owl to you and the dancing grannies and all in your community trying to grapple with the tragedy one year ago. >> together we will get through this. thank you. thank you so much. we'll be right back. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance,,
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misconduct. coy wire joins me with more. it's a lot. >> a lot. we should first point out that watson has maintained his innocence his entire time, saying he never sexually assaulted or even harassed anyone in regard to the civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the women who say he sexually assaulted him during his massage therapy sessions during his time in texas. 23 of the 24 lawsuits were settled confident yale, two grand juries declined to charge watson criminally, though a new civil suit was filed by a woman in october. on thursday, reporters in cleveland tried to get watson to talk about the controversy at a press conference, but he chose not to talk about it. here he is. >> i understand you guys have, you know, a lot of questions, but with my legal team and my clinical team, there's only football questions that i can really address at this time. i'm focusing on football.
that's my main focus is football, preparing to be the starting quarterback for the cleveland browns, so we can try to get a win this sunday. >> after nfl handing that suspension, that was in august. that came after he signed a five-year fully guaranty teeth $230 million contract in march, the most guaranteed money in nfl history. hi 11-game suspension positioned him to return against his former team in houston, where around ten of the women who accused him will be attending the game. women's movement organizations, nonprofits dedicated to protecting victims of sexual assault have aplay you had the a could you tell users, a spokes most for the cleveland rape crisis center told cnn i'm proud for being strong enough to try to take some of the power back