Return to Transcripts main page


Major Explosion At Texas Plant; House Judiciary Impeachment Hearings Begin December 4; Storms Across U.S. Disrupt Thanksgiving Travel; California Officials Issue Debris Flow Evacuation Warning; Justice At Last; College Basketball Upset; U.K.'s Chief Rabbi Blasts Labour Leader; U.K. General Election; Presidential Turkey Pardon; Bernie Up the Dance Floor; A Cold and Icy Road for Travelers on Thanksgiving Holiday; President Trump Can't Stop Talking About the Impeachment; Thieves Still on the Loose. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 27, 2019 - 03:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from the U.S. and all around-world. I'm Max Foster.

Coming up on CNN Newsroom.

It's one of the busiest travel days of the year for Americans. A nasty weather is causing major delays across the country.

The date is set for the next phase of the impeachment hearings and President Trump is lashing out the process despite what new polls are saying.

Plus, arrested on Thanksgiving Day back in 1983 for a murder they didn't commit and now they're finally free. More on the three men who will spend the holidays at home for the first time in 36 years.

Well, Thanksgiving is already a travel headache in the U.S. and this year could be even worse with storms hitting coast to coast. More than 20 million people are to some kind of winter weather advisory from California to Michigan.

Oregon is already getting pounded with snow. Farther north in Washington State 60 to 70 cars crashed on an icy highway. A state trooper said they ran out of tow trucks trying to clean up the mess.

And more than 1,000 people were stranded at Denver airport after flights were cancelled because of a snow storm. A record of 31.6 million people are expected to fly on U.S. Airlines this Thanksgiving holiday according to a trade organization.

And on Sunday, the busiest travel day. Strong winds and rain are forecast.

To the northeast meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us now. People venturing out will have to be brave. KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, very brave. And this is the

time of year, Max, that people look forward to being with their family and cultivating some beautiful memories of their Thanksgiving of 2019.

It looks like this is going to be memorable for a lot of different reasons and that is a big headache as far as snowfall is concerned. Icy conditions but not just that. It's wet weather to the south. We have already had a tornado reported just to the southeast of Jackson Mississippi and bomb cyclone across the west, meaning it's going to intensify very rapidly.

Even in the Central United States not going unscathed, take a look at Nebraska, we've got two areas that we are focused on. This out of McCook, Nebraska and they are already plowing their homes, and very dicey conditions along the roadways there.

As a matter of fact, a portion of interstate 80, take a look at what happened there. Cars overturned, there were crashes, the roads were slick. What you're looking at is not really snow. We've got ice on the roadways making for very treacherous driving conditions and people stuck in airports at Denver as well.

Maybe one of the memories that you have is that you spent the night in the Denver airport. They collected about 12 inches of snowfall. Estes Park more than a meter, or over 35 inches of snowfall.

We've actually got several storm systems going on here. An area of low pressure across the Midwest and Great Lakes. Another one, this is that bomb cyclone that's going to intensify rapidly and really produce some destructive weather across the west, already from Ashlyn, Oregon along interstate five to the south, this is a gorgeous area. It is shut down. The visibility is so poor.

All right. One system, storm number two in the subtropical low. Yes, that see some moisture in coming from the south so we've got a warm sector of the system that is producing the rainfall and a severe weather to the south.

But this also affect our international viewers because if you are buying into La Guardia, also Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Cleveland, also Chicago, Minneapolis, West Coast, it will be San Francisco. You will be impacted, 20 million plus people, but it is not just a one-day event.


This is a multi-day event and I dare say that 20 million becomes multiples of 20 million people impacted by snow warnings, snow advisory, blizzard condition including Minneapolis. Max, we could see a record one day snowfall total in Minneapolis. It's been nine years since we have seen anything significant but this year we could see as much as 12 inches of snowfall in just one day.

Back to you.

FOSTER: OK. Karen, thank you. In northern California, officials closed roads because that too severe

weather moved in.

Dennis Shanahan from our affiliate KTXL is near the area.

DENNIS SHANAHAN, REPORTER, KTXL: Well, up until tonight it had been a very dry November here in California. Ski resorts around Lake Tahoe were getting concerned about whether they'd be open for the Thanksgiving holiday. They were feverishly making snow.

So, this is good news. The timing of it, however, is not. We have a lot of people out on interstate 80, trying to get over donors' summit between the Sacramento area and the Lake Tahoe region, and for two hours tonight, that interstate was closed down by the Department of Transportation and in the California highway patrol due to multiple spin outs and accidents. It is messy out on the road.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay off the mountain if you can, if you do not have four-wheel drive or chains, stay off the mountain.

SHANAHAN: It's bumper cars up here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is. We are very busy up here tonight.


SHANAHAN: The California highway patrol and the Department of Transportation have been getting the word out for days through local media that people should avoid traveling Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Still, many trying to make the trek, found themselves stuck, finding the tire chains were not enough in some cases to get their cars over the mountain. So, there are windows of opportunity coming, and it is going to be a great weekend for the ski resorts when all of this clears out.

Near Lake Tahoe, Dennis Shanahan. Back to you.

FOSTER: The next round of public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry is set to begin December the 4th. House judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler said that his committee will call a panel of expert witnesses to discuss the constitutional grounds of presidential impeachment.

He's invited the president and his legal team, which the White House source says is under consideration.

Meanwhile, President Trump is in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday of the campaign rally on Tuesday night. He said Americans think impeachment is a hoax.


same maniacs are pushing the deranged impeachment. Look at this. Impeachment.


TRUMP: A witch hunt. The same as before. And they're pushing that impeachment, witch hunt. And a lot of bad things are happening to them. Because you see what's happening in the polls? Everybody said that's really (muted).


FOSTER: The latest CNN poll tells a different story, 50 percent say the president should be impeached and removed from office, 43 percent disagree. That's the same as last month.

Despite the president's claim the latest CNN poll shows half of Americans think Mr. Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 43 percent disagree. The president's talking points on why he withheld military aid for Ukraine continue to fall as well.

The New York Times report that Mr. Trump had already been briefed on the whistleblower's complaint when he released the aid in September, also a top budget official testified. He struggles to find out why the aid to Ukraine was frozen. But no one at the White House told him, it was because other countries weren't paying their fair share as the Trump administration had claimed.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has more on the time line.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The House budget committee released a two-page summary document laying out a more explicit detailed timeline of the hold the Office of Management and Budget put on the Ukraine aid, specifically the idea that the official hold letter actually was released on July 25th.

What else happened on July 26th? Well, the phone call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, also on July 25th, according to the testimony, public testimony of a Pentagon official, at some time in the afternoon, two different e-mails were sent from Ukrainian officials to the State Department inquiring about this state of the aid.

It was just a couple of hours later that that hold was officially placed. Now going through the transcript, we're just trying to get a look at the 181-page transcript from Mark Sandy, the career OMB official.

And one thing is made clear. One, the concerns that career facials had at OMB about the potential illegality of holding aid, this idea of going against the Impoundment Control Act by holding aid that had been allocated and appropriated by Congress for longer than they were supposed to, that was a concern that they had.

But also, the idea that Mark Sandy, this career official signed off on the initial letter holding the aid, but he did not sign off on future letters holding the aid. His portfolio was essentially taken over by a political appointee.


That was a concern from a lot of lawmakers. One thing Democrats who released the summary documents today said, is that it was basically an egregious abuse of power by the OMB to implement this hold. It's one of the open questions we've had throughout the course of this process.

FOSTER: That's Phil Mattingly reporting for us.

It's worth noting that everyone on the president's team who says he did nothing wrong refuses to testify under oath. But Mr. Trump says he would have no problem if they did. On Tuesday, he tweeted, "I would love to have Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry, Mick Mulvaney, and many others testify about the phony impeachment hoax."

That prompted this response from Secretary of State Pompeo.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Any time there is information that indicates that any country has messed with American elections, we not only have a right but a duty to make sure we chase that down.


FOSTER: Joining me now, Thomas Gift, a lecturer in political science at University College London.

It's pretty hard for people around the world to keep up with, isn't it? But what's, you know, what was the standout sort of moment from the last 24 hours for you?

THOMAS GIFT, POLITICAL SCIENCE LECTURER, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Well, I think what we are really seeing is that Donald Trump administration his argument, his defense of this kind of quid pro quo is not only falling apart bit by bit, it's really being totally eviscerated.

Mark Sandy's claim essentially is that the White House didn't start asking about whether other countries were contributing aid until months after there was actually a freeze on this foreign assistance. So that really puts, I think a lot of --


FOSTER: What does that mean, though?

GIFT: Well, I think it means that Donald Trump is basically trying to make post hoc explanations for why he is making the choices that he is making. And so, essentially, he is seeing that there is a problem. He knew at the time that kind of the whistleblower complaint had occurred, and then he is acting in response to that. He's trying to kind of clean up this mess. And in fact, that may ultimately be why he decided to allow the

assistance to Ukraine to go through, and also to make this claim that Gordon Sondland famously said during his publicly testimony that there was no quid pro quo, but at the time he knew about this whistleblower.

FOSTER: We've heard so much about the White House being in chaos. Couldn't it just be that as opposed to any, you know, intent that was wrong and could lead to impeachment?

GIFT: Well, there certainly was a lot of incoherence, I think around Ukraine policy and dealings with Ukraine but I think it's just very difficult case to make. Trump knew that this whistleblower complaint was being made. And I think he was basically just scrambling along with others in his administration to figure out how are we go to justify this?

FOSTER: We got the judiciary committee now setting the date, the first date for hearings. That's a huge moment, isn't it? And it shows the confidence that the Democrats at least have in this.

GIFT: I think that's right. At the same time, we saw this polling data that roughly 50 percent of Americans support impeachment. That is about the same number that we saw a month ago at 50 percent.

And so, for Democrats, it's sort of is this a glass half full or glass half empty? I mean, on the one hand, you certainly see that half of Americans think that the president should be removed from office.

On the other hand, all of the dramatic testimony that we've seen in recent weeks hasn't really budged public opinion too much. And so, we'll see how that plays going forward.

FOSTER: Because his base, presumably, are still supporting of him and this narrative that the establishment is out to get him, which is what this is all part of.

GIFT: Absolutely. I mean, Donald Trump makes this claim about the deep state or those that he alleges within government or trying to thwart his agenda, I think the standard narrative that we saw going into the impeachment hearings still holds now and that is the Democrats are going to impeach in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Republicans are going to block.

And so, Republicans, if they're looking just that, the polling data, this base for Donald Trump is still so strong that they are going to I think be very reluctant to turn on the president.

FOSTER: We also follow Trump's language quite closely, when he says he would love to have his people like Pompeo and many others testify in a phony impeachment hoax, what does he mean there? He is undermining the inquiry, but then says he is happy for his people to appear there. I mean, it's inconsistent, isn't it? That tweet.

GIFT: I think it's very much cheap talk. I mean, he loves to be very, you know, outlandish and saying, I love for all this information to come out in the open. But when it comes to his actual action, he's basically imposed gag orders on a number individuals within his administration.


FOSTER: Because they're not (Inaudible) taken them away, those gag orders.

GIFT: Well, I mean, basically right now, the federal courts are looking at this issue as to whether individuals within the White House including former White House counsel Don McGahn are going to be required to testify.

Donald Trump up until this point has really blocked that on every level. And so, I think you're right. There is certainly an inconsistency between what he is saying and what he's actually doing but I think we have to look here at what he's doing.


FOSTER: His base, how glued in are they do you think broadly into international affairs and the detail of this Ukraine deal, because if they are going to be convinced along the Democratic lines, they need to see something very clear about Donald Trump doing something wrong intentionally, don't they?

GIFT: Yes. Well, I mean, it's certainly the case that the evidence in favor over the fact that Donald Trump exercised and inappropriate use of power is overwhelming. But you're right, it doesn't seem to be budging public opinion much especially on the Republican side.

My own opinion -- my own opinion is that crucially nothing that Donald Trump could do would change public opinion among Republican voters. He has such a strong and loyal base. They have stuck with him through thick and thin up until now and I don't think that there's anything barring some kind of catastrophic event that's going to change that.

FOSTER: And it's the same case, isn't it, for the Senate. You know, it's not going to get through the Senate, an impeachment finding, so therefore, isn't a lot of this academic?

GIFT: Well, you could argue that. I mean, I think Democrats say that still had an obligation to go through this process because there was a clear act of wrongdoing by the executive.

I mean, anything can happen. You know, certainly new details could be divulged. We could see a change of course, but ultimately, I do think that you are right, that the actual impact is going to be very limited. Donald Trump is going to remain in office, and ultimately, it's going to be up to the American public as to whether the president gets four more years.


FOSTER: OK. Thomas Gift, thank you very much, indeed.

Now President Trump's Florida rally was filled with the usual bluster, much to the delight of his supporters and also featured more than a few misleading statements.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was President Trump's first rally in Florida since officially becoming a resident of the Sunshine State, and many of the president supporters today mention that, of course, as the president is trying to boost support in this critical battleground state.

But of course, the president also focused on the impeachment crisis that he is facing back in Washington. The president reiterating his usual defenses insisting that his call with Ukrainian president was perfect, and he also suggested that he believes voters are on his side, saying that voters view impeachment as B.S. Of course, the president actually said that not just the two-letter acronym.

But it was clear, though, that the president's supporters at least, were taking in his message, and certainly had internalize it as the president went into this reiteration of Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House where he said that President Trump told him, I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo in that early September phone call.

The president's supporters here spontaneously jumped in and began chanting those very same words without any prompting, so clearly, at least the president's base is certainly internalizing his message there.


TRUMP: I want no quid pro quo. I want nothing. Tell President Zelensky to do the right thing, to do what he ran on. That's what he said.


DIAMOND: There was also another interesting moment on Tuesday at this rally where the president began to criticize the media for its coverage of his unscheduled impromptu visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The president falsely accusing the media of reporting that he had a massive heart attack, tremendous chest pains, and that he had stayed overnight at Walter Reed. None of those allegations were reported by CNN or any other mainstream media news outlet, but the president spent nearly 10 minutes focusing on that very issue.

The president's team meanwhile, has released a memo about his visit. They still have not said exactly why or what kind of testing the president did undergo during that visit to Walter Reed.

FOSTER: Jeremy Diamond.

Breaking news this hour. There's been a large explosion at a plant in Texas. No word yet if anyone was at the plant when the blast happened. These are the pictures we just got in and you can see a pretty dramatic scene there from pretty close. We'll get more information as we can.

Now, it took thieves just minutes to steal centuries of priceless treasure. Now German police are on the hunt. The latest on the Dresden jewel heist coming up.



FOSTER: Seven men have been sentenced to death in Bangladesh for their roles in the 2016 Dhaka cafe attack. It remains the deadliest terror attack in the country's history.

More than 20 people were killed when gunmen took hostages at an upscale restaurant. One man charged was found not guilty, though. The seven facing capital punishment were found guilty of helping organize the attack make an appeal.

Now we continue tracking what could be the smash and grab of the century. German police are hunting for the thieves that ransacked the fault at Dresden Castle. And just minutes they made off with treasure from one of Europe's most valuable connections. About 100 pieces were taken. They include pearls and diamonds.

For the latest, CNN's Melissa Bell joins us from Dresden. They haven't got them yet. So, is hope waning?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been more than 48 hours, Max, since this very brazen attack on Dresden Castle. Behind me with authorities now describing the scene inside as looking like a battlefield by the time they got into it.

You see -- we've seen those images released by police of the men inside the Green Vault taking their acts to that showcase in order to extract the jewels that they then stole, the whole thing lasting just minutes but it took nine blows of that acts to get through the glass, so you can imagine the scene the police found but the time they got there.

But, no, still no news. The latest, Max, is that we had another appeal from German police, local Saxony police yesterday urging people to come forward, another appeal to the public they created this portal, they wanted people to upload any pictures, videos they might have that could be relevant to the scene into the investigation.

Which tells us really, Max, that all this time after the attack they really don't know very much about what happened after that they drove away from Dresden Castle with what they had stolen in that Audi later found out burned in an underground car park. They seem after that simply to have vanish into thin air, Max.


FOSTER: What about this theory about insider knowledge, presumably if they literally don't know who they are chasing at this point, they're not going to be able to tell us, you know, whether or not they were linked with people on the inside.

BELL: I think it's definitely one of the possibilities and one that the police have not discounted. Definitely something that the team of 20 or so officers who are involved in this investigation are looking into.

Because in the end when you look at what happened and how it happened, the fact that they were able to make their way inside almost as easily as they did, armed simply with an ax in the early hours of Monday morning, it does suggest that this was carefully thought through whether someone in the inside was involved or not is clearly one of the avenues they're going to be pursuing.

And then there is the question of course of what now happens to those jewels. These are extremely well recognizable jewels. It's very difficult to see how they could sell them on any open market.

And there is the question beyond the monetary value of what was stolen and what it represents here in Germany. These are jewels, Max, that really share the history of the region.

They were -- they were kept here, of course, taken away from the Red Army after World War II to Moscow, retrieved and put on display in Dresden Castle that was renovated only about 15 years ago.

So, it is a -- it is a history that is very closely connected with that of the region. And I think that is part of the explanation of why there is this sense of shock that they could have gone missing, that they could have been taken in the end as easy as they were in a matter of minutes by a couple of men, possibly working with accomplices armed simply with an axe.

FOSTER: Just an axe. Very simple. Melissa, thank you very much, indeed.

If you're watching outside the U.S., thank you for being with us. Africa Avant-Garde is up for you next. If you're watching from the United States, do stay tuned because more news is just ahead for you.



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States. You're watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster, checking the headlines for you this hour.

Dating on our breaking news, there's been a large explosion at the chemical plant in Texas. An emergency official tells CNN some homes have been damaged by the blast. One man says, he felt his house shake and a women said, it felt like a bomb went off. No word yet if anyone was in the plant when the explosion happened. But police say, there are no reports of injuries at this time.

The next phase of the impeachment inquiry Donald Trump begins next week. The House Judiciary Committee will hold public hearings on December 4th, Chairman Jerry Nadler has invited the president and his legal team, a White House source says the offer is under consideration.

Mr. Trump is spending the Thanksgiving in Florida, where he told a rally of supporters that Americans think the impeachment inquiry is B.S. But a new CNN poll shows 50 percent say he should be impeach and removed from office, 43 percent disagree.

Winter weather is expected to disrupt Thanksgiving travel plans across the United States. Blizzard conditions have already closed highways and forced flight cancellations in Denver, Colorado. That storm is now moving east.

Meanwhile another storm system is bringing hurricane-forced winds to the West Coast. Further south in California, an evacuation warning has been issued near a burn area for possible mud-all-rock slide. A storm is moving through and that could help firefighters battle the cave fire. There was concern the rain could weaken the ground, causing it to give way. The fire has burned 17 square kilometers, almost 4300 acres and its 10 percent contained at this point. Our Nick Watt is on the ground.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Six hundred firefighters battling blazes in bone-dry brush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been quite the firefight. We've had winds moving up slope, down slope, across the slope.

WATT: With high winds whipping flames across steep hillside above Santa Barbara. The fabled beach towns and homes to nearly 100,000. Thousands of people force to flee. Flames engulfing Highway 154. For some the only route to safety. After day break, tanker air drops, more helicopters joining the fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The really hard, difficult piece of country to fight fire in and the weather is some of the most extreme anywhere around.

WATT: And so far not a single home lost just one out building. There are ancient (inaudible) Native American cave paintings here in these hills safe, covered in advance of the flames with heat-resistant tarps. That's why they're calling this the cave fire.

There is a rain storm moving in that will drop a couple of inches that will help this fire. But as far as things here in California, it's not over. You know, one state official said used to be, just a few years ago that fire season was pretty much over by November 1st. Not anymore, this year Cal fire is staying fully staffed up through New Year. Nick Watt, CNN, Santa Barbara.


FOSTER: In Baltimore, Maryland three men are now free after spending 36 years in prison for murder they didn't commit. Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart were arrested in 1983 on Thanksgiving Day. Now, all these years later they'll finally get to spend the holiday with their families and loved ones. CNN's Brynn Gingras has more on why their convictions were overturned.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man. I mean I've been always dreaming of this for this day.

GINGRAS: Baltimore police ripped these three men from their homes on Thanksgiving Day 36 years ago for a murder they did not commit.

RANSOM WATKINS, WRONGFULLY CONVICTED OF MURDER: We're smiling. We are happy that we are free, but we got a lot to fix. This should have never happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the first time I have been able to hug my son in about 20 some years.

GINGRAS: Hugs weren't the only things missed. Two of the men have never driven a car. They've actually spent more time behind bars than their homes all because of what happened in 1983. Back then police arrested and charged 16 year-old Alfred Chestnut and Ransom Watkins and 17-year-old Andrew Stewart for the killing of a teenager at a Baltimore middle school.


Police say the murder was over a sports jacket. Their smoking gun a similar jacket found inside Chestnut's home, despite no blood or gunshot evidence. His mother even had a receipt of purchased according to court paperwork. Still, they were sentenced to life behind bars.

A break in the case came when Chestnut filed for information and uncovered a pile of unseen evidence. Young witnesses were interview by police without their parents and told to quote, get their stories straight. An anonymous phone call even I.D.-ied another suspect who was seen wearing the stolen jacket and confessing to the crime. But none of that was ever given to the men's defense team, attorneys say. For decades the men maintained their innocence. Chestnut refused to confess even when the parole board considered releasing him if he did. Baltimore's conviction integrity unit eventually look over the case and set them free.

ANDREW STEWART, WRONGFULLY CONVICTED OF MURDER: I'm looking forward in living the rest of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too many people are losing their lives in prison that don't deserve it and we have to do something about it.

GINGRAS: the state attorney says she is going work on creating a compensation fund for those wrongfully convicted because (inaudible), does not exist in the state of Maryland. Brynn Gingras CNN, New York.


FOSTER: Now, stunning offset for top rank U.S. men's college basketball team. The lumberjacks have (inaudible), had knocked off the devils in an overtime thriller. And that's the first time Chief has lost on its home court to a non-conference opponent since 2000, that's at 150 games. The Lumberjack's Nathan (inaudible) came up with the loose ball in the final seconds and drove down the court for a buzzer- beating layup. Final scores Stephen F. Austin 85, Chief 83.

Now still to come with an election, a little over two weeks away. Why Britain's chief rabbi slamming Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying he's not fit to be Prime Minister.



FOSTER: The U.K.'s Chief Rabbi is blasting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over his handling of alleged anti-Semitism within the Party. Its bad timing when bad publicity for the Labour Party with the general election just over two weeks away now. CNN's Phil Black reports.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (Inaudible), the feeling behind them isn't new. Many British Jews don't trust Jeremy Corbyn. So when Jeremy Corbyn gets up and says anti-Semitism has no place in our society, you simply don't believe him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe it. The words and action has not been there for a long time.

BLACK: The Labour leader probably shouldn't have been surprised this might come up on the day he wanted to talk about peace between races and religions. Far more damaging than the protester's screams are the British Chief Rabbi's carefully chosen words published in the national newspaper. If he argued Corbyn is unfit to be Prime Minister, the claims that the party is doing everything it reasonably can to tackle anti-Jewish racism and that has investigated every single case are (inaudible), fiction.

It is a failure of culture. It is a failure of leadership. A new poison sanction from the top has taken route in the Labour Party. In response the Labour Party quickly condemned anti-Semitism. But Jewish concerns about Corbyn stem from his past. He's been accused of getting too friendly with known anti-Semites. This video is a famous example. He later expressed regret for the comment. And as Labour leader, he's accused of allowing a permissive culture that's filed to stamp out anti-Jewish hatred.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeremy Corbyn doesn't care about anti-Semitism. I think he's worse than that. I think he's actively complicit in it.

BLACK: Stephen (inaudible), edits the country's biggest Jewish newspaper and recently can dedicated the front page to a message for non-Jewish voters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you cast your vote, bear that in mind, bear in mind that one of our ethnic minorities in this country regards one of the Party leaders, Jeremy Corbyn as being a racist.

JEREMY CORBYN, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: Anti-Semitism in any form is vile and wrong. It is an evil within our society.

BLACK: After years of repeatedly condemning anti-Semitism, Jeremy Corbyn still hasn't dissuaded the people who care most about this issue and if many Jews don't believe him, few will vote for his party when the country chooses it's next Prime Minister in just over two weeks. Phil Black, CNN, London.


FOSTER: And on Tuesday the BBC's Andy Neil gave Jeremy Corbyn a chance to respond to the Jewish communities concerns.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 80 percent of Jews think that you're anti-Semitic. That's quite a lot to British Jews. I mean, wouldn't you like to take this opportunity tonight, to apologize to the British Jewish community for what's happen?

CORBYN: What I will say is this. I am determine that our society be safe for people of all faiths. I don't want anyone to be feeling insecure in our society and our government will protect every community --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, no apology?

CORBYN: -- against the abuse they receive on the streets, on the train or in any other form of life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try it one more time.

CORBYN: Hang on a minute, Andrew, can I explain what we are trying to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have. I've given you plenty of time. I asked you if you wanted to apologize --

CORBYN: And Andrew, I don't.


FOSTER: Well, the Labour Party broadly also responded saying Jeremy Corbyn is a life-long campaigner against anti-Semitism.

Of course, the major issue in the out coming election is Brexit and it has left northern Irelands divided. The Vertis making for some unusual alliances and it is stirring old divisions between unionists and nationalists. Nic Robertson reports.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: North Belfast, a cold, crisp night. The election is nearing of 18 northern Irish seats as many as eight could change hands. This is one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, hi, good evening.

ROBERTSON: John Finucane, a lawyer with pro remain mostly catholic Irish nationalist Sinn Fein.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The issue of Brexit is really key.

ROBERTSON: What is it you want to happen?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, to be honest I voted (inaudible) -- you know, so my key thing would be like there's no hard boarders in Ireland.


ROBERTSON: In this constituency, most other pro remain candidates withdrew to let Finucane, who is also Lord Mayor Belfast get their vote even though his party refused to take their seats in Westminster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the people of North Belfast are very similar to the people of the Noetherian in general. They've (inaudible), whenever the Brexit referendum came running in 2016. I think this election on December 12th give us another opportunity to send a very powerful message.

ROBERTSON: He is up against pro lead, mostly protestant Democratic Unionist Party incumbent, Nigel Dodds. Just a few weeks ago, Dodds party were king makers in London. Now they're under fire from all directions. Unprecedented political alliances are forming and the future of Northern Ireland is at stake. Dodd's message, vote DUP, change Johnson's Brexit deal, strengthen Northern Ireland's place in the United Kingdom. Dodd's social media feed shows him campaigning, but he didn't let us allow or give us an interview, neither did any other DUP candidate. Jim Well, a local veteran DUP politician who is not running in the election did agreed to talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's on an ice age (inaudible) fast, in fact it could be a few hundred votes either way. We need to maximize a unionist turnout to defeat him.

ROBERTSON: Betrayal of the union is a live issue in these elections. And that may cost the DUP votes to moderate unionists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I want to stop Boris Johnson's withdrawal date. And the only way we can do that is by remaining within the E.U.

ROBERTSON: Even so, neither (inaudible), nor anyone else in his party will stand against Dodds in north Belfast. Such are the unprecedented tactics of this election. Eikon's (ph) decision could actually benefit historic Sinn Fein. Because Eikon's party's message is pro-remain. Yet for all the change, the election is reviving all sectarian grievances, and this divided constituency that resonates.

Will you be voting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, 100 percent.

ROBERTSON: And do you know who you would be voting for yet?


ROBERTSON: And why would you vote for him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's the only one, I think will have sound of voice.

ROBERTSON: Getting out the vote this election doubly difficult. Cold weather and Christmas could crimp turnout.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I won't be voting for the DUP, because you know, they are just old fashion and they need to get (inaudible), they are not doing anything.

ROBERTSON: New tactics are opening new possibilities that could see more pro-remain M.P.'s in Westminster. Moderate nationalists the SDOP could win a couple of seats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look, the issue is Brexit and the issue is the fact that Northern Ireland and certainly my constituency voted very firmly to remain and not to (inaudible). Probably be represented in Westminster.

ROBERTSON: Hannah is taking on the DUP in South Belfast. Sinn Fein is helping her by stepping aside. Unlike them, she is not an abstentionist (ph) and would take her place in parliament.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look, I think abstentionist is nuts, honest to say at over in parse and the DUP.

ROBERTSON: By Christmas, everyone here will know who their new 18 M.P.'s are. Few though would dare predict what happens after that. Nic Robertson CNN, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


FOSTER: Now an American thanksgiving feast isn't complete, of course, without a Turkey. But two lucky birds have been save in the table, because of the White House rationally (inaudible).



FOSTER: Now you may be aware of how U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders, can get riled up on the debate stage, but on the dance floor he's the bell of the ball. Our Jeanne Moos takes a look at the presidential candidate turn dancing queen.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know how Bernie Sanders can get a little grouchy?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We could keep that down a little bit.

MOOS: Now you can't keep him down. This is the story of Bernie's night as a -- not quite two months after his heart attack. The sound off of the temptations lured him on to the dance floor. And Bernie invited woman after woman to take a spin. Even if this one shyly resisted his attempt to twirl and even when he tried to stop, one after another they kept cutting in. Flashes popping as he scored dancing selfies.

Would Bernie have been tempted to get down to the temptations before he had his heart attack? Those who cover him say he's a more light- hearted, humorous man after the health scare. Sure his not the only one burning up the dance floor. Mayor Pete Buttigieg's supporters have gone viral with a panic at the disco dance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all part of Mayor Pete's strategy to get a negative percentage of the black vote.

MOOS: Nothing strategic about Bernie's dancing. He was pounced on by 23 women and one guy. As the four tops put it, neither could Bernie. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


FOSTER: As is tradition in the U.S. President Donald Trump pardoned a Turkey before thanksgiving, meanwhile saving it from becoming a holiday meal. This year's lucky bird was Butter, fellow turkey Bread was his wingman and was also spared from the thanksgiving table. Mr. Trump used the tradition to joke about the ongoing impeachment inquiry.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thankfully Bread and Butter have been especially raised by the Jacksons to remain calm under any conditions which will be very important because they've already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff's basement on Thursday.



FOSTER: Well, late-night comedy host got on with the jokes. Of course, making fun of President Trump. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president and the first lady participated in

the traditional pardoning of the Turkey's ceremony. When he heard the news, Paul Manafort said blew, blew.

TRUMP: I hereby grant you a full and complete pardon.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For what? Those Turkeys should be pardoning him by the way, not the other way around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can actually go online and vote for which Turkey got the official pardon which is why Butter's lawyer got caught in Ukraine trying to find dirt on Bread.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): You're now recognized for your opening statement.





FOSTER: You've been watching CNN Newsroom and some comedians as well. I'm Max Foster, Early Start is for you next.