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Record-Breaking Storm to Hit Eastern U.S.; D.C. Mayor Apologizes for Not Being Ready for Snow; Trump Criticizes Cruz Appearance with Glenn Beck; Clinton Campaign Hits Rough Patch; Veterans Angry over Sarah Palin Comment; Some Democrats Sound Alarm over Rising Socialist Bernie Sanders. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired January 21, 2016 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: There it is. Liz, who works at the FOX Business Channel. But we were once colleagues and we're still friends today.

The entire two-hour special "The Person Who Changed My Life" airs this Sunday night right here on CNN at 8:00 p.m. eastern.

Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.

AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.


Brace yourself, folks. New blizzard watches just issued. Whiteout conditions in the forecast. A whopping 75 million people now said to be in the path of this monster winter storm that's about to slam the eastern part of the country. That's a big jump. Forecasters predicting record-breaking snowfall.

BOLDUAN: It looks like Washington, D.C., may be the hardest hit.

Let's get over to CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers.

Chad, yesterday, you said, give me time, folks, I need to figure out where this is going. What are you seeing right now?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Kate, things haven't changed. The models have been in amazing agreement overnight. They didn't move the bull's-eye. They didn't move where the ice/rain/snow line would be. Now we have blizzard watches from New York City, Long Island, Philadelphia. It will be mixed in with sleet. But you get down to Baltimore and also down into D.C. that's where the heavy snow will be. Winter storm warnings from Memphis back to Nashville, Knoxville, even into Greenville and Charlotte as well. There will be an ice storm where you see the pink and purple. Snow where you see the white. There is a line of demarcation. And it isn't little. It's big. Annapolis, you might get 4 inches. Gaithersburg, you'll get 30. Somewhere in that line is going to be an amazing demarcation between where it's raining and snowing compared to where it's only raining and really piling up the snow. Another line of demarcation is New York City. North of New York City, there will be 2 inches, south there will be 14. We'll see how that line moves north and south over the next couple of hours and even really, for that matter, days. 36 hours before this really gets wound up and there's a lot of wind with it, too. The major part of the snow doesn't affect the northeast. Don't take your eye off the prize. New York City, even with 6 to 10 inches of snow, that is a lot of snow, even in the city to move around. Especially good, I guess it's on a Saturday.

Here's how it looks for the next couple of days. Washington, D.C., 20 to 30. I would say College Park, 20. You get out towards Rockville, that's where your 30 might be, because it's going to be a big line across D.C., across the B.W. Parkway. Left, right, snow, heavy side, and on the other side, only rain. Farther to the north, New York City, 6 to 10. That's where I'm going in the next couple of hours.

Guys, back to you?

BERMAN: Chad, we'll light the fire for you, keep things warm. You'll need it.

Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: A lot to watch out for.

States of emergency have been declared in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Moments ago, Washington's mayor apologized for not being better prepared for last night's light dusting of snow. Yes, it is a joke for anyone living in and around D.C. This is a city that shuts down with a hint or a whisper of snow coming through. But last night, this is exactly what happened. The Washington metro area came to an icy, screeching halt after an inch of icy snow fell. The roads treacherous, leaving drivers stuck in their vehicle for hours in many cases.

BERMAN: Even the president got caught up in the whole thing. His motorcade with hazard lights flashing. It grounded Marine One.

Our Chris Frates joins us from Washington.

I have to believe it's all about preparation right now.

CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It's all about preparation, that's right, John and Kate. We heard from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser who apologized for the mess out there last night. She said they didn't respond early enough, they didn't put adequate resources on the road. She spent most of that news conference trying to assure the Washington area that they are ready for this next wallop of a storm that's coming. She said, in her time here, she's a long- time Washingtonian, she's never heard of a forecast this big. The state of emergency now in place here in the D.C. area. The city of D.C. declaring a state of emergency. That means that the National Guard and FEMA will be available if needed here. Muriel Bowser, the mayor here, also saying that the city government will shut down early. Schools will be closed tomorrow. Even though we're not expecting the storm to start until 4:00, they want to keep everybody off the roads so they can pre-treat the roads, get the salt trucks out, avoiding what we saw last night. Not a lot of pre-treating and a lot of slipping and sliding happening all over the area. So Muriel Bowser trying to calm everybody, saying we're ready for this. We're expecting up to two feet of snow. Just pretty much telling Washingtonians, get home as soon as you can on Friday. Don't linger. Hunker don't and don't come back out. It will be a crazy 36 hours -- Guys?

[11:05:12] BERMAN: Good advice.

Chris, we got breaking news just in the last two minutes. The National Weather Service said a blizzard watch is in effect until Sunday morning in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. Wow. That's a lot of people living inside that blizzard watch.

Chris Frates, are you in the middle of it. I guarantee you'll have a couple fun days. Good luck.


BERMAN: Now to a different kind of storm, one that's swamping the campaign trail. Brand-new attacks from Donald Trump after it was announced Ted Cruz will appear with radio host, Glenn Beck, this weekend. Trump tweeted, "Whacko Glenn Beck is a sad answer to the Sarah Palin USA endorsement that Cruz so desperately wanted. Glenn is a failing, crying, lost soul."

BOLDUAN: That from Donald Trump.

Let's get to CNN's Sunlen Serfaty following the Cruz campaign in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Sunlen, are they responding?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They haven't responded yet. Kate, it will be interesting to see how they handle this on the campaign trail when Cruz appears with Glenn Beck at an event hosted by his super PAC. It's been fascinating to watch Ted Cruz in New Hampshire get completely knocked off his message as he campaigns through this state. He has suffered a triplicate of serious blows to his campaign. You had the Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump and her hitting the campaign trail for him. You also had simultaneously -- near simultaneously takedown of two Republican figures, the Iowa Republican governor, a long-term, well respected there, and also Bob Dole yesterday. And it's been really interesting to see how Ted Cruz responds. He really keeps getting hassled, in his opinion, by all these questions out here on the campaign trail about this. Here's how he's responding.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right now the Washington establishment is abandoning Marco Rubio. They made the assessment Marco can't win the race. The Washington establishment is rushing over to support Donald Trump. We're seeing that happen every day. Mr. Trump is welcoming the support of the Washington establishment.


SERFATY: You see the argument he's trying to weave, a one-two punch, trying to take out Rubio and Trump, trying to tie them both to the establishment wing of the party. And what this week has really done for Ted Cruz is allowed him to somewhat shift into an area where he's comfortable as a candidate, railing against the establishment, hitting at the establishment hard. And also holding up all this criticism as proof he thinks he is the true anti-establishment candidate out there -- John and Kate?

BOLDUAN: Sunlen Serfaty, great to see you. Sunlen, thank you so much.

So, Hillary Clinton, she is in Iowa this morning, working to woo voters before she heads to an endorsement event with pop star, Demi Lovato. Clinton's campaign is going through a rough patch right now. In the latest CNN/WMUR poll, Clinton is losing ground to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.

BERMAN: Now, not only is Hillary Clinton facing a much tighter race in Iowa, she's also facing a new Bernie Sanders ad with Simon and Garfunkel music. Parsley, sage, rosemary and delegates, if you will.


Let's bring in senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, in Iowa.

Hey, Jeff.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John and Kate. That is a sense of optimism that Bernie Sanders is trying to convey to his voters here. What a better way to do it than with the 1968 anthem "America" by Simon and Garfunkel. Bernie Sanders is going to start using that in ads here in Iowa and New Hampshire to try to send the message that voters can believe in something again, voters can believe in him and his ideals.

Hillary Clinton is trying to focus on her experience. She's trying to pop this balloon, if you will, of Sanders' supporters and say, look, I am the person who has been through this. I've been in the White House. I've been in the Senate. I've been in the secretary of state's office.

Last night, in Burlington, Iowa, she gave Iowa voters an even stronger message.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, you have to decide who can do the job, because it really is selecting both a president and a commander-in-chief. Those are equally important. They have different parts of this very overwhelming, in some ways, job that we ask one person to do.


ZELENY: So, Hillary Clinton there talking about how difficult the job of the presidency is. Of course, she desperately wants it.

But, look, all these polls are coming out. Polls are a snapshot in time of what has happened. So, it's very important in these closing 11 or 12 days before the Iowa caucuses to watch what the candidates are saying to voters and how voters react. We've seen different scenarios over the years. Howard Dean in '04 had big support coming into the Iowa caucus and then voters decided to pick a president and go with John Kerry. In 2008, voters decided to go with Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. It's impossible to know if the polls are predictive measures of what will happen.

I can tell you, the energy, the enthusiasm is on the Sanders' side. I'm here in Iowa, at Simpson College, where Hillary Clinton will be speaking in a few minutes. She'll make the same case to the Iowa voters that her experience is essential -- John and Kate?

[11:10:40] BOLDUAN: Trying to inspire that enthusiasm to get people to turn out on a cold Iowa night.

Jeff Zeleny, great to see you. Thanks, Jeff.

Our next guest calls Sarah Palin a liar for linking Palin's son's arrest to President Obama's policy for veterans. We'll discuss.

Plus, did Vladimir Putin order the murder of a former Russian spy? A new report accuses the Russian leader in a poison plot.

"Don't worry about the toxic, it's just a game of political football." That, among the stunning messages and e-mails from officials in Flint, Michigan, as families and children deal with possible lead poisoning. Never before seen e-mails just ahead.


[11:15:31] BOLDUAN: Donald Trump's newest endorsement from Sarah Palin. Well, she is now facing backlash from veteran's groups and others over a comment she made tying the White House to her son's domestic violence arrest. Palin's son is a 26-year-old Iraq veteran who was charged this week on domestic violence charges. She addressed the issue last night in Oklahoma. Listen.


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: My son, like so many others, they come back a bit different. They come back hardened. They come back wondering if there is that respect for what it is that their fellow soldiers and airmen and every other member of the military so sacrificially have given to this country. And that starts from that, the top. The question, though, that comes from our own president where they have to look at him and wonder, do you know what we go through? Do you know what we're trying to do to secure America? (END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Let's bring in Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, Donna Brazile; and Doug Heye, former RNC communications director.

Donna, you've had a lot to say about Sarah Palin. You don't like them one bit.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First, I'm a daughter of a veteran. I respect all of our military servicemen and women. I believe they should be treated with respect when they return home from the battlefield, whether it's home or abroad.

I thought her comments, when what I call below the mark. Her son was arrested for domestic violence. That's a very serious issue. And rather than deal with her son, flying back home to figure out what happened -- I think most mothers would do that. I know my mother would have done that. Rather she got on stage and really made disparaging comments about the president. Over the last seven years, I've heard just about everything. President Obama blamed for the weather. President Obama blamed for this, that and the other. But to blame the president of the United States, who put more than sufficient funds in the budget last year, the 2016 veterans' budget, $1.5 billion, was taken out of subcommittee. He put money on the table to help our veterans, to try to deal with the problems at the V.A. Rather than discuss that, Sarah Palin blamed it on the president. You know what I called her last night, and I'll say it again and I'll repeat it, I called her a liar, because that was misleading. She should know the difference, when someone is trying to help our veterans. When you're the mother of a serviceman who now has been accused of something, you know what, go inside, help your son. And I hope he gets the help and treatment he needs. And I thank him for his service.

BOLDUAN: We'll see if Sarah Palin responds.


BRAZILE: I hope she doesn't. You don't want to mess with me because I don't play those games. I don't let nobody say bad things and then sit back and wait for them to respond. So I respect her. I --


BOLDUAN: Sarah Palin doesn't hold back very often either.

BRAZILE: I respect her as a mother. I respect her as a mother. She loves her children.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

BRAZILE: But you don't -- you don't bring the president of the United States, when he is also trying to deal with this. He is trying to deal with this serious issue. But domestic violence is a serious issue, too. BOLDUAN: We'll see if Sarah Palin responds any further, Donna.

Doug, let's talk about the state of the race. What we're seeing in the past 24/48 hours is what Ted Cruz calls the Washington establishment coming out against him. You have Bob Dole and others saying anybody but Ted Cruz, and that basically means Donald Trump is the better option. What are you hearing?

DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm hearing things all over the map. Obviously, as we've talked, I'm very anti-Trump. I think he would be a disaster for us. I'd support Ted Cruz if he were our nominee.

But ultimately, I think we need to dial back and say, what is this Washington establishment we're talking about? Donald Trump had Hillary Clinton attend his wedding. Ted Cruz was a Bush administration appointee and was John Boehner's lawyer. That's not really outside the game. If you're running for president, you want somebody who has experience with how government works, how we can make government work better. It's certainly is not working for Americans now. As we talked about inside/outsiders, establishment versus anti- establishment, we should see their policies are and how they will affect the lives of American voters.

BERMAN: Doug --


BRAZILE: Does it disqualify him that Hillary went to his wedding? People like to party, Doug? Why not?


BERMAN: Donna Brazile comes out in favor -- let the record show, Donna Brazile coming out in favor of parties and socializing.


BRAZILE: Doug, hey, I make a promise. I'll go to Doug's wedding. Doug, invite me because --


BOLDUAN: You better go. I've partied with Doug.


BRAZILE: The dance after your wife --


[11:20:09] BOLDUAN: Where are we?


BOLDUAN: Where are we right now? (CROSSTALK)

HEYE: This is bipartisanship right here.

BERMAN: Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump. What's the next big endorsement out there? Who's left to endorse that could make a difference?

HEYE: Well, I think what we'll see is as candidates peel away, if candidates peel away, those will be the endorsements that make a difference. We look at the WMUR poll in New Hampshire, Trump is leading. Cruz is not far behind. If you combine Bush, Rubio, Christie and Kasich, you get to 32 points, two points behind Donald Trump. If we get one candidate who is at 32 percent right now against Trump, we're talking about a completely different race.

BERMAN: I'm sure they'll all agree to get out and endorse each other.


BRAZILE: Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood, John. Has he made an endorsement? Has he said who is left, Clint Eastwood. I don't care. These endorsements, look, they're validation. Donald Trump needs evangelicals, home schoolers. He needs the support of those who are very conservative. And Sarah Palin with likely validate --


BOLDUAN: From the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton welcomes endorsements. She's doing an endorsement with Demi Lovato.

BRAZILE: Hey, it's validation. I haven't endorsed anyone because I'm neutral. The fact is that these folks are good surrogates, great validaters, and can help with fund-raisers. Sarah Palin is the, quote/unquote, "movement lady." When John McCain selected her, I was at the convention. Yes, I go to Republican conventions. Thank you, CNN. It was a four-car funeral. It was so dead I thought I was going under. Here comes Sarah Palin, she woke up the house. She really put some energy out there. Don't be so down on these endorsements. I think they're very fun. They're very good.

BERMAN: All right. Donna Brazile in favor of endorsements and social socializing.


Thanks very much.


BERMAN: Doug Heye, thanks for being also.

Great to see both of you.

HEYE: We'll share a video of that for you, no doubt.

BRAZILE: I got you, baby. After you get married. I don't want you as a single man. After you're married.



BOLDUAN: We're all working on it. We've been working on that for years.


HEYE: I'm very frightened.

BERMAN: The number-two Democrat in the House joins us live --


BOLDUAN: We'll also be talking about partying.

BERMAN: What happens to his party if Bernie Sanders gets the nomination? What does that mean?

BOLDUAN: Also ahead for us, new accusations that Vladimir Putin personally ordered the assassination of one of his former spies. What a new report says about poison and revenge.


[11:26:50] BERMAN: Just 11 days now until the Iowa caucuses and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders virtually tied in polls there. In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders with a lead and, in some cases, a big lead in polls there.

BOLDUAN: Now some establishment Democrats are sounding the alarm over what they fear a self-declared Democratic Socialist as the nominee would do to the rest of the ticket.

Now joining us to discuss, one of the top Democrats in Congress, the number-two Democrat in the House, Congressman Steny Hoyer, who is backing Hillary Clinton for president.

Congressman, it's great to see you. Thanks for being here.

REP. STENY HOYER, (D), MARYLAND: Good to be with you.

BOLDUAN: Play this game with us, called the John and Kate game.


HOYER: All right. As opposed to dancing with Donna.

BOLDUAN: You can dance with Donna as well. It's all about partying.


BOLDUAN: If Bernie Sanders would win, how concerned are you about the effect down ticket as other Democrats are? HOYER: I would be concerned. I think Bernie will not bring the same

strength Hillary Clinton will bring to the top of the ticket.


HOYER: Because I don't think he has the broad base that Hillary Clinton has. I think right now in Iowa and New Hampshire, relatively unique states in our country. He does have a lot of enthusiasm. Bernie is a reasonable, rational, good policy kind of guy. You may disagree with his policies, but he has policies.

BERMAN: We're starting to hear a lot of the "S" words, Socialism, for people connected --


HOYER: Well, he calls himself, you know, a Socialist. I don't think that's a good title to be running for president of the United States. Don't think that resonates well with the overwhelming majority of --


BOLDUAN: How do you explain it? If he becomes your nominee, how do you explain it, Congressman?

HOYER: I think we'll explain it that no doubt Bernie Sanders' policies are preferable to the non policies of the Republican candidates. They really aren't discussing very deep policy. But I don't think that's going to happen. I think Hillary Clinton will be our nominee. I think Hillary Clinton is going to win the presidency. And I think, frankly, whether it's Trump or Cruz or whoever it might be, I think the American public are going to see Hillary's record, her strength, her focus on children, her focus on growing the economy, creating jobs, dealing with the environment, and dealing with our international challenges. So I think she's the whole package. I'm not too worried about what will happen because ultimately I think Hillary Clinton will be our nominee.

BERMAN: You know about legislating.

BOLDUAN: A lot of it.

BERMAN: It's what you've done for a very long time. Bernie Sanders put out his plan for health care. It's and a lot of Democrats would have supported five years, 10, 15 years ago. We've been talking to the Sanders staff, his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver. We asked, is there any chance this could get passed? Their answer, it's not about whether it can get passed. It's about standing up for what you believe in.

HOYER: I frankly think that's where Bernie Sanders is coming from. To some degree, that's where Trump is coming from. It's my position, it's not the policies or the depth or whether I can pass it or not, but if you empathize with me, if you agree with me, agree with my anger or you're disaffected and I'm not the guy that's the insider, but ultimately, I think the American public understands, it's not what you say, it's what you can do. It's what you can get done for them, for their families --


BERMAN: What percentage chance of getting his plan through Congress?

HOYER: Very small.