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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

More Details on Gliniewicz Staged Suicide; Blockbuster Jobs Report Overwhelmingly Exceeds Expectations; Poll: Trump, Carson in Dead Heat; Carson Slams CNN for "Smears"; Obama Press Conference on Keystone Rejection. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired November 6, 2015 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[11:29:54] GEORGE FILENKO, COMMANDER, LAKE COUNTY MAJOR CRIMES TASK FORCE: Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and the entire law enforcement community. The facts of his actions prove he behaved for years in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed.

The embarrassment comes, to me, personally, that this is the first time as a law enforcement officer in my career that I felt ashamed by the acts of another police officer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're joined now by Detective Chris Covelli, a part of the Lake County Major County Crimes Task Force. He's been working the case since the beginning of September.

Detective, I want to talk about the news today, the suspected hit on a city administrator. How far along was this plot?

CHRISTOPHER COVELLI, DETECTIVE, LAKE COUNTY MAJOR CRIMES TASK FORCE: Well, you know, it appeared to be in the preliminary stages when we uncovered the 6,500 pages of messages from the lieutenant's cell phone. This fell in the category of something that had been deleted. So, we had to do some backtracking and digging, but it was very clear from the text messages that he wanted to speak to a high ranking motorcycle gang member. We talked down the third party that he spoke to via telephone according to her and she indicated the lieutenant was putting the wheels in motion to start this process. We were able to track down the high-ranking gang member who denied it was the case at all, denied any involvement, any knowledge of. But, again, additional information that came up during our investigation that took substantial time to investigate and look in to.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also, I mean, it's just really amazing that we're even talking about this, that this is even part of this story that was already too difficult to believe, too outrageous to believe.

Then this, about his wife, his widow, and his son now being under investigation for embezzlement. What more can you tell us about this?

COVELLI: Yeah, I can't speak about any of the continuing investigations or confirm who was involved at this time, because they are ongoing criminal investigations and that could potentially compromise the investigation as it moves forward.

BOLDUAN: That's understandable, Detective. But his widow is listed as an adviser on this mentoring program, this Explorers program on the website, that obviously Gliniewicz you guys suspect he was stealing thousands of dollars from and laundering this money. What do you think? Can you speak to at all what you think his wife could have known or anyone on this advisory board could have known?

COVELLI: No, I can't get into the specifics of that portion of the investigation at all. Again, because it is an ongoing criminal investigation.

BERMAN: Detective, you know, we've been speaking since the beginning of September when this all happened and when it first happened obviously there was a manhunt, there was a search for suspects, multiple suspects, who was feared were still active in the community, and I know there was a lot of fear right then. Can you backtrack a little bit and tell me when it became apparent to you all that it wasn't just a scam, it was sort of this epic, bizarre scam that was being perpetrated on all of you?

COVELLI: Yeah, well, it didn't become completely apparent until last week, and that's when we put the final pieces of the puzzle together. And you have to look at this investigation. I mean, this is a 30-year police veteran who has extensive training and background in law enforcement. He's trained Explorers for basically his whole career where he's staged scenes, he's staged crime scenes. This is somebody who knew what we would be looking for. He'd be -- he was in the know with what the questions we would be asking and the direction the investigation would go. So, he had a lot of extensive background in staging crime scenes, just as he staged his suicide. As we started putting the pieces of the puzzle together, you know, more and more started to come out. However, we weren't certain until last week, and we certainly don't want to make any final determinations until we have absolutely all of the facts.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Detective Chris Covelli, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it. Ongoing, a lot more to come.

COVELLI: Thank you. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: If you believe more can come from that.

Coming up for us, the best economic news in years. The unemployment rate drops again. A big uptick in new jobs last month. Christine Romans here to tell us how it blew out expectations.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:38:50] BOLDUAN: New this morning, 271,000, that's the number of jobs the U.S. economy added in October. Today's blockbuster jobs report overwhelmingly beating expectations. BERMAN: Yeah, at many, many levels, even beyond the top line. The

unemployment rate a separate measurements sits at 5 percent, as low as it's been since before the big recession back in 2008.

CNN chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, is here. And CNN's global economic analyst, Rana Foroohar, joins us.

Hard for me to say, but not hard to digest the numbers, Christine Romans, because they are flat-out awesome.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They're flat-out really good. Let me show you the trajectory. 271,000 net new jobs. Look at the trajectory, guys, because that's the best job creation all year and the White House points out in its analysis of all of this, this is the best three years -- three years -- for job creation since the year 2000. The unemployment rate also very, very important here, it sits at 5 percent the lowest since 2008 and when I look at things like the underemployment rate, the U-6 that geeks look at, that's now below 10 percent for the first time since before the crisis. That shows you even the bad signs about the labor market has been slowly, slowly improving. Sectors are really important to watch here as well, I always bang on about these and here's why, because you have broad- based job creation and wages rising 2.5 percent year over year which is the best we've seen in a long time and jobs being created that are higher-paid jobs business and professional services, strong jobs growth. Despite the concerns about China and the rate hike coming from the fed, you've got businesses aggressively hiring that little slowdown we were worried about earlier in the fall seems to have gone away at least from the hiring standpoint, you guys.

[11:40:34] BOLDUAN: Fascinating. There's a lot to -- and then, of course, you want to say what does it mean on the campaign is one thing, but also what does it mean for everyone, everyone at home?

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: I think the big thing that it means, it's going to be more money in people's pockets.

BERMAN: The wages going up in a big way in a long time.

FOROOHAR: The first time in six years that we've gotten this kind of serious wage increases and that's really what we were waiting for, right? Unemployment has been falling for quite some time now but there was a wage-less recovery and everyone's wondering what happened to pay hikes. That's coming back now.

One month of good data does not a trend make. So I would give that caveat. But I would say if you see this kind of wage growth for the next two months I think we've got a real recovery finally in the U.S. And that matters because it's 70 percent consumer spending in this economy.

BOLDUAN: Does it also mean, do you think, that absolutely interest rates will be going up?

FOROOHAR: I think we'll see a hike by the end of the year. I think it would take a real economic disaster. Also because there's good news overseas and low commodity prices means people are spending less on energy. There's a lot of good news right now.

BERMAN: In some ways, the U.S. is an island of good news in a global sea of economic stuff.

FOROOHAR: That's right.

BOLDUAN: I like that.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: You fumbled it but recovered it and that's all that matters.

Recovery! There you go.

Great to see you, guys. Christine, Rana, thank you so much.

Ahead for us, we'll look right now, give you another live look inside the White House right now. President Obama set to speak any minute. Those live remarks about the administration rejecting the controversial Keystone Pipeline. Those will be coming up. We'll bring those to you live.

BERMAN: First, though, we're going to honor a top-10 "CNN Hero" of 2015.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHAWN FELLOW (ph), CNN HERO: You've got eight hours a day to hike and your brain has no choice but to just relive a lot of these experiences that you've gone through. So, all these experiences that you've put away for years come to the surface and then you have to deal with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Shawn Fellow (ph) helps his other veterans walk off the war. Go to CNNheroes.com. You can vote for any of our top-10 heroes once a day every day. Do it now.

BOLDUAN: Do it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:47:08] BERMAN: All right. You're looking at live pictures from the White House where any minute now we're expecting a major, major, policy statement from President Obama. The administration going to reject, we are told, the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline designed to bring oil from the Canada to the gulf. A lot of people thought it would bring jobs to certain regions but other people thought it not worth the environmental risk. And the White House poised to announce the administration will reject it. That coming any minute now.

BOLDUAN: Going to be keeping an eye on this live picture for you, as we also talk about two other major new developments this morning in the world of politics. A brand-new CNN/ORC poll just out showing Republican presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ben Carson, running neck and neck in Iowa. You don't see a big change. It's all kind of sticking there from months past. Trump at 25, Carson at 23 percent.

BERMAN: Marco Rubio, 13 percent, Ted Cruz 11 percent. Rubio, Cruz and Carson, they have jumped at the polls significantly since August and Trump largely the same.

As for Ben Carson, this morning, on CNN, he slammed our reporting into his past. He called it a bunch of lies.

Joining us to talk about this, Republican strategist, Mercedes Schlapp, the co-founder of Cove Strategies; and CNN political commentator, Errol Louis, political anchor at New York One News.

I want to talk about the polls that showed Ben Carson ahead of Donald Trump. But the point is Donald Trump in Iowa is right where he was in September, right where he was in August, for the good news. For the bad news that happens to Donald Trump, he looks pretty stable. His support seems pretty safe. And if you look at the economic numbers and why people like him, when you ask voters who is best to handle the economy, Donald Trump is out in front by a million and a half miles.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's exactly right. And you dig deeper into the polls and people who like Donald Trump like him a lot and are not going to change their mind when there's a poll question about how likely are you to sort of change your opinion about this guy, the Trump people say I am not going to change my opinion about this guy, so he's sort of a what you see what you get kind of a guy.

On the economy, you know, look, you could argue that being a real estate mogul in New York, a Hollywood mogul with regard to his tv show isn't necessarily - that relevant to, say, the farm economy of Iowa. But do you know what, we don't live there and we're not the voters. The voters, or at least a considerable percentage, seem to like him.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Compliments for Errol for staying cool under pressure --

BERMAN: A lot burst.

BOLDUAN: -- when a light exploded over our shoulder.

LOUIS: I live in Brooklyn. I thought it was a gunshot.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Well done. Whew. I jumped when that happened.

Mercedes, to you.

A very different topic but nonetheless, important today. Ben Carson, when you look at the polls is doing very well in Iowa right behind, basically neck in neck with Donald Trump. But Ben Carson responding this morning, to CNN's story about his past, about his narrative, about a story that he has told time and time again, and written about in his book. He took the opportunity not to talk about his story, but he took the opportunity not to talk to the media about his past, the past that he has talked so much about. Why is he uncomfortable with these questions? And is Ben Carson above scrutiny?

[11:50:26] MERCEDES SCHLAPP, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST & CO-FOUNDER, COVE STRATEGIES: No, it is important for the media to vet these candidates, and this is what you do when you run for politics, your life is an open book, and to the media's defense, you have to say, well, ye yes, it is important to investigate and on the other hand, when you look at the case with Ben Carson, I had spoken to the campaign basically, we know that Ben Carson does not want to disclose. He spoke with the victim. The vi the victim does not want to be disclosed and it was 50 years ago, and, you know, we can't determine whether, what he was experiencing back then in that time. He talked about how he had a temper when he was young, and again, what happens though, and this is really important is that these types of stories that come up, because it is a compelling story that has been part of the narrative. These stories that come up become a distraction for the campaign, because you want to be focusing on the policies and what your positions are. When you are dealing with having to defend your life story, that, again, becomes a problem I think and at some point, bob, this victim, he might have to come out if he wants to let the story go away.

BERMAN: Mercedes, there might be a new distraction for Ben Carson, because a minute and a half politico put out another story about Ben Carson's past. Ben Carson, in his book, he said that he had met the general who commander U.S. troops in Vietnam, that he met the general and he had been given a full scholarship to West Point, but now apparently, Politico" says, that did not happen, and the campaign admits it didn't happen.

So, Errol, you have this story. You just grimaced. You made a face like ouch?

LOUIS: Well, they left, if they are admitting that it didn't happen, you -- and at first, I'm thinking, well, you have to have a commission and a letter from the Senator.

BERMAN: There's a lot that --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: And you don't just remember getting an appointment to West Point.

LOUIS: Right. I have good friends that --

BOLDUAN: According to "Politico," West Point has no record of Carson applying and much less being extended admissions.

LOUIS: Well, look, he has some explaining to do. And if he falls back on the default that you guys are out to get me, sort of shifting the question the motives of the media, I don't think that is going to work. There are lots of politicians who do it all of the time. And the reality is that if you have done, and if you have been consistent and told the truth and laid out the vision for the country, and put out an autobiography and so forth, and you don't expect anybody to question you about this, this is the wrong line of work for president.

BOLDUAN: And, Mercedes, isn't this about what we have done, and what he has done as a surgeon, and isn't that compelling enough? Why would you need to make something like that up?

SCHLAPP: Well, you know, I really don't know. I mean, I spoke to a small donor who basically said that, who has given money to Ben Carson and I said, what is it about Ben Carson. She said it is the story and building off of the campaign and not only because he is a brilliant man, but the fact that he came from nothing and grew up in a violent neighborhood and just really was able to do incredibly, have an incredibly successful career, and people are inspired by the story, but when you start to poking holes, these are legitimate questions that the media needs to ask. What has happened is that the party has been able to really say, well, it is us versus them, and us being the GOP, versus the media, and the mainstream media. That narrative has played well with the GOP voters.

BOLDUAN: Right.

And Mercedes Schlapp, and Errol Louis, that story, Errol, it now has holes main the story. And I am looking on the TV and conservative pundits are saying, wow, serious trouble right now.

LOUIS: And I have to say that there are conservative pundits and I quoted a string of them on a piece of CNN.com have been criticizing him for over a year, and other gaffes or other statements that he has made and a lot of the conservatives --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: This is not a gaffe. If this is true --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: -- it is not a gaffe, but he made something up, and being admitted to West Point on a full scholarship.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: It is different from misremembering a story from the past and misremembering getting into a fight who you got into the fight and what happened at that time if you were in elementary school or junior high. This is lying about applying to West Point and getting a full ride there.

LOUIS: Yes, it is extraordinary. And as you point out, he has an extraordinary story, and there is no reason for it, but that is not the criteria. We have covered politicians for years, and you say, why would you lie about that, didn't you know that we would catch you, and they do it anyway. (CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: And, Mercedes, we have a tweet from Donald Trump already, and if you are wondering how the opponents will respond. He says --

(CROSSTALK)

[11:55:07] BERMAN: And tweets a link to it, and he says, "This is not good." He tweets the "Politico" story and says, "Wow, one of many lies by Ben Carson! Big story!" Those words from Donald Trump.

Do you think that we will hear more from Carson's opponents today?

SCHLAPP: Well, one of Donald Trump's most effective tactics to find the weakness in the opposition. He does the op-research, and he puts it out there. So whether it is Marco Rubio and the credit cards and Ben Carson and the story, and it is exactly where Donald Trump goes. What happens is that it puts something, you know, puts something in your brain where you are like, well, maybe we need to put something into this further, and it is what Donald Trump does best, and it is very effective. Again, it raises doubts in other people's minds as to what are the weaknesses in the other candidates.

BOLDUAN: Mercedes, great to see you.

And, Errol, as well.

And if you were looking at the bottom of the screen, you somebody come to the podium. Likely somebody putting the president's remarks on the podium. That means we could be hearing from President Obama. The president will be speaking, making an announcement, and a huge policy announcement about -- we have just received the two-minute warning --

BERMAN: The two-minute warning.

BOLDUAN: -- for President Obama to make his statement.

BERMAN: Yes. The president is going to announce that the administration is rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline that was set to bring oil from the tar sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Republicans say it would create jobs in the gulf region, and Democrats say it is an environmental risk.

BOLDUAN: Jim Acosta is at the White House.

Jim, this is a long-awaited announcement. For years, it's been a political fight, and now finally, we will hear it from the president, himself.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That is right. I am told that the president will accept Secretary of State John Kerry's recommendation that the Keystone Pipeline project be rejected based on environmental concerns. The president has said for years now, because this question has come up time and again, what will you do with the Keystone Pipeline project, and he has said from time to time, it is going to depend upon whether he believes that the pipeline project which would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada to the gulf of Mexico, and would that contribute to climate change. And the president has reached that conclusion through a lengthy process that went through the State Department, and Secretary of State John Kerry is bringing that recommendation to the White House this morning, and the two were talking about this and the president is going to be coming out in moments to discuss this, but it is a political football as you know for a long time. The Democrats have been coming out against this, and Hillary Clinton who was President Obama's secretary of state when this Keystone process has been under way has come out against the process and the project. So that is why ultimately I think that the president has d decided to go against this. He has realized that there are big political concerns about the project were he to approve it. And the other thing that is coming up shortly in about a month from now, and we expect to go to Paris for the climate summit and it is difficult for the president to go to climate summit having approved the project, and so there were a lot of political considerations for this --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Jim, let me interrupt.

ACOSTA: -- and just in Alaska the last month --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Jim, Jim, let me interrupt you. Here is President Obama right now.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning, everybody.

Several months ago, the State Department began a review process for the proposed construction of a pipeline that would carry Canadian crude oil through our heartland to ports in the Gulf of Mexico and out into the world market. This morning, Secretary Kerry informed me that after extensive public outreach and consultation with other cabinet agencies, the State Department has decided that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States. I agree with that decision.

This morning, I also had the opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and while he expressed the disappointment, given Canada's position on this, we both agreed that our close friendship on a whole range of issues, including energy and climate change, should provide for even closer coordination between our countries going forward. And in the coming week, senior members of my team will be engaging with theirs in order to help deepen the cooperation.

Now, for years, the Keystone Pipeline has occupied what I frankly consider an overinflated role in the political discourse. It became a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties than a serious policy matter. And all of this obscured the fact that this pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to disaster as proclaimed by others. To illustrate this, let me briefly comment on some of the reasons why

the State Department rejected this pipeline.

First, the pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy.