tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN November 9, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
incompetence and vote irregularities in broward county. here we go again. i will not sit idly by while liberals try to steal this election from florida. >> officials have received no al ga -- allegation of criminal activity. guys, good to see both of you. brian, to you first. tell me more about what florida is saying they have or haven't received. >> well, you know, last night, brooke, you played the sound bite right there, governor scott said there was a possibility of rampant fraud and these two counties and said he was requesting the florida department of law enforcement to look into it. he essentially made the accusation that there could be criminal activity happening in either one of these counties. the department of law enforcement told us today they reached out to the department of
state to ask them if there was anything they should investigate and the department of state said they've received no reports of criminal activity in either place. s they -- at this point the body here in florida that's responsible for looking into that said they haven't even received a report of that. it's important to keep in mind, brooke, they went to the department of state to ask them if they found anything wrong. the secretary of state here is appointed by rick scott. he is a republican and he's saying he found no evidence of criminal activity. that's a key development as both of these sides go back and forth about what did and did not happen here on election night. >> david, your paper said it best "the state that brought you the 2000 presidential recount will try to outdo itself in
'18." what do you make of scott saying "rampant fraud"? >> i think he's speaking to his base. there's about 100 people outside as the board counts the last few hundred ballots before they expectedly have their results. there is no evidence, as we can see, at that there's any fraud going on in broward county. it's been puzzling as to why it's taken the election supervisor so long to count early votes and absentee votes. she hasn't been able to say how many were outstanding over the last few days. and there is evidence for the marco rubios of the world who talk about the incompetence of that office, they've had years and years of problems handling elections in broward county, which is the democratic bastion
of florida. but in terms of proving fraud, there's no evidence so far. there's just an echo chamber of people claiming fraud and claiming more fraud and now it's stated as if it were fact when no one has yet to raise one single shred of evidence to point in anything illegal happening in broward county. >> david, what's bill nelson saying about this? >> nelson's campaign has filed a lawsuit with the florida democratic party in federal court in tallahassee. they are challenging the state's process of upholding absentee ballots and reviewing them and provisional ballots based on signatures. so they are fighting their own legal battle. nelson's campaign says that rick scott sounds likes a candidate en route to losing. his attorney says that he confident that nelson through what is almost assuredly going to be a recount, the question is
whether it will be a hand recount or a machinery count. al he says scott is flailing and worried about losing his lead. >> looking at these ladies and these ballots, it is flashbacks to 2000 all over again. thank you, gentlemen, so much. michael smerconish with me now. michael, do you remember where you were in 2000? >> you know what i remember? i remember that our 5 or 6-year-old son, our eldest son was coming home every day from a montessori classroom looking at me looking at cnn and he would say to me day after day, "dad, are they still counting the ballots in florida?" today he's 24 and getting a masters at oxford. go figure. time flies. >> well done, pops.
i'm sure he's still asking, dad, what's going on in florida today? rick scott was out in front of the governor's manning crying rampant fraud and yet according to our report, the state of florida has received no complaint of illegal activity. >> i see this taking a page out of the book from 2000, anybody who has forgotten should go back and reread jeffrey toobin's book. you can't say fraud and i wish he hadn't said unethical liberals. then it makes it so partisan when i think we should all be asking for a fair count. >> michael, stand by. i'm going to bring you back in a second. i want to get to another huge story. "the wall street journal" is now reporting federal prosecutors
have evidence saying president trump may have played a central role in hush money payments both to porn star stormy daniels and playmate karen mcdougal, which means president trump may have violat violated campaign finance laws. first, you read this come h thi comprehensive piece. it's a perfect chronology of following the money. >> there was a 22-page indictment filed against cohen, we knew that donald trump, who had been a candidate for president had directed and been
involved in these two payments, one to stormy daniels and another from ami, the parent company of the national enquirer to karen mcdougal. what this does is shed light on the depth for donald trump's involvement. it tabs a closer look at the start of the agreement between donald trump and david pecker, the chief executive of a.m.i. to have a.m.i. operate in service of the trump campaign and help suppress negative stories about donald trump during the campa n campaign. that started with this august 25th meeting that the journal talks about. >> there is a huge difference, paul, between something as it reads, you know, mighty shady and actually illegal. >> well, that's very true but i think the reason we're talking about this is this wall street journal case reads like a crime novel. it gives you all of the details,
all of the sleazy deals going on. one of the things that jumped out at me was david pecker, talking about or testifying before a grand jury admitting that there was this deal with trump that they would cover up his affairs and make it look like the woman was being paid -- this is mcdougal, for being on the cover of the magazine. really even talking about the fact that we have to be good about how the cover-up works because if it doesn't, american media would be in trouble. so it's a great read -- >> and how pecker wasn't willing to go even farther and pay off a porn star because that's where he draws the line. >> that's exactly true. in the end, getting back to your question, is it enough? is it? trump people will say you have to look back to the john edwards case because when he ran for president, he had a mistress, he's pregnant, his political supporters gave him money to buy a house and pay for all of her
expenses and edwards was ultimately acquitted on one count and hung jury on the other and justice decided not to retry the cause because the jury and i think a lot of prosecutors thought when you have a dual purpose expenditure, i.e., to get the mistress to be quiet because -- >> why couldn't donald trump say i didn't want melania to find out? >> that's what he's going to say. and he's going to say i didn't want customers of the trump organization to find out. on the other hand, the stormy daniels payoff is right in the midst of a controversial part of the campaign. >> what's your reaction to the fact the president could be involved in hush money like this? how significant is this? >> i think paul callan just nailed it. you have a cam bapaign contribun that's not disclosed and in excess of the $2,700 limit.
the defense of the president will be should it come to that, i was trying to protect my reputation, trying to protect my businesses, frying to prote-- t help my marriage. so there it is at least according to the former head of this national enquirer parent group that it was all about the campaign. but i think it's a very difficult case to prove against the president. >> if this does become a campaign violation issue, is that enough for senate republicans to respond, to distance themselves, do you think? >> well, very interesting the way you phrased your question. you didn't say is it enough for house democrats to vote for impeachment? i think the answer is probably yes. the question is could you get two-thirds of the senate based on this and my short answer is no. >> michael, we'll be watching
you tomorrow morning right here on cnn. thank you very much. coming up next, president trump now says i don't know matt whitaker. is the president hedging on the man he tapped to be his attorney general. this is happening over growing concern over whitaker's past. also, former first lady michelle obama is blasting president trump in her memoir, saying there are things she will never forgive him for. also, driving through hell. look at this video. out of california, three large wildfires are expanding rapidly and cnn crews are capturing the stunning path of destruction left behind. we will have a live report for you. do not miss this. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. cal: we saved our money and now, we get to spend it - our way.
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to a white house caught completely off guard and a president on the defense about his new acting attorney general matthew whitaker. it was not widely known among white house staff that before he had joined the department of justice in september of 2017, whitaker repeatedly criticized the special counsel's investigation in interviews and on television. he even wrote an entire opinion piece about this for cnn.com.
several senior officials believe whitaker is in jeopardy of keeping his job. the president said at least three times he doesn't know whitaker, which is not exactly what he said a month ago. >> i didn't know matt whitaker. he worked for attorney general sessions. he was very, very highly thought of and still is highly thought of, but this only comes up because anybody that works for me, they do a number on them. but matt whitaker is a very smart man. he is a very respected man in the law enforcement community. very respected, at the top of the line. and actually, the choice was greeted with raves initially and it still is in some circles. >> i never talk about that but i can tell you matt whitaker's a great guy. i mean, i know matt whitaker. but i never talk about conversations that i had.
>> whitaker is under scrutiny not just for issues involving the president but when he ran for senate in 2014, he said he would be concerned if a federal judge held a, quote, secular world view. >> are they people of faith? do they have a biblical view of justice? >> lavidical or new testament? >> new testament. as long as they have that world view, they'll be a good judge. >> i just reread your piece from 2014, when you had obviously covered his run for the senate. can you just talk more about his past beliefs or current beliefs? >> absolutely. before i do that, i just wanted
to thank you for standing up for those african-american journalists who trump insulted yesterday. that was appalling and i'm really glad you said something about that. >> thank you. >> as far as whitaker goes, he's had some very deep seated, well-held beliefs that it should be the basis of law and basis of pointmen appointments. i want to go back to 2007 when there was an very long on matt mccoy, he was the first openly gay member of the senate. this investigation engineered entirely by whitaker took two years and $2,600 and it was a pure fishing embassy ped dixped.
he tried to get him on using a state senator to threaten a company for not paying him. it took two hours for the jury to acquit and say he owed the money and there was no threat. his chief witness who whitaker put a wire on was someone who was a notorious liar, a drug addict, a domestic abuser. and this is what -- the kind of investigation that he conducted. so now fast forward to 2014 and he's running for the u.s. senate and he's at a forum which is orchestrated by the iowa family leader, which is another christian conservative organization that in 2010 went after justices of the iowa supreme court who had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage and were up for retention elections
and spent a lot of money on that. so this establishes the setting where these candidates for senate who are vying for the republican nomination for senate from iowa are speaking. and matt whitaker says that he would only appoint judges -- as a senator, he would only appoint judges who had a biblical view of history. as your segment said he was asked old or new testament and he said new testament. and then he went on to say something about if someone had no religion, if someone thought this here on earth is all that we believe in, then he would be very distrustful of that person, which is completely in violation of the first amendment. >> and that was just a short four years ago. what about now? what's his reputation now in iowa? not just legally but politically. >> well, i don't think -- he's not been around on the iowa
scene that much in the last few years. i think most of his reputation has been national actually. in iowa he was known as being a football player, he's in the high school football hall of fame. he's considered one of the more conservative evangelical players on the political scene. he ran for nomination on the iowa supreme court and didn't make it and claimed it was biased against people with a religious view. in another instance he had agreed to be the emcee for an event. this is while he was u.s. attorney here for the southern district. he was going to emcee a christian conservative event, and at the last minute just literally hours before that event he was told by the justice department that he couldn't do that because it would be a
conflict with his role. so he has not been shy about putting his religion forward, even in the context of his role as u.s. attorney, which leads to a lot of fears of how he would handle being a u.s. attorney. >> and all the history you know about him is all out there for everyone to see. apparently even the white house has been surprised at some of this somehow, you know how critical he's been in just some of his beliefs. this is the guy the president has appointed as this acting a.g. rekha, thank you so much from des moines reporting on all of this for us, as it all comes full circle today. next, we're going to take to you florida. an emergency hearing under way. as you know, two races too close to call here, potential recounts both for the senate and governor's race in florida and also senator bill nelson who is hoping to hang on to his senate
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blames president trump by putting her family in danger. she writes what if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to washington? what if someone went looking for our girls. donald trump was putting my family at risk and for this i'd never forgive him." president trump was quick to respond. >> i guess she wrote a book, she got paid a lot of money to write a book. i'll give you controversy back. i'll never forgive him for what he did to our united states military, for not funding it properly. it was depleted. everything was old and tired. i came in and i had to fix it. >> let me bring in my guests. kate, that is not the only jab on trump in this book. she added that her body buzzed with fury after hearing that
"access hollywood" tape where then private citizen trump bragged about grabbing women you nope whe know where. we don't usually hear former first ladies talk about a president like that. >> she made a few speeches where she didn't mention him but we all knew who she was talking about. she didn't use his name because she was still first lady. however, now she's free to use his name and she's talking about it. it clearly struck a cord with her. it was clearly something that affected her very deeply and certainly she's authentic and she sounds like she's very revealing in this new book. her feelings about donald trump are something she's been wanting
to discuss since the campaign and just hasn't had the opportunity to do so. >> she also writes about her experience as the first african-american first lady, writing i was female, black and strong, which to certain people translated only as angry. angela, to hear michelle obama talking about that, what did you think? >> well, i just have to give so much credit to who i call our forever first lady, not just because i want them back, i do candidly, keeping it all the way 100 on this friday afternoon, but also because of what she embodies. she is this woman who is filled with so much grace and class, but she embodies the every day working woman. there are students who are in school right now who can relate to everything michelle obama talks about going to school. the women who are struggling to balance it all and figuring it out if they can have it all, she
receip relates to them. she's talk about her problems with fertility. i have not tried to get pregnant but i froze my eggs. >> and i froze mine five years ago and amen to that, thank goodness for modern technology. this is the former first lady talking about her difficulties initially trying to have a family. >> i felt lost and alone and i felt like i failed because i didn't know how common miscarriages were because we don't talk about them. we had to do ivf. i know too many young couples who struggle and think that somehow there's something wrong with them, and i want them to know that michelle and barack obama, who have a phenomenal marriage and we love each other, we work on our marriage and we get help with our marriage when we need it. >> she didn't have to share any of that and she did.
kate, has there been a first lady there's been so open talking about that? >> i mean, not in terms of that kind of accessibility. she made you feel like she was your friend, not just first lady. jackie kennedy when she was first lady gave birth to a baby that died within a short period afterwards and of course the country understood that and knew about it because it happened while she was first lady, but in terms of looking back and having a first lady discuss marriage, ivf, getting pregnant, all these things, i think we're really seeing a modern day era first lady, and that's really what michelle obama was. she sort of kicked off this new feeling of accessible, relatable, authentic first lady for many, many people. >> she wrote "as soon as i allowed myself to feel anything for barack obama, the feelings came rushing, a toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment,
wonder." i've heard so many people today say, "lust!" all right. >> why is the last question for me, brooke? what's that about? >> you're welcome. >> i know, what's so interesting is i love the way that she talks about her marriage with the president. i've been in rooms with her where she's been like, nah, dude, you still got to wash the dishes. it's an amazing, very approachable, accessible way to just bring us into their lives, into their humanity. i think the thing that i love about this book is it's called "becoming." it doesn't just feel like a revelation about who michelle obama is, but it feels lds like a call to action for this country, even given where we are right now after this election. what are we becoming? what do we want to see in florida and georgia? what do we want to see out of folks who took over the house? what are we going to become as a
democracy? i'm just thankful that she released it right now the as a time to challenge us to be our best selves. >> becoming me, becoming us and becoming more. kate and angela, ladies, thank you so much. that was fun. back to our breaking news out of florida, any moment now we are expecting to hear from democratic senator bill nelson as an emergency hearing is under way in broward county where rick scott, the governor of florida, is alleging rampant fraud. we'll bring it to you live. plus incredible images out of california. multiple fires. cnn is there. we'll have a live report. did you get a whole thanksgiving?
the wildfires in california now have claimed lives. these are pictures just in from the city of would you believe the name of it is paradise. this is in northern company where at least nine people have been killed trying to get out. in just 24 hours multiple wildfires erupted with a speed rarely seen. several communities, including malibu, have been ordered to evacuate. even the l.a. zoo is evacuating a number of their animals. dan simon is live for us in paradise and kyung las is
malibu. dan, to you. >> reporter: you have 2,000 structures that have been destroyed. this is one of the businesses that went up in flames. we're in the main part of paradise, california, sort of the main thoroughfare. you can see this used car lot over here. several cars have been charred. look across the street, more devastation. you drive up this road, it's home after home, business after business. you have restaurants, you have apartment buildings. it is just complete devastation. this is already one of the most destructive wildfires in california history. right now the concern for firefighters is to try to prevent it from spreading even further to the town of chico, california, which is directly southwest of here. fire crews think they have done that at this point, but this fire just 5% contained, brooke. you're talking about just a matter of hours and already the fourth most destructive wildfire in the state's history.
unbelievable. >> stunning. absolutely stunning. kyung to you, you can see all the smoke over your shoulder. what's the story in malibu? everybody has to get out? >> reporter: it is a mandatory evacuation because malibu is burning. the entire city is being told to get out. deputies are going door to door. can you see that massive plume you were just talking about. you can see it all over southern california. it is on fire. a door-to-door fight to try to get people out of here. there are 13,000 people who live in malibu. two significant fires are happen hearing in southern california, hill fire, which is about 6,000 acres. that is where the broadway bar shooting happened. that's a community that saw that mass shooting. this fire is the woolsly fire. it started yesterday at about 3 p.m. it is a larger fire, 14,000 acres, and it is currently burning toward the pacific ocean. i've talked to people who have
had to leave their homes and they say they were truly fleeing the flames, trying to get down to pacific coast highway. this is a community of a very wealthy community. the average price of a home here is $3 million. there are celebrities like barbra streisand and kaitlin jenner who had to evacuate. a lot of people are looking at these skies, wondering if their house is going to survive this, brooke. >> how entirely frightening. we'll stay in close contact with you all and thinking of everyone in california to the north and to the south. also out of florida, we're keeping an eye on this emergency hearing that's been under way in broward county. the republican governor, rick scott, is taking his senate race to court. we're speexpecting to hear from senator bill nelson any moment now. keep it here. fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely.
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so much grief, so much anger gripping the city of thousand oaks, california, as the initial shock of being the latest u.s. city to be victimized by a gunman begins. now they begin to look for an answers as to why he opened fire on a dance hall, killing 12 people. we learned the shooter was not in the have. >> -- the v.a. system. the v.a. indicated he was not
enrolled in any kind of health care program. what does that tell you about any mental health issues and when they might have begun? >> law enforcement is trying to look backwards on this person's life. obviously we've seen signs of mental health issues. we talked about this contact he had with law enforcement in april that didn't really rise to the level of them determining they needed to commit him here in california against his will, but again it shows the signs of mental health. again, they're trying to piece together when did this start? when did signs start manifesting that this person was facing a psychiatric issue? we know he spent time overseas. that's an additional data point for the v.a. coming forward and saying he wasn't enrolled in any of our systems. that doesn't mean he wasn't suffering from any kind of condition while he was still serving but at least he wasn't seeking
but were there signs missed. >> how about just before the attack? >> really chilling, brooke. i think we have a graphic of the social media post we found, based on official law enforcement familiar with the investigation. it says i hope people call me insane. wouldn't that be a big ball of irony. yeah, i'm insane. the only thing you people do after these shootings is hopes and prayers or keep you in my thoughts and wonder why these keep happening. this was a post law enforcement officers believe was sent just before the shooting. again, it shows, the question we had, did this person snap, was it a crime of passion or violence? it appears he had the time to sit and telegraph what he was about to do on social media, which, again, is so very troubling. it's not going to provide comfort to the victims now, but, again, something that law enforcement will be looking into, or were there other signs out there. and, again, other messages, possibly, the shooter was trying to send. >> josh campbell, thank you. >> thanks. we have more breaking news
this afternoon. a new report alleges president trump may have violated federal campaign finance laws with his hush money payoffs. and a lawsuit filed by senator bill nelson's re-election campaign in florida. we will take you live to tallahassee coming up next. first, let's take a moment on this friday to honor this week's cnn hero. she was forced into prostitution at age 16, managed to escape. she now runs a nonprofit for survivors of sex trafficking. >> nobody wakes up and just decides one day, i'm going to go sell my body and give the money away. traffickers are pimps knowing exactly what they're doing. much of it is on the internet now. they're going on dating websites, they're gaming. they're looking for young, vulnerable women anywhere where young women might hang out. my vision was to have a home
where women could come and find safety. and find themselves. >> please go to cnnheroes.com right now to vote for her or any of our top ten cnn heroes. we'll be right back. (avo) life doesn't give you many second chances. but a subaru can. you guys ok? you alright? wow. (avo) eyesight with pre-collision braking. standard on the subaru ascent. presenting the all-new three-row subaru ascent. love is now bigger than ever.
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brought on on behalf of rick scott. the republican governor of florida, who wants to become the state's next senator. this race, as you can see, is so close and could be headed for recount. so ryan nobles has been reporting out of tallahassee on all of this. so ryan, you now have some news out of this emergency hearing on the ruling. what is it? >> reporter: well, it went in rick scott's favor, brooke. the judge ruling there was a violation of the public records act by the supervisor of elections in broward county, brenda snipes. the judge ordered they release that information that the scott campaign is looking for immediately. so this is no doubt a win for rick scott. but i do think we need to put it into context here, brooke. because pretty much everybody is looking for this information that brenda snipes has not released yet. and even democrats would like to know the answer to some of these questions, including the most important question, how many votes are there to count in broward county, which we don't
have an answer to yet. the other important about this, these lawsuits didn't really specifically have anything to do with these dramatic fraud allegations that rick scott has charged against the supervisors of elections in both broward and palm beach county. this was just about releasing the information. making sure that they're transparent in their vote counting efforts. and we should say, during the hearing, brenda snipes, who has been the person at the center of this and has received criticism from both republicans and democrats, said she wasn't trying to hide anything, it was just a matter of her getting that information out. and, you know, brooke, i think the big divide here between democrats and republicans here is they both agree that there are problems in these two counties, but republicans seem to think that there's something nefarious, perhaps criminal involved in it, where democrats seem to think it's perhaps just an issue of negligence or incompetencies. and there's a big difference between those two things. it could be the difference between which votes get counted and which votes do get counted. no doubt a win for rick scott
here today. but there is another hearing take place down the road from me here in federal court that bill nelson filed that starts at 4:00, against the secretary of straig state, also asking for more transparency and clarification into how provisional ballots will be adjudicated in florida. so so many moving parts to this story, brooke. and obviously, a lot at stake. >> okay. 45 seconds left, ryan. i want you to tell me, for people, you know, following all of the threads and meetings and this and that, when does this have to be resolved? is there a deadline? >> reporter: right. yeah. great question. so according to florida law, it has to be finished by the 18th of november. so there's technically a finish line in sight. so on saturday, we get the first unofficial count. if it's within a margin, then we have another unofficial count. that has to be done by the 15th. that's when that could potentially trigger the hand recount and then it's got to be done by the 18th, which is a sunday. that's when the secretary of state will say, he's all done. but there is the possibility of
a lengthy court battle after all of that. so a lot could happen between now and then. best case scenario for voters in florida, it all gets done by the 18th of november. >> okay. everybody got that? ryan nobles, thank you very much in tallahassee. you've been extraordinary the last two hours. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. get it done! we have breaking news on donald trump's central role in the possibly illegal hush money payoffs. "the lead" starts right now. a new wall street journal report says that donald trump directed the deals paying off a porn star and a playmate to keep quiet, and the feds know about it. how serious a threat might this be to his presidency? president trump's post election lashing out continues, as he insists he does not know matt whitaker, the acting attorney general in charge of mueller, a guy who president trump