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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 18, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST

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under pressure, president trump denies chaos in the white house and said he's prepared answers to the suppression counsel's questions. >> i've answered them easily. >> is the investigation almost over? senator jeff flake is here. and speaker showdown, democratic leader nancy pelosi faces a potential challenge to be the next speaker. >> sometimes you just need a different voice. >> will president trump give pelosi the boost she needs? >> i will give her the votes to
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put her over the top. >> we'll discuss with three incoming members of congress. progressive power. democratic star stacey abrams lost her battle. but she vows to fight on. she is here for her first national interview since the election. hello. i'm jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is thinking about california. the president is back from touring the most destructive wildfires in california where 97 people have been killed and 1300 are missing. the president said the disaster does not change, however, his view of climate change and refuted a report of forest
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mismanagement. >> i was with the president of finland who said we're a forest nation, raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problems. >> disaster in california is unfolding as the president faces mounting pressures back in washington, including renewed attention on the special counsel's russia investigation. president trump says he has now written down answers to some of robert mueller's questions and will submit them this week. >> and new reports that the cia has assessed that saudi arabia's crown prince likely ordered the killing of journalist jamal khashoggi. jeff flake of arizona now, member of the senate judiciary in foreign relations committee. senator, thank you for joining us. in response to the news of the crown prince's likely involvement as determine bid the cia, president trump said saudi arabia was a, quote, truly spectacular ally, when it comes to economic ties with the u.s. and, quote, he has to take a lot of things into consideration before making a decision to hold
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the crown prince responsible. do you think that those supersede holding the crown prince responsible for murder? >> you cannot dismiss -- obviously, we recognize there's reale politique and you take the world as it is versus as you want it to be. that means you have to deal with the truth here t looks more and more like the truth is that the crown prince was involved, that he likely ordered it. so to just deflect and say it's spectacular ally when, in fact, some of the bloom has been coming off that rose for a while, particularly given the war in yemen. there are things that we'll have to confront here soon. and i hope we do it based on the truth, not in something that we simply want to see because we have a lot invested in the relationship with the crown
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prince now. >> what do you think the u.s. should do? should the u.s. sanction mbs? should the u.s. suspend relations with saudi arabia until somebody else takes over? >> we have a report come iing o on tuesday. we don't want to prejudge that. certainly we ought to do what's been outlined, legislation that's just been introduced, bipartisan legislation that involves bob corker and others. it ought to involve what we do in yemen. it's a horrible situation there and the saudis have not made it wert. in fact, they haven't done some of the things they agreed to do already. >> let's turn to the mueller investigation. you said you will not vote for any further judicial nominations
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to go forward in committee or the full core of the senate unless the legislation that you introduced to protect the special counsel. none of your colleagues have joined you. are you disappointed in them? >> this legislation was passed in april and on a bipartisan basis, which we don't often get out of the judiciary committee, including our chairman voting for it. since that time we've processed 50 judges and we need to do judges. we've done that on the floor of the house. what i'm saying -- i'm sorry, the floor of the senate. what i'm saying is that this has to be priority now. we have a situation where the president has fired the attorney general and given authority of
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the investigation by someone who has not been confirmed by the senate and has expressed hostility to the investigation. how my kcolleagues don't see ths as priority now, i don't understand. it needs to come to the senate floor and is worth using a little leverage here. >> you're pushing hard for a vote on the mueller protection bill. chuck schumer in the senate and jerry nadler in the house says the best way to get a vote is to attach it to the year-end spending bill, which could force decision makers to make a choice between allowing a vote or shutting down the government. are you in favor of that plan? will you vote against the spending bill if it does not include protections for mueller? >> i would sure like to see it as part of the spending plan, because that will make it law. i hope that they will continue to push for that. the first step has to be having this bill that has already passed the judiciary committee and is waiting action on the floor of the senate, to have
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that pass. it will pass with a pretty big majority. if we could do that first there's a far greater likelihood it will be attached to the spending bill. >> your home state earlier it week, democrats picked up a senate seat. you'll be replaced by a democrat. >> right. >> for the first time in 30 years. republicans in arizona, if you look at the exit polls, lost ground among latinos, male voters, college graduates and suburban voters compared to president trump's 2016 performance. do you think arizona is winnable for a democratic presidential candidate in 2020? >> it certainly is. arizona is still nominally a republican state. we have a voter registration advantage still of 200,000 statewide. but you cannot run as someone who is tied at the hip with the president and win statewide.
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voters in arizona are rejecting that. and i think we're seeing that elsewhere in the country as well. we're losing the suburbs. if we had a mass movement from the suburbs, for people to move back to rural areas then perhaps our republican party would have more of a future but not the way that we're going now. i'm very concerned about where we are in arizona and the rest of the country. >> you made a joke at a dinner in washington about future election in new hampshire and yourself. i won't go into the joke but you alluded yourself to potentially be running for president and made it no secret that you're considering running against president trump. when will we know what you're going to do? >> someone needs to run on the republican side, if nothing else, to remind republicans what it means to be conservative,
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what being conservative really means and to be decent as well. the future of the party is with people with an optimistic vision moving ahead. i don't think that will be me. i think there are better candidates out there. but somebody needs to run. >> who would you like to see run, ben sasse? >> there are names out there. i would love to see ben sasse. i'm not speaking for him. obviously i would love to see ben run. john kasich has put things in motion. there needs to be somebody. and i've been to new hampshire a few times. there's a great place to be in the fall. i'm not sure about the wintertime. but, anyway, somebody needs to run. >> it's cold in the wintertime, i'll tell you that, as somebody who went to college there. jeff flake of arizona, appreciate your time. >> thank you. stacey abrams says democracy failed in georgia. what does she plan to do about it? she's here next. >> congress will look a lot different in january. three number members of the
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races are over. andrew gillum conceded tin florida. and stacey abrams said that kemp will be the next governor of georgia, that democracy failed her state. >> this is not a speech of concession, because concession is to acknowledge that an action is right, true or proper. >> she is planning to launch a federal lawsuit against the state for what she called gross mismanagement of the election. joining me now for her first national interview since ending the race, minority leader of the house, stacey abrams, thanks for joining us. you said that democracy failed in georgia. obviously, you're referring to some of the messy process of democracy, as you called it, incompetence and mismanagement. do you think there was deliberate interference in the election? >> yes. and i believe it began eight years ago with the systematic disenfranchisement of more than
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a million voters. it continued with the underfunding and disinvestment in polling places, in training and in the management of the county delivery of services. and i think it had its pinnacle in this race. a few months before in may of 2018, a republican primary had to be called for a do-over because a number of voters did not receive accurate ballots. we know that there has been a dramatic discrepancy in the way that absentee ballots are allocated and counted across the 159 counties. so, yes, there was a deliberate and intentional disinvestment and, i think, destruction of the administration of elections in the state of georgia. >> let me ask you because kemp, when he was secretary of state, did oversee a process in which 1.5 million voters were removed from the voting roles. you're in washington, d.c., hardly a republican stronghold. if you don't vote in the last four years, you're removed from the voting roles and i don't
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think anybody thinks that's disenfranchisement. it's just because of inactivity. what's the difference between what kemp did, and if you don't vote within three years in georgia, you're removed from the roles, and what they do all over the country, including here in washington? >> maintaining clean voter roles is absolutely appropriate. the vigor with which he did so and the mismanagement of which he did so, perfect example is the 92-year-old civil rights activist who lived in the west end of atlanta for 49 years, voted in every single election since 1968 in that neighborhood and she was removed from the polls. she went to vote and her daughter had to take more than two hours to get her access to a provisional ballot. this is someone who has never failed to vote. and so the problem we have is that it's death by a thousand cuts. y he removed voters who were eligible and denied access to
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3,000 new citizens who should have been added to the roles but prevented them from voting. trust in our democracy rely os on believing there are good actors who are making this happen and he was a horrible actor who benefited from this. that's problematic. >> take a listen to what ohio democratic senator sherrod brown said about your race a few days ago. >> if stacey abrams doesn't win in georgia, they stole it. it's clear. it's clear. and i say that publicly. >> sherrod brown says the election was stolen. do you agree that it was stolen and do you think that brian kemp is not the legitimate governor-elect of georgia? >> the law, as it stands, says that he received an adequate number of votes to become the governor of georgia, and i acknowledge the law as it stands. i am a lawyer by training and i have taken the constitutional oath to uphold the law. but we know sometimes the law does not do what it should and
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something being legal does not make it right. this is someone who has compromised our systems. he has compromised our democratic systems and that is not appropriate. therefore my mission is to make certain that no one has to face this conversation going forward we're going to ensure that voter protection is more than a slogan, that it's actually a common cause that cuts across partisanship. there are republicans who were harmed, democrats who were harmed, independents who were harmed. one of the original 13 colons, founding blocks of our democracy and i want georgia to be better. >> is he the legitimate governor-elect of georgia? >> he is the person who won the adequate number of votes to become the governor. >> with all due respect, and i respect where you're coming from and the issues that you're raising, you're not answering the question. >> no, i -- >> you're not using the word legitimate. is he the legitimate govern
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governor-elect of georgia? >> he is the legal governor of georgia. words have meaning. i spent my lifetime not only as an attorney but as a writer and i'm careful of the words i choose. when he takes the oath of office he will be the legal governor of the state of georgia, the legal victor. what you are looking to me to say is that there was no compromise of our democracy and there should be some political compromise in the language i use and that's not right. what's not right is saying that something was done properly when it was not. i will never deny the legal premature that says he is in this position and i pray for his success. but will i say that this election was not tainted, was not a disinvestment and disenfranchisement of thousands of voters? i do not. >> to be clear, i don't have a opinion of what you should or should not say. i'm trying to understand where you're coming from. are you at all concerned that
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your word this is morning and in your speech friday will undermine faith in the democratic process? >> not at all because the words i use are very specific. we have had systematic disenfranchisement of voters. we have seen gross mismanagement of our elections. and we have seen an erosion of faith in our democracy, in our state. those are all true facts. but these are all solvable problems and that's why i'm proud to be an american. that's why i'm proud to be a georgian and i'm taking up fair fight georgia. faith is not enough. we have to have action married to that faith and i don't believe that you are trying to cast aspersions or trying to get me to say anything. what i am clear about, i'm choosing my words carefully. we have to have people who are going to fight to make sure democracy works for everyone.
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there are republicans who are going to win elections because of what we do, independents who gain a foothold because of what we do. that is what's right under democracy. >> this is the big question out of this interview. president trump, based on no evidence, cast all sorts of aspersions on the election in florida and what was going on with the recounts and what was going on with the counts. he alleged fraud and theft. he was criticized widely. how is what you're doing any different from what he did? >> my accusations are based entirely on evidence. we had four different federal judges in the course of a week say that what we witnessed was wrong and forced better behavior. what i'm simply asking for is another court to force even stronger behaviors. legal reforms that will guarantee that no one has to question the legitimacy of our elections. dan gasaway is a republican who lost a republican primary
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because they failed to adequately provide ballots that were accurate. that was under brian kemp's watch. it's not something that simply has affected democrats. this is not partisan. the head of the tea party in georgia, debbie duelly, has pointed out the mismanagement of how we handle absentee ballots. i agree with the tea party and with republicans, we have to do better in georgia. i'm going to do so in the court of law, not in the court of public opinion because i want people to understand what was flawed but then what can be fixed and fundamentally, that's what i do, try to fix the problems i see. >> leader abrams, this was the closest race in georgia for governor since 1966. a lot of people wondering, are you going to run for office in the future, perhaps senate in 2020? >> i'm going to spend the next year as a private citizen but i do, indeed, intend to run for office again. i'm not sure for what and for when. i need to take a nap. once i do, i plan to get back in
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the ring. >> all right. leader abrams, have a good nap and thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> we do hope that governor kemp will accept one of our invitations for an interview sometime in the near future. i'll talk to three new members of the most diverse congress in history next. smile dad. i take medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol. but they might not be enough to protect my heart. adding bayer aspirin can further reduce the risk of another heart attack. because my second chance matters. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. a wealth of information. a wealth of perspective. ♪ a wealth of opportunities. that's the clarity you get from fidelity wealth management. straightforward advice, tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies,
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welcome back to "state of the union." i'm jake tapper. when congress comes back in session in january, there will be at least 86 new members of the house of representatives, the most diverse group ever elected. deb holland, republican congressman-elect dan crenshaw of texas, and democratic congresswoman elect, air force captain who flipped the seat in pennsylvania, go eagles. perhaps the good luck you had will come to them as well. you've always seen congressman-elect crenshaw get attacked on snl and your congresswoman from new york has also been attacked quite a bit in her first week on the job. a lot of people talking about civility.
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things here in the nation and in washington seem nastier than ever and i'm wondering if you think your class will try to usher in an era of bipartisanship and -- >> some people's version of attack is different from ours. we've all worked together extremely hard. it's been a fast-paced week, orientation, going from one orientation to the next at opposite ends of the capital. and i feel like we've all been very cooperative and actually quite civil to each other. >> what do you think? you've been in the barrel as it were. >> i would echo that sentiment of what's it mean to be attacked? my whole message last week was was i really attack ed or offended? that doesn't mean that what was said wasn't highly insulting and needs to be addressed but i don't feel like i was really attacked and the other message we're trying to send is don't
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insult people. we can attack each other's ideas but not each other as people. that should be the goal moving forward. >> what do you think? >> i agree. frankly i would like to see our orientation be more bipartisan, if that's something we can do in the future, bring ourselves together more frequently in an orientation way. part of my campaign and candidacy was absolutely about the issue of decency and civility. i think it is really important to pull people together. my part of pennsylvania and philadelphia is really purple, 40% republican, 40% democrat and 20% independent. to a person we want to see civil discourse come back and talk about ideas and not harass peopl people. >> you were just at arlington and -- >> i grew up in a military household. >> president trump said on a different network that he should have gone to arlington national cemetery on veterans day but he was busy making calls, doing
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things for the country. what do you make of the dough bait that he should have done more on that day and does it matter to you? >> well, i went to arlington on veterans day to visit my father's grave. and while there, i spoke to a woman who brought her folding chair and sat in front of her son's grave, seemingly for hours. i feel like americans might -- you know, they have sacrificed and so showing that you care about that sacrifice, giving respect to our fallen soldiers, i think, is an easy thing to do, especially if you live in the same city as the cemetery. >> what do you think? >> in addition to being a veteran myself, i am third generation military and my grandmother and grandfather are buried at arlington and so i tend to share your belief with i think it's important that our commander in chief respect the veterans and the people who have served our country so fundamentally. i also have four active duty
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cousins right now. so, this is personal to me but it is also about our nation. >> you, sir? >> well, i've been to arlington multiple times to bury my friends, at least two funerals there that i've attended and gone back occasionally. i also know the president on a very personal level has treated those gold star families very well and he has embraced them and has been very good to them. i would have liked to see him at arlington but again i'm not offended by the fact that he didn't go. i do understand that he does have a lot of things to do. i would have liked to see him there but as veterans, i don't think it necessarily affects us, where he shows up to anyway ceremonial fashion. what effects us, are you gisk us a clear mission, the equipment we need to do it, raising pay for the military? he has done all of these things. that's what matters to me as a veteran. >> you'll have a big choice with nancy pelosi coming up. you've not said how you're going to vote. you are a yes on pelosi. you're a no, i'm assuming.
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but why have you not come out in favor or against her, one way or another? >> i want to back all the way up and say i have enormous respect for leader pelosi and the work she's done in leading our party today and in the past as well. i wouldn't be standing here, sitting here unless people like her did the work that they've done. i sit on -- stand on her shoulders. i believe that women in the democratic caucus made the majority. so many of us were elected out of the 60 or so we're bringing to congress. i'm deeply appreciative to her for that work. i sat down with leader pelosi, i think it was yesterday. the days are blir so it may have been friday. we had a terrific conversation and i'm fundamentally leaning toward voting for her but i take this very, very seriously. there are working parts and decisions that need to be made. not just her election but of other people as well.
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i'm a deliberative person and i'm working hard to understand what all my options are, how i can best serve night constituency. during that conversation we had with her, we had a conversation about the fact that i'm putting myself forward for something called the dpcc, the portion of our leadership that allows us to communicate to the messages and the messengers and hopefully i'll be one of three people who will serve her and that committee and all of us in messaging what it is we would like to convey about the house in 2020. i would like to be part of the solution to bring to a new generation and what we've learned in purple places like mine. >> running out of time. i want to ask each of you one question. what does it mean to be one of the fers two native americans voted into congress? >> first i'm deeply humbled to have this opportunity. i was kind of -- i'll tell you the other day when i was walking across the capital to actually go take our freshman photograph,
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two young native girls from south dakota came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder. their mother came over. it looked like it was a school field trip -- crying. and, you know, we hugged and took pictures. i feel like, you know, for every native american child who has never, ever seen themselves represented in this body of our government, it means a tremendous amount to them. i know it means a tremendous amount to tribal leaders across the country, to feel like they have representation where they haven't before. so, you know, my state, new mexico, we have 23 tribes in our state. i have three tribes in my district. and so, you know, i feel very confident that my experience will give me an opportunity to be that voice at the table. >> if you can -- and i want to have you all back in the future.
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quickly as you can, being a veteran, you're not the first veteran in congress but one of the most visible right now. >> uh-huh. >> so what's that like? >> it affects me in two ways. one, policy. a deeper understanding of national security issues, veterans affairs issues, worked on the intelligence committee as well. i'll be a competent voice for those issues. but on a deeper level, first of all, it means -- we understand what leadership is. taking care of your people. above all us, taking care of your people, inspiring people to be better. we work with our fellow veteran s, it's an understanding that we know we both started off this career just trying to serve our country. before we got into politics. that's a way to bridge that gap between us. >> best of luck to all three of you. hope to see you again. >> thank you. appreciate being here. could democrats win a senate seat in mississippi? why some names on both sides are suddenly rushing to campaign there. coming up next. i know that every single time that i suit up,
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you look at other countries where they do it differently and it's a whole different story. i was with the president of finland. they don't have any problem. when it is, it's a very small problem. i know that everybody is looking at that, to that end. >> president trump referencing the forests of cold and rainy finland while touring fire damage in california, seeming to blame forest management for the deadly fires. let's discuss with our panel. michael, i want to point out that the president of california's professional firefighter association called his original tweet, quote, ill informed, ill time d. >> these fires have been ravaging california for millions of years. forest management is a rather new idea in comparison. i really -- i watched the president on the ground there.
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i watched the governor newsom, the three of them walking, talking together, working together. i hope that they work together to try to resolve these issues, maybe resolve forest management issues. i would like to see the bipartisanship and working to help people who suffered through this. that's what we should focus on. >> what did you think? >> i think it was great there was bipartisanship and they rose above politics to do this. that's what governors should be doing and people who got devastated and many who got killed and lost everything. the president has acticess to t entire u.s. intelligence community and he chooses to watch fox & friends and peddle conspiracy theories and fake news, which is completely not helpful to the folks fighting the fires, folks helping people and to the folks who lost everything. and denying just basic facts, denying the science is actually
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dangerous. it's a deadly thing to do, because we are in a time where hurricanes are stronger and fires stronger. >> i think that anyone who can read understands that global warming exists and i think the days of having our elected officials hand out sunscreen on the capital floor when we have two inches of snow overnight needs to stop. people need to realize what's going on here and people need to address the issues. >> we don't have to resolve the cause of global warming to stop the fires in california. i don't like trump's words in his tone but he's right, forest management should do more. there's been a long debate between the conservation community and environmentalists in how to stop this. you can do things like prescribed burns and cleaning up the brush in residential areas. they should be focusing on that. i do not think it's helpful when interior secretary blame this is all on environmental terrorists. they have to do better. there are issues. they need to push it. >> believe it or not, the senate races are not over. there will be a run-off in
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mississippi. cindy hyde-smith is embroiled in controversy over some of the things that she said. she said they were jokes and critics say she's making light of lynching. take a listen. >> if he invited me to a public hanging i'd be in the front row. [ inaudible ] >> not great audio. what she said in one reference she was talking about a politician, if he invited me to a public hanging i would be on the front row and in another instance, they remind me there are a lot of liberal folks and schools maybe we don't want to vote and make it more difficult. maybe that's a great idea. the washington post is reporting that her lead has narrowed significantly. she's running against a former member of the clinton
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administration, mike espy. do you think that the seat is legitimately in play? >> it is now. mississippi was a seat along with arizona and montana that republicans thought they were going to win on election night. and they didn't win the two, montana or arizona. and now they have a run-off in mississippi. it really feels very much like alabama. 37% african-americans, mississippi. if espy just doubles down and does what doug jones did, which is go after the african-american base and focus on black women, he could actually win this. this is amazing to say about mississippi. one quick thing, there is a dark history of lynching in mississippi, and what she said is so horrific and just sick, just like the naacp said. i think 600, more than 600 lynchings were recorded in mississippi, the highest of any other state. it was done to terrorize black people and to hear someone who is running for such a high office to say this is really just horrific. >> if mike espy came to you and said how do i appeal to voters
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beyond the 37% who are african-american and the more progressive voters in mississippi, how do i appeal to working class voters, perhaps white working class voters, what would you tell him? >> i would say you have to go and meet these people, put boots on the ground. her comments she made, especially where she made them, is unacceptable. you're talking about a person who says -- is supposed to be a leader. and her comments are just sick. >> one thing i heard speculated is that right now she's trying to get the percentage of the vote that went to chris mcdaniel, conservative republican. he got 16, 17% in the election. that she's running in his direction and that's why those comments were made. that's not her explanation, obviously. >> there's no explanation for it. it's a racist thing to say. i'm not from the south but i'm pretty sure joking around about going to a public lynching is not something people say. >> she also didn't say it. >> she said -- excuse me. what she needs to do is tour the
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new lynching museum where they show the horrific things that people went through in her backyard. as you mentioned, she's been around. she's been a u.s. senator for a long time, since she was appointed. now this race will be a referendum on her comments. you have 2020 hopefuls like kamala harris going down there, cory booker. trump is going down there. you have this rematch. republicans lost this before. if republicans want to quit being accused of being racist, they have to stop saying racist things. >> do you think the seat is legitimately in play? >> i think so. mike espy appeals to white voters. he is a very bright man with a history of strong contributions in washington. but i'll tell you, her comments -- i go back to what representative crenshaw says about the outrage culture. we saw the same thing with desantis and gillum. >> why does this keep happening? >> i understand. we have an outrage culture where you say something stupid, you're
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going to get called on it. republicans have to realize there are cameras and recordings going on everywhere. >> it's wrong when someone says something provocative that you blame the people who are offended. >> anyone who has that thought process, even has that in the back of their mind has problems. we've got problems. >> it's racist. >> that's exactly what it is. >> you're running for president? >> yes. >> you came up short on election night after running for congress but you're running for president. what can you offer the democratic party they don't have right now? >> listening to nancy pelosi, it sounds like the goldman sachs democrat. i'm working for the working class. i retired from the military and came home, things that i saw told me i've got to get involved here. when i have kids in my backyard that have it worse than the children i saw in iraq and afghanistan, i cannot accept that. i'm doing everything in my power to fight and make sure we can have better.
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and i believe we can. let me tell you something, we're not going to do it by sending the same typical cookie cutter politician. we need a working class democrat not a goldman sachs democrat. >> we hope you'll come back and talk more with us about that. black friday is right around the corner. but jeff bezos, american politics are giving him the best deal. that's the subject of this week's state of the cartoonian. with my hepatitis c, i felt i couldn't be at my best for my family. in only 8 weeks with mavyret, i was cured and left those doubts behind.
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this is gps, the global public square. welcome to those around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. world leaders have been meeting this weekend, but one leader has been noticeably absent from this year's apec summit, donald trump. why isn't he there? also, what in the world is going on with brexit? we'll tackle all of it with a terrific panel. and the


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