tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN December 7, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
the scene outside the time warner center in new york. they went floor by floor. they found nothing suspicious. this despite a call coming into security there at the time warner center around 9:47 p.m. new york time. that's about two hours ago now. more than two hours. claiming that five devices had been planted inside the building. that is when security decided to evacuate the center. everyone came out. we saw don lemon outside the building broadcasting a short time ago alongside brian stelter and our other colleagues who basically were forced to leave their on-air program at the time to go outside the building and to continue broadcasting. but what we know right now is this of course is now a secure
krar. they did have a bomb squad planted on the scene just in case there were in fact any suspicious devices. but as we say, after the building was checked they determined that it is now safe and for everyone to head -- former deputy director -- assistant director of the u.s. marshals. okay. i guess the problem a lot of people are having is we're giving this guy who phoned in the bomb threat pretty much what he wanted, publicity. is this what this guy wanted? he wanted the publicity for calling in this bomb threat. >> they generally do. but unfortunately in this day and age you have to react this way and nypd did exactly what they were supposed to do. now, they're telling us, law enforcement's telling us that they think the call came down from the south somewhere, which leads me to believe they probably know exactly where this phone call came from.
they had the bomb squad standing by. they brought in the pd, the emergency response unit, or ems, and generally they have canines with those units and they sbept the building fairly quickly considering the size of the time warner center and surrounding buildings. unfortunately, this is the day and age they live in. >> you say they know this call came from down south. also coming from down south back in october, the bombs which were sent out to a number of addresses, former presidents and former officials within the obama administration. and also cnn. i guess which is why there was so much heightened awareness or such a heightened reaction tule of this. >> yeah, exactly. unfortunately, our colleagues at cnn are very familiar with this in new york city. they went through this same round about a month ago where they had to evacuate the building due to pipe bombs
actually showing up in the mailroom. they're not -- nypd's not going to take any chances. security at time warner was excellent. the minute they got the phone call they called it in and they were told to evacuate the buildi building. the fire alarm was pulled and they got out of there. i'm just glad that don, shimon, and brian and samantha, everybody's okay there at the cnn building. >> explain how this investigation would work because there are no longer payphones i guess. you're lucky if you find a payphone out there. someone has to call this in from a land line or a cell phone or somewhere. and that leaves some kind of fingerprint or clue behind for investigators. how do they pick it up from there to find out who may have done this? >> there is. there are still some coin booths around, payphones around in the u.s., but the -- it's very difficult to cover up this type of -- this type of call in
anymore. so when they say it's coming in from down south, i'm fairly sure the law enforcement has a pretty good idea of the location where it came from if not the exact location. so they'll have law enforcement out there right away looking to see, you know, was this a cell phone, was it one of the few payphones left in the u.s.? was it made from a land line? so law enforcement is all over this. and nypd is just about the best at this in the world. i have no doubt they're pretty much on to this. and they had the bomb squad standing by, which indicates to me they knew right up front let's dot search, if we come across a suspicious package then we'll bring the actual bomb unit in. >> okay. we appreciate the insight you gave us there as far as the investigation and who may have been behind this and exactly what law enforcement could be doing at this hour. art roderick there, cnn law enforcement analyst. also former assistant director with the u.s. marshals. let's go back now to new york. don lemon is back with us along
with shimon prokupecz there in new york city. don, it's good to see you. what's happening right now? >> yeah. it's -- sadly, this is -- i fear that this has become -- or may become the new normal. we're still standing outside and waiting -- i'm waiting to get the all clear to be able to go back up if possible to my studio and control room. the folks are there. because the people who were evacuated were evacuated from the posts that we need to get on the air. so we need to make sure i can get on the air properly before they send us back upstairs. there's still some police presence out front but just a short time ago, maybe 10 minutes ago, maybe 15, we got the all clear to go back into the building. the bulk of the folks who work here at the time warner center have been able to go back into the building. and just to give you an idea of how big this building is, it's not just cnn in this building.
there are a number of other different businesses including some of our sister businesses, true tv, tnt, tbs and all of that. but there are other businesses here as well. 55 floors in this building. 700 feet tall. it's quite a big building and it takes up an entire city block. shimon prokupecz who's our crime and justice reporter, has been working with the nypd, his sources as well, getting information. they certainly took this serious ly as they always will. but they were in the building for quite some time. and in order for them to evacuate a media company like this -- >> that is a big undertaking for the nypd. that's not a decision they made lightly because they had to know we were on the air here at the time that they were going to evacuate. but clearly there was something that concerned them greatly. to do this kind of an evacuation on just a phoned-in bomb threat is not something the nypd takes -- it's not a decision they take lightly.
clearly they were very concerned here. given the climate, given the history, given what we have been through already with those other package bombs, the one that was mailed here to us in new york and also the one in atlanta. so that was all on their mind when they went ahead and made this decision to evacuate. look, it's not often that the c nypd evacuates buildings like this because of phoned-in bomb threats. >> when you think about -- again, they say it came from the south. and and f. they had that information, they probably know specifically where it came from. usually in these situations people think they're being funny and they can -- they'll get away with it. >> this is a federal crime. >> this is a federal crime. and they usually get caught. >> look, there have been many stories of people doing these kinds of things from other parts of the world. there was a guy nirlz doing bomb threats causing all sorts of disruptions and that person was captured.
remember the schools getting threats. these kinds of things the fbi will investigate. and will try and prosecute people. once they figure out who's behind this. because it causes panic. it causes concern. it creates fear in people. especially given what our staff, our fellow employees here, our co-workers have been through already when they had that first evacuation and they found that bomb in the mail room. just right through these doors here. this is going to be an investigation. i know the nypd intelligence, their analysts are on this, the intelligence division is working this and probably the fbi. you're seeing more police officers coming out now. and so, you know, they're essentially over -- for now this is over but the investigation is going to just begin. >> well, the evacuation part is over but the investigation part as you said will continue on. can you imagine what this does to the people who work in this building? and again you think, oh, this is cnn and there may be some people
at home going it's great, cnn was -- but it's not just cnn. it's a number of people who work in this building. people who live in the area, people who will be concerned about their safety. >> the disruption on the street, right? >> it's not even that. it's as we were leaving the building i'm sure what's going through everyone's head was what was going through mine, what am i going to do, what happens if a bomb actually goes off and i'm in this building, what am i going to tell my family? what's going to happen with my family? who do i need to call first? what do i need to tell them? those are all real issues, and again i fear that this is going to become the new normal. >> well, and especially when you have this kind of response and you're seeing the person who called this in is getting exactly the response that they wanted, is getting the reaction. you were forced off the air, don. your staff was forced out of the control room. folks were forced to leave the building. we had to go off the air. we had to go into programming. you know, there's a lot that this -- >> and taxpayers are paying for
this. >> and also the businesses here and the time warner center right next door. this is the third or fourth time probably in the last two months they've been evacuated. probably hundreds of thousands of dollars to these businesses. there are restaurants in this building. people were out for dinner who probably had to leave their tables in the middle of dinner because of something like this. it's a hoax, right? but it causes a lot of problems. >> we walked into a restaurant and there were people there, some of them the people that were there had to stay, the other people who wanted to go into the restaurant and have dinner, maybe they had reservations, maybe they were here for an event, they couldn't get to it. >> because the police closed off the street and wouldn't let anyone in. we couldn't leave the street because if we left the street then we couldn't get back in. so there was a lot of concern by the police here. look, they did what they had to do here, and it could be the new norm, you're right.
it's scary. >> i'm so glad that i had you here with me but again we're smiling now and we can. for the longest time we weren't able to smile. i'm not even sure exactly what time it is now. so it's almost been two hours. so, listen, on the other side of the break we're going to report more on this. maybe you'll see me here on the street. maybe i'll be back in my studio. but again, a bomb threat called in to cnn in new york, and we were forced to evacuate the building, taken off the air. and here we are two hours into it. and we'll find out what's going on after this break. don't go anywhere. i'm don lemon live in new york with shimon. we'll be right back right after this. when you buy one of the latest sumsung phones you get a free 50" samsung 4k tv. seriously, no! [announcer]seriously!
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tonight, new york city police have given us the all clear after a bomb threat was phoned into cnn 9:47 p.m. eastern time. 9:47 p.m. eastern time. bomb threat phoned into cnn. our studio in the time warner center and the surrounding buildings here in new york's columbus circle evacuated moments after the threat was received. the threat came when a caller said there were five devices in the building. that's according to a law enforcement source. again, five devices in the building. now we're back. we've been given the all clear. let's get back to business now. we have some more breaking news to tell you about right now. kevin hart has stepped down from hosting this year's oscars. he put out a statement on twitter tonight saying i have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's oscars. this is because i do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. i sincerely apologize to the lgbtq for my insensitive words
from the past. my goal is to bring us together, not tear us apart. much love and appreciation to the academy. i hope we can meet again. brian stelter is our senior media correspondent, and brian joins us right now -- chief media anchor, i should say. >> we're back where we belong, don. back to the news. you know, i have not seen this happen in the history of the oscars. a host was announced just two days ago and now that host is saying sorry, i don't want to be a part of this. if you don't want me, i'm leaving. it was actually kind of hard for the academy to find a host for the oscars this year. there was a lot of buzz in the entertainment world how nobody wanted to host the oscars anymore. it's a no-win job. but kevin hart said, hey, i've wanted to do this all my life,
all my career, i'm on board for this and he announced on instagram this week he was going to be the host of the most important night in hollywood. of course that's a few months from now. but he's said he's no longer going to be participating. he's backed out. and the reason is because of concern and outrage on twitter, on facebook, on other social networks about homophobic things that he's posted in the past. and there's no doubt about it, don. hart did post a number of homophobic slurs and other offensive comments back via twitter and other sites back in 2009, 2010, 2011. there were a number of really ugly posts in his past. now, he has apologized for that in the past. he's also said some of this was just trying to be funny. he is a comedian after all. but there was some understandable concern from some groups saying this is inappropriate. so what happened? well, the academy that runs the oscars, they asked him to apologize. they asked him to come out and say something.
what kevin hart is saying tonight is he doesn't want to have to apom joologize in the p he's addressed this in the past. he says he doesn't want to let the internet trolls to win, he doesn't want to reward them and so he's backing out of the oscars. i've never seen anything like it. >> here's what he did earlier. we'll get the video. he posted video on instagram and he also said earlier, "listen, if you want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what you nine-day, that is fine with me. i'm almost 40 years old and i'm in love with the man that i am becoming. and then he went onto say this. here's the video. >> i swear, man, our world is becoming beyond crazy. i'm not going to let the craziness frustrate me or anger me, especially when i worked hard to get the mental space that i am at now. my team calls me, oh, my god,
the world is upset about tweets you did years ago. oh, my god. guys, i'm almost 40 years old. if you don't believe people change, grow, evolve as they get older, i don't know what to tell you. if you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past then do you. i'm the wrong guy, man. i'm in a great place, a great mature place where all i do is spread positivity. if you're not doing that, you're not on my page. >> okay, so then there you go. here's the thing, brian, the response that he put out just now was the appropriate response. and i don't mean the stepping down part. but i am really sorry if i have caused hurt and pain, i needed to be educated about something, i am evolving. that was the proper response to
do initially. and again, people do evolve on issues. we should give people leeway in that. but was that the right way to respond initially through that video? >> right, to try to talk through it, to try to explain -- >> and also but blaming it on internet trolls and people looking for outrage. yes, we live in an outrage culture right now, but is that really the issue when it comes to this? >> i think you are onto something really important. what he said in this brand new statement was point blank no ifs or buts, i sincerely apologize, i am sorry that i hurt people. but you're right. in that earlier video it was different. look, going back to 2010, 2011, kevin hart said things like if i can prevent my son from being gay i will. those are deeply offensive comments. and you can't explain it away by saying he was joking. i don't think he was always joking in those comments. as you said, people are always evolving. people have to be given the space to evolve. and i think his statement today was very strong.
he's saying the right things by saying he sincerely apologizes. and notice the end of the statement he said i hope we can meet again. maybe he's leaving a little wiggle room to try to remain on the oscars. but he officially said he's stepping down. that doesn't happen in the academy. this is a big job. it's a big deal to get to host the oscars in front of 40, 50 million people. and he's backing away even though just two days ago his appointment, his hiring was a huge deal, celebrate bid comedians like jimmy kim ol' who were thrilled to see him in the job. so i'm really curious, don, to see what happens now. will he really go? will the academy really let him walk away? we have reached out to the academy, which holds the oscars every year, to see if they have a comment so far. no comment. >> it's interesting and a lot of people were really excited about it. i am so glad they called kevin and that he accepted. look, this is whiplash whipsaw of a night if you're watching. you're like, wait, what's going on, one minute they're >> outside -- >> yeah, it's true. >> again, we had a scare here. we're back in our studio.
and we're moving on with the news of the day. if you're just tuning in, kevin hart, who as many people brian said were happy that he had been asked to host the 2019 oscars, he has stepped down and he released a statement. i'll put the statement up again. he says, "i have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's oscars. this is because i do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists koer," says. "i sincerely apologize to the lgbtq community for my insensitive words from my past. i'm sorry that i hurt people. i am evolving and want to continue to do so. my goal is to bring people together, not tear us apart. much love and appreciation to the academy. i hope we can meet again." and again, brian, before you jump in here, kevin -- put the camera on me. kevin, call me. let's talk. let's make you an ally to the lgbtq community.
i'm a member of the lgbtq community. i don't know you that well, but i do know you a little bit and i believe that your heart could be in the right place. and you can move to become an lgbtq ally. call me. let's talk about this. come on my show. come on the air and discuss it. i will give you a fair shot to talk about all of this and to have your say. i just want to say that. brian, stand by because i want to get to nischelle turner. she's on the phone now. nischelle turner of course worked here at cnn for many years and is now working in hollywood, and this is what she does with "entertainment tonight." the host of "entertainment tonight." what's going on here, nischelle? good evening. >> hey. yeah, lots of crazy news. you're right. i was listening to you all's conversation talking about just two days ago, we were announcing that kevin announce td on
instagram, that he was going to be the host of this year's academy awards. and there was a lot of like lauding. everyone was very excited. myself i was very excited. i do know kevin, and i was very excited about this opportunity for him because it is something, you're right, that he wanted for many years. if you remember the show he had on b.e.t., "the real husbands of hollywood," kind of a spoof reality show, back in season 2 of that he did a sketch, a spoof sketch about him being named the host of the oscars, and it was like the best day of his life. so when this really happened he told us back in 2015 on "entertainment tonight," the next time at the oscars, he told us, the next time i come here i will be hosting it. that would have been this year. so he definitely has been trying to speak this into existence. for all of this to happen it's very shocking. i had friends of mine who are members of the lgbtq community reaching out to me tonight on social media saying did you see
this, it's a big story, what's going on here? and from what kevin has said, and i do remember this coming up before, that he had addressed it, and he felt like do i have to keep apologizing for something, so i think that's a valid question to ask. and i'll ask you, don, because you were just talking about you're a member of the lgbtq community. if someone makes a statements that are inarguably wrong, flat out, no ifs, ands or buts about it, and they've addressed it before and apologized for it before, if it comes up again do they need to apologize again, or as he said in the first statement, listen, i've addressed this before, i've apologized before, i'm not going to keep doing this again? i'm not sure where the line is. and i'm not making a judgment on it. and i'm certainly not making a judgment on how anyone feels about it because the tweets were ugly and they're wrong, period. but where is that line? >> nischelle, i want to get to
something, but i will say i think that you probably need to answer those questions for as long as it is an issue. some things are so offensive. and even if they date back to, you know, from years in our past, i think in order to -- to effect change when it comes to these issues i think that people need to answer for them. if you think it was an issue that dealt with african-americans, if people had said disparaging things about african-americans in the past, i think they need to explain themselves. there's no difference to me here when it comes to the issue of lgbtq rights, especially if you're telling a child i would prefer you not to be gay. as we know this is not something someone chooses. this is not something you can pray away or wish away. yeah. >> listen, i agree with you. it's just a question that i am asking because it's a question that i'm hearing and a response i'm hearing and seeing from some members of the community, some people out there.
viewers i've been searching social media, and that is something people have been saying. listen, how many times do you say i'm sorry and i guess you're right. >> as many time as it takes, nischelle. as many times as it takes. and listen, i tell you, i've been dealing with something similar. someone who i was friendly with and they're upset with what i said about comments that they made. if you are -- if you believe that i am a friend, call me, apologize and say i'm sorry i said those disparaging things about either gay people or black people. i hope you don't think any less of me. i heard how you thought and what you said about it. talk to me, help me be a better person. you should not be mad at the person -- >> the academy has had a big issue lately of course about diversity, inclusion. i don't think this is going to help the cause. i have seen a stark divide tonight especially on social
media, it feels like with african-americans coming to kevin's defense and saying we stand behind you, you're doing the right thing. you know, if you're not the host we're not watching. so i'm really interested to see how this is going to play out in the next stage and see what the academy does, and furthermore who they're going to get. who they're going to get after this. >> stand by, gus. do we want to move on with the breaking news or do we want to play the video from kevin? okay. so listen both of you, brian and nischelle, i want you to stand by. this is new from kevin hart. watch this. >> i just got a call from the academy and that call basically said kevin, apologize for your tweets of old or we're going to have to move on to find another host, talking about the tweets from 2009 and 2010. that's the past. the reason i've passed is i've addressed this several times. this is not the first time this has come up. i've addressed it. i've spoken on it, i've said where the rights and wrongs were.
i've said who i am now versus who i was then. i've done it. i've done it. i'm not going to continue to go back and tap into the days of old when i've moved on and i'm in a completely different space in my life. the same energy that went into finding those old tweets could be the same energy put into finding the response to the questions that have been asked years after years after years. we feed internet trolls and we reward them. i'm not going to do it, man. i'm going to be me and stand my ground. regardless, academy, i'm thankful and appreciative of the opportunity. if it goes away, no harm, no foul. >> nischelle, what do you think of that? >> well, that was feel a video he did before he stepped down. so that was before he decided not to host the oscars. that was the first thing he did in response tonight. >> that is before that instagram came out where he was in bed, right? >> yeah. >> thanks for setting it straight. >> so this was before the last instagram that he did.
this is when apparently maybe glaad came to the academy asking for an apology. the academy went to him. and he was like i'm not going to do it again, i'm not going to do this again because i've addressed it several times. and then after that maybe it escalated even more where he said he was going to stand his ground, and i don't know if there was a line drawn in the sand. those are questions, of course, we're trying to answer tonight and get answers to. but at the end of the day he felt like this is becoming too much of a distraction, i'm going to step away. and you know, kevin, he does deal with controversy. he deals with things in his life usually head on. it was just last year when he was faced with, you know, an adultery scandal that he faced head on with his wife. and they fixed things and he kept going, and it seemed like his career kept getting better and better after. >> and there was a cowboy and indian scene recently -- >> i'm not sure what's going to
happen now because i do think this is going to be a tough one for him. this is going to be a tough one. >> nischelle, thank you for that. i appreciate your reporting. brian, i'll give you the last word. did they give him an ultimatum? >> what will the academy do now? he says the academy gave him an ultimatum to apologize. and now the academy might need a new oscars host unless they accept his new apology and believe that was enough. i said earlier, i cannot remember a time this happened before. one of our viewers just pointed out it's only happened once before. that's 2011. eddie murray backed out -- eddie murphy backed out of the oscars. but it wasn't because -- >> eddie murphy. >> eddie they going to do in march when the oscars are on the air? >> thank you, brian stelter. thank you, nischelle turner as well. if you're just joining us, kevin hart,ed comedian kevin hart decides to step down from hosting the oscars. that's our breaking news. we also have other breaking news to tell but tonight. the trump administration, the president expected to nominate u.s. ambassador to the u.n.
we have another big story tonight. a new development in the trump administration. the president expected to nominate state department spokeswoman heather nauert to be his new ambassador to the u.n. she was a fox news anchor before arriving at the state department in 2017. the announcement of her appointment expected in a matter of hours. joining me now samantha vinograd and brian stelter. good evening. hello once again. what is your reaction to heather nauert, a fox news former personality, tapped to be america's next ambassador to the u.n.? >> don, i don't think we really needed any clearer message that president trump doesn't have any real sense or desire to engage in a multilateral institution like the united nations. we've seen him withdraw from working with the united nations in the past. and now he's going to put a woman into this organization that really lacks any shred of background to make her effective in this post. i worked with the u.n. ambassadors in the past and let
me tell you talking to the russian ambassador to the united nations takes skill. calling on the other 192 members of the united nations to pass a resolution on russia, to pass a resolution on iran under the best of circumstances requires real diplomatic finesse and heather nauert just doesn't have that. >> what do we know about her background besides being a fox news personality? >> she has been a jurmt butournt i would say primarily a talking head, a commentator, for 20 years. and i say that to emphasize she is sharp. i mean she knows what she's doing on television. she knows what she's doing in the media arena. >> but diplomatic experience. >> but sam is right about the lack of diplomatic experience. this is not someone who brings u.n. ambassador level experience. this is a woman who was on fox for many years, also briefly at abc, but going back to the '90s when she graduated college she knew she wanted to be on television.
she was on a bunch of conservative talk shows and she was great at those jobs. that's why fox brought her over almost 20 years ago to be a regular on fox news. she was in a variety of roles on fox. sometimes more of a reporter, sometimes more of a talking head or a news reader. and in that job i think she excelled. as she went to abc briefly and back to fox. she was best known as the news reader on "fox and friends." again i'm kind of going through this résume on purpose to explain what's not there. she has been at the state department for the past couple of years as the state department %-p. i think she was skilled in that role. there were times she was going a bit beyond what trump will say, standing up for journalists and their rights and their values. there were other times there were some pretty embarrassing gasps. and certainly this is highly unusual situation to see nauert about to be appointed. >> some of the former ambassadors to the united
nations were? >> well, john bolton which ironically is an interesting point to note in light of the fact of john bolton from what we're reading in the press is trying to downgrade this position from a cabinet level position which it currently is to something that would report to the secretary of state, for example. >> interesting timing. for a downgrade. >> interesting indeed. i worked with ambassador susan rice, who was ambassador to the united nations, and ambassador samantha power. both of those women as well as nikki haley fought really hard for various initiatives that perhaps took a lot, a lot, a lot of diplomatic coordination within the body of the united nations. so i wonder how that media experience from the podium at the state department, from fox news is going to allow someone like heather nauert to again sit down and achieve consensus on issues both with the other u.n. members but also, don, with the president. as a cabinet-level official heather nauert would be in the situation room trying to argue a point with the president of the united states and convince him, for example, to keep working
through the united nations, to keep working on humanitarian assistance. do we really see her performing that function with the president of the united states? >> we just laid to rest today george h.w. bush, who was an ambassador to the u.n. daniel patrick moynihan was an ambassador to the u.n. jean kirkpatrick was an ambassador to the u.n. madeline albright was an ambassador to the u.n. bill richardson. john negroponte was an ambassador to the u.n. john bolton, as you said. samantha power. susan rice. and nikki haley. they're putting in nauert? >> it's a pretty impressive list. >> nothing against heather nauert. >> i think she did a pretty good job from the podium at the state department but how does that translate, again, to getting 192 other representatives to achieve a consensus? >> but the answer is the president has her trust.
we're seeing a merger between fox news and the white house. it's a merger that's good for the president but bad for america. >> thank you both. wisconsin governor scott walker's about to sign off on a slew of measures aimed at cushing the powers of the incoming democratic governor, and republicans aren't even hiding why they're doing it. y s. the new sleep number 360 smart bed, from $999... intelligently senses your movement and automatically adjusts on each side to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. it can even warm your feet to help you fall asleep faster. how smart is that? smarter sleep. to help you shed those sugar cookies, get a running start on the holidays, and take it all in with the patience of a saint. don't miss the last chance to save up to $500 on select sleep number 360 smart beds. ends monday.
republican wisconsin governor scott walker is on his way out, defeated last month by democratic governor-elect tony evers. but with the help of republicans in the state legislature walker is about to sign-off on a slew of measures designed to strip power from his successor. those bills would limit early voting, restrict appointments by
the governor to key positions and limit the attorney general's power to make decisions about federal lawsuits. it's a power grab to stop democrats from doing the things they campaigned on and won. and republicans have been almost too honest about why they are doing it. >> listen, i'm concerned. i think that governor-elect evers is going to bring a liberal agenda to wisconsin. >> well, democrats won their election. so if republicans didn't want liberal policies, isn't it on them to campaign harder and better? democrats are looking at legal option, but until they figure it out, well, they've been doing one of the only things they can do, protesting at the statehouse and making their voices heard. >> they can only win by cheating and that's what they're doing and right now they're a bunch of cowards.
>> it is up to walker to sign the legislation. democrats believe he will, and they are calling it like they see it. >> many of the actions taken today will invalidate the results of the will of the people and shows direct contempt for the voters. many of the acts taken today were not discussed ever during the campaign. >> so here's a question. so what does it say about our democratic process when the party losing power uses lame duck sessions to stifle the incoming party? joining me now is martha laning, the wisconsin democratic chairwoman. good evening. thank you so much for joining us. you doing okay? >> i am great and happy to be here. >> this is, martha, about the norms of our country. when you lose an election fair and square you're supposed to step aside, let the winner govern. i don't know, what would you call about what's happening here? >> this is clearly a power grab. the foundation of our democracy depends upon a smooth transition of power. it depends upon us respecting
the will of the people. what happens on election day, those that win, we transition power. and this is -- you know, the republicans here in wisconsin are not following that age-old tradition in wisconsin of having smooth transition in power. and we're hoping governor walker will come to his senses by having people call in and let the governor know that this is his legacy that he is, you know, writing right now. and we need him to veto these bills because they are not the loft people that was clearly stated in the election in november. and they're just not right. >> well, he signals his support on these measures but you think this will be a stain on his legacy, right? if he signs it. >> absolutely. and we're seeing people all over wisconsin that are calling into him and we're enurge encouraging people to do that. republicans, very prominent republicans have come out against what has happened here, that the people selected governor-elect tony evers and
attorney general-elect josh call to lead our state. and instead of respecting that decision the republicans under voss and under the leadership of governor walker are usurping that power. and we think it's a tragedy that our governor-elect will not have the same authority that governor walker has enjoyed the last eight years. it's just simply wrong. >> let's talk about that now. these bills now sitting on governor walker's desk, they weaken the state's executive branch at precisely the time democrats are set to reclaim it after nearly a decade on the outs. are republicans in wisconsin trying to undo, do you believe, undot results of the 2018 election? >> clearly they are. i'll give you a good example. josh call and tony evers ran on the fact wisconsin was involved in a lawsuit against obamacare. it was a challenge to preexisting condition coverage
for many wisconsinites across our state. tony evers and josh call ran on they would pull out of the lawsuit. if the bills are passed it's taking the authority away from josh call to do just that. so this is a direct offensive to a piece of a promise that these officials, these candidates made that they will not be able to follow through on because of these bills. >> you mention tony evers and josh call. they elected the two democrats. and gop leadership responded by calling an extraordinary session meant to strip powers from both offices. is there anything, anything that can be done to stop them? >> yeah. we have been having voters all over the state of wisconsin calling in. it has been working. we have made changes. >> you think that's making a difference? >> i do think it's making a difference.
they delivered this bill late on friday. they then had a hearing on monday. and on tuesday they were in and out of caucuses. they would not do anything in a transparent manner. they don't even know what they passed. there's hundreds of pages. they don't even know what they passed. they were originally trying to change the timing of the 2020 primary for the presidential. they were concerned that it would give the democrats an advantage. it would have cost millions sp millions of dollars to taxpayers to run two separate elections. and that was taken out. they eliminated it. we're proud of the fact people calling in and letting them know this is wrong. they continued with pieces that are simply wrong taking way powers from governor elect evers and restricting what josh call can do in his position. we need more people to speak up. this is an attack on our democracy. call governor walker and tell him to veto these bills. >> i wonder if you think republicans view an lx victory
that isn't by a republican as somehow an illegitimate outcome. and if you do think so, why is that? >> i think these republicans that are in control in wisconsin, they have just attacked our democracy over and over again. they rigged the system. in this past election, there were over 54% of the votes for representatives in our assembly were democrats. yet we only got 36 out of 99 seats. we are so gerrymandered here in the state. it is rigging the system so democrats can never take control. if we don't change that it's taking the will of the people away from them. it's allowing the elected leaders to pick constituents versus the constituents picking their leaders. the republicans are trying to keep control and rig the system. >> what kind of precedent does this set around the country you believe if this passes?
>> well, north carolina's had something similar to this. and they do have a lawsuit that they're dealing with. and we're just seeing the republicans are going from state to state. they -- it was with our act 10 with right to work. these things were created by aleck and spread throughout the nation. it is an attack on our democracy. these we need fo ensure all people have a right to vote. voting is easy. we need to be sure the people have the ability to select their elected leaders. and if these bills are signed by governor walker, we will hold them accountable. on november 3rd, 2020 we will remind the voters that these republicans did not want their voices to be heard. and did not want their will to move forward. and that's just simply wrong. and we know wisconsinites will do something about it. >> this president and some in the republican party are always talking about voter fraud,
election fraud. do you view this as election fraud? >> election fraud is something that the republicans talk about so they can rig the system more. the facts are you have a better chance in the state of wisconsin of being struck by lightning than finding a case of election fraud. this is all just talk. that they do to try to rig the system. to enable their party to have control. it's time that we get back to the wisconsin values. our national values. that we believe in fairness and transparency. that we won't hide in a caucus behind closed doors and write secret legislation and shove it threw without proper. it's against democracy. it's important people speak up and call governor walker and let him know this is simply wrong. >> martha laning. thank you for your time. >> thank you so much. i appreciate it.
>> so here's our breaking news tonight. we have got the all clear after our studio and offices were evacuated tonight after a phoned-in bomb threat. everybody is safe. the building is secure. the nypd tweeted the threat was not substantiated. and we want to thank them for their quick action tonight. thanks for watching. i'm don lemon. our coverage continues. ♪ unstopables in-wash scent booster ♪ downy unstopables
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and get two months free. xxx new revelations expected today in the mueller investigation. what else does the special counsel know about the trump campaign and russia? xxx president president about to name a new u.n. ambassador, questions surround the choice of new tv host. >> overnight, two former major league players killed in a car accident. : kevin hart says he's stepping down as host of the