tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 3, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello, everyone. i am fredricka whitfield. welcome. 11:00 on the east coast. jews are coming together this shabbat not to mourn but celebrate the lives of those murdered in the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh. congregations from boston to philadelphia and los angeles held show up for shabbat services last night, paying respects to the 11 lives tragically taken in a hate filled massacre one week ago today. and this morning, hundreds more are gathered again to honor the
victims in pittsburgh. the former crime scene is now covered with flowers, letters, tributes to those lost. cnn jean casarez joins us live from pittsburgh. what are you hearing, jean? >> reporter: we are right here. this is where it happened one week ago today just as you said at the tree of life. it is still an active crime scene because federal investigators, the fbi, continue to process it. but outside, it just ended minutes ago. it was an outside shabbat service by former rabbi of tree of life, chuck diamond. there were so many things he said to people all over the community that came for this outdoor shabbat setting. it was raining very hard at the time, but it went on. he said the survivors of all of this should not feel guilty because they were given life. then he focused directly on tree of life synagogue which was behind the mall and said there
was so much joy from the tree of life for so many years, the weddings, bar mitzvahs, and now that the building has been stained. he equated it to a jewish wedding where the glass is stepped upon at one point during the proceeding, and it is to signify the rabbi said of the tragedy. he said this tragedy has happened, but we must go on and that the building will find joy in the future. the three congregations that were in the tree of life on various levels from the basement to the main floor to third floor, they're all having a ceremony together at beth shalom, close to where i am now. it is continuing to go on. we know at one point they had a moment of silence, one minute 11 seconds. 11 seconds for every victim that perfect ishd one week ago today in the -- perished one week ago today in the synagogue.
>> we'll check back with you. alisyn camerota talked to the rabbi that led that congregation in prayer. he says his sadness has shifted to anger. >> these just showed up. we didn't put them here. they just showed up. >> they just organically show up. outpouring of love. i don't know where the tents came from. these weren't here yesterday. >> is that right? >> the rain is coming in. >> what is it like to walk here six days after running for your life from the building?
>> it was painful, it still is. it is painful. i mean, i know it is part of the grieving process, but, you know, i'm a witness. i'm a victim. i'm a survivor. and i'm also a human. i stand here and i'm in pain. >> are you scared when you see the building? >> no, i'm not scared. i'm angry. how dare you defile our holy space. what made you think you could ever do that. how would you feel if someone did that to your mother's house of worship. how would you feel. and those are questions he has to deal with. >> you sense anxiety and fear from the community? >> yes, they're afraid. >> they're afraid it is going to happen again. >> yeah. >> you've been so vocal on national tv, you have given your message of love and to tone down
the hate. i wonder do you have moments where you breakdown or are you still on adrenaline? >> perfect example. after the last funeral today, it was the last one. i appreciate the fact that outside, there's a side with a contemplating garden. i sat there and cried like a baby. i couldn't stop. i thought the procession was waiting for me, i couldn't stop. it just came out. couldn't stop. i haven't held it in me nonstop, but this is the last funeral, and every time i do one, for me, when i chant the memorial prayer, it takes a piece of my soul away. i have no more left to give. my tank is empty. >> and so what do you say to your congregants who say why, how does this happen, why, how does god let this happen? >> i don't believe god lets this stuff happen.
humans have a choice. this person made this choice. to me god is the one i turn to when i have no strength to say god, give me strength to get through this. and that's what i do. every moment of every day, give me strength. somehow god does. >> and all of the people that lined up here, why are they here? what do you think they're coming here to do? >> the community is just mourning. this is pittsburgh. this is what pittsburgh is. we're one community. and pittsburgh is hurting. and we're here to mourn. this is what pittsburgh is about. it makes pittsburgh a special place. >> are you ever going back into this building? >> yeah. we're going to do whatever is the necessary work. we have to redo the sanctuary. we have to sit and figure out how and what it means and what's the best choice in terms of what to do, sit and spend time and plan properly and we will
rebuild in whatever way we need to, and we'll be back. >> seeing the gun bullet holes through the door, through the glass door, that's really chilling. >> it is. it is. i walked through the sanctuary. it is a horror. it is worse than any sci-fi film because it is real, it is not phony hollywood. i never think i'd live to see that horror in my life. because i face anti-semitism before, i faced it growing up as a kid. i never thought i would see the horror of this ever, ever. >> show me here what stands out to you. show me when you come to look at this outpouring of the community. >> the sheer immensity of love. it gives me hope because it reminds me there are so many good people, and this gives me strength to say hate will never win.
>> thank you to allison cammarata. as pittsburgh continues to cope with that synagogue massacre, we're following another deadly shooting, this time in florida where a gunman opened fire at a yoga studio in tallahassee last night. the man killed two people and injured five more before turning the gun on himself. >> there are indications that several people inside fought back and tried to not only save themselves but other people, which is a testament to their courage of the people that don't just turn and run, the strength of our community, the spirit of those people trying to help, save, protect others. >> cnn's diane gallagher is following this for us. what more are you learning about the shooting? >> we have no idea, what the connection was to the hot yoga studio in tallahassee, fred. the two women killed in the
shooting, the president of florida state university tweeting this morning that 61-year-old was a faculty member, and the 21-year-old was a student at fsu. so that community is obviously grieving now. now three of five people admitted to the hospital have since been released. two remain in stable condition. that 40-year-old shooter, scott beerly turned the gun on himself. they're trying to determine what caused him to go into a hot rogue a studio and open -- yoga studio and open fire. it is a vulnerable situation. most of the time people don't wear shoes, let alone be able to protect themself. >> and it is a small space. >> difficult to get in and out of, it is hot, intended to be that way. they're working on try to figure
out what the connection is to the shooter now, to come into that public place and open fire. of course in the governor's race in florida, the democrat is the mayor of tallahassee. he went back last night after campaigning with president obama when the shooting happened, he went back to tallahassee to deal with it. rick scott, the governor of the state, republican nominee for senator went back to tallahassee. that's also where he lives, state capitol. both of them are now back in tallahassee dealing with it. rick scott tweeted that he visited with some of the victims in the hospital overnight. we are waiting to find out the connection and learn more about the victims. >> as we have seen too often with situations like this, they're looking at the digital footprint and the residence, looking to talk to anyone that may have known this gunman before of course he took his life. as for the candidates, though, have they suspended their campaigning for the weekend or
just last night? >> at least last night. there are still some tweets about campaigning, but andrew gillum is not expect to attend three days before the election. he talked quite a bit on gun violence, think of what happened not just this year, not just last week in pittsburgh, but how many months ago in february, parkland, florida. the gaming tournament in jacksonville, florida where a gunman opened fire, killing two of the contestants there as well. it has been a topic for andrew gillum. the president has set the tone for so many elections across the nation, and it is not something the president really talks about. his preferred topics are immigration or health care or things of that nature. >> we're seeing him do this weekend as he also campaigns across the country, but a lot in
2018. thanks so much. diane gallagher, appreciate that. keep us posted as you learn more. and still ahead, president trump's final blitz with three days until midterms. can the president save his party and knock down this supposed blue wave on the horizon? ♪ whoa! (phone rings) daddy, mommy's on the phone! hi! how are you guys? at&t proudly offers wireless and tv discounts to military, veterans, first responders and their families. visit att.com/hero. - mwith the best ofodi, the prespressure cooking andsps, air frying all in one. with our tendercrisp technology, you can quickly cook food, juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. go from fresh to deliciously done in half the time.
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three days until tuesday's midterms. intense stumping by the major parties, by the sitting president and his predecessor. an unprecedented matchup between president trump and former president barack obama on the campaign trail. they headline a wave of star power, crisscrossing the country trying to secure votes between today and tuesday. president trump has seven rallies on the schedule. last night, trump boasting less less on the economy and more on immigration. he ramped up attacks on the
caravan. >> the democrats want to invite caravan after caravan. republicans want strong voters, no drugs, no gangs, and we want no caravans, thank you. i think they overplayed their hand on this one, folks, because between justice kavanaugh and the caravans, you people are energized. >> so much at stake and voters are energized overall and they know what's at stake. early voting numbers skyrocketed. cnn reports 12 states have surpassed numbers from 2014. the president by the way is in montana today where the democratic senator is in danger of losing his seat to a republican. senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny is where the
president will be speaking in about an hour from now. tell me what's happening in montana. looks like you have a sizable crowd behind you already. >> reporter: good morning, fredricka. the crowd is beginning to pour in. there were hundreds if not perhaps thousands lining up early this morning. this is president trump's fourth trip to big sky country since july. local historians say it is the most visits by a u.s. president ever. harry truman visited three times by comparison in a four-year period. president trump is coming for one reason and one reason only. he views it as a personal match between he and senator john tester. the president has come to montana again and again, trying to nationalize the contest, make this the same as all of the others. jon tester is a democrat, one of the rare ones representing a red state. president trump won montana by some 20 points in 2016, and he is trying to awaken his voters to come out and support the republican candidate. but we caught up with jon tester
yesterday as was he campaigning and asked him how he sees the race. let's watch. senator, president trump has been here four times now. he has a target on you. how has that changed the race? >> i don't think it has. still a race between myself and matt rosendale for united states senator. the difference between me and my opponent are 180 degrees on nearly every issue, that's what it is about. whether the president comes here or not doesn't make a difference, still a race between matt rosendale and myself. i will tell you this, i think the president coming is a good thing and i would like to see him get around, not just do rallies, but see some of the challenges in a rural state like montana. he is from new york city. he could learn a lot. >> reporter: senator tester getting a dig in there, saying the president is from new york city, could learn a lot by traveling around montana. fredricka, the president won't be doing that. he is cutting to an airport
rally, staying here a brief period of time, then flying to florida. the senate and governor's race there. you mentioned the early vote that's coming in. here in montana, the majority vote by mail. two-thirds of the ballots are already in. more coming in monday. you have to ask are rallies at the end of the race as effective as the beginning, the majority of people have already voted. but the president will be rallying supporters again trying to knock off jon tester. we'll see tuesday if he is successful. >> see if this rally is influential. i remember the president saying he loves airports and hangars, it is energizing and motivating. if that's his primary objective, perhaps that's what he gets at least today. jeff zeleny, thanks so much. we'll check back in montana. president barack obama in rare form spending time setting the record straight about his predecessor, punching back at
president trump on the economy and health care. >> starts about look how great the economy is. where did you think that started? we created more jobs in my last 21 months than they created in the first 21 months. what are they talking about? suddenly they are saying that they're the ones to protect people with pre-existing conditions. they -- i want everybody to pay attention to this. they have literally been doing the opposite of what they're now saying. it is like calling up them, calling black white. >> let's talk about this. the sitting prisoner and predecessor going at it on the campaign trail. -- sitting president and the predecessor going at it on the
campaign trail. all right, david, unprecedented times we're in for the two presidents, the sitting president and his predecessor going at it in the name of stumping for their party, but perhaps more unique, the former president trying to set the record straight. what's the tone you're seeing here? >> good morning, fred. i think president obama is really trying to help democrats drive their message home in the home stretch. there was a point during president trump's first two years where commentators were saying where is president obama. the answer is he was saving it up for the final lap before the midterms. president trump's closing message is heavy on immigration. if you let democrats take over even one house of congress, they're going to let undocumented immigrants in. they had a message they liked about kavanaugh and the economy, now they're drilling down on immigration because they know it is a turnout election.
similarly, president obama is coming out and saying hey, democrats, we're not changing minds here, this is a turnout election. either you vote or you don't. if you want to see change, if you don't like where trump has taken the country, you've got to come out. that's why he is stumping in races in florida, georgia, these are key races that democrats want to win. >> those are key states where history could potentially be made if red states turn blue. david, really quick, at what risk though for the predecessor to be campaigning in the style in which we're seeing barack obama campaign now? >> you know, fred, i think there was a point when it might have been seen as a risk. president obama polarizes people, drives up democratic turnout, and also bulletin board material for republicans for president trump to say hey, there's obama again, vote for republicans. you didn't like him before, you don't like him now. but i think we're at a point where the calculation for president obama and for
democrats is that president obama is still the best retail politician on the planet, even if you don't agree on every issue. that's who they want out there in the final days of midterms to signal to democrats that this is serious business. >> and perhaps reminiscent of runup to the election, 2008, oprah winfrey was stumping for barack obama. the president -- president obama becomes president, now you see oprah, even though she made it clear i am not testing the waters, i am not running for anything, but she spent time in georgia trying to encourage people to vote in a state that could make history potentially with the first black governor in stacey abrams. listen to obserprah yesterday i marietta. >> we as women people need to stand united and vote our values. vote your values. vote your conscience. all this noise, all the noise,
you can't get away from it, you turn on the tv, it is so much noise and crazy talk. all the vitriol in the ads. you know what, they're designed to confuse and confound you with fear. that's what they're done, they're designed to con tlefounu with fear. they're not designed for people with did i certainment. women, people, we have did i certainment. i know a change is going to come. i am here today to support a change maker. a woman who dared believe she could change the state of georgia. >> she's talking about the power of the vote and you make the difference, it is not the time to be apathetic. how impactful might that message be? >> there was something
interesting about her appearance in georgia, she was not overtly political. she was talking about go out to the polls, vote your conscience, vote how you want the country to be run. i thought that was significant because she is seen as potentially a polarizing figure, but she's really trying to go back to her talk show roots and speak to women across the country, whether republican or a democrat, hey ladies, go to the polls, vote how you want this country to be. i thought that was the significant message she made down in georgia. >> lauren, how is she polarizing, oprah winfrey? >> i think there was a question whether or not she would run for president. she was seen as being a big supporter of barack obama. he was a polarizing figure. he was someone who was seen as a change maker and also someone that republicans vilified for several years that he was in office. i think she's trying to distance herself from the republican or democratic party. she's trying to say i am here
because i am frustrated with the way things are, has nothing to do with what party you're part of. it has everything to do with what you think the message of america is. >> and david, let's talk strategy of the sitting president. the latest jobs report is victory for the president, and real gift to the republicans. listen to what donald trump told the crowd last night. >> they all say speak about the economy, speak about the economy. well, we have the greatest economy in the history of our country. but sometimes it's not as exciting to talk about the economy, right? because we have a lot of other things to talk about. >> david, why does he believe caravan, immigration sells, not the economy? >> president trump has an economic story to tell. unemployment for two months in a row is 3.7%. the calculation that he has made is he won in 2016 talking about wedge issues, immigration key among them, and until he loses
with that message, i think he is going to stick with it. he knows his approval is at 44%. that's the same as it was inauguration day. until he is proven wrong, immigration i think he feels in a turnout election is where he is going to stay. >> is this a what do you have to lose kind of moment, is that what we're hearing? >> i don't know that, fred. i think he feels comfortable on this ground, and will stick in it, throw in a little economy as well. but he wants to drive out core supporters, not to change mienlminds on big issues that effect everyone. >> thanks so much. straight ahead, as the migrant caravan heads towards the u.s., up next, why the pentagon said no to a key part of his request. ♪
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welcome back. the pentagon is refusing a trump administration request for u.s. troops to take on law enforcement duties at the border with mexico. cnn learned the pentagon rejected the request on october 26th, even as it signed off on providing air, engineering and medical support. president trump requested as many as 15,000 active duty troops as a caravan of migrants is working its way to the u.s., mexico border. joining us is sarah westwood.
using troops for domestic law enforcement is itself unlawful. is that why the pentagon refused this? >> reporter: that's right, fred. cnn has learned that the pentagon rejected part of that initial request from department of homeland security for troops to perform what defense officials saw as law enforcement activities, because as you mentioned, active duty troops are barred by law from enforcing domestic laws unless under specific emergency situation. that part of the dhs request for troops had to do with crowd and traffic control, according to the dhs. pentagon officials felt that would have required troops to enforce domestic laws. while the pentagon was rejecting that specific part of the dhs request, the dod did approve other parts of the request to send troops to support civil authorities, people like engineers, and people like air and logistics officials, people that needed support from those troops. the president made waves earlier
this week when he suggested that migrants that throw rocks at military service members at the border could be shot. he said he would advise military service members at the border to consider thrown rocks as firearms. he tried to clean that up yesterday, telling reporters he meant only that migrants that throw rocks at u.s. officials should be arrested, and the whole reason this part of the request was rejected in the first place is because arresting migrants is illegal for troops to do in the first place. but fred, this is all coming as the president tries to make deployment of potentially thousands of troops to the border to defend the border against a caravan of central american migrants, a focus of his midterm message to gop voters as he tries to inflame passions around immigration for election day. >> a partial defeat but not a complete defeat. they're still moving forward on a good part of that u.s. troops on the border plan.
sara westwood, thank you so much. president trump's former personal attorney and confidant claims he made shocking racist comments to him in private. details next. on a travel site? at hilton.com, i get the price match guarantee. and i can choose from their 14 different hotel brands, so i get the right hotel for every member of my family. like a doubletree for my cousins who love their warm chocolate chip cookies. a homewood suites for my uncle who likes a long stay. a hampton for my sister and her kids. that's a lot of syrup and the waldorf astoria beverly hills for me. but i thought your family vacation was in miami? it is. i hear they're having a great time. book at hilton.com and get the hilton price match guarantee. if you find a lower rate, we match it and give you 25% off that stay. dependability award for its midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award for its light-duty truck the chevy silverado. oh, and since the chevy equinox and traverse also won chevy is the only brand to earn the j.d. power dependability award
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repeated use of racist language in personal conversations before he became president. mj lee has more. >> reporter: michael cohen is again unleashing on donald trump, his former boss, telling "vanity fair" in an interview in the years he worked for donald trump, he on more than one occasion saw him use chilling and racist language in their private conversations. here are three examples highlighted in the "vanity fair" interview. one in 2016, michael cohen says that the two men were discussing a trump rally and that he remarked that the audience was mostly white. michael cohen goes on to say i told trump at the rally looked vanilla on television, trump responded that's because black people are too stupid to vote for me. in a second example in the story, michael cohen says that shortly after nelson mandela's death, trump said to him name one country run by a black person that is not a shit hole
and named one city. in the lays 2000s, michael cohen said he was traveling with donald trump in chicago. going from the airport to the hotel and drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood. trump made a comment saying only the blacks could live like this. michael cohen says his motivation for speaking against donald trump in this way now is that he feels like he knows that what donald trump says in private is actually worse than what he says in public, and that he wants voters to be equipped with this information as they head to the polls in midterms. obviously this is a very damning interview for michael cohen, and another sign of the complete 180 he has done when it comes to his former boss, donald trump. we know and have reported in the last couple of weeks that michael cohen has changed his party registration from republican back to democrat, that he has an interest in campaigning now for the democrats and against president
trump, and last month when i caught up with michael cohen briefly in manhattan, he basically said the voters need to go out and vote against donald trump, otherwise they're going to have two to six more years of craziness. mj lee, cnn, new york. meantime, one of the president's long time former advisers, roger stone, is coming to trump's defense. earlier today he appeared on cnn to talk with michael smerconish and stone claims he never heard the president say anything racist. >> i have known him for 40 years. i have never heard him say anything of the kind. i actually think his expectation for black voters was a little higher than perhaps expected because of his friendship with a number of black entertainers and athletes and rappers. although if you examine the results in philadelphia, milwaukee, detroit, cleveland,
he actually does run between 2 and 4% ahead of where mitt romney did. >> that's not what i'm asking. did you ever hear him use the "n" word? >> never. absolutely not. absolutely not. look, michael cohen has become a tool of his new handlers, this is a partisan attack. i have known donald trump for 40 years. i have never heard him make a racist comment. he had many african-american friends. >> the white house yet to comment on the allegations coming from michael cohen. still ahead, trump takes his closing midterm argument to montana. he's set to hold a rally in a couple of hours. will his tough lines on immigration resonate in a state not along the southern border, what people there want to hear from the president next.
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welcome back. i am fredricka whitfield. president trump holding a rally in monltana, one of the final pushes ahead of midterms. one of seven between now and monday evening. that's where republican candidate matt rosendale is locked in a tight race with jon tester. tester is up by ten points in the latest university of montana big sky poll. it is important to remember that trump and tester have history. trump called for tester to resign after the senator refused to back ronnie jackson, trump's pick to lead the veteran's affairs department. the president went after test
era coup er a couple weeks ago, saying he would raise taxes and deliver quote, mob rule. i am joined by senior news analyst for montana public radio, and also part of a weekly political show focusing on issues of importance for montana voters. hi, sally. the president is on his way to a rally in belgrade, montana. it is the fourth trip to montana for the president since september. so what does that say about how hard republicans are working to, you know, flip this seat? >> well, it says a lot. four trips to montana by a president is unheard of. we could go years without a presidential visit so this is kind of stunning to montanans with a president who comes four times in four timonths. it shows the animosity with jon tester and how much he wants to
unseat the senator. it's a grudge and he's made no bones about it, that's why he's coming. go ahead. >> so how potentially persuasive is it for the president to campaign there? >> it's persuasive in getting out his base. there's no question about that. he's drawing between 6,000 to 8,000 people at these rallies and that's a big rally for montana. how much it translates with the voters, that's the big question. a lot see these as maybe too much. unseats as a personal grudge a little too much and see how that plays out. >> during the president's trip to missoula last month, the president tried to make immigration a central theme of his speech.
here's a reminder. >> as you know, i'm willing to send the military to the southern border if necessary. all because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought by the democrats because they refuse to acknowledge or to change the laws. they like it. they also figure everybody coming in is going to vote democrat. >> you know, since he said that, the pentagon yesterday saying, you know, they're not going to give the green light for u.s. troops to be used to help enforce any kind of domestic law. so given that, is immigration at all and even the president's point of view on it, is it going to sway voters at all in montana? >> that's hard to say. i think part of his message on immigration is resonating with some montananmontanans.
we share a border with canada, not mexico. it's not as big of an issue here with other states and tester has been endorsed by the national council of border patrol officers. he's not someone that montanans think is not strong on that issue. i don't think it's the defining issue in this race by any means. >> sally mauk, thank you so much. good to see you. >> thank you. still ahead, after alec baldwin arrested after allegedly punching someone over a parking space. what baldwin is saying about the allegations next. agree that skills like teamwork, attention to detail, and customer service are critical to business success. the kind of skills, that work for you. from the first loving touch pampers diapers are the #1 choice of hospitals,
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a dispute over a parking spot. cnn's paulo sandoval has more. >> reporter: the actor known for his portrayal of donald trump was charged with assault and harassment. alleging he punched a 49-year-old man during a fight over a parking spot. this isn't the first time finding himself in trouble with the law or making headlines. baldwin was arrested for bike riding on the wrong side of the road. short tempered actor also seen getting into scuffles with paparazzi. back in 2007, baldwin was heard on a voice mail recording yelling insults at then wife kim bastinger. >> you are a rude thoughtless little pig. i don't give a dam you're 12 years old or 11 years old or a child. >> took a sarcastic jab at
baldwin. the president son don jr. calling him a piece of garbage. earlier this year, the president called baldwin's impersonation of him terrible and agony inducing. the white house lawn. >> who was arrested? >> alec baldwin. in a parking dispute. >> i wish him luck. >> friday evening, baldwin took to twitter denying the allegations calling them false. the actor wrote, i realize it's become a sport to tank people with as many negative charges and defaming allegations as possible for the purposes of click bait entertainment. fortunately, mo matter how reverberating the echoes doesn't make it true. paulo sandoval, cnn, new york. >> so much more straight ahead in the newsroom and it all starts right now. the jewish community in
shock one week after 11 innocent lives were tragically taken inside a pittsburgh synagogue. this morning, the squirrel hill community of pittsburgh came together to honor those victims for the pair of services. a private service for the congregation and another for all who are rallying around them. many of them making the same trip their friends and family made just last saturday, entering the tree of life synagogue to pray. communities across the country are also showing strength in numbers. last night, congregations from coast to coast held special show-up for shabbat services to honor the 11 victims. earlier this morning, cnn's elson emrata spoke. >> you've been so stoical on national tv and to love and tone down the hate. do you have