tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 3, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
hello again, everyone. thank you so much for joining with me this saturday. i'm fredericka whitfield. it's been a kadark and gloomy d in pittsburgh. the hearts of the people as they remember the lives of those honored inside the tree of life synagogue one week ago today. congregations from boston to philadelphia and los angeles holding show up for shabbat services last night, paying respects for the 11 lives tragically taken in a hate-filled massacre and this morning, hundreds more gathered again to honor the victims in pittsburgh. cnn's allison camarata joining me right now. what was it like? >> reporter: we just come out. fred, it was really powerful, emotional, it was packed.
they're going to need a place of worship like the synagogue is closed. it was intense. at 9:52 a.m., which was the exact moment rabbi myers made the first phone call, they held a moment of silence for a minute and 11 seconds to honor the 11 lives lost and it was the first time that we saw rabbi myers broke down. he has been such a pillar of strength for this community. he has been their rock and during that moment of silence, he audibly wept. he held his, hung his head and he cried and he wasn't alone. you could hear sobs throughout the congregation as they remembered these 11 precious lives and members of their congregation they lost. yesterday, had an opportunity to
spend time with rabbi myers and he wanted to tell us about what has given them strength during this past week and what has brought him sorrow. here's these moments. >> just showed up. we didn't put him here. he showed up. >> they just organically showed up. >> these are all the names of the victims and it just showed up. this is just an outpouring of love from countless people. i'm floored by the love. i don't know where the tents came from. these weren't here yesterday. this is, the rain is coming in. somebody brought in tents. this is amazing. >> to shelter. >> this was not done by the synagogue. we didn't do this. the community did this and i'm just amazed. amazed. >> reporter: what is it like for you to walk around here six days after you ran for your life from this building? >> it was painful.
it still is. it's painful. i mean, i know it's part of the grieving process but i'm a witness, a victim, and a survivor and also pastor but also a human and i stayed here and i'm in pain. >> reporter: are you scared when you see this building? >> 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? those are questions he's going to have to deal with. >> you sense anxiety and fear from the community. >> yes, they're afraid. >> reporter: they're afraid this is going to happen again? >> yes. >> reporter: you've been so stoical on national tv and you have given your message of love
and to tone down the hate but i just wonder, do you have moments where you break down or are you still on adrenaline? >> a perfect example, the last funeral today, it was the last one. we were, i appreciate the fact that outside, it's a side there with a contemplative garden. i just sat there and cried like a baby. i couldn't stop. i thought the procession was waiting for me. i couldn't stop. they just came out. couldn't stop. i haven't held it in me nonstop but this was the last funeral and every time i do one, particularly for me, because when i check the memorial prayer, it takes a piece of my soul away and i have no more left to give. my tank is empty. >> reporter: what do you say to your congregants who say why? how does this happen? how does god let this happen? >> i don't believe god lets this
stuff happen. humans have a choice. and this person chose, 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 and somehow, god does. >> reporter: all of these people lined up here, why are they here? i mean, what do you think they're coming here to do? >> the community is just mourning. this is pittsburgh and this is what pittsburgh is. we're one community and pittsburgh is hurting. and we're here to mourn. and this is what pittsburgh is about. that's what makes pittsburgh such a special place. >> are you ever going back into this building? >> we're going to do whatever is necessary. we have to redo our sanctuary. we have to figure out how and what that means and what's the best choice in terms of what to
do. sit and spend the time and plan properly and we will rebuild in whatever way we need to and we'll be back. >> seeing those gun, bullet holes through the door, through the glass door, that's really chilling. >> it is, it is. i've walked through the sanctuary. it's a horror. it's worse than any sci-fi film because it's real. it's not phony hollywood. i never thought i'd live to see that horror in my life because i've faced anti-semitism before, faced it growing up as a kid. i never thought i'd see the horror of this ever. ever. >> reporter: just show me here what stands out to you. when you come here to look at this outpouring of the community. >> it's 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. >> so, fred, you heard rabbi myers, again, today, no cameras were allowed in but he echoed all of those same messages and he talked about why he welcomed president trump here to his synagogue when so many critics said he shouldn't have done that and he said that he did it because the bible teaches all of us to welcome the stranger and to treat them as guests and he wanted to model that biblical behavior but he had a message for president trump and told president trump directly, he said that hate speech leads to hate actions and he said he told president trump directly, tone down and stop the hate speech and only love and compassion and respect can stop hate and at that moment, the congregation inside broke into applause. >> wow. and that concept, that practice of open arms, open doors is exactly what the rabbi was
doing. and so alisyn, talked about the next chapter, when people can reenter the congregation, where the shooting took place. it will happen one day but do they have kind of a possible timetable of when that might be and talking weeks ago, months away, how long before just the construction will be complete but when people will feel comfortable returning to that space? >> reporter: that may take longer. their comfort level may take longer. the moment he said, it's still a crime scene, in fact, that entire block is cordoned off. the fbi is still everywhere. there are still processing trucks out front because the crime scene is apparently so grizzly and so vast in there that they're not done with the work but he believes that they will go back.
he believes it's important to go back into that building so the hate doesn't win and, you know, look, he knows the work is just beginning for making people feel comfortable and feel the love that this congregation is all about. >> all right, well, a huge hug is just wrapping around that community and that synagogue from all extensions of this country and world. alisyn kamerota, thank you. a deadly shooting 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. cnn's diane gallagher following this for us. do we know the circumstances when this gunman killed himself? when first responders came? whamd here, what was the plan?
>> reporter: it appeared they got there within three minutes of the first call that the gunman, who has been identified as 40-year-old scott beierle had already shot himself, this is after shooting six people and pistol-whipping another according to authorities inside that hot yoga studio in tallahassee, florida. they do not know the connection at this point but we can tell you two people have died. 21-year-old mara bingly and nancy van vessum connected to florida state university. a faculty member and maurer rra student there. they're working to figure out what this gunman's connection to that yoga studio is. they're investigating this right now. both the governor and mayor running for offices, andrew
gill gillum, running to be the governor. he's the democratic candidate. rick scott, the current governor, running to be a senator. a republican candidate. they both left last night events, they had to go back to tallahassee. interesting enough, mayor gillum was at a show up for shabbat in honor of those victims in pittsburgh when this happened. he went back. they both went to the hospital and visited those victims there. gillum said one of the people who was still in the hospital, there are two, had been shot nine different times. >> oh my. >> another had a bullet go straight through her. he had put a pause on his campaign but back out now as we speak with a get out the vote rally in orlando and started talking about this shooting and he claims that one of those victims pulled him very close after talking about the shooting and said, you've got to do something about this gun violence. fred, governor scott has not gone back out on the campaign
trail yet today. he had been scheduled this morning but did not appear at those gun violence. we talked about this so many times, it was a hot topic for so long this year after the shooting at marjorie stoneman douglas at parkland. it has seemingly fallen off the headlines and politicians. it doesn't seem to be their top topic or priority anymore. maybe that will change in florida after this is happening so close to the election and i can tell you the students, activists all year, they've been doing this over and over. >> they started campaigning for the voter registration shortly after that, top of mind for a lot of voters. just might be this violence. thank you so much, diane gallagher, appreciate that. still ahead, president trump's final blitz with just three days until the midterms. can the president save his party and knock down that blue wave? cal: we saved our money and now, we get to spend it - our way.
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are hundreds of house and senate seats plus 36 governors races. president trump and former president barack obama on the campaign trail squaring off in the home stretch to rally for several candidates. their tones are shaping the final messages for republicans and democrats. >> they want to take away your good health care. and essentially use socialism to turn america into venezuela and democrats want to totally open the borders. they have the caravan, let them in. if you want to let them? does anyone want to let them? >> build that wall, build that wall. >> you're right. >> the consequences of any of us staying at home are really profound. because america is at a crossroads. the health care of millions of people are on the ballot, making
sure working families get a fair shake is on the ballot. but maybe most of all, the character of our country is on the ballot. >> president trump packing in seven rallies in the next three days and next hour, he'll be speaking at a rally in montana where democratic senator jon tester is in danger of losing his seat to republican matt rosendale. senior cnn white house corresponde correspondent jeff zeleny. where the president will be, you'd think this was a presidential kaechlicampaigningf race but this is really unique. >> reporter: no question, where he's going, a lot of states that trump won and he's trying to
awaken all trump voters who voted for him in 2016. he won by some 20 points here in montana to try and awaken them to the fact there is an election on tuesday. he believes, the white house believes that all of his spothespot supporters are not necessarily tuning in. he's trying to nationalize this race and talking about immigrations and things like that. jon tester trying to localize the race and talk about access to health care, access to public lands but you can see behind me here, big sky country. air force one is going to land here a few thousand people here in the next hour will be watching that but the president clearly is trying to excite voters here. we caught up with jon tester on friday. this is what he said about the president's visit. >> whether the president comes here or not doesn't make any difference. it's still a race between matt rosendale and myself. although, i will tell you this. i think the president coming was a good thing. and i would like to see him get around and not just do rallies
but actually see some of the challenges we have in a rural state like montana. he's from new york city. he could learn a lot. >> so jon tester there taking a bit of a dig at the president saying he's a new york city developer and lowering my voice here as they're doing a prayer before the rally but no question, this race is one of the most competitive. i'm told the president is telling his advisers, this is the one he wants to win the most. he's having a bit of a personal feud with jon tester over who's going to lead the v.a. earlier this year and that's one of the reasons that president trump has been out here so often. we'll see what happens on tuesday. the final stop here before flying to florida tonight. fredricka? >> jeff zeleny, thank you so much in belgrade, montana. president trump will finish in pensacola, florida. cnn white house correspondent boris sanchez in pensacola. barack obama was in florida yesterday shaking things up, trying to set the record straight and later today, you know, president trump will be
there. what is on the line? what's at stake and what will the president likely be reminding or telling voters about? >> reporter: hey there, fred. always a lot at stake in florida. we likely hear him reiterate what we heard about caravans and kavanaugh, et cetera, et cetera. really the big race to look for here in florida is the governor's race. ron desantis and andrew gillum could be seen as a microcosm of where the two parties stand right now and ron, you have an underdog. somebody who ran against much more establishment republicans in the primaries and ended up winning by following the trump play book, as you remember, having his kids build a toy wall in the notorious commercial. success could be a referendum on where president trump stands with florida vote offers. he'll bring out the old obama coalition. latinos, african-americans, young people. if he could win here, a bernie
sanders style of progressive, it could give an indication of where the democrats plan to go in 2020. both candidates are neck and neck, fred, with desantis gaining ground at the last minute with independents. no matter what happens on tuesday, you know president trump will be watching and he considers the sunshine state his second home. fred? >> okay. boris sanchez, thanks so much. let's talk more about this. democrats and republicans are deploying some very serious star power to get out the vote in georgia. >> hi oprah. >> almost like a clearing house door visit, but no. oprah winfrey in support of stacy abrams, the democratic candidate for governor and making an impassioned plea to everyone for jor januarys to vote. >> for anybody here who has ana
cabrera s-- an ancestor, wherevr you are in this state, you are dishonoring your family. so honor your legacy. honor your legacy. honor your right to citizenship and this which is the greatest country in the world. >> vice president mike pence also part of that star power in georgia campaigning for republican brian kemp. vice president had a message for stacy abrams and her high profile backer such as anchor man star will farrell. >> i'd like to remind stacy and oprah and will farrell, i'm kind of a big deal too. i got a message for all of stacy abrams liberal hollywood friends. this ain't hollywood. this is georgia. >> president obama pushing back
in setting the record straight. he too in georgia. >> we have not seen the way we're seeing right now is politicians just blatantly repeatedly boldly shamelessly lie. just making stuff up. that's what they're doing right now, all the time. don't be bamboozled. don't be hoodwinked. when words stop meaning anything, when truth doesn't matter, when people can just lie with abandon, democracy can't work. >> so that was president obama while he was campaigning in florida but he did eventually make his way to atlanta later on in the evening. so right now, joining me is cnn presidential historian tim
natali and wolf. you first. it's rare to see two presidents, a sitting, a president, this contrast of styles and message and tone. will this inspire votes? >> well, you know, one thing that president obama is trying to do is to remind americans that elections are not spectator sports. that you have to participate. he's out there saying to democrats and independents, you must participate. if you don't like what's happening in the oval office, you have got to do something about it and the constitution gives you a chance and that chance is tuesday. president trump, on the other hand has been running by his base from the beginning and saying to his base, we won in 2016. we beat the polls. we surprised everyone. we've got to do it again. get out to vote. on the one hand, president trump is trying to get his base to vote, to beat the historical average which is the presidential party supporters don't vote in midterms in a
large number. president obama is trying to get new people to the polls so in those areas that are typically republican, you might find a change in registration and might find independents voting for the democratic option which would mean a democratic success at least in the house. >> and zach, obama has been relatively quiet since leaving office. i say relatively, there have been some appearances but perhaps president obama has presumed his record speaks for itself. well, this time, we saw and heard in him more fight in his words and his voice sometimes even a bit strained. so does this show obama's frustration as much as continued hope? >> well, when he left office, he said he was going to give the president some space to do his own thing and even at times when you thought president obama would weigh in and go after president trump, he didn't. so now in kind of these last days before an election, you see him trying to get out the vote and i think there's a difference there at rallies trying to get
people specifically in georgia to come out and vote. that's something different than what we've seen for, you know, the last months and years of the trump presidency where he was sort of trying to hold his tongue, it almost felt like. this is something different. >> and so tim, president obama said this is fear amomongering, talking about president trump's approach whether it's about immigration, whether it be about migrants and caravans and use of word "invasion," who is president obama's audience if this is the kind of language that is drumming up president trump's boys, you know, who needs to be inspired? >> well, fred, what's absolutely the case is that president trump is the most unpopular, with one exception, the most unpopular modern president at this point in his first term. only ronald reagan was a little
bit less popular. when barack obama is talking about fear mongering, he's speaking to most americans. not just democrats but president trump doesn't have the support of half the country. so i think even though we, of course, associate barack obama with one party, but he was also president and so he understands what presidents are supposed to do. presidents are supposed to unite us. this is a message that could be given by a republican, former republican president. it just happens to be barack obama who is reminding us that when there's demagoguery in the white house, we need a check on that power from one house of congress and since both houses of congress have shirked their duties to restrain executive power in the last two years, the argument obama and others like him are making is it's time for americans to use their vote to curb executive authority when it appears to be excessive. >> and so, zach, most americans
are looking to the president to be a uniter and the economy certainly would unite a lot of people and president trump really has that in his arsenal because the economy has been looking really good, but even the president in his own words said that's essentially boring, uninteresting and so going this other route is far more interesting. is his objective to satisfy the voters or is it much more personal for president trump to be interesting? >> i think he would love to keep at least one majority on capitol hill and probably the senate one is more likely of the two for him to keep, but people who are looking to him to be a uniter should probably look elsewhere. that's not what got him into the white house. it's clearly not what he's trying to do right now. he's not even trying, it feels like, to appeal to sort of those moderate suburban voters that give republicans their majority in the house right now. he's really concentrating on the
people who are exercised by the issues of illegal immigration and kind of trying to appeal to people from this base level, you know, on a racial level pretty overtly in this way that we haven't seen a modern politician effectively do and win. >> but is it not confusing because he says if the republicans win, credit him but losses, blame the democrats. it has very little to do with perhaps his strategy here midterm or how do you understand all that? >> i'll give you one simple prediction. he's not going to take any blame at all if republicans lose anything. he's going to hoist it all over on paul ryan. >> we'll leave it there. zach wolf and tim naftali, good to be with you. we'll be right back. and 4% on entertainment. now when you go out, you cash in. what's in your wallet? binkley.
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welcome back, i'm fredericka whitfield. in central virginia, the battle is on for a house seat that has been held by a republican for nearly 50 years. it was four years ago that dave brett ousted house majority leader eric korantor in a surpre win. tight with president trump and white house steve bannon is in a toss-up against democrat abigail span berger, a political newcomer outpascing him in fund raising. where brett is campaigning today, rebecca, this race is key because it's been bell weather with how republicans are faring with suburban voters.
>> reporter: that's right, fredricka. this is the type of district that should have never been on the map for republicans in any election cycle but this election cycle, as you mentioned, this is a top race with abigail and a democratic pick-up to send a message on election night and an important test for republicans. can they hold these crucial seats? we are in culpepper, virginia, right now, a little bit north of richmond but the richmond suburbs are going to be really key in this race for dave bratt to see if he could hold suburban women so tough for women in the election cycle. >> that's a big race to watch. in the meantime, also, piquing interest with steve bannon, former white house strategist and republicans that took place in a debate that got testy last night in toronto that sparked some protests outside, there were arrests.
some people were pepper sprayed. tell us about all of that. >> reporter: that's right. he came here. he took culpepper to try to get out the vote for republicans. some protesters wherever steve bannon goes. he's a controversial figure from his time in the white house with donald trump. his focus today is getting out the vote for republicans ahead of the midterms. he recognizes the challenges the party is facing and republican energy. that's why he's here in a more rural area, the seventh district in virginia and trying to get donald trump supporters out to vote on election day but he also mentioned suburban women, the challenge that republican party is facing with them. take a listen to what he told us. >> it's pretty obvious at this time that there's a certain weakness among college educated suburban women. look, you have to ask them. i think people have to come to their own conclusion but may be house style.
they see the substance but don't like the house style and the president's style and that may keep some people from either not voting or even voting for the opposition. >> reporter: so bannon clear today about the challenge the republicans and the president are facing with women in this election cycle. remains to be seen how that will turn out for them on election day. fred? >> rebecca berg there in virginia and catching up with bannon in virginia, there's pictures you saw earlier, at least a day earlier in toronto and at that appearance with bannon, that's where you saw protesters outside and tear gas and then you saw arrests. all right, we've got so much more after a quick break.
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and you get coverage options to choose from. you're ruining my workout. cycling is my passion. just three days to the midterm elections, many voters may feel overwhelmed but there's actually an information void in some parts of the country. in so-called news deserts because they have few or no local news outlets. with me now is cnn business chief media correspondent, brian stelter. boy, that title got really long. i'm familiar with that. that's good, congratulations. talk to me about this news desert. how persuasive is it in this country? >> i think this is going to be a real problem heading into the midterm elections. it's been a problem for a number of years and every time we get to an election season, this
problem is really visible. there's more parts that are not served by local newspapers and barely by local tv stations. in big cities like philadelphia where i am today, there's daily papers, weekly papers. a lot of sources of news but if you head out an our in any direction, you get into these news deserts all across the country where papers have shut down or lay off a lot of staffers and as a result, you don't know who's running for a local judgeship or the country commissioner. i think as we head into a midterm election season, increasingly a problem that there are so many news deserts in the country where voters don't really know what's on the ballot. >> it still is very, very sad that there is this kind of slow death in a lot of newspaper publications across the country but then in these places where they don't have any newspapers, they don't have any local television news and probably not even radio either. so who or what is filling the void? >> it ends up being campaign ads
by the candidates, oftentimes misleading. a lot of direct mail sent to addresses, from the candidates. so it's not telling you the full story and then the other element of this, of course, is social media. people are increasingly learning information on facebook and twitter and other sites. some of that information is legit, but oftentimes, you're seeing hyperpartisan information or straight up lies spread via social media. that's the kind of fake news we talked about two years ago in the presidential election. these days, fake news has multiplied and magnified. all different kinds of it out there and i think you take the problem of news deserts, you combine that with this misinformation that spreads on the internet and creates a confusing situation for voters who aren't sure what to do. >> it's really confusing because a lot of these outlets look legit. you know, they've borrowed some of the same graphics and some of the same style and people might read it, get roped in and so many, you know, viewers, readers
don't even know how to discern the real stuff from the imitation. brian stelter, thank you so much for that, appreciate it. we'll be watching you tomorrow. with three short days now until the midterms, president trump is all in on a single strategy. scare voters about the southern border but what about the legal challenges? that's ahead. don't you get the one of those travel sites? they tell you that, but when you book at hilton.com, you get the price match guarantee. so if you find your room at a lower rate, hilton is like...
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lunatic policy that we can end, that we can end. we need support that we can end. >> that was the president of the united states slamming the 14th amendment of the constitution, an amendment that grants citizenship to children born in the united states regardless of their parents' nationality. so could president trump amend this amendment and what could it mean if it is to happen? let's bring in avery freeman, civil rights attorney and law professor in cleveland, and defense attorney richard herman joining us from new orleans. good to see you both. richard, you first. can a president unilaterally amend an amendment? >> the crazy lunacy is he's talking about is the constitution of the united states, that he swore an oath to uphold and defend. people forgot that. he does not have the inherent power to issue an executive order to modify the united states constitution.
i don't care what legal scholars he claims are advising him. if they are, they don't know what they're talking about. he does not have that inherent power. it's a constitutional process that has to take place, fred. now, the issue has never been determined by the united states supreme court. >> it has. >> of whether a child is born in the united states to perhaps an illegal alien or someone who is not documented. that issue has not gone to the supreme court yet. but the issue of whether the president has the power to modify the constitution by executive order, the answer to that is unequivocally no, n-o. >> avery, what would provoke the president to say this if not being advised by someone in his circle who says there is a window, there is a door which you can enter that you might be able to potentially change the constitution? >> yeah, i think instead of talking to a law firm like baker
mackenzie, he's talking to the law firm of barnum and bailey. there's no legal foundation. for those of us who teach the constitution, the 14th amendment is 150 years old and that part of the constitution is sacrosanct unless two-thirds of the house, two-thirds of the senate, and 38 states vote to change it. it's a crack pot theory. believe it or not we're both agreeing on the same thing. >> maybe this is the president's approach of saying, hey, senators, members of congress, this is what i would like to happen, so that they can, so that there is that two-thirds majority in both houses to make it happen, richard? >> it's not going to happen, fred. there's an election on tuesday and things will be substantially different after this election. he can say what he wants to happen. it's not going to happen. and interestingly, this president is so obsessed with
immigration and illegal immigration and you know, in 1988, his first wife, that's the first time she became an american citizen, in 1988. and before that, she had three children. what would happen to the status of those children if his law was enacted? there's just no thought process. the president of the united states is spreading craziness. it's absurd the president would make statements like this. it's to divert attention from real issues in this country and cause a divisive atmosphere. that's why he says these preposterous lies. it's just insane. >> if you look in the constitution, there was a caravan back in 1868. there were concerns about the influx of mongols, as they called chinese-americans. at the end of the day, congress voted that there was birthright
citizenship. nothing changes. if someone is buying the executive order argument, i don't know how they're doing it. there is no legislate legal theory. it is a crackpot theory. it is not going to happen. >> avery freeman, richard herman. the gentlemen have spoken. good to see you guys, always love having you. straight ahead in the newsroom, so much more ahead. it all starts after this. you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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back. thanks for being with me this saturday. i'm fredericka whitfield. the jewish community remains 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 with a pair of services. a private service for the congregation and another for all whoa are rallying around them. many are making the same trip their late friends and family made last saturday, entering the tree of life synagogue to pray. communities across the country also showing strength in numbers. last night congregations from coast to coast held special show up for shabbat services to honor the 11 victims. let's begin with cnn's alisyn camerota. alisyn was inside today for the service. it's been an emotional morning and people have sharedhe