tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN November 13, 2018 11:00am-12:01pm PST
hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for joining me on this tuesday afternoon, exactly one week after election day. another major political shake-up could be in the making. i'm not talking congress, but the president's cabinet and the west wing. officials say president trump is highi eyeing potential replacements for several positions, including his own chief of staff, john kelly. the talk is the only ones that feel completely secure with their jobs are the trump family members. jeff zeleny, you have all the goods on these details on any potential shake-ups the president is considering. tell me what you know. >> reporter: good afternoon. what you said is pretty interesting and revealing that most of the people who feel
secure about their jobs are family members. that includes ivanka trump, jared kushner, the daughter and son-in-law who are senior advisers. but the reality here is at the mid point of the president's first term, shake-ups are routine. but this is a bit more than that. the president has made no secret of his displeasure, particularly at immigration, border security, and he blames most of that, if not all of that, on the homeland security secretary, kirstjen nielsen. she is likely to be the first. the timing is up to the president. he'll make that announcement, as he usually does. but the question then is will john kelly stick around as well? he put her in that position. he's her biggest defender here inside the west wing. that would set off a series of dominos. that is the question today.
will john kelly leave in kyrsten nielsen leaves. and there could be many other people as well who would fill that job. there is a sense when you talk to republicans around washington, they wonder who is going to come in and take some of these jobs, at a time when democrats are controlling the house, investigation, et cetera, it might be harder to fill these jobs than the president might think. >> that's an entire piece of the equation. as we wait to see if these folks do leave, everyone is on mueller watch. you've heard that the president met with his lawyers yesterday regarding the special counsel investigation. what have you learned on that? >> reporter: that has been a central question here, is the president going to answer questions from the special couns counsel? our pamela brown reported that the president did meet with his lawyers. we were told he was meeting with his lawyers to talk about how he
is going to answer questions about potential collusion during husband presidential c his presidential campaign. that is something that is going to come to a head here as we watch for indictments and other people in the matter. how the president will respond is something we're watching very carefully. we'll find out what they decide to do. he said all year long he wanted to sit down and talk with bob mueller. that will not happen. but now will he answer written inquiries from bob mueller? it's pretty quiet here today. something might be up behind the scenes. >> when it's too quiet, something is up. jeff zeleny, you know that too well. i want to hone in on jeff's first point, talking about the chief of staff, the white house john kelly and the woman who kelly first brought into the white house as his deputy may now be losing her job as s
secretary of homeland security. several officials said she is expecting president trump to ask her to go at any time. chris, why is secretary nielsen's job at risk? >> remember that donald trump's formative experience prior to coming to the white house was a reality show producer and star, which means he's likes drama. he's basically writing a 30-ment reali -- 30-minute reality show but for a whole day every day. so changes and movement is important. trump lays the fact that they haven't solved the border crisis problem at her feet. lots of people believe that nielsen would have been gone sooner had it not been for kelly standing up for her. remember john kelly and donald trump don't exactly have the
warmest relationship either, despite trump saying kelly has agreed to stay on for as long as he's president. no one thinks that's going to happen. i think you're looking at a two-for-one deal here. that's why zeleny is quiet right now. you might be looking at a negotiated settlement to get those two out. >> not for you to be able to say i told you so -- >> any time i can, i would like to. >> in march you wrote this piece for "the point" called "the nine people donald trump will fire next." where do we stand on these baseball cards of very important people in washington? >> here they are, right? you recognize most of these people, prominent features. so we've got four gone. sessions obviously fired the day after the election, shulkin gone, mcmaster removed, scott pruitt removed after a long
time. but, but, but kelly potentially in trouble, zinke, big trouble. trump was asked about him and he said we're looking into it, i'm not totally sure. if you're ryan zinke, you don't feel good about that. there's been rumors about mattis. he's been the quiet one. devos and carson probably safe. i didn't put nielsen on here and i should have. the point is let's just forget nielsen. let's say we take out one of these two people. now you're talking about more than half of the people i predicted in march would go are gone and jeff zeleny is right, there is always turnover in administrations, particularly after an election. but there's a great study brookings is doing. they're maintaining it for the amount of turnover among top trump administration officials versus top administration officials for the obama cabinet, bush cabinet.
it's exponentially more than either of those two. so, yes, change is normal but this level of change at this high a level, not normal. >> a couple of people defying your predictions. as trump would say, we'll see what happens. thank you. now to the trump hire that is so controversial, it is forcing a courtroom showdown. acting attorney general matthew whitaker, maryland's attorney general just filed papers asking a federal judge to replace whit consider with rod rosenstein saying his appointment violates the joint sessions act. whitaker took over as the prz fir -- president fired jeff sessions. let's get a better explanation of all of this.
gene rossi is with us, a former federal prosecutor. welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> maryland is saying that whitaker's appointment isn't legal and that rosenstein should be the acting a.g. you tell me what grounds does maryland even have here? >> very simple. there's a lawsuit or a motion that will be filed in eastern district of missouri in a federal case by a former colleague of mine raising the same issue. here's the issue -- under the appointments clause in the united states constitution, principal officers such as the attorney general have to be appointed and approved in a certain way. and mr. whitaker, acting attorney general whitaker, his appointment has clearly violated the appointments clause and kellyanne conway's husband, george, hit the nail on the head. it violates the constitution.
so you're going to have defendants who are convicted or go to trial or indictments that are returned by the grand jury, and you know what's going to happen? while he's in office and even when he leaves, a lot of people in the criminal division and the civil division of the department of justice are going to be burning the midnight oil because you're going to have motions to dismiss, habeas petitions, 2255s. it's going to be a mess. >> why? why? >> because the authority of the attorney general to approve indictments -- >> would be in question? >> absolutely. >> i got you. explain this to me. i want to come back to the federal vacancy reform act, which is what the trump administration is citing. we know maryland is suing jeff sessions in his official capacity. but because jeff sessions is no longer the a.g., the judge has to decide who his legal successor is. is that clever maneuvering to
force the judge's hand here? >> yes. i think maryland, the people behind the maryland suit, they're brilliant. they are making this an issue that's not politics, it's the law. >> it's the law. >> whenever donald trump is outside the realm of poll titic and he's in a court of law, whether it's michael cohen, whether it's paul manafort, donald trump loses. and he's not a winner in a court of law so this is a brilliant stroke. but i got to tell you, going back to the eastern district of missouri, stay tuned. you're going to have the same issue in the united states mail fraud or wire fraud case and it's going to pop up like weeds in a garden. >> we'll look for it and watch what happens out of maryland. gene rossi, thank you. good to see you. >> thank you. >> coming up next, cnn files a lawsuit against the white house after it pulls the press
credentials of our chief white house reporter jim acosta. and parts of california are looking more like a war zone. 44 people have now died in these wildfires and now hurricane force winds are threatening to make it all worse. we will take you live to california. and all eyes are on florida. senator bill nelson about to hold a news conference as he demands his opponent, governor rick scott, recuse himself from this recount process. both men want that senate seat in florida. deadline is this thursday. live pictures from capitol hill. we'll take you live. you're watching cnn.
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i'm brooke baldwin. the trump administration vowing to fight back against a lawsuit filed today by cnn. cnn is suing the president and other top officials for violating the first and fifth amendment after the white house revoked the press pass for our chief white house correspondent last week. cnn has just asked the judge to immediately restore acosta's credentials. a state in part from cnn, "while the suit is specific to cnn and acosta, this could have happened to anyone." with me now one of the lead attorneys retained by cnn, ten ol s -- ted olesen is the previous solicitor general. could you first just explain cnn
position here, ted olesen. >> first of all, this is a very, very important case. as cnn said in that statement which you just read, this could happen to any journalist by any politician. the first amendment is one of most important bulwarks are our liberty and freedom. presidents over history have complained about it but most have realized the first amendment is absolutely necessary. it is the public's window into what public officials are doing. journalists cannot be silenced, censored or intimidated and that's the end of the line. the white house cannot get away with this. >> ted, cnn did ask the white house for some sort of explanation. what did we get? >> well, we first of all got an explanation that there was some official contact between the reporter,acosta, and the
intern dealing with the microphone. they backed away from that because it wasn't justified from anybody. then the president said we can't have people in this room who don't respect the president or respect the presidency. the first amendment requires robust, aggressive reporters. reporters must be free to ask tough questions and to be persistent about it and they don't bow do you and take an oath before walking into the press room. they have to be independent, free and aggressive. >> ted, back in 1977 there is precedent in a decision from the u.s. court of appeals. what was ruled then? >> well, the court ruled then that if someone was going to attempt to interfere with or take away the press credentials of someone covering the white house, there had to be an explanation, there had to be objective procedures, there had
to be a fair process and an opportunity to be heard. none of that applies here. and the reason that that is so important is if that process doesn't exist, a president or anybody working for a president or other public official can discriminate against any reporter on the basis of that reporter's viewpoint or simply because the president doesn't like that reporter. and there is plenty of evidence that president trump does not like that reporter or the organization, cnn, for whom he works. and we cannot allow public officials to discriminate on the basis of their personal prejudice or feelings towards a reporter. freedom must be free. the first amendment must stand for something and it must stand for the fact that -- we have a situation all over the world where reporters are being beaten, jailed, intimidated and in fact murdered. we can't allow that step to be crossed here.
>> yes. brian, what is the white house saying? >> i think the white house is trying to divert attention from the actual claims in this case, the actual claims in the lawsuit and instead they are basically just complaining about jim acosta. sarah sanders, one of the six defenders in the suit issued a statement where she said acosta was unprofessional, was rude. that is the official rationale for taking away his press pass. she said, "the first amendment is not served when a single reporter out of 150 attempts to monopolize the floor." so that's her claim, but of course lots of reporters ask follow-up questions. it happens all the time.
this the hypocrisy is pretty strong here. ultimately this is about the legal precedent and processes that weren't followed. the code of federal regulations is pretty specific. it says the only factor considered for denying the request for a press pass, a hard pass, is whether the person is a physical danger to the president. like jim acosta and every other reporter there, is not a threat to the president. so that code was not followed in this case. >> the white house's response, you read part of sarah sanders' statement, what your reaction to that? >> it doesn't stand up. if the white house has to have rules with respect to those press conference, it should adopt rules and let everybody know what those rules are. everybody knows that's a pretty
robust and exciting environment. it is allowed to be that way. why is jim acosta being expected out? because the president has said again and again he does not like acosta. he does not like acosta's reporting. that's more important than anything. we can't have a president acting like dictators do all over the world to silence reporters that they don't like or reporters who say things or dig too deeply or expose the president too much. the president wants to silence people like that. he cannot do that under the fifth amendment. >> ted olson, a big thank you to you. brian stelter, thank you as well. gentlemen, appreciate it. coming up next here, the fire in northern california, now the deadliest in state history with 42 dead. and in the south growing fears that these hurricane force gusts will only make the situation worse. my next guest captured this photo of her house, the last
picture she says she'll ever take. she'll join me live next. and the embattled supervisor of elections from broward county, florida, said she may step down from her post. we'll take you live to florida. do not miss a beat. you're watching cnf. -- cnn. as one of the nation's largest investors in infrastructure, we don't just help power the american dream, we're part of it. this is our era. this is america's energy era. nextera energy.
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malibu is only 35% under control. it has melted hundreds more homes and caused two deaths. tracy bregman, who stars on "young and the restless" lost her malibu home. i can't even begin to imagine. we'll put the photo on the screen. you said you lost your home and you feel numb. do you still feel numb? >> i was in disbelief when i saw in a photo. my neighbor is 75 years old and stayed at his house. several structures around his house burned. people had been saying oh, we saw your house on the news and i couldn't find anything. then i was sent that by my neighbor. >> is your 75-year-old neighbor okay? >> yeah, i was so concerned about him. he's been great.
in fact, he has protected our land and he's amazing. i did lose my house, but whatever he's done, he's helped so many other people. >> were you able to grab any of those precious life items before you had to evacuate? >> you know, unfortunately i could not get my kids' baby books or my grandmother's items and i had a beautiful oil portrait of my other grandmother that, you know, we've had in the family for years. there are so many items i wish i could have grabbed. this is my third evacuation and actually i wasn't sure that there was a threat to malibu. we've had it before. i was sending people from the valley to my house for protection. so it kind of blew my mind that it came so close to us and actually got my house. >> we have heard these tales of people evacuating. you hear of these cries of
children in the cars obviously terrified, cars melting on the highway. >> right. >> how did you get out? >> i had a very interesting thing happen to me. the night before -- we had just moved my horses. i should say actually a week before i had a weird thing where i wasn't comfortable in my barn with my horses. i turned to my trainer and i said we need to move the horses. we moved the horses and that barn burned down first. so at 1:45 on thursday night or very, very early friday morning something woke me up and said get in the car. i got in the car at 2:00 in the morning and drove back to malibu and grabbed what i could and got out. and that was before the evacuation. >> the horses is an entire -- i'm an animal lover and you are, too. this fire came up so fast that people were -- they had to get out themselves, which is just a sad piece of this entire story.
but i want to focus on the positive. i was talking yesterday this amazing nurse ran through the flames to get out to continue to help people, firefighters working after losing their own homes. has any public servant through this whole ordeal touched you? >> i'm so blown away by the human spirit. we have a hash tag, malibu strong, and how the entire community is coming together. how many texts have i written and have i received. i lost my house, what can i do for you, how can i help you? we have all said we're going to get through this together as a community. malibu kind of has this reputation of being this fancy, big party kind of place and really we're a sleepy little town. all of our kids have only gone to a couple of schools. we all know each other and we truly are there for each other. >> i'm so glad you're okay, your horses, your 75-year-old neighbor, just hearing all these
stories, it's absolutely stunning. we're so grateful to the firefighters, you mentioned the boys and girls club of malibu. tracy thank you very much. >> you got it. >> moments from now, senator bill nelson of florida is about to hold a news conference, as he calls on his opponent, the governor of rick scott, to recuse himself from this entire recount process. this is all unfolding as the embattled county administrator suggests she may be stepping down. and the golden retriever er are very different. they eat, digest, and process energy differently. at royal canin, we developed over 200 precise formulas to transform every cat and dog into a magnificent animal.
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wants to hang on to his senate seat, senator nelson. >> we'll be making a statement here as the legal proceedings are ongoing. this process is about one thing, making sure that every legal ballot is counted and protecting the right of every floridian to participate in our democracy. and that is to have their ballot counted and to count as they intended it. sadly, it's become clear that my opponent isn't interested in making sure that every lawful vote is counted. instead, he's been using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process. he's thrown around words like voter fraud with no proof.
he's tried to get the florida department of law enforcement to intimidate local supervisors of election. both the florida department of law enforcement, which governor scott oversees, and the government scott appointed florida secretary of state have both said that there is no credible evidence of voter fraud. it's become obvious that mr. scott cannot oversee the process in a fair and impartial way, and he should remove himself from the recount process. people must have confidence in the integrity of the election. it remains the most important goal to make sure that every
lawful vote be counted correctly. we will work to see that the recount is conducted fairly and that the rule of law is followed. senator schumer. >> well, thank you, senator nelson. >> okay, so we wanted to hear from senator nelson, who wants to obviously hang on to his senate seat. he's saying, listen, he wants to make sure due process is followed, that every legal ballot is counted in florida and had words to say for his opponent, who happens to be the governor. ryan nobles, my colleague, has been in the thick of all of this. it sounds like senator nelson is saying to his opponent, you need to bow out because can you not play this game fair and square as governor florida. >> let's be clear what senator
nelson have said there. what he said is not all that knew. there wasn't all that much that was relevant to worry about what he had to say. but what he's talking about in terms of governor scott recusing himself from the florida, scott is the sitting government and oversees the secretary of state. the secretary of state is appointed by rick scott and is a republican, and what bill nelson is saying is that scott needs to recuse himself from anything having to do with the vote couldn't in hcount in his official position as governor. there's been a lawsuit filed to have a court forcibly put governor scott in that position. i'm told that governor scott has no plans at all of recusing himself from that role and he believes it's his duly
authorized position to be in this role during this recount process. one other point, senator bill nelson has basically been in hiding for the past week. he has not made any public appearances since before the le election. he's not answered a single question from a reporter since this recount began. i was hopeful at this press conference in washington, d.c. that this would be an opportunity to get some answers from him about their legal strategy. is this about 2018, is it about 2020? is it beyond? there's some criticism for governor scott in this vein as well. he's done interviews with largely friendly outlets but he has answered questions, something bill nelson has not done at this point. there's been a lot of back and forth from both of these sides. to a large extent, it's very difficult to get specific answers to specific questions from either one of these candidates. >> you're right, not a lot new there. he has been sort of missing the last week. what about the broward county
election chief, brenda snipes? what's her story and might she step down? >> yes, brenda snipes spoke today for reporters. she's overseeing this recount process in broward. there were two noteworthy pieces of information that came out of that meeting with reporters. first, she seems very confident they're going to get the recounting process done in time. they did not start the counting process until much later than other counties of similar size. then she was specifically asked about how long she plans to stay in this role. there have been calls, especially from republicans, to have her removed from the position. she seemed to allude to the fact that maybe her time was up, but it wasn't all that clear, brooke. she didn't say she was going to step down. she didn't say she wasn't going to run for reelection. if she doesn't run -- if she
just decides not to run for reelection, she would still be in charge of the broward county board of elections for the 2020 presidential election because that's when she would be up for reelection. so there's still a lot we need to clear up about brenda snipes' future. >> ryan nobles, you are handling it all flawlessly. i thank you so much in tallahassee for us, deadline against thursday afternoon. >> just in, a startling statistic involving hate crime in america. what the fbi is revealing about this dramatic shift over the past year and what it says about our society period. plus, monica lewinsky in some of her most candid remarks yet gets emotional and honest about the clinton scandal. back in a moment. applebee's bigger, bolder grill combos are back. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood.
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hate crimes are up in the last year, according to newly released fbi data. the number of hate crimes rose 17% last year. there were more than 7,100 bias crimes reported, up from 6,100 the previous year. all this comes as president trump's self-proclaimed nationalist views are inspiring white supremacists and other fringe groups who spread hate and just like trump, white supremacists are declaring victory in last week's elections. sarye . >> reporter: it was visited over 2,000 times a month, "us if we
>> as the democrats were trying to frame it, "then white nationalism won." both deny they are nationalists or racists. president trump pushed back when asked if his rhetoric has increased -- >> i don't believe it, i don't believe it. >> they say white wing extremists are responsible for the vast terrorist acts. >> tony was a skin head. >> the whole goal of people like me back in the day was to mainstream, mainstream the idea. >> it doesn't take an overt slur
for these individuals to basically become embolden. >> reporter: take the president's threat to tell the military to consider rocks being thrown by mieg gragrants as gung fired. >> when they throw rocks like they did at the mexico military police, i say consider it a rifle. >> reporter: those comments cheered online by racist trolls. "hopefully they throw stones," they write. white nationalists swooned at ho h how the president described himself. >> and i am a nationalist. >> translated to me health insurance o-- he's one of us. >> it doesn't necessarily he's saying that but he hasn't done anything to say he isn't. >> reporter: their hateful
agenda gaining speed. >> sarah, i saw you this morning. you are bold, my friend, to get so close to all of this to try to understand and report on it at the least. is the sense you get that hate groups are growing? >> look, it's hard to say whether they're growing or not. what has happened and i've talked to wheat nationalists, i've talked to neo nazis, i've talked to people in the kkk, several of them which we've shown on your show as a matter of fact. what we hear time and again is that they feel president trump is their best home. when they hear him say things like "i'm a nationalist," it translates to them he's with them, thinks like they do, wants white white ethno state, but he can't say it. he can give them a wink, wink,
nod, nod, i do believe what you believe. that's how white nationalists see it it. the president is saying i'm not talking about white nationalists, i'm just talking from my own heart, i love this country and that's why i call myself a nationalist. that's not how it's being translated to people who are really filled with hate and who are racist. >> sounds like they feel emboldened and one would wish the president would speak to them and say i am not speaking to you. thank you. continue doing what you're doing. >> a statement in from melan ia trump saying a top official should no longer be working for her husband's administration. why melania trump wants her fired.
a security guard was just trying to save lives and just doing his job. that's according to his family's attorney when he was shot and killed by police at a suburban chicago bar. his family is filing a federal civil rights suit against the officer who shot him. according to court documents, roberson had stopped a suspected gunman, was holding him down outside the bar where he worked sunday. that's when the responding officer killed him. ryan young is in chicago for us. ryan, what happened? >> reporter: brooke, this is such a tough story. there was an active shooter going on inside this bar. four people were injured in this shooting. then you have this 26-year-old who was able to respond and subdue the man and all of a sudden a shot was fired from a
police officer. listen to his brother at a vigil last night talking about how he lost his life. >> he told you a mill timeion t the suspect is apprehended, everything is under control. after everything told you that, you intentionally fired one time and after that you shot my little brother four more times. >> jamaal apparently had a hat that said security on it. there's a lot of questions about what officers noted once they got there. the independent investigation has been called for by the police department, but a lot of people still have questionquest brooke, because this police department still hasn't had a news conference to explain what he was seeing when he arrived. he's a seven-year veteran. the aclu put out a statement that details the fact they believe he should still be alive today working as a security guard and that while being black
should not be a death sentence and in this case the police were more dangerous to him than an active shooter. there's some high tension involved in this. it will be interesting to see how this case plays out over the next few days. >> stay on it for us, ryan. thank you. here we go. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. here we are exactly one week after election day. a major shake-up may be in the works. and melania trump is stepping in to call fors d the dismissal ofe security adviser. but also president trump is eyeing replacements for several positions, including his chief of staff john kelly. with me is dana bash and