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Vermont Democrat Christine Hallquist Is First Transgender Nominee For Governor; Catholic Priests Abused 1,000 Children In Pennsylvania; Turkey Hits Back At U.S. With New Tariffs; U.S. Slaps Sanctions On Shipping Firms For Helping North Korea. Aired 11:30a-12n ET

Aired August 15, 2018 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- Hallquist, her bid to become the nation's first transgender governor clearing a major hurdle when Vermont Democrats nominated her to take on the incumbent Republican governor. Here she is speaking this morning.


CHRISTINE HALLQUIST, FORMER CEO OF VERMONT ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE: It is starting to sink in -- the historic significance of this, nationwide. You know, Vermonters have always been a very loving and welcoming state so it really hasn't necessarily finish an issue for Vermonters. But I'm definitely proud and honored to be making history for the nation.


BOLDUAN: In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar could become the first Somali- American in Congress after her big primary win. And the 2016 Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes, she could become the first black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress after winning her primary there. But the surprises, they did not stop there and they were all for the Democrats.

Joining me right now, Robby Mook, he's the CNN Political Commentator. He's the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign. Kevin Madden, the CNN Political Commentator, Republican Strategist and Harry Enten, CNN Senior Political Writer and Analyst.

All right, Harry, we're going to talk about -- I want to talk about the barrier breakers. Lot of potential barrier breakers last night, but maybe one of the biggest surprises is a former governor being taken out -- a former governor running for his former seat being taken out by accounting commissioner. What's happen to Tim Pawlenty?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER: Look, it is Donald Trump's Republican Party. And Tim Pawlenty is the antithesis of Donald Trump, at least in his personality, right. He's much more milquetoast. Johnson who beat Pawlenty in that primary is considerably more to the Trump inside of the equation and it showed last night. And we've seen that across primaries, right? I like to draw stories across primaries. And it's very clear that people who like Donald Trump and who are endorsed by Donald Trump do well. Those who aren't, do poorly.

BOLDUAN: Kevin, does that perfectly incapsulate the Republican dilemma for 2018? I mean, what it means to be Republican and whether or not you stand up to Trump when you have differences with him? I mean, (INAUDIBLE) or is it more that he went to Washington to become a lobbyist?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's accurate. I think what Harry said is accurate. But I think there's more to the story. It certainly Trump's party. I think we see that in primary polling all across the country in Republican primaries. But I think it also have more to do with the fact that Tim Pawlenty was an outsider -- or sorry, an insider in a very outsider year.

BOLDUAN: I was like make that case for me, please, Kevin.

MADDEN: Yes, yes, right. I guess that's right. But, also -- I mean, this is not a year to be a retread. And as Tim Pawlenty was liked as a governor but he was never really loved and you take the fact that he was away for so many years in Washington working as a lobbyist, that's problematic inside these Republican primaries where voters really want to see candidates that challenge the status quo very much in the vein of Donald Trump and Tim Pawlenty is not that candidate.

BOLDUAN: Yes. So, Robby, then the potential barrier breakers in the Democratic primaries last night potentially for Somali-American in Congress. First transgender governor potentially. And there is more. I mean, Christine Hallquist said this morning their candidacy, she believed her candidacy was a reaction to 2016. Would you say that for all these people breaking new ground?

ROBBY MOOK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well I think in reaction to 2016, you had an enormous outpouring of people who are seeking office. And our country is becoming more diverse so I think that this is a reflection of that. I also think what you are seeing is a reflection of candidates -- of voters choosing candidates who are better aligned with them on issues.

And I think Christine Hallquist is a perfect example where there is a battle going on in Vermont over paid family leave and she took a side to support it. The governor has vetoed it and threaten to veto it constantly. So, I don't want to undervalue these candidates. They come with tremendous roots in their communities and they are honestly better aligned with the voters on the issues. I think the candidate you talked about in Connecticut, she'd been a teacher in that district her entire life. She won four out of the, I think, seven towns.

So, you know, yes, they are more diverse. That's a reflection of a change in our country but I think they're also better aligned with the voters and they have deep roots in their community.

BOLDUAN: Harry, Cook Political Report says that today after last night they rate 37 Republican held seats as toss-ups or more vulnerable which is nearly double the 20 that they counted in January. This means what? ENTEN: I think it means that the national environment favors Democrats. Dave Wasserman who puts those ratings together is looking at the polls. He knows what's going on. And I would also point out that this is very consistent with what we saw in 2006. The last time Democrats took back the House. In fact, the number of toss-ups that Republican seats are currently is actually greater at this point than it was then. I think that's just part of a larger national environment in which Democrats are doing very well.

BOLDUAN: So then, Kevin, what is your message to Republicans in this morning?

MADDEN: Yes. Well, I think that's right. I'd even go farther. I'd say it's probably close to 60 races that we're going to be looking at better, going to be very competitive in these upcoming mid-term contests.

[11:35:02] Look, the national environment is tough. I think for many of these candidates, they have to look at ways to get out of the national jet stream, have this be less of a referendum on voters' opinions about Trump and more about them aligning themselves with voter concerns about local issues whether it's a local economy, whether it's issues like health care, things like that. That's going to help them, again, localize and personalize this race to be individual contest rather than a reflection of the national environment.

BOLDUAN: Robby, in Minnesota, Congressman Keith Ellison, he won the nomination for attorney general. This is after allegations have turned up very late in the race from a former girlfriend alleging abuse. He denies the allegation but this really just came out and the DNC now says they're reviewing the allegations. What do you have to say about it?

MOOK: Well, I think the DNC took the appropriate step here by saying they're going to look at it. I know as much as you do. I don't know what the particulars are.


MOOK: If there's real evidence that something wrong was done, then he needs to face the consequences of that. You know --

BOLDUAN: But right now in this moment, should Democrats be campaigning with him? Like Amy Klobuchar? What should she be doing?

MOOK: Well to your point, I think it's still very early. I mean, I think we need to let the process play out to look if this is true. And if it's true, you know, I think he needs to be held accountable. I don't think people should be campaigning with him.

BOLDUAN: That's just happening and definitely we're still talking about it. Let's see because it's happening right now, as with all of this. Great to see you, guys. Really appreciate it.

Coming up for us, the horrifying details of a new report that documents decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of predator priests. Plus, one victim's speaking out this morning in reaction to the report and offering up a plea to the Vatican now. That's next.


[11:41:30] BOLDUAN: Shocking and disturbing don't even begin to describe what a grand jury report just laid out in Pennsylvania. It exposes decades of alleged sexual abuse and cover up within the Catholic Church. The numbers are staggering. More than 1,000 identifiable victims. More than 300 so-called predator priests. The abuses spanning more than 70 years and they occurred in more than six of Pennsylvania's eight Catholic diocese.

This morning one victim spoke out on CNN and he says the abuse started when we was age 10. The priest was also a teacher at his school. This was of course years ago. But with this report coming out he says he now feels a sense of peace. And he had this message for the church.


SHAUN DOUGHERTY, SURVIVOR OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE: When am I going to tell the pope? They're supposed to tell me the morality. I mean what do you tell an institution that teaches morality but has none? When you've embezzled from the church as a priest, you go to jail. When you rape a child as a priest, you get transferred to a whole new flock of kids.


BOLDUAN: Jeez. Jean Casarez is here with me now. She's been looking through this. This report is enormous, the grand jury report that they put out. It's almost impossible to wrap your mind around the scope and scale of this, Jean.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPNDENT: It really is. And part of the report has to do with the actual victimization which is graphic and truly unbelievable. The other part is the cover-up --


CASAREZ: -- which was immense. There were secret archives in every diocese where there was documentation of the abuse but only the bishop in the diocese would have the key. And it remained secret for so long. Te stories are so extremely graphic. But we do want to tell you some of them so you just understand the breadth and scope of this.

One victim was a little girl. And she first remembers when she was a little girl at catechism class sitting on the lap of the priest and being touched inappropriately. And then when she was seven years old she was in the hospital having her tonsils removed. That same priest came to the hospital to pay a visit. He raped her, according to the report.

And then when she was 13 years old, that same priest, she alleges, came to her home when her parents were away and raped her again. And then when she was 19 years old, and pregnant, that very same priest, according to this report, raped her another time.

A little boy who is nine years old says he first remembers when he was in catechism class and he was called out of catechism class for the monsignor to talk to him. He went in and the monsignor said you're wearing shorts and you shall not wear shorts to catechism class.

He then said the monsignor made him get on his knees, unzipped his shorts and forced that little boy to do things. Little boy was then victimized sexually, according to the report, by the monsignor. He then says that the monsignor took a bottle of holy water and washed out the mouth of the little boy to purify him.

And finally, five sisters of the same family were raped by a priest in the diocese in Pennsylvania. And it appears as though from the narrative that the priest became friends with the family. But this priest not only did that, according to the report, but collected bodily fluids of these five sisters and would ingest them.

[11:45:09] Those are some of the stories and I have tried to make it as G-rated as possible.

BOLDUAN: I don't know, (INAUDIBLE) as possible.



CASAREZ: But you see that this is beyond sex sexual assault in a sense. It is egregious.

BOLDUAN: The attorney general who brought this also said in an interview that the youngest victim was 18 months old.

CASAREZ: That's right. That's right.

BOLDUAN: In the diapers.

CASAREZ: In the diapers. Exactly. How here's the thing. The cover- up was so expansive, the statute of limitations has run. 301 priest, credible evidence, only two at this point can be prosecuted. The investigation continues though.

BOLDUAN: I don't even know why there's a statue of limitations on this --

CASAREZ: And that's the recommendation. The grand jurors are saying there should not be statue of limitations for child sexual abuse in Pennsylvania.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for bringing. Thank you for reporting on this. And I've only begun to read the report. It's so lengthy. 800-plus pages.


BOLDUAN: But worth bringing to light. Jean, thank you. CASAREZ: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.


[11:50:25] BOLDUAN: The standoff between the U.S. and a NATO ally getting more tense and more costly by the day. Today a court in Turkey rejected a second appeal by Andrew Brunson. he's the American pastor detained there who Turkish authorities accuse of helping plot a 2016 coup against the Turkish president. Well, now add to that Turkey announced new tariffs on several American products, including cars and alcohol.

What's the impact of all of this and where is this going to go? CNN Alison Kosik is live at the New York Stock Exchange for us. Alison lay it out for us, please.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Kate, for one thing, this looks to be souring the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey. Turkey being a NATO ally. Turkey really hitting back, promising to impose 120%, 140% tariffs on American goods in retaliation for President Trump's tweet earlier this week vowing to double the tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from Turkey.

Now if you look at both their lists of what products they're putting tariffs on, it really doesn't amount to much of the $19 billion of goods that were traded last year between the two countries. But the reality is it's just making investors here at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street more nervous about what's happening. You see the Dow right now plunging 236 points. The Dow is on track for the lowest close that we've seen since July 14th.

The worry is there's, right now, a huge financial crisis going on in Turkey. The Turkish lira dropping 35% just this year against the dollar and the worry is that financial crisis is going to turn into a debt crisis that could wind up spreading to other countries. And the worry is that debt crisis could wind up hurting economies all over the world.

I'm going to dig deeper into this when I anchor at 12:45. The market segment on Kate?

BOLDUAN: This an important day to be doing that. I really appreciate you laying it out for us. Keep on eye on it for New York Stock Exchange, thank you.

Also some breaking news coming in. The U.S. is ratcheting up pressure on North Korea. The Treasury Department just announcing new sanctions on three companies doing business with North Korea. What does this have to do with negotiations over the nuclear program? What's the impact on it? More coming up after the break.


[11:57:37] BOLDUAN: Breaking news coming in right now. CNN is learning that the U.S. is tightening the screws on North Korea as it continues to apply pressure to try and get the hibernation to dump its nuclear program. The Treasury Department slapping sanctions on shipping companies in China, Russia and Singapore that have been doing business with North Korea. So what's going on here?

CNN's Michelle Kosinski has been looking into this. She has more details for us. Hi there, Michelle.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Right. Yes, this just happened. So it's another round of sanctions targeting North Korea but also affecting other countries that you mentioned. The bad actors that continue to do business with North Korea, continue to prop up its economy and, thus, its regime. China and Russia especially, they've been called out by the United States multiple times.

This isn't a huge round of sanctions. It's targeting one individual and three companies. But it's another signal from the U.S. that it wants to continue pressure until North Korea changes its tone. I mean, things have not been great lately despite round after round of talks. And a lot of these talks that are going on are just over the phone but they are frequent.

I mean, just last week the State Department told us that there are talks almost every day with North Korea. They won't say that there's any progress and there have been some tough words between the two countries lately. North Korea saying that the U.S. is not in keeping with the spirit of what was somewhat agreed to at the summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump.

So there's been really no movement towards denuclearization. The U.S. again making it clear that until that happens, it will continue its pressure, Kate.

BOLDUNA: Michelle, this seems to be another circumstance of kind of words and actions, right? You've got the actions of the Trump administration keeping up this pressure campaign, but then the words of President Trump still saying, you know, you don't have to look very far back. Michelle, to see him say there's no more nuclear threat From North Korea.

KOSINSKI: Exactly. I mean, the disconnect between what the President says and what is actually happening, what other members of his administration have said. That's existed I think since the beginning. There was one point that the President said he wasn't going to use maximum pressure as a phrase anymore but we saw that change, too. So, this is the way it's going to be until North Korea actually makes a move.

BOLDUAN: New round of sanctions on North Korea, I can tell you. I can assure you that we welcome news to a lot of folks on Capitol Hill and watching this closely. Thanks so much, Michelle. I really appreciate it.

And thank you all so much for joining me at this hour. "Inside Politics" with John King starts right now. JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Kate. And welcome to --