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New Book Suggests Trump Wouldn't Have Won The Presidency Without Russian Help; Death Toll From Indonesia Quake And Tsunami Reaches 844 And Is Likely To Rise; Las Vegas Marks One Year Since Shooting Massacre; Sources: White House Controlling Scope Of Kavanaugh FBI Probe. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired October 1, 2018 - 07:30   ET



[07:30:53] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, could Donald Trump have won the presidency without Russia's meddling? A new book explores that question and has an answer. That's an answer the president might not like.

Joining us now is Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She is the director the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of a new book that's getting a lot of attention -- "Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect A President, What We Don't, Can't, and Do Know."

Professor, great to have you here --


BERMAN: -- with us.

Look, President Trump has said for 18 months -- Sen. Richard Burr -- others involved with all the investigating have said for months, whatever the Russians did -- if there was collusion -- even if there was meddling, they didn't change any votes. Well, that might not be the pertinent question here -- whether they went and changed voter rolls.

The question that you look into is whether they influenced enough votes to make a difference, and what did you find?

JAMIESON: I found that the trolls -- that is the Russians that are marauding about in our social media -- had a theory of the election that was sound. That is, they were using themes consistent with Donald Trump's.

They were appealing to constituencies that he needed to mobilize, demobilize, and shift. That their visual content was evocative, widely-shared, and as a result, we presume persuasive. And the only question is, did they reach the voters in the key states -- the three decisive states that would have made a difference? We don't know the answer to that last question but we know that the

precept positions that would lead to the conclusion there was influence are all in place.

With the hackers -- that is, the people who stole Democratic content and released it into the electoral dialogue of the United States -- we know they changed the agenda at critical times, they changed the way in which questions were framed in the second and third debate. And those things, potentially, were consequential enough to change the outcome.

BERMAN: We're talking about Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

JAMIESON: Correct.

BERMAN: Eighty thousand votes. So the central question here is did Russian messaging change 80,000 votes?

And you saw changes in polling because you've looked back and dug into these numbers in a big way. And if you read this book -- I have it right here -- if you look at a copy of this book, I mean this is filled with tables, and charts, and numbers here. And the numbers tell you that you -- there were changes.

JAMIESON: We saw changes as a result of exposure to the media. When you change what people think about and you change how they think about it, and then you create more messages that favor one side, you shape votes.

You don't change massive numbers but you change enough to swing a close outcome. And that's what the Russians did by leaking material through WikiLeaks into the American media, which was complicit in putting that on-air often, uncritically and in print.

BERMAN: And to be clear, you're very critical of the media's role here --


BERMAN: -- and you say that the media -- which we're sitting here as a part of right now -- by broadcasting some of the things that came out of WikiLeaks and transmitting and magnifying the president's own message on that, it helped really land those points with voters.

JAMIESON: And we see across time when the hacked content is in media across the last month of the election that there's a change in perception that Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president that -- and it's a negative change -- that's difficult to explain except to say that the media agenda and the amount of anti-Clinton content had been influenced by that Russian stolen, leaked content.

BERMAN: And when you look at the timing of when that information was released you actually match it up to the second and third debates and the polling that took place after those debates. And specific questions about Hillary Clinton's credibility and fitness to be president, there were drops. JAMIESON: And in those two debates, what you had was content attributed to WikiLeaks that had been stolen from the Democrats that was taken somewhat out of context by the reporters who framed the question. And a result, created extended exchanges between candidate Clinton and candidate Trump that disadvantaged candidate Clinton.

We saw a change between -- a difference between the debate viewers and non-viewers in the likelihood that they would say that Hillary Clinton says one thing in public and another in private. In other words, drop in her forthrightness -- perception of that -- and that predicts a change in vote.

BERMAN: All right. Talk to you about third-party candidates.

It was Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. And you looked, again, at Jill Stein's numbers in 2016 versus 2012 and where those boosted numbers might have come from.

JAMIESON: We know that the Russians tried to shift the votes that wouldn't vote for Donald Trump, particularly among African-Americans and Sanders supporters, tore at Jill Stein. And we know that the difference between Jill Stein's vote in two out of three of the key votes -- key states that decided the Electoral College were enough of themselves to change the outcome in the Electoral College.

[07:35:17] BERMAN: All right. Two points here that counter your argument and you're familiar with like both of them.

Number one, Brendan Nyhan, who is at the University of Michigan, says "How easy is it to change people's votes in an election? The answer, a growing number of studies conclude, is that most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all."

His point is that messaging, advertising, even social media -- it doesn't land like we thought it used to.

JAMIESON: Most advertising doesn't have massive effects in elections because the other side is counter-advertising at equal levels. When you create imbalances in messages more on one side, that's when you get shift. The Russians managed to do that.

Most advertising doesn't make a difference because people's party affiliation dictates largely how they are going to vote. Higher proportionate Independents in this election, less anchorage for the vote.

Look, and advertising doesn't largely matter in the last month of an election because most of the votes are decided. Almost one out of eight were undecided approaching the presidential election.

And the peak of the hacked content and the trolled information coming through the channels to the electorate occurred during early voting. We had more of it this year than ever before. All of that changes Brendan Nyhan's (ph) equation.

BERMAN: And again, we're only talking about 80,000 votes here. And the other argument, again, you'll hear from Trump supporters is well, Hillary didn't go to Michigan, she didn't go to Wisconsin. She was a bad candidate, a bad campaigner. That mattered more than this.

JAMIESON: You can build all of that in and then ask if you then increase the amount of anti-Clinton content and news, and the anti- Clinton framing in the debates, and the amount of social media content that was hostile to her. Would there be enough of it in this incredibly close Electoral College equation to make a difference? I think the answer is likely that it is yes.

BERMAN: All right. Professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, thank you for being with us. It was a pleasure to meet you in person.

The book is "Cyberwar." There's a lot in here on James Comey, too, which takes a lot more explanation. But I commend people to go read it because it's fascinating.

JAMIESON: Thank you.

BERMAN: Thanks so much for being with us.

JAMIESON: Good to be with you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Really interesting, John. Thank you.

All right. Coming up, we break down the latest doozies from the Trump administration to Kanye West. Not one, not two, but three "Reality Checks" for the price of one.

BERMAN: That's a bonus. Like a bonus --

CAMEROTA: Yes, a bonus "Reality Check."


[07:40:58] CAMEROTA: The Indonesian government needs international help in the wake of that powerful earthquake and tsunami. The death toll now at 844 people but that number is expected to rise as search crews reach remote areas.

CNN's Matt Rivers is live at the scene in Palu, Indonesia with more. What's the latest, Matt?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, the latest is that these people here really have a long road ahead of them, especially when you talk about the human toll of this and the health care situation here.

I mean, that, right there -- that's the pharmacy. I saw people getting shots there. I saw a guy getting about 12 stitches there about an hour ago.

We're just next to the hospital. They can't go inside because there's a risk of aftershocks, so they're treating all of the hundreds and hundreds of injured people from this earthquake and this tsunami outside.

I mean, look at this tent here. They've put this makeshift tent up in Southeast Asia so it rains quite a bit.

People are sleeping on the ground with serious injuries right behind me. There's probably -- I don't know, three dozen people back there with very, very serious injuries.

And what this shows you is a microcosm of a broader issue here, that this was a massive earthquake, a massive tsunami, and it hit a region that does not have the infrastructure to handle that kind of thing.

And so when you're talking about moving forward, you're talking about trying to clean up. But you're also talking about getting health services to these people. That's the international aid more than anything else, frankly, that this community needs.

CAMEROTA: So, Matt, obviously, it's dark now where you are. What is next in the rescue efforts there?

RIVERS: Yes. I mean, obviously, the darkness really limits how much people can do. But we do know -- we saw active rescue efforts all day long today in a number of different areas.

But this area that was affected, it's quite wide but it's also got very limited infrastructure. So getting from city to city, from town to town, even just figuring out the scope of the problem and where people might be trapped is a huge issue on a -- into -- by itself.

And then you talk about the heavy equipment that you might need to get to people under the rubble. They can't get that heavy equipment in here because there's landslides down the road 20 miles that block it off.

So that's what's next, is kind of creating access to all of these affected towns and getting people the help that they need. But to say that's going to be difficult would be a huge understatement.

CAMEROTA: Matt Rivers, thank you very much. We'll check back with you.

And for our viewers, if you'd like to help the victims of the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami, please go to

BERMAN: Yes, please pay attention to this because I think the death toll is going to keep on rising.

All right, lighter note. What do Kanye West and Sec. of Commerce Wilbur Ross have in common besides chart-topping hits and Kardashian connections?

CAMEROTA: Come on.

BERMAN: Well, they're both part of a bonus "Reality Check" from John Avlon this morning -- sir.


So, there's an old saying that a week is a long time in politics and that was before President Trump. There is so much to reality check on this busy Monday that we don't just have one to share, we have three.

Item one. President Trump has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by China, designed to kill the U.S. economy. But a new report from the Trump administration freely admits that climate change is real and it's spectacular, at least in the same way that an apocalyptic thriller with great special effects is spectacular.

Here's why. Very deep in a report from Trump's own National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the finding that the planet will warm nearly seven degrees by the end of this century. Scientists say this would be disastrous for coastal communities, spur massive global migration, and cause increasingly violent weather to rock the globe.

But what's really shocking is what the administration plans to do about it. That would be nothing, nada, zero.

The point of the report is to defend a rollback of Obama admission standards by saying, essentially, the problem is so bad that tailpipe admissions don't matter anyway.

Item two. In what could be considered another sign of the apocalypse, Kanye West called for the abolition of the 13th Amendment. That's the constitutional amendment that ended slavery.

Now, he did this in a tweet while wearing a MAGA hat on a private plane after delivering a pro-Trump speech from the stage of "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE."

[07:45:03] Now, keep in mind, this has previously been a cause associated with extremist groups and conspiracy theorists.

Now, in response to a global chorus of WTF, Kanye later clarified, saying that he just wanted the 13th Amendment amended, presumably to remove the secondary and irrelevant provision that allowed indentured servitude in the case of imprisonment. This was mostly used by reconstruction era governments who farmed prisoners out for manual labor.

But, bottom line, about the only good thing that can come from this is a new generation Googling the term 13th Amendment.

Item three. A federal judge has ruled Commerce Sec. Wilbur Ross has to be deposed under oath about changes to the U.S. census. Now, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to stop it.

We told you about this a few weeks ago that Ross gave false testimony to Congress, later amended, that the Justice Department asked him to include a question about citizenship on the census. He also said he never talked to the question with Trump officials before. E-mails show that neither one of those statements is true.

Now, the judge said Ross must be questioned under oath because his, quote, "intent and credibility are directly at issue." But the Trump administration then asked the judge to hold off on the deposition until the Supreme Court could weigh in, a request the judge almost immediately Heismanned. Call it, quote, "particularly frivolous if not outrageous."

And that's your "Reality Check."

BERMAN: Really, a "Reality Checks."

AVLON: Checks, plural, yes.


BERMAN: And don't think for a second you can slip in a Teri Hatcher reference from "SEINFELD" without me noticing.

CAMEROTA: Yes, a notice by John.

BERMAN: I'm going to notice that.

AVLON: I appreciate that.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's awesome. Thank you very much.

All right. So there is a day of remembrance in Las Vegas one year after the shooting massacre there. We have an update for you, next.


[07:50:19] CAMEROTA: It has been one year since one of the darkest days in American history. Remembrances are planned throughout the day in Las Vegas to honor the 58 people killed and more than 500 others uninjured when a gunman opened fire during a country music festival.

CNN's Erica Hill joins us with the details.

Oh, it's just -- to even think back and look back at those pictures, it just brings it all back.

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR: It's true, it does bring it all back.

And we were in Las Vegas last week because we wanted to update everyone. What we found is that this is a city and so many people who are determined to not let one man change the course of the city or their lives forever.


HILL (voice-over): On October first, 2017, Rosemarie Melanson was soaking up the music and the moment at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with her daughters. In an instant, everything changed.


ROSEMARIE MELANSON, SHOOTING SURVIVOR, ROUTE 91 HARVEST FESTIVAL, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: At first, I thought it was firecrackers. And then, I saw bullets hit the tank and then I realized oh my God, those aren't -- that's not fireworks, those are bullets. And immediately, I was shot.

HILL: A year and 12 surgeries later, she's still recovering.

STEVE MELANSON, HUSBAND OF ROSEMARIE MELANSON: You could see the joy in her face -- the happiness in her face of wanting to come home.

She's tired. She's tired of being in a hospital. She was in the hospital for almost a year. I've been in a hospital almost a year with her every day.

HILL: Since the shooting, Rosemarie has spent just five weeks at home.

HILL (on camera): It's been an emotional rollercoaster for all of you. Are there ever moments when you're angry?

STEVE MELANSON: It's not angry, but it's more disappointment. It's like a rollercoaster that doesn't have any brakes. It never comes back to the landing to stop. It just keeps going up and down, up and down.

HILL (voice-over): Across this city, resilience is on display. And over the weekend, moments of reflection for the 58 lives cut short.

The final investigation report issued in August did not determine a motive, with the sheriff calling the shooter an unremarkable man with mental health issues.

MAYOR CAROLYN GOODMAN, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: We just see this sadly -- this repetitive sickness that's out there.

HILL: Early bipartisan calls for stricter regulations, including a federal ban on bump stocks have quieted despite bills in the House and Senate and promises from President Trump in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida four months later.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can do that with an executive order. I'm going to write the bump stock -- essentially, write it out.

HILL: Ten states have passed a bump stock ban and in some cases, additional measures aimed at preventing future tragedies. A public comment period to reclassify bump stocks as machine guns brought in more than 180,000 responses. The DOJ hasn't yet issued a decision.

GOODMAN: It's a very difficult time. I've never seen a more divisive political structure in my life in all these years. And so, it really starts with each one of us and what can we do.

HILL: In Las Vegas, it is a focus on community and on moving forward.

At the Clark County Museum, a new exhibit -- "How We Mourned" -- opened on Friday, a collection of the items left behind at memorials and vigils around the city.

HILL (on camera): Was it hard for any of your staff to work on this?

MARK HALL-PATTON, MUSEUM ADMINISTRATOR, CLARK COUNTY MUSEUM, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Oh, yes. It's hard for everyone. It's a very heavy exhibit.

This is something we're dealing with daily, you know, and everybody has to walk away from it at times.

HILL (voice-over): Some 18,000 items are preserved, each one a powerful reminder.

HALL-PATTON: It is going to be important for us to look back and say how did we deal with this?

HILL: Learning from the past, focusing on the future.

HILL (on camera): What do you hope the story is next year at this time?

STEPHANIE MELANSON, DAUGHTER OF ROSEMARIE MELANSON, SHOOTING SURVIVOR, ROUTE 91 HARVEST FESTIVAL, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: I hope that it's a celebration of life every year and the house will just be full of happiness and love.

HILL (voice-over): "Vegas Strong" and growing stronger.


HILL: We can tell you there are a number of events planned today -- a sunrise memorial. At 10:00 tonight, the marquees on the Strip will go dark. And also across the country today at 10:05 a.m. Pacific, 1:05 Eastern, radio stations across the country are going to be observing 58 minutes of silence for the lives lost.

BERMAN: These families and survivors, they've been living this every day --

HILL: Yes.

BERMAN: -- for the last year.

Erica, I understand there was a scare of some kind at a concert here in New York City over the weekend?

HILL: Yes, which is -- which is tough timing, obviously.

So over the weekend in Central Park was the Global Citizen Festival and at one point on Saturday night, people started running. They had heard a loud noise. It wasn't clear what it was.

Initially, the police said a barrier had fallen. It came out later that they determined it was actually -- they said at least one attendee stepping on at least one bottle and popping it. That was the noise. Once they figured out what it was they did continue on with the concert. Janet Jackson took the stage.

The CEO for the Global Citizen Festival said there were some injuries reported but they were treated, and that was really from that sort of near-stampede, they said.

[07:55:03] CAMEROTA: Everyone's on edge and how could they not be? I mean, anytime you now go to a concert or any big, I feel, arena event --

HILL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- of course, you're looking around and feeling on edge because of all of these things that we've all endured. It's just really scary times.

HILL: Yes. It's never far from the top of your mind.

CAMEROTA: No. Erica, thank you.

HILL: Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: We've got a lot of news this morning. Some new developments in the Brett Kavanaugh now-investigation, so we're going to start right with that.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), MEMBER, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The White House should not be allowed to micromanage an FBI investigation.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It will be limited in scope. It's not meant to be a fishing expedition.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The facts all end on Brett Kavanaugh's side.

JOSEPH BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We witnessed from the Republicans a degree of invective, blind rage, and brute partisanship.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: He's still supposed to behave as a judge. You don't come out with attacks on a partisan basis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't want the results; they just want delay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody's asking for delay. People are asking for justice.

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS CORRESPONDENT, "60 MINUTES": If Judge Kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the Committee, the nomination's over?



ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: All right, good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, October first -- October first.

CAMEROTA: Don't rub it in.

BERMAN: It's October.

CAMEROTA: I know. It's not -- summer's over.

BERMAN: Eight o'clock in the east.

This morning, who is being questioned, who is not, and who is trying to be heard? Those are the big issues this morning about the size and scope of the FBI's investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

President Trump insists the Bureau has free rein to look into the allegations of sexual misconduct, but that's not what sources are telling CNN. They claim the White House has narrowed the focus and is controlling the scope of the investigation with the help of Senate Republicans.

And there are reports this morning that witnesses who say they have stories to tell about Kavanaugh's behavior are not able to reach the FBI agents to talk. So according to two sources, also, Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh are not even on the witness list given to the FBI.

CAMEROTA: Top Democrats are demanding to see all written orders from the White House to the FBI relating to the Kavanaugh investigation. Some Democrats fear this investigation is way too limited and becoming quote "a farce."

Two new developments to watch this morning.

Senator Jeff Flake telling "60 MINUTES" that Kavanaugh's nomination is quote "done" if it turns out that he lied to the Judiciary Committee.

And, a Kavanaugh classmate at Yale claims the Supreme Court nominee was not truthful about his drinking in college.

So, joining us now we have CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He's a former federal prosecutor.

CNN political commentary Joe Lockhart. He was press secretary for the Clinton White House.

Thank you -- oh, and, Anita McBride joins us as well.


MCBRIDE: Hi, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: She -- hi, how are you? She was chief --


CAMEROTA: -- of staff to first lady Laura Bush. She's a longtime friend of Brett Kavanaugh's. I was giving you a chance, Anita, to get into the chair --

MCBRIDE: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: -- but you are --

MCBRIDE: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: you're a pro. You're already there, OK?

MCBRIDE: I'm here.

CAMEROTA: All right, very good.

MCBRIDE: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right. So, let's talk about this, Jeffrey.

The fear is that this investigation is a sham because it's so limited in scope.

In fact, we -- as we understand it, they're not going to address issues of his drinking. I mean, that is one of the big questions that at least six people who know Brett Kavanaugh well have come forward saying I have particular information that he did engage in excessive drinking, that he did have memory lapses, that he was a mean and aggressive drunk.

Why isn't this relevant?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it -- the point is it's relevant because the three assaults that are alleged all appear to be under the influence of alcohol.

I mean, it's easy to sort of mock this investigation of why are they looking at his yearbook, why are they looking at high school. They're looking at these issues -- or they should be looking at those issues because they are relevant to the question of sexual assault.

The irony here is that it would be in Kavanaugh's interest to have the biggest, widest investigation possible because then his supporters could say we disposed of all the -- all the --

CAMEROTA: Except, Jeffrey, that there -- we have information that there are all sorts of people who knew him at Yale and high school who are trying to get to the FBI of their own accord -- trying to make phone calls, trying to walk into field offices because they think they have relevant information. And the FBI is either rejecting their offers, not contacting them, or sending them to a tip line.

TOOBIN: That would seem to be poor investigative use of the FBI.

But, you know, I think we ought to wait and see how this investigation unfolds and whether people are actually being talked to. It's only going to be a week so we'll know, I suspect, very soon.

BERMAN: Well, the one risk you run there is them telling you it's over on Friday without having had any of this stuff go on, and we just don't know. I don't understand why it's a mystery this morning. I feel like this would be an easy question to answer if someone wanted to be transparent.

And, Anita McBride, I want to bring you into this conversation because --


BERMAN: -- the other side of this is what we're hearing from Republican senators.

I was just on Twitter looking at Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas --


BERMAN: -- who says Democrats are trying to move the goalpost here. That what the FBI should be doing is looking into the sexual assault allegations, period -- that's it. Any other questions is moving the goalpost.

How do you see it?

MCBRIDE: Well, here's one question I have to this, too, given the fact that I, myself, have been through a number of FBI background investigations --