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CNN NEWSROOM

"Whitey" Bulger Beaten to Death with "Lock in a Sock," Tried to Cut Out Tongue; Contentious Race Still Very Close Ahead of Midterms; FOX Host Defends Trump's Attack on Media; New Jersey Book Club Members Discuss Midterms, Trump, Issues Driving Them to Polls; Employees Walk Out in Protest of How Google Handles Sexual Misconduct Allegations & Scandals; Oprah Winfrey, Mike Pence Stump for Their Gubernatorial Candidates in Georgia. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 1, 2018 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Does it sound in any way like a setup? Why was he even sent to this maximum-security prison in West Virginia in the first place?

SHELLEY MURPHY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, BOSTON GLOBE & AUTHOR: I think you just hit on the big question here. Everybody knows he had enemies. Everybody knows there are people who wanted to kill him. But the question is really in my mind, who made the decision that he belonged in Hazelton? Who sent him there and why did they put him in a general population cell where people could walk in? Why did it happen? By all accounts, it was about 11 hours after he arrived there. It doesn't seem that there had been any assessment of who was in that prison that might want to do him harm, that had very specific grudges, in addition to anybody who may just want to be known as the guy who killed Whitey Bulger.

BALDWIN: The fact that it happened at 6:00 in the morning, that no guards heard it, stopped it. They didn't even find him, unresponsive until two hours later at 8:00 in the morning, it begs a lot of questions.

Back to your point that he may have felt safe in the general popular, and perhaps he did at a prior prison, but that was maybe different in this place in West Virginia. Because your paper is reporting, it says, "People with knowledge of the investigation say that Bulger had requested to be held in general population."

But Why would he ask for that? Would that not be a death wish for him?

MURPHY: Well, the whole point, though, is that general population would have been a whole different thing when he was in Coleman in Florida. It was different when he was in Arizona. He had embraced his celebrity in Arizona. This is a guy who never liked to be called Whitey when he was here on the streets doing business. But in his elderly years, suddenly really seized upon his celebrity. He was writing letters and signing them "Whitey." He was signing autographs for inmates. He was treated like a celebrity. Now the guy gets to Hazelton where there are people in the wings waiting to get him, and there's no way that he knew that these -- I mean, somebody in that Bureau of Prisons had to know who else was in that prison. Whitey didn't necessarily know, you know, that a guy who was a mafia enforcer from west Springfield, Massachusetts, was down the hall, but the Bureau of Prisons would know that. So maybe if they said to Whitey would you like to be in the hole or in a cell? He probably said I'm fine in my own cell. If they said, by the way, this guy who killed people for the mafia is down the hall, he might have chosen differently.

BALDWIN: A lot of questions for the Bureau of Prisons on the transfer and general population issue.

Shelley Murphy, thank you.

The thought of him signing autographs to inmates, something else.

Thank you so much.

MURPHY: And then they were selling them on the Internet.

BALDWIN: Of course, they were. Of course, they were.

Shelley, thank you very much on all things Whitey Bulger.

Coming up, one FOX News host suggests the media should report what the president wants and how he wants it reported. Fortunately, our job as journalists doesn't quite work that way. But we'll get into that.

Also, if politics has your family and friends divided, you are not allowed. CNN sits down with a group of women, part of this book club in New Jersey, to discuss the midterms, President Trump and the issues that will drive them to the polls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALISON CAMEROTA, CNN HOST, "NEW DAY": So you're worried about immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only coming in the illegal way.

CAMEROTA: It is legal to seek asylum.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope Trump changes that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:37:41] BALDWIN: We are counting down, of course, until the midterms five days away now. New CNN polling shows many of these contentious races are still very, very close.

Senior politics senior writer and analyst, Harry Enten, is here to go with me.

Starting with Florida and that gubernatorial race. HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: Right, in the gubernatorial race, we see Andrew Gillum with a one-point lead. That's down. This is right within the margin of error average.

BALDWIN: As we look at the number between Nelson and Scott, is the Gillum enthusiasm helping him?

ENTEN: I think it is. What we saw with Nelson was behind, then Gillum wins the nomination and Nelson kind of came up. I think that's, in a large part, because African-Americans are rallying around candidates.

BALDWIN: What about Tennessee? Talk about another tight race. This is the now. So Blackburn is up but before he was.

ENTEN: Apparently a little bad blood for Bredesen.

BALDWIN: Voter registration really went up. It's a matter of who it went up for.

ENTEN: Tennessee is a really red state. Phil Bredesen was really banking on his name recognition, but it turns out that state seems to be a little bit too Republican. And Blackburn, with Trump backing her, seems to be picking up not only the undecided vote. But a few people on the fence seem to be going her way in the final days of the campaign.

BALDWIN: When you see all the crisscrossing Trump will be making to get out the vote for folks in his party, it's interesting how some states, you know, want him there and maybe some don't.

ENTEN: Right. If you look at all of these states, they all have one thing in common and that is that Donald Trump won them in 2016. Two states where he's not wanted are Nevada and Arizona. Nevada is a state he lost in 2016, Arizona is a state that even though Donald Trump won, he vastly underperformed the normal Republican performance and the approval rating is below his disapproval. So Republicans are like, stay away. We think you're more harmful than helpful.

[14:40:07] BALDWIN: Harry, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Harry Enten.

Coming up, what are issues driving voters to the polls? CNN's Alisyn Camerota sat down with a group of ladies, a book club in New Jersey, to discuss. Apparently, they had never talked politics until this moment.

And who will replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations? What sources are telling CNN about President Trump's top choice.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:45:00] BALDWIN: With the nation still stunned by the deadly violence and bomb threats over the last week targeted at African- Americans, to the Jewish community, and top Democrats, the president has been blaming the media for the division and lack of civility in our country. But in an interview with Axios, he reveals why attacking the media is an effective strategy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED AXIOS REPORTER: What scares the crap out of me is when you say enemy of the people, enemy of the people.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED AXIOS REPORTER: God forbid, you have fervent supporters --

(CROSSTALK)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They like me more because of that.

UNIDENTIFIED AXIOS REPORTER: But what happens if someone gets shot and shoots one of these people.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I don't agree with that.

UNIDENTIFIED AXIOS REPORTER: You don't?

TRUMP: I don't. If you gave me false reports, I would say that's not a good thing for our country.

UNIDENTIFIED AXIOS REPORTER: Don't you -- you are like the most powerful man in that world. And if you say that word enemy, enemy, tens of thousands of people go to a stadium to listen and people go on social media and get so jazzed you, there's got to be a party that I'm scared that someone is going to --

TRUMP: It's my own form of fighting back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: As "FOX and Friends" covered the new interview, anchors sympathized with the president's frustration with the media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS HOST: That has to be frustrating. That's why he's saying it's fake news. He's saying if you don't want to be called the enemy, then report get the story right. Be accurate and report the story the way that I want it reported.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: No. Note to FOX, that's not what journalists do. Report on the story the way the president wants it to be reported? That's not journalism. That's state-run TV. This is America. Our founding fathers, -- that was amendment number one on their to-do list.

With me now, Alisyn Camerota, anchor of CNN "NEW DAY," who is very familiar with that sofa and that place.

CAMEROTA: I am. And those folks are still my friends. But to be clear, they have different standards than we do on my morning show, "NEW DAY."

BALDWIN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Theirs is a morning show. Ours is a news program.

BALDWIN: Everything you heard made you mindful of a conversation you had with then-Candidate Donald Trump in May of 2016 where you rolled across Manhattan and up to Trump Tower and had a conversation with him trying to explain the free press. Do tell.

CAMEROTA: That's true. People can find it online on CNN.com.

BALDWIN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So then-Candidate Trump had stopped coming on "NEW DAY" at that point. I had interviewed him three times and then it dried up. He would no longer agree to come on. I wanted to know what had happened, if something had gone wrong. If so, I wanted to try to resolve it. I don't like unfinished business. I called over to Trump Tower and spoke to his long-time assistant and said I don't know if there's any bad blood but I would like to resolve it if I possibly could. She said give me a little time to figure it out. And she called back and said Mr. Trump would like to see you tomorrow. I knew there had to be something. I went over to Trump Tower, and I was greeted warmly by the candidate, Donald Trump. I knew him already because on "FOX & Friends" he had a standing slot every, I believe, it was Monday morning to kind of opine and pontificate about politics. I had interviewed him several times. This time, when I encountered him in his office, he started by saying, what happened to you? You're so mean to me now.

BALDWIN: You're so mean to me now. This coming from Candidate Trump. And you said?

CAMEROTA: I said time-out. I'm not mean to you. I feel the same way about you personally, but this isn't personal. You're now a candidate running for president of the United States and I now work in a news program that has different journalistic standards than a morning show. The rules have changed. I gave him sort of a dissertation, frankly, on the role of the free press. I said we're watch dogs, not lap dogs. And when I hear hypocrisy or a discrepancy in position, I'm tasked with having to point it out now. I explained those used to be friendly interviews. Those were not hard-hitting interviews.

(CROSSTALK) BALDWIN: But he's now running to be the president of the United States, it's a totally different ball game. The fact that he is bothered to be on the receiving end of hurtful words, that's when he has a problem with it, but his rhetoric, he's not dialing it down.

CAMEROTA: This is the part that's confusing. He still wants to be treated as he was when he was a real-estate mogul and wants to go on "FOX & Friends." He doesn't like interviews I've done here where I've challenged him. He's the president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world. How he cannot think his own words have power. We see that inflammatory rhetoric leads to actions, which lead to violence. This is not new. This isn't a new continuum. History books are filled with this.

[14:50:03] BALDWIN: It's an incredible story. Go to CNN.com right now to read this piece.

Before I let you go, you have all these great conversations with voters. You were talking to some women in New Jersey about how they're feeling in this interesting time in America in 2018. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can we pay for their education, their health care when all of us on this side are paying more and more and more and if somebody loses their job here, shouldn't we be taken care of first?

CAMEROTA: So you're worried about immigration?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only coming in the illegal way. Not the legal way. Come in the legal way and you are more than welcome.

CAMEROTA: I mean, it is legal to seek asylum.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I hope Trump changes that.

CAMEROTA: You don't want any asylum seekers?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Immigration is an issue. It's the basis of our country and how we were formed. And building a wall is not how to fix it.

CAMEROTA: How much -- show of hands -- feel that the president is trying to gin up this fear or gin up this story before the midterms?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fear motivates people. And I think that is the basis for anything he does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So they acknowledge it and know what he's doing.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BALDWIN: That's fascinating. CAMEROTA: Here's what else is fascinating about them. They are a

book club, have been since 2004. They had never spoken politics ever. They knew, they suspected they were on different sides, so they never admitted to each other who was a Democrat or Republican. It turns out they're split down the middle. But they had never spoken politics because they didn't want to ruin their friendship. So we went there with them with them. And people can see more of that conversation tomorrow on "NEW DAY."

BALDWIN: We'll look for it

Didn't you joke that then they had wine afterward and everything was copasetic?

CAMEROTA: Oh, yes. They are still friends, I'm happy to report, but there had to be a bottle of wine afterwards.

BALDWIN: Alisyn Camerota, thank you. Great to talk to you. Thank you.

Coming up next, Google employees around the world from India and California are walking out of work today in protest. We'll have a live report on what they're protesting and demanding.

Plus, another disturbing development in the case of the journalist murdered in the Saudi consulate. Was Jamal Khashoggi's body dissolved in acid? The investigation when we return, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:57:01] BALDWIN: If you typed in the word "Google" today, your result may have been this worldwide. The people who work for the giant search engine walking off the job today in protest of how Google has handles sexual misconduct allegations and scandals. We have aerial pictures in New York. Hundreds gathered in a nearby park carrying signs that said, "Not OK, Google."

Even before Google employees got to work in the United States, walkouts had already begun in Japan, Germany, India and London.

That is where we find our CNN business correspondent, Hadas Gold, in London.

Hadas, what is it that Google employees want?

HADAS GOLD, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right, Brook. These protests were stunning to start off in Singapore and make their way around the world at 11 a.m. In each of these cities, Google employees walked out of their offices in protest of how the company has handled sexual harassment allegations. There was that damning the "New York Times" report that talked about how several executives had been accused of sexual harassment and in some cases were given huge payouts of tens of millions of dollars, all while these allegations were not made public. They have a list of several demands. But a lot of it was about accountability, transparency.

Here's what one of the Google employees who walked out here in London told us today. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAM DUTTON, GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: There's a walkout from some member of the staff and we're working out in support of those who have been harassed anywhere in the workplace and to ensure that perpetrators are not rewarded and are not protected.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GOLD: Brooke, they did say that management was supportive of their decision to walk out. In a statement, Google's CEO said, "We let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate." He went on later to talk about how they will be taken in the criticism and feedback and turn that into ideas for action. The question, Brooke, is what those actions look like and whether it'll be enough for seemed like thousands of employees who walked out today.

BALDWIN: Hadas Gold, thank you.

We continue on. You're watching CNN. Hour two. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with us.

We begin with the battle of the big names, Oprah Winfrey versus Mike Pence. They're stumping today for their candidates in one of the most intensely watched races in Tuesday's high-stakes election. I'm talking about who will be the next governor of Georgia. Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams are neck and neck. He is a Trump Republican and she is a Democrat who could become the nation's first African-American governor. And Oprah is in the Atlanta area campaign for Abrams. And just about 30 minutes from now, Pence will be holding a second rally, this one being in Augusta, Georgia, for Kemp.