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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Roger Stone to Witness: Tell Mueller to go Fuck Himself; Trump & Obama's Dueling Arguments; Representative Curbelo Forgives Teen Who Threatened to Kill Him. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 2, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, "COUMO PRIME TIME": All right, thank you Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo, welcome to Prime Time.
Muller has been circling around Trump confidant Roger Stone, you know that. But there's something new. Emails and text that raise new questions. I will give you the latest and we will test the man who questions point two. Roger Stone is here tonight.
In Democrat, something big is going to happen with these elections. And it is down to two voices, Obama versus Trump. The President now want a straight up comparison to the past President, he says that should be voter's measures. So we have a deep dive for you on how the two size up.
And a Republican is here tonight who refuses to stay silent on what the President is putting out there. And he is walking the walk in a real unique way. The head of his party is making as many enemies as he can. This man, Congressman Curbelo is actually forgiving someone who threatened to kill him. It's he Friday night. Grab your beverage, and let's get after it.
OK. So here's what we know. CNN has obtained some of the messages that are now in the hands of the special counsel. In them, Trump's long time Political Adviser Roger Stone unloads on the man that he once described as his back channel to WikiLeaks, Randy Credico. When Stone finds out Credico was subpoenaed. Stone sends him a text message saying, tell Mueller to go of himself. Is that a suggestion that he not testify? We will ask him.
This comes the day after the "New York Times" published e-mails between Stone, Steve Bannon and a Breitbart Editor in which they discussed information WikiLeaks had on the Clinton campaign. Is this proof that Stone was talking to the campaign about WikiLeak might have when he said that he never did. Bannon is also one of about a dozen of Stone associates reportedly in touch with the special council's office. So let's put these questions to the man they involved the most, Roger Stone. Thank you for taking the opportunity.
ROGER STONE, LONGTIME POLITICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Chris, thank you for having me. Since I am banned for life on Twitter, restricted today on Facebook, and they are trying to ban my show on InfoWars. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.
CUOMO: Well, then let's get after it as we say here. Randy Credico let's start with him. There are few things that everybody can agree on these days, Roger -- one of them is, never threaten a man's dog. But you do that in your messages with Credico and the question is whether or not you were threatening him in a way that would make him not testify. I am showing the audience now what you said, I'll rip you to sleds. I'm going to take that dog away from you. Mr. Credico was very attached to his dog. Brought it with him to testify. And there is not a thing you can do about it because you are a weak broke piece of blank. There is Credico's dog. What did the threat mean, Roger?
STONE: Well, first of all to take three text messages out of thousands really shows no context. These are the late night ravings between two grumpy old men who have been friends for almost 20 years. And Chris, they are friendly. They are vulgar, they are vicious. They are nasty, and they are ribald but they are not serious. And therefore, they would have to be seen in context. So for example, you don't see the text where he tells me that I should be willing to go to jail rather than reveal his identity as my source. You don't see the text where he says my apartment is likely wired by the FBI. You don't see the text where I urge him repeatedly to tell the truth. You don't see the text where he said he is so heavily medicated he can't remember chronologically everything that happened --
CUOMO: Roger, please offer up the texts. I am happy to take them. I'm happy to have all of them.
STONE: You can cherry pick these but it creates a misimpression.
CUOMO: I am not trying to do that.
STONE: There was no effort to intimidate or coerce Randy Credico to do anything other than the truth. I identified him for the House Intelligence Committee as the man who gave me a solid tip.
STONE: That when Julian Assange appeared right here with Anderson Cooper in June of 2016 and said he had the mother lode on Hillary that he was telling the truth. And then it would be devastating, a bombshell, Credico said.
STONE: Change the race.
CUOMO: Let me ask you something, first of all, again, let me make the offer, I am happy to take all the texts that you have between the two if they tell a different story than the ones that I've been privy to. I've no interest in not having full transparency on it if you want to offer them up, please do. The reason that I make the suggestion I do about the text is because of Credico's response. And if we have that we can put it up. He was offended by what you said. He said, back to you -- after the threat with the dog, he said --
STONE: Let's get into the dog.
CUOMO: He said you crossed the line to do that you have no right to threaten my dog. Didn't seem like a joke to him.
[21:05:02] STONE: Let's get to the dog. I see Randy's dog. He was unemployed. I thought the dog was underfed. I've written about animal welfare rights extensively. I am a dog lover. This was not a serious threat to take his dog and he knows it. Yes he made me angry by his refusal to tell the truth and to take a shifting narrative. He never did anything illegal. He didn't never told me the source or the on the content of the WikiLeaks disclosures. He only told me they were devastating and that they would come in October. I now believe he learned that from a women friend of his who was a lawyer for WikiLeaks for over 30 years.
STONE: I was reluctant to give this name to the committee because I thought there would be profession reprisal against him. He was a Bernie Sanders supporter. He was not -- and he's not a Trump supporter --
CUOMO: I hear you about that.
STONE: We had a common opposition to Hillary Clinton.
CUOMO: I am trying to get the timing straight here because you have said this many times, Credico was my go-between. I got information from him. But he didn't interview Julian Assange until August 25th. So that would have been --
STONE: Irrelevant. Irrelevant. He knew WikiLeaks lawyer for 30 years.
CUOMO: But he talked to you two days before that.
STONE: I believe that was his source.
CUOMO: I hear you. And I heard you say that. Thank you for repeating it. Two days earlier when he was talking to you he asked you what you knew. What is the October surprise? You have been in touch, and indirectly with Julian Assange. Can you give us insight? That doesn't sound like a guy who knows more than you? Sounds like a guy who thinks you know more than him.
STONE: Again, out of context. Assange himself has said, Stone is a clever spinmeister but we've never had any contacts with him. There is no evidence or person who can honestly testify that I had any direct communications with WikiLeaks or Julian Assange other than those that were disclosed in a benign direct message to the House Intelligence Committee and leaked to the Atlantic magazine and then edited them before they reported them.
CUOMO: Understood. But why would Randy Credico suggest -- I understand your answer as to Julian Assange but as to Randy Credico he is the one suggesting that you knew more than he did about an October surprise two days before he interviewed Julian Assange.
STONE: Again, the e-mails when seen in their totality are completely inconsistent. In other places he admits to being the source. And he says that, you know, he's prepared to go to jail over his rights as a journalist.
CUOMO: Right, this is his radio show, not e-mail. Not to interrupt you, I'm sorry, Roger. But this is from his radio show. It is not about taking it out of context.
STONE: On the radio show I say I have no influence or contact with Assange. And I don't want to give the impression that I do. And I talk about a source that I disclosed to the "Washington Post." And then later to the Daily Caller. I had a tip from a Fox News reporter. I produced the e-mail. Who suggested that the WikiLeaks disclosures would be about the Clinton Foundation. I said that in a speech to a Republican group. Turns out to be incorrect. But that was my source, not some contact with WikiLeaks.
CUOMO: Is it fair the look at the message about Mueller in which you say Mueller should go f himself? That could be construed as a suggestion that Credico not row operate?
STONE: On the contrary. If you have seen in totality, he tells me that I should go to jail in order to shield his name from the federal prosecutor. These are cannot be taken seriously. We have been friends for 20 years. They are all over the map. They have to be seen in totality and in context.
CUOMO: Have you give all of your text messages to anybody? I mean, if you believe you are being hurt by context, Roger, why don't you offer up all the proof you have that shows that context gives you the benefit of doubt? Have you offered them up.
STONE: I assure you, the federal investigators have all of my text messages, all of my e-mails, and all of my phone calls. The real question is how do they justify having them in 2016 as the "New York Times" has reported on January 20th, 2017, that they were looking at.
STONE: What was the probable cause for looking at the best --
CUOMO: Have you asked them?
STONE: That was many month -- many months before the appointment of Mr. Mueller.
CUOMO: Have you asked the investigators?
STONE: We have not.
STONE: We have not.
CUOMO: Another issue I want to give you a chance to deal with is the messages between you and Steve Bannon.
CUOMO: You said I didn't speak to anything in the campaign about Assange. We have now back and forth between and you Bannon, about Assange. And we have a discussion with you in and one of Bannon's minions about what Assange may have. And in that message, you say, I would tell Steve what's happening, but he won't call me back, which shows not only that you had been talking to him but that certainly you were making efforts to talk to him. Which is it? You never spoke to him about it or this is the truth in front of our lying eyes?
[21:10:13] STONE: No. Again. The context. On October 2nd it was widely believed that Julian Assange, who set up a presser, it was actually 3:00 in the morning. So I think it would have been October 3rd here in which he would have a disclosure. Everybody -- every political reporter, every politico in the town was watching this.
STONE: It was wildly heralded. When he did not, Bannon sent me an email and said what was that last night? What happened? I told him two things.
CUOMO: Why you?
STONE: Why? Because I had been tweeting very aggressively about this. Perhaps he was following my Twitter feed. But the two things I said was that Assange had security concerns. After all, remember, Hillary Clinton had proposed hitting him with a drone to silence him. There were threats against his life. That information came from Mr. Credico. I wrote it on March 9th, 2018 in a long piece at Stone called Truth.
The other thing I told Bannon was there would be loads going forward each week. That Assange had announced that at his presser, Politico had reported it hours before. Many in the media missed it. The story was Assange drops nothing rather than his very specific plan to make releases every week through the election. He actually said all of the election-related materials will be released in the next several weeks on a weekly basis before the election.
CUOMO: But the part I don't understand is --
STONE: Public information.
CUOMO: I appreciate your explanation of the context. Thank you for that. But you said in the past you never spoke to him about it. The e-mails prove you did.
STONE: No, I missed this one e-mail. I have one million e-mails. The e-mail is benign based on the two pieces of information in it. Let's be clear. Nowhere do I see that I have direct communication with Assange. Assange and WikiLeaks have correctly repeatedly accurately denied that. There is no evidence to the contrary. So I think that provides the correct content.
CUOMO: You said it's a boil? STONE: Mr. Bannon has some animus toward me because I wrote a piece --
STONE: -- urging that he need to discharged from the Trump White House and two days later he was.
STONE: So this was a leak via his minion Sam Nunberg. And there is a follow-up from a Breitbart reporter which reveals nothing other than the fact that I suggested it. If Bannon wants to know why Assange has released nothing and what his plan is, both which are public information at that point.
STONE: He can merely respond to him.
CUOMO: The substance of the offerings or the loads as they were called at that time were not and when boil the Bannon minion contacts you, Assange, what's he got? Hope it's good. Your response, it is.
STONE: Based solely on the assurances of Mr. Credico who said it was a bombshell, dynamite, incredible, would change the race, would make history. And actually it was -- that e-mail is on the 3rd. Assange has his announcement on the 2nd of 10 of weekly disclosures every week. It was public information when I said that.
CUOMO: Two last things for you.
STONE: I never was very specific. Go ahead.
CUOMO: Two last things for you, Roger. The first one is, two things that you have forgotten in the context of these questions to you. One is that you did speak to Bannon about this, however you want to explain the substance of the conversation. The second is, what seems to have been something that would have been hard to forget, which is this really colorful figure who came to you and it involved the campaign as well with supposed information. A guy who was all dressed up like a Trumpophile came with another guy, you had to sit down and meet with them. You forgot about that, too. Are these convenience lapses of memory?
STONE: No, actually the real question on the gentleman you refer to Mr. Greenberg is why an FBI informant, who is a foreign national, actually a Russian who is in the country on an informant's visa is visiting me in May of 2016 trying to entrap Donald Trump. Remember what he says, I have these negative information on Hillary Clinton. I said that's very interesting. He said it will cost you $2 million. I said I don't have $2 million. He said no, no, it is not your $2 million I want. It is Donald Trump's $2 million. This precedes the announcement that the investigation into whether there is Russian influence in the Trump campaign began in June. Using a human asset in May for intelligence purposes would be highly illegal. I am hoping that Mr. Nunes and the intelligence committee can get to the bottom of why a federal informant, an FBI informant who has a violent history as a criminal who can only be in the country under the ages of the Miami FBI is coming to see me at all.
[21:15:02] CUOMO: Why did you forget about it?
STONE: Because I am 66 years old, and it was a presidential campaign. And it was an extremely important year. It was also prior to Hillary raising the question of russophobia to distract from her own connections to the oligarchs around Putin. Since nothing illegal happened at the meeting and nothing happened illegal as a result of the meeting I have no particular reason to dissemble. I simply forgot it. But the more important question is why is an FBI informant coming to see me to begin with?
CUOMO: Look, I mean, as we both know, and you probably know better than I, the idea that an FBI informant is only on that one situation and is clean otherwise, you know, they can often be very compromised and shady guys that are working with the government on one willful but in the on others. But I think all questions should be pursued. And in that conversation with that man, you eventually remember saying $2 million from Donald Trump, he never pays for anything. And that is probably the most certifiably true thing I know you have said in any of this. Roger Stones, thank you for taking on these questions.
STONE: And I reject his offer. Thank you Chris.
CUOMO: Understood. And I appreciate you taking this opportunity. As we learn more, the invitation is always a continuing one.
STONE: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right.
So, now as we head into the election, right, the Mueller probe is part of the calculus for voters. No question about it. That's not what the President wants you to decide on. He's saying you should go man- to-man, him versus Obama. Compare him to his predecessor. Both presidents are on trail today. So let's do exactly that. Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Lie after lie. Broken promise after broken promise. That's what he did. Unlike President Obama, we live by a different motto it's called promises made, promises kept.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. President Trump wants to compare himself to President Obama. And maybe Trump has a point. Just Democrat until mid terms voters should maybe compare and contrast what their leaders said and what they did then versus now. Because that's the proposition, right? Do you want the Democratic philosophy and policy agenda or do you want Trump's? So let's take a look. First let's deal with just some of things that are in a common kind of mix here as we get into the election. How they deal with opposition. Here's how President Obama handled being heckled today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[21:20:00] BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't personify this. Come on, this is what I look forward to is having a few hecklers to get me back in the mood. It's like, I enjoy that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: How does the President now handle hecklers? Like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you. Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell -- I promise, I will pay for the legal fees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: It may sound harsh but now that we know what he wants you to do if somebody throws a rock at the army -- maybe that's just a consistency policy he has. Then there is border policy.
Now, interestingly, both men, and really both parties have always wanted to secure borders. The question is how and when they will do. So some of their policies actually align, these two. However when you look at the results under President Obama you had illegal border crossings, no question but there were on the down swing for the most part. Why? Two reasons. First one is the economy was crap for a few years. Remember that. There was a great recession that we had. The other one was they had a good set of policies in there. They also took a big dip during President Trump's first year. A lot of that fear talk was working but now they are creeping back up as the economy does well.
Now, there's then the policy of how do you treat these types of people? And that's where words matter and that's where the men are very different. Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities. People not trapped by our past but able to remake ourselves as we choose. But today our immigration system is broken. And everybody knows it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: All right. That's his articulation of what you want to hold as an ideal while you fix what is broken. I think everybody would agree with that. Here's President Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: As we speak, The Democrat Party is openly inviting millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders, and overwhelm our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Then, you can look at the relationship that both men have with the truth as your president. Trump says Obama is the bigger liar. Here's his argument.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He was talking about you have to tell the truth. And yet 28 times he said you can keep your doctor if you like your doctor. You can keep your plan if you like your plan. They were all lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: 28 times. He's keeping track. And that's going to be important in a second.
Now, Democrats would fight Trump on that and say that it wasn't a lie. That it got complicated. That people and employers ended up switching plans in order to save money and that would mean switching doctors, too. And as plans moved they often took your doctor out of the mix and then you couldn't stay with them. That's their take.
But let's give Trump the benefit of the doubt and say keep your doctor was a lie. Now we go to Trump and here is how PolitiFact scored President Obama, all right. So, 76% of the time he said something true, mostly true or half true. Remember, we are dealing with politicians. This is a metric that would never work in every other aspect in life. You have to tell the truth in life. Politicians. Then there is Trump, OK. And here's what we get.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: When I can, I tell the truth.
Now, why is this such a damning thing for him? Because obviously he sees the truth as an option. And we have never seen anyone who lies as much as he does. All right? His PolitiFact score is almost the inverse of Obama's. Nearly 70% of what he says is some level of false and the "Washington Post" is tracking each false or misleading claim. So if you take a look at it, their total through the equity of October, 6,420 false claims. And in the seven weeks leading up to the election he has been averaging 30 a day. 30 a day. He pointed out 28 lies, remember I told you that, about President Obama through the whole ACA process.
And I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, every time Obama said you could keep your doctor. I will give it to you as a lie. This man, President Trump, 30 unique lies a day. He lies. He lies about lying. And he calls those who call out his lies -- take a guess -- liars. So we will see Tuesday if lying and selling fear works for President Trump. And if this comparison makes people want him more or less. Democrat left. It is time for us to debate what should matter and the outcome.
[21:28:10]CUOMO: Both parties are presenting what they believe will be the most compelling closing arguments to the American people. Trump, fear and loathing, doubling down on both, claiming that if Democrats win, the caravan will bring a crime way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They want to turn America into a giant sanctuary for violent predators and MS-13 killers. A blue wave would equal a crime wave. Very simple. And a red wave equals jobs and security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Democrats brought out the big guns today with President Obama highlighting their focus on health care. The question is, which argument wins? Let's ask the great debaters, Jennifer Granholm, and David, what a fella Avella. That is a great way to make sure that we all say your name the right way. Thank you very much. It's good to have on the show, it's your first time. Gov, good to have you as always. Governor, why is the Democrats message better?
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, really basic. People care about health care. If you ask Democrats and independents -- let's just talk about independents. Democrats we know care about health care. Republicans do too but those independents that potentially could go either way that's their number one issue. This is why Trump is trying to distract from health care. There are 53 million people in America who have preexisting companies. They all care about the cost of their prescription drugs. Those independents -- and let's just talk -- three quick states, independents are going for the Democrat in Arizona -- in the Senate. The Democrat in Arizona by 26 points. In Tennessee, by 24 points. In Indiana, by 23 points. If we are trying to fight for that group of undecided or independent voters, health care is a key issue.
[21:30:02] CUOMO: Avila.
DAVID AVELLA, CHAIRMAN GOPAC: Chris, your comparisons were entertaining. The problem is they didn't include the one that has been the deciding factor since 1950. And that is a strong economy. The output gap is the key indicator here. And it is as small -- in fact, we are overproducing. In every one of those elections when we have had an economy as strong as it is, with employment at record numbers, the incumbent party, the President's party did well. They held their own. In fact in 1998, President Clinton's party picked up seats in the congressional elections because the economy is so strong. And you reference the immigration issue. That is one of the biggest
gaps between where Democratic Party leaders are today and where the American voters are today. In fact, it was Governor Granholm on this network in 2010 who said obviously you want to protect your citizens from crime. And clearly, it is a crime if illegal immigrants come here and take your jobs or are in fact committing crimes, et cetera. That's what local law enforcement is for. Think about how dramatically different that is than how Democrats talk today.
CUOMO: All right. Granholm, you double-talker, how do you deal with that.
GRANHOLM: That was in 2010, but no, I mean Democrats do care about making sure that we have secure borders and all of that. But what the President is doing by tweeting out that ridiculous completely inflammatory commercial by talking about MS-13 coming with this caravan, all these women and children and people who have bandaged feet because they are refugees, making them some horrible boogie man, it's because he doesn't want to talk about health care. Why? Because he and the Republican Party have come down against supporting coverage for preexisting conditions.
CUOMO: Well, they are fighting it in court right now. But he is banking on something, too, he is not just avoiding it.
GRANHOLM: Just to be clear, they are fighting to get rid the protection for --
CUOMO: Preexisting conditions, absolutely.
CUOMO: They have joined the lawsuits. They want to make it easier for states to not cover preexisting conditions with their plans, period. And people can disagree but they are lying to you because that's the fact look up the lawsuit.
OK, let me ask you asking else Mr. Avella. You are talking about immigration. And I believe the President is working it because emotionally he thinks it works for him. He is not banging our policies, he's not killing himself to get Congress to work on this. He believes the fear may be enough. And you said the economy is his big deal. I don't disagree with you, but he does. Listen to what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They all say speak about the economy. Speak about the economy. Well, we have the greatest economy in the history of our country. But sometimes it is not as exciting to talk about the economy, right? Because we have a lot of other things to talk about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: It is not exciting.
GRANHOLM: Oops, there, et cetera.
CUOMO: This is a man who said that the murder of 11 Jewish people was a distraction to momentum. He is not thinking about this the way you are, Mr. Avella, you are coming at it as a traditional conservative would. About what you guys are about and what responsibilities you take. This is a tiger of different stripes, my friend.
AVELLA: This is also an election that will be like every one since 1950, a strong economy benefits the president's party.
CUOMO: Find me a president since 1950?
AVELLA: Since 1950 in four elections --
CUOMO: Since 1950, find me a president who has an economy that was strong who is below 48% in the polls. Only this one. And you just saw why. This country doesn't cotton to harshness as strength. It cottons to sweet strength. Compassion. He is selling something else that's working for the base, but it is not getting where you need to be. Look at the polls.
AVELLA: Well, you look at voter turnout and --
AVELLA: In key states.
AVELLA: Republican aligned voters are turning out in higher numbers in states like Florida, and Georgia, and Texas, in Indiana, where there are a number of key races. Look, there is -- it's going to be exciting these next couple of days and missteps are going to decide some of these Senate elections.
Let me give you one. In Missouri you have Claire McCaskill who called crazy Democrats out. What happened? A Democratic senator comes out and calls her an unpleasant name. Now, in an election like this, you don't work against your base, as governor Granholm would tell us, having won a few elections. And here Claire McCaskill in a key U.S. Senate race has now committed a major error by calling her base crazy Democrats.
CUOMO: Well, you have got wild times on both sides. That's for sure. Did you ever think that a president from your party would call himself a nationalist?
AVELLA: I think the President's point is he is for America.
CUOMO: No, no, no, I don't care what his point is, he calls himself a nationalist. Would you call yourself a nationalist?
AVELLA: His point is a key one. He is for America.
CUOMO: That's not nationalism.
[21:35:00] AVELLA: Which -- and guess what, Chris, most Americans are for America.
CUOMO: Are you a nationalist? Would you call yourself that?
AVELLA: I am for America. Just --
CUOMO: Would you call yourself a nationalist?
AVELLA: Chris, just as you are, and just as Governor Granholm is. We are American --
CUOMO: I am no nationalist.
AVELLA: We are Americans trying to make America better.
CUOMO: That's not what a nationalist is.
AVELLA: You can distract.
CUOMO: I am not distracting it is simple.
AVELLA: By saying are you this or are you that.
CUOMO: Why won't you own it?
AVELLA: Americans are going to go to the polls and vote on in a couple of days is where they see the economy.
CUOMO: Mr. Avella?
AVELLA: Economy where employment --
CUOMO: That's not what the President is banking on, he is not banking on what you just said. He is banking --
CUOMO: -- on people running to the polls because they are afraid of the brown people coming from the south. But the reason you have the dance and I forgive you this, you have to dance, because you know nationalism means Stalin.
AVELLA: Chris, you just want to throw --
CUOMO: You know what it means anti-Semitism and communism.
AVELLA: -- and that's doesn't help.
CUOMO: He said it. He said it.
AVELLA: Chris, this is why --
CUOMO: He said it.
AVELLA: Chris, let me make my point, please.
CUOMO: Please. AVELLA: This is why independent voters and Republican and 25% of Democrats think the media causes violence. It is because of these outrageous --
CUOMO: Who says that? The President said that. Don't make the President any form of consensus Avella, you had me until that. I got to go. I'm out of time, even for Friday night that was crazy talk. But you're welcome back and thank you.
CUOMO: Gov, as always, a pleasure. Have a great weekend, both of you.
GRANHOLM: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. So, there was a situation where the next guess, Congressman Curbelo had every reason to press charges against the young man who threatened to kill him, scared his family. Instead he held a press conference with the same man. And he wound up almost acting as his attorney and keeping him safe from exposure because there is still an open case. It is an incredible story of maybe what we should be about more in this situation that we are living in.
Meet Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo. You know him. But you will get to know him in a new way. Next.
CUOMO: Four days until the mid terms, President is stumping on one of his favorite messages, pretty much his only message these days, fear the immigrants. They are coming for you and your jobs, and the women and children. And while many in the Republican Party have remained quiet, you got Congressman Carlos Curbelo and some others who have spoken out against it. He is so committed to what he says as an anti- hate campaign that this week he actually forgave a 19-year-old man who threatened to kill him.
Congressman Curbelo joins us now. Good for you, Congressman. You didn't have to do this. There is still an open case. You know, some people are trying to hit you with that. Like, oh, he didn't really forgive him. They don't understand the law. When, you do something like that that could be charge, the crime is against the state and the individual in this case, you, is the victim. So you know, the state has to make its own determination. Obviously your willingness to move forward will be large in their assess member what have to do. But I just wanted to explain that to everybody.
[21:40:11] So let's talk politics, and then we we'll talk the personal. You saw me there with Avella, smart guy from GOPAC making good arguments about the conservative side of this. He was dancing though once we got to the word nationalist. And I don't let it go because the President brought it up. He introduced that term. He introduced enemy of the people again. He introduced America first. And we both know that a simple Google shows he didn't create any of these. I say introduce, not created. This is Stalin. This is anti- Semitism, this is communism from the World War II era. Why does he reintroduce these phrases that the rest of you don't want to own?
REPRESENTATIVE CARLOS CURBELO (R) FLORIDA: Chris, well, good evening from Miami and thanks for having me. I am a proud American. I want our country to look out for its interests. I think that's important. But that's different from nationalism because nationalism implies that we win and everyone else loses. It implies a conflict. That's not the world that I think I live in or at least it is not the world that I would like to live in. And that's just part of this divide and conquer strategy that we have seen the President and other politicians from both parties use over the years. Sometimes successfully.
And what I have been telling people is look this election that's coming up is important. We have tight races here in Florida at the congressional district level, obviously at the state level as well. Your own polling shows that. But I think that if we don't get this right, if this country doesn't start healing it is really to the going to matter so much who wins elections because we are all going to lose eventually. And my family, Chris, lost their country. Politics in their country became violent. The leaders there pitted one group against another. There was in Cuba of course.
CURBELO: And eventually democracy dyed. I don't think we are close to that point here, but we are certainly walking down that path. And I hope we can all hold hands and turn around before it is too late.
CUOMO: But what do you do in this kind of situation, Congressman, he is the leader of our party. People especially in your party are scared (inaudible) about Trump. They don't want to go against him. They are afraid. He will hurt them at home that the base will come. He has well, over 80% popularity within the GOP and then he says things that demonize Latinos. That's what he's doing, sorry. It's objective, it's not subjected. Everything he says about this migrants moving here in the places, they come from is negative (ph). How do you deal with that? You are a Cubano. You know, you are from a place that celebrates diversity in south Florida. And now this is your party. It is the party of Trump. How do you distinguish yourself?
CURBELO: Chris, you have to speak up and say the truth. You can be afraid. The worst thing that can happen in politics is that you lose an election. And that's OK. And what I tell people in my district is look I am going to call it honest. When Obama was wrong, I would criticize him and when President Trump is wrong I criticize him. And I think that's how every member of Congress should be. That's how the founding fathers envisioned it.
They actually didn't like political parties. They hoped that political parties would never become strong in this country because they thought it would distort the way we think and the decisions we make. So everyone just has to call it honest. And look, last election I told the people in my district, and obviously I have a Republican base, like everyone else out there, and a lot of swing voters that support me, too. But I said look I am not supporting Trump or Clinton. I don't think either of them have ran good campaigns. They both tried to divide the country. Trump with his rhetoric. Clinton with her deplorables comment which I thought was wrong, too. And the people in my district respected me for it. They reelected me even though a lot of them were upset that I wasn't supporting the President back then.
CUOMO: At least they knew where you stood. You know, that's a refreshing enough these days.
CUOMO: They may not like it but at least they can trust it. So then you did something that I've -- you know, I don't know when the last time I saw something like this. So this young man goes on Twitter and act stupid, like -- which I think is the default mechanism is for everybody on Twitter these days. And he makes a real threat. Scarce your wife, scarce you. You hear about the case, you've decided to forgive the kid and then you hold a press conference with him where you don't let him speak because he has got an open case and you don't want him to get in trouble. Why?
CURBELO: Chris, again, I think healing is the most important thing that can happen in this country. Unfortunately, these days all these threats, you get them. We get them. You have to take them all seriously because you just don't know. There are some people out there who either because they are mentally unstable or because they are just evil do want to kill people. And we have seen that in a very dramatic way recently.
When -- after the police arrested this young man I called the police department and said, hey, is this -- was he really -- is he really dangerous or is he just some kid who said something that I am sure he regrets right now? And they said it was the latter. And I said, well, I would like to meet them. Because, first I want to understand why someone would say something like this, or express themselves with so much hate.
[21:45:07] And secondly, I would really like to try to turn this into something positive. And I sat down with Pierre, really good kid, actually. Plays the piano, plays the guitar. He's in school right now trying to get his associate's degree. And he explained to me, you know, that he had some issues in his personal life that he thinks pushed him to do something like this.
And he also talked about the toxicity of our politics and how nasty and negative everything is. And I said, well, you know, would you be willing to come together and kind of explain to everyone what happened, stand next to me, show that we can heal, that we can forgive, that we can just stand together as Americans even if we may disagree on some issues? And he said that he would be more than happy to do it. And I hope he gets his case closed soon. I am confident that the state attorney is not going to charge him. I spoke to her at length and told her about my experience with him. And she was very receptive. And when that time comes I hope this young man can also kind of share his story and that we can all learn from it. And that it can help put us down a better path because I am really worried about thing in our country these days. CUOMO: Well, Carlos, if I can help out with that, happy to give voice
to it. Anything that's showing that we can be better than the way we are right now is time well spent. Congressman thank you for joining me on a Friday night.
CUOMO: Thank you, Chris. Have a good night.
CUOMO: God bless, be well.
All right. Why can't you have more conversations like that, you know, where you talk about the nature of things and people aren't throwing BS at you about how you are getting the question wrong or you are fake, or you're bad. The more that we have, the better things we will be.
Now, the Halloween customs that prompted a school investigation and an apology to parents. This is the opposite end of the spectrum that I was just discussing. Did a group of teachers and staffers cross the line? You be the judge. Next.
CUOMO: This is one of those stories where I am hoping something we learn that makes a different that what we already know. Teachers at an Idaho Elementary School dressed up for Halloween, that's not unusual. You would think they would know not to be controversial, right? Everybody is so careful these days but just take a look. Some posed as President Trump's border wall and labeled make America great again. Otherwise dressed up as Mexican stereotypes.
D. Lemon is here. Don, the superintendent apologized, took the pictures down. They said the costumes were part of a team building exercise about respect and kindness.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I really -- I don't know what to say. It's -- it is a sign of the times. This is exactly what people talk about. And when -- you know, I get so sick of when people are speaking the truth that everyone is upset and they become a victim. We can't do anything and we can't Halloween costumes. Oh my gosh I am a victim, I can't believe this, just don't do it. There are some things that you cannot do in this society and that should not be done. Specially --
[21:50:12] CUOMO: Do you think the wall crosses the line?
LEMON: Of course the wall crossed the line, come on, Chris. What do you mean?
CUOMO: No, I'm asking you why?
LEMON: Say again?
CUOMO: Why? Why did it cross the line?
LEMON: Hold on. Someone is talking to me at the same time. I want Chris to repeat. Go ahead, Chris.
CUOMO: Don't be getting help in your ear when you talk to me.
LEMON: No, someone is -- I think I don't -- they didn't realize they were talking to me. But go on.
CUOMO: Why is the wall crossing the line? Make the case.
LEMON: Why is the wall crossing the line? Well, it's overtly political. And what is the wall meant to do? It's meant to keep out what?
LEMON: A certain group of people from coming into the country. It's not meant to keep out the real -- well, I shouldn't say the real. It's not meant to keep out most of the people who come into the country illegally if you want to call it that or --
CUOMO: Because you're talking about overstays and people who use the tunnels and --
LEMON: That is the big immigration problem for the most part, yes. The southern border is an issue. But most people come in, as we say over and over, they overstay their visas. Of course it's blatantly political, especially in this time. If you're educated, you should know better. Not only that, you've got people dressed up in sombreros in fake mustaches and maracas. Come on.
CUOMO: Yes. I hear you.
LEMON: What is that?
CUOMO: I'll tell you. The only thing I want them to do -- and, again, we'll learn. Let's see if there's something we don't know. The team building thing doesn't help. This is the opposite of team building. It's like building, you know, like anti-team to go out and separate other people. But I think what they need to do is make sure these people get it. And if they're all zealots, if there are zealots and they're like -- I love the wall, man. I don't care what you say. All right, then that's one choice they made. But they need to understand why it's wrong. You'd be shocked at how many people don't get that what they're doing isn't kind.
LEMON: No, I would not be shocked. I would not be shocked.
CUOMO: So I just hope that somebody does that in this because otherwise we don't get any better. People live, they're better, they think they were misjudged and nothing moves in the right direction. What do you have for us on Friday night?
LEMON: I'm actually talking to someone who helped some of Jared Kushner's ancestors get into this country, who were asylum seekers. And so far they've heard -- they were very disappointed at the reaction of the Trump administration and Jared Kushner around the synagogue shooting, and they have not heard from him, and they are -- they don't understand why, but they're very disappointed about it. So stay tuned for that. It's going to be very interesting. CUOMO: I will be watching as always. And I'm going to be taking up a
similar issue about what the reaction should be to what happened not even a week ago. It's amazing.
LEMON: Can I ask you a question? I know you have to go. What do we do to get people to understand what's appropriate and what's not?
LEMON: To understand their own racism, their own biases, their own --
CUOMO: Talk and listen to my closing argument.
LEMON: All right. I'm going to do it. I'll see you in a minute.
CUOMO: D. Lemon.
LEMON: All right.
CUOMO: All right. As Don was just telling you, that we're still trying to figure out how to make sense of what happened not even a week ago. Tonight is the holy night of Shabbat. It's the first Shabbat since the deadliest attack on Jews in American history. And you can't forget what happened, all right? And don't get caught in the numbers. 11 people were gone, their families all affected, legacies they would have made now interrupted. How do we deal with what was lost? I think it means something right now that isn't being acted on. My case next.
[21:57:23] CUOMO: Can't forget that Jews were targeted in this country not even a week ago, murdered by a man who was fueled by hate for migrants, so much so that he believed those who helped them should die. Their loss is a reminder of the problem in this country but also the remedy. Remember the line from a past president. What is wrong in this country can be fixed by what is right in this country. And what is wrong should be obvious to all of us now.
Politics is dirty, plays to darkness, bringing back dark terms from the World War II era that speak to oppression and bigotry and pretending not to know that. That's what nationalism is and false notions of who your enemy is and demonizing others. That's what it's all about. The President can say otherwise, but don't be a sucker. The truth is just a Google away.
And then there's this tragic loss and a reminder of what is right in this country. A spiritual and moral commitment to others. These were Jews. Their faith has a couple of central commands. One of them is called Tech-un Olam, another is called Tzedakah. Now, Tech-un Olam is repair of the world, all right? It's about making yourself but also, and much more importantly, making society better in every way that you can.
Tzedakah is Hebrew for charity, and it captures a duty of giving back. Christians have this as well. They say it in a phrase collaborators and creation and the call to be about something more than yourself. These 11 people, they knew from personal and family experience what it is to fight and flee from those who originated the terms that Trump is rekindling. You got to look at them and remember that that was their experience and their lives and their faith was about being better than that. Their lives were taken by someone who was manifestly different. He was about the wrong things. So in one moment we see a confrontation of what is destroying us and what can save us as well. We must mourn the loss, but we must also do more. The way to cope here is to do more of what this bad man tried to stamp out. In fact, I'm shocked by how quiet we've been in response.
A famous quote rings true now as ever. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for the good to do nothing. Demonizing the weak, the different. We all know it's wrong. The anger, the hostility. Even the right is saying tone it down. It's not about toning it down. It's not about less. It's about more and different. Do something about that which you oppose. Be a positive force for what you believe.
[22:00:04] And so there's a question in this. What will you do? Eleven people died for believing in a duty to do better for those they share this earth with. How will you respond to their loss?
Thank you for watching. You can tune in Sunday for a special edition of Cuomo Prime Time. Why be off? I'll be here at 9 p.m. Eastern to preview the midterms. CNN with D. Lemon starts right now.