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Justice Ginsburg Hospitalized with 3 Fractured Ribs Following Fall; Woman Describes Shooting at CA Bar; Bill Nelson Demands Recount in Florida Senate Race; Gillum Concedes but Wants Recount; Trump Shames Republicans Who Didn't Embrace Him & Lost; New Acting A.G. Matt Whitaker Linked to Company Scam. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired November 8, 2018 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:06] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're following breaking news out of the Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the hospital this morning after she fell in her office last night. The Supreme Court said she was experiencing discomfort after going home, following that fall. Then she was admitted to George Washington University Hospital this morning. It turns out the 85-year-old Supreme Court justice had fractured three ribs.

Joining me right now, CNN contributor, Irin Carmon, the author of the book, "Notorious RBG."

Irin, it's great to see you.

When you heard this news today, what did you think had.

IRIN CARMON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, Kate. It's never good news to hear that this 85-year-old liberal icon, and one who is only one of nine votes on a lifetime appointment, is in anything but tip- top shape. But that said, I think the facts here that the court has publicly released our, in a way heartening, if she's got to being hospitalized, the fact she went home on her own, the fact this is just bruised ribbed and not something more serious is something I really take heart as somebody who cares about Justice Ginsburg and the ideals she has fought for her whole life.

The other thing I would say is that Justice Ginsburg is the most resilient person that I have ever come into contact with. This is her 25th year on the bench. She's someone who has survived cancer twice. She was -- she has never missed a day on the bench. She is someone who, after she had a heart stent put in in 2014, my co-author visited her at the Supreme Court, asked what message she had for all of her fans. She said, tell them I'll be back doing push-ups next week.


BOLDUAN: I don't mean to laugh, but it's so endearing. Even when you think at her age, she fell at work, and she goes home. Even obviously experiencing discomfort. Not realizing she wanted to go to the hospital until this morning and having suffered cracked ribs. Everyone knows how painful that really is. And she has had health scares or health issues in the past. Cancer, one of them. And has always bounced back, as you're talking about.

You have talked to her, you met her, you have interviewed her, met her so many times. How does she talk about her health in general?

CARMON: Well, I think one reason why she's been so open about her fitness regime, she's been so available to the public is she does want to reassure people that she's OK. I mean, she worked out in the document documentary, the CNN documentary, "RBG." She also went on Stephen Colbert's show with her trainer, Brian Johnson (ph).


CARMON: Brian (ph) has published a book, "The RBG Workout."

One of the reasons she's been so visible with the health and resilience she has, again, she's 85 years old. She's had cancer twice. This is something that I think she wants the world to know she's OK.

She also keeps up a schedule that I, as someone 50 years younger than her, would consider exhausting. She's out almost every night going to the theater. She's known to be the fastest justice on the court when it comes to turning around decisions. She's sharp in mind. And she has tried to be as resilient in body as possible given the constraints of her age.

BOLDUAN: Do you think something like this, a fall, another health issue, do you think that impacts her decision, the question is, when she would decide to retire?

CARMON: Of course, a lot of liberals are still upset she didn't retire in the Obama administration when Democrats controlled the Senate, but she said she was not yet ready to leave. She still had more to contribute. I think she thinks some other justices retired too early. And then she later said that Obama would not be able to nominate somebody as liberal as she is. Now, she has said repeatedly that she has no intention of stepping down as long as she can do the job full steam. And just recently, she actually said she thinks she has a few more years in her. I'm pretty sure, unless something else happens, she has no intention of going anywhere.

BOLDUAN: No cracked rib is going to stop the "Notorious RBG."


BOLDUAN: Irin, thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Great to see you.

CARMON: Thank you, Kate. Great to see you.

[11:34:15] BOLDUAN: Thanks.

Coming up for us, our breaking news we have been following this morning. When the shots rang out, she ran for her life. We'll talk to one witness who survived the deadly mass shooting in that California bar overnight. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: It is the second mass shooting in the United States in less than two weeks. Let that set in. A gunman walked into a crowded bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and opened fire on a crowded dance floor late last night. At least 12 people, including a sheriff's deputy, are dead this morning. The sheriff says more are injured.

Joining me right now is one woman who was inside. Her name is Lindsay. We're respecting her request and not using her last name. She's joining me now on the phone.

Lindsay, can you hear me?

LINDSAY (via telephone): Yes, I can.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for calling in. I sincerely appreciate it.

How are you doing right now?

LINDSAY: Physically, I'm OK. Mentally, keep replaying everything in my mind. I haven't gone to sleep yet, so.

BOLDUAN: That's completely understandable. What's replaying in your mind, Lindsay? What did you see in there?

[11:39:54] LINDSAY: You know, I was closest to the dance floor. The man walked in. I immediately had this feeling of knowing what he was doing. I dropped to the floor and ran for the kitchen. Sorry. Excuse me. My boyfriend followed behind me. I look over and some borderline staff, they were yelling at me to get up the ladder and go up into the attic, which I thought was brilliant. Definitely owe them my life. They had the smartest idea. My boyfriend lifted me up into the hole in the ceiling and that's where we stayed until police got us about an hour later.

BOLDUAN: How did you know something was wrong, something wasn't right when that person walked in?

LINDSAY: I have been around guns most of my childhood. And I knew the sound immediately. And in a setting like that, it's not something you hear. So as soon as the first shot rang out, I dropped to the floor and just got down, ran to the kitchen.

BOLDUAN: I can only imagine what kind of chaos and confusion ensued. You went into a bar to have fun with your boyfriend. And you end up in the attic in the ceiling.

LINDSAY: Mm-hmm.

BOLDUAN: How did you --


BOLDUAN: When were you sure you were safe up there? LINDSAY: To be honest, I was so scared that even when the police came

and knocked on the little -- like a little trap door and told us it was OK, I had to ask them over and over, are you sure? Are you sure? It wasn't until I went outside and embraced my friends and my boyfriend and knew we were safe.

BOLDUAN: What did you see when you were leaving the bar?

LINDSAY: Not something that I ever want to remember. It was very sad, very sad scene. I tried to put my hands over my eyes. But even just keeping my head down and walking, it's kind of inevitable to see what had happened there.

BOLDUAN: Oh, my god. And this is a place that you go often. How do you --


LINDSAY: I have been going there since I was 18. I'm 24.

BOLDUAN: How do you make sense of this then?

LINDSAY: You just can't. I mean, you never think something like this is going to happen to you, and next thing you know, you know, you're searching for your friends in a parking lot hoping they're OK.

BOLDUAN: Have you heard from all of your friends?

LINDSAY: All of my close friends, yes. We're all OK. The staff that I have been made aware of that have been injured, I knew them as acquaintances. They smiled at me every time I walked in and got my wristbands, and I heard the sad news about them.

BOLDUAN: A sheriff's deputy, Ron Helus, he was the first person on the scene, and he was shot and later died of his wounds.

LINDSAY: I owe that man my life.


LINDSAY: I mean, I was terrified. And for somebody that wasn't stuck in the situation to come in and risk his life and end up dying for me, you know, I'm truly blessed.

BOLDUAN: We're blessed to have you still here with us.

Thank you, Lindsay.

LINDSAY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

LINDSAY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Poor thing, 24 years old.

Thank you so much.

We'll be right back.


[11:48:11] BOLDUAN: Election Day has come and gone, but almost a dozen races remain undecided at this hour. And still others are being contested, like Florida's Senate race. Democratic incumbent, Senator Bill Nelson, is demanding a recount right now in his race against Republican Governor Rick Scott. Nelson said Scott has prematurely declared victory. Right now, Scott is ahead with 50.1 percent and Nelson stands at 49.9 percent of the vote, according to CNN's projections. But that slim margin could trigger a recount. An automatic recount in Florida, as you likely remember from 2000, only happens when the final margin is less than 5 percent. That's where they're living now, but the initial vote count will be finalized on Saturday at noon. Stand by on that.

Let's go there, though. With me now is Blaise Ingoglia, the head of Florida's Republican Party.

Thanks for being here. Really appreciate it.


BOLDUAN: There's something about Florida, isn't there? Always keeps people guessing. Do you support a recount in the Senate race?

INGOGLIA: Well, the recount, first of all, I would say this, is this recount and what Bill Nelson is saying is just a desperate attempt by a career politician trying to hold on to power. But having said that, it is prescribed by Florida law. So if all the votes are tallied and when it gets up to the secretary of state, come Saturday, if it does fall within that half a percent, then, yes, there will be a recount by Florida law.

BOLDUAN: What's desperate about it if right now -- I mean, looking at -- if you look at where it stands right now, it's a .2 percent difference.

IGOGLIA: Yes, but when you look at the raw votes, the raw votes are around 22,000 to 24,000. There are simply not enough ballots on the there to change this election. The ballot number, the margin may change by a couple thousand, but it's not going to change the outcome of the election. Rick Scott will be the next U.S. Senator from the state of Florida.

[11:50:05] BOLDUAN: Do you think he jumped the gun. You said that the race is over and it's a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career. His campaign said that. Was he jumping the gun, to wait until Saturday noon to see if there will be a recount.

INGOGLIA: I don't think he jumped the gun at all. When you look at the amount of votes Rick Scott is up and the look at the potential float of vote that has to be counted, there's no way, mathematically, they will be able to catch up. The telling point is we have no idea right now how many votes still have to be counted. We know it's not many. The supervisor of elections in Broward County and Palm Beach County, those always seems to be the two that we have problems with in the state of Florida. They have to be transparent. They have to tell us what they are counting and how many they are counting. Right now, nobody knows. We keep on seeing the conspiracy theories flying around and all this misinformation. I think it's a coordinated misinformation campaign from the Democrats because they are throwing out all these members but we're not getting anything from the local supervisor of elections in those two counties.

BOLDUAN: Do you think that they have bad intentions? When you are calling for transparency, do you think they are -- do you think they are trying to hide something? Is that what you are saying?

INGOGLIA: What I'm saying is that the only bad intentions I think they have is not being truthful and transparent with the public. That is clearly obvious. They are not giving any information whatsoever. What I will tell you, it is just massive gross incompetence on behalf of both of the supervisors of elections. Case in point, Miami-Dade, which has a lot more voters than Broward and Palm Beach, they got all of their votes count and tallied on election night. Here we are two days after the election and they are trying to count their votes. This is amazing that the people in Broward and Palm Beach not only accept incompetence on behalf of their supervisors of elections, they keep on voting them into office.

BOLDUAN: The governor's race is also close. Gillum conceded to DeSantis, but put out a statement saying he wants to make sure every vote is accurately counted. The margin is, looking at what we have, is right there at the .5 percent. How likely is it that one goes to a recount?

INGOGLIA: I'll say this. I chastised Mayor Gillum during the election, saying he couldn't do math because of his policies. He would have to institute an income tax. Mayor Gillum and his campaign understand math now and they understand there's not enough votes to overturn that election either. At the end of the day, we are expecting everyone, all the top of our ballot, all five of the candidates, to emerge victorious regardless of whether we go through the recount or not.

BOLDUAN: Quickly, the Republican shamed a lot of lawmakers who lost their elections when he was speaking during his press conference yesterday. One of the people he called out was Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo. The point that the president was making in the press conference was, if you wanted my embrace, if you embraced me, you would have won. Do you think Carlos would have fared better if he embraced the president or would he have lost by more?

INGOGLIA: I like Carlos Curbelos. He is a friend. But the fact of the matter is that President Donald Trump is very popular amongst the base. You do not have to embrace everything that the president says, but there's one thing that is undeniable, that the president turns out Republican voters. I agree with the president that it would have help Carlos Curbelos in Miami if he would have done that. BOLDUAN: Do you like seeing the president name and shame the

lawmakers who fought and lost?

INGOGLIA: I don't think it's naming and shaming. It's just that the fact of the matter of, look at how many voters came out in the state of Florida. The president was very active here. He came to this state to campaign twice. We had historic turn out. That does not happen by accident. That happens because President Trump came here to turn out the base. And it came with just great candidates that we had on the ticket that were espousing great policies and keeping Florida the way it is going for decades. People acknowledge that and people continue to vote for that.

BOLDUAN: Let's see what happens on Saturday with regard to the Senate race.

Appreciate it, Blaise. Thank you.

We'll be right back.

[11:54:37] INGOGLIA: My pleasure.


BOLDUAN: Matt Whitaker, the now-acting attorney general, after Jess Sessions was fired, is linked to a company referred to as a scam. What does it mean for his job now?

CNN's Jessica Schneider is here with the details.

Jessica, what's this all about?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, not only was Whitaker on the advisory board for the now-shutdown company, but he sent a threatening message to a customer who complained about the company. The company is World Patenting Marketing. It's since been shut down. It has been slapped with a $26 million fine. The government actually called it a company that was complicit in a scam that bilked thousands of customers out of millions of dollars. This is where Whitaker comes into play, Kate. In August 2015, he sent an e-mail response to a disgruntled customer and accused the customer of blackmail and extortion because they wanted to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. No doubt, Whitaker's involvement with this company will be drawing some ire from Democrats who are already questioning him as acting attorney general, but a lot more from Democrats after all this and this company -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Just as he is now settling in as the acting attorney general.

Thank you so much, Jessica. I really appreciate it.

Thank you all so much for joining me today.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.