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Paradise Destroyed By Wildfire; Fire Runs Through Malibu; Surviving Two Shootings; Recounts In Florida; Trump Signs Proclamation Limiting Asylum Seekers at Border; Midterms Broke Barriers with History-Making Elections of Women, LGBT Candidates; After Midterms Trump Fires A.G., Revokes Reporter's White House Credentials; Trump Accuses Election Officials of Voter Fraud; Trump Criticized Macron Hours Before Meeting in Paris; Trump Blasts Michelle Obama After Saying She'll Never Forgive Trump for Birther Comments. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired November 10, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Officials say nearly every building, every home in Paradise is gone. Burned down. Across northern California, about 7,000 structures, homes, businesses, schools, churches, and everything in between now destroyed. Also burning, thousands of acres near Los Angeles and Malibu, Ventura County.
Across the state, a quarter million people have been forced from their homes to safety. CNN's Dan Simon is in of what's left of Paradise, California, and Scott McClain is standing by in Malibu for us.
Dan, I just mentioned that at least nine people have been killed in these fires. That was not far from where you are standing right now. What do we know about how those people died?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you that five people died in a vehicle while trying to flee the flames. As for the others, we're told several bodies were found in burned out houses.
It's just such a gruesome situation here in the town of Paradise. We are in one of these neighborhoods where you see all these burned-out homes. You see these burned-out vehicles.
And the thing that's so striking when you come to Paradise is just how widespread the devastation is. When I first rolled into town, I started taking some photos and videos with my phone. And I just wanted to play for you just a little piece of tape of, sort of, the best of images that I took with my phone. Things that struck me. So, have a look.
(on camera): Hey, everybody, I'm in Paradise, California at the scene of this devastating wildfire. And we are inside of what used to be a Safeway grocery store. Check this out. I mean, this is some of the worst destruction I've ever seen, in terms of covering wildfires over the years. This whole town is pretty much gone.
(voice-over): The drive along the main thoroughfare is surreal, an endless stream of burned-out cars and smoldering ruins. The smoke is thick with the sun barely peeking through the haze. Some things catch your eye more than others.
Welcome to Bearadise, the sign for the black bear diner, is a common stop for those documenting the destruction. Fast food restaurants, a church, seemingly nothing was spared.
(on camera): What are your observations as you go through the town?
JIM GILMORE: It's bizarre, mind-boggling. It's hard to fathom right now. It's just numbing as you're driving through here. It's crazy how many places are burned in just a town 24 hours ago went into total mass destruction it feels like.
SIMON (voice-over): The town evacuated. It is hard to find any residents amid the ruins. But we did find Jim Gilmore, a local contractor whose house somehow survived.
(on camera): I was just going to ask you, like how does a town rebound from something like this when most of the homes have been lost?
GILMORE: The people up here are strong and they're resilient. And they don't take no for an answer. They'll come back.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
SIMON: Yes, the folks here believe Paradise, California will live up to its name. In the meantime, you can see some of those firetrucks down there, some of those crews. They're putting out the hot spots in various neighborhoods, because they're concerned that the winds are going to kick up again tonight. And that could, once again, reignite some of those embers and send the embers into different places.
One place they're really concerned about is Chico, California. That's another community. It's a larger city that's southwest of here. So, they've really been trying hard to build some containment lines to protect that town.
I can tell you that the containment number has gone up. It's gone up to 20 percent, so that's good news. But the bad news is we're going to be you should a red flag warning tonight, and it's going to last through Monday -- Ana.
CABRERA: And 20 percent is not a lot, when you think more than 100,000 acres have burned in that fire alone where Dan is. Dan, thank you. Stand by.
I want to turn to Scott in Malibu, where several hundred miles, of course -- several hundred miles away from where Dan Simon is. A separate, devastating fire burning near there. Scott, show us what's left where you are.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Ana. Unlike where Dan is seeing where, you know, the entire town seems to be gone, this fire, the Woolsey fire in Malibu, seemed to pick and choose which houses it actually took. There are some that look like they're completely untouched.
But the ones that it did take, it left almost nothing behind. This is what would have been quite a large home. And there are some pretty nice ones in this area. We're talking multimillion-dollar homes.
And if you look in the back there, you can see through what's left of the building. What seems to be a guest house there is really pouring out this black smoke. And it's quite amazing to see because we've actually seen the fire department come through and put out those flames twice so far today. And they're going to have to come by a third time to do it again.
You can see what's left of this house. Well, you can see, you know, a couple of walls, a burned-out car. But, other than that, it's really completely, completely unrecognizable.
[17:05:00] And I just want to show you one more thing, Ana. We'll just have to scoot under this power line that's down right here. But across the street, you see there's a flame there. That's because the gas is on.
And it should -- you'd think it would be easy to turn the gas off. Well, turns out it's actually not. The switch, the shut-off valve, is actually near those flames. And the workers, obviously, don't want to go and shut it off.
So, what they're having to do, in order to turn these gas off, is dig this hole here to manually cap the gas line. And they're having to do these for several homes. It is manual. It is painstaking. And it is one heck of a slow process. And so, not only are fire crews busy, but also power workers and gas workers as well.
And one other thing to mention, Ana, and that's that the weather here. There is a short window. Maybe for the next 10 -- eight, 10 hours or so. That's when the winds have been calm. This is a good chance for firefighters to actually get a good handle on this fire.
After that, the winds are going to pick back up right until Tuesday. And that means the winds will be whipping and, once again, fanning those flames -- Ana.
CABRERA: The folks there, those poor folks, can't catch a break. Dan Simon, Scott McLean, thank you both.
And, if you can believe it, seven of the state's top 20 most destructive wildfires have happened in the last couple of years, just since October of 2017.
Firefighters are now racing to achieve as much containment, as much as possible, ahead of another round of high winds, as we heard both those guys mention, that are forecast to sweep in on Sunday.
Let's turn to CNN's meteorologist Allison Chinchar who has more on what the changing weather conditions mean for the efforts to battle the flames -- Allison. ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Ana, the next 12 hours are really going to be the most critical for those firefighters, in terms of being above to get those containment numbers up before the weather begins to shift.
Here is a look at the remainder of Saturday. The orange area you see here, that's an elevated fire threat. The red area indicating critical. But notice as we go from Saturday into Sunday, that that critical area begins to expand, not only for northern California, but also southern California.
But you also notice that we now begin to add in the extreme fire threat for portions of southern California. That is the top tier of a fire threat that you can get. And the reason for that is those winds are not only going to shift, but they're going to increase.
And in some of these areas, you're talking winds 40 to even 50 miles per hour. Not only is that a concern, because it can spread the wildfires that already exist, but you're going to notice a shift in the smoke.
This is a look at Saturday. Here's California. This is Los Angeles. Notice for most of Saturday, that smoke was blowing out over the Pacific Ocean. But Saturday night into Sunday, we're going to start to see a shift where that smoke actually starts coming back inland around the Los Angeles area.
This will make it very difficult for firefighters, because now they're going to have to battle those fires in almost zero visibility. Not to mention anyone that may be trying to evacuate is going to be driving through roads where they also cannot see where they're going.
And this is why, Ana, we have about 25 million people under red-flag warnings through the weekend.
CABRERA: Wow. Allison Chinchar, thank you.
And a quick programming note. With Senate seats still in play, a recount battle looming, a controversial move at the Justice Department have Democrats warning about a constitutional crisis. Senate majority, soon to be a minority leader, I should say, Chuck Schumer, is joining Jake Tapper's "STATE OF THE UNION" tomorrow morning at 9:00 Eastern.
CABRERA: He has now survived two mass shootings just over a year apart. The trauma this 22-year-old man has endured goes so far beyond words. When a gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar this week, a young man, named Dylan McNey, scrambled to help people escape from the pub's back entrance. Six of Dylan McNey's friends were gunned down. All of this happening just 13 months after Dylan survived the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history last year in Las Vegas. And Dylan is joining us now. Dylan, I'm so sorry for all that you've gone through. I know you lost friends, loved ones in this latest shooting. How are you hanging in there?
Well, first off, thank you for having me on here. I'm doing just as well as anybody could be doing right now, of course with dealing with not one, but two shootings. Having to go through the severity of losing very close friends of mine at place I call home and then losing another in Vegas, it's been challenging. But I have a very good support system of friends and family that have my back, and I couldn't be more grateful for -- to have them in my life.
CABRERA: I'm happy to hear you have people around you helping to keep you strong, helping you heal. I can't imagine what it's like to be in your shoes. How do you make sense of being a part of two mass shootings?
DYLAN MCNEY: I wish there was an easy answer. I wish I could tell you what it's like to go through one. But to only go through two as well, it's not something you can comprehend. And it's definitely something that you can't grasp ahold of, especially when you lose people. And that people that you love are affected by this as well, at a place that you go to to be safe at and a place that we went to three days after Vegas to cope with everything. And the severity of everything that happened is rough. But I know being strong for the people that we lost is what's needed and being there for people that need help is what I'm able to do.
CABRERA: Can you walk me through what you experienced on Wednesday night?
MCNEY: Yes. So, basically, it was just like any other Wednesday. I was picking up three of my friends. And we got there a little bit later. We got there about 10:30.
[17:15:00] And, like anything we usually do, we go around the bar. Go get a drink. Say hi to all of our friends. We joke around. See how everybody is doing. Make sure everybody is good and just enjoy a good time.
And it wasn't until I left the bar and went towards the back corner to go say hi to some more friends that I heard the first initial shots. And it wasn't until after the third that I was able to recognize that it was gunfire. People started screaming, running, and just in terror.
So, working there as past security, I knew that where my location was that there was an exit door. So, what I decided to do was go open that exit door and tell people that you need to exit out of here, stay down low. Don't stampede over each other. Just try and make it out, go somewhere safe.
Once I saw that the scene was starting to get clear, and I had an idea where the shooter was located, I made it outside myself. And from where people were in the parking lot, I moved them from where they were to further back in the parking lot, getting behind engine blocks of cars, telling people to stay down, grabbing people that seemed to be injured. And myself, and a few others, giving medical assistance.
From there, once I saw that the scene was clear, I went around the parking lot and made sure that there was no one else that need medical attention and that people were in safe areas.
MCNEY: By that point, I saw that a cop came down the road, and I knew that that was going to be our next best place to go. So, I told everyone to slowly make their way over there, guiding them over to the cop car. Then people (INAUDIBLE) the parking lot.
CABRERA: It's amazing, to me, the state of mind that you had to be able to help direct people and how to respond. And I'm just curious if your experience, your unfortunate experience having survived the Las Vegas shooting, if that helped instincts kick in immediately and know how to respond?
MCNEY: I think it definitely helped. It -- I pretty much would say I reacted the same way, just putting people before myself. But I was raised in family of men and women that are very strong and taught me to put others before myself. So, I think that's where those initial thoughts came in, of just make sure people are safe and getting them out and making sure that we're all good.
CABRERA: A country music concert, college night at a bar. Will you feel safe attending events like this in the future?
MCNEY: I will always have faith because I have god on my side, and I have family and friends on my side. I will not lose faith to know that there is still good out in this world, because there definitely still is no matter what the harm is out there in this world.
But I know, from going through these two things, we can can't go through this alone. We have to be there to help people going through this. So, the best thing that we can do is know that we have to live every day to the best of our abilities, knowing that we have another day to wake up and see the sun shining.
And I think that's the best thing that we can do to move forward is be there and just realize that we -- we're not granted every day. And we should take that into consideration.
CABRERA: Your perspective, your attitude is amazing, Dylan. And if all of this weren't enough, your family got evacuation orders this week for California's wildfires I understand. Your mother and sister evacuated. You stayed with your dad, a former firefighter. How's everybody doing right now in that regard?
MCNEY: We're doing good. We got the notice Thursday afternoon. I had people over at my house, and we saw the fire start rolling in towards -- across the freeway, and that's when my dad and I made a decision that we were going to stay. And my mom and sister were going to leave just in case we did have to get evacuated. Later on, we figured out that it was going to be all good, so we had them come back and everything seemed fine. So, we're still -- our prayers are still out there for everyone affected by this fire and that are going through these catastrophes. But for us, we're doing good and my community, we're doing good. We're just trying to be there for help when it's needed and keeping our prayers up.
CABRERA: Sending you prayers as well and sending you strength. Dylan McNey, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. Our hearts go out to you.
MCNEY: Thank you very much for having me on here.
CABRERA: Thank you.
Well, we now know all of the people who were lost in that horrifying shooting in Thousand Oaks, California Wednesday night. Dan Manrique was a Marine Corps veteran. Noel Sparks, friends will remember her with selfless servitude. Alaina Housley, who was a student at Pepperdine University. Mark Meza Jr. was lovingly called Marky by his family. Sean Adler was the bouncer the night of the shooting. Justin Meek was a recent graduate of Cal Lutheran. Cody Coffman, his friends said he was the reason she survived the shooting. Telemachus Orfanos was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Blake Dingman will be missed greatly by his brother. We lost Jacob Dunham who was incredibly close with Dingman. Kristina Morisette was just 20 years old. And, of course, Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant John Helus, who rushed into the bar to save so many lives. Again, Ron Helus. My apologies.
[17:25:00] We have this just in to CNN. Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is now responding to the recounter effort now underway. He released this video statement moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: At noon today, supervisors of election from across the state submitted their election returns to the secretary of state. Those results are clear and unambiguous just as they were on election night, and I am honored by the trust that Floridians have placed in me to serve as your next governor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Election recounts in two key races, a withdrawn concession and protests. This is just a snapshot of what's happening in Florida today.
A short time ago, Democratic candidate for governor, Andrew Gillham, officially withdrew his concession that he made on election night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDREW BILLUM (D), FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: But let me say clearly, I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: All of this as President Trump tweets today, trying to steal two big elections in Florida. We are watching closely. Which echoes his previous cries of election fraud.
Let's head to Florida. And CNN's Ryan Nobles is joining us from Tallahassee. And, Ryan, is there any evidence that Democrats are, quote, "stealing this election" as the president says?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ana, there simply isn't. And you don't have to take my word for that. You can take the word of the Republican secretary of state here in the state of Florida. He had two election monitors that were at all the different various board of elections throughout the state of Florida on Election Day. And they found specifically no evidence of criminal activity in any way, shape or form.
And then, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who was specifically asked by Rick Scott to look into this, has said the same. That they have also not found any evidence of criminal activity. So, even though there has been a lot of rhetoric coming out of the Republicans on this side about the possibility of fraud, at this point, there's just no evidence that any exists.
And, you know, Ana, this doesn't change the fact that we are talking about two extraordinary tight elections here. The race for governor within a half a percent. That's why that automatic recount was triggered today. The race for Senate even closer, less than .14 percentage points separate the incumbent Bill Nelson, who is trailing the Governor Rick Scott, as the incumbent governor but running for the U.S. Senate.
So, both of these races are very, very close. And keep in mind, 8.5 million Floridians cast a ballot in this race. And this recount's going to start today. The first stage of it is over on Thursday. We won't have an official tally until the 18th of November. And then, Ana, that opens a door to potential court cases down the road.
CABRERA: It's incredible. It's Florida. It's like deja vu over and over again in that state. Yes, I was there with you, Ryan, on election night. As we were covering the election as a team, I couldn't believe the amount of voter enthusiasm that state had with more than 60 percent of registered voters in that state turning out to cast a vote in this election.
Thank you for continuing to stay on top of it for us, Ryan.
Also, a programming note. Make sure you tune in tomorrow night for the final episode of Anthony Bourdain "PARTS UNKNOWN," where he takes a personal journey through a formerly Bohemian New York neighborhood, right here on CNN. That's at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Don't go anywhere. We're back in a minute.
[17:33:17] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Immigration was the most divisive issue in the closing days of the midterm election campaign, and it continues to make headlines. More than four months after it started, a federal judge says the process of reuniting undocumented immigrant families separated by U.S. border authorities is almost finished.
That announcement comes days after President Trump announced a new rule on immigration. A 90-day ban forbids migrants who cross the border without papers from applying for asylum unless they're at an official border crossing port of entry.
I spoke earlier about this with Janet Napolitano, who served for four years as Homeland Security secretary under President Barack Obama.
CABRERA: Secretary Napolitano, thank you for joining us.
I want to start by asking you about the issue of asylum and the impact of all of us. The president's proclamation, essentially saying immigrants can only claim asylum at ports of entry, not once they're inside the U.S. if they cross the border illegally. Do you think this is fair, and does it pass legal muster?
JANET NAPOLITANO, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I think that decision is totally subject to legal challenge. The law is that anyone in the United States, whether present legally or illegally, can claim asylum regardless of how they cross the border. I don't know that the president can change the laws simply by executive order as he has done.
CABRERA: But from a fairness --
NAPOLITANO: Or is attempting to do. We haven't seen his proposed rules yet.
CABRERA: Well, why shouldn't migrants be required to cross at the ports of entry?
NAPOLITANO: Ideally, that's where they should cross. They should come through the ports. My understanding is that there are extraordinary long lines at the ports of entry on the southwest border. People are waiting days and even weeks, which creates an incentive to cross at another place. And again, the issue is the right to claim asylum, which the United States is bound to by international treaty as well as by federal law. [17:35:24] CABRERA: It's believed the president is making this move amid the caravan approaching the U.S. Mexico border. We also know the president is sending 8,000 troops to that border. That's more than we have in Iraq and Syria combined. Is this the how America's military should be utilized?
NAPOLITANO: No. You know, we have used the National Guard at the border to serve as backup to Border Patrol. We did that at times during the Obama administration. It was done during the Bush administration. But active-duty military, these are highly trained individuals that should be used for purely military operations, not border operations. Those are very different.
CABRERA: Trump's America First mentality does have a lot of support. It was part of his campaign promise. And he is making the argument that this is about national security. Why not use the troops this way?
NAPOLITANO: I think the national security argument is a very weak one. We're talking about groups of women and children who are fleeing desperate circumstances from their countries of origin. This is a trip that is dangerous, it's long, it's hard. Those are hardly threats to the national security.
CABRERA: So much has happened on this issue of immigration this week. I also want to ask about the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a ruling that the Trump administration was acting unlawfully in how it went about rescinding DACA. Obviously, this is a blow to the administration. But it wasn't about the constitutionality of DACA itself. It was only about how the administration rescinded it. How do you see this new ruling?
NAPOLITANO: I thought it was a very positive ruling. The first part of the opinion was for the court to say that the courts, indeed, have the power to review what the president did here. Because the administration that's been arguing that they are totally exempt from any judicial review, and the court said no. When the administration bases a decision on an erroneous view of the law, and it concluded that they had an erroneous view of the law, then it is up to the courts to make that determination. I thought that was not only correct, but totally in line with judicial precedent going back hundreds of years.
CABRERA: We already know the Trump administration is trying to fast- track a lawsuit so that deal with whether DACA itself is constitutional, trying to fast-track that to the Supreme Court. Given the new balance following Kavanaugh's confirmation, do you think DACA is doomed, barring any congressional action?
NAPOLITANO: Ultimately, Congress should act here. And in an ideal world, they would have already acted. These are young people brought here, typically, around the -- younger than the age of 6. They've grown up in the United States. They've done everything we've asked of them, indeed. We have several thousand of these DACA recipients who are students at the University of California. They've gained admission to one of the top universities in the country. Why we would focus our deportation machinery on these individuals is beyond me.
CABRERA: I hear what you are saying about Congress having a responsibility to deal with this. But if it ends up that the Supreme Court takes it up before Congress takes action, what do you think the outcome will be?
NAPOLITANO: I think they should uphold what the Ninth Circuit did. I obviously believe the Ninth Circuit was correct as were -- as have been every lower court that has looked at the administration's recension of DACA and held that recension was unlawful. There's unanimity in the lower courts on this topic. And I would hope that the Supreme Court would follow their lead in this instance.
CABRERA: Again, I don't want to confuse our viewers because it is sort of apples and oranges. We're talking about DACA. But on one side, you have lower courts upholding the ruling that how this administration rescinded DACA was not lawful. On the other hand, you have what the administration is trying to fast-track to the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with whether DACA itself is constitutional and lawful.
And so I guess that's the second part, is what I'm asking you about, whether the U.S. Supreme Court will side with the Trump administration on that or with those, who are defenders of DACA, as an executive order under the past administration.
[17:40:10] NAPOLITANO: As someone who constructed DACA when I was secretary of Homeland Security, it was constructed very carefully. And we had lots of legal counsel from the Justice Department, from the White House, from within the department look at the program, and all held that it was lawful, it was a lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion by the Obama administration. And indeed, where there are now almost 700,000 young people around the country who are enrolled in DACA, who are attending universities, who are in our military, who have in some instances started businesses, purchased homes. They are American in every way except one, which is that they are undocumented.
CABRERA: Secretary Napolitano, always good to have your perspective. Thank you very much for joining us.
NAPOLITANO: Thank you.
CABRERA: Just a quick fact-check before we move on. The Trump administration defends its new proclamation that he just signed yesterday limiting asylum by saying it's in response to statistics that show most asylum seekers skip their court hearings and illegally stay in the U.S. And that is not accurate. According to the president's own Justice Department, only 11 percent of asylum seekers skip their court hearings. Under an Obama-era program specifically for asylum seekers, 100 percent attended their court hearings. That program was ended by President Trump in 2017.
We're back after this.
[17:46:10] CABRERA: The midterms were just this week. Just another casualty of a lightning-fast news cycle. Not to be overlooked, an election that broke down barriers and brought a series of history- making votes that marked major accomplishments for women and LGBT candidates. CNN now projects at least 101 women won House races with 35 women newly elected and 65 incumbents. There will be at least 23 female Senators. And as far as diversity within this group of women, even more history was made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEB HAALAND, (D), CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT, NEW MEXICO: I never imagined a world where I would be represented by someone who looks like me.
You are sending one of the first Native American women to Congress.
AYANNA PRESSLEY, (D), CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT, MASSACHUSETTS: When it comes to women of color, candidates, folks don't just talk about a glass ceiling. What they describe is a concrete one. But, you know what breaks through concrete? Seismic shifts.
SHARICE DAVIDS, (D), CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT, KANSAS: The time for people to not be heard and not be seen and not be listened to or represented well changes now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: You just heard from the first two Native American women ever elected to Congress. Also, the first black woman who was elected to Congress from Massachusetts. Voters also elected the first two Muslim women to Congress. And Tennessee elected its first female Senator. Two of the youngest women were also elected, both 29 years old. But the ceiling shattered in other chambers as well, and 19 black women now hold judicial seats in Harris County, Texas.
Doris Kearns Goodwin is joining us now. She is a presidential historian and author of "The Bully Pulpit," and the news book, "Leadership in Turbulent Times."
Doris, I'm so glad you could join me this weekend. Thank you for being here.
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN & AUTHOR: You're very welcome.
CABRERA: Do you feel more or less optimistic about the direction of our country after the midterms?
KEARNS GOODWIN: I feel much more optimistic. I mean, I think what's happened when you look at the long lines that stood to vote, you look at the fact that the Congress is now finally becoming more diverse representing the nation as all those statistics you just gave, record- breaking numbers of women wanting to come into public life. My worry in these last years had been because so little was happening in Washington and neither side could talk to one another and politics had become so toxic that our best people wouldn't want to enter public life. And, yet, we saw record-breaking numbers of people who had never been in public life before wanting to come in. I think 100 years from now, this may be seen as a movement. We have talked about the year of the woman twice before. But that was before we had an infrastructure, before we had women training and running for public office, donors for women. As we've seen, people of color and Muslim- Americans. I think it's a very exciting moment for our country. And when the citizens are awakened, they're the ultimate economic on power. That's begun with this midterm. That has begun.
CABRERA: I love your optimism because there's also this. Let me read you a snippet of the "New York Times" today. "In the three days after the Democrats captured the House, President Trump fired attorney general and replaced him with a loyalist, critical of both the courts and the Russia investigation. He banned a CNN correspondent from the White House while threatening he would do the same to other journalists. And he accused election officials in Florida and Arizona of rigging the vote against candidates he had campaigned for."
Doris, you obviously have the long view. You have studied history. What does this mean for America?
[17:49:46] KEARNS GOODWIN: Well, it surely means that what you would hope in a leader is not being evidenced by those reactions. When a leader goes through loss, they learn from it. They learn from their mistakes, and they grow in office. Instead, somehow, President Trump has used this occasion to fire back at people -- other people have that responsibility, not him. During that press conference when he talked about the people who lost and he said they lost only because they had not asked him to come and vote for them, and somehow they were already experiencing the pain of loss and he had to exacerbate it by saying their names and saying they were losers. Calling the journalists losers and continuing the enemy of the people. This kind of leadership is not leadership that we can look at in the country as a whole. I keep waiting for the moment when he will be chastened and he will learn from experiences.
But even so, we've got the people now exorcised and people awakened. We'll have to see what happens in the Congress right now. If something happens to the Mueller investigation, will Republicans who wanted to continue, will they finally speak out? I mean, I guess I'm still feeling hopeful that some fever has been broken right now but maybe that's my optimistic nature. And maybe it's because I've lived through all of these dead presidents, much worse times, the Civil War, World War II, the Great Depression, and we had leaders and citizens and they got us through. That's the hope for now.
CABRERA: Your new book focuses on the leadership styles of three presidents. Right now, what we're seeing playing out in Paris is President Trump versus our allies, again. Just as he lands in Paris, the president tweets, "President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia. Very insulting. But perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly." Doris, historically, does this bombastic rhetoric work?
KEARNS GOODWIN: No. And in fact, what's so heartbreaking when I think about Franklin Roosevelt, the last days and months of his life, trying to stay alive to ensure the United Nations was put in place. Think of Truman's great accomplishment, it was NATO. And then Reagan's great accomplishment, the deal with the Soviet Union for the arms race, to be reduced down. And that, somehow, President Trump is making American First again, which, of course, historically, was isolationist America. We need our allies and our allies need us. The strength of us, from World War I -- we're celebrating World War I, when they were our alliance. We're celebrating World War II, we had in recent times. Where would we have been in the Cold War without our allies? It's heartbreaking that's not happening right now because we need them as well as they need us.
CABRERA: There's another former first family making headlines this week with former first lady, Michelle Obama, strikingly candid in our new memoir, title, "Becoming," opening up about her marriage, a miscarriage, what she says she'll never forgive Donald Trump for. The former first lady writes this: "The whole Birther thing was crazy and mean spirited. Of course, it's underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed. But it was also dangerous. What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family's safety at risk, and for this, I'd never forgive him."
Doris, this is the first time we've heard something like this from Mrs. Obama. What do you think made her come forward? What do you make this comment on Trump?
KEARNS GOODWIN: Obviously, it was the protectiveness of her family. She thought her family was at risk, her daughters and husband, by the conspiracy that maybe some right-wing people or wing nuts, as she said, would come out of nowhere and hurt them because of the Birther controversy. But what's so powerful about what I have seem to read about the memoir, she has the fundamental confidence that came from being loved by her family to express her vulnerabilities. The problems she had with her husband when he wanted to go into politics and she wasn't sure, the worry about how they could have children and the miscarriage and the difficulties of that. I think a lot of people will be able to identify with her vulnerabilities and with the role model that she can become for them. And that's an extraordinary thing because, in the previous past, I think, when Eleanor Roosevelt talked about vulnerabilities, she hid them in a subtle way. She just said, my mother was the most beautiful woman in New York and she called me granny because I looked so old fashioned. But she didn't explain what that really meant and how that must have hurt her to feel that. But I think women feel more able, if they're confident, to speak out about vulnerabilities. And I think it's going to help a lot of people who can look at that and say, she went through that trouble, I can, too.
CABRERA: Doris Kearns Goodwin, really good to have you here. Thank you so much.
KEARNS GOODWIN: Thank you. CABRERA: Many veterans have trouble getting the support they need
after leaving the military. And nearly 10 percent of the homeless adults in the U.S. once served in the armed forces. When Army combat veteran, Chris Stout, saw some of his former comrades falling through the cracks, he built a solution to help them. That's why he's a 2018 top-10 "CNN Hero."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[17:54:57] CHRIS STOUT, CNN HERO: After starting to work with veterans, I realized there was a huge gap in services. If you've ever served, you know that if one of your fellow platoon guys need help, you help them. What we do here gives them an opportunity to get stable, gives them a safe and secure place. And then fix what got them there in the first place. When I see a win for them, it's a celebration for me. It means everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Go to CNNheroes.com to vote for him or any of your favorite top-10 "CNN Heroes."
That's it for now. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. I'll see you two hours from now.
My colleague, S.E. Cupp, continues our coverage of today's news right after a quick break.