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Actress Tracey Bregman Lost Malibu Home in California Wildfire; Bill Nelson Press Conference on Gubernatorial Recount; Is Brenda Snipes Hinting She'll Step Down at Broward County Elections Supervisor; FBI States Show Dramatic Rise in Hate Crimes as White Nationalists Declare Election Victory; Security Guard Jemel Roberson Stopped Bar Gunman, Was Killed by Police. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired November 13, 2018 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00] TRACEY BREGMAN, ACTRESS WHO LOST HOME IN MALIBU BY WILDFIRE: I had a very interesting thing happen to me. The night before -- we had just moved my horses. I should say actually a week before I had a weird thing where I wasn't comfortable in my barn with my horses. I turned to my trainer and I said, we need to move the horses.

We moved the horses and that barn burned down first. So at 1:45 on Thursday night or very, very early Friday morning, something woke me up and said get in the car. I got in the car at 2:00 in the morning and drove back to Malibu and grabbed what I could and got out. And that was before the evacuation.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The horses is an entire -- I'm an animal lover and you are, too.

BREGMAN: Right.

BALDWIN: This fire came up so fast that people were -- they had to get out themselves, which is just a sad piece of this entire story.

But I want to focus on the positive. I was talking yesterday -- this amazing nurse ran through the flames to get out to continue to help people, firefighters working after losing their own homes. Has anyone, public servant through this whole ordeal touched you?

BREGMAN: I'm so blown away by the human spirit. We have a hash tag, #malibustrong, and how the entire community is coming together. How many texts have I written and have I received. I lost my house, what can I do for you, how can I help you? We have all said we're going to get through this together as a community. Malibu kind of has this reputation of being this fancy, big party kind of place, and really we're a sleepy little town. All of our kids have only gone to a couple of schools. We all know each other and we truly are there for each other.

BALDWIN: I'm so glad you're OK, your horses, your 75-year-old neighbor.

BREGMAN: Right.

BALDWIN: Just hearing all these stories, it's absolutely stunning. We're so grateful to the firefighters.

BREGMAN: Very stunning.

BALDWIN: I know, as you mentioned, the Boys and Girls Club of Malibu.

Tracey, thank you very much.

BREGMAN: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

BALDWIN: You got it.

Moments from now, Senator Bill Nelson, of Florida, is about to hold a news conference on Capitol Hill, as he calls on his opponent, the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, to recuse himself from this entire recount process.

This is all unfolding as the embattled supervisor of elections of Broward County, this woman, Brenda Snipes, suggests she may be stepping down. We'll take you live to Florida, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:36:30] BALDWIN: Just in, hate crimes are up over the last year. According to newly released FBI data, the number of hate crimes rose 17 percent in 2017. There were -- we're going to come back to that in just a second.

Let's take you straight to Capitol Hill and to the man who wants to hang on to his Senate seat, Senator Nelson.

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: I just had a meeting to discuss the Florida recount. We'll be making a statement here as the legal proceedings are ongoing.

This process is about one thing, making sure that every legal ballot is counted and protecting the right of every Floridian to participate in our democracy. And that is to have their ballot counted and to count as they intended it.

Sadly, it's become clear that my opponent isn't interested in making sure that every lawful vote is counted. Instead, he's been using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process. He's thrown around words like "voter fraud" with no proof. He's tried to get the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to intimidate local supervisors of election. Both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which Governor Scott oversees, and the Governor Scott-appointed Florida secretary of state have both said that there's no credible evidence of voter fraud.

It's become obvious that Mr. Scott cannot oversee the process in a fair and impartial way, and he should remove himself from the recount process.

People must have confidence in the integrity of the election. It remains the most important goal to make sure that every lawful vote be counted correctly. We will work to see that the recount is conducted fairly and that the rule of law is followed.

Senator Schumer?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Well, thank you, Senator Nelson.

BALDWIN: OK, so we wanted to hear from Senator Nelson, who wants to obviously hang on to his Senate seat. He's saying, listen, he wants to make sure due process is followed, that every legal ballot is counted in Florida and had words to say for his opponent, who happens to be the governor of Florida.

Let's go to Florida, to Tallahassee where my colleague, Ryan Nobles, who has been in the thick of all of this.

It sounds like Senator Nelson is saying to his opponent, you need to bow out because can you not play this game fair and square as the governor of Florida.

[14:39:45] RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's be clear what Bill Nelson have said here. Brooke, what the Senator said is not all that new. He and his campaign have been making that similar refrain of talking points basically since the election ended. There wasn't all that much that was revelatory to what he had to say.

But what he's talking about in terms of Governor Scott recusing himself from the process, Scott is the sitting governor of Florida and oversees the Department of State. The secretary of state is appointed by Rick Scott and is a Republican. And what Bill Nelson is saying is that Scott needs to recuse himself from anything having to do with the vote count in his official capacity as governor. There's been a lawsuit filed on behalf of the League of Womens Voters and Common Cause to that affect, to have a court forcibly put Governor Scott in that position. I'm told by Republicans that Governor Scott has no plans at all of recusing himself from that role. And he believes it's his duly authorized position to be in this role during this recount process.

Brooke, we should make one other point about this.

BALDWIN: Sure.

NOBLES: Senator Bill Nelson has basically been in hiding for the past week. He has not made any public appearances since before the election. He's not answered a single question from a reporter since this recount began. I was hopeful at this press conference in Washington, D.C., that this would be an opportunity to get some answers from him about their legal strategy. Is this about 2018, is it about 2020, is it beyond? There's some criticism for Governor Scott in this vein as well. He's done interviews with largely friendly outlets but he has answered questions, something Bill Nelson has not done at this point.

There's been a lot of back and forth from both of these sides. To a large extent, it's very difficult to get specific answers to specific questions from either one of these candidates. BALDWIN: You're right, not a lot new there. He has been sort of

missing the last week.

What about the Broward County election chief, Brenda Snipes? What's her story and might she step down?

NOBLES: Yes, Brenda Snipes spoke today for reporters. She's overseeing this recount process in Broward. There were two noteworthy pieces of information that came out of that meeting with reporters. First, she seems very confident they're going to get the recounting process done in time. They did not start the counting process until much later than other counties of similar size. But she does feel confident they will get it done on time.

Then she was specifically asked about how long she plans to stay in this role. There have been calls, especially from Republicans, to have her removed from the position. She seemed to allude to the fact that maybe her time was up, that she no longer was going to serve as the supervisor of election. But it wasn't all that clear, Brooke. And this is important. She didn't say she was going to step down.

She didn't say she wasn't going to run for reelection. If she doesn't run -- if she just decides not to run for reelection, she would still be in charge of the Broward County board of elections for the 2020 presidential election because that's when she would be up for reelection. So there's still a lot we need to clear up about Brenda Snipes' future.

BALDWIN: Ryan Nobles, you are handling it all flawlessly. I thank you so much, in Tallahassee, for us. Deadline again, Thursday afternoon.

Just in, a startling statistic involving hate crime in America. What the FBI is revealing about this dramatic shift over the past year and what it says about our society, period.

Plus, Monica Lewinsky in some of her most candid remarks yet gets emotional and honest about the Clinton scandal.

Back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:48:03] BALDWIN: Hate crimes are up in the last year. According to newly released FBI data, the number of hate crimes rose 17 percent last year. There were more than 7,100 bias crimes reported, up from 6,100 the previous year.

All this comes as President Trump's self-proclaimed nationalist views are inspiring white supremacists and other fringe groups who spread hate. And just like Trump, white supremacists are declaring victory in last week's elections.

CNN's Sara Sidner reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a meme for the midterms on a Web site visited over 2.5 million times a month, "Us if we lose," it read, depicting white mean ready for war, followed by, "Them if they win," showing Jews being led to their deaths.

KEEGAN HANKES, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: They're begging their followers to go out and find ways to get Republicans in office because they believe it will be easier for these policies to sail through.

TRUMP: There was a big day yesterday.

SIDNER: When President Trump celebrated the Senate victory, so did white supremacists.

"This changed history," Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin said on his site, "The Daily Stormer," which is the most widely read Neo-Nazi Web site in America. "This is a race war, period."

They also reveled in the reelection of Congressman Steve King, who has a history of making racist remarks, like in this 2017 anti-immigration tweet, saying, "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies," or his unsubstantiated claims about immigrants crossing the U.S./Mexico border.

REP. STEVE KING, (R), IOWA: They weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're all hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.

SIDNER: "If last night was a referendum on Steve King's white nationalism, as the Democrats are trying to frame it, then white nationalism won," Anglin wrote on his site.

Both King and President Trump vehemently deny they are racists or enable white supremacists.

President Trump pushed back at a recent press conference when asked if the Republican Party was seen as supporting white nationalists because of his rhetoric.

[14:50:10] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What do you make of that.

TRUMP: I don't believe it.

SIDNER: But purposely or not, the president speaks a language racists and Neo-Nazis embrace, like his habit of linking immigrants to crime.

TRUMP: They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists.

SIDNER: The Government Accountability Office says right-wing extremists are responsible for the vast majority of deadly terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11. TONY MCALEER, FORMER SKINHEAD: I was involved in the movement at the

very dawn of the Internet.

Tony McAleer is a former skinhead. He said white supremacists look for any sign of approval from politicians in power.

MCALEER: The whole goal of people like me back in the day was to mainstream, mainstream the idea.

HANKES: It doesn't take an overt slur for these individuals to basically become emboldened.

SIDNER: Take the president's threat to tell the military to consider rocks being thrown by immigrants as guns being fired.

TRUMP: When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle.

SIDNER: Those comments cheered online by racist trolls. "Hopefully, they throw stones," they write.

"The Daily Stormer's" Web master, Andrew Auernheimer, is clear about their purpose.

ANDREW AUERNHEIMER, WEB MASTER, THE DAILY STORMER: We are trying to make a racist army.

SIDNER: White nationalists swooned at how the president described himself.

TRUMP: I am a nationalist.

SIDNER: Translation? He's one of us.

STEVE MOORE, RETIRD FBI HATE CRIMES INVESTIGATOR: He doesn't mean necessarily that he's saying that. It's just that he hasn't said anything to convince them that he disagrees with them.

SIDNER: Critics of Trump's rhetoric believe his reluctance to rein in the radical side of his base has only empowered them.

(SHOUTING)

SIDNER: Their hateful agenda gaining speed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Sara is with me now.

Sara I tell you this morning, you are bold, my friend, to get so close to all of this to try to understand or report on it at the least. Is the sense you get that hate groups are growing?

SIDNER: Look, it's hard to say whether they're growing or not. What has happened, and I've talked to wheat nationalists, I've talked to Neo-Nazis, I've talked to people in the KKK, several of them, which we've shown on your show as a matter of fact. What we hear time and again is that they feel President Trump is their best hope.

When they hear him say things like, "I'm a nationalist," it translates to them that he's with them, thinks like they do, wants a white ethno state, for example, but he can't say it fully. But he can give us a hint, he can do the dog whistle, he can give us language that we use as a wink, wink, nod, nod, yes, I do believe what you believe.

That's how white nationalists see it. The president may say, look, I'm not talking about white nationalists, I'm just speaking their language, I'm talking from my own heart, I love this country, and that's why I call myself a nationalist. That's not how it's being translated to people who are really filled with hate and who are racist -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Sounds like they feel emboldened and one would wish the president would speak to them and say, I am not speaking to you.

SIDNER: Absolutely.

Sara Sidner, thank you. Continue doing what you're doing.

Just in, a stunning statement from first lady, Melania Trump, saying a top national security advisor should no longer be working for her husband's administration. Why Melania Trump wants her fired.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:57:58] BALDWIN: A security guard was just trying to save lives and just doing his job -- that's according to his family's attorney -- when he was shot and killed by police at a suburban Chicago bar. The family of 26-yer-old Jemel Roberson is filing a federal civil rights suit against the officer who shot him.

According to court documents, Roberson had stopped a suspected gunman, was holding him down outside the bar where he worked Sunday. That's when the responding officer killed him.

CNN's Ryan Young is in Chicago for us.

Ryan, what happened?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, this is such a tough story. There was an active shooter going on inside this bar. Four people were injured in this shooting. Then you have this 26-year-old who was able to respond and subdue the man and, all of a sudden, a shot was fired from a police officer.

Listen to his brother at a vigil last night talking about how he lost his life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED BROTHER OF JEMEL ROBERSON: Jemel told you a million times, he's security, the suspect is apprehended right here, everything is under control. After everybody told you that, including the people, you intentionally fired one time. And after you first that one time, you shot my little brother four more times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: Jemel apparently had a hat that said "security" on it. There's a lot of questions about what officers noticed once they got there. An independent investigation has been called for by the police department. But a lot of people still have questions, Brooke, because this police department still hasn't had a news conference to explain what he was seeing when he arrived. He's a seven-year veteran from what we've been told. But right now, so many questions.

The ACLU put out a statement that details the fact they believe he should still be alive today working as a security guard. And while being black should not be a death sentence and, in this case, the police were more dangerous to him than an active shooter.

There's some high tension involved in this. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out over the next few days.

[15:00:00] BALDWIN: Stay on it for us, Ryan. Thank you.

All right, here we go. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me. Here we are exactly one week after election.