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Roger Stone's Associate Says He Refuses Plea Deal from Mueller; Government Report Says Climate Change Will Kill Thousands and Shrink U.S. Economy; GM Shutting Plants and Slashing Jobs; Family of Man Killed in Alabama Mall Demands Police Show A Video. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired November 26, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi, there. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. "I'd rather go to prison." That is the message today from a key figure in the Robert Mueller investigation. Jerome Corsi, an associate of President Trump ally Roger Stone says he will reject a plea deal with the special counsel's office. He tells CNN, quote, "They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie," end quote. Mueller has apparently shown interest in Corsi's ties to WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, and Corsi says he was offered a plea deal on one count of perjury. So, let's get straight to analysis. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan is with me. So, if he's rejecting this deal, what now?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first, you have to analyze, is there really a deal? He says Mueller offered him a deal. I don't see any independent confirmation of that. And I wonder about it, because, remember, he's testified before the grand jury under oath. He was interviewed by federal investigators in advance of that testimony. How much more could he offer Mueller than what he has already said to say? So, I don't know what he's trading. Usually, you're trading something big to a prosecutor to get him to give you a break. I'm not seeing what Corsi can trade to Mueller for a deal.
BALDWIN: Because Mueller has talked to so many people in this Roger Stone sphere. Do you think Mueller knows what Corsi knows? Follow me?
CALLAN: Oh, yes, I think he absolutely does. And if there were plea discussions, Mueller probably said, you'll have to plea to a serious felony if you can give us something new, and I don't think he had anything new to offer.
BALDWIN: Remind us of the key role, this key puzzle piece that Jerome Corsi plays in the realm of Roger Stone, Trump campaign, and possibly connecting it to WikiLeaks and Russia?
CALLAN: The information that was leaked by WikiLeaks was obtained originally by the Russians. And it winds up eventually with the Trump campaign and being published in U.S. newspapers. So, he is -- Corsi is somebody who is involved in that, because Roger Stone has testified that his information about it came from Corsi. Now, that is a change of story by Roger Stone. He gave a couple of public speeches that suggested that he was in direct contact with WikiLeaks himself. So, we know that Roger Stone and Corsi are possibly involved in that yellow brick road that leads from WikiLeaks back to the Trump campaign. So, I'm not at all surprised to see Mueller focusing in on this. The other thing that I think we're seeing is that Roger Stone, who's always played a major role, or at least his name pops up all over the place. Of course, he's a dirty trickster for the Republicans for many, many years and proud of that role. I'm not accusing him of something he hasn't already admitted to, but he's never been interviewed by the Mueller team. Why is that? OK.
BALDWIN: Thank you for reading my mind and asking my Question. Why is that?
CALLAN: Why is that?
BALDWIN: It's not a good sign for him, is it?
CALLAN: It's a bad sign for him. Because if there's a clear target to an investigation, you don't usually interview him. You work around the outside to make a case out against him, but you don't talk directly to the target. So, this suggests to me that Stone remains a target of the Mueller probe and he's -- he, Stone, is somebody who had strong links to Trump in the early campaign days.
BALDWIN: They've been circling.
CALLAN: The circle gets closer and closer.
BALDWIN: It does. Paul Callan, thank you very much.
Now to who is arguably one of the most impactful government reports ever. The Trump administration released the new climate change report on black Friday of all days, when so many of you were out shopping or just enjoying your holiday and perhaps not paying so much attention to the news. The report wasn't expected to be made public until next month, leading some to wonder if Friday's release was an attempt to bury the story. The report forecasts what climate change, unchecked, will do specifically to the United States and it's devastating. All of the wildfires, the hurricanes, the tornadoes, droughts, flooding, will get larger and more frequent and happen fast before the 21st century is over. The impact goes way beyond natural disasters, too, into every aspect of Americans' lives, especially the everyday economy. We'll get into that in just a second. But first to the President's silence, a known climate denier, his lack of response to this report may be expected, but by no means is it the exception when it comes to disregarding the work of his own government. So, for that, let's go to CNN politics reporter and editor at large, Chris Cillizza. Chris, we have these multiple examples that keep piling on, right? Of where the President is going against his own intelligence.
[14:05:00] CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: We absolutely, 100 percent do. One thing on the timing, Brooke. There's no coincidences in politics. You don't release -- you don't move the release up of this climate change report to the biggest shopping day of the year, black Friday, upon accident. But you're right, there's a pattern and we see this a lot. So, climate change report, Donald Trump has said he believes as far back as 2012, but he's very consistent that he's very skeptical of climate change and man's role in it. He has said as recently as last Wednesday, oh, it's so cold out, what happened to global warming. He has said it is a conspiracy to help the Chinese as it relates to business as far back as 2012. So that's number one. Despite a report that says, number one, this is a huge problem, the planet is warming, and number two, there will be huge consequences within 15 years unless we make changes now. Let's go to the second one, because as I said, it's a pattern.
OK, this is Mohammad bin Salman. We know that the CIA has concluded that Mohammad bin Salman, the crowned prince of Saudi Arabia, personally ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a consulate in turkey, a Saudi Arabian consulate in turkey. Trump, last week, again, a lot of people missed it because of thanksgiving, Trump put out an incredible statement, and I don't mean that in a positive way, saying essentially, well, it might have been MBS, might not have been, we'll never know the answer, but we're not going to break our relationship with Saudi Arabia. So again, going against his intelligence. Let's go to the last one here. OK, so this is in -- again, over the weekend, Russian ships fired on Ukrainian ships and seized three of them Sunday night. This follows a 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia. Donald Trump has tweeted about a lot of things, including the Mueller investigation since this happened. And guess what? Zero times has he tweeted about this, which in addition, Brooke, to the fact that Donald Trump, despite the intelligence community unanimously concluding in 2017 that Russia, not only interfered in our election of 2016, but did so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, unless under severe duress will not acknowledge that fact. Remember, he said in a debate with Hillary Clinton, it could have been a 400-pound kid in his bed in new jersey. Remember, pattern. Denying established facts with a preponderance of evidence because they do not fit his preferred narrative.
BALDWIN: So noteworthy, and on the climate report, John, thank you so much. I have John Avlon with me, our senior CNN political analyst. And for people who are not paying as close attention on Friday, this is incredibly significant. Not just on shrinking glaciers and warming oceans. But run through really the meat and potatoes in this climate report.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: This is a major report. Hundreds of scientists, dozens of agencies working for President Trump utterly contradicting his beliefs, which are utterly unscientific, regarding climate change. Basically, saying this problem is real, it is here, and it's going to have a massive impact on the country and our economy as well as lives over the course of this decade. So just a couple of top lines.
AVLON: It may be that the President pays the most attention to the money. We have a 10 percent projected decline in GDP by the end of the century if this is not dealt with. That's the trajectory we're on. This is not just sort of lost wages, but higher temperatures, crumbling infrastructure, the impact of higher temperatures and the sort of wildfires we've seen and rising sea levels. Also, take a look at the areas that we've already seen the impact. Not just the wildfires in California, but you and I understanding the south, coastal flooding. On a regular basis, that could end up costing billions of dollars on an annual basis, according to this report. Midwest farm belt, also place where Trump has a lot of support, projection of significantly decreased cop yields. And even in those upper plains states, record problems with ozone. So, you take it all together, and it is a very bleak, very stark, non-optional report issued by scientists who have facts, not opinion on their side. And it's the kind of thing that the Trump administration tried to bury by pushing out on black Friday, hoped no one would notice, but you can't spin yourself out of this stuff.
BALDWIN: So, Chris alluded to the tweet last Wednesday, Trump's tweet on global warming. What did he say?
AVLON: The President repeated one of his favorite riffs, confusing global warming with weather. Climate change with weather. Saying there's record snowfall and folks are stranded at O'Hare. Again, these two things are unrelated. That's why it's climate change. This is about extreme weather patterns and disruptions of what we've known. It is related, it is man-made. And this is not optional. And it's going to have an impact on the way we live.
BALDWIN: At what point, though, do you think these climate skeptics become less skeptical? What do they need to see to say it's real?
[14:10:00] AVLON: Look, I think two-fold. One, there's a great old line that says that someone can't be reasoned out of something that they weren't reasoned into. Some of this is just article of faith, rather than dealing with science and stats and facts. Where those people move, when they move usually is when it becomes personal to them. And if all of a sudden, they start seeing the local economies disturbed, if they start seeing wildfires affect their home, droughts, maybe it changes their opinion. I'll say one thing, too. If you look at those area that are likely to feel the brunt of climate change, many of them are conservative areas where their congressmen and senators don't accept climate change. How long is that going to be sustainable from their constituents' standpoint if you represent Florida? If that's dealing with massive flooding on a regular basis. How long is that going to be politically possible to deny the science when it's having a demonstrated negative impact on your constituents? Because we're going to have to deal this stuff. That's a responsibility of government.
BALDWIN: Well done, John Avlon.
AVLON: Well, thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Just in, a major shift from an American icon. General Motors announcing plans to slash its workforce and close multiple plants. Where the company plans to reinvest moving forward.
Also, firing back. Three weeks after President Trump called her out, today Republican Congresswoman Mia Love is responding after losing her election, delivering a sharply worded concession speech aimed right at President Trump.
And we are moments away from an attempted mission to Mars, ladies and gentlemen! Nasa scientists describing it as seven minutes of terror, as this probe, this insight probe attempts this risky landing. We'll have the whole thing for you. Space geeks unite. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
[14:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Thousands of workers at General Motors will soon be without jobs as the American auto giant announces a major restructuring plan. The stunning move means that GM will shut down five plants in North America, four of those auto factories are in the U.S. and one in Canada. GM says it's reducing its workforce by 15 percent, including a quarter of the company's executives. The company says the plan will make it more efficient, saving about $6 billion a year by the end of 20. The United Auto Worker's Union vows to fight these cuts. With me now, CNN's Richard Quest, our business editor at large. And you were making -- not just shuttered, they've been unallocated.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: This is the awful part of their announcement. It goes through the way that GM believes they'll need resources through the next 10, 15 years. It says, we allocate this and this. And then it says at the end, the following plants will be un-allocated.
BALDWIN: Instead of being shut down, trying to soften the language.
QUEST: Exactly. You've not been fired, you've been un-allocated. Which I thought was an extraordinary way to put out such a strong announcement. But GM says these moves are necessary for the car company to remain competitive particularly as it moves to autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles, and also as it moves towards SUV.
BALDWIN: This has to be devastating for these communities, Ohio, Michigan. These are places that went for Trump in 2016. And if he wants to win again in 20, is that going to prove to be problematic?
QUEST: I think he's going to have to come up with some strong action. And you might see that yet, as to what he knew about these GM. Did he negotiate? Did the U.S. government negotiate? Did the states negotiate to try to keep the jobs? What was possible? Because you're right, it's going to be extremely embarrassing on the back of a NAFTA announcement or a NAFTA deal, the USMCA that suddenly this all comes out and that the jobs are going to go anyway. I think voters in those states will quite rightly turn to the President or be asking, so what was this all about if our jobs are going anyway?
BALDWIN: And what can he say to make them feel any better about losing all this work?
QUEST: I think he's going to turn on the -- I don't know, but I think he'll turn on GM. I think he'll use GM as the scapegoat. He'll conveniently ignore the fact that GM has a business to run and will run it in the most efficient and effective way for GM and all its employees, its stockholders, et cetera, et cetera, and I think he'll turn it on them. It will be an attack on the company. Let's watch and wait and see. But anything we've seen so far, whether it's against AT&T, our parent company, Boeing, any of the others, it's always turned into an attack on the company.
BALDWIN: I'm sure you're right.
QUEST: Harley Davidson.
BALDWIN: That's another one. Richard Quest, thank you very much.
Next here, police in Alabama admit they shot the wrong man. And now the family of the 21-year-old victim is demanding the release of police body cameras, as they want answers. We'll have a live report for you from Alabama.
Also, just in, new numbers on President Trump's job disapproval rating. Now hitting record territory.
[14:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: In Alabama, a family is making an emotional plea after police admitted they killed the wrong man on Thanksgiving night. In this town of Hoover, it's just outside of Birmingham, an off-duty officer shot a man, E.J. Bradford Jr. Investigators say the officer initially thought Bradford was the gunman in a mall shooting that wounded two people. The real gunman they still haven't found. The family is demanding body camera video to be released and they want an apology.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
APRIL PIPKINS, MOTHER OF MAN KILLED BY POLICE IN ALABAMA MALL: My thanksgiving will never be the same. I'll never be able to see my son's face again, or to look into his eyes or to hear him say, mom, I love you. No one has even reached out to us in any type of way.
[14:25:00] EMANTIC FITZGERALD BRADFORD SR., FATHER OF E.J. KILLED BY POLICE: You usually do that to a parent and know, hey, my condolences, I'm sorry, I made a mistake. That's all I want him to say. Just come out, call me, his mother, and say, hey, can we sit down and have a talk?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: CNN's Ed Lavendera is in Hoover, Alabama, with more on the investigation. Ed, what are you hearing from police?
ED LAVENDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, family members say they're still waiting to hear any kind of explanation from police officials here in the town of Hoover. The investigation has been taken over by state authorities here in Alabama. And hoover police say while they're extending their condolences to the Bradford family, in that same statement, they also said that it was E.J. Bradford who had, quote, brandished a weapon, holding a gun in his hand in those chaotic moments, in the second after the shooting erupted inside the mall on thanksgiving night. However, the family of E.J. Bradford and their attorneys, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, they say that witnesses have come forward to them to say that it was actually Bradford who was trying to waive people away from the scene, pushing them back and urging them to stay away from where they were. And they also said that they have a nurse who was trying to administer aid to E.J. Bradford there in the mall and that authorities here in hoover block herd from doing so. So those are some of the things that the family here in Hoover, Alabama, is saying. And what they really want, they say that all of this can be cleared up if they release the body cam and mall surveillance video footage of what happened that night.
BALDWIN: Have you -- separately, have you learned anything more about why Bradford was carrying a weapon that evening?
LAVENDERA: Well, I spoke with his father just a short while ago and asked him just that very Question. Why did he have a weapon? It's obviously not uncommon here in the state of Alabama for people to carry handguns. But more specifically, his father said that in recent months, he had started carrying his handgun that they say he was legally able to carry in this state. And that he had carried it, because he was oftentimes driving relatives to and from work late at night and because of that, he had started carrying his weapon out at night. So, his family basically saying that it wasn't uncommon, it wasn't a shock to them to hear that he had had his legally owned handgun there with him at the mall on thanksgiving night. That wasn't -- that didn't seem out of the ordinary to them.
BALDWIN: OK. Ed Lavendera, thank you very much.
Coming up, three weeks after the election, Republican Congresswoman Mia Love delivers a sharp concession speech after losing her re- election and some of her most pointed remarks directed at President Trump. We'll have that for you.
And we are watching NASA's Mission Control very closely as they're about to attempt another risky landing on mars. We will watch what happens live there. Stay with me.