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Dems Hit Campaign Trail across the Country This Weekend; Jeff Bezos Accuses "National Enquirer" of Blackmail, Extortion; VA Dem Lawmaker Threatens to Impeach Lt. Gov. unless He Resigns; Facebook at 15; Sen. Warren to Announce 2020 Bid for President. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired February 9, 2019 - 11:00   ET

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


[10:59:48] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's political reporter Rebecca Buck is standing by in Iowa where Senator Cory Booker is making the rounds today. We are all over the political map today. We're also joined by M.J. Lee who is live for us in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

So let's begin with you -- M.J.

Elizabeth Warren making her big announcement momentarily. And she really is getting the endorsement of so many in the political hemisphere of Massachusetts in particular and they'll be taking the stage just prior to her announcement -- right?

M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We do expect Elizabeth Warren to take the stage any moment now. But first she's going to be introduced and endorsed by Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy.

Now, this is a significant endorsement for Senator Warren to get on the day that she is launching her presidential campaign officially, particularly if you consider the fact that he is known for being pretty good friends with Beto O'Rourke, another Democrat obviously that we're watching very closely to see if he ends up jumping into the race.

And this is, of course another sign of how crowded the 2020 field is expected to be on the Democratic side. Now we know that Senator Warren is preparing to give a speech that is pretty fitting for this setting.

We are standing outside of an old textile mill here in Lawrence, Massachusetts. This you might know is the site of a historic 1912 labor strike. And so Elizabeth Warren, you can expect to talk about things like workers' rights, like corruption in government and racial economic discrimination.

And before I go, I should note that Elizabeth Warren tweeted just a little while ago that she is on her way in the car with her husband driving the car and with the dog in the back seat. So we could see her any moment now.

Back to you -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: We'll come back to you when that happens. Thank you so much -- M.J.

All right. Let's check in with now CNN's Rebecca Buck in Marshall Town, Iowa where Senator Cory Booker is campaigning. He's already thrown his hat into the ring officially. What is going to be his message there?

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Fredricka -- he's been making the case that he has a unique set of experience from the other senators running and other candidates running.

He is the only senator -- Cory Booker has been making the point to have been a mayor previously. He's also the only senator who lives in an inner-city.

He says that these experiences, that executive experience as mayor, the experience he has living in an impoverished community will help him if he is elected to the presidency.

Now he's making his first visit to Iowa as an official presidential candidate. So many of the people he's meeting with hearing his story for the first time, their first impression of Cory Booker.

Much like his campaign for mayor and city council in Newark, he is trying to meet as many people as possible, keeping a pretty packed schedule here in Iowa.

Yesterday his first event was at 9:00 a.m. He didn't finish up until around midnight. And we're going to have a similar schedule here today. He's starting off with some private interviews this morning and then going to be here at a brewery in Marshall Town, Iowa. Making those important connections with Iowans a year ahead of the caucus -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Rebecca -- thanks so much.

Let me ask you real quick. What about familiarity? I mean people have seen, you know, Cory Booker on the national stage for quite some time now. But there in Iowa where sometimes, you know, politics is very national, also politics is very local. What is his likely reception there?

BUCK: His reception has been very warm but you're right -- Fred. He's meeting a lot of people the first time. They have a very narrow view of Cory Booker and they've have only seen him maybe once or twice if that on the national stage.

One woman I spoke with yesterday at his event in Cedar Rapids said she had him during the Kavanaugh hearings when he was questioning Brett Kavanaugh very aggressively. But she didn't really have a sense of him beyond that. She said, in person, he seemed much less angry, of course, those were very fiery hearings, but also much more real.

So a warm reception so far. Iowans are very excited to meet all of these Democratic candidates, there's incredible amount of energy here ahead of this election -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Rebecca Buck -- thank you so much.

All right. Let's take a look now at how overall -- the race for 2020 is shaping up. Joining me right now -- "Boston Globe" political reporter Liz Goodwin; assistant editor for the "Washington Post" David Swerdlick; and Washington bureau chief for the "Chicago Sun Times" Lynn Sweet. Good to see you all.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: So David -- let's first, you know, focus on Elizabeth Warren. She momentarily, within the hour will be making the announcement officially, you know, less than a year until the Iowa caucuses.

You know, how will Elizabeth Warren kind of stand out from this very crowded Democratic field? Yes, she's got name recognition. She's been in the news a lot lately particularly because of, you know, the heritage, you know, issue. But what is her real viability?

SWERDLICK: So Fred -- I think the viability for Senator Warren is that she comes to some of the issues the Democrats are talking about now, having talked about them for several years. Things like income inequality, things like getting a better deal for working class people.

[11:04:58] These are issues that were what brought her into the political sphere even before they were sort of boiler plate talking points for all these leading Democrats.

(CROSSTALKING)

WHITFIELD: And now she's been wanting to tax the rich.

SWERDLICK: Right. She did now jump into the fray with this proposal to tax the rich, which has gotten some push back from, for instance, Howard Schultz who is thinking about running for president. It has gotten some push back obviously across the aisle.

Maybe her plan won't fly, but I think she has clearly staked her case on this idea that the system in terms of finance taxation, you know, distribution of what the government does is not working out for average people and she is well known from her -- from her senate runs.

The question is what will she do when she contrasts herself with other Democrats who have very similar positions on a lot of issues.

WHITFIELD: And Liz, this is your backyard. There was a column about Warren in the "Boston Herald", you know, -- you're with the "Boston Globe" -- saying I'm quoting now. "Indeed she's never been more of a known quantity than she's been in recent days, still trying in vain to wash her hands of that bogus self-serving claim of Native American ancestry."

So the way in which people feel about her in Massachusetts, how different is that from how people in general and nationally might feel about her? LIZ GOODWIN, POLITICAL REPORTER, "BOSTON GLOBE": That's an

interesting question. I think, you know, there was polling before she announced suggesting that some Massachusetts voters were more excited about the idea of Deval Patrick running for president than her running for president.

But I would note this is a problem a lot of the senators who are eyeing 2020 have. Sometimes your home state isn't quite as excited about you running as you are. They want you to stay and do your job. You know, Patrick was already out of office, so that's kind of a different proposition.

When it comes to the claims of Native American heritage, that's obviously an issue that continues to dog her as we saw this week. But sometimes it feels like it is a bigger deal to us and in Washington than it is when she goes out.

Like when she went to Iowa after the DNA test really blew up and had a backlash, she was getting overcrowded crowds, like overfull rooms. So I think that's been -- the campaign has seen that and pointed to that and said maybe this isn't as big of a deal as you guys in the media think it is.

WHITFIELD: Interesting.

GOODWIN: However, you know, that remains to be seen. People who go out and see her, they aren't the ones who are concerned, but maybe other Democrats are and they are the ones sort of holding back and waiting to see how the field shapes out.

WHITFIELD: And, you know, Liz -- her announcement is being preceded by the appearances of really all the Massachusetts, you know, leading lawmakers. I mean Kennedy is going to be actually introducing her.

So you know, in terms of the political, you know, sphere right there in Massachusetts, they are backing her.

GOODWIN: Exactly. And Senator Markey who sometimes doesn't get as much attention as I think he deserves, he will be the first U.S. Senator to endorse anyone in the Democratic field. So that's kind of a big deal in its own right.

And then Joe Kennedy is a rising star in the party and that's definitely a vote of confidence that she needs right now when people are seeing her stumble a little bit on the Native American issue again.

So yes, the fact that she's able to have a show of force of three Massachusetts lawmakers and then McGovern, a different Congressman from Massachusetts has also endorsed her -- that's not insignificant for someone this early on.

WHITFIELD: Yes. It is very significant.

And so Lynn, you know, while Warren, you know, really is a star, you know, among the progressive wing of the party, you know, moderate Democrats, you know, are they concerned that she is too far left, you know, to appeal to kind of a broader support?

LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "CHICAGO SUN TIMES": Well, I want to just, if I may quickly first point out some other things to put your question in a little more context.

The issue here is, of course, your home state delegation. The news would have been if they hadn't gotten behind her. I went through this in 2007 when Barack Obama ran and everybody in Illinois led by Senator Dick Durbin went with him. It would have been news if they had not.

It makes it easy then because you don't have to tell 13 other people why you don't want to deal with them. And then if she drops out, doesn't make it, you could move on in realignment. Number one.

Number two, at the end of next week we are having the Democratic National Committee winter meeting in Washington. We'll see who shows up. We'll see -- this is the first test of what the Democratic establishment really thinks are the flaws, if fatal, of the very people we're talking about.

And then when you ask about what the so-called conservative wing of the Democratic Party is, well look, I just want to point us to some surveys that show that the issue isn't ideological within the Democratic family. It is electability -- who can beat Trump.

SWERDLICK: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Ok. And on that note -- electability, I mean polls are showing Joe Biden, who has not even David --

SWERDLICK: Yes.

WHITFIELD: -- thrown his hat officially into the ring, you know, has electability.

[11:10:00] I mean look, this, you know, polling likely to support for president, Joe Biden -- there he is. And, you know, coming in a very, you know, close second, Kamala Harris.

So, you know, an interesting photograph that happened this week, right, when the two of them ran into each other on the Amtrak train. You have to wonder, you know, David -- were they talking about, you know, any presidential or White House aspirations?

Would the, you know, in some way, they kind of come together, you know, on a united front? But does it look like Joe Biden -- I mean is he kind of feeling things out? Is it too early for him to want to jump in? Or what's he waiting for potentially?

SWERDLICK: So Fred -- because Joe Biden was in public life for so long, including as vice president of the United States to the first black president of the United States, he has a tremendous amount of name recognition and a tremendous amount of goodwill out there so he doesn't have to jump in as early as some of these other candidates because people already know him. And I do think that initially at least he'll be successful in sort of getting his campaign going down the trail if he does in fact jump in the race. I think it becomes tougher for him as the campaign goes along, and as he has to answer questions about his record as some of the other contenders -- Warren, Harris, Booker -- have already started answering questions about their record.

In terms of that meeting on Amtrak this week which I thought, you know, had some nice photos come out of it, I agree with Lynn. The issues don't divide Democrats at this point as much as who is electable and who voters feel like they can trust.

You have a situation there where you have --

WHITFIELD: And who they feel has the best chance of actually beating the incumbent president.

(CROSSTALKING)

WHITFIELD: That's the bottom line.

SWERDLICK: Right. And that will mean those first -- in those first couple of states because I would expect Biden to focus on Iowa and New Hampshire. Senator Harris has already clearly signaled that she's going to focus on a little more of a southern strategy with that third primary in South Carolina and California, her home state, their primary has moved up earlier this year and will be more consequential than it has been in quite some time.

WHITFIELD: So Liz -- is there a way in which to, you know, kind of encapsulate what is driving Elizabeth Warren?

GOODWIN: You mean what is her main message or why does she want to be president?

WHITFIELD: Why does she want to be president? Why does she seem to continue fighting no matter what the headlines are? No matter what, you know, the vernacular coming out of the White House about her. But what is driving, you know, her to want to be president, do you think?

GOODWIN: Well, so back in 2016 there was this whole draft Warren moment when people were really looking for like a progressive lefty alternative to Hillary Clinton. And she kind of passed on that. And then Bernie Sanders really filled that space.

So I think part of it is just seeing, you know, that there were a lot of people who wanted her to run and she feels like she has the message that also caught fire that Bernie Sanders had.

So I think she feels like she can be the progressive champion for the party and that she has the experience and that she has been saying this message for so long, so there's an authenticity aspect to it.

And she just -- she thinks she has a shot. She thinks this can be her moment.

WHITFIELD: All right. Liz Goodwin, David Swerdlick, Lynn Sweet -- thanks to all of you. Appreciate it.

SWERDLICK: Thanks -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Again, we're all standing by to hear from Senator Warren herself when she takes to the stage there in Lawrence, Massachusetts. And, of course, you see the crowd there building, the excitement. We'll take you back there as it happens.

Meantime, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will join CNN live from Houston to talk about his possible Independent run in the 2020 election. He joins our Poppy Harlow Tuesday night, 10:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

Still ahead Jeff Bezos, the billionaire owner of Amazon and the "Washington Post" accusing the publisher of the "National Enquirer" of trying to blackmail him.

Up next, we'll hear why Bezos is also raising concerns about the "Enquirer's" possible ties to Saudi Arabia.

[11:14:05] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

Live pictures right now out of Lawrence, Massachusetts where Senator Elizabeth Warren is expected to announce that she is officially joining the race for president of the United States.

We expect to hear from her at any moment. Of course, when that happens, we'll take you there live.

Sources tell CNN, federal prosecutors are now investigating the explosive allegations Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is leveling against "National Enquirer" publisher AMI. Bezos is accusing AMI of attempting to extort and blackmail him.

And as CNN's Alexander Marquardt explains, the company's possible ties to Saudi Arabia are also being questioned.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The "National Enquirer's" parent company hitting back at stinging allegations and revelations by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, saying in a statement it "believes fervently that it acted lawfully". That it was "in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters" with Bezos.

American Media Inc., or AMI, also promising to launch an internal investigation into Bezos' long list of claims against them, including what he called extortion and blackmail when AMI threatened to leak risque photos of him. Sources telling CNN, federal prosecutors are also looking into his accusations.

In his blog post, Bezos alleges that AMI had a cozy relationship, not just with the Trump White House but with Saudi Arabia, also alleged in published reports. Last year, AMI put out a 97-page glossy magazine, heralding the Kingdom's new Crown Prince and his vision ahead of his trip to the U.S.

[11:19:49] The Saudi embassy in Washington claimed they had no involvement or knowledge of the AMI publication with Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the cover -- a man the CIA has concluded ordered the violent murder of Jamal Khashoggi of "The Washington Post" which Bezos owns. The Saudis have called the finding false.

But the Associated Press reported that according to sources, embassy officials got an electronic copy of the pro-Kingdom magazine about three weeks before it came out. A top Saudi official says he has no idea of any relationship with AMI, adding, "It's like a soap opera," and told CNN that as far as he knows, the Saudis did not press AMI to publish negative stories about Bezos.

The biggest of which was the expose on Bezos' extramarital affair, which people around him believed was a political hit job, alleged payback for his newspaper's dogged reporting of President Trump and of the Saudi Crown Prince's role in the Khashoggi murder.

Trump and Pecker have a well-documented history, the tabloid paying a so-called catch and kill fee to Karen McDougal once before the 2016 election for her story about her alleged affair with Trump, which he denies. Pecker then flipped, cooperating with Robert Mueller's team in exchange for immunity to detail those payments made by his lawyer.

That turn didn't dampen the President's rejoicing in the "Enquirer's" splashy story about Bezos' infidelity, calling the Amazon CEO "Jeff Bozo" on Twitter, and saying this about Bezos' looming divorce from his wife of 25 years.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wish him luck. It's going to be a beauty.

MARQUARDT (on camera): No doubt this is a complex web of allegations and personal history. But what Bezos, without proof, is saying here is clear, that AMI had reasons to protect and to promote the Saudis, that his newspaper, "The Washington Post," and their relentless coverage of the Khashoggi murder angered AMI's friends, driving home the point that this expose' of his affair and the attempted blackmail were politically motivated.

Alex Marquardt, CNN -- Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk further on this.

With me now is CNN's Hadas Gold. So Hadas -- good to see you. So are the denials that we've heard from Saudi Arabia, is it going far enough? Is it seen as even credible?

HADAS GOLD, CNN REPORTER: Well, we have seen one denial so far. A Saudi official spoke to CNN's Kylie Atwood and well, they said that they didn't see anything interesting. They were just following along in the media just like everybody else and comparing it to a soap opera. However, recent history with Saudi Arabia has shown that sometimes their denials don't always stack up.

Just look at what happened with Jamal Khashoggi. Initially we heard that he, you know, left the embassy on his own and everything was fine. They didn't know where he was. Now they have launched an investigation and they admit that he did die in their consulate in Turkey. So we'll have to see how these explanations continue to come from Saudi Arabia.

However, I mean if you look at the history between Saudi Arabia and AMI which is the parent company of "National Enquirer", there is some history there. And Alex in his package just there, sort of alluded to, that before the Saudi Arabian prince came to the United States, this glossy 90-something page magazine just suddenly appeared in supermarkets around the country, extolling the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince and how great he was.

Now, Saudi Arabia also denying a connection to that. But the Associated Press reported that the embassy in Washington got a copy of this way ahead of the grocery stores when they all got it as well.

There's also reporting in "The Wall Street Journal" that AMI and its CEO David Pecker have looked to Saudi Arabia to help them in sort of financing or anything like that. So it is not clear exactly what the connections might be, but clearly Saudi Arabia is a place that AMI cares about.

And this is something Jeff Bezos alluded to in his media and blog post where he said that it seemed to him that his investigators looking into the Saudi angle, particularly rankled the CEO of AMI, David Pecker.

So all of these connections between Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump, and we should note that the White House has not exactly been exerting as much pressure on Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi killing as the "Washington Post" and the friends of Khashoggi would want them to do, especially for something as egregious as what happened.

So clearly all of these connections are just leading to more and more questions. And I'm sure we're going to see more reporting and more revelations come out of this. I don't think this is the last we'll hear of sort of comments coming from Saudi Arabia on these possible connections.

WHITFIELD: Right. And now as a result, these investigations in its infancy.

All right. Thank you so much -- Hadas Gold. Appreciate it.

All right. Still ahead, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor under a cloud of sexual assault allegations after a second accuser comes forward. There's a growing list of Virginia Democrats calling for him to resign.

We are live next. And we're also standing by to hear from Elizabeth Warren, the senator who will soon announce her plans to run for the White House 2020. We'll take you back there, right there to Lawrence, Massachusetts when we come right back.

[11:24:40] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Live pictures right now out of from Lawrence, Massachusetts where very soon Senator Elizabeth Warren -- at least that's what the crowd hopes -- is set to take to that podium and announce that she will be running for the White House in 2020.

We'll take you back there when the senator begins speaking. Right now there are a number of people who are endorsing her who are in political office throughout Massachusetts who have been taking to the podium there. And then soon the senator will be introduced by Joe Kennedy.

All right. Meantime, mounting political scandals in Virginia are driving new calls for that state's top three Democratic government officials to resign. The latest second sexual assault allegation against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. Fairfax vehemently denies both claims. But now a Virginia Democratic house delegate says if Fairfax doesn't step down, he will introduce articles of impeachment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:30:01] PATRICK HOPE (D), VIRGINIA HOUSE DELEGATE: As the father of three young girls, I cannot stand by silently while the Lieutenant Governor is facing multiple credible allegations of sexual assault. I believe these women. He needs to resign immediately.

Should the Lieutenant Governor fail to do so, on Monday I intend to introduce articles of impeachment on Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN's Kaylee Hartung is live for us now in Richmond. Kaylee -- what's the latest?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: depending on the day, it looked like a different one. Virginia's top three lawmakers would be the least likely to survive their respective scandal. But given the turn that the story took last night, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see a way in which Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax survives this moment.

When a first accuser came forward earlier this week saying that he sexual assaulted her when they were at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, there were calls by Democrats for an investigation. But those calls have turned to being ones for his resignation in light of a second accuser coming forward last night.

Meredith Watson attended Duke University with Justin Fairfax. She says that he raped her when they were both students there in 2000. She calls the attack premeditated and aggressive.

And so Virginia and national Democrats, Fred, are lining up, calling for the Lieutenant Governor's resignation. Every Democrat in Virginia's legislature has done so -- the most prominent names in Virginia's Democratic Party, including their two U.S. senators, former governor Terry McAuliffe. 2020 candidates, they're also speaking up -- Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand among them.

Justin Fairfax has denied these accusations. He's calling them unsubstantiated and demonstrably false. He is calling for an investigation saying that will clear his name.

But as it turns out, this decision about his political future may not be up to him -- Fred. You mentioned articles of impeachment are being drafted by one Democratic member of the House of Delegates. He says it is his desire that Fairfax resign on his own but it he doesn't, those articles of impeachment will be shared on Monday morning here at the state house.

And then earlier today we received a letter that governor Ralph Northam has sent out to all of the commonwealth employees, recognizing the painful week that all of these controversies have brought the Commonwealth, saying quote, "I am deeply sorry for causing this distraction from your important work. The business of the Commonwealth and our duty as public servants will continue." He says he will continue to lead Virginia forward -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Kaylee Hartung out of Richmond -- thank you so much.

All right. Back with me now -- David Swerdlick and Lynn Sweet.

So David -- you know, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, you know, he was already facing, you know, mounting calls of resignation after this second accusation. But now this, you know, possible articles of impeachment, that process to get underway. What are the real chances of that?

SWERDLICK: Well, I'm not sure about the chances of impeachment, but I do think it's going to be very hard for Lieutenant Governor Fairfax to survive this controversy.

Let's be clear, he hasn't been criminally charged and in that context he is innocent until proven guilty. But in a political context both his colleagues in the Virginia legislature and the public in Virginia and the public at large are entitled to make-up their own minds based on what we know now.

It was one thing when you have one accuser coming out with her story and he was saying he wanted an investigation. I think a lot of people thought that was a reasonable position -- wait-and-see position for him to take.

Now that there are two accusers who both named themselves and come out with detailed stories, I think it is much harder on his position to stay in office and not resign without facing impeachment from his colleagues as you just reported -- I think becomes much more untenable. It's hard for me to see how he survives this way.

WHITFIELD: Does it seem though however David -- that he is leaning more toward, you know, staying in there perhaps demanding, you know, an investigation as opposed to him just resigning?

I mean just looking at his statement, I'm just looking at the transcript of his statement where he says, you know, I have passed two full field background checks by the FBI and run for office in two highly-contested elections with nothing like this being raised before. It is obvious that a vicious and coordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me.

So you've got two incredibly different cases. You've got the governor, there are photos and an admission, right. I mean he at least admitted that he did do blackface with you know -- a Michael -- you know, wearing a Michael Jackson costume.

SWERDLICK: Yes.

WHITFIELD: And then you've got the Lieutenant Governor, accusations he denies it, but it seems as though the calls for resignation for Lieutenant Governor have really dwarfed what were calls for resignation for the governor. Why? Why the difference there -- David?

[11:34:58] SWERDLICK: So quickly on Lieutenant Governor Fairfax. I will say the obvious question is raised by that statement and I don't know the answer to this.

In those FBI field investigations, did they ask him about allegations of sexual assault? If they did, that's relevant. If they didn't, I'm not sure how that's relevant other than sort of providing himself political cover which you would expect him to do.

I think again because you have the second accuser it becomes much tougher and you would expect, and he has every right to demand investigation and to clear his name on a personal level if he was charged with a crime.

But in politics can he be seen now as someone who can credibly potentially lead the state if Northam let's say were to resign with this hanging over his head. I think it is very tough right now, barring any new facts we would learn in the future, for him to make the case.

To your point, Fred -- about Governor Northam and Attorney General Herring -- yes. In a way now, Lieutenant Governor Fairfax is providing them political cover because his scandal is heating up and the blackface scandals of the governor and the attorney general have heated down relatively speaking to those.

I think, though, that all three of these guys have committed political malpractice at least in the sense that they've put all of their Democratic colleagues in a position where they have to take a side on this because these aren't issues where you can just sort of abstain or wait on the sidelines. You have to have a stand on these critical issues.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And Lynn -- on the whole blackface scandal, you know, there's one more name, you know, to add to the mix now. You've got the Virginia senate majority leader Thomas Norman admitting to editing a college book with slurs and blackface photos.

So, you know, this is abundant. This is a big problem, whether it be the admissions of blackface, sending a very strong message to, you know, black Virginians and then you also have that matched up to allegations involving someone who is being accused of sexual, you know, assault.

There's another very strong message going to women, you know. People are seemingly very -- I guess they're in a difficult position to choose what is more, you know, heinous; what is more difficult to stomach here.

SWEET: Well, I don't think we have to make that decision because you have different circumstances, and both involve either known deplorable or allegedly deplorable actions. So I don't think we have to say one is worse than the other.

Each circumstance should be taken as it is. These are very serious. One and meaning -- I just want to be clear here. I don't want to downgrade one of these situations and upgrade another.

SWERDLICK: Right.

SWEET: I think they're all serious.

WHITFIELD: But are they all being looked at, treated the same or differently?

SWEET: Well, I think we're in a little bit of a chaotic political situation as all this unrolls in real time and more people are added to the controversy that the Democratic Party in Virginia, which was just having its renaissance, is facing.

And our experience that we've all seen in covering this is that every few days the story may change as was just noted by David. Look who is in the spotlight today compared to last week when it was the governor.

So these articles of impeachment will be filed Monday. I don't think it means that the Lieutenant Governor with all he has in his plate now, thinks that's the deadline. The vote won't take place that day.

So the public is going to decide whether or not these people are redeemable, and they will decide if they want to hang onto political careers that are already marred, and maybe, just maybe there will be some way that will lead to a good ending for the Virginia Democrats in the short term, but I don't see it right now.

Even if these people hang on by the way, it doesn't mean that the other Democrats just won't cut them off.

SWERDLICK: Yes. Fred -- can I jump in -- WHITFIELD: Ok. Jump in.

SWERDLICK: -- and just circle back on that point that you made because I do understand your question about these things being addressed differently. And I guess I would say this. What stands out to me certainly as differently is that you just had that report from Kaylee where one of the Democrats in the Legislature is pushing articles of impeachment for next week on Fairfax.

We didn't see that same move for Northam with the blackface photos, but I think one of the reasons we don't see that -- and I'm not saying it is right or wrong -- is that that information is now out there. You have a situation where Northam is saying even if I wasn't in one photo, I did blackface another time, I don't quite remember. He was shaky last Saturday when he came out in his press conference. But people I think in the legislature and in Virginia feel like they have a sense of what happened.

Herring first accused Northam, then he admitted his own blackface photo which, you know, not great politics. It's a little hypocritical on his part but again, he got his information out there.

[11:40:05] With Fairfax, people are left wondering are these allegations of sexual assault true, and I think that's what is cutting against him. There will probably be people who say look, there's a double standard for a younger African-American politician versus older white politicians but I think when you're a statewide politician, you have to expect this is a possibility.

WHITFIELD: Got it.

All right. David Swerdlick, Lynn Sweet -- thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. We are just moments away now from hearing from Elizabeth Warren. Representative Joe Kennedy there is going to say a few words, soaring remarks about the senator. And then he will actually be doing the introduction to Elizabeth Warren who everyone in that audience in Lawrence, Massachusetts is expecting she will say she's officially in the race for the White House 2020.

[11:45:00] When of course, Senator Warren comes out, we'll take you back there live.

All right. Meantime, it started as a college experiment. Now 15 years later Facebook is a tech giant with more than two billion users worldwide.

In a new CNN documentary, senior tech correspondent Laurie Segall got unprecedented access to the company and the man behind it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LAURIE SEGALL, CNN TECH CORRESPONDENT: It is October 19, 2018 and we are heading to Facebook. This is a really big deal. We're going to sit down with Mark Zuckerberg who rarely sits down for interviews.

Facebook years are like dog years. A lot happens in a little time. In the month since I first walked through these doors --

WHITFIELD: Nearly 50 million Facebook users have been targeted by hackers. The largest security breach in Facebook history.

BROOK BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Facebook on the defensive today because of this damning "New York Times" report of how Facebook has handled its bad pr.

SEGALL: And we'll get to all that later.

But for now, back to Facebook and what you need to know about an interview with Mark Zuckerberg.

First, he likes the room cold, very cold. Turn the cameras around then go see his people on the other side. They're taking notes, scribbling furiously, keeping time.

They know that the stakes are high these days. The whole world seems to be watching. And that's Facebook in its current moment. Massively influential --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under fire.

SEGALL: In flux --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The biggest security breach in the history of Facebook.

SEGALL: -- and controversial. But to fully understand Facebook of today, you have to go back to the beginning.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And that's what Laurie Segall does. She is taking us all the way back to the beginning. Good to see you -- Laurie. Wow -- it's hard to believe 15 years, Facebook has grown by leaps and bounds and really has made an incredible impact on a lot of people's lives.

But taking us back to the beginning, I mean did he even think that it would take off the way it has?

SEGALL: You know, I think it is interesting because going into the walls of Facebook there's this idea of the mission. You hear the mission over and over again, which is to connect the world, you know. And this is Mark Zuckerberg's mission from the beginning.

And I think he always knew from the time they put this out in the Harvard dorm room, right, and it began to go viral, he knew that there would be a lot of power behind this. So you know, the one thing about having spent some time in Mark Zuckerberg's orbit is I think he has always been incredibly focused on this mission to connect the world. And I think he always saw how big it could actually be.

Now fast forward, you know, 2019 and you see the cost of connecting the world and all the complicated issues that came along with it.

WHITFIELD: Wow. So this company, it's continued, you know, to have issues with user privacy and data breaches-- that's the really big current, you know, concern. So does it appear that the company, you know, feels like it has a plan to prevent those issues from happening again?

SEGALL: Yes look, I mean I think Facebook is taking this incredibly seriously because, you know, this has impacted democracy and humanity and has so much reach. But also, you know, this is also their bottom line.

In the last years, they have added 30,000 employees working on security. They've taken steps to combat disinformation. And, you know, I think what's kind of interesting is to watch, you know, Facebook has to go outside the Silicon Valley bubble, right. Burst its own filter bubble because these issues that came along with connecting the world, whether it's issues of free speech or the manipulation of democracy and the weaponization of the platform by nation states, the company, you know, has to go outside and get help far from Silicon Valley, get help, you know, from folks like journalists.

So I think we could look at regulation coming down the pipeline. So it is such a fascinating moment for the company and a fascinating moment to actually be inside because you know, I've had the opportunity to be inside during some of the pivotal moments like the data privacy scandal with Cambridge Analytica, sitting down interviewing Zuckerberg, you know. And you begin to understand all the steps the company is taking and all of the real challenges that lie ahead.

WHITFIELD: It looks like he has evolved too because he used to be extremely reticent about sitting down with anybody. I remember his first "60 Minutes" interview and how he was sweating profusely and just, you know, really didn't want to do it.

And then of course your first interviews with him, he seems to have gotten more comfortable with the idea, you know, of sharing as much information, I guess as he is feeling comfortable with at the moment.

SEGALL: Yes. Look, I will be honest with you. I don't think it is Mark Zuckerberg's favorite thing to do to be in front of the cameras. He is known as a product guy, behind the scenes, talking to people.

But he said this to me, you know, I need to be doing this. There's much more responsibility to be more transparent and public facing now that he rules a kingdom -- digital kingdom of more than two billion people. [11:50:00] WHITFIELD: Incredible. All right. Laurie Segall -- thank

you so much.

SEGALL: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Of course, we'll be watching your documentary as well. "FACEBOOK: IT'S COMPLICATED", airs tomorrow night, 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

All right. Back to Lawrence, Massachusetts. Representative Joe Kennedy is doing the introductions to Senator Elizabeth Warren who will be throwing her hat into the ring.

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REP. JOE KENNEDY III, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: "Small art and love and beauty, their drudging spirits new. Yes, it is bread we fight for but give us roses too." And, ladies and gentlemen, that truth is the truth that has anchored Elizabeth Warren's career.

I remember asking her years ago, why, of all things on earth, why bankruptcy? Of all the things you could have chosen, why bankruptcy? The young student might say, why the incredibly complicated archaic bankruptcy? And her response, because bankruptcy is about how our system treats people after they lose everything, when rock bottom comes. And the deeper meaning she took from that, that ours is a country of second chances, of redemption of horizons that don't disappear when fate gives you a tough hand.

That our national character is not measured by how high those soar, but how we do when folkss are broken, when they're on their knees, when they're empty and when they want to rise again. In Elizabeth Warren's America, we pull them up. We fight by their side. We refuse to leave anyone behind. We will not splinter and we will not segregate. We refuse to accept the status quo that tells us that big things are impossible, that progressive dreams unreachable. And we refuse - we reject a president who tells us we are each other's enemy.

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Who forces America to fight over the scraps in a system instead of uniting against a system who deems them only worthy of scraps to begin with. So I'm here with you today because this country, our country, needs a leader who will restore the solidarity that Donald Trump stole. Who will not cower from the big tough battles, from the ugly injustice and oppression that still finds its way to American soil.

A leader who will bring this country together to take on our greatest threat -- a system that protects the powerful and the privileged while the rest struggle to get by. That leader, ladies and gentlemen, is a colleague, a mentor and a friend. That leader is the next President of the United States. That leader is Elizabeth Warren. Please join me in welcoming the next President of the United States of America, Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Good morning, Lawrence!

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CROWD CHANTS: USA. USA. USA. USA. USA. USA. USA.

WARREN: So in the 12 years that I've known Joe Kennedy, I've watched him up close as he fights every day for what he believes in.

Joe is a good man and a good friend. Thank you for being here today, Joe.

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Thank you. And thank you to all of our dynamic speakers who have been keeping everybody fired up and everybody warmed up this morning.

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And thank you to the best partner ever in the United States Senate, he's been fighting for climate change and now he's fighting for a Green New Deal, Ed Markey.

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Let's re-elect him to the Senate next year.

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And thank you to a woman now making her own way in the halls of Congress, Laurie Trahan.

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And thank you to Counselor Michelle Wu, to Sheriff Steve Tompkins, to Mayor Danny Rivera, great leaders and longtime friends.

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And thank you to (inaudible), the colleagues in the statehouse and other local leaders all of whom are with us here today, thank you. And most of all, thank you. Thank you to everyone. I love you too.

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Thank you to everyone who's traveled here to Lawrence. I am deeply grateful that you came here on a cold and blustery day to be part of this announcement. Thank you.

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Thank you So, I want to tell you a story. A little over 100 years ago, textle mills in Lawrence like the ones behind us today, employed tens of thousands of people. Immigrants flocked here, think about this, from more than 50 countries for a chance to work in these looms. Lawrence was one of the centers of American industry.

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Yes. Business was booming. The guys at the top were doing great, but workers made so little money that families were forced to crowd together in dangerous tenements and many lived on beans and scraps of bread. Inside the mills, working conditionings were horrible. Children were forced to operate dangerous equipment. Workers lost hands and arms and legs in the gears of machines. One out of every three adult mill workers died by the time they were 25. And then on January 11, 1912, a group of women who worked right here at the Everett Mill, discovered that their bosses had cut their pay. And that was it. The women said enough is enough.

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They shut down those looms and they walked out. And soon workers walked out of another mill in town. And then another. And then another. Until 20,000 textile workers across Lawrence were on strike.

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Now, these workers, led by women, didn't have much. They didn't even have a common language. Nevertheless, they persisted.

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They organized. They embraced common goals. They translated the minutes of their meetings into 25 different languages. The English and Irish workers who had been here for years and the Slavic and Syrian workers who were new to America could all stand together.

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They hammered out their demands, fair wages, overtime pay and the right to join a union.

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Big businesses at that time called those demands a threat to the very survival of America and the bosses were determined to shut it down. They spread rumors and fear about the strikers. One factory owner even paid a guy to plant sticks of dynamite around town so that he could frame the workers as a violent mob. The mill owners also owned city government and city government declared martial law and called in the militia. Some strikers died in violent clashes with the police.

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