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CNN NEWSROOM

Op-Ed: Record Number of Women Running, "Get Used to It;" Jennifer Lopez Criticized for Grammy Tribute to Motown; VA Governor Says He's Not Resigning, Understands White Privilege Better; Poll: 58 Percent of Black Virginians Want Governor to Stay; NFL's Kareem Hunt to Play for Cleveland Browns; Kamala Harris Once Supported Turning Over Undocumented Juvenile Suspects to Federal Authorities. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired February 11, 2019 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00] MARGARET CARLSON, COLUMNIST, "THE DAILY BEAST": I think she did yesterday. I think she was put on that. But there's a lot of putting out your favorite recipe to soften your edges and I'm hoping she doesn't do that.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Like we're over that. Don't need to see your blueberry muffin recipe.

CARLSON: Yes. I didn't bring my chocolate chip recipe today, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Well I don't cook, so my husband does all of that, so that's my free.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Lucky girl.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness.

Now we are used to seeing a lot of the women champion one another in politics. I'm wondering, when we pass through this phase of everyone jumping in and when everyone's elbows get sharpened, what does that look like when they go head to head in a debate?

CARLSON: They have a supper club where the women in the Senate get together about once a month at each other's houses or a restaurant. This is bipartisan, Democrat and Republican. I remember Amy Klobuchar telling me she went and spent a week's vacation with Senator Murkowski, in Alaska. So they're all very friendly.

It will be on the merits. I don't think it will be personal. You're not going to see any Lying Ted Cruz or you know, Crooked so and so. It's just, it's not going to be personal. And in fact, you will look in vain to find a Democratic Senator taking on a Republican Senator personally. But you have seen them take them on, on substance. And they'll have different tax reform plans. They'll have -- Senator Warren probably wants to break up the banks in Senator Gillibrand's home state. There will be discussing all of that. But it will be done on --

BALDWIN: Substance and issues.

CARLSON: -- on real policy differences.

BALDWIN: It will be refreshing.

Margaret Carlson, thank you very much.

CARLSON: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

The embattled governor of Virginia giving a sit-down TV interview as he faces calls to resign over racist pictures inside an old yearbook, but the interview didn't entirely go as planned. We'll show you what happened.

And Jennifer Lopez getting criticism for her performance at the Grammys involving a tribute to Motown. We'll discuss.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:36:11] BALDWIN: Ralph Northam, the embattled Virginia governor, who has admitted to wearing blackface, says he isn't going anywhere despite calls for his resignation. He says navigating his blackface scandal has given him a better understanding of white privilege.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RALPH NORTHAM (D), GOVERNOR, VIRGINIA: I was born in white privilege and that has implications to it. And it is much different the way a white person such as myself is treated in this country.

GAYLE King, CO-ANCHOR, CBS: Did you not know you were born into white privilege?

NORTHAM: I knew I was, Ms. King, but I didn't realize the powerful implications of that.

I've also learned why the use of blackface is so offensive. Yes, I knew it in the past, but reality has really set in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And in that same interview with CBS's Gayle King, the governor said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORTHAM: If you look at Virginia's history, we're now at the 400-year anniversary. Just 90 miles from here, in 1619, the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we now call Ft. Monroe. And while --

KING: Also known as slavery.

NORTHAM: Yes. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: After that interview aired, Northam issued a statement to CNN that read, quote, "An historian advised me that the use of indentured was more historically accurate. The fact is, I'm still learning and committed to get it right."

Phillip Thompson serves on Virginia's NAACP executive committee. He's also moderated a debate between Northam and his Republican challenger in 2017.

Sir, welcome back. That was a sight.

PHILLIP THOMPSON, MEMBER, VIRGINA NAACP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Thank you.

BALDWIN: I mean, it's never a good thing when you have to issue a statement after you go on air essentially for an apology interview, what did you think of how the government, governor handled it?

THOMPSON: Brooke, the scary part is he's a Democrat and he's the one that's going out and got millions of African-American votes and this is what he thinks and this is, just now getting woke on this issue. Despite the fact being in office two years and not having very many policies that have been helpful to the African-Americans of Virginia.

BALDWIN: Apparently, he's getting woke on white privilege. The man is 59 years of age. When Gayle asked, did you not know you were born into white privilege, he says, "I was, but I didn't realize the powerful implications of that until now."

You thought what?

THOMPSON: I think last time I was on, I said this is Virginia. And then you kind of said what does that mean. And now you're seeing what I mean. This is Virginia. Virginia you know certain white people in Virginia have this perception that you know, why you bothered by confederate monument, by this. They just don't get it and understand that in Virginia, there's two separate states. One for African- Americans. And minorities and one for white people in Virginia.

BALDWIN: So then explain this to me. I saw these numbers out of this "Washington Post" poll, Phillip, finds Virginians split, 47 percent wanting him to step down, 47 percent saying he should stay on, but among black Virginians polled, 58 percent say he should stay.

THOMPSON: I think that a lot of that has to do with, you know, the historical implications of having a Republican takeover. Because if Northam goes and Justin Fairfax is in trouble, and the attorney general who has done something similar, they feel like might be a Republican will take over. But most of the people who I've talked to, and I think you'll see coming in the next few weeks, we will put more pressure on Governor Northam to resign.

BALDWIN: Do you think it's possible, though, that this mess is was so big for this state, we've mentioned all three of these gentlemen, that Virginia gets overwhelmed and all three remain. Is that a real possibility, Phillip?

[14:40:06] THOMPSON: That's a probable outcome of this, that everyone will finally throw up their hands and say, I guess we're stuck with what we got. But the impact of this is going to be lasting if critical steps aren't taken to identify, you know, that, you know, I think Northam was in that picture and I think we need some sort of forensic analysis and investigation done on that. Because again, the blackface is not the issue. It's the Klan. We had problems with them in northern Virginia handing out flyers in just the last few years, so we know they're out there. And to have this man pose in the picture with them in 1984 when they were doing some very bad things in this country is troubling.

BALDWIN: Phillip Thompson, thank you for coming back. We'll stay in touch, sir.

THOMPSON: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

Just in, an NFL team just signed Kareem Hunt, the former NFL player seen on video assaulting a woman. See how the team is explaining this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:47:31] BALDWIN: Music's biggest night, the 61st Grammy Awards. It was a night of a lot of firsts. Not only did the Academy and many of the artists make history, but women dominated the show, from Dolly Parton and Diana Ross, celebrating her 75th birthday in song, to first-time host, Alicia Keys. And the surprise guest that brought the audience to its feet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can I bring some of my sisters out here tonight?

(CHEERING)

(MUSIC)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED TATES: From the Motown records I wore out on the south side to the "Who Run the World" song that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: I want to thank my daughter, because I'm not just saying thank you because she's my daughter. It's because, you know, when I found out I was pregnant, my album was not complete.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: Winning this doesn't make my album better than anybody else's in that category. They're all so good and life is pretty tumultuous for it all.

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: It was her birthday party the whole night long.

Entertainment and anchor of People TV is here with me again.

So fun. But this picture. To watch these women walk down those stairs, with Dr. Dre then to have Michelle Obama, can't the Grammys just be Michelle Obama talking to us?

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, ANCHOR, PEOPLE TV: That would be divine. I could watch three and a half hours of her just talking to us and that fabulous tuxedo, she was the biggest rock star in the room. Got the first standing ovation of the night. Not the last though. She was incredible. Just seeing her out there, seeing her so embraced by the crowd was awesome. I've been reading her autobiography.

(CROSSTALK)

BALDWIN: -- about music growing up.

OGUNNAIKE: She talks so much about music growing up. It's a part of her story. She has a sound track to her life and it has been Motown.

BALDWIN: Speaking of Motown, J. Lo. J. Lo. A lot of people were not feeling the love. They did not feel like she was the right person so if you have not seen it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Smokey Robinson, who was part of the tribute, lashed out. He was saying Motown is for everyone. But is the criticism fair? Here was Jennifer Lopez when asked about it by "Entertainment Tonight."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOPEZ: Any type of music is inspiring, any type of artist. You can't tell people what to love. You can't tell people what they can and can't do. What they should say or not say. You got to do what's in your heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: What did you think?

OGUNNAIKE: Whoa. OK. I don't want A-Rod coming after me with a baseball bat. I do have to say, Jennifer Lopez is an incredible performer and put on a great show. Do I think she should have been the sole performer during the Motown tribute? Absolutely not. I love her and we all do. But the sole performer, I don't think so. There were a number of women in the room who could have joined in. Could have just scooted her over into that Motown tribute. I just found it deeply problematic that the only woman represented was not a woman of color. A black woman.

BALDWIN: Just lastly, real quick, because so many people are saying the Grammys have had this big woman problem and we're talking about all these women, but behind the scenes.

OGUNNAIKE: Things have gotten better this year, but it's still a problem b and the numbers don't lie. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 900 individuals are nominated and of that number, 90 percent were male. 90 percent. So we've got a long way to go. Only 12 percent of the women in the industry are song writers. Only 12 percent, and of the producers in the industry, 98 percent are male, only 2 percent are female. We've got to get more women throughout the entire ecosystem, not just in front of the camera.

[14:50:17] BALDWIN: Wanted to make sure you made that known. It's so important.

(CROSSTALK)

Lola, good to see you.

OGUNNAIKE: Good to see you.

BALDWIN: Thank you very much.

Still ahead, early taxpayers are dealing with an unwelcome surprise, the average refund is down. We'll talk to an expert about what's going on.

And news from CNN's "K-FILE." What we've learned about presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, and her support of a controversial policy involving undocumented juveniles.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:55:17] BALDWIN: Just in, former Kansas City's chief running back, Kareem Hunt, is back in the NFL. Going to go play for the Cleveland Browns. The team just made the announcement. Hunt had been on the exempt list since he was questioned last year by police in Cleveland. A video surfaced of him appearing to push and kick a woman at a hotel. The NFL is still investigating. The Browns general manager, who used to work for the Chiefs, said in a statement, quote, "My relationship and interaction with Kareem since 2016 in college was an important part of this decision-making process. Kareem took full responsibility for his aggressive actions and showed true remorse. And secondly, just as importantly, he is undergoing and is committed to necessary professional treatment and a plan that has been clearly laid out."

Hunt may not practice, play or attend games for the Browns pending that NFL investigation. So on the phone with me now is Christine Brennan, "USA Today's" sports

columnist and CNN sports analyst.

So, Christine the fact that he is you know, essentially back in action, is significant. What do you think?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST (via telephone): Yes, absolutely. The optics here are terrible. The league has not found a place for Colin Kaepernick because he takes a knee during the national anthem, and yet allowing a man to come back and play for the Browns. And of course, it's just been two months since we saw the video of him shoving and kicking a woman. There were two others as well, not on the video, from previous other times in the last year or so. So the optics look terrible. What a message, a terrible message the NFL is sending about domestic abuse and the way women are treated.

BALDWIN: The fact this happened in Cleveland, the city that has hired. To your point, the message it sends.

Christine Brennan, we'll stay on this.

Thank you so much for jumping on the phone with your quick reaction.

I want to move on and talk about these new revelations coming out about Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris. We are learning while she was district attorney of San Francisco, back in 2009, the now-Senator supported a city policy requiring law enforcement to turn over undocumented juvenile immigrants to federal authorities if they were arrested and suspected of committing a crime.

And the Senator's campaign spokesman released a statement to CNN, quote, "The policy was intended to protect the sanctuary status of San Francisco and to ensure local police, who needed to have strong relationships with the communities they served, regardless of immigration status, were not forced to operate as immigration agents, which is the responsibility of the federal government. Looking back, this policy could have been applied more fairly."

CNN KFile Editor, Andrew Kaczynski is with me now.

Andrew, Kamala Harris has styled herself as an advocate for undocumented immigrants. Might what you guys have uncovered, opened her up to attacks from the progressive wing or folks on the other side of the aisle?

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN KFILE EDITOR: Well, it could open up her to some criticism from folks on the left. When this went on, the California San Francisco Board of Supervisors actually attempted to pass some legislation to prevent this from happening, this new policy that San Francisco put in place in 2008. That was actually opposed by Harris and then Mayor Gavin Newsome. So that was an incident where she found herself to the right of many immigration activists.

BALDWIN: Can you give me more context around this?

KACZYNSKI: There had been, in 2008, this murder of a couple of family members by an undocumented immigrant, and San Francisco responded by changing their policy as a sanctuary city. So now undocumented youth suspected of a felony or arrested for a felony would be turned over to immigration authorities or they could be placed in deportation proceedings. Now some of these people, you know, if before you've been convicted, if you're arrested, you're not convicted of a crime, so there was the chance that people who had not been guilty of what they were arrested for could have been turned over and deported.

BALDWIN: Andrew Kaczynski, thank you so much, you and your reporting from the Kfile. Appreciate it.

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[15:00:00] BALDWIN: We continue on. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.

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