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Beto O'Rourke Pushes Reset Button with "The View" Appearance; Attack Targeting Jews in U.S. Near Historic Levels; Farmers Caught in Crossfire in U.S./China Trade War; Legal Loophole Is Setting Convicted Military Rapists Free. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired May 14, 2019 - 13:30   ET


[13:30:00] APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He was the one that everyone was waiting for when he came out.


RYAN: And when he spoke, I felt like he was attacking with his hands, it was a bad camera angle. That was not the best opening for a candidate. And then to come out -- you can be on any magazine cover. You can be on "G.Q." and "Vogue" and "Vanity Fair," but it's the message you send. He could be on "Vanity Fair" talking about, I want to help the people.

But he came out with an entire way of thinking, I'm meant this after he lost the Senate seat that people thought he was meant for as well. He even had Beyonce support him for that Senate seat and now he's running for president.


RYAN: It's hard. It's going to be very, very hard for him to go into this process being the one that people are looking like, oh, he could be the one and then dash so many hopes.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: What do you think?

LIZZA: I think he started with this big, slashing national strategy with a magazine cover, the Oprah interview, remember that?

RYAN: Oh, yes.

LIZZA: And then he went sort of hyper local with New Hampshire, Iowa events. And just listening to what he's been saying is they want to -- they realized -- got a little bit of a bump in the national polls and there's a debate about how much those really matter.

He had a huge fundraising number, right, so he's going to be in this for a while because he has the money. But now they have decided, if you're not Bernie or Biden, everyone else is getting lost in the mix.

RYAN: Right. KEILAR: What do you do if you're the non-Bernie, non-Biden?


LIZZA: Exactly. To break out and get attention, because basically if you're not famous -- those are the two famous candidates. Everyone else is just struggling to get known.


RYAN: Harris, Kamala and Cory are famous, but not --


KEILAR: He's Booker. It's with the "B" so --



KEILAR: So thank you so much, April Ryan, Ryan Lizza. April Ryan, Ryan Lizza.


RYAN: All in the Ryan, all in the "R"s.



KEILAR: Thank you guys, siblings, for coming on. We appreciate it.

Anti-Semitism in the United States is reaching alarming levels. And up next, we'll take a closer look at this growing and deadly threat.

Also, a woman who said she was pregnant, shot and killed by a police officer. The deadly encounter all caught on a disturbing video. Details on what we know, ahead.


[13:36:44] KEILAR: Anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. are nearing historic highs. The most recent incidents, two deadly synagogue shootings just months apart.

CNN's Sara Sidner takes a deeper look at this the troubling trend.

And we do want to warn you that some of the video you're about to see is graphic.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An orthodox Jew beaten in the streets of Brooklyn. Another sucker punched in New York. In Los Angeles, a driver targets Jewish men with his car, screaming, "F'ing Jews." And exactly six months apart, shooters attacking American synagogues during services with the intent to kill Jews.

Pittsburgh, last October, 11 lives lost in the worst act of anti- Semitic violence in American history.


SIDNER: Poway, in April, killing one worshipper.

The direct threat against American Jews as victims of vandalism, assault and even murder is at alarming levels.

GEORGE SELIM, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMS, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: We're talking some of the highest numbers of incidents that we've ever seen. It's really unfolded itself in a very ugly way.

SIDNER: For a third year in the row, the Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic incidents in America rose to near historic highs. Each of the 1,879 dots, a physical manifestation of hate in 2018.

SELIM: The threat environment today is something we want seen in the country in recent memory.

SIDNER: George Selim oversees the ADL's Center for Extremism. He's also spent more than a decade working to fight extremism and radicalization at the Department of Homeland Security.

The growing deadly threat he says is home-grown and overwhelmingly far right and white.

SELIM: There's this concept within white supremist circles of accelerationism. That means that individuals feel like the white race is in danger, and they need to act now.

SIDNER: The evidence of the growing threat is plain to see. Synagogues now pock-mocked with bullet holes.

YISROEL GOLDSTEIN, RABBI, CHABAD OF POWAY SYNAGOGUE: I was centimeters away from death. I still feel the power of the bullets flying.

SIDNER: Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein came to Poway, California, in the 1980s, with a dream to build a safe oasis for the Jewish community. But his sense of community was shattered in seconds.

(on camera): At what point did you see a gunman walk into your synagogue?

GOLDSTEIN: It's so hard to go back to the moment. It's like unimaginable. Right there in the lobby, 10 feet away from me, 15 feet away from me, standing there with his feet spread apart in the aiming position, right at me.

SIDNER (voice-over): The first blast marking the door and wall. Hit and killed congregant, Lori Kaye, who was there to pray for her recently deceased mother and then the rabbi was hit.

GOLDSTEIN: My granddaughter looked -- granddaughter said, grandfather, you're bleeding.

SIDNER (oc0: You didn't even know you were hit?

GOLDSTEIN: No, didn't know I was hit. The look on her face, traumatized. Just 4.5 years old. You see the pictures of the black and white during the Holocaust, during the Kristallnacht, that's when you see that, not in 2018 in America.

SIDNER (voice-over): Eight-year-old and her uncle were also injured by gunfire in the synagogue.

[13:40:05] NOYA DAHAN, CONGREGANT, CHABAD OF POWAY SYNAGOGUE: He was aiming at all the kids. Aiming where the kids were. And it was terrifying, scary.

SIDNER: The 19-year-old white male suspect wrote of killing Jews in an open letter before the attack. "I feel no remorse. I only wish I killed more."


SIDNER: He said his inspiration came from the slaughter of 50 Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the massacre of 11 Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, both of which police say were perpetrated by white supremacists.

Poway's mayor says this was not representative of the city he loves.

KIM GARNIER, POWAY RESIDENT: There's swastikas spray painted in our schools. Just last Chanukah, a family had swastikas spray painted on their heart.

Lifelong resident, Kim Garnier, said the attack didn't surprise her one bit.

SIDNER (on camera): How do you see Poway?

GARNIER: When I see this isn't Poway, that's a slap in the face to the people who experienced the bigotry, the hatred, the racism, the anti-Semitism. There's another element, and to ignore it is so disrespectful to those who have experience it had.

SIDNER (voice-over): According to the ADL, all but four states saw incidents of anti-Semitism last year, down slightly from 2017 where all 50 states had incidents for the first time ever. The most-deadly, at the hands of far-right extremists.

SELIM: Let me be very clear on this. White supremacy and white nationalism is a real and persistent threat. Law enforcement at the federal, state and local level need to take this threat much more seriously.


SIDNER: If it isn't, he says, the deadly trend may continue.

GOLDSTEIN: You're never safe again. You don't feel safe again. If this can happen to us, it can happen to anyone and everywhere.

SIDNER: Sara Sidner, CNN, Poway, California.


KEILAR: As the trade war gets worse, President Trump claims American farmers will be the biggest beneficiaries in his standoff with China, but do they feel the same way? I'm going to ask one Iowa farmer, next.

Plus, President Trump likes to brag that he owns the best properties in the world, but a new report says his crown jewel, the Trump Tower, is becoming one of New York's least desirable properties. We'll have details ahead.


[13:47:16] KEILAR: Sources tell CNN trade talks between China and the U.S. have come to a halt as both countries impose tariffs against each other's exports. And today, the president attempted to downplay the standoff.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're having a little squabble with China because we've been treated very unfairly for many, many decades, for actually a long time. It should have been handled a long time ago.


KEILAR: Grant Kimberly is a soybean grower in Iowa and also the director of market development at the Iowa Soybean Association.

Grant, thanks for joining us.


KEILAR: Tell us the stakes here. How much could -- the president calls it a squabble. How much could this cost you?

KIMBERLY: Well, agriculture, and soybeans in particular, are really at the tip of the spear of this particular trade disagreement.

China is, by far and away, the largest market for the U.S. soybean industry. About a third of the U.S. soybeans went to China before the trade war. Now it's a -- our exports are down 89 percent to China and it's having a major impact. We're seeing it in a price decline to farmers here recently over the last year.

So, you know, there's farmers' livelihoods at stake. And certainly this is something where Iowa farmers and U.S. farmers are at the tip of the sphere of this current trade disagreement.

KEILAR: When you're talking to fellow growers, what's the discussion? What do you talk about? What are the concerns?

KIMBERLY: Well, you know, our job is to create opportunities, deliver results for our farmer members, and we work hard to develop new markets, grow our market opportunities, our exports.

We've been working in China since 1985. The industry has been there for a long period of time. We have strong roots working with the feed industry, the livestock sector over in China. And so we're still working on behalf of our farmer members to cultivate these relationships, make sure that, hopefully, when we do have a trade deal at some point, we can resume normalized trade.

And in the meantime, too, we're actively working to develop new markets and grow our market share in other markets, like the E.U., Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America. So all the other parts of the world we're trying to grow our market share and offset some of what we've lost in China.

But the problem is China trades about 60 percent of the world's soybeans globally so you just can't replace a market that's so large like China.

KEILAR: Yes. I mean, you, especially with your experience with the Soybean Association, you're aware of how important this trade relationship is. You also have a personal connection. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited your farm. It's being recreated as the first phase of a massive research in agri-tourism park in a region that's a sister state to Iowa.

How does that shape how you see this trade war and how you understand how these tariffs are working?

[13:50:06] KIMBERLY: Well, certainly brings the level of -- just personalizing everything for me because I met all of the major players firsthand and got a chance -- our family was hosting -- when then-Vice President Xi came to the United States to visit President Obama and former Iowa governor, Terry Branstad, who is now the ambassador to China, they needed a farm to visit and we were chosen to do that.

We hosted President Xi on our farm and we talked about agriculture and markets and the importance of trade and technology in agriculture. So you got to see that President Xi had a pretty good understanding of agriculture. It is personal for him. He wants to feed his people. He wants to develop their economy. And you could see that.

I think both sides want to have a trade agreement but I think both sides feel like they need to maintain a term that you hear a lot in Asia, and that is "face." And they are at a point where both sides have to maintain a level of strength. We'll have to see how it all shakes out.

KEILAR: And you and other growers are hanging in the balance here.

We're going to continue our conversation, Grant Kimberley, moving forward because this is a story that isn't going away.

Thanks for joining us.

KIMBERLY: Thank you very much.


KIMBERLY: It is very important.

KEILAR: It is very important.

We have some alarming news today. At least two Florida counties were hacked during the 2016 election. How far the hackers got. We'll talk about that.


[13:56:13] KEILAR: As the military struggles to address sexual assault and harassment, a 2018 court decision is making it even more difficult.

Last year, the top U.S. military appeals court made a decision that found, for sex assaults before 2006, there's a five-year statute of limitations. And it's threatening the military's ability to prosecute older rape cases, which is significant when you consider many rape victims wait years to report the rape.

Two servicemembers convicted of rape have already had their sentences overturned as a result.

One congressman hoping to change that said hundreds more convicted rapists could have their convictions reversed.

And countless other servicemembers who have suffered sexual assault and are considering finally reporting it will find they are too late. Just like Air Force veteran, Harmony Allen, discovered in the wake of this court ruling.


KEILAR (voice-over): Harmony Allen joined the Air Force at 19. Three months after enlisting, while training as a radiology technician, one of her instructors, Master Sergeant Richard Collins, brutally raped her. That was in 2000. It wasn't until 2014 that Harmony reported her rapist identity to officials.

HARMONY ALLEN, RAPE VICTIM: The PTSD didn't go away. It only got worse. It just ate at me. And then having a daughter, the fear was even worse.

KEILAR: In 2017 a military court found Collins guilty of rape and sentenced him to 16.5 years in prison. But after serving just two, his conviction was set aside on appeal. His sentence overturned because the five-year statute of limitations on sexual assault had run out 10 years before the military even brought charges.

ALLEN: There was hard evidence. There were witnesses. There was the nurse who did the same exam, who said that, out of 15 years, she still remembered my case because I was the only case that, after she did the rape kit, she had to send me on to a trauma center for the beating that I took during the rape.

KEILAR: Today, Master Sergeant Collins is a free man. His lawyer declined to comment for this story.

ALLEN: Why would they free a convicted rapist who can do it again? And I feel scared for myself and my family. Is he going to come after me for the years that he did serve?

KEILAR: Congressman Brian Mast, of Florida, a combat veteran and Harmony's representative in Congress, has introduced a bill in her name to close the statute of limitations loophole for military sexual assaults that took place before 2006.

REP. BRIAN MAST (R-FL): So when you have individuals in the military, maybe they're under one command and maybe they're under that command for a number of years, they can't just leave and go somewhere else.

KEILAR: Harmony's Law has 16 cosponsors so far, nine Republicans and seven Democrats.

This effort comes as a new report from the Pentagon shows sexual assaults across the U.S. military increased by nearly 40 percent from 2016 to 2018.

The acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, recently announced the military justice system will now treat sexual harassment as a stand- alone crime.

The Department of Defense views sexual harassment as a significant predictor of sexual assault.

MAST: People that are entering the military or are currently serving in the military, they have to know that it is a justice-for-all system and they have to know that there's zero tolerance for any actions like this, rape, sexual assault, inappropriate behavior like that of any kind.

KEILAR: Harmony Allen thought the military justice system had already made that clear.

ALLEN: The jury of seven were very strategic in his sentencing because it took me 16.5 years to get that justice.