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Adriel Hampton Discusses Running For CA Governor To Test Facebook's Policy On Untruthful Campaign Ads; FOX & Some GOP Question Patriotism Of Purple Heart Recipient After Testimony; Why Info On Dog Involved In ISIS Leader Raid Kept Secret; Democratic CA Assemblywoman, Christy Smith Discussing Launching A Bid For Rep. Katie Hill's Seat Following Hill's Resignation. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired October 29, 2019 - 13:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Plus, a California state lawmaker just launched a bid for Congresswoman Katie Hill's seat. Where she stands on Hill's decision to resign amid allegations of having improper relationships with staffers.



KEILAR: Facebook says it has no plans to change its policy of running political ads whether those ads have any truth to them or not.

Joe Biden complained about dishonest ads against him, and Elizabeth Warren even ran a fake ad of her own to make a point.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the site doesn't want to census candidate's speech, so the ads will stay the same as long as they're from candidates and not political groups.

That wasn't good enough for political activists and businessman, Adriel Hampton. He actually registered as a candidate in the 2020 gubernatorial race just so he could run fake Facebook ads of his own. He's with us now.

Adriel, thank you for being here.


KEILAR: I want to show people a fake ad you ran about Lindsey Graham. Take a look.


FAKE SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I'm Senator Graham, from South Carolina, and I'm here to announce to my colleagues that we care about conservation. We care about the environment. From a Republican point of view, I think we need to look at the science, admit that climate change is real. Simply put, we believe in the Green New Deal. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Tell us what happened to that ad and tell us how that led to you deciding to run for governor.

HAMPTON: Yes, absolutely. So folks may be familiar with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez challenging Mark Zuckerberg if she made such an ad and asking if she could run it, and he said probably on Wednesday. When I saw that, I thought we should test the premise.

I didn't know Facebook's rules on fake ads quite as well as I do today when we first put it up on Thursday. I usually don't run fake ads, but this was an interesting opportunity to test that premise, that it's OK for politicians to lie.

So my political action committee is called the Really Online Leftie League, just a small political action committee that can do stunts like this in an electoral contest -- context, excuse me.

The ad was taken down by Facebook in about 24 hours. But in that time, it went quite viral. And it was clear right from the submission to Facebook that it was not a truthful ad because, clearly, as you said, Senator Graham has not endorsed the Green New Deal.



KEILAR: So it gets pulled, and then you decide you're going to run for governor --

HAMPTON: It gets pulled.

KEILAR: -- because it's OK for politicians, but it's not good for PACs.

HAMPTON: We tried again, yes. We tried again with a politician and it was taken down again, and they said that was because it was -- you can't -- a politician can't advertise something that's already been debunked, so it had to be an original lie.

We also were told by fact-checkers who work with Facebook that a politician is not actively running for office or in elected office might also be disqualified from this exception.

My concern is that Donald Trump, who plans a billion-dollar campaign led by a campaign manager who is a Facebook expert who purports to run millions of Facebook ads, can use this exemption to manipulate the election very easily. And that there really is no one challenging that.

So the purpose --


KEILAR: But can I ask you a question? I want to challenge you on this. Do you worry that you're just contributing to this age of misinformation on Facebook?

HAMPTON: No, because I'm here on CNN talking about how we need to stop misinformation on Facebook.

I also challenged the premise that I'm not running to win. People will say, oh, this person is only running for this reason.

I think running against Donald Trump, against misinformation in social media, against Mark Zuckerberg, and talking about how Pacific Gas & Electric company is one of the biggest benefactors of our current governor is a pretty good way to run in 2022.

It also allows me to continue this P.R. campaign against Facebook by running more false ads. We have more politicians, including myself, ready to run more ads after the November 5 election.

Imagine what it looks like if we run an ad in Kentucky to -- and these are real Facebook criteria -- we can run an ad saying Mitch McConnell is secretly supportive of impeachment and is just waiting to impeach President Trump because he wants power for himself or doesn't like Trump.

And we run those to the categories of high school education or less --


KEILAR: Are you going to do that?

HAMPTON: I'm not going to tip my hand.

KEILAR: It sounds like you're going to do that.


HAMPTON: We'll see.

KEILAR: We will see.

Adriel Hampton --


HAMPTON: There are a lot of submissions coming in.

KEILAR: I bet there are.

We'll be following you and we'll track what you cook up.

Adriel Hampton, thank you.

HAMPTON: Thank you.


KEILAR: It's the secret all of Washington is buzzing about, the name of the heroic K-9 involved in taking down the leader of ISIS. Hear why top military generals say protecting the dog's identity is vital to national security.



KEILAR: Returning to our top story, the testimony of Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient. The National Security Council's top Ukraine expert is appearing before House impeachment investigators, telling them he was so troubled by the call between President Trump and President Zelensky that he reported to his superiors twice.

Joining me is CNN military analyst, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.

I wonder as we see the Republicans question his patriotism and character, what's your reaction?

MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's despicable, Brianna. This guy is a foreign area officer. He served in the military quite a long time. He was a three-year-old when he entered the United States. And the fact that he served and he's doing the right thing, according to his constitutional oath, should be enough said.

By my count, he's a Lieutenant Colonel so he's vowed an oath to defend the Constitution at least five times in his career, probably more than that.

That tells you everything you need to know. He is dependent on supporting the nation, not a president, a chief, or a land.

KEILAR: I want to ask you while I have you about -- it's kind of the water cooler talk, right? This dog that was involved in this raid that took out the leader of ISIS, his picture was declassified. His name has not been. Why is that important, in your view?

HERTLING: There's a lot of silliness associated with that. And I tweeted this yesterday to bring up a conversation about operational security. This dog went on a mission with Delta Force, the most secretive organization the Army has. There are ways of people finding out what forces are where, based on small pieces of information.

Of course, in the genre of Twitter, I got all kinds of experts telling me why I was so wrong in saying this might be an offset violation. Nothing vital to national security, but it could certainly give away information about a unit. It was fascinating to watch that.

Too much information was given, in my view, by the president when he announced the results of the raid this week. And, unfortunately, this is one that everybody seems to glom on. And there's no need to know about the name of a dog or the name of an operator or handler that was making sure that dog did the right things.

KEILAR: General Hertling, thank you.

HERTLING: You got it, Brianna. Thanks. KEILAR: Just in, a family from the U.K. is suing the Trump

administration, accusing it of a cover-up. The suit involved a crash with the wife of a U.S. diplomat, a crash that claimed the life of their teenage son.

Plus, the scramble is on for Katie Hill's congressional seat after she resigned amid allegations of improper relationships with staffers.



KEILAR: Congresswoman Katie Hill says even though she is stepping down she is not it fun fighting. Hill is accusing her husband, whom she is divorcing, of revenge porn, trying to humiliate her by disseminating intimate pictures of her.

Hill resigned after admitting to a relationship with a campaign staffer. She denied allegations she had a relationship with a congressional staffer, something against House ethics rules.

A special election to replace her has not been called yet but candidates are coming forward already.

First term, California State Assemblywoman Christy Smith is throwing her hat in the ring and is now with me.

Thank you for joining me, Assemblywoman. Appreciate it.


KEILAR: Do you think Katie Hill did the right thing by resigning?

SMITH: I did. I know Katie, a good friend. Fought a hard flight to flip seats in 2018.

At the end of the day, she's a patriot and knew charges and accusations around her would prove a big distraction. And she knows the work of the people's House is so significant that she needed to step aside to allow that to continue.

But she also knows and I'm taking up this fight with her, she's a victim of revenge porn.

Regardless of the questionable circumstances of relationships with staffers she's admitted and has agreed to fully cooperate with the House's ethics investigation, his ex-husband is victimizing her.

But I know she'll come out of this stronger and enter that fight to make sure that doesn't happen to others across the country.

And she's handing this over to me because the issues we fought are so important in this country. Our state is on fire. We need to address global climate change, continue to fight for access to health care and issues she campaigned on and championed. And the end of the day, she did the right thing stepping down, and I'm

glad to be the first to step up to continue the agenda we're both fighting for.

KEILAR: She appears to be a victim in having these intimate photographs released.

And I hear many people like you who support Katie Hill and say that, you know, they empathize with the fact this terrible thing happened but also say she did the right thing by stepping down.

What she did, for which she stepped down, or that's not exactly why she said she stepped down, but what she did for which some people say she should have stepped down, did that, did her actions make it tougher for Democrats to keep this congressional seat?


SMITH: I think there's been disappointment across the activist base and the community of the people who supported us both. We really were so proud of both of these victories.

And it's going to take a couple more days to come to terms with this as it will take obviously time for the congresswoman to get her life put back together, but that's why it's so important.


KEILAR: What are they saying? Could you tell me. What are the activists folks saying?

SMITH: They're disappointed that it came to this. At the end of the day, we also know this is kind of a pattern of Republican operative behavior in the district. We've seen it time and time again, people either chased off from running for local seats or once in office roundly attacked and eventually drummed out.

It's the same consistent group of people who seem to be behind all of these attacks.

The fact that her ex fell into that pattern of behavior I think is troubling. But also there's just a lot of hurt and disappointment. So many people worked so hard for both of us, because of the issues we all care about in this area. Again, climate change, protecting the environment. Health care. The protection of our communities.

And knowing that ultimately each of these seats is a people's seat. It belongs to the people in the community who worked so hard to put us both there. The same people are coming back out getting lined up for me and we're ready to go.

We will all come together and move past this. I keep telling everybody we're going to be OK. This will be fine. In the end, we'll hold the seat, continue to fight for the shared values.

KEILAR: Assemblywoman Christy Smith, thank you for joining us. SMITH: Thanks for having me, Brianna.

KEILAR: More on breaking news as key testimony in the impeachment inquiry continues on Capitol Hill. Democrats accused Republicans of using tactics to out the whistleblower.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.