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CNN NEWSROOM

FBI Witness Says Stone Had 3 Calls with Trump on Day of Democratic Hack News; Biden Slams Warren as My Way or The Highway as Elitist; Scranton Elects First Female Mayor in City's History Who Is Also Having A Baby; Bicyclist Who Flipped Off Trump Wins Local Election. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired November 6, 2019 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00]

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: -- she was in touch, in contact with then candidate Donald Trump as news was breaking that the Democrats had been hacked as WikiLeaks was getting ready to publish some of this. She's going through in painstaking detail the number of phone calls, the number of contacts from Donald Trump's cell phone to Roger Stone's cell phone from Donald Trump's home phone number in New York at Trump Tower to Roger Stone. Going through those explaining how much time he had spent on the phone, the two of them, how much time they spent on the phone.

Of course, he's also going through the different emails that Roger Stone was sending to a man we may have heard of before, Jerome Corsi, trying to get him to go over and talk to Julian Assange to get more information about what WikiLeaks had and how they could get their hands on it. And as you said, in the opening statement, just around 11:30 this morning, prosecutors laid out some of their case and the motivation here by Roger Stone in terms of why he lied. And they said it was because he wanted to protect Donald Trump.

And that if he did come out and tell members of Congress who were investigating Russian interference, that he had contact with someone who was acting as an intermediary with WikiLeaks, it would make Donald Trump look bad. Today's first witness, obviously, a lot of information. A lot of records. She is still currently on the stand and will likely go the rest of the afternoon, Brooke.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: All right. Shimon, we'll let you head back into the courtroom. Shimon Prokupecz, thank you. Outside that federal courthouse. In the meantime, Joe Biden is on the attack again, but not against President Trump. This time he's taking on Senator Elizabeth Warren, slamming some of her comments as, quote, elitist.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Former Vice President Joe Biden, sharpening attacks aimed at Senator Elizabeth Warren in a back and forth that began with Warren's announcement of her Medicare For All funding plan. And in a pretty pointed post on Medium Biden is slamming Warren as out of touch after she accused him of running in the quote/unquote, wrong presidential primary. And he defended that point on SiriusXM's Joe Madison show this morning.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you don't agree with Elizabeth Warren, you must somehow be not a Democrat, you must somehow

be corrupt. You must not be as smart as she is. It's not who we are. And it's just an elitist attitude about you're either my way or the highway. You mustn't know what you're talking about if you disagree with her.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BALDWIN: And that was just the latest in a string of fresh pushback on the trail against Senator Warren who is nipping at Biden's heels for party front-runner status.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: The only way we can get real progress in America, the only way we can make change happen, the only way we can do it, it takes a lot more than plans. We're not electing the planner. We're electing someone with a proven ability to bring people together and do the hard work of getting legislation passed.

If you notice, some of our opponents are good people, are struggling to tell you how in god's name they're going to pay for anything. I tell you straight up how we're going to pay for it. And how much it's going to cost and how it's going to get done. And I've done it. You know, we talk, we try to -- the press wants very much and some of the opponents want to very much characterize views in terms of whether you're thinking big and if you criticize something that you think is outlandish, you must be Republican and that you, in fact, either think big or small.

Ladies and gentlemen, the vision I have for this country, there's nothing small about it.

But the idea that some are saying we're going to pull out of the Middle East completely means we have to become the world's policemen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Symone Sanders is a senior adviser for Joe Biden's Presidential campaign. Simone, welcome back. Nice to see you.

SYMONE SANDERS, SENIOR ADVISER, JOE BIDEN'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Hi, Brooke, good to see you. Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: Reading the Medium post, I mean off the bat, he titles this piece, I have fought for the Democratic party my whole career. We'll get to the substance of it, but Symone, out of the gate, he's throwing the hammer down against a fellow Democrat. Is this hurting the party?

SANDERS: Well, Brooke, what I say hurts the party, in our view and Vice President Biden's view, is what hurts the party is attacking one another and not debating the ideas. You know, this all started because we were having a very spirited, high level debate about health care in America. And Vice President Biden's plan to lower costs, lower drug costs, ensure universal coverage, allow folks to keep their private insurance if they want it, and also not raise taxes on the middle class.

You know, and Senator Warren and her campaign came out and said, you know, and talked about their health care plan and we shot back and talked about a health care plan and then they called Vice President Biden basically a Republican.

So the facts of the matter is, we should be able to have a high-level policy debate. We want to have a high-level policy debate. Health care is the most salient point for folks across this country. And you have to be straight with the American people about health care. We can't beat Donald Trump with double talk on health care.

BALDWIN: Regardless.

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SANDERS: And so you have to be able to say how much your plan costs? Who will it cover? How will you pay for it? And that's what we're talking about here.

BALDWIN: Regardless of where you stand on paying for it, Senator Warren's Medicare For All plan is about expanding health care and coverage for more Americans and so what does Joe Biden think is elitist about that?

SANDERS: Well, Brooke, Vice President Biden is not criticizing Senator Warren's health care plan in terms of beating elitist. What he said on Joe Madison and in that op-ed that I hope people read on Medium.com, just go to Medium.com, type in Joe Biden, and he talked about this attitude in saying that if you don't agree with me, if my plan isn't your plan, that somehow one is a coward or that somehow one isn't being bold enough, and I think that's a dangerous place to be in our politics.

BALDWIN: But if it's just so I'm clear, just so clear, maybe he's not referring to go her plan as elitist, but maybe he's refers to her as elitist.

SANDERS: Brooke, Democrats across the board agree in universal coverage. Democrats across the board agree I think that health care is the most salient point for people in America. What Democrats and particularly Democrats in this Presidential primary are disagreeing about is the way to get to that universal coverage. And that's why people put out plans. That's what primaries and debates are about. The issue that has arisen here is some people in this race have noted that if you don't agree with my plan, somehow, you're using Republican talking points. And that's not OK. If you don't agree with my way, how I would like to say it, how I

would like to go about it, somehow, you're not bold. Somehow you don't understand what's at stake in this election. And that's just not fair and that's not true. We can disagree. This is about policy disagreements, but unless we attack one another and say someone isn't here for the Democratic party or understands this moment that we're in, that is where Vice President's op-ed came from because he's defending himself. So I know this started off as saying Vice President was attacking Elizabeth Warren. He's not attacking anyone. He's putting it facts out there on the table. This is about families --

BALDWIN: Come on. Come on, he's not attacking Elizabeth Warren? I read this Medium post two times. He's not attacking Elizabeth Warren.

SANDERS: Brooke.

BALDWIN: I know he doesn't mention her name once.

SANDERS: He is putting the facts out there. And he's defending himself. Look, Vice President Biden has served this country honorably. First as a county councilman in Delaware, then as the youngest person ever --

BALDWIN: No, I don't think anyone is disputing that. Nobody is disputing that.

SANDERS: I think, Brooke, when folks lob assertions such as if you don't agree with me, perhaps you're running in the wrong primary, I think that's what it sounds like to folks across the country. That's just not who we are as Democrats and that's not the type of election or primary I think we want to run.

So we're happy to talk about the facts. Vice President Biden is elated to talk about his health care plan. Being straight with the American people on how he's going to pay for it, not raising costs on middle class Americans, lowering the drug costs and costs across the board and we hope that other Democrats in this race will do the same.

BALDWIN: Simone Sanders, thank you very much.

SANDERS: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

We'll get you back to our breaking news. Democrats releasing today this transcript from the testimony of the top diplomat in Ukraine clearly describing this quid pro quo involving President Trump and all that military aid.

Plus the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, elects its very first female mayor and she is having a baby in just a couple of weeks before she's sworn in. Paige Cognetti joins me to talk about her historic win.

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BALDWIN: The city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, just elected a new mayor and it was an historic moment. Her name, Paige Cognetti. She will be the first woman ever to lead city hall. And there's another first. She will be the first mayor-elect to give birth.

Cognetti is expecting her first child next month just weeks before she is sworn in. She also ran as an independent despite being registered as a Democrat. With the informal campaign slogan, Paige against the machine. A riff, of course, on the band Rage Against the Machine. So Paige Cognetti, Ms. Mayor Elect, welcome and congratulations times two.

MAYOR ELECT PAIGE COGNETTI, (I-SCRANTON, PA): Thank you. Thank you, Brooke. Thank you for having me on today.

BALDWIN: I was reading quite a bit about you. Harvard Business School, teacher, Goldman Sachs, worked at Treasury. You tell me why you want to be the mayor of Scranton, Pennsylvania?

COGNETTI: Well, I think that I bring experience that just no one else on the ballot had yesterday, having worked in the U.S. Treasury Department in the Obama administration during the financial crisis. I was able to be in rooms with people making unbelievably difficult decisions. And having seen those policymakers make those decisions, having understood how they put that team together, how they decided to make plans when it seemed like nothing would possibly work but having to move forward despite that.

That's the type of experience that we need to have in cities like Scranton that have been struggling. If we're going to turn cities like Scranton around, we've got to get some folks in there that have seen it and have experience and have confidence that we actually can move things forward if we work together.

BALDWIN: So you understand the issues but what about the people. Because, Paige, I read that you only moved to Scranton three years ago. You hail from Oregon.

[15:50:00]

How are you the most qualified person to know what the people of Scranton really need?

COGNETTI: Yes, I think that's the outsider, it was a hit against me they tried to use during the campaign but I think we saw yesterday that voters are actually looking for a fresh perspective. I married into a family here that has been here for many, many generations. So, in our household we have deep roots in Scranton but for me coming in as mayor I bring a perspective from Oregon where public corruption it just really doesn't exist. You just don't see headlines like we unfortunately have had up here in northeastern Pennsylvania. So I think that that combination is something that people find refreshing.

We're committed here. like you said, Brooke, we are having a baby in December. Nothing really makes you more committed to your city and the environment that you're going to raise your child in than realizing you're going to have a baby. So I couldn't be more committed to Scranton and I'm thrilled that the voters agreed that outside perspective is actually what we need. And I think it's what the voters chose.

BALDWIN: There is a famous former Vice President who hails from Scranton and I understand you received a congratulations call from Joe Biden last night. What of that call and can you share with us?

COGNETTI: Well I'm devastated. I missed it. I was doing some interviews last night.

BALDWIN: You missed the call?

COGNETTI: I missed it. But the Vice President did leave me a message and it was so warm and he was so proud of me, which was amazing. And of the city, of city for choosing change. And you could hear in his voice his deep love for Scranton and for this area and it was an honor to get that phone call.

BALDWIN: Tell me why you chose to run as an independent and not as a Democrat?

COGNETTI: Yes, well, this is where the informal tag line, Paige against the machine comes in. Unfortunately, in Scranton, the local Democratic Party the city Democratic Party has been part of a culture of patronage that has really drug this city down, drug this region down for decades really. When the former mayor -- the reason this was a special election in the first place -- the former mayor in July he pleaded guilty to three felonies, that was really the last straw for voters and the Democrats, the city Democrats, very specifically, the local city Democrats, they chose to choose their nominee for the special election behind closed doors. It was just a continuation of their politics as usual.

I saw it coming. I knew they were going to do it. And I decided not to even put my hat in the ring there. I waited for them to make their decision which they did and then I changed my registration to independent the following day and ran against them. And we were victorious last night. It was a real -- it is still a shock. I have to say.

But I really think last night voters chose the person over the party and I think that's a trend we're going to keep seeing. It is not -- it wasn't a referendum against any one particular party, it was just people want the person to lead them. They're looking for the right person. They're looking for that authenticity and that hope and that positive look and positive outlook for the future.

BALDWIN: You are -- I mean obviously it's newsworthy because of your win, because you are -- will be the first female mayor of Scranton, because you will be the first mayor-elect to give birth. And, Paige, lastly, just to all the people who may say, how is she going to run a city and have a newborn. To them you say what?

COGNETTI: I say that we have so many wonderful friends and family around us and luckily my mother who lives in Oregon is going to be spending a lot of time in Scranton in the future. And so this little deputy mayor that we're going to have in December, luckily, we'll have a grandmother to help out.

BALDWIN: Thank goodness for family all the way around. Mayor Elect Cognetti, good luck. Thank you so much.

COGNETTI: Thank you for having me, Brooke.

BALDWIN: And that was another notable local election, this one in Virginia when a woman named Juli Briskman won a spot on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. And why is this making news? Good question. Remember Briskman was actually fired from her job as a government contractor back in 2017 after she gave the middle finger to the presidential motorcade. You see the photo, and oh yes, it went viral. And at the time despite losing her job she told me that she had no regrets.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULI BRISKMAN, JUST WON LOCAL ELECTION IN VIRGINIA: He doesn't respect the office so I don't respect him and I don't respect -- sadly don't respect the office right now. And I'm just angry. I have lost my patience. My blood boils.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Briskman beat the incumbent Republican in her race statewide and Democrats took control of the legislature and the governor's mansion for the first time in nearly three decades.

Just into CNN, Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal lawyer and the man at the center of the Ukraine scandal has just lawyered up. Stand by for news.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Before we go, it turns out it was a false alarm at the Amsterdam Airport today. Dutch authorities had to evacuate a plane for what they refer to as a suspicious situation. But just in the last hour Air Europa issued an apology explaining that a warning that triggers the protocols for airport hijackings was mistakenly activated. Again, the whole thing false alarm, passengers, crew, everyone is safe.

I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me. We'll see you tomorrow. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.

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