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Joe Biden Campaign Likely Dependent on South Carolina Showing; Interview with Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NY) on Support for Bernie Sanders; Interview with Timothy O'Brien on Mike Bloomberg Campaign. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired February 23, 2020 - 20:00   ET




PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thousand people -- thousands of people you've never met. That's really something. I can't promise it'll always be easy. I can promise you that I'm going to be rooting for you. And I think there's a whole bunch of people here who are going to be rooting you.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: What a moment. The boy later told the "Colorado Sun" newspaper that his question to Buttigieg was not planned in advance. He said it was a spur of the moment decision. The boy added that he felt really happy and proud after telling everyone in that audience that he's gay.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Alex Marquardt here in New York.

Now the race for the White House this weekend has produced an undisputed Democratic frontrunner. After three early voting contests, the senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, is running away from the pack.

The final vote tallies from Saturday's Nevada caucuses are not yet, in but CNN is projecting that Sanders will win, and with a significant lead. Sanders and most of his fellow candidates are looking ahead now to the next primary. That's in South Carolina next weekend. And then Super Tuesday just a few days after that.

One unexpected moment today at the Bernie Sanders rally in Austin, the unannounced appearance of Marianne Williamson, whose own candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination ended last month. Now Williamson had supported Andrew Yang in the Iowa caucuses, but since he dropped out, she has now made her new choice official.


MARIANNE WILLIAMSON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie Sanders has taken a stance and Bernie Sanders has been taking a stance for a very long time. He has been consistent. He has been convicted. He has been committed. And now it's time, I'm here and you're here, because it's time for us to take a stand with Bernie.



MARQUARDT: Now another member of the Democratic field who is banking hard on a strong showing in South Carolina is former vice president Joe Biden. He fell short in Iowa and New Hampshire, of course, as well as Nevada over the weekend. He and Senator Bernie Sanders were polling neck and neck but that was before the overwhelming Sanders win in Nevada.




BIDEN: We all did it. Now we're going on to South Carolina and win, and then we're going take this back.


MARQUARDT: Our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny is in Charleston, South Carolina, tonight -- Jeff,

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Alex, good evening. There's no question, Senator Bernie Sanders hanging over this Democratic presidential race, the clear frontrunner heading into the South Carolina primary after his strong showing in Nevada. Even as Senator Sanders campaigning in Texas, he is the topic of conversation here in South Carolina, particularly also with Joe Biden.

Joe Biden is trying to make his stand here in South Carolina. The next six days of this campaign are critical for him. We caught up with the former vice president today. We asked him about some of this Democratic establishment worry about Senator Sanders and what it would mean for Democrats down ballot.


ZELENY: With Senator Sanders as the nominee be a McGovern-like mistake for this party?

BIDEN: Well, that's for the voters to know. Now, look, I think it's going to go down between Senator Sanders and me for the nomination. As I said all along, it's not just, can you beat Donald Trump, can you bring along -- can you keep a Democratic House of Representatives in the United States Congress? And can you bring along a Democratic Senate? Can you help people up and down the line? And I think I'm better prepared to do than Senator Sanders.


ZELENY: So the former vice president trying to make this a two-person race between he and Senator Sanders. Well, there are simply many more candidates in the race, and that is what complicates things for Joe Biden. If he was the only moderate candidate, if you will, going against Senator Sanders, it would be a much easier go for him. But Pete Buttigieg also campaigning today in South Carolina, trying to make some strides.

All of the candidates coming through this week. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. Also Tom Steyer. Keep an eye on Tom Steyer, spending so much money here in South Carolina, trying to win over some of those African-American voters and others. So the challenge for Joe Biden is if he can make that appeal to the Democratic electorate here, 60 percent of which is African-American.

Many voters have a strong, you know, sort of sentimental feeling for Joe Biden. They do believe he is the strongest candidate to take on President Trump. But can he make that argument this week? There are of course CNN town halls here in Charleston this week and a key debate on Tuesday night that is going to set up the frame of this going into the South Carolina primary on Saturday. So no question Joe Biden has so much riding on the line the next six days here are critical for him -- Alex.

MARQUARDT: Critical indeed. A huge week in South Carolina.

Our thanks to Jeff Zeleny in Charleston.

Joining me now is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. He himself was a 2020 presidential candidate. He got out and now is supporting Senator Bernie Sanders.

Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for joining me.


MARQUARDT: Now there are -- most Democrats are acknowledging that Senator Sanders is indeed the frontrunner, but there is obviously going to be the electability question as well that follows.


Some prominent Democrats saying that up against Donald Trump, he wouldn't fare very well. One of those prominent voices is James Carville, who of course was the architect for Bill Clinton's victory in '92. Let's take a listen to what he had to say.


JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The entire theory that by expanding the electorate and recent turnouts you can win an election is the equivalent of climate denying. If you're voting for him because you think he'll win the election because he'll galvanize heretofore sleepy parts of the electorate, then politically you're a fool. And that's just a fact. There is no denying it. There is so much political science, there's so much research on this that it's not even a debatable question.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUARDT: So Carville of course came up with the phrase "It's the economy, stupid." And we now have every week seemingly new record highs in the stock market, record low unemployment. So why do you think Carville is wrong when it comes to Senator Sanders' electability?

DE BLASIO: I'm actually shocked to hear James Carville miss the fact that expanding the electorate, that's exactly how we got President Barack Obama. He was able to galvanize young people to vote in extraordinary numbers, African-Americans, he was able to change the playing field, both in the primaries and in the general election.

We've seen Bernie Sanders do that not only last time four years ago. We've seen him do it in extraordinary fashion now in Nevada. Bernie Sanders, literally rewrote the political map. Turned out Latino voters in a way we'd never seen before. Was very competitive with Joe Biden for African-American voters. And got a lot more young voters to come out.

I mean, look, folks thought Nevada was going to be close. It was a wipeout because Bernie Sanders understood how to mobilize an intergenerational, interracial coalition. And you've got to do that nationally in a general election. Hillary Clinton, she won the most popular vote. She deserved it. But she lost the electoral college because in key states she could not turn out African-Americans, Latinos, young people, progressives, in the way we needed.

I don't have a doubt in my mind that Bernie Sanders will have the ability to have an extraordinary mobilization. That's the way we beat Donald Trump. So I mean, I think Carville's viewpoint is dated not only back to '92, I think he missed 2008, which was the object lesson. And if you leave the electorate the way it is, that's when you're really in danger.

MARQUARDT: There is no doubt that Bernie Sanders is someone who is -- he is a fighter. He can often say things that are contentious. He can be combative. That's a large part of his appeal for many of his supporters. But he has said some interesting things in the past 72 hours. The first clip that I want to play was when he was talking about the fact that he had been briefed by intelligence officials that Russia was working to support him. Take a listen to what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How do you think it came out now if you had the briefing a month ago?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll let you guess about one day before the Nevada caucus. Why do you think it came out? It was "The Washington Post"? Good friends.


MARQUARDT: So there he was talking about the "Washington Post" report. They broke that story. And then here is another clip of him earlier tonight at a rally in Texas. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: Now I've been hearing the establishment is getting a little bit nervous about our campaign. And you know what? When they see if the cameras turn on this crowd and our friends in Wall Street and the drug companies see this kind of crowd, you're going to really get them nervous.


MARQUARDT: So there he was accusing the "Washington Post" of putting out a story two days before the Nevada caucus because he seemed to imply that they had some sort of agenda against him and then he is talking about the establishment and doing the whole thing about the cameras in the back. This is something we've heard quite a few times before from President Trump.

DE BLASIO: I think the notion of running against a status quo that's not working for I would say most Americans, I think that's actually quite reasonable to think about what's happening right now in this country. For so many working class people and middle class people, they feel the country is not working for them. It doesn't matter if the economy is Feel the country is not working for them. This is coming off of 40 years of people's economic reality basically being stuck in time.

Look, simple question. Do most Americans think the next generation is going to do better than them? No. So Bernie is speaking to the honest frustrations that people have with the status quo and he is emphasizing he is not part of that status quo.

Look, I don't like Donald Trump, but Donald Trump won in part because it was believable to a lot of American voters that he wasn't part of that status quo and that elite. I think Bernie Sanders can do a much better job than Donald Trump ever hoped to of separating himself from the mistakes of the past, but I think it's actually incumbent upon him to say, I don't accept the problems in the country the way they are. They're not stuck in time. We could do something different.


DE BLASIO: And I'm not going to let the establishment dictate the terms. I think that's what he's saying. I think people appreciate it.

MARQUARDT: And he's far from the only candidate to rail against the establishment. But what about that first part?


Does he really think in your mind that there is a media conspiracy against him?

DE BLASIO: I don't think that's what that says. I think that --

MARQUARDT: Well, he is saying that "The Post" came out with that story two days before the caucuses -- DE BLASIO: No, I would not read that into it. Look, I think the bottom

line is he was briefed, as members of the Congress are, and that's a confidential briefing. And he and all members -- I actually think this is a good bipartisan thing, they keep their tongues to themselves. They do not talk about those confidential briefings. It doesn't surprise anyone that journalists are always trying to get that information and put it out, particularly at a timely moment. I wouldn't read too much into that.

MARQUARDT: I want to take -- I want to ask you to take off your surrogate hat and respond to this as the mayor of New York. Of course, one of the most problematic things for mayor -- former mayor Mike Bloomberg was his stop and frisk policy.


MARQUARDT: Something that you've talked a lot about, and something that he was attacked on repeatedly at the first debate that he showed up to, which was Las Vegas just a couple of days ago. Let's take a quick listen.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we adopted a policy which had been in place. The policy that all big police departments use of stop and frisk. What happened, however, was it got out of control. And when we discovered, I discovered that we were doing many, many, too many stop and frisks, we cut 95 percent of it out.


MARQUARDT: So when you listen to that description of -- or his portrayal of stop and frisk, do you think it's accurate?

DE BLASIO: Not in the least. And I was there. I was a public official. One of the people leading protests with a lot of other good people, saying this is a broken policy. It was overtly racist. It was denigrating to young men of color, African-Americans and Latinos. It was purposeful. I mean, it was degrading to these young people.

Imagine if you had never done anything wrong, but throughout your teenage years you were constantly stopped by police officers, patted down and treated like a suspect to a crime you didn't commit. That happened to young black and Latino kids in New York City dozens and dozens of times when they were teenagers.

Michael Bloomberg knew it. We had leaders in the community constantly appealing for change, clergy, well-respected leaders saying this is broken. He in a very surly manner refused to listen, constantly ignored the complaint, told people that it would be literally crime and chaos if we ended this policy.

Well, guess what? I became mayor. We did end that policy and crime went down six years in a row because we're able to heal the relationship between police and community. Not only broken strategy, Alex, a cynical racist strategy. And he still is trying to avoid that truth. He apologized only when it was convenient for him.

MARQUARDT: And given his answers on that debate stage, do you think that will continue to dog him?

DE BLASIO: I think in a Democratic Party and in a country that more and more is conscious of the question of racial equality and social justice, I think that there are so many Democrats who could never accept someone who was the lead proponent for years and years of stop and frisk becoming the nominee of the Democratic Party. I can't see it.

MARQUARDT: So when you were in the race, you got in -- rather, you got out in September. And I want to take a look at the polling, what it looked like then. You have Biden in first, Warren and Sanders tied for second. Senator Kamala Harris in third. Pete Buttigieg in fourth. Obviously, those positions have been shaken up quite a bit. So this was about six months ago. What has surprised you most in terms of the evolution of the race?

DE BLASIO: Look, I think Bernie had a job to do, which was to take what he achieved in 2016, build that grassroots movement, but make it more diverse and make it work not in a one-on-one, but a much bigger field. I think everyone was questioning could he do it and how quickly could he do it? I think the results have been stunning. I think Nevada was the real crossing of the Rubicon, a pure multi-ethnic, multi- general coalition.

But not just a win, a huge win. So I think that's the single most transcendent reality. And you've already seen in the polling, California, Texas, North Carolina, where he is leading in all of them for the same exact reason. I think the other obvious reality was with Joe Biden who had tremendous advantages, was he going to be able to provide a message that would galvanize?

I respect Joe Biden. I really do. If he's our nominee, I would work for him, I'd give it my all. I still haven't heard that message, though. And I think a lot of people warned him that you don't win without a vision and message. I think when you compare the two, Bernie is all clarity, all message. He is going to change this country. He does not accept the status quo. He is very specific about what needs to change, what it means for everyday people.

Biden, I'm not sure what I'm hearing. I'm not sure what the vision is. And I think that's been the thing that's held him back.

MARQUARDT: And a lot of those similar factors that you talked about in Nevada are in play in South Carolina as well and will be put to the test this week, particularly between Joe Biden and Senator Sanders.

DE BLASIO: And I think it's going to be a much closer race than anyone anticipated in South Carolina.

MARQUARDT: And then we go right on to Super Tuesday.

Mayor de Blasio, thanks so much.

DE BLASIO: Thank you.

MARQUARDT: Appreciate it.

All right, well, former mayor Michael Bloomberg, as we were discussing his campaign, he wasn't on the ballot on Saturday in Nevada, and he is actually not on the ballot again in South Carolina. Even as he surges in polls, his debate performance is raising questions about whether he can win the election.


We'll have a member of his campaign joining us. That's next.


MARQUARDT: There are no do-overs, but after what was widely seen as a disastrous debate debut in front of a record-setting 28 million viewers, the former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg will get a second chance this Tuesday in South Carolina to put his mouth where his money is. He'll be on that debate stage in South Carolina. A reminder that he is still not on that ballot, nor was he over the weekend in Nevada. And so he is not going to be tested at the polls until Super Tuesday which is just after South Carolina. That's on March 3rd.

So with that to contend with, and the current surge by Senator Bernie Sanders, how does Mayor Bloomberg immediately get back his momentum before it's too late?

So to answer that question and more is senior Bloomberg presidential campaign adviser Tim O'Brien.


Tim, thanks so much for coming in.


MARQUARDT: You probably just heard Mayor de Blasio there talking about what he considered to be a real failure in terms of the stop and frisk policy. This is what we saw the other Democratic candidates go after him for at that -- on that debate stage in Las Vegas. So how does Mayor Bloomberg change the narrative in South Carolina, again, on another debate stage on Tuesday?

O'BRIEN: Well, I think we're going do what we continue to do on stop and frisk. Mike has apologized for stop and frisk. It was a mistake. He stood by it for too long. But it doesn't define the totality of his time as mayor. If it did, we wouldn't have legions of current and former mayors of color this campaign supporting Mike. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus supporting Mike.

I think voters of color know that stop and frisk doesn't define the entirety of his time as mayor. Nonetheless, he has to continue to apologize for it. The reality also on the electoral stage is that only 4 percent of the delegates are in play in these first four states. There is a lot of horserace coverage of these states. But when the candidates come out of these states, they're going to discover that we have a campaign that is up and running in 45 states and territories.

We have 2100 people on the ground. We know in a very intimate way how we're polling in all of the Super Tuesday states and we're more than highly competitive there. And I think voters will weigh in with their opinion on all of this when that time comes.

MARQUARDT: Have you guys worked with him on a new answer to the stop and frisk question which he is going to get repeatedly on Tuesday night? And what other tweaks have you made in the wake of that performance?

O'BRIEN: Well, I don't think it's a new answer. It's an answer he's been saying for a while. Again we will apologize for stop and frisk, but stop and frisk doesn't define the totality of his mayoralty. The idea that Mike Bloomberg was a white racist mayor shoving white cops down the throats of black people is just not the reality of what his entire time as mayor was.

We've also been focusing on the bread-and-butter issues voters care about. Access to high quality public health, access to high quality public education, the climate crisis, and gun violence. The reality is Bernie Sanders has a horrible record on gun control. Bernie Sanders has a horrible record himself on criminal justice. He backed the 1994 Crime Bill, and that's gotten far less attention than Mike Bloomberg on stop and frisk.

Mike Bloomberg cares about every progressive issue that Bernie Sanders cares about. The difference with Mike Bloomberg is he wants the math to add up. He wants to be transparent with taxpayers about how you fund these programs. Right now all Bernie Sanders is offering voters is seashells and balloons in terms of how you finance these things.

MARQUARDT: You guys got into this race. Mayor Bloomberg got into this race essentially to be a counter to the other end of the spectrum in Bernie Sanders. But what we've seen --

O'BRIEN: No, no, no, no.


O'BRIEN: No, no, Mike got into this race to defeat Donald Trump. We have said repeatedly that in giant electoral machine we're building is in the service of the Democratic Party. And in any of the candidates who are running, including Bernie Sanders, we've said that repeatedly. So that's just entirely wrong. We got into this race because there is a five-alarm fire in the White House.


O'BRIEN: And Mike Bloomberg is the most qualified candidate to take to it Donald Trump in November. If any of Bernie's supporters think that he is going to beat Donald Trump in a general election, they're going to be shocked when that doesn't come to pass in the fall.


O'BRIEN: And down-ballot Democrats across the country -- I've been in 12 states now, Mike's been in 24, they are petrified of a Bernie Sanders candidacy. For pragmatic, progressive Democrats and liberal Democrats don't want Bernie Sanders at the top of the ticket.

MARQUARDT: But at the end of the day, he is a counter to Bernie Sanders. But what we've seen take place is a fracturing of the moderate vote.

O'BRIEN: Right. Right.

MARQUARDT: Which has allowed Bernie Sanders to essentially waltz straight to the head of the pack.

O'BRIEN: Well, I think, you know, if you were to add up all of the different, you know, voting tallies that the moderates have had so far, it would outweigh where Bernie has been. That's totally true. And I think Democratic voters have to get very serious and put their thinking caps on about who they think they can get behind that, one, has a track record of actually governing and delivering real policy solutions to voters.

There is no one who is competing right now who has Mike Bloomberg's track record and who can actually go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump in November and win. That is not Bernie Sanders.

MARQUARDT: So what are you hoping? What are you expecting to take place on that debate stage on Tuesday? Do you think the other Democrats are going to go after the former mayor as they did in Las Vegas? Are you expecting them to focus instead on the frontrunner in Bernie Sanders?

O'BRIEN: Well, I would hope that they'd focus on Bernie if they want to progress themselves politically. They didn't do it in the last campaign -- in the last debate. I think nonetheless, the burden is on Mike to do much better in the next debate than he did in the last one.


O'BRIEN: He owes that to his supporters and voters. We're optimistic that's the Mike Bloomberg that you're going to see. We're confident that's the Mike Bloomberg you're going to see. We're also confident that we are in the very early stages of this contest, and people are going to be very surprised when Super Tuesday rolls around and you see where Mike Bloomberg is.

MARQUARDT: Super Tuesday coming just a few days after the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

O'BRIEN: Right.


MARQUARDT: Thank you, Tim O'Brien.

O'BRIEN: Thanks, Alex, good to be here.

MARQUARDT: All right, well, the intelligence community agrees. Russia is actively trying to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, but claims by the top U.S. election security official about who exactly Russian operatives are trying to help are now being walked back.

We have new reporting. That's coming up.


MARQUARDT: Just in to CNN, we have updated results from the Nevada caucuses, with 86 percent of precincts now reporting, the official numbers from the Nevada Democratic Party show very little change from when it was down at 50 percent. No change in fact in the order of the top four candidates. You have Bernie Sanders, who CNN has already projected as the winner, still well out in front the field at the top, followed by Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren.

Now, switching gears, the U.S. Intelligence Community's top election security official, she appears to have overstated exactly how Russia is interfering in the 2020 race. We have three separate sources telling CNN that while the Kremlin is meddling, and this is something that officials say all the time, it is not evident that those efforts are aimed at re-electing President Trump.

Now, this new information comes on the heels of reports that Russia is interfering in the election to also help Sanders in the Democratic primaries. The frontrunner's response, Sanders' response, my message to Putin is clear. Stay out of American elections. Here to help us make sense of all this, our Steve Hall, a CNN National Security Analyst and former CIA Chief of Russia and Ukraine Operations, and Nina Jankowicz, a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center. Thank you both for joining me.

Steve, I want to help our audience understand here what might have happened. We have Shelby Pearson, who was the top election security official at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence giving a classified briefing to the House Intelligence Committee. She, according to our reporting, said that there was a preference for Donald Trump by the Russians. Now, we have sources saying that she may have overstated things. How do you make sense of this?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST (via Skype): Well, Alex, I would start with the idea that it wouldn't surprise me at all, if the Russians were favoring Donald Trump because, of course, their overall geopolitical growth goal is to weaken the United States, for us to be divided and polarized an inward looking, not outward looking at what Russia is involved in. So, that's no big surprise. That's been the Intelligence Community's analysis, really, since 2016.

With regard to the claims that the senior analyst somehow overstepped her bounds, I suppose it's possible. But having worked in CIA's Office of Congressional Affairs and seen a lot of these briefings, the analysts that come forward to do this are very, very professional and have been vetted, and they're informed, more importantly, their information has been vetted. So, yes, I suppose it's possible, I can imagine, you know, one of the senior analysts who's really at the top of their game, overstating it, but it's, I think it's unlikely. I think it's much more likely that people who listen to that drew their own conclusions, politically, with wherever they wanted to go with the intelligence that was being presented to them.

MARQUARDT: And now we have the National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien, saying it's not Trump that the Russians want to see, when it's in fact, Bernie Sanders, but explain why those things are not mutually exclusive. The Russians could be in favor of both Sanders and Trump.

NINA JANKOWICZ, GLOBAL FELLOW, WILSON CENTER: Yes, I think that's exactly right, Alex. You know, the Russian strategy is to create chaos. As Steve just said, you know, that makes us look inward, it makes us less -- pay less attention to what Russia is doing on the international stage. It allows Putin some talking points to say to the Russian people, you know, what's going on over there in the United States, doesn't seem so democratic to me.

And that's why you should keep investing in this regime that I have built. So, creating that chaos, ripping society apart at it seems, is exactly the Russian strategy.

MARQUARDT: Steve, do you agree with that? Is it -- is it less about the candidate and more about the chaos?

HALL: Yes, I think that's absolutely the case. You know, there are now -- we're now beginning to hear analysis or, you know, pundits talking about the possibility that well, maybe Vladimir Putin wants, you know, Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination, because, you know, that will increase the likelihood that Donald Trump will win. I, you know, I'm not sure whether or not we really have enough intelligence to reach that conclusion.

But the idea that Vladimir Putin would like to see chaos here, is absolutely true. As a matter of fact, there was a Kremlin spokesperson who said the -- very recently said, look, I think if Donald Trump is not re-elected, he said, there's going to be a civil war in the United States. That, of course, would be just fabulous for Vladimir Putin. That would be the cherry on top of everything.

And he would love for that to happen, not that it's likely that it will, but that's the hopes, I think, of -- and the aspirations of the Kremlin.

MARQUARDT: How successful, Nina, do you think, the Kremlin has been at sowing that kind of discord?

JANKOWICZ: I think that, you know, the strategy is successful. I think it's important to note that it's not that they're sowing discord, but exacerbating pre-existing fissures, right? You know, the Bernie Sanders campaign has a lot of popular support. Donald Trump has a lot of popular support. The things that they talked about online, like the Black Lives Matter movement during the 2016 campaign, had a lot of popular support.

What they're doing is exacerbating those pre-existing misgivings in society, which means that when we are addressing these things, we need to look to people and the reasons that they're seeking out these alternative narratives in the first place, not just playing whack a troll online, but actually fixing the problems in our governance structures that allowed them to take place in the first place.


MARQUARDT: And this, of course, is not the first time that we've seen or heard of reports of Russian support for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. We know according to the Intelligence Community Assessment that came out right after the 2016 election, that they had supported or preferred Bernie, in the primary against Hillary, and then Trump once Hillary was the nominee. So, Steve, what have we seen, in terms of the evolution, if any, of their preference -- preferences since that last election in 2016?

HALL: Well, first of all, let me underline, it is excellent point. That's absolutely right. The Russians are less about creating issues in this country. They're much more about exacerbating those societal, political and social issues that are -- that are, you know, polarizing us right now. So, that's what they're -- that's what they're really about. I think the Russians have learned since 2016, one of the things that they've learned is that we're already on a hair trigger.

I mean, you know, one mention of Russia or one mention of a briefing that a candidate got a month ago, and all of a sudden, everybody's all over this story, oh, my God, the Russians are at it again. So, they already know that they've won a battle from 2016 by making us so concerned and nervous about this type of thing. And that is a big goal in and of itself. They have learned, I think, also how to execute one of these information operations, these active measures.

And I think we'll see a more sophisticated approach, but they don't have to be as heavy handed or as detailed this time, because they've already got us on the edge of our seats since 2016, effectively.

MARQUARDT: And that's a very good point. I mean, all this -- oftentimes, their tactics are extremely rudimentary, and as you guys have been saying, just exploiting the divisions that are already there. Nina Jankowicz, Steve Hall, thanks so much for joining me.

JANKOWICZ: Thanks for having me.

MARQUARDT: Well, officials in Italy are scrambling to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus. The outbreak there is now the largest in Europe. We'll have details on the race to find patient zero. That's coming up.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MARQUARDT: The deadly fast-moving corona virus is spreading worldwide. So far, more than 2,400 people have died from the coronavirus and more than 79,000 more around the world are infected. In South Korea, cases of surge past 600. In Iran, 43 cases have been confirmed, including eight deaths. And then in Italy, confirmed cases rising from 3 to more than 100 this weekend, making it the largest outbreak outside of Asia. CNN's Barbie Nadeau has more from Rome.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This is what a lockdown looks like, entire towns in Italy's north are quarantined, as the largest outbreak of coronavirus outside Asia takes hold in Europe. Anyone defying the order risks three months in jail and a fine. Emergency measures are in place in 10 municipalities, for now, after the government directed the police to stop people moving in and out of the impacted areas.

Like here, in Casalpusterlengo, authorities contained shoppers outside the supermarket to avoid chaos inside. The country's Civil Protection Agency says they are yet to track down the original carrier of the virus, who they are calling patient zero.

ANGELO BORRELLI, HEAD, ITALY CIVIL PROTECTION AGENCY (through interpreter): We were not able. The health institutions were not able to identify patient zero. We were not able yet to identify. Sure, it is difficult to forecast the spread of the virus.

NADEAU: More than three dozen cases have been diagnosed over the weekend in the hospital in Codogno. Soccer games, church services and even train travel in the affected region, have all been suspended. Schools and universities in the north part of the country are closed until further notice. Milan Fashion Week saw many doors closed, even the Armani collection was filmed in an empty theater and then streamed online. In Venice, the famed carnival has also been suspended.

GIUSEPPE SALA, MAYOR OF MILAN (through interpreter): I will propose to the president of the region to enlarge the precaution to the entire metropolitan city area. It is just a precaution. We don't want to create panic.

NADEAU: Italy's Prime Minister perplexed by the sudden surge of the disease.

GIUSEPPE CONTE, PRIME MINISTER OF ITALY (through interpreter): I wondered myself why there are so many cases in Italy, all of which are suddenly discovered. I confirm that we have adopted a guideline of utmost care from the start. Among the Western countries were health protection standards are higher, we are the country that has adopted the most rigorous and meticulous measures.

NADEAU: Italy was the first country in Europe to ban direct flights to and from China's, a virus caused havoc in Wuhan. Now with the outbreak paralyzing the streets of Italy. Fear seems to be spreading faster than the virus. Barbie Latza Nadeau for CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Barbie Nadeau. Jurors in the trial of disgraced movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, are returning to deliberate tomorrow. But there are signs that they may be deadlocked. That's coming up.




MARQUARDT: Jury deliberations in the Harvey Weinstein trial are set to resume tomorrow morning. Before breaking for the weekend on Friday, jurors indicated that there is a chance they could be deadlocked on, at least, one count. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Before deliberations wrapped for the weekend, the trial of disgraced movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, jurors sent a note suggesting that they may be deadlocked on some of the charges in the indictment. The jury asking the judge if it can be hung on one or two counts listed in the indictment, namely predatory sexual assault, while reaching a unanimous decision on the rest.

But after speaking with the defense and prosecutors, the judge urged the jury to keep deliberating and said any verdict the jury returns on any counts, be it guilty or not guilty, must be unanimous. It was just one of 10 notes that was sent by jurors during their deliberations, including requesting multiple read backs of testimony. Two of the requests focused on witness Annabella Sciorra's graphic testimony, the Weinstein could not be charged with assaulting or raping her due to the statute of limitations. Prosecutors used her allegations to establish a pattern of predatory

conduct. But the indictment against Weinstein stems from the allegations of two other women, Miriam Haley and Jessica Mann. Haley testified that while Harvey was mentoring her when she was working as a production assistant, she was asked to go to his New York City apartment where she was allegedly assaulted in the summer of 2006.


The jury also asked to review Haley's charges and her testimony. Mann has a similar story, alleging that Weinstein assaulted her in a New York hotel room. Through testimony, Weinstein's defense pointed out that both women had consensual sex with their client after the alleged attacks, and they continue to have friendly contact with him for years. Weinstein has also repeatedly denied all accusations of nonconsensual sex.

Jurors head back to court Monday morning if the jury deadlocks on some of the counts. Defense attorneys told the court on Friday they would take a partial verdict. That means some counts could be declared a mistrial, while verdicts on the others would be accepted. But the prosecution has indicated it will not accept that result. A source on Weinstein's team told me CNN their client was quote, cautiously optimistic, but nervous.

Regardless of the outcome, Weinstein still faces rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles. Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


MARQUARDT: Our thanks to Polo Sandoval. We'll be right back.




MARQUARDT: CNN takes you behind the scenes of presidential elections of years past and an all new season of Race for the White House. This week, the epic 1980 battle between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Here's a preview.


ANNOUNCER: President Carter seems to have the nomination in his grasp, or so he thinks.

ROBERT SHRUM, SPEECHWRITER, KENNEDY CAMPAIGN: Senator Kennedy won a lot of the primaries at the end, the big states, California, but we were so far behind in delegates. We couldn't catch up.

LESLIE FRANCIS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF: The delegate advantage was almost two to one, Carter over Kennedy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Carter invites Kennedy to the White House, expecting a white flag of surrender.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kennedy will have none of this.

SEN. JOHN NEELY KENNEDY (R-LA): I welcome the opportunity to tell the president I have every intention of continuing in this campaign, as a candidate. Okay. Someone --

FRANCIS: The fact that Senator Kennedy stayed in the race, it pissed us off. It was and I think unforgiveable.


MARQUARDT: With me now is CNN Presidential Historian, Tim Naftali, who makes a lot of appearances in this series. Tim, obviously, we're seeing a huge division among Democrats right now, in terms of where they think the Party should go. But there was a full-on civil war in the Party in 1980, when Kennedy challenged Carter for the nomination, you even had Kennedy calling for an open convention. How much -- what kind of blow was that to the Democratic Party and how hard has it been for them to recover?

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: It was a huge blow to President Carter's chances for re-election. You know, parties can have a bitter primary contest. After all, in 1980, there was a real contest over, you know, who would be the nominee on the Republican side. But at the end of the fight, you need the loser to come together with the winner and to stand united. And Ted Kennedy wouldn't do it.

He wouldn't raise Jimmy Carter's hand in a sign of unity at the convention, even though his advisors told him to do it. So, when you have a sore loser in a bitter contest for the nomination of a major party, that will hurt the nominee, and it did for Carter, it did to Carter in 1980.

MARQUARDT: How damaging was it to the Party after Carter?

NAFTALI: Well, the Party engaged in some soul searching, but in 1984, the party did choose Walter Mondale, who had been Carter's V.P. So, the problem is, it's all about intensity and passion, who's the candidate of passion for the Party? And if that candidate a passion doesn't actually end up being the nominee, will those people who are passionately committed to the loser, rally behind the winner and help the Party win in November? That was a question in 1980.


NAFTALI: And that may be, I don't know, a question in 2020.

MARQUARDT: And so much of that 1980 race did center around the Iranian hostage crisis and ended up proving fatal to Carter. How did Carter try to strike that balance between bringing the hostages home and holding on to the White House?

NAFTALI: Jimmy Carter's presidency is not highly regarded. In fact, Jimmy Carter is remembered as being one of the best ex-presidents or former presidents in our history, maybe the best. Watch the section, but this is a great -- it's a great episode, watch how he deals with the hostage crisis. And ask yourself, whose interest that he put first, those of us the American people and of the hostages or those of himself and his re-election?

I think the answer is absolutely clear. He sacrificed his own interest, his own political interests, to ensure the safety of the hostages. You couldn't ask for more from a president.

MARQUARDT: Very presidential. Tim Naftali, thank you so much. We will be watching. Appreciate it. All right, the new episode of the Race for the White House starts right now. Thanks for being with me.