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CNN Tonight

There Are Seismic Changes To Come If GOP Takes The House And Senate; Gabby Petito's Parents File Suit Against Moab Police; Battleground Utah: Mike Lee Facing Off Against Evan McMullin; Kanye West Can't Sell "White Lives Matter" Shirts. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired November 03, 2022 - 23:00   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Five days, Laura. Count them.


CAMEROTA: Five days until election day, and the biggest names in politics are crisscrossing the country this week trying to make their final campaign pitch.

COATES: We are talking about a handful of key races that really could determine who controls the House and the Senate. And if the GOP takes back Congress, this country could look and, frankly, feel very different. That has been part of the conversation people are having about what is at stake. Right?

CAMEROTA: Yeah, absolutely. We don't have to guess. I mean, Republicans have basically told us what they plan to do if they win back the House and take the Senate. So, I think that this is a good opportunity for dueling panels --


CAMEROTA: -- to hear what both our panels think about all of this and predict. So, I'll go first.

COATES: How much time on the clock today?

CAMEROTA: Let's do four minutes.

COATES: All right.

CAMEROTA: Okay. I put up four minutes. There we go. I want to bring in CNN political commentators Scott Jennings and David Swerdlick, along with Molly Jong-Fast, special correspondent for "Vanity Fair." Thanks so much for being here, guys.

Okay, so, basically, what we have heard, Scott, from Republicans like Matt Gaetz, even Congresswoman Nancy Mace who has said that she has heard it in the hallways, is that there will be impeachment hearings. That's what Republicans want -- one of the things the Republicans want to do if they win back the House. Why do you look skeptical?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDNET TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: They're not going to impeach Joe Biden. I think there will be a lot of investigations of Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: What about the Mayorkas?

JENNINGS: Mayorkas.

CAMEROTA: They are also talking about --

JENNINGS: I will say a lot of pressure on that front. Republicans are broadly very upset about the border crisis, but also specifically with him. And Republicans are hearing from border agents who are very upset with Mayorkas.

CAMEROTA: So, there could be impeachment?

JENNINGS: I don't know. I think there is -- impeachment is a huge step. That guy, I think Steve Scalise said back in September he is going to have a reserved spot at the Capitol for his parking because he is going to be up there so often.

CAMEROTA: We have heard that. Okay, so, Molly, what do you think will happen?

MOLLY JONG-FAST, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT FOR VANITY FAIR, PODCAST HOST: I think that you're going to have a fight between the MAGA caucus and the more normal Republicans. It is going to play out. I think that the MAGA caucus is going to win. I think it is going to be a lot of investigations, maybe an impeachment. I think, ultimately, the American people are going to be pretty horrified by it.

CAMEROTA: When you say impeachment, you mean they will try to impeach Biden?

JONG-FAST: I don't -- I mean, I can't predict the future, but there certainly a lot of appetite for pageantry and spectacle, and those things, I think, are going to turn voters off.

CAMEROTA: It is interesting, David, because when McCarthy was asked about that, he sounded like he wasn't eager to launch something like that. He said today, well, any time you are using federal money, every time there needs to be a check and balance because, you know, they have obviously -- so many Republicans have said that there was a huge waste of time and a huge waste of taxpayer dollars impeaching Donald Trump twice.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, SENIOR STAFF EDITOR FOR NEW YORK TIMES OPINION: Shout out Bakersfield High School, you may have your first speaker of the House. I don't think it's a done deal yet, though, but if Kevin McCarthy is the speaker of the House, I think he and others in leadership will probably try to put the brakes on an impeachment.

I am not going to predict an impeachment of President Biden, but there will be a big push from the House Republican Caucus to impeach President Biden. It very well could happen. I don't think they get their bang for their buck out of trying to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. They want to go after Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: And will -- if Kevin McCarthy were to become speaker, would he be able to rein in the people who would be pushing for this like Matt Gaetz?

JENNINGS: Well, he is going to have a big job on his hands to try to bring all these desperate factions in. There are so many things that Republicans want to do. You know, you've got people mad at Biden, you've got people mad on the Hunter thing which, by the way, I think -- I talked to Oversight Committee chairman-to-be, James Comer, today. They really do believe they've got -- this is no longer Hunter Biden investigation. They think it is a Joe Biden investigation.

CAMEROTA: And what does that mean?

JENNINGS: They think they've got evidence connecting Joe Biden to the things that they don't like about Hunter Biden. I think that's going to be a huge deal. The Afghanistan withdrawal is going to be another huge focus along with the aforementioned border stuff. So, there is a huge buffet of things that Republicans have a real appetite for.

CAMEROTA: You know, what's interesting is that in terms of wasting taxpayer dollars and everything, the people who are in the base of Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, they do have an appetite for this. They can do this all day long.

JONG-FAST: And the reason that Marjorie Taylor Greene is so good with small dollar donations, because the base loves this. The problem is the critical mass doesn't. So, you do stuff like this. You have to -- you know, once you've won the primary, this is your primary group, this is not enough to win a general, and I think ultimately that is going to be the thing that is really going to come back.


CAMEROTA: David, we have eight seconds.

SWERDLICK: If Republicans go after Afghanistan, will they acknowledge that President Trump was the one who negotiated the withdrawal --


SWERDLICK: -- agreement with the Taliban?

CAMEROTA: Okay, we will let that hang right there, that question. Excellent job, guys. Okay, Laura, over to you.

COATES: Hang in there. We have four minutes. We got John Berman, Ashley Allison, and Brendan Buck all back. So, number one, look, a lot of things are happening right now in terms of what is different if Democrats are no longer the majority. If crime is the issue, can Republicans course correct in a way that actually persuadable voters? What do you think?

BRENDAN BUCK, FORMER TOP AIDE TO PAUL RYAN AND JOHN BOEHNER: They will make crime the big issue. I don't know that there's a lot Congress is going to do to solve the crimes at a local issue in a lot of places. You look at the agenda Republicans put out. It basically says we are going to fight efforts to defund the police. So, check, we can assume that it will take care of that.

I don't know what they can actually do, but they will do a lot of messaging votes. And that's what you do when you are the majority in the House and you have divided government. You're not making law. You're passing those of the Democrats in a bad spot. Kevin McCarthy is very good at that. So, there will be a lot of --

COATES: Brendan, they're not making law. They're supposed to be making the law and legislating issues. That sounds counterintuitive to people. I think they are not going to actually do anything about it, just kind of messaging. Does that seem odd?

ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. I mean, it is why people are frustrated about Washington. You know, I think it's funny that everything that Republicans are saying they are going to do, Hunter Biden, people get to vote in four days, and they talk about Democrats not doing anything.

But I don't hear any of them talking about what they are actually going to do for inflation, what they are actually going to do to protect workers, what they are actually to do to protect women or people of color --

COATES: But they have a commitment (ph) to America from Kevin McCarthy, right, as part of the (INAUDIBLE) contract with America, but you're saying that is not precise enough?

ALLISON: No! And they're saying that -- they are talking about that's what they're going to do if they get the House. They are saying that they are holding oversight hearings. And yes, I think Congress serves an important purpose to do oversight hearings when necessary, but going and trying to impeach Joe Biden, is that really what voters want the Republicans to do if they take control of the House? No.

COATES: Speaking of impeachment, we have new news and new soundbite out tonight where the former president, Donald Trump, was actually in Iowa stumping for Grassley and also Kim Reynolds. He titillated people again, talking about -- my hand motions are all wrong. I admit that fully. He was talking about the idea of him getting ready to run. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In order to make our country successful and safe and glorious, I will very, very, very probably do it again. Okay?


TRUMP: Very, very, very probably. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COATES: Very, very, very probably. Are you convinced?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah. Look, (INAUDIBLE) all along! First of all, if this is dueling panels, our banjos are much better than their banjos --


BERMAN: -- in New York. Let me make that abundantly clear. Look, I think Trump has done everything he needs to do to build the apparatus or at least build the momentum to run again.

I think the news you reported earlier with the Department of Justice leaning in to these investigations and maybe appointing a special counsel, I think that may be reason enough for him to run at least in the short term to make some kind of announcement that he is doing it because the sooner he does it, the more it forces DOJ to make some very tough decisions.

If he puts off a decision about whether to run, (INAUDIBLE) going to decide until next year, he'll get charged, if they are going to charge him. They could do that very, very quickly.

COATES: What do you think? Is he very, very, very, almost probably, maybe (INAUDIBLE)?

BUCK: I'm with John. I've always assumed he was going to run again. I think this is still his party. You have a lot of people who run around and tried to imitate Donald Trump. Voters like what Donald Trump is selling. That's always been the case.

I think if anybody runs against him, he will have actually a pretty easy time. I actually -- people don't agree with me much, but I'm actually very skeptical that even a Ron DeSantis, somebody we talk about a lot, wouldn't even bother to challenge him.

He has a stranglehold on the party. And when you are handed the nomination of potentially challenging a very wounded incumbent president, you don't just pass that up, especially if you're Donald Trump! You love this stuff. You love being on the stage. I'm absolutely certain he is going to be running. I'm very confident he is going to be running again.

COATES: Maybe you should say you're very, very, very probably maybe sort of -- really, really, think that this actually might going to happen one day. I don't know. The long list of words to describe what could just be said yes or no --


COATES: Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: First of all, Laura, Scott Jennings is from Kentucky. Okay? Tell that to Massachusetts boy over there. Who does he think knows banjos and bluegrass better than the Kentucky guy?


BERMAN: I think you're making vast assumptions there. There are very rural regions of the greater Boston area.


CAMEROTA: Banjo --


COATES: Very rural areas in Massachusetts.

JENNINGS: We do consider Berman an honorary red neck --


CAMEROTA: And that said, I guess he does know banjo of music. All right, fair.

COATES: Alisyn, it's interesting. Think about it. I mean, you heard from Trump.


COATES: Is that the closest thing he has gotten now to saying what he will do because that is a whole lot of words where he could have just said, yeah, I'm going to do it or no, I'm not going to do it. He just seems to be dead in the counter (ph), and I wonder if it's a skit coming (ph).

CAMEROTA: Well, very Trump-esque to give something as indecisive as that. But I do want to tell you this, Laura. Oprah Winfrey has just endorsed Fetterman in Pennsylvania. And it is just interesting in this particular race because that means that she is not endorsing her protegee, Dr. Mehmet Oz, who she -- let's face it -- made famous.

COATES: It is true. That is really kind of stunning. Also, the idea of the why and the now. They are early voting there. They could actually vote right now in Pennsylvania based on that endorsement and not even wait until Tuesday. But I wonder why there has been a push now. I wonder what that is reflective of. I wonder what Dr. Oz is thinking. Oh, to be a fly on that wall.

CAMEROTA: Let's play it for one second so you can hear Oprah in her own words.


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST (voice-over): But I will tell you all this, if I lived in Pennsylvania, I would've already cast my vote for John Fetterman, for many reasons.


CAMEROTA: That is all you get.


CAMEROTA: You do not hear the specific reasons, but apparently there are many of them.

COATES: When Oprah says it, I do not know how you can question it. We will see. We want to know what you all think about this, everyone out there. Tweet us at @thelauracoates and @alisyncamerota. Use the #CNNSoundOff. We will be right back.




COATES: So, Alisyn, tomorrow at Twitter's headquarter in San Francisco and offices all around the world, the doors are going to be locked and employees' badges are going to be disabled. Why? Because Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, the self-described chief tweet, well, according to news report, he will be laying off, he says, about half of the workforce.

CAMEROTA: Half the workforce. And no one knows who. It is this like ominous sweepstakes that they're going to be getting. Basically, in his memo sent to Twitter staff this evening, employees were told to -- quote -- "If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email." And quote -- "If you're employment is impacted, you will receive a notification with next steps via your personal email."

COATES: Wow. I mean, the memo also concludes that in acknowledging that, it will be -- quote -- "an incredible challenging experience to go through," -- unquote -- for the workforce. This sounds very harsh. For people to look at this and get these emails, know that their badges are disabled, I know that for many, it is business, just business as usual for some things, but this just seems like what a complete about face. The idea of thinking -- this seems cruel in some respects.

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, it's going be a sleepless night for thousands of people because what the memo also says to staff that they got tonight, by 9 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, everyone will receive an individual email with the subject line, your role at Twitter.


CAMEROTA: So, everybody gets the same subject line, your role at Twitter, and then you have to click on it to see, do I still have a job or do I not have a job.

Again, as you said, Laura, half of the workforce will be laid off. I mean, what Elon Musk has done in just the few -- the space of a few days since he has taken over has been really cataclysmic. COATES: I mean, people, they've got mortgages, rent to pay. They've got childcare, they've got their own bills. I mean, I'm sad for the people who at 9 a.m. are thinking to themselves, what's next for me? Unbelievable. We'll see what happens.

CAMEROTA: Okay, meanwhile, we do want to get to this also because there are new developments tonight in the murder of 22-year-old Gabby Petito. Her parents have filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against the Moab City Police Department today, alleging that its officers were negligent in those interactions that you have seen on the police bodycam video, basically. Those are the ones with Gabby and her fiance two weeks before her death last summer.

So, the lawsuit accuses the police department and its officers of failing to follow the law and failing to protect Gabby Petito during that investigation into a domestic disturbance in August. That was just weeks before Brian Laundrie killed her.

So, here with me now with all these latest developments, John Miller, CNN chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst. We also have CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers. And back with us is Molly Jong-Fast.

So, this -- John, what do you see here in this lawsuit because we've all seen that video she is, you know, sort of sequestered over in this area, being interviewed by police. Brian Laundrie is over here, and she is crying and upset, and then they leave.

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Right. So, you've two officers that are very polite, they seem compassionate, they act very professionally, but they are in a bit of a quandary. She has a scratch and blood on her face. She says, I hit him, he didn't hit me, he grabbed my face after I hit him first.

So, they are trying to figure out how do we resolve this. Do we arrest her, even though she appears she might be the victim? Do we arrest him, even though he agrees with her story that she hit him?

So, they tried to split the difference by getting her to agree to stay somewhere else. Take her to a hotel. Figured that would give her a cooling-off period. A lot of time to reach out if she wants to go home. And then, of course, this ends with her being dead. Him --

CAMEROTA: But is that customary? Did they handle that the way like New York Police would handle it? Is that how police would try to handle it?

MILLER: So, these are some of the most complex situations police encounter because what you expect if you are perfectly trained in this is passivity on the part of the victim, denial that anything happened, self-blaming, it was my fault. Those come with it.


And at the same time, sometimes, those aren't the signs. So, I think that they did the best that they could. This was reviewed by another police department. They sent the captain over, placed him 100 miles away, and went over it and said, look, by Utah law and their procedure, they should've taken an action, which would have been, by the way, Ali, that might have been them arresting her or arresting him if they decided that wasn't the true story.

What they tried to do with some kind of compromise that they thought would resolve the situation, arresting her would've been counterintuitive, but by the book, it said that if there was an injury and a sign of abuse that, or an admission of abuse, and they had both in opposite directions, that they should've taken some action that would have put it into the legal system.

CAMEROTA: So, Jen, legally, does this lawsuit stand up for her family?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, you know, it's hard to feel anything but sympathy for the parents here. Their daughter is dead, her killer is dead, and is there going to be accountability? But it is a tough case. I think it's an uphill battle as a legal matter. You have to put negligence on the part of the police, as John was just discussing.

And then you have to prove causation, that this was not the biggest factor in her death but a factor in her death, the fact that two weeks beforehand, they did not separate them or do something that would have stop them from getting back together, stop those events from moving forward, and stop her death. That is very, very hard to do.

So, we will see what comes out in discovery. But I think with the examinations that have come out to date, we know most of what there is to know here. I'd be surprised if they turn up evidence that would demonstrate both negligence and causation here.

CAMEROTA: Molly, in some ways, it is just sadly so textbook. She is crying, she has a scratch, and she says, this is all my fault, basically.

JONG-FAST: Right. I mean, that's the thing. It's not necessarily whether they win. It's this idea that they are encouraging cops to do better. Right? There is so much domestic violence in America. And so many times, stops like this could save a life.

So, I almost feel like if they are just getting police to do better with their training, to make sure that they stop more domestic violence, I mean, the job of police is to prevent crimes. Right? Here, they had an opportunity to prevent a crime. So, I almost feel like even if they don't win, what they are doing is spotlighting something really important.

CAMEROTA: Would she have been the one arrested and taken? Should one of them have been arrested and taken? From the video, when you watched it, with your vast experience, should one of them been arrested?

MILLER: So, that would be the procedure in Utah, that in this case, somebody should have been charged. That was the finding of the review. I think that the police officers were struggling with, what do we do with the victim who says, I'm not the victim, I started it, I hit him, and with him corroborating that story?

There is also the difference of, all right, we're going to take the action because that is what the book says, but are we doing the right thing? And when we get the court, they're going to say, wait, you arrested her instead of him, or you arrested him based on her statement.

CAMEROTA: And you do want police to have discretion. Don't you? Do you want them to always go exactly by the book or when they get there to be able to feel it out?

MILLER: Well, domestic violence is one of the most complicated areas. One of the reasons that they put into effect these must arrest laws, if you see a physical injury, even if the complainant won't press charges, is that the law has come to learn and understand that these things are hard and they are often not what they appear.

CAMEROTA: That is really interesting. Just take the guesswork out of it. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you all very much. I really appreciate all of the insights.

So, Laura, that makes sense, that the law takes the guesswork out of it for police so that they don't have to try to figure out who is guilty in that exact moment but it failed here.

COATES: I mean, I used to prosecute domestic violence cases, Alisyn, and it is such a difficult thing to do. I mean, you've got tempers, passions. You've got sometimes the most volatile scenarios. Officers are often trained that if they are responding to a domestic violence call, to expect that there could be violence. There might be an opportunity that they have to defend even themselves.

There's just so many aspects of it. When you think about where we were in the search for Gabby Petito as well as so many other people who had been missing and likely at the hands of those loved ones, what a sad story that continues. Really.

CAMEROTA: All right, next up, we're going to talk about the battlegrounds that could determine the balance of power in the Senate. We're going to take a look at Utah where there is not even a Democrat in the race. That's next.




CAMEROTA: We are continuing our nightly focus on some of the key races that will decide control of Congress. Tonight, it is battleground Utah. CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten is here at the magic wall for us. Harry, what is the latest?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Hey, Alisyn. So, tonight, we are going to head out west. We are going to head out to Utah where we have a very interesting Senate race. The reason why it is interesting is, you will notice, there is no "D" on the screen here. What we have is incumbent senator, Mike Lee, and my forecast who is favored to win with 53% of the vote to independent Evan McMullin with 40% of the vote.

You may remember, of course, Evan McMullin ran for president back in 2016, and Utah was, in fact, his best state. He did not win Utah then and it does not look like he is going to win Utah now.

That being said, Mike Lee is up in this race, but that is not necessarily because Utah voters love Mike Lee.


If you look right now at their approval rating for Mike Lee, among Utah voters, it is just 41%. His disapproval rating is right nearby at 39%. That would normally spell trouble for an incumbent or at least a tight race.

So, why isn't it that tight of a race in the state of Utah? Well, take a look at the party affiliation of Utah voters. The clear majority of them, 52%, are registered Republicans, unaffiliated and other at 34%, Democrats at 14%. Even if you add these two together, you still come short of Republicans at 52%.

If Evan McMullin did pull off the win here and the Republican actually lost the Senate race in Utah, that would be quite a lot of history because the last time a Democrat won a Senate race in the state of Utah was 1970. Obviously, McMullin is not a Democrat, but he is kind of the de facto one in this case.

CAMEROTA: Harry, thank you very much. Really interesting. They do not love their senator, but they're going to vote for him.

COATES: Thinking about the idea that, we are talking about a battleground state, we think so much about this two-party system, right, Democrats and Republicans, and here we have a state where the independent member, the independent candidate is saying that he won't even caucus with one of the parties if in fact he were to win.

So, what does that mean about the balance of power? That is really the question everyone is asking right now. If an independent win, does that mean that there is a sure majority leader? Is it Schumer? Is it McConnell? Who is it then if everything else stays the same?

CAMEROTA: Good question. Ask your guest.

COATES: We will. Our next guest is here. So wonderful to lead that. I love it. Our next guest is actually encouraging Utah Democrats to abandon party this election and to back independent candidate, Evan McMullin.

Joining us now is Ben McAdams, former Democratic congressman from Utah and former mayor of Salt Lake City. You've also been a state senator in Utah. Suffice to say you know the voters in Utah. For a lot of people looking at this, they're saying, hold on, why isn't there a Democratic candidate? Is it because they just wouldn't win? So, throw your weight behind the possibility of anyone other than Mike Lee? Was that the thought?

BEN MCADAMS, FORMER SALT LAKE COUNTY MAYOR: Evan McMullin is a known independent. He ran, as you said, as an independent for president in 2016. People know him. Democrats in my lifetime have never competed in the U.S. Senate race. I am 48 years old. Usually, we lose by 30 to 40%. So, Evan McMullin gets in this race, an independent.

I want to build a coalition of Democrats, independents, and Republicans, and that coalition is coming together to the point that now we have a battleground state -- battleground race in the state of Utah.

COATES: I'm curious about how that balance of power question can be resolved. He has said, he is not going to caucus. If McMullen were to win, he wouldn't caucus with Democrats, he wouldn't caucus with the Republicans. That is in contrast to say an Angus King or a Bernie Sanders, both of whom are independents but chose to caucus with Democrats. That would not necessarily be the case.

So, does that factor into in, factor into your decision to support him, and does it factor into the minds of voters?

MCADAMS: You know, Utah Democrats know that Evan McMullin is an independent. We also know who Mike Lee is. Mike Lee conspired with President Trump to insert fake electorate and to try to overturn the will of the voters.

When I was going to Utah, Democrats saying we should not have a candidate in this race, we should support somebody who is an independent, center right or conservative. I said there is too much at stake to do anything different. We have seen efforts to overturn the election. We do not know what is going to happen in 2024.

Utah democrats should come together to support a principled, independent who is going to listen to us sometimes. We are not always in an agreement with Evan McMullin, but we know he is a person of integrity, we know he respects voting rights, he respects the Constitution, and he is going to work to heal our democracy. That, for me, was an easy decision.

We know where Mike Lee is going to be, we know who is going to caucus with, we know what policies he's going to support. But to have somebody who is truly independent and is going to do what is right for our country and for the state of Utah, that was an easy decision.

COATES: Let me ask, when people think about the Democrats versus the Republicans versus the independents, of course, the word spoiler candidate can come up in some respects thinking about third-party. In reality, one of the things that people are thinking about here is the idea of being an independent candidate, that does not translate they do not have any platform, to being neutral on all subjects.

It means that there is going to be a platform that he is putting forth and that sometimes it will agree with Republicans or Democrats, but it is not in lockstep with either party. Right? MCADAMS: That is right. You went through the numbers. You saw that

Democrats in the state of Utah, 14% are registered voters. The sad reality, and it is hard for me to say this as a Utah Democrat, but the sad reality was that a Democrat would've been a spoiler in this race. By joining Evan McMullin's coalition, we have a chance to have a win.


And Evan McMullin, you're right, it is not that he does not have an opinion, he has strong opinions on a lot of things. He has spoken boldly about the efforts to overturn the election and what we need to do going forward to protect the vote.

He has spoken boldly about marriage equality, about climate change and taking steps to address climate change, to address inflation, to recognize that we got to do more to expand access to health care.

He has some really attractive positions, and yet he is approaching this as an independent who is willing to work with Republicans and Democrats, bring people together to try to bring solutions.

I've watched his campaign from a distance. I've watched it from up close. I think he is inspiring candidate who has brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to this race. He has inspired Democrats, Republicans, and independents in the state of Utah to get behind this movement of him as an independent. It has put Utah on the map nationally as a state that usually is a sleeper. Now, we have a competitive race that is getting national attention.

COATES: Well, you know, he did do and have a pretty good showing in the 2016 presidential race in Utah. He had 21.3% of the votes compared to Hillary Clinton's 27% of the vote. Trump, obviously, got 45. But is that enough, given the polling that seems to suggest, we just saw Harry Enten talking about this, Mike Lee is still ahead by 13 percentage points in the forecast?

I'm wondering, do you think, even though he has performed better in the past, he has performed well, and even though there are Democrats who are throwing their weight, as you said, behind him, is it enough to unseat an incumbent?

MCADAMS: You know, we are feeling optimistic going into the election next week. We have seen a lot of energy from voters. Democrats and independents, Republicans, people are energized and excited about this race.

This is the race that six years ago Mike Lee won by 40 percentage points, probably spent $100,000 to win this race, walking away with it. Now, we see that Republicans and right-wing groups have spent $20 million defending a U.S. Senate seat in Utah.

We've got a candidate that has energized modern voters, Democratic voters who are turning out to vote for Evan McMullin, also turning out to vote in other critical races. We feel like -- we are feeling good going into election day that there is a chance that Evan McMullin pulls off a win. So regardless of what happens, we have shown that there is a lane here. We are holding accountable right-wing leaders who are willing to cater to special interests and party bosses more than the people of America and the people of Utah. There is a lane to hold them accountable, to hold them accountable and make them have to work for their election, and hopefully to unseat them with people who are upset with the job that Mike Lee have done as a senator.

COATES: It does put the perspective about Lee, the idea of 40% victory in the past and now having only about 13% advantage at this point in time still days to go before the election. Congressman Ben McAdams, thank you so much for your time.

MCADAMS: Thank you.

COATES: Well, now, the question is, on another front, a very different one, why did two Black radio hosts hold the trademark for "white lives matter?" We are going to tell you next.




COATES: We want you to meet two Black radio hosts from Arizona who are taking an action to stop the spread of the phrase "white lives matter," which is often used by white supremacist groups and has been called a racist response to the "black lives matter" movement.

The Anti-Defamation League called it a hate slur, and it most recently popped up on t-shirts designed by Kanye West.

CAMEROTA: So, these radio hosts trademarked the phrase. Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward host the national syndicated weekly racial justice radio show Civic Cipher, and they join us now. Gentlemen, great to see you. So, Ramses, let me start with you. What do you plan to do with this trademark of "white lives matter?"

RAMSES JA, CO-HOST, CIVIC CIPHER: Well, at presently plan to do nothing. Nothing is plenty. As you can imagine, we have lawyers advising us on how to best protect the trademark. So, it will not be used to hurt, harm, trigger any people. And as long as we are the people in the position to decide how it is used in commerce, we will do our best to minimize the effect that it may have on people.

CAMEROTA: So, Quinton, just explain that. So, you, by design, don't plan to do anything with it, and that means that nobody else can. Is that the point?

QUINTON WARD, CO-HOST, CIVIC CIPHER: At present, yes. And just to make it clear, we did not purchase or pursue the mark. It was actually assigned to us by one of our listeners.

CAMEROTA: So, one of your listeners got the trademark anonymously. As I understand it, gave it to you?

WARD: Yes.

COATES: What I think is so fascinating about this, gentlemen, a lot of people don't realize that you have the right to trademark certain phrases in connection with a product in particular. And what was so ingenious, I think, about this original notion was that if you trademark something, then obviously, it cannot be used by other people.


You got to, obviously, police that and make sure it's not being used. But it was the goal that I think is so fascinating, everyone needs to know about, because you are a little bit concerned about being able to and others being able to exploit this particular phrase, being able to profit off of it, and that was really the driving force, so why it was assigned, why it was given in the first place.

But speak to us a little bit about why it is so important to you to have this not be able to be profited off of in the time (ph).

JA: Yeah, I'll go first. So, it is really about controlling who can profit from it. Again, we have to be very careful about the language here because trademarks are a little tricky. But in terms of how it feels to be at the helm of this moment, I can say that it feels good to see people's reaction to it, to see people feel like they have a reason to smile.

You know, the past few weeks have been heavy for a lot of people. It had been triggering for a lot of people. So, that feels good. And again, we're going to do right by folks (ph).


COATES: Quinton, go ahead.

WARD: I was going to say, seeing that phrase on a t-shirt, like imagine I would like to paint a picture sitting on your porch, and someone walking up to your home with a confederate flag over one shoulder, a Trump flag over the other shoulder, "make America great again" hat on, a t-shirt that says "white lives matter" on the front and then says, "slavery was a choice" on the back, and imagine that person holding a bullhorn and saying through it, George Floyd was not killed by police but he died from a drug overdose, imagine how that would make you feel, and then explain to me why I should feel different because the person rearing all of that stuff is a creative genius.


COATES: The picture you painted is very important. Also, the idea of (INAUDIBLE). To that point, so many people have been asked to compartmentalize based on what you said. The idea that it is okay as long as somebody who is not white is wearing it or somebody is able to be applauded for a very different aspect of it, that's most important to you to be able to remove the opportunity to capitalize on that?

JA: Exactly. Again, we feel like -- in fact, it's well documented that the the term "white lives matter" rolls up in opposition to the affirmation that "black lives matter." It has never been in question whether or not white lives have mattered in this country. It's a given. We know that. Everyone knows that.

We felt in our community that we needed to say "black lives matter," particularly after the death of Trayvon Martin. And so, again, these other matter terms and phrases have rose up in opposition to that to weaken the message, to dilute the movement, to just be contradictory in nature, to give other people talking points in a conversation when the phrase was originally intended to affirm our lives having value.

And so, again, being at the helm of something like this, being able to be the decider feels very important. It is among the heaviest things that we've had to do as radio hosts of a civil, you know, social justice radio show that we do because we believe in the greater good of all people.

We believe that we can come together across cultural lines, racial lines, tribal lines and have conversations to grow. That's at the heart of everything we are trying to do. We believe that the maneuver that we -- the position that we've taken will yield the most good for the most people. That is our hope. And we're going to do our best to do right by everyone.

CAMEROTA: And so, Quinton, very quickly, that picture that you painted of, you know, how sort of off putting it was, what is your message to Kanye West or Ye as he goes by and Candace Owens who are the ones who wore those t-shirts so publicly?

WARD: I'm actually glad you asked that question because a lot of people who see the headline and the picture assume that we had some personal beef or problem with Kanye West or Ye, and we don't. Right? We just don't like the hurt that comes from that message, whether it be intentional or not. We are just trying to limit as much as we can the amount of people that have to relive trauma or be triggered or feel pain from a message that had such negative intentions.

CAMEROTA: Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward, thank you so much for explaining to us why you are hanging on to this trademark and what your plan is. Really great to talk to you about all this.

COATES: A really important discussion.

JA: We appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, guys.


All right, on a much lighter note, $1.5 billion. That's the Powerball jackpot right now. And if you think that they are getting bigger, you are not wrong. So, we're going to talk about why there are billion- dollar jackpots now and what you buy with all of that. So, you can sound off now, #CNNSoundOff. We will read your tweets, next. COATES: And Alisyn will give you half (ph).



COATES: All right, everyone, don't turn off your TV when we tell you this, but we think that you should know, the Powerball jackpot currently stands at a whopping $1.5 billion. Yes, with a "B," billion dollars.


CAMEROTA: The next drawing is Saturday night at 11, virtually p.m. You know what is interesting, Laura? It is not our imagination. The jackpots are getting larger. This is the second over a billion-dollar jackpot of just this year, and there have been five since 2016.

I found out why. According to CNBC, in 2015, basically, they are making it harder to win the jackpots. They have added more numbers and more number combinations. So, yes, the jackpots are getting bigger, but it is getting harder to win them. No wonder I'm not winning.

COATES: The victory is that much sweeter, then. So many people, right? Well, it is time to sound off right now. Let us see what you are all saying out there tonight. This one was on what they would do with the winnings if they won that lotto. They say, give a huge chunk to the local food bank. That is good karma.

CAMEROTA: That is wonderful. Okay, we should probably just leave it there for the evening. That is a wonderful way to end. You know where to find us, at @alisyncamerota and @thelauracoates. Thanks so much for watching, everybody.

COATES: Our coverage continues. Get your ticket.

CAMEROTA: Oh, I will. I will.