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Trump Attorney Previews Post-Election Strategy, Suggests Without Evidence Results After Wednesday A.M. Will "Look Suspicious"; Four Former PA Governors Write Letter To Shapiro And Mastriano Urging Them To Accept The Election Results; Abdul-Jabbar: Irving's "Being Unwittingly Used To Promote Hatred". Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 07, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, (R) GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE, AUTHOR, "INTEGRITY COUNTS": Now, the judge gave out a consent order that giving these potentially up about 800 voters--
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Yes.
RAFFENSPERGER: --the ability to get that back by November 14th was what by the time we have to receive all of our UOCAVA, overseas military ballots.
COOPER: Brad Raffensperger, appreciate your time, tonight. Good luck, tomorrow.
RAFFENSPERGER: Thank you.
COOPER: News continues. Let's hand it over to Jake Tapper and "CNN TONIGHT."
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT WITH JAKE TAPPER: Welcome to CNN TONIGHT. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington.
And tonight, we're on the eve, of American voters' last chance, to cast their ballots, in this critical midterm election. At stake? Control of the U.S. House of Representatives, control of the U.S. Senate, plus, control of governor's mansions, and state houses, all across the United States.
The polls and political history point to a likely good night for Republicans. Since 1990, the President's party has lost seats, in the House, sometimes in the dozens, when the President's approval rating falls below 50 percent. And Biden's sure is below 50 percent.
Trying to ride that momentum, sources tell CNN that Donald Trump has been discussing, with aides, whether he should announce his 2024 presidential campaign, tonight.
It's all unknown as of now. But what is clear, we probably will not know the results, in a number of key elections, tomorrow night. It will likely take days to count all the ballots. So, what to watch out for, in the meantime? Beware of bad actors, who will try to take advantage, of these delays, to spread false conspiracies, about election fraud.
Let's take a moment to go back to Election Night, two years ago, when then-President Donald Trump was raving, at 2:30 AM, about a stolen election, before millions of your votes had even been counted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a fraud on the American public.
Frankly, we did win this election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: No, you didn't. But you did manage to convince a large part of the American public that mail-in ballots were a major source of fraud. No credible evidence was ever presented, to suggest any major fraud that would have changed the outcome of any election. That's the fact.
Each State has its own set of rules, about mail-in voting. Some States allow election officials to open the envelopes, and count mail-in ballots, even before Election Day. Florida, Texas, North Carolina.
Others, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, you cannot count them until Election Day. In fact, election workers there are not even allowed to open the envelopes that contain these ballots, and prepare them to be counted.
This means, in early returns, some viewers may be misled. In October 2020, we tried to explain how this all might play out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Whether you call it the red mirage, or the blue shift, you can expect early Election Night results, to look pretty different from the final outcome. This will not be a sign of fraud or irregularities, just the inevitability of mail-in ballots, early voting and various state rules about when those ballots can be counted.
So, on the Election Night, it might look like Trump is romping in, say, Pennsylvania because they haven't counted all these Democratic- leaning ballots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Or, on Election Night, it might look like Biden was romping in Ohio and Texas, because those States counted their early ballots, before the election, which Democrats use disproportionately. And that's how it all played out. That all happened. The difference being of course that Biden didn't claim that he really had won Ohio and Texas.
Here's former Fox News Editor, Chris Stirewalt, before the January 6 committee, talking about preparing Fox viewers, for the red mirage. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS STIREWALT, FORMER POLITICAL EDITOR, FOX NEWS: We had gone to pains, and I'm proud of the pains, we went to, to make sure that we were informing viewers that this was going to happen.
Happens every time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Trump's own Attorney General, Bill Barr, testified that he knew this would happen too.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: People had been talking for weeks, and everyone understood for weeks that that was going to be what happened on Election Night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: But Donald Trump was not satisfied with a red mirage. He wanted a red reality. And when he didn't get one, he launched a mad- cap campaign of deranged election lies.
Today marks two years since Trump tweeted that his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, would hold a press conference, on alleged voter fraud, to be held at the Four Seasons, Philadelphia.
This event ended up actually being held at a place called Four Seasons Total Landscaping, just north of the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, in the strip mall with the sex shop, across the street, from the crematorium. Not the fancy Four Seasons Hotel in Center City.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: So, I'm here, on behalf of the - on behalf of the Trump Campaign, as an attorney for the President, to describe to you the first part of a situation that is extremely - extremely troubling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: That farce was extremely troubling, but not for the reasons that Giuliani cited. Those lies became dangerous. They incited a mob, and culminated in the violent attempt, to overturn the election, on January 6.
These efforts to disenfranchise voters, based on allegations that do not stand up to scrutiny? They have already started in this election. Today, a Michigan judge rejected a bid, by the Republican candidate, for Secretary of State, Kristina Karamo, who wanted to throw out absentee ballots, in the largely Democratic city of Detroit. Chief Judge Timothy Kenny took a look at her claims and he ruled, quote, "While it is easy to hurl accusations of violations of law and corruption, it is another matter to come forward and produce the evidence our Constitution and laws require. Plaintiffs failed, in a full day of evidentiary hearing, to produce any shred of evidence," unquote.
Wild claims, no actual evidence! We've seen that film before. Speaking of which, we cannot ignore the claims coming from some of the United States adversaries. Today, Russian oligarch, Yevgeny Prigozhin, better-known as "Putin's Chef," he appeared to admit to interfering in U.S. elections.
In response to a journalist's question, about Russia, potentially meddling in U.S. congressional elections, tomorrow, Prigozhin, said, on social media, quote, "Gentlemen, we interfered, we interfere and we will interfere carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way, as we know how. During our pinpoint operations, we will remove both kidneys and the liver at once," unquote.
What exactly Prigozhin's talking about is unknown. Maybe he was joking. Maybe there is another big Russian disinformation campaign out there.
Either way, what you need to keep in mind, the reality, elections are complicated. They can be imperfect. Counting your votes can take time. Brew some coffee, sit down, let the elections workers do the job of counting your votes, because at the end of the day, your voice matters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORI DALLEY, UTAH VOTER: It's a civic duty, I felt like it's something that just helps to get involved in your community. And elections are important.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to make a difference in the world by our vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: And joining us now, to break down some of the key races, you should be watching, tomorrow, CNN's Political Director, David Chalian.
David, good to see you.
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Hi, Jake.
TAPPER: So, the Republicans appear likely to retake the House. The Senate's still up in the air, it seems. Which races do you think are going to be critical, for the fight, for the power - fight for power in the Senate?
CHALIAN: Yes. So, this is the current makeup of the 50/50 Senate, right? And the States that are red or blue are the 35 that are up for election, on Tuesday night. But you're right. There are just about six races, I think, that will determine control.
The four Democratic-held seats, right now, Maggie Hassan, in New Hampshire, there, Raphael Warnock, in Georgia, Mark Kelly, in Arizona, Catherine Cortez Masto, in Nevada, and then the two Republican-held seats, to keep an eye on, are Ron Johnson running for reelection, in Wisconsin and, of course, the open seat in Pennsylvania. So, how these six seats fall will indeed determine control of the Senate.
I would just note here, Jake, if indeed, let's just say, for the purposes of this argument, Hassan hangs on in New Hampshire, though that is a total toss-up?
TAPPER: Yes. We have no idea.
CHALIAN: Total toss-up race.
CHALIAN: Again, another toss-up race, let's say, for the purposes of this argument, Warnock hangs on, in Georgia, Walker's right there too? Could easily go the other way. Let's say Johnson does hang on in Wisconsin? And let's head out west. Kelly, let's say, he hangs on in Arizona, but Catherine Cortez Masto, next door, loses, in Nevada, and Adam Laxalt wins that Senate seat? You see where we are. Everything here then would come down to Pennsylvania.
TAPPER: Yes. Amazing! So, talk to me about the process, when it comes to projecting a winner, for the race. I'm out there, and I just get told, "OK, we're about to project," I have no idea what's been going on, to make you guys just decide, it's OK to do so. What happens?
CHALIAN: Yes. We have a pretty robust Decision Desk operation. It's bunch of statisticians, and sort of political experts, in the demography, and voting patterns, of each of these congressional districts, in the country. And they are so steeped in this.
And there are models. As the vote is coming in, the models start coming up, telling you sort of who can win, and who can lose. And when our Decision Desk gets to 99.9 percent certainty that the candidate behind in a race cannot overtake the candidate ahead with the outstanding vote, they can make a projection.
TAPPER: All right.
CHALIAN: That's the level of certainty we need.
TAPPER: Well, it's going to be a fun night, as I said. Brew some coffee, get ready. Election Night is coming up.
In 2020, the nation's top election security official rejected all the crazy conspiracies, about voter fraud. They had no evidence. When he said it was the most secure vote in American history, Trump, of course, famously fired him.
So, does Chris Krebs have any concerns about this election? He's here live, next.
TAPPER: In less than nine hours, the first Election Day midterm polling locations are going to open, on the East Coast of the United States. Already, more than 43 million early votes have been cast by mail and at early voting locations.
Tonight, election officials are stressing to the American people that the final outcome could significantly vary from the early results, like we told you last block, because like in 2020, the process to count mail-in ballots could stretch on for days.
Here to discuss, Chris Krebs, the former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Chris, it's so good to see you, again. Thanks for being here.
Before we get to election security and voting, I do want to ask you, about this comment, by Prigozhin, this Russian oligarch, linked to Putin.
CHRISTOPHER KREBS, FORMER SENIOR HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIAL, FIRED BY TRUMP IN 2020 FOR CONTRADICTING ELECTION FRAUD CLAIMS, FORMER DIRECTOR, CYBERSECURITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AGENCY: Right.
TAPPER: Who appeared to admit, maybe he was joking, I don't know, the Russian interference in U.S. elections. He told the Telegram - he told Telegram, quote, "Gentlemen, we interfered, we interfere and we will interfere."
What did you make of the comments? And are you confident in the security of the tomorrow's election?
KREBS: So, this in and of itself is an information operation. This is disinformation, what Prigozhin is doing. So, this is Putin's Chef. He runs the notorious St. Petersburg troll farm, the internet research agency. They were behind a lot of the disinformation operations, in the 2016 election. They have been quite active since, and there's been some disruptions.
But this is just an opportunity for him to get out there, and continue to stow chaos. This is manufactured operational chaos, for these guys. Over the weekend, there were some reports that this group, the IRA, was back at it. It was targeting some Democratic Senate races, and trying to undermine confidence in the U.S. support to Ukraine.
I'd also probably point out that he may be trying to remind the Kremlin as they're going through some problems in Ukraine that he's been a loyal servant to the inner group--
KREBS: --and don't forget that, and give him some support. And remember, he's probably - he leads the Wagner Group too.
TAPPER: Wagner Group, yes.
TAPPER: These mercenaries that are horrific.
TAPPER: But you are confident in the elections? You think that they're secure, and they're going to be OK, tomorrow?
KREBS: Yes. I've historically been pretty confident, in the resilience of the election system, and that there's not a foreign adversary that can get in that can change a vote that can prevent voting.
I do think that there's some opportunity space, and just day-to-day operational mistakes. There could be something known as a Denial-of- Service attack against Election Night reporting. But the key here is that that's all kind of on the periphery. It's not actually affecting the process and the administration of elections.
TAPPER: Right. It might just slow it down, a Denial-of-Service attack, it won't change votes?
KREBS: Well, which is - which is, I think, the key here. And something you've said, and others, is that we just have to be patient.
KREBS: Don't overreact. This takes time. It's a process. And regardless of all the fluff around some of the political figures right now that are talking about how all the sudden now, it takes forever to count votes? It's always been this way.
TAPPER: No, it's, I mean, anybody, who's followed politics knows recount in Minnesota took forever.
TAPPER: The Florida recount in 2000?
KREBS: Yes, December, yes.
TAPPER: Arizona races always take forever to get the final vote - result, when it's a close election.
TAPPER: Earlier tonight, one of Trumps attorneys, Christina Bobb, said this, about the election results. Let's roll that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINA BOBB, ATTORNEY FOR FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: I expect to know who won by like the middle of the night, maybe very, very early, Wednesday morning. If we don't, and if Democrats try to extend the vote, I think they're going to have a very, very hard time doing it with any level of credibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Again, they're not extending the vote. They're counting the vote.
TAPPER: But here, they are doing it again. "If we don't know, Wednesday morning, then Democrats are cheating." It's crap!
KREBS: I mean, the irony of her, using the word, "Credibility?"
KREBS: In that clip? It's remarkable!
As you know, all 50 States have a set period of time in statute, to count the votes, to canvass to audit, and then to certify. The fastest tends to be eight to nine days. Florida is one of the fastest. Some do take into the end of the month, of November. It takes time.
Who makes the calls? It's the media. It's the media is making the call, based on exit polling and other projections. But the actual process of counting is at the state level, in their schedule, in their time.
But this entire narrative of giving opportunities to rig the vote, to figure out how many votes they need, and this blue wave at the end? This is the new platform. This is the new playbook. You see it.
Ric Grenell made a similar sort of accusation, over the weekend. This is just how this fringe element, of the former President's inner circle, continues to push narratives, so they can soften up the base for their continued attacks, to undermine confidence in voting.
TAPPER: And much of this disinformation is distributed through social media sites, such as Facebook. I guess it's called Meta, now.
You might remember this video. Let's show you. Went viral in 2020. It claimed to show bags of ballots being burned. It's not what it was in.
TAPPER: And even though it was fake, it got millions of views. It was boosted by Eric Trump.
What should people watch out for to make sure they don't fall for one of these misinformation campaigns, or maybe, in some cases, an innocent mistake, who knows, but for false information?
KREBS: Well, this is the hard part, right? Because social media itself, the way the algorithms are designed, is to get you to emotionally respond, so you rage-click, anger-click, whatever it is.
So, I think what everybody needs to do is just have a little patience.
KREBS: If you see something that gets you a little riled up? Say, "You know what? Maybe I need to investigate this a little bit further. I'm going to go check out what my state or local election official."
Brad Raffensperger, on with Anderson, a great example of clear communication, transparent communication. Stephen Richer, out in Maricopa County, Arizona, radical transparency, in terms of how he's administering elections. So, look to the authoritative sources of information. And that's your state and local election officials.
TAPPER: One other thing, on the subject of social media, I don't know how much you've been following, about Elon Musk taking over Twitter.
But since he took control, he tweeted a link to a false and deranged story, about the attack, on Speaker Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi, which he later deleted. He tweeted that "Comedy is now legal on Twitter," and then he started blocking accounts parody to him.
In April, he said, it was important that Twitter stay politically neutral. Today, he told his 114 million followers to vote Republican in the Congress. What do you make of it all?
KREBS: Well, look, privately-held. It's delisted.
KREBS: It's not a publicly-held. He can do with it, what he and his other holders of equity in the company want to do.
The risk here though, is they make this shift, where the blue tick mark, the blue checkmark, has historically been interpreted as a marker of trust. It means this person is who they say they are tends to be journalists, like you, former political officials, like me. It's those that we take their word, and what they're saying. And we need to guard against impersonation, and misrepresentation, on the platform.
KREBS: As they shift to a model, where it's just to pay $7.99 a month? That changes the paradigm on the platform. And so, as they make this adjustment? Again, it's his right to do it, as the owner of the platform. They need to be clear in how they communicate what that marker of trust is now a marker of payment, at best.
TAPPER: Interesting! Chris Krebs, always good to see you. Thank you so much.
KREBS: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: If tomorrow goes his day, my next guest will be the Governor of Pennsylvania. But we might not know for days and days, and of course that's still an "If" and up to the voters of Pennsylvania.
Democrat Josh Shapiro is here. Does he worry this might not be over, tomorrow, even if he is the clear winner? Coming up.
TAPPER: It is not even Election Day. And already, a critical legal battle that could determine the results, in all-important Pennsylvania, is ramping up. At issue, whether mail-in ballots with incorrect or missing dates will count.
Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, sided with Republicans, ruling that undated ballots should be put aside, and not counted, with the vote total.
Tonight, Democratic Senate candidate, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman's campaign went to a federal court, to try to overturn that decision.
Fetterman's lawyers, arguing, quote, "The date on a mail ballot envelope thus has no bearing on a voter's qualifications and serves no purpose other than to erect barriers to qualified voters exercising their fundamental constitutional right to vote," unquote.
Joining us now, Pennsylvania's Democratic candidate for governor, Josh Shapiro, who is currently the State's Attorney General.
We also invited his opponent, Doug Mastriano. But Mastriano has not responded.
General Shapiro, you're the Attorney General. Where do you stand with this lawsuit? Do you agree with Fetterman?
JOSH SHAPIRO, (D) PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR NOMINEE, (D) PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, look, we have always sided on the side of enfranchisement, not disenfranchisement, here, in this Commonwealth. And we want to make sure all legal eligible votes are counted.
Historically, a date on an outer envelope wouldn't have necessarily been considered a material issue, enough to throw out an otherwise correct ballot. We'll see where the court stands on this.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has made clear that none of these ballots can be thrown out. If there's a question on a date, they need to be segregated, so that if there's litigation, ultimately, on these ballots, they can be reviewed at a later time.
So, look, I think folks just, for those, who have filled out their ballots, already, the vast, vast, vast majority were filled out correctly. And many counties now have the legal ability to cure a ballot, have reached out to voters, if a date was messed up, or a signature wasn't exactly right, to have them come on down, before the polls closed at 8 PM, to cure their ballot. And from what I'm hearing across this Commonwealth, many counties are doing that. Many people are taking advantage of that on the limited number of ballots that exist that might have an issue.
TAPPER: You received a letter, today, from four of Pennsylvania's former living governors, urging both you and, your opponent, Doug Mastriano, to accept the election results, no matter the outcome.
Will you pledge to accept the election results? And do you think Mastriano will as well?
SHAPIRO: Of course, I will, Jake. And I've said that many times.
Look, looking back on 2020, we all know we had a free and fair, safe and secure election, here in Pennsylvania. And that's because of the dedication of Republican and Democratic clerks of elections, in each of our 67 counties, and the good work of the Department of State.
I have full faith in those Republican and Democratic clerks of elections, here in Pennsylvania. And I will respect the will of the people, and accept the results of this election.
Of course, on the other side? And this is probably why those four former governors, of both parties, felt the need to write this letter. On the other side, Doug Mastriano is someone, who participated, in the violent insurrection, on January 6. And he was there that day, Jake, to stop Pennsylvanians' votes, from being counted.
And he's already pledged that he wants to undermine the vote, in the future. And he has not pledged to accept the results of this election. It's just more of the same, from a guy, who is undemocratic, and a guy, who tries to undermine our freedoms, every step of the way.
But, of course, I will accept the will of the people and the results of this election.
TAPPER: Homicide, the homicide rate, in Philadelphia, was at a record high, in 2021. It's following a similar trend, this year. Crime is a big issue on the campaign trail, in TV ads, certainly, among Republicans.
If you win tomorrow, what would you do, on day one, as governor, to try to begin to tackle this problem? And why do you think so many other Democrats seem to be struggling on this issue?
SHAPIRO: Jake, as Attorney General, I've arrested over 8,200 drug dealers, over 500 gun traffickers, more than 500 child predators.
And I've talked about the need, throughout this campaign, for every single Pennsylvanian, to both be safe, and feel safe, in their communities.
I've put forth plans to accomplish that, including hiring at least 2,000 more Police officers, across this Commonwealth, as well as investing in the underlying issues that drive violence, oftentimes, in our communities, from mental health, to trauma, to poverty, to a lack of quality education.
We need to invest more in law enforcement. And I'm grateful that law enforcement, trust me, to do this work, as governor. Very grateful, that, I've been endorsed by local Police across Pennsylvania, by prosecutors, from both parties. They trust me, to do this work, to keep people safe.
And I think this is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of government. And that is to keep its citizenry safe. And I'll take that very seriously as, God willing, Pennsylvania's next governor.
TAPPER: It definitely looks as though Republicans in general are going to have a good day, tomorrow, driven largely by devoted dissatisfaction, with President Biden, and on issues of crime and, most importantly, the economy.
Why do you think that is? Do you think Democrats have a messaging problem or a policy problem?
SHAPIRO: Jake, I don't know that I'm the right person to answer that question. It's a fair one. I understand why you're asking it.
But I'm not paying a whole lot of attention, to Washington, D.C., or what's happening in any other race. I'm focused pretty much like a laser beam on Washington County, Pennsylvania, and other communities, across Pennsylvania.
And I think what folks want here is answers on how their kids are going to get a quality education, how their communities will be safe, how their economy is going to give them a shot to succeed and also reduce costs for them, and, of course, how we're going to protect their fundamental rights and freedoms.
And that's what I talk about every single day. Whether I'm in an urban, rural or a suburban community, I lean in on those issues. I'm not afraid to take on any of those issues. And I think we need to tell people in these campaigns, what we're going to do for them, how we're going to make their lives better, and show that we have a track record, of being able to do that work.
So, that's what I've been focused on, doing here, in Pennsylvania. I'm not sure I can speak to what others are doing across the country.
TAPPER: Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, you got one more day left, on the campaign trail. Enjoy yourself, sir.
SHAPIRO: One more day. I'm trying to hold on to my voice, for just one more day. Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Sorry about the Phillies!
It's been a long intense campaign cycle. A bullet was fired, into the family home, of a Republican House candidate, in North Carolina. That's an act of violence. It's horrific and being investigated. Pat Harrigan says he's also gotten despicable death threats, and none of it is affecting his determination this election eve. Republican congressional candidate is with us next. Stay with us.
TAPPER: The day before the midterm elections, most candidates are trying to get their ads on TV, as much as possible. In the race for North Carolina's newly-created 14th congressional district, the Democrat just pulled one of his ads. The spot showed a house belonging to his opponent, Republican Pat Harrigan.
Last month, a bullet was fired, through a window, of a different home, belonging to Harrigan's parents. No one was injured, thankfully. Police have not commented on a possible motive.
Pat Harrigan is a Special Forces veteran. And he joins us now.
First off, sir, thank you so much, for your service, and the sacrifice, your family has made, with your serving abroad.
Your kids were in your parents' home, when the gun was fired, I understand, which is horrible. I hope everyone is OK.
PAT HARRIGAN, (R) NORTH CAROLINA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Jake, everyone's OK.
And hey, thanks for having me on. And I'll say, before we get started, I'm a huge fan of your book, "The Outpost." It was great piece of literature.
TAPPER: Oh, thank you so much.
So, you've said it was political violence. My understanding is political - Police have not yet given a motive. Is there anything more to the story that we don't know?
HARRIGAN: Yes, there's a whole lot more questions at this point than there are answers. And the Police cannot rule out that this was not political violence.
And so, the story of this kind of unfolds, across this entire race. From the very beginning, from the time that I won the primary, my opponent has been lying about me. And I'm not talking about just kind of ordinary lies that you see throughout politics. I'm talking about vile and nasty lies.
I'm in the defense business. I have a couple companies that manufacture firearms. And my opponent has said that I profit from the deaths of children. Reprehensible lies! And this has kind of set off a cascading series of events, throughout this campaign, as this narrative, and other narratives like it had been maintained, where I've received a credible death threat. My opponent filmed an ad outside of one of my homes. He filed a complaint that showed pictures of my children. And then, a couple weeks ago, my parents, as they're sitting watching television, at 11 o'clock at night, have a bullet, rip through their window, only 20 feet from where my kids were sleeping. It is certainly disconcerting.
TAPPER: Yes, no, certainly, and I'm glad everyone's OK. Again, we don't know for certain why that happened. But I can surely understand why you would be very upset about it.
Let's step back, more broadly, because we seem to be in an era of political violence, against Democrats, against Republicans. And we also see, too many people don't seem to care, when there's violence, against their political opponents. Whether it's the threat to Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, the attack on Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi's husband comes to mind.
Thankfully, your Democratic opponent did take down his ad, and he did condemn the attack on you, in the strongest possible terms.
I wonder how much, this experience changed your view, of how many people have a difficult time, accessing their humanity, because of their partisan politics?
HARRIGAN: Yes, I think it's a real problem that we have.
And you mentioned that my opponent condemned the shot. But what he has not done is he has not condemned the tactics that he has used during this campaign.
If you go to my opponent's website, Jeff Jackson, it says "Honest and decent politics." This man could not have run a more dishonest and indecent campaign.
And it's because he's willing to talk about anything that has - that distracts from what the voters of the 14th district actually really want to talk about, which is the economy and inflation, declining educational outcomes, for our kids, crime on our streets, and those core issues that are at the center of this race for the future that America is going to be.
And I think we all have to step back, regardless of what political party we're in. And we have to say, "Are we willing to sacrifice our values on the altar of scoring political points?" The answer must be "No," regardless of what party we're from.
TAPPER: Let me ask you, because both you and your opponent, Jeff Jackson, both of you are Veterans of the war in Afghanistan. And you say that the withdrawal from Afghanistan, last year, 2021, is what inspired you or incited you to run for Congress? How so? Explain.
HARRIGAN: At that point, I realized that we had failed leadership that was truly leading us down the road to failed outcomes. I really couldn't comprehend how we have a Chief Executive, in this country, who has managed to bookend his political career, on one side, with the withdrawal out of Vietnam, and then on the other side, as the Commander-in-Chief allowing the exact same thing to happen, in Afghanistan. That's where I got switched on.
What actually got me into this race was the realization that my two little girls, I got 3-year-old and 5-year-old little girls, are very likely to not have the same opportunities, in their lives that I've had, in mine. That is unacceptable.
We have never had the next generation of Americans offered less opportunity to than the prior generation of Americans. I truly believe that is what we are staring at, right now, in the future of America, if we don't change course, very quickly.
TAPPER: Well, let's hope you're wrong about your two little girls. And thank you again for your service.
TAPPER: Pat Harrigan, you got one more day on the campaign trail. Enjoy it, sir.
HARRIGAN: Thank you, Jake.
TAPPER: A week ago, we noted how many members of the MAGA movement apparently thought it was appropriate to make light of the brutal attack on Paul Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi's 82-year-old husband.
As part of that we reported on many social media posts, but two specific ones from former Republican congressman, Devin Nunes that appeared to poke fun at the assault, including one that Nunes shared that invoked the baseless conspiracy theories that Pelosi might have had a sexual relationship with the attacker.
Before we did that report, I reached out to Nunes, and he would not comment on the record as to why he thought it was appropriate to spread those deranged memes.
But Nunes did want me to tell you that he told Newsmax, on the record, quote, "We always condemned the violence, no matter if it's against elected officials or everyday Americans. Period," unquote, which of course does not explain those social media posts, making light of the violence, which Mr. Nunes is welcome to come on CNN, to explain.
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, when we return, his take on whether Kyrie Irving should be allowed to return to the game. The NBA's all- time scoring leader has a lot to say about Irving's late, quote- unquote "Apology," for pushing that anti-Semitic film. That's next.
TAPPER: New reporting about what it will take, to get Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, back on the basketball court, this evening. Irving has obviously been suspended for his comments and his social media posts surrounding an anti-Semitic documentary.
According to Shams Charania, with "The Athletic," the Brooklyn Nets gave Kyrie Irving a six-point checklist, detailing the conditions of his return.
That includes in part apologizing and condemning the film, making a $500,000 donation to anti-hate causes, completing training that addresses sensitivity, anti-Semitism and hate, meeting with the Anti- Defamation League, and Jewish leaders, and actually sitting down with team owner Joe Tsai.
That follows ESPN reporting that for nearly a week, Tsai, quote, "Kept extending the clock to give Irving a chance to get this right for himself, the franchise and the Jewish community. And Irving never returned a single one of his text messages," unquote.
I'm joined now by an NBA legend, and outspoken advocate for social justice issues, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, number 33.
So good to see you again, Kareem.
What should it take for Irving to return to the court? What do you think of this list of requirements?
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, BASKETBALL HALL OF FAMER, FORMER LOS ANGELES LAKERS CENTER, AUTHOR, KAREEM.SUBSTACK.COM: Well, I think Kyrie has to understand what's happening. He's being unwittingly used to promote hatred and anti-Semitism. And even though he doesn't see himself as being anti-Semitic, by joining forces, and making posts like that, you can be used, and I think that's what's happened.
TAPPER: You're not new to this fight. Two years ago, when Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson, tweeted anti-Semitic comments, you wrote in "The Hollywood Reporter," quote, "If we're going to be outraged by injustice, let's be outraged by injustice against anyone," unquote.
It seems to be similar - a similar circumstance, here, the same kinds of tropes, from DeSean Jackson, Kyrie Irving, Ye, aka Kanye West. Why? Why do they all seem so similar?
ABDUL-JABBAR: I think the lack of awareness of the harm that they're doing, both to the Black community and to other communities, the LGBT community, the Latinx community, all of these marginalized communities, are all really in one lump. If we don't try to protect everyone, we won't protect anyone.
We have to have that attitude about it, and make sure that all marginalized groups, receive the same protection, as the groups that are used to getting that protection and feeling safe.
TAPPER: I saw a post by a Jewish-American, saying that Jews are some - are in a way, in a bind here, in a catch 22.
[21:50:00] If they do something, if they protest, the kinds of statements that Kyrie Irving put out there, which is that documentary, is full of invented nonsense, and lies, about Jews being Satanists, and that sort of thing? If they protest, and there are consequences? Then supporters of Kyrie Irving, say, "Oh, look, see? Jews are powerful. We're not allowed to say anything about them," blah, blah, blah.
And if Jews don't do anything about it, then the hate just continues unfettered, it's really a no-win situation.
ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, a number of Blacks expected support, from Jewish groups, during the Black Lives Matters movement. And they got that help. But when the reverse was necessary, we ended up with silence. And for weeks, Jews and Jewish kids were picked on and singled out. And we can't let that happen.
The condemnation of anti-Semitism, and other forms of discrimination, has to be immediately announced, and pointed out, so that everybody understands what's going on, and who the culprits are. And when, we can do that, we're going to make some progress, because the people, who aren't educated, on these issues, will start to wise-up.
TAPPER: What's interesting also is there's a quote, in the documentary that Kyrie Irving helped promote, supposedly from a Democratic Senate aide. He was - the guy was killed in 1976, by terrorists. But the quote was invented by white supremacists, I think, in Idaho, in 1978, two years after he died.
And it just makes me wonder how much the white supremacist movement, is using their hate, to get Blacks, to hate Jews, when it's all based on the same hatred that they have for Jews, Blacks, everyone.
ABDUL-JABBAR: There was a group of haters that put a sign up on one of the freeway overpasses, here in Los Angeles, and tried to give Kanye some support. We can't do that. We have to identify the people, who are behind all of this, and point it out to them that they are wrong, and that they need to be educated. And, till we can get that far, we've got a lot of work to do.
TAPPER: You also recently wrote that, quote, "Laziness is what is threatening democracy," unquote. With the midterms, tomorrow, I wonder how much of our politics, you fear, is defined by what you call, "Laziness?"
ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, people who won't vote, or who think that it's not necessary to vote, they are wasting their vote. And they are really calling some very negative attention to what's going on in our country, by not voting, by the apathy. We can't be apathetic. We have to go out there, and let people know how we feel. And the vote is the way to go.
TAPPER: Before you go, I have to ask--
ABDUL-JABBAR: We find that a number--
TAPPER: Go ahead. I'm sorry. ABDUL-JABBAR: I was going to say, a number of our NBA venues, are being used, tomorrow, for voting sites, because it's that important. And I hope people understand that, and get out, and do their duty.
TAPPER: Absolutely, a 100 percent. Whoever you're voting for, exercise your right to vote.
Before you go, though, I do have to ask you about your thoughts on LeBron James, possibly breaking your career points record?
ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, whenever he decides to do it, he deserves any and all of the accolades that he has earned. He didn't get those points, just sitting around on his butt. He worked hard for it. So, whatever happens, more power to him. He's earned it.
TAPPER: That's a great - that's gracious of you to say. No surprise that you would say it.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the great athletes, and voices, of our time. Thank you so much.
ABDUL-JABBAR: You're welcome. Thank you.
TAPPER: We'll be right back.
TAPPER: With Veterans Day, coming up, I wanted to take a sec, to let you know about a special charity auction, happening, right now, on eBay, to help America's seriously wounded Veterans.
All net proceeds support Homes For Our Troops. It's an incredible charity. I've seen firsthand, the incredible work, this group does, building and donating specially-adapted custom homes, nationwide, for severely injured, post-9/11 Veterans, such as Marine Sergeant Adam Kisielewski, who you see here, in this video, from our recent Champions for Change report.
Kisielewski lost two limbs to an IED in Iraq. And because of this home, mortgage-free, specially-designed, he is able to live a full, wonderful life. I am proud to be an ambassador for the organization!
And you can now help. You can bid on all kinds of cool items, and experiences. Go to a Mets or a Phillies game, next year, with Bob Costas. I'll also be there. Win an acoustic guitar, signed by Wynonna Judd. A Zoom call with Jon Stewart, or Elizabeth Banks, tickets to a Marvel film premiere, George Clooney's watch, Jennifer Aniston's purse, so much more.
Go to ebay.com/hfot. Homes For Our Troops, ebay.com/hfot. Check it out and bid.
Thanks so much, for joining me, tonight. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, @jaketapper. Our coverage now continues with the luminous Laura Coates, and the awesome Alisyn Camerota, who you can, by the way, you can bid on a Zoom call, with Alisyn Camerota.
I don't - Coates, I don't think I hit you up.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN CO-HOST, CNN TONIGHT: I noticed.
TAPPER: I'll hit you up, next year. I'm sorry.