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Biden Appears To Call Virginia GOP Candidate An "Extremist." Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired October 27, 2021 - 07:30   ET



BEN MEZRICH, WROTE BOOK THAT WAS ADAPTED INTO 2010 FILM "THE SOCIAL NETWORK": And what he discovered along the way was that it's a lot easier to get engagement if you get people riled up, if you get people excited, and the goal was always to get everyone on Facebook.

And so, I think, you know, it's really time for a sequel because the reality is it's gotten more and more like what we said in "The Social Network" every day. These leaks are showing us that what they're really trying to do is just get as many people on Facebook no matter what it does to the world in general.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN NEW DAY HOST: No matter what the cost maybe. You know, I wonder as you reflect on the book and on the movie if there's anything that you think, you know, you got wrong?

MEZRICH: I mean, listen. I think I got the Winklevii wrong. I think the Winklevii were the bad guys in the story. You know, they were the guys in the skeleton costumes chasing the karate kid around the gym, but the reality here is the karate kid wasn't really the good guy, right?

I think that what we've seen with Zuckerberg and Facebook is that again and again and again they do things that upset everybody but instead of changing they continue forward. And you see that in Zuckerberg's response to all this. He's adamant that what he's doing is right. And we're seeing that it's - you know, listen.

We love Facebook. We all find our friends on it, but that doesn't mean Facebook is our friend. Facebook is doing things to maximize engagement, and that isn't always good for us.

KEILAR: Yes. I love the karate kid reference, by the way. I'm sure you've watched Cobra Kai speaking exactly to that kind of turning the villain and the protagonist on its head there, but you know, I also wonder if we can listen to Zuckerberg's defiant response when it came to some of these revelations in the Facebook Papers. Let's listen.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: Good faith criticism helps us get better, but my view is that what we are seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company. The reality is that we have an open culture where we encourage discussion and research about our work so that we can make progress on many complex issues that are not specific to just us."


KEILAR: What did you think about that?

MEZRICH: A, I think it's very rich that he's claiming a media conspiracy when what we're talking about is the fact that conspiracy theories are gaining so much traction on Facebook. I think it's kind of a really moment, you know, in history where we keep looking for conspiracies. He believes that the press is out to get him when really I think he's just doing it the way he thinks it should be done and people are reacting badly to it.

They want more people engaged in Facebook, and if that means angry emojis count more than likes that's the way they're going to go. I don't think there's any conspiracy pointing that out.

KEILAR: Ben, you have said that Zuckerberg never cared about making money, and I wonder all these years and billions of dollars later do you think that's still true?

MEZRICH: I mean, listen. I think he enjoys money. You know, you see pictures of him jet skiing or water skiing or whatever it is, but I think he never set out to make money. He turned down a million dollars when he was in high school for a program he had written.

He didn't found Facebook to make money. He founded Facebook to get everyone in the world together with him at the top. I think there's a little megalomania going on, but I don't think it's about money.

And if you look at what Facebook has done it's more and more about engagement to me than it is about money. The idea is that they are terrified because young people are leaving Facebook, and I think they're trying to find ways to drive engagement to continue to make it bigger and bigger and bigger.

I mean, it's a monster that needs to be continually fed, and I think that was Facebook's goal all along or Mark's goal all along. It wasn't about the money.

KEILAR: Yes. No, it's fascinating. We saw that from his earnings call, right? Ben, fascinating interview. And you say it's not about the money, but I just want you to know that your interview made be $6 richer because my co-anchor said he would give me six bucks if you said Winklevii, and I didn't even have to ask you to do it.


I hope I still get the six bucks.

MEZRICH: Well thank you. I say Winklevii every morning when I wake up, so it's all good.

KEILAR: Oh, who doesn't? Ben, awesome to talk with you. Thank you so much.

MEZRICH: You as well. Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY HOST: Worth every penny, too. So it's the moment that every sports fan dreams about a Tampa Bay Bucs fan had the thrill of a lifetime when he was gifted a touchtone ball during Sunday night's game against the Chicago Bears.




BERMAN: But his joy was short lived because that was Tom Brady's history-making 600th touchdown pass and Brady wanted the ball back.

Joining me now to tell us what happened is Bucs fan Byron Kennedy. Byron, thanks so much for being with us. People didn't see it in that video.


What happened there was Mike Evans, the receiver who caught the ball, every time he catches a touchdown he goes to the stands and hands the ball to a fan. You're a smart fan. You were wearing a Mike Evans jersey, right? You were right there to get the ball. He gave you the ball and then everyone on the bench realized that's Brady's 600th career touchdown pass. There's a problem with that.

So first of all just I can see it in your face there about how excited you were. What was it like to get the ball from Mike Evans?

KENNEDY: Oh it was incredible. Just listening to that audio there it puts a smile on my face. Just I can hear how excited I was. That was such an incredible moment for me.

BERMAN: Now you didn't know at the time exactly that it was such an important ball, did you?

KENNEDY: No. Not right when he handed it to me. Pretty soon afterwards I realized because I knew that was going to happen at some point in this game. I just didn't - as Tom Brady threw it I didn't realize that was the 600th touchdown.

BERMAN: So then what happens?

KENNEDY: So I'm in the stadium celebrating with everyone. Everyone's congratulating me, wants to take pictures, touch the ball and everything. And then the guy, Tim, comes over. He works with the Bucs. Said basically listen, can we get that ball back, please. And I told him no a couple times. I'm - had never had anything like that happen to me before. It was so cool. I just wanted to keep that football.

And we kept going back and forth and he's basically saying Tom Brady really wants this football. And like I said earlier, what am I going to do? Say no to Tom Brady? Like he deserves that football. He's the one who broke all these records, so I ended up giving it back.

BERMAN: Now, did you set conditions? Did you start saying this is what I want in return?

KENNEDY: Not really, no. He was saying like we can get you some signed jerseys, this and that, maybe he'll come over and say hey afterwards. One thing I did do is when they were mentioning signed jerseys I asked if I can get a second one for my buddy sitting next to me because he was the season ticket holder. He's who brought me to the game, so I wanted to get him a little something out of this, too.

BERMAN: Well that's smart, and also nice of you.


KENNEDY: But that was really it.

BERMAN: So what you ended up with - see because when I first heard the story I'm like this guy, he held out for all this stuff because you ended up wit two signed Tom Brady jerseys, signed Mike Evans jerseys and game cleats, two seasons tickets for the remainder of this year and next year. They could win two Super Bowls. You could see that, and then $1,000 from the team's store. And then Brady himself gave you a Bitcoin. And I'm like the guy held out for all that? But no, that basically fell on your lap.

KENNEDY: Basically. I just kind of - it was the right thing to do to give the ball back, and I was willing to do that for honestly next to nothing. The team was nice enough to go ahead and send me some compensation because the ball was obviously worth a ton. So they - the team wanted to make it up to me. Tom wanted to make it up to me, so I think they did a great job.

BERMAN: Now Brady was on with the Mannings later on, and Brady said basically he should have held out for more, but I think he was kidding. I don't know. Do you have any regrets that you didn't hold out for more?

KENNEDY: I don't. I think he was joking, too. Then I saw Peyton Manning call me an amateur. I thought that was hilarious. I was just excited that they said my name on national television. That was an incredible moment.

BERMAN: Well look, you know, you are a doctor in training, so you do great work already. We're so happy for you that you have all this stuff coming. Enjoy the next year and a half of watching the Bucs in person, and I'm sure Tom Brady enjoys having this ball back. Doesn't have many trinkets for his trophy case, so finally he's got one to put up there.

KENNEDY: Yes. I'm excited to go to a lot of these games. I can't wait.

BERMAN: Byron Kennedy, thank you very much. KENNEDY: Of course. Thank you.

BERMAN: So election officials targeted by the former president admit that they now live in fear and are desperate for protection. The threats they received by just doing their job.

KEILAR: And ahead, the NBA's Enes Kanter calling out the Chinese government again. Hear why he's ripping Nike for their silence.



BERMAN: Secretaries of state who pushed back against Donald Trump's election lies say they are now living in fear constantly targeted by the ex-president's supporters, and they're more desperate than ever for protection because the threat appears to be intensifying.

CNN's Edward-Isaac Dovere joins us now. Edward, what's going on - Isaac I should say, what's going on here?

EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE, CNN SENIOR REPORTER: Look, John. This is a really scary situation for election officials all across the country, people who have been caught up in the political back and forth as the president and his allies have been - the former president and his allies have been lying about the election results, and that has stirred up a level of anger and hatred that is creating violent, violent threats.

People calling in, emailing, tweeting saying they're going to come and get these people, and these are admittedly low level state officials who never had to think about security before and who are living in fear for their lives, for their safety, and not just them. People who work for them, even people who are just showing up as poll workers now thinking that they don't want to be part of this anymore.

BERMAN: Is the federal government doing anything to protect these people?

DOVERE: There's a task force the Justice Department has put together about this, and there are some measures here, but election officials that I spoke to, secretaries of state, again, these are statewide elected officials but not positions that most people have thought of much or heard of before, are saying to me it's not enough. They don't feel like there's enough there. They want funding to be there from their state governments to protect them, to have security details or police protection, and in speaking, for example, to the Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson. She said to me that nobody has been put in - on trial for this. Nobody's been put in prison.


There aren't consequences that have really changed what's going on. And I asked her does she feel safe, and she said to me "sometimes".

And that's a woman who has had people show up at her house and has had to have 24-hour police protection at points over the last couple of years.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Sometimes. Only sometimes. People not feeling safe just for doing their jobs.

Isaac, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

DOVERE: Thank you.

BERMAN: President Biden making a final push for Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. The president campaigning with McAuliffe and going after the former President Donald Trump and the Republican candidate in the race, Glenn Youngkin, urging voters to defeat what the president calls Republican extremism.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Extremism can come in many forms. It can come in the rage of a mob driven an assault -- driven to assault the Capitol. It can come in a smile and a fleece vest. Either way, the big lie is still a big lie.


BERMAN: Joining me now, joining us now, CNN chief political correspondent and co-anchor of the "STATE OF THE UNION", Dana Bash.

The smile and a fleece vest is referring to Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee, who likes to wear fleece. I mean, who doesn't? But calling Youngkin an extremist like that was definitely seen a goal of the president at this Virginia event.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It has been number one on the playbook, in the playbook, I should say, of the McAuliffe campaign. And he's brought in national figures like the president, they have tried to amplify that play. And that is to say that Glenn Youngkin is not just too conservative for the trending blue, actually very blue in presidential years commonwealth of Virginia, but that he is too Trumpy.

And that has been the turf on which the Democrats have felt was the best to play on. And the challenge that they have been having is that Youngkin isn't as easy to put in that Trump bock as say Larry Elder back last month in California during the recall fight as he was. Largely because he actually was more Trumpy, if you will, than Glenn Youngkin is.

So it's going to be really fascinating to see how successful those arguments end up being in what really is a neck and neck race with the candidate Glenn Youngkin who is trying to kind of shape shift himself depending on where he is and who he is talking to. And so far, given the fact that it's so close, especially since Joe Biden won there by 10 points just in November, seems to be at least successful just keeping him in the game at this point

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And, Dana, we know you have been hard at work on a special that addresses perhaps the most important issue in politics and maybe American democracy right now, and that is the big lie. Let's watch part of this.


BASH: If you want to make it easier for people to vote, why not take that experiment in Harris County, 24-hour voting, drive-in voting, and do it across the state?

TRAVIS CLARDY (R), TEXAS STATE HOUSE: Great question. Probably for the same reason as there's no other state in the union that has 24- hour voting

BASH: GOP Texas Representative Travis Clardy argues his party wanted uniform voting across Texas.

CLARDY: So, I spent a lot of time talking to election administrators, county clerks who run elections and the feedback on that was it is not feasible. You have to have trained election workers. You have to have people mine those polls.

BASH: But they have people there, during a pandemic. People were willing to do it.

CLARDY: But in Harris County, with those people -- but you also can create opportunities for mischief.

BASH: But again, there is no evidence that happened with 24-hour voting for drive-through voting or anywhere in the state of Texas.

Republicans who are backing these new laws in Texas say it's not about targeting Harris county. It is about enacting uniform laws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a convenient response. Harris County has a population greater than 25 states. A small rural county is not going to need to employ all the same strategies that Harris County or Dallas or Austin are going to have to use to make sure all of their residents have access to the ballot.


KEILAR: A fascinating look. Tell us what else we can expect here, Dana, when we tune in tonight at 9:00.

BASH: Well, that is just part of the new law in Texas. So, we went to Texas, to Arizona and to Georgia. And the reason is because these are three states, particularly Georgia and Arizona, where the now former president was defeated.


And in those states, you see the pressure that he and his supporters who still believe in the big lie, who are egged on by the former president, his allies and the media who amplify what they're saying to change the laws, and the laws have been changed, particularly in Georgia, in a really dramatic way. Such that the guardrails that allowed the secretary of state in Georgia, Brad Raffensperger to push back against the president, the president's infamous calls to please find me the votes, those have been taken away by the Republican-led legislature.

So they have the ability to take over the election process if that happens again. That is one of the fundamentals of democracy. And by that I mean people out there, knowing that, A, the votes count, and, B, that they will be counted in a proper way.

And, so that's in Georgia. In Texas what you just played, it is a state that Donald Trump actually won, but in the counties, in the big cities, Harris County is where Houston is, huge turnout there for Joe Biden. Why is that? Because of the pandemic, people were able to vote because they came up with creative ways like I mentioned, 24-hour voting, drive-through voting and what the legislature there has done, a lot of things, but one of the things that they did is take that away.

So, they looked at basically what worked and worked well, and ended up working well in the Democrats' favor and stripped it away. They say it is because they want uniform laws, but if that's the case, they could have made it easier to vote across the board, and they didn't.

And even Republicans I talked to, Ben Ginsburg, veteran election lawyer, says point blank, it is because they have the big lie to justify it, and they're worried about demographic shifts, and if they make it harder for people of color to vote, it will keep them in power longer, says that point blank.

KEILAR: Well, you really dig into this topic. It is just so essential. We hear you pushing back there on some of the claims that just don't stick from that Republican official and we know you're going to do a lot of that tonight.

BASH: It is one year until the midterms and the new laws really to could make a huge difference and impact on how the balance of power in Washington and the legislatures across the country are affected.

KEILAR: Yeah. It is so significant.

Dana, can't wait to see it tonight at 9:00.

BASH: Thanks, guys.

KEILAR: Thank you.

BASH: Set your DVR. I know you'll be sleeping.

KEILAR: I know, right. Exactly.

What is the cost of the new changes to voting laws? Dana will be exploring how this big lie is becoming a bigger threat, that is a CNN special report. It's called "STOP THE VOTE" and it premieres tonight at 9:00.

BERMAN: One of the actors on the film "Rust" is speaking out for the first time and why criminal charges are not being ruled out in the Alec Baldwin shooting.



BERMAN: Colin Kaepernick is a hero to many, but painted as a villain by others. His decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality sparked a movement and also got him locked out of the NFL at the height of his career.

Now, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is reclaiming his narrative with the limited series "Colin in Black and White". It premieres on Netflix on October 29th. And here's a preview.


COLIN KAEPERNICK, FORMER NFL PLAYER: Let me share a story with you that is not told enough. While I was in high school, I still had a lot to learn about the way the world works. But you know what? I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.


BERMAN: Powerful.

Joining me now is Oscar-nominated filmmaker, director and co-creator of "Colin in Black and White", Ava DuVernay. Thank you so much for being with us.

AVA DUVERNAY, OSCAR-NOMINATED FILMMAKER: Thank you for having me. Happy to be here.

BERMAN: This looks so interesting. Obviously, you're telling about it -- the story about someone we all have been following for years but doing it in a very different way, focusing on a lot of the childhood.

DUVERNAY: Yeah, he was interested in telling his story but beginning at the beginning. So you start with his early life, his teenage years and I was fascinated by it because it allows us to get a glimpse of the foundation, right. How did this young man, who is a biracial kid adopted into a white family, grew up in a predominantly white town, go on to be a singular American figure as it relates to protests around race. And police brutality. So it is a fascinating story, but we began at the beginning.

BERMAN: Let me play a little bit more because it gets to this.

DUVERNAY: All right.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turned out my competition wasn't only on the field.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, you got a ton of natural talent, okay. Johnson, he's the prototype I'm looking for. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up with white parents, I assumed their

privilege was mine.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I'm good too, thanks.

I was in for a rude awakening.


BERMAN: He was in for a rude awakening.


BERMAN: So, what did he go through you think specifically that had that direct impact later on?

DUVERNAY: I think it is ideas about privilege. He was in a privileged environment growing up as the adopted biracial son of white parents. He was moving through life as, you know, through a lens or gaze of being someone who is not outside the dominant culture, being someone who did not have to struggle as much early on with issues of race or class or respectability.

As he -- as he became older, those started to enter into his life in a way that was startling and challenging for him and his parents, not quite being able to handle now a young black man who lives with you, right? As he grew out of the cute toddler phase in elementary school, the challenges and struggles with race became more clear, became more defined, and all of them were kind of ill-equipped to deal with it.

BERMAN: You think you're an insider until you realize --

DUVERNAY: That's exactly what it was, yeah.

BERMAN: Do you think he misses that time?

DUVERNAY: I don't know. No, I think he has such a sober look at it all, where he looks at it as a formative time that made him who he is today. And from my interactions with him, which were extensive in this, he's a really confident guy. Positive guy.

So, you know, I think -- I'm hoping this piece shows is it's not just about Colin Kaepernick. You watch this and you think, well, are the steps on my journey? All the little things that happened that changed the course of your life?