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tv   State of the Union With Jake Tapper  CNN  November 18, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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it's bring your own phone, not pony. so i could've taken the bus? yeah. bring your phone. switch your carrier. save hundreds a year with xfinity mobile. call, click or visit a store today. under pressure, president trump denies reports of administration chaos. and says he's preparing to turn in his answers to the special counsel's questions. >> i've answered them very easily, very easily. >> is the investigation almost over? republican senator jeff flake is here. and speaker showdown, democratic leader nancy pelosi faces a potential challenge to be the next speaker. >> sometimes you just need a different voice. >> will president trump give pelosi the boost she needs? >> i will give her the votes to
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put her over the top. >> we'll discuss with three incoming members of congress. progressive power. democratic star stacey abrams loses her bid for georgia governor. >> democracy failed georgia. >> but she vows to fight on. what might her loss mean for the progressive movement in 2020? stacey abrams will be here for her first national interview since the election. hello. i'm jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is thinking about and praying for california. president trump is back in washington after touring the utter devastation from the most destructive fires in the history of california, according to officials there, where there at least 97 people who have been kill asked nearly 1,300 who are missing. the president says the disaster does not change, however, his view of climate change and he disputed a claim blaming forest management for the crisis.
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>> i was with the president of finland who said we're a forest nation and he spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don't have any problems. >> the disaster in california is unfolding as the president faces mounting pressures back in washington, including renewed attention on the special counsel's russia investigation. president trump says he has now written down answers to some of robert mueller's questions and will submit them this week. and new reports that the cia has assessed that the saudi arabia crown prince likely ordered the killing of journalist jamal khashoggi. i want to go straight to senator jeff flake of arizona now, member of the senate judiciary in foreign relations committee. senator, thank you for joining us. in response to the news of the crown prince's likely involvement as determine bid the cia, president trump said saudi arabia was a, quote, truly spectacular ally, when it comes to economic ties with the u.s.
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and, quote, he has to take a lot of things into consideration before making a decision to hold the crown prince responsible. do you think economic interests of the nation with saudi arabia are more important, supersede holding the crown prince responsible for the murder? >> you cannot dismiss -- obviously, we recognize there's reale politique and you take the world as it is rather than as you want it to be. but that would dictate you have to deal with the truth here, and it looks more and more like the truth is the crown prince was involved, that he likely ordered it. so to just deflect and say it's spectacular ally when, in fact, some of the bloom has been coming off that rose for a while, particularly given the war in yemen. there are things that we'll have to confront here soon. and i hope we do it based on the truth, not in something that we simply want to see because we have a lot invested in the
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relationship with the crown prince now. >> what do you think the u.s. should do? should the u.s. sanction mbs? should the u.s. suspend relations with saudi arabia until somebody else takes over? >> we have a report coming out on tuesday. i don't want to prejudge that. i hope we can get to the bottom of it by then. certainly we ought to do what's been outlined in legislation that's just been introduced. bipartisan legislation that involves bob corker and others. it ought to involve what we do in yemen. it's a horrible situation there and the saudis have not been making it better. in fact, they have not done some of the commitments they said they would do already. we agreed not to do any refueling but there are other things the saudis need to do.
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>> let's turn to the mueller investigation. you said you will not vote for any further judicial nominations to go forward in committee or the full core of the senate unless the legislation that you introduced to protect the special counsel gets a full vote on the floor. as of now not one of your republican colleagues, corker, sass, not one of them has joined you. are you disappointed in that? >> this legislation was passed in april and on a bipartisan basis, which we don't often get out of the judiciary committee, and it passed 14 to 7 including our chairman voting for it. since that time we've processed 50 judges, and we need to do judges. we've done that on the floor of the house. what i'm saying -- i'm sorry, the floor of the senate. what i'm saying is that this has to be priority now. we have a situation where the president has fired the attorney general and has installed and
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given responsibility for the mueller investigation to somebody who's not been confirm bide the senate and someone who's expressed hostility to the mueller investigation. how in the world my colleagues don't see this as priority now i just don't understand. it needs to come to the senate floor and is worth using a little leverage here. >> you're pushing hard for a vote on the mueller protection bill. democrats, chuck schumer in the senate, jerry nadler in the house, says the best way to get a vote is to attach to the year end spending bill, which could force decision makers to make a choice between allowing a vote or shutting down the government. are you in favor of that plan? will you vote against the spending bill if it does not include protections for mueller? >> i would sure like to see it as part of the spending plan, because that will make it law. i hope that they will continue to push for that. the first step has to be having this bill that has already passed the judiciary committee and is waiting action on the floor of the senate, to have
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that pass. it will pass with a pretty big majority. if we could do that first there's a far greater likelihood it will be attached to the spending bill. >> let's talk about the recent election in arizona, your home state earlier this week. democrats picked up a senate seat. you were going to be replaced by a democrat for the first time in 30 years. if you look at the exit polls republicans in arizona lost among latinos, male voters, college graduates and among suburban voters compared to president trump's 2016 performance. do you think arizona is winnable for a democratic presidential candidate in 2020? >> it certainly is. i think we'll see the same trends we've seen elsewhere. arizona is still nomally a republican state. we have a voter registration advantage of i believe still 200,000 statewide. but you cannot run as someone who is just tied at the hip with
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the president and win statewide. voters in arizona are rejecting that, and i think we're seeing that elsewhere in the country as well. we're losing the suburbs. you know, if we had a mass movement from the suburbs for people to move back to rural areas then perhaps our republican party would have more of a future, but not the way that we're going now. so i'm very concerned about where we are in arizona and elsewhere in the country. >> let's talk about the republican party's future. i have to ask because you made a joke at a dinner here in washington earlier this week about a future election in new hampshire and yourself. i don't want to go into the joke, but you alluded yourself to you potentially running for president and you made no secret you're considering running against president trump. when are you going to decide? when are you going to tell us in the media and the world what you're going to do? >> i've said all along someone needs to run on the republican side if nothing else to remind
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republicans what it means to be conservative, but being a conservative really means and what it means to be decent as well. i think that the future of the party with people with an optimistic vision moving ahead, i don't think that will be me. i think there are better candidates out there, but somebody needs to run. >> who would you like to see run? ben sass? >> well, there are names out there. i would love to see ben sass. i'm not speaking for him. obviously i would love to see him run. john kasich has put something in action. i think there needs to be somebody, and i've been to new hampshire a few times. it's a great place to be in the fall, not sure about the wintertime. but anyway, somebody needs to run. >> it's cold in the wintertime, i'll tell you that. jeff flake, senator of arizona, thank you for your time. we really appreciate it. stacey abrams said democracy failed in georgia. what does she plan to do about it? and congress is going to
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and hotly contested races are now over. andrew gillum conceded in florida. and friday stacey abrams acknowledged in a speech that republican mibrn kemp will be the next governor of georgia saying that democracy failed her state. >> this is not a speech of concession because concession is to acknowledge that an action is right, true or proper. >> abrams is now planning to launch a federal lawsuit against the state for what he called gross mismanagement of the election. and joining me now for her first national interview since ending the race is stacey abrams. thank you for joining us. you said that, quote, democracy failed in georgia. obviously you're referring to some of the messy process of democracy, as you called it and incompetence and mismanagement. but do think there was deliberate interference in the election?
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>> yes. and i believe it began eight years ago with the systematic disenfranchisement of minority voters. and continued in polling places and training and in the management of the county delivery of services. and i think it had its pinnacle in this race. but a few months before in may of 2018 a republican primary had to be called for a do over because a number of voters did not receive accurate ballots. we know that there is has been a dramatic discrepancy in the way absentee ballots are both allocated and counted across the 159 counties. so, yes, there was a deliberate and intentional disinvestment and i think destruction of the administration of elections in the state of georgia. >> let me ask you because kemp when he was secretary of state did oversee a process in which 1.5 million voters were removed from the voting rolls. here in washington, d.c. which is republican strong hold, if
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you don't vote in the last four years you're removed from the voting rolls. and i don't think anybody thinks that's disenfranchisement but people being removed from the rolls because of inactivity. what's the difference between what kemp did, if you don't vote in georgia you're removed from the rolls and what they did in washington? >> the vigor with which he did so and the mismanagement with which he did so. a perfect example is the 92-year-old civil rights activist who's lived in the west end of atlanta for more than 40 years, has voted in every single election since 1968 in that neighborhood, and she was removed from the polls. she went to vote and her daughter had to take more than two hours to get her access to a provisional ballot. this is someone who has never failed to vote. and so the problem we have is it's death by 1,000 cuts. it's not sufficient to simply purge voters from the rolls because of inactivity, he removed voters who were eligible
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and also denied access to more than 3,000 citizens who should have been on the rolls and prevented them to vote. and he was a horrible actor who benefitted from his pufferty. that's problematic. >> take a listen to what democratic senator sharon brown said about her race. >> if stacey abrams doesn't win in the election it was stolen. >> do you think brian kemp is not the governor elect of georgia? >> the law as it stands says he received an adequate number of votes to become governor of georgia. and i'm a lawyer by training and i'm someone who's taken a
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constitutional oath to uphold the law. but we know sometimes the law doesn't do what it should and something being legal doesn't make it right. this is someone who's compromised our smtsystems, our democratic systems and that is not appropriate. so my mission is to make sure no one else has to face this conversation. going forward we have to enl sure there are fair fights and that voter protection is actually a common cause that cuts across partisanship. because as i said there were republicans who remember harmed, democrats who were harmed, independents who were harmed. and that is one in the original 13 colonies, one of it founding blocks of our democracy, and i want georgia to be better. >> is he the legitimate governor-elect of georgia? >> he is the person who won an adequate number of veets to become the governor of georgia. >> i respect the issues that you're raising and you're not answering the question.
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you're not using the word legitimate. is he the legitimate governor elect of georgia? >> he's the legal governor of georgia. i want to be clear, words have meaning. and i've spent my lifetime not only as an attorney but as a liar and i'm very careful with the words i use. and yes when he takes the oath of office he will be the legal governor of georgia, he is the victor. but what you're directing me to say is there was no compromise in our democracy and there should be some political compromise in the language i use, and that's not right. i will never deny the legal permture that says he's in this position and i pray for his success. but will i say this election was not a disenfranchisement of thousand of voters, i will not say. >> just to be clear, i don't have an opinion on what you should say or not say.
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i'm trying to understand where you're coming from. are you concerned that your words this morning and in your speech friday will undermine faith in the democratic process? >> not at all because the words i use are very specific. we have had systematic disenfranchisement of voters, we have seen gross mismanagement of our election, and we have seen an erosion of faith in democracy in our state. those are all true facts, but these are all solvable problems and that's why i'm proud to be an american, i'm proud to be a georgian. and that's why i'm taking ubfair fight georgia. because faith is not enough. we have to have action married to that faith. and i don't believe you're trying to cast aspirations or cause me to say anything, but what i'm clear about is i'm choosing my words carefully because words have meaning, and we have to have leaders who will actually speak truth and not engage in political compromise for ease. we have to have people who are
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going to fight to ensure our democracy works for everyone. because there are are going to be republicans who win elections because of what we do. >> i want to give you an opportunity to answer this because this is going to be the big question coming out of this interview. president trump based on no evidence passed all sorts of aspersions, and he was criticized widely for doing so. how is what you're doing any different from what he did? >> my accusations are based entirely on evidence. we had four different federal judges in the course of a week spay that what we witnessed was wrong and forced better behavior. and what i'm simply asking for is another court to force even stronger behavior. legal reforms that will guarantee that no one has to question the legitimacy of our election. dan is a republican who lost a
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republican primary because they failed to a adequately provide ballots that were accurate. that was under brian kemp's laws. this was not something that simply affected democrats, this was not partisan. the head of the tea part in georgia debbie dooly pointed out how we mishandle absentee ballots. we have to do better in georgia. i'm simply using this moment to lift up this call to arms. but i'm going to do so in the court of law, not in the court of public opinion because i want people to understand what was flawed and what can be fixed. >> and lastly, this was the closest race for governor of georgia since 19666. a lot of people wondering are you going to run for office in the future, perhaps for senate in 2020? >> i'm going to spend the next few years as a private citizen but i do intend to run for office. i'm not sure for what or when, i
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need to take a nap, but once i do i plan to get back into the ring. >> thank you for joining us this morning. we appreciate it. >> thank you. and we do hope that governor-elect kemp will accept one of our invitations for interview at some point in the future. coming up one of the only two native-american women ever elected to congress, i'm going to talk to these three members of the most diverse congress in history next. with my hepatitis c, i felt i couldn't be at my best for my family. in only 8 weeks with mavyret,
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welcome back to "state of the union." i'm jake tapper. when congress comes back in session in january, there will be at least 86 new members of the house of representatives, the most diverse group ever elected. deb haaland, republican congressman-elect dan crenshaw of texas, a former lieutenant commander in the navy s.e.a.l.s, and crissy houlahan, air force captain who flipped the seat in pennsylvania. go eagles. perhaps the good luck you had will come to them as well. you've always seen congressman-elect crenshaw get attacked on snl and your
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congresswoman from new york has also been attacked quite a bit in her first week on the job. a lot of people talking about civility. things here in the nation and in washington seem nastier than ever and i'm wondering if you think your class will try to usher in an era of cooperation, bipartisanship and stability. >> some people's version of attack is different from ours. this week we've all worked together extremely hard. it's been a fast paced week. going from one orientation to the next at opposite ends of the capitol. and i feel like we've all been very cooperative and actually quite civil to each other. >> what do you think? you've been in the barrel as it were. >> i would echo that sentiment of what it means to be attacked. my whole message last week was was i really attacked or offended? that doesn't mean that what was said wasn't highly insulting and needs to be addressed but i don't feel like i was really attacked and the other message we're trying to send is don't
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insult people. we can attack each other's ideas but not each other as people. that should be the goal moving forward. >> what do you think? >> i agree. frankly i would like to see our orianation be more bipartisan. i can see maybe that's something we do more frequently in the future we bring ourselves together in an orientation way. i think it is important to pull people together. my part of pennsylvania, my part of philadelphia is really republican. it's 40% republican, and we want to talk about ideas and not harass people. >> and you were just in arlington. >> i grew up in a military household. >> and president trump said he should have gone to arlington national seamitary on veterans
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day but he was busy. what do you make of that, that he should have done more on that day and does it matter to you in. >> well, i went to arlington on veterans day to visit my father's grave and while there i spoke to a woman who brought her folding chair and sat in front of her son's grave seemingly for hours. i feel like americans might -- you know, they have sacrificed, and so showing that you care about that sacrifice -- giving respect to our fallen soldiers i think it is an easy thing to do especially if you live in the same city as the cemetery. >> what do you think? >> so i in addition to be military myself, i'm third generation military, and i tend to share your belief that i think it's important that our commander in chief respect the veterans and the people who have served our country so
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fundamentally. i also have four active duty cousins right now, and so this is important to me. it's also about our nation. >> i've been in arlington multiple times to bury my friends. there's at least two funerals there i've attended and gone back occasionally. i also noted the president on a very personal level has treated the family very well, and he has embraced them and been very good to them. i would have like to see him at arlington but i'm not offended by the fact he didn't go. i understand he does have a lot of things to do. as a veteran i don't think it necessarily affects us where he shows up to in a ceremonial fashion. what affects us is are you giving us a clear mission, raising pay for the military? >> you're going to have a big choice to make coming up with nancy pelosi. you have not said how you're going to vote. you are a yes on pelosi, you're
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a no i'm assuming, but why have you not come out in favor of her or against her one way or the other? >> so listen, i want to back all the way up and say i have enormous respect for leader pelosi and for the work she's done leading our party today and in the past as well. i wouldn't be standing here, sitting here unless people like her did the work they've done. i stand on her shoulders. i believe that women in the democratic caucus made the majority. there were so many of us elected out of the 60 or so and we could have made the majority just with women alone and i'm deeply appreciative for that work. i had a sit down with leader pelosi and we had a terrific conversation. i'm fundamentally leaning towards voting for her, but i take this responsibility very, very, seriously. not just her election but the election of other peoples as
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well. and i'm a deliberative person, so i'm working hard to understand all of my options are. and during that last conversation with her we had a conversation about the fact i'm putting myself forward for something called the dccc, which is basely the portion of our leader that allows us to communicate with the messenger or messengers. i'll hopefully be one of the three people that will serve her in what we'd like to convey in the house in 2020. >> we're running out of time but i do want to ask each of one one question, which first of all what does it mean to you to be one of the two first native-americans? >> first of all i'm humbled i have this opportunity. i'll tell you the other day when
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i was walking across the capital to actually take our freshman photograph, two young girls from south dakota came up to me,tapped me on the shoulder, their mother came over, it looked like it was a school field trip, crying. and, you know, we hugged and took pictures. i feel like, you know, for every native-american child who has never, ever seen themselves represented in this body of our government, it means a tremendous amount to them. i know it means a tremendous amount to tribal leaders across the country to feel like they have representation where they haven't before. so, you know, my state, new mexico, we have 23 tribes in our state. i have three tribes in my district, and, you know, i feel very confident that my experience will give me an opportunity to be that voice at the table. >> i want to have you all back in the future, but quickly if
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you can being a veteran, you're not the first veteran in congress but you're one of the most visible right now. so what's that like? >> well, it affects me entin tw ways. one is policy. but on a deeper level, first of all, it means we understand what leadership is, which is taking care of your people. above all else it's taking care of your people and inspiring people to do better and ultimately understanding when we work with our fellow veterans, we know that we both started off this career just trying to serve our country, before we got into politics. that's a way to bridge that gap. >> i hope to sue yo again. could democrats win a senate seat in mississippi? why some big names on both sides are suddenly rushing to campaign there. coming up next.
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we look at other countries where they do it differently and it's a whole different story. i was with the president of finland, they don't have any problem and when it is it's a very small problem. so i know everybody's looking at that, to that end. >> president trump referencing the forests of cold and rainy finland while seeming to blame forest management for the deadly fires in california. michael, i want to point out the president of the california's professional firefighter association called president trump's original tweet blaming this on forest management quote, ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front line. >> as far as i can tell these fires have been ravaging california for millions of years. forest management is a rather new idea in comparison. i watched the president on the ground there. i watched the governor and
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newsom, the three of them walking and talking together, working together. i think -- i hope they work together to try to resolve some of these issues, maybe even resolve forest management issues. what i like to see is the bipartisanship and working to help people who have suffered through this. i think that's what we should focus. >> what do you think? >> i think it was great there was bipartisanship. they rose above to do this, and that's what governors should be doing, and you're going to need federal and state to help many who got killed and lost everything. but the president has access to the entire u.s. intelligence community, and he chooses to watch "fox & friends" and pedal conspiracy theories and fake news, which are completely not helpful to the folks fighting the fires, helping people and people who lost everything. and denying basic facts, denying the science is actually
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dangerous. it's a deadly thing to do because we're in the time when hurricanes are stronger and fires are stronger. >> i think anyone who can read understands that global warming exists. and i think the days of having our elected officials hand out sunscreen on the capitol floor when he have 2 inches of snow overnight needs to stop. people need to realize what's going on here, and we need to really address the issue. >> i would say we don't have to resolve the cause of global warming to stop the fires in california. i don't like trump's words and tone, but he's right forest management should do more. there's been a long debate between the conservation community and environmentalists on how to stop this. you can do something like cleaning up the forests in residential areas. i don't think it's helpful when you have the security secretary ryan zincy blames us on environmental terrorists.
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>> republican incumbent senator cindy hyde-smith is embroiled in controversy over things she said. she said there were jokes. not great audio, but what she said was in one reference she was talking to politicians if you invited me to a public hanging i'll be on the front row, and another she said they remind me maybe we don't want to vote, maybe we want to make it a little more difficult and i think that's a great idea. "the washington post" has reported her lead is narrowing.
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>> mississippi was a seat along with arizona and montana that republicans thought they were going to win on election night, and they didn't win the two, not much in arizona and now they have a runoff in mississippi. it really feels like a runoff in alabama. mississippi 37% african-american. i think if epsy doubles down he could actually win this, and this is amazing to say about mississippi. i do want to say one quick thing, there's a dark history of lynching in mississippi. and what she said is sick, it's like what the naacp said, more than 600 riverings were recorded in mississippi, the highest of any other state. it was done to terrorize black people and to hear someone who's running for such a higher office to say this is really horrific. >> if high guest speaker said to
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you how do i appeal to voters and the more progressive voters in mississippi, and how do appeal to white working class voters, what would you tell them? >> her comments she made especially where she made them is unacceptable. i mean you're talking about a person who says -- you know, is supposed to be a leader and her comments were just sick. >> one thing i heard speculated is she's right now trying to get the percentage of the vote that went to a very conservative republican that got about 16% in the election, she's running in his direction and that's why those comments were made. >> there's no explanation for it. it's a racist thing to say. i'm not from the south, but that's pretty sure joking around going about going to a public lynching is not something people say. >> she said public hanging. >> excuse me.
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well maybe what she can do is tour the lynching museum down south. as you mentioned she's been around. and now this race will be a referendum on her comments. you have 2020 hopefuls like kamala harris, bush is going down there, trump is going down there. and republicans want to quit being seen as racist they have to stop saying racist things. >> mike epsy by the way appeals very much to white voters. he's a very bright man with a lot of history of strong contributions in washington. but her comments, i go back to what representative crenshaw says about the outrage culture. we saw the same thing happen with desantis and gillum. >> why does it keep happening? >> i understand we have an culture where you say something stupid you're going to get
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branded for it. we need to address the outrage culture but also republicans need to realize there's cameras and recordings everywhere. >> i think that anyone who has that thought process, you know, even has that in the back of their mind has a problem. >> and we should mention you're running for president. >> yes, sir. >> you ran for congress and you're going to run for president. what do you have to offer the democratic party? >> i'm with the working class. i support unions wholeheartedly. i'm actually wanting to get out there -- when i retired from the military and come home, it was the things i saw that told me i've got to get involved here. when i've got kids in my own backyard that have got it worse than the children i saw in iraq and afghanistan. and i'm fighting to make sure we can have better and i believe we
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can. but let me tell you something we're not going to do by sending the same cookie cutter politician. we need someone that's a working class democrat, not a goldman sachs democrat. >> black friday is just around the corner but for amazon owner jeff bazos, it's american taxpayers giving him the best deal. stay with us. with my bladder leakage, the products i've tried just didn't fit right. they were too loose. it's getting in the way of our camping trips. but with a range of sizes, depend fit-flex is made for me.
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amazonian king jeff bazos has decided where to expand his first empire. alexa, which politicians will demean themselves the most by offering the most ridiculous incentives? >> this isn't a conversation i'm capable of having. >> later to cross the land responded by promising billions of dollars of tax incentives and extraordinary benefits new york governor andrew cuomo jokingly offered to change his first name to amazon, amazon cuomo to please the king. >> this is big moneymaker for us, costess us nothing. >> new york can't even have a functioning subway but it offered bazos a magnificent helipad. and chicago. the response set phasers on no, captain. atlanta offered an extra train carriage on its public transportation just for amazon
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employees. nope. columbus, ohio, said they'd form a task force to prevent an unacceptable murder rate. here's an idea, why don't you do that anyway, columbus? some cities such as los angeles were apparently so embarrassed they kept their offers to amazon secret. northern virginia got the other amazon site, forming a whole new city called national landing. i guess that's better than upper bazosia. wait until 2020 when president trump sends the military there to stop the amazon invasion. a clash of the titans that could reach amazonian proportions. >> democrats made big gains on the state and federal levels in mid-term elections. did the parties hack left, right, center in 2020? that's next. or snack a day with glucerna... made with carbsteady to help manage blood sugar...
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this is gps, the global public scare. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. we'll begin today's show on the other side of the globe. world leaders have been meeting this weekend. one leader has been noticeably absent from this year's apex summit, donald trump. why isn't he there? also, what in the world is going on with brexit? we'll tackle all of it with a terrific panel. and the 2018 mid-terms are over, sort of.


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