Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Christianity Today publishes a Piece Decrying Trump's Moral Standing. North Carolina Ravaged by Floodwaters in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew With 19 Deaths So Far. Yusef Salaam of the "Central Park Five" Would Like an Apology From Trump. Aired 10:30 to 11a ET

Aired October 12, 2016 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN HOST: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me. The Donald Trump campaign debuting a new defense of his crass and lewd comments caught on a hot mike. They were made before Trump had "revitalized his religion." Listen as Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis explains.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SAM CLOVIS, TRUMP CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: He's a new Christian. This is a person who's revitalized his faith and over just recent years. And for many of us who've been on a faith journey for a long time, we don't understand this. We don't understand how this evolves and I think this is why evangelicals are sticking with him regardless of the gutter talk that took place.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Despite Clovis' assurances, though, not all evangelicals are sticking with trump. Christianity Today published a scathing editorial denouncing the candidate, calling Trump an idolater, saying that he has no evidence of humility or dependence on others and wantonly celebrates strongmen and, I quote, "He is, in short, the very embodiment of what the Bible calls a fool." So let's talk about this with the editor at large of Christianity Today and the author of "A Woman's Place," Katelyn Beaty. Welcome.

KATELYN BEATY, EDITOR AT LARGE OF CHRISTIANITY TODAY: Thanks so much for having me.

COSTELLO: It's nice to have you here. You heard what Sam Clovis said. You know, Donald Trump just is dipping his toe in the water. He's revitalized his faith in light of this election, so he's going to make mistakes. What do you think?

BEATY: Well, it's true that we all make mistakes and it's true that we all can be forgiven. At the same time, Donald Trump is not a man who has shown any remorse. He has boasted about the fact that he is someone who doesn't need to ask for forgiveness. So I think for any evangelical, that's a huge red flag.

COSTELLO: Have you guys ever done an op-ed before like this? BEATY: So, as a nonprofit, you know, Christianity Today really tries to be centrist, and we are not allowed to formally endorse presidential candidates. At the same time, I think the seriousness of a Donald Trump presidency is such that the editors felt the need to sound a very strong word warning evangelicals of what could happen if he were elected and to really have moral clarity in a time when evangelicals are tempted to throw in their lot with Trump for the sake of political power. And unfortunately, I think, are being taken advantage of. [10:35:06]

COSTELLO: So I think many evangelicals are worried about the supreme court, right? And they trust Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton to appoint the kind of supreme court justices, you know, that more align with their values.

BEATY: Right, and I do think that that is a serious concern. I understand the fear that many Christians have about a Clinton presidency. At the same time, I do think we need to look at questions of character. Evangelicals have always been people who have looked at moral character and moral integrity in our leaders, and Donald Trump is not someone who has shown himself to have much moral character in his comments about ethnic minorities in this country, in his comments about women. There's no vulnerable community in this country that he has not lashed out at. And I think as evangelicals we do need to ask questions of moral character. And that's not to necessarily say that, you know, we throw our lot in with Clinton either, but to have integrity in this country, I don't think that we can support Donald Trump.

COSTELLO: I have heard support from many male evangelicals. Is there a split? Do women - do Christian women feel differently than men do?

BEATY: You know, it's hard to say. I think in the last few days I have heard more male evangelical leaders come forward and distance themselves from Trump. At the same time, I do think there's something about Trump's comments about women, women of color, and the - just the grossness of his comments, and the joking about sexual assault from last week that does effect women in a very specific way. One in five women in this country will experience sexual assault or rape at some point in their lives. And that means that women in every local church. There are women in every local church for whom this is a very deeply personal issue in a way that perhaps some of the male evangelicals can't understand by experience. But I do think that some are coming forward in empathy. For others, you know, unfortunately it seems like either political expediency or just the temptation to have power and to be aligned with someone how promises power. And that's unfortunate.

COSTELLO: How would you - my final question: How would you as a Christian characterize this election?

BEATY: It's been a very discouraging election for most Christians that I know. I think many evangelicals feel like there's no winner, you know there's no choice. But I think also at the end of the day this is a season for Christians to remember that our ultimate hope isn't in the political system and certainly not in a two-party political system. That doesn't mean that we can't be involved in politics. But it certainly has been discouraging but it's also been clarifying. And I think that the way that evangelicals conduct themselves in this election will have an impact in this country for better or for worse 20 or 30 years from now. And so I hope that we do the best that we can and speak truth and love for the next four weeks until it's all over.

COSTELLO: We do need to speak love. Thank you so much, Katelyn Beaty for joining me this morning.

BEATY: Thank you.

COSTELLO: You're welcome. Up next in THE NEWSROOM: Heartbreak in North, Carolina. Nineteen people have died and the floodwaters continue to rise.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:40:00]

COSTELLO: The rain may be gone, but the danger from Hurricane Matthew is far from over for residents of North Carolina. Flood warnings are in effect for dozens of counties in the state and floodwaters are predicted to head higher. Polo Sandoval live in Lumberton outside a shelter set up for evacuees. Good morning, Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey Carol, good morning. As you mentioned, it wasn't Hurricane Matthew that forced people out of their homes, it was the flooding that followed it earlier this week. Some of the people who are now staying in this dark gym invited us in so you can see for yourself what it's like in one of about five shelters in the area here in southern North Carolina, specifically inside the South Robinson High School gym, home now to about 300 people. Still no power here, whatever little power can come from a generator now being used to essentially light it with some emergency lights, even a small television to keep people entertained. Because obviously people have been here for a very long time. Tonight, Carol, will be night number three for Dennis and Jamie. Hayes. I want you to hear directly from them. Tonight, as we mentioned, will be night number three for you all.

DENNIES HAYES, DISPLACED BY NORTH CAROLINA FLOODS: Correct.

SANDOVAL: You had to be rescued from your home. Tell me what it was like earlier this week and what it's like for you now.

DENNIS HAYES: Right now we're in the right spot, you know. Some of the other shelters have got 600 or more people in them. Right here, we've got a little less than 300. So you can see we still have plenty of space. They're feeding us like crazy. The outpouring of love from this community has been tremendous. They've donated clothes, donated food, we've got - we've got church groups bringing in food, hot food. So you know they've treated us very well here. As far as the early part of the week, it was a very devastating experience. You know I've seen it happen to other people and never - you know I always felt sorry for them, never knew what they felt like, and now I've got an idea how they feel. It's kind of the devastating experience. I mean, we don't know - as far as we know right now we do not have a home to go back to. [10:45:13]

SANDOVAL: And Jamie, very briefly, your husband told me earlier this storm deeply affected folks with limited means. That is the point that you want the rest of the country to know.

JAMIE HAYES, DISPLACED BY NORTH CAROLINA FLOODS: Oh yes, people with little of nothing, this flood's taken all, you know. But we're here, we're safe, we've got a roof of our head, hot meals, and, you know, we're just thankful for that. And the ones that aren't as lucky as us, my heart goes out to them. It really does. But all of us in here, we come in strangers, we'll be friends.

SANDOVAL: Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, thank you so much for your time. Again, just two of the voices that we're hearing from here, Carol. Despite the situation here - the heartbreaking situation here, they still consider themselves lucky as just under 20 people already confirmed dead after this flooding. North Carolina seeing over half the fatalities after Hurricane Matthew. Already five days after the storm swept through the region, and still the effect's being felt in this part of the country, Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Polo Sandoval, thanks so much. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:50:00]

COSTELLO: It was a horrendous crime that shook New York City and brought Donald Trump into the headlines: Five young men wrongly convicted of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park. Now one member of the so-called Central Park Five, speaking out about Trump's campaign. CNN's Miguel Marquez has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The crime inflamed the city and the nation.

ROBERT COLANGELO. CHIEF OF DETECTIVES, NYPD: They beat her with their fists, and, we believe a rock and a metal pipe. She was raped by four of these group - four of these youths.

MARQUEZ: Arrested within hours of the attack, five teens: Four Black, one Latino, all charged with the brutal rape of a 28-year-old jogger in New York Central Park.

UNKNOWN MALE: It was the scariest - scariest time in my life.

MARQUEZ: Yusef Salaam was one of the so-called Central Park Five, just 15-years-old, paraded in front of cameras.

YUSEF SALAAM, "CENTRAL PARK FIVE": Had this been the 1950s, I would have the same fate as Emmett Till.

UNKNOWN MALE: You would have been hung?

SALAAM: I would have been hung. MARQUEZ: Two weeks after their high-profile arrest, Donald Trump took out full-page ads in four major newspapers, calling for the death penalty to be reinstated. Trump wrote: "Criminals must be told that their civil liberties end when an attack on our safety begins."

SALAAM: He was literally like the Firestarter. He lit the match.

MARQUEZ: Salaam served his full sentence, nearly seven years in prison, as did all of the Central Park Five, but none of them were guilty.

UNKNOWN MALE: Men cleared after spending years in prison for a crime they did not commit.

MARQUEZ: In 2002, serial rapist Mattius Reyes came forward, claiming he was solely responsible. His DNA and description of the crime matched with no DNA evidence linking the Central Park Five to the crime. Their sentences were reversed.

SALAAM: When we heard that the verdicts were being vacated, it felt - it felt - it was like the best feeling in the world. And that feeling quickly came and went.

CROWD MEMBERS: Donald Trump, Donald Trump, you can't hide.

MARQUEZ: The Central Park Five, their families, and supporters wanted an apology from Donald Trump. The billionaire refused, telling the New York Times, "They confessed, now they say they didn't do it? Who am I supposed to believe?" Those confessions, parents and lawyers said, were coerced.

UNKNOWN MALE: They didn't give them no food. They didn't give them no sleep for 43 hours. And that's how they did it.

MARQUEZ: The five sued New York City and settled for $41 million in 2014. Trump incensed calling the settlement a disgrace in an opinion column, saying "Settling doesn't mean innocence, but it indicates incompetence on several levels. It is politics at its lowest and worst form."

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, AUTHOR "THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP": I spoke to Donald shortly after the city made its settlement with these men, and he was outraged.

MARQUEZ: Michael D'Antonio's "The Truth About Trump," follows the billionaire's rise to the top of the GOP ticket.

D'ANTONIO: He's not a person who takes in new information and then adjusts and accepts reality. The only reality that matters to him is his judgement which was rendered many years prior.

MARQUEZ: No matter how total the vindication for the Central Park Five, there is still one thing they'd like to see.

SALAAM: I keep saying to myself, "One day, Donald Trump is going to, perhaps, take a full page ad out and apologize to the Central Park Five." You know, that would be tremendous. That might make the...

UNKNOWN MALE: Do you really think that's going to happen?

SALAAM: I doubt it's going to happen.

MARQUEZ: In a statement to CNN, Trump not only didn't apologize but said, "They admitted they were guilty. The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that the case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous."

MARQUEZ: Yusef Salaam denies any wrongdoing that night and as for the actual rapist, Matteus Reyes, he is currently serving 33 years to life for a series of rapes, but interestingly not for this one. By the time he admitted to the crime, the statute of limitations had already run out. Miguel Marquez, CNN< New York.

COSTELLO: The Central Park Five case is also dogging the Trump campaign and pulling his endorsement of Trump, Senator John McCain cited a number of known differences with Trump and that included his statements about this Central Park Five case. Coming up in THE NEWSROOM: Tim Tebow's miraculous moment and it had nothing to do with sports.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [10:55:00]

COSTELLO: After a historic comeback against San Francisco, the Chicago Cubs are a giant step closer to ending over a century of misery. Coy Wire has today's BLEACHER REPORT, good morning.

COY WIRES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. It's been 108 years since the Cubs last won the World Series. Could this be the year? They have tons of talent. They have the best record in all of baseball through the regular season, and now we know that they do not quit. What a comeback. It looked like the Giants had this one all locked up. They had a three run lead going into the last inning, so what could go wrong? Well the Cubs, they got those bats a cracking. They scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead and it looked like, "Man, they're going to do it." But the Giants had one more chance until Aroldis Chapman got up on that mound and started throwing the heat. Every pitch over 100 miles per hour. The Cubs win, 6 to 5, and gets them to the National League Championship Series for a second straight year. They will face the winner of the Dodgers and Nationals who are now in a winner-take-all situation after the Dodgers tied up that series at two games apiece Tuesday. Crafty veteran Chase Utley knocking in the go-ahead run, eventual game-winner too there in the eighth inning; the Dodgers win 6 to 5. That deciding game five is on Thursday.

For the first time since starting a national movement in sports by not standing during the National Anthem, 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick will make his first start of the NFL season. Kaepernick's protest of social injustice and police brutality have sparked a national conversation and now it'll be his play on the field that people are talking about. His team is one in four as the 49ers face the Buffalo Bills this Sunday. We'll see if he can spark that team. Difference maker of the day, Tim Tebow, making his Arizona fall league

debut yesterday, and it wasn't what he did on the field that has people talking. It's what happened after the game. Fans gathering to get autographs from players, when one of them collapsed and had a seizure. Well Tim Tebow ran over there and started talking to the man, praying for the man. He didn't have to do that. That man started breathing on his own. The EMTs rushed him to the hospital. He's going to be OK, but much respect to Tim Tebow for jumping right in there to comfort and console that man in a scary moment there, Carol.

COSTELLO: That was really nice. That was really nice. Coy Wire, many thanks. And thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.