CITIZEN by CNN

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5:22 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

5 key highlights from the CITIZEN by CNN conference

The CITIZEN by CNN conference in New York City has wrapped up for day.

Here were the highlights from the day's discussions:

  • "Late Night” host Seth Meyers on President Trump: Meyers told CNN’s Jake Tapper his comedy show became more political after Trump was elected, and more often than not completely changes last minute.
  • Intelligence community members react to Trump's attacks: Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe said Trump’s attacks on institutions, including the intelligence community, have had a “chilling effect” and are “incredibly damaging.” He said US national security “depends in large part on the courage and integrity of analysts to come forward” with information.
  • What Anita Hill said about Joe Biden: Hill said she's "ready to hold Joe Biden accountable" for his role in leading the confirmation hearing of now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whom she publicly accused of sexual harassment nearly 30 years ago. Biden oversaw Thomas' confirmation hearings, during which Hill testified that Thomas had sexually harassed her. In April, Biden told ABC he believed Hill did not get a fair hearing and was not treated well, and said he took responsibility.
  • Bill Weld on Trump: The former Republican governor of Massachusetts called Trump a "reckless man" who is "endangering our Constitutional scheme." Weld, who is challenging Trump in the 2020 race, said that he supports removing the President from office.
  • White House adviser defends Trump's trade strategy: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro downplayed the pain from the US-China trade war and stressed the need to stay unified against China. "We are dealing with a strategic rival — and they are trying to buckle our knees," Navarro told CNN's Jim Sciutto.
4:10 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

Republican presidential challengers respond to Trump's tweet calling them "human scum"

The three Republicans challenging President Trump for the party's 2020 presidential nomination — Bill Weld, Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford — responded to a Trump tweet this week where he said that "Never Trumper Republicans" are "human scum."

Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, said "I return the favor" and called Trump a "reckless man" who is "endangering our Constitutional scheme."

Weld said that he supports removing Trump from office.

"Get rid of him, we must," Weld said.

Walsh, a former Illinois Republican congressman, called Trump a "traitor" and a "coward."

"He said 'human scum' yesterday, it'll be worse tomorrow," Walsh said. "He's going to get uglier."

On Trump's tweet, Sanford, a former South Carolina Republican governor and congressman, said it's "important we not respond" and added it's "important that we not dance his dance."

3:57 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

Chef José Andrés on his disaster relief efforts: "We arrive and we listen"

Renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés spoke with CNN's Anderson Cooper about his efforts to provide disaster relief to places hit by hurricanes and other catastrophic events.

Andrés said that after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in September, his team visited "13 islands" during a trip to provide meals and other support to places affected by the storm.

Andrés said their efforts involved bringing in six helicopters to transport food to people after the storm. He said they also "rebuilt a dock" in a few days to get to one location that had been devastated.

"This is what we do," Andrés said. "We listen to the people...respond to their needs."

He added: "We arrive and we listen."

Asked if his work has left him optimistic about America, Andrés said, "Everyday more and more."

On groups who promote hate and division, Andrés said, "The dark side has been awakened."

"Now the Jedis of the world, we have to fix it," he said.

2:09 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

CNN President: Facebook shouldn't run any political ads this election season

From CNN's Zoe Sottile

Speaking to CNN's Brian Stelter about running political advertisements, Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, suggested that Facebook shouldn't run any political ads for the upcoming 2020 election.

"We've turned down two ads from the Trump campaign, we've taken two, we don't have anything against taking those ads, but we're only going to take them when they're truthful," Zucker said.

Facebook should have the same standards, and frankly, given what happened in 2016, maybe they should just sit out this election and not take any political advertising until they can figure out how to get it right.

Facebook has been under intense scrutiny over its role in the 2016 election, including as a tool for Russian interference in the US election.

12:10 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

Anita Hill: "I'm ready to hold Joe Biden accountable"

From CNN's Zoe Sottile

CNN
CNN

When asked by CNN's Christiane Amanpour if she was ready to forgive former Vice President Joe Biden, lawyer and academic Anita Hill said, "I'm ready to move on, I'm ready to hold Joe Biden accountable."

In 1991, Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his nomination. Former Vice President Joe Biden has been widely criticized for how he handled overseeing the confirmation hearings, during which Hill faced intense questioning from senators.

Hill stressed the importance of holding Biden accountable for his role in the hearings.

Accountability means acknowledging your role in the problem and the harm that was caused, that you have a part of it, giving me clear information that you have changed and you are going to do something about gender discrimination. I expect that from every candidate, regardless of their gender," Hill said.

She also said she does not express public support for specific presidential candidates.

Biden said in March that he regrets his actions during the hearings.

12:11 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

Anita Hill expresses solidarity with Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford

From CNN's Zoe Sottile

Anita Hill, a lawyer and academic who was thrust into the spotlight when she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court nomination, expressed her solidarity with Christine Blasey Ford, who testified about being assaulted by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination.

She told CNN's Christine Amanpour that she saw many similarities between her experience and Ford's. "Even though the tone in the questions might have, in some sense, been different, the structure was hostile."

I can only say that it was just disappointing. I tend to be a hopeful person. I tend to build up my hope that things can be diff, we know more than we did 30 years ago, we know and understand these issues, we understand sexual assault, we don’t blame the victims automatically, we listen to the facts, and we know about the reality in terms of the numbers."

Despite her disappointment, she says she feels a "profound urgency" spurred by the momentum of the #MeToo movement.

Hill stressed the importance of going "beyond Kavanaugh." She framed the Kavanaugh hearings as not just a setback, but "this opportunity for us to realize how much work there is to be done."

"People say how do you feel? Well, one of the things that I’ve learned is that it’s important to be able to feel and think at the same time."

11:21 a.m. ET, October 24, 2019

Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe says Trump's attacks have had a “chilling effect”

From CNN's Kate Sullivan

CNN
CNN

Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, former FBI general counsel James Baker and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper defended the intelligence community against attacks from President Donald Trump.

“There was no coup or attempted coup, there was no conspiracy, there was no treason, there was no sedition. This is all false and wrong,” Baker told CNN’s Jim Sciutto. “Nothing ever came even remotely close to that.”

McCabe said Trump’s attacks on institutions, including the intelligence community, have had a “chilling effect” and are “incredibly damaging.” He said US national security “depends in large part on the courage and integrity of analysts to come forward” with information.

Clapper said Russian interference in the 2016 election is “irrefutable.” He said Trump doesn’t like to acknowledge it because it “casts doubt on the legitimacy of his election.”

McCabe said Russian interference is an an important issue that “demands the participation” of the President of the United States. He said with Trump making it clear that he doesn’t want to hear about Russian interference, “you run the risk of turning a blind eye to an adversary.”

Baker said Trump doesn’t take in the information provided by the intelligence community. “He spews his theories about the world, he doesn’t seem to read the information presented to him,” Baker said.

12:06 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

"You don't fight corruption with corruption," says former FBI official

From CNN's Zoe Sottile

Speaking about the ongoing Ukraine scandal and impeachment investigation, former general counsel for the FBI James A. Baker criticized the alleged quid pro quo between US officials and the Ukraine.

As a former fraud prosecutor, you don’t fight corruption with more corruption, you fight corruption with integrity and honesty and holding people accountable and finding the facts."
2:09 p.m. ET, October 24, 2019

Former FBI director says deep state conspiracy damages national security

From CNN's Zoe Sottile

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CNN's Jake Tapper that the "deep state conspiracy" and criticism of intelligence officials damages the intelligence community and national security.

“People who do the work that we did are drawn to it not because they want be famous or they want to be in politics or on the news, they wish to serve, and they prefer to do it, especially in the intelligence community, very quietly," he said.

He pointed out that many intelligence officials have been suddenly drawn into the spotlight by the impeachment investigation — with potential ramifications for other officials.

"So the idea that you could become part of the next Twitter storm, or attached to the White House, or the subject of a seemingly arbitrary and possibly politically motivated internal investigation is incredibly damaging."

Our national security depends in large part on the courage and the integrity of people like career analysts to step forward and draw controversial conclusions, to analyze raw intelligence and present it to decision makers in sometimes revolutionary and unconventional ways. And if we have discouraged them from doing that, we’re all less safe.