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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Trump Accuses Google of Rigging Search Results; Trump Warns of Violence if Republicans Lose Midterms; Pennsylvania A.G.: "Vatican was Aware of Abuse Cover-Up; Gillum Wins in Major Upset in Florida Dem Government Primary. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired August 28, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you, J.B.
I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.
A new Trump conspiracy theory is born. Google is out to get Trump. He believes it, so now the government is looking into it. But is this about a legit infraction or another distraction? We're going to take it to a White House insider, get their opinion and, of course, we will put the president's words to the test.
More midterm primaries are under way right now. A Trump pick came through with a big win. So why is the president preaching fire and brimstone to evangelicals that if the GOP losses, there may be hell to pay?
We also have more insight into the Catholic Church scandal. The big question is what the Vatican and maybe even the pope knew. We have a monsignor tonight who sounded the alarm about abuse and was ignored. Who knew? He's going to tell us.
So what do you say? Let's get after it.
CUOMO: The president woke up this morning, started a witch hunt of his own. And while you can guess it involved the media, it primarily focused on Google. The president fired off a series of tweets blasting Google in terms of search results about him being rigged. No evidence, but conservative content is suppressed. That's his theory.
That's not all. Trump has now apparently tasked the administration with investigating. Let's get a take of where this is coming from and where it will go.
Marc Short, President Trump's former White House legislative affairs director, good to have you again, sir.
MARC SHORT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me on.
CUOMO: Let's do a little housekeeping to get it out of the way. When you were leaving the White House, you signed some type of document that is being called an anti-disparagement document, and now that you're giving commentary, people are going to say, well, are you allowed to be negative about the president? What do you have to say?
SHORT: There is no anti-disparagement document that I signed. Prior to joining the administration, there was what I think is a pro forma nondisclosure that prevents you from disclosing secret secure information, national secrets or classified information, private conversations with the president. And something that said that if you were to do a tell-all book, that those proceeds would go to the federal government and not to your own benefit.
But before I signed a contract with CNN, my personal lawyer spoke to White House ethics lawyers and confirmed that there are no restrictions for me coming on air and giving my unvarnished opinion about the administration. And so, you know, Chris, we've had this conversation. I look forward to continuing to be a part of your network.
CUOMO: Critical or complimentary, you can say what you want?
CUOMO: All right. So you're not bound by any contract.
Let's see if you still choose to defend this fugazi Google notion that the president came up with today. And look, I'm going to argue later on, I'm not saying Google is clean. I'm not saying any of the big providers are, search engines or otherwise.
But what proof does he have of something that seems very conveniently timed as a distraction?
SHORT: Well, actually, this has been an issue that has been rising in conservative circles for a while. I think there's a concern about bias in the mainstream media, so therefore, a lot people -- more and more are getting their news from social platforms. Obviously, Google is a large provider of that.
If you actually go back and look at Marsha Blackburn's campaign this year, she tweeted out a pro-life statement that Google decided to take down. That is not something that has happened to pro-abortion candidates. It has happened to pro-life candidates. I think there has been evidence and conservatives are being more and more concerned. So --
CUOMO: Why did they say they took it down, Marc? Because there's more to that story with that with Blackburn. Why did they take down a pro-life statement?
SHORT: I think that as I recall, their concerns were about there were certain parts of the pro-abortion industry that was marketing fetus hard body parts and Masha had made that case and I think very factually correct she had made that case.
CUOMO: Right. I think it was Twitter, not Google.
SHORT: You're correct, 100 percent.
CUOMO: This is complicated, all right? I did all this reading today about shadow banning and algorithms and searches and what they say. There's no question we could know more, but I say the president is playing that to negative advantage. He's taking the unknown and trying to create a certainty.
What they say is sometimes people who wind up being harder to find, it's because they're generating content or reactions to their content that often violate the protocols of decency and abusive behavior and language. So they're almost kind of being a victim of circumstance of what they're putting out. That's not really on the platform. That's on the community.
SHORT: Chris, that's an admitted tension point, but I'll give you another example. The California Republican Party, if you did a Google search this year earlier, it would come up as another search would be the Nazi party. And so, those are algorithms and you have to ask yourself why is it so biased that you're associating the Republican Party with the Nazi party?
I do think that where the administration has to be careful is limited government people, we do not want more government regulation. It's important to make sure that that is not a step that the administration takes. But I do think to your point about algorithms that there should be a transparency, and that is something that all Americans should know what is in the algorithms so they can make their own choice about who their search engines are. And if there's a bias, they could go somewhere else.
CUOMO: I'm okay with the concept. What I'm saying is the convenience of this. You know, is Trump banging on them because they haven't come clean about what they should be doing to protect our democracy, or if you and I have an e-mail conversation about where we want to go bird hunting this fall, all of sudden, I'm getting all these Cabela's ads, you know, popping on my screen. He should be talking to them about that.
But he doesn't. But when it's about him and what somebody tells him about himself, we all know who had this on TV last night. It's no coincidence that he did it this morning.
SHORT: So, Chris, I know you think there's a pernicious plot here. I want you to know when we come back after Labor Day, Congress has already called hearings into this. And there are several people including the Facebook CEO will testify. Google's CEO today said he will not.
So, in fact, this is something Congress has already been looking into. So, you might believe this is a witch hunt. You might believe this is pernicious and conveniently timed. In fact, this is an issue that has been growing. It is one of the serious concern. And I think the president is raising more attention to it, I think appropriately so.
CUOMO: Well, but, Marc, again the concept I'm with you on, certainly about our democracy, what they do, their transparency, fine. But with specific to Trump, I did some Googling of him on Google about news. I saw Fox News in there. I saw other outlets. They're trying to call this P.J. Media, which is just a conservative site. It's not a research clearinghouse. It's not the Cato Institute. It's nothing like that.
It was used because it had a headline that said 96 percent of media -- of news coverage of Trump is negative from liberal groups. "Reuters"? CBS? Of course, CNN. Those are fringe groups?
Ninety-six percent is negative. That's the reality of coverage with what the president puts out.
SHORT: So then, Chris, you should have no concerns whatsoever to making the algorithms transparent for the American people to decide whether there's a bias or not.
CUOMO: None, none.
SHORT: And I think that's the appropriate recourse.
CUOMO: None, have the government do it. I think that's fine. I just don't think you do it because Trump says it's rigged against him.
SHORT: It's been an issue that has been rising in concern among many Republicans, and I think there's a concern that many conservatives turn to these platforms to get information because they believe the mainstream bias has been -- the mainstream media is biased.
CUOMO: Google Trump news and Fox News popped up in the top of the cache. So, I don't know where they're getting this from except one Fox show that put out one P.J. conservative article, P.J. Media, which was a guy -- you know, some people putting the search into Googles on different computers. That's not research.
SHORT: Chris, we're all delighted that you're now reading P.J. Media and Fox News.
CUOMO: I bet you are. I bet you are.
Let me ask you something else. So, he goes to meet with evangelicals and says, I need your help in the midterm election. If we lose, there's going to be violence. Violence, he said twice. Do you agree with that?
SHORT: I don't know that there will be violence. I think --
CUOMO: You don't know or you think it's highly unlikely?
SHORT: I think one of the hallmarks of American democracy is the peaceful transfer of power and that's been going on for a long time. But I do think there is several things this president has done that has been in concert with evangelical voters and they're excited to see the pro-life agenda. They're excited to see what this president has been doing on judges and any believe he's defending them on religious freedom.
And I don't think there's any doubt that Democrats look to unwind that agenda should they take control of Congress.
SHORT: No, I'm not saying --
CUOMO: Why would they have to be violent if they win by the way?
SHORT: I'm not saying there whether be violence.
CUOMO: He is.
SHORT: Well, I am -- OK. But I'm saying that there will be an effort --
CUOMO: Should he say that?
SHORT: -- to pull back on what has been the legislative and other --
CUOMO: That's fine. That's not what he said.
SHORT: Well, OK. I'm telling you what I think is a concern, which is not a violence concern, but I think is a concern about pulling back and unwinding the success of this administration.
CUOMO: I hear you about that. That's what happens when you go from one party to another.
CUOMO: But saying it's violence. Do you think that's the right thing for a president to do, to scare people like that about the outcome of an election?
SHORT: Chris, I don't think that hopefully there won't be violence and --
CUOMO: I'm not saying what the outcome is going to be. I agree with you. Should the president go to people and say, help me because if we lose, there's going to be violence?
SHORT: I don't know the full context of the conversation and what he said out there, Chris. I know it was a closed door setting. I know parts have been leaked out, but I'd rather have the full context before I comment on that.
CUOMO: All right, Marc Short. At least I know you're not contractually bound to defend stuff like that. You're just doing it because you want to, and you're welcome back here to make the case, and we're going to have you many times. Marc Short, thank you and be well.
CUOMO: All right. So, this Google complaint that it's rigged against the president as Trump says, is there anything to it, or is this just another don't believe what you are seeing and hearing stunt? The truth always comes out at the magic wall. I don't even know how it gets in there -- next.
CUOMO: Looks like President Trump has a new way to avoid McCain's legacy and Mueller's reach. A hot notion that Google is out to get him.
Now, he's choosing fertile ground to launch a conspiracy. Shadow banning and legitimate questions about the search engine Google and other major platforms that go to our privacy and their algorithms and their larger responsibility to protect our democracy -- all legit. Not to mention why I get ads for all kinds of supplements when I'm e- mailing my friends about fight class.
There's a lot going on that we have to know more about, no question. However, what is the proof of the president's pernicious plot with Google? Here's his pitch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Google is really taking advantage of a lot of people, and I think that's a very serious thing, and it's a very serious charge. So I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they're really treading on very, very troubled territory, and they have to be careful. It's not fair to large portions of the population.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Sound indefinite? More feeling than fact? That's because it is. It's actually almost completely devoid of any fact of apparent insight.
But then what do we learn? It was on Fox last night, and the president tweeted just this morning. What a coinkidink. The charge is that when you Google Trump, it shows if you look for Trump news, it shows mostly negative results. Frankly, I'd be more suspicious if the cache came back mostly positive.
The basis for the Fox frenzy is a lone article from P.J. Media, a conservative website, but what a headline they put out. Ninety-six percent of Google search results for Trump news are from liberal media outlets. But if you read past that, the methodology, meh. The writer typed Trump news into Google on a bunch of computers and most of the result were negative.
And as for the nasty bit about the sources, they're dismissing CBS, "Reuters" and CNN as niche agenda drivers, which ironically is what P.J. Media is. So, again, just because Trump's theory smells of tripe on this basis, it doesn't mean that Google and others are in the clear.
Just today the company's CEO was criticized for refusing to testify before the Senate Intel Committee about Russian meddling. Now, those are serious questions that have a basis in fact. As for this current matter with Trump, Google says search is not used to set a political agenda, and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology.
Not good enough for Trump, who had a senior adviser announced that your tax dollars will be used to investigate Trump's concerns. But I can tell you for free that this whole deal this morning was as much about distraction as it is about discovery of a pernicious practice by Google.
This is what he does most. He finds something that can divide, that has a little bit of a fact gap, and then he exploits it to advantage. Once again, the facts just aren't on his side.
Now, if we're going to talk about something that's rigged, I'll tell you what is not rigged. Our great debate. We're going to take up this issue and some news of the day that matters to you. Two gentlemen, you can Google them on the break. They won't complain -- next.
CUOMO: We've got some breaking election news for you. CNN projects the winner of Florida's Republican primary for governor will be President Trump's pick, Congressman Ron DeSantis.
Trump also backed the current governor of Florida, Rick Scott, who CNN predicts will be taking on incumbent Bill Nelson for the Senate.
We don't know what's going on on the Democratic side. We're following it. We'll let you know.
Trump was quick tonight to use Twitter, one of the Web sites he's now criticizing, to celebrate.
So, here's the twist. If things are going well in these early races and primaries for the president, why all the fire in the theater talk about violence from the left if the GOP loses?
Let's take it up with our great debaters, Van Jones and Mike Shields.
Mike Shields, why worry? Why tell the poor evangelicals that the lefts going to come kill them, violence, violence he's quoted as saying twice if they lose. Why?
MIKE SHIELDS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I -- first of all, now you're adding the word "kill."
SHIELDS: I think we should be careful.
CUOMO: Should he be careful or should just I be careful?
SHIELDS: Probably both.
CUOMO: Really? Same standard for me and the president?
SHIELDS: I would hope that the media would have a standard of being careful with those types of words when you start --
CUOMO: But he's not, and that's OK. So you start off with criticizing me, not him. Why?
SHIELDS: I haven't even finished answering the question.
CUOMO: I know but the way you started I didn't like so I'm checking you, my friend. I'm checking.
SHIELDS: All right. You're not going to let me in because of the way I started, OK.
CUOMO: I'm exaggerating for a point. Is he doing the same?
SHIELDS: Look, I think the rest of what he talked about is really important to know. If the left wins, they're going to try and impeach the president. They're going to investigate him, have subpoenas and Republican-based voters need to know that and they need to come out and vote. That's the point --
CUOMO: Violence, violence he said twice.
SHIELDS: Well, I will tell you this.
CUOMO: Antifa, violence.
SHIELDS: We're in a congressional cycle where a congressman was shot, where members of Congress had to get extra security at their town hall meetings because of death threats coming through. I work -- I have a couple of clients who have received death threats and their crime was being a Republican congressman.
So, it is not beyond the realm of our conversation to talk about the fact we're in an era where these things do get kind of scary and we do need to be careful. Now, I don't know what he said inside that meeting --
CUOMO: Yes, you do. There are plenty of quotes from people who were there and relayed the information, so we're not dealing with some vacuum of knowledge. It's about whether you want to deal with it.
SHIELDS: Sure we are. Of course we are. We don't have the context of it. We weren't in the meeting.
CUOMO: All right. So, Van, context aside because I see that as an excuse, not an explanation here. Violence, violence. If you people win, Van, you're coming for the GOP.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that sounds to me like panic on the part of the president trying to stir up his own base with baseless fears. That's unfortunate. Listen, Donald Trump has achieved some pretty extraordinary stuff. He
started off as an outsider. He was able to lead an insurgency, take over his party, win, and actually govern D.C. and Florida. He's not only the king. He's the king maker.
He doesn't have to do the kind of stuff that he does, stoop to the kind of stuff that he does. He's actually on the merits from his point of view doing a really good job.
But then he does stuff like this, and when you add this to the Google thing where he's threatening private companies, where he's lying about a violent agenda -- you talk about the unfortunate violence against that congressman. There has been violence from the right as well. We had a woman murdered in broad daylight with ISIS-like tactics from a Nazi group. Yes, that is happening at the margins.
But the fundamental thing that's happening in this country is that people are concerned about the direction. People are concerned about what's going on. And the president rather than allaying fears and bringing us together, continues to throw out this red meat and alarm people frankly on both sides.
It's a cheap way to govern when frankly on the merits, he's actually been achieving most of his objectives. She should just talk about that.
CUOMO: Mike, I know the topic of Google, even though I suggest that the president saw what was on Fox last night. He saw that P.J. Media article. He decided to tweet about it this morning.
Him and his concerns about himself aside, you see an issue.
SHIELDS: Yes. I mean, first of all, Vice News, hardly a conservative news outlet, is the one who really broke the story about shadow banning, and you should read the article on Twitter about how conservative members of Congress and conservative commentators are harder to search for.
Kevin McCarthy -- full disclosure, I do work with him -- is leading in Congress to bring hearings. These hearings are happening. So, the idea this came out of nowhere I think is completely misplaced.
CUOMO: Right, there's the whole --
SHIELDS: A candidate for Congress had her videos not shown on YouTube. The Prager University has had their things censored on YouTube.
CUOMO: But why? You have to look at why. I've seen this happen a lot online.
Look, as I was talking to Marc Short earlier, there are real questions for Google and other platforms about privacy and algorithms --
SHIELDS: Yes, I would think the media would want to ask these questions? Why is the media against transparency hearings and finding out what's happening on social media to find out what their algorithms? I think you would say great job, Mr. President. You're right.
CUOMO: Why are you such a broad brush there and make it a criticism of the media when really it's about the context of what Trump is saying? He doesn't have any proof of this being done to him.
SHIELDS: I just gave you proof. There's no tons of proof. There's --
CUOMO: You gave me no proof of it happening to Trump. None.
SHIELDS: Well, there's the P.J. Media article which is --
CUOMO: That's not proof.
SHIELDS: I know you've questioned that. Their job by the way is to question the media. A lot of media organizations you listed on there are media organizations that have a left-wing bias. I know you don't want to admit that --
CUOMO: CBS, "Reuters", and CNN. They are left-wing media groups.
SHIELDS: CNN lets me come on here.
CUOMO: Come on, mike.
SHIELDS: So, I give CNN credit because you let me come on your show and criticize the media, which I appreciate you for.
But the fact of the matter is if these social -- if Google and these other platforms were as socially responsible as they're claiming to be, then their algorithms would allow you to see both sides of coverage of someone not --
CUOMO: But you're not telling a material fact. They do. You're not telling the material fact. Sometimes when you're harder to find, it's because your content is generating comments or reaction that abuse --
SHIELDS: But that's not what Google -- Google's response was today, we take algorithms that basically create what we think is supposed to be on there. That's what they said.
CUOMO: No. They said search isn't used to motivate a political agenda. We have the quote.
SHIELDS: The second part of it. Right, the second part of their statement.
CUOMO: All right. Go ahead, Van.
JONES: Listen, this is -- this is complex. Let me just say a couple things. The algorithms that Google uses and tweaks and re-tweaks and whatever, there's a whole industry built up called search engine optimization, SEO, trying to figure this thing out every day. Every company, every candidate has to deal with the fact that there's an algorithm out there that, you know, frankly we all have to deal with.
The idea that you start calling foul and bloody murder, though, because your content doesn't rise to the top, to me, it's cheap. Honestly, this particular thing you guys are quoting and talking about, they believe that Alex Jones' Infowars is a center-right publication, which is so extreme and so --
SHIELDS: That is not what Vice News reported.
JONES: No, I'm not talking about Vice News. You're the one that put out the P.J. thing.
So what got this whole thing started is not an honest set of concerns about the lack of transparency, which left and right share. It's not an honest concern about too much power for Silicon Valley, which more people, right and left, are beginning to have. It's a cheap line that has now taken off on the right that they're out to get us in particular.
And the reality is there is no evidence for that. You can cherry pick a bunch of things but --
CUOMO: Hey, Van, let's just do it in real time. I just Googled -- you know, I'm always listening. I always got one ear on you, you and Mike both. I care about you like you were my brothers.
But I just Googled Trump news. First of all it was the first thing that came up in the cache, and the --
CUOMO: Hold on a second. Can't have it both ways on this show, my brother.
SHIELDS: It's the same thing.
CUOMO: But you accept the methodology for them, so now I'm using it.
SHIELDS: No, I'm saying there's a question. I think we need to investigate it. I think reporters will investigate it.
CUOMO: But you don't get to raise a question through bad research. That's the point. I just Googled it using their method and the first thing that comes up is Fox News.
JONES: Same with me.
CUOMO: Come on.
JONES: I literally just did this.
I mean, part of the thing is -- and here's something we all have to be concerned about. There's becoming now I think a mainstream sentiment among conservatives that all of the mainstream media is just liberal left-wing.
SHIELDS: Van, that's not becoming. I've been working in politics for 25 years and we've had a left-wing bias in the mainstream media. This isn't a new phenomenon that Trump brought in.
JONES: I've heard the political bias thing my whole career.
SHIELDS: Me too.
JONES: But I think something is happening now where when you have the whole fake news thing, it's not just saying you're biased. It's saying the entire mainstream media establishment is the opposition party.
JONES: So, they are all against us. Now, what does is it puts you in a situation where we are right now where then it's just a normal person searches for something and they find CBS News, they are now being tricked and hoodwinked into being part of the liberal --
SHIELDS: Van --
JONES: CBS News gets a lot of links. That's why they come up.
SHIELDS: There's something important to bring up here, Van, which is why aren't the media asking how this came about? President Trump didn't just say things and suddenly all of his voters who -- by the way, the inference is you're saying they're all stupid.
JONES: That's not what I'm saying.
CUOMO: No cheap shots, Mike. Make real points. You can do it.
SHIELDS: They suddenly decided this happened.
This bias has been going on for years and the media refuses to analyze itself, to ask hard questions of it itself of how this happened, how did we get here. President Trump took advantage of that system. He didn't create it.
It was already there and he rode it into office, and there's still no questions amongst the mainstream media to ask themselves how did we create this? That's what frustrating to me.
JONES: I see it slightly differently. I understand your frustration.
Listen, I'm from a red state, born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee, proud of it. And I do understand that there is a difference in the way that the heartland folks where I grew up with see the world and, say, folks in California and New York. That is true, and that does influence the media. So I give you that point.
But this is being exploited, and it's being used, and it's being weaponized in a way that I think goes beyond the facts and goes beyond what's fair. And the danger is once you get to a point now where then you have half the country that believes that good, hard working, mostly broke journalists at places like, you know, CBS News are a part of some conspiracy against them, that's very dangerous, and I don't think it's fair. I think the president should be very careful about stuff like that.
SHIELDS: I'll agree with you on one thing. I believe in a strong media. I believe the media is essential, and I believe the media has to be trusted.
Let me give you an example of just today. Twitter blew up and said -- reporters tweeting and then stories were written that said President Trump's adviser today said he wants to regulate Google.
When you look at the question he was asked, would you consider regulation? He said, we're looking at it. He didn't say we want to regulate Google. He was responding to a question.
Those types of hyperbole, we've got to run to Twitter, we got to be first, we got to get clicks in our industry lowers people's trust. And so, the media does it to themselves.
And I bring this up because I'm concerned about it.
CUOMO: Fair point. It works both ways. The president has harnessed it and he does it worse than anybody in the media I've ever seen.
But remember this as well -- if there were any type of campaign to keep it one-sided, Mike, this conversation wouldn't be happening. My bet in starting this show was that I know that I can have people on from all different parts of an issue, and as long as we're decent, as long as you make good points and there's no cheap shots, people will come.
CUOMO: They will listen because there's a hunger for it. And, Van and Mike, you add to the stew. I appreciate you both for doing it. Be well.
JONES: Thank you.
SHIELDS: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. The church -- we're staying on this story. The crimes, the cover-ups. Why? It's not over.
We need to talk to the people who know the truth. We have a Catholic priest. He blew the whistle years ago on abuse. He's going to tell us why he did it and what happened, next.
CUOMO: The Pennsylvania attorney general says he has seen evidence that a cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church went all the way to the Vatican. All right? So that is the law side of this.
But we also have to look at what happened inside the church. What did they have reason to know?
So, we have the letter that came out from the former Vatican insider that says he believes that Pope Francis himself knew what was going on and helped to protect a suspected predator. Not a lot of proof offered, but that's the speculation of someone from the inside.
We're learning that it is difficult for people to speak up, especially if they are on the inside in a position of power. Take, for example, Father Boniface Ramsey. He spent almost two decades trying to raise concerns.
Father Ramsey is here tonight.
It is good to have you on PRIME TIME.
FATHER BONIFACE RAMSEY, ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH, YORKVILLE: Chris, thank you.
CUOMO: It would be remiss of me to avoid the obvious. I know Father Ramsey well. He is a part of my extended family. He married me and my wife, so I know you well, and I know you as a man of integrity. And you were in an educational environment.
RAMSEY : Right.
CUOMO: You heard things. You had reason to believe things. You decided to record them and send a letter to --
RAMSEY: The nuncio in Washington. That was in 2000. That was Archbishop Montalvo who was the Vatican ambassador to the United States. I sent him a letter.
And, of course, we're talking about Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington who, when I knew -- when I first knew him was archbishop of Newark. That's in the 1980s when I was teaching at Seton Hall University in the seminary that was attached to Seton Hall University, Immaculate Conception Seminary. That's when I first knew about Theodore McCarrick, and I knew about how he acted with the seminarians.
CUOMO: Not gossip. You had reason to know things that was important enough to you to write it down and send it to somebody.
RAMSEY: Right. It was -- it was gossip to the extent that I wasn't there to see the archbishop doing what he did.
RAMSEY: But I certainly heard directly from people, yes. I heard directly from people.
CUOMO: And what happened? You sent it up the chain of command so to speak.
RAMSEY: Yes, that's correct, yes.
CUOMO: And what happened?
RAMSEY: Well, I know that the letter was received. This is we're talking about November 2000. I know that the letter was received. I never got a response, however. But I know that the letter was received.
CUOMO: What did you want to do after that?
RAMSEY: Well, I waited, I guess, you know? I thought, I've sent this letter, you know? I just -- I didn't know what to do after that. I just waited.
And then it came up again. I mean, I spoke with different people at different times, made my concerns felt. I spoke with Cardinal Eagan in 2004. Clearly, he was embarrassed by this and didn't want to talk about it.
And then the next time I guess I actually wrote a letter was 2015 to Cardinal O'Malley of Boston.
RAMSEY: And I wrote in detail about what McCarrick did. I assume it was pretty much the same letter that I wrote to the nuncio 15 years before. I don't have a copy of that letter, so I can't say.
CUOMO: But what do you draw as a conclusion that for 15 years, you know if Boniface Ramsey knew, other people knew. Now we know from the A.G., from the grand jury report lots of people knew lots of things.
CUOMO: People come to you at St. Joseph's here in Yorkville and Manhattan. They say to you the obvious. Why would they cover this up? Why would something so obvious not be acted upon? What's your best guess?
RAMSEY: You know, it's -- for one thing, it's hard to confront a fellow bishop. I think only a bishop could have done that, and it didn't happen, I suppose.
For another thing, the church just didn't want to -- just wished it would go away. I'm sure that's the case. And also, you know, what we did know at that time until just this past
June when "The New York Times" made its revelation about his abuse of minors, all we knew was his harassment of seminarians, you know, sharing a bed with another seminarians.
CUOMO: Should have been enough, right?
RAMSEY: You think that would have been enough and prevent him from rising as he did, but it wasn't on the same level as abuse of minors.
CUOMO: No, understood.
RAMSEY: They must have just assumed, well, you know, that's pretty bad, but it's not illegal.
CUOMO: But it's something that we've seen -- well, it depends on the age, on the consent, on the dynamic. There's a lot there that you would think you guys would hold yourselves to the highest standard possible given that you're not making widgets, you know? This is the Catholic Church.
RAMSEY: Right, right, right.
CUOMO: Then the A.G. comes out with his report in Pennsylvania.
CUOMO: We see echo investigations going on in Illinois and elsewhere. He says, I believe the pope knew. Now, Vigano writes his letter, former Vatican insider.
CUOMO: We don't know if he's been co-opted by anti-pope groups or whatever. We don't know yet. That story is not told.
But do you believe there's a chance that Pope Francis, who people hold faith in him as a reformer, knew about McCarrick, knew about some of these things, and didn't drop the hammer on that?
RAMSEY: There's always a chance. There's always a chance. In this case, I don't know what, you know -- what kind of chance it is. Is this a 90 percent chance or a 3 percent chance? I just don't know. But there's always a chance, I think.
CUOMO: And it's worth asking and it's worth the Vatican speaking to him?
CUOMO: Look, Father, the reason I brought you in is because I know you. I trust you, and I know why you were doing this, and I know it wasn't easy for you to play this part in the church. But we've got to hear from the people who tried to stop it.
RAMSEY: Right. CUOMO: Because whether people are Catholic or other, they're not
really sure whom to believe anymore within the church.
CUOMO: So, I know this isn't an easy conversation for you. I appreciate you being with us.
We're still married. Thanks for that. And thank you for telling us the truth about this. We're going to stay on this story.
CUOMO: Father Boniface Ramsey, thank you very much.
RAMSEY: You're very welcome, Chris.
CUOMO: We also have breaking news for everybody here on election night. There has just been an historic upset in Florida. It appears to be a coup for progressives. This -- you're looking on your screen right now at the mayor of Tallahassee. He is someone who was not supposed to win. This is big. Why it happened, how it happened, what happens next -- next.
CUOMO: Big breaking news out of the race in Florida. History was just made, an historic upset in the Democratic primary for governor in Florida. Thirty-nine-year-old Andrew Gillum edged out two challengers who had tons more money, tons more organization, and tons more time.
Now, you're going to hear that Senator Bernie Sanders was a backer of his. He went down and campaigned for him in these final weeks, and that's all true. But Gillum really should get the praise on his own shoulders. Nobody saw this coming.
He's the mayor of Tallahassee. He is an unabashed progressive. He went after the state about guns in a way that no other elected were really doing in that state, even on his party's side.
When Parkland happened in Florida, he was there with those kids first, early, and often. And now, he is the first African-American to be on the Democratic side in a race for governor in that state's history.
Do we have sound for him, or are we just going to play what we're doing there?
All right. So, we're going to get better sound of what he's been saying. Again, I want to say that because we don't make history in a good way very often. He's the first ever African-American nominee for governor in Florida. Such a major state, yet he is the first.
Now, what is he about? Repeal of Florida's "stand your ground" law. Medicare for all -- now, the specifics of how he would pay for it, we don't know yet. A $15 minimum wage.
So, these are big-ticket items. This is more proof of a division within that party, a kind of a battle of definition.
So, let's bring in Don Lemon.
This was a big deal. I'll be honest. I've been watching this race. I did not think Gillum could do it. I thought there was too much organization against him, and I was wrong.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Again, there's a former congresswoman, you're right. There's a former congresswoman. There's also the former mayor of Miami Beach.
You know, Gillum says I'm the only millionaire. I'm the only one who's not a millionaire in this race.
LEMON: I'm the only one who came up from humble beginnings, working class family or at least, you know, now, he's still a working class family. But I think this is -- Chris, I think what this is, it's the direct of antithesis of find people on both sides. Because you someone who's a black candidate in a state that is 30 percent black and Hispanic and who actually has a pretty good chance of actually securing this job. We shall see.
But I think it is a big surprise. Who knows what it means for November, come November? But it's certainly is a shock. Nobody thought he would win. Nobody thought he would get the nomination.
And now, look at him. He's had a lot of money, though, come in over the last couple of weeks. And even Gabrielle Union, remember?
LEMON: Dwyane Wade's wife endorsing him on Twitter the other day, tweeting out her endorsement.
CUOMO: But look, he has a lot of charisma. He has a lot of grassroots momentum. And this is an interesting time for the Democratic Party. He beat two high dollar, high organization candidates and he did it the old fashioned way.
LEMON: And you know what? He is not running sort of conservative light, which is what the Democratic Party thought, you know, maybe the answer to that --
CUOMO: No, he is not that at all.
LEMON: He's not that all. He is running as a pure progressive --
CUOMO: Yes, as mayor of Tallahassee, he took on the whole state. He sued the governor and got in a legal battle about guns and what he thought was right at the time, and he has created a following for himself. And now, he is one man to watch.
LEMON: Georgia, one state over. Remember, Stacy Abrams, African- American candidate, as well, a woman. So, we shall see.
CUOMO: We'll be watching. I'll be watching you in nine minutes.
LEMON: Nine minutes. We'll see. It's an appointment.
CUOMO: See you, bud.
LEMON: All right. See you.
CUOMO: All right. So, look, history made in that race. That is why we got to follow them. You can't get ahead. You don't talk about polls especially when you get close because you never know. What a matchup. You got Gillum who represents everything that Trump is not about against a Trump-backed conservative Ron DeSantis. What a matchup. The world will be watching that one -- the world of politics certainly in this country.
All right. We're going to continue our coverage coming up.
CUOMO: Major breaking news, a major upset in the race for governor in Florida. CNN projects progressive Andrew Gillum will be the Democratic nominee.
We're going to be bringing in our Harry Enten to talk to us about this. He's been following the race. 20 But I have to tell you, people didn't see this coming. It is proof of a couple of things, a division in what the Democratic Party is about, especially in big states like Florida, and two, the power of people, Brother Enten. Tallahassee mayor went after the state about guns, an unpopular thing. He worked with the parkland kids. He was down there, really religiously for their cause against "stand your ground", a progressive on different ways. Bernie Sanders came in and campaigned late.
How did this happen?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS ENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: I think you hit it exactly right. I mean, you saw maybe a late surge at the end for Gillum. But at the end of the day, this was a big, big surprise.
And it happened for two reasons. Number one, progressives really came out and voted, young progressives specifically, and huge turnout in African-American communities throughout the state of Florida. If you look at the major cities, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Orlando, down to Broward County, this is where Gillum picked up major votes and came well, a big surprise because if you look at the early vote, Graham actually was winning in the early vote, but when the election day vote came in, you saw the big surge for Gillum.
CUOMO: So, is it true he won Miami and some of those other southern population centers? Did that offset the ratios? Because I think the state, you know, county over county is just about 30 percent African- American, right? I think it's like 27 percent. So, he was playing to population centers not just the black vote.
ENTEN: Yes, he was definitely playing to population centers. I mean, Miami-Dade is another great example where if you look at the early vote, Philip Levine, who was the former mayor of Miami Beach down there won in that early vote. But when Election Day vote came in, Gillum overtook him and was able to overtake Graham in the state as well.
CUOMO: Yes, you know, Harry, what's your take on this? You know, Mel was just in my ear, my EP, saying, you know, don't forget, this is that Bernie Sanders momentum of being to the left of what is otherwise seen as a centrist party.
I'm slow on that with Gillum because so much of his politics are personal to him -- you know, the guns, the stand your ground, the need for populism. Yes, he is Medicare for all. I don't know what the meat on the bones is of that yet, though. He does advance different progressive types of issues.
But what do you think it was? Was it his posture or do you think it was the populism?
ENTEN: I think it is probably a little bit of everything, right? I mean, populism didn't play well a African-American voters back in the 2016 primary and obviously, Gillum did particularly well there.
And the other thing I will point out is Gillum was a Hillary Clinton surrogate. So, this is not just a story of Clinton and Sanders, and the Sanders wing kind of coming up. It's a story of a candidate who has a very good personal story and was able to connect with different parts of the party. And what will be interesting is whether or not those different parts of the party come out in the fall to help him against Ron DeSantis.
CUOMO: Boy, it really came out of nowhere. And how does he look against DeSantis?
ENTEN: The early polling shows a tight race. But I'll tell you, the difference between the two candidates here is probably going to be the greatest in the nation. Republicans wanted Gillum and Democrats wanted DeSantis as the Republican nominee. So, both sides got what they wanted and there's going to be a real contrast come the fall.
It's going to be one of the top races I'll certainly be watching.
CUOMO: You couldn't have picked somebody who is less like Trump on the Democratic side than Andrew Gillum. I wonder if that reads in, as well.
Hey, Harry, thanks for scrambling into that chair.
ENTEN: Thank you so much.
CUOMO: I appreciate it.
ENTEN: No problem, anything for you. CUOMO: We need you and you were there. Thank you.
All right. And thank you for watching.
"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.
History made. First African-American nominee for governor in a major state like Florida.