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Trump Pushes "Buy American. Hire American" Theme; Trump; U.K. P.M. May Seek Snap General Election; Congressional Race In Georgia Heads To Runoff; Runoff Between Ossoff Set For June 20;Fox News and Bill O'Reilly are Talking Exit; Facebook Murder Suspect Kills Himself. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired April 19, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:36] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause, it's just going 10:00 here in Los Angeles. 1:00 in Atlanta.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, indeed. I'm Isha Sesay and this is CNN NEWSROOM L.A.

VAUSE: And we'll be covering a special election in the U.S. state of Georgia. U.S. President Donald Trump is calling it, a big win but the special election for a Congressional seat in Georgia has Republicans nervous. Democrats Jon Ossoff ran strong but fell short of the majority he needed to win the seat outright. He'll now face Republican Karen Handel in a runoff, June 20.

SESAY: Democrats across the country pulled more than eight million dollars into Ossoff's campaign. In speech his supporters he underscored the uphill battle he faced in a solidly Republican district.


JON OSSOFF (D), GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages. We have defied the odds, we have shattered expectations.


VAUSE: This race is considered a referendum on the Trump Presidency. At least that's how Democrats sore it, they were hoping it would be a predictor of how the midterm elections might actually turn out.

SESAY: Well, joining us now here in L.A., Democratic Strategist Matthew Littman, Talk Radio Host and Trump supporter John Phillips and CNN Senior Reporter for Media and Politics Dylan Byers. Good to have you all with us once again. Dylan, let me go to you first. For the President's part, he put that tweet out a short time ago talking about you know, glad to have been of help. One would expect in the hours to come that he's going to be looking to double down on that and take the credit for how this turned out in Georgia.

DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Yes, that's absolutely right. And I think he's making that claim because he believes that some last minute robot calls to voters helped tip the scales at least in Republicans' favor until that runoff election. Look, there's no question that if Trump has been anything for Georgia it's a detriment to Republicans and I just say that because you know, Price won there by 20 points. Mitt Romney won there by I believe it was 23 points. Trump won there by 1.5 points so he has already set up conditions in that district and other districts where a lot of Republicans who are simultaneously anti-Trump Republicans, that is created a vulnerability for the Republican Party. It is created an opening for Democrats but again, those districts now that were once staunchly Republican are now divided and the question is can Democrats do enough to win those districts, not just come close to winning those districts and therefore give themselves at least a distant shot of taking back the House.

VAUSE: And John, to you, has Donald Trump changed essentially the people who vote Republican? Because you know, we're looking at a lot of Democrats, you know, elsewhere around the country who were Trump supporters may be having some regrets but it appears that, you know the voters in this district at least weren't really having much regret when it comes to Donald Trump.

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well in the Presidential election he certainly expanded it beyond what John McCain and Mitt Romney were able to produce. For the last several months I've been looking at videos of these town halls where Republican members of Congress have been screamed at and yelled at by their constituent and I've been told it's going to change even in deep red parts of the country. Look at this anger, look at this frustration. Well, now we've had three test cases of different special elections that popped up.

We had the U.S. Senate race in the state of Louisiana where the Democrats got blown out when nationally they were writing checks and getting involved and celebrities and the whole bit. We had the Congressional race in Kansas they got stuff with the goal line and then we have this race in Georgia where I predict they will lose when it's a Republican versus Democratic race. So none of that anger, none of the frustration is resulting in any electoral victories.

MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. But you're talking about some of the most conservatives seats in the country, so if the Democrats lose these seats it doesn't mean they're going to lose seats this year. We have two Governor's races up this year Virginia and New Jersey and democrats are going to expect to win both of those races. So what are we going to say at that time and as for the enthusiasm for 2018 I don't think there's any question about it there enthusiasm is not to let the Republicans Party, Trump's record is uniquely horrible. To have to run on Donald Trump's record is impossible at this point, so in terms of the Democrats needing two dozen seats to take the House back, I think that the Democrats should feel really good about it.

SESAY: Standby, I want you guys to take a listen to John Ossoff. As you know he spoke earlier at his headquarters in Georgia when he said it was going to run off. Take a listen to a little bit more of what he had to say.


[01:05:13] OSSOFF: Your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country. We will be ready to fight on and win in June and there is no amount of dark money, super pack negative advertising that can overcome real grass roots energy like this. So bring it on.


SESAY: So Dylan Byers, to you, you heard John Ossoff talk about dark money, super pack money is that a foreshadowing of how ugly this race is going to get in the weeks ahead before they go to the polls?

BYERS: Yes, I would also note, that you know, we should note here that his own campaign was not entirely grass roots. There was quite a bit of money coming out of where you and I are sitting right now which is here in Los Angeles out of Hollywood. Yes, look I think it is, I think what the -- tonight's race demonstrates is that this is going to be a hard-fought battle. Democrats are going to try and spin this as a victory for Democrats or at least that there is momentum behind Democrats and that Trump is really in trouble. Republicans will obviously point out rightfully so that the Democrats needed a win, they needed a solid another run off win when they needed a win. And they didn't get it tonight. So the landscape right now, you know, the game is open for both parties and the question is how hard are they going to fight, what kind of message are they going to put forward? Are they going to put forward a message of optimism? Are they going to go, you know sort of, you know go back to, you know attacks on the opponents? So I mean, what kind of message are we going to see from the Democrats as a whole approaching the midterms? That's really the question that's out there right now.

VAUSE: Dylan very quickly, if you listen from the spin from both sides from these guys next to us, the Republicans want to focus on the fact that the Democrats made their ground here on how Trump took this district during the Presidential election. The Democrats are looking at this and saying hey, Tom Price though who vacated the seat he won this by more than 20 percent he's been a huge amount on the ground. So what -- where does it stand? What's the reality here?

BYERS: Well, right. So I spoke with the Democratic Strategist just a few minutes ago actually and when -- what he said basically is if you would ask me could the Democrats take back the House, if you'd asked me that several weeks ago I would have said it was impossible. Now what he's saying is it's hard. It might be very hard, but there's an opening. There's clearly a sign here that there is frustration with Trump among many Republicans. There are enough races where Democrats given just a little bit more momentum, given a little bit more enthusiasm could sort of turn things in their favor but it's an uphill battle. I think the cards are stacked against them just in terms of what the open races are, what the demographics are in those elections but you know we'll have to wait and see.

LITTMAN: Can I just push back on this a little bit? So what Dylan is saying that the Democrats have to have a positive message? The republicans just won the House, the Senate and the Presidency with very dark messaging. The American public is not asking for an -- the country is not asking for an optimistic message. Donald Trump is uniquely unpopular in this country. He's popularity rating is about 40 percent. So far, he's had no major legislation passed, very unique amongst Presidents this far into administration. The country does not like Donald Trump, the Democratic Party could run just anti-Trump.

SESAY: What happens?

BYERS: And yet -- and yet we're heading to a runoff.

VAUSE: Then.

BYERS: We didn't -- you know, your guy didn't win tonight. He didn't win in Kansas.

LITTMAN: Most conservative districts in the country. Democrats may not win these races.

BYERS: Again, if coming close is enough for the Democrats, God speed. If you actually want to win the thing I just think there needs to be a little bit more of a message that goes beyond anti-Trump.

LITTMAN: I'm going to tell you though, I don't agree with that.

SESAY: Very quickly, what happens if he does get some runs on the board, Donald Trump that is? I mean you're-

LITTMAN: Well what's the -- I'm glad you said that because what are the possibilities of that? Tax reform they said it would be done by the end of July, infrastructure, China currency manipulator. Nothing that Donald Trump healthcare, nothing that he said he's going to do he's been able to do so far.

PHILLIPS: If the Democrats are going to win the House back, they are going to have to win districts that look a lot like this. I'm happy that he ended the speech early because I heard there was a lot of traffic going back to the district that he actually lives?

LITTMAN: If the Democrats find a way they do not have to win districts that look like this, there are a lot of districts that are much closer not that conservative.

VAUSE: Well, we talked about, you know Donald Trump being deeply unpopular maybe he's trying to get some of that (INAUDIBLE) back. He was in Wisconsin on Tuesday and he had some good old some of American Pie populism that he's Executive order "Buy American, Hire American". Listen to the President.


DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: This historic action declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job. It's America first. You better believe it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) [01:10:21] VAUSE: Admit it sounds good, but people may look at Donald Trump's business history and say that's a little hypocritical.

LITTMAN: Let me also point out that when Trump was there he called Paul Ryan, Bob Ryan about two or three times. Right he can't tell the difference between Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-un little Kim, he has no idea who anybody's name he gets them all wrong all the time. In terms of the buy American stuff, I mean what this is, what people should really understand is they'll do studies about buying American. They're not really telling people, private companies that they have to buy American, that's not really true what Trump is telling the people.

SESAY: And John, you know, it's good, it's a great headline but it doesn't take away from the fact that matters been making all night that the President hasn't fulfilled those signature pledges he's made. Things that he said he'd do right at the beginning. Those aren't done yet.

PHILLIPS: He did a huge thing. He killed TPP. That was part of what appealed to the Roosevelt that was part of what appealed to Ohio and Michigan and Wisconsin.

LITTMAN: Do you think Trump has fulfilled his promises? China currency manipulator day one, infrastructure, health care, tax reform, where is all the stuff?

PHILLIPS: The stuff we care about he's coming through. He put Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, he's taken bids on the wall. He killed TPP.

LITTMAN: He's taking what?

PHILLIPS: Taking bids on the wall.


LITTMAN: What happened to Mexico paying for the wall?

VAUSE: I mean look you come up to 100 days and the Trump Presidency can point to Gorsuch at the Supreme Court and hands on the TPP which closing campaign on anyway. So it's going to have a relevancy of one, so you've got the Supreme Court. It's been an exhausting 90 days and you know for many people out there, there's almost Trump fatigue.

PHILLIPS: No. When the wall goes up, the Trump people are going to be happy. They're taking bids on the wall.

LITTMAN: So by the way, they're saying now that, that wall is going to cost $75 billion. Initially, they said it would cost to 11 or 12, now they're saying it may cost 75, Mexico paying for it, not happening. Donald Trump was saying that it was China that's causing a lot of people to lose their jobs by deflating their currency. That turns out -- now he's, whenever I talk to him for 10 minutes we had some chocolate cake that all.

VAUSE: I'm glad you miss that because Donald Trump has actually insisting that while he, you know sounds like he's taking the self- approach with China, he's not. Listen to this.


TRUMP: I didn't soften my stands look, China came to the United States, the President who is -- I really developed a very good relationship with. I think he's a terrific person he understands it's a big problem. He's working on it. Now, what am I going to do? Start a trade war with China in the middle of him working on a bigger problem frankly with North Korea? So I'm dealing with China with great respect.


SESAY: Dylan, what do you make of that? You know, if say I need China for North Korea, so I'm not now going to turn around and call them currency manipulators. Didn't he know that when he was on the campaign trail?

BYERS: Sure. Well, this is actually a very interesting test of Trump supporters and how far they're willing to go with him. And the way actually Matthew and John are both right, you know we in the media have this sort of fact checking mentality. We look at all of the promises that Trump made that he hasn't followed through on. And there are a litany of them. There's no question about that. At the same time he has followed through on some key things such as TPP, such as Gorsuch, taking bids on the wall, et cetera and there are a lot of people out there including influential people in conservative media, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, folks like that who are willing to accept the President's explanation here. Well, I can't go after China for currency manipulation because I need them for North Korea, you know, I always said I was going to bomb the expletive out of ISIS so that's why I went into Syria even though many of you, you know were not voting for an interventionist President. These are -- these call them excuse if you will or arguments, they actually resonate with some members of Trump's base. There are other members of Trump's base who aren't having it. They feel like they've gotten the bad end of the deal and so there's an interesting war playing out there or I should say at least a sort of argument debate playing out there among his base and we're seeing that reflected in the conservative media.

VAUSE: OK. We're surely short on time. But I want to finish up on a little segment I like to call you win some and you lose some. OK, so do you remember this from last week? The President basically saber rattling with North Korea.


TRUMP: We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.


VAUSE: John, the first rule of saber-rattling is when you send an aircraft carrier towards a country you are out-threaten, you should send it in the right direction. OK, let's go on with it, this is nuts. PHILLIPS: I think little Kim is nervous.

VAUSE: No, he's not. The aircraft carrier it's like days away.

PHILLIPS: Look, you've got a madman who's playing with explosives over there.

VAUSE: He had a good night tonight. Keep talking.

LITTMAN: Here's the problem, I don't think that the military told Donald Trump what they were doing. I that think they just did it right? And so Donald Trump comes out, it turns out that this armada - by the way, I thought this was the guy that wasn't going to telegraph what the military is doing, is as far away from Korea as we are from New York right? And so he just -- well, what's going on with his own military.

[01:15:26] VAUSE: He's the commander in chief. OK. You win some and you lose some.

SESAY: Yes, we got it.

VAUSE: How about John and also Dylan is going to stick around for a little longer but, thank you both Matthew and John.

SESAY: Thank you. Thanks for the great conversation. Let's take a quick break, shall we? Bill O'Reilly may soon be out of Fox News after numerous sexual harassment claims. Why the popular host denies any wrongdoing.

VAUSE: And also the British Prime Minister looks ahead of Brexit. We'll tell you how she plans to do that, next.



SESAY: Welcome back, everyone. The breaking news, the battle for U.S. Congressional seat in Georgia now moves to a runoff. Democrat John Ossoff ran a strong campaign in a long time Republican district, but he just fell short of the majority to win the seat outright. He will face Republican Karen Handel in the June 20th runoff.

VAUSE: For big political developments in the U.K. as well. The British Prime Minister Theresa May is calling a major reversal calling for a snap election in June after months of denying that would happen.

SESAY: As things, May has a slim majority in the House of Commons but she hopes to shore up support for her agenda as she negotiates Brexit from the European Union.


[01:20:14] THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Every vote for the conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate Britain with the Prime Ministers, Presidents, and Chancellors of the European Union. Every vote for the conservatives will mean we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain and take the right long-term decisions for more secure future.


SESAY: Well, the latest U.K. poll suggests the general election could go badly for the labor party. You got survey last week just 44 percent said that they would vote for the majority conservative party in a snap election. Only 23 percent said they'd vote labor. That's the lowest labor number you've got just recorded in nearly eight years. Joining me now Dominic Thomas who Chairs the Department of French and Francophone studies at UCLA, Dominic always good to have you with us. So let me ask you this first of all, simple question. Was this the right call by Theresa May to call this election?

DOMINIC THOMAS, UCLA CHAIRMAN OF DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES: Isha, it's all about political gaming. She's accused the opposition of doing and engaging in this. It's about strategy and it's about outmaneuvering your opponents. By calling this snap election right now, let's remember of course that you know David Cameron was elected Prime Minister. He hitched his future to the Brexit vote. He lost that and Theresa May was appointed. She has to wait until 2020 for the next election, in which case she would go to the polls in being held accountable for the Brexit negotiation and whatever happens, has happened in the U.K during that two to three year period.

By doing this right now, she has an opportunity to have a mandate that will last here all the way through until 2022. She has an opportunity to massively grow the margin in the House of Commons where right now they only hold 350 out of the 650. So they've got a five-vote majority and she also has an opportunity to really humiliate the labor party and so rather than trying to come build bridges in this divided Britain. She's aiming to sort of reduce and capitalize on the massive divisions within labor at the moment and essentially strengthen her position in parliament.

SESAY: Yes, it strengthens her hand in parliament. Talk to me about what it does her hand in Europe when it comes to negotiating the Brexit divorce. Does this strengthen her position there as well will she get a better deal if she has a stronger mandate from the British public?

THOMAS: I think the logic is there and the European Union, I think would respond favorably to her having a strong mandate. What the European Union would be concerned about would be two years of a negotiation, a deal that's brought back to Britain, to a parliament that she does not control and it potentially does not support the deal that she has. So as far as the European Union is concerned of course they would rather that the U.K. didn't leave in the first place, but if they're going to go ahead with this and of course they are because they've triggered article 50, they would rather work with a Prime Minister that has strong support and a strong mandate going into these negotiations knowing that whatever they decide and agree upon will make it through the parliament at the end of this in 2019. SESAY: As we assess the ramifications of all this, let me ask you about what this means for the Scottish secessionist impulse. Does it blunt the threat?

THOMAS: Well, I think it does -- I mean, it blunts the threat. I think the bigger threat really for Theresa May is, of course, we talked about this being a political game. She is taking a risk. She is no friend of Scotland. As we know the Scottish overwhelmingly voted to remain in the European Union so she certainly won't be counting on them in the upcoming election. And I think the other area she has to be concerned is the potential return of the liberal Democratic party that is the one pro-Europe entity in Britain today that could do very well in this even if labor does not and so of course, as this goes to greater uncertainty for the Scottish as they go into this, but it's going to be very difficult for them to try and extricate themselves from these kinds of negotiations if she does win a substantial majority in the parliament which all polls indicate that she will.

SESAY: Well, Dominic Thomas always great to have you with us. Always great insight and analyst, thank you very much.

THOMAS: Thank you.

VAUSE: It is 24 minutes past 10:00 here in Los Angeles. We will take a short break. Up next, Bill O'Reilly's days at Fox News might be numbered. That number could be three.

SESAY: Plus, the nationwide manhunt for suspected killer is over. What is the suspect did when police cornered him, just ahead.


[01:28:52] SESAY: Hello everyone you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

VAUSE: I'm John Vause our top story this hour, a live coverage of this hotly contested U.S. Congressional race in Georgia. Democrat John Ossoff came very close to a majority he needed to claim seat in the House.

SESAY: Well instead he'll face Republican Karen Handel in a runoff in June. CNN Manu Raju is at Ossoff campaign headquarters in Atlanta.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Democratic candidate John Ossoff falling just short of the threshold he needed to win this race outright getting less than 50 percent of the vote in this Republican-heavy district, a district that actually no Democrat has won in 37 years, getting close to that 50 percent number, but not close enough. Now, going forward, this means that it's going to be a two-person race between him and Karen Handel. Republican former state of -- Secretary of State, from Georgia someone who has run for statewide office twice, lost both times for Governor and once for Senator. Now she has a chance at consolidating the support on the Republican side that was fractured by 11 different candidates as they try to get into this runoff with John Ossoff. [01:30:00] Now, Ossoff does have the support of the national

Democratic Party infrastructure. This party is energized behind him. And last night, when he just talked to voters, he said that he shattered all expectations.


JON OSSOFF (D), GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages. We have defied the odds, we have shattered expectations.


RAJU: Now, the question for Republicans is the Trump factor. How much will it weigh in during the general election. Donald Trump himself tweeting several times last night, also saying that this essentially was a victory for his party and criticizing outside money that was spent to help Jon Ossoff. Of course, there was outside money spent on the Republican side as well.

The question is, will he be a liability for Karen Handel or will he be an asset going forward.

Manu Raju, CNN, Atlanta.


VAUSE: Well, Bill O'Reilly's days at the Fox News Channel may be coming to an end. Representatives for the network and O'Reilly have begun negotiations over his departure after a string of sexual harassment claims, all of which O'Reilly has denied. A source says, an announcement is likely by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, demonstrators delivered petitions to Fox News headquarters in New York, demanding O'Reilly be fired. This, as a new accuser has come forward, a woman who claimed she was harassed at work by O'Reilly for months.


LISA BLOOM, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY, THE BLOOM FIRM: He would come by her desk when there was no one around and make sexually inappropriate comments to her and racially harassing comments.

He called her hot chocolate. She's African-American. She found that very offensive. He would leer at her, leer at her cleavage and her legs. He would say hmm-hmm, yeah baby. He would have her get off the elevator first and then make comments about her as she got off the elevator. She found this whole thing very upsetting.


VAUSE: Dylan Byers back with us now. So, Dylan, this happened a few hours ago. The headline in "The Wall Street Journal", Fox is preparing to cut ties with Bill O'Reilly, given Rupert Murdoch - that was headline. So, given Rupert Murdoch now owns both the Journal and Fox News, is that essentially the equivalent of wanted one outspoken host for the 8 PM shift, must have good HR record.

BYERS: Yes, absolutely. That really is the death knell. There were three very important developments today in the Bill O'Reilly story.

The first was "New York Magazine", very well sourced reporter there, saying that the Murdochs were leaning towards getting rid of O'Reilly, which is a huge development because there's been a lot of tension between Rupert Murdoch - the sort of father figure not just of his sons, but of the company - wanting to stand by O'Reilly whereas the sons wanted to get rid of


The second big development by our own Brian Stelter was that "Fox" and O'Reilly had at least entered into a discussion about a possible exit. Then there was this "Wall Street Journal" report. That was the death knell. And you know that because "The Wall Street Journal", owned by "21st Century Fox", owned by the Murdochs, would never go forward with a report like that unless they knew it were true and unless they knew that from the Murdochs.

When Roger Ailes left "Fox News" 10 months ago now, the first place that was reported was in -

VAUSE: Would Rupert Murdoch have signed off on that story?

BYERS: I wouldn't suggest without knowing first hand that he would sign off on this story. What I would say is that if you are - it's not even about the reporter. If you are the editor of The Wall Street Journal", you don't run reporting unless you've got all your bases covered.

VAUSE: You mentioned that story in "New York Magazine". Here is part of their reporting because it is fascinating. Sources describe the Murdoch family discussions as fraught. Initially, according to sources, Lachlan was aligned with his father, but in recent days he has leaned more in his brother James' direction. The three are fighting, the insider said.

Goes on to say, "and according to one "Fox" source, Rupert has told people he does not want to fire O'Reilly because it would make it appear he was forced into a decision by "The New York Times".

That last line, I thought, was really telling.

BYERS: No question that's true. That matches what we've heard from our own sources. Both aspects of it. You've got Rupert standing by O'Reilly. You've got one of his sons James very much wanting to get rid of O'Reilly. You've got Lachlan somewhere in the middle.

The second part that was the most interesting part, Rupert Murdoch is two things. One, he is a newspaperman. And two, he has always viewed himself as an outsider. He is an outsider to "The New York Times." He challenged "The New York Times" with "The Wall Street Journal," the same way he used "Fox News" to challenge CNN.

The idea that he would have to capitulate, that he would have to give up his biggest asset because "Fox News" reported on many accusations that Rupert Murdoch was already familiar with, I think that really rubs in the wrong way.

VAUSE: Right. We also had a protest outside "Fox News" headquarters. There was a petition apparently finding 450,000 signatures demanding O'Reilly be fired.

Normally, Fox wouldn't worry about this kind of stuff, the Murdochs said they wouldn't worry about this, but there's a big business deal on the works too. 21st Century Fox, the Murdoch company, they want to take over all of the pay TV provider, Britain Sky, and there is a morality clause which the UK regulators look at.

[01:35:09] BYERS: That's absolutely right. And this is sort of a feather they'd like to put in their cap. It's a really big deal for them to get full ownership of Sky. There are British regulators, Ofcom, who are going to look at the company as a whole and - back in 2011, the phone hacking scandal that

VAUSE: It scuttled the deal.

BYERS: It scuttled the deal. They don't want to see that happen again.

Now, you talk to sources inside 21st Century Fox close to Murdochs, they'll say, look, that isn't what's driving this consideration. What's riding this consideration is, are we going to tolerate sexual harassment at our workplace? No. Is that what Bill O'Reilly did? But the truth is, is this Ofcom - sorry, rather the Sky deal is very much an X (ph).

VAUSE: What I thought was really interesting, even before a lot of these other details came out, there was a tweet by Matt Drudge of the "Drudge Report", he of the grandfather conservative right wing reporting, this is what he put out.

"O'Reilly has had a tremendous run. Very few in the business get to decide when and how things end. Media is most brutal of all industries..."

Sounds like a eulogy for O'Reilly's career. Not exactly accurate either.

BYERS: Well, no. But it's Matt Drudge trying to show that he's in the know. And again, you go back to when Roger Ailes, the former chief executive had to leave "Fox News" amid his own sexual harassment allegations, things followed a similar pattern.

First of all, there was a report from New York magazines, were suggesting that the Murdochs were leaning one way and all of a sudden you had Drudge coming out and suggesting that Ailes might be done. And then you had a report from a 21st Cent owned newspaper, suggesting that - or indicating rather, that Ailes' days were numbered. You're seeing the exact same pattern.

VAUSE: When Ailes left, he walked away with, what, a $40 million handshake. O'Reilly is significantly better paid.

BYERS: Well, yes. And extremely - look, he just signed a contract again with this company. So, there is no doubt that he will get a payout. It's one of these things that's - we view moments like this when kings of the industry are forced out of their positions as a sort of victory, certainly for his accusers that this is sort of victory and for advocacy groups and against the sort of archaic culture in the workplace, and yet these men walk away with -

VAUSE: Tens of millions. And very quickly, they don't really have a replacement for O'Reilly.

BYERS: OK. And this is very important. And this is why this has taken so long.

VAUSE: This is the anguish part.

BYERS: This is the anguish part. He commands the biggest audience in cable news. He brings in over $100 million in revenue annually for that company. There's not anyone - they don't have a bench.

VAUSE: And the replacement so far -


BYERS: And don't underestimate how many loyal viewers of "Fox News" are going to be - sorry, of Bill O'Reilly are going to be very upset with "Fox News" -

VAUSE: Because they gave in.

BYERS: Because they gave in.

VAUSE: Dylan, thank you so much.

BYERS: Thank you.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Quick break here. Next on NEWSROOM LA, US authorities find an accused murderer after a nationwide manhunt. How this search ended just ahead.

VAUSE: Also, a California man faces hate crime charges for killing three people in less than two minutes, while police say he chose his victims at random.


[01:42:07] SESAY: Hello, everyone. We are bringing you continuing live coverage of the battle for US congressional seat in Georgia.

VAUSE: It now moves to a runoff in June where Democrat Jon Ossoff will face Republican Karen Handel. The vote in the solidly Republican district is seen maybe as a predictor of midterm elections next year.

SESAY: All right. We'll have more on that story in just a moment. But turning now to some other news, three people are dead after a shooting rampage in Fresno, California. Police are calling it a hate crime. The victims were white and apparently chosen at random. They were all gunned down in less than two minutes.


JERRY DYER, FRESNO POLICE CHIEF: All the shootings that occurred today were random. All three victims were approached by him. They were unprovoked attacks.


SESAY: Well, 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad surrendered to police and now faces four counts of murder, the fourth from a previous incident. Police say Muhammad posted his dislike for white people and government officials on social media.

VAUSE: Well, the man at the center of a three-day nationwide manhunt in the US is dead.

SESAY: Steve Stephens had been on the run after police say he brutally gunned down a man and posted video of the murder online. CNN's Brynn Gingras has the details.


CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE CHIEF: The search for Steve Stephens has ended.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The nationwide search for the man police say killed a 74-year-old man and posted a video of it on Facebook is over.

WILIAMS: Pennsylvania state police officers received a tip that the vehicle that we were looking for, the white Ford Fusion, was in a McDonald's parking lot near Erie, PA.

GINGRAS (voice-over): A signal from Stephens' cell phone first drew police to the east side of Erie on Sunday.

WILLIAMS: We searched that area initially on Sunday when we got that ping up in that area of Erie, PA. We are in the process today of going back and doing a more thorough search of that area when this transpired.

GINGRAS (voice-over): But it was today's tip from a McDonald's drive- through employee that led police to Stephens. The 37-year-old took off, leading police on a two-mile chase ending when police forced him to lose control of his car.

WILLIAMS: As the officers approached that vehicle, Steve Stephens took his own life.

GINGRAS (voice-over): His death ends a nationwide manhunt that started when police say he killed Robert Godwin Easter Sunday on a Cleveland street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, 911 CALLER: Lord, have mercy! Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, 911 CALLER: Somebody ran in front of the house is dead, has been shot.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Godwin's murder posted to Facebook. On the video, Stephens says he is a monster who snapped and did it because he was angry with his girlfriend. Godwin apparently targeted at random.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was definitely a people person. There's nobody that didn't love my dad.

GINGRAS (voice-over): His family mourning his loss but forgiving Stephens.

TONYA GODWIN BAINES, ROBERT GODWIN'S DAUGHTER: Each one of us forgive the killer, the murderer.


[01:45:02] BAINES: We want to wrap our arms around him. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We absolutely do. I honestly can say right now that I hold no animosity in my heart against this man.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Another family member had a sharper tone today after Stephens death.

"All I can say is that I wish he had gone down in a hell of 100 bullets," Brendan Hayman told CNN. Court records shows Stephens had financial troubles, declaring bankruptcy in 2015 and having wages garnished as recently as this month. He had a history of gambling at two casinos including one in Erie.

The search for him collected more than 400 tips from as far away as Texas.

GINGRAS: And this is where the manhunt ended not long ago. Stephens car was towed from the scene, but much of the day was spent investigators going through it, combing for evidence, trying to answer questions as to what he's been doing, where he's been these last 48 hours. But investigators tell us that they don't believe he had any accomplices.

Brynn Gingras, CNN, Erie, Pennsylvania.


SESAY: It is such an awful story and the family has displayed so much dignity through it all.

VAUSE: Very classy (ph).

SESAY: Facebook is facing a backlash over the video Steven Stephens uploaded. Its latest instance of violent content appearing on its site and now there are growing calls for the company to do something about it. VAUSE: Well, let's bring in Internet security analyst Hemu Nigam

joining us here in Los Angeles.

Hemu, good to see you.

SESAY: Welcome.

VAUSE: Facebook facing some serious questions now about the responsibility it has being the platform, which shared the video of Mr. Godwin's murder.

This is what Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, FOUNDER AND CEO OF FACEBOOK: (INAUDIBLE) work on building common ground, not just getting more different opinions out there, but also helping to bring people closer together.

And there's a lot to do here. We have a full roadmap of products to help build groups and community, help with a more informed society, help keep our communities safe. And we have a lot more to do here.

And we're reminded of this this week by the tragedy in Cleveland. And our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin Sr. And we have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.


VAUSE: OK. Hemu, lot of work to do. What should Facebook be doing right now?

HEMU NIGAM, INTERNET SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it was clear from the segment that Mr. Zuckerberg is clearly out of his element on this issue.

The fact of the matter is that Facebook can do a lot and has been doing a lot, but I think what you're seeing is the market forces are changing whereas Facebook usually relies on users saying, hey, there's a bad video, check it out, or some artificial intelligence.

And I think what you're starting to see, not just on Facebook, but in the industry overall is the need for proactive content moderation, identifying things as quickly as you can once they're posted rather than waiting for users to respond.

SESAY: Is part of the issue here for Facebook an existential one, in the sense that, obviously, they were a tech company and they're effectively a media company now and they haven't quite caught up to the fact and the responsibilities that come with that?

NIGAM: Right. That's actually a very good way to put it that the technology company is turning into a media company, and with that comes different types of responsibilities from a business perspective and the user community perspective. You saw that on the fake news issue that, all of a sudden, they were a media company. And then, now you're going back to this, all of a sudden, they're a tech company. So, they're hovering the line between the two and I think they're trying to figure out where their future lies.

But at the end of the day, I think the public is speaking. You saw this clearly from all the Twitter comments and other Facebook comments, why didn't this come down, what's going on.

VAUSE: With that in mind, one of the big complaints is that Facebook took more than two hours to remove the video. One of the grandsons of Mr. Godwin tweeted, "Please, please, please, stop retweeting that video and report anyone who has posted. That is my grandfather. Show some respect."

Once something goes on the Internet, it's everywhere. So, this isn't just an issue with Facebook.

NIGAM: Well, it is an industrywide issue. I will say that the two hours actually was when somebody I think reported it. From that moment, I believe Facebook is thinking they took it down within 23 minutes, which is actually kudos to Facebook.

VAUSE: They still did take a very long time.

NIGAM: But it is a long time when you're looking at somebody who is dying on camera. So, I think what you have to do is look at this from an industry perspective.

Is there better moderation programs that need to be created, a holistic approach that looks at a combination of technology, people, users, education? All of these things have to work together in a very defined, well-oiled machine. And I think what's going on is - in this case, for example, people kept reposting.

Well, many companies know how to fingerprint a digital soundtrack. Well, take that soundtrack of that video, fingerprint it and block it. It won't reach your server. So, there are technical solutions here as well.

[01:50:03] SESAY: Facebook, Hemu - Facebook Live specifically has been at the center of a number of dark episodes recently. Talk to us about the (INAUDIBLE) of Facebook and the brand damage here for Facebook as a whole. I know this is happening in Facebook Live, but Facebook as a whole, what they're facing.

NIGAM: So, as a whole, I should - what's happening is, when you have live videos, for example, a sexual assault being broadcast live, the public is saying, wait a minute, that's a horrible thing. I would never want to see that in my physical world community I live in.

And, more importantly, from a Facebook perspective, the brands are saying, wait a minute, why would I advertise on a site where my brand logo, for example, could end up next to a video that horrifying. And because of that and because of what happened to YouTube just a couple of weeks ago when more than 250 advertisers in essence bailed on the company, that's a message coming from not just Wall Street, but advertisers, which is, your future business rests on the reputation of your company because that's what brands are going to look at.

SESAY: You can't separate the two.

NIGAM: They're intertwined.

VAUSE: We're out of time. But we (INAUDIBLE 1:11) the fact that users have a responsibility here as well.

NIGAM: Yes, they do.

VAUSE: Hemu, good to see you.

NIGAM: Thank you.

SESAY: Thank you. All right. Stay with us. We're still watching the numbers in that hard-fought congressional election in Georgia. A recap coming up.



[01:55:16] VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Our breaking news. That closely watched congressional district election in Georgia will be closely watched for a little while longer. CNN is projecting a runoff. This is seen as a litmus test of the Trump presidency.

SESAY: That's right. Democrat Jon Ossoff finished far ahead of all challenges in the traditionally red House district, as you see there on your screens, but he is not expected to win the seat outright. He will face Karen Handel in the June runoff.

VAUSE: Republicans flooded the airways with attack ads against Ossoff and Democrats poured more than $8 million into his campaign. The head-to-head runoff will be a tougher race for Ossoff, but he says he's ready.


JON OSSOFF, US DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country. We will be ready to fight on and win in June and there is no amount of dark money Super PAC negative advertising that can overcome real grassroots energy like this.

So, bring it on.


VAUSE: Jon Ossoff there, staying very positive.

SESAY: Indeed, he is.

VAUSE: Despite what some see as a bit of a loss.

SESAY: Yes. And an uphill battle in the road ahead.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE). You've been watching CNN Newsroom live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay. We will be back with more news right

after this.