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Congressman, Several Others Wounded in Gunman's Attack; FBI Investigating Gunman's Past; Washington Post: Mueller Investigating Trump for Possible Obstruction of Justice. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired June 15, 2017 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): There's also a victim down in the baseball field.
[05:57:54] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scalise was to my left. And I saw him go down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the Capitol Police weren't up there, I'm afraid we would have all been dead.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are strongest when we are unified.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: We will use this occasion as one that brings us together.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After the firing of James Comey, the FBI began to investigate the president for obstruction of justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still think it's outrageous the FBI is continuing to leak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a huge deal. The president of the United States is under criminal investigation.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, June 15, 6 a.m. here in New York.
Two major stories on the starting line. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise still fighting, still in critical condition after being shot in an ambush at a Virginia ball field. We have information for you about his status. That's coming up.
We also know a lot more about the attack and the heroic efforts that saved lives. Investigators this morning are digging into the attacker, his criminal record, his online rants. All signs that he might have been headed toward violence.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And there was a show of unity on Capitol Hill, of course, in the wake of the attack. The congressional charity baseball game will go on as scheduled tonight, as President Trump is now in the midst of facing his first major domestic crisis.
Meanwhile, "The Washington Post" is reporting that Robert Mueller is now investigating President Trump for possible obstruction of justice after the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
So we have a lot to cover today. Let's begin with CNN's Alex Marquardt. He is live in Alexandria, Virginia, with the latest on the investigation.
What have you learned, Alex?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.
Well, this immediately became a federal investigation, because it was was members of Congress who were targeted. The FBI is taking the lead with support from local law enforcement. They are calling for members of the public to come forward with any information they may have about James Hodgkinson, the attacker.
They do believe for now that this was an isolated incident, that he acted alone. The FBI special agent in charge, Tim Slater, saying, "We hope to answer motive, why he was here and why he did what he did.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): The chilling sound of a barrage of gunfire captured in this cell phone video.
MARQUARDT: Sixty-six-year-old James Hodgkinson, an ardent critic of President Trump, unleashing a hail of bullets on Republican lawmakers who were practicing on the eve of a charity baseball game. The Congressman targeted on the field scrambling to take cover.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody on the field yelling, "Run, he's got a gun." I ran into the dugout, like most people on the field.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): Units arrived to 400 East and Monroe. Shots being fired, and there are people running. Possibly victims involved.
MARQUARDT: The lone gunman, who was armed with a rifle and .9 mm handgun, exchanging fire with Capitol Police officers who were there to protect the House majority whip, Steve Scalise. Local police joining in the ten-minute firefight to take down the attacker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): We have one in custody, one shooter. There's also a victim down in the baseball field. MARQUARDT: Scalise was on second base when he was shot in his left
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: He dragged himself, after he was shot, from near second base about 10 or 15 yards into the field just to be, I think, a little further away from the gunman.
MARQUARDT: Four others also wounded in the attack. Witnesses now praising the heroic actions of law enforcement in preventing further casualties.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw at least two of them go towards the shooter. They were putting their lives directly in the line of fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the Capitol Police that saved us all.
MARQUARDT: Authorities say the gunman drove from Illinois to Virginia in March and had been living out of a white cargo van, spending much of his time at this YMCA, adjacent to the ball field, where he was seen the morning of the ambush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He asked me if this team was the Republican or Democrat team practicing. I responded it was the Republican team practicing, and he proceeded to shoot Republicans. Take that for what it's worth.
MARQUARDT: The attacker's online posts show a hatred of President Trump and Republicans. Hodgkinson writing on Facebook in March, "Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It's time to destroy Trump and company."
A month earlier, "Republicans are the Taliban of the USA." A family member of the attacker telling "The New York Times" saying he came to Washington in recent weeks to protest Trump.
The gunman also liked a political cartoon suggesting that Congressman Scalise should be fired, although it's unclear if Scalise was specifically targeted in the attack.
MARQUARDT: Those Capitol Police officers being hailed this morning as heroes for preventing what many are calling a potential massacre. Special Agent Crystal Griner is still in the hospital this morning. She was shot in the ankle. We're told she's in good condition. The other officer, David Bailey, was lightly wounded. He has been released. If those two had not been there to protect Congressman Scalise, this could have been far, far worse -- Chris.
CUOMO: And Alex, as you and others were reporting yesterday, Bailey was shot and continued to try to get out on the field to help Scalise, taking his duty before his own safety, to be sure. Thank you for the reporting. We'll check back with you later.
So investigators have learned a lot about the ball field shooter. But they still don't know what pushed him over the edge and motivated him to leave his home, which is Belleville, Illinois, back in March and apparently start stalking lawmakers.
CNN's Ryan Young is live outside that home in Illinois with more -- Ryan.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
That's the big question at this point. There's a cornfield across the street here. Yesterday, you could see FBI agents and ATF agents working throughout the night to pull evidence from this home.
Now, back in 2006, there was an arrest; and in that warrant that we've seen, you can see that there was some sort of domestic incident where he was accused of punching his daughter's friend in the face.
From there, he says that he cut his daughter out of the car, cutting his seatbelt to pull her out, and maybe even firing a shotgun. Those charges were eventually dropped. Moving on from there in March, there was some gunfire behind the house. The sheriff's deputy showed up. They realized it was a deer rifle. He said he was setting his sight. They did not arrest him from there, because it was said that he did nothing that was illegal.
And now talking to neighbors, they can't believe that their friend was connected to this, because they said he never exhibited anything that would push him toward showing any kind of signs like this. So moving on, a lot of people have question at this point -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Ryan, we can imagine. All right. Thank you very much for that report.
So at this hour, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is in critical condition after hours of surgery on his injuries. Last night, President Trump and the first lady visited Scalise in a Washington hospital, and the president sat by Scalise's bedside and spoke with his family. And the president tweeted that the Congressman is, quote, "in very tough shape, but a real fighter."
[06:05:14] CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us with more now.
So Sanjay, yesterday, I mean, when Chris and I were talking to eyewitnesses and lawmakers on the scene, the thought was that his injury was much more benign than it turned out it was.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
CAMEROTA: What's happened?
GUPTA: Well, it's a serious injury. I mean, you know, part of the reason people thought that it was benign, you don't have vital organs in the area of your hip. So no one was concerned about it.
But look, you're talking about a rifle, a very fast-moving bullet. Significant injury to the body. You know, you've got a better idea of exactly what that single shot did. It actually crossed across his pelvis, fractured several bones in that area. You have your hipbones all coming together. But also injured some of the internal organs in the abdomen, for example. And then that bottom one causing severe bleeding. That seems to have been quick and pretty profound in terms of the amount of bleeding that occurred.
So he got to the hospital and, you know, was basically in and out of the operating room for several hours after that.
CAMEROTA: I mean, we heard the trail of blood. I mean, that's what one of the witnesses told us, is that he had been shot on the field and then pulled himself, you know, to the side using his arms. And they described it as a trail of blood. So obviously, he was losing a lot of blood already.
GUPTA: Yes. No question. What was sort of remarkable is the body can sort of keep up with -- with blood loss initially, you know. It just sort of regulates itself. You know, the blood pressure changes to try and keep up with blood loss. But at some point, if that blood loss continues, you know, you just -- the body cannot keep up and, you know, the whole situation changes.
CAMEROTA: So the fact that he's still in critical condition, how -- what does that tell you?
GUPTA: Well, what we know is that you remember those images at the scene. Right? He was able to talk to his wife on the phone. You hear a statement from his office that he is stable and in good spirits.
He gets on a helicopter. It's about five to ten minutes to the hospital. And by the time he arrives at the hospital, he's in critical condition. So there was quite a deterioration, it sounds like, just over several minutes. So that gives you some idea of the blood loss.
After surgery, around 2:30 now, six hours or so afterwards, he is still in critical condition. He is not in critical and stable condition, which they could have described him as, but just critical condition. So still keeping up with blood loss, giving him blood transfusions. He's going to need operations going forward. This is -- it's a very significant injury.
CAMEROTA: We'll be monitoring, obviously, his condition. Good morning, Sanjay, thank you very much.
CUOMO: Yes. His coming back to the House is going to be a big moment. We hope it's really soon. Sanjay, thank you for helping us understand it.
GUPTA: Of course. Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. So let's get to the panel and understand what's going on with all the different facets of this story. We've got CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz; we have "Washington Post" congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian; and we have CNN law enforcement analysts Art Roderick. So Shimon, what are you hearing in terms of the criminal side of your investigation. Obviously, it's focusing all around the shooter at this point.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Chris, and I think the big thing right now for the FBI is to determine how long he had been planning this. There's really, at this point, no indication that the gunman was planning this for some time. You know, there are some folks in law enforcement who think, just because he had asked whether this was Republicans or Democrats practicing on the field, maybe this was a spur-of-the-moment attack. You know, it's clear that he had some, you know, hate towards Republicans. It's clear that this is some of what drove him.
But whether or not he had been planning this for some time is a big question, now the FBI is trying to, you know, look and investigate. And they're going back. They're building a timeline to try and find out -- figure out his movement for the last few weeks, the last month when his family says they believe he moved to Alexandria.
CAMEROTA: So we do know some things about his background. And from a law enforcement standpoint, we know that he had a violent history, and we know that he had these inflammatory social media posts. So after the fact, you are follow the threads, but before the fact, is there anything that police could have done?
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, I think somebody had to read the threat to the president online and report that. That would have been the key, No. 1.
I mean, what we call in the protective services area is there's pre- incident indicators going on here, PINs. And those pre-incident indicators would have come to the surface with somebody reporting the fact that he had made an overt threat regarding the president.
Usually, what happens in those particular circumstances, the Secret Service would go out and investigate it. They would do a visit to him, do an interview and just let them know that they're keeping an eye on him. That could have ended the scenario.
But now they have to go back and create a timeline, not only as to what he was doing in Illinois but also what he was doing here. And I think a key part of that information is going to be the individuals that were at the YMCA. Because apparently, he was in there every morning, either using the shower facilities or on his laptop on social media. So there's a lot that's got to be picked up here to figure out what his motive was, what he was doing in this area, how long he was in this area, and who he was conversing with.
CUOMO: All right. Art, I appreciate that.
So Karoun, you have the practical implications of this investigation. There's also a lot of political implications. Emotions running high and a lot of the leadership is coming out and talking about unity and a lot of things we haven't heard in a while. What do you think the lasting effect of this shooting might be? KAROUN DEMIRJIAN, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST":
Well, the question is how -- how lasting can this universal showing of solidarity and unity and support, and that's pretty much coming from absolutely everybody, Republican or Democrat, on Capitol Hill. And it's a very genuine reaction, too. Because you saw many of these ball players, members of Congress, who were, you know, practicing that morning, giving interviews, looking shell-shocked, still in their uniforms. And the immediate reaction from a lot of their colleagues, as well. That is very, very real in this moment. It will certainly last several days, potentially several weeks.
Will it last several months? Will it last once we start to get into really, really deep and bitter policy fights? And will it last when you start to potentially hear from others who maybe are not members of Congress that don't feel this as viscerally, personally as every member does? Starting to get kind of -- use a little bit looser, more vitriolic speech again.
I'm sure everybody is going to be keeping themselves in check for a while. This is an extremely dramatic moment. People do feel like an attack on one of us was an attack on all of us, as Paul Ryan said. But, you know, they are also used to throwing verbal punches here and there.
And so will they ease back into that eventually as we start to veer more closely towards the hot season of the campaign season? I mean, when we get into next year? Certainly, it seems like this is going to be a difficult thing to sustain, given just the general stakes, the political stakes that surround these things. I'm sure that everybody will be trying very hard, at least in the next stretch, to be more circumspect about what they say.
CAMEROTA: And Karoun, I know that you, for one, are looking at what the president tweets. I mean, is it fair to expect the tone to be set from the top? And maybe that will help usher in a new change?
DEMIRJIAN: It could. I mean, you certainly saw the president give a statement yesterday which was not vitriolic, which was calling for calm. Which was saying, look, everybody comes here, no matter what their political persuasion is, because they have a great sense of patriotism and a desire to serve their country.
The thing is that we don't know, based on the president's track record, whether this is something that he is going to also sustain for a long time. He tends to get upset about certain things and takes to Twitter to express his frustrations in other crises. Not domestic crisis of this level, potentially, but other global crises.
He's offered his opinions in ways that have not been as conciliatory and as restoring of calm or as diplomatic, I guess I should say. There are more international events that have happened before.
So yes, he could set the tone from the top. But in many ways, I think this is one of the situations where, you know, if he doesn't -- if he goes off script and starts getting more vitriolic, he'll be criticized by a lot of members of Congress. Because as important as the president's perspective in this is, it wasn't an attack on the president; it was an attack on lay members of Congress, who are -- you know, one of them happened to have security detail, and unfortunately, that's the member who's now in the hospital in critical condition.
But a lot of people are just feeling their vulnerability right now and wanting to not call for, you know, massive amounts of security detail to hold them at arm's length away from the constituents but are kind of in this together and feeling the very personal nature of this attack, even if they weren't on that field. And that is something that's unique to those 435 members of the House, 100 senators that are living with it, feeling like this could have been them. And that's not the same as it being the president, because the president has a different level of security, is not trying to deal with constituents playing baseball.
CUOMO: But Art, you know, the reality is, if Scalise wasn't part of the leadership and didn't have that security detail, this could have been a bloodbath on that field. Do you think that, looking at security for the members is just a practical consideration after something like this?
RODERICK: Absolutely. Any time you have a major incident like this, law enforcement is going to go back and look at their security protocols. Having been with the Marshals Service for 25 years. We had sort of a similar protective detail issue regarding the federal judges around the country. And we had established some pretty tight protocols regarding any time there was a large gathering of those federal judges, we would have a fairly large protection detail on them.
I think at this particular point in time, what Capitol Police is going to do is look at models like that and other agencies that have protective service details within the federal, state and local government and see what they're doing to establish some types of protocols for these types of gatherings.
[06:15:10] CUOMO: All right. Art, Shimon, Karoun, thank you very much.
CAMEROTA: So Special Counsel Robert Mueller is casting a wider net in the Russia investigation. He is reportedly looking into possible obstruction of justice by President Trump. We have a live report and analysis next.
[06:19:03] CUOMO: "The Washington Post" reporting special counsel Robert Mueller is expanding his Russian investigation to include possible obstruction of justice involving the president. Mueller is expected to meet face-to-face with three top intel officials as early as this week.
CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones joins us with more. And we remember James Comey saying in his testimony, "Yes, I think Mueller is going to be looking at obstruction of justice." He was right. ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris. That's right. This is
not the sort of headline the president has wanted to see. This is what he has been trying to avoid all along. You'll remember last week when the president and his legal team were saying that he had been completely and totally vindicated, pointing to the fired FBI director, fired FBI director James Comey's testimony that he had told the president three times that he was not personally being investigated. This was when Comey was still in charge of the FBI.
Well, according to the latest report, all that has changed, and it's a big deal.
[06:20:08] JONES (voice-over): A bombshell development in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. "The Washington Post" reporting that Mueller is now investigating President Trump for possible obstruction of justice. The president's firing of FBI director James Comey propelling the expansion of the probe.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, "You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: There's no doubt that it's a fair judgment, it's my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.
JONES: This development coming after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested Tuesday the special counsel may be looking into Comey's firing.
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I can assure you that, if Director Mueller believes that that is relevant to his investigation, he has full authority to investigate that and to make any appropriate findings.
JONES: Sources tell CNN, Mueller is planning to interview several of the nation's top intelligence chiefs, including director of national intelligence Dan Coats; NSA director Mike Rogers; and Rogers' former deputy, Richard Ledgett. Sources say Ledgett wrote a memo, documenting a conversation in which President Trump reportedly urged Rogers to encourage the FBI to lift the cloud of the Russia investigation.
Neither Rogers nor Coats would discuss their conversations with the president in a Senate hearing last week.
SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: Why are you not answering our questions?
MIKE ROGERS, NSA DIRECTOR: I feel it is not appropriate.
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: I'm not sure I have a legal basis.
JONES: Although Coats did make this comment about his three-plus-year career as head of the NSA.
COAST: I've never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping of intelligence in the political way or in relationship to the ongoing investigation.
JONES: President Trump's personal attorney, in a statement last night, did not deny that the president is under investigation. Instead focusing on leakers, writing, "The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal."
This statement is identical to a bullet list of talking points issued by the Republican Party obtained by CNN. President Trump has already expressed his willingness to talk to Mueller.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version?
TRUMP: One hundred percent.
JONES: Now we'll see if that sit-down with the special counsel ever takes place. Meanwhile, in addition to the interviews that Mueller is set to have with top intelligence chiefs, he met yesterday with the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr and Mark Warner to talk about the congressional investigation and about the special counsel's probe. Signs that these separate, but overlapping investigations are ramping up -- Alisyn, Chris.
CAMEROTA: OK, Athena, thank you very much.
Let's discuss it with our panel. Back with us is Karoun Demirjian, and let's bring in CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd and CNN political analyst John Avlon.
John, I'll start with you. Is this a surprise that they -- that Mueller would now be investigating obstruction of justice ever since Comey's testimony where he said, basically, that he felt pressed by the president to back off the Michael Flynn investigation.
Did the investigation have to go in that direction?
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It is a confirmation of what the direction things seem to have been going. And of course, it's, I think, not incidental that it comes out days after a trial balloon is floated, potentially emanating from the president that Mueller could be fired.
I think what also is new is apparently the existence of the new contemporaneous memo from the deputy -- former deputy director of the NSA. I think that's significant.
But this is a ratcheting up. It's quasi-official, given the sourcing, ratcheting up. This is now not people saying that they expect him to be investigated for obstruction of justice. It is a confirmation that that is now occurring within the special counsel.
CUOMO: Phil Mudd, what does this mean for Rosenstein? If they're looking at obstruction of justice and Rosenstein was involved, not in a process of obstruction, necessarily, but you know, it was his memo. He was part of that dynamic with Sessions and the president. Might he have to recuse himself? Is that required? Is it necessary?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I don't think he has to recuse himself at this point. Obviously, he's the one who brought in the special counsel in the first place.
I do think it adds a lot of pressure to the questions that Jeff Sessions failed to answer during his testimony that week. That is, when you spoke to the president, what did he say about the firing of Jim Comey? How do you cover that in executive privilege, if there's an investigation now that involves the special counsel, and both Comey and the president have spoken publicly about this?
I don't think we've heard the last, not from Rosenstein, but from the attorney general. Because he is not going to be able to hide behind this claim that he -- that he's shielded by executive privilege when Robert Mueller starts to ask what were the conversations about the reason for the removal of Jim Comey?
[06:25:07] And the question that you're getting to, Chris, if you recused yourself from this investigation, because you were engaged in the campaign, how then did you participate in the firing of Jim Comey if his firing resulted from the Russia investigation? It doesn't make any sense. And Sessions dodged that the other day.
CAMEROTA: Also, Karoun, CNN sources tell us that Mueller is also going to be interviewing some of the top intel chiefs, CIA Director Pompeo, as well as Rogers, Coats. Because there was also this, apparently, a phone conversation that the president had, where some of these same issues came up.
DEMIRJIAN: All right. The follow-up phone conversation, he pressed for the same end, which was to get them to use their influence to get Comey to drop the FBI probe, which we know the president was upset because it focused on Michael Flynn.
So there's all -- it seems like the president has reached out to many people at the top levels of the intelligence community, which is why all of their names are coming up. If they are all potentially witnesses is, as Mueller is looking to see if the president's actions amount to obstruction of justice.
And you know, it's interesting that there's a -- there's an irony in all of this, to an extent. Because you know, as the president said in the NBC interview, he you know, wanted to get rid of Comey, because Comey would not basically put all of the Trump/Russia stuff to rest, wouldn't publicly say. The president himself is not under investigation, as Comey did publicly say last week during his Senate testimony before the Intelligence Committee.
And yet, in the act of firing Comey and his frustrations with Comey not making that cloud go away, as he's put it, that's what prompted the other phase of the investigation into these potential obstruction of justice activities that has radiated beyond just the firing of Comey. It has to do with all those -- those conversations and interactions that Comey documented. Not just Coats and Rogers, et cetera. But here we are.
CUOMO: So John, the president finds himself in the middle of two different critical moments. One is this obstruction potential investigation, which is pretty solid legal footing for him, as Alan Dershowitz has been arguing everywhere he gets the opportunity.
The president can stop a probe whenever he wants. If he's involved in it, if he's not involved in it. He can pardon himself, you know, for criminal behavior. He has very extensive powers. And I think that's why you see such careful footing about possible investigation. You know, because he's got a lot of authority in this area.
He also finds himself in the moment of this national healing. And there is no question that the tone in Washington and in our politics has changed for the worse. Everybody knows it. We experience it every day. The president is involved in that tone change, used it to his advantage. Now is faced with a decision on his own.
What do you think happens after this shooting? What do you think needs to happen?
AVLON: Well, what I think needs to happen is I think we need to have a recognition that it's time for a reset in our politics. That the hateful rhetoric people deploy to rally the troops isn't populism; it's poison, and it's starting to really sicken the body politic. And that bubbles up.
The danger with all this rhetoric of hate and demonizing people who disagree with us is that it starts to make people -- when it lodges in the mind of an unstable soul, it can result in violence. And that's what we saw yesterday from the left. Despite a lot of focus we've had on the interplay between the right and the left and the way these extremes echo each other.
The president's statement yesterday was measured. It was unified. It was appropriate. The problem is the president's tone. That's not his natural demeanor, and he's going to have to sustain that. Members of Congress are going to have to sustain that.
CAMEROTA: John, I just want to ask you, because that leads us back to the Russia investigation.
CAMEROTA: Is there a way to simultaneously investigate whatever happened in Russia,, how they meddled, whether or not there was any collusion which there is no evidence of for the moment, and have political unity?
AVLON: There should be. I don't want to be Pollyannaish about the kind of political polarization we're in. But you know, ultimately, any investigation should be about a search for the truth.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 97-2 to block any administration -- by the administration to remove sanctions. That never happens in politics. It wasn't related to the shooting. It was about sending a clear message with Russia.
So I think there are some green shoots, but people are going to have to restrain themselves from simply playing to the base. They're going to have to think a little bit bigger than their team-ism. I'm under no illusions that's going to be epidemic. But it's the responsibility to use this opportunity as a reset and to focus on fact and to focus on the truth when it comes to the investigation.
CUOMO: They can disagree. There's no problem with disagreeing. There's no problem with seeing the investigation as politically motivated or see that. It's how you express it. As we all know, people on TV right now who've chosen just to insult the president of the United States instead of insulting his policies. That's the kind of thing you have to reconsider.
CAMEROTA: ALL RIGHT. Thank you very much, panel.
Coming up on NEW DAY. we have the former independent counsel during the Clinton-Lewinsky investigation, Ken Starr. What does he think about these threads in the investigation?
CUOMO: So this gunman who targeted Republican lawmakers approached two of them before opening fire. He asked them both the same question.