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Trump Says He's Being Investigated over Comey Firing; Mistrial Declared in Bill Cosby Case; Interview with Rep. Martha McSally; 7 U.S. Sailors Missing After Destroyer Collision Off Japan; Boeing Factory Open to the Public; Calls for Unity Following Scalise Shooting; Chicago Teens Overcome Despite Surroundings. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 17, 2017 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:16] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: But first now, more as the investigation embroiling the president widens with CNN White House correspondent, Athena Jones.
So, Athena, people are reading a lot into the president's tweets about obstruction of justice. Walk us through what seems to be a new level of frustration?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORERSPONDENT: Hi, Fred. There certainly is a lot of frustration on the part of the president, feeling there is too much focus on the ongoing investigations.
Let's put up that tweet you're talking about. This is a tweet the president posted yesterday morning around 9:00 a.m. He said, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director. Witch hunt."
Now, "witch hunt" is a phrase we've been hearing the president use a lot.
What's so curious about this tweet it sounds as though the president himself is confirming that he is the subject of an obstruction of justice investigation of Special Counsel Bob Mueller. That is something "The Washington Post" has reported. But a person familiar with that tweet says that the president wasn't confirming that he's under investigation. He was referring to news reports saying that Mueller is now investigating him. So it's a little complicated, but it's important to note that the president has not, according to officials, been informed that he is under investigation. He was not referring to something specific there.
What's also curious, Fred, you saw in that tweet, now the president's reasoning about the firing of the FBI Director James Comey has changed once again. It was deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, that's the person he's referencing in that tweet, it was deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who wrote the lengthy memo that talked about Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation and what he saw as Comey's mishandling of that investigation. That was seen as a justification or pointed to as a justification by several White House officials for the president's decision to fire James Comey. Then the president contradicted that explanation himself by telling NBC's Lester Holt he was planning to fire James Comey all along, regardless of any recommendation that he got from Rosenstein. So now this new twist makes it sound like no, actually, let's go back to the first explanation, Rosenstein suggested I fire Comey.
So it's in the weeds a little bit there, Fred, but the bottom line here is that this is a president who was clearly very, very frustrated at these ongoing investigations and is expressing his frustration on Twitter even though White House officials are not commenting at all on any of these investigations -- Fredricka?
WHITFIELD: All right. Athena Jones, thank you so much. Appreciate that. Check back with you.
Let's talk more about the politics of the legal wrangling here over the Russia investigation. Rebecca Berg, CNN political analyst and political reporter for Real Clear Politics; Eugene Scott, CNN politics reporter; Michael Zeldin, CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor and Robert Mueller's former federal assistant at the Department of Justice.
Good to see all of you.
Eugene, I want to go with you first.
The president and the first lady and their son going to Camp David for the first time -- first time period for this presidency after spending a lot of the weekend retreats at Trump properties. And now the lawyering up of Donald Trump, his White House counsel. What's to make of the timing of the Camp David and what's behind this lawyering up?
EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I think what we're seeing is that the president is starting to realize just how serious all of this can be. We saw reports about even his lawyers having lawyers and we've seen also that Mike Pence, the vice president, now has lawyered up. As serious as he may be coming to understand this investigation to become his social media activity is not reflecting that. He's been repeatedly advised to back away from Twitter because some of the things that he is saying can compromise the integrity of the investigation, whether or not he's going to take heed to what he's been advised now that he has more lawyers looking at this, time will tell.
So, Michael, I mean, you can imagine the attorneys are telling him don't tweet, don't comment, but the president is, you know, moving to his own drum beat, so to speak. How frustrating potentially is this for his attorneys, even though he's brought on a new one, John Dowd, that the president likes his primary mode of communicating with the public by tweeting?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You are assuming in the question, Fred, his lawyers are not on board with this strategy. If I were his lawyer, I would not be on board with that strategy. His lawyers may well be of the mind that this is a good strategy to be on the attack, to attack --
WHITFIELD: If that's the case, why?
[13:05:07] ZELDIN: Maybe they think, like with Clinton and Starr, their best effort is to try to undermine the legitimacy of this investigation should the find examination out poorly for them. -- findings come out poorly for them. Marc Kasowitz is a contentious litigator. John Dowd, similarly reputed reputation for his take no- prisoners type of legal style. So this may well be the legal strategy that they've embarked upon. We don't know that. It's not intuitive to me, but I don't represent the president so I don't know, you know, sort of what the thinking is in the attorney/client relationship.
And so, Rebecca, you're nodding your head. You think there's something to that.
REBECCA BERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There could be but no doubt the president and more broadly this administration have tried to make this a political issue and tried to suggest that this is a political witch hunt to use the president's words, and that really cuts to the credibility of Robert Mueller's investigation, the FBI's separate investigation, of course, the investigations that we have going on, on Capitol Hill. And so that doesn't necessarily help the president legally, Fred, but in the court of public opinion, in the near term and in the more immediate future, it could help the president. Because if you have his supporters believing that this really is politically motivated, then they might brush aside whatever revelations are coming out from these investigations and say, well, they're targeting the president for political reasons, we don't necessarily believe what we're hearing.
WHITFIELD: And then, Eugene, you know, the president argues and his staff argues on his behalf, that, you know, by tweeting he's very transparent. In the meantime, you know, there was only one, you know, White House, you know, camera -- on-camera briefing this week. What is going on in the White House in terms of its means of showing transparency and answering the questions of reporters which is the reporter's question is an extension of the American public.
SCOTT: Many who cover the White House, in addition to the voters who look to the media to understand the president, believes there's much to be desired in terms of transparency. I think the communications team answers the questions they see fit. Very often, if you look at the briefings as you mentioned didn't happen as frequently this week as people would have liked. We see Sean Spicer dodging questions that are central to answering the concerns of what the American voters desire. Whether or not their view of transparency is comparable to what people looking to this White House believe transparency to be, doesn't seem to be consistent.
WHITFIELD: You know, Michael, with the president's tweet, you know, blaming, in part, the firing of Comey on the deputy, you know, attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, when at first he kind of credited it, and then in a television interview the president said it was my decision, and now he sends out this tweet, you know, that it's all part of the witch hunt, you know, "They made up the phony collusion with the Russian story, found zero, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story, nice." He also tweeted about Rosenstein and the recommendation and being essentially set up. So, Michael, in your view, is this a prelude to the president saying Rod Rosenstein's job is on the line? And if that were the case, then what could potentially unfold?
ZELDIN: It's pretty hard to divine the intention of the president through these tweets. If I'm Rod Rosenstein, I can't be happy I'm being targeted in this way, but I don't know whether it's just, you know, sort of bluff and noise or whether it is reflective of the president's real thinking about Rosenstein. We know only that he's unhappy about this investigation.
The question you asked of me earlier, it's interesting that when the story was reported in the paper yesterday, the possibility that he's under investigation for obstruction, his lawyer issued a statement that said this was an FBI leak and it's shameful the fact that there was no evidence for it, when in the same story, it was reported that Jared Kushner may be under investigation for financial dealings, Jamie Gorelick, his lawyer, said, we welcome the inquiry and we'll cooperate fully. Jamie reflects wisdom and Marc reflects perhaps something less than wisdom. And I think that's what's at the heart of this problem for the president, which is he just can't figure out what's in his best legal interest, which is to be quiet and say, I'm all for cooperation because, at the end of the day, I'll be exonerated.
[13:09:58] WHITFIELD: And you're wishing the president would take that approach of saying, OK, I'm an open book, go ahead, you know, do this, and then perhaps he can concentrate on other things. But again, it's back to that language of self-inflicted wounds so many people haves used that, you know, he seems to continue to undermine himself or get deeper into something.
WHITFIELD: All right. Rebecca, Eugene, Michael, thanks to all of you. Appreciate it.
WHITFIELD: We'll check back with you.
After today's mistrial, that was this morning, of the Bill Cosby case, prosecutors say they will try again. So what might happen differently? We'll have a live report from outside the courthouse.
Plus, seven American sailors missing after a collision at sea involving a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship.
Stay with us.
[13:15:08] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. We're following new developments involving Bill Cosby. Earlier today, a judge declared a mistrial in Cosby's criminal case. It happened when the jury came to the judge after just one hour of deliberations this morning telling the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked and unable to agree on a unanimous verdict. The comedian had been charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
Cosby did not speak after the mistrial, but a publicist for his wife, Camille, read a signed statement, as Camille Cosby, in these written words, lashed out at the judge and the prosecution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EBONEE BENSON, PUBLICIST FOR CAMILLE COSBY: How do I describe the district attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly arrogant, and collaborating with the district attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical. How do I describe many but not all general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truth for the primary purpose of selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.
Historically, people have challenged injustices. I am grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence, which is the rightful way to make a sound decision. Ultimately, that is a manifestation of justice based on facts, not lies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Jean Casarez has been covering this trial and was in the courtroom when the jury told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked.
Jean, the D.A. says they will proceed and retry. What's next?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And they want to do it sooner than later. And the judge said in court that he would like to do it within 120 days. Which is, obviously, very soon. And we understand from the prosecutor that they'll have a pretrial conference and that will set the date.
This is the judge, Steven O'Neill, that's been assigned to this case, so more likely than not he will be the judge to rule at any retrial.
From what Kevin Steele understands, they start from scratch so they go through all the rulings. But there have been a lot of rulings in this case, some benefiting the prosecution, some benefiting the defense. You know the prosecution wanted to have 13 accusers, 13 women, go into court to testify that Bill Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them. The judge only allowed one. That was a very big win for the defense. And lead attorney, Brian McGonagall (ph), really aggressively cross-examined that witness. It was a prior bad-act witness, but he did it, and many believe he did it very effectively. So the defense did have wins in court. And obviously, this nullification here today, there was nothing positive for the defense or prosecution.
Bill Cosby remained serious and focused. No emotion I saw on him at all when the judge read that a mistrial would be declared.
WHITFIELD: Jean Casarez, thank you so much, from Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Let's talk about this mistrial with our panel of legal experts, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor, joining us from Cleveland; and Richard Herman, a New York criminal attorney and law professor, joining me from Las Vegas.
Good to see you, gentlemen.
Avery, you first.
The district attorney, while he has not heard from jurors, what went wrong, what was, you know, not convincing, based on his legal argument on behalf of Andrea Constand he says he will retry. But how might he approach this differently?
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Well, he could have approached it differently 10 minutes after the mistrial, he could have gone out and said it's a serious matter, we need to think about it, we want to pick up more evidence, so that we can make a thoughtful decision, but in a rash decision before he gets his act together, he announces he's going to retry the case. That is a serious misstep.
But at the same time, Fredricka, there was a misstep by the defense. After all, it's likely that Judge O'Neill will rehear this case and so what happens is the Cosby team permits denigrating the judge. So there are missteps all over the place. And it's kind of reflective of the kind of case this is. It's like starting all over again and who knows what's going to happen in terms of potential plea or another trial.
WHITFIELD: In fact, let's listen to the district attorney, Kevin Steele.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN STEELE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We will evaluate and review our case. We will take a hard look at everything involved. And then we will retry it. As I said in court, our plan is to move this case forward as soon as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[13:50:04] WHITFIELD: So, Richard, would he stand a better chance to retry?
RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & LAW PROFESSOR: Not necessarily, Fred. He never looked at the case like a true district attorney. This was a politically motivated prosecution. The prior district attorney made a determination he could not get a conviction and they did not allow Miss Constand to be the witness in criminal charges against Mr. Cosby, although that D.A. encouraged her to bring a civil litigation where the burden of proof is less. This district attorney ran on a platform of indicting and prosecuting Mr. Cosby. He won, maybe, on that provision alone, and he tries the litigation on facts and circumstances that took place 14 years ago, where people have to testify to what happened then and after. There's a lot of contradictions in testimony and statements that were given.
And the problem with the retrial here, Fred, is the problem they had during this trial, Miss Constand had a relationship with Mr. Cosby. She had some 72 phone calls with him before the event took place. Three --
AVERY: That's right.
HERMAN: -- three meetings in his house before the event took place. Subsequent to the alleged attack, subsequent to that, six months later, she reached out to Cosby to get tickets for her parents to see his show. That's not consistent with someone who was sexually assaulted. No forensic evidence to prove Quaaludes. Nothing at all. This is a very difficult case to abstain a 12-0 conviction. Not going to happen next time either.
WHITFIELD: On the case, Avery, of the phone calls, you know, that was among the items that the jurors wanted to see. They wanted to see, you know, the dozen or so, you know -- they have questions and they apparently wanted to see the phone logs again to reassess, among other things, they wanted to know about, you know, reasonable doubt. Now you mentioned earlier, it will be Judge O'Neill, who would be involved in a retry if, indeed, that happens, would this judge see that the other 12 potential witnesses would be invited to testify, since in this case that ended in a mistrial, he only allowed one of the 13?
FRIEDMAN: Well, I think Judge O'Neill was right, Fredricka. This is the sort of pile-on evidence. The prosecution wants to get everybody in who claims anything without any determination by a prior court. It's a rule 404 prior bad acts. You see it commonly in civil litigation. But at the end of the day, Judge O'Neill was concerned about reversal because when you put on pile-on evidence that has due- process-of-law implications. Judge O'Neill was right. You can put some in but not all of it in. I don't think, if it goes to retrial, Fredricka, we're not going to see 13 or 12 or even 10. We're going to see maybe one or two more, but that's about it.
WHITFIELD: Earlier I spoke with Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents several other female accusers of Bill Cosby. Allred is hoping some of them would be allowed to testify when the prosecution retries the case. This is what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: I think one big problem in the current trial that just ended was that the prosecution wanted to call what we call 13 prior-bad-act witnesses, in other words other accusers, and the court only allowed him to call one. That's my client, Kelly Johnson, who was very brave in testifying. Now that there's going to be a new trial, I am hoping that the court will allow more prior-bad-act witnesses, more accusers, to be able to testify. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So Richard you were shaking your head before listening to Miss Allred, now what do you think?
HERMAN: I can't listen to her. It's like chalk on a black board. I cannot listen to her, Fred.
AVERY: Give her a break. Give her a break.
HERMAN: Please. The prior bad acts, it's usually in the federal system 404B, prior bad acts, when you seek to put that amount of information and evidence on, your case is paper thin. The judge rightfully precluded it, because there had been no convictions in those cases, Fred.
HERMAN: So it becomes a side show for the defense tries each and every one of them to try to undermine them and their credibility. And that's what happened to Miss -- I can't say her name -- whose witness who testified in this Cosby case. She got obliterated on cross- examination. Her testimony was negative. Maybe hurt the prosecution's case. So that's not going to happen.
HERMAN: As far as Camille Cosby speaking after the trial, she just took a page out of Trump's, you know, how to wreck your life playbook.
AVERY: That's not fair.
HERMAN: She criticized the judge, who is going to try the case, the D.A., who is going to try it. You know, you just have to shut up, let time move on, see if they really are going to retry this case.
[13:25:10] HERMAN: Gear up, learn from your mistakes, streamline the case. And then I believe in any retrial, Fred, unlike John Gotti or Phil Spector, they are going to get another either hung jury or acquittal on a retrial.
AVERY: We'll see.
WHITFIELD: All right. We shall see.
Avery and Richard, thanks so much. Appreciate it. Good to see you both.
HERMAN: Happy Father's Day Avery and Big John and all --
AVERY: Same to you.
WHITFIELD: Oh, thank you.
AVERY: There we go.
WHITFIELD: Happy Father's Day to you both. Appreciate it. Thank you so much.
WHITFIELD: Thank you.
All right. A collision at sea. Two massive ships run into each other and seven American sailors are still missing. That is next.
[13:30:30] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Seven U.S. sailors remain missing and the commanding officer injured after a U.S. destroyer collided with a merchant ship off Japan. The damaged warship took on water but was towed back to port where divers are getting ready to inspect the damage. A Navy official tells CNN the collision knocked out key communications aboard the ship.
We're also hearing from President Trump as he is making his way to Camp David. He tweeted, "Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of the 'USS Fitzgerald' and their families. Thank you to our Japanese allies for their assistance."
Let me bring in Rear Admiral John Kirby, a CNN military analyst and a former spokesperson for the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon.
Admiral Kirby, good to see you.
So the attention is on rescuing or recovering the seven missing U.S. sailors. Why does it seem to be so problematic to locate them?
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Well, for one thing, I think they don't have a good sense of where everybody is. It is possible that some of them could have been knocked overboard and still at sea, and I know that search effort is still going on at sea. It is most likely that many, if not all of them, are still inside the skin of the ship somewhere in some of those spaces that were collapsed and damaged when the collision occurred. Now there was significant flooding underneath the water line, and it's possible that some of those sailors are in those heavily flooded spaces. So I know that they have divers in the water right now that are searching and I think we're going to have to let them do their jobs and see what happens.
WHITFIELD: When you look at the imagery of the damage on that ship and seeing, you know, exactly where that merchant ship appeared to have, you know, penetrated the destroyer, what are your thoughts?
KIRBY: Well, it's, obviously, a significant blow. You can tell simply by the damage, certainly to the destroyer but to the freighter. It's significant damage on that ship's port bow. So, obviously, this was a very direct hit and with some speed. Now you don't need a lot of speed when you're a 40,000-ton freighter and you run into about a 9,000-ton destroyer. It doesn't take a lot of speed to cause damage but this looks like there was some speed and momentum behind it.
It also tells me that because there was flooding below the water line, the freighters have bows underneath the water, you can't see that, but a bow, and there's probably significant damage to spaces beneath the water line of the ship, which would, again, explain the degree of flooding. But the damage above the water line also is very significant. And again, that really speaks to the momentum that this freighter had when it struck the destroyer.
WHITFIELD: What does this tell you about how something like this can happen? Because on all of these naval ships there are -- I mean, there's incredible devices and technology on board to detect danger, other vessels nearby, et cetera?
KIRBY: There are a series of sensors, as you rightly point out, that allow a ship to navigate safely. The chief among them, of course, when you're talking about contacts that are at a distance, is the surface search radar system, which on this ship is sophisticated and very, very good. I think the ship got a lot of upgrades. It's possible one of the upgrades was to the surface search radar system. It's very good. But radar is not perfect. I have been at sea many times where surface search radar didn't work properly or mistook a wave for a ship or didn't see a ship at a distance where you think you should have. That's why it's important that you have eyeballs out on the water, too.
The human element involved here. And I think the Navy will look at all of this. I suspect -- and the investigation has already started. I suspect as they do, they will build a timeline from when the first contact with this freighter was received all the way to collision and sort of look at what decisions were made by the human elements involved in terms of, you know, how the ships came together like that. But you have to have a -- have to have a fabric of centers, and it does have to include human eyeballs, human judgment, human involvement.
WHITFIELD: Well, we are hoping for the best and saying our prayers for those missing sailors.
KIRBY: Absolutely. I just want to offer my thoughts and prayers to everybody aboard the "Fitzgerald" and their families, but particularly the families of the seven missing. They're going through an awful time right now. I know the Navy is very, very seriously looking after them and offering them the support they need. The Navy does this very well when things like this happen. But I think we need to keep the seven families in mind today.
WHITFIELD: We are, indeed.
Thank you so much, Admiral John Kirby, in Washington.
KIRBY: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: We have so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
But first, in this week's "CNN Away," a look at Boeing in Everett, Washington, where the new Air Force One will be built.
[13:35:12] UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This summer a record 234 million people will travel on an airplane. So why not fly to a destination where you can learn about that plane you might have just flown in on?
This is the Boeing factory, 30 minutes outside of Seattle in Everett, where almost every Boeing airplane is made. And it's open to the public.
(on camera): Why, almost 60 years ago, did you allow the public to see what you were doing here?
JACK MOORE (ph), TOUR CHAIRMAN, BOEING: Well, they started coming on their own. Where we're standing right now was actually woods and we needed to build our planes next to the runway. There's talks and rumors the biggest plane of the world was being built inside and people got curious. We thought maybe we should guide these people around so they're saying their time.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, Boeing produces one airplane a day. And you can see 50 of them being built in every stage at one time. Before they get sent to airlines all over the world.
MOORE (ph): Right now, if you wanted a 787, I couldn't get it to you until the year 2021. Over 1,000 planes are on backlog.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT: These planes can cost more than $300 million. But the most expensive is yet to be built here.
MOORE (ph): When we see the president land in Air Force One, that plane came out of here.
UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): And I know that you guys are in the process of building a new Air Force One. Is that happening here?
MOORE (ph): Yes. We're not currently building at this time. We are still working on designs. But once those are finalized and we start producing them that will happen in this factory.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love traveling. It's a little bit like research. As an art director, I get to create the themes similar to what a director does in a movie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love that shot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We chose this location because we wanted to contrast rock deserts, sand, with the metallic flairs of light and textures in the clothing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god, that looks amazing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have very cool dome architecture that we're not able to get in a lot of other places.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the camera starts going, everybody gets into this work mode and there are very specific jobs for every person on set.
Those earrings are great.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Photographer and stylist makeup artists, even the model has a vision of how she wants to present herself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa, I love that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I started my career in New York City and moved to San Francisco about three years ago. It's a great opportunity to sort of be bicoastal.
I travel about once a month for work. And when I travel, the locations we choose are not always easy to get to. When I arrived at National, I was already thinking about how I really wanted to make this shoot super cool and fun for everyone involved.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. Maybe. But yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I saw the red car, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to bring a little bit more excitement to the shoot.
The upgrade was clearly marked so it was effortless.
Everything about my job is extremely visual so showing up in an awesome car is going to affect everybody on set.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As an art director, my team is extremely special to me. You need people who jive with you creatively and it can be hard to find that. Once you do, you sort of latch on.
(LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not only do we create an amazing project together, but we also enjoy each other's company and get inspired by one another.
WHITFIELD: Frightening new details on the shooting at a congressional baseball practice that left a congressman gravely injured. Investigators say the shooter was found with a list of names of several Republican members of Congress.
Meanwhile, Scalise is in critical condition in the intensive care unit. One of his surgeons said, initially, Scalise faced a, quote, "imminent risk of death" after being shot Wednesday morning but doctors now see signs of improvement.
There are calls for unity from both sides, from both parties, following Wednesday's attack on Republican lawmakers. That unity was on full display at Thursday's congressional baseball game with bitter rivals standing shoulder to shoulder. They say it's all about setting an example.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[13:40:03] REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Tonight, we're all Team Scalise.
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOSUE: What we're trying to do is tone down the rhetoric, lead by example, and show people we can disagree with one another, we can have different ideas without being vitriolic, without going to such extremes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So where do we go from here?
We're joined by Arizona Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally. She is one of many calling for political rhetoric to be turned down.
Congresswoman, good to see you.
REP. MARTHA MCSALLY, (R), ARIZONA: Thanks for having me.
WHITFIELD: Have you heard from your colleagues about that same kind of pledge and commitment you're speaking of?
MCSALLY: Absolutely. This is my second term, and I'll tell you, I mean I'm choosing not to breathe into any of the rhetoric in the first place. But I think now there is a time of reflection. I did a Facebook live session with my friend, Democratic colleague, Kathleen Rice, from New York, at the game on Thursday night, just to sort of set the example about how we can friendships with our colleagues and we can find areas we can agree and we can have debates about our disagreements without hating each other. And we need to do our part, but really, I think all of our communities and the country need to look into our hearts and do a part to bring this to a level of civility. It's out of control right now.
WHITFIELD: So during the congressional baseball game, Anderson Cooper did talk to a South Carolina Republican, Mark Sanford, and they talked about the tone in Washington. And this is what Sanford had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK SANFORD, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We have gotten to a point, in terms of breakdown of civility in our country, that it's a problem. And that everybody's to blame. And the blame can go on the Republican side, Democratic side, but when the president says to somebody in the audience, "I wish I could hit you in the face, if not, why don't you do it and I'll pay your legal fees," we ought to call it for what it is, that's a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Do you, in part, you know, blame the president's tone, some of the language -- even most recently on Thursday, once again called former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, crooked -- do you think he bears some responsibility here?
MCSALLY: I think we all bear responsibility. Again, it's certainly from the top down. I've been in the military before, and you can set climates, you know, and show leadership, but each of us across our communities, the country, the media, we each need to ask, are we facilitating this? Are we being bystanders? What can we do in order to contribute to a more civic and civil discussion? We had a guy arraigned yesterday threatening to kill me here in Tucson. This doesn't have anything to do with the president. It's what's going on inside his heart. For others, that maybe are fueling the discussion and fueling the hatred, stop doing it. Spend time with your families. Spend time talking to each other about your views and your perspectives. Maybe you will learn something from each other.
Again, I think we each need to do our part. Public officials certainly we can set the example, but also, it's the rest of the country as well. This is on all of us.
WHITFIELD: How do you expect people to do that? What are your expectations?
MCSALLY: Well, I've met people here in Arizona over the last few weeks, a husband and wife, whose relationship is very strained because of their different political views. I met a mother who said her son no longer invites her to her house to see her grandchildren because of their political views. That is ridiculous. These are not people prone to violence, but they've allowed their different views to so deeply impact their relationships. And I just ask everybody, have your sincerely held views. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Don't be inflamed by what others are saying. Think about what the facts are. Have policy debates based on facts and objectives. Let's have those discussions. That's the intent of our country. Let's find common ground. I served in the military, we have enemies that are out there that are trying to kill us and our way of life. Our enemy is not among us. We saw that at the game. There wasn't a dry eye in the place during the national anthem and when David Bailey (ph) threw out the first pitch the capitol policeman who, with Crystal Griner (ph), stopped a massacre from happening. Let's take that moment, seize that moment, all of us, and figure out where we can move forward as a country together.
[13:44:14] WHITFIELD: Congresswoman Martha McSally, thank you for your time. Appreciate it.
MCSALLY: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: Fenger Academy High School, which was featured in the 2014 documentary "Chicagoland," is located in one of the city's most- violent, gang-ridden neighborhoods, yet every single senior, 54 of them, that graduated this morning, has plans to go to college, something that has not happened there in decades.
Here's CNN's Ryan Young.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LADASIA PRINCE, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE: I'm excited about college. I've been dreaming about going to college since I was little.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like many seniors, Ladasia Prince can't wait for college.
PRINCE: I've been through so much my four years at this school. I actually had a child my junior year, last year, and I was out of school for almost three months.
Reporter1: Despite missing months of class, after having a baby boy, Ladasia will finish second in her senior class at Chicago's Fenger High School.
A senior class determined to defy the odds that keep many of their south side peers trapped. Every single senior, all 52 of them, have college plans.
PRINCE: I want to go to medical school, so I am going to major in biology. I want to be a surgeon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to major in business and open up my own car dealership.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go to business and then go to law.
YOUNG: It is the first time in 20 years that an entire class at Fenger can celebrate that achievement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody in our class want to do something.
[13:50:08] YOUNG: Situated in a neighborhood often plagued by deadly gang violence, Fenger gained national attention in 2009 when an after- school gang fight led to the brutal beating of a student, whose murder was captured on cell phone video. Tensions erupted after the fatal incident and gang fights were a common occurrence in the hallway at Fenger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of the street. I'm not going to say it again.
YOUNG: In 2014, CNN featured the school in the documentary series "Chicagoland," that followed the battle to help empower and save students here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The climate of school is just abysmal, like massive gang fights in the hallway.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 300 arrests that first year
YOUNG: Then Principal Liz Dozier implemented programs to steer kids away from the streets.
One of the student featured in the series, Lee McCollum, gave a rare glimpse into his struggle to escape from his gang-riddled neighborhood.
LEE MCCOLLUM, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I am hoping to go to college. I know where my dreams are going.
YOUNG: Just last year, he was killed by gunshot to the head.
PRINCE: People talk down about Chicago, but it's still some good that's still here.
RICHARD SMITH, PRINCIPLE, FENGER HIGH SCHOOL: Let's get to class. I saw you earlier.
YOUNG: Principle Richard Smith contributes the success to his test prep and social programs outside the classroom tailored to meet a variety of student needs.
SMITH: They believe that they can be successful and they believe that they can put away all the negative images that are the perceptions that people have of Fenger High School students.
YOUNG: Success that has seniors like Ladasia beaming with confidence.
PRINCE: It's good, I get to go outside, Hey, yeah, I got a 100 percent college acceptance, how about your school?
YOUNG: Ryan Young, CNN, Chicago.
WHITFIELD: That's fantastic. Good news. We have so much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
But first, check out this week's installment of "Fit Nation."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Arafat Gatabazi is an open-water swimmer in Cape Town, South Africa.
ARAFAT GATABAZI, OPEN-WATER SWIMMER: I feel free. When I'm in the ocean, that's when I'm at peace most of the time. It takes me away from the outside world.
GUPTA: The outside world has not been easy for him. He's a refugee in the Democratic Republic of conga.
GATABAZI: I left my country in 2012 when the war broke out and when I was separated from my mother.
GUPTA: Unsure if his mother was dead or alive, he fled to Cape Town on foot and ended up living in this children's shelter, which offered swimming classes.
GATABAZI: I remember the first time I went to this swimming pool, it was a new planet. I realized that swimming was something I can use for the process of healing. I kept on doing it.
GUPTA: Swimming gave Arafat a new sense of purpose. He began training for long-distance swims. In 2016, he was named open-water swimmer of the year by the Cape Town Long-Distance Swimming Association.
GATABAZI: The moment I start, that's when I feel life is becoming like a mess, my mental focus, giving me as much hope as I can and challenging me.
GUPTA: Arafat's next challenge is a two and a half kilometers swim called the High-Tech Walker Bay Extreme.
GATABAZI: I don't compete with anyone when I am swimming. I just compete with myself.
GUPTA: What makes the race so challenging is not the distance but the frigid 55-degrees temperature. And Arafat does it without a wet suit.
GATABAZI: It is a very mental game. Your body does not know how to stay in but your mind controls your body saying you can keep going.
GUPTA: The cold water proved too much for some swimmers but he's able to finish. [13:54:00] GATABAZI: I am proud of what I have achieved today.
I don't want to be seen as a homeless boy. I want them to see me in a different way so that's why I keep ongoing. Swimming has challenged everything in which I do.
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Happening right now in the NEWSROOM --
WHITFIELD: Hello everyone. Welcome. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks so much for being with me.
We begin this hour with the urgent search for seven missing U.S. sailors. This, after their Navy destroyer, the "USS Fitzgerald," collided with a merchant ship off Japan. The ship's commander was also injured. After taking on water, the ship was safely towed back to port where divers are getting ready to inspect the damage. A Navy official tells CNN that the collision also crippled most of the communications aboard the ship.
We're also hearing from President Trump. He tweeted, "Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of the 'USS Fitzgerald" and their families --