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Seven U.S. Sailors Missing in Wake of Navy Ship's Collision with Merchant Vessel Near Japan; Democratic Nominee for House Seat in Georgia Jon Ossoff Interviewed; Mistrial Declared in Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Trial; President Trump Expands Personal Legal Defense Team; First Family Visits Camp David; Charity Focusing on Arts Education in Bronx Profiled; Special Agents Credited with Preventing Shooting Massacre at Republican Baseball Practice Honored. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 17, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: -- 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. Thank you to your Japanese allies for their assistance."

Let me bring in now Rear Admiral John Kirby. He is a CNN military analyst and a former spokesperson for the State Department and Pentagon. Good to see you again, admiral. So the intension right now is on rescuing or recovering of the seven missing U.S. sailors. Why is this so problematic trying to locate them?

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, for a couple of reasons. One, they don't know if any of them were blown overboard by the collision so there is still a search at sea I believe. And of course there is an assumption, and I think it is a healthy one, that there are at least some of these missing sailors that are still inside the skin of the ship, perhaps inside spaces that were below of the line or were flooded, and were flooded by the collision. So as I understand it, the Navy has got divers in the water going through some of those flooded spaces in the hope that they can find some survivors. But that itself is a dangerous undertaking, putting divers inside a hole which has been breached in this violent fashion.

So they're going steadily, they're going as quickly as they can. I know they're taking it very seriously and obviously all our hopes are for the best.

WHITFIELD: Right. And simultaneous to this urgent search and recovery of these sailors, they're also trying to figure out what happened, how could this have happened? The destroyer was with another destroyer, we understand there were some tugboats involved as well, but not clear if that was at the time of the impact with this merchant ship. But what is this gut feeling as to how this could have happened when there are all these sensors on board these very sophisticated naval ships to know what is nearby?

KIRBY: There is a very sophisticated sensor as you point out that allow a ship to safely navigate in waters whether they're crowded waters or not. But I think what the Navy is doing, and you can count on the fact that the investigation is already well under way. It began almost immediately. They're going to build a very lengthy, detailed timeline of every decision that was made at every moment it was made since the first contact with this freighter. But contact, I mean the first time that the ship was aware, whether it was through electronic means or visual means, of the freighter's presence and its course and its speed, and the estimated closest point of approach to the destroyer.

So they're going to analyze that minute by minute to determine how this came to happen and, just as importantly, what decisions were made by the officers and crew of the Fitzgerald or not made that allowed this to happen.

WHITFIELD: And what do we know about what I read is a very crowded waterway near this portion of Japan.

KIRBY: Yes, this is about 55 miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. It is a crowded maritime area, a lot of merchant traffic goes through there on its way to and from Japan. But it's not like, and I don't think your viewers should come away thinking it is not just a narrow channel just off the coast or something there are just thousands of little fishing boats and pleasure craft in the way. It is a busy maritime area, and I'm given to understanding that there was at least a traffic separation scheme in place. I don't know if that's true. But if so, that tells you that there was a natural flow to merchant traffic coming into coast and leaving coast that would have provided some basic guidelines of how they were supposed to behave.

WHITFIELD: And we understand that unlike these images which were daylight of seeing the ship making its way back to port, we understand the accident actually happened in the middle of the night in the darkness at roughly 2:00 a.m. local time there.

KIRBY: That certainly complicates ship handling. There is no question everything looks different at sea.


KIRBY: And you have to be much more keen on the lookout for other traffic and what it's doing. It does complicate things, yes.

WHITFIELD: And let me ask you. You mentioned earlier in terms of not knowing whether some of the seaman actually fell overboard.

KIRBY: Right.

WHITFIELD: Is it customary, are there any kind of electronic pieces on their clothing or even that any of these seaman may wear if they are on naval ships just in case that assist in any kind of search of them?

KIRBY: I suspect in this case not, Fred, because the ship wasn't in what we call restrictive maneuvering or a special detail, or like an replenishment where you have safety coats on, float coats on that have devices like. You normally, a normal seagoing operations in open ocean you are not wearing that kind of device when you're topside, so I suspect not.

There is one thing I would like to add if you give me a chance, and that's just a real statement of strong support for the damage control activities that this crew did. To keep this ship from foundering with flooding underneath the waterline, to get it into port safely and even to maintain some of their electrical power, and as I understand, some propulsion, that's a near Herculean effort by the sailors to keep their ships safe and afloat, and I think it really speaks to the strength of the training they get on damage control practice.

[14:05:09] WHITFIELD: Our hearts are with all of them.

KIRBY: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: And we are saying our prayers as the search continues for the seven who are missing. Thank you so much retired Admiral John Kirby in Washington, appreciate it.

KIRBY: You bet.

WHITFIELD: Meanwhile, in Maryland, President Trump, his wife Melania, and their son Barron, are making their first trip to Camp David. This is the president's first U.S. weekend trip staying at a property that does not bear his name. Let's go live now to CNN White House correspondent Athena Jones. So Athena, why now Camp David when people have become very accustom to him spending weekends at Trump property, although he has spent time at the White House on a weekend, but just talk about this Camp David.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. That's right, we've heard the president in the pay say, well, you'll go to Camp David, you'll enjoy it for maybe half an hour. But clearly now he's taking his family over to check it out, check out what Camp David has to offer. As you mentioned, he's been fond of going to his own properties, whether it was Mar-a-Lago in the spring practically every weekend, or Bedminster more recently. I can tell you this from the White House, they say that the president is closely monitoring the USS Fitzgerald incident and he will continue getting updates on the situation there.

And when it comes to Camp David, an official told me the president is always working but is looking forward to spending time with his family. And we should mention that the first lady, Melania's parents are also with them. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Athena Jones, thank you very much, appreciate it.

Tuesday is a special election day just north of Atlanta as voters get a chance to pick the replacement for the House seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. It's a high profile race, and we know it has become the most expensive race for a Congressional seat. Republican Karen Handel is getting plenty of backing from party heavyweights while Jon Ossoff is seen as the Democrats best chance to steal a seat from the Republican majority. We reached out to both candidates. Karen Handel declined our interview request by CNN's Kaylee Hartung is with the Democrat Jon Ossoff at an event in Marietta today, north of Atlanta. So Kaylee, over to you and Jon Ossoff. KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thank you so much. So Jon, as we stand here in northern suburb of Atlanta in the middle of a town square, why should someone sitting at home anywhere else in the country understand that this election has come to have national implications?

REP. JON OSSOFF, (D) GEORGIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: It is all about folks here in Georgia and how fired up they are about the opportunity to put some fresh leadership in Congress that focused on improving quality life here at home and improving accountability in Washington, focus on getting things done and holding people accountable. And you can see behind me, there are folks, more than 12,000 of them who are volunteering for the campaign who are excited about the prospect for some fresh leadership.

HARTUNG: By the numbers this is now the most expensive race in the history of the House of Representatives. What's your reaction on that?

OSSOFF: It's taken on a little bit of a life of its own, and there have been super PACs from D.C. pouring money in here and running negative attack ads. I'm proud of the fact that my campaign is empowered by grassroots, small dollar fundraising with an average contribution of less than 50 bucks.

HARTUNG: You are the one running for office here, not Nancy Pelosi. But I was at a rally earlier today for your opponent, Karen Handel, and people in her camp like to invoke Nancy Pelosi's name in their attacks of you. How do you describe your relationship with the leader of your party in the House in Washington, and what role has she played in this campaign?

OSSOFF: Well, I don't think that voters are that interested in the role that figures from Washington play, coming down here and campaigning or in attack ads. What they want is a focus on getting things done that will improve quality of life at home. And these tired partisan attacks don't speak to the daily needs of people in the community here who want to know how we are going to grow the local economy, who want to know how we're going to protect women and those with preexisting conditions from this attack on their health care, and stand up for the civil rights and civil liberties.

HARTUNG: How much do you belief this has become a referendum on President Trump?

OSSOFF: I think that that's the angle that the national press has been interested in. But you talk to folks around here, what people are looking for is representation that won't get mired in partisan gridlock, that won't be focused no partisan objectives but will be focused on improving quality of life.

I keep saying it, it's about how we can grow metro Atlanta's economy to create more opportunity here, to attract more jobs and investment here, and protecting people's access to health care, making insurance more affordable, improving the quality of care, making sure that women and those with preexisting conditions don't face discrimination. HARTUNG: Back in April, President Trump tweeted you would be a

disaster if elected to the House. If elected, what do you anticipate your relationship being like with the president?

OSSOFF: I don't expect a congratulatory tweet from the president if I win. I'm not sure he's my biggest fan. But I sincerely hope he exercises sound judgment in the leadership of the country. And I hope to have the opportunity to work with him on the potential issues of mutual interest for this community, whether it's infrastructure, working to bring more jobs and investment to Atlanta.

[14:10:07] HARTUNG: Your opponent Karen Handel says quite simply you're not qualified for this job. Are you?

OSSOFF: I have got five years of experience as a Congressional lead. I am a small business owner specializing in investigations of organized crimes and political corruption, and I bring a fresh perspective. If you look at what's going on in Washington right now, the gridlock, the dysfunction, the atmosphere of scandal and the uncertainty, I think the last thing that we need to do is send another career politician to Washington. We need some fresh leaders, and I offer humbly that kind of fresh leadership for this community.

HARTUNG: Today in the center of Marietta you will have Congressman John Lewis on stage with you. How do you describe your relationship with him and what his support means to you in this home stretch of the race?

OSSOFF: Congressman Lewis has been a mentor of mine since I first worked for him when I was about 17 years old. I think he's someone who transcends partisan politics. No matter your politics, he's an American hero who sacrificed so much for civil rights, who is a continued voice for civil rights and for peace. I am honored that he's here with me on Juneteenth, the day when we celebrate freedom and emancipation, and I'm honored to have his support.

HARTUNG: What advice has he given you about this experience?

OSSOFF: To stay kind, to stay humble, to stay focused, and to reach out to every voter in the community here with humility and with respect.

HARTUNG: And we hear that this is the most expensive race in the history of the House. As we look at all of the activities surrounding this and the national spotlight of this race, what has surprised you most through this process?

OSSOFF: It has been the intensity of our volunteers here, more than 12,000 of them, who have been knocking on doors, pounding the pavement, making phone calls, writing postcards for a month from across the political spectrum, Democrats, independents, Republicans who are ready for some fresh leadership and focused on getting things done.

HARTUNG: Jon, we'll let you get to the stage here in Marietta. Thank you. OSSOFF: Thank you.

HARTUNG: Back to you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Kaylee Hartung, good job, thank you so much for bringing us that.

Straight ahead, as we mentioned, the president and first lady are making their first visit to Camp David today. But the investigation into possible obstruction of justice is deepening in Washington. And now the president is lawyering up.

Plus, Bill Cosby's criminal trial ends in a deadlock jury, a mistrial. Prosecutors are vowing to retry the case. When we come back we'll talk about how soon the new trial can happen. Stay with us.


[14:16:29] WHITFIELD: Another big story we are following, the Bill Cosby case. Prosecutors say they plan to retry Cosby after a judge declared a mistrial in his criminal case this morning. That announcement came after the jury told the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked. The 79-year-old comedian had been charged with three counts of aggravated, indecent assault. Following the mistrial I spoke with attorney Gloria Allred who represents several female accusers. She is hoping some of them will be allowed to testify at the next trial.


GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY, REPRESENTS SEVERAL COSBY ACCUSERS: I think one big problem in the current trial that just ended was that the prosecution of 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 is 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.


WHITFIELD: Let's go now to CNN's Brynn Gingras who has been covering the case for us. So Brynn, how soon do we expect this retrial to happen?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The D.A. didn't put an exact timeline on it as far as months, but we do know he has up until a year to retry this case or at least start the process. He has expressed interest. In a press conference he said he is going to retry this case. We also know the accuser in this trial that just ended, Andrea Constand, she says that she is willing to testify and go through this again. So we think this is going to move forward.

But remember Fred, when the jurors came back into that courtroom, the judge asked each of them if there were any way to not be deadlocked, and they each thought that they remained deadlocked and that's why we have a mistrial. We have no idea how they split. That was not asked of any of the jurors. And the prosecutor, rather the D.A. says that he does not know that either and no one will unless they speak out public.

So it's very unclear on what his odds were, but apparently that doesn't matter to him. He's going to move forward. And I think it is important to note that the D.A. says if anything, sure, this was not a victory, this was not a defeat, but at least this case move forward to a trial. He says in my cases like this, especially when they involve a drug and sexual assault cases, they don't even get reported, so he sees this as a victory in itself.

WHITFIELD: And does the accuser, Andrea Constand, even want to go through with retrial? We heard from the D.A., he used the word "courageous" to describe her. But is there a feeling that she's on board with a retrial?

GINGRAS: It sounds like she is. She has expressed interest and the D.A. also said that another good aspect that came from this trial was that she was able to, you know, face her accuser, in his words, Bill Cosby in that trial. So it seems like if she is willing she has expressed interest. This is another opportunity to do just that, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Brynn Gingras, thanks so much.

The Russia probe has already seen the nation's top cop recuse himself. Could we see the number two man step aside as well? We'll have an update on the investigation coming up.


[14:24:00] WHITFIELD: All right, lots of speculation these days involving the U.S. Justice Department and the Russia investigation. already we know Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on the sidelines after having to recuse himself from investigations as it relates to Russia. And now what could be happening involving the number two. Here is CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: All indications are that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could soon become a witness in the ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections. Rosenstein is the highest ranking Justice Department official overseeing the Russia probe. He also wrote the memo used by President Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey. Comey's firing is expected to soon be part of the widening investigation into whether the president interfered with or tried to obstruct the Russia investigation. If that happens and Rosenstein becomes a witness from this investigation, he may have to recuse himself from the probe now being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

[14:25:02] These developments come as tensions are building inside the Justice Department over Rosenstein's handling of the Russia investigation. It all comes back to Rosenstein decision to hire Mueller to run the investigation. That move took Rosenstein's boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, by surprise, and has caused friction between the White House and the Justice Department. Sessions is already recused from this investigation. And officials from the president on down blame Rosenstein's decision for making the controversy over Russia to only get worse. And we'll learn soon whether Mueller's investigation forces Rosenstein to step aside.

Back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Evan Perez.

Let's talk more about this now and what this could mean of the overall investigation. Joining me now is Amber Phillips, political reporter for "The Washington Post" political blog "The Fix," also Asha Rangappa, associate dean at Yale Law School and former FBI special agent, and Elise Labott, CNN global affairs correspondent. Good to see all of you ladies. All right, so, Elise, potentially what could be the shock waves if Rosenstein becomes a witness if he were to have to recuse himself, et cetera.

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: A couple things, Fred. I think first of all, we'll have to know why Rod Rosenstein would recuse himself. It doesn't necessary mean he's going to be a witness. It could mean that he felt that he was being pressured or he felt that he was too distracting to the investigation. But I think it would be the clearest sign that this investigation is expanding really to the top and perhaps for an obstruction of justice investigation in that Rosenstein would be a material witness. So I think there would be a lot of shock that this investigation is really expanding.

WHITFIELD: And Amber, the investigation is clearly getting under the president's skin as it appears to expand. The evidence is rash tweets over a couple of days coming from the president. This one he says, quote, "They made up with a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phone story. Nice." And then there is this one, quote, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director. Witch hunt."

So how does the president either potentially hurt himself with the growing investigation, or how is he helping to perhaps save himself or his reputation?

AMBER PHILLIPS, POLITICAL REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST" POLITICAL BLOG "THE FIX": I mean it is one or the other, nothing is in between right now. On Monday, a federal court used one of Trump's tweets against him as evidence when they decided to pause his travel ban. So I guarantee you the Mueller investigation is looking at these tweets as evidence.

And Trump has really had this investigation gets under his skin when it was first set up. But what was remarkable about those tweets on Friday is he took it to a whole new level by appearing to assign blame for one of the reasons he's under investigation, firing the FBI director, to the person that set up the investigation, Rosenstein. And if you want to get an investigation off your back, discrediting the person who oversees it is an obvious first step to take. WHITFIELD: And then Asha, the former House speaker, Newt Gingrich,

has also weighed in. And he has talked about possible obstruction of justice, that there is nothing to this even though he was very much in favor of that kind of investigation with a different administration. But this is what he had to say.


NEWT GINGRICH, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Technically, the president of the United States cannot obstruct justice. The president of the United States is the chief executive officer of the United States. If he wants to fire the FBI director, all he has to do is fire him.


WHITFIELD: So Asha, is there any truth to that?

ASHA RANGAPPA, ASSOCIATE DEAN, YALE LAW SCHOOl: As a legal matter there is no truth to that. It is true that the president is head of the executive branch and can make personnel decisions. But he is subject to other parts of the constitution. Article 2 Section 3 mandates that the president take care that the laws be faithfully executed. So he has a constitutional duty to enforce the laws. And he can't really fire anybody for any reason. He wouldn't be able to not fire someone for race or religion, for example. That would violate the constitution. So I think Newt Gingrich is being a little disingenuous and the president is not above the law. That's been pretty well establishment in the course of our history.

WHITFIELD: OK, and Amber, the president has added yet another prominent attorney to his list of attorneys. What does that say?

PHILLIPS: It suggests that he is lawyering up, and he's not the only one in the White House. Vice President Mike Pence my colleagues reported earlier this week has hired a private lawyer to deal with all this. One of Trump's own personal lawyer we learned on Friday has hired a private lawyer.

[14:30:00] And you know, lawyers who were hired to represent Clinton officials in the White House told me that this makes legal sense. You are not going to go -- if the investigation is looking at your boss, you want to make sure you have yourself is protected because an investigation into the president is an investigation into the White House. And if you get caught as a witness, you are not going to just show up and walk in without having some kind of legal counsel.

WHITFIELD: And so Elise, is that the consensus there in Washington, there shouldn't be any necessary imprints made when you lawyer up, but it's a necessary process?

LABOTT: That's right. Vice President Mike Pence yesterday talking to reporters said, hey, this is very routine. Don't read too much into it. But I think it also shows that these investigations are expanding. They're largely expanding behind closed doors as the president has beefed up his legal team and these others have looked into getting lawyers, his personal attorney Michael Cohen, Michael Caputo, a former aide.

Mueller is also expanding his team of prosecutors. We are talking about hiring some of the country's top legal minds to work on this investigation. The Senate and House investigations are also continuing. You had the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Burr, and Mark Warner, the Democratic ranking member, meeting with Mueller this week. So these investigations are expanding. And it seems only natural that as these people are being contacted by the FBI as perhaps they are getting included in the investigation that they would want their own outside counsel to advise them.

WHITFIELD: All right, Elise Labott, Amber Phillips, Asha Rangappa, thanks so much ladies, appreciate it.

Still ahead, a first for President Trump, skipping his usual weekend destination for a bit of presidential history. Stay with us.


[14:35:56] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. The week started with a major change at the White House. I'm talking about the arrival of the first lady Melania Trump and the Trumps' 11-years-old son Barron. They officially moved into the White House this week. And now that change has extended to their weekend plans, at least this weekend. It does not include a Trump property. The president spent 17 of his 22 weekends in office at a Trump property. And this week he and the first family are at Camp David, the traditional Maryland retreat for presidents.

Let me bring in White House's reporter Kate Bennett. She is also the co-host of the new CNN politics podcast called COVER/LINE on Good to see you Kate. So why now, why Camp David, do you suppose?

KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I don't think it is a coincidence that Mrs. Trump and Barron Trump moved in last weekend and now they're headed to Camp David. When you think about it, this could be a fun experience for an 11-year-old boy. There's skeet shooting and horseback riding and tennis and swimming and golf carts. And also, I think, you know, the first lady wants to experience all of the things that this region has to offer. And so I just don't think -- I think he probably didn't have a whole lot to say, the president, but she also brought her parents as well. So we have to remember it's Father's Day weekend. So it is sort of a nice retreat to get away.

WHITFIELD: That is nice. So overall, what can they expect? You mentioned horseback riding, there's hiking. We just remember so many beautiful historic pictures of many presidents past and the activities. But kind of lay it out for us. What will the first family enjoy at Camp David possibly this weekend?

BENNETT: So there are 16 different cabins. There's acres and acre of hiking trails. There's -- Obama and his family, President Obama and his family only went about 39 times. But George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, they went many, many, many times, and enjoyed things like biking and swimming. And, you know there are also a one hole golf course, so if President Trump does want to play, President Eisenhower had it put in. And there are three different tees off of it, so he can kind of get a little bit of a different experience each time.

WHITFIELD: That's like put-put, isn't it?

BENNETT: Right. It is not Trump National.

WHITFIELD: And this really is the White House away from the White House. It is the White House in terms of you've got all the security. This is the place where, you know, this president likes to talk about deals made. This is a place where deals had been made, you know, accords brokered, et cetera, of historic proportions.

BENNETT: Sure, and we all remember the Camp David Accords. Even President Obama had a Middle East peace summit there. It is fully secure compound for the president. If you remember back right after 9/11, both Vice President Cheney and President Bush went to Camp David. That's sort of where they hunkered down and had a lot of really important meetings. It's secure, it's prepared. Again, it's a nice place. President Trump likes to entertainment foreign leaders not necessarily at the White House. He's had a few meetings at Mar-a- Lago. This could be an alternative.

And, again, it's isolated. There's a little more privacy. And there's a historic aspect that I think that he could appreciate.

WHITFIELD: Yes, so maybe this is a weekend of reconnaissance, you know. If he didn't, if the family didn't fully appreciate or even know much about Camp David before, and now getting a chance to get familiar with the accoutrements of Camp David that this might be the first of many more weekends to come as a retreat.

BENNETT: It could be. And I hear they stocked it with full Trump brand products as well, all their food needs, all their snacks, everything that they like, obviously just like the White House, whatever they need.

WHITFIELD: Everything you would want. Anything, all presidents or first families would want. All right, Kate Bennett, thank you so much, appreciate it. And be sure to check out COVER/LINE on

[14:40:00] But now this week's "Turning Points."


DR. JOEL SALINAS, NEUROLOGIST: Just follow my finger with your eyes without moving your head.

I'm Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist as Massachusetts General Hospital. Since I was a kid I always had a sense there was something different or odd about me. I remember watching cartoons as a kid and I'd watch Wile E. Coyote, and I feel like when he gets hit by a truck, I get hit by a truck.

I first learned about synaesthesia during my first year in medical school. Two out of 100 people have what's called Mirror-touch synesthesia. It is a glitch in my brain's wiring where I feel physically on my body what I see other people feeling. So for example, if you are gasping for air, I feel like I am gasping for air. If you're having a panic attack, I feel like I'm having a panic attack.

Growing up, I always felt motivated to help relieve some of that suffering. When I see a new type of patient in the hospital, that experience can be really distressed because I feel like it is happening to me.

But in that response, I have to ground myself in my own physical body that I get to be a part of some of this pain and suffering as well. I think a positive part of that, the patients get to be a little less alone. That means a lot in medicine.



[14:45:43] WHITFIELD: CNN is wrapping up its weeklong series "Champions for Change." A dozen CNN and HLN anchor including me, wanted to share with you the causes that are closest to our hearts. My colleague Alisyn Camerota had a special look of a nonprofit called DreamYard.


LEANNE TORRES, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: A lot of people think that kids in the Bronx are dangerous, that a lot of us are going to end up in jail, that a lot of us are criminals, and that is not at all true. I want to prove to them that they're wrong.

SONY KEITH, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: I grew up here in the Bronx. I want to go to college so I can truly discover who I am without all the influences and pressure that I had.

HAYDIL HENRIQUEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, DREAMYARD ART CENTER: You are in the Bronx. The early 2000s, a lot of the arts funding was removed from the public education system.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Meaning no music, no dance, no theater, no photography, no fine arts, no painting, nothing.


CAMEROTA: And the question I've often wondered is what if a child doesn't have a way to discover her passion. What if that hidden talent is never tapped?

This is my moldy-oldy photo album. My mother was a high school drama teacher. So I was just always around school plays. My first role I was a munchkin in the "Wizard of Oz." I couldn't really act or sing so I never was the star, but even just being a bird in the background, I loved it.

It makes me sad to think about what my life would have been like without all of those school plays, because those were the highlights of my school experience.

This is DreamYard, a nonprofit that brings music, dance, theater, poetry, and fine arts into public schools in the Bronx, New York, the poorest congressional district in the country. More than two decades ago, two 20-something year old guys, Tim Lord and Jason Duchin, had a dream. They believed that arts programs could keep kids engaged in school, keep them from dropping out, help them get better grades, and maybe even go to college.

TIM LORD, CO-FOUNDER AND CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DREAMYARD: We wrote a play called "DreamYard" which is about a place where kids can go to and their parents had forgotten how to get there. That's all it was in the beginning was just us creating art with young people. And what was powerful about it was the way that it changed their connections to learning and education.

KEITH: I am a spontaneous photographer. I don't like to stop and have someone say cheese. If I like it, I will take a picture.

TORRES: I love to paint just because paint is the type of thing where if you sometimes making a mistake actually ends up being part of what makes the painting beautiful.

CAMEROTA: Thanks to DreamYard, Sony Keith and Leanne Torres blossomed as artists. But they worried about what will come next.

TORRES: I felt like I have always known college was my next step. When I get started getting accepted into colleges I couldn't pay for them, because even though I was getting good help, there was still a lot of money out of pocket that I couldn't afford and my mom couldn't even dream of affording.

CAMEROTA: I relied growing up on the generosity of a lot of people. I was able to go to a school where there was a lot of arts and theater and music through a scholarship, and I am so grateful that I got to have that experience. And I always thought and even as I was 11, someday if I can I am going to pay it back.


CAMEROTA: It is so inspiring going to this DreamYard event because you see all the kids, they are so talented. They knock your socks off. It gives you goose bumps when you are in the audience. About a year ago, my husband said, maybe we should do more than just go to the annual fundraisers. Maybe we could do just a little bit more than that for the kids.


[14:50:00] CAMEROTA: My husband and I have chosen to support DreamYard by creating a four-year scholarship. We are honored and excited to present the first two Charles P. Lord DreamYard scholarships. We would like to invite up Sony Keith and Leanne Torres.

KEITH: I have been a part of DreamYard for four years now, and I can honestly say it has changed me.

TORRES: Sadly, due to economical restrictions, I found myself unable to cover the gap that colleges were asking for. And today I can probably say that in the fall I will be attending Union College. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the opportunity.


KEITH: My mother told me when she was younger she was not allowed to do so many anything. She said the reason why she allows me to do DreamYard and do other thing is so I can express myself, so I can become the person that I want to be.

TORRES: My mom was in her early 20s when she first came to the United States. We've made the best out of her sacrifice. We are going to become professionals one day. And we are going to do great things and I think that that's something that she will be proud of.


WHITFIELD: Wow, congrats to those kids and their great futures ahead. You can catch this story plus all of our "Champions for Change" on a CNN special tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern times. And find out more on our website at And we'll be right back.


[14:56:34] WHITFIELD: Some hopeful news for Louisiana's Congressman Steve Scalise. Doctors say an excellent recovery is a good possibility. This after being shot in the hip during that attack on Republicans Wednesday on a ball field. And there was a moving moment at Thursday night's congressional baseball game as one of the officers who helped save Scalise's life through the first pitch. CNN's Alexander Marquardt has more on Officer David Bailey and his colleague who went beyond the call of duty.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are officers in an arm of law enforcement that most Americans had probably never heard of until Wednesday. David Bailey and Crystal Griner, special agents for the U.S. Capitol Police, are being hailed as national heroes for preventing a slaughter at the Republican Congressional baseball team practice.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault.

MARQUARDT: According to the harrowing accounts of the members of Congress and staffers at the practice, when they realized they were being shot at, they franticly ran for cover.

REP. BRAD WENSTRUP, (R) OHIO: Everyone was basically a sitting duck in many ways. There was only so many places you could go, especially when leaving the field.

MARQUARDT: That's when agents bailey and Griner sprung to action, instead running toward the danger and returning fire.

REP. MO BROOKS, (R) ALABAMA: They were taking on a guy with a rifle from 90 to 120 feet away. They had pistols, he had a rifle. That's not a fair fight. Both of them were wounded. The bravery that they showed is just incredible.

REP. MIKE BISHOP, (R) MICHIGAN: These two Capitol police officers are warriors. I have never seen anything like it before. Both of them had wounds and they were still fighting.

MARQUARDT: Bailey and Griner were only at the early morning practice because they are the security detail assigned to Congress Steve Scalise, the team's second baseman, but more importantly, the House majority whip, a leadership job that comes with 24/7 protection.

BISHOP: I can't underscore enough how important the Capitol police were. They were there within seconds, and had they not been there, I would not be standing here today. I am sure of that fact.

MARQUARDT: More than 50 shots were exchanged before the attack finally ended, but not before the shooter, James Hodgkinson of Bellville, Illinois, wounded four, including Scalise and special agent Gringer. Had they not been there, it could have been what several players have called a massacre.

REP. ROGER WILLIAMS, (R) TEXAS: There could have easily been 25 deaths or more today. But Officer Griner and Bailey prevented that, and my family and I will be forever grateful.

MARQUARDT: Alex Marquardt, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.


WHITFIELD: Officers Griner and Bailey indeed heroes.

All right, that's going to do it for me. Thanks so much for being with me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. There is so much more straight ahead in the newsroom with Ana Cabrera.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Seven U.S. sailors are missing at sea after a dramatic collision off the coast of Japan. We have the latest on the hunt to find them.

Plus, President Trump on the defensive as the first family spends the weekend at Camp David. We have news that the president's legal team is now expanding in the wake of the Russia investigation.