Return to Transcripts main page
Mistrial Declared in Bill Cosby Case; 7 U.S. Sailors Missing After Destroyer Collision Off Japan; Trump Says He's Being Investigated over Comey Firing; Senate GOP Pushing Health Care Vote by July 4; Trump Inner Circle Lawyering Up; 2 Capitol Police Officers Hailed as Heroes in Shooting; Farm Aid Helps Farmers Save Their Land & Heritage. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired June 17, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It is 3:00 eastern, noon out west. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York. It's great to have you with us. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
We begin this hour with the mistrial in Bill Cosby's assault case. The jury failed to reach a verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberations. The story hardly ends here. Prosecutors say they'll try the case again. The judge wants a new trial scheduled by fall.
(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.
BRIAN MCMONAGLE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The judge is right, justice is real. It's real in Montgomery County. We came here looking for an acquittal, but like the Rolling Stones song says, you can't always get what you want sometimes. Sometimes you get what you need. This court system was tremendous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: I want to talk more about this with our CNN legal analyst and defense attorney, Mark Geragos.
Mar, thank you for being with us.
I want to get your reaction of the mistrial.
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It was a day later that I would have predicted it was the right result. I have been on CNN for a week and a half saying this was going to end up in a mistrial trial. The reason for that is, I think, the gender, race and evidence composition of this case. Unlike a lot of people, I think what people have to understand, and Judge O'Neill said it today in court, there is nothing wrong with a hung jury. A hung jury is a legitimate outcome. Guilty, not guilty, hung jury, that's part of what the criminal justice system is. When people get angry or want to say it should have been this or that, no, it shouldn't have been. These people were s sequestered and they did everything right. Judge O'Neill, other than giving them the Allen dynamite charge, which was the jury instruction that I always say is coercive, which --
CABRERA: The charge that they should continue their deliberation after they came back on Thursday and said they were a hung jury and he instructed them to keep working at it.
CABRERA: Is that what you are referring to?
GERAGOS: That's what I'm referring to. That's called the dynamite charge. When you've got a hung jury, if you give that instruction, it basically kind of puts the wood to, for a lack of a better expression, of the minority jurors, the hold outs. So far, it has not been reported what the split is.
GERAGOS: That's why I was a little irritated with the prosecutors coming out and saying we are going to retry this. That's not the law. The law in this case is, you wait and see what the split was between the jurors, and if it tilted towards guilty or not guilty, then you make a reasoned determination as to whether or not you should retry the case. If this was 10-2 or guilt, for instance, then, yeah, you could make the draw the conclusion to retry the case. But if it was 11-1 for not guilty then, no, why are you retrying this case?
CABRERA: That's the question for the prosecutor to answer. We don't know what the split was. Of course, with the mistrial, Cosby is neither guilty or not guilty at this point. What does it mean for Cosby and his team? Can they claim some sort of victory?
GERAGOS: Absolutely. I've litigated cases where judges have told me at the trial level that a hung jury is no different than a guilty. The court of appeals in California, for instance, has ruled that's just sillier. A hung jury is clearly a victory for the defense. This is a complete and utter defeat for the prosecution. Can they retry it? Yes, they can. Is it only their decision? No, it is not. Ultimately, the judge is going to decide. Judge O'Neill, will decide whether they can retry this case.
For Cosby, remember what would have happened. If this was a guilty verdict, Cosby would have gone into the -- the odds are, Cosby would have gone into custody immediately. He will be spending tonight in jail. He's not going to be in jail. For a 79-year-old man, that's huge. CABRERA: We did not hear from Cosby following the verdict. We did
hear a blistering statement from his wife, Camille. Let's listen.
(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)
[15:05:37] CABRERA: That was Camille Cosby's publicist reading the statement on behalf of Camille Cosby.
Was it a good idea to rip the D.A. and the judge like that?
GERAGOS: Let me just say, love that woman. If I were editing the statement, I would have said, strike out the judge, because I don't know if they understand -- I don't know if they understand completely. Even though the D.A. has already gone out and said -- and I understand their frustration. I have been there. I've probably had, I don't know, 50 hung juries in my day. I understand the frustration. You want a verdict. Everybody wants a verdict. But there is nothing wrong with a hung jury, as the judge said. It is completely legitimate. And the problem is, when the prosecutors come out and says, we are going to retry Bill Cosby, that's not the end of the day. The judge gets to make the decision. The judge gets to be the final word on that. I don't want to rip the judge who's going to make a determination, if I'm Camille Cosby. I want to wait and find out what the split is, I want to find out which way they were leaning, and I want to talk to jurors.
Look, I don't want to second guess the publicist. I understand it. It's frustrating and everything else. I probably -- I am guessing Brian, the defense lawyer, if he had the input, would have said please don't slam the judge.
CABRERA: Because the case is not over yet. We should know more on Monday when everybody gets back to work.
CABRERA: Mark Geragos, thank you for weighing in on this breaking story.
We have another breaking development right now that we're following closely this hour. An emergency at sea with American casualties. This U.S. Navy destroyer and a massive container ship smashed into each other at the waters off of Japan and several American sailors are hurt, including the ship commander. We have learned seven crew members from the "USS Fitzgerald" are still not unaccounted for. Where they are and their conditions unknown right now.
CNN international correspondent, Alexandra Field, is at the Navy's Seventh Fleet headquarters in Japan; and also here with us is our military and diplomatic analyst, also a retired U.S. Navy admiral, John Kirby.
Alexandra, first bring us up to speed. I know it is the wee hour of the morning there in Japan. What are you hearing of the search mission for missing American servicemembers?
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, this is truly a sleepless night for the U.S. servicemen and women who are based here. They have been enduring a brutal day after one of the warships left this naval base on a routine operation and it returned to port some 16 hours later with seven members of the crew missing. We now that members of this community and family members gathered here to greet the ship as it returned.
The crew members aboard the ship are being praised by their superiors, by their commanders, for managing to stabilize the ship that was taking on water after it collided with the container ship that was some three times its size.
The Japanese Coast Guard responded along with Japanese defense forces and U.S. military forces to conduct that rescue mission as those sailors were endanger at that time. They also helped to escort the ship back to its port.
We know that three different sailors aboard, including the commander, had to be Medevac'd away from the ship as it was taking on water.
The question is, where are those seven members of the crew who are still missing. With the ship back in port, it can now be fully searched. There's been some suggestion of a possibility that some of those sailors could be trapped in some of the ship's compartments. We know there was extensive damage to the U.S. vessel, both above and below the waterline. We're told there's a radio room, machine room and berth room, all took on water. That was water, again, that had to be pumped out by the crew in order to get the ship safely back to port. Minimal damage to that container ship.
While the focus continues right now and all search efforts continue right now in order to try to locate these missing sailors, there are reports, Ana, very big questions about how something like this could have happened.
FIELD: We're talking about a very busy international maritime area with 400 to 500 ships that pass through there every day. It's governed by international maritime. How could this collision happen? So far, the answer has not been revealed or not been made public, and probably not known by both Japanese and U.S. officials -- Ana?
[15:10:12] CABRERA: Standby with me, Alexandra.
I want to ask that question to our Admiral Kirby.
You are a retired admiral. You served on ships at sea. We know this happens, as she points out, of a busy shipping zone.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY & DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Right.
CABRERA: How could it happen that these two could hit each other? Aren't there plenty of systems designed to keep the ship aware of everything around it?
KIRBY: That's what the investigation has to try to find and unfold. I can ensure you that the Navy investigation is already under way. They'll work through that. They'll create a detailed timeline, minute by minute, from the moment the two ships first came into contract, probably through radar at some distance, to the moment they collided.
But also look at, in addition to the sensors you talked about - sure, radar is one of those. It is not perfect though. In addition to that, they'll look at the human element and human decision making, the eye balls that were on or not the ship as it approached, and the decisions that the human beings involved in this process made or didn't make as those two got closer and closer.
I can assure you that the investigation will be very thorough. And I can assure you that for measures of accountable, the Navy will take that seriously. They'll be firm and very transparent. That's the other thing, I think, about the Navy. They'll make it clear when they've found the conclusions, they'll make those public. And if and when, and I suspect it will be more like when, they take this disciplinary action against individuals who are responsible for this, they'll do that in a very public, transparent way as well.
CABRERA: Admiral Kirby, there is a statement from the Seventh Fleet that suggests the missing sailors could be trapped in a damaged section of the destroyer, they just cannot get to it yet. What are the chances, if that's the case, and it's not that these seven missing members were thrown overboard because of the impact of the collision?
KIRBY: I think those chances are pretty good, I am sorry to say. As I understand it, they have divers now in the water trying to get access to those compartments. They would not do that if they did not feel that it is a good reason to do that. It's still possible that some of the sailors were blown overboard by the collision. And as I understand it, there are still search-and-recovery efforts going on out on the water as well. But I do think we all need to be prepared for the notion that they may find some of these missing in some of those compartments that were collapsed and crushed and probably flooded as a result of the collision. Hopefully, they'll be able to -- you know, some of them will survive.
KIRBY: We hope so. That's for sure.
CABRERA: Admiral John Kirby, and Alexandra Field, our thanks to both of you. We'll stay on top of the latest developments.
Also ahead this hour, green on blue. Details of another apparent insider attack in Afghanistan that's left seven U.S. soldiers wounded.
Plus, on defense. We've learned President Trump is expanding his legal team. Has he simply become his own worst enemy when it comes to the Russia investigation? Representative Marsha Blackburn weighs in live, next.
You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[15:17:15] CABRERA: Seven servicemembers were wounded today in what's being called an insider, or green on blue, attack at a camp in northern Afghanistan. An Afghan military spokesperson tells CNN an Afghan soldier opened fire on foreign troops, and other foreign soldiers who were also injured in the attack. There are about 8400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the administration is weighing sending thousands more.
President Trump and the first lady and their son, Barron, are at Camp David in Maryland for the very first time this weekend. The president is playing defense, beefing up his outside legal team after tweeting that he's being investigated for firing former FBI Director James Comey. This tweet reportedly came as a surprise to the president's own legal team.
A source familiar with the hiring tells CNN, high-profile Washington attorney John Dowd is the newest member of the president's legal defense. Dowd is known for leading the investigation into baseball legend and former Cincinnati Reds manager, Pete Rose, over gambling charges. Dowd also authored the report that eventually led to Rose being banned from Major League Baseball.
Let's talk about this and more with Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, former vice chair of the Trump's transition team.
First, thank you for being with us.
I want to get your take on the president's tweet on the Russia probe saying he's being investigated in a witch hunt or that James Comey is a coward. How do you see these tweets benefiting of the GOP's legislative agenda?
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, (R), TENNESSEE: We are focused on our legislative agenda. In the House, we have over 200 bills that we now have passed over to the Senate. We are focused making certain that they are the health care reforms we want to see, and there is a reduction in regulations. And we are beginning our work on tax reform. I'm focused on broadband expansion. So we just stayed focused on our --
CABRERA: Does the president's tweets help or hurt this agenda and your ability to focus and hone in on this policy?
BLACKBURN: Well, the president's tweets are focused on what is considered to be the Russia investigation, if you will, and the special counsel, and of course, there has been no finding of collusion. That's been said repeatedly. And Senator Rice commented about that this past week at the hearings with Attorney General Sessions. And then, you've had numerous scholars who have said there is no indication of obstruction. So we know --
BLACKBURN: -- of a special counsel --
[15:19:50] BLACKBURN: Their investigation is not complete.
But, Ana, I will tell you this. Unlike millions of Americans and dozens of Tennesseans that I have seen today out at farmer's markets as I've been out and about in my district working, and what they want to see is reduction in taxes. They want to see reductions in regulations. They want to see Democrats and Republicans work together. They want to see vitriolic rhetoric stopped. What want to see things done for the good of the country.
CABRERA: I just want to put this to bed. Are you among the Republicans that wish the president would stop tweeting on the Russia probe and put the focus back on what you were talking about?
BLACKBURN: We would love for the president to be tweeting about this work that we are doing and how we are focused on their agenda. I was pleased this week that they talked about workforce development, which is vitally important, especially when you have a district like mine, with 19 counties, 16 of which are rural. And jobs retraining programs are so important. And the president is going to tweet about what he thinks is important for him. We may not always --
CABRERA: Which is about the probe right now.
BLACKBURN: I've got to tell you, we wish the president well. We wish the vice president well.
BLACKBURN: And we wish our country all good success. I hope you do, too.
CABRERA: Of course.
I want to ask you of all this lawyering up we are seeing, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Even the president's personal lawyer has hired a lawyer to represent him, along with other members of President Trump's circle. What does this tell you? BLACKBURN: It tells me that society is litigious. And you have some
that do not wish the president well. Just listen to the rhetoric. Listen to the amount of negativity.
And you know, here you are talking about Russia when we would love to talk to you about what we are doing on our agenda. We would like to be talking about having Democrats and Republicans working together on an agenda.
CABRERA: So let's focus on the agenda, on the domestic front.
CABRERA: Obviously, health care is the big push right now. We heard from the Senate that they hope to have some kind of legislation before the 4th of July. That's just a couple of weeks now. We've heard the president meet with the lawmakers this week who are focusing on the Senate version of the bill. And he called the House-passed version mean and he urged them to add more money into the bill. And you voted yes on the House version, so how does it make you feel when the president says that bill is mean. Do you feel you are thrown under the bus there?
BLACKBURN: Not at all. I think everyone is going to have different opinions on it. We in the House have worked diligently to make certain that we do more with less. And, it is imperative that we do that. We have budgets. We have to be focused on what is going to happen on our nation's debt, with our nation's credit rating, with our nation's continued sovereignty if we do not get this debt under control. We know. And the steps we have taken are steps in the right direction. when it comes to making certain that individuals have access to affordable health care. And one of the things that we have turned our attention to is what was referred to regularly as a third budget of health care changes. Things like medical malpractice reforms. Items like --
CABRERA: Hold on.
CABRERA: I feel like we are going into the weeds here, Representative Blackburn.
CABRERA: The things that we heard from the Senate committee that's looking into this is that there is been desire for more Medicaid money to be part of the Republican replacement plan. There is a potential to focus more on preexisting conditions and put in more safe guards for those people so they are not paying or forced to pay perhaps something they cannot afford to have in terms of the coverage that they may need. Would you support a bill if they add more money into some of these bf they add in these different buckets that were --
BLACKBURN: We'll have to see what they send back to us. The Senate is working on it. I understand that, as you said, they're trying to get a vote before they leave for the July 4th holiday. We are encouraged by that. We do know that there is growing support for the framework we have put in place. Now the Senate is always going to want to spend more money than the House.
CABRERA: Where are you finding the growing support? Because Every state right now that has polls on health care issue has found the majority who were asked do not support the House-passed version.
BLACKBURN: I find that so interesting. I read some of those polls and then I talk with individuals that work in health care and who are in health care informatics or health care innovation and individuals who are working in that marketplace around middle Tennessee, which does have a lot of health care industry headquartered here, and people want to make certain that we do not have the individual marketplace implode. They would like to see and are supportive of what's going to happen of sending Medicaid back to the states and letting the states take the lead and providing those health care. Those are good, positive steps.
[15:25:33] BLACKBURN: We'll see what the Senate does with their funding numbers. They'll send it back to us. Our goal is to finish it up before we leave in August.
CABRERA: All right, Representative Marsha Blackburn, we'll leave it there. Thank you for joining us.
BLACKBURN: Good to be with you. Thank you.
CABRERA: Straight ahead, an update on Congressman Steve Scalise. Stay with us, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[15:30:07] CABRERA: More people tied to President Trump's 2016 campaign are lawyering up this weekend. Take a look. These are all the people we know so far who have hired an attorney. The latest, Vice President Mike Pence and Communications Advisor Mike Caputo, and Trump's personal attorney during the campaign, Michael Cohen. All of them have lawyers now. And we've also learned President Trump has hired a second high-profile attorney to represent him.
Let's discuss as CNN's politics reporter, Eugene Scott; and the associate dean of Yale Law School and a former FBI special agent, Asha Rangappa.
Guys, thank you for being with us.
Eugene, so who has not hired a lawyer yet? EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: I was looking at that list and
saw more faces than I remember of the last time I checked. What I would tell people is it's possible that there are people in the administration who have hired lawyers that we don't know about yet or who are at least getting legal counsel. From what we have seen in talking to other people and familiar with the investigations, it would be wise for people to get as much counsel as early as possible.
CABRERA: Asha, what would be the reason behind each of these people having their own attorneys?
ASHA RANGAPPA, ASSOCIATE DEAN, YALE LAW SCHOOL & FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, they need someone to represent their own interests. And it is important to understand here that they are differently situated than the president of the United States. The president has certain immunity attached to his office. For example, he probably cannot be indicted while he's sitting as president.
CABRERA: You don't think so?
RANGAPPA: I think that's the general consensus among legal scholars and it's DOJ policy. But all of these people are fully exposed to criminal liability. Even if they haven't done anything wrong, when the FBI comes knocking, lying to a federal agent is a felony offense that carries a penalty of five years in prison. They can mess up badly just in the course of answering questions. They need someone there to advise them on every step that takes place as this investigation goes further.
CABRERA: That's make sense.
Let's take a look at this tweet that President Trump put out this week where he says: "I am being investigating for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire FBI director. Witch hunt."
Eugene, do we know what the president is basing this on? He seems to be confirming in that tweet that he's under investigation.
SCOTT: When I saw that tweet, that's the first thing I taught as well that it was confirmation. CNN Politics spoke with a person familiar with Trump's tweet and said the president was simply responding to reports that CNN and "The Washington Post" have put out saying he was under investigation, but he, himself, has not contacted by special counsel letting him know that's what's actually happening.
Regardless of what it confirms, we know he's upset and he's going to keep talking about it despite about being advised by his attorneys that he should not.
CABRERA: Is there any benefit, Asha, to him putting out those tweets making public statements and going after his own team when he's saying, implying that he's talking about Rosenstein here.
RANGAPPA: Sure. There is zero benefit to him here. I think any lawyer would agree that he should not be speaking.
Now, remember, a FBI investigation goes in several stages. So typically, there are two stages. One is a preliminary investigation where there's an allegation. They have to look and see if something's there. Then if they find a reasonable factual basis, they'll open up a full investigation. And they can use all the investigative tools at their disposal. He does not want to be making the case for them in this stage --
CABRERA: Their investigation is growing.
RANGAPPA: Exactly. Exactly. They are under an obligation to look into any allegations. But if they don't find anything, maybe it would stop there. But he's not helping himself.
CABRERA: We are about out of time. But I do want to ask, because we just heard from Congressman Marsha Blackburn that there has been no proof that there is a collusion on behalf of the Trump associates with the Russians in this ongoing investigation. Is it too soon to expect answers or is there something to it that we keep hearing from supporters of the president?
RANGAPPA: Sure. I think it is too soon to know right now. Federal investigations will take years, and this is an unusual case, because you are dealing with a counterintelligence investigation and potential criminal activities that are coming out of it. There are all kinds of issues about protecting methods and sources, investigating the counterintelligence side, also looking into the criminal activity that might include complex financial transactions. This, I don't think, will be something that's concluded any time soon.
SCOTT: I also think it is important to say that just because something has not been made public, it does not mean that a conclusion has been made.
SCOTT: A lot of time people no one knows anything. We may not know anything, that does not mean the intelligence agents investigating don't know anything.
CABRERA: Both of you, thanks so much for weighing in. We appreciate it.
RANGAPPA: Thanks so much.
CABRERA: Now to this week's "Fit Nation." Separated from his family in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, he was helpless and homeless, but then something changed his life. Meet Arafat Gatabazi.
[15:35:13] 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.
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.
(END VIDEOTAPE) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[15:41:38] CABRERA: The third-most powerful Republican in the House is fighting for his life, but his condition appears to be improving. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is still in critical condition at the Washington hospital where he's been and has undergone a couple of injuries after being shot in the hip, the bullet damaging internal organs, and he lost a lot of blood that sent him into shock. It happened on Wednesday on the baseball field during a practice session for the Republican congressional baseball team. Two others on the team and 2 capitol police officers were also shot, along with a lobbyist who remains in ICU.
At this week's congressional baseball game, we saw an emotional moment. On the pitcher's mound, wounded capitol police officer, David Bailey, hobbled onto the field on crutches and threw out the first pitch. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP).
CABRERA: The surprised crowd roared with appreciation. Bailey is one of the two officers shot in Wednesday's attack.
CNN's Alexander Marquardt has more on the heroes who went beyond the "Call of Duty.
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The chilling sound of a barrage of gunfire captured in this cell phone video.
MARQUARDT: 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, 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 congressmen targeted on the field scrambling to take cover.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: Somebody on the field yelling, "Run, he's got a gun." I ran into the dugout like most people on the field.
POLICE DISPATCHER: United arrived to 400 East and Monroe. Shots being fired and there are people running. Possibly victims involved.
MARQUARDT: The lone gunman, armed with a rifle and .9 millimeters handgun, exchanging fire with capitol police officers who were there to protect the House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Local police joining in on the 10-minute firefight to take down the attacker.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: We've got 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 hip.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: He dragged himself, from near second base, for 10 to 15 yards in the field just to be 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 CONGRESSMAN: I saw two of them going towards the shooter. They were putting their lives directly in the line of fire.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSMAN: 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 and spending much of his time at this YMCA adjacent to the ballfield where he was seen the morning of the ambush.
REP. JEFF DUNCAN, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: He asked me if this team was the Republican or Democrat team practicing. I responded that it was a Republican practicing, and he proceeded to shoot Republicans. You can take that for what it is worth.
MARQUARDT: The attacker's online posts show a hatred of President Trump and Republicans. Hodgkinson wrote on Facebook in March, "Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed out 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" that 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 is unclear if Scalise was specifically targeted in the attack.
Alex Marquardt, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.
[15:45:18] CABRERA: Still to come, a frantic search is underway right now in the waters off Japan after a Navy destroyer collided with a Philippine merchant vessel. The latest in the hunt to find them.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CABRERA: This week, CNN kicked off a special series called "Champions for Change." CNN anchors headed out to spend some time working alongside people fighting for causes close to their heart.
Kate Bolduan focused on Farm Aid, known for legendary concerns, spearheaded by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $50 million to help farmers all over the country. Our "Champion for Change," Robin Robins, found a unique way to keep her farm in the family. Watch.
[15:50:24] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is rural, small-town Virginia. I feel like I'm my best self when I'm back in a place like this.
I grew up in rural small-town Indiana. The house that I grew up in is the house that my parents still live in, backs up to an apple orchard. It's a family owned and operated farm. It was perfect. It was simple.
We all have a personal connection to farming. Farmers are part of the backbone of America. I've also watched the rise and decline of the American farming tradition. Very soon, there's likely to be less than two million farms in the United States. When I saw that, it raised a really big question in my mind: Is the American farming tradition a thing of the past? I hope not. But that's what Farm Aid is here for.
WILLIE NELSON, SINGER: Welcome to Farm Aid, the concert for America.
BOLDUAN: Farm Aid was born out of concerts in reaction to the farm crisis in the '80s where tens of thousands of farmers were pushed into debt. And Willie Nelson wanted to do something about it and he called up his friends and they threw together a concert.
ROBIN ROBINS, FARMER: Farm Aid has been a resolution for farmers. They can sustain on the farm.
BOLDUAN: Meet Robin Robins.
ROBINS: I was the runt of six grandchildren.
BOLDUAN: Raised on a tobacco farm, today, she's the matriarch of a farm family. She's putting me to work.
We started in the greenhouse.
ROBINS: You can water higher, like rainwater.
Farming has always been to me something that is in my heritage. My love and my passion for my granny and my Papa. And it's honoring the land, honoring your heritage.
BOLDUAN: That's no easy feat here in Appalachia, a region gutted by the demise of the tobacco and coal industries. To save their land, the Robins family transformed their farm into an organic produce farm.
ROBINS: We refinanced our house to build the green houses. That was a little scary. We have to take that leap of faith.
BOLDUAN: Farm Aid helps farmers like Robin make that leap, supporting food hubs, which certify farmers and destroy produce to bigger supermarkets.
Robin has grown her organic produce farm to 24 acres now.
She runs its with her husband. No offense to Dave, but I think Robin runs the show.
DAVE ROBINS, HUSBAND OF ROBIN: You're doing it.
BOLDUAN: I got on the tractor for the first time. Learned from Dave how to do it because we were plowing the field.
What's it like knowing this is your family's land?
DAVE ROBINS: It's that connection that really keeps you here. I've been a lot of different places. But I always come back here.
BOLDUAN: I warned your mom that every plant I've ever touched I've killed.
It brought Robin's daughter, Logan, back, too. She just left her office job.
Farming drew you back?
LOGAN ROBINS, DAUGHTER OF ROBIN & DAVE: Yes. I miss it. Plus, I just like the whole purpose of it. I mean, we're feeding people. That's something to be proud of.
BOLDUAN: From Logan, I learned how to get the plants shipped off to market.
Next, probably my most challenging job on the farm, taking zucchini transplants and planting them in the field.
I am so nervous.
We're moving and the tractor is punching holes along the way.
You think farming is easy, I dare you to try this.
The perfect image in my head is the scene from "I Love Lucy" when she's at the chocolate factory.
BOLDUAN: We were going two to three miles an hour and it felt like we were going 50 miles an hour. And get it right or else you're not going to have zucchini plants in 45 days.
I think I probably should stick with TV.
How much of it science and how much of it is luck and prayer?
ROBINS: Your agriculture is controlled by Mother Nature. She's the trump card.
BOLDUAN: I think one of the things that surprised me most since meeting the Robins family is all of the intricacies that go into getting anything from farm to table. They're constantly juggling.
ROBINS: Because you're going to have a lot of humidity.
BOLDUAN: My biggest question coming here was, is the American farming tradition a thing of the past?
Are farmers facing crisis again?
[15:55:01] ROBINS: They are, yeah. You have a very small number of very large companies or farmers producing the majority. But we really are focused on new farmers, young farmers to make sure that they continue to diversify agriculture.
BOLDUAN: Like Robin Robins, who, no matter what, is on a mission to keep her farm in the family.
Together with the big guns of Farm Aid, I have no doubt the tradition will live on.
ROBINS: This generation is kind of shaming my generation. I could turn all three of my girls loose on our farm right now and actually take a vacation.
BOLDUAN: This continues with them.
ROBINS: This continues with them and they pay it forward.
CABRERA: Be sure to check out CNN's special "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE," hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern, right here on CNN.