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March For Our Life In Washington And In Many US Major Cities And Around The World, US Along With 20 Potential European Nations to Kick Out Russian Diplomats. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired March 24, 2018 - 18:00   ET


ANA CABRERA, ANCHOR, CNN: You're watching CNN'S special live coverage, march across America. I'm Ana Cabrera in Washington and all day here in DC and in cities across the US, massive crowds have been marching through the streets, demanding Congress to take action and pass gun reform legislation.

Right now, rallies are still under way as evening approaches. Here's the scene from the White House and in Denver. This movement you're witnessing, these demands for action, they are being spearheaded by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, teens who survived a mass shooting that left 14 of their peers and three staff members dead on Valentine's Day.

Their message to the world today and moving forward -- enough. Enough murder. Enough violence. Enough inaction.

Moments ago, a Stoneman Douglas survivor spoke in Denver on what should have been her spring break. Here's Maddie King.


MADDIE KING, CURRENT STUDENT, SURVIVOR OF 2018 MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS SHOOTING: I borrowed my friend's phone to text my mother because mine was on the backpack in the other side of the room. "It's Maddie," I told her. "Shooter at school. On the news. Unsafe. I love you."

But later, I learned that I may not have been as safe as I thought. My building was directly next to the building that the shooter went in and he shot at windows directly at the wall that I was sitting against.

One bullet aimed directly in my classroom could have been painted with blood.

So, how do we change? How do we stop another school shooting? I can tell you how we don't. By caring more about our guns than our children.

Arming teachers is not a solution. Trained soldiers don't always hit their marks. The NYPD misses four out of every five shots.

My 60-year-old science teacher who's 5'11" with heels on cannot be expected to make any of her shots at a child that she may have taught. (END VIDEOCLIP)

CABRERA: Let's go live now to Denver and Scott McLean and Maddie King who just spoke I know is right there with you, Scott.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, that's right, Ana. I can't even tell you how many people were listening to that speech because I couldn't actually see the end of the crowd. But that's right. We're talking to the 17-year-old, Maddie King here. And I have to say that just before she came over, she's been sort of mauled by all these new fans of hers that want to hear from her and want to thank her.

And, Maddie, I wonder when you see you know, just a little girl that just came up to you, wanting to shake your hand and wanting to get her picture taken with you, how does that make you feel? You're a role model for so many.

KING: It's humbling. Just -- I didn't even think I would be someone like that and it's also -- it's very rewarding knowing that I can make a change for the better and that you know, maybe I'm inspiring other people out there to get up and stand up for what they believe in and what they think and know is right.

And I just -- I didn't expect any of this.

MCLEAN: You and your classmates at Stoneman Douglas High School and in Parkland and really around the country have done so much to make this issue a big one and make it part of the national conversation.

I wonder if you feel a responsibility to make sure that there's action after all of the enthusiasm of these marches.

KING: I think there is definitely a feeling of responsibility. It's -- you know, everyone turns up and we speak and people march and all of this stuff happens and there definitely has to be action for it. It can't just be like, you know, we're not just coming here to march for fun. We're here to make a change and that change needs to happen or else all of this was just a waste and we can't let it be a waste.

MCLEAN: You mentioned in your speech just how many people have been affected by gun violence in this country, whether it be in schools or malls or really anywhere. And you're one of those students now who have sent a text to their mother saying, "Mom, it's me, I'm okay."

I wonder how that's changed your perspective and your outlook.

KING: It's just -- you know, I used to kind of not have a strong opinion on this. I was kind of like, "Okay, guns, sure." But now it's like, "No," like they really are dangerous weapons and it's also just made me appreciate every day so much more and it's made me, you know, appreciate the fact that I do still have friends who are here and I do still have family my family here, and that I'm still here and everything just seems like it's worth its weight in gold now. It's just so much more meaningful.

MCLEAN: Now that you do have an opinion on guns and on this issue and just from listening to you, you've obviously have done your homework on this issue. So, what does need to change?

KING: Well, I think for starters, definitely raising the age to 21. You know, so many of these shootings have been people between the ages of 18 and 21. And so, clearly there is something going on. And chances are, if you're 22 and you're getting a gun, you don't have the same resentment towards a high school that you do six months after you graduate.

And along with that, we need smaller magazines because I didn't mention this, but...


KING: ... he had to reload once and that allowed teachers to get children to safety in their classrooms. And so, many more people could have been alive if he had to reload even just one more time.

And as far as rifles, you can get a bigger magazine in there. Handguns, you have to have a smaller magazine. And that's so many more lives that could be saved just by eliminating three bullets per magazine.

MCLEAN: We just heard a clip from your speech when you were talking about how you don't think that your teacher should have the responsibility of having a gun and maybe shooting at someone that they may have taught.

as you go back to school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and as you see the situation, the security situation there, do you feel safer given that there's law enforcement and security though that has guns, that is armed?

KING: I think the first couple of days back, I don't necessarily think I felt safer. I think I just kind of felt more scared. It was, you know, besides constantly having the reminder that it happened, it was even more of a reminder, and it was more of a looking at someone to me like, that's the kind of gun, that's so similar to what he brought on the campus.

And now that it's died down, I feel just as safe as I felt before all of this happened, and that's safe, that I should feel at school. I feel just as safe at school as I do at home and that's what it should be, but the heavy armed forces just made me feel even more anxious and scared than anything.

MCLEAN: Maddie King, you have succeeded in motivating a whole lot of people. Thank you so much for talking to us and all the best of luck.

KING: Thank you.

MCLEAN: So, Ana, again, that's a 17-year-old student that we're talking about and so much, you know, when we hear about this issue and over the past couple of weeks, you're surprised that you're talking to kids.

People who cannot even vote. And they have done so much homework and they have learned so much about this issue. And you really do feel like maybe this is the moment where something will change.

CABRERA: Incredible. So, articulate indeed at 17. Thank you, Scott. Well, today, at Parkland student survivors stood up and they yelled, "Welcome to the revolution, our revolution."

CNN senior Washington correspondent, Joe Johns reports.


JOE JOHNS: From sea to shining sea, activists pouring into the streets.

GROUP: Enough is enough.

JOHNS: From Parkland, Florida...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This stops now.

JOHNS: To our nation's capital. Students standing up to make their voices heard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is (Trevor Bass).

EDNA YVEZ CHAVEZ, PARTICIPANT: My name is Edna Yvez Chavez.

ION KELLY, PARTICIPANT: My name is Ion Kelly and just like all of you, I have had enough.

JOHNS: Powerful voices of those who have lost. Gripping a world in awe of the power of our youth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People have said that I am a tool of some nameless adult. It's not true.

JOHNS: As student-led demonstrations demand changes to the nation's gun law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I too am a victim, a survivor and a victor of gun violence. We are done hiding. We're done being afraid. We are done being full of fear.

JOHNS: Each one drawing thousands including celebrities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here. So, it's important to me.

JOHNS: The DC event brought famous performers like Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Common.

One person not in attendance, President Trump, who instead opted to leave town one day ahead of the march. The White House issuing a statement applauding the demonstrators, highlighting a new Department of Justice proposal banning bump stocks as part of the President's commitment to keeping children safe.

For many, that proposal is not enough; not even close. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they give us that inch, that bump stock

ban, we will take a mile. We are not here for bread crumbs, we are here for real change.

JOHNS: But other lawmakers did show up. Each with a similar refrain, that the best way forward is to keep pushing forward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They will make their voices heard and they will make them heard every single day and they will make them heard in every single election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to stay with it. One day is not enough because the politicians are watching the NRA which is going to be there tomorrow and the day after and the day after.

JOHNS: With student after student offering a different message to their elected officials.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot and will not be influenced by money and demand the same from our elected officials.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you listen real close, you can hear the people in power shaking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stand for us or beware, the voters are coming.

JOHNS: Young men and women...


JOHNS: ... demanding change.


JOHNS: Obviously, the question is whether all of this energy will translate into substantive change any time soon. Organizers on their weekend visit to Washington were encouraged in private meetings with thought leaders like former Vice President Joe Biden to vote, to run the grass roots movement and when it's time, to run for office, to keep the pressure on.

Organizers responded by registering people to vote at the march in all 50 states. Joe Johns, CNN, the White House.


CABRERA: Thank you, Joe, as we go to break now, the nine-year-old granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., Yolanda King, shares her dream for change in front of the crowd in Washington today.


YOLANDA KING: I have a dream that enough is enough and that this should be a gun-free world. Period.

(END VIDEOCLIP) [18:15:00]

CABRERA: With chants of "no more" and "enough" -- hundreds of thousands of people marching across the United States and the world and here in the nation's capital, survivors of gun violence. Families who have lost loved ones, students and teachers all walks of life, demanding change to stop the violence.

They are saying loud and clear, "no more."

My next guest was one of those marching today here in DC. He graduated from Stoneman Douglas and is now one of the hosts of Netflix's "Queer Eye," Karamo Brown is with us now. Karamo, so nice of you to stop by.

KARAMO BROWN, HOST, QUEER EYE, NETFLIX: Oh, gosh, I am so happy to be here with you.

CABRERA: It's great to have you. What was it like to be part of today's march?

BROWN: Today was electrifying to be out there and to see these students speaking up and leading the way. I'm getting chills even talking about it right now.

CABRERA: Oh my gosh, I had so many times -- moments of goose bumps all over.

BROWN: All day, because you know, you get a sense where you see people -- these kids who took their -- this tragedy and channeling it into something really great. That you can't help be inspired even though it's such a sad moment.

Because of course, we don't want to see anyone's child killed viciously, but if this had to happen, I'm glad that this is the outcome.

CABRERA: Well, you have that direct connection to these students having been at their school, graduate of Stoneman Douglas, and when you listen to them, I mean, they are so powerful, so poised. Have such a presence at such a young age. What's your sense of what's giving them the courage to speak out in this way?

BROWN: Well, you know, one of the things that Douglas does so well, it did it for me, it turned me into an activist and a television host, was the fact that they inspire you to be passionate about whatever. That's part of our school motto, to be positive, to be passionate, and, you know, when you see these kids being here, they're doing that exact thing.

They're showing up fearlessly and saying, "No matter that this happened, I am going to still be passionate about an issue, so that I can save the lives for someone else," and that's what is so beautiful.

CABRERA: A lot of people are asking, "What's next?" Now, when people go away, how does this movement propel itself forward? BROWN: Well, you know, the first I would have to say with what's

next, you know, I used to work in Social Services before I actually got into television is that I want to make sure that these kids are taken care of.

You know, I have been watching a lot of the kids go around, share their stories and I'm nervous for them, you know, to be retraumatized over and over again, sharing your stories. I want to make sure that there are counselors, there's people available to really support them because this is a traumatic event.

But next, you know, it's up to us to make sure that we're reaching out to our neighbors, to our co-workers, to the people that we're scared to talk to, that's what we do so well on Netflix's "Queer Eye." I mean, talking to those people that you normally wouldn't engage with, and saying, "This is not an issue where we are trying to take away your rights. This is an issue where we should all be standing for our families and our future.

CABRERA: And it's not just about violence or gun violence specific to schools, I mean, in your show, there's an honest conversation you have with a police officer, and you bring up the fact of like police violence against people of color, it has also become a huge issue in this -- in our day and time in this country.

Let's listen to a clip.


BROWN: My whole thing is, obviously we don't want all black people to get lumped into one category as criminals which sometimes we feel that way...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the police officers will be lumped into being the bad guy, you know? I get stereotyped because of that 10 percent that gets shown on the media of being excessive or killing you know, a black guy that didn't need to have deadly force used upon him. We just had an incident in Gwinnett County and that's along the other officer that kicked this guy in the face after he was handcuffed. There's nothing that makes it all right.

BROWN: I have got to tell you just even hearing you acknowledge that the officer that used force should never have just heals me and just gives me a little bit of relief.


BROWN: All I ever hear usually is cops sticking together and saying, "Well, what about us?" And it is true, what about you all? But it's sort of like, well, what about us? We're both dealing with the same pain on two different ends.


BROWN: But none of us are like acknowledging it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does go both ways and I am glad you feel that

way. Black lives matter, they weren't able to be heard and the police officers weren't able to be heard. If we could sit down and have a conversation like me and you just did, things would be a lot better, you know, in society. You know? Everybody wants to talk, but nobody wants to listen.

BROWN: That's it.


CABRERA: Isn't that the truth? I mean, what advice can you offer to people to have...


CABRERA: ... those types of conversations?

BROWN: Well, first of all, you cannot be afraid to reach out to people who are different than you or that you perceive are different from you. You know, with (Corey), he is now one of my closest friends, but initially, going into this, I looked at him as a southern white cop, Trump supporter. The opposite of everything that I stand for.

CABRERA: So, you had your hackles up a little bit?

BROWN: Yes, the guard was up fully. And that's how most of us walk through this world. We have been triggered and traumatized so much and so often that you think, "Well, they're going to be closed off, so let me beat them to it. I'm going to be closed off first."

And I think the thing that we have to do on what these kids are doing so amazingly well is showing us that you have to let down that guard and let people into how you're feeling and have open and honest conversations so that way, we can find the similarities, because at the end of the day, when love and acceptance are leading the way, we always are going to be united in what's right for our country.

CABRERA: I love that message. Karamo Brown, thank you for lending your voice and your spirit to this day -- today. Great to meet you.

BROWN: Thank you so much. Great to meet you too.

CABRERA: Quick programming note. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. tonight. There will be a special edition of the "Van Jones Show." He'll be joined by Parkland students who spoke in Washington today as well as Superstar, Jennifer Hudson who performed at today's rally.

She of course has a very personal experience with gun violence. We'll be right back.


(START VIDEOCLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have lived in South LA my entire life and I

have lost many loved ones to gun violence. This is normal. Normal to the point that I have learned to duck from bullets before I learned how to read. It is normal to see candles. It is normal to see posters. Enough is enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If teachers start packing heat, are they going to arm our pastors, ministers and rabbis? Are they going to arm the guys scanning tickets at the movie theater? Are they going to arm the person wearing the Mickey Mouse costume at Disney? This is what the National Rifle Associate wants and we will not stand for it.

To all the politicians out there, if you take money from the NRA, you have chosen death. If you not expressed to your constituents your public stance on this issue, you have chosen death. If you do not stand with us by saying, "We need to pass commonsense gun legislation, you have chosen death." And none of the millions of people marching in this country today will stop until they see those against us out of office because we choose life.

KELLY: Raise your hand if you have been affected gun violence, so honor the ones you have lost. Today, I raise my hand in honor of my twin brother. My name is Ion Kelly. And just like all of you I have had enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am not here for me. I am here for you. So, you don't ever have to fear of getting shot in your own classroom. You don't ever have to wonder if you have to see your best friend die next to you. You don't ever have to worry about going into a holocaust history class and learn about death and then experience it right before your very eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know a lot of people are out there saying that we need to make America safe again. And I know that we can't. We cannot make America safe again until we arm our teachers. We need to arm our teachers. We need to arm them, with pencils, pens, paper and the money they need. They need that money to support their families and to support themselves before they can support the futures in those classrooms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six minutes and about 20 seconds, and a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured, and everyone -- absolutely everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered.

Everyone who's there understands. Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands. For us, long, tearful, chaotic hours in the scorching afternoon sun were spent not knowing. No one understood the extent of what had happened. No one could believe that there were bodies in that building waiting to be identified for over a day.

No one knew that the people who were missing had stopped breathing long before any of us had even known that a code red had been called. No one could comprehend the devastating aftermath or how far this would reach or where this would go. For those who still can't comprehend because they refuse to, I'll tell

you where it went. Right into the ground, six feet deep.



CABRERA: It is a march across America today, March for our Lives. These are rallies being held from coast to coast -- Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York -- we know there were multiple marches around the world, some 800-plus today. Thousands of people taking to the streets calling for an end to gun violence and action at the congressional level.

Let's discuss, with us, national political correspondent for Time, Molly Ball; CNN legal and political commentator and President of the Senate Conservative Fund, Ken Cuccinelli and CNN political commentator and former Hillary Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook.

So, Molly, when you look at those images and you hear what we heard today from the rally here in Washington, does this feel like a real movement, something comparable to the Civil Rights movement or the anti-Vietnam war protests?


MOLLY BALL, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, TIME: I mean, I don't know how old you think I am. I was not there for either of those...

CABRERA: And neither was I.

BALL: But no, I mean, the short answer is no. Those were sustained movements that spent years and years organizing and doing different kinds of actions. This could be the beginning of something like that, but we don't know yet.

So, I don't think we can say right now that this is a movement on this scale. Certainly, it has that ambition, but look I've covered the gun control activism and for years and years, you know, since Columbine and even before that, people have -- very passionate people, people who have suffered, you know, the ultimate loss -- losing a child, losing another family member, a loved one to gun violence, lots of people have tried to enact gun control in America and failed.

So, was this an incredible outpouring of emotion? Yes.

Is it yet an effective political action? Not yet.

CABRERA: We just don't know. Meantime, Ken, you know, the President hasn't tweeted even about this today. We have seen tweets from President Obama, from Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton. The president -- current President is like the master of Twitter, but why hasn't he?

KEN CUCCINELLI, PRESIDENT, SENATE CONSERVATIVE FUND: Well, of course they put out the White House statement that was positive and encouraging, you know, and they have talked about the things they have done like getting move -- moving to get rid of bump stocks by regulation, which they have the ability to do, and as well as including the so-called Fix NICS in the Omnibus Bill which the President publicly supported.

But I would take issue with the notion that there hasn't been success in gun control. Many states and cities have extensive gun control. We are sitting in Washington DC, one of the hardest places in the country to purchase and own, by the way, legally own a gun and it is one of the most violent cities, racked by gun violence, it has been for a long time.

Chicago is another. Baltimore is another. And these cities and others like them share one thing in common. They have succeeded in getting gun control policies passed and they're governed by Democrats that's why they can do it.

But, you know, the consequences have been negative, not positive.

CABRERA: But just getting back to really quick, the initial question, I mean, why hasn't the President put his stamp on what we're seeing today? What they're calling for is an end to gun violence, that's something all people can agree on clearly.

CUCCINELLI: All right, absolutely, when it's put that way, but that's not what you're really hearing. I mean, it isn't -- of course we all want to end gun violence and thankfully, for the last two decades gun violence has been declining precipitously, but not in these mass school shootings.

CABRERA: I'm sorry, that's not the fact.

CUCCINELLI: It is absolutely the facts and it is absolutely the facts, and it's from the FBI, Pew -- I mean, I'll show you an NPR article reporting on a Pew survey.

CABRERA: I'm looking at the facts from the CDC, though Ken and when you look at gun deaths per year, they have been going up -- 2014, 2015, 2016 still waiting on those...


CUCCINELLI: Those three years you picked -- the only uptick in the last 20 years and two-thirds of the increase say in 2015, two-thirds of the entire homicide increase was in ten cities, led first and foremost by Chicago and Baltimore.

ROBERT MOOK, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Can I jump in here for a sec? I actually want to disagree with both people here for a second. This was different and this is new. What we saw today is a new generation stepping up to the plate and not just rejecting the total lack of action on gun violence but rejecting our political system itself.

I was part of the last presidential campaign. We play by the rules. We did things the way they have been done and look at what we have now? We have a government that is completely unresponsive to the needs of people.

The proposals that these young people support are enormously popular. There's no -- there's no grass roots political resistance. There is a small minority and basically an industry that whips certain voters up in a primary context and makes Republican politicians, let's just say it, afraid to support gun control.

And Ken, this is what these young people are sick of. It's a bunch of facts, a bunch of statistics that don't speak to what's really going on here. You want to know why there is gun violence in our cities? Because people buy guns in states where it's easy. They bring them in to those cities and they commit violence. We have not...

CUCCINELLI: That is not true.

MOOK: It is, Ken.

CUCCINELLI: It is not true. They get the guns illegally and they use them illegally.

MOOK: And Ken, how can you...


CUCCINELLI: ... think they can obey the law.

MOOK: But this is the deal, can you go out to these parents that are sitting out here in the hallway, in this studio and tell them, "Gun violence is going down, folks. I am sorry, you lost your kids. Gun violence is less of a problem than you think it is." It is outrageous. You're peddling a bunch of (past) statistics.


CUCCINELLI: There was 1.5 million -- 1.5. million...

MOOK: Do you want to say that to these parents?

CUCCINELLI: ... gun violence crimes in...


CUCCINELLI: ... 1993. There were under 500,000 in 2011. Do we want to get to zero? You bet we want to get to zero, but we don't get there by ignoring the fact that some things we're doing have reduced gun violence outside of the school shooting context.

MOOK: Ken, we're nowhere by ignoring the truth, which is...


CUCCINELLI: You're ignoring the truth. You don't want data.

MOOK: Ken, if we have universal background checks, if we ban the bump stocks that were used to mow people down in Las Vegas, less people will die. Period. Full stop. And it's this fake debate and it's this Pablum that we spew all day long that those young people are rejecting and by god, I hope they succeed.

CUCCINELLI: And bump stocks are being banned and you're not seeing a whole lot of Second Amendment resistance to getting rid...


MOOK: Ken, the Republicans in control of Washington DC could ban bump stocks all they want, they could show up...


CUCCINELLI: And they have already started.

CABRERA: Well, the President is saying he is going to make a negative action on that, but Molly, when you listen to...

MOOK: Of course, he has.

CABRERA: ... when you listen to this, I mean, this seems to be emblematic of what's happening all around the world and in this country with the politicians and talking at each other instead of really coming up with solutions. We see signs today and hear the voices of these young people who are saying, power at the polls and make your vote count and we see people out on -- in Washington who are signing people up to vote today as part of this.

With the midterms right around the corner, some of these youngsters are going to be turning 18 between now and then. Do you get a sense that Republican lawmakers, in particular, I say Republicans because they seem to be, you know to be much more beholden the NRA, are they concerned at all?

BALL: I would reject the idea that Republicans are only beholden to the NRA. I think most Republicans are actually on that side of the issue. Most of the Republican members of Congress actually agree with Ken and his arguments. They believe it.

Now, they can be voted out of office by people who disagree with them, right? And the ones who are in swing districts may be thinking about that seeing what's happening here today.

I'm biased because I cover politics, but I do believe that the only way you are going to move the political system is by people voting, is by people going to the polls and showing that this is the issue that is going to motivate them to vote. This is the issue that is not just going to make them carry a sign but it is actually going to cause them to vote where they otherwise might not.

You know, young people, notoriously have very low rates of voter turnout particularly in midterm elections. If we see that start to change you, absolutely, we will the politicians listen.

MOOK: I don't -- here is the thing, I don't know that Republicans really agree with this, and Ken, I don't want to attack you personally, I just -- you know, if a plane crashes, people's response isn't "No, no, no, just let the plane stay as they are. They are safe. The plane deaths are decreasing."

When the bridge collapsed in Miami the other day and killed -- in southern Florida and killed people, nobody's reaction was, "Our bridges are fine. Let's just keep going the way we're going." I don't really think -- I think that they are prisoner to primary politics within their party. I really believe this, and it's been made worse by the gerrymandering off our districts.

And this is again, these young people are not just protesting on guns, they are protesting a political system that is broken. I share their frustration and I hope that they succeed because this is what I think some of us don't always understand. This is bigger than just guns. It's a political system that is -- that is not responsive when young people are dying. That's the problem.

CABRERA: Got to leave it there. Thank you all for being there. Robby Mook, Ken Cuccinelli, Molly Ball, thank you.

And we are continuing our special coverage tonight. Tune in for a special show at 7:00 p.m. A special edition of the "Van Jones Show." He will be joined by Parkland students and one of the performer's at today's rally in Washington, Jennifer Hudson. We'll be right back.


CABRERA: Now to the CNN exclusive. President Trump is thinking about kicking a group of Russian diplomats out of the country. It hasn't happened yet, but sources are telling us the National Security Council has recommended he do just that.

It would be in retaliation for Russia's apparent involvement in the nearly killing of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England.

Now, Great Britain and more than ten other countries in Europe say they will expel Russian diplomats. Let's bring in our senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski. This is your reporting, Michelle. How might this play out?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Okay, well, we know this recommendation was made. There was this high-level meeting at the White House on Wednesday. We know that by last night, the President got this recommendation this from his National Security team to expel Russian diplomats from the US.

So, really now, the ball is in President Trump's court. We are expecting a decision to be announced on Monday. I mean, nothing is definite of course, until it happens, but we do know that the National Security Council, the State Department have been talking to all of these European allies.

I mean, there could be at least 20 European countries that also expel Russian diplomats as the UK has already done. They expelled 23 which was met by the way by this furious response from Russia and they're kicking out diplomats in kind.

So, if the US does do this, I mean, what a message that sends for a block of potentially 20 or more nations including the United States to give more Russian diplomats the boot. It's a message although there are plenty of voices out there saying, "Look, this was attempted murder." Members of Trump's own administration have called it that. They said that they are in lock step with the UK on believing that the Russians did this and in supporting the response, is this really going to be enough and is it ever going to be enough?


KONSINSKI: Is it ever going to change Russia's behavior.


CABRERA: So, I mean, at this point, would this just be a symbolic move or gesture or is there an impact here?

KOSINSKI: Well, there is always an impact and there's going to be an impact on relations because remember, for different matters, different things that Russia did, the US kicked out its diplomats over the summer, and then there was this tit for tat, this back and forth of closing diplomatic buildings and kicking out more diplomats back and forth and it diminishes relations but it also further isolates Russia.

So, on the one hand you could say this is kind of a first step, this is a punishment. This is saying we know you did this and we are angry about it and we are cutting back our involvement with you for that, but then I also want to give heed to the other argument that says this isn't going to do a whole lot to stop Russia's behavior.

CABRERA: All right, Michelle Kosinski. Thank you.

KOSINSKI: Thank you.

CABRERA: And we'll be right back.


CABRERA: Today we have witnessed a new movement erupting calling on the nation to change its ways regarding gun violence, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marching in the streets of Washington and around the country, demanding tougher gun laws.

The movement led by Florida teenagers who survived the unthinkable -- a gunman opening fire in their school on Valentine's Day, 17 people gunned down on that bloody day and now teenagers are saying "Enough is enough."

I want you to introduce you to shooting survivor, (Arielle Bronstein), she is joining us now. So, (Arielle), thank you for coming in. You are you part of all of the events of today. How are you feeling now after what you experienced out there?

ARIELLE BRONSTEIN (ph), SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Honestly, there was -- definitely, emotions ran high. I find it kind of funny almost, I saw I think more kids from my school and more people from Parkland than I probably would have found actually in Parkland because like almost everyone I know is out here, but it was a lot of emotions running high and especially with (inaudible) there today and everything, but I think it was good that we had a powerful movement and it was, I think, a good way to honor the victims and honor also the 17 people who were injured and I know more people are still in the hospital and everything.

CABRERA: You knew some of these victims?

BRONSTEIN (ph): Yes.

CABRERA: How are you coping with your grief?

BRONSTEIN (ph): I'm very, honest, a very open person. I've been getting like panic attacks in certain scenarios like loud noise, small spaces. In terms of like coping with like other people's losses, I think finding community is like a really big, really important part.

I've had sleep overs. I can't even tell you how many houses with like other survivors, just sitting up all night talking, talking about our experience, talking and laughing about other things, but just being with the community is such an important part.

CABRERA: What do you hope people take away from today moving forward?

BRONSTEIN (ph): I hope that people understand that it's not just an issue that effects certain areas. You know, Parkland is a pretty privileged area, and if you look at it, I remember even weeks before the shooting happened, I was like, "Nothing would ever happen in Parkland." I think, I remember my dad even telling me like in case scenarios because we were expecting a shooting drill, he was like, "In that case scenario, just duck down." And I was like -- I was like, "I'm never going to need this. I'm never -- I'm in Parkland."

And then, a few weeks later everything happened, obviously, but it's just -- it's not something you expect and it is not something I think anyone can prepare for, but if someone is going to take something away from it, because we know it can happen anywhere, and if you think it doesn't affect you now, it can, so stay on board relatively early and try to help.

CABRERA: You know, a lot of the lawmakers have left town because they are on their recess. The President is down in Mar-a-Lago. Why was it important for you all to come here to the nation's capital for today's event?

BRONSTEIN (ph): Honestly, we made an impact in Parkland by speaking there, but our lawmakers are here. You know, even if they are in their home states right now, even if they are in their home cities, this is where laws are made and it was important that we were here to show the nation that we care. We want change. We are not -- we are grieving. We are all grieving.

I know I am grieving, but we need a difference. We need to make a difference and I think the best way to do that is to show that we are -- you know, we can be in the capital.

CABRERA: Do you feel like the President and lawmakers are hearing you?

BRONSTEIN (ph): Yes and no. I do wish that the President were also here, to be honest. The fact that he's in Mar-a-Lago doesn't exactly -- it doesn't look great for him, I'd say. We met with Doug Jones and his people yesterday and you know, there are certain issues that they seem to hear us on, and certain issues that I wish they push for more so, like an actual assault weapons ban.

You know, they are saying, "It's not possible." Well, it was possible in the '90s, why isn't it possible now? You know, these are weapons of war. This is something that, as Emma Gonzalez said earlier, six minutes and 20 seconds, 17 people died; 17 more were injured.

If you can hurt that many people in such a little time, you don't need that. That's not meant for protection. That's meant for murder.

CABRERA: Arielle Bronstein (ph), thank you so much for speaking out, letting your voice heard and your ideas and positions, and hopefully a lot of people are listening.

BRONSTEIN (ph): Yes.

CABRERA: So, nice to meet you.

BRONSTEIN (ph): Nice meeting you as well.

CABRERA: Good luck moving forward.

BRONSTEIN (ph): Thank you.

CABRERA: That's going to do it for me. I'm Ana Cabrera here in Washington. Up next is a very special edition of the "Van Jones Show," with survivors of the Parkland shooting and superstar, Jennifer Hudson starts now.