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Manhunt for Waffle House Suspect; Middleton in Labor; Trump Considers Jack Johnson Pardon; Possible Cohen Pardon; Cavs Tie Series; North Korea Denuclearizing; Mike Pompeo Vote; Interview With Sen. Todd Young. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired April 23, 2018 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:00] DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Communities around here are really on high alert right now. There's no better way to say it. You still have more than 80 police officers who are combing the area, they're working with ATF, they're working with the FBI, and there has still been no sign of this shooter.
Now, he has a history with law enforcement, not here in Nashville. He moved here in the fall of 2017. But dating back to 2016, in his home state of Illinois, there appears to be a pattern of mental health issues. He fears that the pop star, Taylor Swift, was stalking him. They were supposed to meet up at a Dairy Queen. He exposed himself to some lifeguards. He showed up in a dress wearing -- with a -- with a rifle, with a gun, rather. And he also told the police that there were people tapping his computer and his phone.
Now, in Washington, D.C., last summer, Secret Service arrested him trying to get on to the property. He said he was a sovereign citizen, that he had a meeting with President Trump. After that, the FBI and state officials in Illinois interviewed him. They decided in Illinois to revoke his authorization for weapons. They confiscated four guns from him. They gave them to his father. His father has since admitted to police that he gave those guns back to his son. Two of those guns are unaccounted for right now police say. One they found in his apartment and one was the AR-15 that authorities say was used in the shooting here that killed four people in their 20s, Taurean Sanderlin, Joe Perez, DeEbony Groves, and Akilah Dasilva, all killed in that shooting. Police say, though, it could have been worse if it wasn't for James Shaw, Jr.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES SHAW, JR., DISARMED WAFFLE HOUSE SHOOTER: It was at that time that I kind of made up my mind, because there's no way to lock that door, that if it was going to come down to it, he was going to have to work to -- work to kill me.
You have to either react or you have to -- or you're going to, you know, fold. And I chose to react because I didn't see any other way of me, you know, living. And that's all I wanted to do, I just wanted to live.
(END VIDEO CLIP) GALLAGHER: And police say that because of his actions, an unarmed man taking out that gunman, that a lot of other people were able to live as well.
But, again, Alisyn, absolute tragedy here and a lot of fear in Nashville right now because they still do not know where that man is.
CAMEROTA: Absolutely. Thank goodness for that hero and let's hope this manhunt ends soon.
Please, keep us posted, Dianne. Thank you very much.
On a much brighter note, we have some breaking royal baby news. Kate Middleton, the duchess of Cambridge, is in a London hospital in the early stages of labor with her third child.
CNN's Max Foster is monitoring all of the developments. He is live outside of St. Mary's Hospital with more.
What stage are we in, Max?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know what stage. All we had was the e-mail this morning to say that the duchess was in hospital, early stages of labor. A similar sort of thing that happened last time with Princess Charlotte. And if you go on that basis, we would expect to see the new family on the steps behind me, quite famous around the world these days. So the new baby will appear there.
There will be an announcement in paper form as well on an easel that appears on the fore (ph) court of Buckingham Palace. So there's still some formality to this.
But as soon as we got the e-mail, you can see what's transpired. The world media, thundering down here to the big moment. This baby will be fifth in line to the throne, Alisyn. So we'll be bumping Prince Harry down to sixth, although I don't think he's too worried about that. He may well have this baby as the youngest guest at his royal wedding next month, which I know you're looking forward to. And especially, Chris, actually. I know he's looking forward to that.
CAMEROTA: We are looking forward to it.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Healthy healthy babies are always a plus. I wish her a very easy labor and a healthy baby. Am I royal watcher, no, but I am a parent, so I respect the baby game in a big way.
CAMEROTA: But I will be seeing you, Max, there in four weeks -- less than four weeks. Very excited. And the new baby, boy or girl, who knows.
CUOMO: Yes, look, healthy babies, that's all that matter. Boy, girl, that's extra.
All right, so, President Trump talking a lot about pardons and doing so publicly. I wonder why now. Is he considering one for the late boxer Jack Johnson? Now, that may be a little bit of a new name for you guys, but this is a very interesting, political story. But the bigger question is, why now? Why is he talking pardons? Is it a none too subtle message? Let's discuss the politics and the reality, next.
[06:38:21] CUOMO: President Trump tweeting that he is considering granting a posthumous pardon to boxer Jack Johnson on the advice of actor Sylvester Stallone. Johnson, you should remember, was the first African-American heavyweight boxing champ. He was a myth while he was still alive. Now, he was convicted more than a century ago of violating something called the Man Act, for transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes. It was a sham then. What will it mean now?
Joining us is CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
People like you and me, we know the story of Jack Johnson, obviously. It was a political move on him at the time. The first woman they went after him for wound up being his wife later. Then they found another woman. They wanted to go after him. He had to flee. He went to Canada. He went to Europe. He came back. Did some time. What do you make of this move legally?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it was a racist move.
TOOBIN: That what more political, it was --
CUOMO: Jim Crow written all over it.
TOOBIN: It was total, total racist, sham, abuse of the legal system to have Jack Johnson prosecuted.
What do I make of it? I mean Jack Johnson is long dead and most presidents have had policies against pardoning dead people because where do you stop? There, unfortunately, are thousands of victims of unjust convictions in the United States --
CUOMO: Especially if you want to talk about Jim Crow and the racist prosecutions.
TOOBIN: Exactly. Exactly. That's why Barack Obama, who apparently did consider a Jack Johnson pardon, didn't do it. Why is Donald Trump considering it now? How wide is your imagination? I mean part of it is, maybe it's a chance to prove that you're not a racist, since he's had so many problems in this area. Maybe it's a chance to send a message to Michael Cohen, to Paul Manafort, that, hang on, you could get a pardon down the road and you don't -- don't plead guilty and cooperate. Those, I would say, are the two leading possibilities. Another possibility is, he just feels bad for Jack Johnson and wants to do something nice.
[06:40:24] CUOMO: Well, he was a boxing promoter, Trump, right?
TOOBIN: That -- that's right.
CUOMO: So maybe he's got a little bit of a (INAUDIBLE).
TOOBIN: And -- and John McCain and Harry Reid --
TOOBIN: Who were very interested in boxing.
CUOMO: "Rocky" --
TOOBIN: Yes, "Rocky."
CUOMO: Giving him -- giving him a phone call, also, Sylvester Stallone.
TOOBIN: That's true, "Rocky," also a successful boxer, yes.
CUOMO: So, there's a name you left out in the analysis of how broad our imagination could be.
CUOMO: He pardoned Scooter Libby. Scooter Libby, obviously fundamental to the cover-up of the leak of a CIA undercover agent's name, Valerie Plame. He got convicted, hooked by a jury on four out of five counts that went to obstruction, his efforts to keep people from understanding what happened with the leak of her name. A fair analysis of what he did and why pardon him now?
TOOBIN: Well, that's right. And earlier he also pardoned Joe Arpaio. Both Arpaio and Scooter Libby were pardoned outside the usual Department of Justice pardon process, which is very slow and very meticulous. This is just the power of the president and he wanted to do it. So he has sent the message, I could pardon anyone I want, any time --
CUOMO: But Scooter Libby --
TOOBIN: Scooter Libby --
CUOMO: Theoretically a guy who took the fall for covering up a secret that that administration didn't want to get out.
TOOBIN: And -- and a Republican hero, a Dick Cheney protege. I mean that was -- even more than this Jack Johnson discussion, a message, I think, that if you hang tough, you can get a pardon from me. I will stick by my friends.
CUOMO: So let's start with the basics. Flynn, he has an active case against him. He has obvious criminal exposure.
TOOBIN: He's looking at sentencing. Yes.
CUOMO: He will, in likelihood, have some kind of sentence handed to him. The president could pardon him, absolutely, and it could be done just like that.
CUOMO: Michael Cohen, we have no clue what this investigation will yield, if it will be any charges, if there will be charges that are threatening to Michael Cohen's ultimate freedom, and if there would be something that he could offer up about the president of the United States that would make this whole flip conjecture ever come home to roost, but he could be pardoned today.
TOOBIN: You can be pardoned in advance of any criminal charges, most famously Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon before he was charged with anything. So there's no requirement that there be a pending criminal case in order for a pardon to take place.
CUOMO: All of this talk now about, well, you'd still have state charges possible. You don't see it from a practicality standpoint at this (INAUDIBLE)?
TOOBIN: Absolutely. You know, this is -- a mythology has arisen around particularly Eric Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York state, that he could take over the investigation if Robert Mueller is fired or if that investigation is somehow shut down. I don't buy it. I don't buy it at all. New York state doesn't have the resources. It doesn't have the laws, the criminal laws. There's a reason why New York state's attorney general files very few criminal cases. Almost all criminal cases in New York state are filed by district attorneys or the U.S. attorney's office.
There are also laws regarding double jeopardy that might interfere with an effort to prosecute --
CUOMO: So you'd have to do a lot of legislative change. There's this talk that there's a bill flying its ways through. Oddly enough, I ain't heard a damn thing, Jeffrey, and my source is pretty good here.
TOOBIN: You know what -- your source is pretty good in New York state and it ain't happening any time soon.
CUOMO: Thank you very much.
TOOBIN: All right, man.
CAMEROTA: OK, LeBron James refusing to lose. Cleveland tying its series with the Indiana Pacers. The "Bleacher Report," next.
[06:47:48] CUOMO: Holy cow, did you see the game? Boy, oh, boy, LeBron James put on a performance that was fit for a king. That's why they call this guy that, evening up the playoff series against the Pacers. But it's how he did it.
Lindsay Czarniak, you know, he makes me feel so old and weak when I watch him. I was just talking to Alisyn about it. He does things routinely, we've just not seen players do in terms of physical dominance over the field.
LINDSAY CZARNIAK, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I think you could take him on a court, Chris, come on, right?
CUOMO: Well, I could beat him in Yahtzee.
CZARNIAK: Look, it was impressive, that's for sure. The Cavaliers, now they have the momentum heading back to Cleveland. And they have some swagger thanks to LeBron James, because he has taken the stress off of his teammates having to choose their pregame wardrobe. He's doing it for them.
He had his suit guy design matching gray suits. This was before Friday's game. He did it to show unity. But it didn't work. The Cavs lost that game. So he put his guy back to work for a brand new look. Last night they wore matching black suits. They looked good. They played good enough to even the series.
LeBron, yes, came out hot, scoring 23 of his 32 points in the first half. This is the 100 time James notched 30 plus points in a playoff game. The only other player to do it was a guy named Michael Jordan, you know.
The Cavs even the series at two games apiece with a huge 104-100 win.
Suit watch 2018 continues on Wednesday night for game five in Cleveland.
Alisyn, we send it back to you.
I mean I wouldn't mind having someone, you know, design my clothes for me.
CAMEROTA: No, particularly not him, because they look really sharp. Those are nice-looking suits.
CZARNIAK: I agree. Even down to the shoes, he's got fine detail.
CAMEROTA: Yes. Let's ask him if he has a women's line.
CZARNIAK: Great idea.
CAMEROTA: OK. Thanks, Lindsay.
All right, so Kim Jong-un declaring that North Korea will halt nuclear testing. President Trump qualified that as denuclearizing. We take a closer look, next.
[06:53:57] CAMEROTA: North Korea says its quest for nuclear weapons is now complete. They vow that they will halt nuclear and missile tests and shut down a nuclear facility. This announcement comes just days before North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un meets with South Korea's president. Should the U.S. take the North Korean leader at his word?
Joining us now is Republican Senator Todd Young of Indiana. He serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Good morning, senator.
SEN. TODD YOUNG (R), INDIANA: Good morning.
CAMEROTA: So when Kim Jong-un says that they've basically proven their nuclear capability, tests are no longer needed, how do you see that statement? Are you skeptical?
YOUNG: Of course. I think all of our leadership should be skeptical of any utterance of Kim Jong-un. But I do see a lot of jockeying between our president and those around him on one hand and Kim Jong-un on the other before you sit down for this negotiation. And I think it's great that this president has mixed things up moving from campaign of strategic patience to one of strategic pressure. And I think he's doing the right thing by trying to shape the terms of the debate before there is a sit down, if, in fact, that occurs. And he's also made clear that he's prepared not to sit down if he doesn't see the sort of progress so that we can permanently denuclearize the Korean peninsula, which remains the aim of these negotiations.
[06:55:22] CAMEROTA: Let's talk about what that progress looks like and what the conditions should be before the sit down with President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Should President Trump extract a true denuclearization from Kim Jong-un before the sit down?
YOUNG: Well, you know, these -- these decisions do remain up to the president. I'm not going to establish the terms for him or even --
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, only because you're on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee --
YOUNG: Or even -- or even put -- or even --
CUOMO: I am interested in your perspective and, you know, what strategy you would take.
YOUNG: Yes. I know you'd like for me to lay out the optimal terms of the negotiation, but I think that would be inappropriate since I'm not the president.
That said, I think any effort to incrementally (INAUDIBLE) from the perspective of the United States is a positive thing. And, clearly, that's what the president's been doing. He's trying to keep Kim Jong- un off balance with respect to the negotiations. And his counterpart -- he is no doubt doing the same thing. As someone who's been in negotiations before, albeit not related to nuclear weapons, this is natural and right and proper for our president to be doing. So, he's a master negotiator and this is clearly an area where he's shown significant progress, as compared to previous administrations. He's been cutting off financial avenues so that --
CAMEROTA: Yes. YOUNG: More moneys can be used to build out this nuclear weapons and delivery program. He's marshalled the power really of the world through the United Nations and very strong economic sanctions, like we haven't seen in some time. And I think he's taking the appropriate pressure campaign course as we approach what I believe will be a negotiation that will lead to some reduction, hopefully the complete elimination of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula.
CAMEROTA: OK, let's move on to what's happening today. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on whether Mike Pompeo's nomination as secretary of state can move forward. He could become the first nominee of secretary of state to not win support from your committee.
Are you comfortable with the process moving forward if it doesn't have the confidence of your committee?
YOUNG: Yes, I am comfortable. I mean Mike Pompeo is someone who I personally know. I served with him for six years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He's incredibly intelligent, finishing first in his class at West Point. He's proven himself not just in the House of Representatives as a subject matter expert in this area, but he's earned the confidence and the support of the president of the United States. Very important if you're going to be the chief diplomat of our government.
He's also earned the respect of foreign leaders, friend and foe alike, because he's had to deal with them. And by all accounts that I hear, he's done quite well within the central intelligence agency. He earned the support of 90 of my colleagues and as he was being voted into his particular position.
So, you know, though with -- there may be a one off Republican who isn't supportive on account of --
CAMEROTA: Rand Paul.
YOUNG: Their embrace of a different type of foreign policy, I respect that decision. To have nearly across the board Democratic opposition strikes me as unfortunate and unprecedented, especially when John --
CAMEROTA: But do you think it's just -- just -- I just -- sorry to interrupt, but do you think --
YOUNG: John Kerry -- John Kerry -- John Kerry -- John Kerry and Hillary Clinton -
YOUNG: Both received 90 votes roughly.
CAMEROTA: Yes, so are you saying that it's political? You think that your Democratic -- the Democratic critics of his, you think, are just doing this as a political move? They don't have real exceptions to some of the things that he has said, say, about Muslim-Americans? YOUNG: Well, I have yet to hear any reason put forward that I find
holds a whole lot of weight that can explain a vote for him, for director of central intelligence and a forthcoming vote against him related to secretary of state. I remain open to those arguments because I respect my colleagues and everyone has to make their own decision, but it does appear that, at least in some instances, this is political.
Now, let me commend Heidi Heitkamp. She's a Democrat who has publicly announced that she will be supporting Mike Pompeo for this position. So, look, again, everyone has to make their own decisions. I'll make mine moving forward. But these should -- there shouldn't be a tinge of politics associated with our national security.
CAMEROTA: Senator Todd Young, thank you very much. We appreciate getting your perspective on all of this.
YOUNG: Thanks so much for having me.
[07:00:00] CAMEROTA: And thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.
CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY.