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Bush 41 Alert and Talking But Remains in Intensive Care; White House Says Trump and His VA Nominee Spoke by Phone Today; Police in Toronto Show Restraint in Standoff with Van Driver. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 24, 2018 - 15:30   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Keeping our eye on the markets, 30 minutes before the close, the Dow is down just about 500 points here. Let's go straight to the floor of the New York stock exchange to Cristina Alesci. Cristina, what's going on?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, investors are not liking what a lot of major companies are saying today. A lot of major Dow components are basically warning about future growth. We had companies, massive companies like 3M, Caterpillar and on a separate exchange even Google's parent, Alphabet, essentially warning about growth going forward. And all of this is happening against a backdrop of potential higher borrowing costs for companies that will make it more expensive for them to operate.

And we also have this huge question mark over trade and what happens with that. Of course, the U.S. and China are facing a deadline and there's a big question mark on whether those tariffs will go into effect. Look, the major observation here today is that these companies didn't necessarily say that their earnings were bad today. These are investors looking forward and seeing potentially slower growth and that is impacting the market, the very dramatic market move.

One observation I took away today is that this move looked even more dramatic than the actual result of the companies. So that just goes to show you how nervous investors really are -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: All right, Cristina, thank you so much.

New details on the condition of former president George H.W. Bush who was still in intensive care. Going in just hours after attending his late wife's funeral. Here what he's saying in the hospital.

Plus, the odd moment when President Trump called out the French President's dandruff.


BALDWIN: Former president George H.W. Bush is alert and talking but he remains in intensive care. His spokesman tells CNN the 93-year-old is responding to treatments for a life-threatening blood infection and is determined to get healthy. The former president was taken to a Houston hospital Sunday just hours after attending the funeral of his wife of 73 years of marriage. Our CNN chief correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is with me now. Of course, we wish him well. But you tell me how serious is this blood infection?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the type of infection that could start off as something relatively minor, but it's called Sepsis. And the reason that it's more significant is because it gets into the blood and can spread throughout the body. And so, that's part of the problem. The other part of the problem is the body then responds to it. The body is trying to basically get rid of this infection in any way that it can. And that can cause lots of things to happen. The blood pressure can drop, the heart rate to become erratic. Some have difficulty breathing and that's why typically somebody needs intensive care.

What it sounds like now, Brooke, and you've heard this as well, the antibiotics, the medication to treat the bacterial infection seem to be working, seem to be clearing that infection. They've got to make sure that he finishes that course of antibiotics. It doesn't cause any damage or doesn't hurt his other organs in any way. And that still a process. So, good signs, but still a way to go.

BALDWIN: OK, OK. Let me ask you about you in this letter you wrote, Sanjay, to the Attorney General Jeff Sessions making the case that medical marijuana could save many people in this country addicted to opioids.

[15:40:00] GUPTA: You know, it's interesting, Brooke. You know, when you jump into a topic and a year-long investigation, there's so much to say about this. But let me say this. You know, we very much wanted to interview the Attorney General. He's somebody who could do something about what's happening with medical marijuana laws in this country. He didn't agree to that interview.

So, we had all of this information, a year's worth of investigation, all the scientific documents to support it, and substantiate it, the stories. And I wanted to condense it and put it into a single place because I really think he and others -- he in particular -- but others also should have access to this sort of knowledge. I've learned a lot. I've learned that cannabis can treat pain and can even do it in ways that opioids cannot. We know that people die -- hundred 15 people die every day of opioid overdoses, nobody has died of cannabis overdose.

We know that it can treat the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids. We know now and you'll see that CBD, which is a component of cannabis, can help heal the addict's brain. I wanted the Attorney General to know that if you were going to go into a lab to try and design something to help us get out of this opioid epidemic, it might look like cannabis.

BALDWIN: Maybe he'll watch your piece. Let's remind everyone because this is such a huge theme for a while. This is "WEED 4 POT VS PILLS." It airs Sunday night 8 o'clock Eastern here on CNN. Sanjay, thank you so much.

GUPTA: Brooke, thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up next, three white police officers defend the arrest of a black woman in an Alabama Waffle House. How they explain why one officer said that he would break her arm.

Plus, more on the standoff from Canada after the van driver ran over pedestrians on along the sidewalk. Would the lack of police restraint have happened in America? Let's ask. We'll be right back.


BALDWIN: Just in to CNN, the president of the United States basically gives his nominee for Veterans' Affairs Secretary basically an out to withdraw his name. We're now learning the two spoke earlier today by phone. It's not clear when they spoke whether it was before or after Dr. Ronny Jackson was on Capitol Hill saying he still wants a confirmation hearing.

We know that lawmakers are investigating these allegations. That have surfaced involving Dr. Jackson's past, a toxic work environment, that includes excessive drinking and questions about handling of prescriptions. None of these allegations has been proven true yet. It is worth noting that the president said he was not aware of the allegations, despite the fact that they spoke earlier by phone with this controversy swirling and the fact that the doctor gave the White House a heads up that these allegations could be coming. Jake Tapper has more on that coming up on "THE LEAD."

In the meantime, the man accused of deliberately running over pedestrians all along a sidewalk in Toronto is now charged with ten counts of first degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. Just before the deadly attack, we found that the suspect had praised an American mass killer on his Facebook page. After the attack there was of course this dramatic scene, we showed this to you just after it happened yesterday. This police officer faced off with the suspect, the suspect waved some sort of object, not a gun, at the officer.


TORONTO POLICE OFFICER: Get down, get down!

SUSPECT: I have a gun in my pocket.

TORONTO POLICE OFFICER: I don't care, get down!


BALDWIN: That officer did not shoot and moments later the suspect was arrested. While police say the attack was deliberate, they do not yet know a motive. The man accused of killing four people in a Nashville area Waffle House could face the death penalty, but the district attorney's office says it is still too early to tell if they will take that route. Prosecutors do say that they will look into potential hate crime charges against this man. His family members are now speaking out about what happened, describing the suspect as severely troubled. [BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

MARILYN HOPPER, GRANDMOTHER OF TRAVIS REINKING: It's not him. He is a sick boy. I'm just so sorry for those people and their loss, I really am. My heart goes out to them.


BALDWIN: That is the voice of his grandmother. His $2 million bond was revoked today, and he is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.

At another Waffle House in a different state, this in Alabama, also in the headlines following the controversial arrest of a black female customer. Restaurant surveillance video shows police scuffling with this woman during this altercation. She was wearing a tube top. Her breasts were exposed, and she alleges that one of the officers threatened to break her arm. But investigators say the woman is to blame for what happened.

[15:50:00] [BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]

DETECTIVE BRIAN MIMS, SARALAND POLICE: One person did bring a drink into the establishment and they were told that they could not have outside food or beverages in the restaurant. They were asked to leave because of bringing in this beverage, which they believed to be alcohol. The situation escalated with Miss Clemmons and Miss Adams being loud and using profanity towards the employees of Waffle house.


BALDWIN: I wanted to talk to Cornell Brooks about this today, he is a CNN contributor and former President and CEO of the NAACP. Cornell, nice to have you on, sir, welcome back.


BALDWIN: I want to beg in with that arrest in Alabama and that young woman. What do you make of what happened?

BROOKS: Well, what I make of it is quite simply this, the most important weapon that a police officer carries is not a gun or taser, but rather judgment. And so where we have a dispute about the use or the cost of plastic utensils and some kind of dispute with restaurant staff, it escalated to the point where you have three police officers wrestling yeah an African-American woman to the ground and threatening to break her arm, straddle and strip her. This is not a proportionate response.

One does not amputate your finger if you have a hang nail. You do not use this kind of aggressive policing for a situation like that. Quite frankly, I don't understand how we as a country can morally exceptionalize Michelle Obama as the first African-American first lady and then normalize the mistreatment and disrespect and the denigration of African-American women. This is quite simply untenable and unacceptable and ill informed and unprofessional this is not text book policing. You don't go into a waffle house with a dispute about plastic utensils or back and forth with restaurant staff and you strip and straddle a woman and throw her to the ground.

BALDWIN: Let me get in. This is what police say. The police say the three officers involved, they followed protocol and we have the security -- the camera footage and according to police the officials say the woman and her friend were acting belligerent and drunk and yelling profanities at restaurant employees and threaten to come back with a gun and, quote, shoot up this place. That is their side of it.

BROOKS: Well that is in fact their side of it. But the fact of the matter is these officers were armed. There were three of them. They had the choice of using discretion and judgment, conversation and engagement. If cursing and loud and rowdy behavior were the predicate for violent arrest, you might as well dispatch armies of police officers to the average football or baseball game or basketball game. This is quite simply a disproportionate response.

BALDWIN: OK. Lastly, I want to ask about what happened in Toronto where this man mowed people down along the sidewalk and ten people were killed, 15 were wounded. You have seen the video of standoff, this -- the man behind the wheel of a van and this police while it's only one guest only one ghost officer. And most notable is the lack of use of force before he's arrested. Do you think this would have ended differently in the United States?

BROOKS: It may well have been. We think about Stephon Clark being shot multiple times --

BALDWIN: In Sacramento.

BROOKS: In his own backyard in Sacramento armed with nothing more than a cell phone. The fact of the matter is in America, black skin is presumed to be dangerous. And as such, it is a moral predicate for the use of force. And so most police officers, most trained and experienced and thoughtful, most professional police officers understand that in a hostage situation, for example, the most important tool is diplomacy and judgment. In this country, we do have I hostage situation. The lives and bodies and rights of African- Americans are being held hostage by American policing.

The fact of the matter is there are police officers that do their work differently and professionally. And they exercise restraint and so it would have -- I believe it would have ended very differently in the United States. In fact, we've seen this situation over and over again.

[15:55:00] We have unarmed African-American men and women who have been shot and killed under circumstances that could not be explained as a matter of conscience or the constitution.

BALDWIN: A lot of people pointing out the lack of force there in Toronto and I wanted to hear your thoughts on that. Cornell Brookes, you are a valued voice. Thank for joining me on this show.

BROOKS: Thank you. We can do it better. I know we can.

BALDWIN: Thank you. Coming up next, President Trump appears to lay the groundwork for his

pick to head the V.A. to step aside. We've just learned they spoke by phone today. Hear what Dr. Ronny Jackson is saying swirling around his qualifications.


BALDWIN: Just into CNN, a source confirms the man tapped to be the ambassador to Australia is likely to become ambassador to South Korea instead. This was reportedly the idea of Mike Pompeo who is waiting for confirmation to become the next secretary of state. The swap comes as the president plans to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The White House said it expects that meeting to take place by the end of May.

And the royal baby watch may be over but we're still waiting to hear the name of the newest addition to the royal family. Prince William and his wife Katherine showed us a glimpse of the newborn son outside of the London hospital yesterday. Less than ten hours after she gave birth. May all women look that good hours after having a child. The couple's third child was born after changes were made to British succession laws so he won't jump ahead of his big sister, he will be fifth in line to the thrown behind older brother George and sister Charlotte. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me. Let's go to Washington and the "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts now.