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Report: School Shooter Taunted Victims During Rampage; Trump Blinks in Trade Standoff with China; Volcanic Glass and Acid Mix in Air as Volcano Erupts; Pope Reportedly Tells Young Gay Man, God Made You Like This. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired May 21, 2018 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: The incoming president of the NRA is weighing in with reasons of his own including the drug Ritalin.

OLIVER NORTH, INCOMING PRESIDENT OF THE NRA: The disease in this case isn't the second amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence. They've been drugged in many cases. Nearly all of these perpetrators are male, they're young teenagers in most cases. They've come through a culture where violence is commonplace. All we need to do is turn on the TV, go to a movie. If you look at what has happened to the young people. many of these young boys have been on Ritalin since they were in kindergarten. I'm not a doctor, I'm a Marine, but I see those kinds of things happening.

BALDWIN: Texas' governor Greg Abbott ordered a moment of silence to honor the 10 lives lost Friday morning. Let's go to Nick Valencia this afternoon, really focusing on this victims, Nick. Tell me about them.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a rare request, they've asked the media to give the family and friends of these victims privacy. The friends and family I've spoken to are asking for the same. In the hours off the shooting, I was able to talk to the niece of Cynthia Tisdale. She leaves behind a husband and children, I also talked to Aiden Gomez who was a friend of Chris Stone, on the varsity football team, a team that is for all intents of and purposes, the joy of Santa Fe. There was also a 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student who came here on a scholarship, excited to go to school here, only to be gunned down Friday morning. An interview with the mother of Shana Fischer. She was harassed by this alleged gunman for four months. He tried desperately to become her boyfriend. As his advances became more aggressive, it was last week according to her mom. She stood up, she had enough, she stood up in the middle of class calling him out, rejecting his advances, embarrassing him in front of his classmates and that's why her mother thinks she was targeted.


SADIE BAZE, MOTHER OF SCHOOL SHOOTING VICTIM: My daughter was going up to my mother, telling my mom the past four months and my brother that he had been making advances on her, and she finally stood up to him, because her younger sister was being bullied in school, and she was showing her, look, this is what you do, you have to stand up to him. Tell him no, it's not right. And this is the outcome. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: Eight students and two teachers, ten victims in all. Ten names of those added to a list of mass shootings in America. Brooke?

BALDWIN: Thank you.

Coming up next, did Trump, who has repeatedly said we have to get tough on China, just blink in his own trade were threatened with China. Will discuss what has the market surging less than an hour before the closing bell. Also, Hawaii, have you seen these pictures? Live pictures, where a fountain of lava is flowing and creating massive problems as he reaches the Pacific Ocean. We will take you live to Hawaii coming up.


BALDWIN: The very first woman to lead the CIA is officially on the job, she is Gina Haspel. She took the oath of office at CIA headquarters; President Trump was there to congratulate her.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today we also mark another proud milestone as Gina becomes the first woman ever to lead the CIA. I know that you will thrive as the agency's director. And help keep our nation safe, strong and proud and free. Good luck. God bless you, and god bless the men and women of the CIA.

GINA HASPEL, NEW CIA DIRECTOR: Mr. President, thank you again for giving me the opportunity to serve. To represent the men and women of CIA, and to carry out the critical work of helping protect our country, our people and our way of life. I also want to express a special thank you and welcome to Eliza and Zoe who have joined us today. The notes from these two young ladies ages 6 and 7 sent to me, sat on my desk the last two months and motivated me daily. They express their excitement about the opportunity my nomination represented, and to Eliza and Zoe, I would say, we did it.


BALDWIN: Now, she had faced some criticism from a number of Democrats in the Bush administration's detention. Gina Haspel was confirmed by a vote 54-45. President Trump touting a victorious deal with China on trade among a flurry of morning tweets -- he claimed, quoting him, China has agreed to buy massive amounts of additional farm and agricultural products.

[15:40:00] But despite a U.S./China joint statement, the reality is a bit more murky as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acknowledged.


WILBUR ROSS, COMMERCE SECRETARY: It's not a definitive agreement. For the moment it's at the 40,000-foot level. This is not a definitive agreement. This is what we hope will be a path forward. We have agreed on a framework; the effort is to translate that framework into an executable reality.


BALDWIN: The reality right now, the only firm commitment is from the United States which has agreed to suspend new tariffs on Chinese goods while talks are under way.

Let me bring in two voices. CNN's senior economic analyst and former Trump economic advisor, Stephen Moore, and CNN political commentator and "Washington Post" columnist, Catherine Rampell. Great to have both of you on, and Catherine just starting with you, think of President Trump and the mantra, we have to get tough on China. Did he just blink in his own trade war threat with China?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AND "WASHINGTON POST" COLUMNIST: I will say at the outset I think it's a good thing that we are not imposing these tariffs, no one wins a trade war despite what the president has said. But that aside, it's not actually that clear we've gained a lot of ground with China. Basically, we have sutured a self-inflicted wound in that we put tariffs on the table and then took them off.

And we haven't really gotten any firm commitment from China on the things that really matter which is intellectual property. That's where we're really hurting, that's where American companies really have the most to complain about, it's not about deficits, it's not about exports, which frankly in the two areas where we appear to have gotten concessions, that was likely to happen anyway namely agriculture and energy. The thing that matters is IP and there was some really meal- mouthed language in that joint communique on that matter.

BALDWIN: But on IP, Stephen, I want to hear how you feel. Aren't China's so-called concessions like keeping intellectual property, blocking U.S. companies while Chinese companies invest freely, aren't those things they were going to do anyway?

STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST AND FORMER TRUMP ECONOMIC ADVISOR: Well, you never know with China. I don't want a trade war either. That would have negative consequences for the economy and the stock market. It's tough to get tough with China. I think it's time to do that. Have we gotten concessions? It's really kind of too early to tell. China has been stone walling according to my sources in the White House. They're not making a lot of concession concessions quite frankly.

The repercussion by the way of that, if they don't start making concessions, they need to. They are stealing 300 to $500 billion of our technology a year, that's the intellectual property we're talking about. Trump is -- maybe excessively obsessed about the trade deficit. We've reduced our trade barriers a lot with China. China still has enormous barriers to American markets penetrating that market. So, I think the bottom line here is, not a lot of progress yet, if that doesn't happen, I think Trump will slap them with some pretty punitive tariffs.

BALDWIN: But Stephen, if they aren't making the concessions why did Trump take the tariffs off the table?

MOORE: Because he's trying to get to that point. This is -- look, with Donald Trump it's always about the art of the deal. He's a pretty darn good negotiator. We all hope for the best. We want to see China make those concessions. I think the point is, he hasn't really taken the tariffs off the table. I think if this breaks down, those tariffs are coming.

BALDWIN: What was last week about, Catherine, Trump's shift to save Chinese jobs. ZTE, despite his own intel community calling ZTE a threat.

RAMPELL: His intel community called it a cyber security threat. The Pentagon said it was a cyber security threat. More to the point, the Commerce Department a month ago, imposed these harsh penalties on this company because they had repeatedly violated a settlement agreement related to illegal sales to Iran and North Korea. There were a lot of things to complain about with ZTE.

It's a little peculiar that Trump made that tweet last week. What you're seeing is, this administration has a very incoherent policy agenda related to trade. You have these warring factions within the administration, the more free-trade side like Larry Kudlow and Stephen Mnuchin versus Peter Navarro and Robert Lighthizer. There's a lot of warring going on, dueling messaging. You have mixed messaging over the last 24 hours coming from the administration in various TV interviews and statements. Because there's all of this incoherence and the administration doesn't really have a fixed coherent set of demands of what we want from China, and China does have a fixed set of demands it wants from us, it puts China in a much better negotiating position.

BALDWIN: We don't have a fixed coherent set of demands. You want to respond to that?

[15:45:00] MOORE: I think it's fairly coherent. Donald Trump is demanding China make some real concessions here. He's the first president in 25 years to get tough with China. Where was Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama.

RAMPELL: In what sense has he gotten tough with China? Barack Obama actually put together the so-called coalition of the willing that Larry Kudlow has been touting, the Trans Pacific Partnership.

MOORE: Except it didn't --

RAMPELL: Except Trump pulled us out of it. If we wanted to get tough with China on intellectual property protection. The way to do that was through a multilateral action banning trade with other countries which we have similar complaints.

MOORE: I happen to be -- fine. I happen to be in favor of TPP. The point, we haven't made any progress with China for 25 years, as the trade deficits get bigger and as they've continued to steal from us $300-$500 billion a year. That can't continue.

RAMPELL: Yes, but we had a route.

MOORE: How would that have --

RAMPELL: TPP that you agree with.

MOORE: There were problems with TPP. You can't blame Trump for not getting a deal and being too tough with China. I think he's going to be really tough with China. I think if we don't get many the American people are behind him. Donald Trump understands something that George Bush and Barack Obama didn't understand. China is our enemy. China is not our friend or ally. Look what's happening in terms of military --

RAMPELL: The mechanism that would have been affected in terms of getting what we wanted out of China, would have been banding together with our allies. Beefing up our IP protection along with our allies. And using that as leverage. We lost that leverage which now belatedly the administration seems to recognize.

BALDWIN: Also, hanging out in the forbidden city didn't look much like enemy territory to me either. We'll see what he does from here on out. And if he will stay true and be tough with China.

MOORE: Look what they're doing militarily.

BALDWIN: That's a whole --

MOORE: Look at Korea, a look at the fact that they continue to cheat and steal and lie about, how is that the behavior of a friendly country?

BALDWIN: Who wants to follow up with the president and the action, Stephen and Catherine, that's another conversation, we've got to go but I appreciate that helping the discussion very much. We have to talk about what's happening in Hawaii next. These volcanic eruptions spewing dangerous chemicals into the air. We will take you there live.


BALDWIN: There is no end in sight. Another explosive volcanic eruption in Kawai Kilauea summit and producing those stunning images of plumes of lava bubbling like a fountain and reaches the Pacific Ocean and producing what is called "laze," a mixture of haze and lava and dangerous acid that could produce glass particles. Scott McClain is in the town of Pahoa. I can't get over the pictures. How dangerous is this Laze?

SCOTT MCCLAIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is certainly a localized threat. But first, Brooke, let me show you the origin of this. And it is the lava. So, this is the fissure that is causing all of the problems. It is actually five fissures in one. And just look at it. It is shooting high into the sky, it is an amazing, amazing sight to see. Obviously though that lava has to go somewhere. And so, all of these -- this dark stuff here, this is lava that was flowing just a couple of days ago, so you get a sense of how quickly this moves. If fact, about 50 yards into that lava flow that is dry, we're doing live shots in there just a few days ago. Now if you look on the horizon quickly, that white smoke, that is the laze that we're talking about. The mixture of hydrochloric acid and steam and the glass particles. And that makes it dangerous. And if the lava isn't what is pushing people out of their homes and it is for some people, it might be the gas. Sulfur dioxide on parts of the island have tripled in the last couple days.

BALDWIN: Unreal. Pahoa, Hawaii, so many people having been to Kilauea as family vacations and now this. Scott McClain, thank you.

Coming up next, a gay man describes a surprising meeting with the pope. Hear what Francis told him.


BALDWIN: Departure from Roman Catholic tradition by Pope Francis, the pontiff reportedly telling a gay man, quote, god made you like that, and loves you like that. The man is Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of a sexual abuse allegedly at the hands of a Chilean priest and he spent 3 days with the pope in the Vatican in April. Sit with me now CNN religion commentator, Father Edward Beck, and to read the words god made you like that --

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Look, that is what is most remarkable. If the statements are true and the Vatican has not confirmed them, but Juan Carlos Cruz said when he met with the pope, the pope said god made you this way and god loves you and I do. That is such a departure because the official teaching says that homosexual acts are disordered. So, if it is true that god made Juan Carlos this way, does that mean that he made something intrinsically disordered? God is about order, so god does not make anything disordered. So, it throws church teaching up in the air.

BALDWIN: Is it time for teaching to change?

FATHER BECK: The teaching is based on procreation and natural law. And it is based in just that and so for it to change, then we have to admit that sexuality is so much broader than just procreation and there are other intended reasons that people have sex.

BALDWIN: And so why would he say that?

FATHER BECK: He's a pastor first and foremost. He had a hurting man in front of him and he believes god loves you, I love you and I think that he believes that god made you this way. But I don't know if he could go right up against all of the church teaching publicly because it is such a history and all of that would have to be undone and re- discussed and maybe that will happen.

BALDWIN: Extraordinary if that is what the pope said.

FATHER BECK: More will come I think

BALDWIN: To your point, the Vatican won't comment yet. Father Beck, thank you so much. So nice to see you. FATHER BECK: Thank you.

BALDWIN: I'm Brooke Baldwin, thank you for starting your week here on CNN. To Washington and "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.