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Disgruntled Employee Killed Five Journalists; President Trump Snubs Yelling Media Men; Lawmakers Grilled Rosenstein and Wray; Five Dead, Two Injured In Maryland Newspaper Shooting, Suspect In Custody Tonight; POTUS Meets With Senators About SCOTUS Vacancy Including Dems Up For Re-Election In Red States; Tempers Flare Up In House Hearing On Russia Investigation; Trump Tries To Cast Doubt On Russian Interference As Summit With Putin Is Set For July 16 In Helsinki, Finland. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 28, 2018 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] (JOINED IN PROGRESS)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon is going to start right now. I know you know that story, Don. I just feel tonight it fits.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Yes, it does. And it's a very powerful message. But I got to get to it, Chris, because I have a 10.15 press conference.
CUOMO: Yes, sir.
LEMON: We're just being told they are going to update us on the shooting. So, have a good evening. See you tomorrow, sir. Great show.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
Our breaking news, the latest mass shooting in America, this time in the newsroom of the Capital Gazelle in Annapolis, Maryland. We're expecting to hear from law enforcement within minutes. I just mentioned to Chris, within a few minutes from now, we're going to bring that to you live right here on CNN.
But here's what we know right now. Five people are dead, two injured, the suspect in custody tonight. Law enforcement sources identify him as Jarrod Warren Ramos. A man in his 30s who filed a defamation claim back in 2012 against the paper, but that case was dismissed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM KRAMPF, ACTING CHIEF, ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY: This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette that is located 888 Bestgate Road on the first floor. He entered the building with a shotgun and he looked for his victims as he walked through the lower level.
This person was prepared today to come in. This person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm. And as I stated before, the investigative part of this is going to be thorough and it's going to take some time. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That was an update just hours ago. Now we're expecting a new one. So stick around for that one any moment.
But investigators are frantically working to try to determine the gunman's motive. Police say threats of violence were sent to the Capital Gazette over social media, even today. They have not yet determined who sent those threats. But police say they arrived within 60 to 90 seconds and interrupted that shooting. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are coming out with their hands up. I need them covered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The suspect armed with a shotgun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we have any kind of Intel on our shooter?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White male with pony tail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: We're going to break down every single detail of this story for you in just a moment. And we also have news on a major clash on Capitol Hill today.
The deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Congressman Jim Jordan are going at it over special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. And Republicans' accusation that -- accusations that Rosenstein is withholding information from Congress. Things got really heated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Jordan, I am the deputy attorney general of the United States. OK? I'm not the person doing the redacting. I'm responsible for responding to your concerns as I have--
REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: So you're the boss, Mr. Rosenstein.
ROSENSTEIN: That's correct. And my job is to make sure that we respond to your concerns. We have, sir--
JORDAN: I think the House of Representatives are going to say otherwise.
ROSENSTEIN: But you're used to this to attack me personally.
JORDAN: Why did you -- it's not wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, may the witness be permitted to answer the questions?
JORDAN: It's not -- it's not personal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That's just a sample. We've got a lot more of that coming up to that. You're not goin to believe it.
So let's get right to the latest though, on the shooting today at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. So I'm going to bring in now CNN Crime and Justice Reporter, Shimon Prokupecz. He's going to break down all the information.
Shimon, thank you. Terrible loss of life. We know from police that it was a targeted attack. What do we know about the suspect and his motive?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, it's clear police are focusing on this long depth -- longstanding dispute that they believe the gunman, the shooter had with the newspaper.
You mentioned this. There was this lawsuit that the shooter filed in 2012 six years ago, claiming defamation after a story that the newspaper have written about an arrest that he was charged with in connection to some harassment case. And ever since then, it appears that he's had this long standing dispute with the newspaper.
Now as you said, his name is Jarrod Ramos. He's 38 years old. Police are at a home some 25 miles from here in Laurel, Maryland where they are executing a search warrant and they're hoping to perhaps learn more information.
Really the question, Don, right now is what set him off today. You know, as we've said, this has been a long standing dispute. But what in particular may have occurred within the last few days or today that caused him to come here, open fire as police said targeting victims inside this newsroom, killing five people, Don.
LEMON: And Shimon, as I mentioned in the open to the show, police say there is a threat over social media as recently as today indicating violence. Tell me about that?
[22:04:56] PROKUPECZ: Yes. So in the last press conference that police held here, they had mentioned that there was this threat over social media and that they were looking into it. They would not release any more information. They weren't even sure at the time that it was connected to the shooting today. But it was something that they were investigating. There is a lot of social media. There are some tweets from the gunman,
grumbles against the newspaper, issues with people in the county. So, all of that, including today's threats that the newspaper received are part of the investigation.
And also, Don, police here have told us that some of the people that some of their reporters and some of the employees of the newspaper were familiar with this threat, were familiar with sort of some of this long standing dispute that the gunman here, the alleged gunman had with the newspaper.
They did not know him by name. But they had known about this long standing dispute certainly that was going on between this individual and the newspaper.
LEMON: All right. Shimon, stand by, we have lots more to get to. We may be getting more details as you know. A news conference to be held at any moment now.
I want to bring in now the mayor of Annapolis. His name is Gavin Buckley. Mayor, I appreciate you joining us. I know it's a very rough, it's a horrible day for you and for the community and really for the country. So we're really for what happened there. Are you doing OK?
GAVIN BUCKLEY, MAYOR, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND: It's a devastating day for the city. We have lost a family today. The Capital newspaper is the paper that covers the local issues. Journalists that work for this newspaper don't make a lot of money, but they love what they do. And today, we lost some of them. And it's a big loss.
LEMON: Yes. Can I ask you something before I go on and continue about what happened with the investigation and the suspect. Apparently a news conference shortly we were originally told that there would not be another news conference until tomorrow. Do you know anything about that? Or are there some developments that are pending that are pending that we should be aware of?
BUCKLEY: Yes. I've heard that they're going to release some names of some of the victims. I think we were waiting to contact the families to find out what was going on there. I think that that has been done.
And so I think it is really important that we put face to these things because what happens is we just move on to the next thing and this cannot be the new normal. We have to realize the human cost that's happening here. We also have to think about the police officers that run towards danger --
LEMON: Sixty seconds.
BUCKLEY: -- when we all run for cover and what they do.
LEMON: Yes, they were there in 60 seconds.
BUCKLEY: Yes. LEMON: I've got to tell you, you know, people say this will never happen where I am, I can never, you know, imagine it happening. But it can. You realize that today.
BUCKLEY: Yes. I became mayor of the city six months ago. Last week we did an active shooter drill. And I think that played a big part in today. That's why our guys were on the scene that fast. I think that that helped. But you didn't think a week ago that this would actually happen in your city. It is very surreal.
LEMON: So let's talk about the shooter to try to figure out maybe what was going on, what was happening in his mind, why he did it. Jarrod Warren Ramos, late 30s, a shotgun. They say it was a targeted attack. Do you have any additional details about it?
BUCKLEY: I am learning just sort of as you are learning. I understand that he had some connection to the paper. But I just have to ask the question, why are people so tightly wound now? Why are we so angry, and what is making people respond to that?
This newspaper is not a liberal newspaper. It's not a right-wing newspaper. It's a newspaper that stays in the middle and covers local issues. And it's one of the oldest newspapers in the country but it's our newspaper. And we care about the people who work there and we love them.
LEMON: So can you answer your -- I don't know if it was rhetorical or you don't know the answer to that. Why, why is there so much anger? Why are people so tightly wound now?
BUCKLEY: I don't know. I honestly have to ask that question when people -- I mean, we are -- I feel that we are being the rule and principle seem to be fear, maybe grief, things like this that this can't be a ruling principle. Your ruling principle should be hope and love and things that bring people together.
And people that have different opinions than one another shouldn't hate one another. They should just realize they have a different opinion. That's OK. We've got to realize that you are not a bad person if you think in a different way.
LEMON: Yes. Well, you know, we need leaders to set that tone. You're a leader there, hopefully you're setting that tone and hopefully leaders all over the country, including the one in Washington, D.C. he's listening to your message right now.
[22:09:58] So I thank you for coming on. And I understand the news conference is going to start at any moment now. We may need you after that depending on what happens. So, thank you very much. Stick close by. If you could come back, we appreciate it. If not, we'd certainly understand. Thank you, mayor.
BUCKLEY: Thank you so much. Thank you.
LEMON: I want to bring you now CNN Political Analyst, Brian Karem, he's the executive editor of Sentinel Newspapers. Brian, here we go again.
BRIAN KAREM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, SENTINEL NEWSPAPERS: Yes, tough day, brother.
LEMON: Yes. And especially for you because you're the V.P. of the Maryland/Delaware/D.C. Press Association.
KAREM: Yes, sir.
LEMON: So you know most of the folks at that paper.
LEMON: How are you doing?
KAREM: It's a tough one. I feel like I lost family members today. Colleagues. This is a good newspaper, Don. I mean, they're like the newspapers that I run. They're good community newspapers that cover local high school sports, local county council city--
LEMON: Hey, Brian, can we -- let's keep the pictures up. Keep talking. Let's see if the -- I understand the press conference is--
KAREM: Yes. They're a bunch of good people.
LEMON: OK. So they're starting right now, Brian. I'll get back to you. Let's listen in.
RYAN FRASHURE, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY POLICE: Release that information to you and put it out as quickly as possible. So we want to have this press conference again just to give you guys an update on information that we can put out about the victims. So that way we start that healing process.
So with that, I'll introduce our acting Chief Krampf, and then after Chief Krampf we'll have Jen Corbin again from our global crisis that will talk about that healing process with these victims and with the families. Chief?
KRAMPF: Thank you. As I stated earlier today, we are in the second phase and this is our investigative process. Through that investigative process we're going to bring some information to you that we can confirm.
Before I give you the information on the victims, I want to say something about social media. The Anne Arundel County Police Department is very, very aware of what information you have on social media. But we have an obligation and a responsibility to these victims that we get it right and we only get to do that once. So I can't confirm what's on your social media? I can only tell you
what our investigation has confirmed and I'm going to share the names of our five victims with you now.
First victim's name is Wendi Winters. Second victim is Rebecca Smith, third victim is Robert Hiaason. Fourth victim is Gerald Fischman. And the fifth victim is John McNemara.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you spell them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you say that again, sir?
KRAMPF: So what I would like to say about this is that at this point, our investigative portion of this kind of breaks off into two different areas. One is the person of interest that we do have in custody. That person of interest is being interviewed as we speak by our criminal investigation division.
We do not believe, and we know through the investigation that there are no further threats and there are no further threats to the Capital Gazette newspaper or to the area around 888 Bestgate Road.
What I would also like to tell you is that Anne Arundel County Police Department with our partners throughout Anne Arundel County government, Annapolis City, the state, we work very well together. We have the best interest and well being of our victims in mind.
We have warm line for Anne Arundel County. That number is 410-768- 5522. And I would urge any persons who witnessed anything that occurred this evening or walking by the address of 888, was near the address, who just needs someone to speak to, I would urge them to call that line.
Jen Corbin will have additional staff ready for this evening for any influx of phone calls. And I'm going to allow her to explain to warm line and the issues behind that in a second.
I want to end on this. We have a responsibility and an obligation to these victims. Everyone in the Anne Arundel County Police Department and all our allied agencies, all of our government officials, we are deeply saddened by what happened today.
We are deeply saddened that we had to make those notifications and we're deeply saddened that a person had to take this into his own hands and this is the result. So I'm going to bring Jen Corbin up and we're going to talk about the warm line real quick.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you repeat, sir, the names again?
KRAMPF: I'll make sure--
JEN CORBIN, DIRECTOR, ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY CRISIS RESPONSE SYSTEM: So, good evening. Just to kind of explain what happened, my staff has been here since this occurred. We have been involved in the reunification of the witnesses to their families, along with notifying the families of the people who have lost their lives. [22:15:05] For the warm line, basically what we're asking is anyone
who spoke with us today or anybody who maybe did not make contact with us through investigations, that they can reach out through that number. We have licensed clinicians on 24 hours a day. We will come out and help you in any way possible.
What I'm going to ask is we're not using that number to call for information on the investigation. That is not what this number is for. This number is for people who witnessed and might need assistance with getting through the trauma piece of this.
We're not asking you to call and ask questions about which family members are where or for us to give comments on the investigation. We are here to help. So that number is for family and witnesses to call in. We will be available all night long. We can come out if people need it or discuss how people are doing by then. Thank you.
2FRASHURE: OK. So, again, that's the information we have to hold true from what we said at the beginning of this. As soon as we have information we'll get it out. So that was the purpose of calling this press conference.
Again, that warm line number is 410-768-5522. So that's the number to call for anyone that needs assistance and needs to talk to somebody for support. Thank you.
FRASHURE: Yes? So the first is Wendi Winters. That's spelled W-e-n-d- i. Last name is Winters, W-i-n-t-e-r-s.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you have ages?
FRASHURE: This is all that I have at this point.
Second is Rebecca Smith. R-e-b-e-c-c-a. Smith. Common spelling. First name is Robert and the last name is Henry, Ida, Adam, Adam, Sam, Ocean, Nora. Again, that's H-i-a-a-s-o-n. Gerald Fischman. G-e-r-a-l- d, last name Fischman, F-i-s-c-h-m-an. And last is John McNemara. J-o- h-n M-c-n-e-m-a-r-a.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were they all journalists?
FRASHURE: It's my understanding that all are employees of the Capital Gazette. M-c-n-e-m-a-r-a.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess that or capital M?
FRASHURE: Yes. Capital M. I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, the third name? Robert Henry Hiaason?
FRASHURE: Nope, nope. Henry was the H. So it's Robert, then the last name is H-i-a-a-s-o-n. Yes? So, again, as information becomes available, we'll make sure to get it
out. But again, we don't anticipate having more information until the morning. We just thought that it was very important to get the information out about the victims to you guys so their families can begin that healing process.
So our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, the victims, their friends and we'll have an update for you in the morning. Thank you very much.
LEMON: OK, there you go. Anne Arundel officials there, police officials there holding an update. A briefing, talking about where they are in this investigation, saying that now that the suspect is being interviewed by the criminal investigation division as we speak, that's what they're saying.
They're also saying that there are no new threats, they believe, at the newspaper or in the surrounding area of the Capital Gazette. Also giving out a phone number. We can put that phone number back up. They're calling it a warm line.
But basically if you need assistance, if you have tips, if you need -- you know, if you need to cope to get through this, someone to get through this, call that number. And use that number judiciously. Don't just call to check up on someone. There are other phone numbers for that.
That phone number is 410-768-5522, 410-768-5522. It's at the bottom of your screen. And then reeling off the names there. They read off the names of the people who sadly were victims of this. Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Robert Hiaason, Gerald Fischman, and John McNemara. All employees of the Capital Gazette.
I have information here from Carl Hiaason's Facebook page. So, and I'll read that. Robert Hiaason. This is from Carl, someone who was related to him.
So let me bring in Brian Karem. I want to bring in Brian Karem, and also I want to bring in our national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem and retired Maryland State Police Major Neil Franklin.
So but I want to get back to you, Brian because you know him.
[22:20:00] LEMON: You know Robert Hiaason.
LEMON: And Carl --
KAREM: Great man.
LEMON: -- is his brother on Facebook says "I've devastated. I'm heart sick to confirm the loss of my wonderful brother Rob today in this mas shooting in the newsroom at the Annapolis Capital Gazette. He was an editor and a columnist at the paper.
One of the most gentle and funny people I have ever known. He spent his whole gifted career as a journalist and he believed profoundly in the craft and mission of serving the public's right to know the news.
We called him big Rob because he was so tall. But it was his remarkable heart and humor that made him larger than all of us. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers tonight. Hug your loved ones like there's no tomorrow."
KAREM: Don, he won an MDDC award this year for a feature that he did growing up during segregation. Wendi Winters was an award-winning reporter. I mean, that's devastating for those families. Like I said, I feel like I've lost members of my own family.
It's very tough in this day and age when you're berated as a journalist and you go out and just do your job on any given day covering, you know, what most of us do, what most journalists do. Covering the stuff that goes on in your community.
And to have that happen is very hard to stomach and very hard to take. And those people -- I mean, I did not know Robert well. I know he was looked upon as a mentor. And I liked his sense of humor. I like people who make me laugh. And I think that the Capital Gazette is going to be devastated by that loss.
And that is a very good -- it's a paper about the same size of the two that I run. And there's some very good people there. And they do some very good work. And it's not right that they have to go through it any more than it is right that, you know, school children have to go through it, high school shootings and face that. It's the world we live in.
And unfortunately, the rhetoric in this country is such that it has ramped up. Particularly against journalists and it's not acceptable.
LEMON: All employees of the Capital Gazette, I'm being told, four were editors and one was a sales assistant there.
KAREM: Yes. Wendi was really good. I mean, I just -- I can't -- I honestly don't know what to say. It's hard.
LEMON: Was Wendi an editor or was she a sales assistant?
KAREM: Yes. I think she won a couple of MDDC Awards for -- look, when you're in a small paper like that, you're writing and you're editing.
LEMON: You're doing it.
KAREM: And so she wrote a column that I think won an award as well. And I think it's very -- like I said, man. It's a tough one. It's like your family members.
LEMON: Yes. Well, it shows you the dangers of this job. And I think you're right. That you know, o many people throw out terms about journalists and say really derogatory things about journalists, but our jobs are very dangerous.
LEMON: And many times we go into a war zone. This turned into a war zone today without, you know, anyone having to go overseas and put on flak jackets.
KAREM: I've served in a war zone and it wasn't. It didn't feel like this. I mean, we got threats. I got a couple of threats today, you know, after the shooting. People saying that I don't deserve to breathe air and that's why am I alive.
And they send them to our newspaper and they send them to other newspapers. And that's the new reality in which we live. And honestly, Don, I have to tell you, we've joined the ranks of Russia and third world nations where reporter's lives aren't safe. And that's not right.
LEMON: Juliette, I want to know what stood out to you. They're talking to a person of interest right now. They said that their criminal investigation division is doing that. But they believe there are no further threats.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. I would have -- first of all, I just want to say I'm very sorry, Brian. This was a mass shooting.
KAYYEM: So whatever the motivation was, we are here again. And it's important to remember that we are -- it's a rare country that has these because of the proliferation of weapons. And I know we're focused on motive, but we really should just take a step back and realize that people woke up this morning and aren't coming home.
So I would have divided the press conference into two pieces, of course, which was the important part of the victims and naming them and the healing process. That's very important. These families are going to be going through something none of us couldn't imagine.
And I think what the police were trying to do is to simply say lay off, and stop investigating this. And I think that's important to do. 2 The second part was what they didn't say, which was anything about the assailant. There's a lot going on, on social media. Some being reported by very -- you know, refutable news organizations about fingerprints and other things. And I think that was a sort of we're not going there yet. We can't confirm anything in terms of that press conference.
[22:24:56] They'll be -- they didn't even name the assailant, even though his name is out and about. So I think that was an attempt to say we're not going there yet because we don't quite know yet. And that was -- and so that was -- there were two pieces to that important press conference. And we'll learn more tomorrow.
KAREM: And they're very good at what they do, I'll say that. Anne Arundel police, I mean, they will do it right. I do trust what -- and I like what you said about that investigation. It's very true. They're not going to go anywhere before they have anything confirmed. And although many of us have information about it, I'm not going there unless it's confirmed.
LEMON: So Neil, I want to get your perspective as a law enforcement person that you can, you know, share your expertise. But I need to get to the White House before our reporter has to be cleared from the lawn and get some perspective from the White House and then we'll come back to you.
So, in the wake of the shooting today in the newsroom of the capital at the newspaper of Annapolis, Maryland. President Trump did not answer shouted questions from reporters today. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any word about the dead in Annapolis? Can you talk about the shooting in Annapolis?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you talk about the shooting in Annapolis?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you talk about the dead reporters in Annapolis?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have words with (Inaudible) for the families, Mr. President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you walking away?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, joining me now is White House Correspondent, Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, many times the president will come over and talk. He'll, you know, shout some answers back. He didn't, as they shouted questions, but we did hear from him today later on, correct?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Don, we did. Right after this shooting happened, the president tweeted, saying he had been briefed on the shooting. He was actually in Wisconsin today. And neither he nor the first lady were here at the White House as the shooting was happening just roughly an hour away from Washington, D.C.
He said that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and the families and he thanked the first responders who were on the scene.
Two more things I'd like to note is they were flying back on Air Force One before we really knew a lot about this. One of the deputy press secretaries is briefing reporters. And the reporter said, hey, we don't know a lot about the motive of this shooting, but did this make the White House and the president at all think about this rhetoric about the media and how he constantly lamented they are fake news, the enemy of the people.
The deputy press secretary, Lindsay Walters said no, said violence is never tolerated in any form, quote, "No matter who it is against." And then we saw a very strong statement from the press secretary Sarah Sanders, someone who interacts with reporters on a near daily basis.
She said she strongly condemned this evil act, calling it senseless. She said, "A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American." And then she went on to say her prayers are with the victims and their families.
We did not hear from the president in person today, Don. There's a chance we could hear from him tomorrow before he goes to Bedminster for the weekend, Bedminster, New Jersey, that is.
But once again, Don, we are seeing this president in his short 17 months or so in office. He is going to have to confront and face another form of gun violence. It's something he has already had to face several times throughout his presidency.
LEMON: Kaitlan, switching gears quicker to the Supreme Court. I'm going to talk to Senator Cory Booker about this more in just a moment. But you have some new reporting about some key senators at the White House tonight. What can you tell us?
COLLINS: That's right, Don. Just 24 hours after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he is going to retire, the president is already meeting with senators who will be key votes in confirming his next Supreme Court nominee.
Of course, we learn today from sources that the White House hopes to nominate someone by July 9th. That is very soon. A date that is fast approaching and a date that will come before Anthony Kennedy has even officially even retired on July 31st.
But now we do know that the president met with several people tonight who will be key votes. The Democrats, three of them who voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, Senator Heitkamp, Senator Donnelly, and Senator Joe Manchin. All three Democrats who voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch but also two key Republican votes, that is Senator Susan Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Two votes that will be very crucial on this of course. As all the conversations are coming into play about whether or not this next Supreme Court justice could play a factor in overturning Roe versus Wade. All of that happening tonight.
The president did meet with those senators and Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa here at the White House tonight to discuss his next Supreme Court pick. He said it's going to come off of that list of 25 people that they released in the fall. There they are, they are on the screen. Those are going to be people, Don, who essentially decide the fate of the Supreme Court for the next several decades.
LEMON: Take a look at them. Thank you. I appreciate it, Kaitlan. Back now to my folks here who were speaking to me right after this news conference.
Neil, I just want to get your assessment on this situation. And you think about it, this was June 14th of last year, we were dealing with the awful shooting at the Republican baseball practice. Remember, in Washington, D.C?
NEIL FRANKLIN, RETIRED MARYLAND STATE POLICE OFFICER: Yes.
[22:30:00] LEMON: And now we're dealing with this. And I hope just as much sympathy and prayers as we had for those folks in that last year that everyone has for these folks this year as journalists. Give me your assessment, Neil.
FRANKLIN: Yes, no doubt. Now that we know what has occurred, and who's responsible, I've looked at this guy's Twitter account. And he's had this ongoing gripe with the capital for quite some time now, about six years.
And for about the past two years -- maybe two years and some-odd months, that Twitter account has been silent, and then that one comment apparently right before the incident occurred about leaving him alone. And I won't use the word that he used on air here. But what did happen there? You know, that is rather interesting.
And I know law enforcement is looking into that. The Anne Arundel Police Department -- County Police Department is very good. Their response was excellent. You know, they just underwent some recent training for active shooter. We've been doing it quite a while here in Maryland, so I'm not surprised at that response.
Now the investigators are taking over. And right now, we're at the point of how do we -- again, unfortunately, how do we prevent this from happening in the first police. Sixty to 90 seconds they arrived on the scene. But yet, five people lost their lives. We have to prevent this from ever occurring in the first place.
Undoubtedly, we're dealing with mental health again. A lot of people get, you know, angry at the newspapers, and what they print, and so on. And yes, we've got the rhetoric out of the White House, but again, we're dealing with a mental health issue.
Interviewing the family, interviewing the friends, interviewing everybody that knows this guy, trying to find out, and get a better picture about, you know, indicators, flags, you know, the days right before this occurring, because this went on for six years -- for six years. I guarantee you, there's something there over the past few days that maybe someone could have picked up on.
LEMON: That's got to be the last word. I've got to -- I've got to run. Thank you so much. And, Brian, listen, I'm sorry, I know that you knew these folks before than any of us, and sorry for your loss, and certainly for everyone there.
KAREM: It's all right, Don. Thanks, man. The prayers to them. LEMON: Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you so much. We're going to
have more on today's deadly shooting. And when we come back, Senator Cory Booker joins me. He says he is gearing up for a fight when it comes to the President's Supreme Court pick, and he says the President's nominee shouldn't be considered until the Mueller investigation is over.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: investigator frantically working to try to determine the suspect's motive in the deadly shooting the capitol, it's at news room today. And I want to talk about this now, and other important stories with Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey. Senator, thank you for coming on. I wish it was under better circumstances.
But can we start with shooting Annapolis today. At least five dead, terrible day in their news room today, and for the country. I hate -- I hate to put it that way, but we are shocked, but it's not surprising unless we do something about either mental health, or guns, or something that's going on in society. What are you thoughts?
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, first of all, I grieve for the families. And, you know, I live in a community that has lots of shootings. Thank, God, (Inaudible), the city is driving down in New York. But, you know, this year I've had a young man killed with an assault weapon on the block that I live on.
And the way this is being normalized in your country is unacceptable. Other nations don't deal with this. And you throw up a lot of excuses other nations don't have, have the same video games as we have, have a lot of similarities, but the difference is the ease which people can access weapons.
And so, there -- this is not a helpless moment. There are things that we could be doing from taking real action, and providing mental health care all the way to focusing on common sense gun safety laws, where people cannot purchase guns so easy, and get their hands on guys so easily, people who have ill will.
LEMON: So other issues I want to talk to you about. The Supreme Court issue here, because Kaitlan Collins is reporting this. And I want to put this up. Republican Senators, Grassley, Murkowski, and Collins, along with your Democratic colleagues, Senators Heitkamp, and Manchin -- Senators Heitkamp, and Manchin, and Don Lee all at the White House tonight meeting with the President, does that tell you anything about the President's strategy?
BOOKER: No, not at all. It tells me, though, that he obviously understands what we all understand, that there's a handful of senators that could determine whether women still have the ability to make their own medical choices, have control over their bodies, whether LGBTQ Americans can marry in this country, whether we'll see a continued erosion of voting rights, of civil rights, of civil worker rights.
This is perhaps in both of our lifetimes the biggest shift possible in the court. From moving really progressing to expanding individual freedoms to shifting really towards suppressing those freedoms, elevating corporations that we saw with citizens united over individuals.
So I've had some conversations privately with a lot of my colleagues, and I think most people know especially that Roe versus Wade decision, this was a swing vote. She is now retiring, and his could be a moment, as Donald Trump said up and down, I will put judges that will overturn Roe on the court.
That this could be a moment where we see a judge in the next few months appointed, and states -- one state, five states, 10 states, starting to ban abortion, even if you're raped -- have been a victim of rape, survivor of rape, even if you're the survivor of incest.
LEMON: I want to talk about your strategy because the same three Democrats that I mentioned before, they all voted yes for Neil Gorsuch, right, 54-45. Republicans need 51 votes to confirm the next justice.
And look at this, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Why should they defy the President this time, especially, I am sure he is telling them, that it could cost them their states.
BOOKER: Well, first of all, they need 50 votes because if it's a tie, then it goes to -- it then goes to the -- obviously to the vice president. And so again, there's a lot of reasons, one of which you mentioned earlier tonight. One is that we have a president in an unprecedented way, who is the subject of a criminal investigation.
We have a President that we know asks for litmus test and loyalty tests from his people. And why should we -- isn't it a major conflict of interest when so many elements of this case can go to the Supreme Court, whether can a president pardon himself? Can a president end an investigation? Can the president fire a special prosecutor?
LEMON: Can he be indicted?
BOOKER: Can he be indicted? All of these things could go easily at the Supreme Court, right? And so you know that here's a guy that asks for that loyalty, we've seen that with Mueller.
[22:40:00] We've seen that with him literally saying with Jeff Sessions, I would not have put you in that place if I knew you were going to recuse yourself, which he rightfully recused himself.
LEMON: So you're saying that this president should not be able to nominate or confirm -- he can do what he wants -- and he should not, a Supreme Court Justice should not be confirm until this investigation is over?
BOOKER: I'm saying the Senate to keep the integrity in this process, not to create a constitutional crisis, the Senate should push pause, and just say this investigation majority here in the investigation, let this investigation be completed then let's take this up. Donald Trump has two, three years left. But we should put a pause on this now, and avoid a conflict of interest, and a constitutional crisis.
LEMON: What are the odds?
BOOKER: You're smiling, so you obviously know as well as I do, that here is a Mitch McConnell that denied President Obama with about a year left in his term, as if people only elected him for three years, and not a four-year term, denied his ability to put a Supreme Court justice in.
So he stole a Supreme Court justice case, and has subverted the rules, not just for the -- you see happening is not just about the Supreme Court. We see even Senate traditions being eroded for circuit court judges, for district court judges.
So I have no confidence that's the case, but I'm going to make that case because, again, this is a moment in American history like I've never seen before. You and I are probably sitting here because we have Supreme Courts that were affirming equal rights, that were affirming equality under the law.
And here we now have a court that has been voting 5-4 on a lot of these decisions that have been trying to protect individual freedoms now about to leave. And so just think about a woman now who's sitting there in a state that's tried to make abortion illegal who is thinking about what was going to happen to me, not just for rape, not just for incest, what if it's my own life?
You know, African-American women have twice the rates now of complications, pregnancy leading to death. What if this is my own life I'm worried about now, about complications with my pregnancy. And so to take away those freedoms, this is one of those moral moments in our country's history where we can see ourselves becoming a country where a lot of the rights we've taken for granted, and the freedoms, and liberties are taken away from us.
LEMON: I want to speak to you about dignity for Incarcerated Women Act. That's your -- that's your bill because the next Supreme Court justices, they are going to weigh in on decisions that are affecting some causes that are very important to you, like criminal justice reform. Tell us about this act.
BOOKER: I'm overwhelmed that you're asking me about it. It's one of the most important bills I've done that's now been copied by about 10 or 12 states. Most Americans do not understand that what's happening to our women in prison who are dramatically less violent than men.
We have one in three -- one in three of all the incarcerated women on the planet are here in America. Their population is growing 50 percent faster than men are. But what we do to women in prison is unconscionable, shackling pregnant women when they're giving birth, denying them some of the basics, tampons and pads.
Giving user rates to make calls, and 86 percent of the women we incarcerated in America are survivors of sexual trauma, yet we're not doing any kind of care to help with those issues. And so here we take off and hurt people who need help, who need
medical care, and we put them in environments that other countries call what we do to them unjust. I have a bill to address that. it's not going anywhere in the Senate, but I'm happy that over 10 states right now are patterning bills off of my bills with Elizabeth Warren, and moving it forward.
LEMON: I am out of time, but I do remember asking you this. And I'm not going to ask you directly what you think I'm going to ask you. But everywhere I go someone says, who are the Democrats going to put up. Do they have anyone that they are going to put up come 2020?
BOOKER: And I strongly, passionately want everyone not to focus on 2020. Focus on November. Let's get this House back, Senate back. This is one of the most consequential midterm election of my lifetime, of your lifetime.
So much is going to be decided. Are we going to have a check and balance on this president, or will he continue to control both houses and Congress, and the White House.
LEMON: Still worry about 2020 after 2018...
BOOKER: It's 2018 November. Please, we've got to see voter turnovers, and participation rates go up. The opposite of justice is not only injustice, often silence is apathy, it's inaction, people have got to vote in November.
LEMON: Fair answer. Thank you for coming in. I appreciate it, Cory Booker.
BOOKER: Thank you very much.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
[22:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Republican House member slamming the deputy attorney general on Capitol Hill today. Rod Rosenstein pushing back against Trump allies trying to discredit Robert Mueller's investigation. This is a fiery exchange right now between Congressman Jim Jordan and Rod Rosenstein.
JIM JORDAN (R), UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: You're the boss, Mr. Rosenstein.
ROD ROSENSTEIN, UNITED STATES DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: That's correct. And my job is to make sure we respond to your concerns. We have, sir. And I have appointed Mr. Lausch, who is managing that production. And my understanding is it's actually going very well, sir. So I appreciate your concerns.
JORDAN: Again, I think the House of Representatives is going to say other wise. ROSENSTEIN: But you use this to attack me personally.
JORDAN: Why did you...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Point of order, Mr. Chairman. May the witness be permitted to answer the question?
JORDAN: It's not -- it's not personal.
ROSENSTEIN: I appreciate your sincere concerns, but I didn't give any instructions. If there was some problem with the instructions he had, I'll be happy to...
JORDAN: Wait a minute. That's not what this FBI lawyer said. Mr. Rosenstein, did you threaten staffers on the House Intelligence Committee? Media reports indicate you did.
ROSENSTEIN: Media reports are mistaken.
JORDAN: Sometimes. But this is what they said. Having the nation's number one law enforcement officer threaten to subpoena your calls and e-mails is down right chilling. Did you threaten to subpoena their calls and e-mails?
ROSENSTEIN: No, sir, and there's no way to subpoena phone calls.
JORDAN: I mean, I'm just saying.
JORDAN: I'm reading what the press said. I'm reading what the press said.
ROSENSTEIN: I would suggest that you not rely on what the press said, sir.
JORDAN: Well, I didn't ask if there is no way to do it. I ask if said it.
ROSENSTEIN: I said what?
JORDAN: What I just read you.
ROSENSTEIN: No, I did not.
JORDAN: Well, now, who are we supposed to believe, staff members who we worked with who have never misled us, or you guys who we've caught hiding information from us, who tell a witness not to answer our questions, who are we supposed to believe?
ROSENSTEIN: Thank you for making it clear it's not personal, Mr. Jordan. JORDAN: I didn't. I am saying the department who does this.
ROSENSTEIN: You should believe me because I'm telling the truth, and I'm under oath.
LEMON: Well, the FBI Christopher Wray got the same treatment on the Hill today. Let's discuss now, former Republican Charlie Dent, now a CNN political commentator, and former U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis. He knows Rod Rosenstein, has worked with Robert Mueller, Andrew McCabe, and James Comey. I don't know, from my assessment, that was a you- know-what slap right there.
So listen, Charlie, give me your reactions to the former Republican -- your former Republican colleagues in the House attacking the Deputy Attorney General, the FBI Director with such vitriol, and grand standing. Not to mention Wray and Rosenstein are both Republicans and Trump appointees.
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Don, I don't think Rod Rosenstein is a very fine and honorable man, a very devoted public servant. I have a lot of faith in him as I do in Christopher Wray. And here is really the bottom line, if these members and the President don't have confidence in Rosenstein, and Wray, or Sessions, or Mueller, well, the president has -- could fire them.
Now, I would not recommend that because that would set off a political crisis, the likes of which we haven't seen since Watergate. They're simply trying to discredit Rosenstein and Mueller, so that they -- whatever they find will then be questioned in the eyes of the public.
And they may have been successful in achieving that goal already, but I think it's unfortunate, and I hear a lot of complaining, too, you know, about FISA, you know. And I'll tell you what, all the complaints about FISA that we're hearing about now, we had an authorization of FISA back at the end of last year.
And I didn't hear any of these comments. You know, we could have taken these issues up on FISA when we were reauthorizing the law. So this is leaves -- this is just mostly political more noise, more smoke than anything else.
LEMON: Yes. So listen, Guy, you know Rod Rosenstein, how do you think he's feeling tonight?
GUY LEWIS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I got to tell you, Don, I have never seen him get angry. He's always been calm, cool, collected. Today, I saw him get angry, there's no doubt about it. I mean, look it, he was called what, a liar, a cheat, a cover-up, and he's none of those things. The Congressman is exactly right.
[22:50:00] It reminds me of an old saying that Carl Sandburg said about lawyers that if you don't have the facts, of course, you argue the law. If you don't have the law, you argue the facts, and if you don't have the law, or the facts, what do you do? You pound the table, and you scream like hell. And I think that's what we saw today.
LEMON: So, how do you think Jim Jordan is feeling tonight?
LEWIS: Well, I've got to -- I've got to think that he is frustrated. Look -- and again, I agree with the congressman, this message was for Bob Mueller. That's what today is all about. And if they think truly -- and I mean this with all respect, if they think Bob Mueller is going to be dissuaded from doing his job, this is a guy, forget about him being an assistant U.S. attorney, and U.S. attorney, this is guy who was a marine, who served in Vietnam, he was awarded -- he was wounded in action, awarded the bronze star, the Purple Heart. Is he going to do his job, you better believe it.
LEMON: Even Rosenstein said we don't pay attention to the news cycle, and you know, we're not ideological, and we don't assume that someone is guilty when we're -- when we're doing this. I thought his answers were extremely sharp, and very quit wit in comeback.
And I wonder if it's just for months, and months, if they're frustrated by so much lying, and partisanship, and piling on from the president's supporters about things that may not necessarily be true.
I just thought that this was a moment that it's like, OK, enough is enough. I also want to bring somebody else then. And Congressman Dent this is for you. This is Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, what he had to say about the Russia investigation. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: This country is being hurt by it. We are being divided. We've seen the bias. We've seen the bias. We need to see the evidence. If you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the Trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury. If you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the American people. Whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK, so these are the facts. It took Trey Gowdy two years and seven months to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack. Do you know what his result was? A report. That's it. Mueller has been at this for over one year and one month.
He already has one person sentenced, five guilty pleas, 79 criminal charges, and who knows what else is to come. So should Gowdy of all people really be saying it's time to wrap this up, and it's been too long a time after spending two years, and a couple of months on an investigation that resulted in nothing, Congressman Dent?
DENT: Well, this investigation will end when it end. And I'll tell you, as a guy who served in the Ethics Committee -- as chairman of the Ethics committee, I oversaw many sensitive investigations, I can tell you that the more you investigate, that just opens up more doors, and you have to chase things down. And these investigations in my view always take longer than any of us would like.
And I believe that Director Mueller is, in fact, going to present his findings, and those evidence to the grand jury, and ultimately I suspect at some point, to Congress. And this is going to be dumped in Congress' lap, as my prediction, at some point.
I don't know what Mueller is going to find, but I think that Trey is a good friend, and Trey is going to get his wish. This is going to be sent to Congress at some point, and I think they're going to have to deal with it. And it may not be as soon as they like, but it's going to be -- it will be delivered.
LEMON: OK. I've got one more, and if you can answer for me quickly, Congressman Lewis, because President Trump tweeted again today that the Special Counsel investigation is headed by 13 angry Democrats, Christopher Wray, Rod Rosenstein on the Hill today. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: I do not consider myself an angry Democrat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Are you a Democrat?
ROSENSTEIN: I'm not a Democrat and I'm not angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So is the whole point here Republican attacks to make Wray and Rosenstein have to defend themselves like this?
DENT: Well, look, again...
LEMON: This is for Congressman Guy.
LEMON: I'm sorry, this is for Guy Lewis. Pardon me, go ahead.
LEWIS: I'm sorry, Don. Yes, it's absolutely designed to discredit not necessarily Rosenstein, although he's leading the investigation, and has the ability to bring Mueller in sitting down, and say, look, Bob, I want this thing done inside of three months.
I want it done by this fall. He does have that power, that ability. So there is some of that going on. But there is also -- the congressman is right, this thing is going to end when it ends. They've still got work to do clearly. But the other side is frustrated, they're angry. They want it to end yesterday, and it's just not going to happen.
LEMON: I'm trying to give you a new title, and a new job. Sorry. I've done enough.
LEMON: Thank you, Guy Lewis. Thank you, Congressman Charlie Dent. I appreciate it.
[22:55:00] President Trump still trying to cast doubt on Russia's interference in the election even though his own intelligence agencies long ago concluded that's exactly what Russia did. So I want to talk about this with CNN National Security Analyst James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence. There he is on your screen. Good evening, sir. Thank you so much.
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: So it has been a very interesting day especially when it comes to, you know, Russia, and what's been happening on Capitol Hill. So the President continued to attack on the Russia investigation this morning. We will put this. Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. He then said, and what about the 13 angry Democrats.
Will they list their conflicts with crooked H? How many people will be sent to jail, and persecuted on old and/or totally unrelated charges? There was no collusion, and there was no obstruction of the no collusion.
So he's parodying the Russian government's denial going, you know, against the assessments of his own intelligence agencies, which included that there was Russian involvement in the election.
LEMON: How concern are you that he keeps pushing this false narrative?
CLAPPER: Well, it's very disturbing. And, you know, President Trump is not known for being consistent, but this is one case where he has been consistent since the day we briefed him about Russian meddling, and the interference. And I'll just repeat something I said before, that the evidence for this was overwhelming.
And we had multiple sources that we had very high confidence in on the extent of Russian meddling. And it's one reason why the catalyst right in my book is the document that as much as could be on an unclassified basis, and to include what we've learned since then.
And so I just -- I just wanted -- a very disturbing year in Russia, our major adversary, an existential threat to this country, and he seems to have a higher regard for Russia, and its leader than he does our allies, the G-7. And of course as we approach the summit, I anticipate that he will berate the NATO members.
He already has in the form of a letter that he sent to the members, those that aren't coughing up two percent of their GDP for defense, which is kind of an artificial level anyway. And then go and have another photo-op, you know, we are pals with Putin as much as he did in Singapore.
LEMON: So let's talk about that because a half-hour after that tweet, just right the White House announced details for a one-on-one meeting with the Russian President in Helsinki in about two weeks. Do you have concerns about that meeting?
CLAPPER: Sure. For the same reason you get nervous about a one-on- one meeting with anybody. If that is in fact the case, (Inaudible), I was concerned about that and his meeting in Singapore with Kim Jong- un. Just as somebody around that's an expert on this.
So he is not -- he is not (Inaudible). And you know, Putin's pretty shrewd, and I think he's figured out, you know, how to handle President Trump, and how to appeal to him which, of course, through his ego. And so I worry about, you know, concessions that he might make even unwittingly like giving away the war games, for example, as he did in the Singapore summit.
LEMON: So you -- so let's talk a little bit more about this. Do you think that the president who has gone overboard in his praise of Vladimir Putin, denied election meddling, excused away the annexation of Crimea, do you think he's going to push Vladimir Putin on anything at this time?
CLAPPER: No, of course not. He's not going to push back on any of that.
LEMON: Why not?
CLAPPER: That's a great question, and hopefully at some point in reference to your previous segment, we'll get an answer from that. And I think our only hope really is the Mueller investigation.
CLAPPER: To finally clear the air on this, and to a certain extent with all the badgering by some of the Republicans, I think Trey Gowdy did have a point about, you know, this is cloud over the country, and it's certainly a cloud over the presidency, and it needs resolution.
LEMON: Yes, fair enough. But you say it's time to -- you know, I'm sure people would love for it to be over, right? I'm sure someone on the left are hoping the outcome is terrible, some on the right is saying there nothing is going to be there, but let's just get this over. But it just seems, I don't know if ironic is the word, are (Inaudible) on his side to say this has gone on long enough when he led investigations that went on twice as long.
CLAPPER: Yes. And Congressman Gowdy's investigation, by the way, on Benghazi was one of eight separate investigations which in the end didn't come up with much.