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Trump Ignores Reporter Questions About Attack; I'm Telling The Truth, I'm Under Oath; White House Worked To Create A Supreme Court Opening; Police Shooting at Newspaper a Targeted Attack; Refugees Returning to Syria; 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report; Some Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Head Home; World Cup Knockout Stage Starts Saturday. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 29, 2018 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: European Council President Donald Tusk announced the news with a tweet. It's a promising development after deep divisions among members of the E.U. Now, earlier, Italy's new prime minister had threatened not to sign off on the Summit's conclusions unless other countries agreed to do more. Here's what the British Prime Minister had to say shortly after the deal was reached.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is just after 5:00 in the morning. We had very lengthy discussions. But lengthy discussions on the important subject of migration. We've come to positive conclusions, a lot of them around what the United Kingdom has been encouraging for some time, which is taking more action upstream in countries of origin so that we can ensure that people aren't having to make and aren't making these very dangerous journeys, often traveling many miles, often at the hands of people smugglers and making the dangerous trips across the Mediterranean where we still see some people dying.


VAUSE: CNN's Nina Dos Santos joins us on the line from Brussels. And Nina, we just heard from Theresa May, we also heard from German Chancellor Angela Merkel says all of this is a good signal that they had this agreement but what exactly have they agreed to, what are the details?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, we already had an indication what they might agree to because the subject of immigration was so contentious in the run-up to the summit that they had to have a pre-Summit on the very same issue about a week or so to hammer out some points that's have been committed to in writing mainly creating disembarkation centers outside of the European Union borders so that asylum seekers' requests can be processed there.

Also more money for countries like Turkey that are hosting millions of Syrian refugees, more money for major launching point countries like Libya where the boats set off from and also more money for the (INAUDIBLE) border guard that polices the Mediterranean. So this has been pitched as a deal of Europe coming together to try and iron out a number of the problems that we saw. They were quite dramatic overnight, I must point out, with Italy at one point blocking any communiques on any matters, including security and defense and so on and so forth, until they got the concessions that they needed on this issue of migration.

VAUSE: Yes, exactly what were those concessions that were -- that the Italians were demanding and as a tactic, at least, it appears to have worked?

SANTOS: It does seem to have worked. And it's the first time we've seen Italy really assert itself in this way during all of the course of the E.U. summits that I've covered in my journalistic career, I must say, John. So obviously this is a completely different type of Italian government than we've had in the past. It's very populist, it's very anti-immigration. It's getting emboldened on this particular topic because other countries inside the E.U. like Hungary and Poland are also refusing to take anymore migrant themselves as well. I must say that when it comes to the concessions, they don't seem to be huge. These statements that have come out within the last hour seems to have more emphasis on how to prevent migrants from actually reaching Europe's shores rather than what to do about sharing the load of the migrants among E.U. countries when they're inside the E.U. which is the real bone of contention that's been hotly debated here.

But having said that, this is a deal that everybody needs. On the one hand, even German Chancellor Angela Merkel saw this week that migration was an issue that divided her own government. Migration is also an issue that divides Europe from east to west, north to south. So it divides E.U. members among themselves and also inside themselves. The real concern here is that obviously the migrant numbers aren't quite what they were in 2015, but with Italy now standing its ground, turning boats back, the concern is that they don't want any -- the optics of this to get any worse from here as the summer progresses. John?

VAUSE: Very quickly, these new migrant centers, exactly where will they be located?

SANTOS: Yes, this is -- this idea of disembarkation platform, something floated by (INAUDIBLE) agencies like UNHCR a while ago. The idea here is to find countries in North Africa that would be willing to work with the European Union to act as a staging post if you like, for processing asylum claims, like for instance Morocco. Turkey also plays this type of role when it comes to the large amount of Syrian refugees that headed west towards Europe in 2015. So the idea is to recompense some of these countries to hold people so that on the one hand, they can figure out who is a genuine refugee in the asylum claims process and who instead is an economic migrant. And that, in turn, could help increase the numbers of repatriations. At the moment, only about just over a third of migrants who make it to the E.U. that aren't necessarily eligible refugee and asylum status and get turned back. John?

VAUSE: Nina, we appreciate you sharing the details with us here on this agreement among E.U. leaders when it comes to the migration crisis. Thank you, Nina. Now to the U.S. State of Maryland, where police are questioning the suspect in a deadly mass shooting at a local newspaper. Five people were killed, two others wounded after a gunman shot his way into the Capital Gazette in Annapolis on Thursday. Police say he was armed with a shotgun as well as smoke grenades. Here's one witness describing the scene.


[01:05:23] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see anyone get hurt?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did. I did. I looked around the corner a second time and I saw a young woman who looked like she's been hurt. She was on the ground.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a bunch of blood on the floor so I assume so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see the shooter get shot or did --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I saw him move across the entrance of the office and that was it.


VAUSE: Well, police managed to rush about 170 people away from the building and they say they found the gunman hiding under a desk.


WILLIAM KRAMPF, ACTING CHIEF, ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: He entered the building. This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette.


VAUSE: Investigators are also looking into reports of the suspect's connections with the newspaper. Here's CNN's Brian Todd with details.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The gunman who opened fire on the Capital Gazette newspaper has been identified to CNN by multiple law enforcement sources as Jarrod Warren Ramos, believed to be in his late 30s. According to our sources, Ramos did had a dispute with this newspaper that he filed a defamation claim against the Capital Gazette back in 2012 but that claim was dismissed. Police also say there were threats directed at the Capital Gazette, social media threats of a general nature. Threats not necessarily they say directed at one person in particular but we're still ferreting out some of that information but the threats came as recently as possibly Thursday morning, according to police. Also, dramatic accounts from survivors of how the gunman entered the building. One survivor, Phil Davis, an employee of the newspaper, says the gunman shot his way through the front doors, front windows and came in.

It's a fairly small newsroom area that he started opening fire on just about everybody he saw. Police say this was a targeted attack that he walked around looking for his victims. And Phil Davis said as he and others were hiding on their desk, they could hear him reload and they described it as a terrifying experience. Victims in this case, the deceased victims have been identified as of late Thursday night by police as Wendi Winters, who was a reporter, a features reporter for the newspaper, Rebecca Smith who was a sales employee for the Capital Gazette, Robert Hiaasen, who was an assistant editor for the Gazette, Gerald Fischman, the editorial page editor and John McNamara, who was a sports writer for the Gazette.

The police crested with basically interrupting this attack. Witnesses say that they saw police rushing in, some of them in their street clothes, pulling on bulletproof vests. They were able to interrupt the shooting, according to authorities, without exchange gunfire with the gunman, but they are credited with interrupting this because they got there within about 60 seconds after the shooting started. Brian Todd, CNN, Annapolis, Maryland.


VAUSE: Joining me now from Cambridge, Massachusetts, CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, it's kind of a sad story. Obviously, this is a tough one to talk about. But if we look at what happened in this newsroom, it's on the first floor, the ground floor essentially of the office building. There is a receptionist out front. It's easily accessible. It's an open space office and the paper's police reporter tweeted this, "Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can't really say much more. Don't want to say anyone's dead but it's bad." This is such a soft target. Like so many other small newsrooms around the country. They're all soft targets and in this environment, that really means, you know, trouble and danger ahead.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's exactly right. In some ways, these smaller newspapers, community newspapers need to be soft targets in the sense that they're accessible to the community. They are part of the community in the way that maybe, to be honest, CNN isn't. You know, they know the softball coach. They know the person who, you know, just had a baby. They are -- and this is what this newspaper was like. And so they're accessible to the public in a way that maybe some of the larger institutions are not and that makes them soft targets.

They were, as clear now, they were sort of facing threats, you know, by this particular assailant, but, you know, did that rise to the level of sort of having an armed guard or more security? We just don't know at this stage whether, you know, what the evaluation should have been. But, you know, one of the aspects of a free press is that it's accessible to society. That's going to be -- that's what I think is so disconcerting right now is how community-based these reporters and this newspaper was.

VAUSE: OK. Well, the acting police chief talked about those threats which have been coming from social media directed at the newspaper. This is what he said.


KRAMPF: We know that there were threats sent to the Gazette through social media. We're trying to confirm what account that was and we're trying to confirm who actually sent them. To my knowledge, those threats were as early as today.


[01:10:06] VAUSE: I mean, you know, the logical conclusion is that this came from the shooter. But something that came just today, is that a red flag that was missed? Or given the current level of hostility towards the media these days, is that just part of a background noise here of the Trump administration?

KAYYEM I think -- I think, unfortunately, it's part of the background noise. I mean, I'll say it. I'm like a mere analyst for CNN. I'm not even, you know, I'm not even an employee. The amount of stuff I get as compared to what I used to get two years ago for what I view is a sort of basic analysis. Imagine if you're a reporter, you're covering crime, lawsuits, divorces, whatever else it is, people are sort of emboldened, to sort of attack and whether -- and I think that the sort of focus on the media and statements towards the media that come from the President himself, that's -- I can't say that didn't lead to today, but whether today happened or not, it's completely irresponsible talk. This is the first amendment. You need reporters to feel safe and to be part of the communities. So whatever triggered him today, it's hard to know. We shouldn't -- we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we should not be vilifying reporters, analysts, columnists, journalists, photographers, whoever else in a free society.

VAUSE: You know, there are some reports out there that the shooter, Jarrod Ramos, was identified with facial recognition software, apparently because of damage to his fingerprint. When he was found, he was hiding under his desk. The weapon was on the ground but it was away from him. And there was no exchange of fire between him and police. And after that, he's still not cooperating right now with investigators. Put it all together, what does it say to you?

KAYYEM: So, if it's true about the fingerprints, this is -- I think I put everything together. So, he clearly had thought it through. Maybe he thought he would be killed as -- the discussions of some explosive materials, that he thought that he would sort of, you know, be a martyr, so to speak, and get killed and they wouldn't be able to identify him at least not immediately. It looks like he chickened out, as often these guys do. He's hiding. There is no firefight as he's taken.

Now, he's not speaking, not even clear how much they need to know from him. They're going to have access to his computer to whether he was the one as you were saying who had been on social media today, who else he might have communicated with. And he will be, you know, just a criminal defendant and he, you know, has a right not to, you know, not to self-incriminate, but nonetheless this is someone who clearly had thought it out and clearly had thought about his own identity and whether he could protect it through this process.

VAUSE: I just want to finish up with the response here by police and the first responders on the scene in less than 60 seconds. They managed to get almost 200 people out of the building. Clearly, they saved lives here and that should be applauded, but it also seems to indicate to me that you know, this is a process which has been polished and fine-tuned with way too much firsthand experience. It's just so reflective of the high number of mass shootings in this country.

KAYYEM: It is. Whatever the motivation, you know, and the First Amendment issues and who the victims are, right? we have to remember there was a lot mass shooting in the United States today, right? One is way too many, let alone 100 too many and many people died. There are unforgiveable number of people died. But i do, you know, unfortunately, you know, part of what we need to do as first responders and people in Homeland Security is train and exercise for these active shooter cases. According to the mayor, there was a training just yesterday. This does save lives because we have to accept the reality since we can't stop all bad things from happening, maybe we can measure success on the other side, right, in terms of how many people might have died but for the activities of the first responders. It's not a great place to be, but, you know, at least there weren't more than five fatalities today.

VAUSE: Yes, I guess it's come to that. Juliette, thank you so much. Good to see you.

KAYYEM: Thank you so much.

VAUSE: And we'll take a short break. When we come back, we'll have more on the deadly attack, including how the president reacted with a tweet -- excuse me.


[01:17:00] VAUSE: We're turning now to the deadly attack at a newspaper office in Maryland. President Trump tweeted this. "Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the first responders who are currently on the scene."

But as he received at the White House, President Trump ignored questions from waiting reporters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you comment on the shooting? Mr. President, can you react to the shooting in Annapolis. The Annapolis shooting, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, Annapolis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, why will you keep talking about enemies of the people? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- for the families, Mr. President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you walking away?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why won't you come and talk to us about that?


VAUSE: Ron Brownstein is a CNN senior political analyst and also a senior editor at The Atlantic. Ron, great to have you back. OK. Given how the president has vilified the media over the last couple of years.


VAUSE: Which is by his own admission a political tactic own admission apolitical tactic. This story seems to bring together two very awkward moments for the president.


VAUSE: Gun control and the hostile environment which his political tactic has created for reporters everywhere. Which explains why, I guess, he had nothing to say.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, nothing to say. Look, he doesn't like talking about gun violence in general because he doesn't want to act on the issue of gun violence. So, really this is in one sense what we have seen in each one of these horrible shootings that have become more and more common in American life.

But also, while this did turn out to be apparently someone with a specific grievance against this specific newspaper, there's no question that we have a president who is talking about the role of a free press and a free society in a more hostile way than anyone, I think, who is -- who has held this office.

And he -- when he talks about the press as the enemy of the people.

VAUSE: That's what Stalin said in the days of communist Russia.

BROWNSTEIN: you know, yes. I mean, that these are -- these are extraordinary words that are present. It is part, I think, also though as we've talked about of a broader strategy that makes him unique in that. It is a feature not a bug of his presidency to constantly have these kinds of targets and to basically tell his audience, his base, "There are all these forces at home and abroad for that matter that are trying to keep you down and I am the only one fighting for you."

VAUSE: Yes, and what we constantly talked about here is the question -- is a question of tone, is a question of language. And not just when it comes to the media, but a whole lot of things.


VAUSE: And that -- you know, comes from the president. And you know, clearly, what we saw today the influence of the president was very much on display in Congress. We had the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He was answering questions about bias in the Russia investigation. And many of the Republican lawmakers --


VAUSE: They went after him. Look at this.



REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Did you threatened staffers on the House Intelligence Committee? Media reports indicate you did.


JORDAN: Sometimes. But this is what they said. Having the nation's number-one law enforcement officer threatened to subpoena your calls and e-mails is downright chilling. Did you threaten to subpoena their calls and e-mails?

ROSENSTEIN: No, sir. And there's no way to subpoena phone calls.

[01:20:03] JORDAN: Well, I mean, I'm just saying.


VAUSE: Yes, Rosenstein sat there with a sort of smile plastered on his face. And -- you know, and kept his cool. But, what seems to be happening is that -- you know, these Trump allies in Congress seem to be really ramping up the temperature, and the attacks, and the accusations. The closer we get to the possibility of Robert Mueller, the special council -- you know, announcing his conclusion and findings into the Russia investigation.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Yes, there's a narrow point you can make about this, but it's really part of a broader point, as well. The narrow point is that the Congressional Republicans, particularly in the House have clearly abandoned any vision of themselves as a check or balance or independent branch of government or providing any meaningful oversight. And that they are part of the kind of circle the wagons, their goal is to destabilize and weaken the investigation rather.

It is striking just to -- just to think for a moment that they held this hearing at all. They have not held a hearing on the border.

VAUSE: Right.

BROWNSTEIN: Right, they have not -- they -- you know.


VAUSE: A lot of outrage coming -- BROWNSTEIN: There about thousands of children separated from their

parents, people living in makeshift facilities that look an awful lot like -- you know --

VAUSE: Cages.

BROWNSTEIN: Cages. No hearing on that, no energy on that, no outrage on that. So there is the narrow point. The broader point, though, is that the seams are fraying in American life. And we have been heading in this direction for a while.

But the level of division between kind of red America and blue America, their vision of the country. What they think America is? Yes, I think, is certainly since you know, I like to joke, we are -- we are the highest level of social division in America since the 60s.

The only question is whether it's the 1960s or the 1860s. And in Donald Trump, what makes him unique is that he is -- you know, other presidents, obviously have resided over division. For him, it is a conscious strategy. It is -- it is at the core of his political strategy to promote the division.

VAUSE: And that's division again, you could see it in these exchanges between Rosenstein and the congressman, (INAUDIBLE) Congressman Jordan. Again, a major ally of the president.


ROSENSTEIN: Today, I'm the deputy attorney general United States. OK? I am not the person doing the redacting.

JORDAN: You're the boss, Mr. Rosenstein.

ROSENSTEIN: That's true, that's correct. And my job is to make sure that we respond to your concerns.


JORDAN: I'm saying the Department of Justice.

ROSENSTEIN: You should believe me because I'm telling the truth and I'm under oath. And if you were to put somebody else under oath and they have it something different (INAUDIBLE) respond.

JORDAN: I know these staff members.


VAUSE: OK. That last part was particularly rolling because Jordan was asking Rosenstein about staff members who say that, yes, they've been threatened essentially, by investigators.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, right.

VAUSE: And risen assented, "Well, I'm telling the truth, I'm under oath. BROWNSTEIN: Put them under oath.

VAUSE: You put them under oath.


VAUSE: But Jordan continued to question the honesty of the deputy attorney general. Second-highest law officer the land. Appointed -- a registered Republican.


VAUSE: Under oath.

BROWNSTEIN: Exactly. Again, I-- the only oversight that this Congress is providing is really a rearguard action against the Mueller investigation.

VAUSE: Right.

BROWNSTEIN: And -- you know -- you know, we saw Trey Gowdy, today saying, "Wrap it up." Trey Gowdy who spent over years on Benghazi, and to no effect.


BROWNSTEIN: So, look, I mean, this is -- this is where we are. I mean, and I think we can go -- we can go one step further, which is -- you know, we had this kind of assembly line of stamped out, 5-4 decisions on the Supreme Court in the last month.


BROWNSTEIN: All of them, five Republican-appointed justices outvoting four Democratic-appointed justices. It sent the same message, there is going to be very little meaningful constraint on President Trump. From the courts, and certainly, at the moment from the Congress.

And if Democrat -- I think, the message of Democrats of all of these developments is that "If you want to change the direction of the country, you've got to come out vote and fight for it.

VAUSE: Well, as the Russia investigation continues, the U.S. President, though, will be sitting down with Russia's Vladimir Putin, next month in Helsinki. And it could be the start of something special.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can all get along its going to be great. The world has to start getting along.


VAUSE: You know, the president's right. We've all going to start getting along. Maybe that would be good advice before he went to Canada last month in the G7 and started openly feuding -- you know, with the traditional allies of the United States.

BROWNSTEIN: And again, how many times and once -- I mean, can we say we are seeing things we have not seen before? A U.S. president who is actively in many ways seeking to destabilize the institutions of kind of global order that the American -- you know, leadership built the wise men, built in the years after World War II. Even as the courts an assortment of kind of authoritarian figures.

And you know, finds lots of nice things to say about North Korea. And obviously, continues even to question the unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community that the Russians intervened in the 2016 election.

If this was a Democratic president, it is easy to imagine the howls that would be emerging from Republicans in Congress.


BROWNSTEIN: Yes, you're right. Look, but the day it becomes more and more clear what the implicit bargain is that -- you know, congressional Republicans. And I think, even many Republican voters are saying if we get our tax cuts, we get our rollback of regulation, we get our conservative justices, particularly, on the Supreme Court. We are going to look the other way at this racial provocation, the attacks on law enforcement, the changes and the rejection of America's leadership role that seemingly was settled in Republican Party forever. With Dwight Eisenhower beat Robert Taft in 1952. And, as well as on the trade front.

So, you know, Republicans are making a bet here and are accepting a bargain here. The question is whether a majority of the country is OK with that bargain as well.


[01:25:37] VAUSE: Also OK with that bargain as well. OK, let's move on to the -- I want to finish up on the Supreme Court.


VAUSE: Because there's now another looming vacancy with Justice Kennedy, he decided to retire. New York Times has this story about the strategy that the White House used to convince Kennedy it was time to go. "Their goal was to assure Justice Anthony Kennedy that his judicial legacy would be in good hands should he decide to step down at the end of the court's term that ended this week as he was rumored to be considering.

Allies of the White House were more blunt, warning the 81-year-old justice that time was of the essence. There was no telling, they said, what would happen if Democrats gained control of the Senate after the November elections. And had the power to block the president's choice as his successor."

You know, what has been so notable about the Republican strategy here is targeting the Supreme Court. And they been very effective, and essentially, getting conservative justices on to the Supreme Court, and that will have implications for years and decades to come.

BROWNSTEIN: You know, first of all, and people need to be reminded around the world that -- you know, the reason that Mitch McConnell in 2016, held open a seat as the Senate Majority Leader for 10 months in an election year.

VAUSE: Election year.

BROWNSTEIN: Unprecedented action, of course. Now is saying, "Well, this isn't like that, this is some other kind of election year. It's a midterm election year before we confirm lots of people in midterms before. We confirm people in midterms before he set this new marker in the presidential year of 2016.

The really -- we are heading -- I think, toward a long-term tourniquet, and a tightening pressure, and a widening gap between the kind of the center of gravity on the Supreme Court and the center of gravity in the country.

You have a Republican coalition that is today rooted in the places in America that are the least touched by all the changes transforming America, immigration, racial diversity, religious diversity, economic change, the information economy.

If you look both at the states that Trump won and the states that provide the Republican senators. For example, 42 of the 51 Republican Senators are from the states, 30 states with the least share of immigrants. And it is that America that is least touched by what's happening (INAUDIBLE) century.


VAUSE: And they call it a shots.

BROWNSTEIN: That is going to call the shots not only for the rest of the Trump presidency, and however long that goes and for the rest (INAUDIBLE) journey. But through this court, potentially, for decades.


BROWNSTEIN: And I think that the pressure that kind of -- is going to create is enormous. It's worth noting that the Dred Scott decision in 1857 came from a court that was appointed almost entirely by pro- Southern Democrats. At a time on the center of power in the country was shifting toward the anti-slavery, north. And it's that kind of dynamic that's being set in place for the 2020s, and 2030s --

VAUSE: And (INAUDIBLE) study this World War (INAUDIBLE) for the Civil War, yet, so just right.

BROWNSTEIN: There was. By the same (INAUDIBLE) there's anything in the 1930s with Roosevelt in the court.

VAUSE: I'm playing trivial pursuit with you. Presidential history, for a piece of the pie. Thank you. BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

VAUSE: Thanks, Ron.

BROWNSTEIN: Which I shall break. When we come back on NEWSROOM, L.A., a deadly day for journalists in the U.S. We'll talk with those two CNN's reliable sources about what all this means for one of the founding pillars of the United States.


[01:30:56] VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. We'll check the headlines this hour. >

European leaders meeting in Brussels have reached an agreement on the migrant crisis following all-night negotiations after Italy threatened not to sign on to the group's joint statement unless other E.U. countries agreed to do more.

Police are questioning a suspect in a shooting at a newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland. Five people are dead, three others wounded. Investigators are looking into social media threats against the "Capital Gazette", some as recent as the day of the shooting on Thursday.

As news of the Maryland shooting was breaking, security was stepped up at news outlets across the country. In New York police moved extra personnel to the headquarters of all major news outlets as well as local stations.

And Brian Stelter is CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES". He joins us now from Aspen.

Brian -- thanks for being with us.

You know, when you look at the big news organizations like CNN, "New York Times", you know, they already have a fairly big security operation. They check IDs, there are metal detectors, sometimes there's armed guards.

But you know, the "Capital Gazette", it's a small outfit. It's typical of newsrooms around the country in small towns. There's not a lot of security. And there doesn't need to be a lot of security because that's what they do, they interact with the community.

But now after this shooting, even though it was a vendetta against the paper, would you expect to see that these smaller news operations have no other choice but to scale up their security?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it would be unfortunate if we see some newsrooms lock the doors and become less accessible to the public. Because as you said, John, you know, the beauty of local news and community newspapers is that they are open. They are transparent. That the public can just drop by.

The readers of the "Capital Gazette" can just drop by the office, drop off a letter to the editor or an advertisement. And that was one of the things that made the paper so special.

I think we are going to see a reevaluation of security policies in the same way we did three years ago when there was a shooting of a TV news crew in Virginia. That caused a lot of concern in newsrooms as well.

This, of course, is even more severe, even more disturbing. Just taking a look at the data -- this is the single deadliest day for journalists in the United States since 9/11. We've not seen a day like this where four editors and an ad sales woman were all killed in their office.

There's nothing quite like it in modern times in America, but definitely not since 9/11 have we seen a death toll this high involving members of the news media. We are used to these stories in other countries but not in the U.S. And that's why this has caused such a chill all across the country.

VAUSE: You know, as this news was breaking, and no one really knew what the motive here or, you know, why this guy had opened fire at the newspaper. The conservative commentator Sean Hannity, he was on his radio show. He decided to call out Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters because as you recall earlier this week, you know, she called for, you know, protesters to push back any time they saw someone from the Trump administration, sort of get in their face.

Here is what Sean Hannity said just as this news was breaking.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: I've been saying now for days that something horrible is going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really, Maxine -- you want people to create -- "call your friends, get in their faces". And Obama said that, too. Get in their faces. Call them out. Call your friends. You know, get protesters. Follow them into restaurants and shopping malls and wherever else she said.


VAUSE: Ok, we now know, you know, that this shooting was basically because the guy had a vendetta over, you know, an alleged defamation.


VAUSE: But even knowing that, it just seems like an incredible stretch to blame -- even (INAUDIBLE) it seems a stretch to blame the congresswoman.

STELTER: Hannity is not a journalist. We know that. If he was a journalist, he wouldn't have engaged in such reckless speculation or reckless connecting of the dots where the dots don't connect.

It's unfortunate that he engages in that behavior, but you know, he's also a guy who promotes the idea that the news is fake and you can't believe anything you read. He's a form of anti-journalism. He promotes the idea that journalism is out to get the public. [01:35:01] You know, the converse, of course, is true. I was talking the other day with Marty Baron, the editor of "The Washington Post", one of the biggest editors in the country.

He said we need to do a better job explaining how we help people; how the news media actually helps people. And smaller papers like the "Capital Gazette", those papers actually do that on a daily basis. Whether it's covering the local soccer match or covering what's going on at the Maryland State House.

We need more of that, not less --


STELTER: -- but the Hannitys of the world try to tear it down instead of supporting it.

VAUSE: Yes. I mean -- these are people who, you know, that are in there for long hours. They don't earn a lot of money but they're dedicated to their community. And that is so typical of so many other papers.

I just want to stick with this -- the conservative side of things because there was --


VAUSE: -- Milo Yiannopoulos, you know, his star burned brightly for a very brief period of time. He was asked about the shooting. He told one reporter, "I can't wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight. The right-wing nationalist told the 'Observer' over text message."

Now, according to the paper, this is in response to a longer feature which had been the development about a restaurant which he apparently goes to a lot.

Later on Facebook Yiannopoulos said it was just a way of telling a reporter to, in his words, "f-off". It was just a joke. So on one hand, Sean Hannity believes it's the rhetoric of Congresswoman Waters which is to blame. But then when his fellow conservative, you know, Milo Yiannopoulos talks about vigilante death squads to gun down reporters -- that's just a joke.

STELTER: You know, I don't even want to say Milo's name because I don't think he deserves the oxygen. But what he represents is a real strain of media hatred, of journalism hatred in the U.S. that's been enabled by people in power.

Now, obviously what happened today in Annapolis is not, as we know so far, connected to the fake news rhetoric that we've heard from politicians, but this broader sense of journalists are the enemy, they're out to get you -- that's what Milo was promoting by going so far as to encourage people to be hurt.

And he may regret that now. He had lots of excuses for what he said. But there should be no room in public discourse for this kind of language. We should be able to cherish this ability for journalists to do their jobs safely.

VAUSE: You know, we should note, though, that, you know, the hostility and sort of the anger towards journalists had been building for a long time.


VAUSE: And I think that long before Donald Trump announced his candidacy and before he became president. But what has happened over the last year and a half is just that the temperature, you know, has been turned up considerably.

People who before may never have said anything feel emboldened to say something now. People who may not have been abusive before I think feel emboldened to be abusive now.

STELTER: I think that's why so many journalists feared that this day could come in the United States, you know. We are used to covering horrible stories involving journalists killed in other countries.

The Charlie Hebdo massacre comes to mind in Paris. Security was ramped up in the U.S. at newsrooms after that massacre. More recently, ten dead in a bombing in Kabul; ten journalists dead in one day in Kabul, Afghanistan.

We are used to those stories outside the U.S. We are not used to those stories within the United States. And this climate of media hostility, of this rise in threats recently, this rise in physical assaults against journalists, it's all pointing in a very dark direction.

Today, there were very specific set of circumstances that may have led to this mad man to go and shoot up this newsroom, but more broadly this rise in threats and hostility is something that has to be reckoned with and has to be confronted.

VAUSE: Brian -- thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

STELTER: Thank you.

VAUSE: And here's the front page of Friday's edition of the "Capital Gazette" featuring their five fallen colleagues with a 72-point headline which reports what must be the saddest story covered by the journalists at the newspaper. "Five shot dead at the Capital."

Next here on NEWSROOM L.A., the civil war tore them from their homes but now some Syrian refugees are starting to return. Why they're making that move now despite the risks.


VAUSE: An annual report on global human trafficking was released on Thursday by the U.S. State department. It ranks 183 countries on a five-tier system. Countries in tier one, the green color, are judged to be doing the best at fighting trafficking. Those in the (INAUDIBLE) tier 3, which is the dark purple, are considered the worst offenders.

CNN's Clare Sebastian has details.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the 18th year the U.S. State Department has produced its trafficking in persons report. This is a diplomatic tool designed to spur countries to do more to combat human trafficking. And as always the critical thing is who has moved up in the ranking and who has moved down.

This year though, it's good news for countries like Japan, Estonia, Cyprus and Bahrain who all got moved up to tier 1 which means they're meeting the minimum standards when it comes to combating human trafficking.

But the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they also don't shy away from singling out those who aren't doing enough.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We read the horrific accounts of human trafficking and abuse of African migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Libya resulting in modern day slave markets. We've engaged the Libyan government of national accord to bring the perpetrators to justice, including complicit government officials.

In Southeast Asia, Burma's armed forces and others in the Rakhine state dislocated hundreds of thousands of Rohingya and members of other ethnic groups, many of whom were exploited through the region as a result.


SEBASTIAN: Well, there was one glaring absence this year. The U.S. State Department currently does not have an ambassador at large for combating trafficking in persons. We weren't able to speak to the acting director of the office for combating human trafficking and we also were not able to speak to anyone from the White House on this issue.

But we did speak to the former U.S. ambassador on combating human trafficking Luis C. deBaca and I asked him why this absence matters.


LUIS C. DEBACA, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR ON COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING: First of all, the people who are at the trafficking office right now are doing an amazing job. The acting director Kari Johnstone, who was my deputy when I was ambassador, is a top notch diplomat, phenomenal manager. And there is a great team there.

But the reality is that having a senate-confirmed ambassador, just like having a senate-confirmed assistant secretary over at ICE, an assistant attorney general over at the Justice Department or an assistant administrator -- confirmed administrator for Children and Families at HHS would be very helpful for this issue.

And right now all of the key players in those cabinet agencies have not been named. You don't have the assistant attorney general, you don't have the ambassador. And it constrains the ability not only to work within the agencies in the United States but it constrains our ability to work with our partners overseas.

The idea that an ambassador can go out and meet with heads of state, can meet with the foreign ministers, speaks with a certain legal imprimatur of the presidents and the government, that's important.

And so we certainly hope that with Secretary of State Pompeo coming in, he has said that he's going to move quickly to start filling positions here at the State Department. And those of us in the anti- slavery community are very much hoping that today's energy that he brought to the ceremony against human trafficking, that that will translate into a prompt nomination of a really good ambassador.


SEBASTIAN: The theme of this year's report was Local Solutions for a Global Problem. The State Department honored those who were involved in grassroots efforts to combat human trafficking -- a reminder that this is not just a problem for the diplomats and the politicians but for every level of society.

Clare Sebastian, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: Well, in the United States more than 2,000 children separated from their families at the border with Mexico are still in custody, according to the latest numbers.

[01:40:02] On Thursday, some received a visit from first lady Melania Trump in what's called an intake facility where families arrive when they first enter the U.S. This is the second time the first lady has traveled to the southern border. No fashion statement, though, for this trip.

On this visit, she also went to a detention center where dozens of children are living separated from their parents. A spokeswoman says the first lady continues to encourage family reunification.


CROWD: Where are the children? Where are the children? Where are the children? Where are the children?


VAUSE: In Washington, activists say the government is taking too long to reunite those children who have been separated from their families. Hundreds descended on the Capitol Thursday demanding Congress pass legislation to stop the Trump administration's hard line immigration policy. More than 500 protesters were arrested. > Lebanon is now home to more than a million refugees from Syria, but with the Syrian government regaining control of territory and with the encouragement of Lebanese leaders, Syrian refugees are starting to make that long difficult journey home.

But as Ben Wedeman reports, there is no certainty their lives will be any better once they get there.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Their life in exile is coming to an end, loading up their truck for the drive over the border to Syria.

When Amir Mana (ph) and his family fled to Lebanon, they thought it might be for a week. That was nearly five years ago. He insists he has nothing to fear going back to live under regime rule.

"Whoever betrayed his country and his people who fought the army, let him be punished", he said. "Who is innocent is innocent".

Amir is a construction worker and lives in a Lebanese town of Arsal (ph) near the Syrian border. Its original population of nearly 40,000 swelled by almost 60,000 refugees.

I asked his neighbor, Atour Badawi (ph) if she would urge regime opponents to return. She hesitates. Then says, "If you return to your country, beloved Syria, to his Excellency the president, God bless him. He'll be happy. It will be like a holiday."

War still rages in Syria but Qalamoun (ph), where many of these refugees come from, has been under Syrian government control since last year. Hundreds returned to Syria Thursday and more are expected to leave in the coming days. The U.N. Refugee Agency's concerned about their fate but can't stop them.

PAULA AMIN, UNHCR: The conditions inside Syria do not allow us to organize or encourage refugees to go back. However, we do respect people's own decisions, individual decisions.

WEDEMAN: The Lebanese government is increasingly eager for the more than one million Syrian refugees here to go home. And indeed, some are packing up and getting ready to leave. There are others, however, who are hesitant and say that as long as Bashar al Assad remains in power they may never go home.

Mohammed Bakr (ph) from Damascus makes Syrian sweets in a nearby camp. The profits help support the camp's modest school and other basic services. He has no illusions about what awaits him if he returns.

"There is a 90 percent chance I'll be thrown in prison," he says, "what good does that do me? It's better to stay here."

Mohammed Shihab (ph) main concern is his mentally handicapped six- year-old daughter, Syrina (ph). Once a French teacher, he also has no plans to go back. "There it's straight to execution. And if you have sons, they send them straight to the front lines," he says. Adding that Syrian President Bashar al Assad is like Dracula, a vampire addicted to blood.

Khalid Raad (ph) represents a group of refugees from the largely destroyed town (INAUDIBLE). Almost all are staying in Lebanon.

"There is no way we can return to Assad's land without international guarantees," he says.

There are no such guarantees. No guarantees for those who leave; no guarantees for those who stay.

Ben Wedeman, CNN -- Arsal, Lebanon.


VAUSE: Next here on NEWSROOM L.A., we'll head to the World Cup and a match between Belgium and England. It was a decider in a decisive match that neither team wanted to win apparently -- details after this.


VAUSE: Just like an Agatha Christie novel -- and then there were 16. The World Cup knockout stage is set with the action resuming Saturday after a day of rest, but on Thursday we saw a game that apparently neither team actually wanted to win.

Kate Riley joins us now with the very latest from Atlanta. Hey -- Kate.

KATE RILEY, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes, you're not wrong -- John.

It was a decisive World Cup match in Group G between Belgium and England. And like you said, both teams had already qualified but the question was who would want to win the group?

Well, it was a lethargic affair in Kaliningrad and there was only one goal in Adnan Januzaj on target early in the second half. And that's all there was so the only bit that got everyone excited was the celebration of Michy Batshuayi, who somehow managed to kick the ball into the post and then back out on to his face. Gosh, that's got to hurt.

Here is confirmation of the result, Belgium top on nine points; England go through with six. Tunisian's 2-1 win against Panama is moot. They are both out.

The beautiful game can be rather cruel at times and it was so very cruel to Senegal. Africa's last hope of the tournament crashed out with a 1-0 defeat against Colombia. And that wasn't what sealed their fate, it was six yellow cards actually. So it was Colombia who topped Group H. Japan go through in second place. This is how the group looked at the start of the day before the last two games were played. And it was Japan and Senegal that would progress. Poland already out but they did manage to put a goal in the back (INAUDIBLE) and that goal against Japan changed the landscape.

Senegal were top of the group and Japan were going home, but the picture then changed again 16 minutes from time when Colombia scored. Colombia always that knew they had to win and it came courtesy of a thumping header from Yerry Mina. It was a goal that prompted scenes of wild celebration back in Mina's hometown in Colombia.

The Barcelona player hails from a really small city; around 20,000 people live there. And look at them. They can't get enough of it, can they?

Meanwhile, at the other game in Volgograd, the most bizarre situation. Japan had the ball and they were simply passing it among themselves. And when it finally came, the Blue Samurai had scraped into the last 16. Therefore for Senegal, that is a horrible way to go out, the first time that FIFA had used the fair play rule to determine the standings after the group stage.

Well, this is how close it was in the end. Japan and Senegal were identical on points, goal difference in goal scored. And so it all came down to a pair of late yellow cards in that second game.

Now it is when it gets really interesting, win or go home. The round of 16 does kick off on Saturday, like you said, with two games. France against Argentina will be the first game in Kazan while Portugal and Uruguay will go head-to-head later in the day in Sochi.

VAUSE: Well, it's all happening. It's all coming to an end -- very exciting conclusion. Kate -- thank you.

RILEY: Thanks. Thanks -- John.

VAUSE: Well, the next story gives a whole new meaning to the phrase hanging on for dear life. And it's a wonder no one is actually hurt.

Jeanne Moos takes us for a wild ride.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not only did this guy cling to a car hood for 19 miles, he managed to call 911.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're on top of the car right now?

JUNIOR FRANCIS: Yes, I'm on top of a speeding vehicle. Would you please help me?

MOOS: From his ex-girlfriend's point of view driving the Mercedes --

PATRICIA ISIDORE, DRIVER: Get off of my car. Get off.

MOOS: And from the point of view of a passing motorist. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the actual (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I was mind-

blown. I was mind blown.

There's a black male on the windshield. He's like spread out all over the hood.

MOOS: His name is Junior Francis.

FRANCIS: I was scared. I was terrified.

MOOS: His ex-girlfriend, Patricia Isidore (ph) said she too was scared.

[015501] ISIDORE: The guy is a psycho. He just won't leave me alone. That's an ex-boyfriend that just won't leave me alone.

MOOS: An officer confirms the two called police several times that day and even stopped by the station. But when Patricia wanted to use the car they shared to pick up her daughter, Junior jumped on the hood. She drove off.

FRANCIS: Stop the car now. Stop the car. You're going fast.

MOOS: Seventy miles per hour on Interstate 95 headed towards Miami.

ISIDORE: He had chances of getting off my car and he wouldn't get off the car. So I feel like he put himself in danger.

MOOS: the 911 call went on for more than 25 minutes, obliterated by wind noise.


MOOS: The call kept dropping. Directions miscommunicated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exit did you just pass?

MOOS: Eventually she pulled over, the police arrested her. She was charged with culpable negligence. While the Internet obsessed over little things, "how in the hell is that flip-flop staying on".

Then there was a woman tweeted wondering if Mercedes had gotten a new hood ornament.

He's no ornament, he's a guy who kept hanging on to a broken romance and ended up hanging on to a hood.

FRANCIS: Just watch yourself and be careful who you love.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


VAUSE: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Follow us on twitter @CNNNEWSROOMLA.

The news continues now on CNN right after this.


[02:00:06] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: European Union leaders reached a deal on the migrant crisis. CNN is live in Brussels with the very latest for you.