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President Trump Has Now Fired U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, Ordered 46 U.S. Attorneys to Resign; Stunning White House Security Breach; Pope Francis May Be Open to Letting Married Men Become Priests. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired March 11, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: The order that the 45 other U.S. attorneys resign, and him, not just because it came with such little warning, but because he was included at all. You see, Bharara met with President Trump just months ago at Trump tower. A source familiar with this meeting said not only did the President ask Bharara to stay on the job, but he then told Bharara to go out and tell the cameras about their conversation. Here's Bharara just minutes after that meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PREET BHARARA, U.S. ATTORNEY: The President-elect asked presumably because he is a New Yorker (INAUDIBLE) to discuss whether or not I would be prepared to stay on as United States attorney, to do the work as we have done it, independently, without fear of favor for the last seven years. We had a good meeting. I said I would absolutely consider staying on. I agreed to stay on. I have already spoken to Senator Sessions, who is, you know, the nominee to be the attorney general. He also asked that I stay on. So I expect I'll be continuing the work in the southern district of New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So joining me now to discuss Harry Siegel, he is a senior editor and writer for "the Daily Beast" and a columnist for the "New York Daily News."
Harry, you were just telling me some new information that you are learning about the fact that Bharara was just told a couple of days ago he would be staying.
HARRY SIEGEL, SENIOR EDITOR & WRITER, THE DAILY BEAST: I'm told he had a phone conversation with Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, this week where he was assured he would be staying. And that he was, you know, as such, rather stunned by the letter.
CABRERA: So what do you make of this?
SIEGEL: This is disruption as a tactic. At least they can't be bothered by the Trump camp. So clearing out U.S. attorneys is not anything new for a new administration. Took Sessions a while to get in. But, you know, they send this letter out and say, get out, be done today which is pretty incredible. They do this, having yet to nominate a single U.S. attorney anywhere in the country. And they completely blindside Bharara for reasons that are unclear. And his reported replacement (INAUDIBLE) is the son of the former attorney general, and a partner at Rudy Giuliani's law firm.
Interestingly enough, among other people representing Roger Ailes (ph), which I bring up because Bharara's office reportedly was looking into payments that were made there in settlements with employees. And that investigation only became public, in that little space between Trump meeting with Bharara and saying you are staying on the job, and trump saying no, never mind that, you're fired.
CABRERA: So we, just to be clear to the viewers, we don't have the reporting confirmed that you are just sharing with us. But that's obviously something we're trying to get information, answers to the White House, the justice department not commenting specifically on this firing. But let's talk a little bit more about Bharara, his role here in New York, and really when it comes to litigation on such a large scale that impacts the country. He was not necessarily in just a routine post.
SIEGEL: So he gets called in the southern district of New York, called the sovereign district of New York because it's a huge orbit. Rudy Giuliani, of course, was there. James Comey is now the FBI. And Bharara has had his gigantic investigation, just looking at the mayor of New York City is up of reelection this yes. He has this ongoing corruption probe that is pitching ahead. He is about to try two of Andrew Cuomo's closest confidantes, the governor of New York. And then some of the other thing that looking at things international in scope and really big and interesting.
In addition to the FOX thing I mentioned, significantly, he has an investigation -- excuse me, he arrested a Turkish man, who is a friend of the President there. And is charging him with evading the Iran sanctions effectively. Which in a complicated scheme that's really big and interesting, and plays into some of the other probes around this President.
The big outstanding question everyone is asking is, what is the FBI there, what if they have looking into, involving this administration, potentially. And additionally, there are questions about whether or not they are also looking at Rudy Giuliani who, again, is at the same firm as pitch rumored replacement that "the New York Post" and other people reporting as the front-runner for that, because of Giuliani talking on television prior to the election about what his FBI friends were telling him about investigations involving the Clintons and others which is information that actually not wiggling out to convey.
CABRERA: There are so many layers to this.
SIEGEL: Oh, man.
CABRERA: But to play devil's advocate, could you just look at this and say that he was simply a victim of a broad brush stroke, that Donald Trump decided to clean house so that he could just appoint all his own people? [19:05:12] SIEGEL: Almost. So the two people whose resignations
Trump didn't accept, the temporary deputy attorney general, and his nominee to be the permanent deputy attorney general. And with the attorney general having now recused those people not so incidentally who would be leading in Russian probe in the justice department.
That said, you could say this is just part of a general sweep if Trump and Sessions hadn't directly told Bharara that he was staying raising all these questions about what changed and why.
And again, they did this with the ambassador, Trump did, back in January. He said all the political appointees are out today. No finishing your kids' school year, no finding your replacements, none of that stuff. So they seem to like chaos and surprise and disruption maybe in a reality TV style. Maybe in a Silicon Valley disruption style as a tactic for clearing house. And with their concerns about, you know, the deep state and enemies within and all that stuff. I think tactically, they think this sort of chaos works to their benefit.
I'm very skeptical, again, they have no replacements for any of these U.S. attorneys. And it means that the people they just hope to get out today, right. That their deputies and right hands are going to be running the justice department.
CABRERA: And picking up the pieces where those investigations have left off.
Harry Siegel, thank you for the great information and reporting.
Again, we are continuing to learn more about this situation. It's a developing breaking news story. But let's turn to now a person who is very familiar with Bharara who is also familiar with the justice department's inner workings, someone who has led this department, former U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzalez is joining me now by phone.
We really appreciate your time, Mr. Gonzalez. Thank you so much. I know you were appointed by and served under President George W. Bush. And while working for then Senator Charles Schumer when you were in the justice department.
Bharara actually took part in a senate probe into the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys. In that case in part was part of a controversy that is said to have ultimately played a key role in the resignation of the then attorney general Alberto Gonzales, yourself.
So given that history, what's your response to these developments today?
ALBERTO GONZALES, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I have to tell you somewhat ironic. And that (INAUDIBLE) serving Senator Schumer and (INAUDIBLE) the removal by U.S. attorneys when I was U.S. attorney general. And obviously those were all investigated. And I was cleared of any wrongdoing, because in reality, you know, the President of the United States virtually has the power with respect to hiring and firing of the U.S. attorneys. They serve at his pleasure. And if Donald Trump no longer has any pleasure of continued service, (INAUDIBLE), then meet it out. And it really truly is arrogant for any political appointee to refuse to leave after being told by the President that at person's service is no longer required. Because everyone understands that you serve at the pleasure of the President. No matter how wonderful, how valuable your work has been, if the President wants to make a change, he has the right to do so. And obviously, change is at the beginning of an administration. They're very consistent with past practice. And every President, every U.S. attorney general wants to have his field generals and his U.S. attorneys onboard.
Some of your viewers may be concerned that these removals might in any way jeopardize ongoing investigations. That is really just not the way that the department is set up. You have got career prosecutors that are very much involved in all of these very complex investigations, and prosecutions. Those will continue. Even though you may not have an appointed head at the particular field offices. There are career individuals who been there many, many years. They well experienced, a good judgment. And those investigations will continue, irrespective of the removal of the confirmed U.S. attorney head.
CABRERA: Got you. Now, I understand it is fairly common for a President to come in and appoint his own people. However, the fact that this was done with virtually zero notice has caught some experts in the field off-guard. Does that piece surprise you, for one?
And two, the fact that Bharara had been told by the President that he should keep his job and was asked to stay on and go before the cameras and even talk about the discussion in which he was asked to stay on, now he has been fired? What do you think is the reason for that?
GONZALES: Well, I can't speak to what president Trump and Preet, what conversations they had in the past. The president can change his mind for whatever reason. He has virtually unlimited authority to make a change if he wants to. It could be that perhaps Jeff Sessions wanted to have a change. If they want to make a change, that will have an important factor in making the change. They ultimately do work for the attorney general of the United States. So listen, I can't speak to whether or not there were any promises or assurances made. But even if there were, nothing would prevent a president from changing his mind if he felt that was in the best interests of the administration of justice.
[19:10:35] CABRERA: Would there be any reason to believe that this change of mind has to do with actual investigations that Bharara was involved with?
GONZALES: I'm certainly not aware that that might be the reason. But as I indicated, I believe if that was the motivation for the removal, I think that would be one of concern. And that perhaps should be looked at.
But I want to, again, reassure your viewers that even if that were the case, that would not submarine or in any way jeopardize an ongoing investigation. A career individual is there, in that office, will continue the investigation. And they would make sure that if there was wrongdoing that had occurred, that there would be a prosecution.
So it's -- even without a confirmed head leading a particular office, you are still going to have investigations. You are still going to have prosecutions that move forward. That's not jeopardized by the removal of the confirmed U.S. attorney.
CABRERA: And let me ask you in response to this statement put out by Senator Patrick Leahy, where he writes that the removal of something like Bharara has now called into question the independence of the justice department according to this statement. Do you see it that way?
GONZALES: I do not. Senator Leahy has been as much involved in the politicization of the removal of U.S. attorneys as Schumer was. And so, I - the fact that he makes a statement, in my judgment, there is no basis to make that statement. Again, without even knowing who is going to be the next U.S. attorney in that position and how that office is going to function going forward. I think that's a premature statement.
CABRERA: All right. Alberto Gonzales, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We appreciate it.
Let's talk more with David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst and former adviser to four U.S. presidents.
David, you have worked in the White House. Completely normal as we have been discussing for a new president to come in and want a new team of U.S. attorneys. But the way this was handled has given a lot of people pause.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It should. It should. There's no question. History amply justifies President Trump in firing all these U.S. attorneys. But there are a couple of things that are different. One is, when in the past when there have been sort of mass firings, as in the case of president Clinton, individuals -- attorneys general in various parts of the country were given extra time to stay on to complete investigations to make sure there was no disruption in the work of the offices. And they sort of had leftover time, instead of the hatchet coming down, the guillotine goes down on all of you overnight.
The second thing that is different is the context in which this is taking place. And that is we have a president, a White House and a team, (INAUDIBLE) with a lot of conservatives, who believe that the Obama holdover throughout the government had become saboteurs. That they are undermining his presidency. The anger level has built. And there has been a lot of pressure on the White House to clean out those Obama holdovers. And this is, I think, going to be part of a broader sweep that we are going to see.
With all due respect to attorney general Gonzales, he is right that the president absolutely has the authority and is often exercising it to remove people. But there is a -- you know, if -- it's just -- I don't think it's right to say you're going to get the same outcome in the investigations as you would if a new person comes in, the old person. It's not going to make any difference in the outcomes.
If it wouldn't make any difference in the outcomes, the president wouldn't be firing these people. You know, the White House believes that if you put in new people, you are going to have an attorney general who are going to be more favorably inclined toward them. That's human nature. And I think we all -- the context is how we ought to see this.
CABRERA: David, we are just getting this into our NEWSROOM here, some new information, a source apparently close to president Trump telling my colleague, Jake Tapper, that then president-elect Trump had told Bharara that he wanted to keep him on as a gesture to Senate Democratic leader Schumer. But now obviously it swung the other way. What do you make of that?
GERGEN: Well, that sounds like a lot about politics, doesn't it. Because the relationship between senator Schumer and the president has deteriorated. They have been calling each other names over the last few weeks. I don't think -- I think both of them are now really -- have a very disdain for the other. But why does that mean that Bharara ought to be the victim of that disagreement? Having asked him to stay on, were you doing on that only is it a political gesture to Schumer or did you actually think he was doing productive work.
The way this is has happened especially in the Bharara case does lead to questions. Your previous guest must signal a top raised some interesting questions (INAUDIBLE). So we will just have to see. But like so many things in the Trump administration, when you do things quickly, and this looks like they're flipping a finger at the Obama people once again. And you know, it raises questions --
CABRERA: But when you talk about that, when you bring that up, one thought that crossed my mind is, it almost seemed like Bharara at one point kind of egged him on to say, I'm not going to resign. If you want me to leave, fire me.
GERGEN: Yes. Well, I think Bharara wanted to make a case of it. I think he wanted to bring it to the surface. And yes, he is clearly pretty ticked off. And that the result is the same. But I think he feels, I'm walking out with my head up. I'm not resigning. You have to fire me. And shame on you. I think that's his attitude.
CABRERA: How would you advise the president to handle this moving forward?
GERGEN: Well, I think the advice you would give would have been given earlier. And that is, as was the ambassadors, I think he has every right to replace people like this. And as we feared the U.S. attorney general in New York, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. People away, the way you are doing it. Because it just has a harshness about it that is going to I think stir up the facts of the civil type questions that we had. It raises questions among their you know, out in the political community, what's really underneath all of this? Is there something phony about this? There's just so much -- every time one of these stories comes up, you
have to ask, why is this happening, why couldn't this be done in a smoother, more professional way, Ana? I think that's the best --.
CABRERA: Well, that question of why is what we have been asking all afternoon, since he was fired.
CABRERA: But we are hearing crickets from the White House and justice department. Would it be in their best interests to come forward with at least a statement to say, this is why he specifically was now asked to -- or was fired, I guess, let's just put it bluntly, even after he had been asked to stay on?
GERGEN: Ana, I think the statement really ought to come from the attorney general. Mr. Sessions, or attorney general Sessions did sign off and asked him to stay. He called him during the transition. He is the one who asked people to leave their offices. I think this is something, if you are at the White House now, don't bring this in the White House, put it on the justice department where let him explain what's going on.
CABRERA: All right. David Gergen, thank you, as always.
GERGEN: Ana, thank you.
CABRERA: Up next, a shocking White House security breach, and the bizarre new details on the intruder who made it all the way to the entrance to the president's residence.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:22:36] CABRERA: Now do the alarming security breach at the White House last night. A man climbed over the iron fence, made it all the way to the pillars of the executive mansion before he ran into a secret service officer. That's where his run ended. The President was inside the White House at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Secret service did a fantastic job last night. I appreciate it. The secret service did a fantastic job. It was a troubled person. The secret service was fantastic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Athena Jones is at the White House.
And Athena, who is this man? What happened when he appeared before the judge today?
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Well, his name is Jonathan Tran. He is 26 years old. He is from
California. He did make a court appearance today. And we were told he would be arraigned in federal court on Monday. But at today's court appearance, we are getting a lot of information from the criminal complaint and sworn statement. He has been charged with entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon. This complaint, the sworn statement from the arresting officer that said in the backpack that Tran was carrying, he had two cans of mace. That's interesting, because earlier in the day we were told that backpack had been examined and no hazardous materials were found. In the end we are now learning that he was caring mace.
And there are several other existing details from the sworn statement. We know this happened at 11:38 p.m. last night. Tran was seen by this arresting officer walking from the east side of the south grounds of the White House complex. He was walking close to an exterior wall of the White House mansion. So he was very, very close to the residence. He was approaching the south portico entrance to the White House mansion. That's on the opposite side of the door that's right behind me. He was wearing a hooded sweater, or a jacket and was carrying that backpack I mentioned.
We also know from this arresting officer that at one point Tran hid behind a White House pillar before proceeding towards that south portico entrance. Now, this is all after the suspect jumped over a fence near the treasury department which is next to the White House, and over a barrier on the -- separating the south lawn from the narrow road next to it.
But yes, this is interesting to see he came very, very close to the residence. He did not make it inside. But he was still only a couple of hundred feed from the President's bedroom.
Also in that backpack, besides the two cans of mace was a United States passport, an Apple laptop computer, a book written by President Trump, we don't know which one, and a letter he had written to President Trump.
In the letter, Tran mentioned Russian hackers and said he had information of relevance. He also alleged he had been followed, that his phone and email communications had been read by third parties. And that he was called schizophrenic.
So a lot of new details coming out about the suspect, Ana.
[19:25:35] CABRERA: Obviously, there was a security failure here, the fact that he got as far as he did without being detected. What is the secret service's response?
JONES: Well, they are going to have to look at this very closely. This is not, as you know, the first time that this has taken place. And so, there's been several breaches over the years of the Obama administration. You may remember one of the most serious was when in 2014, a man jumped over the fence in the front of the White House, the north fence behind me, and made it through the north portico, which is essentially the front doors of the White House, and all the way into the east room of the White House. And he had a knife in his pocket.
So you don't want to play the what-if game too much. But it certainly could have been bad had this suspect made it into the White House with these cans of mace, or what have you. So very, very serious matter the secret service is going to be reviewing closely, Ana.
CABRERA: And still questions, obviously, about his intentions.
Athena Jones, thank you very much.
Just ahead, he was one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the country. But after refusing to resign, he was just fired by President Trump today. A look at all the legal angles next here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:30:55] CABRERA: Let's dig deeper now into the breaking news coverage of President Trump's firing of U.S. attorney Preet Bharara today. Now, Bharara was one of 46 U.S. attorneys asked to resign by the White House yesterday. But he refused. He didn't want to turn in his letter of resignation.
This afternoon President Trump actually fired him. Bharara released statement saying, today I was fired from my position as U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. Serving my country as U.S. attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life. No matter what else I do, or how long I live.
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is join me now by phone.
Jeffrey, thank you so much for joining us. Bharara says back in November, President and attorney general, absolutely told him he could stay on as U.S. attorney for southern district of New York. And now we are learning from our Jake Tapper, his recording, a source telling him that then President-elect Trump had told Bharara that he wanted to keep him on as a gesture to Senate Democratic leader Schumer. So what's your reaction to this development?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST (on the phone): Well, I think it's important to say that President Trump had every legal right to fire Preet Bharara. It is traditional for a U.S. attorneys to be replaced when a new President comes in. What is unusual about this situation is that it is really undisputed that President Trump promised Preet Bharara that he could stay on. And what's puzzle is what caused this turnabout seemingly overnight of why he was told to leave, like all the other U.S. attorneys. It's really, though, more of a political question than a legal question. Because there is no question that President Trump had the right to force Bharara out of office.
CABRERA: Now, put into some perspective for us, Preet Bharara and the position that he holds. What makes him in this position so important?
TOOBIN: Well, here's what's so significant, is that the U.S. attorney's office for the southern district of New York, which is based in Manhattan, is widely acknowledged to be the premier U.S. attorney's office in the country. And they have a lot of independence. And what's particularly significant here is that he has been involved in a lot of investigations that are at least peripherally related to Donald Trump. He was the U.S. attorney who was investigating Anthony Weiner whose computer turned up the emails that wound up leading Jim Comey to make those very damaging statements about Hillary Clinton shortly before the election. He is also apparently involved in some investigations that involve the Trump organization. And Russia, these various amorphous stories that keep coming out about the relationship between the Trump campaign and Russia. So the question arises, is there something either that the Trump administration doesn't want Preet Bharara to pursue, or are there things he knows that he might disclose later that could be troublesome for the Trump administration.
CABRERA: Well, isn't firing him one way, though, for him to later disclose that information? Or wouldn't that be even more Bharara to perhaps give a bad eye to the President?
TOOBIN: That's a fair question in a political context. But, you know, Preet Bharara whom I profiled for the "New Yorker," so I know him very well.
TOOBIN: He is someone who does respect the rules. I mean, and there are rules that limit how much he can disclose about what he has been investigating. By taking him out of the justice department, he is -- you know, he is cut off from access to new information. But there is some question about how much he can and would disclose simply as a private citizen.
[19:35:07] CABRERA: Got you. You brought up just the politicization of all of this. And the justice department itself. The GOP has been complaining about that. Is this just fueling the fire when it comes to questions about that?
TOOBIN: It certainly will fuel the fire. You know, just a day ago, Sean Hannity on FOX News, who obviously is very close to the administration said, boy, it's time to get rid of all the Clinton appointees to the justice department. And the next day, that's exactly what attorney general sessions and President Trump did.
Now, perhaps that's just a coincidence. But there certainly has been coming out of the Trump administration a great deal of bitterness and anger towards anyone they feel is connected to Barack Obama, or they feel may have been leaking. Now, they certainly know evidence that Barack Obama, that Preet Bharara was leaking this information.
But, you know, the political controversy about leaks and about Trump's anger at Obama certainly will be fanned by this. But I do think it's important to repeat that this is not a question whether Donald Trump had the right to do this. He certainly had the right to request the resignation, and to fire Preet Bharara when he refused to leave. TOOBIN: `Your article that you wrote and referenced earlier is called
"the man who terrifies Wall Street." This profile Bharara and just the fact that Wall Street feared him, and Trump's relation to Wall Street, appointing all these billionaires to cabinet positions. Do you have any sense of who he might put in this position to now replace Bharara? Would it be somebody who would have an equally tough perspective in terms of approaching Wall Street issues?
TOOBIN: Hard to know. Hard to know. The name that has been mentioned most frequently in New York circles is Martin Mucasi, who the son of Judgment Mucasi, who was the attorney general under George W. Bush. And someone who is very strongly identified as a Republican. Someone who is much closer politically to Donald Trump. He is also a former prosecutor in the southern district, so he's not a -- you know, a political hack. But he's certainly someone much closer to the administration. If he's appointed, you can be sure that people will say that Donald Trump is putting in a Republican loyalist.
But, you know, it is up to Donald Trump to make these appointments. It is also true that the Senate has to vote on U.S. attorneys. You can be sure there will be hearings about whoever Donald Trump puts in. And Democrats will be asking whether he has the independence that is traditionally associated with the U.S. attorney's office for the southern district of new
CABRERA: Jeffrey Toobin, thank you so much for joining us. Great to talk to you on a Saturday night.
Coming up with the shortage of priests in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis now says he has another idea to fix that, next in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:42:52] CABRERA: In a pretty stunning move, Pope Francis said he may be open to letting married men become priests. Now, this idea could be a solution to what he calls a quote "enormous problem within the Catholic Church." A shortage of priests.
Joining me now to talk about this is CNN religion commentator father Edward Beck.
Father Beck, thanks for being here. First, just your reaction to this latest move?
FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: I think it's hopeful. I think it's something we need, those of us who are priests have been hoping for it for a while. There is a vocation shortage. I know guys who have left the priesthood to get married. This was a major obstacle for them. And so I think it just kind of frees people up to say, why not look at this.
For the first thousand years of the church, priests could be married. It changed because priests were kind of giving property to their children, church property. And so it was a sociopolitical reason.
CABRERA: It wasn't about celibacy, or --
BECK: You know, Ana, we spiritualized that afterward and we said, well, you could be more devoted to your parishioners, more devoted to your ministry. But really, it was sociopolitical.
CABRERA: Interesting. I didn't realize that, as a catholic myself. So some of these moves are teaching me more about the history of the faith as we move into modern times. When you look, though, at this move, I think one of the things I have read that could be even more controversial about it is the fact that what he is considering doesn't necessarily open the door for current priests to go get married, right.
BECK: Right. And it seems to some of us like a bit of a double standard. In other words, if you can be a married priest, you can be a married priest, what's the difference if you get married after you're a priest or happen to be married before and become a priest.
I mean, we have priests from protestant traditions coming into Roman Catholicism with their wives and children and ministering along celibate Roman Catholic priests. So you are in the same parish with a priest with kids. And you think, well, why can't I do this?
And so, I think the Pope is intent on opening the door slowly. But I think we have to be consistent here. If there's not an obstacle to priesthood because of marriage, then why not anyone who is married, can also be a priest? Why put these restrictions while it used to be a remote area.
[19:45:07] CABRERA: Well, then, and why not allow women to be priests then?
BECK: Well, that's a whole another question. The question with women would say, there were not women disciples, and that Jesus did not choose women.
CABRERA: No history for it, you are saying.
BECK: Correct. But the apostles were married. So there is another argument for married priesthood, right, because the original apostles and disciples were married. There were women deaconesses. So you can say, well, that was back then. Women was second class citizens. We couldn't have them be priest or his followers in that way.
Today is different. Why not consider it. This Pope has closed the door right now to women priests, but he is opening the door to married priests. And for all of us, that's a hopeful step. Little by little. (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) as they say.
CABRERA: Right. How big of a shortage is there? Is that the impetus for these changes?
BECK: It's a really bad shortage right now. Western Europe has been decimated. The United States. Africa, Asia, where the church is growing, there is vocation. So now we are getting sent priests from those areas of the world to help supplement our shortage. Because the missionary kind of activity hazard verse. We use to send missionaries elsewhere, now they are sending priests to us.
CABRERA: Why the shortage?
BECK: I think celibacy is part of it. The cultural staff has change so I can't tell you how many parents have said to me, you know, I really wouldn't recommend my child, my son be a priest. I think there are so many opportunities right now. Look at the priest scandal, the sex scandal that put a mar on the priesthood. And people are saying, why would I want to get my child involved in all of that?
So I think we have to do a lot of reeducation, a lot of reimaging. I think we have to open the door and say, this is what a modern-day priesthood looks like for a modern-day catholic. And the church unfortunately moves very slowly. And some of us a little bit more impatient. But if parents were to promote it, I think if it was spoken about more, those of us who are really happy priests and have great ministries, I think if we could share that more, we have more interest. But it's an uphill climb right now. Young people are looking -- look, I can do ministry as a single person or married person, why do I have to be a priest and give up anything. And so, maybe this says, well, if I can be married and be a priest, maybe not so bad.
CABRERA: You never know.
BECK: You never know.
CABRERA: Father Edward Beck, thank you so much.
BECK: Thanks, Ana. My pleasure.
CABRERA: Interesting discussion as we see a lot of the moving and shaking that Pope Francis has done as he moves the religion forward.
Coming up, it was an officer who became a hero during the Sikh temple massacre. He shares his story. How he went beyond the call of duty and survived being shot 15 times at close range.
[19:51:57] CABRERA: The first officer to respond to the 2012 Sikh temple massacre is now sharing his story of sacrifice. A gunman killed people that day but somehow, Lieutenant Brian Murphy survived being shot 15 times at close range. He spoke with our Sara Sidner in this edition of beyond the call of duty.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By all accounts, Brian Murphy should be dead.
LT. BRIAN MURPHY, FIRST RESPONDER: First shot was at my face. Second, thumb, back of the head. Right hand. One in the right arm. Three in the left hand, three in a left bicep, one in each leg. One in the chest. One in the side and one in the back.
SIDNER: His dash cam rolling, Murphy was the first officer on the scene as calls poured in from the Sikh temple of Wisconsin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guy shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard fighting outside. I brought the kids in my hand. I said, let's go in the --
SIDNER: (INAUDIBLE) was among 15 women and children huddled in this pantry, fearing death. (INAUDIBLE) husband, the President of the temple, rushed out to warn people. He was shot and killed along with five others.
The shooter, Wade Page, a white supremacist and army veteran on a mission of hate was still at it when lieutenant Murphy rolled up. That's Murphy there and that's Page, gun raised.
MURPHY: And we both shoot exactly the same time.
SIDNER: What happens?
MURPHY: I missed!
SIDNER: Murphy was hit in the face. That's him ducking for cover. It gets worse.
MURPHY: About halfway through, I'm just got mad. And I'm thinking when are you going to be done shooting me?
SIDNER: How are you not dead?
MURPHY: God kept me around.
SIDNER: Another officer drives up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun!
SIDNER: Paige shoot, hitting the windshield of bun gun battle and Paige kills himself. By then, Murphy's vest and body are riddled with 15 bullets. A year later, a survivor approached him.
MURPHY: How many times did how you get shot? And I said 15 and she said that's right. There was one bullet for every one of us who was inside.
SIDNER: Community says without Murphy sacrifice, the massacre would have been so much worse.
PARDEEP KALEKA, SHOOTING VICTIM'S SON: I know that Murphy is a hero. He's a hero to our community, but much larger community as in the Sikh community in America.
SIDNER: A community Murphy still worries about knowing they are sometimes targets. Simply because of their appearance.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Milwaukee.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CABRERA: Amazing. So good to see him doing OK.
Up next, new details about the man who jumped a fence at the White House while President Trump was in the residence. We will tell you what he was carrying and the charges he's now facing.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[19:59:04] CABRERA: More on the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Great to have you with us.
We are digging into two major and moving news stories this evening. Both involving the Trump White House.
First, we have new details about the man shown here in these courtroom sketches. Jonathan Tran is his name. He is 26 years old. Arraign today in federal court for jumping the White House fence and he almost made it to the entrance where the President was inside.
How he did it, how he was stopped and the danger that was in his backpack, full details. We are going live to the White House.
Also, this man, the U.S. attorney representing Manhattan. The White House told him to resign. He told them, fire me. That standoff is now over.
This afternoon now, former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara released a statement saying in part today I was fired from my position as U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. Serving my country as U.S. attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life. No matter what else I do or how long I live.
Now, sources say Bharara was completely blindsided by this order to resign. Mainly because just a few months ago, President Trump asked him to stay on as a U.S. attorney. The two even shook hands on it.