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Report: Manhunt on for Cleveland Facebook Killer; Lawyers Say Trump Cannot Be Sued Since He's Become President; Trumps Host First Easter Egg Hunt. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired April 17, 2017 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] CALVIN WILLIAMS, CLEVELAND POLICE CHIEF: Prosecutor and defense lawyer, we all comment in our world that the kind of murders and then the desire to put it forward on social media, which is good for us to get the attention, is becoming very sick and twisted cultural thing that's happening. And these people on the borderline, marginal, the ones not in power feel this is their moment of glory. We are seeing that more ask more. The murders we're seeing are more senseless, callous and twisted. As far as hunting down a person, you can run, but you cannot hide. It's really very difficult in today's world. I was a little surprised that they were giving so much information. When I was giving information to the press, I kept it close to the vest with law enforcement things being done. But electronic monitoring, telephones, these things are very, very powerful, computers and with a guy who wants to be on social media, sometimes it's hard for them to get off those things.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is it possible and the I hope the answer is yes, but he has said he's claimed on Facebook he's committed multiple homicides, but police have no knowledge of other victims. Is it possible he's lying?
WILLIAMS: It's possible he's puffing. Who knows. They will take DNA from him when they get him and go through cold case where is he may have been in the vicinity. They are going to try and make his work space, living space, where he's moved and where his friends are. The cops are going to do an incredible time line on this individual and look in those areas to see if there's been any unsolved homicides and see underestimate the fact when he gets caught people love to tell you that they did these things. So, he may confess and be proud of what it is he did.
MAYOR FRANK JACKSON, CLEVELAND: THE award for his arrest, $50,000. Bob, thank you so much. I can't wait to report the news they got him. Thank you.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump spent his entire campaign making promises involving the border. We have brand new numbers that show how many immigration arrests have been made during his presidency. You'll see that.
Also, his lawyers say he's not responsible for the violence at his campaign rallies. But one of his supporters who was charged disagrees. That case is escalating. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. [15:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: President Trump is now using a defense strategy straight out of Bill Clinton's playbook. Regarding a lawsuit stemming from his campaign. Three protesters accused then candidate Trump of inciting violence against them for one of the rallies. His attorneys just filed a response saying the President of the United States is immune from a civil suit. Plus, they add that the President was using his first amendment right at the time to express himself at the rally. Here's a reminder of what exactly then candidate Trump had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Get out. You know, in the old days, which isn't so long ago when we were less politically correct, that kind of stuff wouldn't have happened. Today we have to be so nice, so nice. We always have to be so nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Arguing that a President cannot be sued is the same strategy Bill Clinton used in his case against Paula Jones, who accused him of sexual harassment. In fact, take a look at the Trump court papers the attorneys even cite Clinton's case. So, with me now is Danny Cevallos. You heard him say the words "get out." How does that equate to inciting violence?
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's a big issue for the court here. The only thing that the district court can allow the plaintiff to do is to proceed with the plaintiff's claims. I read the opinion. Frankly, I thought the plaintiff sort of limped to victory. This is a motion that plaintiffs should win and defendants should lose. It doesn't mean the plaintiff is going to win. It just means that they wrote down on a complaint enough to state a claim assuming all the facts to be true. Now Trump's defense here is similar. It's the Paula Jones defense. The issue really is, is he immune for things that happened before he was President while he is actually President? Can he stave off a lawsuit for that reason?
BALDWIN: Can he?
CEVALLOS: I think it remains to be seen. The court has spoken on this issue. These are slightly different facts. By buying a ticket the plaintiff somehow waived any claim against him by coming into the venue. That's probably a weaker argument. But the Presidential immunity argument is probably the strongest one he has. Still as we saw in the past other Presidents have not been immune from things they did prior to taking the presidency. This may not be a very strong defense.
BALDWIN: We'll see where it goes. Thank you very much.
Coming up next, we have brand new numbers just in to CNN. Immigration and customs enforcement confirming a sharp rise in the number of undocumented immigrants arrested since President Trump took office. That's next. [15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: We have new numbers coming into CNN on immigration and customs enforcement now confirming this sharp rise in the number of undocumented immigrants arrested since President Trump took office. Let's get straight to CNN's politics reporter. And what are the numbers?
TAL KOPAN, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: The key number is 21,000 or so. That's how many people were arrested in the first seven weeks of the Trump administration. There's a little delay getting the numbers so they go through March. And that's a rise of about one-third from last year from the same timeframe under the Obama administration. But perhaps more significantly is there's a number that more than doubled. That's the number of undocumented immigrants who didn't have some other criminal issue who are arrested. They will prioritize who they targeted for deportation proceedings. This this case, the Trump administration, this is the numbers that back up a cast a wider net.
[15:45:00] BALDWIN: And what are we now, 80 something days and you see all these numbers. Thank you so much. I know you're going to keep your eye on those.
Ahead, let's talk about this angry conspiracy theorist who has definitely had the ear of the President. But did Alex Jones just admit it's all a scam? We'll discuss that.
Also, President Trump taking part in his first Easter egg roll. A white house tradition. We have some of the highlights for you ahead.
BALDWIN: He pushes conspiracy theories and hurls angry insults and for a long time had the ear of the President as a radio host of the far right, but now lawyers for Alex Jones seem to suggest he is a scam. The Info War's host in a legal battle for custody of his children and his lawyers say the fire breather on the web isn't the real Alex Jones, that he, quote, is playing a character, that he's a performance artist. CNN's senior media correspondent and host of "Reliable Sources" is with me now. Brian Stelter, is this a case of fake news, real consequences?
[15:50:00] BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Art imitating life imitating art, very confusing. Alex Jones sort of a fringe radio host and online videos, he's become more popular thanks to President Trump.
BALDWIN: Who the president listens too.
STELTER: That's right, he had an interview with candidate Trump during the election and now after the election he says Trump caught up and thanked him for his help. Sort of a pro-Trump in many ways radio host but really well known for conspiracy theories. Perhaps his most heinous theory is perhaps the Sandy Hook shooting was a plot, an invention trying to get gun control passed so he says things that are absolutely outlandish and no surprise his lawyers are saying in court, hey, don't believe what he says, he's, just, quote, a performance artist. Jury selection is starting today in Austin for the trial, a custody case involving Jones and his ex-wife. Without getting into the details of the family matter, it will be really telling to see how his lawyers push this forward.
BALDWIN: Are there other examples of people in similar cases? Are there other people out there too who play a role, whether it's on radio or television?
STELTER: Right. You know, I think some people in a very, very different way have wondered this over the years about people like Glenn Beck, very well known for specific points of view. Back when he was on Fox, don't really say this anymore and what they reminded me of Hulk Hogan who sued Gawker a couple years ago for publishing portions of a sex tape, and part of Hogan's defense was if you hear me bragging about my sex life I'm just playing a character and putting on a performance. That's clearly an entertainment defense. Alex Jones sometimes acts like he's a news man, anchor desk and a big fancy microphone. Some of his fans might be in on the joke and some of his other fans take him very seriously and that's why I think this quote is so telling from his lawyer and let's see if some of the listeners of Info Wars maybe think twice now if they hear his lawyer say it's all a performer.
BALDWIN: Do you know, you mention the interview with then President Trump, how often the President listens to him?
STELTER: It's unclear. Jones has a tendency to brag and exaggerate and says he's in touch with the white house from time to time. I don't know if he can believe that. He used to say he wanted to get white house press credentials for his reporters and hasn't actually done so it's hard to say for sure but clearly during the campaign Trump took jones seriously enough to call in and go on the show, to give him that kind of credibility and compliment jones. That was taken as a troubling sign of the times because of his conspiracy theories and introduced pizza-gate, a nutty charge about Clinton and a sex ring. He's a very colorful character. People might see him pop up in Twitter and Facebook news feeds and now his lawyer says it's all a performance.
BALDWIN: Stelter, thanks very much on Alex Jones.
Coming up next, an Easter bunny, a story book and nudge from the first lady. President Trump hosting the family's first Easter egg roll at the white house. See what happened. Some of the greatest hits. Also, so Americans will never see the President's tax returns? The white house says we'll get back to you. How they were confronted about his transparency ahead.
[15:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: Just into us here at CNN, this unusual moment I want to show you out of Paris. This is the far right Presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen addressing the crowd. You see the woman. Suddenly runs on the stage and drops a bouquet of flowers and quickly tries to unzip her jacket before getting tackled by security. She's then dragged off stage. This happening just six days before round one of the Presidential election there.
As for the Trump, white house keeping up with the long held tradition this morning, the President and first lady hosting the 139th annual Easter egg roll on the south lawn, and as the festivities kicked off the first lady actually appeared to slightly nudge the President to place his hand over his heart for the national anthem. About 221,000 people attended today's event including their son, Barron. Here are some of the memorable moments as 18,000 eggs went rolling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP: We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before. We're right on track. We're going to come out and join you and enjoy your company for a roll, a great Easter egg roll, and I don't know if we're going to be successful, but I know a lot of people down there are going to be successful. I've seen those kids, and they are highly, highly competitive. That I can tell you. I just want to thank First Lady Melania Trump. She's really worked hard on this.
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: As we renew this tradition, thank you for joining us. On behalf of the President and Barron, we wish you great fun and beautiful days coming ahead of us, and happy Easter.
DONALD TRUMP: Ready, set --
MELANIA TRUMP: I will read a special book for you, "party animals." Do you know about the book? No. So, Kathy Gifford wrote it a while back, and I really like that book because it shows that we're all different but we're all the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The entire family was there. Again, 21,000 people participating in the age-old tradition of the good old white house Easter egg roll. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me here on CNN. Let's go to Washington. "The Lead" with Jake Tapper starts right now.