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CNN NEWSROOM

Markets Fall Triple Digits; Manafort Pushes for Charges Dropped; Shooting at YouTube Headquarters; Witness to MLK's Death Recounts that Day. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired April 4, 2018 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:30:00] ERIC HILL, CNN ANCHOR: What is shaping up to be an ugly start to the day on Wall Street. This morning, China retaliating to those U.S. tariffs.

Economist Mark Zandi back with me.

I want to begin, though, with CNN's Cristina Alesci, who is there on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange.

I mean what is the sense down there? Is it -- it this all about this uncertainty and this concern? Is that what's going to drive the day, Cristina?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly it. Investors and traders that I've been talking to have said, look, we just don't like uncertainty, right? They don't know what's going to happen. All they know is that this is China's counterpunch. And they're trying to get their heads around what will happen next.

It's pretty clear at this point, given the size and the extent of the tariffs that have been announced on both sides, that this is posturing. This is an open -- this is the very beginning of negotiations, which could play out over the next several weeks and months. But, bottom line is that investors do not like to see this kind of uncertainty and this is definitely a blow for President Trump, who touted a pro-business platform.

You know, look, at the end of the day, his strategy may work, but for right now, at this moment, it's just a little bit too much for the market to stomach. We're talking about China announcing tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods in very select categories of those goods. So it's really meant to target the states and the producers that really supported Trump. We're talking about Trump country. When you -- when you see the soybeans getting hit with a 25 percent tariff, that hits the American farm belt and that's going to hurt Trump supporters.

You know, about the companies that are getting hit, we're seeing Boeing getting slammed, Ford getting slammed because of the tariffs on both airplane makers and automakers. So we're going to see this play out all day. And right now I'm looking at the board and it is all red.

Erica.

HILL: All red. Now how you want to start the day.

Mark, as we look at this, the president tweeting twice this morning about it, saying we're not in a trade war with China, talking about a trade deficit of $500 billion a year, the numbers that he's using, with intellectual property theft of another $300 billion. And then he's just tweeting a few minutes ago, when you're already $500 billion down, you can't lose.

Is there really a $500 billion deficit, Mark, with China?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Yes, there is a -- there's a $570 billion deficit with China. But we can lose. And we will lose. I mean just to give you a sense, this is uncertainty clearly because we don't know how this is going to go. We don't know what path we're going to go down here. But this is also real dollars and cents. So if you add up the impact of the tariffs we've imposed and that the Chinese have imposed, it's going to shave growth off of the economy this year equal to the increase in growth we're going to get from the tax cut. So this is uncertainty for sure, but it's also, you know, adding up. This is a real economic cost.

So, yes, there is no winners in a trade war. So you can't win this one.

HILL: You cannot win this one.

When we look at, too, as Cristina was pointing out, we look at the states and the companies that are being very specifically targeted by China with these proposed tariffs. There's that part of it. And then we also have, Mark, China fighting back, going to the World Trade Organization over the proposed tariffs from the U.S. How damaging could that move be for the United States and for business here?

ZANDI: Well, you know, it's just totally ironic, right, because we set up -- the United States set up the WTO for, you know, these kinds of disagreements. So, you know, we have a legitimate gripe against the Chinese with regard to intellectual property. But the way to address that is to take it to the WTO and engage them and take them through the process and the rule of law. And that's -- you know, the irony here is now that's -- that's exactly what they're doing to us.

So, you know, this strategy of taking punches at China and the rest of the world and hoping that this is going to end up in a better place I think is just the wrong strategy. It's not going to get us where we want to go. The better strategy, the right strategy, is to engage and show the rest of the world that here are the rules, here's the processes, here's WTO, let's go down that path and figure it out together.

HILL: Mark, Cristina, appreciate you both joining us. We'll continue to follow this throughout the day. Thank you.

Paul Manafort just arriving at D.C. district court for a hearing on whether the former Trump campaign manager can have some of the charges against him thrown out.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is in Washington with more.

What are we hearing this morning?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erica, so we expect some kind of a hearing to just get underway around 10:00 a.m. or so before this judge here in a federal district court in Washington. And this has to do with a motion that his attorneys have filed on the civil side seeking to have some of the charges dismissed, arguing again that the special counsel has gone beyond its jurisdiction in the investigation in bringing of charges against Paul Manafort as they relates to some of the tax issues and money laundering issues that he's been charged with.

[09:35:02] You know, they've been arguing all along here that none of this, the charges certainly that have been brought against him, have anything to do with the Russia investigation, which is what the special counsel has been doing. And so because of that, they've been seeking to get some of these charges thrown out. And as we know, yesterday, on the criminal side, the special counsel responded to the attorney's charges that they had overstepped their boundaries here in bringing these charges, arguing that they had permission from the Department of Justice, from the deputy attorney general who was overseeing the Russia investigation, to go ahead and pursue charges against Paul Manafort for some of this work that he did and made money from in the Ukraine.

HILL: Shimon with the latest for us there.

Thank you.

The morning after a shooting on the YouTube campus south of San Francisco in California, three victims are hospitalized. The shooter is dead. And her motive? She may have revealed it online. We're live in San Bruno after a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:40:05] A southern California woman with an apparent grudge against YouTube is being blamed today for shooting three people at the company's Bay area headquarters before killing herself. We're hoping to learn more when police speak with reporters again at 9:00 a.m. Pacific, noon Eastern.

In the meantime, CNN's Kyung Lah tells us what we know about not only what happened, but also, Kyung, the questions that are still out there, of course.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Those questions that we hope to have answered, at least in part in just a couple of hours or so when that news conference does begin, Erica.

What we know so far is that this woman was motivated. She lives in San Diego. She got into a car and she drove some nine to 10 hours up here to the Bay area to YouTube headquarters. Her social media history, as well as interviews that her family has done with local press, revealing some clues as to why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLICE DISPATCH: We have a report of subject with a gun. This will be from the YouTube building.

LAH (voice over): New details about the woman police say shot three people at YouTube's headquarters before taking her own life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She shot that person up really bad. No remorse, no nothing. I mean it was death row.

LAH: Authorities identifying the shooter as 39-year-old San Diego resident Nasim Aghdam. The "L.A. Times" reporting that law enforcement is looking at this website, created by Aghdam, as part of their investigation. On the site, Aghdam repeatedly criticizing YouTube, accusing the website of filtering her channels to keep her videos from getting views. Something she blames on new, closed-minded YouTube employees.

NASIM AGHDAM: You see that my new videos hardly get views, and my old videos, that used to get many views, have stopped getting views.

LAH: Aghdam's brother, who did not want to be on camera, telling CNN affiliate KGTV that his sister used YouTube to advocate against animal cruelty, one of her passions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was a nice person, innocent person. She would never hurt any -- any creatures.

LAH: The "San Diego Union Tribune" posting this picture from 2009 of Aghdam protesting with PETA. Aghdam's brother tells KGTV that his family reported her missing this weekend after she stopped answering her phone. They then located her car in a city near YouTube's headquarters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had problem with YouTube. So we called the cop again and told him that he might -- there's a reason she went all the way from San Diego to there.

LAH: Local police did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. Authorities say Aghdam opened fire on a group of YouTube employees shortly before 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And of a sudden we heard two sirens. And then we saw some people quickly running out of the building.

LAH: Two minutes after the first call, police arrived as employees fled the scene before locating Aghdam's body and ushering the injured to safety.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: The YouTube and Instagram accounts that you saw in that story, they are now down. And we do have some conflicting information as far as what we're

hearing from law enforcement. Two law enforcement sources tell CNN that it does appear that the shooter did know at least one person here on this campus. But officially what we're hearing from the local police, the San Bruno Police Department, that as of right now, Eric, it does not appear that she knew anyone. So, again, hoping to clear that up in the next couple of hours when that news conference does happen.

Erica.

HILL: And, Kyung, what do we know about the victims?

LAH: Yes, there were a total of four people who were injured. Three of them were shot, gunshot wound victims. Their conditions range from fair to critical. The good news, the hospital tells us, is that they did not require surgery. That fourth person had an ankle injury. So, you know, a handgun here. We are understanding that this certainly could have been far worse. Certainly the sentiment that you're getting here on this campus, Erica.

HILL: Yes, absolutely.

Kyung, appreciate it. Thank you.

People across the country today honoring Martin Luther King Junior on the anniversary of his death. My next guest was there on the day he was killed and rushed up, standing by his side. She shares her story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:48:50] HILL: Today marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's assassination. Right now people across the country are rallying to honor his message of civil rights and equality. Thousands expected outside the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, formerly the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was killed.

My next guest was at that motel and on the balcony just seconds after Dr. King was shot.

Joining me now is Clara Ester.

It's good to have you with us today.

CLARA ESTER, WITNESSED MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR'S ASSASSINATION: Good morning. Thank

HILL: Ms. Ester, so it's now been 50 years. I know you've said, in those moments, you don't necessarily remember running up to the balcony. But then you were there and you were looking into the eyes of Dr. King. You were looking at his face. And I heard you say the whole time you were remembering the words he had just said, that he may not be there to carry out the fight. Walk us through those moments again.

ESTER: I arrived at the hotel. We were actually going to the diner for catfish when I got out of the car with Mary Hunt, James Orange and Jim Bevil (ph) was -- and Marail McClulland (ph) were all with us. And as we were headed toward the diner, Dr. King came out on the balcony and was chatting with people down below. He had asked Ben Branch (ph) to play his favorite song that night.

[09:50:24] And folks were just laughing. It was just a great moment.

And then what appeared to sound like a truck maybe back firing, I never took my eyes off of him. So I'm watching him being lifted up and thrown back.

I don't recall how. I just remember being at his side. I stepped over his body to the wounded side. I knelt down and tried to get a pulse, and barely anything was beating. So I unbuckled his belt and unbuttoned his pants, trying to aid him in getting air.

I indicated for someone to get towels out the linen hamper that was on the balcony. And then I removed myself so that Morrell (ph) could put the towel on his neck and try to slow down the bleeding process.

HILL: As you think back to that moment and to being there by his side, that must be a moment that you go back to, especially over these last 50 years and on a day like today. Has your impression of his impact changed in these last 50 years?

ESTER: I feel like things have changed. It's difficult during this particular day and last night because of the media coverage and remembering his speech and then playing back the thing that you continue to see in newspapers and magazines, on the TV. It's difficult during this period.

But it's more difficult now I think than before, primarily because we have circled back to where we may have been 50 years ago as far as what's just and right for God's people. All of God's people and not just the selected few.

Economic inequality was an issue in 1968 with sanitation workers. Economic inequality is still an issue today.

Criminalization of people of color, maternal health care, our educational system. Here in the city where I live, we have predominantly African-American high schools now. So I ask myself often, where do we go from here? It has to be through love, building relationships with other people and trying to make a difference and speaking out. We have to start speaking out.

HILL: Is there someone you see right now, or even a group of people, who are trying to build those relationships, who are reaching out so as to move forward and not continue moving back?

ESTER: I think our church -- our churches are. I think churches are trying to engage in conversation now. I think Black Lives Matter has been a movement has been a movement indicating the importance of black people's lives in society today. And I think a majority of white people have come on board because they are concerned about those unjust cases that continue to repeat themselves month after month. We can't even count the number of incidents where young black men have

lost their lives with no weapon around. And the officers walk away.

[09:55:06] And so I think it's in the fact that we are an integrated community now. So we have black and white students and universities together. They have become friends. And when one hurts, the other one hurts. And I think only through building those type of relationships are we going to move forward.

HILL: Clara Ester, we appreciate you joining us today. I know, as you said, it is a difficult day as you think back. So important, though, to continue the conversation.

Thank you again.

ESTER: Thank you.

HILL: Our next -- and our next hour begins after a short break.