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Russian Government Continues to Leak Information on Private Meeting between President Trump and Russian President Putin; Trump Administration Announces Russian President Putin to Visit White House; Survivor Discusses Experience on Sinking Duck Boat in Missouri; U.S. Farmers Discuss Negative Effects of Tariffs; Cardiologist Who Once Treated Former President George H. W. Bush Shot and Killed; Jury Selection to Begin for Trial of Paul Manafort; History of Comedy Series to Premier. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 21, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we affectionately call Bush derangement syndrome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump derangement syndrome.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make yourself great again -- resign.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone and thanks so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield this Saturday.
After a week of intense damage control following President Trump's stunning and controversial meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, the White House is remaining silent so far this weekend. Still no official readout on that summit, but we are hearing details not from the Trump administration but from Russia. The Kremlin sharing their version of events, and the Russian foreign minister saying the meeting was, quote, better than super. And now President Trump says he's ready for round two. This time he's hoping Putin will come to the White House this fall.
We have CNN's Ryan Nobles in New Jersey nearby where the president is staying this weekend. CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kiley is in Moscow with details on the summit, and CNN's global affairs correspondent Elise Labott has reaction from the Trump administration. So let's begin first with you, Ryan, in New Jersey. Let's talk more about this second planned meeting.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. And the White House remains pretty silent as to exactly what this second meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump could entail. The only real information we have at this point is a tweet by the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, that said the national security adviser John Bolton was going to extend that invitation to Vladimir Putin. And we do know that the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, described it as being a good next step in this process of the conversation between the two countries.
But there is a lot of angst in Washington about what this second meeting could mean, especially when you take into account that we are still hashing out everything that happened in that first summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. No one knows for sure exactly what the president and the Russian president discussed in that meeting. There's even some talk that the translator in the room could be called before Congress or the National Security Council to give her version of events because we just don't know.
Now, the timing of all of this could also be pretty precarious, especially for the Republicans in Congress who are in swing districts or if they're in a state that is up and hotly contested in the fall election. And that's because the timing of this meeting could happen either right before the midterm elections or right after the midterm elections, and that means no matter when it takes place it is going to be a talking point on the campaign trail, and it's something that Republicans are going to have to face. Do they support this idea of a second Putin meeting or not?
And Fred, honestly right now there are a lot of Republicans in Congress that are uncomfortable with this idea. In fact, the Senate majority, Mitch McConnell, his spokesperson saying that Vladimir Putin will not be invited to Congress if and when he comes to Washington. Fred?
WHITFIELD: Ryan Nobles, thank you so much in New Jersey.
CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kiley joining me now from Moscow. So Sam, what is the Kremlin's take on the content of this Helsinki meeting?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: One of considerable delight, because at the moment they're pretty much writing the story the way that they want it to be told. So in the immediate aftermath of this Helsinki agreement they suggested that the ministry of defense here in Russia was preparing for a future peace talks over arms reduction, over renewal of the START treaty.
Then there was a suggestion that there had been negotiations or talks, suggestions perhaps at this secret meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at which the sharing of information, perhaps cooperation over counterterrorism operations was discussed, and ever more ironically over cyber operations, given the effects on the 2016 presidential elections in America and elsewhere in Europe of Russian cyber hacking, somewhat ironic there.
Then I think even more controversial perhaps is a suggestion coming out of from the Russians that Donald Trump may have agreed or at least agreed to talk about further a deal that would bring Syrian refugees back into Syrian government-held territory. That is completely at odds with existing American policy which absolutely rules out the return of refugees into areas controlled by the Syrian regime and backed by Russia. Bear in mind, of course, the Russians are still bombing Syrians as we speak. So at the moment, very much a situation in which the Russians are writing the story of the Helsinki summit. Fred?
WHITFIELD: All right, Sam Kiley, thanks so much in Moscow.
So now for a look at how the Trump administration is handling the news of this second summit. CNN's global affairs correspondent Elise Labott is joining me now. So what is the message you're hearing from diplomatic circles as to how this might be planned or played?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Fred, right now it's just a tweet from Sarah Sanders, because nobody really has been given any instructions in terms of what happened from the first summit on how to implement any policy. People still trying to find out in dribs and drabs, kind of crumbs, if you will, on what happened at that summit. And as Sam said, the narrative is really being run by the Russians.
[14:05:14] Secretary of State Mike Pompeo perhaps one of the very few people that have a real inkling what went on. Take a listen to him yesterday at the United Nations when asked why it was important to invite Vladimir Putin for a second meeting in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm happy that the two leaders of two very important countries are continuing to meet. If that meeting takes place in Washington I think it's all to the good. Those conversations are incredibly important. We have our senior leaders meeting all across the world with people when we have deep disagreements with. It is incredibly valuable to the people of the United States of America that President Putin and President Trump continue to engage in dialogue to resolve the difficult issues that our countries face between each other. I think this makes enormous sense, and I'm very hopeful that that meeting will take place this fall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LABOTT: So Fred, a lot of talk about that it is valuable but not why it is valuable and what the dialogue is about these certain issues. And that's why there's so much confusion and a deep frustration within the Trump administration about the kind of lack of a coordinated strategy on how to follow up from the summit, whether it's a communications strategy, whether it's instructions on implementing new policies, a lot of bafflement I would say throughout the administration.
WHITFIELD: Bafflement probably describes the reaction that we saw from the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, as well, that he wouldn't know that there was this discussion or even planning. So who will be involved in a planned summit at the White House?
LABOTT: I think in terms of why Dan Coats didn't know, the White House was saying that they tried to reach the DNI's office. They weren't able to talk to him directly. So they wanted to avoid leaks, and so he wasn't briefed on the latest invitation. Certainly he was surprised and in fact seemed to indicate he didn't think maybe that there should be another summit.
I think the whole administration if there was a second meeting would be involved, certainly national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, if there is nuclear talks obviously Defense Secretary Mattis would help prepare the president for this. But since, again, as everybody is saying, no one really knows what was agreed to or what was put for further discussion at this summit, they don't know how to help the president or brief the president. I think in the coming days and weeks we'll have to hear what went on at this summit so we'll know why it's so important to have a second one.
WHITFIELD: All right, Elise Labott, thanks so much.
Let's talk more about this. I want to bring in Angela Stent. She is the director for Russian and Eastern European Studies at Georgetown University. She's also a former intelligence officer for the National Intelligence Council. Good to see you.
ANGELA STENT, DIRECTOR, RUSSIAN AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Good to be back.
WHITFIELD: So right now it appears as though Vladimir Putin is in the driver's seat of post-Helsinki, what was agreed upon, what wasn't. Do you see he'll continue to be in the driver's seat for this planned second meeting, albeit at the White House?
STENT: So if nothing changes I think he will. I think the summit was pretty much a success for him. He had the American president treating him as an equal. We had been trying to isolate Russia because what it had done in Ukraine and Syria and other places. That seems to be over now. And as all of your correspondents have said, all we know about what happened during that 90-minute meeting between the two presidents is what the Russians are telling us.
So I think someone in Washington needs to step to up this and begin to take control of the narrative. And up to now we seem to have at least two policies. We have the policy of President Trump who's obviously very forward looking in terms of Russia and thinks he can really make a deal with Putin, and then the rest of the administration that's much more cautious and wants to have, if you like, pursue a more conventional policy and understands the pitfalls of just accepting the Russian narrative.
WHITFIELD: So oi the White House were to now step up and try to take the reins of the narrative, it is really too late to do that?
STENT: I don't think it is. I mean, I think there is are issues like arms control where I think both sides, we need with the Russians to extend this strategic arms treaty that expires in 2021. So I think that is a good way to begin with the Russians. I think everything else is going to be much more difficult. For instance, Syria, where I think we have rather different views, as we heard. So it's not too late, but I think we have to pick the issues. We have to set that agenda.
WHITFIELD: So do you believe this confusion, this bafflement, that this really is exactly what Vladimir Putin had been gunning for?
[14:10:05] STENT: Well, I think so, except I think what the Russians didn't realize is the domestic backlash to what President Trump did in that press conference with Putin. They didn't reckon with that and now I think they have to understand that this could make it much more difficult to move forward on their agenda, too.
WHITFIELD: So is it your feeling that the interpreters, that their notetaking would suffice to understanding what may or may not have been promised? Or do you believe that Putin or maybe even the Finns may have recorded this conversation, had some sort of documentation?
STENT: Well, part of me would be very surprised if someone hadn't recorded it, although I have no knowledge of that. The problem with the interpreters is they're focusing on interpreting the meaning of what the different presidents are saying, and they don't have a broader overview. And I think they work for the president, and they're under no obligation to brief anyone else. So I think the sooner our administration gives us some readout about what happened, whatever the terms are, I think then that will assuage some of the concerns about whether things were agreed to that we'll never know about.
WHITFIELD: If there is indeed a White House meeting in the fall, how do you see it might be coordinated differently?
STENT: Well, I think you just have to have a proper interagency process preparing for it, which is what normally happens in the different branches of the government. I am assuming this will be a working visit. If this were a state visit that would be a much bigger deal, and we haven't actually had a state visit with President Putin I don't believe since he's been in power, and that's for 18 years. So I think you just need enough time to prepare and you need proper interagency coordination.
WHITFIELD: Is it your feeling perhaps Vladimir Putin wanted this to be private? Perhaps the way in which it was played out really are the hallmarks of his choreograph choreography?
STENT: I think he looked pretty happy going into that press conference, and I think from his point of view, again, I think it worked out pretty well except for this unexpected domestic backlash. But he may still believe he can interest President Trump in proposals that the Russians want but that aren't necessarily in America's national interest.
WHITFIELD: Angela Stent, we'll leave it there. Good to see you.
STENT: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Still ahead, a survivor of that duck boat tragedy who lost several family members describes the moment that she thought she would drown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIA COLEMAN, SURVIVED BOAT ACCIDENT: And I was yelling. I was screaming. And finally I said, lord, just let me die. Let me die. I was saying, I can't -- I can't keep drowning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: A report, next.
[14:17:05] WHITFIELD: The New York police officer accused of holding Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold as Garner cried, quote, "I can't breathe, I can't breathe" has been formally charged in connection with Garner's death. Police tell CNN that Officer Daniel Pantaleo was charged last night. An NYPD official with knowledge of the investigation says Pantaleo will face two separate charges, one for using the chokehold, and the other for restricting breathing. His attorney declined to comment to CNN.
And at this hour Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is receiving a briefing from investigators about Thursday evening's deadly duck boat accident. All 17 victims of that terrifying accident near Branson, Missouri, had been identified, and questions remain about what led to the incident. A mother who lost nine family members including her three children shared her story this morning about what happened onboard as conditions worsened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIA COLEMAN, SURVIVED BOAT ACCIDENT: They told us they're up here. This is where they are. They showed us where they were. They said but don't worry about it, you won't need it. We said OK. So when the captain took over, I thought that at some point he would say grab the jackets now. But we were told to stay seated, and everybody stayed seated. Nobody grabbed them. When that boat is found, all those lifejackets are going to be on there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: That is difficult to hear every time you hear it. CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung joining us live from Branson, Missouri. Kaylee, so what are investigators saying at this juncture?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tia Coleman as you just heard her there shedding light on an important question that investigators will be asking the other survivors of this tragedy, and that's what about those life jackets? The boat still, she mentioned, still at the bottom of his lake. Salvages that boat intact will very be important to the course of this investigation.
As you would imagine, the NTBS who is leading this investigation tells us, it will be, they expect, could be a year before they're able to issue a report that details what led to the death of 17 people. As they said, speaking with survivors will be key as well as speaking with eyewitnesses and first responders. Some stunning eyewitness video of the moments that this boat capsized and sank were captured. As you mentioned, the A.G. in town, the state's top law enforcement
officer to get a briefing from officials. I should say that officials from the NTSB, many of them haven't been on the ground much longer than 24 hours at this point. They say they could stay here from seven to 10 days to conduct those interviews that they need, to also collect any perishable evidence and, of course, salvage that boat.
Fred, this is going to be a long process. Tia Coleman's healing process will be much longer. Absolutely stunning in the scheme of this story to come to understand of the 17 victims, nine of them from the same family in Indianapolis.
[14:20:11] WHITFIELD: Heartbreaking. Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much.
Straight ahead, the Russia investigation will be in the spotlight as Paul Manafort heads into trial next week. What charges does the former Trump campaign manager face, and what's at stake for Manafort and Robert Mueller?
[14:25:00] WHITFIELD: Jury selection begins in just a few days for the first trial in the special counsel's Russia investigation. Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, is set to go to trial around the end of the week on bank and fraud charges. Manafort's attorneys are submitting a last-minute request to keep evidence on his foreign consulting work out of the case, arguing that material could confuse and mislead jurors. CNN's Jessica Schneider has more on what this highly anticipated trial might look like.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paul Manafort will soon emerge from his jail cell to face a judge and jury inside a Virginia courtroom.
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: He just won the primary process with a record number of votes.
SCHNEIDER: The man who served for five months as Donald Trump's campaign chairman now faces 25 criminal charges in two separate cases in Virginia and Washington, D.C., amounting to a maximum of 305 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
Manafort lost his fight to move this week's trial away from Alexandria, Virginia, which is just across the Potomac from Washington, to Roanoke, four hours outside the beltway. Manafort faces 18 counts of bank and tax fraud in Virginia where prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team laid out nearly 500 pieces of evidence they plan to present.
[10:45:02] They'll include pictures of Manafort's five homes, spanning from Manhattan to Virginia, and other photos documenting his once lavish lifestyle, filled with cars, high end clothing, and even a watch and other items from the self-proclaimed most expensive store in the world, Bijan.
MANAFORT: Mr. Trump will be officially the nominee of the Republican party. So we're excited about that.
SCHNEIDER: Just one month after that announcement and Donald Trump clinching the nomination, Paul Manafort was forced out. He left the campaign in August, 2016, amid questions about his past lobbying work for pro-Russian Ukrainian government and the payments he received. More than a year later in October, 2017, the special counsel's team indicted Manafort, charging him with hiding money he made in Ukraine to avoid paying taxes and then lying about his debt to secure new loans.
Manafort's lawyers have been fighting charges for months on two fronts. In addition to the Virginia case, Manafort is charged with seven other counts in Washington, D.C., including failing to register as a foreign agent. That trial is set to start in September. In June, the D.C. district judge revoked Manafort's $10 million bail, which included house arrest, and sent him to a jail two hours south of Washington. The judge scolded Manafort after prosecutors said he contacted witnesses in his case and asked them to lie.
MANAFORT: I have no foreign clients. I have no clients. I have one client, Donald Trump.
SCHNEIDER: The man who arguably got him to the Republican nomination is now more recognizable for his mugshot. The trial will be the first major spotlight for the special counsel's team that has already secured five guilty pleas, including Manafort's former deputy Rick Gates and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. So far Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought 191 criminal charges against 32 people and three companies as part of his investigation into Russian meddling and other matters that arise from that investigation.
And Mueller's team is trying to compel five unnamed witnesses to testify in Paul Manafort's trial, offering them immunity from prosecution in exchange. It will be up to the judge if he decides to force those five to testify. A hearing in Manafort's case is scheduled for Monday. That will determine what evidence will be allowed in, and jury selection is expected to begin Wednesday, setting up a trial start for end of the week.
Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.
WHITFIELD: Let's discuss this big trial and what could be at stake. With me right now is CNN analyst Areva Martin. Areva, good to see you.
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, Fred.
WHITFIELD: So Robert Mueller, he's asked the judge to grant immunity to five potential witnesses to testify in the case. How unusual is that?
MARTIN: Not unusual at all particularly in a case of this magnitude. Fred, this is a huge and very complex tax fraud and tax evasion case. We've heard from the package there are over 500 pieces of documentary evidence that the Mueller team has asked the judge to allow to be admitted during the trial. We should expect to see and hear testimony potentially from Rick Gates. He's going to be key to this because we know he's already take an plea deal with Mueller, and he was so close to Paul Manafort during the decade that he was working in the Ukraine. So he could be that smoking gun and provide that testimony that ties Manafort to the charges that have been brought against him.
WHITFIELD: So how nervous potentially should Manafort be particularly for Gates' testimony?
MARTIN: This is a really stunning trial. The fact that Manafort has not already entered into some kind of plea deal with the government is shocking because the evidence against him is so persuasive and compelling.
[14:30:01] We should expect that Paul Manafort's team, they're going to go after Rick Gates if he testifies, they're going to go after him really hard. They're going to say this guy has lied to accountants, he's lied to lawyers, he's lied to Treasury Department, and even to FBI agents. So why should you believe him now? So we should expect a very rigorous cross-examination of Rick Gates if he does take the stand to testify against Paul Manafort.
WHITFIELD: So what does it say to you that Manafort hasn't cut a deal yet? If it's jury selection next week, it seems that window is closed. And second to that, does it mean he's the biggest fish and perhaps Mueller team doesn't want to cut a deal with him because there is no real leverage?
MARTIN: That's a really interesting question, Fred. We haven't heard much from Paul Manafort's team at all about any potentially deal or negotiations with federal prosecutors. It seems as if he's prepared to go to trial and assert his innocence. We know that part of his defense will probably be that he didn't have control over these accounts, that he didn't have any specific intent to defraud the government.
So it's curious as to why he hasn't given the mounds and mounds of evidence against him, paper evidence. It's got to be compelling to jurors sitting there looking at all of these lavish things from watches to homes to the incredible bills that he racked up on things like suits and clothing.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And then how does it impact, whether it's jury selection or the case itself, that Manafort lost some privileges? He had house arrest and then he ended up in jail without the privilege of being able to enjoy any of his number of five properties while he was awaiting trial. How does that color, I guess, jury selection or even set the stage for the trial?
MARTIN: I don't think those facts in particular will cover jury selection, but I think what will be stunning -- think about the average juror. So it's a jury of your peers, but not many peers have experienced the kind of lifestyle Paul Manafort has. So you're asking jurors to look at this evidence, this guy, this incredibly lavish lifestyle that he lives, shopping at one of the most expensive stores in the world if not the country, and to believe that somehow he didn't know that he was breaking the law, that he didn't know he had to report this income that he was earning overseas, that he was inflating his income and lying about his debts to get additional loans. I think he's going to have an incredibly hard time convincing jurors of his innocence in a case of this magnitude.
WHITFIELD: So his attorneys would know that, so what are they up against? Because they have to humanize him. Whether you're wealthy or not, the attorneys have to connect with jurors to say, OK, erase all that, forget the fact that he's wealthy or may not be able to identify with your lifestyle, but this is what I need you to consider, and this is why you need to look at him as an innocent man?
MARTIN: This is a very difficult job for lawyers. And we don't know if his lawyers haven't been trying to encourage him to enter into some kind of plea deal. Ultimately, it's his decision. It's not the decision of the lawyers. But you're right. The lawyers have to try to get these jurors to see him as a person. Obviously they're going to try to point their fingers at the prosecutors as the big, bad government. They're going to say that this is all politically motivated, that these charges were just brought because of his affiliation with Donald Trump.
As we know, Paul Manafort has been allegedly under investigation for years before he joined the Trump campaign for that brief period. So their best defense is to say this is the little guy and this is the big, bad government coming after the little guy, and we can't let the government overreach in this way. Hard story to sell, but one that has to be made by his defense team.
WHITFIELD: We'll be watching. Areva Martin, thank you so much.
MARTIN: Thanks, Fred.
WHITFIELD: President Trump, his tariffs are taking aim at foreign product, but what effects are they having right here on the home front? Coming up, why some farmers say they will suffer the most from the White House's current trade policies.
[14:38:39] WHITFIELD: After President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs, trade wars may be on the horizon. One group that could be on the front line of these wars are the American farmers. Many fear the tariffs will mean the loss of foreign buyers so vital to their farming survival. CNN's Kate Bolduan has more on the concerned farmers, many of whom voted for President Trump.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the sun peeks over the Wasatch Mountains in West Weaver, Utah, Ron Gibson's dairy cows are already lining up. But at the sixth generation farmer watches over his operation, he also has an eye on his twitter feed.
RON GIBSON, UTAH FARM BUREAU PRESIDENT: I always hope that one morning President Trump's just going to wake up and send out that 3:30 in the morning tweet that says tariffs are gone.
BOLDUAN: Gibson voted for Donald Trump and supports most of the president's agriculture policies, but he believes U.S. farmers will suffer the most from trade wars with countries that buy American agriculture goods.
GIBSON: We can talk about Harley-Davidson, we can talk about some of the costs that are going to go up. Agriculture is definitely the tip of the spear in a retaliatory tariff they're placing against the United States.
[14:40:00] BOLDUAN: For farmers in the west already battling drought and immigration labor shortages, losing foreign buyers could push them to the brink.
GIBSON: We have 160 dairies in the state of Utah right now. It's a very real possibility by the end of this year we could have 100. Pretty soon you have to say, I can't do this anymore.
HARRISON TOPP, COLORADO FRUIT FARMER: We really, really, really count on workers that come from Mexico. I call them agricultural athletes. They're phenomenal. They're incredible workers.
BOLDUAN: First generation fruit farmer Harrison Topp worries a trade war with Mexico and Trump's harsh immigration policy will irreparably harm the relationship to the point he and fellow Colorado growers won't be able to find workers willing to do the hard work of hand- picking their peaches, their apples, and their plums.
TOPP: What's really hard is the uncertainty. To have a really uneasy relationship with Mexico and to see what's happening with the politics in Mexico right now, it is concerning to think about that what could potentially do to our labor force.
BOLDUAN: That's something that keeps farmers like Ron Gibson up at night, and once the foreign buyers leave they may never return.
GIBSON: It's heartbreaking to me to watch what I believe is the core of America struggle for survival. I just hope that Washington, D.C., can do everything that it can to help the American farmer be successful, because I believe that when the American farmer is successful, we will be successful as a country.
BOLDUAN: Kate Bolduan, CNN.
WHITFIELD: Next, the former doctor for president George H. W. Bush has been killed. The shooter gunning him down from a bicycle. Was this a targeted attack? A live report, in moments. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[14:46:21] WHITFIELD: A cardiologist who treated former president George H. W. Bush was shot and killed yesterday while riding his bicycle to work as a Houston hospital. Investigators say Dr. Mark Hausknecht and the shooter passed each other riding bikes in opposite directions. The shooter opened fire on the doctor and rode away. CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the story for us. Polo?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, Dr. Mark Hausknecht has been recognized as an outstanding pillar in the medical community there in the Houston area. Right now detectives in Houston are trying to not only find his killer but also find out a motive.
SANDOVAL: Police in Houston searching an area near Texas medical center for a murder suspect after cardiologist Mark Hausknecht was gunned down Friday while riding his bicycle to work. Police say the doctor was riding north when he passed the shooter, also on a bike, going in the other direction.
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT CHIEF TROY FINNER, HOUSE POLICE DEPARTMENT: The suspect was on a bicycle as well, drove past, rode past the doctor, turned and fired two shots. The doctor immediately went down.
SANDOVAL: A private ambulance passed the scene and EMTs stopped to help before Houston fire department arrived.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd seen somebody flagging us down. I said something is wrong. Then I drove up a little further, and I'd seen the gentleman sprawled out on the floor with blood all over him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We stopped, rendered aid to the best of our ability.
SANDOVAL: Authorities said investigators don't know if the shooting was targeted, random, or caused by road rage. A few people may have witnessed the attack and police are looking into surveillance video.
FINNER: Our homicide investigators are interviewing people. Another thing about the medical center, as you know, there are a lot of cameras. So we're hoping that we can get some footage of this.
SANDOVAL: Dr. Hausknecht was a well-known cardiologist, one of his patients former president George H. W. Bush whose spokesman issued this statement. "Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man. President Bush said in a statement "I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers." A Houston Methodist Hospital spokesman said "Not only was he revered by his patients but Mark was highly regarded by peers and colleagues. He was recently recognized as a super doctor."
SANDOVAL: Investigators have only been able to describe their suspect as either a white or Hispanic man in this 30s who was riding a light- colored mountain bicycle at the time of the shooting which took place yesterday, Fred. But just because that's the only information that they have publicly released doesn't necessarily mean that they have any specific leads. Oftentimes in these kinds of investigations they keep some information close to the vest if they are pursuing some of these leads. But important to point out, Fred, this happened during rush hour yesterday morning. The tragic irony is it happened in the shadow of the medical facility where this man saved many lives.
WHITFIELD: Terribly sad. Polo Sandoval, thank you.
Much more straight ahead in the newsroom. But first, here's this week's "Turning Points."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stumbled upon yoga to save my life basically, and I knew that I found something special. I knew I had been given a gift. And it's taken me on a totally different plan that I originally planned.
I served in the Marine Corps five years. After 9/11 I joined up as a contractor with a lot of different government agencies where I was traveling extensively to Iraq, Afghanistan, and some other countries. I was a long-distance runner. I ran marathons to get rid of my stress.
An attack in the middle of the night one time, mortar came through a roof. I tripped and hurt my ankle. When I couldn't run and couldn't deal with my stress, it was piling up and it was taking me to a dark place and suicidal thoughts were crept in. and that's when I found yoga. I felt just relaxation for the first time in over a decade and I knew that there was hope out there for me.
[14:50:05] I dove into my daily practice, and then I took my teacher training. I created Vets Yoga, which is Veterans Yoga. We're a nonprofit that brings yoga, meditation, and healing arts to military veterans and their family members. My life has changed for the better, and the more people I help, the better I feel about myself. Seeing people, hearing their stories of how yoga saved their life just keeps my flame lit and it keeps me doing what I'm doing.
[14:55:10] WHITFIELD: All right, be sure to tune in to an all-new episode of "The Axe Files" with David Axelrod tonight when he welcomes former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITCH LANDRIEU, FORMER NEW ORLEANS MAYOR: You know what, I'm not interested in finding it out anymore. President Trump has us all spinning around in circles trying to figure out why he does what he does. What we need to be focused on is what his behavior is and what his decisions are and ask ourselves whether it makes America stronger or makes America weaker. And I think that he weakened us in a way that we've never been weakened before, and he should be ashamed of himself for the way he handled it. More importantly putting that issue aside, we need to start figuring out how to work around him as a country and how to contain --
DAVID AXELROD, CNN HOST: Hard to work around the presidential.
LANDRIEU: But actually it's not impossible, and it is possible for the speaker of the House to grow some courage and to start checking the president's power. And there are lots of different ways that we can do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: "The Axe Files" airing tonight 7:00 p.m. right here on CNN.
And tomorrow night, the CNN original series "History of Comedy" is back with an all new episode. This week, we take a look at how comedy powerhouses use improv and sketch comedy to make audiences laugh and prove a point. Our Anderson Cooper talked with actor and comedian Sean Hayes, the executive producer of "History of Comedy" about the series.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So welcome. It's great to see you again.
SEAN HAYES, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: Thank you. It's very, very, good to see you. Last time we spoke I couldn't see you. It was just a black box.
COOPER: Right, and I think you were on your phone a lot last time I tried to interview.
HAYES: One second.
HAYES: No, talking to him now. No, this is him. Yes, I'm on right now. No, it's gray. It's really silver gray. Bye-bye. Go ahead.
HAYES: What was the question now?
COOPER: Did -- were you always funny growing up?
HAYES: No. I'm still not. Still searching for acceptance in any form.
COOPER: I didn't want to say, but -- HAYES: No, no. That's my job. So, no, I come from an Irish Catholic
family. Very loud. You know left in pain. Father left when I was really young, that whole story, blah, blah, blah. So I learned to cope with life through comedy a long time ago, and I think most people who are in the business of trying to be funny probably can relate to that.
COOPER: That's interesting. You also -- in the show you also look at how comedy has allowed groups, women, gay people, people of color to assert their sexuality, to have a voice in ways that society has not allowed them to previously.
HAYES: Yes. That's the great thing about comedy, isn't it? Everybody's a fan of comedy. And I think if it's not, not to pontificate too much about comedy, because the second you dissect it, it's not funny anymore, but I think we need comedy for our souls. It provides us levity and balance in our lives and in our souls. And to me, the history of comedy is a fun ride, but if you look a little deeper, for me, it's also, everything I do is informed by the people who came before me, and that's what I love about the show.
COOPER: You were telling me a story before we went on about you shooting here in New York a couple weeks ago which I find odd, because I got no notification, no e-mail or text or anything.
HAYES: That's weird. That's weird. I went through your 10 people to get to you. Did that ninth people not deliver on their job?
COOPER: Maybe it was them. Yes.
HAYES: Yes, yes. Well, it's hard to see you. Sometimes people can't see you in your office with your 19 Emmys on the wall. Like, the glare. They may open the door and not see you right away.
COOPER: I also blend into the white wall. I'm like Casper the friendly ghost. I really look forward to this. I loved the first series. Do you think there will be another?
HAYES: Yes. Well, I think so, because they're so, there's so much, there's so many more topics that we want to cover that fall under the umbrella of certain specific areas of comedy. This season, like I said, there's all of those topics, animation, comedy and animation, sketch comedy and comedy legends. And there's so many we haven't done yet. You can do 10 episodes just on female comedy, females in comedy.
COOPER: It is interesting how much comedy changes over time. You look back at stuff that -- well, actually, maybe this is too long and boring to --
HAYES: I sprang for it.
COOPER: I don't know what I was doing.
HAYES: That's OK. COOPER: Yes.
HAYES: You look great.
COOPER: Thank you. Always good to talk to you, Sean. Thank you.
HAYES: You, too, Anderson.
WHITFIELD: Having a little too much fun there. Catch an all new episode of "The History of Comedy" tomorrow, 10:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.
Thanks so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Much more of the Newsroom continues right with Alex Marquardt.