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How Do People Feel About the Mueller Report? Protests in Paris. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 20, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Hello on this Saturday. You made it to the weekend. You are live in the CNN newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. From total exoneration to total BS, the president lashing out and demanding payback as the Mueller report finally sinks in. He tweeted this. "It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason." The president posted that on his official at POTUS Twitter account after completely ripping the Mueller report apart as crazy, fabricated, and totally untrue. But remember, just recently he felt a whole lot differently.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you think Robert Mueller (inaudible)?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, yes.
I've been totally exonerated. No collusion, no obstruction. The special counsel completed its report and found no collusion and no obstruction.
CABRERA: So what happened? Maybe he read what was actually in the report or maybe he saw what people were saying about in on TV that instead of exonerating him, Mueller's report actually exposed 10 times President Trump may have obstructed justice, suggesting the FBI Director let Michael Flynn go, pressuring the attorney general to reverse his recusal, firing the FBI Director, trying to get rid of the special counsel, trying to limit the investigation, coordinating lies about the Trump tower meeting with Russians, again, trying to get rid of Jeff Sessions or have him take over the investigation, telling his White House Counsel to lie about attempts to remove Mueller, dangling pardons, and criticizing his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, while he was cooperating with prosecutors.
Some congressional democrats are now demanding the start of impeachment proceedings. Others in the party remain unconvinved and they'll hold a conference call Monday to discuss the next steps. CNN's White House Correspondent, Boris Sanchez, is in West Palm Beach near the president's Mar-a-Lago resort. Boris, as this impeachment debate plays out, democrats are united in demanding the full, unredacted report, but that's setting up a fight with the Justice Department.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. And it's a fight that will likely end up in court. The House Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler I should say, filing a subpoena to get the full, unredacted report including portions that were redacted because they contained sensitive grand jury information. The Department of Justice fired back, putting out a statement saying that Nadler's subpoena was unnecessary and premature.
In the meantime, President Trump is furious over details that are in the Mueller report. According to sources, the president is angry because some of the information that former White House officials gave to Robert Mueller that depicted the White House as a chaotic place and that depicted President Trump as being angry and paranoid, and aides either refusing or ignoring his orders.
The president tweeted out about the Mueller report several times today. Here's one of those tweets, and you may have heard some of this language from the president before, but again, he writes, quote, "despite the fact that the Muller Report should not have been authorized in the first place & was written as nastily as possible by 13 (18) Angry Democrats who were true Trump Haters, including highly conflicted Bob Mueller himself, the end result is No Collusion, No Obstruction!"
A couple things to point out here, obviously that no obstruction portion, the special counsel does not write that in the report. It sort of leaves a gray area where, as you said, it indicates at least 10 times of the president instructed people around him to do things that would hurt the investigation. Also we should point out the Department of Justice has already weighed in from this claim from President Trump that Robert Mueller is conflicted. They essentially said that Robert Mueller had not conflicts of interest. And Attorney General William Barr has come out and said that this report is legitimate. Ana -
CABRERA: Boris, I mentioned off the top there how democrats are reacting. We know republicans largely are staying right behind the president on this, but there is at least one republican now calling out the president, Senator Mitt Romney.
SANCHEZ: That's right, Ana. And he's calling him out on his behavior toward Russia and the behavior of Trump campaign officials toward Russia. It's important to put into context Mitt Romney's record on Russia has been consistent, even going back to one of those presidential debates in 2012 when he was a candidate and he was ridiculed for saying that Russia was the United States greatest geopolitical foe.
Here's a portion of that statement from Mitt Romney, the senator from Utah writing, quote, "I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land including the president. I'm also appalled that among other things fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia.
Reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we've strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders." Of course, Ana, one of the big questions out there is if - and it's a big if - democrats are successful in impeaching the president in the House how will Mitt Romney fall on this issue if it does get to the Senate and senators have to vote on conviction? Ana -
CABRERA: We're a long way from there. It could come to that. Boris Sanchez, thank you for that. One of the most damning takeaways from the Mueller report is that what ultimately saved the president fro obstructing justice is a staff that basically ignored what he told him to do. Take the case of then White House Counsel, Don McGahn. In January of 2018, The New York Times reported that the president had ordered McGahn to remove Robert Mueller. Here was the president's reaction to the story at that time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you seek to fire Mueller?
TRUMP: Fake news, folks. Fake news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your message today.
TRUMP: Typical New York Times fake stories.
CABRERA: Turns out the story was true. The Mueller report works through the entire episode step-by-step. As the president stews over the report, he tries to get McGahn to lie about it, too, demanding he write a letter calling the story inaccurate, which is wasn't. According to the report which says the president asked McGahn, "did I say the word fire?" McGahn responded, "what you said is call Rod Rosenstein. Tell Rod that Mueller has conflicts and can't be the special counsel." The president responded, "I never said that."" The report suggests Trump was always suspicious of McGahn's potential power. "Why do you take notes," Trump asked. "Lawyers don't take notes.
I never had a lawyer who took notes." McGahn responded he keeps notes because he's a real lawyer. To which Trump replied, "I've had a lot of great lawyers like Roy Cohn. He did not take notes." Roy Cohn, if memory serves, was disbarred in 1986 for unethical conduct, but I digress.
Let's get to our group of great political analysts and reporters with us today. CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray, White House Reporter for The Washington Post, Josh Dawsey, and Garrett Graff, the author of The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller's FBI and the Global War on Terror. Garrett, McGahn is just one example. Time and again in this report we see cases where President Trump's orders were stopped by his aides, but many of those people are now gone. Is there anyone who remains as a guardrail for the president?
GARRETT GRAFF, AUTHOR "THE THREAT MATRIX: INSIDE ROBERT MUELLER'S FBI AND THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR": Fewer and fewer every day, and in fact what we are seeing is potentially even some very troubling signs even outside the White House. I mean, remember we saw - we lived through two weeks ago the purge at DHS of a number of officials who had been willing to stretch the bounds of morality to begin with but wouldn't cross over the line to do illegal activities that President Trump wanted to fire.
And now after complaining for two years about Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein behind closed doors as the Mueller report makes clear in Volume 2, he has replaced Jeff Sessions with Bill Barr who seems quote comfortable as he was Thursday morning acting by all appearances as the president's personal defense lawyer and not as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States.
CABRERA: Here's what one senior administration official told our Jake Tapper that the president makes absurd demands of his staff and administration officials who are alarmed by them and reluctant to follow them is not only unsurprising but has become the norm. Josh, does that line up with your reporting?
JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Certainly lines up with the reporting particularly in the early part of the administration. Reince Preiebus, White House Chief of Staff, the president would demand that he would do things, and Reince would say next week, next week hoping that the president would forget about it eventually, and it often worked.
Don McGahn is who has gotten a lot of the president's ire over the past 24 hours, but as the report makes clear, the president often asked McGahn to do things that would have been deleterious to him and could have actually constituted obstruction of justice. And McGahn in some ways saved the president from some of his worst embosses. And something that we've seen time and time again, back to Garrett's point, you know, Mick Mulvaney's mantra so far as Chief of Staff has been let Trump be Trump, but when I was talking to several officials yesterday, they were saying can you imagine if we just let Trump be Trump when he was so angry about this probe? What would he have actually done?
CABRERA: Lets dig into a little bit more of the examples from this report about aides and people around Trump really not following through on president's orders and this was when he was trying to put pressure on then Attorney General Jeff Sessions to unrecuse himself.
Sessions wouldn't do it, so the president then pulled in his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to dictate a message. I quote, " that Sessions should give a speech publically announcing I know that I recused myself from certain things having to do with specific areas, but our president is being treated very unfairly." Sara, I know you've read this report. Just explain what happened next because this really gives you a sense of how things were operating.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, essentially the president wanted Corey Lewandowski to deliver this message to Jeff Sessions to sort of unrecuse and try to limit the scope of the investigation. And Lewandowski who was - is an outside advisor to the president didn't really feel comfortable with that. He didn't really feel like it was his place. He didn't have an official job in the White House, so he ultimately didn't follow through.
He kicked it over to Rick Dearborn who was working in the White House and essentially tried to get him to deliver this message to Jeff Sessions. Well, Rick Dearborn also didn't really feel comfortable about it, also didn't really understand what was going on, and just decided to never deliver the message. And we see this kind of theme over and over again in the report is the president kind of dictating what he wants done to advisors inside the White House outside the White House, and hey just don't follow through on it.
CABRERA: Garrett, there's another moment involving the president asking then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to claim that firing James Comey was Rosenstein's idea, and the report says that night the White House Press Office called the Department of Justice and said the White House wanted to put out a statement saying that it was Rosenstein's idea to fire Comey. Rosenstein told other DOJ officials that he would not participate in putting out a false story. We knew before the Mueller report that Trump lies a lot, but now we know he expected multiple aides to lie for him, Garrett.
GRAFF: Exactly, and this is a particularly instructive incident because what we actually saw as the special counsel laid out is that the Donald Trump had gone off to the Bedminster Golf Course the previous weekend, gotten himself fired up, basically dictated a termination letter for James Comey to his aide. Stephen Miller typed it up, and then they were debating it on that Monday and that's when finally the president asked Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein to draft a memo saying that it was their suggestion that Jim Comey be fired. And so, really they were trying to put the paperwork into place after the termination had already been written.
CABRERA: Josh, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is also under fire for telling the special counsel that a comment she made at the podium at a press conference that rank and file FBI agents had lost confidence in Comey after he was fired was not founded on anything. That's what she told the special counsel. Well, here's how she's now defending herself after the report.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I said that it was in the heat of the moment, meaning it wasn't a scripted thing. It was something that I said and - which is why that one word has become a big deal. But the big takeaway here is that the sentiment is 100 percent accurate.
CABRERA: That's not what Mueller writes in his report. That's not what she told Mueller in her interview under oath or when she had to tell the truth. Josh, do you have any indication that her job is in jeopardy?
DAWSEY: Oh, no. Not at all. I don't think Sarah - I think Sarah if anything is ascended in the West Wing. She often is advising the president, close Oval Office circles. She's in some ways more of a top advisor than a press secretary now that she rarely briefs the media. And Sarah Sanders yesterday went out on television and did what the president loved.
She counterattacked. She did not give an inch. She didn't say, "oh, yes. I definitely was not telling the truth." She went after democrats, went after others, and praised the president. I think the never retreat, never surrender, never give in on anything mantra that she showed there if anything will endear her with the president. I don't think the president is going to terminate her for potentially misleading the media.
CABRERA: But Josh, what does this do - this report do to White House credibility?
DAWSEY: It shows that in a lot of times the White House was not telling the truth about sensitive matters. It certainly shows that time and time again that they were saying things to us that were not true. I think, though, for two and a half years we've essentially known that some of the officials in the White House have not told the truth.
It's been proven over-and-over there are times when people have not told the truth. I'm sure that it shows it far more publicly here, though, Ana, is that the White House aides on the record with prosecutors under oath said, you know, we weren't telling the truth. This is what actually happened. And for the public what's different than stories that we write or stories or books like Bob Woodward's "Fear" or "Fire and Fury" where a lot of it's disputed, here it's the president's own people explaining exactly what happened on the record, and it gives people a glimpse into what this - how this White House operates every day.
CABRERA: In this report, Mueller writes this. The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president's corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principles that no person is above the law. Sara, it seems like Mueller was leaving a roadmap for Congress to investigate, and yet here's what the Attorney General said, Bill Barr, during his press conference.
WILLIAM BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: Special Counsel Mueller did not indicate that his purpose was to leave the decision to Congress.
CABRERA: Sara, how do you explain this discrepancy? [15:15:00]
MURRAY: You know, I wish I could, Ana, but now having read the report, it's almost like Bill Barr went out there and did that press conference and expected us to never read the actual contents of what Mueller was putting out because it is very clear, as you point out, that in the report Bob Mueller, you know, makes it evident that Congress can and perhaps even should continue to move forward with their own investigation, and it's very clear that it weighed heavily on Mueller and his team that they could indict a sitting president anyway.
And so, they weren't looking at a sort of traditional prosecutorial decision in this way, and that is very different than what we saw Bill Barr say in that press conference. I think that's why you've seen, you know, so many democrats coming out and criticizing him so openly and so harshly because they do very much feel like Barr came out and acted as President Trump's personal attorney rather than the attorney general.
CABRERA: The picture that the Mueller report itself paints and his conclusions that are drawn certainly are different in terms of the narrative that was set by Bill Barr in that letter that first came out a few weeks ago. And Garrett, when that came out I remember you said you had a million more questions. Now that you've seen the redacted version - and I hold it up for our audience to see because this is the redacted version front and back sided. This is a thick report. You can see sort of my little note cards there, but I'm curious what your takeaway is. Do you still have any questions or all of your questions now answered, Garrett?
GRAFF: Well, certainly they're not all answered, but this report does make a lot more sense then the summary that Bill Barr delivered. I mean, I was unable, as you and I were talking about, to square the Bob Mueller that we have known for 50 years and his career and his reputation with the person that Barr was summarizing. This report sounds a lot more like Mueller and as Sarah is talking about, the fact that he did not come to a traditional prosecutorial decision on the question of obstruction makes sense in the framing that he delivers in his own report in Volume 2.
And I think we're left with this very uncomfortable position now where the - during two years of investigation Mueller uncovered and made public two separate criminal conspiracies that aided Donald Trump's election in 2016 - one conducted by the Russian government and one dealing with Michael Cohen, individual one, and the hush money payments about Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. And in both cases, it's hard to face any other conclusion than the fact that if he was anyone other than the President of the United States, Donald Trump would have been indicted in both conspiracies.
CABRERA: Wow, and I'm going to ask our legal analyst that question, what their take is on that as well. Garrett Graff, Josh Dawsey, Sara Murray, thank you all for being part of this discussion.
Coming up, Mueller mystery, the special counsel referred 14 different investigations to other federal prosecutors. 12 are fully redacted in the report. We'll read between the lines next.
Remember what the president has always said about his memory?
TRUMP: One of the great memories of all time.
CABRERA: Apparently that great memory turned to amnesia during his written responses to the special counsel. The president's go-to answer more than 30 times was along the lines of I do not remember, I have no recollection, I do not recall. These are just a few of the quotes or parts of quotes from President Trump answering questions about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in 2016, about how hacked democratic emails got out, about a proposed building project in Moscow. Even when he was asked if he remembered whether Vladimir Putin supported him in his run for the White House or not.
TRUMP: I have a good memory - like a great memory. I have a great memory.
CABRERA: But on Russia answering Robert Mueller's questions, he doesn't remember. He has no recollection. He does not recall more than 30 times. Mueller and his team called those answers inadequate. Other answers they say were incomplete or imprecise, and Mueller notes in the report that because they were written and handed in, nobody was allowed to ask follow up questions. There's so much the president doesn't remember. Interesting from the man who told the country this so many time.
TRUMP: One of the great memories of all time. All I have to do - I mean, I have like a good memory - like a great memory. I don't need teleprompters. It's called like up here and it's called memory and it's called other things. Do you have notes? I say no. Do you have something? I say no. I have like a good head. I have a good memory. I have a very good memory. I said, no, I have a great memory.
CABRERA: With us now, former federal prosecutor and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Gene Rossi. Gene, how often do lawyers hear, "I don't remember," from a witness giving testimony? It's the perfect answer, right? You can't prove whether or not someone under oath remembers something even if they claim to have one of the greatest memories. GENE ROSSI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: In the 30 years I was a prosecutor, when I heard a witness, a subject, or a target say, "I don't recall," 37 times to really layup or softball question either under oath or in a meeting, I concluded one thing. They're guilty, period. When you use the word, "I don't recall," to answer basic questions that anyone would know you're lying, it's an insult to the judicial process, and those clips you just played, Ana, all I can do is just chuckle. And it goes back to when I read the Mueller report, I thought I was reading a movie script for Godfather IV and I'm not joking.
CABRERA: Wow. We know Mueller was not satisfied with the I don't knows, I don't remember, I don't recall answers that the president gave.
He considered a subpoena for a one-on-one interview, but he decided against actually doing so writing, "our investigation had made significant process and had produced substantial evidence for our report. We, thus, weighed the cost of potentially lengthy constitutional litigation with resulting delay in finishing our investigation." So in the end, the president's strategy worked, right? Should Mueller have further pursed an interview?
ROSSI: You know, I'm a big fan of Mueller. I trained four of the people that were in his office, so I got to pause a little bit. I think they probably should have pursued having a president just like they did with Bill Clinton, President Reagan, and other executives, George Bush, have him at least testify ideally under oath or in front of agents where you have the threat of 1,001 and you can ask follow up questions. I got to say I'm a little disappointed they did not ask the president to sit down for an interview, but here's one comment I do want to make, Ana.
Going back to the Barr press conference, and you held up the Mueller report which is very thick, I encourage your viewers to read the press statement of Bill Barr. And I've concluded after reading his statement and reading the thick report that the press conference was a big con. And one of the big cons was saying that the president fully cooperated. He didn't fully cooperate. 37 I don't recalls or variations, not willing to sit down under oath or with agents for follow up questions, that's not fully cooperating. That's trying to divert an investigation. I'm sorry.
CABRERA: So does Mueller's reasoning for not subpoenaing the president to do an in-person interview make sense to you?
ROSSI: Yes, and here's why it makes sense. Robert Mueller had a mission, and one of his missions was to determine whether there was a conspiracy, not collusion, but whether there was a conspiracy. I think he established that and I agree with his decision there was no conspiracy. There may have been aiding and abetting by the Trump officials, but they didn't join the conspiracy, so he got that mission done. The second mission was obstruction of justice, and I got to tell you the 10 episodes that he has listed in the obstruction part of his report is absolutely chilling, disgusting, and revolting that a chief executive of our great country engaged in that conduct, so he probably thought he had enough. But the third thing I want to say is this, and this goes back to the Barr press conference and the big con.
The major reason why Robert Mueller did not make a traditional prosecutorial judgment is because of that big leviathan, the OLC memo that said he could not charge a sitting president. Mr. Barr - Attorney General Barr gave the impression that Mueller was so undecided he couldn't - it was like equipoise. That's far from the truth. He left it up to Congress, not to Bill Barr, to decide that jump all (ph).
CABRERA: I did read in the report that you're right. Mueller approached the obstruction investigation from the get go saying we're not going to end up charging him, so we're going to put this together in a different way. Based on your reading then of the obstruction section, if this president weren't the sitting president, would he have been indicted?
ROSSI: That's a softball and a layup for me. In the 30 years I trained -
CABRERA: So no question in your mind?
ROSSI: Oh Ana -
CABRERA: This is a slam dunk obstruction case?
ROSSI: There's never a slam dunk case, Ana, but let me tell you this. It's a slam dunk that I would have presented charges to the grand jury, asking the grand jury to indict the President of the United States for obstruction. That decision is a slam dunk. Whether a jury would believe me is a different story. The other slam dunk charging decision is in the Southern District of New York.
If Donald Trump's last name were Smith and not Trump, he would have been indicted on August 22, the day after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty last year, and he would have been indicted for campaign violations along with probably Allen Weisselberg and David Pecker if they didn't get immunity.
CABRERA: All right. Gene Rossi, I have more questions for you. I always do. Thank you for being here.
ROSSI: Thank you.
CABRERA: From Washington to Wisconsin now, will voters in a key state led to President Trump's 2016 victory remember or care about the Mueller report in 2020? We'll go there next.
CABRERA: Game over. That's President Trump's message now to democrats after the release of the redacted Mueller report. But how do voters feel? CNN's Miguel Marquez traveled to Wisconsin, a state that was key to President Trump's victory in 2016.
STEVE SCAFFIDI, HOST, WTMJ RADIO: Good morning Wisconsin, 48 degrees at radio city.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Release of the redacted Mueller report in Milwaukee, talk of the town.
SCAFFIDI: Obviously the big story today, the Mueller report, the redacted version is coming out hopefully as we speak.
[15:35:00] UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: It's out now.
SCAFFIDI: We got it.
MARQUEZ: On conservative talk, radio host Steve Scaffidi says he's talked to Mueller four to five times a week for the past 22 months. Now that it's out there--
SCAFFIDI: For a lot of people on my side of the aisle, I think we're looking at this as -- yes, there could've been some reason to investigate this but it -- I think it has been hyper politicized to the point where it just went on too long.
MARQUEZ: Every caller after caller after caller, the president isn't perfect, but the investigation has gone too far for too long.
SCAFFIDI: Eddie from Franklin (ph), and real quick I only got about a minute Eddie (ph), what say you?
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: I say it's a total fishing expedition. They had a prejudgment about Trump ahead of time. They just -- they don't like his character which a lot of people don't, but I mean they just don't agree with his policy.
MARQUEZ: In the Milwaukee suburbs, support Washington in conservative Ozaukee County where in 2016 voters supported then candidate Trump by nearly 19 points over Hilary Clinton. Some republican voters here say--
LINDA WELLS, REPUBLICAN VOTER: We're sick of hearing about it. I think Washington; they want to focus on it. Those people want to. But for us, my friends, we're sick of hearing about the Mueller.
MARQUEZ: Democrats want more details, but concede regardless of what's in the report it's likely to make little difference in how voters view the president.
SUSAN NIEDERFRANK, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: I think I've been reading about it for a long, long time. And it seems like I'm not sure any thing is going to change.
MARQUEZ: Closer to downtown in blue Wauwatosa where voters backed Clinton over Trump by 22 points, some independent voters here say the entire report must now be released. PAM MASILOTTI, INDEPENDENT VOTER: The full report needs to be fully disclosed to everybody so that we can read it and see what is it actually--
MARQUEZ: No redactions? No redactions the report -- the full report, everything?
MASILOTTI: The full report, absolutely. We have a right to see the full report.
MARQUEZ: Some republicans also welcoming full publication, confident there is nothing there.
JOHN ALBERTI, REPUBLICAN VOTER: If this was going to have any kind of major impact on anything, they would've already brought indictment or charges or recommended for the prosecution. So, I don't think it's really going to be the big reveal like everyone thinks.
MARQUEZ: So I talked to independents and democrats and republicans, even republicans who don't like the president, and they all thought sort of the same thing. That of the Mueller report and its findings are still a topic of discussion in 2020, it will help the president win reelection. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
CABRERA: Coming up, protests, tear gas, fires in the streets of Paris today. More than 180 people now detained. So what was behind this chaotic scene? We'll get a live report next.
And be sure to join Dr. Sanjay Gupta tonight first as he travels to Bolivia and discovers the healthiest hearts in the world on Chasing Life at 9:00, followed by his ground breaking report on the opioid crisis, Weed 4, pt versus pills. That's at 10:00.
[15:40:00] CABRERA: New today, riot police using tear gas and water cannons on the so-called yellow vests protestors in Paris.
Some protestors pushing back and setting small fires on the streets this time to show outrage over billions raised to rebuild the scotched Notre Dame cathedral. That gives you a sense of what's happening there right now.
More than 180 people are in custody being held for questioning now with police. Let's get right to CNN international correspondent Erin McLaughlin in Paris. And Erin, give us the latest.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was a 23rd consecutive week, Anna, of yellow vests protests. But this today was particularly violent, sum 9,000 protestors took to the streets of Paris along thousands more across France. Police working to control some of the violence, some of the looting small fires being lit in the streets of Paris with tear gas and water cannons.
Many of the protestors were fueled, outraged by the controversy that surrounded Notre Dame Cathedral and the donations that follow that fire that happened earlier on Monday, the fact that in sum 48 hours, some of the richest people in France donated about EUR1 billion or over $1 billion to the reconstruction efforts.
In some minds among the yellow vests protestors highlighted social inequality playing out across France, they're very upset. One protestor markedly holding up a sin saying we are all cathedrals. It was a scene of violence in more contrast to the scene playing out just behind me which is Saint-Sulpice.
This is the largest church in Paris, and it's where many of the ceremonies that would have taken place at Notre Dame are now taking place during the holy week including the ceremony happening now.
Just a short while ago we saw a very somber, very serine precession of priests including the bishop move in the church for what is a somber ceremony. There will be prayers fro the cathedral tonight. Anna.
CABRERA: OK, Erin McLaughlin in Paris for us. Thank you. Remembering the Columbine massacre 20 years later, coming up, a survivor of the shooting shares her memories of being inside the school when two of her classmates went on a killing spree.
[15:45:00] CABRERA: Today we mark 20 years since the Columbine shooting. April 20th, 1999 in a quite suburb of Denver, Littleton, Colorado shots rang out in an American high school. It marked a turning point in this country. And we now live in a post- Columbine world. Many mass shootings at schools have followed it.
But Columbine is the mass shooting forever serried in to our collective memory. For the survivors and the families of the victims, this somber anniversary is a special time of reflection. CNN Scott McLean has their story.
[15:50:00] SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On April 20th, 1999 a high school in Littleton, Colorado was under attack, bare of school students armed with guns and even homemade bombs walked on to campus and started shooting at their peers.
In the moments that followed, live images of students running for their lives were broadcast nationwide. Then 16-year-old Samantha Haviland was one of them. She was in the cafeteria when the first shots were fired.
SAMANTHA HAVILAND, COLUMBINE SURVIVOR & HEAD OF COUNSELING, DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS: My friends had to pull me out of my chair to the ground. I didn't understand, I had no concept of someone shooting at me particularly in school.
MCLEAN: Haviland narrowly escaped the danger, but her friend Rachel Scott did not. She was among the 13 people killed. Grant Whitus was the first SWAT officer to enter the building. He's the one seen here at the window to the cafeteria.
GRANT WHITUS, FORMER JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SWAT LEADER: We broke the window; I went in right then fully expecting to be in a fire fight.
MCLEAN: But by the time police went inside 47 minutes after the initial gunfire, the shooters were already dead.
WHITUS: And by the time we arrived, there was hundreds of cops there and nobody had went in. 20 years ago, this is how business was done. Patrol gets there, surrounds it, locks the scene down and waits for SWAT. In hindsight, that was the biggest mistake.
MCLEAN: It's a mistake he won't make twice. Since then, he's been teaching police to go straight to the sound of gunfire. For ten years after the shooting, Haviland spent her life on high alert, always looking for the exits, looking out for danger.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: That sounds exhausting.
HAVILAND: Hypervigilance is extremely exhausting. It takes up a lot of mental energy.
MCLEAN: Haviland is now the head of counseling for all Denver public schools and sees that same hypervigilance in more and more students every year, even kids who have never experienced trauma themselves. She says its thanks to monthly active shooter drills and graphic school shooting videos shared on social media.
HAVILAND: I can't say it surprises me. I can say t breaks my heart.
MCLEAN: Today, Columbine still attracts hollow threats and unwanted attention. Last week, a Florida teenager who police say was infatuated with the shooting took a one-way flight to Colorado and bought a gun, forcing the closure of schools across the region.
HAVILAND: I feel for the students and the staff that are there because these children were not -- they weren't born even 20 years ago when it happened. But they're the targets.
MCLEAN: A lot has changed since Columbine school shooting truly shocked the country. Police tactics, gun laws, school security and hundreds of lives but some things maybe never will.
HAVILAND: When I think back to high school, I don't think about the shooting, I think about the volleyball tournaments and the speech tournaments and my friends. But Columbine to an outsider is referring to the shooting itself.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: It means only one thing.
HAVILAND: It means only one thing.
MCLEAN: Scott McLean, CNN, Denver.
CABRERA: Everyday people are changing the world. And too often their work doesn't get the attention it deserves. Well you can help shine a light on their efforts by nominating them as a CNN Hero. Here's Anderson Cooper with some important tips.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Since 2000, seven CNN Heroes has been featuring hundreds of everyday people whose extraordinary acts are changing lives and making the world a better place. We need you to tell us about that amazing person in your life. And you can do it right now at CNNHeroes.com.
Here's the inside scoop on successfully nominating your hero. Think about what makes that person truly special, then write it down in a paragraph or two. We also want to know the impact that they are having. Tell us what sets that person apart. Who knows, you might see your everyday hero named the CNN Hero of the year.
CABRERA: Nominate your hero right now at CNNHeroes.com. We'll be right back.
[15:55:00] CABRERA: Welcome back. Before the Mueller report got all the attention, someone else was stealing the show. Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While everyone was eyeing the potential for--
BARR: An obstruction of justice offense.
MOOS: Many noticed an obstruction of eyelids offense. Rod Rosenstein's unblinking stare held viewers captive.
BARR: Conspired or coordinated.
MOOS: The timing of his blinks seem coordinated.
BARR: Non-corrupt motives.
MOOS: Almost 20 seconds in-between. Looks like he just came from the taxidermist. Like he was added later in Photoshop. Rod Rosenstein's eyes got their own Twitter account. Hostage to Department of Justice, is my soul now with Chris Christie's? A reference to another famous blank stare over President Trump's shoulder. TRUMP: It's abysmal.
MOOS: How abysmal?
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Chris Christie looks like a guy who suddenly isn't sure if he turned the stove off before he left for work.
MOOS: Actually the deputy attorney general did adjust his glasses.
BARR: I will now have a few questions.
MOOS: He even eked out a couple of weak smiles, for instance when his new boss thanked him. Even if Bill Barr did think he was over his other shoulder.
BARR: Thanks, Rod.
ROSENSTEIN: Thank you.
MOOS: The other human backdrop, the mystery bearded guy inspired a comparison to a confederate colonel. Actually he's Edward O'Callaghan, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. Colonel sounds higher, but it was Rosenstein who mesmerized the internet.
Rod Rosenstein is winning a staring contest against all of us right now. When it comes to an unblinking gaze, Rosenstein almost beat the Eagle. And in a blank, someone added a soundtrack.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Hello darkness, my old friend.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.