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NRA President Oliver North Steps Down Amid Feud with CEO Wayne LaPierre; Police Charge Driver with Intentionally Hitting Group of Pedestrians He Believed They Were Muslims; Rosenstein Blames Obama for Burying Attack on 2016 Election; Poll: Most Think Trump Lied, Obstruction, But Oppose Impeachment; Trump Defends Charlottesville Comments after Biden Slams Them; 10 Civilians Killed in Explosions, Shootout at Raided Home in Sri Lanka; Trump Touts "Great Relationship" with North Korea; North Korea Billed the U.S. $2 Million for Otto Warmbier's Care; Putin "Pleased" with Kim Jong-Un Summit, Will Inform U.S. on Talks; Anti-Vaxxer Debate Heats Amid 695 Measles Cases in 22 States & Quarantines; Mother Faces Son's Killer in "The Redemption Project"; Judge Bans Media from Pretrial Hearing for Harvey Weinstein. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired April 27, 2019 - 13:00   ET


[13:00:00] DR. JOSEPH SCALEA, PERFORMED TRANSPLANT SURGERY: It's really been a wonderful ride for her. She's recovering. She had a transplant so she's got to get through that. But we're quite pleased with her recovery so far.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Good to hear. And good for drones.

Dr. Joseph Scalea, thanks very much for coming on the show today.

SCALEA: Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

SAVIDGE: Hello. Thanks for joining me. I'm Martin Savidge, in for Fredricka Whitfield.

We're following breaking news. There's been a major shakeup at one of the country's most powerful lobbying groups. I'm talking about the National Rifle Association. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North says that he has been told he won't be re-nominated as the organization's president. North was reportedly locked in a power struggle with the longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre.

Polo Sandoval has been following developments from New York.

Polo, what exactly is Oliver North saying this morning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's playing out this morning at the NRA's annual convention, Martin. This morning, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North requesting a letter he wrote be read out loud by a high- ranking NRA official, in which, as you point out, makes an announcement that he's been informed he will not be re-nominated to serve as the group's president. We should note, he was recently appointed last year to the post.

I want to read a small portion of the letter as potential outgoing NRA president, Oliver North, was read out loud to various members of the NRA. He specifically writes, "There's a clear crisis that needs to be dealt with immediately and responsibly so the NRA can continue to focus on protecting our Second Amendment. I have been on the NRA board more than two decades. It was a great privilege to serve as your president this past year, an honor second only to serving the country as a U.S. Marine in combat."

Of course, he goes on to lay out more details here. That particular crisis he is referring to, it's important to talk about that, Martin, according to Stone (sic), he felt there was a financial crisis, a financial mismanagement at very high levels of the organization. In that letter, he writes there's been various reporting by reliable news outlets and newspapers, the "New York Times," the "New Yorker," as well, that spell out allegations about that financial mismanagement. And according to Lieutenant Colonel North, it could be a threat to the non-profit status of the NRA. If that happens, that would be significant. But this is just laid out in this letter.

As you mentioned, this goes back to the ongoing tension and disagreement between Oliver North and Wayne LaPierre, the executive, who will remain in place. This morning, after seeing the reporting from folks at that conference, it certainly was a tense moment. However, at this point, Lieutenant North will be out and Wayne LaPierre, who you see there, will remain.

SAVIDGE: Remarkable. You seldom hear of tension or controversy within the NRA. It's usually surrounding it.

Polo Sandoval, thank you for bringing us up to date.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, Martin.

SAVIDGE: We are following developments about what appears to be a hate-filled attack in a town near San Jose, California. Sunnyvale police say the man who slammed his car into pedestrians this week targeted the group because he thought they were Muslims. Now, Isaiah Joel Peoples is behind bars, facing eight counts of attempted murder.

Let's bring in CNN national correspondent, Sara Sider.

Sara, what more can you tell us about the suspect?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We now he had an arraignment on Friday. His attorney did not enter a plea. His attorney saying to these new charges by police that, indeed, Isaiah Joel Peoples was actually believing to have targeted Muslims when he rammed his car into people. There are eight people who have been injured, including a 13-year-old girl who has swelling of the brain and is now in a coma.

We should also mention that, you know, Isaiah people's attorney said he believes his client did not do this intentionally and that this was a result of a mental disorder. We have also seen reporting that his mother has been talking to locals there, including the "San Jose Mercury News," saying her son suffers from PTSD. He was an Army veteran who served time in Iraq. But, the police chief being very clear that he believes this was

absolutely an intentional act. Eight people were severely injured. And he believes Peoples did not have any remorse in doing so and that he targeted them for their race and because he believed they were Muslim.

If, indeed, that evidence is handed over, which it will be to the district attorney's office, and the district attorney decides, indeed, there's enough evidence, the charges he is facing now, eight counts of attempted murder, could become larger and include a hate crime enhancement. In California, there are laws on the books, hate crime laws, against targeting people because of their race, religion, gender, and what have you. We'll have to see if that happens.

But Police now have evidence that, indeed, this car ramming attack in Sunnyvale, nine miles from San Jose, California, was because the person behind the attack was looking to target Muslims -- Martin?

[13:05:36] SAVIDGE: Sara, do the authorities say what that evidence is, why they believe that?

SIDNER: No, they are not revealing what that evidence is. What I can tell you is there's a witness who has been talking and who has been talking to reporters as well. The witness says, when this all happened, at one point, Isaiah Peoples, the suspect in this case, said after he had run over all these people, he used the words, "Thank you, thank you, Jesus, thank you, Jesus." He said it a couple times. The witness was confused by that, wondering why he was thanking Jesus after this horrific attack. We do not know if that is what factored into police believing Isaiah actually went after people because he thought they were Muslims. Certainly, they have very clear evidence that that is exactly what he was doing when he rammed his car into all those pedestrians -- Martin?

SAVIDGE: Sara Sidner, thank you for the update.

Right now, police are ramping up searches and raids across Sri Lanka as we learn new information about who was behind the Easter Sunday suicide bombings.


[13:10:29] SAVIDGE: Speaking publicly for the first time since the release of the Mueller report, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is defending himself over his handling of the report. Rosenstein said Russia's attempts to undermine the 2016 elections were, quote, "only the tip of the iceberg." He also placed blame on the Obama administration for burying concerns over Russian interference.

Here is what he said about that.


ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The previous administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls and how they relate to Russia's broader strategy to undermine America. The FBI disclosed classified information about that investigation to lawmakers and staffers. Someone selectively leaked information to the news media.


SAVIDGE: Let's bring in CNN's Marshall Cohen, in Washington.

Let me ask you this, is there much to support that claim that the Obama administration should have done more?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Hey, Martin. It's been a long time since the 2016 election. We are still talking about it all these years later. Yes, Democrats and Republicans have said, alike, the Obama administration could have done more in 2016 to inform the American people about what exactly was going on with the Russians being responsible for the hacks, the WikiLeaks releases, and the intervention to help Trump win. Of course, administration officials said, all along, they did ha they thought was right and they were afraid, frankly, if they made too many public pronouncements, they could be accused of trying to get Hillary elected in an unfair way, using the power of the presidency to put their fingers on the scales.

SAVIDGE: The impact here seems to be there's some blame to go to the Obama administration? As I remember, it was members of Congress and specifically Republican members of the Senate that may have had a hand in trying to prevent it from being brought forward to the public.

COHEN: That's true. A lot of the blame falls on Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader. They went to him in 2016 and said, please, sign on to a letter and let's go public, Dems and Republicans, and tell the people what is going on. He didn't want to do it. They released a paper statement in October from the director of National Intelligence, but that same day was the "Access Hollywood" tape and everybody moved on.

SAVIDGE: I remember that well.

Thanks, Marshall Cohen. Appreciate it greatly.

New polling numbers are out and showing how the American public view President Trump in the aftermath of the redacted release of the Mueller report. The "Washington Post"/ABC News poll reveals 40 percent of Americans believe the president tried to interfere in the Russian investigation and he obstructed justice. In the same poll, a majority said they do not believe Congress should start impeachment proceedings.

With me now is Margaret Talev, a senior White House correspondent for "Bloomberg News" and CNN political analyst. Also, Melanie Zanona, a congressional reporter for "Politico."

Good day to both of you.


MELANIE ZANONA, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Hello. Margaret, let me start with you.

Should the president be, I don't know, breathing a sigh of relief that he's got the poll numbers that seems to show Americans don't support impeachment?

TALEV: I think it would not be shocking to me if he mentioned this or alluded to this when he gives his rally today in Green Bay, Wisconsin. If anything else, the polling validates what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's approach has been so far in trying to keep her caucus on the Democratic side at more of a simmer than a boil on this question of impeachment. The poll doesn't say they don't ever want any impeachment proceedings against President Trump, but not now. That's how the House speaker is tailored in her message of late to tell people we should investigate. That's what congressional responsibility is. Let's take it where it goes but not jump there now. This poll validates that. You have most of the American public saying they think he crossed the line and did something wrong, but that large plurality also, the majority, saying don't go there now.

SAVIDGE: Melanie, where kind of position does this put Democrats in Congress who continue to investigate the president and who have definite portions of their base that want them to impeach Trump.

[13:15:02] ZANONA: Look, I think there's a growing sense among Democrats that the best way to beat Trump is not through impeachment, but through 2020. I think Pelosi and her top deputies are going to have to wrestle with how far they go in investigating Trump. Yes, most Americans think he lied but they don't support impeachment efforts. Would they support the investigations as they continue to drag on? There's the risk of the American public getting a little bit of fatigue here. As you mentioned, there's going to be immense pressure from the liberal base to go after Trump with impeachment proceedings. You have seen prominent progressives come out in support of this, jumping on the impeachment bandwagon for the first time, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with a huge megaphone on the left. It will be interesting to see Pelosi and how she tries to keep her troops in line. Will she try to throw the liberal base a bone, maybe through a censure resolution of Trump or through other mechanisms? But these will be the questions Democrats wrestle with as they return to Washington for the first time since the report came out.

SAVIDGE: Good point.

Margaret, the president found himself defending his Charlottesville remarks. Of course, it was after Joe Biden used his campaign to blast the president and his handling of the crisis. So everyone is clear what was said and when, let's replay the president's words.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You said there was hatred and violence.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think there's blame, yes, I think there's blame on both sides.


TRUMP: You look at both sides. I think there's blame on both sides. I have no doubt about it and you don't have any doubt about it, either.

You will see that that question was answered perfectly. I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general, whether you like it or not.


SAVIDGE: Margaret, why is the president weighing in? He didn't have to respond to Joe Biden.

TALEV: No. This is one of the things, the large portion of staffers put their hands in their faces when he goes back to the subject. It appeals to a segment of the base. I'm not sure it appeals to all of the base. Many of the Americans who voted for him last time around, but perhaps crossed party lines to do so, that is a dicier proposition. What you are going to see tonight when the president rallies in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is the president trying to dig down and hang on to the Rust Belt states that have traditionally been Democratic. One expert in Wisconsin told me as I was preparing to get my head around the president's trip, he said, you know the expression, "Wisconsin nice." There are a lot of voters in Wisconsin who aren't, you know, very comfortable with the approaches the president takes. Whether defending Charlottesville is more important for the president politically to energize his base or whether it detracts from his ability to be Wisconsin nice, I think he's testing that proposition. Some folks inside the team don't think it's a good idea.

SAVIDGE: Melanie, before I get you to respond, I want to play -- I want people to hear the crowd from that night in Charlottesville because this was not about a statue of a general. Let's listen.


CROWD: Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us. Jews will not replace us.


SAVIDGE: As you see, "Jews will not replace us" is the chant the crowd was saying at the time. It was not about General Robert E. Lee or a statue.

Melanie, your reaction to that?

ZANONA: That's exactly right. They were not chanting about the statue. They are chanting these horrible things, "Jews will not replace us," and other things about minorities. It's a dark chapter in American history. But the president is not someone who is going to back down. He is not someone who apologized. I can't say I'm surprised with how he responded to Biden. But stepping back a little bit and putting on the 2020 lens, is that he was baited into responding to Biden. We have seen him on the attack so far going after some of the 2020 candidates. This is the first time he's had to play defense. I think his response is going to give more ammo to Biden who is making attacking Trump and going after Trump a centerpiece of his campaign.

SAVIDGE: Is this likely what we are going to see, Margaret? Is this the way it goes? It's the strategy clearly.

TALEV: Both candidates are testing each other with the barbs. President Trump trying to get a debate over who is more-younger or more vital between the two of them. You know, each wants to attack the other one. You know, the president recognizes that Joe Biden, if he can survive the Democratic primary, could, potentially, play strongly against winning back the voters who President Trump won over. Trump and his campaign have not been convinced about Biden's ability to do that. They have seen 20 candidates as a force that is pulling further to the left. Biden's fairly strong entry in terms of fundraising and the clear anti-Trump message on day one goes to the president in pushing back hard, initially, rather than letting the Democratic field do that to Biden. Which I think, you know, that's the president's competing mind. On one hand, they are telling him, let the Democrats take the steam out of Biden. The president can't resist getting a jab in himself. That's what you're starting to see --


TALEV: -- Biden taking advantage of, yes.

[13:20:46] SAVIDGE: Melanie, real quick, the president is going to Wisconsin. We have alluded to some of what he may talk about. Do you think he is going to talk about Biden and Mueller and getting more knocks in on that or what is he going to get done?

ZANONA: If his Twitter feed is any indication, yes, he'll talk about Mueller and Biden. I think he's going to talk about the media. He's ramped up attacks on the media. This rally comes at the same time as the White House Correspondent's Dinner. He ordered his officials not to attend. I'm sure we'll hear some jabs. It will be a typical Trump playbook tonight in Wisconsin.

SAVIDGE: OK. We'll listen.

Margaret Talev and Melanie Zanona, thanks for being with me today.

ZANONA: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: We'll be right back after this.


[13:25:23] SAVIDGE: We are continuing to follow new developments out of Sri Lanka where 10 civilians, including six children, are dead after a police raid and shootout on a suspected terrorist hideout. It is one of four safe houses raided in the last 24 hours. Police were also searching for two possible terrorists on the run. The police raids and manhunts are connected to the investigation into the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed more than 250 people.

CNN senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley, is in eastern Sri Lanka with the latest.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Kalmunai, the scene of a gun battle and a series of explosions that has been devastating certainly to civilians caught up in the explosion. Nine civilians killed in the house behind me when suicide bombers are believed to have detonated a motorcycle and two other bombs when the military came on a raid here. Now, that raid followed the discovery of a warehouse full of bomb-making materials and 150 sticks of gel ignite, 100,000 ball bearings, many hundreds of pounds of other ingredients for explosives, both professional and the sort that you can make independently. This would indicate, from the Sri Lanka perspective, they have had something of a success because they did believe there was a wider plot to continue with terrorist attacks after the Easter Sunday massacres.

Now, what happened in the incident here was, following the discovery of that warehouse, they got intelligence that a man, called Mohammad Nias (ph), was connected to a brand-new van, bought with cash on April 19th, that's just a day or so before the Easter attacks, was the owner of the van. He is the brother-in-law of one of the suicide bombers that attacked the Shangri-La Hotel. He is laying dead on the street, killed as he burst out of the house, firing his automatic weapons, killed by Sri Lankan Special Forces. Inside the house, they said they closed on that location, there were three detonations. They believe six terrorists are killed, six children and three women. People in this community have all been evacuated to a location about 300 or 400 yards away as police continue to conduct a sweep of the area.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Kalmunai.


SAVIDGE: Still ahead, Vladimir Putin may be emerging as a key player in nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the U.S. after his historic summit with Kim Jong-Un. Is Russia attempting to help or interfere?


[13:31:52] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are wrapping up a two-day meeting in Washington. The pair are playing gold today after a round of discussions yesterday. Topping their talks, ongoing nuclear negotiations with Korea. The relationship between the U.S. and the hermit kingdom has appeared to falter in recent months after President Trump and Kim Jong-Un failed to reach an agreement during the summit in Hanoi. President Trump remains optimistic. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we are doing very well with North Korea. A lot of progress is being made. I have a great relationship with Kim Jong-Un. I appreciate that Russia and China is helping us. China is helping us because, I think they want to. They don't need nuclear weapons right next to their country, but I think they are helping us because of the fact we are in a trade deal, which, by the way, is going very well.


SAVIDGE: I'm joined by John Park, the director of the Korea Working Group at the Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Thanks for being with us, John. Appreciate it.


SAVIDGE: First, let me get your thoughts on what the president said there. Does the U.S. and North Korea really have a great relationship?

PARK: If you piece together the statements, Martin, especially after the summit meeting between Chairman Kim and President Putin, it doesn't seem to be the case. Chairman Kim confided in President Putin that the ball is now in the U.S. court after the abrupt end to the Hanoi summit. The North Korean side is waiting for the flexibility from the U.S. It's really a connotation about the lifting of sanctions. The side of waiting for the North Koreans to come up with a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, on the North Korean side, waiting for the U.S. to come up with release of sanctions. Looks like they are stuck.

SAVIDGE: There's another indicator of problems on the horizon. The joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea had been put on hold by the U.S. and by President Trump. It seemed to be part of the negotiations deploy with North Korea. Now, they are back, at least temporarily, it seems, to holding these training exercises, again. That seems to signal something bad has happened here.

PARK: The clear understanding that was arrived at after the summits was, essentially, what's called a freeze for freeze. The United States and South Korea would freeze on their military exercises, including strategic assets, and the North Koreans freeze on their ballistic missile and nuclear tests. The biggest proponents of this freeze for freeze were Russia and China. In that sense, in the definition as it's understood in an operational way about the non- inclusion of the strategic assets, that still holds. As you point out, we are seeing the unrolling of exercises and, so far, the North Koreans stated their objections, but not to the point that ratcheting up tensions as we saw in 2017.

SAVIDGE: Then we also learned this week that North Korea demanded $2 million in what they said were medical expenses before releasing American student, Otto Warmbier, in 2017. He was released to U.S. officials. He was in a coma and died after returning to the United States. President Trump denied, flatly, that the U.S. paid anything. Were you surprised to hear this coming out? Is it usual that there's some kind of a bill or money exchanged for the release of Americans?

[13:35:23] PARK: Well, in previous instances where American citizens were held by the North Koreans and those American citizens had health issues, there was an issue of a medical bill. On a personal level, this tragic story that the Otto Warmbier family is dealing with becoming more tragic. On that side, it's quite disappointing to see how this is playing out. Overall, when you look at the situation of how the North Koreans dealt with U.S. hostages and so forth, as they call them, this is a part of these medical bills that have been mentioned in the past as well.

SAVIDGE: OK. Real quick here, Vladimir Putin, we saw him meeting with Kim Jong-Un. What is Putin's agenda? What is he trying to do?

PARK: It looks like Putin is trying to give Russia a seat at the table. A table that really doesn't exist right now. But, signaling that Russia can have an impact on the overall situation. Russia has economic development projects, railroads and pipelines with North Korea from years past that have been frozen. They would like to see those coming up again. The bottom line is, unless there's movement between the United States and North Korea, these other countries won't be able to play out a supporting role and it comes back to the denuclearization issue, which is something that's becoming increasingly retractable.

SAVIDGE: Shows there's another president that is likely to meet with him.

John Park, thanks very much.

PARK: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Still ahead, the largest measles outbreak since the disease was supposedly wiped out is now sweeping the country, prompting some officials to order mandatory vaccinations. But what about the rights of those who truly don't want to vaccinate their children? The legal debate, next.


[13:41:00] SAVIDGE: You've probably heard the nationwide measles outbreak forced two of southern California's largest universities to quarantine hundreds of students and faculty. The mandatory order affects people at UCLA and Cal State L.A. who may have been exposed to infected students but who haven't been vaccinated or prove they've been immunized.

Students there are shocked.


UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: It feels like an old thing. It's supposed to be eradicated. It should have been eradicated several years ago. It's worrying to know it's going on in the place I spend so much time.


SAVIDGE: This is just the latest incident in the measles outbreak that has been sweeping the country. Nearly 700 people across 22 states have been infected. The CDC says most of the cases are happening in communities where many children are unvaccinated.

It brings up this: What are the legal options and legal risks do people have if they don't want to get their children vaccinated?

For that fascinating discussion, bring in Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor and criminal defense attorney, Richard Herman.

Good to see you both, gentlemen. It's been a long time.



SAVIDGE: I'm very good, thanks. In good health, which is important for this story.

Avery, let's start with you.

Could anti-vaxxers, as they're called, their institutional rights be violated if the state or the federal government mandates they get their children vaccinated?

FRIEDMAN: Well, the good news for the anti-vaxxers, if the anti relates to religion or philosophy, there's an exemption when it comes to mandatory inoculations. The important thing about that is it so beautifully American, Marty. We are always balancing societal needs, like public health, against individual rights. At the end of the day, I think the compelling nature of this kind of crisis requires vaccination and, if there's noncompliance with that, believe me, public health officials have the legal right to isolate. They have a right to quarantine. If that's challenged, I think the anti-vaxxers are going to lose this one.

SAVIDGE: Richard, if I understand right, if my faith, for whatever reason, dictates that getting a vaccination is against my religion, that's OK, even though we know, if you are not vaccinated, that opens up, not just your family, but other families to the potential of infection?

HERMAN: No, Marty, I disagree with my esteemed colleague there.

SAVIDGE: Really?

HERMAN: You can have religion. You can have whatever personal belief you think you have to do things like this, like prevent your child from getting chemotherapy when they are dying of cancer or preventing them from --


HERMAN: -- from getting vaccination when every kid has mandatory vaccinations to go to school so they don't infect the whole school like is going on now. No, you don't have the right to do that. There's medical research, medicine, facts and statistics. The mic gets dropped. That's it. There's nowhere to go. In California, they passed a bill because these unscrupulous doctors, like foot doctors and orthopedics, were issuing exemptions for pediatric kids --


HERMAN: -- to say they don't have to get vaccinated. It's becoming an epidemic in California. Look across the country here. It's so simple to eradicate and, yet -- measles, like you said, 700 cases this year by the CDC. you get measles and you are older or you have any kind of cancer or --


FRIEDMAN: It's a serious condition, right.

HERMAN: -- you could have a major, major problem. No. Religion is not a defense to this or a ground to do it. Neither is personal belief or anything else.


HERMAN: You need a true medical exemption which will be validated by the state.

SAVIDGE: Avery, let me ask you this. What if we were talking about Ebola and not, say, measles?


SAVIDGE: Would that change this whole argument and the actions on the part of the state or federal government?

[13:45:06] FRIEDMAN: Well, understand that every state, Marty -- if it's measles or something that is so serious -- and measles was eradicated in 2000 -- I still think exemption would be there. The remedy is isolation. It's quarantine. All 50 states have these laws, Marty. That's based on scientific information. Donald Trump, back in 2012, said there's a, quote, "big increase in autism" because of inoculations. There's no medical support for that. But it supports the idea that because of misinformation or ignorance or whatever it is, there are people not getting their children vaccinated. The only power is isolation. So, yes, if you got a disease like Ebola or something like that, we have done commentary on that, government can isolate people. That's the remedy. If there's noncompliance, people can wind up going to jail.

SAVIDGE: Richard, the middle ground is potentially quarantine. In other words, religiously you could say, I'm not going to get the vaccination, but the state can still mandate that.

FRIEDMAN: There you go.

SAVIDGE: All right, you are forced to remain out of public. Is that right?

HERMAN: Yes. I'm not seeing cases like that, Marty. You know --


SAVIDGE: What do you do? Do you lock them up? How would you enforce it?


HERMAN: No, you don't. You don't lock them up. You force them to get vaccinated. That's what you do. If they want to interact in society --


HERMAN: -- and they don't want to put other people -- other people at risk, because that's the balancing test, your personal believe against the general welfare and safety of a population, you lose. Protection of the general welfare and safety of the population wins every time, especially in a vaccination case.


FRIEDMAN: You are saying -- you are saying no exceptions.

SAVIDGE: We are out of time, Avery. I'm so sorry.

I enjoy seeing the both of you.


SAVIDGE: It is a fascinating discussion. Thank you.

HERMAN: Love seeing you, Marty.

SAVIDGE: Look forward to talking again. Hopefully, not so contagious next time.



Still ahead, drama, infighting and a shakeup at the NRA. Why another top executive at the nation's gun rights organization is stepping down.


[13:51:04] SAVIDGE: CNN has a powerful new original series that you definitely won't want to miss. It is called "THE REDEPEMPTION PROJECT" with Van Jones. The show takes us inside the Restorative Justice process when a crime victim and an offender sit down face to face in an attempt to heal and move forward.

CNN's Ryan Young has the remarkable story about that healing process between a mother and her son's killer.


MARY JOHNSON, FACES SON'S KILLER ON TV: I am your spiritual mother and he's my spiritual son.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mary Johnson says some people think she's crazy. Oshea Israel, her spiritual son, is also the man who killed who biological son, Laramiun Byrd, during an argument at a party in Minneapolis over 25 years ago.

JOHNSON: I am just grateful. I don't know what would have happen if we weren't able to meet. I guess I would still just be full of anger and hatred for him.

YOUNG: Johnson said eventually she sought a meeting with her son's killer through Restorative Justice, a process that brings together offenders and victims of crime as part of the healing process.

She now looks back on the day she met her son's killer.

JOHNSON: Why am I sitting here waiting for them to bring in this man that's taken my son's life? And he came in and we shook hands. And we talked for a couple of hours. At the end of that meeting, he asked me if he could hug me, and I said yes.

YOUNG: After several more meetings, a bond was formed with forgiveness and respect for each other at the center of their relationship. And when Israel was released from prison, Johnson even helped throw a homecoming party for the man she once called an animal who needed to be caged.

OSHEA ISRAEL, CONVICTED FOR KILLING LARAMIUN BYRD: To be able to look in the face of someone who I caused so much pain and grief and to be able to identify and communicate with the pain that I caused, I think that made a great difference in helping me become more compassionate.

YOUNG (on camera): Supporters of Restorative Justice across the USA say justice for many crimes, should not be measured only by prison terms.

TIMOTHY EVANS, CHIEF JUDGE, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, CIRCUIT COURT: The idea is for the perpetrator to see what the harm has been on the community, and for those who were the victims of the perpetrator's act, to have an opportunity to participate in the solution to the problem.

JOHNSON: People say I'm crazy, but I don't think so. I'm grateful to be in the place that I'm in.

YOUNG (voice-over): Ryan Young, CNN. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: And be sure to tune in. The all-new CNN original series "THE REDEPEMPTION PROJECT" with Van Jones premieres tomorrow at 9:00 p.m.


[13:57:26] SAVIDGE: We now know more when disgraced Hollywood movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, will have a trial. This week, a New York judge ordered Weinstein to stand trial on sexual assault allegations on September 9th, a little later than we originally thought. And one of the key issues is whether the court would allow additional women, aside from the two in the indictments, to testify in the trial.

Jean Casarez reports from New York.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: By far, possibly the most important pre-trial hearing occurred on Friday at the courthouse here in New York City, behind me. At issue is evidence that should come into the trial before the jury. Prosecutors want to bring prior bad act witnesses against Harvey Weinstein. Namely, we believe that would be other women that are saying that Harvey Weinstein also sexually assaulted them. The defense, of course, opposes that. And also the prosecution is saying that if Harvey Weinstein would take the trial, they want to be able to cross examine him on prior bad act conduct from Harvey Weinstein.

Both sides wanted the hearing sealed. The media did not. In an extraordinary move, the judge determined that because this is so important for the right of a fair trial for Harvey Weinstein, who is facing life in prison, and also, the identity of sexual assault victims must always be preserved as confidential, he sealed the hearing. So the public, the media, will not know, until the criminal trial begins, what actual other prior bad act witnesses will testify against Harvey Weinstein, if any.

Harvey Weinstein is facing rape, predatory sexual assault, and criminal sexual act in the first degree.

Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.


SAVIDGE: I like to think you pay attention to every word I say, but the truth is these next two words are likely the ones you will pay attention to. "Avengers: End Game." Shows are selling out right and left. Marvel's latest movie is smashing box office records in the opening weekend. Disney estimates it will make more than $305 million. That seems a bit low. This is serious stuff. Some Marvel fans dedicated the last few days to a Marvel marathon, watching all 22 Marvel movies, leading up to this final movie.

Well, we've got a whole lot more ahead in the NEWSROOM, and it is all going to start right now.

Hello. Thanks for joining me. I'm Martin Savidge, in for Fredricka Whitfield.

[13:59:03] We're following breaking news this hour. There's been a major change at the top of the country's powerful lobbying group, the National Rifle Association.