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Suspect Charged In California Shooting That Killed 1 Person, Injured 3; Mayor Calls It A "Hate Crime"; Barr Threatens To Skip House Panel Hearing Over Dispute With Dems; Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-VA) Is Interviewed About The Deadly Shooting At California Synagogue; Rescue Underway For 5 People Trapped In Virginia Cave; Trump Falsely Claims Mothers, Doctors "Execute" Babies; NY Giants Draft Pick Shot Hours After Being Selected; Boeing CEO Set To Face Shareholders Tomorrow; W. Virginia Coal Miners Feel Left Behind By Booming Economy. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 28, 2019 - 15:00   ET



[15:00:07] MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, thanks for joining me. I'm Martin Savidge, in for Fredricka Whitfield. We begin today with the latest on that deadly shooting in California where once again worshippers were attacked in their safe place, this time, on a last day of Passover in a synagogue outside of San Diego.

One woman is dead, three other people, including the rabbi, are injured. And all three have now been discharged from the hospital. And the rabbi is now describing the terrifying moment that he locked eyes with the shooter.


RABBI YISROEL GOLDSTEIN, CONGREGATION CHABAD (on the phone): I mean, I met the terrorist face-to-face, eye-to-eye. Our eyes locked, and he aimed at me and miraculously I was able to just survive losing my fingers, but, still, a life ended today.

Sadly, my colleague, my longtime member, Ms. Lori Kaye, that was standing with me in the lobby, did not survive. She was shot point blank. She was the ultimate woman of kindness, and it's unfathomable why this beautiful, beautiful, wonderful human being would be shot down.

Her mother just recently died and she came to services to be able to memorialize her mother. And her daughter drove down from UCLA, she has an only daughter, Hannah, and she came down to be able to be with her mother as she's doing the memorial service.

So she was there to witness and to be there as her mother laying on the floor dying. It was just unfathomable, indescribable terror, horrific disaster on overall measures, and this has to stop.

(END AUDIO CLIP) SAVIDGE: That is just one of the accounts of the stories that we're now hearing about those terrifying moments inside of the synagogue. 60-year-old Lori Kaye is the woman who died by jumping between the shooter and the rabbi.

We now know a 19-year-old man is charged with one count of first degree murder and three counts of first degree attempted murder. That man, according to police, is John Earnest, who will be arraign Wednesday.

And investigators are looking into a note that he purportedly left online before the shooting, referencing other hate crimes and claiming responsibility for setting a nearby mosque on fire last month.

CNN's Sara Sidner now joins us from Poway, that's just north of San Diego. And we're just learning now that all the victims have been discharged from the hospital, so what more can you tell us, Sara?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We just spoke to one of the victims in person, a little girl named Noya. She was inside of the synagogue when the shooting began. Her father was inside there. She was playing and she was hit with shrapnel in her face and in her leg.

She is physically doing OK. You can still see bits of the shrapnel and the damage it did to her skin, but she's shaken. I asked her. Here is a child who sat and had to live through this, and she explained that she doesn't think she'll ever really feel safe and that the only way she'll feel safe is if she's able to always see everything around her.

She says we have to look around more. We have to be careful more. I don't feel safe. I don't necessarily feel safe anywhere. Hard to listen to that from a young child who has gone through something like this.

Her father broke town in tears. Israel Dahan was inside. He watched as the gunman began opening fire on people. He was there. He flipped over a table inside of the shul where people were praying. He was trying to figure out how to protect himself and he says he heard the shots. He says they were so loud.

He knew that it was a high-powered style weapon. He knew that it was, as he called it, this seemed like he was in the midst of a war. That's what it felt like and sounded like to him. What he didn't know is that his daughter had been hit. All he could think about is where are my children?

He has five children. He saw four of them and they seemed OK, but one of them was missing. And the whole time he is thinking, "My God, my daughter could have been killed." He tried to explained what the moment was like. He said the gunman came in, and when he saw him in the front door, he was, as he put it, covered in magazines, covered in bullets.

He says he was there to kill us all, and he managed to kill one person who the Dahan family was very close to, a friend of the family, a friend of the synagogue, a friend of the community, and here is what he said when he saw her being shot and when she died.


ISRAEL DAHAN, DAUGHTER INJURED IN SHOOTING: The second I saw the rabbi running into the shul with -- his finger has been cutting and bleeding all over the seat. And then I saw him shooting, you know, our lady that she passed away, terrible feeling. What can I say?

[15:05:20] It's scary that we need to live like that. It's just unbelievable. And like there is no one really to protect us.


SIDNER: So as a father, he feels there's no one to protect, and when he says us, he means people of the Jewish faith. He also talked about the fact that this has happened in other places, in churches, in mosque, in synagogues over and over and over again.

You heard him there talking about Lori Kaye. That is who he was crying over saying that she really was a family member to everyone, that she hugged people, that she was always very happy, very kind, very sweet, that her husband was the family's doctor, that she had really been a part of their family and always made people feel whole, made people feel welcome. And now she has gone and everyone here is mourning her loss.

He then talked about his daughter and when he saw her in and the blood streaming down her face, after she had shrapnel in her face, he looked down at her leg, her leg was bleeding. And he said at that point in time I was just thankful that my daughter had survived. He was still concerned about his other daughter who they could not find at first, and then he realized she had locked herself in the bathroom.

She had thought through it. She had made sure that she was protected, but he didn't know that whole time that she was in there and the shooter was standing right outside for a time. He was terrified, but now his whole family is together and they are all, all of them, in mourning. Martin.

SAVIDGE: Heartbreaking. Sara Sidner, thank you.

And, of course, we're hearing more of these emotional stories about those terrifying moments inside the California synagogue when the shooting or the shooter, rather, opened fire.

CNN's Nick Watt spoke to an EMT who was actually visiting the United States from Israel and was at the synagogue during the attack. And he tried to perform CPR on Lori Kaye, that's the 60-year-old woman who was killed in the shooting. Here's how he described the chaotic scene when the shooting started.


SHIMON ABITBUL, WITNESSED SHOOTING: I run. I take my gun against him and they put him on the carpet and all my body on him. And when I count few shooting and some -- a break, I take my young son and get outside in the some door here in this place and run away to the neighborhood.

I don't know if they understand now. One of them saying, I though it's in the (INAUDIBLE), you know, we are (INAUDIBLE) lying there, then they take like a gun and they shoot. I think it's in there in (INAUDIBLE) against and doesn't know. And then he wants to take -- to get up and then not get him. My granddaughter, she's in outside and I walk there to take her and his nephew --


ABITBUL: -- and run away. When he run, he gets one shot in her leg. A woman who died, she is a doctor wife. We start to do some CPR. We saw the hole in her chest, but it's very, very hard to see this doctor. He's a many years doctor (INAUDIBLE) and I know. And his wife, and he cannot do anything. It's very, very difficult.


SAVIDGE: Joining me now to discuss all of this further, Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean from Pennsylvania. And thank you for joining us. But let me begin by asking you your reaction to everything that we're learning about the attack and the shooting of the synagogue.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Thank you for having me on. I think we're at an extraordinary crossroads in this country. My heart goes out to the synagogue, to the rabbi, to the family of Mrs. Kaye.

I've just come from the Greater Philadelphia Federation Holocaust Remembrance where he lifted up the memory and the lives and the stories and the untold stories of the 6 million who were killed during the holocaust and we also lifted up Mrs. Kaye. We are at an extraordinary crossroads in this country where we have to figure out where we stand in terms of our common humanity.

[15:10:03] We have to call out and stop bigotry, hatred, anti- Semitism, and we have to do the other part of this, which is gun control. A 19-year-old young man had his hands on an AR-style weapon and thankfully allegedly it jammed because he was armed to kill as many people as possible.

We're at a crossroads in this country, and strangely and importantly in part that crossroads goes through our Congress and goes through the very committee I sit on judiciary. We've passed gun violence prevention bills like background checks and the Senate is sitting on their hands.

Background checks save lives and at the same time we're going to be doing important oversight. We also had hearings on the rise of anti- Semitism, of white supremacy. We are just at an extraordinary crossroads and we have to find our common humanity.

SAVIDGE: What do you think is -- I guess, or how much does the climate, the political climate in this country play into all of this? And is there a role for Congress in some way besides just gun control to, I don't know, calm it down? DEAN: I think there's a role to play for every leader in this country and it starts with the top. It starts with the President of the United States. The President of the United States needs to call out bigotry, not incite it. He should not and ever compare what happened in Charlottesville and say that there were good people on both sides.

He is a role model to others. He is a role model to children. I call upon him to call out hatred, bigotry of any kind, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia. I call upon the President, excuse me, I'm quite upset. I call upon the President to actually embrace love, to embrace the other, to build up community, not tear it down.

SAVIDGE: I'm going to make a very hard turn here, because I do want to bring in some other thing regarding politics while I have your experienced ear. And I want to talk about this big moment that's coming up next week for the judiciary committee and you're a member of that.

Attorney General William Barr I believe is scheduled to testify about the Mueller report, but there are sources that tell CNN that he's warning Democrats that he won't show -- he's warning that if the Democrats stick to the format that the chairman has proposed for questioning, can you sort of explain that a little better for us?

DEAN: Sure. It's a little puzzling to me, but the chairman, Chairman Nadler, has proposed that we would have our usual rounds of questions, five minutes each for every member, Democrats and Republicans.

But then also counsel for the two sides of the committee would have the opportunity to briefly also question Attorney General Barr and then the opportunity to go into closed session for anything that might be considered confidential or grand jury.

It is not unprecedented that this would be the way the committee would operate. It is not up to Attorney General Barr to tell our committee how to operate, and I will be puzzled if he actually decides not to show.

It would be strange to have an empty chair there when our top law enforcement officer owes the facts to the American people, certainly owes it to our committee. So I'm eager that he reverse course and do the right thing because we're a co-equal branch of government. We have every right to ask the questions.

SAVIDGE: What do you think the fallout would be if Barr doesn't show?

DEAN: We'll fully use our subpoena power. The chairman has subpoena power, and we'll have to go to a court of law and either hold him in contempt or have him come in. But I hope that cooler heads prevail. After all, it was this attorney general and was the President who said he wanted full disclosure, full transparency. Let the people see the report. So why wouldn't you want to come in and answer the questions? What does anybody afraid of?

SAVIDGE: If he does testify, you know, what's the big question or big questions you would want to ask? DEAN: Well, I think what the American people know from the redacted report is that Russia systematically and sweepingly interfered with the 2016 election. The Trump campaign welcomed it, wallowed in it, celebrated it, called it out publicly. And then when the Trump campaign or Trump -- President Trump found out he was under investigation, attempted to obstruct justice in at least 10 different ways.

So I'd like to ask Attorney General Barr why it is that he mischaracterized the findings of the report, why it is that he chose to redact that which he chose to redact. Did he share the redactions or that process with the White House before we got it in Congress? And, again, why is the attorney general acting for the President as though to carry the President's water instead of standing up for the American people and our system of justice?

[15:15:02] Obstruction of justice happened here at the highest level, and we have to hold the administration accountable.

SAVIDGE: Hopefully you'll get a chance to ask those very questions. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, thank you very much for being here.

DEAN: Thank you for having me.

SAVIDGE: Breaking news now, a rescue mission under way to save five men trapped in a cave in Virginia. The details and an update just ahead.


SAVIDGE: We are continuing to monitor this breaking news story that we've been following since we came to air, which is about a rescue mission under way to try and rescue a group of people that are trapped in a cave in Virginia. Apparently they've been underground for some time. One of them was able to escape. Ryan Young is here with more of an update on how they are doing.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Martin. You look at that video and you see how small that hole was. They're trying to navigate there. Of course, these men who do this, the rescuers are really skilled.

The idea here, though, apparently these six men decided they were going to go on private property. They were going to go to this cave and they were going to spend the weekend down there.

And from what we're told, it's quite cavernous and it's pretty dark, actually. The temperature above is pretty good, but we're told it's below 50, and that's what rescuers are concerned about, in terms of keeping the men away it from hypothermia.

And that's why the one person that was able to escape apparently is 22 years old. He was the youngest of the group who went down there. The men age range from 34 to 59 and this is called the Cyclops Cave.

[15:20:01] In fact, listen to one of the rescuers, the man in charge of leading it, talk about what they're trying to do and how long it could take.

OK, I'm actually told that we do not have that sound bite, but what we're told is it could take anywhere from eight to 12 hours to be able to pull this off and that's what they're concerned about. There's no map for this cave, so obviously they're going to have to try to work this out. In fact, I do know now that we do have that rescuers talking about these efforts.


BILL CHRIMES, SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: With cave rescue incidents it has the potential to extend, you know, to eight to 12 hours depending on what all is involved with getting the subjects out and it may even extend beyond that just depending on the circumstances. Certainly we're hoping for the best and that we can get them warmed up, get them moving, get them some energy back and get them out on their own power.


YOUNG: Martin, as you know, we're all connected to our cell phones. Right now down there, there are no cell phone connections, so if it wasn't for the 22-year-old who was able toll make it out, there would have been some big issues here.

We talked before about the weather. There was a lot of rain in this area. It made it really sleek and hard for them to sort of get out of this. Now we know with this extensive rescue network, they're moving crews in there and they're hoping that they can get them warm enough and fed, get them enough energy so they can get themselves out because trying to pull them out with pulleys would be quite difficult.

SAVIDGE: Yes. Let's put the satellite there with the sound bites you just had that they clearly hope that these men will be able to sort of recover and --

YOUNG: Absolutely.

SAVIDGE: -- with the aid of the professionals get out of the cave as opposed to having to be put in the stretcher and hauled out, which would be much more time consuming and much more difficult.

YOUNG: It would be interesting to see whose idea this was and whether or not they'll face any charges for going on this private property as well.

SAVIDGE: Yes. There is good news also too, that Virginia I believe has a lot of cave rescue expert, so --

YOUNG: They do.

SAVIDGE: -- they should be in good hands. We'll continue to rely in you for the updates. Thanks, Ryan.

YOUNG: Thank you, Martin. SAVIDGE: Donald Trump spends his evening as counterprogramming to the White House correspondents' dinner. Straight ahead, the abortion falsehood the President is continuing to repeat.


[15:25:58] SAVIDGE: If you are keeping count at home, this is the third year in a row actually the President held a dueling rally the same night as the White House correspondents' dinner and it was classic campaign-style Trump.

He slammed the Paris Climate Agreement, attacked the Washington swamp and admitted it was his "sick idea" to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities. CNN's Sarah Westwood was at that rally. She joins me now. And, Sara, what else did the President touch on?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Martin, they've heard not a lot of subjects last night that the President avoided at that campaign rally which did start off on a somber note when he referenced the shooting that took place at that California synagogue, but quickly transition into a traditional campaign speech.

He went after his potential 2020 rivals. He previewed some of the themes that will be central to his reelection bid, including painting Democrats as interested primarily in investigations, not in governing.

And even though this was a night back in Washington to celebrate the press, this was ultimately build as counterprogramming to the White House correspondents' dinner, so the President also took some shots at the media, and he made some incendiary comments about abortion that have gotten some attention.

Those were tied to the Democratic governor of Wisconsin, the state where he was in, Tony Evers, saying last week that he would veto GOP legislation that would give doctors if passed a life sentence if they knowingly withheld medical care from a baby who survived an abortion attempt. Listen to what the President had to say about abortion last night.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATE: The baby is born. The mother meets with a doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don't think so.


WESTWOOD: Obviously, Martin, it's not legal to execute babies. The President also has made a reference to Virginia's Democratic Governor Ralph Northam who caused a controversy in January when he said that if a baby did survive a late-term abortion in his state under new laws that the baby would be kept comfortable, that there would be discussions between the mother and doctor and that baby would be resuscitate if it's what the family wanted. Later, a spokesman for Northam said those comments were taken out of context but Trump and other Republicans have seized on that controversy to paint all Democrats as abortion extremists. The President, Martin, pressing that message again last night.

SAVIDGE: Sarah Westwood, thank you very much for the context.

We are following the breaking news out of Kansas. A young man shot just hours after being drafted into the NFL. Next, what his new team is saying about that shooting.


[15:32:15] SAVIDGE: Some breaking news we're following. A man shot after -- just hours after fulfilling a dream. 23-year-old Corey Ballentine is recovering after he was shot in Topeka, Kansas early this morning.

That was hours after the New York Giants selected the Washburn University standout in the sixth round of the NFL draft. His college teammate, 23-year-old Dwayne Simmons, was also shot, and he died.

The Giants have released a statement saying, "We are aware of the tragic situation and continue to gather information. We've spoken to Corey and are continuing to recover in the hospital. Our thoughts are with Dwayne Simmons' family, friends and teammates and the rest of the Washburn community." Police are still investigating that shooting and they have not exactly said what happened.

Boeing's CEO is set to face the company's shareholders tomorrow. The company is facing a crisis over its 737 Max jets and there are growing questions about quality control issues in its manufacturing process.

The 737 Max planes have been grounded by the government around -- governments, actually, around the world following two crashes in five months that has caused the airlines operating those planes hundreds of millions of dollars, that's not to mention it also cost many lives. Investigators have been looking at the plane's anti-stalling software as a possible cause for those crashes.

Peter Goelz joins me now from Washington. He is the former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board. Thanks very much for being with us.


SAVIDGE: So, not only is the head of Boeing going to face the shareholders. I believe he's going to have a press conference which I think this is the first time he actually will take questions in the aftermath of these tragic incidents. What do you expect to hear?

GOELZ: Well, I think he's going to be on the hot seat clearly. And one of the things Boeing has done, they've appointed a new member of their board of directors, Nikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador, former governor of South Carolina. They are clearly concerned about going forward. There is a new -- the FAA Oversight Committee which involves nine foreign regulators are meeting shortly. These are going to be a critical couple of weeks for Boeing to see whether they can get back on their feet.

SAVIDGE: CNN was reporting earlier in the week about the whistleblowers that called in after the Ethiopian Airlines crash suggesting that there has been shoddy work that's been going on inside of Boeing. Did we know about this? Had there been these concerns?

GOELZ: Well, the FAA has the anonymous whistleblower phone lines as does the DOT OIG, and there have been some calls that have gone in there, and it's not clear how aggressive the investigations have been following up on those calls.

[15:35:05] But you can count on it that any whistleblowers are going to be tracked down and the charges are going to be looked at because this is really a -- I wouldn't say it's an existential moment for Boeing, but it's a critical moment for the future of that company.

SAVIDGE: And part of that future is fixing this problem. Initially Boeing seemed to imply it was going to be a fairly quick fix, but now it's been dragging on and still continues to be worked on according to the company. Has this proven to be much more complicated than perhaps Boeing originally thought?

GOELZ: Well, I think it has. You know, they did announce as you indicated shortly after the Indonesian accident that they had a fix and they were going to be presented -- presenting that to the FAA for approval. They've been spending the last few weeks outlining their fix to pilot groups and frankly the pilot groups here in the U.S. have met it with some skepticism.

So I'm not sure that the fix that they're going to present is going to be accepted, you know, right away. I think it's going to take some time to get this plane back in and for people, particularly pilots, to regain their confidence.

SAVIDGE: Do you think that these problems are rooted in efforts to produce an airplane quickly and less expensively or -- there was a lot of pressure on Boeing to get this aircraft out there.

GOELZ: There is not question. When Airbus announced their new NEO, which was a real step forward in fuel efficiency, it appeared to take Boeing by surprise. They hit the drawing boards in a very fast manner and came up with the 737 Max. But to top the NEO, they had to make some significant design variations.

You know, the engines were bigger. They were placed more forward on the wing and over the wing, and it caused significant handling differences to appear which had to be addressed, and part of the way it was addressed with -- was with this MCAS system, the system that pitched the nose downward.

SAVIDGE: Right. GOELZ: And it's not clear how well they discussed that with pilots and how well they identified the steps taken if the MCAS system, you know, misfired.

SAVIDGE: Right, to control in some cases that the aircraft and the pilots not clearly understanding what was happening. Peter Goelz, thank you very much for joining us. We'll wait to here what they had -- the Boeing has to say tomorrow.

GOELZ: Right, thank you.

SAVIDGE: The economy may be growing in a healthy clip this quarter, but not everybody is feeling the upswing. CNN talks to voters in West Virginia coal country.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What do you think of the President's promise that he made?

DAVID JACKSON, COAL MINER: I think it was a lie. I would just like to say where are you at? You've got 420 people here, a lot of them back you, and now you're not here to back them. Where are you at?



[15:42:08] SAVIDGE: Another California community is grieving today after what appears to be the state's second major religious attack in less than a week. Saturday, a gunman walked into a synagogue outside San Diego during a service on the final day of Passover and opened fire. One woman was killed. Three other people were injured, including a rabbi and a 9-year-old girl.

W. Kamau Bell, he is the host of CNN's "United Shades of America" is here with us now. Thank you very much for being with us, Kamau.


SAVIDGE: You know, this attack comes after the driver who slammed his car into a group of pedestrians in Northern California. He thought that they might be Muslims. And we've seen, of course, what's happened in Sri Lanka. We've seen what's happened in Christchurch, New Zealand in recent months. What's your first thought on this?

BELL: You know, there is a type of rhetoric that we didn't see out in the open that has come out into the open over the last few years. A lot of it is related to Trump's election here in this country, and there's also those movements across the world. And I think if I'm talking about America, you know, there's been a rise in hate crimes since President Trump has been in office.

And, you know, just this week he doubled down on his comments about Charlottesville, you know, where there were white supremacists marching around in saying "Jews will not replace us." And then we have this thing happened at the synagogue. I felt like these things are all connected. It's not hard to figure out what's going on.

SAVIDGE: The very first episode of your series "United Shades" focused on the Ku Klux Klan, and I know you've spent hours talking about with white nationalists and other hate groups, so why do you think there is an uptick? If it's, you know, apparently the leadership of this country that somehow may be encouraging it, there also has to be something within their own minds that now makes them feel that what, this is the time? Now is the moment to strike?

BELL: You know, this -- you know, after the civil rights era, this country had a long time where there was sort of -- this rhetoric was still out there, but it wasn't polite to say it out loud anymore. And certainly with the election of Barack Obama there was that immediate crush from the media saying we were post-racial America, which we all know now to be true.

But then, the swing back in this country to elect President Trump who is always courting that base, who is always courting-- he was always sort of, you know, winking at violence, and dog whistling violence, and white supremacy and racism, or sometimes out and out saying it. And so, these people who always existed, the Klan has always been here, white supremacists always been here.

But for a long time, they thought they had to be quiet and maybe cleaver about it and now they don't have to feel they have to be that way anymore. They can come right out in the open with it because we haven't had a president who-- Donald Trump has not come out full- throated and excoriated them. More often, he has come out and sort of played footsies with them.

SAVIDGE: Your new season we know, "United Shades of America," kicks off tonight. And you're looking at megachurches of Texas to find out what happens when you mix prayer, power and money, and tens of thousands of followers. We're going to give the audience here a quick preview.


[15:45:03] BELL (voice-over): Your Christianity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not have some kind of influence that is righteous?

BELL: His ability to protest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a never ending process.

BELL (on camera): It's got to be never ending?


BELL (voice-over): Her voice to the voiceless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoever voice I have to be, I will be that voice.

BELL: Their courage to fight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He will tell you not to be angry. You see this and you better be angry.

BELL: My mission. This season on "United Shades of America," it all comes down to us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get off my ass and do something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't look like a Nazi fighter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kamau, you're so funny.

BELL (on camera): Thanks.

What was the time you said I got to get involved?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My children and every other child at this table.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you ask questions, sometimes it effectuates change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no point of hating people. We should all just get along.


SAVIDGE: Well, it was a preview, but I don't think that was exactly about the megachurch issue.

BELL: No, no. That sort of the-- that's a trailer for the season.


BELL: And I'm also proud that April Ryan got the word effectuate in a promo. That's pretty baller.

SAVIDGE: Megachurches, what drew you to them? Why did you want to explore this issue?

BELL: You know, I grew up in the church. I spent a lot -- as I talked about, I spent a lot of time in Alabama and go to church with my mom in the north. And, you know, those churches seem big to me and they probably held 300, 400 people. And now we know there's this thing called megachurches that hold 2,000 and more people.

And the question is, while people are going to church less and less in this country because there's a lot of other things to do, megachurches are opening up in a bigger rate and there's more and more megachurches opening up, and my question is why?

And, you know, the face of Christianity is sort of these white heterosexual cisgender preachers who say they have the word of God, but also as we know dress very nicely, often need planes, you know. And so they have their congregate by the planes so the question is, is this really -- is this WWJD? Is this what Jesus did? So that's the question.

SAVIDGE: Right. All right, well, we'll look for the answers tonight to come from you. W. Kamau Bell, thank you very much for being with us.

BELL: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Be sure to tune in. The new season begins, of course, with the CNN Original Series "United Shades of America with Kamau Bell." It premiers tonight, 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time and Pacific, megachurches, the first episode.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We like to imagine that after there's been a verdict, that the story is over. The reality is, whether they're the offender or the victim, the journey's just beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a sheriff's deputy at the door.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got some drugs I used.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Took a gun from him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember I shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put it to his head.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I pulled the trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it that you want to know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want him to look me in the face and tell me why he killed my mother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know where we're going to land. But we're all in there.



[15:51:58] SAVIDGE: By the numbers, the economy was looking pretty good. On Friday, the government reported the economy grew 3.2 percent in the first quarter, smashing expectations. But that prosperity which is being experienced by many Americans seems to have bypassed some coal mining communities in West Virginia.

CNN's Gary Tuchman report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on down here.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): David and Kathy Jackson are facing a crisis.

(on camera) So this is a situation of desperation?

D. JACKSON: Absolutely, without question.

TUCHMAN: How are you coping right now? How are you feeling?

KATHY JACKSON, WIFE OF DAVID: One day at a time.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The crisis began here when the Pinnacle Coal Mine in Wyoming County in West Virginia was suddenly shut down late last year. About 420 union coal miners and 80 other nonunion employees lost their jobs. David Jackson was one of those miners. And he and others who jettison like Wayne Brock (ph) learned something quickly.

(on camera) Is there other work to get here?

WAYNE BROCK, COAL MINER: Very little, because it was, you know, so many laid off at one time, lot of jobs get too.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This month, a very low cost medical coverage for most of the miners expires. And that is what is causing the crisis for the Jacksons, because Kathy has kidney disease and has already lost one kidney.

(on camera) What did the doctors say about the one kidney you have left?

K. JACKSON: Well, eventually it will be dialysis and a transplant, but nobody can say if it's going to be 10 years, 20 years or 5 years. It's just --

TUCHMAN: But either way, without medical insurance you couldn't pay for it?

K. JACKSON: No, I wouldn't. No, it wouldn't be possible.

TUCHMAN: When Donald Trump was running for president, he was widely perceived here in West Virginia as the coal industry savior. He won this state by a huge margin, and this county was one of his top counties in the country. He received 83 percent of the vote here. But now, we're standing at workplace in this county which has lost 100 percent of its coal mining jobs.


TRUMP: We are putting our great coal miners back to work.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): In the two years since Mr. Trump took office, there has been a tiny increase of 1,900 coal miner jobs in the country. But the number of coal miners employed today is more than 30,000 lower than after two years of Barack Obama's presidency.

David Jackson says he did not vote for Donald Trump, but was hoping the President's words would end up ringing true.

(on camera) What do you think of the President's promise that he made?

D. JACKSON: I think it was a lie. I'm just like to say where are you at? You got 420 people here, a lot of them backed you, and now you're not here to back them. Where are you at?

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Wayne Brock did back President Trump.

(on camera) You see what's happened here. Do you give him any blame for this?

WAYNE: No. I give it all to the coal operators.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Indeed, there was intense anger at the operators at the mine, a company which is now going bankrupt. But others who voted for Mr. Trump, like Robbie Ratliff who is 56 and started in the mine when he was just 19 have a different take.

[15:55:03] (on camera)Do you believe the President should have and could have worked harder to convince the operator and the owner of your mine to keep it open and not get rid of more than 500 jobs?

ROBBIE RATLIFF, COAL MINER: Yes. I think anybody that's got any influence that -- and has got the power, can do that with anybody.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The loss of so many jobs has of course a ripple effect. There are fewer dollars going to restaurants, local shops, other businesses, which could mean layoffs throughout the area. For now, the miners and their families are still working to come to terms with how their lives have changed.

RATLIFF: It's tough. Nice days you can get out.

TUCHMAN (on camera): But it's not nice, it's hard to get out of bed? I understand.

(voice-over) And as for the Jacksons --

D. JACKSON: Here, Zoey (ph), come here.

TUCHMAN: -- they've made a major decision. They're reluctantly leaving their home of West Virginia. David has accepted a job at a coal mine in Alabama where he will receive health insurance and some peace of mind.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Wyoming County, West Virginia.


SAVIDGE: There is so much more ahead in the Newsroom and it will all begin right after this short break.


SAVIDEGE: Hello, thanks for joining me. I'm Martin Savidge in for Fredricka Whitfield.