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Alleged Synagogue Shooter Jailed on Several Charges; AG Barr's Appearance at House Hearing Up in the Air; Four Dead After Falling Crane Crushes Cars; Trump: "My Sick Idea" to Send Immigrants to Sanctuary Cities; Alleged Synagogue Shooter Jailed on Several Charges; Historian Ron Chernow Honors Journalists, First Amendment at WHCD. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired April 28, 2019 - 07:00   ET




[07:00:17] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say a 19-year-old man entered the Congregation Chabad synagogue and began shooting.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America's hearts are with the victims of horrific synagogue shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I can say is the community lost a great soul.

TRUMP: One hundred thousand illegal immigrants arrived at our borders. Now, we are sending many of them through sanctuary cities. Thank you very much. I'm proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 2019 correspondents dinner had a very different feel than past one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They wanted boring at this year's delivery. I can deliver on that big time. The United States was never content to have a chief magistrate of gold when it could get one of tin. Politicians in diapers must be changed often and for the same reason.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight: alleged synagogue shooter John Earnest was booked into the San Diego central jail.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: He's charged with one count of first degree murder, three counts of first degree attempted murder, and as the community is grieving over this, investigators are looking into that 19-year-old suspect's background, reviewing a manifesto he may have written online and they are work to go find out if he had anything to do with the fire at a nearby mosque last month. They are also taking extra steps to keep local places of worship safe today. BLACKWELL: Witnesses say the alleged shooter started firing shots

during a Passover celebration that killed one person and injured three others. And then called 911 to identify himself to police.

PAUL: And we are learning more about the victims in this shooting, by the way. A woman killed as she stepped in front of a wounded rabbi. A child hit by shrapnel. A few years after swastikas were painted on the family's home.

BLACKWELL: Another injured said if the shooter's gun had not jammed, more children would have been shot.

Let's go to Nick Watt there in Poway, California.

Nick, I know the day is still young there on the west coast but what are you learning from Poway?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is the stories of those victims and the heroism of Lori Kaye, the 60-year-old woman who lost her life. We are told that she -- the gunman entered the synagogue and shot a rabbi who was hit in the hand, and at that point, Lori Kaye jumped in between the rabbi and the gunman and the rabbi is saying that she saved his life. She leaves behind a 22-year-old daughter and husband who were in the synagogue during that service.

He is a doctor and we are told he saw someone was shot and ran to help them and administering CPR and not realizing it was his wife. When he did realize, he fainted. Let's hear a little bit more from another member of the congregation about Lori Kaye.


FRED NASSERI, CONGREGATION CHABAD MEMBER: Friendly. She was welcoming. She was one of those people that you knew more as a friend. She -- I can't say anything mean or bad about her. When I think of her, I can only smile. All I can say is the community lost a great soul.


WATT: Now, two other people were injured.

One, a 9-year-old girl Noya Dahan whose family had moved from Sderot, Israeli, a few years ago to the U.S. for a safer and quieter life. Sderot has been in the past a target of rockets fire from Gaza. They moved to a town nearby and swastikas were painted on their house and they moved to Poway thinking it would be safe.

Now, her uncle was also injured. He was visiting from Israeli for Passover. He says that he saw the gunman aiming at the children and if the gun had not jammed, children and many more people would have died. The uncle at that point threw open the doors of the synagogue and told the children to flee. He and the young girl were both hit by shrapnel.

Now, the father of that young girl, Noya Dahan, he is telling us his kids don't want to live here any more, saying it's not safe.

Victor and Christi, back to you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Watt for us there in Poway -- Nick, thank you.

PAUL: And remember, this comes six months to the day after 11 people were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Adam Hertzman, spokesman for the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, is with us now.

Adam, thank you for being here.

I do want to read a statement from the Tree of Life synagogue that they released after the shooting, just for our viewers.

It was written: This must stop.

[07:05:00] We are heartbroken and appalled and outraged by the news of the attack at the Poway Synagogue near San Diego today. This must stop. It was only six months that became members of that tragic club of community-based shootings to which no one wants to belong. That you became a club to that, it says.

We know firsthand the fear, anguish, and healing process such an atrocity causes, and our hearts are with the afflicted San Diego families and their congregation. We will not give into hate. We sent our love and prayers to the Chabad families. These senseless acts of violence and prejudice must end. Enough is enough.

Anyone, Adam, who has been through something traumatic knows that you go through it again sometimes when you hit a six-month anniversary, so to speak, or a one-year anniversary. But help us understand what you and what the community is going through when you hear that this happened again to someone else?

ADAM HERTZMAN, SPOKESMAN, JEWISH FEDERATION OF PITTSBURGH: You know, it's really quite traumatic and I know there definitely have been people in Pittsburgh, both in the Jewish and non-Jewish community who have been retraumatized by this attack. And although that is the case and I think a sense here that we understand that our city is very safe and the Jewish community here is very safe. There has been so much work done on community security, even before the October 27th attacks and there's been so much done since then.

So although people here are very sad and there was a vigil last night, I also think that there is a sense that the Jewish community here can be safe.

PAUL: It is touching to see what Pittsburgh did last night. I know looking "The Post Gazette" pictures of -- and I think we have them there, people who gathered, several dozens people in the same spot to remember and honor the people in San Diego. The Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers told the crowd my words have never disappeared from my language. They have been replaced with "yet again." What are the conversations that you and that the congregation are

having today about how to move forward?

HERTZMAN: In circumstances like this, I think really the best thing that we can all do is to focus on the needs of the victims and the families. We are focused here on the families of victims from Pittsburgh because we know they are hurting and they need healing. I hope people think, too, about helping the families in Poway who are really going to need support.

There is plenty of psychological services available. Pittsburgh has the center for victims which is a weekend and 24-hour hotline so if people are feeling traumatized we are trying to hit the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and I sincerely hope that other people know there are help resources available for them.

PAUL: You mentioned what has happened even since that six months ago in your community we have that the New Zealand mosques and Louisiana churches that have been burned, the churches in Sri Lanka just last weekend. Do you have any idea or any sense as to why houses of worship are such targets right now?

HERTZMAN: I really don't. The level anti-Semitism in the United States, we know, unfortunately, has been increasing, as has the level of hatred and racism against many groups. I think that the best thing that we can do is to understand what the resources are needed for security. The Jewish Federation, we have been working for the Secure Communities Network, which is an effort of our umbrella organization, the Jewish Federations of North America and across the U.S. and Canada to make sure Jewish organizations have the security resources they need and it's the best thing we can do.

The Jewish federation is helping out with other houses of worship here in the Pittsburgh area to make sure they are safe because the best thing we can do is have people feel safe at the place where they worship.

PAUL: Adam Hertzman, thank you for the time to be with us, and certainly, lots of thoughts and prayers going to your community as well today.


BLACKWELL: Breaking news this Sunday. Attorney General William Barr could be a no-show at the House Judiciary Committee hearing a Capitol Hill this week. We will tell you why in a moment.

PAUL: Four people are dead after a crane from a roof of a building fell and crashed onto cars in the street.

[07:10:05] We'll tell you what we know.


BLACKWELL: All right. Breaking just this hour: William Barr, the attorney general, his appearance at a much anticipated testimony on Capitol Hill is uncertain this morning.

PAUL: Yes. Sources tell CNN the attorney is threatening to pull out of the hearing after a dispute with the committee chairman over the format of the testimony.

Now, CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju following the story and joins us via phone.

Manu, good morning to you. What are you hearing about this actually happening this week?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, pretty dramatic development here. A fight between Bill Barr, the attorney general, and Jerry Nadler, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, about exactly how Thursday's hearing will take place.

What Nadler wants to do is have a hearing take that will allow for all members of his committee engage in five-minute questioning each and then afterwards, to allow for 30-minute each for each side to continue to question and specifically allowing the counsel, the committee staff counsel to question afterwards. After that, he is also proposing to go into a closed session to discuss the unredacted report, sections of the report that were released, the Mueller report that were redacted. He wants to have a closed session to discuss what is behind those black lines.

But we are told from a committee source with knowledge of this matter that, in fact, Barr has rejected those, all those additional round of questioning and he's now threatening to not show up at Thursday's hearing if Nadler goes forward with this line of questioning.

[07:15:15] Now, this would amount to a significant escalation between House Democrats and the Trump administration over oversight request, particularly the Mueller report and Democrats have subpoenaed for the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence Bill Barr has resisted this and has only allowed redacted version of the report to be viewed by a small members.

But nevertheless, Democrats want to allow -- want the hearing to allow for the members to talk about what is behind the black lines and allow the staff attorney to question, perhaps drill down a little further than some members would be able to. And Bill Barr is saying no, which is why Thursday's hearing suddenly is in doubt and that will occur after the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to go on Wednesday but Thursday, uncertain at the moment as talks continue between Bill Barr and Democrats and how this will take shape, guys.

PAUL: No doubt. You are right to characterize it as a dramatic move here.

Manu Raju, we appreciate it so much. Thank you, sir.

RAJU: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: With me now, April Ryan, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks. April, good morning to you. And let's start here because

disagreements over format are not new but the White House has been stonewalling Democrats in Congress over requests for documents, for testimony, stonewalling the subpoenas. Do you see this Barr wavering in that context or is that something else?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, Victor, this is a lot -- this is a lot to unpack. Manu's report was amazing. You know, this is about transparency but it seems in the midst of all the questions that still linger after the Mueller report and after that press conference before the Mueller report by the attorney general, there is still so many questions.

Democrats and Republicans have those questions on the Hill. I mean, you have the Republicans on Wednesday and Thursday, you're supposed to have the Democrats. This now seems very partisan, unfortunately, for the Democratic head of the Judiciary Committee in the House, and the attorney general of the United States who happens to be defending a Republican president or whether you say defending or not, he is the Trump administration's attorney general for this to be at this moment and this point, there is a problem.

The American people want to know. There are too many questions that still linger on this.

BLACKWELL: So, the attorney general does have, he is scheduled to appear for testimony before the Senate Judiciary which is chaired by Republican Lindsey Graham. That's Wednesday, Thursday, by the House committee.

Now, speaking of this five minutes for each member and 30 minutes for the counsel, I mean, members often use those five minutes to make a make or grandstanding some might say. If the goal is to be transparent and to give people information about the report and how they came to those conclusions, what would be wrong with the 30 minutes of questioning from counsel that could be focused by someone who is a subject expert?

RYAN: Right, there is nothing wrong with it. But there is political posturing that this White House is concerned, but also Democrats want answers. You know, you have to go beyond party lines at some point. When the American public has questions over something of this significance, you have to figure out a way to give the American public the information, especially so much was redacted.

And then just on the point of obstruction of justice. You know, yesterday, I asked Rudy Giuliani, you know, during the White House correspondents weekend events, I said what about obstruction of justice? What do we say? Do you think there could be impeachment?

And he said to me, he said, you know, basically he said the president didn't obstruct. He said he was defending himself and he was intending to push forward issues that would actually be anti rule of law (INAUDIBLE) and the only reason why it was not obstruction of justice, and Rudy Giuliani said there was no obstruction of justice. If this kind of thing happens that William Barr does not before the House, you never know what it will lead for.

Some Democrats want to push for impeachment and they need to go and get straighten out so they can air it out if they give unredacted issues or statements or unredacted reports to the House, they need to see it.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about those redactions because Barr will be asked about his statement with the principle conclusions that he released once he received the report. Now, Mueller included two executive summaries and let's show them, because in the report, I mean, they were redacted.

[07:20:03] This is the executive summary for volume one and let's go to volume two that deals with obstruction, far fewer redactions there. Let me say, I know the redactions for either executive summary were for classified action or grand jury information. It was ongoing matters and personal information of individuals. He could have released those and answer far more questions than taking half of sentences from those executive summaries. Undoubtedly, a question we'll have to answer, right?

RYAN: Yes, most definitely, and you would think that Lindsey Graham may ask that on Wednesday to get that out of the way. But, again, you still have the House that wants to get this done.

Victor, we go back to the point there is still too many questions as to why. Why you redacted this or you didn't redact that? For this administration to talk about transparency and this administration for this president to say he has been vindicated, still too many unanswered question.

BLACKWELL: Aside from, you know, the political back and forth, for the American people, we hope the attorney general shows up on Wednesday and Thursday to answer as many questions as they can fit in.

April Ryan, thanks so much for waking up for us and being with us this morning.

RYAN: Thank you, my friend. Anytime.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Well, a crane in Seattle fell from a building and crashed on to cars below. This was serious, folks. There were four people who were killed here. Local leaders are reacting as the investigation is beginning now. We will give the details coming up.

BLACKWELL: Plus, President Trump is taking full credit for the idea to send undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities. What else the president said and what immigration officials feel about the president's message.


[07:25:23] PAUL: Well, four people were killed after a crane fell from the roof of a building in Seattle. It fell on to vehicles their in the street. Washington governor and Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee called it, quote, a terrible accident.

Here are the details.


PAUL: Pictures from downtown Seattle show part of the crane that collapsed, crushing several cars on the street below.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were cranes on both sides of the building but the crane that came down on Mercer came down on six cars.

PAUL: Four people were killed when that huge structure fell. Two of those people were crane operators, two others were in cars. Four other people were evacuated by medics including a 4-month-old baby and the city's mayor said they are just lucky to be alive.

MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D), SEATTLE: We also saw some miracles. A mother with her young child who was in car that you can see was horrifically hurt and injured but she was able to get out.

PAUL: Authorities said crews were starting to dismantle the crane when the accident happened and it was apparently being used to build part of a new Google Seattle campus. The cause of that crash? That's under investigation but several witnesses reported wind gusts at the time of the collapse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was about a block away because I live in this neighborhood. And I was near a window and the window was just slightly cracked, so a gust of wind came up and it literally blew with the window open so it was really strong gusts of wind happening at that moment and we have had problems with cranes in the past with windy weather.


PAUL: The city's mayor also said it was a tragic day in Seattle.

BLACKWELL: President Trump added a little confusion to his already controversial immigration policy which he calls his sick idea. This was at a rally in Wisconsin. The president said he is now sending undocumented migrants to sanctuary cities.

Let's go down to Boris Sanchez. He's at the White House.

Boris, so up to this point, it was discussed as a plan. Now the president says it's happening. Is that true? Do we know?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, this morning, we don't have confirmation from the White House just yet. Let's go back to how this idea first emerged. Initially in November, White House officials are reached out to officials at the Department of Homeland Security to ask about this idea whether it's feasible or not.

Then they did the same thing again in February and from what we understand, sources at DHS told the White House this idea was likely illegal. So, when reports about this submerged in March, we asked the White House about and they admitted something they kicked around but abandon for the aforementioned reason that it's likely illegal, then the president throw all that to the wind and said, it was something he was considering and last night into Green Bay, Wisconsin, he said it's something his administration is carrying out, but don't have any proof of that or confirmation from the White House.

I want you to listen to exactly what the president said.


TRUMP: Now, we are sending many of them through sanctuary cities. Thank you very much.


They're not too happy about it. I'm proud to tell you that was actually my sick idea.


SANCHEZ: Now, we have heard conflicting reports from sources about exactly where the idea originated, or whether it was actually President Trump who put it on the table. Again, this is President Trump in front of a crowd of raucous supporters and, often, he sort of just shoots from the hip and says what he feels and not really relying on facts or, you know, what his administration is actually doing.

We have seen it before and we should point out the president also went after some of his potential rivals in 2020, using pet names to talk about Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. So, overall, pretty much what you would expect from a Trump rally going into the 2020 election, Victor.

BLACKWELL: He is just rifting and not relying on facts or actual policy. Hopefully, we will get a response from the White House if this is actually happening.

Boris Sanchez there at the White House, thanks so much.

SANCHEZ: Thanks.

PAUL: We have learned the last hour the alleged synagogue shooter has been booked into jail on several charges now. What with know about those charges and about that suspect. Stay close.


[07:33:17] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the 19-year-old who authorities say is responsible for the synagogue shooting in California has been booked into jail on a first-degree murder charge and three first-degree attempted murder charges. This, of course, is after the shooting at the Congregation Chabad in Poway, California. Authorities are executing search warrants at the home and a car of that suspect. One person was killed and at least three others were wounded, including a 9-year-old girl. CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And we are learning more about those

victims. One was killed after she stepped in front of a wounded rabbi, Lori Kaye, you see her there.

BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, in the past few weeks a religiously motivated hate has hit the U.S., really has hit countries around the world. There were three incidents in California alone. Yesterday's shooting at the synagogue in Poway, potential arson in a mosque in Escondido, and three black churches were torched in Louisiana in a parish there.

PAUL: And take a look at the terrorist attack in Sri Lanka just last week, that killed 250 people. The New Zealand mosque shootings, 50 people died there.

Senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Reverend Raphael Warnock, is with us now.

Thank you so much, Reverend, for being here with us today.

I know that you had mentioned to us that you have, after this appearance with us, two sermons to give. What do you say to your congregation today?

REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, PH.D, SENIOR PASTOR, EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH: Well, we can't give in to hate. This is a difficult moment and you have to say here we are again. And this is an attack, when you think about an attack on worshipers at Easter in Sri Lanka and on a mosque in New Zealand while people are engaged in prayer, black churches in Louisiana, this is not just an attack on the people, as tragic as it is, it's really an attack on their story.

[07:35:03] The story of Passover, the story of people of faith and engaged in the underground railroad marching out of the churches and civil rights movement. This a story of faith and freedom, and so, at a moment like this, people of faith and moral courage have to stand together. I think we need to see more Christians, Jews, and Muslims praying together and working together.

When Abraham Joshua marked with Dr. King he said, I felt like my legs were marching. There is a Canadian proverb that says that when you pray, move your feet. So, I'm sick and tired of us going through this and hearing members of Congress sending their thoughts and prayers. Prayers need a whole lot more than thoughts.

BLACKWELL: So, let me ask you, you brought up Congress here.


BLACKWELL: How much what we have seen in Louisiana and California and I'm speaking to domestically here, can be legislated away? What is the role of government and what is beyond the purview of lawmakers?

WARNOCK: Well, look at the action that happened in New Zealand. Right after that shooting, the prime minister of New Zealand acted immediately, along with the members of their government. That's what leadership looks like. So government can't solve everything but that doesn't mean we

shouldn't do anything. And I think that it is a trivialization of the tragedy for members of government to say that we are sending forth our thoughts and our prayers. We need to put our prayers into the action. We need to pass an assault weapons ban.

If you're on a no fly list, you ought to be on a no buy list. It doesn't make sense to say that we don't trust to board a plane, which you don't control, but we truth to carry a gun which absolutely do control.

There's things that we can do, and the reason we are not doing things is because we have the best politicians that money can buy. So it's time for people of faith and moral courage to stand up and say enough is enough.

PAUL: Addressing the gun issue and weapons is one thing. But addressing the hate is another. How do we do that really at the end of the day?

WARNOCK: Well, Dr. King used to say hate can't drive out hate, only love can do that. Darkness can't drive out darkness. Only light can do that.

PAUL: How do you drive that out? Let me ask you that. How do you drive that out when you're angry and when you're scared? Because so many communities watching this who have been through it, who are seeing it again, and may be feeling helpless.

WARNOCK: Yes, we know what that feels like. We experienced violence in the Ebenezer sanctuary, of course, long before I was pastor. Martin Luther King Jr.'s own darling mother was shot and killed in our sanctuary while playing the Lord's Prayer on a Sunday morning.

But we have never given into that fear and we won't give in to hate. The light shines in the darkness. There is darkness in our world but the light has to shine through the darkness.

People of faith and moral courage have to resist hate wherever it shows up. We have to say no to the kind of course rhetoric we are seeing in a public square. Words have power and we are seeing hate go viral. But I still believe that love is more powerful than hate and last Sunday, we celebrated Easter which means that evil does rise up but evil does not have the last word.

And it's up to people of faith to insist that those who want to create death and destruction in a sanctuary will not win.

BLACKWELL: Logistically, are you taking security precautions based on what we are seeing across the country?

WARNOCK: Sure, we have security at our church and sanctuary and it's necessary in a time like this.

But, you know, I've been engaged in this for a while now. We are here in the state of Georgia. The guns everywhere, ground zero for guns everywhere. Every year our state legislature finds a way to create an environment that guns are the answer to everything. So, now, we have guns allowed in churches and sanctuaries and guns allowed in bars and restaurants, guns at the airport.

And I don't know of any faith gathering where that is on the agenda. So we have got to stand up and we got to fight. It's a bad idea for everybody in a congregation to be armed. That creates a dangerous situation.

BLACKWELL: Does that mean no one in t building should be armed?

WARNOCK: No. I wouldn't say that. We have security.

BLACKWELL: Armed security?

WARNOCK: We do. We do have armed security in our church. We live in an evil world and so their protection is necessary.

But this idea that everybody is carrying a gun. Imagine with the tragedy that happened yesterday and the tragedy we have seen in so many places, if everybody is armed, you don't know who the bad guy is and you create chaos and increase destruction and death.

[07:40:03] BLACKWELL: So, you believe there is a place for guns in a house of worship?

WARNOCK: I believe that in a broken world, there is a place for justice to be enforced which is the reason why we have police and the reason we have security. You add security on outside the studio on my way in.

But this idea that everybody ought to be armed -- it's interesting. The Georgia legislature passed these guns everywhere laws and when I went down to the state capital, along with rabbis and imams to say, we don't want our people coming to church into the mosque and temple armed. In order to for me to make that argument in the capitol, I had go through a metal detector, I had to ensure that I was not armed.

So, legislators don't feel it's a good idea for everybody to be armed in their place of work, why do they think it's a good idea in our places of worship?

PAUL: Strong point.

I don't know if you notice the defendant as well. We had Rabbi Jessie Nuan (ph) on earlier and he was giving us the exact same insight you are, talking about the light in the darkness, talking about the love overcoming hate. One of the things -- one of the elements of the Poway shooting I think that is very stark and very troubling is there was a man who was getting all of the children out at the time and for 45 minutes there were two children who were missing. They did find them, they were fine but they were in hiding for 45 minutes.

How do you specifically have these conversations with children as opposed to adults? Is there a different way? To try to give them some peace and some strength and some courage through all of it? WARNOCK: I think those children are traumatized by this and no easy

answer to this kind of thing. I think we ought to think about our children as we consider the kind of world that we want to create as we think about the kind of legislation that we want to see passed in our state houses and at the highest levels of government. I think it causes us to hold all of our children a little bit closer and to see the face of God in the children of people who worship in a different space and call God by a different name than we do.

God is known by many names, worshipped in many houses and every weekend, people of faith have to lift up that name but we have to get up from our knees and put our prayers into action.

PAUL: Reverend Warnock, a pleasure to have you here.

WARNOCK: Good to be with you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

Well, mourners are holding vigils outside of St. Anthony's shrine this morning. This is Colombo, Sri Lanka. Scores were killed there in Sri Lanka and many are there praying today, 253 lives claimed, more than 500 injured.

Meanwhile, we are getting a new look at one of the terrorist responsible for one of those bombings. Look at this.

PAUL: We want to show you the moment one of those suicide bombers detonated his bomb outside of the restaurant of Kingsbury Hotel. As the video goes on you see the man checking into the hotel the day before the bombings carrying two backpacks as he walks to his room.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, a crime victim and an offender decide to talk to one another. CNN's Van Jones brings us a new series redemption process between the healing of a mother and her son's killer. We will take a look at that in a moment.


[07:47:41] PAUL: Hope you'll with us tonight here on CNN, Van Jones tonight is bringing us a powerful new energy searches called "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT."

BLACKWELL: Yes, the show goes on inside the Restorative Justice process, and shows us just what happens when a crime victim and an offender decide to open themselves up to dialogue with one another.

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


MARY JOHNSON, SON MURDERED: I am his spiritual mom and he is my spiritual son.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mary Johnson says some people think she is crazy. Her spiritual son is also the man who killed her biological son during 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.

[07:50:12] 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.


BLACKWELL: That's just --

PAUL: Such a strong, strong woman.

BLACKWELL: Remarkable story from both perspectives.

Be sure to join in and watch all new, CNN original series "THE REDEMPTION PROJECT" with Van Jones premiers tonight at 9:00 p.m.

PAUL: Listen, it was a very different White House correspondents dinner this year. We're going to show you.


RON CHERNOW, HISTORIAN & KEYNOTE SPEAKER: My main theme here tonight is relations between presidents and the press are inevitably tough, almost always adversarial, but they don't need to be steeped in venom.



PAUL: So, if you're one of those people who work and you're stuck at a desk all day, the doctor says some fresh air may be just what you need.


MATT JARVES, ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE: I talked to a woman there -- definitely feel an energy boost after a walking meeting. Greater possibilities when we're outside.

Walking meetings are great to relieve stress because they give you perspective. You realize there's more going on around you than maybe you were assuming, and that's a source of comfort.

[07:55:06] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit of nature goes farther than we think it does. There are studies that show just 10 or 15 minutes outdoors, walking through a park, there's a measurable improvement in mental attitude and psychological health.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he liking it?


ALBERTO CABAN-MARTINEZ, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI MEDICAL RESEARCHER: There's new pilot scientific evidence that says converting some of the time you're at work into a working meeting is beneficial to cardiovascular health and potentially even to productivity.

JARVIS: Our offices, our little Internet wombs, our moral forms of bubbles, and going outside and getting the new perspective really unlocks all kinds of creative ideas.

CABAN-MARTINEZ: The more high tech our lives become, the more nature we need. We're looking at screens, we burn out. If you want to revive yourself, go outside.


BLACKWELL: A lot of history, a little humor at the White House correspondents' dinner last night.

PAUL: Historian Ron Chernow was invited to be there in place of a comedian which is what we usually see. Here are some of the highlights for you.


CHERNOW: We now have to fight hard for basic truths we once took for granted. When you chip away at the press, you chip away at our democracy.

Washington felt maligned and misunderstood by the press, but he never generalized that into a vendetta against the institution.

Politicians in diapers must be changed often and for the same reason.

Good night and God bless America.


PAUL: And with that, we hope you make good memories today.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King is up after the break.