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AT THIS HOUR

Funeral Services for California Synagogue Shooting Victim, 3 Injured; Authorities Identify Suspect in California Synagogue Shooting; Combat Veteran Helps Chase Gunman Out of Synagogue; ADL: At Least 54 Extremist-Related Murders in U.S. in 2018; Barr Threatens to Snub House Hearing on Mueller Report. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired April 29, 2019 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:00] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: However, he did say that the NRA needs to get its act together quickly -- Jim?

JIM SCUITTO, CNN ANCHOR: Why is the investigation legal? No basis.

Polo Sandoval, thanks very much.

Thanks so much for joining me and us today. I'm Jim Sciutto.

"AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Funeral services are scheduled today for the woman shot and killed this weekend. As she was simply trying to pray. Killed inside her synagogue. Killed, witnesses say, while trying to shield her rabbi as they both faced down a gunman. Lori Kaye was 60 years old. She was at the Chabad of Poway outside San Diego on Saturday to mark the end of Passover and also to pray for her mother who had passed away in November. Lori Kaye, that 60-year-old woman, mother, wife, and much more, she's now dead. Her rabbi was also shot. Two other people including an 8-year-old little girl were also injured. The reason behind this horrifying tragedy, blind hate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YISROEL GOLDSTEIN, RABBI, CHABAD OF POWAY SYNAGOGUE: Here is a young man standing with a rifle, pointing right at me. And I look at him. He had sunglasses on. I couldn't see his eyes. I couldn't see his soul.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw the hate. (INAUDIBLE)

NOYA DAHAN, WOUNDED IN SHOOTING: I did not know what was going on. It was like (INAUDIBLE). Then it went back.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So the piece of shrapnel went in your leg and came out the other side?

DAHAN: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What were you thinking then? Did it hurt?

DAHAN: In the first place when it was gushing blood, I didn't feel it. Then after they wiped it and the blood was off, it felt like I had the giant bruise ever. It was hurting bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: CNN's Dan Simon is in Poway, California, joining me now.

What more are you learning about Lori Kaye, about the other victims in this?

DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Kate. Some of the details here are just so disturbing. Here you have this 60-year-old woman, who actually helped build this synagogue some 30 years ago. She did some of the fund-raising for it. As you said, she was here to mourn the loss of her mother. And according to witnesses, she put herself between the shooter and the rabbi. The rabbi saying he is only alive today because in his words Lori took a bullet for him. He said Lori took a bullet for the entire congregation. One of the other chilling details here, Kate, is her husband happens to be a physician. He was here that morning. He tended to the victims. At first, he didn't even realize he was trying to revive his own wife. And then when he discovered that it was in fact his wife, he fainted and collapsed right next to her.

In terms of some of the other victims, we know about the rabbi losing his right index finger. Took some bullets to both of his hands and lost one of his fingers. Alaman Peretz (ph), 34 years old, he's an Israeli national, was visiting family. Took a bullet to the leg, and moments after that, actually ushered some of the children to safety.

And then of course, you heard from Noya, 8 years old. What her family has had to endure is just unbelievable. They fled the Middle East, fled Israel because of the violence there and the rockets. They get to America, come to California. And immediately experience some anti- Semitism. Somebody painted some red swastikas on their home, and then of course, they have to deal with this tragedy that occurred in the temple on Saturday -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: We keep their faces, their images, and in Lori Kaye's case, her memory alive in speaking about her and the greatest and the life they bring. At the same time, you have this 19-year-old who is now charged with this horrific crime. He's in custody. What are police telling you about what led to this?

SIMON: Well, apparently, this is fueled by anti-Semitism. He did post a disturbing chilling manifesto online where he voiced support for various anti-Semitic acts. Also identified with the shooter of the New Zealand mosque. He's a 19-year-old San Diego resident. Was attending a local college here. And for some inexplicable reason, after the shooting, he fled in his getaway car, called police to say he was the guy involved and he was apprehended a short time later. We don't know if he had any kind of weapons training, Kate, or how he obtained the gun. Back to you.

BOLDUAN: Dan, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

So amidst the tragedy, and a true tragedy, there are truly amazing stories that are emerging. One is an Iraq war combat veteran who ran toward the shooter when he heard gunshots ring out, shouting down the gunman and chasing him out of the synagogue.

That man is Oscar Stewart. And he's joining me right now on the phone.

Oscar, can you hear me in.

[11:05:08] OSCAR STEWART, CONGREGANT, CHABAD OF POWAY SYNAGOGUE (via telephone): Yes, I hear you fine. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for joining me. How are you doing today?

STEWART: I'm doing fine, thanks. It's been like a surreal past two days.

BOLDUAN: Yes, surreal is probably one of many things you have been feeling over the past couple days.

So let me talk about -- let's talk about what you saw, what you heard, what you experienced. You're at the synagogue. You hear gunshots ring out. What did you see when you got to the lobby area?

STEWART: What happened is, I was in the back of the synagogue. I don't normally stand in the back. I usually sit in the front row, but for some reason, I was in the back. I hear the gunshot. I knew what gunshots were. Immediately, I get up to run away. And about -- I took about three or four steps and I said, you know, unconsciously, I did this, I turned around and ran to the gunshots. My wife said she saw me run by. She told me this later on. She couldn't believe it, that I was running towards the gunshots. As soon as I run to the lobby, I didn't see anybody except for the shooter, and I let out a scream that was unbelievable from what I understand. People keep telling me they thought it was like four people, a chorus of men screaming at once. The priest at the church next door said he heard it when he was giving his service. He heard the scream, you know, it traveled far. More than a football field. So I don't even know how I did that. So as soon as I saw the gunman, he discharged his rifle twice. I was going towards him. When I got to him, I screamed in his face, and he looked -- he dropped his weapon to his side. He had it slung so he wouldn't lose it, and he immediately took off running. I was chasing after him. I maintained my distance. I was as close as I could be to him the entire time. He jumped in the car, raised the weapon to shoot. I punched the car as hard as I could. He dropped the weapon again. He turns on the ignition. At this point, Border Patrol agent, Jonathan, thank god he was there, and thank god he was trained. He comes out and yells, fall back, I have a gun. I immediately just, like, kicked in instinctively, I fell back. He discharged his weapon five times. He struck the car four times. I want to make it clear that he didn't shoot at a moving car. People say that's ridiculous. He shot at a stationary car and shot low to immobilize the vehicle. But I think that he was trained. I could have been killed in the line of fire. And then we proceed to get the license plate number as the guy speeds away. Someone was there with a cell phone. He called 911. We give him the license number.

Immediately, I run back into the synagogue, for whatever reason. I get into the lobby, I see the rabbi standing there and ask if he's OK, and he looks at me and says I'm fine. Help somebody. I immediately go to the floor where I see a body. She's on her stomach. I didn't know who it was at the time. I yelled, somebody help me. Flipped her over. I'm a construction worker. You never want to flip somebody. Dr. Gill, her first name is Gill, he flipped her over and started doing CPR on her. The doctor, he was doing the compressions, I was doing the breath. At some point, he got tired and I started doing both. At this point, Howard, her husband, Howard Kaye, comes and starts doing the compressions. His compressions were slower and he did more compressions. I jump off, I see an A.D., I get the A.D., we start applying the electrodes and he said I can't get a pulse. He goes, so let me check something out. He checks for her pulse. That's when he realizes it's his wife, when he sees her face, when he goes to check her pulse. At this point, he falls down. He just, boom, he's gone. He faints. The sheriff's deputies come in and take over the CPR for both of us. I was about to start compressions again. The sheriff's deputies take over for both of us.

Someone else grabs the doctor. And somebody screams, did you see my daughter? Did you see my daughter? I said, I saw your girls outside. They were in the back, they're fine. He said, he didn't take her. I said, no, there was no one in the car but the shooter.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Oscar, I mean, that moment, your wife was there as, well, and it makes me wonder, that's just unimaginable when you think about how Dr. Kaye arrived to help, not knowing who he would be helping, and finally, after administering help, realizes it's his own wife.

[11:09:57] STEWART: Yes. That was surreal to me, incredible. That just shows the willingness to give. He immediately, he didn't even bother to see who it was. He said I see someone who needs help and he came to help me immediately. That's what he did. I'm in pretty good shape because of my work. I'm an electrician. I was able to do it, but it's easier when two people are CPR. He jumped in immediately. He said let me check something out, he goes. We were trying to apply the A.D., and it wasn't picking up a heartbeat. He tries to check her pulse. When he did that, I'll never forget that moment in my life. That's seared in my memory forever. He sees her and like his eyes just like opened up. And he just fell. He was like, boom. He was done. And then the sheriff's deputies come in at the same time.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: You said that moment is going to be seared into your memory for forever. There's no way to make sense of something like this.

(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: But where is -- where is your heart and your head a couple days later about everything you have just lived through?

STEWART: You know, in retrospect, I keep telling people, and everyone keeps asking me, what did you do, how did you plan this, how did you do this? I want to tell them it was all instinctive. Nothing I did was planned out. I remember everything, like watching a movie, but nothing was ever planned. It was as if I was a hand of God. For lack of a better expression. You know, my training that I had in the military, it kicked in. I knew I had to be close to the shooter so he couldn't raise his weapon to shoot me. Looking back, that's what I did. I maintained that distance. I kept on top of him the entire time. I was unarmed, but I didn't even think about that. I just knew I had -- you know, people ask why did I do that, why did I turn around? I said before I went to the back, I got up from my seat and looked up at the playground and there were all these kids. Maybe that was in my subconscious at the time or the fact my wife is on the women's side of the sanctuary, and that's the left side. I was on the right side. Closer to the lobby, so maybe I was thinking I have to protect her. Really don't know what I did, why I did it. And it still chokes me up, but I know, and some people say, I knew what I was doing or I took action or I was prepared. I just did what -- it just happened. Like instinctive. You know, I'm a religious person. I want to say I was an instrument of God at the time.

BOLDUAN: Thank god for it. Thank god for you.

STEWART: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for being prayerful and for your faith and for talking to us about this. Thank you so much.

STEWART: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: Jonathan Greenblatt is here from the Anti-Defamation League.

I'm sorry. I'm getting so choked up. Just so much to take, Jonathan.

JONATHAN GREENBLATT, NATIONAL DIRECTOR & CEO, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: It's hard. It's hard. I sat here with you six months ago, after the shooting in Pittsburgh when 11 people were gunned down in a synagogue while they prayed, I didn't think I would be here six months later talking about the same story in a different community on the other side of the country.

BOLDUAN: Your statement after the shooting, you said, "This should serve as a call to action." What's the call?

GREENBLATT: Well, first and foremost, I think we have to keep in mind Lori Kaye, who died. That her tragedy, her martyrdom shouldn't be in vain.

Secondly, we said this and I'll say it again, Anti-Semitism is at the core of this global terror threat of white supremacy. We need to recognize it for what it is. There's a through line from Charlottesville to Pittsburgh to Christchurch, and now to San Diego county. And it is time for, from the White House, to Congress, to apply the resources to this problem that we applied to the problem of Islamic jihadist terrorism since 9/11. This is --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Jonathan, anti-Semitism isn't new. For god's sake, it is not new.

GREENBLATT: No, no.

BOLDUAN: But when you list it out, this connection, it's not just one House of worship. It's not just one religion. It's Christians, it's Jews, it's Muslims.

GREENBLATT: Sure.

BOLDUAN: It's beyond the attacks happening, the fact they're being targeted. Is there something new and different now?

GREENBLATT: Well, there are a few things that are different now, I think. Number one, we're living in this charged, polarized environment today. And we have a kind of degradation of the public degradation. We have, from the White House to the House of Representatives, people trivializing and politicizing anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance. It's unconscionable. But that's different. The lack of decorum deteriorates the conversation to the detriment of all of us.

The second thing, Kate, that is very real is social media. We need to recognize that this poison spreads. This infection spreads. Because in part, extremists are exploiting Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, and other services. This man was on 8chan, posted his manifesto to PaySpin (ph), and there are many of others.

[11:15:29] BOLDUAN: It's so sad that I feel like I need to ask this question, but I feel like we're at this place at this point. Are people of faith around the country, around the world, are they safe to pray anymore?

GREENBLATT: We asked the same question after Mother Emanuel, the AME church, where Dylann Roof murdered people in the summer of 2015. We asked the same questions after Oak Creek, where a man went in and murdered people because of their faith. And we asked the same question after Colombo in Sri Lanka. I think it's a sad state of affairs when we're not even safe in the places where we pray. Where our most sacred spaces that have been violated. This was an attack on a synagogue, on an orthodox congregation, but this was an attack on the entire Jewish community. This was a terror attack intended to spawn insecurity.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

GREENBLATT: Among all of us. And that's why these attacks on places of worship are so particularly heinous. I must say, unfortunately, in the Jewish community, just in the last few years, since I have been the CEO of ADL, since we track anti-Semitism around the world, I visited synagogues and schools, supermarkets, where Jews have been killed simply because of who they are and how we pray. And it is long overdue for this to end.

BOLDUAN: The rising tide of white nationalism and anti-Semitism is something no one should ignore, no matter what your faith is, of course.

You brought up how, from the White House to Congress and beyond, about how the actions and conversations need to change. When you hear, in President Trump, he spoke to the rabbi, and he spoke up, strongly condemning this hate-driven, anti-Semitic attack on the synagogue, very forcefully this weekend. But at the same time, after Christchurch, in New Zealand, he was asked the very question, if he thinks that white nationalism is on the rise around the world, and he effectively said no. He said, I don't think so. I think it's a small group of people doing very bad things. That was in March. And his adviser, Kellyanne Conway, yesterday, speaking to Jake Tapper, the only way to say it, is she danced around repeated and direct questions on this very question, is there a rising threat of white nationalism in the country. What impact does that have?

GREENBLATT: Sure, so let's focus on the facts. The question, is there a rise in white supremacy in the country, the answer is yes. How do we know that? That's what the data tells us that, in 2017, we saw a surge of 57 percent year on year. The highest surge in 20 years.

BOLDUAN: And this is not made up. This is fact.

GREENBLATT: No. And in 2018, we tracked 58 extremist-related murders in the United States, 49 of which were people exhibiting an extremist sort of right-wing ideology, 70-plus percent were white supremacists. If we look at over the last decade, three quarters of extremist related murders in the United States, I'm talking 73-plus percent, were committed by right-wing extremists, typically exhibiting sort of a white supremacist ideology. What does it matter what the officials say, the facts are the facts and they're undeniable. What we really need, number one, are leaders to lead, not just in response to a crisis. I am sick and tired of mourning dead Jews. I am sick and tired of people violating mosques and churches and synagogues. But I am equally fed up with failing to call this out and re-enforce our values every day. Values of decency, of diversity, of our shared humanity and fairness. That's what we need. Not after a crisis. Long before one takes place.

BOLDUAN: Help stop it, stop and change the conversation.

The rabbi said yesterday a little bit of light can do a lot to push the darkness away.

GREENBLATT: That's right.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: We all need to do that a lot more. Jonathan will be back with us. We have another part of the

conversation, more to talk about on this. He'll join me a little bit later.

[11:19:46] We'll be right back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Attorney General Bill Barr is scheduled to make two high- profile appearances on Capitol Hill this week to answer questions about the Mueller report. "Scheduled" is the operative word. Will he actually show up, is a very real question right now. CNN has learned Barr might not show up if Democrats, who are in charge of the committee, of course, on the House Judiciary Committee, if they plan to stick to the format that Jerry Nadler wants to stick to for the questioning. If Barr balks, it could take this fight between the Trump administration and House Democrats to a whole new level.

CNN's Manu Raju is joining me now. He broke the story for us.

Manu, what are you hearing from the Hill about all of this?

[11:24:57] MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Moments ago, Kate, the House Judiciary Committee scheduled a vote in the committee tomorrow to allow for an additional hour of questioning at Thursday's hearing. This would allow the members to designate it to anyone that they want, potentially staff counsel to question Barr for an hour at that Thursday hearing. This is a centerpiece of the dispute between House Democrats and Bill Barr. Bill Barr, they say he does not want to allow staff counsel to be allowed to question him after the members are done questioning, doing their five-minute rounds of questions. He said staff attorneys should not be allowed to question him. That's one big reason why Barr is saying he's not going to show up Thursday, according to a committee source, if Democrats pursue this line of questioning. Also, Democrats want to go into closed session to look into the redacted portions of the Mueller report. Barr, so far, has only allowed a limited number of members look at the less-redacted version. Democrats, of course, want to see the full report.

Nevertheless, this is all turning into questions whether he'll appear before the House hearing on Thursday. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the committee, yesterday made clear it will not be the attorney general that tells his committee what to do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What does it say if A.G. Barr doesn't back down on his objections?

NADLER: Then we'll have to subpoena him and we'll have use whatever means we can to enforce the subpoena.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: The vote tomorrow should be interesting to schedule the extra hour of questioning for Bill Barr. Expect this to be a pretty partisan debate because Republicans are criticizing Nadler's tactics here, but it's an effort to say, even if the committee has authorized us to have the extra hour, it will be voted on party lines. But they have yet to hear from the Justice Department, Kate, about whether or not he will, in fact, attend Thursday's hearing -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: So this is going to be fascinating how this plays out, Manu, and so interesting, the juxtaposition between what's happening in the Senate the day before and what we're looking at in the House.

Good to see you, man. Thank you so much for bringing it to us. We really appreciate it.

RAJU: Thanks.

BOLDUAN: Coming up, it's former Vice President Joe Biden's first official stop on the 2020 campaign trail. What's his message to Pennsylvania voters, who gave the state to Trump in 2016? And why is Trump tweeting about it already?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:30:00]