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More Than 1,000 guns Seized from Upscale L.A. Home; Rift in Kennedy Family over Vaccines; Parents Talk Hero Son Who Rushed Colorado School Shooter; Denver to Become 1st City to Legalize Magic Mushrooms; GOP-Led Senate Intelligence Issues Subpoena to Don Jr. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired May 9, 2019 - 14:30   ET



[14:33:20] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: The sheer number of guns seized from one home in California is stunning. You see the pictures for yourself. All of the weapons, more than 1,000 firearms in total were found during a raid on a single mansion in Belair in Los Angeles. Along with these guns, agents also found an incredible amount of ammunition.

So Nick Watt is working the story from Los Angeles.

And, Nick, who is the homeowner and why do they have so many guns?

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the person who -- we're not sure if he owned the home but lived in the home, is a 57-year-old man, Girard Saenz, has been arrested and since has been released on a $50,000 bond.

But you know, OK, so one thing I will say at the start is one law enforcement source tells us that authorities have found no connection between this guy and either domestic or international terror. But the question that you raised still remains, why did he have so many weapons in this house, in this very upscale neighborhood of Los Angeles. Now that source told us inside it was like a horder's house, it took 30 officers about 15 hours to pull all those weapons out. We're told by the LAPD some date as far back as the Civil War and some are modern. And they are going through those serial numbers to try and figure out the history of all those weapons.

And as for why he has them, well, apparently, the tip that came into LAPD was somebody, an anonymous person, saying this guy was selling weapons out of that home. And he will be charged under a California penal code for -- it is transporting, giving, lending or selling assault weapons. So we're still trying to figure out why.

[14:35:13] But those scenes are extraordinary. Over a thousand weapons laid out on the tarps in the driveway in -- as I say, in a very upscale neighborhood of Los Angeles -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: I couldn't believe it when I saw the picture first thing this morning --

WATT: Yes.

BALDWIN: -- of all of those firearms.

Nick Watt, stay on it. Thank you so much.

In a rare public revelation, members of one of America's great political dynasties is showing a rift in the family. And it is all over vaccines. Three members of the Kennedy clan are going after Robert F. Kennedy Jr because, quote, "He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines." That's an exert from a piece they wrote in "Politico." And we're not talking distant relatives. We're talking about his brother and sister and niece. They say they love him and admire his work on the environment but that his spreading misinformation on vaccines makes him, quote, "an outlier in the Kennedy family." RFK Jr leads the Children's Health Defense. Also the nephew of JFK and the son of the attorney general just two months ago.


ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR, SON OF FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL ROBERT F. KENNEDY: You've got to learn to mistrust the CDC. You can't keep trusting and writing down what they say. Raise your hand if you have a child or family member that was injured by a vaccine?


KENNEDY: Yes. This isn't people's imagination. It is happening.


BALDWIN: Professor Barbara Perry has written several books on the Kennedy family and is the Kennedy biographer at University of Virginia's Miller Center. She leads -- director of presidential studies at the Miller Center.

So, Barbara, thank you for being with us.

And just to read this piece in "Politico," how remarkable is it that the Kennedys are going so public with this family rift?

BARBARA PERRY, PROFESSOR & DIRECTOR OF PRESIDENTIAL STUDIES, MILLER CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA & AUTHOR: It is remarkable. Although I think all of us who are part of families, especially in this day and age of social media and people writing op-eds, we know from the Thanksgiving table that we can have differences.


PERRY: But as you point out, when it is the Kennedy family, it comes to the fore. This is not the same time the same group of people had a difference. In 2008, some of them supported Hillary Clinton and some Barack Obama, including the Uncle Teddy and their cousin, Caroline Kennedy. So not the first time. But on this particularly important and timely issue, we're going to take note of it. BALDWIN: So I get it. We all have our disagreements in our families.

But it is so noteworthy that it is the Kennedys. And it sounds like they've had -- various disagreements for a while. Why was it that -- the recent measles outbreak that was the catalyst to write the piece? What was it?

PERRY: I think it is that. I think you put your finger right on it. Yes, we all know of the public health crisis occurring, particularly in New York. So I think that prompted them. But also the fact that the family has been a leader in health care with their Uncle Teddy and the ACA, for example. But also the fact that they had a family member, Rosemary Kennedy, the sister of president Kennedy and their father, Robert Kennedy, born with an intellectual disability, and her mother, Rose Kennedy, the great matriarch of the family, went around the country and the world in the '60s and '70s preaching the importance of vaccines.

BALDWIN: Let me just get this in. This is Robert Kennedy Jr.'s response. Quote, "I am not anti-vaccine. I want safe vaccines with robust safety testing. I don't think we should be forcing pharmaceutical products on unwilling Americans without recognizing the downside risks."

Do you think -- what are the chances he would change his mind after hearing from his family members?

PERRY: Well. I think it is a very reasonable point that he is raising. That is that he is not anti-vaccine but telling people to be careful and to demand care in the production and the distribution of the vaccines. Because remember, he's an environmentalist. So he's aware of toxins in our environment and his concern is there could be toxins in vaccines. His sister and niece and brother are saying that they believe that most of these vaccines are certainly safe and that everyone should be protected, children and communities.

BALDWIN: Sure. And they mention how much they admire his work with the environment but on this very issue, obviously, they see not at all eye to eye.

Professor Perry, at UVA, thank you so much.

PERRY: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Let's get back to more breaking news. This afternoon, the president of the United States sounding off on the subpoena that his son, here, Don Jr, just received from the Republican-led committee.

[14:39:55] And new disturbing details from the investigation in Colorado, the warning of the next Columbine that came from a parent before this week's deadly attack.


BALDWIN: Students are struggling to cope with the shooting that killed a young hero and wounded eight others at the school, a tragedy the latest blow to an area that's already endured too many mass shootings.

But in the aftermath of the Highlands Ranch stem shooting, we're learning another story of heroism. Cami Brainard's son attends the school and was asked about her message to the parents of Kendrick Castillo, the 18-year-old who died while trying to stop one of the gunmen.


[14:44:59] CAMI BRAINARD, MOTHER OF STUDENT: I'm so sorry your son was put in that position. And I don't know him, but I absolutely love him and I love his parents and I appreciate them as a family so much. You could tell from the little that I saw them on the news that they raised an incredible son and you could tell what kind of people they are and why he -- why he was the way that he was and I'm so unbelievably grateful. But bottom line, he should have never ever been put in that position.


BALDWIN: And Castillo's parents talked to my colleague, Scott McLean, about the loss of their son.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can't imagine what it's like to lose a child. I'm just hoping you can tell me about what your reaction was when you first heard what happened in that classroom and what your son had done.

JOHN CASTILLO, FATHER OF KENDRICK CASTILLO: My immediate reaction was, you know, not knowing his condition, that he was maybe just injured. He was going to be OK. And then I received a text from his friend saying that, you know, he had rushed the shooter and chased him.

They broke the news to us in a small room that was adjacent to the nurse's station that after we identified him that he had passed and was still at the school at the scene. And that's when we found out. You know, I just couldn't believe it. Couldn't believe this was happening to my son.

MCLEAN: You had to watch all the other parents link up with their own kids.

JOHN CASTILLO: Oh, yes, they were there. Buses were coming in. They were on the phone and making contact. And we didn't have that. You know? And I don't know. That's when I found out. And you know, not being able to hold him. We asked if we could see him, at least see him. And they're like, you know, since it was an active scene, he's still in the school, that we wouldn't be allowed to. And we sat and waited. And we had friends and students. They asked if, you know, we wanted the students there around us and stuff. I said absolutely, you know, as I coached the robotics team and I'm around those kids all the time.

MCLEAN: They were able to tell you what he had actually done.

JOHN CASTILLO: One of the kids told me that like a flash, he jumped up. She said, you know, he's a hero. He saved me. She said he jumped up and he ran. You couldn't see how fast he was running. You know. Out the door and after this person.

MCLEAN: Were you surprised by that?



JOHN CASTILLO: Not at all. You know, because we raised him that way. We raised him to be good. And you know, yes, until you're a parent and have something like this happen, you struggle. I know that because of what he did others are alive. And I thank God for that. I love him. And he's a hero. He always will be. But there's another part of you that wishes he would have just turned and ran, retreated, hid. You know, did something to put himself out of harm's way if that was possible.

MCLEAN: One of the things that one of the mothers who had a son in that classroom told one of my colleagues is that, "If it hadn't been for Kendrick, I wouldn't have my baby today. And I can't imagine." How does it make you feel to hear that?

JOHN CASTILLO: It makes me happy that she has her son. And you know, but it makes me sad that mine is not here. But in hindsight, I wouldn't have it any other way. I knew Kendrick would -- there's no way he would have traded any of that.


BALDWIN: Scott McLean there with the incredibly powerful interview.

And in just a couple of minutes, a survivor of the shooting will join me, along with his mother. How are children processing what happened in their own schools? And what do parents have to say about warnings that the school may have had before the attack?


[14:53:20] BALDWIN: Certainly, Colorado has led the way when it comes to legalizing marijuana, but now Denver is about to become the first city in the nation to decriminalize hallucinogenic, AKA, magic mushrooms. Preliminary results show voters narrowly approved a measure to deprioritize penalties for use and possession of the drug. Hallucinogenic mushrooms are considered a controlled substance but supporters point to recent medical studies that suggest the mushrooms could treat depression and anxiety. And the mayor's office responded this way, quote, "Mayor Hancock respects the decision of the voters and the Denver Police Department and will enforce the law accordingly."

John Murray is an enterprise reporter with "The Denver Post."

So, John, nice to have you on.

Reading your piece, so votes in favor of this measure jumped 7,000 overnight, putting it over the top. How do you explain the support for this?

JOHN MURRAY, ENTERPRISE REPORTER, GOVERNMENT & POLITICS TEAM, THE DENVER POST: You know, it was interesting. When the initial results came in, there was a big margin it was losing. But in Denver, there's a history as with a lot of places, where a lot of younger voters tend to turn in ballots later. And there's jokes about people who favor more permissive laws taking their time on voting as well. But as the results came in, it narrowed and narrowed and narrowed, and then when the final results came in, it had flipped just over 1 percentage point over margin victory.

BALDWIN: Love that Colorado sense of humor there.

John, let me ask you this because I know critics have said this ordinance might discourage tourists and that people don't know the long-term health impact of magic mushrooms. We've heard from the mayor. How are other people responding to this and also what about law enforcement?

[14:55:08] MURRAY: Well, in terms of just people -- regular people here, you see the result is pretty split. There are some folks not very happy about this and some who are pretty overjoyed that Denver is sort of leading the charge, kind of down another path to at least experimental another drug, not legalizing it but at least relaxing enforcement of it. Law enforcement, they have some experience. And actually, one of the interesting things that happened before Colorado legalized marijuana seven years ago, before that, Denver a couple of times had passed decriminalization for marijuana saying don't arrest people for simple possession. And actually, Denver police more or less ignored it for a while. They didn't just jump on board with what voters wanted. The big question now is if they do that. The mayor said he'll respect the will of the voters but there are different ways they can implement this.

BALDWIN: And quickly, you mentioned how Denver is this catalyst for change. Why do you think that is?

MURRAY: It's a good question. I think it is a part of a Western mentality. You look at us and Washington sort of led the way for legalization of marijuana. There's more of a Libertarian mindset out here. That makes it cross political boundaries. And Democrats and Republicans tend to be a little more open to the idea of drug liberalization.

BALDWIN: John Murray, never thought I would talk about this on television until today.

I appreciate you very much. "The Denver Post." Great piece. Thank you.

MURRAY: Thanks, Brooke. BALDWIN: Happening right now, Rod Rosenstein's final moments working

at the Department of Justice. His farewell ceremony is underway. Rosenstein stepping down as deputy attorney general after a tenure that included overseeing the Mueller report. And take a look at this video with me. Straight out of central casting for the Russia investigation that consumed Washington for two years, flanking Rosenstein, Attorney General Bill Barr, former A.G. Jeff Sessions. Next to Sessions, that is FBI Director Christopher Wray, who replaced the fired FBI Director James Comey. And also spotted in the crowd, former White House counsel, Don McGahn, and counsel to the president, Kellyanne Conway, along with the former acting White House counsel, Emmet Flood.

ANNOUCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BALDWIN: You are watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being here.

After days of blocking subpoenas and rejecting information requests, President Trump just addressed reporters in a wide-ranging impromptu question-and-answer session. And the president discussed everything from his top aide, his national security adviser, John Bolton, to North Korea, to even calling the Mueller report the Bible.

And the president also responded to the first ever congressional subpoena of one of his own family members. Sources tell CNN about the time the redacted version of the Mueller report went public, the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr.


TRUMP: I was very surprised. I saw Richard Burr saying there was no collusion two or three weeks ago. He went outside and somebody asked him, no, there's no collusion, we found no collusion. But I was very surprised to see my son -- my son is a very good person. Works very hard. The last thing he needs is Washington, D.C. He's now testified for 20 hours or something. A massive amount of time. The Mueller report came out. That's the Bible. The Mueller report came out. And they said he did nothing wrong.


BALDWIN: A source close to Trump Jr told CNN, quote, "Don continues to cooperate by producing documents and is willing to answer written questions, but no lawyer would ever agree to allow their client to participate in what is an obvious P.R. stunt from a so-called Republican Senator too cowardly to stand up to his boss, Mark Warner, and the rest of the resistance, Democrats on the committee."

BALDWIN: The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is Republican Richard Burr who is not running for re-election.

Abby Phillip is our CNN White House correspondent, David Sanger is CNN national security analyst and a national security correspondent for the "New York Times."

So welcome to you.

And, Abby, I watched earlier and -- and you were talking about this is kind of like how the president took a can of soda and shook it up and just let it go poof for 20, 25 minutes. On the Don Jr subpoena piece, just like Mueller said -- just like Trump said, the Mueller report exonerated him, which we know it didn't, and also he says it exonerated his own son, Don Jr. And he also said he's surprised by the subpoena. But is he going to fight it?

[14:59:52] ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, this is the president really letting loose on a lot of different things. But on this particular issue, watching the president's face as he speaks about his son, Don Jr, shows you where he is on this. It was almost a pained expression on his face as you talked about his son getting dragged into this stuff in Washington.