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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
EU Rejects Any Ultimatums From Iran on Nuclear Deal; U.S. Announces New Sanctions on Iran Metal Exports; North Korea Launches Missiles for 2nd Time This Week; Trump on China, No Idea What Is Happening; Trump Renews Tariff Threat Ahead of Talks; Trump Says Last Thing Son Needs Is Washington DC; Trump and Congress Heading for Possible Constitutional Clash; What It Is Like to Report in Xinjiang, China. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 9, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Donald Trump's message to Iran amid simmering diplomatic tensions, call me. Also tonight --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: I was crying, people were crying in the classroom, over the intercom, they had announcements going on saying
lockdown, lockdown, lock lights, out of site. And it kept repeating over and over and over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We will hear a gut-wrenching interview with one child who survived a school shooting. Yet another one in the United States.
Also coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've been followed by three or four guys, including one of them who I've seen follow us from the second
we got out of the baggage area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: A CNN crew spent nearly a week reporting in Xinjiang, China. They were followed every step of the way. Matt Rivers explains the difficulty
in reporting about one of the biggest human rights stories in the world. That is coming up as well. You won't want to miss it. Behind the scenes
on what it is like to work as a journalist in China.
Again with the stern warning for Iran, this time from the European Union. The EU says it rejects any ultimatums made by Tehran on their commitments
to the Iranian nuclear deal. This after the Iranian President insisted the EU alleviate pressure from sanctions or else us country will roll back
compliance with the nuclear deal. The U.S. is now targeting Iranian medals, including copper and warning other countries not to accept any
shipments from the Islamic republic.
The United States Pres. Donald Trump was asked about that a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Always, right? I don't want to say no. But hopefully that won't happen. We have one of the most
powerful ships in the world that's loaded up. What I'd like to see with Iran, I'd like to see them call me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: I want to bring in John Hughes from Washington. He served as deputy director and the Iran sanctions team chief at the U.S. State
Department in the Obama administration, thanks for being with us. When you hear when reporters get to the point where they're asking the President of
the United States, is there a risk of confrontation with Iran, how concerned should we be?
JOHN HUGHES, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Well, listen, I think we should be really concerned. There is a real chance that
something could happen. I think the U.S. administration has taken a hardline stance and they're not giving Iran many good options, and they're
not working with our international partners on this, I think this is a real serious risk.
GORANI: How deep is the rift between EU and the U.S. here on their approach to the Iran deal. The EU is saying, we want to keep this deal
alive, they're even coming up with mechanisms to circumvent the United States to continue to trade in some sort of barter system with Iranian
companies. How deep is the rift here?
HUGHES: This is the worst I've seen it in a long time. It goes across areas, not just with Iran. But it's the biggest sort of example of this,
the Europeans have done what they can to try to keep the deal alive. There's not much they can do. The power of U.S. sanctions are such that
most international companies have chosen not to do business with Iran. There's very little that the Europeans have been able to do to make
tangible benefits that give them a reason to continue to want to.
GORANI: Even if the country wants to trade with Iran, banks usually won't lend money or handle the transaction for fear of repercussions from the
United States, right?
HUGHES: That's right, and Iran has been under sanctions for a long time. Most international banks have not wanted to touch it, even when the deal is
in place, with the U.S. pulling out of the deal, that's even more the case, to find any bank willing to finance any trade. And most companies don't
want to do anything with Iran.
GORANI: Are these sanctions effective? Have they been in the past? Will they be this time? We're talking about sanctions against metals, these
allow Iran to raise money. And they get some foreign exchange, foreign currency into their economy. Will they be effective?
HUGHES: You know, I mean, sanctions should be seen as a tool as part of a broader strategy. Certainly if sanctions are your only tool and they're
not going to be successful, the fact of the matter is, Iran is under heavy sanctions, they have been for a long time. They're good at finding ways to
get around those sanctions. Even with the latest round of sanctions.
[14:05:00] This is not really -- I think going to add much to that. Certainly some of the oil sanctions and the waivers that they got rid of
recently will have more of an impact. But again, Iran has lived under certainly some of the oil sanctions and the waivers that they got rid of
recently will have more of an impact. But again, Iran has lived under these for a very long time. If all we have is sanctions as our tool, I'm
not sure that's going to move the needle very much.
GORANI: Last one, the President open to talks with the Iranian regime, he said just an hour or so ago, what I would like to see with Iran, I would
like to see them call me. Are you surprised?
HUGHES: I'm not surprised. President Trump seems to think if he can have a conversation, strike up a personal relationship with anybody, he can
somehow move the needle. We saw this also with North Korea, that has not gone well for this administration, I don't see what sort of incentive the
Iranians have to talk to the United States. I'm not sure what we're offering. It's good that he's reaching out, but I'm not very optimistic
it's going to get things very far.
GORANI: John Hughes, thanks for joining us.
A British Conservative member of Parliament, just recently was at the foreign office, specialized in the Middle East. He's been following this
Iran story for many, many years. I spoke with him about the Iran nuclear deal, formerly known as JCPOA. I asked him for his take on what's happened
over the last 24 hours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALISTAIR BURT, MP, CONSERVATIVE PARTY: We have a disagreement about how to deal with this. I mean, I can understand the American position. It sees
around activities as hostile in the region, we share that view. What we don't agree with is moving away from the nuclear deal increases the
pressure on Iran in anyway. It's proven it's resistant pretty well to sanctions for a period of time. And we think that what the pressure on
sanctions should be accompanied by is further efforts to engage with Iran and change regional behavior.
We would say to the United States, what has changed as a result of the increased pressure? Equally, I'm well aware that the argument against
those like myself in the United Kingdom, what is improved in terms of the Iran's behavior in the region with your approach. Somehow, we must all
find a way around this. Because there are plenty in the region who do not want to see this confrontation, they are worried there is a logical
consequence of the pressure.
Not just from the United States but from others, and those like us that share concerns about Iran, if there is not to be some form of catastrophic
confrontation, what are we going to do? Although we disagree with some of the United States tactics, we share that concern, we want to work together
with them, we have to find a way out of this for all of us, otherwise something very bad will happen in the region.
GORANI: When you say very bad, obviously the worst case is a confrontation. Assets in the region that could be capable of attacking
U.S. interests. The U.S. has moved assets. Are you seriously concerned there could be confrontation between Iran and the United States?
BURT: Well, I would ask right at the beginning, who on earth would begin such a confrontation? Iran cannot win a conflict with the United States.
And the United States cannot win a conflict with Iran in any meaningful sense. We know from what has happened in the region in recent times, no
one wins wars. Wars end in the destruction of states, the rebuilding. What you can do is push back against the terrorist outrage that we saw with
That was not a state. Iran is a regional power, it's using its power in a way we find concerning as others do. I think there's more of a risk of an
accidental confrontation. Iran has air bases in southern Syria, there's a risk because of the pressure it puts on Israel. There is the use of Iran's
proxies like Israel and others. I don't think anyone sitting down in the capital would look at a situation and believe that an outright
confrontation or a physical conflict would end any of the political problems or be an answer.
Accordingly, if that isn't to be an answer there, must be another one. That's why at the moment, cool heads, diplomacy and perhaps increasing
evidence of some private links. Some security link and conversation between Washington and Tehran would be helpful, because I don't think it's
there, and even at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union maintains some form of contact to make sure there wasn't an
GORANI: You think that between the United States and Iran now, there is, as you said, no evidence of parallel -- perhaps not publicized talks.
There's really no communication between the two, and, therefore, this is -- sets the stage for potentially accidental conflict?
[14:10:00] BURT: Well, my worry is, I'm not aware that that sort of linkage exists that's in the past. Maybe somebody somewhere is talking to
someone, but I'm not sure. I'm not aware that that sort of linkage exists that's in the past. Maybe somebody somewhere is talking to someone, but
I'm not sure. And if that isn't going on, then others can't talk, that's what the United Kingdom and others have been doing. But we somehow have to
find a way to measure each other's threats and fears, they're very real in the region.
And find some way to deal with them. Maybe by using an end to each of the various conflicts that are going on, in which proxies are involved to try
to lead to an overall settlement for the other. I do hear enough voices from the region who want to avoid a confrontation, and some of the states
are doing so. But it's really important that the rhetoric is damped down, both Iran and the United States -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was
acting on intelligence information when he went to Baghdad, and he was worried about malicious control of Iran maybe striking American forces.
That has happened in the past, he's absolutely right to protect his troops. So he's acting on some information. Then they move some assets into the
region. All this as I say, cries out for someone to say, hold on a minute, we've seen what conflict in the region can do, nobody wants to see this, we
want an end to the threats that each seems to place on the other.
GORANI: Now to more attention for the U.S. in another part of the world, North Korea is apparently sending a message with its second missile test
launch in five days. South Korea says Pyongyang fired two short range missiles which reached an altitude of 50 kilometers before they fell into
the sea. I want to show you the satellite image obtained by CNN. It shows the smoke trail of Saturday's rocket launch. That test was Pyongyang's
first since 2017. This could be a signal of more trouble for Donald Trump's push to get North Korea's leader in line.
It comes two months after his second summit with Kim Jong-un completely collapsed. The U.S. President said nobody's happy about the missile tests
and he doesn't think North Korea is ready to negotiate. Let's unpack this with Kylie Atwood in Washington. Kylie, where does that leave any future
negotiation between the U.S. and North Korea? North Korea is clearly sending a message with these missile launches. They know that by doing
this, they will anger Washington.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: That's right. And we just heard Secretary Pompeo a few days ago, saying he's not sure if North
Koreans are telling the truth, when they're in negotiations with the U.S. now, we're hearing President Trump saying he's not sure if North Koreans
are ready to negotiate. This is a change from where the Trump administration initially stood when it came to North Korea, saying they
were welcoming of these talks.
They were getting somewhere, there was momentum, the question now is, where is that momentum leading, we see these as you said, missile launches by
North Korea. Over the last five days, they've done it two separate times. And so the U.S. is starting to roll back what it's saying about the
possibility of an agreement between the U.S. and North Korea. But the other question here is, if the U.S. and North Korea do pull apart, are
other players ready to get involved? We've seen Kim Jong-un visit Russia and meet with Putin recently.
We know that China is on the sidelines and actively engaged to a degree, when it comes to North Korea. And the U.S. is pulling back. We also heard
yesterday from the Trump administration that they are no longer going to be working with North Korea to get American remains back and out of North
Korea. That had been one of the first joint efforts the two countries worked on that the Trump administration heralded as a positive sign for
where things were going to be going. But right now, it's sure hit a standstill.
GORANI: Kylie Atwood thanks very much.
For the man who says he is the force behind "The Art of The Deal," it seems like the North Korean negotiations aren't going great. There's also the
U.S./China trade talks. They're not necessarily really hurdling toward a positive conclusion. And in fact global markets are tanking. There are
warnings from top economists.
[14:15:00] The U.S. President says he has no idea what's going to happen about a possible trade deal with China, both sides are tussling once again
over issues that it was believed last week, as late as last week had been resolved.
Talks are due to resume in Washington in the coming hours, on Wall Street, the uncertainty is sending stocks tumbling. The Dow has recovered
somewhat, but still triple digit declines at 25,825. Now, perhaps on hopes the President may not follow through on his threat to raise tariffs on
China, Friday, that's why we're seeing stocks off of their session lows.
Richard Quest is in New York with more. What are the hopes over the next two days, we thought these trade talks were going pretty well, up until
last week, and they've unraveled? What's going on.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS, EDITOR-AT-LARGE: If the President is to be believed. He said today the Chinese on things like joint ventures and
intellectual property have gone back on commitments they had made previously. And that could not stand, the reason why he's upped the ante
and raised the temperature by promising tomorrow morning an increase on existing tariffs. And, of course, new tariffs paperwork, the new tariffs
GORANI: He's right and justified. You look at what they're doing. If the Chinese had given certain commitments or undertakings, the Chinese were
somehow playing it both ways and withdrawing at the last moment. I think the President was entirely right to be doing what he's doing, and saying,
no, you still stick to the deal as we've dealt with it, and if you don't, there's a price to pay and that's it.
Once you've gone down the tariff route, if you have broken, if you like the virginity of tariffs, and you're starting to do it promiscuously, then you
have to keep doing it.
GORANI: I'm just recovering from that last analogy. The tariffs, the President said are flowing into U.S. coffers, that's a misunderstanding of
how tariffs work, or that's what he's telling his supporters. Tariffs are paid by importers, they hurt the economy, and that's the reason stocks go
down. Is that a tool -- I mean, this as far as investors are concerned has to be concerning, if this is how it's going to play out.
QUEST: It is. And the reason is, of course, the tariffs get put on, and, yes, the U.S. government makes money. But that is a very narrow
definition, because that money is being paid by importers who are passing it on to companies, who are then passing it on to consumers. Yes, tariffs
are a straightforward tax on the ultimate American consumer. The other side, though, of course, and the really worrying part about tariffs is that
they are relatively easy to put on and almost impossible to get rid of. I promise you.
GORANI: All right.
QUEST: I promise you, it will take much longer to get rid of these tariffs than it ever took to put them on.
GORANI: Richard Quest, I know you'll be analyzing this in great detail at the top of the hour. On "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS".
A new subpoena to make it harder for President Trump to rail against what he calls a partisan witch hunt. A surprising demand that Donald Trump Jr.
The President's son gave new testimony to Congress.
We'll show you how Chinese authorities are trying to keep what they call political reeducation camps well under wraps. We'll be right back.
[14:20:00] COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: Top Senate Republicans declared the Mueller report case closed, one of his own colleagues took everyone by surprise by issuing a subpoena.
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee is demanding that Donald Trump Jr. return for another round of testimony. A source close to the
President's son blasted the subpoena as PR stunt by a so-called Republican senator. That's quite a slam on Richard Burr who actually served on Mr.
Trump's Presidential campaign as a senior adviser. Mr. Trump was asked about the subpoena today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was very surprised, I saw Richard Burr saying there was no collusion two or three weeks ago. Someone went outside and asked him, no,
we found no collusion. But I was very surprised to see my son -- my son's a very good person, works very hard, the last thing he needs is Washington,
D.C. He'd rather not ever be involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: This is the first time we know of that a member of President Trump's family has faced a Congressional subpoena. Does the White House
have any ability to push back against this? And can Don Jr. simply say, he's not going to testify?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, of course, he wouldn't be the first one to say he's not going to testify before Congress. Bill Barr
was just held in contempt. This is really boiling down to a rhetorical battle. The inner circle tells CNN they're frustrated with the fact that
the Senate Intelligence Committee has essentially handed Democrats a talking point.
Just days after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has tried to coalesce this argument. These investigations aren't just partisan, because
we have a Republican green lighting a subpoena for a member of Trump's family.
GORANI: Sara Westwood in Washington. Trump Jr. and the contempt vote are just part of the picture. President Trump is also fighting a Congressional
request to hand over his tax returns and the White House is resisting efforts from Democrats to get information from former counsel Don McGahn.
He's been told to ignore a subpoena for documents related to the Russia probe. These are just some of the Congressional demands the White House
has brushed aside.
If Congress demands information and the White House keeps saying, no? Are we really talking about as some Democrats have said, a constitutional
crisis? Or at the least, a showdown? CNN legal analyst Michael Zeldin joins us with more. Let's talk Michael first about Don Jr.'s subpoena.
He's not compelled to testify, correct?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, if he is subpoenaed, he is compelled to testify. And the notion that he can just ignore it as a
private citizen should end him up in contempt whether the contempt hearing results in a prosecution of some sort for that contempt, remains to be
seen. He does not have the authority to decide he is above the law and need not comply with the Congressional subpoena.
GORANI: The Attorney General did not comply, right? With a request to appear on Capitol Hill. He was held in contempt. What are the
consequences of that?
ZELDIN: Just let's make sure we differentiate Barr from Don Jr. Barr is a government official who has asked the President to issue a protective
assertion of executive privilege to preclude his testimony. He was held in contempt for not testifying, but he has a bona fide basis for that
assertion of no testimony pending a resolution of the executive privilege question, which Don Jr. Does not have.
[14:25:00] The process now for Barr will be that the committee voted him in contempt.
We'll now go to the full House of Representatives, who will likely vote him in contempt as well. It's a Democratic controlled Congress. And then it
will go to the courts for resolution. This is not an unknown process. It happened in the Clinton administration, during his independent counsel
investigation. And it happened with Obama in an investigation involving guns.
They call it the fast and furious investigation. This is following an ordinary course of Congress and executive branch fighting over the scope of
each's privileges and authorities.
GORANI: If there's a Congressional subpoena issued, and Donald Trump Jr. decides to unilaterally not appear, he could be in trouble?
ZELDIN: He should be in trouble. It should go to court opinion and a judge should find him in contempt and should fine or jail or both for that
obstructive behavior. Because of his private citizen status, he enjoys no privileges any more than you or I would have the privilege to refuse to
appear before properly issued subpoena by a duly authorized Congressional committee?
GORANI: What do you make of the fact that the committee issuing the subpoena is chaired by a Republican? Does that surprise you?
ZELDIN: Remember in the Watergate Committee, the investigations of President Nixon, that chairman also coincidentally was a Republican from
North Carolina, just like Richard Burr is a Republican from North Carolina, the head of the Senate intelligence committee. These people are putting
principle over party, which is unusual in Washington these days, but very welcomed.
Why do you think the interest in Donald Trump Jr. now from that particular committee chaired by a Republican now? What is it they're trying to get at
ZELDIN: There are two issues that come to mind about don junior, the first is the duration of the project to build Trump tower Moscow. Michael Cohen,
the former lawyer for President Trump is until jail in large part because of his lying to Congress about that duration. He said it ended at a
certain point in time, when in fact he knew it was ongoing.
Michael Cohen has testified under oath that he briefed don junior about that duration, and he's given testimony that was similar to Michael Cohen's
about the duration that turned out to be false. I think they want to bring him back to clarify his knowledge about that, and to determine whether in
his first appearances, he lied. Similarly, Don Jr. Was never asked to testify before Mueller.
He took the fifth or was not subpoenaed, I think there are issues that surround the June 9th meeting between the Russians and Don Jr., Paul
Manafort and Jared Kushner, that the committee wants to explore in follow- up to earlier testimony. There are two up very right issues. Not collusion necessarily, as the President keeps wanting to say. No,
collusion is not what's at the heart of this matter.
GORANI: And the last one, Donald Trump Jr. could make an appearance and then refuse to answer questions. Is he allowed to do that?
ZELDIN: He can assert the fifth amendment, yes.
GORANI: So if he believes that the questions asked to him -- for example, were you briefed on the duration of the Trump tower meeting.
ZELDIN: If he says, yes, he was. The truthful answer now could find him in a situation having lost to Congress. He can assert the fifth, that's
his prerogative. He can't not answer. So he can assert the fifth, he can -- or he can answer. He just lawfully cannot not answer.
GORANI: Michael Zeldin as always, pleasure, thanks for talking us through this.
Just ahead on the program, a CNN correspondent gives us a look inside China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: We're in your hotel room at 1:00 in the morning and knowing on the other side of this connecting door, which leads to the room next door to
mine, there's at least 3, 4 of the guys that have been following us around over the past couple days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Our Chinese authorities are trying to suppress journalism, we'll be right back.
[14:30:44] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Now, to an act of heroism, amid an act of extreme violence. Eighteen-year-old, Kendrick Castillo, was
sitting with classmates watching "The Princess Bride" when another student pulled out a gun.
He saw the gun and despite the danger, Castillo lunged at the attacker. His bravery allowed fellow students to disarm the shooter. Kendrick,
sadly, was killed, but he did help save the lives of others. A victim of the 15th school shooting in the U.S. this year, and it is only may.
Chris Elledge was in the school gym at the time of the attack. Chris and his father described what it was like to be involved in such a terrifying
ordeal from a student caught right in the middle of it all. And the father trying to reach the school knowing his child is in danger. They spoke to
my colleague Alisyn Camerota.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Guys, we're so sorry that you had to endure this, and we really appreciate you being here. I want to just start by
reading the text messages that you two exchanged while the school was on lockdown and the gunfire was breaking out, because I feel as though Mr.
Elledge that any -- this turns the blood cold of any parent to imagine getting these text messages from their kid while at school.
So, Chris writes, "Dad, the school is on an unexpected lockdown. They've got sirens playing all in the school and the radios are going crazy. I'm
in the P.E. room with four different entrances. Everyone is freaking out. It's not a drill. I'm actually scared. My heart is racing. I'm actually
freaking out. I'm really scared."
You, Mr. Elledge, write back, "OK. Calm down. Remember your training and breathe." And Chris writes, "Dad, the announcements are going crazy. The
speakers are telling everyone to get out of site. The teacher thinks somebody is in the school." And, Mr. Elledge, "I'm on my way to the school
Mr. Elledge, can you just tell us what happened when you got those texts?
ELDON ELLEDGE, FATHER OF CHRIS ELLEDGE: You know, when you first hear them, you're hoping it's not the worst. And then later in the message when
you hear the -- you see the message for gunshots, you realize it is. Like any parent you get scared, you want to get to the school, you want to grab
CAMEROTA: How long did it take you to get to the school?
E. ELLEDGE: Approximately six minutes.
CAMEROTA: And when you got there, what happened and what was the scene?
E. ELLEDGE: So when I first got here, there wasn't a lot of cops here yet, they had the road blocked off. I couldn't pull into the school parking
lot, so I turned around and parked over beside the school and walked over. There was one other parent here waiting as well. So, we basically just
stood and waited to find out what we could and wait for the kids to come out.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. We can only imagine the terrifying moments.
And so, Chris, what were those moments like in the gym as you were hearing school announcements? What were they telling you?
CHRIS ELLEDGE, STUDENT AT STEM HIGHLANDS RANCH: It was really -- it was just terrifying. It was scary. Looking around at my friends' faces,
seeing that they were just as terrified as I was and there was crying, people were crying in the classroom.
[14:35:04] Over the intercom, they had announcements going on saying lockdown, lock lights, out of sight, and it just kept repeating over and
over and over, and it just kept repeating itself for the whole course of the time that we were in the building and it was -- it was extremely scary.
The whole time, you're just debating and the first thought that you had was, I need to make sure my parents know what's going on and I need to make
sure my parents know I'm OK. I don't want them to worry.
CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, Chris, and Mr. Elledge, what an -- what an ordeal to have to do this via text and to be so terrified.
Mr. Elledge, when you said to Chris, remember your training and breathe. What's that based on?
E. ELLEDGE: Well, Christian is a national competitor in Taekwondo from Iron Horse dojo in Colorado Springs and they work a lot on pacing
themselves and breathing and so forth, so that they can get through the training. And then also here at the school, on somewhat of a regular
basis, they go through training for these kind of situations.
So, in these times, remembering those things that you've learned is what I was trying to get to him.
CAMEROTA: I mean, the idea that our kids have to go through regular lockdown training and active shooter scenarios, just tells you the point
that we've gotten to. And obviously, I don't have to tell all of you from Colorado how long this has gone on and how crazy it is that you as a
freshman, Chris, have to live through this.
And so when you were in the gym -- how long were you in the gym? What were your classmates saying and was it comforting to be in contact with your dad
C. ELLEDGE: Just having the text messages from my dad was -- it was relieving. It was great knowing that I had my friends right beside me
sharing the same experience I was. I mean, of course, I wasn't happy that we were going through that, but it's always better to have someone there
with you when you're going through it. And being with my dad, you know, texting my dad and having him respond to me was just that extra feeling of
relief, gave me a little bit of reassurance that, you know, maybe I was going to be OK. And as far as how long we were in the classroom, I can't
give you, you know, an exact time span, but I can tell you that it was -- it was long enough to hear pretty much everything that went on.
It almost went on right outside our classroom, down the hall, it transferred from like down the hall to by our classroom and then it left,
sounds faded away and then it came back, and then the cops came, and all you can hear was screaming and yelling in the hall, and get down on the
ground. And it was -- it was -- it was terrifying.
But having -- being able to text my dad was just -- it was really reassuring. It was a relief.
CAMEROTA: Chris, we can hear how shaken you still are, of course, because of what you've just lived through. How are you going to get through this
and go back to school?
C. ELLEDGE: As a community. We're going to get through it as a community because, you know, you don't stop your life just because of one bad thing.
You can't -- you can't let that get in the way. You have to band together as a community, you have to stay strong, STEM strong. STEM strong. STEM
is strong and we're a strong community and we will -- we will get through this as a school and just with my friends, and with my parents, and with my
community as a whole.
CAMEROTA: Mr. Elledge, the parents of Kendrick Castillo lost their only child and the people in his class say that he and other heroic students
charged the shooter, and I'm just wondering if you have anything you want to say to his parents.
E. ELLEDGE: You know, we had a prayer vigil last night and we all as a community recognized his heroics as well as the others. And, you know, I
don't know what you can say at the moment. As far as the parents go, you know, what a great job as far as raising their kid, what a great kid, what
a great loss to us as a community.
So, you know, those are -- those are things that are hard to put into words. We as a community, will be able to show them how much we appreciate
what he did.
CAMEROTA: Eldon and Chris Elledge -- I think that you said it beautifully, Mr. Elledge, actually. We really appreciate your words, we're so sorry
that you went through this. Take care of yourselves, this is going to be a long road.
C. ELLEDGE: Can I say one thing?
C. ELLEDGE: Kendrick Castillo and Brendan Bialy, you guys are heroes and we owe our lives to you and we owe our lives to the brave men and women and
the police officers who got us out of there safely. You guys are amazing.
[14:40:10] CAMEROTA: Thank you for recognizing them. I know that they appreciate it and I know that Kendrick's parents really appreciate your
Did you know Kendrick?
C. ELLEDGE: I did not know him personally, but I know that his smile illuminated the halls in our school. Everybody looked up to that kid. He
was brilliant. He was -- he was probably the best of us. He was -- he was one of the best of us by far. He was just an extraordinary kid.
You know, I didn't even need to know him personally to know that he was -- he was a star student and he was just a star person who anybody could go to
and look up to as a role model. And this is -- he was the most undeserving of what happened to him.
CAMEROTA: We can tell from the pictures, I mean, we can see that smile and we hear people talk about him. He was just a few days away from
And, Chris, what do you want to say to his parents?
C. ELLEDGE: I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that we live in a society where you guys had to lose someone so important to this community and so amazing
to our school. I'm sure that you guys did your best raising him, you guys did an unbelievable job raising him. He's an amazing person and you guys
are parent role models as well. You guys should be very proud.
CAMEROTA: Those are such beautiful words. I mean, Chris, it shouldn't be up to you guys to have to save yourselves and your classmates when you go
to school every day. It shouldn't be up to students. You're there to learn, obviously, and to graduate and to go on to your lives. And the idea
that this has happened so many times this week.
There have been three different heroes, students who have had to -- well, heroes and one was at a synagogue, who have had to stop a mass shooter on
their own. And how do you make sense of that as a 15-year-old?
C. ELLEDGE: I can't. I can't. Just even putting myself in the situation again, trying to remember how it went down and remember how I was feeling
is impossible, because it was too -- it was too devastating and too -- how I was feeling in the moment is too horrible to remember.
And I can't imagine anyone who had to go through that in the past week or in the past year or whoever's had to go through a shooting like what
happened here, you know, there's -- just the feeling of not knowing what's going to come next, you know, worrying about what your parents are thinking
and what your friends are thinking and getting texts from, you know, your friends all over the district who you haven't talked to in a while who are
asking you if you're OK and if you go to STEM, because there's a school shooter at your school and they're worried about you.
And it's just scary not knowing what's going to come next. So, no, I can't -- I can't even make anything of it even -- especially with the people that
had to go through this at their schools.
CAMEROTA: It's really nice of you to think of other people after you've just survived something so horrific.
It's going to be really hard, I imagine, to go back to school, but your community sounds wonderful. Obviously, there are heroes among us.
And so, Chris Elledge, Eldon Elledge, thank you very much for taking time to tell us your personal experience with this tragedy. We really wish you
the best and we will stay in touch with you guys.
ELDON ELLEDGE, SON ESCAPED SCHOOL SHOOTING: Thank you.
C. ELLEDGE: Of course. Thank you.
GORANI: Well, Ryan Young is in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, near where the shooting took place. And, Ryan, we've been running this interview of this
father and son, because -- I mean, in the United States, it's the 15th school shooting and it's only May. Other parts of the world look at this
and say, again, how will authorities, people in charge, policymakers finally seriously address this problem?
The hero student who probably saved the lives of some of his classmates, his parents are speaking out, and I believe you had an opportunity to hear
from them as well.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hala, when you think about this story and, of course, people are asking the question about why it's
happening here? I'd really think none of us have the answers at this point, especially the folks who are going through it.
The schools right behind us, it's still under guard right now. We've seen some people returning to get their cars from the parking lot. But, of
course, they were running away that day.
But when you talk to the students and you talk to the families here, they're all upset. And now, there's this revelation that apparently a
parent stepped forward a few months ago and sent a letter to the administration saying they were worried about the conditions at the school,
and they felt like they needed to be more security. They felt that they needed more attention to make sure that a Columbine-like incident doesn't
[14:45:13] We're only seven miles away from that school and you think about the pain here. That young man stepped up to save lives in his classroom
Talked to a young person who was in that classroom, she tells she's thinking God, he helped saved her. So tough to hear from someone who's 18,
who's thinking about graduation and they shouldn't be thinking about that.
In fact, listen to this sound from that family about this young man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN CASTILLO, SON KILLED IN SCHOOL SHOOTING: One of the kids told me that like a flash, he jumped up. She said, you know, he's a hero. He saved me.
He said, he jumped up and he ran. He said, you couldn't even see how fast he was running, you know, out the door and after this person. We know
Maria will tell you that it's no surprise that if danger was facing him, he would approach it, and take it all out and it feels something like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Something that translates in any language is that fact that his parents are charged to make sure that our kids are OK. Obviously, you
could say that in some sense, we've failed all these kids by putting them into situation of having to defend themselves in a school.
Strip away any kind of titles that we have, as reporters. Just think about this on a human level. You have more than 100 kids who came together last
night to remember a fallen classmate who died giving up his life protecting them.
That sentence alone should sort of end the debate about what part of the story we should be thinking about. We should be focused on those kids.
Let's not forget three kids remain in the hospital right now, recovering from their injuries. Five others have been released. But I think this has
torn, open a wound in this community that will be too deep to heal for quite some time.
GORANI: Right. There were also little kids saying they weren't going to - - they weren't going to -- they were going to go down fighting and swinging baseball bats and the rest of it. Kids, obviously, shouldn't have to worry
about stuff like that.
Thanks very much, as always, for that live report. We'll be right back. Stay with CNN.
GORANI: China has a reputation as a tough place to be a journalist, for sure. And this is proving especially true for those trying to cover one of
the world's foremost human rights stories.
China's detention of some two million Muslims in so-called reeducation camps.
Our Matt Rivers has been there investigating. And when his report aired in China and probably as I'm speaking to you now, screens showing CNN went to
black until the piece was over.
As Matt explains, official -- officials there have tried that and more to stop his work.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): So the CNN Beijing bureau just spent a week reporting in the Western Chinese province
of Xinjiang, and it's not an easy place to do journalism. So we wanted to show you a little bit of what we went through. But I think more
importantly, tell you why that matters.
[14:50:06] RIVERS (voice-over): Xinjiang is the province where the U.S. says China has detained up to two million people, nearly all Muslims in
camps over the last few years. Activists say Beijing has done that to try and eliminate Islam within its borders and ex-detainees have told CNN they
were tortured inside while undergoing political indoctrination. China denies that and says these camps aren't prisons, but voluntary vocational
training centers that are being used to not eliminate Islam, only Islamic extremism.
Now, China's government says that Xinjiang is wide open for us to freely report there. Maybe in theory, but in reality, that's just not true. For
example, upon landing there, our welcome gift was a government tail.
RIVERS (on-camera): We've already been followed by three or four guys, including one of them who have seen follow us from the second we got out of
the baggage area.
RIVERS (voice-over): That would be this man. He and at least a dozen others followed us every single hour of our six-day trip, never more than
20 feet away. In the car, in the train station, in the hotel, in the room next to mine.
RIVERS (on-camera): So it's been of an odd feeling to be in your hotel room at 1:00 in the morning and knowing that on the other side of this
connecting door, which leads to the room next door to mine. There's, at least, three, four of the guys who have been following us around over the
past couple days.
It felt like intimidation tactics. They wanted us to know that we were being followed. And then, of course, there were the uniformed cops that
showed up at odd hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We should check your passport or visa.
RIVERS: It's almost 1:00 a.m.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes (INAUDIBLE)
RIVERS: I know, but I was sleeping. It seems unnecessary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sorry to bother you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry.
RIVERS: OK. So this is what happens when you do journalism in Xinjiang.
I've lived here for nearly four years and I've watched as things have gotten tougher and tougher for foreign journalists on all types of
different stories. Xinjiang is probably just the most extreme example.
But beyond just being followed, there were the more obvious attempts to try and make sure that we saw nothing they didn't want us to.
RIVERS (voice-over): For example, a highway we were on was closed for hours due to an accident nowhere to be seen. Not to mention spontaneous
roadblocks that target foreigners and ethnic minorities. Our I.D.'s were checked nearly 50 times in six days. And the second you book a flight or a
train, the government knows about it, and you can tell that, because, well, government officials are waiting for you upon arrival.
RIVERS (on-camera): They clearly knew we were coming. They met us at the report. They're checking our visas, they're telling us they want to
accompany us for our own safety. But really, this is just stalling tactics. They know it, we know it, and yet, this is the game we have to
RIVERS (voice-over): China's ministry of foreign affairs say they don't know anything about the harassment we faced, but said Xinjiang is, quote,
"Open and hospitable."
The constant tails, the constant harassment, the constant delays, they're more than just inconvenient. They are specific tactics China's government
has employed for a long time to prevent journalist from doing their jobs.
But in the last few years, there is broad agreement in the foreign journalism community here that it's gotten worse. Nowhere more so than
The end result is that it's nearly impossible to freely report on the hundreds of thousands of people that are likely languishing in camps right
now and that means that the rest of the world can't really see what's going on there.
RIVERS (on-camera): This is one of the biggest human rights stories on earth. And as we saw, firsthand, China is actively trying to cover it up.
GORANI: Matt Rivers there with a behind the scenes look at what it takes to report in China. Certainly other parts of the world employ similar
tactics, making it difficult for us to do our jobs.
Breaking news from Iraq, the military says a suicide bombing has killed and wounded several people in Baghdad. It happened in a busy public market in
the east of the capital. The Baghdad operations command says the bomber detonated his vest as Iraqi security forces surrounded him.
No claim of responsibility so far. To be completely frank with you, this is coming -- I'm just, in fact, learning of this as I am reading it to you.
No word on casualties yet. But we'll bring you more details on this reported suicide bombing in Baghdad that has been reported to us by the
Iraqi military as soon as we have those details.
We'll be right back. Stay with CNN.
[14:55:14] GORANI: And you don't have to be a football fan to be absolutely stunned by the last two days of action in the Champions League.
So there was that -- and I have to admit, I'm not a big fan of club football. But I was hearing so much about it. I kind of actually watched
the last few minutes.
In the first semifinal match Tuesday, Liverpool, somehow came from behind from being three goals down to beating Barcelona by 4-3 in an aggregate
score. So they advanced.
And then Tottenham crafted a similar miracle against Ajax on Wednesday. Down three goals at halftime. They somehow came back to win.
Lucas Moura knocked in the winning goal in the last few seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lucas Moura has done it again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Comes to Dele Alli through to Lucas Moura. Lucas Moura (INAUDIBLE) burst through to Madrid to the Champions League final.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, that third goal of the night sent the entire Tottenham team into frenzied celebration. While many of the Ajax players just -- and
fans, by the way, collapsed in shock and disbelief.
Quick last word. Afghanistan is a country where generations of children have grown up with violence as a norm. And "The Kite Runner," Khaled
Hosseini even said, "There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood."
Our next story is about a boy who had his legs amputated when he was eight months old. A few years on, we want to show you how he's tackling the
grueling and frequent medical treatment he has to through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Well, by the look at that smile, and this has gone viral for a reason. We like good news. We like to see people doing better in the worst types of
Ahmad Rahman is dancing on his new prosthetic limb. He's had four of those now, because he's growing so fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) END