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Sanders Kicks off Southern State Tour; Brooke Baldwin Shares her "Champions for Change" Story; "Chasing Life" with Sanjay Gupta. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 17, 2019 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] ANDREW GILLUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He joins a number of other candidates who have made campaigning across the south a really important part of their strategy. And I mean beyond just South Carolina, although South Carolina is critically important in those -- in those early days of the primary season.

But, listen, we know that a huge portion of the Democratic base exists within the southern hemisphere of the United States. And black voters, black women voters, voters of color in particular are going to have a big say in the outcome of this election.

I would be very, very clear not to wax over issues and the rising tide lifts all boats as a strategy for speaking to issues that confront the black community.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. But, I mean, specifically, what do you think? Sorry to interrupt.

GILLUM: The disparities that exist there are really important.

CAMEROTA: But for Bernie Sanders, specifically, what can he say to them?

GILLUM: Yes. Yes, so -- first, I think that the conversation has to include, not just criminal justice reform, but we've got to talk about the uplift in those communities, access to small business loans, particularly for women who find themselves -- black women who particularly find themselves very, quiet frankly, challenged when it comes to getting access to capital for starting small businesses, family leave, and also paid sick leave, minimum wage, education. There's so many issues that are important in the -- in the black community and we can't wax over them by simply saying that a rising tide lifts all boats. We've got to speak very specifically to what the plans are going to be to help -- help this community and the diversity of this community do better, perform better.

CAMEROTA: Yes. We just had the RNC chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, on. And the RNC is trouncing the DNC in terms of fundraising. Let me just pull up some numbers for you and our viewers. I mean they're basically -- from January, February, March, April, they're basically doubling, it looks like, what the DNC is raising. And, in fact, the DNC hasn't released their numbers for April, which might not be a good sign. So, what do you think is allowing the RNC to so outpace the DNC in


GILLUM: Well, I mean, obviously on their side there is not really a primary. The president, Mr. Trump, is likely to be their nominee. And so their interest, their focus is obviously on his re-election exclusively. Whereas for us, with 23 or so candidates now running for president, you see a lot of money, a lot of resources going into these campaigns. I bet you if added up the total of giving there, you would see some significant dollars moving on the Democratic side.

I would not draw the conclusion -- anyone should not draw the conclusion that the fundraising within the Democratic Party in and of itself is an indicator of a lack of enthusiasm. There's tremendous enthusiasm for this field. It's one of the most diverse we've seen in the history of this country. And I've got no doubt that when it comes to when we have a nominee, we will be well resourced to take on Donald Trump in 2020.

CAMEROTA: OK, so I hear you. So you're saying that voters are giving their money to specific candidates rather than the DNC, but the pool of money might be as big or even bigger.


CAMEROTA: Speaking of voters, what happened in Florida? You know, there were these two counties that we know where their voter registration systems were breached by the Russians, but the FBI isn't telling the public which counties these were. Should the public know?

GILLUM: Yes, I tell you, Alisyn, this is one of the most confounding things that has occurred in the state of Florida. A state that has significant national electoral implications. The fact that we're learning, quite frankly, accidentally through some of the un-redacted versions of the Mueller report that at least at that time we were told that one county system had been infiltrated by the Russians. The governor of this state was informed and then signed a rather untraditional NDA apparently with the federal government saying that he would not share which counties in the state of Florida were impacted. And then you've had a number of those counties that have been surveyed that have said that they weren't intruded upon.

And so, what is the real story here? I understand the FBI says that they need to protect sources and methods, but to me that doesn't make any sense. The Russians know what they did. Apparently the FBI have some indication of what was done. And the most important people who need to know, which are the voters of the state of Florida, are left in the dark. We don't know if it was one county, two counties, more counties. Did they enter the system in 2016 and then leave the system in 2018?

My conclusion is, is probably the Russians are getting really good at this. They're perfecting their methods and their strategies, whereas the rest of us are left in the dark around how it is that we're going to protect the integrity of our elections as we go into the 2020 presidential cycle. CAMEROTA: Former mayor, Andrew Gillum, thank you very much for being


GILLUM: Thank you. Have a good weekend.


You too.

[08:34:51] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, rapper Killer Mike opened a barber shop in Atlanta to help bridge the gap between race and community. CNN's Brooke Baldwin has today's "Champions for Change" straight ahead.


BERMAN: In our "Champions for Change" series, we've been re-visiting amazing change makers we have covered in the past and just could not forget.

For Brooke Baldwin, that person is rapper Mike Render, known otherwise as Killer Mike.

[08:40:02] CAMEROTA: They first met in 2014 after the uprisings in Ferguson. And during that interview, Brooke heard ideas about race and community that stuck with her. So, five years later, Mike is still encouraging people who are different to have conversations, no matter how uncomfortable those are.


MIKE RENDER, ACTIVIST AND RAPPER: There's this thing called race I want to talk to you about. Do you know what I mean?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You don't meet many Killer Mikes.

RENDER: All of these men are upstanding men in my community and they come here to talk all the BS they want.

BALDWIN: He's got this incredible rap career. He's this larger than life guy. Like, he fills a room just with how he speaks.

RENDER: We are so similar that we keep letting these 5 percent differences separate us.

BALDWIN: When you and I chatted in 2014, one of my questions to you, it was talking about Michael Brown and that officer. So I said to you, if Officer Wilson was here, what would you want to say to him? And in 2014 you said --

RENDER: In less polite terms, I'd tell him I think you're a liar.

BALDWIN: How can we make this better?

RENDER: You can engage in a different social climate than you are accustomed to. You can make a friend that doesn't look like you and you can find someone who's not like you to converse with and be open and honest with.

BALDWIN: Are things better now this this country?




BALDWIN: Tell me why.

RENDER: Because -- because we keep handling things like a dysfunctional family, emergencies flare up, we get up and scream at each other and then we go back to our perspective rooms and we are consoled by people who may agree with us but not see their own perspective.

BALDWIN: What do you think about police and use of force in 2019 and how has that changed really since you and I spoke after Ferguson?

RENDER: I'm still not satisfied with the perception of police in our communities. And that's not on the community to fix.

BALDWIN: Who's it on?

RENDER: It's on the people the community pays. Police are going to have to start learning to interact with the community different than we expect them to.

BALDWIN: The Swag Shop. What's -- what's the message you're trying to send?

RENDER: The black barber shop and the black barber shop in particular, has always been a social center for -- a country club of sorts. So this is an hour a week that the average guy can come and just be spoiled. You can have an intellectual dialogue with people you agree and disagree with. And you can do it in a safe place.

STEVE WEST, PATRON, THE SWAG SHOP: The barber shop is so welcoming, it's a comfortable place to explore things that I don't understand and I want to know.

BALDWIN: Like what?

WEST: Just how race relations work because people are perceived in --

BALDWIN: Let's go there.

WEST: You know --

RENDER: He called me at 2:00 in the afternoon, Mike, I've got a question.

WEST: Well, I do have legit questions, but I honestly want to know. I grew up in backwoods North Carolina and wasn't exposed to the community and now I'm a welcome member of the barber -- not member, just a welcome -- another welcomed person here. But it's -- you know, there's just a lot of things that I don't understand with how racism works and --

COURTNEY SILLS, PATRON, THE SWAG SHOP: A member of the community. You are a member of the community.

BALDWIN: Have cops been in here?

RENDER: Yes. Absolutely.


SILLS: A lot of times cops are in the barber shop and you don't know they're cops.


BALDWIN: Really?

SILLS: I mean so they -- I think they get a peek into the community as well. And it's easy from them -- for them if they're not in uniform because it changes -- the uniform changes everybody. Everybody's thinking about, what did I do?

BALDWIN: What do you think police officers learn from other folks in the barber shop?

SILLS: That people -- some -- not everybody hates them.

RENDER: Where did we lose the romanticism of police in our community, that firemen don't seem to have lost? You know, you still take your child to a fire station to take pictures with the fire trucks. You still do that, right? My grandmother had a picture of me sitting on my dad's desk, you know, with cops around me. And, you know, my father happened to have been one.

I can remember when officer friendly was a force in the schools because you needed to know that these people were here.

BALDWIN: He's someone who certainly doesn't look like me and we grew up in different parts of Atlanta.

RENDER: This is the exact house I grew up in.

BALDWIN: You're a civic leader, you're an activist, you're a rapper.

RENDER: You've been reading my Twitter bio.

BALDWIN: Which -- which comes first in the order of priorities for Killer Mike?

RENDER: What I am first is a product of an upstanding African-American community that has contributed greatly to this city.

BBK: I have such respect and admiration for him. He's a leader in the black community, really the community at large. I don't know how the man finds time. I hope to be friends with him for a long time.


CAMEROTA: What a great conversation.

BALDWIN: Isn't he awesome?

CAMEROTA: Yes, really compelling.

So what are his future plans?

BALDWIN: What -- what are you getting at, Alisyn Camerota?

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, is he just going to keep it at his barber shop?

BALDWIN: No. So -- so he's got a couple of these swag shops in Atlanta, which are awesome. And, by the way, just anecdotally, you know, it's obviously -- it's about the experience, right, it's not about maintenance. And they were telling me stories about how even little boys, like single mothers will drop their boys off with these men to learn how to become men and holding the doors. And down in the south we say, you know, yes, sir, no, sir, and everything from that, to learning about, you know, police officers and relationships. This -- he would love to expand, he'd would love to take the swag shop beyond the ATL. So, we'll see what he does, but he is -- he is a dear friend. I am so grateful for him to doing -- for doing this piece with me and for being able to share it with you guys.

[08:45:23] BERMAN: Sounds like an incredible guy. And that looks like an incredible place.

Brooke Baldwin, thanks very much.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Really cool.

All right, tune in tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for our hour long "Champions for Change" special where you'll see all of our featured people.

BERMAN: All right, recently, two CNN Heroes joined forces to help a young girl. Amanda Boxtel assists people who have mobility impairments and Ricardo Pun-Chong provide free housing and support for sick children and their families while they receive medical treatment. Together, they worked to deliver the gift of mobility to a child at Ricardo's shelter in Peru.


AMANDA BOXTEL, CNN HERO: He sent me a little video of a little girl who's eight years old named Dalska (ph). She has cerebral palsy. She's been in a stroller for her whole life. It's time, don't you think, for her to have a wheelchair to call her own?

Look what we have for Dalska. We had to think of everything because, you know, she's going to grow with this wheelchair.

RICARDO PUN-CHONG, CNN HERO: This chair is fantastic. She's going to be so happy. She's going to have a better life.


BERMAN: To nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero, go to

CAMEROTA: All right, meanwhile, Turkey is using an alternative way to treat pain. Up next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows how they are using music to heal, and can that work here.


[08:51:02] CAMEROTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta is on a new mission in his CNN original series "Chasing Life." He's journeying across the world to find the secrets to living better for the mind, body and soul. And this week Sanjay heads to Turkey. It's a cultural crossroads where science and mysticism co-exist to find alternative ways of managing health and fighting disease beyond popping the pills that so many of us depend on and that come from there.

Here's a preview.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Before I arrived here, this patient underwent open heart surgery and Doctors Sermez (ph) and John (ph) are overseeing his recovery. The aftermath is extremely painful and they're closely monitoring his vital signs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This patient has high blood pressure and too much heart rate.


GUPTA: Like cardiac patients in the states, this man is given powerful narcotics to numb the pain, but his doctors know these drugs can create dependency and aren't always enough to ease the suffering, so they're trying something I've never seen before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just keep an eye on him in a few minutes.

GUPTA (on camera): OK. I'd like to see it. I'd like to see it. OK.

GUPTA (voice over): Music therapy has very old roots here in Turkey. Ancient ottomans (ph) believed they could cure disease and restore balance between mind and body using the unique complex combinations of notes found in Sufi (ph) music. And its extraordinary to see the seemingly sedated man instinctively respond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The music gives a message. Everything is in order. You are in peace, no pain.

GUPTA (on camera): I feel like I should applaud. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: OK, that's remarkable.


CAMEROTA: Joining us now is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent and host of "Chasing Life."

Music is medicine. I mean I feel that in our lives, but I've never seen it used like that.

GUPTA: I hadn't -- I hadn't either and I had to see it because, you know, we go to an ICU, those guys you saw there, they were the surgeons. They were -- and they come out now into the recovery room. And instead of giving morphine, which is typically what you get, and understandably so because it's a painful procedure, they're doing this music therapy. And I watched as the heart rate came down, the blood pressure came down and you saw he was sort of conducting the music, the patient himself, just after waking up from anesthesia from open heart surgery.

Look, Turkey makes the -- they're the largest producer of legal opium in the world and they export almost all of it. Most of it to this country. The question that we had going to Turkey was, so if you export all of it, what do you do for pain? Presumably you still have pain. You have open heart surgery, you have trauma, you have, you know, all these chronic diseases, what do you do? There was an example.

BERMAN: Well, is this something that you could incorporate in the surgeries that you still perform like every week?

GUPTA: Yes, I think so. I mean, this idea that, first of all, we know we use way too much narcotics. Eighty to 90 percent of the narcotics in the world are used in this country and we're not even 5 percent of the world's population. So clearly there's non-medicated strategies to be able to deal with pain. And, you know, that's part of -- this was the journey for me, to learn about some of these things.

And it's just -- it's not just anecdotal. I mean they're writing this up in the journals. They're showing the impact of it in broad-based populations.

CAMEROTA: Somehow you still find time to do surgery, though that is mystifying to me.

BERMAN: Exactly. Speaking of mystical.

CAMEROTA: So, do you listen to music?

GUPTA: I definitely listen to music.

CAMEROTA: While you perform surgery? GUPTA: I do. I have -- I have various play lists I --

BERMAN: Such as?

GUPTA: So -- well, the songs -- well, let me tell you, first of all, I -- so we do -- we do brain and spine, so I have a brain opening playlist, I have a brain closing playlist, I have a spine opening playlist and spine closing playlist.

CAMEROTA: OK, what's your brain opening playlist?

GUPTA: And then I let the residents pick the music in between.

Spine opening you say?

CAMEROTA: No, brain opening.

GUPTA: Brain opening. That tends to be -- you know, it's pretty -- it's pretty -- like Red Hot Chili Peppers is a -- is a fan favorite. Goo Goo Dolls. A lot of music that I listened to when I was training in residency that has stuck with me and gets me into that sort of zone.

[08:55:06] But it's -- it's fast. During the middle of the operation, we've got slower music typically. And then the end is fast again. So I've started letting my kids add music. So I've got all kinds of things now on there. Sometimes I'm hearing music for the first time, which I really like, but mostly it's stuff that just gets me into the zone.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh.

BERMAN: Don't want a neurosurgeon surprised, though.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, thanks so much. That was really fascinating.

GUPTA: Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. Thanks, guys.

CAMEROTA: Be sure to tune in to "Chasing Life" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It airs this Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

OK, new details this morning about the obstruction investigation into President Trump. "NEWSROOM" is next.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Friday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto. Poppy has the day off.

What we know this morning. The president's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, told Special Counsel Robert Mueller that people tied to the president and Congress potentially tried to obstruct justice. It's as simple as that. There's even a tape recording of one such conversation. Newly unsealed court records state Flynn was contacted by, quote, persons connected to the administration or Congress that could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation.

This all begs this crucial question, why was no one charged, then, with obstruction? We could know in more than a month when a judge has ordered that part of the Mueller report relating to Flynn be un- redacted and made public. And that could set off a fierce battle with Attorney General William Barr, who himself is making news this morning. He is defending his investigation of the investigators and calling into question how the Russia probe even began.

[09:00:02] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: In trying to get answers to questions, and I found that a lot of the answers had been inadequate, and I have also found that