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New Developments In The Investigation To A Mass Shooting Into Virginia Beach That Took The Lives Of 12 People; A Real Frightening Moment During A Real Frightening Moment Senator Kamala Harris' Campaign; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Has Been Urging Democrats To Hold Back On Impeachment For Now; Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Will Meet His Mexican Counterpart Tomorrow In Washington; Over Seven Million People Are Under Flood Warnings Along The Arkansas, Mississippi, And Missouri And Illinois Rivers; Acting Defense Secretary Now Confirming The White House Did Ask The Military To Keep The "USS John McCain" Out Of The President's View; President Trump Will Board Air Force One To Embark On His State Visit To The UK. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired June 2, 2019 - 14:00   ET



[14:16:00] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. And thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin this hour into new developments in the investigation to a mass shooting into Virginia Beach that took the lives of 12 people. Officials say the gunman resigned just hours before he opened fire on his coworkers. The longtime city employee sent his supervisors an email earlier in the day saying he was leaving his job. The city also confirming that one of the victims was a supervisor in the gunman's chain of command.

We are also learning dramatic details about how quickly police were on the scene and how the shootout with the officers unfolded.


CHIEF JAMES CERVERA, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE: Five to eight minutes after these officers entered the building. They made contact and engaged with the suspect on the second floor of the building. I can't tell you how many minutes shots were being fired. I could tell you that in the police world anything more than three to five shots is a long gun battle.

As the suspect was firing he was moving. They were returning fire and at one point the suspect was firing through the door and through the wall at the officers and then the firing stopped. They eventually breached a door, and when they breached the door the suspect was alive and taken into custody and first aid was immediately rendered to him.


WHITFIELD: The 40-year-old suspect Dewayne Craddock later died at a Virginia Beach hospital. Four other victims are still being hospitalized. For more on these developments let's bring in crime and justice

correspondent Shimon Prokupecz.

So Shimon, what more are we learning about the suspect, the possible motives for the shooting. Yes, we know he resigned, but there still have to be underlying answers that they are looking for.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Yes. There definitely are. And that doesn't necessarily mean because he resign that this was perhaps the motive for this shooting. That is still a big question here. Law enforcement is, quite honestly, saying that they may never know why he unleashed this terror on this city.

The thing sheer there could be a number of events in his life that ultimately led to this, but investigators are not close in any way in making a determination as to why, why he did what he did.

The big thing here obviously, what we learned today is that he did resign. He resigned in an email, we are told, for personal reasons. He claimed -- beyond that he didn't real explain why he was resigning. In fact, his supervisors, one of the people killed here, one of the few that he shot and killed, even asked him why he was resigning.

So authorities here don't really even know why he chose to resign yet or at least they are not saying so, but they are continuing to investigate and trying to find reasons as to why he did what he did.

The other thing we learned here is that the police are inside the building very quickly, within minutes of receiving those calls of shots being fired. Four officers were on scene almost immediately within minutes. Two of those that were on scene were detectives. Plain clothes detectives who ran to the scene, 300 yards away in plain clothes. They weren't wearing uniforms. They grabbed their bulletproof vests. And one of those detectives was actually one that was shot and injured, saved luckily by his bulletproof vests. He just happened to grab it instincts and he grab them and therefore he ran into the building, and he was one of the officers that was injured. He was that officer who was shot.

So still a lot going on here. Still a lot for investigators to go through to learn, and really there could be one law enforcement official who said to us, it could be that they may never learn really ultimately what the motive is here.

WHITFIELD: So often, Shimon, after a horrible incident and you are trying to figure out, you know, what was the mindset of someone who carried it out. They looked to social media. They further looked at their place of residents, we know, in our reporting yesterday and they did seize more armory, you know, more weapons at this person's residence. But what about the social media food print? What any kind of other indicators of his state of mind?

PROKUPECZ: There really aren't any. There's nothing that so far investigators say that they would see that raised any kind of red flags because of them because of social media, Facebook and other things there. There may have been other events going on in his life. There could have been things that he was hiding from folks, who see this all the time. There may have other things that he was dealing with that we just don't know about.

Interestingly enough, you know, you talk about his home. We had reporters at his house yesterday, and you can see that he had cameras facing outward from his home out into the street. I think a lot of these -- his coworkers that we have talked to were surprised by that. So it seems like if anything a lot of people, even though he had worked here for over ten years, may not have known that much about him. A lot of this catching people by surprise.

[14:05:04] WHITFIELD: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much. We will check back with you. Appreciate it.

All right. CNN spoke with one of the suspect's co-workers who described as a nice guy and even saw him shortly before the shooting brushing his teeth in the bathroom.


JOSEPH SCOTT, CO-WORKER OF SUSPECTED GUNMAN: Dewayne was a very nice person. He was quiet. He was non-assuming. He was pleasant to be around, and when I last saw him, which was just before this incident happened, he wished me to have a good weekend.

The whole department up there is very close. We have a lot of celebrations together, and we all celebrate victories for each other. There was absolutely no sign, even when I talked to him when it happened. There was no sign that this was going to happen.


WHITFIELD: Cheryl Dorsey is joining me now. She is a retired Los Angeles police department sergeant and author of the book "Black-And- Blue."

Cheryl, good to see you. Thanks so much for being with us. So do you believe officials know more about this shooter and his motivation even though publicly they revealed yesterday he was a current employee with a badge and today saying that he quit? You know, is this typical to you?

CHERYL DORSEY, RETIRED LAPD POLICE SERGEANT: Well, listen, there are some things that they probably won't release and they may never tell us. And I don't know that we have a right to know. But I think there are always telltale signs. And I lived through a shooting similar to this on the LAPD in a building we referred to as piper tech when an employee went on a shooting rampage.

And so, when I heard of this shooting it immediately sounded like this person had a beef with someone. He seemed to be not indiscriminate and very specific in that he traversed three floors in a building. He was looking for folks. He was hunting for people who had wronged him. And while he may not have shared his angst with his employees, I probably bet you there's a friend, there's a family member that he came home and talked to about things that rubbed him raw at work like we do when we share so and so bothered me or somebody upset me or I don't like the way this person treats me. There are always telltale signs in my opinion and in my experience.

WHITFIELD: So this gunman, you know, clearly wanted to take out as many as possible. You take about the canvassing of three floors, also given his weaponry, ammunition and this use of a silencer. You know, what do you glean about his planning, whatever potential red flags there may have been that may have been missed?

DORSEY: Well, he was serious about it, and he was preparing with some specificity, and he had things that would make sure he was able to shoot for a long time before anybody heard the shots, before he got to everybody that he needed to get to on all floors. And so this isn't something that just came to him one day or in the middle of last night. He planned and prepared for this. And the whole thing now about the cameras outside of his home, there's something going on with this guy internally that he kept hidden for a reason.

WHITFIELD: And police detailed a little bit more today about how they were able, to you know, confront, ebb gage in a shootout with the suspect within five to eight minutes, you know, of the first 911 call. This police, you know, department was just really a few feet away. But talk to me about the quick response and even the instinct of the one officer who grabbed the Kevlar vest which really ultimately saved his life.

DORSEY: Well, you know, that's what police officers do. You know, we practiced -- we play like we practice right, and his instinct kicked in. He knew that he was going into a dangerous situation and probably instinctively without even thinking grabbed, it put it on and before he knew it he was in the midst of a gun battle. And so, that's what police officers are trained to do. And thank God they were in close proximity so that more people weren't injured and losing their lives as a result of this person who they could only react to because no one ever can expect to fully meet that kind of force when you're being reactionary. You can't be proactive with a mass shooter.

WHITFIELD: Cheryl Dorsey, always appreciate your expertise. Thank you so much.

DORSEY: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, cries for impeachment nearly drowning out House speaker Nancy Pelosi during an event in California. This as brand-new CNN polls show more democratic voters support the idea of removing the President. Can Pelosi keep them in check?

And Senator Bernie Sanders turns up the heat on Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential race. Can Sanders overcome his second place slump in the polls?


[14:13:16] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

In just a few hours President Trump will leave for London where he will spend the day with the royal family tomorrow before heading to France and Ireland later on in the week. But even as the President prepares to leave the country, this country, he cans escape what he calls that quote "dirty filthy disgusting word impeachment."

A new CNN poll released today shows support for impeachment slowly increasing with 41 percent of those polled in support. That's up four points from the last CNN poll. And that increase is mostly due to Democratic support.

Let's check in with CNN's senior national correspondent Kyung Lah. She is in San Francisco at the California Democratic convention.

So what are you hearing there?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me set the sustaining for you for a second, Fredericka.

This is a left of center event, very progressive. It is even more progressive than how the state tends to vote. Joe Biden decided to skip it. He went to Ohio. He had an event there.

And this morning Senator Bernie Sanders, who is polling number two behind Joe Biden, took a jab at his lack of presence here. Here's what he said.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As you all know there is a debate among Presidential candidates who have spoken to you here in this room and those who have chosen for whatever reason not to be in this room about the best way forward.

So let me be as clear as I can be. In my view we will not defeat Donald Trump unless we bring excitement and energy into the campaign. And unless we give millions of working people and young people a reason to vote.


[14:15:17] LAH: So Sanders very popular, not popular is Biden. Some progressive activists were dropping at the press tables asking quite simply, where is Joe Biden, encouraging that tonight topic of discussion today, Fredricka.

Biden though may breathe a sigh of relief that he wasn't here because John Delaney who does not support Medicare for all was booed for a solid minute. He was completely drowned out by the booing here, Fredricka, when he said that.

WHITFIELD: OK. Well, that crowd is being extremely expressive and even as you and I talk now.

So now at a separate event, you know, and you are the correspondent who has been following Senator Kamala Harris and throughout her campaign. And there was a real frightening moment where she was, it was say, interrupted by a protester, a person who simply walked very casually on stage. In fact, let's just play that moment so we can see it happen.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, hey, hey, hey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pleased to meet you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait a minute, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was asking for your attention to a much bigger idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, sir, for your big idea, but we want to make sure that we are able to get through this.




WHITFIELD: So Kamala Harris came back on. They resumed, you know, the conversation there. But look. You saw the moderators who were standing, you know, in between Kamala Harris and the protester.

Her camp, Harris' camp, has to be concerned, and where was her security? I mean, she is a sitting senator and that somebody can get up there and get that close and heaven forbid, you know, they want to do more than just grab a microphone.

LAH: Yes, it is a very, very scary. And she is a sitting senator. She is a former prosecutor who has talked about how she does own a handgun out of personal safety, something that she has chosen to do, completely legal, and safety is certainly an issue for her and all the candidates who are running for President. We sat with Senator Cory Booker and asked him what he thought of that moment. Take a listen.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He crossed a line. And, you know, this election is going to go on and I'm really hoping that we see secret service and others begin to step in because that could have been a really horrifying moment. And you know, Kamala is like a sister to me. I love her and that makes me very upset.


LAH: But he and Harris have to balance, like all the candidates, Fredericka, THE ability to talk to voters and to be completely accessible to the people who they hope will eventually support them. WHITFIELD: Sure. And at the same time are they look their campaigns

and crafting, you know, their days forward on the campaign trail being cognizant of the climate of the times and whether adjustments have to be made in a proactive manner?

LAH: Absolutely. That's something they think about every single day but at this point they say that it's not, you know, secret service around them. It is something that they want to do is to be able to touch all voters.

WHITFIELD: All right. Kyung Lah, thanks so much. We will check back with you from San Francisco there.

Meantime, speaker Nancy Pelosi, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has been urging Democrats to hold back on impeachment for now, and that for now part could be key. Listen to what majority whip Jim Clyburn admitted here on CNN this morning about impeachment.


REP. JIM CLYBURN (D), MAJORITY WHIP: We believe that if we do it efficiently and effectively it will be one that the public will understand and will support. If the public ever feels that we are being political with this we will have done a tremendous harm to the country, to the constitution and to the people that we are sworn to serve of.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: But it sounds like you are -- you think that the President will be impeached or at least proceedings will begin in the House at some point but just not right now?

CLYBURN: Yes, that's exactly what I feet. I think we have already begun it. We have got all of these committees doing their work. We are having hearings. We have already won two court cases, and there are other cases that are still to be determined.


WHITFIELD: All right. Let's talk about all of this.

With me now White House correspondent and associate editor for "Politico" Anita Kumar and national political reporter for "Politico" Lauren Baron-Lopez.

Good to see you all.

All right. So whip Clyburn, you know, essentially saying there that impeachment isn't a matter of if but when. And we have these new polls here. One showing slightly more voters now support impeachment. A four percent increase in the past month. Another shows fewer voters now think Democrats are overreaching. And there a four percent drop in those saying Democrats are investigating the President too vigorously.

So Laura, you know, what is the go sign going to be for Democrats? What are they waiting for?

[14:20:31] LAURA BARON-LOPEZ, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Right. So speaker Pelosi has long said that she wants to wait until she sees public sentiment shift, and that's not just among Democrats. But there has been a bit of movement in her language recently in the last week. She has started to say that we are going to build such a quote "iron-clad case," giving this hint of inevitability to impeachment that she hasn't had before in her language. So we are going to have to wait and see how House Democrats are speaking when they come back from recess. They are gone right now this last week. So it will be interesting to see if their thoughts have changed and how much pressure they apply to the speaker when they return next week.

WHITFIELD: And they are back to big business this week.

So, you know, Anita, you know, regardless of what the House does, can the President, you know, have the continued confidence that Republicans in the Senate will never vote to impeach?

ANITA KUMAR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR, POLITICO: I think the White House and the President himself are sort of confident on two things, and the poll shows that. They are confident sort of that the numbers aren't there, but they are also confident right now that the public didn't support, it and that's why they are sort of having this attitude, you know, bring it on. We'll take impeachment because they think will work in their favor because it will never get to the point where they have the numbers.

I think you just look at what congressman Amash from Michigan a week or two ago where he was calling for impeachment. He not only didn't get any other Republicans on his side. He was actually mocked by people in his own party. So I think they are taking that pretty favorably.

WHITFIELD: OK. We are going to hopscotch a few items. Just a few moments ago you saw that video, right, of Kamala Harris, Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Harris, interrupted, you know, so to speak, while she was making comments on the stage in the middle of a panel.

And you know, Laura there, we go, it turns out now, you know, the man was an animal rights activist. That's how he is being described and that he didn't want to hurt Harris but he did grab the microphone. He was, you know, in close proximity, and, you know, one has to wonder, where was her security detail? Where, is you know, the level of somebody jump in there quickly? That was a lot of time elapsed before she walked off and then others then grabbed him. What does this tell you about the tenor or the climate of what it is to be on the campaign trail today?

BARON-LOPEZ: Right. Well, I mean, protesters have very little means to get the attention of candidates. We saw last cycle when someone got on stage with Bernie Sanders to try to protest his -- there were black lives matter protesters that got on the stage with him and drowned him out. That means these candidates have a balancing act. So Harris on the one hand is really early. And still wants to have a

lot of access, direct access to voters, being able to walk the rope line and being able to take selfies as a lot of these candidates do before things become more intense and before secret service is even assigned to the ultimate final candidates.

WHITFIELD: So Anita, it's really trying to strike a balance, you know. Access being, you know, I guess, up close and personal, you know, with the voters, yet at the same time trying to strike a balance on how far is too far or, you know, what kind of barriers need to be put in place. New barriers to make sure that people don't get too comfortable.

KUMAR: I think we have seen a lot of changes since 2016. I mean, it's always been sort of going this way, but I feel like we have seen more negative reactions on social media in actual venues. Just people feeling like they have the right to say what they want and really up close and personal.

The problem for the candidates, and, of course, there's so many of them, is that they really want to be one-on-one with people shaking hands, taking selfies, you know. Being able to talk to them one-on- one and they are not going to be able to give that up because that is part of this --.

WHITFIELD: Except in that case, I mean, this person came on stage in space.

KUMAR: Right.

WHITFIELD: So I mean, you know, when we talk about candidates wanting to be up close and personal, this actually exemplified, you know, a setting where it seems as though there are restrictions in place, but you wonder about, you know, the psychological, you know, element of somebody feeling like they have the right to get that close.

KUMAR: Right. And there clearly should have been. And there clearly some kind of a breakdown because on a venue like that when someone is on stage, they shouldn't have been able to do that. I'm sure they wouldn't be able to do that. I'm sure they will be looking to that in the future.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you so much, Anita and Laura. Appreciate it.

CNN will have, by the way, lots more to talk about on the presidential campaign trail. We will have three back-to-back Democratic Presidential town halls tonight. Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton at 6:00, Ohio Congressman Time Ryan at 7:00 and California Congressman Eric Swalwell at 8:00. It's all tonight right here on CNN.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:29:06] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. President Trump doubling down on his threat to impose escalating tariffs on Mexico over the immigration crisis. Trump tweeting this morning calling Mexico an abuser of the United States and saying it has been this way for decades. He says he wants action not talk.

Acting homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan told CNN that he sees the move by Trump as necessary pressure on Mexico.


KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: So bottom line for me is we need them at the table with a new strategies that we can address and we move out on. Operational we've had great partnerships in Mexico in the past. But a thousand people a day when we are apprehending 4,500 a day is not making an impact. We need more.


WHITFIELD: We are also learning that commerce secretary Wilbur Ross will meet his Mexican counterpart tomorrow in Washington. That comes two days ahead of high level takes Wednesday led by secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is live for us in Mexico City. Sarah Westwood is at the White House.

So Sarah, let's begin with you. How much do we know about this meeting with the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross?

[14:30:14] SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well Fred, we know that commerce secretary Wilbur Ross will be meeting with his Mexican counterpart here in Washington. And that's coming just a couple of days before a Mexican delegation will meet with secretary of state Mike Pompeo for high level negotiations over those tariffs President Trump is planning to slap on all imports from Mexico. So that meeting could be laying the groundwork for those even more high- profile negotiations with the Mexican delegation because obviously the Mexican government is unhappy with the President's announcements of those tariffs, at least five percent on all Mexican imports, and that will gradually rise up to 25 percent by the fall in Mexico hasn't met the President's demands.

And here in Washington, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed some anxiety over what this could mean for the renegotiated NAFTA, the U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement that President Trump has negotiated with those two country. But acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney this morning made the case that these are two separate issues. One is related to immigration and those tariffs will go away if Mexico does more to help stem the flow of migrants into the U.S. And the other is related to the renegotiated NAFTA deal. He wants to keep those on two separate tracks, obviously, though there is concern that one could overlap with the others.

And just moments ago, Fred, President Trump actually tweeted about this, about the Mexican delegation coming. He said the Mexico side has been all talk and no action, and he wants to see them cooperate more with the U.S. to help stop the increasingly dire situation on the border.

WHITFIELD: And Patrick, Mexico's President says Trump will realize this isn't the way to resolve things, so does Mexico feel like it's going into this with some leverage?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. Mexico really doesn't appear to have much leverage. They are trying to convince the U.S. that this is a bad idea not just for Mexico but for the United States economy and they are making a full-court press this week. At least three cabinet Mexican secretaries are part of a much larger delegation. Mexican officials traveling to Washington are already in Washington. And they will make their case saying that this will hurt Mexico which will lead to more immigration from Mexico to the U.S. And it's going to hurt the U.S. economy as well which is so intertwined with the Mexican economy. And we expect them to also make the case that they are doing much, much more than has been done previously this year. Not only to stop migrants heading north, mainly Central American migrants but trying to get thousands of migrants to stay here in Mexico and offer them job opportunities, schooling, some legal path to staying in Mexico to keep them from trying to go to the U.S. So they are going to be making this case. Is anyone really going to be listening?

And as you know, Fred, a week from tomorrow that's when the first five percent of tariffs would go into place. We are already seeing that have a major impact. The Mexican peso has fallen and people are really feeling like the clock is ticking here.

WHITFIELD: Patrick Oppmann and Sarah Westwood, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

Still ahead. More than seven million people under flood warnings and the danger is far from over with more heavy rain expected this week. We will take you to the flooded neighborhoods next.


[14:36:58] WHITFIELD: Right now over seven million people are under flood warnings along the Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri and Illinois rivers. And more rain is expected this week, even as several communities remain virtually underwater following last week's flooding. The Arkansas River is expected to crest in the small town of Dardanelle today, rising waters forced a nearby levee of to breach. And the area could be hit with several more inches of rain this week.

CNN national correspondent Natasha Chen got a bird's eye view of all of this damage along the Arkansas River. And she is joining us now from Dardanelle. So give us the latest.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, that's right. It's going to crest here in this area today, but you can see this water is still encroaching upon us on the ground here. This is going to take a long time to recede. This is supposed to be a highway. This is the speed limit sign, 55

miles per hour, but this is closed right now. You can't even tell where the road is. Today is the first day that folks have been getting a look at the damage, assessing the damage in the long process to apply for a disaster declaration. And we also got a look at the damage from above.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my family land right here. It's all under water.

CHEN (voice-over): There's usually cattle all over Joseph Blundell's this property, but he says most of the cows have now been moved to higher ground.

JOSEPH BLUNDELL, PILOT: Financially this area will be devastated three to five years due, to you know, the lack of income and not being able to produce any crops.

CHEN: Crops like corn, soybeans, rice, which are distributed to other parts of the country. He says he sprays pesticides and fertilizer for a living so he will have to find work in other states.

Right now we are flying over here. It is a wildlife refuge, and it's close to where the levee of breached. We can tell that the opening is already much bigger than it was just a day ago.

CHEN: But this dam farther north is structurally sound, even with the unusual violent flow of water. Senator Tom Cotton grew up in this area.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R), ARKANSAS: It is hard to describe just how abnormal this is. If you go up the river a little bit to the highway seven bridge there's entire baseball parks and even basketball goals now that are completely submerged under water.

CHEN: We saw Blackhawk helicopters dropping large sandbags, just one of the ways local states and federal partners are trying to mitigate the damage. And however difficult the challenge is the mayor says they will get through this together.

MAYOR JIMMY WITT, DARDANELLE, ARKANSAS: This is Dardanelle. This is what happens. I can literally put a Facebook message out right now and within 30 minutes I could have 100 people. That's how much I believe in this town.


CHEN: This is the example of crops that are completely flood out. The governor got a look at places like this today in Dardanelle. He said earlier this week that because of the disruption to the navigation system here the state of Arkansas is actually losing $23 million a day, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Wow, that's extraordinary. An extraordinary loss for so many.

Natasha Chen, thank you so much.

All right. Still ahead, Trump's acting defense secretary now confirming the White House did ask the military to keep the "USS John McCain" out of the President's view. How the White House is responding next.


[14:44:19] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan now confirming the White House military office asked the Navy's seventh fleet to keep the "USS John S. McCain" out of President Trump's sight during his recent trip to Japan.


PATRICK SHANAHAN, ACTING DEFENSE SECRETARY: The White House military office coordinated directly with the seventh fleet. And the White House military office gave a directive that the "USS John McCain" should be hidden from view. The directive was not carried out. All ships remained at normal configuration during the visit. The "USS John McCain" was not moved. It remained in its original assigned birth. The name of the "USS John McCain was not obscured.


[14:45:10] WHITFIELD: So the U.S. Navy previously told CNN that the request had been made to lower level U.S. Navy officials, but it was not known who specifically received the directive about keeping a warship named for the late senator John McCain's father and grandfather out of sight to avoid possible upsetting the President.

President Trump has tweeted he knew nothing about the request and has said that whoever did it must have been quote "well-meaning," end quote. McCain and Trump were frequently at odds before and during Trump's presidency.

Joining me right now is CNN military analyst retired air force colonel Cedric Leighton.

Good to see you, colonel. So now that Shanahan is saying, OK, there was some knowledge of it. I mean, does it make it any better?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: No, Fred, I don't think it does. I mean, what we are dealing with here is a place where the White House is clearly getting into skip echelon communications with subordinate military units. They didn't inform the pentagon. They went straight to seventh fleet skipping at least three layers of command and trying to get something that they thought would be unpleasant for the President out of the way. And that's what we have is a way of, you know, getting around the bureaucracy and trying to get something done that, you know, would have made the President feel better, I guess.

WHITFIELD: And talk to me about how significant and big it is, you know, to have orders carried out about the movement of any ship. I mean, it doesn't just involve, you know, a phone call and one member of personnel, but doesn't it constitute a lot of bodies and planning involved?

LEIGHTON: Absolutely. And you know, what you are looking at, I have actually worked with seventh fleet before and every time they move a ship, every time they have a deployment, there are hundreds if not thousands of people involved depending on exactly what you are doing.

So in this particular case, you would have had the sailors on the "John McCain" that would be involved. He would have the command all the way up through seventh fleet and probably pacific fleet as well. And there's a lot of moving parts to this. And it's not very simple to move a ship from one place to the other because they are big. They have logistical requirements. You have to fuel them. You have to provide all kinds of things for them. So this is a very complex matter and it always is.

WHITFIELD: And even though you have the White House military office apparently making this request, is it pacifying at all to hear that Shanahan saying that the directive was not actually carried out?

LEIGHTON: Yes, it is. Because that shows that in this case cooler heads prevailed and somebody in the chain of command said wait a minute, we have got something else that need to do here. And this is a directive that we are going to follow. So somebody stood up and basically said it's improper to do this. It is not something that we will do. And in this case it's a very good thing that somebody stepped in because they understand the ramifications of moving a ship. They also understand I think in this case the political ramifications of doing so. And that's what they did that.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And this request or this, you know, intended action at the root of it was really about, you know, trying to protect the President's feelings. It didn't have to do, at least it's being expressed with nothing really else. But you know, talk to me about the importance or the concern about how any assets of the military are used to pacify or please, you know, the President's feelings or, you know, his election, you know, pursuits. How unsettling is it potentially that the military would be used in that manner or that directives would be used with that in mind?

LEIGHTON: It's usually unsettling, at least potentially so, because what you are looking at here is the manifestation of the politicization of the military. So what that really means in concrete terms is that the person who is occupying the White House, whether it is President Trump or anybody else, would be using the military for their own partisan purposes, for their own partisan agenda, and that's something that we have sought to avoid really since the founding of the republic.

We have a set of rules. We basically have civilian control of the military, yes, but we also have a non-partisan military. And, in fact, you know, it goes all the way back to traditions where we had, you know, people that weren't allowed in the military, who were not allowed to vote in the elections until the 1950s just because of those issues.

WHITFIELD: Colonel Cedric Leighton, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

LEIGHTON: You bet, Fredericka.

[14:50:00] WHITFIELD: And we will be right back.


[14:53:34] WHITFIELD: All right. Hours from now President Trump will board air force one to embark on his state visit to the UK. You might recall his last meeting with Queen Elizabeth causing quite the stir. He kind of stood in front of her and that's a big no-no, but Trump is hardly the first President not to the follow proper protocol at every turn.

Here's CNN's Max Foster.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We met with the queen who is absolutely a terrific person.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's one last thing that I should mention that I love about Great Britain, and that is the queen, and so I'm very much looking forward to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my honor to offer toasts to your majesty, head of the commonwealth and queen of Canada.

QUEEN ELIZABETH, UNITED KINGDOM: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister of Canada, for making me feel so old.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meeting the queen, a moment that's memorable for most.

There's a clear royal etiquette to follow when you're introduced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A man would make a dignified short bow, a lady has the option of curtsying. If the queen proffers her hand you should take it, but you should not initiate contact.

FOSTER: However, these rules often get lost in the moment.

This woman Alice Frazer made headlines in 1991 when she hugged her majesty during a trip to Washington, D.C. But politicians and celebrities are amongst the worst offenders.

In 1992 Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating put his arm around the woman who is his head of state.

In 2007 Hollywood royalty Mickey Rooney kissed her hand.

Queen Maxima of Netherlands also went for a kiss.

Whereas the queen of fashion, Anna Wintour caused a stir when she didn't remove her glasses.

And then there are the U.S. presidents. Poor timing by President Obama led to this awkward musical miscue.

[14:55:49] OBAMA: The vitality of our special relationships between our people and in the words of Shakespeare to this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, to the queen.

FOSTER: Michelle touching the sovereign. George W. even winked at her. And then this, Hugo's first.

The world awaits the next U.S. state visit.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


WHITFIELD: A few oops moment but, you know, it's all delicate, nonetheless.

All right. Still ahead, Trump's dirty nasty word impeachment appears to be gaining traction, at least among Democrats. Are voters inching closer to supporting pushing the President out of office? What a brand-new CNN poll is showing.