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John Dean Testifies Before Congress; Rep. Justin Amash Steps Down From House Freedom Caucus; GOP Lawmakers Takes Jab On John Dean; DOJ And House Democrats Agree Over Mueller Report; Justice Department Turning Over More Of Robert Mueller's Evidence; Baseball Legend David Ortiz Back In Boston After Being Shot In Dominican Republic; Pride 2019; In Loving Memory Of A Friend. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired June 10, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. John Dean, the former White House counsel of President Richard Nixon testifying today before the House Judiciary Committee. Dean of course was the start witness during the Watergate scandal decades ago. And now he's telling Congress he sees striking similarities between Nixon and President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL FOR PRESIDENT NIXON: I would say the Trump administration is in fast competition with what happened in the Nixon administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Let's get more now on the Judiciary Committee's hearing and John Dean's testimony from CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent, Manu Raju. Manu?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don. Now, Democrats have had a hard time getting the witnesses that they want. People who are named in the Mueller report to actually cooperate with their committee because the White House has interfered as well as the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has said that he does not want to appear in public before the House Judiciary Committee.
Thus, negotiations continue behind the scenes. So at the moment Democrats are settling on another strategy to bring in people who have prior knowledge about other criminal acts in office including what happened during Watergate with President Nixon.
RAJU (voice-over): With their party divided over impeachment proceedings, Democrats today began the challenge of spotlighting what's in the Mueller report without the key witnesses who have first- hand knowledge. Their first witness, former White House counsel, John Dean, who played a key role in bringing down President Richard Nixon 46 years ago. DEAN: The last time I appeared before your committee was July 11,
1974, during the impeachment inquiry of Richard Nixon. Clearly I'm not here today as a fact witness. In many ways, the Mueller report is to President Trump what the so-called Watergate road map stated a little differently, Special Counsel Mueller has provided this committee with a road map.
RAJU (voice-over): Dean detailing what he sees as clear parallels between Nixon and Trump.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Comparing Nixon to just any future administration, would you say there was a future administration that committed more crimes than the Nixon administration as far as obstruction?
DEAN: I would say the Trump administration is in fast competition with what happened in the Nixon administration.
RAJU (voice-over): The former U.S. attorney testifying that Trump would have been prosecuted if he were not protected by Justice Department guidelines saying a sitting president cannot be indicted.
JOYCE WHITE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY TO THE NORTHERN DISTRCIT OF ALABAMAL: The facts contained in that report would be sufficient to prove all of the elements necessary to charge multiple counts of obstruction of justice. I would have confidence that the evidence would be sufficient to obtain a guilty verdict and to win on appeal.
RAJU (voice-over): Republicans assail the witness' credibility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): You're no fall guy in the Watergate scandal. The FBI referred to you as the master manipulator of the cover up.
BIGGS: U.S. attorney said you were at the center of the criminality.
DEAN: Mr. Biggs, if I might. I did my best to tell the truth when I was asked. I did my best internally to break up the Watergate cover up when I realized we were on the wrong side of the law.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Wait a second. Mr. Dean has made a cottage industry out of accusing presidents of acting like Richard Nixon.
DEAN: Mr. Gaetz, I appreciate you were not born at the time that this all happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU (voice-over): The hearings come amid a tense Democratic debate over whether to formally begin impeachment proceedings, which now is supported by chairman of the committee, Jerry Nadler and a number of members on his panel. REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D), MARYLAND: The president repeatedly tried to
interfere in the ongoing criminal investigation. He tried to fire the Special Counsel. He wanted to lie about the Special Counsel and say that he had conflicts of interest. The clock is ticking.
RAJU (on camera): What problem is there if you guys continue your current course of action?
REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): The problem is we may not be able to get the witnesses we want.
RAJU (on camera): Now Don, one reason why some Democrats have called for impeachment is what they view as stonewalling from this administration, not turning over documents. But there was a development today over the Justice Department did agree to provide some documents related to the Mueller probe, allow the House Judiciary Committee members and staff to go over the department, review those materials to try to satisfy these demands and head off a threat holding Bill Barr in contempt.
Democrat staff and Republican staff have begun to review these documents. I'm told and the full House will still vote tomorrow to authorize the Judiciary Committee to go to court if necessary to compel the Justice Department to comply with their demands and also to try to get Don McGahn, the former White House counsel under President Trump, to come before the committee.
He of course has defied a subpoena under the instruction from the White House. So Democrats are saying today's hearing was just the beginning of their fight to get a full access to a range of materials from the Mueller report and they're warning they'll probably go to court if necessary, Don.
[23:05:06] LEMON: Manu, thank you very much for that. Let's discuss all of this now. Frank Bruni's here, Jennifer Rodgers, Max Boot, author of "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right. Also with me, Michael D'Antonio, the author of "The Truth About Trump."
So good to have all of you on. Thank you so much and everyone's in house. My house. It's a full house. So today's televised hearing, Frank, is supposed to drive home to the American people exactly what was in the 448-page Mueller report. Do you think it accomplish that?
FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I don't know that it did accomplish that. I mean, Don, this is a very, very strange hearing that happened today because this is not the hearing that the committee wants to have. This is not -- all due respect to John Dean -- it's not the witness they want to hear from.
He's not bringing them new information or sharing information about what Trump did or didn't do with the American people. He's simply offering historical perspective and opinion.
LEMON: And you know what, and I'm watching. I didn't see it because of the breaking news.
BRUNI: Well, yes, exactly. And that stepped on it as well. So, I think this was a holding pattern and a kind of stalling technique by Democrats who don't want to give this up yet, but can't get the witnesses and hearings they want. And so I don't think what happened today is, at the end of the -- when all is said and done, going to have a huge impact.
LEMON: Jennifer, you heard John Dean say that he believes that the Special Counsel provided the judiciary committee with a road map. But my question, how do Democrats, I mean, how do they follow this road map if the White House continues to stall at every turn?
As you saw, the first witness was John Dean. Everyone else who would be a good witness said no, why a better witness I should say than all the witness the Democrats wanted would said no and not there.
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. So they need the evidence to put it into the hearing, right. So you can't just, you know, put the report in and call it a day. You actually get (inaudible) to get the underlying information, the documents, the witnesses and so on. So that's what they've been trying to do.
Apparently there's a bit of a break through today and obviously what actually come over. But they can't do it with just the report so, you know, that's what they're looking for, is the underlying evidence. They really can't start without it. And it's been two and half months since the Mueller report was turned over and they haven't gotten evidence that they've been entitled to for that entire two and half months.
LEMON: Yes. Never going to get it.
RODGERS: Yes, they will get it. And the problem is that there is no legal leg to stand on to hold it back. So, if they were in court, they would have gotten it already. But this whole negotiation that's been going on has been stalling everything. That really is the problem here. They have to negotiate in good faith. The White House is not acting on good faith and so they're stuck with that situation.
LEMON: Max, ahead (inaudible) for "The New York Times" and he told me that seems Republicans had been talking to Democrats with the fact that Mueller isn't going to testify -- isn't testifying. Is that how you see it? Is this giving the GOP the upper hand here?
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I certainly think the stonewall, Don, has been surprisingly successful. I mean, as Jennifer mentioned, it's been more than two and a half months since Mueller filed his report.
And if you would ask me ahead of time, two and half months after the report are we going to be in a situation where Mueller doesn't testify, McGahn doesn't testify, nobody of consequence testifies, I would not have expected that to be the case.
In fact, they've done -- the White House has done -- been pretty skillful at stringing this out and avoiding the kind off deeply embarrassing hearings with the whole nation focuses in on the wrong doing that Trump is accused of, and they've managed to evade that so far.
To my mind, the biggest surprise of all is that Mueller is being so uncooperative with Congress, that he does not want to testify. He wants, I mean, you saw how much attention he got even with a 10-minute statement, he riveted public attention in a way that, you know, sadly putting John Dean up there, is not going to do.
LEMON: What do you think is stopping Democrats from subpoenaing Mueller right now?
BOOT: Well, that's a great question. I mean, I think that they've been in negotiations with them and I think they want to avoid a hostile situation with him. They want him to be there voluntarily so that he'll feel good about it and will be able to say as much as possible within the parameters that have been laid down for him.
But I think they need to push this along and say hey, we don't have -- this is not indefinite. Sooner or later we need to have Mueller up there, even if he doesn't go much beyond what's in the report. We saw with his 10-minute statement, even simply going on T.V. and having Mueller recite basically what those of us who read the report already know what's there.
Even that is very consequential because it grabs the attention of so many people around the country who have not read the report including frankly a lot of members of Congress. And you just had a member yesterday who admitted in an interview I have not read the report. This is very common so I think it's incredibly important to have Mueller testify.
LEMON: Let's play more of what John Dean said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: Congressman, when I worked for Mr. Nixon, I was really never worried about what the outcome would be and how it would be resolved. I've got to tell you that from the day Mr. Trump was nominated and I was following in a separate set of polls, "The Los Angeles Times" as well as the Monmouth Polls.
[23:10:05] And it looked pretty clear to these pollsters that Mr. Trump had a very good chance of winning. And I began developing a knot in my stomach that sits there to this day. So I'm trying to deal with that in the best way I can to try to tell people these are troubled times and we should go through these processes and sort them out. So, anything I can do to add to the process, I'm more than willing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Did he add to the process or was this a mock impeachment hearing as Republicans say?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I don't think he added very much. And I think there was a problem with him announcing that he was testifying because he had this knot in his stomach. He really should have been testifying as a public service and because he was called to testify.
And then we might have a little -- a different perspective on what he had to say. But I think there are a number of things going on here. We have a president and a team behind him who actually feel that Richard Nixon didn't go far enough in resisting Congress.
They looked back at this history and think, oh, Nixon wasn't tough enough, we're going to be tougher. So we now have a stonewall presidency. They're not giving Congress anyone to testify about almost anything. So he's -- they're daring Congress to go to court with this and we've talked a lot about constitutional crisis.
But this would bring to us to an actual constitutional crisis if the legislative branch and executive branch face off in the judiciary. So, we're now hurdling towards I think a more extreme conflict than we've had with Nixon and Watergate and I'm not sure the president really minds. I think he sees this paying off for him politically.
LEMON: Well, you know, he's been paying attention to this especially to the John Dean testifying to the heed (ph) and responded, but there would have bun a lot more coverage of this if it were not for the breaking news, but I mean, hearings like this are not going to go away. How do you think Trump will handle that?
D'ANTONIO: Oh, I think he's going to rage like this, but you know, there is also the impending deadline or 2020. So they're stalling. They want to I think get to the election and have everyone think well, we're not going to pick on the president especially hard because he's in an election battle.
I think Nancy Pelosi is playing the same game. She's trying to figure out how do I get to 2020 in the best condition possible. So, the American public is going to be treated to an extraordinary political spectacle and maybe not get at the truth until after the election.
LEMON: OK, hold that thought because we have a lot more to talk about when we come back. Don't go anywhere.
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We got a lot talk about (inaudible), to talk about John Dean. We also have to talk about Congressman Justin Amash stepping down tonight from the conservative House Freedom Caucus less than a month after becoming the first Republican member of Congress to say President Trump has committed impeachable offenses.
Frank Bruni, Jennifer Rodgers, Max Boot and Michael D'Antonio are back with me. So we're going it get back to the hearings, but I just want to get your thoughts on Amash's decision to leave the Freedom Caucus, Frank.
BRUNI: Well, I mean, he's an extremely lonely man right now. I mean, he's the only one in his party who has taken a look at this report and has come to the conclusion that I think most of us at this table think is the sensible conclusion.
But you know, his stepping down and feeling the need to do that and feeling as ostracized as he is also ties into this hearing we were talking about. I wish more Americans have watched the hearing, not so much for John Dean's testimony, which by the way I thought he handled very well.
But for the way the Republicans on the committee treated him, I mean, I was really sick to my stomach watching that. They were bullying him, they were taunting him and as I watched him, I thought, they're not just defending Donald Trump, they are Donald Trump.
His way of behaving has become their way off behaving. And it's bad enough that in this whole era, so many Republicans have turned their back on what were supposed to be their principles and bitten they're tongues and all of that.
But they're on the warpath for this man who, if you take a serious look at him, represents things they should find and supposedly once found reprehensible. And so instead of taking a cold hard look at their president and the way in which he's letting them down, they went on the attack, they emulated him and they treated John Dean, who didn't deserve it, horribly.
LEMON: IS this why you -- when you saw that today, was that a confirmation of why you left the right?
BOOT: Yes, absolutely. I mean, this is not a new development. Unfortunately, this has been the pattern ever since --
LEMON: Hold on. Let's listen in and then I want to get you --
LEMON: These are the Republicans attacking him and then we'll get to Max. Let's play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Today, Chairman Nadler, brings in front of the Judiciary Committee a guy to talk about obstruction of justice who went to prison in 1974 for obstructing justice.
DEAN: I did not go to prison.
JORDAN: OK, you pled guilty to obstruction of justice. Glad you got to stay out of prison then I guess --
GAETS: Mr. Dean has made a cottage industry out of accusing presidents of acting like Richard Nixon.
BIGGS: You're trying to give historical contexts. And when you try to give us historical context, I refer you back to number one, incredible witness, number two, biased witness. So, so much of what you say seems difficult to accept at face value, quite frankly. REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): Hearings featuring buckets of chicken and
convicted felons unfortunately have become the norm for this once esteemed committee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Are they performing -- are they performing for the president or are they performing for their constituents? Do they really believe it's OK to conduct themselves, I mean, like what's happening?
BOOT: I mean, some of them I think, Don, actually believe that. The others are kind of cynical, political opportunists and they see this as the way to get ahead. And many of them, of course, who are scathing in their denunciations of Donald Trump in 2015-2019 in much the same way that others of us are still today.
[23:19:49] And of course, they have gone, in many cases, from being critics to being sycophants because they see that's where their political opportunity lies. But you know, I mean, it is -- you know, you ask me does this kind of confirm my decision to leave the Republican Party, and yes, a thousand times yes.
I mean, to me this is stunning that it's not just a question of these Republicans like holding their noses and saying, OK, we don't really like Trump but he's giving us tax cuts, he's giving us judges so we kind of got to go along with him.
No, they are actually becoming the obstruction of justice caucus. They are actually aiding and abetting him in obstruction of justice. They show zero interest in getting the truth out. They don't care that more than a thousand prosecutors have concluded, former prosecutors have concluded that Donald Trump broke the law.
It doesn't matter to them. And even if they have the proof in front of them, which they basically do, they're going to ignore it. They're going to pretend it doesn't exist. They're going to help him to cover up. That's where the Republican Party has gone.
And pretty shocking for a party that prides themselves of being the party of the Constitution, the party of the rule of law. They want justices who all supposedly interpret the Constitution as written. They don't care about the law. All they care about is their partisan loyalty.
LEMON: John McGahn -- John Dean talked about Don McGahn today. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: I certainly hope Don McGahn is a key witness before this committee. Because of my testimony, the model code of the ABA today makes very clear in the rule 1.13 that Mr. McGahn represents not Donald Trump but the Office of the President. His client is the Office of the President and I think he owes that office his testimony before this committee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Does he have a point? Should he rethink and testify because he has an obligation to the American people and not to the White House or the person at the White House who doesn't work there?
RODGERS: Well, he does and he's not the only one. I mean, there are plenty of people who aren't employed by the government anymore, have no reason to have to refuse to come before the committee and yet, you know, the White House is still trying to assert this blanket refusals for them to appear.
He's not coming because, you know, he's not coming because he's loyal. He's not coming because he's loyal to President Trump. I mean, that's what this is about. I mean, it's not because, you know, he has a privilege that he can't breach or anything like that. It's because he wants to still be in the good graces of the Republicans who are behind Donald Trump.
LEMON: Do you think he's worried about impeachment of the president?
D'ANTONIO: I think he is worried about impeachment, but to Jennifer's point, I also think these people are afraid. They are afraid of what Donald Trump does to people. And if you look at what these members of the committee on the Republican side did to John Dean as Max was pointing out, they excoriated him.
And who wants to be subject to not only the president's wrath but the wrath of all of these people in the Republican Party who are falling in line and they are willing to do almost anything to anybody. I can't imagine someone saying I'll hide behind the White House telling me not to testify because I'd rather not.
I even think that Robert Mueller was intimidated by the president on several points, calling in Don, Jr. to testify before the grand jury. He didn't do it I think because he was afraid. So there are elements of fear here that we've never seen in an American presidency and I think should give us all pause.
LEMON: It's so good to have all of you here. I mean, look at this. Fantastic. How many more people can we fit around to say (inaudible)? We'd love to have right end a little mini bar under the stairs would be great. Thank you all. I'll see you guys soon and really enjoyed it.
The Justice Department turning over more of Robert Mueller's evidence to the House Judiciary Committee, putting off a looming court showdown for now, well at least, anyways. But what about Mueller himself, will he testify?
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: House Democrats trying to keep Robert Mueller's report front and center for the public as lawmakers weigh whether or not to open an impeachment inquiry for possible obstruction of justice by President Trump. John Dean telling the Judiciary Committee he sees similarities between President Nixon and President Trump. Joining me now is John Pistole. He was a former deputy to then FBI
director, Robert Mueller. John, thank you so much for appearing on the program. We appreciate it. Democrats say that these hearings are meant to highlight findings in the Special Counsel's investigation. Does a hearing like this accomplish that?
JOHN PISTOLE, FORMER TSA ADMINISTRATOR: Well, I think it always depends, Don, on what wins that you're looking at this through. And clearly the Democrats thought that that would accomplish that. I'm not sure they're so confident about that now after the hearing. And I would real analogize it in two different ways.
One is, it seems like it's a testing of the waters by the Democrats to see, OK, let's put out a witness who has experience in this, albeit 50 years ago nearly, and see what type of reaction, public response you get to it.
But then the other one is from an FBI analogy of what type of investigation the FBI does called a preliminary inquiry when there's been some information provided or obtained by the FBI about a potentially credible criminal violation.
And so, they conduct an investigation within some limited parameters to determine whether there is sufficient evidence and to convert that into a full investigation, which might lead to an indictment. They're separate analogies but related in the sense of does this lead somewhere and you really don't know until you pursue it and that's where I see the Democrats are doing today.
LEMON: So, but you know, Mueller made it clear he doesn't want to testify, but we're told that Chairman Nadler could issue a subpoena to him within weeks. How do you expect Mueller to respond to that?
[23:29:54] PISTOLE: Well, I think he was pretty clear in his press conference that he believed the matters concluded as far as his personal involvement and also he resigned as Special Counsel, so he's no longer a Department of Justice employee.
Obviously, if he is subpoenaed, then we have to make a determination presumably in concert with the Department of Justice as to whether he would and should appear and if so under what condition. Would it be a close hearing, not a public spectacle, which is clearly what he wants to avoid, I believe.
And I think he might be willing to provide some limited testimony in a closed hearing. But I just don't see him agreeing to appear in a public hearing with unlimited questions from both sides. And whether he fights that in court with the Department of Justice's assistance or how that would work, I think, is yet to be determined.
LEMON: The former Nixon White House counsel, John Dean, testified today about multiple parallels that he sees between the Watergate scandal and Mueller's investigation of Trump, like the firing of James Comey, asking White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller and then lie about it. And then there is this presidential pardon. Watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Mr. Mueller addresses the question of whether President Trump dangled pardons or offered favorable treatment to Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone, whose name is actually redacted based on educated conjecture. I think that's pretty clear who it is.
And the question is whether in return for their pardons, they agreed to -- or the suggestion of a pardon, he was seeking them to keep their silence and how they coordinated with investigators.
But also the Mueller report offers a very powerful legal analysis that notwithstanding the fact that the pardon power is one of the most unrestricted presidential powers. It cannot be used for improper purposes. And I give the site of that argument. What's interesting is Richard Nixon, who used the pardon in a similar way, recognized that it was improper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Do you agree? John, do you agree that this is very similar to Watergate?
PISTOLE: Well, so, Watergate was a long time ago. I was a young person when that happened. What I've read about it, there are some similarities, but I think there is enough differences, that it is a somewhat attenuated argument to say that it's compelling in the similarities.
And a couple distinctions I would make, one being that it's actually OK for a president or any person in the United States to talk about things that may be borderline criminal if they were carried out. But if they're not carried out, it's not a criminal offence.
And then second is the broad discretionary power of a pardon. John Dean makes reference to that, but I think he understated perhaps that broad discretionary function of a sitting president to pardon people. Yeah, clearly there's evidence of a payoff to do something like that. That's one thing. But there's no such evidence in this case.
Again, I think that's attenuated argument to say that what President Trump did is sufficiently similar to what President Nixon did, that President Trump should be impeached. So I think there's enough distinction there that causes people to say OK, so what is actually there?
LEMON: Yes. John Pistole, we always appreciate your perspective. Thank you for coming on.
PISTOLE: Thank you.
LEMON: Red Sox legend David Ortiz back in Boston tonight after being shot last night in the Dominican Republic. We'll have all the latest, next.
[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Red Sox legend David Ortiz landing back in Boston just a short time ago. He was taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital where he will be treated after being shot in the back at close range at a crowded bar last night in the Dominican Republic. The bullet reportedly went through his stomach. His condition is serious, but he was stable enough to be flown to Boston.
His assistant tells CNN that surgeons in the Dominican Republic removed portions of some of his internal organs. The Red Sox had a moment of silence for Ortiz before tonight's game. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): As befits his outsized personality, wishes for speedy recovery have poured in from all over baseball, from the world of sports, and even from respected world leaders. He is loved throughout our nation and beyond. Yet to us, he is our own adopted son. Please join us as we offer a moment of reflection, thought and prayer for a complete healing and a full recovery for our beloved "Big Papi."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Joining me is our man on the ground, CNN's Patrick Oppmann Altman from Santo Domingo. Patrick, thank you so much for doing this. Man, what a tragic story and let's hope that he continues to make progress. What's the latest on the investigation though?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The police came out tonight and had the very unusual statement of saying that the two suspects that they have, one who has been captured, who has been really in custody since the beginning, ever since a crowd of people attacked the apparent gunman here, according to police, who was a 25-year-old, Eddie Garcia.
[23:40:06] And that there's another individual who is still unidentified who managed to escape. But neither of these, according to police, are actually police officers themselves. That seems strange to say, but there's a rumor going around today that it might have been inside job, that it might have been police or former police that were responsible for this.
And tonight, the investigators are saying that no, that neither of these as far as they know have any ties to the police force. But still, so many questions here. Why do this?
And that's what everyone keeps asking me, Don, is that you're someone who is so beloved in the Dominican Republic like David Ortiz, everyone knows him, he is absolutely worshipped here even by people who are not baseball fanatics, why would somebody go up and shoot him in the back? And that is the question some people keep asking me and no one really has the answerer to, at least right now.
LEMON: Yeah, what the motive was, but can we talk a little bit more about the investigation, because -- OPPMANN: Sure.
LEMON: -- the police, they have -- as I understand, the alleged shooter, who was beaten pretty badly by bystanders, another one is still at large, so again, the question is motive, and you're saying no idea, not even any idea, nothing?
OPPMANN: Well, you look at that video and initially we are told that this might be a robbery attempt that gone bad. But then police said no, having investigated at least initially what went down and we're talking about David Ortiz sitting in a bar that he frequented a lot, we're told, open air to the street, surrounded by lots of friends and admirers, and then someone walks up and just completely coldly shoots him in the back.
A radio show -- sorry, a TV talk show host who is a friend of his is also injured, looks like by the same bullet passing through David Ortiz. There were never any attempts that family members have told us to actually get belongings from David Ortiz, to ask for anything from him.
So there's no robbery attempt here, just someone coming up and shooting him in the back and then apparently fleeing. So, it's all the hallmarks family members have told us and people close to David Ortiz, sort of cold-hearted hit, someone coming up and trying to kill him. And the question is why would they do that? Do they know it was David Ortiz? You have to think they would have because he is such a recognizable figure.
Everyone here knows exactly who he is. Why would someone do that? This is in a safe part, counterparts of Santa Domingo that are not safe. This is a violent city. It's a pretty dangerous place. Not where the shooting took place. That is considered to be part of most safe night spots and is very safe area. So, David Ortiz would have felt comfortable. He is in a place he had been a lot before, we are told, in an area of town that is known to be safe.
So how does this happen? And again, it couldn't have been a robbery attempt, both his family members and police say, because there was never any attempt. It was someone who went up, shot him, and then tried to run away. It was only by the luck of the people around him who were able to grab the suspect, that they actually have anybody in custody tonight.
LEMON: Interesting. I want you to stand by, Patrick. I want to bring in now Alex Speier with The Boston Globe. He is joining us live from Fenway Park where the Red Sox just finished a game. Alex, thank you so much. What has been the reaction of the city and the Red Sox Organization to this?
ALEX SPEIER, SPORTS WRITER, BOSTON GLOBE: I think starting with -- it's been bewilderment and shock, I think, when you hear that someone who's kind of a beloved figure in New England and really around the baseball community and the national community has had such a horrible thing happen to him. And then beyond that, there's been just this outpouring of concern, caring. There is a great deal of concern. He is such a beloved figure. When people think about David Ortiz, it has very little to do, as unlikely as it sounds, with what he's done on the baseball field, and a great deal to do with who he is as a person.
Everyone kind of feels a personal attachment to him because of who he is. And so that is kind of -- there's a kind of sense of familial sadness and anxiety.
LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you. Thank you, Patrick. Thank you, Alex. I appreciate it.
A straight man from Oklahoma is supporting pride month by decorating the tailgate of his truck and in the process sending a message to the whole country. He is going to join me, next.
[23:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: When Cody Barlow missed the pride parade in Tulsa, the closest celebration to his rural Oklahoma town, he found another way to be an LGBTQ ally. Look at that picture on your screen. Using duct tape and mailbox letters, he decorated the tailgate of his 1991 Chevy Silverado with a rainbow pride flag and a message. "Not all country boys are bigots. Happy pride month."
Cody Barlow joins me now. I am very impressed you still have that Chevy, by the way as well. Thank you, sir. I appreciate you joining us. What led you to stick a massive pride flag on the back of your truck?
CODY BARLOW, DECORATED TAILGATE TO CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH: Well, it was nothing in particular about this year or this pride month. I think it had been a culmination of building up over the years and being exposed to people that were members of the LGBTQ community, speaking to them, learning about them, hearing about their lives and what they have dealt with.
[23:50:05] And so it just kind of all brought up to this. It made me feel like I needed to do something, especially seeing a lot of the negativity in the media. The Pulse nightclub shooting was one that I remembered and just recently having the Neo-Nazi groups going to the rallies and messing with them.
I felt like I needed to do something. I wanted to do something that really helped. I didn't know what it was. I didn't know how I could do anything in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma. And so I just got the idea. I remembered there were colorful duct tape at some of the local stores and I went and picked it up and put that in the pride flag design, put some mailbox lettering above it, stating "not all country boys are bigots."
And so the whole goal with this is having friends and family that are LGBTQ. A lot of people in that community, people I have worked with in the past, a lot of great people that have dealt with a lot of bad things over their lives, especially knowing people that even their own family turned their back on them. I'm sure in many other places, it is like this, but around here, you don't turn your back on blood.
So that really struck me and I just couldn't stand that somebody I know personally -- I couldn't take it. I had to do something. I had to say something. Like I was saying, it was a lot of different things.
LEMON: What's been the reaction, Cody, both at home and online? What's it been like so far?
BARLOW: Mostly -- I mean, at home, a lot of support. My parents, big supporters of the community, they've always raised me properly, very open minded and taught me about diversity, culture. And friends, family, locals, they're all really supportive. I haven't had anybody approach me in a negative manner face-to-face.
Social media, initially the first night I made the post on Facebook, it didn't get that great of a reaction. There were some positive comments, but they hadn't outweighed the negatives yet. I started to kind of question making the post, but now that it's really taken off, it's overwhelming positive response. I couldn't believe how much this really impacted people. It's amazing.
LEMON: What -- for you, what does it mean to be an ally?
BARLOW: Well, it means a lot of things to me. But I think one of the most important things is being in my position that somebody that hasn't dealt with that kind of hatred or judgment over the years and seeing it, I didn't like that. When I was younger, I wasn't doing anything about it. I wasn't saying anything. I thought that was just the norm.
And so stepping up and helping out where I can and using my voice, especially being in my situation. Just, you know, a straight white guy from Oklahoma, driving a big jacked up truck. I do all the typical things, going mudding and floating the river. Some people call it tubing or whatever, fishing.
I'm just like everybody else around here as far as like what's the perceived common person. And I figured maybe using my voice and my position, people would be a little bit more understanding and open to listening to me, because I feel like there's already a preconceived notion. When somebody hears from a member of the LGBTQ committee, it's like they just automatically judge them and don't want to hear anything they have to say.
BARLOW: And so hopefully, being an ally in this position can help out.
LEMON: Cody, I thank you. And it really means -- as a member of the LGBTQ community, I thank you. Listen, I am a Louisiana boy. I am a gay man. I did all those things that you -- I used to mud. My friends had big jacked up trucks.
LEMON: But I really appreciate you doing what you're doing. Thank you for coming on CNN and talking to us. I appreciate it.
BARLOW: I appreciate you having me. It really does help. Thank you so much.
LEMON: And, you know, I'm going to talk about someone I used to do that with right now. So one last thing before we go. One of the downsides of doing what I do is that I missed a lot of reunions. I missed a lot of anniversaries, birthday parties, holidays, and sadly even funerals, as is the reality for me tonight.
One of my oldest friends, there he is, his name is Mark Rea. He was laid to rest today in my hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He died of a heart attack last week. He was 52 years old. I became friends with Mark in my freshman year in college. It was 1984. I was the new kid in the group.
[23:55:00] A group of guys, many of them went back as far as grade school. I was the only black kid and they didn't care and neither did I.
We did everything together, even taking the same classes at LSU. My favorite one of our classes we took together was badminton, and I think Mark barely passed that class. We were a posse.
It was me and that's a group of us when I went home recently, the picture you're looking at. It was me and Mike Wilson, Greg Hail, Mark Roads, Mike Sinsery (ph), Mike Salome (ph), Jeff Harris, Dennis Mitchell, Chris Wilson, Patrick Jehin (ph), Jason Garran (ph) and Mark Rea, of course. A few years ago, we lost Salome (ph) and then Jeff, and now we lost Mark.
So tonight, my heart goes out to Mark's family, especially his three beautiful children. Now, Mark is reunited with his mom, Miss Helen. What a great lady she was. And to the fellas as we called ourselves then and we call ourselves now, we really need to see each other more often and we need to make some new memories. Mark, would have wanted it that way.
So long, my kind and generous and crazy friend. We'll soon see you on the other side. We love you. Signed, the fellas.