Return to Transcripts main page


Red Sox Legend David Ortiz Shot in the Dominican Republic; I Killed, 6 Injured in Dallas Construction Crane Collapse; Trump Defends Mexico Deal; Democratic Hopefuls for 2020 Descend on Iowa; More Than 1 Million Protest in Hong Kong Over a Proposed Law. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 10, 2019 - 09:00   ET


[09:00:00] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Shot in the back, this at a nightclub in his native Dominican Republic.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We also have this new surveillance video in. It is from our affiliate, allegedly showing the moments that shots were fired. Boston and the entire Major League Baseball community collectively this morning breathing a sigh of relief as police confirm and his family also confirm that the baseball icon is stable after surgery.

Alexandra Field is with us. She's been on this story since it broke. Suspect is in custody.

What do we know? Do we even know at this point whether Ortiz was actually the target?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, we know that he is a living legend. It's not clear why anyone would target David Ortiz but that video is really stunning. It shows him in that packed restaurant. Clearly police are saying the motorcyclist went directly up to him, a shot was fired, and you see Big Papi, this man who has been such a giant in the world of baseball, such a giant to the city of Boston, going to the ground there.

People overnight in Boston and really across the country and beyond that holding their breath for better news. We know that the bullet went through his back, into his stomach. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. His father updating reporters overnight. Here is what he said.


Translator: The operation is over and he is stable. We're just waiting for the doctors to take him out of the surgery room. He's resting right now. No, there are no other damages we know of. He is stable.


FIELD: Several people suspected to be connected to the shooting have been taken into custody. One of them was actually taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries suffered after he was attacked by the group of bystanders that witnessed that really terrifying moment, Poppy.

HARLOW: Completely terrifying moment. And we don't know anything else at this point about the suspect, do we?

FIELD: We really don't. I mean, we don't know what could have motivated this. We know that police are waiting to speak to David Ortiz.


FIELD: That of course will depend on when he's able to do those interviews. But this is really a person whose impact you cannot understate. This is somebody who has been so important not just for his record in baseball, not just for his triumphs in baseball, but somebody who really helped to bring the city of Boston together after those difficult days of the Boston marathon bombing.


FIELD: You know, the sports teams in the city of Boston have this really uncanny way of pulling people together.


FIELD: There was so many people overnight, tweeting, putting out statements, really pulling together and showing their support for Big Papi to be released.

HARLOW: Right. You remember he said in those days after the bombing, like, our jerseys say Boston. Right? They don't say --

FIELD: They don't say it --

HARLOW: Boston. We are the city and we stand for the city.

Alex, thank you for the reporting. We appreciate it. Jim.

SCIUTTO: With us now to talk more about this, CNN sports analyst, sports columnist for "USA Today," Christine Brennan.

Christine, always good to have you on. Just sad that this is the topic today. Papi -- Big Papi, he's such a beloved figure in baseball, in sports, in Boston. Tell us about the reaction in the sports community today.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Well, it's been intense from the moment, Jim, that the news hit last night and the concern over would he be OK. Obviously David Ortiz is synonymous with the Boston Red Sox, and with the resurgence of the Red Sox. There was a time kids grew up in Boston and never saw a Boston team win any title at all. Well, that changed and Big Papi was a big part of that. Three World Series titles, 10 All-Star appearances. He was the MVP of the World Series in 2013, the same year as the Boston marathon, in his infamous speech when he got out there and talked about the city and what it meant to him. So he is much more than just an athlete. He is really part of the

culture in Boston and throughout Major League Baseball. And I think that was -- that's why there's such great concern, even though he's retired, retired in 2016. He's 43 years old now. But such a presence throughout the baseball community and throughout Boston and New England.

HARLOW: Of course, you know, he's so well known, as you bring up, Christine, in 2004 helping end -- helping the Sox end the -- you know, the so-called curse of the Bambino. But so far beyond that, right, he's so much bigger than his skill was for that team specifically, back in the day he did play for the Minnesota Twins. I would just -- I would just note that. Long time ago.

Let me ask you about just how unprecedented this is. I mean, if he was, indeed, Christine, the target, you know, it's one thing for professional athletes to be heckled. If he was the intended target for this, it's rather unprecedented.

BRENNAN: It is. More and more players are coming from the Dominican or Venezuela, other nations that are known, certainly have their share sadly of poverty. And when they go home, many of them are very aware of this and some even have extra security or are very aware of their homes being secure. To the generalization nonetheless it's an issue for athletes.

And a few years ago, in 2011, the Washington Nationals Wilson ' player, Wilson Ramos, was actually kidnapped for two days in Venezuela. Thankfully released.

[09:05:03] Again a happy ending to a story, Poppy, but that was an example of a story where a star went back home and then had a crime committed against him. So this is something I think we'll be hearing more about the next few days, this particular issue of athletes and their safety when they go home and where they could possible targets and when people know who they are.

SCIUTTO: Christine, is there any evidence at this point as to why he was targeted and so brazenly, right, I mean, in the middle of a crowd, right?

BRENNAN: Yes, Jim, we don't know if, in fact, he was targeted. But it's certainly -- because of the Wilson Ramos story in 2011 and because athletes -- like this has happened in the NFL as well. And you hear about athletes who have their friends and hangers-on who want to be around them. I mean, that's a natural thing. It can't be just -- as you mentioned, it can be just fans who want to be around someone and it can be people with more nefarious situations and maybe more ideas to do worse things.

We don't yet know about this. My sense is we'll find out. But my sense is also today that there are athletes around the world who are very aware of their security and even looking at it, go back to Monica Sellers and the stabbing at a tennis match in the 1990s. Nancy Kerrigan obviously in figure skating. These things do happen every now and then. And they are a wake-up call I think for the entire athletic community to be more aware of their security.

HARLOW: He should be able to go out, you know, on a Sunday and enjoy himself at a restaurant with friends. It's horrible. And we're just glad to hear he's in stable condition.

Christine, thanks for being here.

BRENNAN: Thank you.

HARLOW: Meantime to a tragic story out of Dallas. Investigators will be on scene this morning there in Dallas where at least one person has died after a construction crane collapsed on an entire apartment building. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god, the crane is falling over. Oh, my god. Oh, my god.


SCIUTTO: Just incredible to see that as it happened. The crane went through several floors of the apartment building before slicing through a parking garage as well. Six people were injured in the collapse. Dozens of cars left buried under the rubble.

CNN's Rosa Flores, she joins us now.

Rosa, there were strong winds in moments just before the collapse. But is there any sign or any official word at this point as to what caused it to come down?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim, no word yet from officials. As you might imagine, it's very early in the investigation right now. So we're not hearing from officials, but we are hearing from witnesses about those intense and terrifying moments leading up to that collapse which happened at about 2:18 yesterday afternoon. But witnesses say, you know, yesterday was such a beautiful day in Dallas. And then all of a sudden in seconds, in moments the skies turned dark and calm turned to chaos. Take a listen.


ABBEY KEARNEY, WITNESSED CRANE COLLAPSED: It was very clear quickly that something was not right. The wind picked up and all of a sudden we had at least three giant patio umbrellas just shoot straight up into the air. Not long after that, I said, if that crane falls, it's probably going to fall on our building. And then right after that we saw the crane fall on the building and it did just cut through the building.


FLORES: Now I want to set the scene for you because it's important to understand what happened here. Here to my right you see the construction building. So this is where the crane was installed, in the construction building. And as we pan over, you'll see that the crane fell over the apartment buildings which are further here to the right. And you can see the mangled metal slicing through the building. And of course, we keep on hearing from witnesses talking about those terrifying moments, Jim and Poppy, when they learned that, first of all, that the crane had collapsed and secondly, that some of the people inside were injured and now, of course, we know that at least one person has died -- Jim and Poppy.


SCIUTTO: Rosa, good to have you on the scene there. Thanks very much.

HARLOW: Horrible. So a witness to the crane collapse is with us now.

Bianca Harper-Kelly, thank you for joining us. This is unbelievably, specifically what you saw because you were, as I understand it, pulling into the building to drop off your 5-month-old baby with a friend who was going to baby-sit and then this happened. Is that right?

BIANCA HARPER-KELLY, WITNESSED CRANE COLLAPSE: Yes. We actually -- we missed the turn. We were coming in -- and I missed because I hadn't been to the apartments before. I was supposed to turn left onto Live Oak to get into the garage. Missing that turn saved our lives because I had to circle the block. I ended up on that Cantegral Street which meets Live Oaks (INAUDIBLE).

[09:10:04] So the apartment building was in front of me to the left and the construction building was in front of us to the right. We were at the stop sign. And all of a sudden, I'm like, OK, we've got to get inside. The wind just started picking up faster and faster. And then I realized how intense this was getting as debris from that construction building started flying around and blowing into the car. And I was like, we got to get out of here. There's nowhere safe. And so we were on the phone with our friend who was in the elevator at that apartment complex, and she said, just pull into the garage, pull into the garage.

And right as she said that, we looked up. I don't know what made us look up and the crane spun and I was like, oh, my god, this crane is spinning. And it started to sway. And as it was swaying, my wife said, oh, my god, it's falling and it's coming down. And it looked like it was going to fall right in between the buildings on top of our car. So I backed up and a gust of wind came through and it knocked it just so that it went on top of the building, through the garage.

And as soon as it happened, my wife yelled crane. We lost service with our friend. We couldn't get ahold of her. Her phone was going straight to voice mail. And I just immediately told my wife, you need to call 911. This is not good. Call 911, call 911, I got her and the baby out of the way. And that's when I ran into that open space that you can see in one of the pictures. And that's when I started hearing certain people scream for help. And I found one that was severely covered in blood. And I -- you know, I was just telling her, please don't move, please don't move. Don't jump, because she was asking if she should jump. And I said no, please don't jump.

Is there anything around you can grab to put -- you know, apply pressure? That's when I heard one more voice yell for help. And her and this other gentleman were standing at the balcony, where that -- the only platform that was left. He said he was looking for his fiancee, she was on the couch. And when he pointed where the couch was, it was open space. And so I'm helping him scream her name. And it was -- it was a moment that I will never forget. I'm glad I was there to help comfort these people. And I just --



SCIUTTO: Well, Bianca, listen, we're happy you're safe. We're happy your baby is safe.


SCIUTTO: Thanks so much for walking through it. As you look at this, you imagine it could have been much worse.

Bianca Harper-Kelly, thanks so much.

HARLOW: Thank you.

HARPER-KELLY: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: This morning President Trump taking to TV and Twitter to defend his deal with Mexico on immigration. This as criticism surrounding it intensifies. He called into CNBC moments ago. And here's what he had to say.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: "The New York Times" wrote a story like I already made the deal. It's nonsense. We talked about it for months and months and months. And they wouldn't get there. And we just said, hey, look, if you don't get there, we're just going to have to charge you hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. And we would have been just fine.


HARLOW: OK. Joe Johns is with us.


HARLOW: As well from the White House -- Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, OK. First a little bit of context on that call-in. It sounds like pretty much of a surprise for the folks over at CNBC, the president just called in. He's been selling both on Twitter as well as on television in this interview his deal that he struck with Mexico to avoid the tariffs that the president himself threatened to put in place today. And the big question and perhaps the news out of that entire interview

with regard to Mexico is that there's been some question as to whether the president essentially was touting deals that had already been made, concessions that had already been made by Mexico and that all this was, as "The New York Times" sort of suggested in a piece over the weekend, smoke and mirrors on the part of the administration in order to save face.

The president's argument that he articulated in that interview was that this deal was something that the government had been trying to work on for 20 years, that he was able to get it through by the threat of tariffs, that he himself personally spoke to the president of Mexico to talk this thing through and the result was what happened on Friday evening.

That is the president's argument on saying that, in fact, Mexico made a deal that they really had no conceded to yet. Back to you.

SCIUTTO: Well, Joe, I mean, the president also stuck with the line that tariffs are not paid by American companies and consumers, claiming that some economists back him on that, which they don't. His own advisers, Kevin Hassett and others, Larry Kudlow, have admitted the fact.

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: But the president persisting.

JOHNS: Right.

SCIUTTO: Joe Johns, great to have you there at the White House.

Still to come, much more on this deal coming up. We're going to speak with the mayor of El Paso right along the border. What does this deal mean for his city on the border with Mexico.

[09:15:00] Plus, a new CNN poll out this morning gives fresh insight to Democratic candidates in the all important early voting state of Iowa after a weekend blitz through that state, who came out on top?

POPPY HARLOW, CO-HOST, NEWSROOM: And some stunning pictures out of Hong Kong. Look at those protests. The organizers say there were more than a million protesters on the streets of Hong Kong, protesting a new Extradition Bill, and really, the Chinese government's crackdown.

The question is, this time will it make a difference? We're live there.


SCIUTTO: Welcome back. We're a little less than eight months out from the Iowa caucuses which can only mean caucus season well underway. The informal kick-off came in a day-long cavalcade of speeches in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. These six candidates, plus 13 others, given five minutes each to make their case to Iowa Democratic leaders and caucus organizers.

[09:20:00] This morning, all of them know exactly what Iowa Dems are looking for, thanks to a brand new poll from CNN and "The Des Moines Register" -- check out these numbers, Poppy, I mean, really interesting.

HARLOW: They are surprising and fascinating. If you look at them topping the list there in terms of what's important to folks there in Iowa is the right to an abortion, abortion rights, climate change by far the most important issues to caucus scores with an assault weapons ban. The only other issue drawing clear majority support and still only five of 23 Democratic candidates are polling above 2 percent in Iowa. That's also really notable.

Our friend Jeff Zeleny following the race live from Des Moines. They got five minutes each to make their pitch to these critical voters. Joe Biden was not at the speech-a-thon yesterday, Jeff, but he certainly wasn't forgotten, was he?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Poppy and Jim. He was not forgotten. Joe Biden was literally the -- sort of the elephant in the room, if you will. People were -- the voters were talking about him, wondering you know, if he's really a strong front-runner. But the other candidates from Bernie Sanders on down were giving some veiled, you know, ever-escalating distinctions that they are drawing with him.

But Joe Biden, of course, he was attending his granddaughter's high school graduation in Washington. There was a lot of conversation about why he wasn't here. I was thinking back actually to the same event 12 years ago. Barack Obama was not at that event either. So, I'm not sure if it matters if Joe Biden actually attended it or not. He'll be coming here to Iowa tomorrow. But this is what he's facing here with several of his rivals taking aim. Let's watch.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are some well-intentioned Democrats and candidates who believe that the best way forward is a middle ground strategy that antagonizes no one, that stands up to nobody, and that changes nothing.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think there is room in our party for a Democratic candidate who does not support women's full reproductive freedoms.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our party does not need a savior. We need each other.


ZELENY: So, it did have a sort of a speed dating feel to it. Each candidate did only get five minutes to speak and they kept it to the mark. The music literally would come up the minute the five-minute mark would hit, sort of like the Oscars, if you will. But candidates trying to gain attention, trying to introduce

themselves. Several of them are still in Iowa today. Take a look at a map of where some of those candidates are campaigning. Montana Governor Steve Bullock, he is out in the state in Jefferson, Storm Lake, Sioux City.

Beto O'Rourke is campaigning here, Elizabeth Warren, John Hickenlooper, Kamala Harris and of course Joe Biden is coming to this state on Tuesday where he will be joined in Iowa by the other candidate in the 2020 campaign, that's Donald Trump, of course, a Republican running for re-election as well.

So all eyes particularly on this race here for the next couple of days --

HARLOW: Yes --

ZELENY: Eight months before the Iowa caucuses.

HARLOW: I love Iowa for many reasons, and among them, Zeleny, is how engaged the electorate is there. They really listen --

ZELENY: Right --

HARLOW: They are completely engaged in asking the most important questions. Before you go, deadline for debates, Wednesday, who is in, who is out?

ZELENY: Yes, the deadline for those first debates that are coming up at the end of the month is on Wednesday. We do know that Montana Governor Steve Bullock is one of the candidates who will not make the cut. He acknowledged that to us yesterday.

And he said, look, he believes it's unfair, he's a Democrat who was elected in a red state of Montana, but he will not be the only one. Seth Moulton, the Massachusetts Congressman will also not make the cut as well as Wayne Messam, he's a mayor from a small town in Florida who is running for president but does not really campaign.

He's just sort of anomaly in, but those three candidates are among those who will not make the cut. But certainly candidates using the debates at the end of the month to try and break out of this very crowded field. Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Jeff Zeleny, great to have you on the ground there. Joining us now is John Avlon; CNN senior political analyst and Ayesha Rascoe; she's White House reporter for the "NPR" John, you know, you look at these polls and one consistent feature is sort of a two-tier structure, right, of the Democratic field because you have a big distinction between the folks, about half dozen at the top.

The Bidens, the Sanders, Buttigieg now well in that group. And then this very large contingent of --

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes -- SCIUTTO: What you might want to call 1 percenters. Can and how do

they break out of that? I imagine when the debates starts later this month, that's really their best and maybe only opportunity.

AVLON: That will be the opportunity where they try to swing for the fences and achieve differentiation. And I think your suggested nickname for them would not play well in the Democratic --

HARLOW: Yes --

AVLON: Primary.

SCIUTTO: I get it --

AVLON: That needs to be said, but --

[09:25:00] SCIUTTO: I'm still going with it, I'm still going with it.

AVLON: But look, you know, you're definitely seeing a top-tier of candidacies. And when you've got a guy like Steve Bullock, again Montana Governor, western governor, won in a red state that Trump won handily, him not making the debates is tough. Now, he got in late, but that's exactly the kind of game-changing rationale of candidacy, folks, could gravitate to.

I think what's interesting also about the poll, if you take a look at the policies, folks, policies associated with the far-left of the party, the insurgent far-left, Democratic socialists from green new deal on are only supported about around a third of Iowa caucus-goers.

And I think that speaks to the divide inside the Democratic Party between sort of Twitter conventional wisdom and where a lot of folks are on the ground.

HARLOW: Ayesha, what I thought was interesting, obviously, you know, the Biden enthusiasm sort of issuing those numbers, the slip that he's seen. But the fact that, you know, his team didn't send according to our reporting, any surrogates there, right?

He was at his granddaughter's graduation, good for him, but there were no surrogates there, et cetera, maybe they think they don't need to because he's going this week. There wasn't that, and then that as he's faced with numbers, 15 percent, 16 percent for Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg.

I think the question becomes can one of them consolidate that support to really rival Biden head on?

AYESHA RASCOE, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, NPR: Yes, and that seems to be what they -- I'm sure that's what they would like to do, is try to see if they can kind of pull some of that support that has -- had been going to Biden and kind of set themselves apart. The question there is what are these voters looking for?

Biden has been running on this idea that he is electable and that he's basically the only one that can beat President Trump. And so, the question that Sanders is going to have to answer is, is he going to be looked at as too far to the left, too easily kind of caricatured by President Trump.

So these are the things that they are going to try to come together on and try to see if they can kind of pick a little bit at Biden and see if he has some weaknesses there, where they can try to bring -- where they can try to elevate themselves.

SCIUTTO: Yes, you know, John, there's so much of this and you know better than me is expectations game, right?

HARLOW: Yes --

SCIUTTO: You know, and at this point, the Biden expectations are so high because he's been such a big front-runner for so long. A guy like Buttigieg pops in there at 15 percent, I think in the poll, that's a great number for him, you know, again, based on the expectations.

AVLON: Yes, look, politics is perception. We see that over and over again. And you know, a lot has been made of Biden ticking down. He's still multiples ahead of most of the field. And that does mean that folks are going to be focusing a lot of shots at him. The problem is he's a fairly beloved figure in the party and then gets a halo effect from being Barack Obama's VP.

But Buttigieg really -- I mean, when you consider that he's in that top-tier as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, someone who is not yet 40 years old, it really speaks to how he's been able to connect and capture some folks' imagination in the field really with his demeanor, with his communication skills, with his message which doesn't play too heavily to the identity politics, but instead plays up a record of service.

That's something that's worked that other folks would love to capture in that in a bottle and have some of that themselves.

HARLOW: I've got to tell you, Avalon, my husband and I were talking about this, this weekend and he -- Buttigieg is my age and he just makes me feel like a slacker every single -- every single day. Ayesha, let me ask --

SCIUTTO: How does that make me feel then, Poppy?

HARLOW: Yes, right --

SCIUTTO: You know, I've got to --

HARLOW: Well, you just --

SCIUTTO: I should have worked harder --

HARLOW: You just wrote this book, yes, man, but you just wrote this big bestselling book, and you're on a book tour and I'm -- you know, anyways, all right -- SCIUTTO: You flatter me.

HARLOW: Ayesha, let me ask you this. Bernie Sanders, you know, calling all of -- I remember them as you just saw, but really, Bernie Sanders saying we cannot take the middle ground here, et cetera, it's a failed political strategy --

AVLON: Yes --

HARLOW: And then you look at those top-ranking issues in that Iowa poll that we just pulled up, and it's abortion rights, climate change and guns. Is he right? Is Sanders right?

RASCOE: Well, when you look at -- I think that's the question. When you have Biden at the top, then it does look like, at least for right now and it is very early, that there was a stop, that they do kind of want a middle ground. I don't know if you go to Joe Biden thinking that you want some -- that you want the biggest and boldest ideas.

But right now, where you see Biden having to kind of roll back his thoughts on the Hyde Amendment, his support for that and that he had to kind of make some changes. There is a thought right now that maybe you do want to go bolder. And when you're going up against President Trump and he's going to suck all the oxygen out of the room and everyone is going to be talking about him, how do you make yourself stand out?

And do people really just want that kind of middle-of-the-road candidate?

AVLON: Well --

HARLOW: Wow, Ayesha --

AVLON: Look, I think that policies play does say that the Democratic Party in Iowa at least is not as far left as some folks might want. Biden did put out a very ambitious climate change plan -- and I think when you -- you've got to be careful about these polls, right to pick abortion, that's against the prospect of Roe v. Wade being repealed.

That doesn't mean that folks are taking out a necessarily far-left position on abortion. I think Biden is playing a dangerous game with the Hyde Amendment because he ends up pleasing nobody.