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Democratic Hopefuls Court Black Voters in South Carolina; Democrats in Charleston to Attend Black Economic Alliance Forum; Polls: Senator Elizabeth Warren in Tight Race For Second Place; Robert Mueller: Election Interference Should Concern Every American; Iran Fired Missile At U.S. Drone Before Attack; Democratic Hopefuls Court Black Voters in South Carolina; Prosecutors to Reveal Motive in Baseball Legend's Shooting; 4 People Hurt By Runaway Golf Cart at Pebble Beach. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired June 15, 2019 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[12:00:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got some loving shoes all my life, and I got to keep getting shoes (ph).

VAN JONES, HOST, THE REDEMPTION PROJECT: Why didn't you just ask your mom for the money?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen my mom go through a struggle a lot of times and it hurt me. I hate to hear my mom cry when she couldn't do what she wanted to do for her kids, but my mom made a lot of sacrifices.

How is she going to pay this bill? How is she going to make sure we eat at times? So I took it upon myself like, like all right, I'm going to help out. So I did at times buy groceries, put in the house. I told mama, I bought groceries. She says, how did you get the money?

I lied to her, I saved it. You know, I saved it. She's like, oh you saved it? Yes. All right, I'm proud of you. I'm like, yes. But at the same time, (inaudible) lying to her about what I was doing. I never told her about what I was doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: Watch The Redemption Project tomorrow night 9:00 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.

(MUSIC)

Hello again, everyone, and thank you for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. All right, in politics, especially on the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it is all about South Carolina today for the 2020 Democratic hopefuls.

Many of the candidates are spending the day in the crucial state hoping to win over voters. Up first on the agenda there, protest and worker strikes advocating for increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and you can see Senator Cory Booker and Beto O'Rourke participating and Mayor Pete Buttigieg just joined in March. And at any moment now these four candidates will attend the Black Economic Alliance forum and make their pitch to black voters.

Let's check in now with CNN's Senior Washington Correspondent Jeff Zeleny. So, Jeff, this is extremely important. South Carolina, a very pivotal primary state, but what are the messages that these candidates are likely to deliver today?

JEFF ZELENY, SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Fredricka, we're certainly hearing a lot of economic messages from these Democratic Presidential candidates. As you said, four of them will appear here before a Town Hall meeting this afternoon at the Black Economic Alliance, and we are also seeing most of those Democratic Presidential candidates joining ongoing strikes, pushing for a $15 minimum wage.

This has been happening across the country. Senator Bernie Sanders last week in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Senator Kamala Harris just yesterday in Las Vegas, and here today Senator Cory Booker standing outside a McDonald's here in Charleston with this message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to just say that this is an organization, an organizing effort that has to grow. You can't sit on the sidelines and watch what's happening. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This is one of those moral moments where we want to know where you stand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: And Beto O'Rourke also joining in that protest here earlier today. So definitely an economic message is one thing candidates are doing. But Fred, first and foremost, they're trying to introduce themselves, they are trying to distinguish themselves to voters, particularly in the early voting states; South Carolina is among those.

The primary not until the end of next February, but it is going to be a critical stop before this primary goes really across the country, that big super Tuesday race, of course.

Now Joe Biden is the front-runner nationally. He is the front-runner here in South Carolina as well. But Fred, when you talk to voters, they say it feels like a wide open race to them. So, particularly, these candidates who are not as well-known or trying to get known, that's why they're campaigning all weekend long at events like this and others.

So certainly, a moment summertime swing of campaigning here, particularly for these candidates who aren't that well-known to these Democratic voters, Fred. But next weekend here in South Carolina, every single one of these Democratic candidates is back in the state. They're all going to will be appearing at the Democratic convention here in South Carolina. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you so much, appreciate it. Let's talk more about all of this now. White House Reporter for The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim, and White House Reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Vivian Salama. Good to see you both. So Vivian, you first, so what do these candidates who were there in South Carolina this weekend need to do to try to best secure the black vote, because black voters make up a very sizeable portion of the electorate in that state?

VIVIAN SALAMA, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Essentially, they're all going to have to be talking about racial inequality and income inequality. These are two issues, like Jeff said, economic messages that are very important to black voters to try to balance things out.

Of course, there's also the ultimate counter message to what President Trump has been putting out there, that a lot of black voters have felt neglected by the current administration and they feel that it is time to really focus on those community issues like homeownership, employment rates, those kind of things are really going to be the targeted message that really many voters are going to respond to there in South Carolina.

WHITFIELD: And Seung, you know, CNN's Jake Tapper actually spoke with Mayor Pete Buttigieg and he actually took issue with Kamala Harris, who by the way she spent a lot of time in South Carolina, she won't be there for the forum this weekend. But Buttigieg took issue with some of her comments about her DOJ, should she win the Presidency would prosecute Trump if indeed she has the opportunity to be in the White House. Listen.

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JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Your fellow 2020 Democrat, your opponent, Senator Kamala Harris, said this week that if she is elected President, her Justice Department would have no choice but to go forward with obstruction of justice charges against President Trump. Would the Justice Department under a President Buttigieg feel the same way, do the same thing?

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My Justice Department will be empowered to reach its own conclusions. Two things are true and clear. One, nobody is above the law, and two, the prosecutorial process should have nothing to do with politics. The less this has to do with the President, the better. Right now, we have a President who seems to think that the President can just dictate what the DOJ is going to do, call for political opponents to be jailed.

I believe that the rule of law will catch up to this President. It doesn't require the Oval Office putting any kind of thumb on the scale. I trust the DOJ to reach the right determinations, at least the DOJ that I would appoint and set up, and the less that has to do with directives coming out of the White House, the better.

TAPPER: It sounds like you have an issue with Senator Kamala Harris saying that?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, I'm just speaking to how I view the issue. But again, I think we can maintain these two principles that nobody is above the law and that prosecution decisions should have nothing to do with politics and should come from the DOJ itself, not from the Oval.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Former FBI Director James Comey tweeted on this same issue, saying political candidates and elected officials should not talk about the future prosecution of any individual. Law enforcement decisions must be apolitical.

So, Seung Min, Kamala Harris touts her prosecutorial background that she would help to lead by living by the letter of the law. Was that out of bounds to talk like that?

SEUNG MIN KIM, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think what it shows is that a lot of candidates do have to tread a little bit carefully when dealing with this issue, because we've seen how this President, President Trump, has viewed the Justice Department and his Attorney General. One of the main reasons he had such a fraught relationship with his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is that he felt he wasn't his own personal lawyer.

He saw perhaps the Attorney General, the Justice Department, as kind of being an extension of his own legal team, when clearly in this country that is not the case. I think that Pete Buttigieg, what you saw earlier obviously expressing his own opinion, but he is also right now at a stage in the campaign where he is starting to contrast himself more with other candidates and this was another part of that.

He gave a pretty high-profile foreign policy speech earlier this week where he also laid out a pretty not-so-subtle contrast with the former Vice President Joe Biden where he said, on a lot of matters of this foreign policy, the Democratic Party cannot be looking backward but towards the future.

And I think once - as the Democratic race continues, and particularly ahead of the debates, you are going to see a lot more of this compare and contrasting, particularly with these lower-tiered candidates against Vice President Biden and the other front-runners in the campaign.

WHITFIELD: With these 22 Democratic candidates, it is the race to stand out. And right now, according to recent polling, Senator Elizabeth Warren who is now nipping at the heels of second place Senator Bernie Sanders two weeks ahead of that two-night Democratic debate, Vivian.

And on the first night, Warren - Senator Warren is in a line-up with Senators Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar. So, how much could this first debate really shake up the Democratic field and each candidate's standing?

SALAMA: Well, obviously just the way it is divided, it is going to give certain candidates the opportunity to stand out. Elizabeth Warren being one of the more high-profile candidates, obviously she already has that national platform and so it is not so much that she needs to stand out as much she needs to define some of her policy proposals.

And she has been really working hard to do that in recent weeks, rolling out a number of different policy proposals from taxing the ultra wealthy to offering universal child care to breaking up some of the big tech firms.

Those are a number of the things that Elizabeth Warren has really tried to focus on, and she - as we were talking about with South Carolina, she's really been focused a lot on income inequality and racial inequality as well.

And so some of those things are really going to help her continue that climb and ultimately her target right now, not so much Joe Biden who is the leading candidate so far, but probably Bernie Sanders who is right ahead of her in many of the polls.

A lot of their policies tend to be pretty close to each other, but that debate ultimately is going to determine - is going to boil down to how much these candidates can really get voters to understand what their policy proposals are and to stay away from the very tempting issue of basically attacking President Trump.

President Trump, especially in the months ahead, is going to start lobbing grenades at a lot of these candidates, and it is going to be really interesting to see which - who among them can stay focused on their message and steer away from that temptation to just go after him.

WHITFIELD: All right. Vivian Salama, Seung Min Kim, good to see you both ladies, appreciate it. And of course, you can see the entire interview of Pete Buttigieg tomorrow on State Of The Union. Jake Tapper also talks with Beto O'Rourke. It all starts tomorrow morning 9:00 Eastern and Pacific only on CNN.

So, as this crowded 2020 field of Democrats fight for voters' attention, some good news for Senator Elizabeth Warren in particular. She is seeing a boost in the polls. Even in this one Monmouth Nevada poll, Warren actually jumps Sanders and holds second place. CNN's National Political Correspondent, MJ Lee has a look at what could be behind this shift.

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SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Dream big! Dream big!

(APPLAUSE)

MJ LEE, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Nearly 100 Town Hall meetings, thousands of selfies and a whole lot of plans, Elizabeth Warren is riding high into the summer on fresh momentum and energy. Poll after poll shows Warren climbing within striking distance of Senator Bernie Sanders for second place nationally, neck in neck in Iowa and ahead of Sanders in Nevada.

WARREN: This isn't about polls, it is way too early to be talking about that, but it is about ideas. It is about talking with people about what is broken in our country.

LEE: In a historically-crowded Democratic contest for President, Warren has bet big from day one on policy.

WARREN: And I got a plan for that.

LEE: She's released more than 20 plans just this year on everything from breaking up big tech--

WARREN: They collect information on every buyer and seller who comes through.

LEE: To student loan debt cancellation and universal child care.

WARREN: What it means to talk about student loan debt cancellation.

Universal Child Care and real investment in early learning for zero to five.

LEE: Her idea's heavy strategy is clearly resonating with some Democratic voters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm excited that she knows what she is doing, has experience and has a specific plan for how to change the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is able to articulate many of the issues that are facing us and, more importantly, she has - seems to have a workable plan to address these issues.

LEE: Warren has also committed to building a grassroots campaign. She is refusing to hold high dollar fundraisers during the primaries.

WARREN: And I'm not smooching up to any billionaires, hoping that they will fund super packs on my behalf.

(APPLAUSE)

LEE: And instead, trying to win over supporters one at a time.

WARREN: Hi Matt, this is Elizabeth Warren.

LEE: Warren has been a leading voice among the 2020 field in calling for impeachment proceedings against President Trump, after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.

WARREN: This is not about politics. This is about principle.

LEE: But Warren faces stiff competition from Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has consistently led in the polls.

How do you appeal to more moderate voters who might be more inclined to support Joe Biden at this point? WARREN: The way I see it, it is talking about where things have gone wrong. How, long before Donald Trump came along, we had a government that was working better and better for those at the top. Now, the Trump administration, the most corrupt in living memory, but the problem is a long- time big problem. And the way we fight back is we tackle that corruption head on.

LEE: MJ Lee, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, battle of wills. The Department of Justice sides against releasing President Trump's tax returns to Congress. Does Congress have any legal grounds left to force the White House into producing those documents? And later, escalation in Iran, the U.S. points the finger at the Islamic Republic for attacks on foreign tankers. Will the two countries be able to come to the table to stop the escalation?

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WHITFIELD: Hi, welcome back. White House Officials are now admitting the President handled questions on the election interference, "poorly." According to the source, there is frustration inside the White House over the President's recent interview with ABC News. That CNN source says the clips in which the President says he would accept dirt on political opponents from foreign governments have, "been tough."

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GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR AND CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. I don't - there's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country - Norway - we have information on your opponent - oh, I think I would want to hear it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It is not an interference. They have information. I think I would take it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Following bipartisan backlash to those comments, the President on Friday tried to clarify what he says he really meant.

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TRUMP: Well, I don't think anybody would present me with anything bad, because they know how much I love this country. Nobody is going to present me with anything bad. Number two, if I was - and of course you have to look at it, because if you don't look at it, you are not going to know if it is bad. How are you going to know if it is bad? But of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to the Attorney General or somebody like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP0

WHITFIELD: Michael Zeldin is Robert Mueller's Former Special Assistant at the DOJ and a CNN Legal Analyst. Good to see you, Michael. So, is that how it goes? The President says, of course I have to look at it in order to determine whether it is bad and then I would either decide to use it or not. Is that the protection of your best defense?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST AND FORMER ASSISTANT TO ROBERT MUELLER: Well, the best defense would have been from the outset to tell Stephanopoulos that, no he would not receive it and that he would notify the FBI that the offer had been made. Because he didn't say that, because he said he would receive it, he now has to figure out how to receive it and then distribute it.

And he says, I will receive it, look at it and then pass it on. The law doesn't allow him to really receive it. And so he should have stuck with the "I would not receive it" line, which is what every other candidate has said. But that's not the President.

WHITFIELD: So that's his explanation, as though if he could plead ignorance to Russia offering information in 2016. Now ahead of 2020, he wouldn't be able to use that as argument of pleading ignorance so to speak, not knowing what to do with information, not knowing to go to the FBI. Why is that potentially troublesome to you?

ZELDIN: Well, Mueller said in his report in analyzing Don Jr. that one of the reasons he did not charge him for receiving information from the Russians at the Trump Tower meeting on the June 9 was because he couldn't determine whether Don Jr. knew that it was illegal to have a meeting like that and to receive information.

Now that information is well known, that law is well known to Don Jr., to the President, and everybody else connected to campaigns. And so there is no "I didn't know" defense available this time around.

WHITFIELD: Okay. So the head of the Federal Election Commission did weigh in on this, commenting in this manner last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN WEINTRAUB, FEC CHAIRWOMAN: The law is completely clear that it is absolutely illegal for anyone in the United States to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign source in connection with an election.

WHITFIELD: All right. So she uses the word "value" instead of "information," which is the word that the President used. Is there any difference? ZELDIN: Well, there could be a difference. But in the context in which Stephanopoulos was asking the President, he was essentially asking if you received from a foreign national something which was essentially opposition research, negative information about your opponent, would you accept it? And he said yes.

That would be a violation of the law, because opposition research is something which can easily be valued, and so it would be a receipt of a thing of value and a violation of the law. That was the problem with what he said. That's why the White House is walking this back as quickly as they can.

WHITFIELD: The Mueller investigation into election interference by the Russians, it has cast a dark shadow over the entire Trump Presidency even before the findings of the Mueller probe. But this is what Robert Mueller said in his only remarks after this two-year-long investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT MEULLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL: I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So when you listen to that and you listen to what the President said in the ABC interview, is there an appearance that the President does not value, doesn't grasp that there was Russian interference, whether the intel community said it before the findings and even after the findings of the Mueller report?

ZELDIN: The President really does still seem to have a problem with acknowledging the effort that has been attributed to the Russians to help his campaign. He seems to be of the mind that, if he acknowledges that, it delegitimizes his election.

And so, whenever it arises he is incapable of saying, you know what, they did it, they endeavored to do it, but I was elected fair and square, and let's move forward. He just cannot do that.

WHITFIELD: And then, let's shift gears a little bit because now ongoing is this fight over the President's taxes. The Justice Department releasing a new legal opinion defending the Treasury Department's refusal to turn over Trump's tax returns to Congress, DOJ arguing the request is unprecedented and raises a serious risk of abuse.

You even write that the House Oversight Committee does have the authority to request - to receive this kind of information. So if this ends up being challenged in court, isn't there already precedent that will help substantiate Congress' pursuit of these tax returns?

ZELDIN: I think there is. I think the law is on Congress' side. The big debate here between Justice and Congress is that Justice and Treasury has said that this is a pretext, this request for the tax returns is not really part of Congress's legislative oversight responsibilities.

Congress responds and says, to the contrary, it is very much part of what we are endeavoring to do, which is look at federal tax laws as it relates to political candidates and the existing President of the United States, and that is the heart of the debate.

Is it pretext or is it legitimate, and only courts can resolve that, but the law historically has favored Congress without the court's second guessing Congress' true intention, which is why I write that I think in the end, Congress wins. The problem is what is the timeline? How long does it take for this to get litigated?

WHITFIELD: Yes, and in your fascinating writing, you do make reference to that 1975 Chief Justice Warren Berger reaffirming the scope of Congress' power of authority. It is a very important read for everybody. Michael Zeldin, thank you so much. Thanks for being with me. Appreciate it.

ZELDIN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, up next, the U.S. releases new video showing that they say - what they say rather is Iran trying to cover up an attack on a tanker. Could this video be the catalyst for more conflict between the two countries? We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:30:10] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. is leveling new accusations about Iran's possible involvement in an oil tanker attack in the Gulf of Oman. A U.S. official says Iran launched a missile at a U.S. drone flying over the Gulf hours before that attack. The missile didn't hit its target and it isn't clear if the drone captured the full attack on the two ships. Iran, of course, maintains it had nothing to do with that attack.

Samantha Vinograd is with me now. She's a former senior adviser to the national security adviser in the Obama administration. Good to see you.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning.

WHITFIELD: So when we look at portions of this video of the Japanese tanker that was attacked, what in the -- and even afterward, you know, with Iranian -- presumably a reported, I should say, Iranian speedboat that had approached that tanker. What in that video do you assess and what is missing in that video to assess what really happened?

VINOGRAD: Well, I think it's important to put this video in context. This video is likely just one piece of the evidence that the U.S. intelligence community has as they've assigned culpability for this attack. This is something that is essentially an open source. They were able to declassify it and release it. It is unclassified.

But if the secretary of state and Central Command are going to go out and overtly accuse Iran of this attack, it is likely that there is a host of classified intelligence that they cannot yet downgrade.

The purpose of releasing this video is to bolster their assessment that Iran was responsible for this attack, and from my experience, Fred, I don't doubt the intelligence that likely led to the assumption that Iran was culpable. What I do disagree with is how the U.S. administration chose to roll this out.

Our allies have not agreed, or some of them have not agreed with this assessment including Germany. The U.K. did, but typically you want to get all of your allies on the same page, both in terms of what happened and then what you're going to do about it.

WHITFIELD: Well -- and we heard reference by the defense secretary, the interim defense secretary, who said, you know, he will be relying on or, you know, referring to international consensus. But does the release of this video helps provide a consensus or a reaction or should that consensus be retrieved before the release or the making of public a video like this?

VINOGRAD: I think that the release would have been bolstered by having more of our allies on the same page with respect to what happened. You had the Saudi minister on the Situation Room earlier this week. He would not directly assign blame to Iran.

You had Germany refusing to directly assign blame to Iran. And typically what happens in these kinds of situations, I've been involved in them, is you share intelligence among intelligence partners. Again, that classified intelligence about what happened.

The intelligence that comes from drones that are flying above the Strait of Hormuz and collecting intelligence on what kinds of boats are moving, where the missiles and -- excuse me, where the weapons came from that were used to attack these tankers. That's happening behind the scenes, and then the press shops are coordinating on what to say about it.

I am certain that the behind-the-scenes work is going on. I feel confident about that. What has not happened is that agreement on what to say publicly.

WHITFIELD: All right. Samantha Vinograd, thank you so much.

VINOGRAD: Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, several high-profile Democrats on the campaign trail today in South Carolina, speaking at a first-of- its-kind forum. How candidates are hoping to appeal particularly to African-American voters before the first debate in a couple of weeks.

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[12:37:26] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back.

Right now, several 2020 Democrats are making their cases to black voters, in particular, in South Carolina. Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are taking part in a forum hosted by the Black Economic Alliance.

I'm pleased to be joined now by Alicia Garza, president of Black Future Lab, an organization aimed at advancing policies of all government levels to strengthen black communities. Good to see you, Alicia.

So, what are you hoping to hear from candidates today? What are you hoping they will reveal and in what kind of detail?

ALICIA GARZA, PRINCIPAL, BLACK FUTURES LAB: Sure. Well, as you know, we conducted the largest survey of black people in America in 154 years. It's called the Black Census Project. And what we learned is that 85 percent of our respondents are really concerned about low wages that are not enough to support a family. We learned that 85 percent of our respondents are very concerned about the lack of affordable healthcare, and 86 percent of our respondents are incredibly concerned about the rising cost of college.

Black voters also have solutions for the problems that they've identified. Black voters that we surveyed are in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. They're in favor of making college more affordable and erasing student debt. And they're also in favor of expanding affordable and quality healthcare.

That is what I'm looking forward to hear tonight at this forum, and I'm sure that that is what the more than 31,000 people who took our survey are looking to hear as well. And I think this really tracks along what we hear from black communities in America every day that wages are too low to do the things that we need to do in order to live well.

WHITFIELD: Right.

GARZA: And so I'm hoping candidates today will be able to address that in substantive ways.

WHITFIELD: So then, Alicia, you know, right -- really on your last point, so, you know, nonspecific to black voters, almost all-American voters are concerned about, you know, and have expressed their concern about low wages, about, you know, the lack of affordable healthcare and the rise in the cost of college. But specific to black Americans, black voters, we're talking about the disparities are so much greater. So how do you want and what kind of solutions do you want to hear from these candidates who get to the disparities, not the broad-brush issues of all of these things impacting all-Americans but specifically to black voters? You know, just magnify these problems times -- pick your number.

[12:40:03] GARZA: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, candidates need to get really literate in being able to talk about the impact of structural racism on the lives of black voters across America. What we know, as you said, is that you can't paint these issues with a broad brush, that actually what is happening in America is that black voters and black families are facing incredible barriers. When we talk about low wages, we need to remember that black women are making $0.68 to the $0.82 that white women are making to the $1 that white men are making.

And so we can't just talk about raising wages. We have to be able to address the ways to remove the structural barriers that keep black families falling behind, similarly with college debt. What we know is that black families are making an average of something like $45,000 a year, and yet the average cost of one year of a four-year public institution is more than $10,000 more than an average black family makes in a year. That has a lot to do with the barriers that black families face around structural racism.

So we want to hear candidates today really address that. We know that we can't small business our way out of this. We can't entrepreneurship our way out of this. We've got to start looking at structural solutions in order to challenge these structural problems.

WHITFIELD: So it also sounds like you are looking for real sincerity and a real commitment. You actually wrote recently in the New York Times in this op-ed, and you write, "Candidates and their campaigns are comfortable talking at black people, but few want to talk to us. This limits our ability to influence their decisions and policies. And it's a bad strategy at a time when black people, black women, in particular, form the base of the Democratic Party, are its most loyal voters and mobilizing other people to go to the polls."

So, help convey that message, you know, the message that you want to be received by these candidates so -- to propel them so they're not talking at but they're talking with, talking to, connecting in a really sincere way.

GARZA: Absolutely. One of the things that we know is that campaigns and candidates are successful when they engage in deep ways with black communities. It doesn't count to do symbolic engagement because black communities can tell you a lot about the texture of the problems that we're facing, but also we can offer solutions to what we know will address those problems.

What we did at the Black Futures Lab is we invested over $0.5 million in community-based organizations to reach out to the communities that they're closest with, to find out what communities are facing in their everyday lives, in the economy, in society, and in their democracy. We also trained a bench of a hundred black organizers to make sure that we're not just reaching individual families, but that we can expand the reach and encourage people to get motivated and activated to make their voices heard. We have way less resources than many of these campaigns do and we certainly have much less resources than the parties do.

And so, if we can do it as a small organization, then we think that we deserve for the parties who we form the base of to invest that level of resources into a deep and substantive engagement of black communities. We've provided a blueprint for how candidates and their campaigns and the parties can do that, and now it's up to them to step up to the plate.

WHITFIELD: Alicia Garza, we'll leave it there for now. Thank you so much. All right, still ahead, prosecutors are preparing to release new details about why baseball legend David Ortiz was shot in the Dominican Republic, but the alleged gunman says it was all a mistake. More right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:48:55] WHITFIELD: All right. We expect to get details on the motive for the shooting of baseball legend David Ortiz as soon as next week. Prosecutors have charged eight men and one woman as accomplices in the shooting. Ortiz was shot in the back at a nightclub in the Dominican Republic last weekend. The accused gunman says Ortiz was not his intended target and that he got confused by Ortiz's clothing.

Let's turn now to Dan Shaughnessy who is a columnist and editor for the Boston Globe. Good to see you. Let's start off with how is Ortiz doing because he has been flown, you know, from the Dominican Republic to Boston to get, you know, medical aid. What's the status?

DAN SHAUGHNESSY, SPORTS COLUMNIST, BOSTON GLOBE: Well, from everything we're hearing, that's the best part of this story, that he had excellent care in the Dominican Republic when he was shot. And that when he was flown to Boston, he's taken to Mass General, he's had excellent care. The reports are good. His wife has released reports thanking the doctors for the care down there and the care up here.

And now we're hearing he's taking steps, he's able to eat food now, he is communicating with his family and the medical staff there at Mass General. So those things are all very positive for him.

WHITFIELD: Wow. OK. So we know shot in the back. Do you know anything more specific about, you know, the entry, exit of the bullet wounds, you know, multiple, how many, what?

SHAUGHNESSY: Yes, the doctors -- it's one shot, goes in his back, comes out by his belly button. And, you know, it touched his liver, his gallbladder has been removed, there was intestines that were damaged, and, you know, so there was a lot of blood loss. I mean, according to the doctors this is what's gone down there. But he's expected to get back to full health and live a great life.

WHITFIELD: OK. I realize you're in Boston, the investigation is of interest everywhere. I mean, you know, so many are huge fans of Ortiz. So now to hear that one of the suspects says, oops, you know, we were supposed to shoot somebody else, you know, this was a hired hit but we got the clothing mixed up.

I mean, how believable is all of that? You know, what is to be made of this kind of confession, these kinds of details about why Ortiz got in the middle of all of this?

[12:50:02] SHAUGHNESSY: Well, that would indicate that someone has gotten to the shooter and he's afraid for his life and for other things. It is totally a non-believable story. David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic in 2019, think of Elvis Presley in America in the 50s or 60s and David is a gigantic person, too. He is like -- if not the most famous person in their country, he's very close.

And if you see the video, the assailant walks right up to him, right behind him and point-blank shoots him. The notion that this is mistaken identity is ludicrous, and no one is buying that. And if the authorities put that forward, that would suggest that they're brooming this whole thing and they don't want to find out where this would go.

WHITFIELD: All right --

SHAUGHNESSY: In my view.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Oh, I got you and that's why we have you. I want to hear your view.

All right, Dan Shaughnessy, thank you so much. Appreciate it. And, of course, we are all wishing for the speedy -- the best recovery possible for Mr. Ortiz.

SHAUGHNESSY: Sure.

WHITFIELD: All right, and we will be right back.

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WHITFIELD: All right. Right now, the third round is underway at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and guess what, there was quite a scare on the 16th hole yesterday. USGA officials say four people were injured. Two had to be sent to the hospital when a runaway golf cart slammed into the crowd.

[12:55:00] CNN Sports Correspondent Patrick Snell is live at Pebble Beach for us. So Patrick, how in the world did this happen?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hugely concerning incident, no question, Fred. This is a massive, massive tournament, the U.S. Open. It took place, the incident, around the 16th green, thousands out on the course at the time. According to the California Highway Patrol, an item fell on the accelerator of the cart, which simply veered off taking a direction of its own. And then according to eyewitness reports, somehow somebody getting into the cart eventually and managing to bring it under control.

Now, as you said, tournament organizers, the USGA, confirming a total of four people, three spectators, and a vendor, suffering injuries and requiring medical treatment as well. So a really concerning incident, no question about that.

I do want to get onto the tournament itself though and talk about the leader board because it is a really thrilling weekend ahead. I can tell you the American player, Gary Woodland, seeking his first career Major, is at 9 under par, two-shot lead over Justin Rose of England. And Brooks Koepka, another American player, the two-time defending champion, at 4 under.

But what about Tiger Woods? He is at level par so far for this tournament. He is nine shots back in his quest for a 16th career Major. He has a mountain of work to do if he's to get the job done here.

Now, I want to get on to an incident which really did interrupt the calm and serene of this highly iconic venue, Pebble Beach here in California. An incident surrounding last year's Masters champion, Patrick Reed, who shattered the calm by snapping his club. I can tell you I was inside the media center at the time, a big sort of roar went up. It was just a shocking roar, I would say when the incident happened.

He was scrambling to get the job done and qualify for the weekend. In the end, he did, but that video of him snapping the club is certainly one that I will recall for a long time to come, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Yes, that's some real brute force because, I mean, those -- that's pretty hard to do. And I'm sure he's got a big bruise on his knee to boot now.

All right, Patrick Snell, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

We'll be right back.

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