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Trump Kicks Off 2020 Campaign, Rehashes Old Gripes; Elizabeth Warren Gains Ground Among Moderate Democrats; Fiery Congressional Hearing Underway on Slavery Reparations; Trump Refuses to Admit He Was Wrong About Central Park Five; Newspaper Photographer Talks His Close Encounter with Dallas Gunman; "Sully" Sullenberger Tells Lawmakers He Had Trouble with 737 Max Simulator. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired June 19, 2019 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thirty- three thousand emails deleted. Think of it. I keep mentioning, you know, there was a lot of corruption on the other side.

And we are building the wall. We're going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year.


TRUMP: Many times, I said we would drain the swamp, and that's exactly what we're doing right now. We're draining the swamp.


TRUMP: Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. They want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Joining me now, CNN political analyst and Washington bureau chief for "The Daily Beast," Jackie Kucinich, and CNN political director, David Chalian.

Good to see both you this morning.

David, as we look at this, yes, those are the well-worn lines, but there's another one we all know well. You go to the concert to hear the greatest hits, not for the new stuff from the new album. Really, should anybody be surprised that this is what the president is rolling out?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, nobody should be surprised that Donald Trump isn't changing his ways. I think everybody knows who Donald Trump is and would expect this kind of performance.

I think what is interesting and intriguing to note from this, though, was how he chose not to use this opportunity to frame the re-election campaign in some way on his accomplishments as much as he wanted to stick with the grievances, right.

You hear from his campaign operatives, from Republicans around town all the time about wanting to hear him talk up the economy day in and day out with all the good economic indicators that are out there for him to tout. Instead, he has a whole litany of other things he's constantly distracted by. I think that was on display in this re- election launch last night.

HILL: In terms of that being on display, Jackie, the crowd, of course, loved it. That's what they're there for. This is their guy, as we know. Is it going to work, though, for the next 18 months, especially to David's point, when he's not touching on the economy and other things he could be pointing to?

JACKIE KUCINICH, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, and that's the open question. Let's not forget, the president needs more than his base to win re-election, and that hasn't really been a consideration as of yet.

It's still obviously early, but can you watch the same show over and over and over and over again? I mean, right now, when you see those rallies, there are a group of people that can.

But when you're looking at where he is in Wisconsin, in Pennsylvania, in Michigan in terms of polling, internal and external, it does seem like, in a conventional campaign, which I know we're not in, but in theory, you would need to start talking about the economy and things more in line with the promises made, promises-kept mantra that you're hearing from his operative, not as much from the president himself.

HILL: David, he did name check Joe Biden. Not surprising. He also referenced Bernie Sanders when talking about Socialism.

One of his other favorite targets, Elizabeth Warren, noticeably absent, which is interesting because she seems to be gaining ground among Democrats, which makes you wonder why he's not mentioning her. Is she becoming more of a force to be reckoned with?

CHALIAN: She certainly is inside the Democratic nomination race. Making a real play for that second place slot across national and state polls we've seen with Bernie Sanders.

We know that they appeal to a large swath of the same voters inside the party. So watching her rise there and Sanders sort of maintaining or even decreasing a little bit at times is a dynamic to keep watching.

I doubt Donald Trump is going to stand by not mentioning Elizabeth Warren. He's clearly had the desire to do so in the past.

I'm sure as she continues to get more attention, this moment she's having in the race and how she plans on extending it for the long run with her political organization, her policy rollouts, all of that, trust me, I imagine we're going to hear from Donald Trump on Elizabeth Warren again.

HILL: He may have a plan for that, just like Elizabeth Warren seems to have a plan for everything.

Jackie, when we look at that, the plan for everything, the policy rollouts, which there was some chuckling for a little while, she's remained consistent in terms of what she's doing and the message she's putting out. Do you think that's what's gaining traction with voters, or is it something else?

KUCINICH: I think that's right. When I've spoken to people, they really like her on the stump as well. She's doing the work. She's having all these town halls. She's providing a level of access to voters, the one-on-one time that you're not seeing among some of the other top-tier candidates. So I think it's multipronged.

Also, when you're talking about Bernie Sanders, she's the, I guess, capitalism alternative to Bernie Sanders' Socialism. There's more comfort about that with some Democratic voters. It doesn't seem like she's as far left, even if some of their policies are, in fact, in line.

She's going to be definitely one to watch at the debate next week because it is kind of her -- particularly in the group she's in, it's going to be her moment to shine.

HILL: David, as we look at this, we know it's a very crowded field. We have a long way to go until summer when we have one official candidate.

That being said, is there anyone who at this moment really stands out in the way that Donald Trump does with his ability to fill an arena, 20,000 people, like we saw last night? Anyone on the Democratic side?

[11:35:10] CHALIAN: No, we haven't seen anything like it. I would say the closest thing we've seen to that was when Kamala Harris had her debut launch speech. She had an enormous crowd they built out in Oakland, California, to launch her candidacy.

We don't -- we do not see anything like sort of the dedication and loyalty where people are pitching tents and outside the arena for a day before to make sure they can get in. We know that Donald Trump has some uniqueness inside American politics.

The question, I think, is when it was brand new in 2016 and Hillary Clinton was the opponent, it had one effect. Does that unique ability, as Jackie was saying, if it's just among the core supporters and doesn't branch out beyond that, does that have a unique ability to deliver him the Oval Office again for a second time? That's the open question.

HILL: So many things to watch.

David Chalian, Jackie Kucinich, good to see you both. Thank you.

CHALIAN: You, too. KUCINICH: Thank you.

HILL: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell taking a lot of heat this morning for saying reparations are a bad idea because no one alive is responsible for slavery. Senator Cory Booker with a fiery reaction in a hearing that's under way at this hour. That's next.


[11:40:52] HILL: Reparations for slavery -- that's the focus of a hearing under way right now on Capitol Hill. Senator Cory Booker, writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and actor, Danny Glover, testifying before a House subcommittee, making the case for a commission to study and develop reparation proposals.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): I say that I am brokenhearted and angry right now. Decades of living in a community where you see how deeply unfair this nation is still to so many people, who struggle, who work hard, who do everything right but still find themselves disproportionately with lead in their water, superfunds in their neighborhood, schools that don't serve their genus, health care disparities that still affect their body and their wellbeing.

We, as a nation, must address this persistent inequality or we will never fully achieve the strength and the possibility. Hope is the active conviction that despair will not have the last word.


HILL: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already speaking out against the idea.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Yes, I don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea.

It would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate.


HILL: Joining me now, CNN political commentator, Keith Boykin, former Clinton White House aide.

First, I'm just curious your take on what Mitch McConnell had to say. He also went on to say that part of the reason this has already been addressed in his mind, among other things, is the country elected Barack Obama as president.

KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, that's an offensive thing to say. The idea that somehow the election of one black person is enough to eradicate 250 years of slavery, 90 years of legalized segregation, and 55 years of oppression that took place after that. It's so offensive it's beyond the pale.

Not to mention the fact that most white people did not vote for Barack Obama. And certainly Mitch McConnell did nothing to support Barack Obama. He said his number-one priority was to make him a one-term president. Wouldn't even allow him to have his Supreme Court justice nominee.

So Mitch McConnell using Barack Obama as the barometer excuse for why reparations is not acceptable is beyond offensive.

HILL: His other point was him arguing that no one alive today owned slaves. Slavery was done 150 years ago.

What's really important, when we heard from Senator Booker is. Though. this is not just about slavery and never has been. This commission is looking at, what we heard from Cory Booker, the persistent inequalities, everything that slavery then set up that came afterwards. Do you think there's enough understanding of that in this country, that that's a large focus of this discussion?

BOYKIN: I don't think the people understand the systemic effects, the long-term impact of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow.

The fact that today the black unemployment rate is still twice the white unemployment rate, and it has been for as long as we've been recording this from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fact that black people have less access to health care than white people do. Educational opportunities are fewer for African-Americans. The housing opportunities are fewer. And once we have access to housing, we're often red lined from neighborhood to neighborhood based on segregation.

Not to mention that black wealth is completely disproportionately inferior to white wealth. The average black college graduate has a lower income than a white person without a high school degree.

That's a reflection of how much racial disparity still persists in our country.

HILL: It will be interesting to see where this goes after the hearing today.

I want to get your take on a couple other topics. The president yesterday was asked about the Central Park Five. Not the first time or the last time he'll be asked about it. It's in the headlines again because of this documentary.

I want to play for our viewers at home what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, will you apologize to the Central Park Five? They've been exonerated. There have been videos and movies shown about the case. You came out with a full-page ad saying they should die. (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Why do you bring that question up now? It's an interesting time to bring it up.


TRUMP: You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt. If you look at Linda Fairstein and if you look at some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should have never settled that case. We'll leave it at that.


HILL: President not going to apologize. This should not be surprising. He's not apologized for Birtherism. He does not go back when he's corrected, as we know.

[11:45:06] That being said, what do you see of the potential political impact on either side for this being back in the headlines now and the president being forced to answer that question again?

BOYKIN: The reason why this is in the news is because it's the 30- year anniversary.

Secondly, the new film, "When They See Is," is exposing Donald Trump's role in perpetuating a fraud on these five young black and Latinos.

What happened was that, in 1989, they were accused of rape, for something that they did not do. The DNA evidence came out later that cleared them. They were completely exonerated. The actual rapist came forward and confessed to the rape.

Donald Trump took out full-page newspaper ads in New York City newspapers, spent $85,000 to do this, calling for the death penalty, to execute these five young black kids, black and Latino kids. Even after all the evidence shows that he was wrong, he still won't apologize for it. That's inexcusable.

Republicans talk about this is the party of Lincoln. How can you be the party of Lincoln when you have a president who is blatantly engaged in racist lies on national television, who's celebrating Andrew Jackson, who was a Democratic president, by the way, and a racist slave owner, but won't put Harriet Tubman, a black abolitionist, on the $20 bill?

HILL: Keith Boykin, always good to talk to you. Thank you for coming in today.

BOYKIN: Thanks you.

HILL: Appreciate it.

A news photographer finds himself face to face with an armed gunman. Up next, that photographer in his own words about how he captured this chilling photo.


(GUNFIRE) TOM FOX, PHOTOGRAPHER, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: I was just praying that he couldn't see me. If he would have saw me, he would have shot me, no doubt.



[11:51:34] HILL: When a masked gunman tried to storm a federal courthouse in Dallas, a "Dallas Morning News" photographer stayed put and captured this chilling image.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher has his story.



FOX: I was just praying that he couldn't see me. If he would have saw me, he would have shot me, no doubt.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That terrifying scene as a 22-year-old Army veteran heavily armed and seemingly dressed for battle opened fire outside the federal building and courthouse in downtown Dallas.

FOX: I heard three pops, thinking it was just some backfire from a car. After the third shot, I knew it wasn't.

GALLAGHER: "Dallas Morning News" photographer, Tom Fox, was waiting to photograph a defendant arriving for jury selection when the bullets started flying.

FOX: I noticed on the sidewalk near the corner, someone. I didn't know what it was so I pulled up a long lens and looked through the viewfinder and saw the muzzle of the gun and the guy with the mask on.

GALLAGHER: Fox snapped this chilling photo of the gunman, Brian Isaack Clyde.

FOX: I just went into, OK, this is my job, what I've been doing for almost 30 years, just stay close to the story but not in danger.

GALLAGHER: But didn't realize he needed to take cover.

FOX: I got to get out of harm's way. He's coming this way. I didn't want to be shot in the back so I ducked into the first alcove.

GALLAGHER: Cell phone video shot by Tim Brown, from an apartment just across the street, shows Fox just a few feet from Clyde during the chaotic moments.

FOX: I'm in plain sight, and if he saw me sitting there with a camera, I have no doubt he would have shot me.

GALLAGHER: Federal Protective Service officers shot and killed Clyde before he ever got a chance to go into the building or hurt anyone.

FOX: Think about friends, you think about things that are important to you. This is not the way I want to go.

GALLAGHER: Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Dallas, Texas.


HILL: Coming up, he's best known, of course, for the Miracle on the Hudson. Just a few minutes ago, Captain Sully Sullenberger in Washington talking to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, telling them even he had issues with recovering the Boeing 737 Max in a simulator scenario.


[11:58:19] HILL: Right now, on Capitol Hill, pilots who criticized Boeing after two deadly crashes involving its 736 Max aircraft are telling their stories to lawmakers.

Among those testifying is Captain Sully Sullenberger, of course, the hero from the Miracle of the Hudson, who said he had trouble with the 737 Max in a slight simulator.

CNN Drew Griffin is following all of the action from Washington.

So what exactly did Sully say, Drew?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Erica, one of the big issues is whether or not pilots of the Max will be required to do full simulator training as a prerequisite for ungrounding of the plane. Sully came out swinging and said, absolutely.


CAPT. CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, RETIRED PILOT: I'm one of a relatively small group of people who experienced such a crisis and lived to share what we learned about it.

I can tell you firsthand that the startle factor is real and it's huge. It absolutely interferes with one's ability to quickly analyze the crisis and take effective action. Within seconds, these crews would have been fighting for their lives in the fight of their lives.

I recently experienced all these warnings in a 737 Max flight simulator during recreations of the accident flights. Even knowing what was going to happen, I could see how crews could have run out of time before they could have solved the problems.


GRIFFIN: Erica, it would cost a lot of money to do this simulator training but Sully's weight here will carry a lot with the congressmen when they're determining what the FAA needs to require before the ungrounding of this flight -- Erica?

HILL: Really quickly, Drew, do we know when they could be back in the air?

GRIFFIN: We don't. We're hearing indications that the ungrounding could potentially take place sometime late September, October. That's what airlines are planning for. But, you know, there's no firm date yet.

[12:00:01] HILL: Drew Griffin, with the latest from Washington. Drew, thank you.

Thanks to all off you for joining us this hour.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.