Return to Transcripts main page
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is Interviewed about Hicks Testimony; Investigations into Police Racist Posts; Nightclub Shooting in Pennsylvania; Remembering the Apollo 11 Mission. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired June 20, 2019 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): She was under oath. So I assume she was telling the truth, that she did not have a broad understanding of all of the elements of the campaign. However, she did provide information about other people whose testimony might prove fruitful to the committee in getting a fuller understanding of some of these issues. So that was very helpful.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: What -- what was the most useful thing she told you?
LOFGREN: Well, you'll see the transcripts, but identifying names of some of the individuals and some of the relationships. I had a question, really, about the Russians, which was the origin of this whole thing.
LOFGREN: And the Jill Stein campaign, which she did acknowledge, was a subject of discussion, but she really was not able to provide any meat on those bones.
So we're waiting for the transcripts on that.
HARLOW: Let me ask you about the Mueller report. You are one of the members of Congress who actually read the full Mueller report. So thank you for that.
HARLOW: You got the redacted portions and some of the underlying documents from volume two of the report yesterday. You've read them. What's the most important thing you saw?
LOFGREN: Well, there weren't very many redactions on volume two. I did read them and there was no surprise and it didn't really provide additional information.
The evidence has been kept at the Department of Justice, maximally inconvenient for members of Congress to go read. So I'm going there later today because I have to personally go through and to start reading the actual underlying evidence.
Now, it's my understanding from our staff who's been over there that not all of the evidence has yet been provided. They're rolling it out. But it's only on volume two.
I want volume one. I want the unredacted versions and the underlying evidence. We don't have that yet. But we have been assured we will get it.
HARLOW: Let me ask you about the impeachment issue because you have an interesting history here and knowledge base because you were a congressional staffer during the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. You were a congresswoman during the impeachment of President Clinton. And so far you have -- you have not called for the impeachment of President Trump.
During the Clinton impeachment proceedings you called this, quote, an effort to undo an election --
LOFGREN: That's right.
HARLOW: And, quote, a pretty sad day for the country.
Do you share that same sentiment now?
LOFGREN: The standard for impeachment is high crime and misdemeanor. And I say on my website, I've posted a very interesting report from 1974 on what is a high crime and misdemeanor. It's not just a crime. And basically it's activity that's so serious that it basically upends the structure of the constitutional republic. And so that's the standard.
Mr. Clinton engaged in a tawdry sex affair and then lied about it. That's not the kind of activity, although not admiral, that is shaking the foundation of the nature of government. It was a partisan effort to get rid of him.
HARLOW: But -- but -- but by not moving -- not pushing for impeachment now, it sounds like at this point what you've seen doesn't make you believe that President Trump has done that either.
LOFGREN: Not necessarily. Not necessarily.
LOFGREN: In both cases, in both Nixon and Clinton, the committee reviewed actual evidence. You know, we have a report now from Mr. Mueller. I'm glad to have the report. But you don't move off on an important constitutional proceeding based on a report any more than a prosecutor would prosecute based on a report. You have to examine the evidence and the fact witnesses. We are now doing that.
HARLOW: OK, and you're hope -- you're going to see some of that underlying evidence today.
Congresswoman, before you go, I'd like to get your on your fellow Democrat, former Vice President Joe Biden, who made remarks this week at a closed-door fundraiser praising the ability to work with well- known racist segregationists in the Senate years ago. That was very offensive to many, including two African-American senators running for president, Senator Cory Booker and Senator Kamala Harris.
Do you think Joe Biden should apologize, and are you comfortable with what he said?
LOFGREN: Honestly, I didn't hear the statement because I was in meetings all day. But I'll tell you what, sometimes different states and different districts send us racists to the House of Representatives or to the Senate. Because they're here, we have to work with them. That continues today. You have to get stuff done. That doesn't mean that you have any respect or adherence to their racist views.
HARLOW: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, I appreciate your time this morning and please -- please come back and let us know what you read in that underlying evidence.
LOFGREN: Will do, thanks.
HARLOW: Thank you. Thank you.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to have members of Congress read the evidence and the report.
HARLOW: Isn't it. Isn't it.
SCIUTTO: Good for her.
HARLOW: All right.
[09:34:52] SCIUTTO: A scandal rocking police departments in Philadelphia and St. Louis after dozens of officers allegedly made racist and hateful posts on social media. We're going to have a live report coming up next.
HARLOW: Dozens of police officers in Philadelphia and St. Louis have been taken off the streets or placed on what is being called an exclusion list. This is after allegations that they posted racist or hateful content on social media.
SCIUTTO: The advocacy group, The Plain View Project, uncovered and then released thousands of disturbing posts by current and former police officers.
CNN national correspondent Brynn Gingras is in Philadelphia with more details.
Brynn, I know you've been through these. What kinds of things were they saying, and now what kind of penalties will these officers face?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, pretty disturbing, Jim and Poppy.
Right here in Philadelphia, 72 officers that are now on desk duty, administrative duty, taken off the streets. We estimate that's about 1 percent of its police force here in the city.
[09:40:10] And, yes, let's back up just a minute and explain this Plain View project. So essentially it's a group that compiles FaceBook posts of the thousands of officers in eight different jurisdictions from different cities, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Dallas, all the way down to even Lake County, Florida. So different sized departments.
And, yes, the posts were disturbing. In many cases they promote violence according to what this group found. There is racist comments. There are anti-Semitic comments, anti-Muslimism comments. Some are encouraging people to run over protesters. So they really run the gamut as far as how bad these comments are.
In Philadelphia specifically, those 72 officers, again, they're off the streets. But the department is also conducting its own investigation with an outside law firm, basically looking at all of these posts of the officers that are listed on this site and determining whether those posts are protected by the First Amendment or is there some sort of violence that they're promoting in those posts. They said they won't do anything until that investigation is complete. However, that hasn't stopped them from speaking out. Here's the police commissioner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD ROSS, PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER: But it makes me sick, to be honest with you. It really makes me sick because we are in a position to know better. There's no question that this puts us in a position to work even harder than we already do, to cultivate relationships with neighborhoods and individual groups that we struggle to work with or struggle to maintain relationships with now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRAS: And, again, this isn't just being addressed in Philadelphia. St. Louis putting 22 officers, they're not allowed to even testify in court with cases that they're handling. So we're reaching out to all the departments that are listed on this site to see what sort of response they're having. But, so far, those are the only two we're heard from. But certainly, Jim and Poppy, raising eyebrows. Some serious, serious allegations here just on this one website's compilation.
SCIUTTO: Questions their credibility. These are law enforcement officers.
Brynn Gingras, thanks very much.
HARLOW: We have new developments this morning in the David Ortiz shooting. Prosecutors now say that Ortiz was not the intended target.
SCIUTTO: But prosecutors claiming the actual target was Ortiz's friend who was sitting at the table with him wearing similar clothes. But as you can see from the video there, they're very different sizes.
CNN international correspondent Patrick Oppmann is live in Santo Domingo this morning.
Is this a credible claim by prosecutors here? I mean Big Papi is pretty well-known in the Dominican Republic. He's a very big man. We saw that video there. What's your response?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's the most famous -- yes, he's the most famous person on this island, let's start with that. Everybody knows who he is. More people know who he is than the president or just about anybody else. And when you ask Dominicans, could somebody have not known -- and, remember, it was not just the shooter, police say, they said there was an inside man at the bar, a few tables away, guiding the shooter in, not very successful apparently, but that he didn't know that Big Papi was there or he somehow decided it was still a good idea to go along with this hit.
But let me show you the new local newspaper today. It says, it's a different story, "La historia." And here you have it. Hold this up so our cameraman, Jonathan Shear (ph), can get a shot. You have Big Papi Ortiz, I don't need to point him out because everyone knows what he looks like, and then you have his friend, Sixto Fernandez, and these men look very, very different.
But what police claim in that press conference yesterday is that it was night. The shooter came in very quickly. The men were dressed somewhat similarly. And he confused them.
It gets more complicated, though, because CNN obtained court documents that were released on Monday, that we obtained on Monday, and they said in those court documents that these suspects were following David Ortiz before the shooting. So we brought that up yesterday. And the prosecutor's office, the attorney general said, those documents don't exist. We presented him and his staff with those documents, and after hours they -- after hours went by they were back, apologized, and said the narrative is obviously changing, but they stand by their story, or I should say their latest story.
HARLOW: Yes. All right.
SCIUTTO: It's changed a couple times. Patrick Oppmann, thanks very much.
And this news just into CNN. We're getting reports of a shooting outside a nightclub in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
HARLOW: Jean Casarez is on this story. She joins us right now.
OK, Jean, what do we know at this point?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, well, we have confirmed at this point that ten people were shot. This is Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was a nightclub. The night was closing. People were coming outside. And all of a sudden the bullets, according to witnesses at the scene, started to fly. We have spoken with a man that says is the owner of the Deja Vu
Nightclub. And what he says is the shooting took place outside of his facility.
[09:45:07] Now, he says, and this does not come from police, but it was a vehicle that did not have a license plate. He said a white Escalade. As far as we know, police are looking for suspects at this point.
But there is good news here. All ten are expected to survive. Multiple ambulances took them to multiple hospitals, but they are expected to all survive.
Jean Casarez, thanks for being on the story.
Coming up next month it will be 50 years since the man -- since man first walked on the moon. What could happen in the next 50 years of space exploration? I speak with an American astronaut who spent more than a year in space.
[09:50:14] SCIUTTO: It's one of the moments in history that you remember where you were when it happened, if you were alive then. Apollo 11, the first moon landing. The crowning movement of human innovation, intellect, achievement.
For years we only had memories and some grainy footage to remember that momentous day, until now, as we approach the 50th anniversary next month, the award winning CNN film "Apollo 11" gives us a brilliant new look at the moon landing using newly discovered film footage and pristine audio recordings from those involved.
Check this clip out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far are my feet from me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you, you're right at the edge of the porch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Now, I want to back up and partially close the hatch, making sure not to lock it on my way out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Equally (ph) good thought.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's our home for the next couple of hours. We want to take good care of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're on. You've got three more steps and then a long one. Beautiful. Beautiful. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ain't that something? Magnificent sight out here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Magnificent (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: It just gives you goosebumps to watch it.
Joining me now is former NASA astronaut, as well as author of the book "Infinite Wonder: An Astronaut's Photograph's From a Year in Space," Captain Scott Kelly.
Always good to have you on.
SCOTT KELLY, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: Thanks, Jim.
SCIUTTO: So you spent a little time in space.
KELLY: A little bit.
SCIUTTO: As you look at this, obviously in a different era -- as you look at that achievement, though, 1969, just place it in history as to how incredible -- how many challenges were overcome just to get to that moment.
KELLY: Well, I was going to say, you know, it gave me goosebumps watching that as well, which I think really speaks to that achievement. I think it's probably the, you know, the crowning achievement of human accomplishment in our history. And, you know, really shows us what we're available of doing if we, you know, have a challenge and, you know, put our mind and our talents towards something. And, most importantly, I think work together as a team.
SCIUTTO: Your year in space, on the International Space Station, was principally to test the effects of long-term time in space on the human body, to prepare for a possible mission to Mars. Do you believe that we're close to that?
KELLY: I believe we can be. You know, I'm often asked that question, hey, when are we going to Mars? We can go to Mars. When I was in the -- in space, my last mission, the reporter said to me during an interview, you know, now that NASA found liquid water on Mars, some part of the year, will that help us get there sooner? And I said, I don't know, maybe. Now, if we found money on Mars, then we'd get there really fast because really it's about, you know, the public support. It's about having, you know, members of Congress that, you know, rate NASA's budget and give us a mission. That is what's going to be required to get there. I don't think it's a technical problem. I think it's more of a financial and support issue.
SCIUTTO: You know, one of the -- as you watch this film and just read about it, one point, I suppose, you feel is the disappointment that followed in a sense, because you made several more missions and then they were stopped I guess in 1972.
KELLY: Yes. SCIUTTO: At the time it felt like, heck, we're going to be living on the moon, right --
KELLY: Yes, yes, right.
SCIUTTO: By the time the year 2000 comes around.
Do you think that some of that wonder was lost in the months and years that followed and the ambition, to some degree, and perhaps the confidence, I don't know, to accomplishments another further frontier?
KELLY: Well, I think, you know, part of the reason we got there was, it was a race with the Soviet Union.
KELLY: And it was, you know, trying to demonstrate, you know, who had the better system to the rest of the world. And I think, you know, without that, we lost a little bit of the -- you know, the motivation and desire to do it.
SCIUTTO: So this is coming up on 50 years. July 20th will be 50 years since the -- Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Where do you think we'll be 50 years from now?
KELLY: You know, if you think about, from 1903 to 1969, we went from flying the first airplane to putting people on the surface of the moon.
KELLY: In that short a period of time, you know, a little bit over, you know, 60 years. 50 years? Who knows? I think we have an unlimited potential to do whatever we choose to do. But we've got to make choices. We've got to come up with a plan. We need to stick with a plan. And I think Apollo showed us that, you know, if we have the nation behind something, we can do some amazing things, whether it's going to Mars, maybe fix our issues with the climate, you know, which is incredibly important. More, you know, even as an astronaut, that's more important than going to Mars for me.
[09:55:00] SCIUTTO: Save the blue marble, right, before you go.
KELLY: Right, because we're not all moving to Mars.
SCIUTTO: Yes. I hear you.
Captain Scott Kelly, thanks very much. Great to have your perspective.
And listen, folks, if you want to feel goosebumps, watch this movie. The CNN film "Apollo 11" airs this Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time only on CNN.