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Mistaken Identity in Ortiz Shooting; Biden Refuses to Apologize over Segregationist Remarks; Xi Visits North Korea; NBA Draft Tonight. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired June 20, 2019 - 06:30   ET



[06:33:23] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, Democrats are vowing to go to court to get Hope Hicks to speak. The White House claimed absolute immunity for the former Trump aide. A claim House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said he would destroy in court.

One thing Hicks did say, according to sources, is that she was unaware of the hush money payments made in the run-up to the election.

President Trump later claimed that two congressmen took pictures of Hicks and leaked them. It's unclear what photos the president was talking about. But one news photographer outside of the room did get a few of these photographs when the doors was open.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we have new developments this morning. A twist in the shooting investigation of Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz. A twist that's frankly hard to believe. Prosecutors now say it was a case of mistaken identity.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is live in the Dominican Republic.

And, Patrick, David Ortiz has to be one of the most recognizable people in the Dominican Republic.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he is, John. And I'm glad you're sitting down for this one. Let me try to walk you through it.

A week after prosecutors here have told us every day that David Ortiz was the target of a well-coordinated hit, yesterday they threw that theory completely out of the window. A theory that they've been putting in court documents and said, nope, it's all been a big mistake. It was actually this guy. A guy that no one's ever heard of. He's a car mechanic. He's a friend of David Ortiz's. Apparently he had a run-in with drug traffickers years ago and they marked him for death. Why they needed 15 hit men and associated, alleged hit men and associates, to kill a guy nobody had ever heard of, we don't know.

But they say they have video proof that it was a case of confusion, that the hit man, when he came in, did not recognize David Ortiz. That the men were dressed similarly. And that everything they've told us for the last week or so has been wrong and now we need to believe this latest incarnation of the story, and that David Ortiz had no connection at all with these people. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

[06:35:23] I can say, I have seen photos of both men and they look nothing alike.


CAMEROTA: Oh, my goodness, Patrick, it just makes no sense. I mean, listen, one thing that I learned in being a crime reporter is never underestimate the stupidity of criminals.

BERMAN: I understand.

CAMEROTA: Sometimes they make stupid mistakes. But this one seems hard to swallow.

BERMAN: David Ortiz is a giant. Physically a giant. Looks like no one else. That's first of all.

But, second of all, he's a giant in the Dominican Republic. Almost everyone knows who he is. He would be the last person mistaken for someone else down there (ph).

CAMEROTA: And then it just says, why would officials cover for this?

BERMAN: I don't know that. That's the part that's hard to figure out.

CAMEROTA: OK, now to this mystery. The FBI is conducting toxicology tests on samples from a hotel minibar in the Dominican Republic as investigators look for clues into the deaths of those nine American tourists over just the past year. The minibars are being tested for bacteria and water from showers and sinks also being examined.

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Health notes that the number of American tourists who have died there this year is down over the past years. These seven deaths just in 2019 compared with 21 deaths recorded this time last year. I'm not sure that's going to make anybody feel any better, John.

BERMAN: All right, breaking overnight, CNN has learned the FBI has arrested a Syrian refugee accused of plotting an attack on a Pittsburgh church in the name of ISIS. According to court filings, the 21-year-old bought bomb-making materials and cased escape routes. Officials say he also had satellite maps of the area and shared a handwritten attack plan with an FBI informant and an undercover agent. Obviously this has added significance in Pittsburgh where nerves are certainly still frayed. Last October, 11 people were killed when a gunman stormed a synagogue there.

CAMEROTA: All right, Joe Biden says there is not a racist bone in his body, but should he apologize after touting his work with segregationist senators? We asked a long-time friend of Joe Biden's from a state with a very complex history of racism, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe here next.


[06:41:27] BERMAN: All right, this morning we are following the fallout from the first major clash of the Democratic primary race. Former Vice President Joe Biden is refusing to apologize as many of his rivals are slamming his comments which touted civility when the Senate included segregationists. Here's what Biden said about Senator Cory Booker's call for him to apologize.


QUESTION: Are you going to apologize --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, thanks, guys.

QUESTION: Like Cory Booker has called for?


QUESTION: Cory Booker has called for it. He's asking you --

BIDEN: Cory should apologize. He knows better. There's not a racist bone in my body. I've been involved in civil rights my whole career. Period, period, period.


CAMEROTA: All right, joining us now is Virginia's former Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe. He's a long-time friend of Joe Biden's and a brand new CNN political commentator.

Welcome to the family.


CAMEROTA: Yes, great to have you.

MCAULIFFE: What a way to start the day.

CAMEROTA: Yes, with having to defend your long-time friend, Joe Biden.


CAMEROTA: So, what do you hear when you hear Joe Biden's comments and do you understand why he's getting pushback today?

MCAULIFFE: Oh, sure I understand why there's pushback. And, listen. I understand what the vice president is trying to do. He's trying to say, you know, even people I disagree with, we can work together to get things done. But you just can't say to a segregationist or a racist, as I would say, is an example of how people need to work together. You can't.

I mean, you know, I've had a long history in this party. I was also the governor of the capital of the confederacy in Virginia. You know, these are really, really tough issues. And they don't want to hear anything about it. What they want folks to talk about is, what are you going to do. If I'm the vice president today, I'm laying out a plan today, here's what I'm going to do, here to deal with income inequality, here with inferior schools in African-American areas --

CAMEROTA: Are you apologizing to Cory Booker today?

MCAULIFFE: I don't think the issue is about apology. I think the issue is, what are you going to do for the African-American community. That's what people are striving for.

You know, we do have difference in schools today. I dealt with it as governor of Virginia. In Richmond, in Petersburg, in Norfolk, putting more money in. Every child deserves an equal quality education, health care, all of these issues. That's what the vice president ought to be leaning in on today.

BERMAN: If I'm hearing you correctly, though, yes or no, you think it was a mistake that he said this in the first place?

MCAULIFFE: Oh, absolutely. Sure.

BERMAN: And then, yes or no, was it a mistake that he asked Cory Booker to apologize last night?

MCAULIFFE: I -- first off, they shouldn't have been in this back and forth. We, as the Democratic Party, we have got to win this upcoming presidential election. And every second right now we're spending on this conversation, which is very bothersome to me, this will be on for a couple days, we ought to be leaning in. Here's Trump's, disastrous racist policies. I was the governor during Charlottesville, Virginia, when a thousand neo-Nazi and white supremacists came into our state and the president of the United States, Donald Trump, said there are good people on both sides. There were not good people in the neo-Nazi movement or the white supremacists. They were carrying swastikas. They were beating people up.

So my point is, let us, as Democrats, lean in, here's what we can do to help people.

BERMAN: What does it say to you that the vice president keeps talking himself into these situations though?

MCAULIFFE: Yes, and I understand what he was trying to do and talk about how we got to get back to an age where people get together. I mean nothing's happening in Washington today. John, you know that. I mean it's just broken. There's nothing happening.

You know, listen, I worked -- had a Republican legislature. I got 70 plus percent of my governor's bills passed. I worked with a Republican legislature. But you can't cite segregationists and racists and -- and you just can't do it. It's not the right thing to do.

I mean the things that Jim Eastland had said in his past, we're trying to get past that as a nation. We're trying to bring people together.

[06:45:05] So, you know, they've got to pivot today very quickly. All the Democrats ought to be out there. Let's not have this fight continue. The fight needs to be fighting for the American public. There's not one person today who knows who Jim Eastland is. They just don't.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And, I mean -- but I guess that everything you're saying makes perfect sense. Why doesn't the former vice president know that?

MCAULIFFE: Well, today, you know, we'll see -- we'll see what they --

CAMEROTA: But, I mean, why -- I guess, to John's point, why does he stumble into the thicket?

MCAULIFFE: Oh, originally -- that's a good question. And I understand, as I say, what he was trying to do, but you just can't site a segregationist and racist, you know, as an example of how we come and work together.

And it's a good lesson. You need to be very careful what you say and how you say it. And people are yearning today to have leadership out there that's going to help people in their everyday life.

What do they want? You know it. They want quality health care. They want prescription drug prices to come down. They hate these out-of- network hospital expenses. They want their roads to work. Education. Stay focused on these things.

BERMAN: You wrote a really -- on this point -- a really interesting op-ed on --


BERMAN: About what you think the Democrats should be doing. And there are a lot of themes in there. One you talk about, you know, they need to talk about issues that matter to the voters.


BERMAN: And not talk about President Trump. And I found that particularly interesting. And, again, if we're dealing with the front runner, Joe Biden here, his campaign is framed around what he calls the aberration of the Trump presidency.

Does he need to focus more on policy?

MCAULIFFE: I believe every candidate running for president -- and that's why I wrote the op-ed -- needs to focus on the American people and telling them and focusing on what benefits their lives. And I make the point, if we get caught up in all these shiny objects like, you know, Medicare for all, you know what Americans care about today? They care about going to a pharmacy today and overpaying and really bankrupting them for the costs they've got to pay for prescription drugs, or they go to a hospital and they get home and, oh, my goodness, this was an out-of-network expense and I've got a $2,000 to $3,000 bill. Democrats got to focus on those issues.

This is what I did as governor every day, jobs, jobs, jobs, building roads, providing for people. And if we spent our time with Trump, the American people, they understand Trump. I don't think he can get over 40 percent to 45 percent of the vote under any circumstance. We're going to win this election. But, boy, we'd better deliver. And we've got to talk about things the American public -- I just want us to get off of all of these litmus tests, do you agree with this, do you agree with this. Forget all that. What do you stand for? Lay it out. And the American public, I think, will reward you for good policy ideas.

CAMEROTA: Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, great to have you here on set.

MCAULIFFE: Good morning. Fired up. Let's get at it.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I see that. Thank you very much.

MCAULIFFE: Yes, let's do this every day.


BERMAN: Exactly. Well --

CAMEROTA: Yes, it's a date. Got it.

MCAULIFFE: You get up at 5:00, raring to go, couple cups of coffee, whoa.

BERMAN: That's sleeping in, 5:00.

All right, thank you, governor.

MCAULIFFE: I know, yes.

BERMAN: All right, we are following developments in North Korea. Chinese Leader Xi Jinping is there meeting with Kim Jong-un. We're watching this unfold. What does this mean for the United States? A live report, next.


[06:52:20] CAMEROTA: New overnight, China's president is meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in North Korea.

And CNN's Will Ripley is live in Beijing for us with more.

What's the latest, Will?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, this is the first time a Chinese head of state has visited North Korea since 2005, 14 years. And during that time, North Korea conducted six nuclear tests and launched dozens of missiles. It's part of the reason we're told why Chinese President Xi Jinping has waited until now, postponing this trip repeatedly, a trip that is happening just days before he's expected to meet with President Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 in Japan.

This meeting is significant in a couple of ways. One, North Korea and China reaffirming their friendship, possibly announcing some new economic cooperative projects despite international sanctions over North Korea's nuclear program, but also this is a way for Xi to reinsert himself in one of President Trump's signature foreign policy issues and perhaps offer President Trump some insight, some new information as the president expects to, obviously, continue to try to work towards an additional third summit with the North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un after the collapse of talks in Hanoi.

So it's going to be a lot of photo-ops, a lot of symbolism in Pyongyang, but the real interesting meeting will then happen next week when Xi travels to Japan and meets with President Trump.

John. Alisyn.

BERMAN: All right, Will Ripley for us in Beijing. Stand by, Will. Let us know what you see there. The body language will be fascinating.

Meanwhile, the breaking news this morning, Iran shoots down a U.S. drone, calling it a warning to the United States. We're waiting for the White House to respond. We have some new developments, next.


[06:57:56] BERMAN: All right, a big night for basketball junkies. The NBA draft tonight. Duke's Zion Williamson headlining with the most anticipated draft classes in years.

Andy Scholes with the "Bleacher Report."



You know, between Zion, the Pelicans having two of the first four picks, and the Knicks having their highest pick since taking Patrick Ewing, tonight's draft should be plenty of fun. And there's no question, New Orleans is going to be taking Zion number one tonight. He's 6'7," 285 pounds. I mean that's bigger than J.J. Watt.

And, of course, Zion can just jump out of the gym with his rare athleticism. He's the most hyped prospect since LeBron James.

And check out the amount of media surroundings Zion yesterday. Quite a bit more than the prospect that was sitting next to him.

Now, the top three picks of this draft are expected to be stars, and Zion, Ja Morant, and RJ Barrett, they're expected to go one, two, three. Then things might get a little interesting in pick number four. The draft starts tonight at 7:00 Eastern.

All right, back in February, Canadians goalie Carey Price shared a special moment with a super fan named Anderson Whitehead. Anderson's mom died of cancer earlier this year. But before she died, she promised Anderson she'd do what she could so that he could meet Price, who's his favorite player. Well, that dream came true after hear death. Well, last night during the NHL awards show, that moment won the best feel good moment of the year. And while accepting the award, Anderson, well, he got a big surprise.


CAREY PRICE, PROFESSIONAL CANADIAN HOCKEY PLAYER: Everything's all right, OK, bud. Everything's OK, OK? Everything's OK. Everything's great.


SCHOLES: Now, you see Price came out and surprised Anderson on stage. Got a big standing ovation there, guys. And such a cool moment. And it's pretty cool, the special connection that these two have formed after Anderson's mom passed away.

CAMEROTA: Andy, how many times have I warned you to tell us when you're going to have a piece like that so John and I can get a hankies ready? That is so emotional. God, that's beautiful.


CAMEROTA: Thank you.

SCHOLES: It's a good one.

All right, have a good one, guys.

CAMEROTA: You too.

Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, Iran has shot down an American drone. NEW DAY continues right now.

[07:00:04] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: All right, good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY.