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Plane Carrying Skydivers Crashes in Hawaii; Congressman James Clyburn Defends Joe Biden over Criticisms of Comments on Working with Segregationists in Congress; Democratic Candidate Pete Buttigieg Draws Criticism in Wake of Police Shooting of Black Man in South Bend; Author E. Jean Carroll Accuses President Trump of Sexual Assault; ICE Reportedly Prepares to Deport Thousands of Immigrant Families; Central African Republic Suffers Humanitarian Crisis in Wake of Militia Fighting; Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris Speaks to Democratic Convention in South Carolina. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 22, 2019 - 10:00   ET



[10:00:20] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. It is June 22nd. I'm Victor Blackwell.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Jessica Dean, and you're in the CNN Newsroom.

BLACKWELL: Let's start with the top stories this morning. First, any minute now, President Trump will be leaving the White House for Camp David after telling NBC News that he is not looking for war, but he says if it comes to that, Iran will be obliterated.

DEAN: Also happening this morning, President Trump denying a new accusation of sexual assault after a writer says he attacked her in a dressing room two decades ago.

BLACKWELL: Plus, a senior immigration official says ICE is set to start rounding up thousands of undocumented immigrants tomorrow.

First, though, breaking news out of Hawaii overnight. A small plane has crashed during a skydiving trip, killing all nine people on board. Witnesses say the plane hit a fence and then burst into flames on the runway.

DEAN: CNN's Natasha Chen joins us now. And Natasha, what do we know so far?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is so tragic because you know these people were probably there to have fun, and it ended so badly. This happened about 6:30 p.m. local time, so just after midnight eastern time. We know it's a King Air twin engine plane that crashed. You see the map there at Dillingham Airfield, that's on the north shore of Oahu, about a 35-mile drive northwest of Honolulu. There you see video of the wreckage there. It's a 50-by-50 foot debris field we're told. The fire chief said it was a skydiving excursion, and they tried to

extinguish the flames when firefighters got there, but the whole thing was engulfed. Witnesses, as you said, saw that plane coming inbound and hit the fence line away from the runway. We don't know what caused it. The FAA is taking a look at it right now, and here is what the fire chief said about this incident.


CHIEF MANUEL NEVES, HONOLULU FIRE DEPARTMENT: In my 40 years as a firefighter here in Hawaii, this is the most tragic aircraft incident that we had.


CHEN: And of course, there have been other incidents similar, but not in the recent history. He was talking about some other military crashes, but as far as civilian crashes go, this is very significant in Hawaii there.

BLACKWELL: Have they released any details about the victims?

CHEN: We don't know a whole lot of details yet, no names released, but the fire chief did say that some of their family members didn't go on the trip with them, and they were actually at the airfield when the plane went down, so you can only imagine what that's like if you watch your family members crash like that.

DEAN: Oh, my goodness.

BLACKWELL: Natasha Chen, thank you for the update.

DEAN: Thank you, Natasha.

This weekend, 21 of the Democrats vying for the party's presidential nomination are in South Carolina court the state's voters ahead of their first debates next week.

BLACKWELL: This hour California Senator Kamala Harris will be the first to address the crowd. She will be followed by 20 other 2020 hopefuls, including former vice president Joe Biden, who expected to speak a little after 5:00 p.m. CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now from South Carolina. So Jeff, today's gathering comes as the former vice president, those comments about working with segregationists is still making national news.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It still is. Good morning, Victor and Jessica. It's definitely hanging in the air here, the back and forth between Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Cory Booker and other Democratic rivals after Joe Biden made the comment last week that he worked with segregationist senators, James O. Eastland of Mississippi and others. Now, of course it prompted Cory Booker to call on him to apologize, the back and forth. But we saw a moment last night at the fish fry here in Columbia, South Carolina, I want you to take a look at. It has Joe Biden reaching out, literally, to Cory Booker. Let's watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



ZELENY: So reaching out there. And also Mr. Biden was asked if anyone should apologize. He said no, there's no need for any more of an apology here. So that was certainly a moment that they are trying to move past this. You can see behind me here some Joe Biden signs as well as John Delaney, the Maryland congressman, has a blimp here. But as the candidates begin to speak to convention delegates, there's also a sense here, does the former vice president have to explain anything of what he said that has been indeed hanging over the race all week?


ZELENY: Joe Biden and his Democratic rivals are descending on South Carolina this weekend, coming face-to-face after clashing from afar over one of the most divisive eras in the nation's history.

[10:05:06] Leading the way in the 2020 race, the former vice president is unfazed by his comments that touched off a firestorm this week as he held up his work with segregationist senators as an example of a forgotten civility in politics.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's not a racist bone in my body. I've been involved in civil rights my whole career, period.

ZELENY: Black leaders and voters have rallied to his defense, creating an air of tension as Biden is poised to cross paths with Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and others who have either criticized him or called for an apology. James Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American in Congress, not only defended Biden but said he also worked with segregationist like longtime South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond.

JAMES CLYBURN, (D-SC) HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: I think it's a little bit ludicrous to blame someone for working with people you don't agree with.

ZELENY: Do you think it's celebrating a racist?

CLYBURN: No, come on. When you celebrate your ability to work with a racist, you're celebrating the racist?

ZELENY: The controversy is an awkward backdrop to the state Democratic convention, which is attracting 21 presidential candidates to South Carolina where black voters make up about 60 percent of the Democratic primary electorate.

Is it Joe Biden's to lose?

CLYBURN: Yes, absolutely, and he can lose it. We've had a lot of frontrunners. I often think about President Howard Dean, how does that sound to you? ZELENY: The respect for Biden runs deep, but voters like Sioux Taylor

are looking for a new direction.

SIOUX TAYLOR, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: Right now Elizabeth Warren looks good to me. I think she's a dynamic speaker. She is certainly credentialed. She's got a history of performance.

ZELENY: Bernice Scott says Hillary Clinton's still stings, and she sees an important piece of unfinished business in 2020, sending a woman to the White House. Her choice this time, Harris.

So it's time?

BERNICE SCOTT, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: It's time. She's intelligent. She just happens to be black and a female, and that's a plus.


ZELENY: And Senator Harris is going to be addressing the convention here in just a short time followed by, again, that parade of other Democratic presidential hopefuls.

But one thing that's clear, Joe Biden is indeed the frontrunner, but looking back to other primary campaigns, you heard Congressman Clyburn say, what about President Howard Dean? Of course, that was the 2004 campaign when he was a frontrunner at the time.

But Victor and Jessica, I am thinking back to the 2008 campaign. Barack Obama ultimately won the South Carolina primary, the first in the south primary that really launches the campaign on to super Tuesday and beyond. But at this point of that race, he was not the front runner. Hillary Clinton was. It was only after he won the Iowa caucuses that voters here in South Carolina saw him as a winner, and that's when they went for him. So we should keep in mind frontrunners are fleeting, and this race is still wide open, and it's still early. Victor and Jessica.

DEAN: Fleeting indeed, and fluid. Jeff Zeleny, thanks so much.

BLACKWELL: Joining us now Laura Barron-Lopez, national reporter for "Politico." Laura, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So let's start here with Joe Biden. And we heard there Congressman Clyburn is not holding these comments from Joe Biden against him, but you share a byline on an exclusive on from an African-American congressman who wholeheartedly disagrees with Congressman Clyburn. Tell us about what you heard from Bobby Rush.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Right. So Bobby Rush of Illinois actually has a very different view of Biden's comments than Majority Whip Clyburn. And so Rush says that what Biden said was woefully ignorant of -- it shows that Biden is woefully ignorant of the black American experience and the nuances with that that go along with that experience. He said that he was disappointed and that he wishes Biden wouldn't just go along with incremental changes and progress, and that he should be a bold change agent.

He also took particular issue with Biden's comments where he said that the former senator, James Eastland, a known segregationist never called him, quote, "boy. He only called me son." That was another thing that Senator Cory Booker took issue with as well, saying that that shouldn't be made light of, that African-Americans were frequently called "boy" by racists throughout those eras.

And so Bobby Rush has a very different viewpoint, but he's one of the few. He and Cory Booker are the ones who came out the strongest against Biden's comments. A lot of Congressional black lawmakers have defended Biden because they've worked with him, and they feel as though his comments were taken out of context.

DEAN: And Laura, we've seen that former Vice President Biden has really doubled down on a lot of these situations.

[10:10:00] When it came to when he launched his campaign, and it came to the unwanted touching and the Anita Hill, he really refused to apologize in the way that some people really wanted him to, kind of similar to this situation. But that seems to be a strategy for them, or perhaps it's just he fully believes that he is in the right and just being misinterpreted and misunderstood. Do you see that continuing as we continue down into the 2020 race?

BARRON-LOPEZ: Right, I think that it could be a strategy. It's hard to know what Biden's particular thinking is in any of these given moments, but there is a pattern, as you mentioned, starting with the Anita Hill hearings going on to the Hyde Amendment, and then now with his segregationist comments. He hasn't apologized really in any of those instances. And in fact he made this entire story concerning his segregationist comments last longer than maybe it would have by saying that he thought maybe Senator Cory Booker should have apologized. And they had to have a phone call. Biden called him to try to smooth things over, and that still didn't work out very well.

BLACKWELL: Laura Barron-Lopez, thank you so much. Stay with us throughout the show. Of course, we're expecting Senator Kamala Harris to speak during this hour at the state Democratic convention there in South Carolina. Now, among the candidates who will be on stage there, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. But there is -- let's call it a cloud that's hanging over his arrival right now.

DEAN: Last night Buttigieg came face-to-face with protesters demanding action after the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer in his hometown. Dan Merica joining us now. And Dan, if Buttigieg or any Democrat wants to win South Carolina next year, they're going to need support from African-American voters, and he has struggled with that demographic up to now. What's his plan moving forward?

DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, this has really put that into focus as well. He wasn't here yesterday at the fish fry where there were 21 of the 23 candidates, and it was apparent. This is a very jovial event where all the candidates were joking and talking together, and he was back at home hundreds of miles away at a far different march that went from the South Bend Police Department to the mayor's office, focused on that officer-involved shooting that happened almost a week ago where a man lost his life who was allegedly rummaging through cars with a knife in his hand. It has really roiled the community in South Bend, and the mayor has responded. He has canceled multiple events. He canceled multiple events in California, and then he was supposed to be at the fish fry last night which he canceled.

But it really was stark how different the events were between the fish fry and the march last night. Take a listen to the small but vocal criticism that Pete Buttigieg received last night in South Bend.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D-IN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not have evidence that there has been discipline for racist behavior in the case --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you truly running for president and you want black people to vote for you? You running for president and you want black people to vote for you? That's a downfall. That's not going to happen.

BUTTIGIEG: I'm not asking for your vote.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You ain't going to get it either.


MERICA: That's probably the most direct criticism Pete Buttigieg has received over the last few months where he's been on a pretty unabated rise during the presidential campaign. Once he got some momentum a few months ago he's really risen in the polls. And this is a unique position for him, and it's very much a leadership test in his campaign and the mayor himself, their resolve to have him go back as much as needs to confront these protests.

This is going to impact him and maybe his ability to win over African- American voters which are critical here in South Carolina where the mayor will be arriving soon to speak at the South Carolina Democrats Party's convention behind me.

BLACKWELL: We'll see what he has to say. Dan Merica for us there in Columbia, thank you so much.

When we come back, after aborting a last-minute strike on Iran, the president is now set to consider new sanctions to put pressure on Tehran. He says he does not want war, but if it comes to conflict Iran will be obliterated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not looking for war, and if there is, it will be obliteration like you've never seen before.


BLACKWELL: Plus, new allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump, this time from a columnist who says this happened to her in the '90s. What President Trump is saying about those allegations. That's next.

DEAN: Also, undocumented families brace for a showdown as ICE gets ready to raid 10 major cities tomorrow. President Trump is defending that decision.


BLACKWELL: President Trump is now shifting his attention towards sanctions against Iran after he called off a planned military strike, but he told NBC News while war is not his choice, military options are still on the table.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not looking for war, and if there is, it will be obliteration like you've never seen before, but I'm not looking to do that. But you can't have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk, good. Otherwise you can have a bad economy for the next three years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No preconditions?

TRUMP: Not as far as I'm concerned, no preconditions.


DEAN: The president tweeted new sanctions were imposed on Iran Thursday night. Two administration officials tell CNN, though, that's not true, but that they are planned for some time over the next week.

"New York Magazine" has published allegations from advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in which she claims the president sexually assaulted her in the 90s.

BLACKWELL: She makes the accusation in her forthcoming book "What Do We Need Men For?" which also accuses other men of inappropriate behavior. Joining us now is CNN political correspondent Sara Murray. Sara, good morning to you. How is the president responding to the claims that were published?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, this is not the first time that Donald Trump has faced allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, but this is the first time as president that he's facing a new accuser, and he is vehemently denying the latest claims of assault.


MURRAY: President Trump is denying accusations ha he forced himself on author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in a Manhattan department store dressing room more than 20 years ago. Carroll raised the allegations in her forthcoming book, "What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal," excerpts of which were published Friday in "New York Magazine." She describes the incident in an interview with NBC News.

[10:20:06] E. JEAN CARROLL, ADVICE COLUMNIST: He was like this. I walked in. He shut the door behind us and threw me up against the wall and kissed me. I couldn't believe it.

MURRAY: According to Carroll she attempted to laugh off the incident in an effort to diffuse the situation, but that didn't work. She says that's when she realized how serious it was.

CARROLL: It was a work of a second to reach in under my -- open in the front and through the Donna Karan dress and pull down my tights. That's when my brain went on. That's when the adrenaline started, and it became -- it became a fight.

MURRAY: In graphic detail, Carroll describes what happens next, writing in "New York Magazine," quote, "He opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and forcing his fingers around my private area thrusts he has penis halfway or completely, I'm not certain, inside me." Carroll says she was eventually able to push him away and make her way out of the store.

President Trump is denying this ever happened, saying in a statement, "I've never met this person in my life," adding "Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves or sell a book or carry out a political agenda."

The president also pointing to a lack of evidence, writing "No pictures, no surveillance, no video, no reports, no sales attendants around. I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident, because it never happened."

Despite Trump saying they never met, Carroll published a picture showing the two chatting during a holiday party in the 1980s. "New York Magazine" tells CNN they spoke with two of Carroll's friends who corroborated their story.

GENEVIEVE SMITH, FEATURES DIRECTOR, "NEW YORK MAGAZINE": We did talk to the two women that she says that she told at the time. They were able to corroborate that they do remember being told that at the time. They also provided details of the conversation that she hadn't written about that they remembered.

MURRAY: CNN has reached out to Carroll, but she has yet to respond.


MURRAY: Now at least 15 other women in the past have accused Trump of sexual harassment, of assault, of other lewd behavior. All of these incidents took place allegedly before he was president. He denied all of those. And remember this all came up during the 2016 campaign when an old "Access Hollywood" tape emerged, and in that tape, Donald Trump -- this is before he was a candidate, before he was president, was bragging about how he could grab women by the genitals, and he said in the tape when you're a star, they let you do it. Back to you.

DEAN: All right, Sara Murray for us this morning. Thanks so much.

The worst humanitarian crisis you've probably never heard of. Our Clarissa Ward is in the Central African Republic.



[10:26:31] BLACKWELL: It's one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. After six years of violent combat in the Central African Republic, a million people have been forced to leave their homes.

DEAN: And 65,000 of them live in a single camp. CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward went there, and she joins us now with more on how that country is trying to move forward. Clarissa?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Jessica. Well, it is not easy moving forward for a country like the Central African Republic. Aid workers tell us that after Yemen and Syria this is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and when it comes to hunger proportionate to the size of the population, it is the worst. Take a look.


WARD: It is the worst humanitarian crisis you have never heard of. Half the people of the Central African Republic don't know where their next meal is coming from. Nearly six years of vicious conflict involving Muslim and Christian militias have forced a million people from their homes. Some of them sought shelter here in a sprawling overcrowded camp in the town of Bria.

There are 65,000 people now living in this camp. They came to escape the bloodshed of the different warring militias in this country, but even here, even now the situation is tense. As you can see, we have armed guards with us at all times.

Escaping from the searing noon sun, we meet Lavender Clemos (ph). She tells us that her husband was beaten to death by militants. She cherishes a single photograph of him. Like many here, Clemos (ph) says the camp feels more like a prison than a refuge. "As soon as I can go home, I will," she says. "I cannot suffer here any longer."

For now, leaving is not an option. Seventy-five percent of the country is still under the control of different militias, and spasms of violence continue. Last year there were nearly 400 attacks on aid workers in the Central African Republic. Gian Carlo Cirri is country director for the World Food Programme. GIAN CARLO CIRRI, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: We rely

very much on armed escorts to bring our food.

WARD: Are there some places you can't even get to?

CIRRI: Yes, there are, because there is an additional difficulty is the terrain.

WARD: In the capital of Bangui, President Faustin-Archange Touadera hopes that a peace agreement reached in February with the various militias will staunch the bleeding.

FAUSTIN-ARCHANGE TOUADERA, PRESIDENT, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (through translator): People have suffered so much because today our country, due to the crisis, is not in peace. We have to find peace and security again. We have to work on this, and this is our priority.

WARD: What is your message to the people of the Central African Republic?

TOUADERA: Our country is blessed by God. There are lots of possibilities I have already mentioned, areas like agriculture and mining. So we need to start working and get engaged and united rather than staying stuck in divisions of hatred and being vengeful.

WARD: A message of hope to a people long consumed by hatred and suffering.


[10:30:07] WARD: Now, the irony of all of this is that underneath the ground I am standing on, this country is rich in natural resources. There is gold. There are diamonds. There is uranium. But until the security situation, which has improved a lot over the last six years, until it improves more, it will be impossible to get in that outside investment to get the infrastructure in place to actually start to reap the benefits of some of this country's natural bounty. Victor and Jessica?

BLACKWELL: The forgotten crisis, Clarissa Ward for us there in Bangui. Thank you so much.

DEAN: Coming up, President Trump is defending the plan to start deporting thousands of undocumented immigrants in 10 major cities tomorrow.


[10:35:22] BLACKWELL: Tomorrow Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials will begin rounding up undocumented families facing deportation orders, and this morning President Trump is defending that plan.

DEAN: Ten cities and thousands of people are being targeted. The announcement has been met with loud opposition from leaders of some of these cities. CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now. And Polo, tell us what the president has been tweeting this morning in response to this.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty much on the defense here, Jessica. What we have seen here is President Trump defending this latest enforcement action. It is certainly not unusual for ICE officers to go out across the country and execute these outstanding warrants. Here, though, it is fairly unusual since they are specifically considering deporting families versus criminal undocumented people, which are people in the country who have perhaps committed a crime inside the United States. In this case, these would be men, women, and children who have outstanding orders for removal, as you just showed on the map a little while ago here, across the country.

And it is a move that is being received with some criticism by high ranking officials here. President Trump taking to Twitter just a little while ago, and to make sure that basically you know that these kinds of operations are ongoing, the president tweeting that "The people that ICE will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported." And you can see here he also goes on to write that they have run from the law and run from the courts. The president in a follow-up tweeting writing "When people come into our country illegally, they will be deported." Again, that's the commander in chief's own words this morning.

So this is fairly unusual, obviously, especially if these kinds of operations are typically kept quiet. I have had the opportunity to ride along with ICE officers as they execute these kinds of operations in the past. And it is something that is usually kept quiet. Obviously, they coordinate under the cover of darkness before they roll out to various residences across the country to execute this warrant. However, the commander in chief has been essentially here, it appears, has been since Monday trying to make sure that you know about this. So what we can expect to happen here starting tomorrow these ICE officers will go out here in New York. There will be from 160 to 170 people who could be targeted. One official telling my colleague Maria Santana, though, that they will especially be taking a closer look at target lists in the New Orleans area and also in the Atlanta area. Victor, Jessica, back to you now.

BLACKWELL: Polo Sandoval, of course we will follow that. Thank you so much.

DEAN: Coming up, Senator Kamala Harris dancing with a drumline alongside her supporters ahead of the South Carolina Democratic Party's annual convention. Nearly all the candidates will make their pitch to voters there today.


[10:40:01] BLACKWELL: Senator Kamala Harris is the first 2020 candidate up to speak to the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention. Let's listen in.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are all under this one roof together for one reason, which is that we love our country. We love our country, and we are prepared to fight for the best of who it is and who we are.

And we all know this is an inflection moment. This is a moment in time that is requiring us each to look in a mirror and ask a question, that question being, who are we? And I think with South Carolina Democrats, what we all know is we are better than this.


HARRIS: And so this is a moment in time where we will fight for the best of our country. And I want to congratulate Trav on a great convention and thank everybody.

So listen, here's the thing. We know that as Democrats and as those who are leaders, who take it upon ourselves to do everything in our ability and power to lift folks up, to tap on our neighbor, neighbor, to tap on our friend who may be sitting on the pew next to us, to tap on the shoulder of our coworkers and our family members, we know that part of the strength of who we are is not only the values that we hold, the principles by which we conduct ourselves, our faith, our vision for the future, our strength is also that we know how to organize, that we know how to do the critical work --

DEAN: All right, that's Kamala Harris. We want to go now to President Donald Trump on the lawn of the White House just moments ago.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have meetings and a lot of work, coming back sometime tomorrow. But we're heading out right now to Camp David. I want to say the stock market is on pace to have its best year since, I guess over 50 years, and the Dow is on pace to have its best year in 80 years. It's been 80 years since the Dow has hit. Tariffs are obviously doing very well because we're taking in billions and billions of dollars.


BLACKWELL: We've got an issue, obviously, with the tape playback from the president. Guys, can we get that back up. Let's go to that. Do we have Kamala Harris, though? Can we go back to the South Carolina Democratic Party? Let's do that.

HARRIS: We need somebody who as president of the United States understands the need to rebuild the party, who understands the need to give the resources and the support to the people who are on the ground every day doing the hard work. We can't just helicopter in here. We have to support the people who are on the ground who know the community and do the work every day, and that's the kind of president I intend to be.


[10:45:00] HARRIS: And South Carolina, you have such a rich and deep history of fighters. You have the fighters who have always fought for the conscience and the morals of our country, those great civil rights fighters. You have fighters past and present. Just last week we commemorated the four-year anniversary of the Emanuel Nine, recognizing those heroes and the sacrifice, and the fact that still there is so much to fight for in our country.

We look at the great heroes and the leaders who have come out of South Carolina, the friendship nine. We look at the Orangeburg protesters, and we know they believed in a nation, they believed in a nation of equality where everyone counted. They were deep of faith. They understood what can be unburdened by what has been. And it is upon their shoulders that we now stand charged with the duty and the responsibility of understanding what can be and fighting to get there.


HARRIS: That is our responsibility. And I was raised in a family of civil rights fighters. I was raised in a community where we were taught, don't you hear no when they say it, know where we are and know and see the vision and be deep of faith in knowing that you can see what maybe others can't see, but you can help them get there. You can help them get there. But it will take a lot of work. It will take a lot of work.

So I stand before you as a candidate for the president of the United States prepared to do the work of helping our nation see what can be, unburdened by what has been, and see the vision of the future, respecting our past. I know that we have in this White House a president who says he wants to make America great again. Well, what does that mean? Does that mean he wants to take us back to before schools were integrated? Does that mean he wants to take us back before the Voting Rights Act was enacted? Does that mean he wants to take us back before the Civil Rights Act was enacted? Does he mean he wants to take us back before Roe v. Wade was enacted? Because we're not going back! We're not going back!


HARRIS: We see a future. We see a future. And I'm going to tell you not only am I a child of parents who were active in civil rights fighters and marchers, I also had a career as a prosecutor. So let me tell you a little bit about that. I know how to take on predators.


HARRIS: I took on the big banks and won over $20 billion. I took on for-profit colleges and put them out of business. I took on oil companies who were polluting our environments. I took on transnational criminal organizations who were preying on women and children. I know how to get that job done.


HARRIS: And I did it for the people, for the people.

So let me tell you, we need somebody on our stage when it comes time for that general election who knows how to recognize a rap sheet when they see it and prosecute the case. (APPLAUSE)

HARRIS: So let's read that rap sheet, shall we? He asked black Americans, he said what do you have to lose. Well, we know civil rights investigations are down, hate crimes are up. We have a lot to lose. Let's look at that rap sheet where he told working people that he would help them but instead passed a tax bill benefitting the top one percent and the biggest corporations of this country. Said he would help the farmers, but passed what I call the Trump trade tax -- Trump trade policy by tweet, and now we've got farmers who have soybeans rotting in bins and autoworkers who may be out of their jobs by the end of the year.

Let's look at that rap sheet where he said he would give everyone health care, and he's still trying to rip health care away from folks and turn back the clock on Obamacare. Let's talk about looking at that rap sheet, where he has embraced dictators like Kim Jong-un and Putin and taken their word over the word of the American intelligence community.


HARRIS: Let's prosecute the case! Let's prosecute that case!


HARRIS: And let's not turn back the clock. Let's start the next chapter, shall we? Let's start the next chapter. Let's turn the page. And here's what I see in that next chapter. I see us fighting for our America in what I call the 3:00 a.m. agenda, which means looking at writing that next chapter through the lens of what wakes us up in the middle of the night, what's on our minds, what do we need to deal with.

So let's turn the page, South Carolina, and write that next chapter in a way that we take action. We take action on paying people equally for the work that they do, be they women, paying our teachers what they deserve in terms of paying them their value.


[10:50:08] HARRIS: Let's take action on getting $500 more a month to working families so they can get through the end of the month. Let's take action and make sure that if Congress doesn't have the courage to pass more gun safety laws then we will get the job done.


HARRIS: Because I believe in an America, I believe in an America and our America where you only have to work one job to have a roof over your head and put food on the table. I believe in an America where teachers are paid their value. I believe in an America where no politician tells a woman what to do with her body.

(APPLAUSE) HARRIS: I believe in an America where health care is a right and not a privilege for just those who can afford it. I believe in an America where children do not have to fear going to school for fear of a mass shooter.


HARRIS: I believe in an America, I believe in an America where we have a president who understands the greatest strength and the greatest power any one individual can have is not to beat people down but to lift them up.


BLACKWELL: California Senator Kamala Harris speaking there to the South Carolina Democratic Party, the first of more than a dozen who will speak to the group today. She said that she knows how to prosecute the case against President Trump, and she says the party needs someone on that debate stage who recognizes a rap sheet when she sees one and can prosecute the case. She's making the case there to Democrats.

DEAN: Yes, and it's interesting to see her leaning in to that prosecutorial past, because that is what some on the left of the party have questioned about here and if she can represent them, as you see her leaning into that. It will be interesting to see everyone on the stage today.

In the meantime, we're going to take a quick break, and we'll be right back.



[10:55:30] DEAN: There are more than 30 million stray or feral cats living in the U.S. This overpopulation of cats often suffer outside facing disease, toxins, and predators. This week's CNN hero saw street cats every day walking in his New York neighborhood but didn't know how to help. Then he learned about trap, neuter, return, or TNR, and now spends nearly 40 hours a week trapping these cats, getting them fixed, and changing their lives. Meet Paul the cat guy.


DEAN SANTELL, CNN HERO: My main focus is trap, neuter, return, TNR, and rescuing, grabbing cats off the streets, saving lives. With TNR, this is the last generation that has to suffer outside.

Come on, come on.

Now I've probably fixed and returned at least 1,000 feral cats in about four and a half years.

A lot of times people ask me do you love cats? I like them, but that's not really why I got into it. You want to save lives. This is the greatest feeling in the world.


DEAN: To see how Paul does his work and see more adorable kittens, you can go to While you're there, be sure to nominate your own hero.

BLACKWELL: Thank you for joining us this morning. More news in the next hour of CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield. I'm Victor Blackwell.

DEAN: And I'm Jessica Dean. Thanks so much for joining us.