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Intelligence Chief Dan Coats Expected To Step Down Soon; Trump Escalates Attacks Against Elijah Cummings; Bernie Sanders Travels To Canada With Patients Seeking Cheaper Insulin; CNN Democratic Presidential Debates Just Two Days Away; Oscars; CNN Heroes; Italy Elections; Second Amendment Rights. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 28, 2019 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:11] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for being with us this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin with more breaking news. Dan Coats, the country's intelligence chief, expected to step down soon according to a person familiar with the situation. Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe, who aggressively questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller last week, has been mentioned as a potential replacement, though an official said no final decision has yet been made.

Boris Sanchez at the White House for us.

So Dan Coats has been there since the early days of the administration, Boris. He and the president have not always clicked or seen eye-to-eye, is that fair to say?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely right, Fred. Right now the White House isn't commenting on this reporting that the director of National Intelligence is soon to leave the position, though we had expected that he would soon be departing because President Trump in recent weeks has been having conversations within the White House about possible replacements for Dan Coats.

We know that President Trump, according to sources, did not see eye- to-eye with his director of National Intelligence, regularly fuming about him. He had apparently considered firing him previously. The president ultimately listening to aides and deciding to keep him in the position. White House officials had previously told CNN that they got the feeling that Coats was eyeing retirement. So this appears to be a natural step forward, not necessarily the president getting rid of someone he simply disagrees with, which we've seen before.

And the two men publicly disagreed on a lot of things. Not only on foreign policy, whether it comes to Vladimir Putin, the United States' relationship with Russia, with Kim Jong-un and North Korea, the situation in Syria, ISIS. These two had very public disagreements, and the president obviously consumes a lot of news and watching a member of his own administration go out there and contradict him certainly sent the president off the rails a number of times. As for potential replacements, you mentioned Congressman John

Ratcliffe. We saw him on the House Judiciary Committee last week grilling Special Counsel Robert Mueller. We know the president is a fan of his, and sources have told us that the White House had been considering him for a number of different posts within the administration.

There are other names out there. Fred Flight, who is the former chief of staff of National Security adviser John Bolton. Sources had actually told us that he had discussions with White House officials about potentially replacing Coats. And another name that's out there, Congressman Devin Nunes, a lightning rod of controversy. But we know the president is a big fan of his, especially because he often peddles in these deep state conspiracy theories. Questioning the objectivity of the intelligence community, something that the president routinely likes to hear, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Boris Sanchez, thank you so much at the White House. We'll check back with you.

David Sanger is the national security correspondent for "The New York Times" and a CNN national security analyst.

Good to see you, David. So, what do you suppose is really behind this decision of Dan Coats?

DAVID SANGER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think that the president had clearly tired of Dan Coats and Dan Coats had clearly tired of the president and of the job. This had been rumored a fair bit, including a week ago at the Aspen Security Forum where a number of intelligence officials were gathered.

You'll remember, Fredricka, that it was at that same forum a year ago that Coats had that remarkable moment, I think you may have played it in the last hour, where he learned on stage talking to Andrea Mitchell that Vladimir Putin was going to be invited to the White House and have this long thought.

WHITFIELD: Yes, in fact, do we still have that? Let's play that again because it was quite the remarkable moment.

SANGER: Sure.

WHITFIELD: And here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.

DAN COATS, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: Say that again?

(LAUGHTER)

MITCHELL: Vladimir Putin coming to the -- COATS: Did I hear you -- did I hear you?

MITCHELL: Yes, yes.

COATS: OK.

MITCHELL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

COATS: That's going to be special.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Yes, so everybody was laughing but, you know, really that was a telling moment and perhaps even a very embarrassing one for the president because everybody was laughing about the idea.

SANGER: It was such a special moment that Putin never came as you'll recall. And what was also remarkable about that interview is that Mr. Coats admitted that they still hadn't gotten a readout from the president himself about what he had said in his most recent meeting with Putin.

WHITFIELD: He should be, I mean, with that position, among the first to know.

SANGER: He -- he should have been.

WHITFIELD: Right.

SANGER: And that told you a lot. But then there was another very remarkable and I think more telling moment. And it came when Coats turned out the Annual National Intelligence Assessment, worldwide threat assessment.

[16:05:08] And in that, he disagreed with the president publicly on three big issues. He said that ISIS had not been defeated right after the president said it had. He said that Iran had complied with the nuclear agreement, which at that point it had and the president said it wasn't. And he said that North Korea was continuing to expand its arsenal, which undercut the president's assertion that he was making great progress in the diplomacy.

On all three issues, Dan Coats was right. That was the consensus of the intelligence community. And the president drew -- brought him and the CIA director and others in for a dressing down the next day to say, you know, Iran is bad, right? As if he was suggesting that, you know, Iran was acting as it should.

WHITFIELD: So then a potential replacement it would seem given those are the things, those are the items that got under the, you know, president's skin. The intelligence community is, you know, quite -- they speak in unison on those issues. Does that mean that this sets the stage for the president to select someone who is less in step with the intelligence community and more in step with the message the president wants sent?

SANGER: Well, that's the fear because the president has always confused the intelligence agencies with groups that are supposed to support his policy. And to the 60,000 or 70,000 people who work in the intelligence community, the most important thing is that their assessments are not politicized. That they are what they are, and if they match with what you're doing in diplomacy with North Korea or how you're trying to put sanctions against Iran, that's great. But if they contradict it or suggest a policy isn't working, that's life.

And I think the big concern is that the president will want very much to politicize the role by putting in somebody who will not allow assessments to go out the door that disagree with the policy. And of course, that's how we got into Iraq 15, 16 years ago.

WHITFIELD: And the president has gotten into the habit of looking for acting positions. Looking for candidates who don't necessarily need to be endorsed by a greater, you know, community or even, you know, body of power.

SANGER: Well, that's right. People in the intelligence community have told me they respected Dan Coats. They didn't think he was doing innovative things. But he -- they believe he was a layer of protection from the politization of intelligence, that he was willing to speak truth to power, and I think their big concern would be if you had somebody who was acting in that job, it -- the result would be somebody who would give -- tell the White House what they wanted to hear in hopes of getting the permanent nomination.

WHITFIELD: David Sanger, thank you so much. Always good to see you. Appreciate it.

SANGER: Great to be with you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Next, President Trump escalates his attacks on Congressman Elijah Cummings, calling the sitting congressman of color a racist. This is in -- this as the president continues to rail against the city of Baltimore as well, which Cummings represents. Could the president's strategy on race backfire?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:12:09] WHITFIELD: All right. Now to the president's latest string of racist attacks against a lawmaker of color. Trump in an effort to distract from the growing calls of racism against himself is now calling Congressman Elijah Cummings who chairs the House Oversight Committee a racist.

Moments ago, the president tweeted, "If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical oversight is a joke." That baseless insult just one of many that the president has hurled

towards the Maryland congressman and the city of Baltimore. Thousands have stood up to defend Congressman Cummings' 23 years of service, including a slew of Democratic lawmakers. Their one common message, stop targeting lawmakers from diverse backgrounds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our job is to bring people together, to improve life for all people, not to be a -- have a racist president who attacks people because they are African- Americans. That is a disgrace and that is why we're going to defeat this president.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The president is as he usually is, or often is, disgusting and racist. He makes these charges with no base at all. And they are designed to distract attention from the very serious allegations about his conduct that came from the -- from the committee hearings this week.

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Mr. President, your job is to unite this country. And when you take shots, as you did at Elijah Cummings and the city of Baltimore, when you take shots at my colleague Rashida Tlaib, you're attacking the constituents of those district. They take it very personally. Your job is to unite us, not to divide us. And I just think it's so unacceptable, and it's not what the president of the United States is supposed to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Meanwhile, President Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney sees it very differently. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The president is attacking Mr. Cummings for saying things that are not true about the border. I think it's right for the president to raise the issue of -- look. I was in Congress for six years. If I had poverty in my district like they have in Baltimore, if I had crime in my district like they have in Chicago, if I have homelessness in my district like they have in San Francisco, and I spent all of my time in Washington, D.C., chasing down this Mueller investigation, this bizarre impeachment crusade, I'd get fired. And I think the president is right to raise that and has absolutely zero to do with race.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me right now, White House Reporter for Politico, Gabby Orr, and CNN Political Analyst and White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, April Ryan.

Good to see you both.

All right, so, April, you first. You know, you were born and raised in the city of Baltimore. You're living in Baltimore County now. APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

[16:15:02] WHITFIELD: You tweeted about this. This is very personal to you and so many. The president's attacks. And you said here, and I'm sorry, it's going away too fast for me to be able to read that. So can we go back so I can read your latest comments, April, saying, "Dear real Donald Trump, believe it or not, you're supposed to be a president of the United States to all Americans, even those in Baltimore, a city where your son-in-law Jared Kushner owns housing projects. Be better, Mr. President, or at least try Melania's approach, be best."

RYAN: Be best.

WHITFIELD: That's right. "We are Baltimore. Be best." All right. So you've heard all the -- you know, these assessments of what the president is doing here, that it's racist, that it's a distraction. Is it just that at a minimum, April?

RYAN: So this is complicated but yet it's not, Fredricka. And you know. You live not far from Baltimore yourself.

WHITFIELD: I'm a Marylander, too.

RYAN: You grew up in Columbia, not far. So you understand the dynamic of that swath.

WHITFIELD: Silver Spring.

RYAN: Yes. Well, OK. Close. But you --

WHITFIELD: I got it.

(LAUGHTER)

RYAN: But you understand -- you understand.

WHITFIELD: Right.

RYAN: You understand that swath, that area.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Yes.

RYAN: I mean, you have a part of the city, you have a part of the city that is poverty stricken but that's not all of the 7th District.

WHITFIELD: Right.

RYAN: But here's what's happening. I just talked to someone --

WHITFIELD: And that is really the point, is it?

RYAN: It's not the point. And I talked to someone who is very close to the inner circle. He said the president is very upset. That is why he is still tweeting because the blowback is fierce against him. Number one, the president is upset because he went after Congressman Elijah Cummings. Yet another African-American person that the president is making personal attacks on. Now he wants to deflect and flip it saying Elijah Cummings is a racist.

Now I have a relationship with Elijah Cummings that spans way before we both came to Washington. When he was an attorney and when he was in Maryland state government in Baltimore, way before both of us even thought about Washington.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

RYAN: He was an attorney. His mother -- this thing about this racist thing is so far from the truth. Elijah Cummings' mother used to take a young Elijah and his brothers and sisters, to integrate the swimming pools in Baltimore. You know, he believes in inclusion. He represents a district of black, white, Jew, Gentile, Protestant and Catholic, and he's got people from all walks of life who respect him.

I hear it from those in the Jewish community, in the white community, in the black community. And now what's happening is that this conservative hate machine is putting out black people to say that Elijah should be doing this and doing that. Yes, Baltimore is hurting. But it's not just about Elijah Cummings. It's not just about the mayor. It's not just about the governor. It's about the president of the United States.

And again, Mr. President, where are you? What about urban renewal? It's not about these empowerment zones or whatever these zones that you're calling. It's about fixing the problem, not laughing at it. You're the president of black people, too. People who are hurting, and you're turning a blind eye. And I'm sorry if this is getting personal.

I grew up in that area. I know those people just like Victor, just like so many people. Jada Pinkett Smith is from Baltimore. There's so many scientists, politicians, entertainers, educators, people from all walks of life.

WHITFIELD: Right.

RYAN: Black, white, Jew, Gentile, Protestant and Catholic who've called Baltimore home at one time or another. And it's unfortunate that an American city is hurting and he -- this man who is sitting in the prime spot to do something is turning a blind eye and laughing. So I say this. I talked to Elijah Cummings this morning. We texted each other. He was in church praising God and moving forward because he's not going to stop.

I just said, you know, be strong because I said that to him because I had been the butt of some of the president's ire. It's not right. He makes it personal when it comes to black politicians or black people.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And Gabby --

RYAN: Period, end of story.

WHITFIELD: And Gabby, you know, people are at a loss of words trying to figure out what in the world. You know, what's the motivation of the president to do this if not to just simply divide. Why is it, and not that you have to explain the president's, you know, actions here, but why is it, you know, the president would feel like this is political capital? Because if it's not political capital, then what is the other motivation for a president of the United States to carry on in this matter, to use these words, to denigrate, insult, to provoke this kind of moment in America?

GABBY ORR, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, POLITICO: When you talk to his campaign, they say that this is all part of a coherent strategy that President Trump is building a campaign based on division. That he is putting racial animus at the center of his 2020 campaign and that he thinks that winning over white-working class voters and people who fear major cultural change in America will gravitate towards him the more that he perpetuates these things. The more that he tweets these provocative things, the more that he targets African-American lawmakers.

[16:20:05] Now of course whether or not that works remains to be seen. There are many people inside his own presidential campaign who are very skeptical of this strategy and think that ultimately it's actually going to end up driving voters away from him in the states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, that he will need to win in order to sail to re-election.

There are others, though, who think that this does fit into his message that talks about major cultural changes in America, and though it's unfortunate and risky for a politician like President Trump to sort of dabble in racial and -- racially incendiary comments and racism, that it may work to their advantage.

WHITFIELD: OK. So risky possibly. You know, April, but at the same time, would it not still be in step with how he began his campaign in 2016 anyway? I mean, you can't forget the jargon used then with, you know, Mexicans are all rapists. I mean, isn't this the same thing? And so does this simply underscore that the president does feel that this is a winning approach to re-election?

RYAN: Well, not only does he believe it's a winning approach because this is how he started his political career, saying Barack Obama was illegitimate because he was allegedly born in Kenya. He proved that himself to be wrong. He came out and said that, I give him that. But this now is campaign -- Trump campaign 2.0 on steroids. And race is at the forefront.

He is stirring up race. I mean, I was thinking back to George Wallace. You know, George Wallace who was the biggest racial hater in this nation. But the only hope that I have that this could change around is the fact that George Wallace apologized before he died. When will the president apologize for this, if he ever will? This is a tide that is turning.

And I'm going to tell you, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus are upset. Fourteen members of the Congressional Black Caucus were culling me early this morning upset hearing about my tweets saying, look, Elijah Cummings is not a racist. I heard from Sheila Jackson Lee, congresswoman from Texas, Barbara Lee, congresswoman from California --

WHITFIELD: It's upsetting but the president knows it's upsetting. I mean, just within the last hour, he tweeted again just using --

RYAN: But they feel standing strong. They feel --

WHITFIELD: He's done it again because he feels like --

(CROSSTALK)

RYAN: As they are in Ghana marking 400 years since the first slaves were brought to this nation, they are still upset saying, look, we're standing with Elijah Cummings. And here's the issue. And this is how things will change, and people don't believe it. If you say something, if you stand up and not be bullied into submission, this is not right. If people believe that this president is a moral leader, they're sadly mistaken.

It should not be about the color of our skin. It should be about people. What's happening at the southern border is wrong. Elijah Cummings stands up and says something about it. So now he's called a racist for caring about humanity? Something is wrong there, and this president is stirring a very ugly pot that we've seen stirred before. People were killed. We are still in a time where we don't have an anti-lynching law. These people are shooting at the Emmett Till, what is it --

WHITFIELD: Yes. The memorial.

RYAN: Plot, and taking -- at the memorial and standing. This is not right. This president is stirring up hate, and Elijah Cummings is not the racist. Let's look at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Trump, I asked you, if you were a racist, you said no three days later but your actions and your words and your tweets are showing exactly that.

WHITFIELD: Gabby, you know, April, talked about the president being a moral leader. But did the president step away? Has his jargon, has his actions meant that this president has stepped away from being a moral leader of this country long ago, and especially now with these tweets?

ORR: Well, it's extremely difficult for the president to go out on the campaign trail at his rallies and talk about African-American unemployment and talk about his tax cuts and the way that has helped the black community and then to see that juxtapose with these tweets. It makes all of that rhetoric feel empty. It makes -- it makes voters question his authenticity and his sincerity. And so that I think is going to be a key problem for his and his -- for himself and for his campaign advisers in 2020.

They need to find a way for him to either cut the tweets, stop doing things that are going to only make Republicans and Democrats uncomfortable, or he needs to just go all in on this strategy and if he does I think a lot of people who are in his orbit and involved in his campaign would say that it won't end well.

WHITFIELD: All right. Powerful messages --

RYAN: But Fredricka --

WHITFIELD: Yes. Please.

RYAN: Fredricka, really fast.

WHITFIELD: April.

RYAN: Right now the president thinks to get African-Americans, all he has to do is talk about A$AP Rocky and bring in Kanye West. It's much more than that.

WHITFIELD: It is indeed. All right. Gabby Orr, April Ryan, thanks to both of you ladies. Appreciate it.

ORR: Thank you.

[16:25:04] WHITFIELD: Ahead of the CNN debates, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders on the trail in search of cheaper prescription drugs. What he's trying to accomplish, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Today Senator Bernie Sanders traveled across the northern border to showcase a key part of his health care plan, highlighting the difference between American and Canadian drug prices. This morning Sanders and a group of Americans with Type 1 diabetes made the short trip from Detroit to Canada to purchase insulin from a pharmacy. But as Sanders seeks cheaper insulin, Canadian medical groups are urging the government to step in and protect the country's supply.

CNN Washington Correspondent, Ryan Nobles is live for us in Windsor, Canada just across the border of Detroit. So what's going on?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's no doubt, Fred, that what Bernie Sanders was trying to do was put a personal face on the cost of pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs in the United States. And by coming here to this pharmacy in Canada, he was demonstrating how there are people who have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars a month to pay for insulin. Like this mother who talked about the struggle that she and her son have had in treating his diabetes.

[16:30:01] Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHY SEGO, MOTHER OF A DIABETIC SON: Today, actually we got 24 vials, 25 vials and it cost a little more than what I thought that (Inaudible), $1,000 thousand I paid. We still saved $10,000.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NOBLES: So if you heard that, Fred, a six-month supply for her son in the United States, $10,000. At this pharmacy, it was only $1,000. And what Bernie Sanders believes is that this is a problem with the system in the United States that the American health care system, its reliance on the pharmaceutical industry is part of the problem.

He promises if elected president, he's going to turn that around. To your point, though, Fred, there are some in Canada concerned with the idea of Sanders promoting the importation of drugs from Canada into the United States. And it could hurt the system here in Canada. Sanders response to that criticism is that he's illustrating a fine point here.

It's about fixing the system in the United States. He doesn't believe that this is something that can be sustained for a long term, people coming over the border and buying those drugs. He wants to make the situation better in the U.S., Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Nobles thanks so much. The CNN Democratic presidential debates just a few days away, two days, in fact, two big nights, 10 candidates each night. The first is on Tuesday, July 30th, with progressives Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. And then Wednesday, July 31st, see the rematch, potential rematch, right, between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The CNN debates live from Detroit only on CNN.

[16:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. With just two days to go until the CNN debates, candidates are honing their messages, hoping to stand out. As Gloria Borger explains for those who don't find a way to stand out on a crowded stage, it could mean the end of the campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: At his kickoff rally, California Congressman, Eric Swalwell was center stage. But at the first primary debate, he was nearly off the stage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walking out is -- that is really intimidating. I don't know if I know you or not, but I am pointing, I am waving. Then you feel like you're completely, you know, vulnerable and just everyone is looking at you.

BORGER: That debate would be his last.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today ends our presidential campaign. Our polling just -- it stayed flat. It didn't go anywhere.

BORGER: Remaining at less than one percent. And as the field lines up for the two CNN debates, the pressure is really on, because in the fall, securing podium spots will be twice as hard. So Detroit could be the end of the trail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe 12, 13 of these candidates, there are not going to be another shot after this. To some extent, not qualifying for the next debate is a death sentence.

STUART STEVENS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's a lot of ways to screw up a debate. What's essential is to think about what can I do so that there won't be a total disaster here.

BORGER: McCain attack phrases. Bradley attack phrases. Stuart Stevens has prepped Republican candidates from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to Mitt Romney.

STEVENS: Ideally before a debate, you look at your polling and you'd say who do I need to talk to. You'd never make an ad that just says, well, I don't know. I am not sure who it's going to apply to. It's like shooting a shotgun in the air and hoping ducks fly by.

ROBBY MOOK, 2016 HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What drives coverage in these debates is friction. It is taking someone on.

BORGER: As Kamala Harris did attacking Joe Biden's record on busing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was bussed to school everyday. And that little girl was me.

STEVENS: (Inaudible) because she's defined herself. And she got her bio in. You like that person and you're pulling for that person.

BORGER: So it didn't seem contrived?

(CROSSTALK)

STEVENS: There's a different between prepared and contrived. I think prepared is you've thought about it. She's comfortable talking about race. And it shows.

BORGER: Biden was uncomfortable being challenged in that way. And that showed, too.

STEVENS: I mean, you're president of the United States or you're vice president. You walk in the room, people usually applaud. And you're not used to having somebody get in your face.

BORGER: If you were advising Joe Biden right now, what would you tell him to do?

MOOK: Be on offense.

BORGER: Offense?

MOOK: Be on offense. You are there to win votes. You are not there to defend your lead.

BORGER: That's fine if you're Biden or if you're Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders fighting over many of the same voters. But if you're not a name brand candidate, breaking out can be hard to do.

STEVENS: And there are other alternatives up there that are acceptable. There's always this question, like, why are you on the shelf? I mean, do we really need like eight variations of barbecue potato chips?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are speaking, you just like feel the glare of the moderators looking at you like you're not a top tier person.

BORGER: What are you doing here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. You can just feel that.

BORGER: So you had like five minutes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four minutes and 45 seconds.

BORGER: But who's counting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

BORGER: But who's counting. What can you do really in that amount of time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have a moment that gets replayed. We're going to solve the issues of climate chaos, pass the torch. If we're going to solve the issue of student loan debt, pass the torch. If we're going to end gun violence for families who are fearful of sending their kids to school, pass the torch.

BORGER: Do you think you got a little too torchy there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, I thought all of these issues -- someone who has worked on, you know, gun violence and student loan debt that many of them are generational.

BORGER: Did it look a little contrived, though, too many torches?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, maybe I could have done, you know, one fewer torch.

BORGER: In these debates, preparation can be everything.

MOOK: You can't do it for five minutes here or there. They get no lifeline. It's them. It's the camera, the audience.

BORGER: No phone-a-friend?

MOOK: There's no phone-a-friend. And they're going to sink or swim. This is an important test in the process.

BORGER: And after all that studying and all those rehearsals, how does it feel backstage when your candidate goes off script?

MOOK: It's a very special feeling when you're standing -- you're standing there watching the television and you're thinking what are they doing? That is not what we said, right? On the other hand, I will say, as a campaign manager there is no way for you to know what it is like.

BORGER: Public failure is never easy. But with 20 candidates, it's more than likely.

[16:39:59] STEVENS: You have to be willing, first of all, to admit that you're probably going to lose. And be willing to lose and stand for something. You can try too hard running for president, and it will always come back and bite you.

BORGER: So it's a fine line for every candidate on stage. Impress, but don't look like you're trying too hard. You know, Fred, just be yourself.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: That's right, authentic. All right, thank you, Gloria. Up next, he says it was all just a horrible mistake. One-year-old twins killed after being left in a hot car for hours, their father now facing criminal charges. More right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcome back. In New York, the father of twin one-year- old babies who died after being left in a hot car for eight hours is now charged with manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. Police say the twins were left in the car while their dad, 39-year-old Juan Rodriguez was at work at a nearby VA hospital.

CNN's Diane Gallagher is here with me now. So tell us more about the sequence of events, what's happening, and what potentially is next.

[16:45:00] DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So he made his first court appearance, Juan Rodriguez, and we got a chance to hear from his attorney who is a CNN Legal Analyst, Joey Jackson, talk about sort of the mental state of Rodriguez. And we saw the criminal complaint, what Rodriguez told police after finding his children, he says, in his vehicle.

He says that he thought he had taken those one-year-old twins to daycare and had simply forgotten that they were in the vehicle. He thought that he went on to daycare. Joey Jackson described in court how his client's family is coping with this right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOEY JACKSON, LAWYER FOR DAD ACCUSED IN HOT CAR DEATHS: Everyone is still coming -- trying to come to grips, judge, with the horrific nature of this circumstance. Certainly, his wife and his lovely family support him, as does so many friends and members of the community. And I raise those issues, judge, just because they relate to his state of mind.

There's nothing here at all that's intentional. And my client, if he could bring back time, certainly would do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Now, Juan Rodriguez's wife, Marisa, was in the courtroom as they were making that statement, waiting for bond, a bond hearing there. She released a statement afterward. And I want to read just a brief amount of that. She said that everything I do reminds me of my sweet, intelligent, beautiful babies, and I am still in disbelief. Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband.

He's a good person, a great father, and I know he would have never done anything to hurt our children intentionally. And we'll never get over this loss. And I know he'll never forgive himself for this mistake. Fred, Marisa and Juan have three other children at home with them, too, so this entire family just completely devastated by this. They lost those two twins, and then now they're trying to figure out what to do.

WHITFIELD: So horrible. All right, thank you so much, Diane Gallagher. Appreciate it. All right, we have so much more straight ahead in the Newsroom right after this.

[16:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Every week, we honor CNN Heroes, everyday people doing extraordinary work to help others. But becoming a CNN Hero begins with a nomination from you. Just taking a few minutes to fill out an online form could turn your mentor or someone whose work you admire into a CNN Hero and change their life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I met my hero when we were volunteering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's making a big difference for kids in our area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is my second mom, my mentor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I felt like it was very important for people to know about Sister Tisa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel honored that I was able to honor her in such a significant way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was so proud of myself because I was like, oh, my goodness, for everything that she's done for me, I did something for her, you know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And if you know someone who deserves to be a CNN Hero, don't wait. Nominations close Wednesday night. Go to CNNHeroes.com right now. And this update on our breaking news, President Trump now confirming that Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, will step down, the president tweeting this moments ago. I am pleased to announce that highly Respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the director of National Intelligence, a former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for our country he loves.

Dan Coats, the current director, will be leaving office on August 15th. I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our country. The acting director will be named shortly, and more on this at the top of the hour. All right, tonight, an all-new episode of the CNN original series, "THE MOVIES," will explore American cinema of the 1970s. Here's a preview.

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RENEE GRAHAM, BOSTON GLOBE ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND COLUMNIST: The queen to me of the 1970s was Pam Grier. And she was playing a black heroine. I mean there were never black women who got to be assertive and had guns and took on villains. And as a black girl, as I was at the time, seeing this larger than life, beautiful woman coming out triumphant at the end was amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I loved about Pam Grier is that she is badass. But she's sexy at the same time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was really a unique presence at that time. Guys interested in her as a sex symbol, people interested in her as a feminist symbol, people interested in her as a movie star. She was that present in the culture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And I had the great honor of interviewing Pam Grier a few years ago. What a fierce and what a forceful woman, so joining me right now, another fierce and forceful woman, Associate Editor and Columnist for the Boston Globe Renee Graham. The 1970s, Renee, you know, are considered a second golden age for Hollywood cinema. So in your view, what kind of led to that kind of groundbreaking form of cinema?

GRAHAM: You are coming out of the 60s where you have Vietnam. You have the Nixon administration. It's not quite -- Watergate isn't really in full swing yet, but you getting this deepening mistrust of government and these once-esteemed institutions. I think the art began to reflect that, the sense of questioning authority, of showing lives we weren't normally going to see at the movies.

I think all of that comes out of the turmoil of the 60s. And I think the movies in the 70s were an answer to that.

WHITFIELD: And, you know, they were powerful messages. You know, I remember when I talked to Pam Grier, you know, years ago, she talked about, you know, kind of a real conflict in how she felt with her role, you know, and the power of her characters. But, of course, you know, she is smiling, you know, at that kind of legacy.

But it really was, you know, a time of, you know, real strong messaging, particularly coming out of, you know, the Vietnam War, particularly, you know, coming out of the type of politics that the 70s was experiencing.

[16:54:49] GRAHAM: One of the important things to think about with Pam Grier, and you see this in the opening montage of this documentary about films, is you don't see a non-stereotypic role for black women until they show Pam Grier. So that tells you just how iconic she is and how important she was in the 1970s. You know, the hash tag now on social media often is black girl magic. Pam Grier invented black girl magic. You know, she was the first black female superhero in my mind.

WHITFIELD: Oh, absolutely. And what are you hoping people will embrace, learn about this era of cinematography, of movie making, and whether, you know, those messages were intentional?

GRAHAM: You know, I think the most important thing is -- and I think going into the 70s, people sort of have gotten away from the idea that movies purely had to be escapism, you know? You could go and be provoked. You could cope with and deal with morally ambiguous characters. You know, everything wasn't so clear cut black and white. These were the good people and these were the bad people.

It was a lot murkier the way society was at the time. And I think it's important for people to look back at these films, A, because they are some of the greatest films ever made and it's certainly my favorite decade of films. But to sort of see the influence that these filmmakers, these films and actors and actresses still continue to have to this day.

WHITFIELD: Yeah. All right, Renee Graham, thank you so much. Pam Grier forever, I mean don't we always worship forever, big time. All right, thank you so much. Be sure to stay tuned to an all new episode of the CNN original series, "THE MOVIES," the 1970s. It's coming up at 9:00 p.m. And thank you so much for being with me this Sunday. I am Fredricka Whitfield. CNN's NEWSROOM continues with Ana Cabrera right after this.

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