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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Trump Doubles Down On Attacks Against Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) Maryland; Better, Cheaper Health Care Remains Key Issue For 2020 Democrats; Booker May Face Off With Biden At CNN Debate This Week; Booker, Biden, Harris To Share Stage In CNN Debate; One Dead, 11 Injured After Shooting At Park In Brooklyn; Father Charged In Car Death Of Twin One-Year-Old Babies; Two Americans Arrested In Rome Over Death Of Police Officer; Thousands March In Hong Kong Amid Political Crisis; David Ortiz Released From Hospital Following Shooting; Red Sox Batter Yankees Pitching Again In 9-5 Win; Caeleb Dressel A Rising Star For USA Swimming; Superstars Show Up For WNBA All-Star Game. Aired 6- 7a ET

Aired July 28, 2019 - 06:00   ET

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


[06:00:22]

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning to you.

President Trump is fortifying his attacks on Baltimore. Neglecting the backlash to his Saturday rant on the city and Congressman Elijah Cummings.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. A late night tweet from the president said this -- quote -- "So sad that Elijah Cummings has been able to do so little for the people of Baltimore. Cummings has done nothing but milk Baltimore dry" -- unquote.

Now, thousands have weighed in on the president's remarks, including Baltimore mayor, Bernard Young. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BERNARD YOUNG (D), BALTIMORE: We're not going to ignore anyone degrading Baltimore City and its elected leadership. No one.

I won't consider it fueling the fire. I look at it as defending Baltimore City, the city where I live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: CNN's Sarah Westwood is following the very latest. Sarah, anything this morning from the White House?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, good morning, Christi. And as you mentioned, President Trump was doubling down throughout yesterday and into last night on that vicious attack on Congressman Elijah Cummings that all seemed to be inspired from a "FOX & Friends" segment, the president's favorite morning program, that aired yesterday and the president seemingly focusing in on Congressman Cummings because of Cummings' grilling of his DHS chief Kevin McAleenan at a border security hearing the week before.

But nonetheless, President Trump is drawing fire from all corners of the Democratic Party for his tweets, his -- what has been pursued as a racist attack on Baltimore, referring to it as crime-infested. So, here is what the Baltimore mayor had to say on Twitter in defense of Congressman Cummings.

He wrote, "It's completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American city like Baltimore and to viciously attack Congressman Cummings, a patriot and a hero."

Now Congressman Cummings also responded to the president's tweet shortly after it was sent yesterday morning. Cummings writing, "Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning I wake up and I go home to fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."

One of the president's several attacks on Cummings had attacked Cummings of not spending enough time in his district, not going there. Obviously it's very close to Washington. Congressman Cummings spends a lot of time there.

President Trump and the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee they do have a complicated history. It was Congressman Cummings in 2017 when the president was first inaugurated who said he told the president that his rhetoric can often be perceived as harmful, as offensive to the African-American community. And according to Congressman Cummings' telling of that story, President Trump said no one had ever told him that before.

They have sparred occasionally throughout Trump's presidency. This is obviously a new level of viciousness that we're seeing from the president towards Congressman Cummings -- Victor and Christi.

PAUL: I'm sorry. I just want to clarify that. Did you just say the president said nobody had told him that his language was divisive?

WESTWOOD: That his language for the African-American community that is the retelling of that first meeting in March 2017 that the two had in the Oval Office when Trump was first inaugurated.

PAUL: OK. Sarah Westwood, just needed clarification there to make sure we heard that correctly. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Sarah.

PAUL: So, we'll have more on this in just a few minutes. But we do want to talk about the campaign trail and specifically the better and cheaper health care remaining a key issue for 2020 Democratic candidates.

BLACKWELL: The CNN debates this week, they will get a chance to talk about how they plan to make it a reality. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They have different ideas on how to get there but the same central message.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Health care is a human right.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Access to health care should be a right.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time for this country to make quality, affordable health care a right and not a privilege.

GUPTA: Better, cheaper health care. It's a challenge no matter where you are on the political spectrum.

ERIN FUSE BROWN, ASSOCIATE LAW PROFESSOR, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: I think people are really frustrated with the current health care system.

GUPTA: Erin Fuse Brown, a health law expert at Georgia State says the system has fundamental flaws.

BROWN: It's really the worst consumer experience.

GUPTA: And we pay pore it. The United States has the most expensive health care in the world. Around $3.5 trillion a year.

SANDERS: People should not be forced into financial ruin, into bankruptcy, for what reason? Because someone in the family became ill.

GUPTA: In 2016, his was a lone voice.

[06:05:00]

But many Democrats are now getting in line behind Bernie Sanders, who has long called for a single-payer system.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I'm with Bernie on Medicare for All.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So then how does this plan differ from what Senator Sanders is proposing?

HARRIS: I think that they're very similar.

BROWN: In a single-payer system, everyone would be automatically enrolled in a government-run health care program, like Medicare.

GUPTA: It would cover doctor's visits, hospitalizations, but also hearing aids, dental, and vision, these candidates say. There would be some co-pays for brand-name prescription drugs. But a sort of litmus test is starting to take shape. Question is, will a single-payer system also eliminate private insurance as we know it?

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR & DEBATE MODERATOR: Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?

GUPTA: At the Democratic debates in June, only Senator Sanders and Harris, along with Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, raised their hands. Harris later said she had misinterpreted the question.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Anyone who has their employer-based insurance can keep it if they want.

GUPTA: The former vice president, Joe Biden, doesn't envision a system without private insurance. And he is leading the charge on the public option.

(APPLAUSE)

BIDEN: This is a big (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.

GUPTA: Perhaps no surprise, Biden wants to expand Obamacare.

BROWN: In a public option, everyone would have the option to buy a Medicare type of plan for themselves, but they wouldn't be automatically enrolled.

BIDEN: We can protect and build on Obamacare and make sure that at least 97 percent to 100 percent of the American people have coverage.

GUPTA: Biden's plan caps premiums and offers subsidies to buy insurance regardless of your income. Biden says his proposal would cost $750 billion over 10 years, money he would raise primarily through taxes and cutting costs.

Sanders' plan calls for tax increases as well. Money that he believes will be more than offset by lower premiums.

SANDERS: My guess is that people in the middle class will be paying somewhat more in taxes, but they're going to be paying significantly less overall in health care.

GUPTA: Harris says she believes her plan could be achieved without a middle-class tax increase.

LAH: Senator Sanders is proposing --

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: Well, part of it is going to have to be about Wall Street paying more. It's going to have to be about looking at how we -- and what we tax. GUPTA: But Medicare for All may not be an easy sell politically. A recently released NPR/PBS/Marist national poll found 70 percent favor Medicare for All for those who want it. But just four in 10 say Medicare for All is a good idea if there is no longer private insurance. And 54 percent are even more blunt saying it's a bad idea.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: All right. Sanjay, thank you.

Let's get back to backlash over President Trump's rant against the city of Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings. Joining me now to discuss CNN Political Commentator, Joe Lockhart and CNN Political Analyst, Kirsten Powers. They are in Detroit ahead of the big CNN debate.

Thank you for waking up early to be with us.

JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.

BLACKWELL: All right. So let's start here. Kirsten with you.

CNN political analyst Toluse Olorunnipa has a piece out this morning in "The Washington Post" in which he writes that, "Trump's advisers had concluded that after the previous tweets that the overall message sent by such attacks is good for the president among his political base -- resonating strongly with the white working-class voters he needs to win reelection in 2020."

He thinks and they think racism works. The attacks work. What do Democrats have to respond to that?

POWERS: I mean, I think it's a remarkable statement to make about the people who vote for you. The idea that you believe that white working class voters who we've always been told, at least by the Trump campaign, who really voted for him, they said, because of economic issues. In fact, are just a bunch of racist and the best way to get them to vote is to make overtly racist attacks on various members of congress, which has now become clearly something that he's decided works for him.

I mean, it's something that he did to the four female congressman -- congresswomen and something he's now doing to Elijah Cummings. It's not even subtle. And so, I think it's really -- it's surprising, I guess, that they feel comfortable just admitting that they believe that their voters are racists.

BLACKWELL: Joe, let's with you take it one step further. You actually -- and I'm going to read you a tweet. "Anyone who supports a racist or a racist strategy is a racist themselves. 2020 is a moment of reckoning for America. Vote for Donald Trump and you are a racist. Don't hide it like a coward. Wear that racist badge proudly and see how it feels." I'm going to read the sentence again.

[06:10:00]

"Vote for Donald Trump and you are a racist." Americans who vote for the president because let's say they are firmly pro-life, they are racist because they believe he's right on that issue and whomever the eventual Democratic nominee is pro-choice that pro-life voter is a racist because they vote for Donald Trump?

LOCKHART: I think so. I think racism only exists because it's supported. If people didn't support racism, you wouldn't have -- or you wouldn't have racists. And I think this election is different than 2016. We got lots of hints from Donald Trump in 2016 that he was a bigot, he attacked the Mexican judge, for example, saying that he couldn't be loyal to America because he had Mexican heritage, even though he was born, I think, in Indiana.

But this time, as Kirsten was saying, they are making this an explicit strategy. They're saying -- and it's an illogical extension of his immigration strategy. They are saying they want to divide America into two groups, whites and non-whites. And that is a racist strategy.

So, my point is when you go into the polls and if you say you'll support Donald Trump then you're supporting his racism and that's the foundation of being a racist.

BLACKWELL: Everyone -- let me come to you, Kirsten. Everyone of the people, every person in America who votes for Donald Trump in 2020 is a racist, that's what we're hearing from Joe. Do you agree with that?

POWERS: I think -- I think that if you vote for somebody who is behaving in such explicitly racist manner, and again -- and we're being told this is part of a strategy. This is not -- this is his belief that this will work with his voters. So, he's actually the one who's saying that they're racist. So, let's just be clear about that.

I think that if you go ahead and you vote for a person who does the things he does, at a bare minimum, it's not a deal-breaker for you. And I think that somebody that is doing that needs to take a step back and look at themselves and say, why is this not a deal-breaker for me? And why am I OK with the fact that the president and the people around him seem to think that I'm a racist and believe that this will work for me and believe that by making these attacks, by making these overtly racist attacks that this is somehow going to get me to the polls.

I mean, the person who is calling them racists is actually Donald Trump. And so, I think that's something that, you know, his voters need to seriously consider.

Now, I think what a lot of people will say, I think if we were just to go out and talk to some Trump voters right now, a lot of them might even say that they don't think this is racist. And I think that there are some people that don't maybe understand the fact that referring to, you know, the infestation, you know, that he keeps talking about. The way he talks about black and brown people as if, like, they're going to -- you know, they're going to infest us, that they're going to somehow contaminate us. That is really the language that he uses.

It is racist language. And unfortunately, I think there are people who will say, well, no, that not really racist. He just was talking about how there is bad crime.

BLACKWELL: Joe, let me -- let me come back to you and push back on this. Every person who votes for Donald Trump is a racist. How do you then explain it?

These head to head polls are early, right? We'll stipulate that. The percentage of people who will vote for Donald Trump if -- and we've got a poll we can put up. Full screen three, if you have it ready.

The percentage of people who will vote for Donald Trump if Elizabeth Warren is the nominee but will vote for Joe Biden and not Donald Trump if Biden is the nominee. I mean, racism isn't ephemeral. They will switch back and forth depending on the candidate.

So, are you suggesting that maybe three or four percent, small number, they're a racist if they vote for Trump and Warren is the nominee but they're not racist if they vote for Biden if he's the nominee?

LOCKHART: No. My suggestion is simple. It is my belief. That if you condone racism and racism as a strategy, we really haven't seen this exclusively since 1968 with George Wallace. But if you condone that and you rationalize it in some way and you support racism, then you have some racism in yourself.

So, again, how Trump stacks up against other people. And I'm not saying that Trump's going to lose because of this. I think that's what makes this election so important. Because it is -- it is kind of a clarion call of what our moral values are and what this country is about.

That someone could stand up and say, that black and brown people are different than white people and that they are, you know -- and that immigrants can be treated in a subhuman way because they're from Mexico or Guatemala or Honduras. And if you can rationalize that, that means that somewhere in you there is prejudice, there's bigotry and there's racism.

[06:15:04]

BLACKWELL: Joe Lockhart, Kirsten Powers, thank you both.

We have a lot more to talk with you about. Of course the reason you are there in Detroit, the 2020 debate that's coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday. So, stay with us for that.

PAUL: And we're going to talk more about that with them. Joe Biden saying he's going to be ready for any attacks in this week's debates. Good thing because at least we know one other candidate sharing the stage may be ready for his own face-off with Biden. BLACKWELL: Plus, new details on the investigation of two American teenagers arrested for allegedly killing an Italian police officer. A live update from Rome, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: So, of course, people will be watching Kamala Harris. This time around Joe Biden will be sharing the stage with the other candidate that has forced him to defend his record, Senator Cory Booker.

Here's the problem. Even with those attacks, Booker is barely registering in the polls. In one South Carolina poll, while Biden is on type at 39 percent, booker misses the top five because he's tracking with billionaire Tom Steyer who just entered the race at around two percent.

Back with us CNN Political Analyst, Kirsten Powers, columnist for "USA Today." CNN Political Commentator, Joe Lockhart, press secretary for the Clinton White House.

Thank you both for sticking around. We certainly appreciate it.

Let's talk about Booker real quickly. How potent is this moment for him to make some inroads, Joe, because he has been the one attacking Biden, particularly on Biden's comments about working with segregationists, about his criminal justice reform records but what does this mean for booker Tuesday?

[06:20:14]

LOCKHART: Well, I think Booker learned an important lesson from Kamala Harris in the first debate which is if you can take on Biden and put him on his back foot you'll get a boost of attention from the media and maybe even support. So, I think a lot of what he was doing over the last four or five days was trying to make sure that this question gets asked and is front and center in the debate.

I think, he has not gotten traction so far. And I think this is just a deliberate attempt, probably a pretty smart attempt, to make sure that he plays a prominent role in this debate and people get to see more of him as opposed to, in the last debate where he kind of got lost.

PAUL: Kirsten, for Booker, what is his biggest obstacle to building that support? Is it in fact the sheer numbers of the candidates right now or is there something missing?

POWERS: I think that one of the most important things for the candidates is to be authentic. And the thing about Cory Booker is his entire brand, for lack of a better word, has been this politics of love, that I'm -- going to love people. And for him to suddenly make this turn into now I'm going to like suddenly -- basically start implying that Joe Biden is a racist, I feel like it's a little off- brand. So, I understand that he has to do something to break out, but at the same time it does seem a little discordant with the way that he normally has been talking about himself and even earlier in the campaign he made it clear that he really didn't want to be, you know, attacking people, necessarily. So, I'm not sure if it's going to work for him. I think also when things seem too calculated, too planned, again, that goes back to the lack of authenticity.

If people can see, oh, you're just trying to break out and get some attention -- I know people accused Kamala Harris of being too calculated but I think for her she came out from a very like personal place, and it was a very specific argument over something that had affected her personally. So, I think we should look for Cory maybe to do a similar thing where maybe he will bring up some of his sort of personal experience where, perhaps, he himself feels that he was harmed by whatever, you know -- whatever things that Joe Biden had supported.

PAUL: OK. So, let's talk about that aspect of planning and strategy. When it comes to health care, let's look at some of these numbers that are up here because we know that Biden, Harris, Sanders, all talking about Medicare for All and health care.

This new Marist poll shows that 70 percent of people polled regarding Medicare for All support Medicare for All who want it. But they want to keep their private insurance if that is an option. Fifty-four percent of the people polled think Medicare for All is just a bad idea in general.

How do these folks -- how do these candidates sell this? Joe?

LOCKHART: Yes, well, listen, I think if Cory Booker wants to talk about criminal justice reform and Joe Biden, Joe Biden is desperate to talk about Medicare for All, Medicare for who want it and all of the different options. I think there are only a couple of candidates, Warren and Sanders explicitly, Kamala Harris who has been kind of back and forth on abolishing private insurance. That's an idea that is very problematic for Democrats in the general election.

I think the bulk of the field is for, as what Pete Buttigieg called Medicare for those who want it. Even -- the polls that, I think, you're citing are Democrats and Republicans. Even polls among Democrats, progressive Democrats, indicate that there is not public support, not strong public support for abolishing private insurance. There is support for providing a public option. That was what Obama and Obamacare tried to do at the beginning, they failed.

So, I think Biden really wants to draw that distinction because right now it's a little muddled. Medicare for All means whatever you want it to mean for a voter. And I think you're going to see Biden hitting that hard.

PAUL: OK. Let's look at the Monmouth poll here as well regarding support among likely black Democratic primary voters in South Carolina. Biden has 51 percent. Harris is next in line with just 12 percent. So, we can see how far ahead he is. Let's listen to Basil Smikle. He is the former executive director of the New York State Democratic Party. He spoke with S.E. Cupp yesterday. And here's what he said about the reasons that Biden is attractive to many in the African-American community.

[06:25:08]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BASIL SMIKLE, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The fact is that many African-American voters are fairly moderate.

S.E. CUPP. HOST. S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED: Right.

SMIKLE: So, there are a lot of older African-American men, for example, that don't like the way the party has leaned into immigration reform because they're saying, look, we've been here a long time, too.

CUPP: Right. Right.

SMIKLE: Where is the party's attention on us?

CUPP: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Kirsten, has the party moved too far left for some people and Biden and his historically moderate views are what's going to be attractive to them? And can anybody overcome that?

POWERS: Yes, I mean, I don't think the party has moved too far left substantively. I think that they're probably in the right place. I think, one of the problems is that you're introducing a lot of ideas, I think, in the middle of a campaign that take a lot longer to move the country in terms of helping them understand why, for example, we might need to move to a single payer system or we might need Medicare for All.

I think ultimately that is the correct substantive position. It just takes -- it takes awhile to move people and to try to interject that in the middle of a campaign, I think, can be a little jarring for people.

I actually think Joe Biden's numbers of being so far ahead are inflated. And I think that a lot of it is name recognition and Obama nostalgia. And so, you know, as we get closer to people actually voting, then we'll probably see those -- that start to kind of shrink up a little bit.

It's also based on the idea that he can beat Trump and which is -- then sort of the number one thing for Democrats right now. And we'll have to see how he does in the debate, frankly, because I don't think he was that impressive in the last debate. And if he continues to perform that way, I think that will start to chip away at the idea that, oh, this is the guy to go up against Donald Trump. PAUL: And I think that's what's so interesting for people is he did not -- he was not praised after the last debate. He it wasn't out there, he did very well and yet his numbers are still so strong. We'll have to see.

Kirsten Powers and Joe Lockhart, we appreciate you both being here. Thank you.

POWERS: Thank you.

PAUL: So, the lineups are set for the CNN Democratic presidential debates, of course, two big nights, 10 candidates each night. The first round Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Make sure that you stay tuned in for round two on Wednesday as well.

The live action gets under way at 8:00 p.m. Eastern live from Detroit only here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: We can't always pinpoint a reason for why the president chooses his Twitter targets but next Brian Stelter says in the case of Congressman Elijah Cummings, the president may have been following someone else's script.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:30:00]

BLACKWELL: We've been talking this morning about one of the latest Twitter rants by the President. He criticized Congressman Elijah Cummings at his district calling it a dangerous and filthy place.

PAUL: Well, people are wondering why they suddenly picked Cummings to go after and why his district, Baltimore specifically. It turns out he may have been following someone else's script here.

CNN Chief Media Correspondent, Brian Stelter, Host of Reliable Source, of course, you'll see him a little bit later today as well. But -- so, Brian, what's your take on this? What have we found out?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think it's pretty clearly, one of the examples that the President seeing something on Fox News, receiving a warped view of the world from Fox and then going on another racist Tweet storm as a result.

You know, we've been talking for a couple of years about where does the President get his information. What are his sources of information? That is such an important question with any president or any political leader.

And certainly, with President Trump, it's now been proven hundreds of times over that he watches Fox often, mostly the pro-Trump talk shows on Fox that gave him a really distorted view of the world and then he acts on that information.

Now, sometimes he only acts on it via Tweets. Other times, he acts on it with actual policy changes, actual decisions that he makes as Commander-in-Chief. But whether it's a Tweet or a policy decision, he is not getting the best, most accurate information.

Now, this particular Fox set, we'll show you a little bit of it, was on Fox & Friends. There was a conservative commentator who went into West Baltimore taking pictures of some of the really terrible conditions, some of the trash that's piled up on corners, there were examples of rats, another problems in the neighborhood.

I think it's well known and it has been well known for decades that there are parts of inter-cities in America, including Baltimore, that are absolutely in a struggling condition that's been true for decades.

But Fox decided to cherry-pick this one example in Baltimore, this one neighborhood, because of Elijah Cummings, because the Congressman has been challenging President Trump, holding oversight hearings, challenging Trump about the border crisis, challenging Trump when it comes to information about the President's history. And so as a result, Fox set up a segment attacking Cummings, the President Tweeted about it an hour later, and now, here we are.

I think we're in one of these situations where actually bringing facts to the table doesn't necessarily solve the problem. But there were so many factual inaccuracies in the segment and in the President's Tweet storms. As you acknowledged yesterday, Victor, this district means so much to so many people. 700,000 people living in this southern congressional district, rural and suburban and urban areas. But the President is only focusing on the neighborhoods in Baltimore that deserve help. But instead of offering to help, as we all know, he's blaming the Congressman.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Maryland extends beyond West Baltimore, into Baltimore County. And it's a really diverse district, as you mentioned, rural, suburban, urban as well.

But although the video and the story was supplied by Fox News, the words that the President Tweet, those were his, his specific description of what we saw. And we saw those commonalities between how the President described Cummings' district and Lewis' district and I guess where he was telling four American congresswomen to go back to.

STELTER: And that is where the pattern is the story. I think so often when we're covering these individual incidents, we've got to recognize the pattern. If this was the first time President Trump had ever called out an African-American congressman and used the word, infest, or said, no human being who want to live there, then I don't think that would be the kind of reaction we've seen in the last 24 hours with the #wearebaltimoretrending, and with so many defenses in the city.

But because it's part of a pattern of racist commentary and incendiary commentary going back decades from the President, that is why I think we can all look at this and say he's continuing to try to play on people's very worst impulses.

[06:35:06] And that is an American tragedy. It's something that can only be challenged politically, and I think we see a lot of political leaders trying to challenge it, but it is all part of a pattern. And if we don't describe the pattern, I think we're falling down as journalists.

BLACKWELL: And racism as a political strategy, as we're learning from one of our CNN analyst reporting for The Washington Post.

Brian Stelter, thanks so much.

STELTER: Thank you.

PAUL: Thanks, Brian.

BLACKWELL: All right. Catch Stelter on "RELIABLE SOURCES" at 11:00 A.M. Eastern right here on CNN.

PAUL: Well, police say two Americans confessed to the stabbing death of an Italian police officer following a drug deal that went wrong, allegedly. We have a live update from Rome next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: 39 minutes past the hour right now. We're so glad to have you here. Listen, one person is dead, nearly a dozen others are recovering from injuries this morning following in Brooklyn, New York. This shooting happened during an event at Brownsville Park last night. Several people were transported to hospitals.

BLACKWELL: Right now, at least one person is in critical condition. Mayor Bill de Blasio Tweeted that the shooting shattered a peaceful neighborhood event. There is still no word on the age or identities of the victims.

The father of twin one-year-old babies who died after being in a hot car for eight hours has been charged with manslaughter, negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child.

[06:40:03]

According to police, while the twins were in the car, 39-year-old Juan Rodriguez was at work at a nearby V.A. (ph) hospital.

PAUL: Now, Rodriguez's attorney said his mental state is fragile based on what happened, that his family is ripped apart. Family and friends say Rodriguez had always been an amazing father. His next court date is Thursday.

Well, two Americans were arrested while on vacation in Rome. They were arrested regarding the murder or in connection with the murder of an Italian police officer. According to police, two 19-year-olds got into a fight with the officer after an alleged drug deal went wrong.

BLACKWELL: The police officer was stabbed several times near the hotel where the teens were staying. CNN Contributor, Barbie Nadeau is with us now from Rome. Barbie, hello to you. What more can you tell us about the arrests first?

BARBIE NADEAU: Well, we've got some disturbing photos that have come out in the Italian press today. I'm going to show this to you. This is one of the suspects, these 19-year-old American boys, blindfolded in police custody during or before the interrogation.

Now, Rome police have confirmed to CNN that they have opened up their own internal investigation, both into why this young man was blindfolded and into who leaked the photo to the press. It's a disturbing photo. And, you know, a lot of people want to get to the bottom of that.

Meanwhile, the family of one of the other suspects, Finnegan Elder, has issued a statement. They said that they send their condolences to the grieving family of that officer who was fatally stabbed. And they say, we have not been able to have any communication with our son. We ask for respected privacy at this time.

Now, their lawyer for that family, for the Elder family, spoke briefly yesterday to reporters saying that while the police said that they had gotten a confession from him the day before, he is now exercising his right to remain silent and the investigation continues.

PAUL: All right. Barbie Nadeau, thank you so much for the latest. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: Thousands of protesters are marching in Hong Kong in the eighth consecutive weekend of pro-democracy demonstrations. We have a live report for you next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:45:00]

BLACKWELL: Right now, thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are on the march after a day of violent clashes.

PAUL: What you're looking at here is the eighth consecutive weekend of major protests in that region. This started with protesters demanding the withdrawal of a now shelved extradition bill and it's evolved into calls for greater democracy. CNN's Anna Coren is live from Hong Kong.

So, Anna, yesterday, we know the march was marred by violence. What are you seeing today? I think the fact that you are dressed in what you're dressed in gives us some indication of how serious this is.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, we were there at Yuen Long yesterday when bricks were thrown and police fired rubber bullets and tear gas, so we're expecting similar things today. There is no doubt about it. This is the eighth consecutive weekend of protests here in Hong Kong. We are on Hong Kong Island. This is a highly residential area where we are in Sheung Wan, very close to the central business district. And as you can see, there are riot police that are dressed, they are ready. Interestingly, they are not wearing their gas masks. They've taken off their gas masks. And a lawmaker who we just spoke to said that there are a lot of elderly people here.

There's also -- as you can see up here, there are hundreds of spectators who are watching, none of them wearing gas masks. So this lawmakers is appealing to police not use tear gas in this area.

Now, the protesters, they're about 50 meters away. You can hear them banging the barricades. They have umbrellas. They have their hard hats. They've got their gloves (ph). They are prepared for what comes in the coming hours.

Now, the reason this place -- they've chosen this place is that we are within meters of the Beijing Liaison Office. Last Sunday, there were violent clashes between police and protesters. Protesters were graffitiing the building. They vandalized the Chinese national emblems, something that really upset Beijing.

That is one of the first things that the city's Chief Executive came out and expressed her disgust, was the graffitiing of the national emblem, not the clashes, the violent clashes or the injuries but the graffitiing of that building. That is representative of China. And China said that that was a challenge to the one country, two systems policy.

Now, these protesters, they are waiting to face off. The last hour we've heard from police telling the protesters, telling the spectators, the passer-by, for people to leave. This is an unlawful assembly that they should not be here because very soon, they are going to clear out these streets.

Now, when they clear out these streets, it is quite an operation. They're either going to charge, and there are tactical police behind the riot police with their batons, with their pepper spray or they use tear gas, something they did yesterday many times at Yuen Long, firing that tear gas, dispersing the crowd.

Now, this is not the only protest. There's another protest going on about 15 minutes away in Causeway Bay. And there are thousands more people who are gathered there. This is something that isn't ending any time soon.

And as you alluded to in your intro, this began with that very controversial extradition bill, these protesters turning out. It is now so much more. These people are fighting for the future of Hong Kong, for the freedoms that they've enjoyed for the last 22 years. So, these protesters, they've said they are going to turn up every single weekend until their demands are met. Christi and Victor?

BLACKWELL: It's expected, there will be another clash today with that type of resolve on both sides. Anna Coren for us there, thank you.

PAUL: After a near fatal shooting last month, Red Sox legend David Ortiz's recovery is taking another step in the right direction. We'll tell you what's happening.

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[06:40:00]

PAUL: So some news about former Red Sox star, David Ortiz. Today, he's out of the hospital. It's been almost two months since he was shot. Two months.

BLACKWELL: Vince Cellini is here. Good news for the --

VINCE CELLINI, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, very good news. But this is just one more step on the road to recovery for him, as we've talked about. And it's far from over, really, for the Red Sox slugger but so positive right now.

David Ortiz finally back in his Boston home this weekend. The Red Sox confirming he was released from the hospital on Friday. The future hall of famer underwent three surgeries over the past seven weeks, this after being shot at a club in his home country, the Dominican Republic, back in June. An update on his condition is expected sometime this week.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox have been swinging it like those Boston teams Ortiz played for. They'd beat on the Yankees again. J.D. Martinez, the first big blow of the game, a two-run homer off C.C. Sabathia in the fourth. Boston had 9 runs on 15 hits against rival. The Red Sox have scored 38 runs against the Yankees in the first three games of the series. Yankee pitchers historically bad this week, giving up 73 runs in the past seven games. No Yankee team has ever done that as Boston wins nine to five.

[06:55:00]

Well, this past week marked one year until the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and you may want to pay attention to swimmer Caeleb Dressel. The 22-year-old from Florida did the incredible at the FINA World Championships in South Korea yesterday, winning three golds in two hours, helping the U.S. Team set a world record in the mixed 4x100 freestyle team relay. He has six golds so far and a chance for his seventh later today in the 4x100 meter relay.

And WNBA All-Star game in Las Vegas, World Cup Megan Rapinoe on hand to watch with her partner, WNBA Star Sue Bird.

And, really, a remarkable story of persistence and hard work played out, Erica Wheeler, an incredible inspirational night, her first All- Star game. And she's just the fifth WNBA player ever to go from undrafted to league all-star.

And then Rutgers product (ph) went out and scored a game-high 25 points, earned MVP honors and dedicated the award to her mom.

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ERICA WHEELER, WNBA ALL-STAR GAME MVP: Just never give up, man. Just never give up, no matter what nobody tell you. Just keep moving. And I uses my mom as my motivation. I lost her when I was in college to cancer. So I just keep moving because I know she's watching me more than ever. So this is already for you, mom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CELLINI: How about that. Just an exhibition game, I think not. So emotional and such a great story. You got a little welled up.

PAUL: You know I -- yes.

CELLINI: I know. Isn't that a great story?

PAUL: It is great. Congratulations to her. Thank you, Vince.

We'll be right back.

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