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Dem Candidates Seek Endorsement from Labor Union in Las Vegas; Majority of House Dems Now Support Impeachment Inquiry; Three Killed in Cliff Collapse on California Beach; Trump Drops Plan to Nominate Ratcliffe for Intel Chief; Trump: North Korea Missile Tests "Not a Violation"; Clashes Erupt During Hong Kong Protests; Opponents Question Puerto Rico's New Governor; Body Cam Video Shows Death of Man in Dallas Police Station. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 3, 2019 - 11:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:00:25[ FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone.

Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The Presidential primary season ramping up. Fresh off the CNN debates this week, 19 Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in Las Vegas. And with the Nevada primary less than eight months away, the presidential hopefuls are set to take part in a critical forum for public service workers. The candidates will be making their pitches hoping to land the endorsement of one of the biggest labor unions in the country.

CNN's Jessica Dean is in Las Vegas for us. So Jessica -- this event will get underway in the next hour. So why is this forum so important for these Democratic candidates?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you -- Fred.

Yes, this is a big one for these Democratic candidates. As you mentioned, this is one of the largest labor unions in the country. Their endorsement would be a big deal for one of these Democratic candidates especially as they try to stand out in this field.

So today a number of them -- 19 of them -- are going to get to talk directly to members who are going to get to ask them direct questions about issues that concern them. You can bet health care is going to be a big issue at this.

Unions, of course, working very hard to get that health care. What will these different health care plans mean for them and their families? It's things like that that they're going to be talking about here in Nevada.

And this state, very important as well for these Democratic candidates. It's one of the early states in the 2020 Democratic primary. It's a state that has a large union presence as we see today. It's also a state with a very large Hispanic voter population. So you're going to see the candidates working to talk with that population as well today. Those voters, they want to see if that message can resonate. Many of these candidates have either been in Nevada already having events last night, or they're going to disperse after this event today, and they're going to be talking to voters across the state.

Now, all of this as we also look forward to the next debate, which happens in September. And to do that you're going to have to qualify. Those qualifications are going to go up. It's going to be harder to get on that debate stage.

You're going to need 2 percent in at least four polls and 130,000 unique donors. So far, only eight of the candidates have qualified for that debate coming up in September. Several are very close.

So Fred -- we're going to see, again, they've got to make the case to these different constituencies and also continue to raise money and hopefully get themselves on that debate stage in September.

WHITFIELD: Right. Lots at stake for all of those candidates.

Jessica Dean --

DEAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: We'll check back with you in Las Vegas. Thanks so much.

DEAN: All right, then.

WHITFIELD: So while U.S. Congress may be on recess and far away from Capitol Hill, the issue of launching an impeachment inquiry into President Trump is getting the support of a growing number of House Democrats. But will it be enough to force the hand of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi?

CNN politics congressional reporter Lauren Fox has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, a majority of the Democratic caucus is now supporting moving forward with an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. And that's significant because Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of House has been trying to hold her caucus back.

She released a statement just a short time ago arguing that Democrats should stay the course, and now is not necessarily the best time for impeachment. She wrote, quote, "Democrats and the Congress continue to legislate, investigate, and litigate. The President will be held accountable.

And Democrats in the caucus are back in their district for this congressional recess. You can expect that they're going to be hearing from constituents who might also be making calls to impeach the President. But it's a difficult balance because you have moderates who may be going back to districts where President Trump won in 2016. They may be hearing a different message than those members who are in safe Democratic seats who might be hearing from more liberal constituents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Lauren Fox -- thanks so much.

Joining me right now to discuss all of this and more: CNN political commentator and "Washington Post" assistant editor David Swerdlick; and CNN political analyst and national political correspondent for "Time" Molly Ball. Good to see you both.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. So David -- you know, A Democratic milestone has been reached, a majority of House Democrats supporting impeachment or an impeachment inquiry.

So House Speaker Pelosi's response was, and I'm quoting now, "No one is above the law". Her statement also saying, quote, the President will be held accountable.

So if this isn't it, reaching this milestone, then what could be the tipping point for Pelosi?

SWERDLICK: Yes. Good morning -- Fred.

I think this inches Democrats a little closer, but I don't think it changes anything fundamentally from where we've been in the last few weeks. Now you have a majority of the majority in the House saying, yes, impeachment but you don't necessarily have a majority of the whole House, which would have to vote on impeachment.

[11:04:59] And I think Speaker Pelosi's position is now what it's been throughout this Congress which has been, you know, protecting her members in purple districts from having to take a vote that they might have to explain out on the campaign trail next year when they're trying to hold onto those Democratic seats so that Democrats can hold the House.

And I also think that Speaker Pelosi, like a lot of Democrats who have been in Congress for years and years, have memories of the Clinton impeachment where Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, went after President Clinton, got him impeached in the House, not convicted in the Senate and then Republicans lost seats in the next election.

WHITFIELD: But Molly, there's also a lot at stake for these members of Congress, you know, after a $30 million, you know, special counsel probe. They're going to hear it from their constituents as they are back now at home for this August recess.

MOLLY BALL, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I spoke to a Democratic member of Congress yesterday who's from a pretty liberal district who said it's the number one thing that she's hearing about from her constituents even though she supports the Speaker's approach.

The other thing that Speaker Pelosi said in that statement was she listed all of the investigations that are still ongoing. Her position is that impeachment isn't off the table but the process has to play out first. And so she listed all of these subpoenas that are being litigated by the Democrats in the House, all of these court fights that are going on because the administration has chosen to completely stonewall the normal congressional investigation process.

And so what she's saying is we may still win a lot of these. We'll still get all of these witnesses to testify, which could then change the politics of impeachment as well as changing just all of the facts before the Congress in terms of what the President has done.

So she's saying let's let this process play out. Then we go from there.

You can imagine that if there were a court order that the administration defied, I think you would see Democrats almost unanimously move toward impeachment because of that. But what she's saying is we haven't run this out yet.

There are some pro impeachment Democrats who see that as running out the clock and who would like to get moving. But most of those pro impeachment Democrats aren't putting pressure on the leadership to start right away. They're saying they support this as a concept.

SWERDLICK: Right.

WHITFIELD: Meantime, you know, David -- that topic likely to come up, you know, as Democrats who are seeking the presidency are in Nevada right now. They're going to tackle that.

But they're also really courting a key constituency -- unions. You know, they sought to appeal to those blue collar workers in the Detroit debates, you know. How critical is that block of support overall -- David?

SWERDLICK: I think it's critical in Nevada. And what's going to be critical to those union voters as we just heard in the report from Jessica is going to be health care specifically where the candidates stand on Medicare for all.

Unions across the country have, to varying degrees, been a little hesitant about Medicare for all because a lot of union members have health care plans that they already like. So they want to know how Medicare for all is going to affect health care benefits that they've already negotiated from.

I will say that the unions in Nevada are different than the sort of vision of a union worker that we maybe sometimes have in our mind of a white or black middle aged guy in Ohio or Wisconsin. A lot of union workers in Nevada are in the service sector. More women, more people of color particularly Latinos, who it's ground for Democrats to get votes and to get support. But they still have to overcome exactly where they stand on some of these key issues like health care. WHITFIELD: And Molly -- whether it was health care, or whether it was

immigration, you know, Democrats on that Democratic, you know, debate stage, some of them are kind of licking their wounds because they invoked President Obama so much more in this debate and not in a, you know, flattering way.

Just take a listen just as a reminder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Did you say those deportations were a good idea? or did you go to the President and say this is a mistake, we shouldn't do it? Which one?

JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Vice president, it looks likes one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn't.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Vice President -- you can't have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can't do it when it's convenient and then dodge it when it's not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So Molly -- some of those candidates, you know, are walking back the comments. You know, President Obama's approval rating is among, you know, the highest. I mean it is the highest among Democrats particularly. He is incredibly popular.

So whoever the nominee is, you know, they're going to want Obama, you know, to campaign for them. And you know, one has to wonder of those who were critical of the Obama administration if they become the nominee, if there's going to be huge regret. If Obama would, you know, be so kind as to get out on the campaign trail on behalf of that person?

BALL: Yes. Well, look, I think President Obama has like a 95 percent approval rating among Democratic voters. That doesn't mean they all think that he was a perfect president.

SWERDLICK: Right.

[11:10:02] BALL: That doesn't mean that they all think that he can't be criticized or none of the policies of his administration can in retrospect --

(CROSSTALKING)

WHITFIELD: So was this the time in which to do that? --

BALL: -- and it's not going far enough. And you don't hear any of these candidates saying Obama was a bad president. They're critiquing certain parts of his approach, and that may or may not work for them, right. It may be the case that voters don't like that, and voters in fact flock more strongly to Vice President Biden because he is defending a president who they still support, even if he wasn't perfect.

So I think this is really interesting. I think the larger question of President Obama's legacy, particularly with his own party and with the left is very interesting because as president he so frequently tried to do things in a bipartisan manner, even if he was rebuffed. Even as he also took a lot of progressive stands on issues.

You have a Democratic Party that's really in flux, really changing, really struggling to find a new identity to go forward. And part of that is going to be grappling with this, you know, enormously popular two-term president who was the last major Democratic figure in the White House.

SWERDLICK: Fred -- can I just say --

WHITFIELD: Yes.

SWERDLICK: -- I agree with everything Molly just said. And I think that's right that some of these lesser known candidates have to distinguish themselves from the Obama/Biden administration. And so yes, President Obama and everything he did is obviously fair game to them.

But it baffles me that Democrats, especially the centrists or moderates including Vice President Biden have not found a better way to run on the Obama record.

Before we went on air, I looked at the unemployment statistics for Nevada where all the candidates are today, when Obama took office unemployment in Nevada was 9.5 percent. When he left, it was 5.3 percent.

The idea that they can't go out there, especially again, the Vice President Biden or the Congressman Delaneys who are in that centrist lane can't make a better case for that just astonishes me.

WHITFIELD: Right. Plus it would seem that the American voter is looking for if you're -- you know, looking back as a spring board to your plan for the future. And the expectation just might be that some of these voters are hoping these candidates bring that, their vision forward before being able to make a selection.

SWERDLICK: Yes.

WHITFIELD: David Swerdlick, Molly Ball -- thanks very much. Good to see you both.

SWERDLICK: Thanks -- Fred.

BALL: Thank you -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come, three people killed when a bluff collapses on a California beach, and experts warn it actually could happen again.

Plus, we're following breaking news out of Hong Kong. Protesters clashing with police there. We'll take you there live.

[11:12:26] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

A tragedy at a popular southern California beach after a cliff collapsed, killed at least three people and left two others injured. A piece of sand stone bluff at Grand View Beach north of San Diego actually broke off on Friday dumping a pile of debris believed to be weighing tens of thousands of tons. And then prompting a desperate search for victims, potentially trapped under the rubble.

Rosa Flores joining me now with more on this. So do officials understand how and why this happened?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, they say that this is natural because there is natural erosion. Beaches normally do this in this part of the country. And they say that officials warned and lifeguards on the beach warned beachgoers all the time about this. There are signs posted as well.

I just got off the phone with the sheriff's office and they say that the rescue efforts are done, but of course there were a lot of intense moments when those 20 yards of earth collapsed.

Here is what one beach goer had to say. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM PEPPERDINE, ENCINITAS RESIDENT: It's just absolutely sad. And then watching them counsel the victims be they their parents or relatives, whoever they were. They were pretty distraught.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FLORES: Now, according to the fire department there, Fred -- they're having a meeting this morning in a few hours to determine next steps.

They're meeting with soil engineers. These are the experts that are going to be able to tell them what to do next for public safety and for public safety's sake. So at the moment that failure area is taped off. People are not allowed there until soil engineers inspect it and make sure that it's safe.

WHITFIELD: So, you know, as we look at these pictures, I've spent a lot of time at California beaches, and signs of falling rock may be typical. But do people understand or expect that it might mean, you know, potential landslide, which is what this looks like? I mean, an entire bluff that would fall?

FLORES: According to the officials that I've been talking to, they say that signs are posted. They constantly tell people. There are lifeguards, there's actually a lifeguard post very near there that the captain from the fire department says that now they're going to move south to make sure that there's someone --

WHITFIELD: We can see in that image how close it is.

FLORES: Exactly. So they're going to move that to make sure that it's safe. And they say that they tell people about this all the time to stay away from the bluffs because of natural beach erosion.

WHITFIELD: Wow. That's tragic, and unbelievable. All right. Rosa -- keep us posted. Appreciate it.

FLORES: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, amid concerns from Republicans and questions from the media, President Trump says Congressman John Ratcliffe will no longer be nominated as Director of National Intelligence. The question now, what's next?

[11:18:50] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

It is back to square one for President Trump as he looks for a new Director of National Intelligence. Less than a week after nominating Congressman John Ratcliffe for the top intelligence post, the Texas Republican has withdrawn his name from consideration.

The President blamed the press for Ratcliffe's downfall after questions arose over his qualifications. But Ratcliffe had very little national security experience and a Republican senate source told CNN there was very little enthusiasm for his confirmation.

CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood joining me now from New Jersey where the President is spending the weekend. So Sarah -- what else is the President saying now about this development?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUS REPORTER: Well, Fred -- the President said yesterday that over this weekend he will be working on a short list of names to replace John Ratcliffe as his nominee for the Director of National Intelligence.

He said he could have a new name ready as soon as Monday. But keep in mind, that this was a stark reversal for President Trump who went from defending Ratcliffe as a great man, a great pick as recently as Thursday before being forced to remove his nomination amid pressure from both Democrats and Republicans.

There were even GOP senators who were contacting the White House to say that they were worried that the road to confirmation for Ratcliffe could be very difficult. Sources tell CNN that President Trump was also privately expressing concerns that installing Ratcliffe at ODNI could be harder than he initially thought it would be when he picked Ratcliffe on Monday.

Aides and allies say that there was very little vetting done on Ratcliffe before the President pulled the trigger on his nomination. Trump decided to nominate Ratcliffe after seeing his performance at the Mueller hearings last week.

And this is just the latest in a long string of nominees, nominations that have collapsed after there was very little to no vetting done to those people. Recall the case of Ronnie Jackson whose nomination collapsed for the Department of Veteran Affairs all the way up to the President's nomination for Secretary of Defense, Pat Shanahan. That also collapsed.

So the President saying, defending still amid all of this, the President's vetting process and also Fred -- saying that there's a role for the media in that.

WHITFIELD: All right. Sarah Westwood -- thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

The White House downplaying news of missile tests in North Korea. Coming up, why President Trump says North Korea's missile tests do not violate an agreement that he reached with Kim Jong-Un.

[11:25:02](COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

President Trump shrugging off North Korea's latest missile launches saying they don't violate Kim Jong-un's pledge to stop long-range missile testing and then called Kim his friend.

Trump was apparently referring to a broad statement of principles for resolving the conflict, but doesn't address missiles of any kind.

North Korea launched several short-range missiles in May and then more in July, all in violation of United Nations' resolutions.

With me now Aaron David Miller, a former senior State Department adviser and negotiator under both Democrat and Republican administrations; and Samantha Vinograd, she's the former senior adviser to the national security adviser in the Obama administration. So, good to see you both.

So Aaron -- you first. You know, you've dolt with the North Koreans in the past. Is it a mistake, you know, at this point in the U.S. dealings with North Korea to just let Kim Jong-un off the hook with these kind of provocations?

AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT NEGOTIATOR: Well, mistake or not, the reality is the President is kind of creates the zone of immunity both for Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un. I think the President wants to preserve as much flexibility as he can to reach what is now the elusive possibility of a significant denuclearization with North Korea.

[11:30:04] The North Koreans are unhappy with the state of negotiations. They're probably unhappy that the South Koreans just bought some F-35s, who are going to exercise with them in what Kim claims is a contravention of the assurances that the President gave him way back in Singapore about ending large military-scale exercises. You know, my own view is we still need levering, and I think the exercises need to go on. And I think the President should be a tad more disciplined and tougher with respect to Kim.

One last point, Fred -- the reality is that we've got to find a balance between denuclearization of North Korea and creating some incentives for Kim. He's not going to put his nukes that are set at (INAUDIBLE) and ship them out of the country. And I think the Trump administration has to figure this out with talking an inner agreement, probably freeze for freeze towards some broader goals on denuclearization down the road.

WHITFIELD: And from North Korea to, you know, concerns and dealings in Afghanistan now -- Samantha. You know, U.S. negotiators are starting a new round of talks with the Taliban today. They're looking for a peace deal. This comes as President Trump says he wants to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

So, after being there for nearly two decades yourself, you know, is this, you know, the best option?

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I want to just turn quickly back to North Korea, Fred -- and I promise to comment on Afghanistan. We have to stop drinking the Kim Kool Aid here, or at least President Trump does. He keeps citing this promise that Kim Jong-un made to him.

Well, international law when it comes to nonproliferation and ballistic missile tests should matter more than a promise. It's a basic point, but we have a U.N. Security Council resolution that bans these tests.

Promises are one thing. International law is another, except with President Trump when it comes to his friends popping off.

WHITFIELD: Well, because the President reminds -- I mean he is relying on trust. He feels like he knows Kim Jong-un.

VINOGRAD: Yes.

WHITFIELD: He feels like, you know, he's a man of his word and the President is trying to convince the world that that is good enough.

VINOGRAD: He is. And this actually -- this turns into your Afghanistan question as well, but it really relates back to a lack of intelligence -- pun intended -- when it comes to President Trump.

He's relying on his personal gut. He's not listening to the intelligence community when they share an assessment of Kim Jong-un or when you look back at the history of Kim Jong-un's father starting with shorter range tests and then escalating the nuclear tests when he got frustrated. He's not operating with intelligence.

And when it comes to Afghanistan, back to your original question, negotiating with the Taliban is something that we did when I worked for President Obama. But we relied on intelligence with respect to, in the first instance whether the Taliban could be trusted. And then two, what their actual intentions were.

And so if we're negotiating right now and we are working against a political time line, President Trump's 2020 re-election or a political promise that he has made rather than intelligence about the Taliban's actual intentions, we are going to agree to something that is not conditions based but is campaign based.

WHITFIELD: And Aaron -- you know, some of that previous negotiation involved, you know, the building of schools, gas stations in Afghanistan. And now this administration, this president says that shouldn't be happening. Yet the President does advocate, you know, trying to in some way win hearts and minds but in this very different way. Does he have that right or, you know, is this inventive idea?

MILLER: Perhaps one of the only redemptive aspects of this president's foreign policy is that he's in many respects following the logic and the line set by his predecessor. We need to get out of unwinnable wars in a smart and timely fashion and not figure out a way to get into a new one.

And I have to say, Fred -- I was stunned at the debate the other night and depressed. With the exception of Tulsi Gabbard, not a single candidate either in their opening or closing statement referred to the two longest wars in American history, the two longest wars in American history where just on Monday two Americans were killed, 14 this year and 2,400 since we got there.

So the reality is Sam -- intelligence or not, Sam's right. There's no trust in the Taliban. We have to figure out a way to reduce our ground presence in a sensible manner, maybe keep some residual counter terrorism forces. But we have to head to the exit in Afghanistan, and we're not going to be able to guarantee in any way that the Taliban isn't going to increase (INAUDIBLE) -- to promote Afghanistan.

WHITFIELD: Those two long wars -- you're talking about Iraq and Afghanistan.

[11:34:53] So Samantha, you know, U.S., you know, withdrawing from the Cold War era missile treaty with Russia now. You know, Russia, you know, ignoring the treaty or has been ignoring the treaty anyway, and the President, you know, of the United States justifying what's the point? Is it a much bigger picture than that?

VINOGRAD: It is. We are seeing the nuking of the nonproliferation architecture around the world. You look at the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. That is just one piece. That deals with a specific class of weapons that travel between 500 -- that's travel in intermediate range. And that is just one category of weapons that we are looking at.

You look at the new START treaty, which is another agreement that we signed with Russia. The Secretary of Defense said earlier today on his way to Australia that the United States needed to re-examine whether the agreements still fit our guidelines.

You look at North Korea, which we just discussed. We have North Korea firing rockets with no action from the United States. And what all this points to is a degradation in the rules-based architecture that governed nonproliferation around the world.

And the reason -- the question is why that matters. Why that matters is you are going to have more countries with more weapons and less constraints as to how they develop them and where they deployed them. And as we're seeing with North Korea where they use them.

I don't think any of us sleep better at night thinking about Kim Jong- un or Vladimir Putin or frankly President Trump having their fingers on the trigger and feeling less reason to hold back on firing these weapons off.

So President Trump will leave office with a legacy of arms getting out of control rather than arms control itself.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now. Samantha Vinograd, Aaron David Miller -- good to see you both always. Thank you.

MILLER: Thank you.

And then take a look at these images all unfolding -- clashes in Hong Kong between protesters and police. We're live from Hong Kong.

Plus, body cam video shows Dallas police mocking a man moments before he died while in their custody. Coming up, we hear from the Texas mother who fought three years for the release of these tapes.

[11:37:10] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Tensions flaring once again in Hong Kong as riot police confront huge numbers of protesters for the ninth weekend in a row. Police armed with batons and body length protective gear firing tear gas at the protesters. These demonstrations have centered around protesters' demands for government reforms and free elections.

Let's get right to CNN's senior international correspondent Ivan Watson who joins us there from Hong Kong. Describe what's going on right now?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka -- it's another sweaty and turbulent night in a city that was once well- known for being an island of stability here in Asia.

You can see that the riot police, they have been out in force after there were hours of protests where demonstrators had occupied this very street. There have been volleys of tear gas fired, some of the demonstrators have been setting fires and throwing things.

It is a cycle of confrontation that has been roiling this city for now nine weeks. And there's no real end in sight. Demonstrators issuing demands for the withdrawal of a controversial law that was at the start of this, calling for their fellow demonstrators who have been arrested in protests in previous weeks to be released. The police have authorized some of these protests, but then the clashes inevitably begin as some of the protesters act very provocatively painting graffiti at the entrance of police stations, setting fires there. And police have arrested dozens of protesters in recent weeks and charged them with crimes that they could face up to ten years in prison for.

It has taken on a bigger magnitude as the government in mainland China, the Communist Party government has issued threats and said that these kind of protests will not be tolerated. It's taking an economic toll on this international financial hub.

And many families that I've spoken with who might have a police officer in their family or a protester, they are divided in this city in really a confrontation that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Ivan Watson -- thank you so much for that. We'll check back with you.

All right, now to Puerto Rico where the swearing in of a new governor is prompting more controversy on the already troubled island. Pedro Pierluisi took the oath of office Friday, and critics are already calling his appointment unconstitutional. Pierluisi replaces Ricardo Rossello who resigned after weeks of protest against him.

Leyla Santiago is in San Juan for us. So Leyla -- what issues do critics have with this new sworn in governor?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, many people are asking is this legal? Can he be the governor of Puerto Rico?

And here's why. Because apparently he was appointed by Rossello to be the secretary of state. That would be next in line once Rossello stepped down. He was confirmed yesterday by the House of Representatives here on the island, but the Senate says they're not even going to take up that issue until next week.

So he really hasn't been confirmed by the senate yet and many are saying that is reason for legal challenge, so much so that the municipality of San Juan is already drafting a lawsuit to take all the way to the Supreme Court in Puerto Rico to question his appointment as governor of Puerto Rico.

So there are legal changes that quite frankly Pierluisi said he was expecting. He has also said yesterday in addressing the media and questions that should the senate not confirm him, he would be willing to step down.

[11:45:01] So who's next if that happens? It's the secretary of justice who by the way just a few days ago said she didn't want the job but is now saying should she need to step up, she will.

Either way the protesters here are saying they are not happy with this appointment and they plan to continue protesting despite the fact that Rossello has stepped down. So what this means is while we've seen a major development with Ricardo Rossello stepping down yesterday, there's still a lot of uncertainty here on this island.

WHITFIELD: To say the very least. All right. Leyla Santiago -- thank you so much.

Still so much more straight ahead in the newsroom, but first it's every foodie's dream. We tour some of the best food trucks in the south in this week's "Wander Must".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the B&B of Tennessee from the girls who (INAUDIBLE). The "b" stands for bacon and "buttermilk" cheddar, and then we pair that with a seasonal jam. Right now it's a caramelized apple and shallot jam. We're taking comfort food and elevating it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are Root Down foot truck, Asheville, North Carolina, and this is the pork and pimento cheese sandwich.

What makes our pimento cheese different is we don't use mayo. We use dill pickle juice as a binder. We're going to cap this, and then we add our pecan smoked pork. It takes two southern staples and combines them together in one delicious bite.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're at Valentino's Tex-Mex barbecue in south Austin and this is our real deal Holyfield taco, which is made with fresh home-made tortilla, we fry beans, bacon, (INAUDIBLE) and a nice, fat slice of brisket. Everything at Valentino's is "hecho con amore" -- all made with love.

We're in Charleston, South Carolina with braise in the south food truck, and this is our southern fried shrimp and grits. We do use local grits, we use a little bit of milk, a little bit of heavy cream, butter and we finish them with a little bit of cream cheese.

This fried shrimp we get a little bit of crunch.

Here you go, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pigging out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So good, man.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[11:47:13] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Dallas police have released body camera footage from the night a man died while in their custody. In August of 2016, Tony Timpa called police asking for help. The video shows officers mocking Timpa while he yelled, "you're going to kill me". In less than an hour, he was dead.

CNN's Ed Lavandera reports on the three-year battle for the video's release and we do want to warn you that some viewers might find this very difficult to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In August of 2016 32-year-old Tony Timpa called 911 on himself. He was standing outside of a Dallas pornography story. He told dispatchers he suffered from schizophrenia, and depression and was off his medications. When Dallas police officers arrived, Timpa had already been handcuffed by private security guards.

TONY TIMPA, VICTIM: Don't hurt me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey Tony. Tony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax, man. Stay down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony, Tony, Tony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just keep hem down. That's too much.

LAVANDERA: Dallas police said Timpa was arrested due to his erratic behavior but the officer body camera footage shows Timpa repeatedly begging for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground.

TIMPA: No, you're going to kill me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to kill you.

TIMPA: You're going to kill me. You're going to kill me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony, relax buddy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chill out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax.

TIMPA: What are you going to do? Help me.

LAVANDERA: You can hear the officers laughing and joking about the situation. The video captures 20 minutes of the interaction between the officers and Timpa.

One officer uses his knee and bodyweight to hold Timpa on the ground face first. Timpa continues begging for help.

TIMPA: Help me. Help me. Help me. Help me. Help me. Help me.

LAVANDERA: As they switch out handcuffs and zip tie his legs together, the officers continue mocking Timpa. Nearly 12 minutes into the video, Tony Timpa stops responding. His family's attorney says a paramedic injected him with a sedative.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony. Hey, time for school. Wake up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to got to school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five more minutes mom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First day, you can't be late.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We bought you new shoes for the first day of school -- come on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Made breakfast, scrambled eggs, your favorite.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waffles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waffles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rooty, tooty, fruity waffles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's out cold now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try and wake him up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. He just got quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden just bloog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that Narcan?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here he comes.

LAVANDERA: More than five minutes passed before any one administers CPR. And the officers start showing concern about Timpa's condition. As Timpa's lifeless body is lifted on to the gurney, officers again laugh about the situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope I didn't kill him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's all this we (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

LAVANDERA: Then the paramedics breaks the news that Tony Timpa is dead. The autopsy determined Timpa died of sudden cardiac arrest caused by toxic effects of cocaine in his system and the stress of being restrained. Tony Timpa's mother says even three years later it's still excruciating to watch.

VICKI TIMPA, MOTHER OF TONY TIMPA: It's real hard to hear my son scream "help me" and he cried and they laughed at him and they torture him and they kill him and they have fun doing it and they keep doing it even when he's not breathing.

It's like ok, we get this 911 call, this guy needs help, let's go have fun with him. Let's torture him and kill him.

LAVANDERA: A grand jury indicted three Dallas police officers on a misdemeanor charge of deadly conduct. Those charges were dismissed by the Dallas County district attorney earlier this year. Prosecutors said they believe that the officers did not act recklessly.

Those officers are still on the Dallas police force. Tony Timpa's family has filed a federal civil lawsuit against Dallas police and the department says it will not comment on the video because of that lawsuit.

Ed Lavandera, CNN -- Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.

[11:55:03] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

Our top stories.

As he awaits for a Swedish court to decide his fate, rapper ASAP Rocky is back in the United States. The 30-year-old rapper spent a month in jail on assault charges after a street fight in Stockholm. The rapper and two members of his entourage claim they were defending themselves. Prosecutors are requesting ASAP Rocky and his co-defendant to receive a sentence between six to 10 months in jail, a verdict scheduled for August 14.

An Atlanta area officer recovering after being dragged by a car and thrown onto a major interstate. Dashcam video shows Officer Nathan Daley speaking to a driver during a traffic stop on Thursday. And then you saw there that suddenly the driver takes off as the officer is holding on. A second officer got into a patrol car and then followed them on to a busy interstate 285.

And you can see, the driver then side swiping another car to try and actually, they believe, knock the driver off. The driver eventually crashed and tried to run before being chased down and arrested. And there you see the officer on the ground there. He is ok -- thankfully.

All right much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

And it all starts right now.

[115953] All right. Hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right. Right now a major event in the 2020 race is getting under way in Las Vegas.

Fresh off the CNN debates this week, 19 presidential candidates are taking part in a critical forum for public service workers -- [12:00:00]