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El Paso Suspect's Mother Called Police; White House Rebuffed DHS Efforts to Combat Domestic Terrorism; NRA Warns Trump About Support for Background Checks; IPCC Calls For Overhaul of Global Food Production; Kaepernick Tells NFL "I'm Ready to Play". Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired August 8, 2019 - 05:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: -- about her son owning an AK-style weapon.

[05:00:03] Now, lawyers for the family tell CNN the mother was transferred to a public safety officer and that officer told her, her son was legally allowed to purchase the weapon. Now, the mother did not provide her son's name or any other information and the officer did not seek any other information.

We don't know if the weapon the mother called about is the one used in the attack.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN ANCHOR: CNN has also learned exclusively the White House has been rejecting efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to fight domestic terrorism. For more than a year, several administration sources tell us White House officials only wanted to focus on the jihadist threat choosing to ignore the reality of rising racial supremacist violence.

One senior source close to the Trump administration says the White House has major ideological blinders on. When the National Counterterrorism Strategy was released last fall, the White House did add a paragraph, one paragraph about other forms of extremism but even failed to specifically reference white supremacists.

ROMANS: All right. New this morning, the National Rifle Association is warning President Trump. CNN has learned NRA chief Wayne LaPierre spoke to the president on Tuesday. "The Washington Post" reports LaPierre told Trump his support for background checks on gun purchases would not be popular among his supporters.

Here's what the president said about background checks on Wednesday.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm looking to do background checks. I think background checks are important. I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or with people with rage or hate, sick people. I don't want to -- I'm all -- I'm all in favor of it.


ROMANS: The president has gone back and forth on gun control before. The White House says he is torn between wanting to do more and growing concern that doing more will cause a revolt in his base.

RIPLEY: President Trump spent Wednesday visiting the scenes both of weekend massacres, Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. By all accounts, he was well-received by the people he met, but that did not stop the president from lashing out as he was on the plane flying from Dayton to El Paso.

He complained bitterly that his visit was falsely portrayed by Democrats and the media. He tweeted it was a warm and wonderful visit. But he said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley went on TV, misrepresented what took place. Their news conference was a fraud. It bore no resemblance to what took place, he said.

And then on the ground in El Paso, the president continued to complain about how he was being portrayed.


TRUMP: I took them in at their request we made the tour. They couldn't believe it. She said it to people, he said it to people. I get on Air Force One where they do have a lot of televisions, I turn on the television and there they are saying, I don't know if it was appropriate for the president, you know, et cetera, et cetera. You know, the same old line. They're very dishonest people and that's why he got I think zero percent and he failed as a presidential candidate.


RIPLEY: On the ground at the scene of a mass shooting, all about him. So, here's a fact check. Here's what Brown and Whaley actually said at that news conference.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): He was comforting. He did the right things and Melania did the right things. It's his job in part to comfort people. I'm glad he did it in that -- those hospital rooms.

MAYOR NAN WHALEY (D), DAYTON, OHIO: I think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the president of the United States came to Dayton.


RIPLEY: In fairness to President Trump, Senator Brown and Mayor Whaley were bluntly critical of things he has said and done in the past.


BROWN: -- divides in his rhetoric and plays to race in his rhetoric and is racist.

WHALEY: I think a lot of people that own their own businesses in that district aren't interested in the president being there. And, you know, a lot of the times, his talk can be very divisive and that's the last thing we need to do.


ROMANS: Again, on his way from one massacre site to another, the president watching that news conference on the plane and clearly unhappy with it.

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spent the whole day in El Paso, his hometown. He visited with community members and dropped off flowers at a makeshift memorial that's growing at a Walmart, where the massacre happened. O'Rourke has said earlier that President Trump was not welcome in his hometown, but he told CNN Trump's visit might have helped some of the grieving families.


BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope for the people that he met with, it was helpful for them that. If it was, then I'm grateful for that small comfort for them. But for the community at large to have been so regularly attacked and vilified, and demonized by this president, for him to have created the conditions that made an attack like this possible, and ultimately likely, it's very insulting to us that he was here.

But, look, we're going to focus on making sure that we're strong. Making sure these families are OK.


ROMANS: O'Rourke has dropped plans to join other Democratic candidates at the Iowa state fair today.

[05:05:01] Instead, he'll stay in El Paso, meeting families and attending funerals.

RIPLEY: Some of the most scathing criticism of the president came from the 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. During a campaign stop in Iowa, he directly linked Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric to the carnage in Ohio and he accused Trump of fanning the flames of white supremacy in the U.S.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're in a battle to the soul of this nation. Our president has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation, that makes winning this battle for the soul of our nation that much tougher, harder.


RIPLEY: Biden also said he doesn't buy the president's condemnation earlier this week of white supremacists. Trump's reaction to Biden's speech in a tweet he called it so boring.

ROMANS: All right. New this morning, an unidentified California man now in custody. Police say he stabbed six people in a robbery spree on Monday. Four of the victims were killed. The suspect is described as a 33-year-old Hispanic male who robbed multiple locations in Orange County, who was eventually caught at a 7-Eleven where a security guard was killed.

RIPLEY: President Trump is defending the escalating trade war against China. He says despite the risks, his tough stance will ultimately benefit the American economy. The president says China has been killing the U.S. with unfair trade deals and something had to be done.


TRUMP: Somebody had to do this with China because they were taking hundreds of billions of dollars a year out of the United States. Somebody had to make a stand.


RIPLEY: The sudden escalation of the U.S./China trade conflict in recent days has jolted financial markets. The president said market reaction was as anticipated. He continued to express confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy.

ROMANS: All right. Remember when recession fears caused markets to have the worst December since the Great Depression? That was last year. Some fear stocks could be facing another bearish black hole as trade war fears grow.

The latest round of turbulence sparked last week after President Trump threatened tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods, escalating an already damaging trade war. Now, the S&P has fallen 2 percent since Trump announced those tariffs, which will hit a wide range of consumer good for the first time.

Trade war and recession fears have caused investors to flee to safe haven instruments like treasury bonds, gold, even crazily bitcoin. Now, while consumers are still spending and corporate America remains profitable, Daryl Jones, research director at Hedgeye, told CNN Business this: You don't need a recession for the stock market to be down 20 percent to 25 percent.

The 20 percent decline, of course, would mark the end of the bull market which began in March 2009, and last summer became the longest in American history.

One wild card is the Federal Reserve which could restore confidence among investors. Hedgeye's call for this bearish black hole depends on whether the Fed comes to the rescue by voicing support for even larger rate cuts than Wall Street is pricing in.

RIPLEY: A new climate change report warnings we need to change our habits if we want to save the planet. We go live to London, next.


[05:12:41] ROMANS: Federal immigration authorities are processing nearly 700 undocumented immigrants detained Wednesday in Mississippi. Officials are calling it the largest single state immigration enforcement operation in U.S. history. CNN affiliates reported raids at food processing plants across the state. At one plant in Morton, Mississippi, buses are picking up large groups of detainees.

One 11-year-old girl sobbing uncontrollably when she saw her mother through the fence.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please let me see my mother. Please.


ROMANS: The officer says the girl's mother will be processed and released and because she is the sole guardian of her daughter, a U.S. citizen, she won't be deported. Eventually, the girl was able to see her mom before ICE took the woman away.

RIPLEY: Puerto Rico has its third governor in less a week. Justice Secretary Wanda Vasquez officially sworn into office on Wednesday. Hours earlier, Puerto Rico's Supreme Court declared the governorship of Pedro Pierluisi unconstitutional. He was hand picked by the disgraced governor, the former governor, Ricardo Rossello.

The island nation is facing a real political and economic crisis right now. Some observers believe Vasquez might name a new secretary of state who would then take over for her as governor.

ROMANS: Chilling warnings in a new report. If we want to save the planet, we need to dramatically change the way we produce the food. If we attempt to solve the climate crisis by only cutting carbon emissions in cars, factories and power plants, we're doomed to failure. Those headlines from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Its report has just been released.

And Nick Paton Walsh has had a lot at it. He has the details live from London.

And, Nick, this is what we as consumers can do and how we have to change our tastes.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the most uncomfortable thing, frankly, for people to read. The idea that the daily luxuries you enjoy, things you consider part of your daily lifestyle, beef consumption, meat every single day may not be something you can do a decade from now.

Now, this is not just another activist report telling you you've got to behave differently for climate reasons. This is the IPCC, U.N. backed, hundreds of experts, dozens of nations, all agreeing on consensus language.

[05:15:02] This is the facts. It's not science. Not something up for debate. They're essentially saying 70 percent of the land is not covered in ice on earth is being used by humans for deforestation, for farming, agriculture.

Shockingly, how the numbers pop there, we're no way producing soil back on the planet in the same way we're using it up, which is extraordinarily important, if we're trying to grow food on it. Half a billion people are currently living in areas where there's already decertification, that's when the soil has eroded to the point where frankly, no agriculture is possible, and get this as well, 10 percent of greenhouse gases currently produced are from wasted food.

So, so much that humans can already do to change these numbers. 23 percent of greenhouse gases are currently produced by agriculture and land use. That's one of the major figures coming out of this report. It's kind of startling.

A report isn't just extraordinary bleak news. There's some issues about getting the consensus. It talks about how if you move away from particularly red meats like beef to white meats or simply to an entirely vegan diet, it's possible to get rid of damage that food production does in terms of greenhouse gases.

But the big take away, Will, Christine, is you've got to start thinking about what you do every single day, changing before the world you live in every single day changes for you. That's why 2030, that's the time frame they're looking at here. And, really it is remarkable, frankly, that the reports come out about the future of our planet and we see a bit of alarmism, a bit fanfare, then maybe you and I had lunch yesterday.

ROMANS: Yes, hamburger, not mushroom burger, right? We should have be having more mushrooms?


ROMANS: All right. Well, it also takes leadership, right? It takes leadership on a governmental level to help people change, and then we haven't had that.

WALSH: Absolutely.

ROMANS: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you for that. Nice to see you.

RIPLEY: It was just another Wednesday for police in New Braunfels, Texas, until they got this call. There was something black and white running through the streets, and, yes, that's exactly what it looks like, a zebra. Police having to chase the zebra, one of two apparently that escaped from a local ranch. One of them managed to swim across a river, was running around, got loose.

Police say they tranquilized this zebra, transported the zebra by helicopter back to the ranch where it was raised. But the second, still on the lam.

ROMANS: A zebra on the lam?


ROMANS: If you see warning stripes.

RIPLEY: Already in a jumpsuit.

ROMANS: Even if NFL owners aren't listening, Colin Kaepernick wants them to know he's ready for some football. Andy Scholes has more in the "Bleacher Report", next.


[05:22:33] RIPLEY: Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles blasting USA Gymnastics in the wake of the Larry Nasser sexual abuse scandal.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Still such a painful topic.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is, guys. Good morning to you.

Simone Biles, she's getting ready to compete at the U.S. Gymnastics championships in Kansas City, she broke down when speaking with reporters yesterday about the Larry Nasser sexual abuse scandal. Biles one of the 100 of young female athletes that were abused by Nasser.

An 18-month-long congressional investigation found that the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics knowingly concealed Nasser's abuse.

And Biles says it's tough to compete for an organization that didn't look out for its athletes.


SIMONE BILES, 4-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: It's hard coming here for an organization and having had them failed us so many times and we had one goal and we've done everything that they asked us for, even when we didn't want to. They couldn't do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn't protect us.


SCHOLES: And Nasser was sentenced to more than 100 years in federal prison for his crimes.

Biles, meanwhile, will be back competing tomorrow. She's won every meet she's competed in dating back to 2013.

All right. Colin Kaepernick says he's still in shape and waiting for a call from an NFL team.


COLIN KAPERNICK, FORMER NFL QB: Five a.m., five days a week, for three years, still ready.


SCHOLES: Kaepernick dropping that workout video on social media yesterday that starts with a counter saying he has been denied work for 889 days. In February, Kaepernick settled his case with the NFL where he alleged teams colluded to keep him out of the league because of his protests during the national anthem. Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season.

All right. The Yankees pummeling the Orioles again yesterday, slugging five more home runs. That gives the Yankees a team record 52 home runs in 15 games this season against Baltimore. That's their most against any team in a season.

The Orioles a tad bit frustrated in this one. First baseman Chris Davis had to be restrained afterwards with manager Brandon Hyde. Davis was pulled from the game in the fifth inning. Hyde said after the game it was just a disagreement between the two.

[05:25:01] Tough times in Baltimore right now for the baseball team. They're on pace to lose 100 games for the second straight season. And, you know, when you got 50 more games to play in a losing season, you know, easy to get frustrated.


ROMANS: Tense.

All right. Andy Scholes, nice to see you. Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

RIPLEY: Two CNN exclusives for you this morning. We've learned what the mother of the El Paso gunman told police weeks before the shooting.

ROMANS: We're also learning about a battle inside the Trump administration over making domestic terrorism a priority. Both stories next.


RIPLEY: This morning, two CNN exclusives. Did police miss crucial clue? CNN has learned the El Paso suspect's mother called officers weeks ago.

ROMANS: And this, sources tell CNN that Homeland Security battled the White House for more than a year to make domestic terrorism a higher priority.

RIPLEY: President Trump gets a warning from the National Rifle Association right after he calls for background checks for gun buyers.

ROMANS: If you really want to save the planet, change your diet. A new climate warning just released. No more burgers for lunch.