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Convicted Jeffrey Epstein Commits Suicide in Jail; One-On-One With Michael Bloomberg; Trump's Thumbs Up in Photo With El Paso Orphan; Children Crying After ICE Raids; DEMS Reactions at Iowa Forum. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 10, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: You are live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Breaking news, Jeffrey Epstein who once declined a stunning array of famous and powerful friends is dead by apparent suicide tonight.
Attorney General Bill Barr says he has serious questions about what happened as lawmakers also call for investigations. Epstein an accused sex trafficker was found dead in federal custody in Manhattan having apparently hanged himself in his cell. Just hours after disturbing new court documents were unsealed.
Remember, Epstein dodged serious jail time, more than a decade ago, when he pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a minor thanks to a so- called "Sweetheart Deal" negotiated by then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alex Acosta.
Now, new scrutiny of that deal is believed to have led to Acosta's resignation as President Trump's Labor Secretary last month. By then Epstein was in jail again on new federal sex trafficking charges. Prosecutors say he abused dozens of underage girls.
And just last month on July 23rd, Epstein was found with marks on his neck in his jail cell and was placed under suicide watch. That watch ended just days later. In late July we are told and CNN's Crime and Justice Reporter Shimon Prokupecz is joining us now with the latest.
Shimon, have you learned any more about why Epstein was taken off suicide watch?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: We have still have no word on as to why that happened? That's obviously the biggest question here right now. What happened from the time that he was found with injuries on July 23rd to just a week, it appears, that he would be on suicide watch, where the psychologist and the officials at this Manhattan jail at this Federal facility were monitoring him, assessing him on a daily basis.
Something changed. All of a sudden the officials decided that - you know what they were going to take him off the suicide watch and now put him back into the unit that he was in before. It's a unit that keeps him segregated from the general population because of the notoriety that he is getting from this case, the nature of the charges, the significance of the charges, the jail went out of their way to try and protect him.
So the question now is what happened, and how is that he was able to do this overnight, early into the morning when officials found him unconscious inside the jail cell? We still don't know the entire circumstance of how this unfolded, how he was discovered? Still a lot of questions officials have not answered, Ana.
CABRERA: Shimon, you say the U.S. Attorney on the current case insists this isn't over and that anyone tide to this case should be worried still? Tell us more about that.
PROKUPECZ: Absolutely. And I think this is more done for the victims obviously in this case. And still a lot of unanswered questions in that investigation the Epstein investigation. And the U.S. Attorney there in Manhattan at the southern district of New York Jeffrey Burmen put out a statement saying that the victim - talking about the victims.
But then he also talked about how this investigation is no way over, because they made a point in the statement - and this is important - in this statement they talk about a Conspiracy Act. There is a charge that involves a conspiracy.
So that indicates that there could be other people charged in this investigation. People, who may have helped him, people who may have known about it. We don't exactly know. We know that they are continuing their investigation.
Anyone who thinks that this is now over because Jeffrey Epstein is dead, well, they should not be so comfortable in that thinking because there are very - there is a very high probability that the southern district of New York is going to bring additional charges, Ana.
CABRERA: Okay, Shimon Prokupecz, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Now Epstein apparently killed himself less than 24 hours after thousands of page revealing documents. They were unsealed in a case from an Epstein accuser against one of his Former Associate.
The 2015 defamation suit was developed by Virginia Giuffre who says she was underage when Epstein allegedly kept her as sex slave for years flying her around the world to have sex with powerful men. Among the men she was claimed she was traffic to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew in 2001.
She says The Buckingham Palace spokesperson denies this claim saying in response this relates to proceedings in the United States of which The Duke of the York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.
And Giuffre also says she was instructed to have sex with Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. A spokeswoman calling that allegation completely false and saying to be clear in Governor Bill Richardson's limited interactions with Mr. Epstein he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls.
CABRERA: Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein's residence in the Virgin Islands. Governor Richardson has never met Miss Giuffre. Joining us now CNN Contributor, Vicky Ward who once profiled Epstein for Vanity Fair.
Vicky, thanks for being here, just yesterday, CNN Washington Post, other news outlets were combing through 2,000 pages of these newly unsealed documents everything Epstein has apparently tried to protect for decades was coming out in the open. Do you think he just couldn't live in that reality?
VICKY WARD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I don't think Jeffrey Epstein has ever lived in reality. I mean, I spoke today to Steve Hoffenberg who went to jail for basically committing the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history prior to Bernie Madoff and Hoffenberg has alleged that Jeffrey Epstein was the master mind of all this Epstein had denied it.
But Hoffenberg said something quite interesting. He said nothing about Jeffrey makes sense, including his death. You know, I mean I think the reaction of people around is, yes, clearly, you know he was in circumstances very dissimilar to completely the anti-thesis of his mansion in New York, his Island, his ranch in New Mexico. But at the same time, you know, lawyers I spoke to were saying that they thought, you know, they were working hard on a defense. So it's a mystery.
CABRERA: And we are learning that in days leading up to his death he was spending hours with his lawyers in conversations. I know you've been working a lot of the phones and continuing to gather for additional reporting here. You spoke with the President's Personal Attorney Rudy Giuliani.
WARD: I did.
CABRERA: The Former Mayor of New York also today what did he tell you?
WARD: So he was clear that he has never met Jeffrey Epstein. But he said that he thought it was ridiculous that Jeffrey Epstein had been taken off suicide watch. He said he is a suicide possibility until he completely cooperates and says everything he knows.
And he hasn't done that - or he hadn't done that. He said there were two reasons that he should have been protected. One, that he - he was a - he might kill himself. Or secondly that someone might kill him. So, you know pretty strong reaction there from Rudy Giuliani.
CABRERA: Well, and now everybody is looking for answers from politicians to again Justice Department officials Bill Barr saying the Inspector General is going to investigate this. I want to play something that a private investigator who worked for Epstein's accusers told me earlier this afternoon. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE FISTEN, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WITH ATTORNEYS FOR EPSTEIN ACCUSERS: Jeffrey Epstein lived his life not in a 4 by 4 cell. And he knew that he only had two options. One if he turned and cooperated against every single person that indulged in his illegal behavior and he became a witness against these people or he was just going to spend --he knew he was going to get convicted, spend the rest of his life in a cell. There was no way that this individual, knowing who he is and how he has lived was going to do that. So yes, this was inevitable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Vicky, you've obviously covered and researched Epstein for years. Tell us more about the - you know, the powerful network that he built and the mystery behind his finances.
WARD: Yes. So it is - it is sort of fascinating. He sold himself as something that I was able to prove become in 2003 for Vanity Fair that he wasn't. But I couldn't prove what he was. He sold himself as this money manager for billionaires only. And yet there was no trace of him in the markets. I mean, normally if you run a hedge fund your activities would be visible.
Jeffrey Epstein was not visible. He - his shtick is most people who are financiers wore a suit. He wore a track suit every day. He deliberately created an enigma about himself. And he collected people. He used his longtime companion Glenn Maxwell, well, known British Socialite who had herself a very impressive roll o decks.
He collected - he collected mix of people politicians, academics, scientists, financiers and then of course these beautiful, beautiful women. And he would put them altogether at the salon at his enormous home the biggest private home in New York and sort of lured them in.
CABRERA: Like a sort of honey pot.
CABRERA: Wow, you tweeted earlier today let me assure you Jeffrey Epstein's death is not the end of the story. There is more yet to come. Stay tuned. What do you mean by that?
WARD: The ecosystem I just talked about, the mystery about where his money really came from, the indictment talked about a conspiracy. Jeffrey Epstein couldn't have done any of what he did - he couldn't have created the fortune that he did. He couldn't have assaulted these young women without other people. There are other very high profile names that have been mentioned. And this still Jeffrey Epstein remains the tip of an iceberg.
CABRERA: Well, more to come.
CABRERA: More answers certainly that people are digging into. Thank you very much--
WARD: Thank you.
CABRERA: --Vicky for being with us. I now want to bring in Jack Donson, a Retired Correctional Treatment Specialist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Jack great to have your voice and perspective tonight. A Federal source tells CNN that no foul play expected in Epstein's death. But how does someone previously on suicide watch, accused of what Epstein was accused of end up killing himself in federal custody?
JACK DONSON, FORMER CORRECTION SPECIALIST, FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS: It seems like everybody is thinking that he was on suicide watch. And what I'm going to say is that I've done suicide watch and it lasts ordinarily just from one or two days. I've never seen in my entire career a suicide watch lasting more than a week.
So the context of him committing suicide while on watch that's just the fallacy. If somebody is harm themselves in a federal prison environment, the best place really is where he was, the Special Housing Unit. It's where suicides occur at the most frequent rate. So it wasn't really a surprise to me when I heard the news. Disappointing but not surprising.
CABRERA: So why? Why in this Special Housing Unit do suicides most frequently occur?
DONSON: Well you're isolated. If he was in a single cell - many times there are two people in a Special Housing Unit cell. Hence the first attempt when I imagine his cell mate banged on the door brought attention and obviously the first one did not succeed.
However, if he happened to be in the Special Housing Unit in a single cell, the officers do 30 minute checks. Every 30 minutes somebody walks by looking in if they do a proper check. You really have ample to do and carry out something like that.
CABRERA: It was just a few weeks ago that Epstein have been placed on suicide watch when he was found with those marks on his in neck on July 23rd. Sources tell us there were daily psychological assessments conducted on him following that and by the end of the month, so basically a week later, he was taken off.
CABRERA: You said, well, that is in your experience how it typically works?
DONSON: Let me - yes, let me address that total protocol. A suicide watch is a staff member with 24 hours observations, three shifts of overtime people. Like I said I used to do it, you would stare at the window. You would watch every moment movement of the inmate made. You would know Tate in a log work every 15 minutes, inmate sleeping on right side, inmate ate.
And there would be constant 24-hour supervision. And you would have basically they would start out in their underwear. No utensils, no property they would give them what's referred to as a suicide blanket which can't be used to harm themselves. They would just lay on a slab with a mattress and suicide blanket.
You gradually increase - maybe you would give them plastic utensils and if he gives them back off after he eats okay. You assess daily. And there is daily assessment but only there is only limited resources and financial resources.
I was probably being paid $500, $600 for a shift of overtime just to sit and watch somebody through a window. SO When you get off the suicide protocols, that's a different world. You have access to property even in Special Housing Unit environment. So it's not surprising to me. I don't see breach of protocol and I'm no big supporter of Bureau of Prisons. I'm fairly critic of the Bureau of Prisons but I don't see the egregious issue right here.
CABRERA: So open our eyes then into what the protocol or monitoring would have been shortly after he was taken off suicide watch and are - the space that he was in currently in the Special Housing Unit. And would he have been on some kind of surveillance video is the other question?
DONSON: No, there will be no - very limited video in cells. I've been at M.C.C. New York several times the one the terrorist unit above has cameras in a couple of cells. It's very unlikely he was in a cell with the camera let alone are there any cells with cameras.
Now the range cameras that are cameras on all ranges in all prisons making sure the officers did their 30-minute checks.
DONSON: So what you have when they're taken off suicide protocol they're moved to a regular Special Housing Unit cell, they're locked in that cell with the sink, a toilet, maybe a locker. Some limited property. 23 hours a day they come out one hour for recreation to a cage a day. And they can shower every three days.
Other than an officer walking by the window, and doing a cursory check, I guess they refer to it as a drive by if the officers have many things to do if they're making a fast sweep by they could have missed them on the first check.
That will all come out in what is called an after action review. The Bureau of Prisons is going to assemble a team not related to the facility. It will be a warden from another facility, a regional office person, a central office person and they will actually do a comprehensive after action review with the report, with conclusions and recommendations, and probably the first thing they will do is look at those videos and make sure the officers were doing the 30-minute checks and everything coincides.
CABRERA: Jack Donson really interesting, thank you very much for sharing your insight with us.
DONSON: Thank you Ana.
CABRERA: Coming up Michael Bloomberg says there is a way to dramatically reduce gun deaths in the United States, including mass shootings like those in El Paso and Dayton. I talked to the Former New York City Mayor about how he would change America's gun laws and whether he is planning his own run for the White House? Our conversation next. You are live in the CNN Newsroom.
CABRERA: It was exactly a week ago that we brought you the horrifying scenes from El Paso. Only to learn hours later that another mass shooting had happened in Dayton, Ohio. The issue of gun violence now front and center on the presidential campaign trail.
Several Democrats in the White House race took part in the gun control forum in Iowa. Hosted by Every Town for Gun Safety, today a group founded by Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and earlier I got the chance to talk with him about what changes could actually help? Here is part of our conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And so let me ask you about that specifically because in the cases of El Paso and Dayton background checks wouldn't necessarily have prevented those shootings, because the two people who are--
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FOUNDER, EVERY TOWN FOR GUN SAFETY: That's correct.
CABRERA: --either dead now because they committed the crime or accused of the crime. As in El Paso's case, they were able to get guns - they passed background checks. What would be the solution in those types of cases?
BLOOMBERG: There is nothing that is going to guarantee 100 percent safety in life. Life isn't that way. But background checks would reduce dramatically the number of suicides and significantly the number of murders. Red flag laws don't always make a difference. But if you save one life isn't it worth it?
So I think you got to be careful here in saying, oh, there is no solution because nothing works all the time. The bottom line is you can, if the public gets behind their city government and their police department, bring down the crime rate such that most people don't worry about it.
And if you look at New York 20 or 30 years ago compared to today, I think most New Yorkers will tell you that they feel very safe, and the crime is not one of the things that they worry about generally.
CABRERA: And there is overwhelming support across the country for some gun control measures. Recent polling showing 94 percent of Americans support universal background checks, that includes 9 in 10 Republicans and 9 in 10 gun owners. And more than half of Americans support a ban on assault weapons.
So we talk also about how the NRA has so much power over the President and others who may be afraid of their political future for acting in some capacity on gun control. Should they be more afraid of not doing something than of acquiescing to the demands of Wayne LaPierre and the NRA?
BLOOMBERG: Ana in 2018 I supported 24 congressional candidates who were good as by my definition good on guns and good on climate. 21 of them won and beat almost in every case in A-rated Republican, A-rated by the NRA.
So that that just goes to show you that the NRA does not have the power and not everybody is running away from them. Now you're starting to see more and more Republican Congressman and Senators saying I don't want to be on the wrong side of this issue.
If you survey NRA members as you yourself said, the NRA members want background checks. And the NRA does not have the power that they had before by any stretch of the imagination. And it's sort of defying logic as to why the President and Mitch McConnell seem to still be somewhat influenced by the NRA?
CABRERA: And you made a comment after Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke, that's picking up on the twitter verse. And I just want to play it for the viewers and give you a chance to clarify what you were saying? Let's watch.
BLOOMBERG: I just said to Senator Warren on the way out, Senator, congratulations, it was a nice talk. But just to remind you if my company hadn't been successful we wouldn't be here today. So enough with this stuff.
CABRERA: Fans on your cheek there. Go ahead.
BLOOMBERG: No, I did say.
CABRERA: Where were you going with that?
BLOOMBERG: An incident - and when I talked to Elizabeth back stage, she thought it was funny as well. And she understood that. Somebody has to come up with the monies to support some of these changes that we want to make in our society.
I'm very proud that my company has made a lot of money. I give 100 percent of my company's earnings to my foundation; the foundation does things like sponsor this conference here in Demoing so that we can get all 20 candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, who was a very competent, very smart Senator as we all know. I happen to disagree with her on some things. But I disagree with everybody on something's, different things in each case.
CABRERA: When is the last time you thought about running for President?
BLOOMBERG: A long time ago.
CABRERA: Have you completely ruled it out for 2020?
BLOOMBERG: I think - the only thing I'm considering - somebody suggested that I should think about 2024 and run then. So I'll consider that one.
CABRERA: Are you ready to endorse any of the 2020 candidates currently?
BLOOMBERG: I'm afraid I'm not. We'll see down the roads 15 months to the election. I think it's a bit premature don't you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now the President calls this week's immigration raids in Mississippi a good deterrent while hundreds of families call them a nightmare. That tore kids away from their moms and dads and on the first day of school no less.
No, Mr. President, these are not the faces of an invasion. More next. Stay with us.
CABRERA: This week in Mississippi we saw family separations of a different kind where the children, many of whom were born in the U.S., they are American citizens, weren't detained but left behind. Many of them had been dropped off for their first day of school. Others were at day care, not knowing their parents had been taken. Among the 680 people swept up in immigration raids across the state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAGDALENA GOMEZ GREGORIO, FATHER DETAINED IN IMMIGRATION RAID: The government please put your heart let my parents be with everybody else please. Don't leave the child with crying and everything. I need my dad with me. My dad did nothing. He is not a criminal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: 11 years old afraid, desperate, pleading for her father. Just imagine this is the memory so many of the kids will have for the rest of their life.
(BRGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDY GRACIA, FATHER DETAINED IN IMMIGRATION RAID: He said to my mom take care of the kids because the immigration has now captured me. I started praying to God to let them go. I hope you come back. And that God protects you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: I want to show you another video from Morton. Mississippi when a child approaches an officer at the scene of a raid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please can I just see my mother, please?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please.
(ND VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: And consider that this happened on the very same day President Trump went to El Paso to meet with the survivors of a massacre targeting Latinos and immigrants. The alleged killer, a white supremacist actually told investigators his targets were Mexicans according to the arrest affidavit.
Before the attack he wrote about a Hispanic invasion, echoing a message the President has put out to sell his anti-immigration policies. In fact since January President Trump's re-election team has posted more than 2,000 ads on Facebook, warning of an invasion and the need for a border wall.
So let me be clear, in this moment there is no invasion. There is no other. We are all different. That is a fact. But we share a common humanity. Each one of us is a son or daughter. Many of us are mothers or fathers, sisters or brothers.
Sadly 15-year-old Xavier Rodriguez will never play soccer again. He was the youngest killed in El Paso last weekend. Jordan and Andre Anchondo they will never give another hug or kiss to their three young children ages 5, 2 and 2 months old.
That baby boy Paul, again just 2 months old suffered broken bones in that same horrific attack. He met the President and the First Lady during their visit to El Paso. But he will grow up never knowing the parents who gave their lives to help save his.
The question now is what kind of America will help raise him? Joining us now, CNN Political Commentator and Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona and Republican Strategist and Latino Political and Media Consultant, Luis Alvarado who is as a part of the Latino community what has this past week been like for you? Do the events of this past week feel different?
LUIS ALVARADO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: They do. There is a line that's been crossed you know in the military I'm prior service. You probably see their movies DEF CON3 to DEF CON2. And for us as Latinos we have gone to DEF CON1. We are definitely under attack. We are targets and blood is being spilled.
The most important thing it's without regard if you are a senior citizen, a woman, child, man, as long as the color of your skin is brown you're a target ideologically, and now physically. Even though I'm a Republican and Maria Cardona and I have done battle many times under many subjects when it comes to ideology.
But I think Maria on this one I think you are in step. It's for me it's not matter of being a partisan. It's a matter of being an American an American who understands that Rudy, the little boy that you just was in the interview.
ALVARADO: he - if you talk to STEM demographic experts they will tell you Rudy is the one we are counting on to lead this nation in technology. That little girl is the one that we're hoping was going to grow up to be a doctor to take care of the aging population in this country.
This country will not survive without the 58 million Latinos that live in this country being successful and feeling that they're part of this American society.
CABRERA: And Maria, I think about when my great grandparents, aunts and uncles when their generation came to the U.S., the goal was really to assimilate so rather than openly celebrating their language and culture they wanted to become more Americanized. My grandparents chose not to speak Spanish in the home with my dad for example they were just so concerned that he learned English to be accepted--
MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure.
CABRERA: --in society. My generation has grown up feeling almost the opposite. We want more of that heritage. We see multiple languages as an advantage. But now--
CABRERA: --it feels like we may be going back.
CARDONA: I know, Ana. And this week, as I'm sure it has been for not just us three on this panel, but for everybody who looks like us, sounds like us, have last names like us, because the shooter was mirroring Trumps language and wanting to go after Hispanics who in his words were invading America.
And it has felt different, Ana. I wrote this past week that I have never thought twice about feeling so incredibly proud of my Latino heritage, of my Columbian heritage. My parents did teach us to speak Spanish at home. I speak only Spanish to my children and not just at home but out in public.
But I got to tell you if I didn't live in Washington, D.C. and an incredibly progressive multi ethnic, multi-cultural city. I would think about twice about doing that as well because of exactly what Luis just said. It's time for us to step up to the plate.
All of us no matter the party, Democratic Republican, Independent because this has gone further than politics. This is about who we are as a nation? This is about our character. This is about our values. This is about why our parents, my parents, your grandparents, Luis's ancestors as well came to this country?
Because of what it stood for, for everybody. Not just a select few, and not just people whose skin is white. It's up to all of to us to continue to speak out against this hatred and this violence if we want to continue to stand proud as all Americans should be able to.
CABRERA: I want you both to look at this picture again. You know, the President in this picture, grinning, flashing a thumbs up in a photo with a baby whose parents were shot dead? And we know the baby was only brought back to the hospital because other victims didn't want to meet with the President. Again, look at that picture. Luis, what message does that send?
ALVARADO: I mean I've been a Republican my entire life and the day that Donald Trump came done the escalator and attacked my community I stood against him. I continue to stand against him that's why I'm not a very welcome person in my own party at times.
But it's because I feel that our President lacks the experience, lacks the insights, and most importantly lacks the character to sometimes occupy the office. I think this picture is one of many that demonstrate that our President sometimes lacks the vision to actually be the leader of this nation. And that picture to me represents the fact that if he is a Democrat, Democrat - it's not important to me it's the fact he doesn't get it.
That that child's parents are still being mourned, that that children - those family members are never going to experience being part of that family ever again. And the President is just divorced from empathy and he is just divorced from understanding that this is a nation that has just escalated this war and the politics of it has now divided the country even a little bit further.
CABRERA: Maria, your thoughts about that picture?
CARDONA: Yes, I mean, I completely agree with Luis. And that picture I think embodies what so many Democrats and critics of the President have known since the moment that he announced his campaign for the presidency, is that he is completely unfit for office.
He does not care about public service. He does not care about the well being of the country. He only cares about his own self image; he only cares about his own ego. He only cares about how he is portrayed in the media. He uses people. He hurts. He doesn't console. He is the one who wounds.
CARDONA: That's why in this moment, after we suffered three shootings in a row we were a country in mourning. And we needed more than anything a consoler in chief. This President is completely ill equipped and unable to play that role.
And in fact, he can't even be given words to say or ways to act to at least pretend that he cares. He was unable to, which is what is exactly he demonstrated in that photo, giving a thumbs up in a picture with an infant who is now an orphan because of the shooter that mimicked the President's own words? I mean, you know, my dearest hope for this nation is that this President is an anomaly, that he is an aberration, but it's going to take all of us to step up to the plate to make sure that's the case.
In 2020 we have to speak up with our voices. We have to speak loudly with our votes to ensure that we put somebody in the White House that actually reflects American values.
CABRERA: Maria Cardona and Luis Alvarado. Thank you both.
CARDONA: Thanks, Ana.
ALVARADO: Thanks for your invitation.
CABRERA: Coming up the 2020 candidates get emotional about gun violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP0
ANDREW YANG (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was imagining it was one of them that got shot and the others saw it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: In Iowa today 16 democratic candidates have spent their day pitching their gun control ideas to voters. The Gun Sense Forum comes one week after 22 people were shot and killed in El Paso, Texas, and nine others were shot and killed in Dayton, Ohio.
Candidates who address the forum took aim at President Trump. Congressional Republicans and the gun lobby. But one question from the audience brought Andrew Yang to tears. Here is the question and his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As President, how would you address unintentional shootings by children?
YANG: Thank you for that. Can I give you a hug? Would that be appropriate? I have a 6 and 3-year-old boy. I was imagining - I was imagining it was one of them that got shot. And the other saw it. And I just can't - that scene that you described. I'm sorry it's very, very affecting.
You're right that when there is a gun in the household you're more likely to have a child get shot or the owner get shot than to kill let's a intruder into the house. Those are just numbers. Those are just the facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Kyung Lah is joining us from Iowa. And Kyung, I imagine you're hearing a lot of unity on this from the candidates?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A remarkable amount of unity across the board when it comes to the Democratic candidates. They are saying very similar things about gun control. They want to have an assault weapons ban. They want to talk about listening and red flag laws. There are variations how they get there. And there are also uniform, Ana on who they blame Congress as well as President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People say to me, did Donald Trump cause those - those folks to be killed? Well, no, of course he didn't pull the trigger. But he certainly has been tweeting out the ammunition.
JULIAN CASTRO (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would maximize executive authority. Because we know that we may face a Congress, a Senate that is still led by Mitch McConnell.
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If more guns on the streets made everybody safe we'd be the safest country in the world.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Assault weapons are not weapons used by the overwhelming majority of hunters. These are weapons designed to kill human beings in a rapid way.
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who in God's name needs a weapon that can handle 100 rounds? For God's sake.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to reduce gun deaths. We are going to make this a Congress, make this a government that is responsive to the will of the people. That's why we're here.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If every one of you spends the next four weeks speaking out, using social media to be heard, tweeting at Mitch McConnell saying Mitch call the vote. Mitch call the vote. He could call us back into Congress today. We could pass universal background checks today.
GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I knew that if I voted to ban assault weapons I would lose my seat in Congress. I want you to know that I voted to ban assault weapons and although I lost my seat in Congress.
INSLEE: Although I lost my seat in Congress I have never regretted that vote for one nano second.
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LAH: Now, I am at Kamala Harris's last event just in the middle of a five-day bus tour. Ana she has talked about gun control at every single stop. Ana. CABRERA: Kyung Lah, thank you. We'll be right back.
CABRERA: Walmart is rolling out new guidelines in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in El Paso. The nation's largest retailer has instructed employees not to show violent movies in the entertainment section and it is banning displays of violent videogames. But the games themselves are still for sale and so are the guns.
Walmart markets its firearms for hunting and fishing and stopped selling assault style rifles in 2015 following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook and others. After the tragedy in Parkland, Walmart raised the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 and it will twice resembling assault weapons. But some of the 2020 candidates are calling on Walmart to do much more. This week a Walmart employee sent an email urging thousands of workers to strike.
From "psycho" to "Dr. Strangelove," of 2001 a spaced article the CNN original series "The Movies" returns tomorrow night with a look at the biggest films of the '60s. Here is a preview.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Bullitt" has the perfect McQueen moment. Somebody's following him he figures it out he doesn't try to escape. This is what anybody would try to do, instead he turns the car around and he starts chasing them. That's Steve McQueen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are car chases before in movies never a car chase like "Bullitt." And you know that point where Phill Hickman (ph) the other driver clicks in his seatbelt, the audience is like, okay, here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a masterpiece of action cinema. I can never go to San Francisco and see those hills without thinking about the mustang taking those turns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the most famous car chase in all of movies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that's secondary to me to the feeling of, I just want to look at this story in this city with this guy leading me through it. The whole movie is really about McQueen and his persona.
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CABRERA: Be sure to tune in, a brand-new episode of "The Movies" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 right here on CNN. We're back in a moment.
CABRERA: Thanks for staying with me. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom." I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Our breaking news convicted--