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Can Background Checks or Red Flag Laws Get Passed? Dem Candidates Hit Iowa State Fair to Campaign; North Korea Launches More Missiles; Interview with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Presidential Candidate; Election Security Is Focus of Hacker Conference; Former Skinhead Talks about Potential Domestic Hate Attacks; Pope Francis Compares Recent European Political Rhetoric to Nazi Propaganda. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired August 10, 2019 - 08:00   ET




DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need intelligent background checks. This isn't a question of NRA, republican or democrat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is sounding upbeat about the prospects for new legislation to address gun violence but we've heard talk like that before.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: The key to this, honestly, is making a law and not making a point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officials say North Korea has launched two projectiles into the sea. This is the fifth time that North Korea has fired salvos of these short range ballistic missiles in about two and a half weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The North Koreans are pretty upset. I mean this is normally how the North Koreans express themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is encouraging white supremacy. There's a distinction without much of a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump firing back at the growing number of 2020 democrats accusing him of being a white supremacist.

TRUMP: I think it's a disgrace and I think it shows how desperate the democrats are.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Well, good morning to you. It is Saturday. I hope the week's been good so far. I know it's early, 8:00 in the morning but we're glad to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN HOST: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. Right now, at least 17 democratic presidential hopefuls are in Iowa on a major meeting on the gun violence epidemic that is plaguing America. It was only just last weekend that 22 people were shot dead in an El Paso, Texas, Wal-Mart and then there were 12 more that were shot in Dayton, Ohio.

PAUL: And this morning now, we're learning the alleged El Paso shooter told police he had deliberately targeted Mexicans.

Also happening in, Iowa this weekend, the candidates are making their rounds at the Iowa state fair.

SAVIDGE: Sharpening their stump speeches and they're meeting supporters. Last night they spoke at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Dinner. It's a fundraiser for local Iowa democrats. It's also a way, though, to network with local volunteers who can help recruit caucus goers.

PAUL: Joining us now from Des Moines, Rebecca Buck, CNN political reporter. Rebecca, what is making some headlines there so far?

REBECCA BUCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's early still. The fryers aren't yet fired up, Christi, at the fair here today. But just in a few hours, this will be a hub of activity. Nine candidates are coming to the soapbox today including two of the top tier candidates, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Both of them on the rise here in Iowa, according to a Monmouth poll released earlier this week. Joe Biden, the former vice president is still in the lead here in the state but Elizabeth Warren, if you talk to democratic activists here is really building a political operation to be reckoned with, a very strong political operation. We saw some of that last night about two hours north of here in Clear Lake, Iowa, where the democrats all lined up to speak at this Wing Ding event and the big theme of the night, as you can imagine in light of the shootings in Dayton and El Paso this week, was the rising tide of hate in America and the president's role in that. Democrats, of course saying, that he is responsible. I want you to take a listen to some of what the candidates has to say. S


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Together, we will end the racism and the sexism and the Islamophobia and the homophobia and all of the other phobias that this president exhibits and we will end white nationalism in this country as well.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because we have come this far by faith. We have overcome worse times and darker moments than this. Now more than ever, we need Americans that will stand up with faith in our country, faith in our ideals, faith in each other and come together again and stand together and work together and love together and overcome his darkness with our light. This is the call of our country and it is time for the United States of America to rise again.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is about a guy who came in and has been in office, using the power of the voice of the President of the United States in a way that has been about trying to divide us, in a way that it's been about trying to sow hate and division among us. So we're not going to buy what trying to sell because we know dude got to go.

JOE BIDEN (D), FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AND 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's up to all of us; 330 million Americans who have to do what our president can, stand together. Stand against hate. Stand up to let's call this what it is. This is white nationalism. This is white supremacy.

BUCK: Now, we expect this to continue to be a major topic of discussion today among the democratic field not only here at the state fair, but also across town here in Des Moines. Many of the democratic candidates will be convening for a forum on gun control where we'll be hearing more about some of their plans to address this problem and no doubt, more about the president's role in all of this. Christi, Martin.

PAUL: So we go into this, Rebecca, with this new Monmouth Poll. You mentioned it briefly but it looks like former Vice President Bidenis on the top and Elizabeth Warren -- Senator Warren is next in line there.


Some really interesting new numbers; how are they being dissected there?

BUCK: So, for me, the big story of this particular poll is the growth that we've seen for Elizabeth Warren. Of course, Joe Biden holding steady in the lead among the democratic candidates but he's only around 30 percent so that means two-thirds of democrats at this stage in the process still don't feel like they're 100 percent sold on Joe Biden. They're maybe looking at some of the other options in this democratic field but what we have seen consistently over the past few months is this trend line of growth from Elizabeth Warren not only here in Iowa, but nationally as well. And that's reflected also in what we're seeing on the ground here in Iowa. She had an incredibly enthusiastic reception last night at the Wing Ding event. Her ground operation was out in force with signs, chanting, really a show of force from Elizabeth Warren. Of course, there is still six months to go until the Iowa caucuses and a lot can change in this race. We've seen already, how fluid it is but a very interesting snapshot of where things are at this point in time.

SAVIDGE: All right, Rebecca Buck, thanks very much. Everything politically is happening at the Iowa state fair.

PAUL: So here's a question, could reds flag laws be the compromise that Congress needs to pass the gun control legislation? Red flag laws give individual states power to temporarily take away someone's gun if sits proven that they pose a threat. Only five states have the laws and then we have the Parkland shooting and that number went up to 17 states.

President Trump contemplated backing red flag laws at that time. He's doing so again now.

John Feinblatt, the president of Every Town for Gun Safety is with us now. John, why do you think so much time has gone by that red flag laws have not been passed?

JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERY TOWN FOR GUN SAFETY: Well, actually 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed red flag laws and they have shown demonstrable proof of cutting down gun violence in possible suicide cases, in domestic violence cases and interrupting mass shootings. But it is important that we make this the law of the land and not just the law of 17 states.

PAUL: So, what criteria do you need to give a judge, for the judge to exercise, you know, his adjudication and take guns away from someone who is at risk?

FEINBLATT: You need to show that somebody's a danger to themselves or others. But what is important about these laws is, they only give the police or immediate family members the ability to petition the court for the temporary removal of guns. But often, just weeks or 30 days is enough to interrupt the kind of mass violence we've seen in this country, just in the past week in El Paso and Dayton, because all of us remember after a mass shooting, it is so common to hear reports that the family knew that the person was showing violent tendencies or that the family knew that they had access to guns and that they were on social media, expressing violent instincts. And we've been through this so many times and heard those reports so much after the fact, what red flag laws do is allow us to act before we face tragic deaths.

PAUL: We know that the mother of the El Paso shooter did call police. We've had that conversation and I wonder if -- you know, they say nothing could have been done. First of all, do you think that had red flag laws been in place, something could have been done in that case? And secondly, do you think red flag laws maybe give a family member

more comfort or more incentive to report somebody.

FEINBLATT: I think, if you look at the facts of Parkland, just a year and a half ago, It was sort of a textbook case of where a red flag law could have helped and could have prevented mass tragedy. Everybody knew the young man was violent. He had troubles in school. He had access to guns. But what we know is, if you don't have a mechanism for the family to seek help, then we're going to face tragedy and as I say, this is not only helpful in interrupting mass shootings, but also in domestic violence cases and particularly, when a young person is experiencing suicidal thoughts and we know they have access to guns. You know, while only 17 states have passed red flag laws and most of those happened last year, it was used 1,700 times across the country and so it is a way for families to reach out to ask for help when they don't know what else to do.

PAUL: Yes. John Feinblatt, so grateful to have your voice in this. Thank you for being here.

FEINBLATT: Thank you very much, Christi.

BLACKWELL: And coming up, we're going to speak to one of the 2020 candidates in Iowa, Congressman Tim Ryan. We'll talk to him on the subject of gun control and also how he's trying to stand out in a very crowded fiels. PAUL: Also U.S. officials say North Korea has launched more short

range missiles into the sea just hours after President Trump touted his most recent quote, "very beautiful letter" from Kim Jong-un.


SAVIDGE: A show of force, that's what South Korea is calling North Korea's firing of two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea early Saturday morning.

PAUL: Now the launch is North Korea's fifth in just over two weeks. And just hours after President Trump told reporters on the White House lawn that North Korea's Kim Jong-un was not happy with joint U.S. - South Korean military exercises in that region. CNN's Ivan Watson live for us in Hong Kong with the latest and we are hearing from the president now, giving us a little more detail about what was in that letter he received from Kim Jong-un.

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENTS: That's right, and let's just go back to the missile launches. They took off at 5:30s local time this morning from North Korea. And as you mentioned, five times in about two and half weeks with sort range ballistic missiles fired on July 25th, July 31st, August 2nd, August 6th and then Saturday morning. The South Koreans expressing concern about this saying this could rachet up tensions.

And then within the last 20 minutes, President Trump has tweeted about this, and about the letter first and foremost she received from the North Korean dictator writing quote, "In a letter sent to me by Kim Jong-un he stated very nicely that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was also a small apology for testing the short range missiles and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong-un in not too distant future. A nuclear-free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world."

Now, let's unpack this a little bit. First of all, President Trump has slammed now joint U.S. - South Korean military exercises that take place on an annual basis and that have been at the very least changed somewhat according to the U.S. defense secretary to accommodate the face-to-face diplomacy that's been going on for more than a year now between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.

He's calling these military exercises that U.S. forces participate in "ridiculous and expensive." The defense secretary is on the record in the last couple of days saying that they are needed for military preparedness on the Korean Peninsula. And once again, he seems to be defending Kim Jong-un's testing of short-range ballistic missiles, which President Trump has in the past said, don't bother him. He says, as long as North Korea doesn't conduct nuclear weapons tests and fire intercontinental ballistic missiles it doesn't bother him. Other countries like Britain, Japan are on record saying these short-range ballistic missile launches are in violation of a United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Christi, martin. PAUL: Ivan Watson. Excellent job breaking those tweets down for us. I

wonder what a small apology looks like. He said a small apology from Kim Jong-un.

SAVIDGE: I want to read the letter.

PAUL: And it sounds like he apologized. The president mentioned this letter yesterday. Kim Jong-un obviously apologized according to this tweet, for past missile tests, but then within 24 hours ...

SAVIDGE: Launched more.

PAUL: ...launched more.

SAVIDGE: In other news, the El Paso shooting suspect, we now have the affidavit from police and it shows the suspect admits he was deliberately targeting Mexicans when he started shooting at a Wal-Mart a week ago today.

PAUL: And a Texas shooting suspect said that he was targeting those Mexicans. We're talking to a former white supremacist. He's going to give us his thoughts about what is happening with this hate in America.



PAUL: Well, this morning, 17 democratic candidates are speaking at a gun violence forum in Iowa. This was organized by several groups after the two mass shootings last weekend.

SAVIDGE: Congressman Tim Ryan is from one of the states that was targeted by the gunman, Ohio. Here's what he said last night about how democrats are uniting toward a single goal.


REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think what happened in El Paso and Dayton really has united democrats, especially around the issue of getting these weapons of war off the streets and you see the real contrast with what's happening at the White House. This is a culture of corruption with the NRA and all of that.


SAVIDGE: And joining us now from Des Moines is Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and Congressman, thanks very much for joining us this morning.

RYAN: Thanks. Thanks for having me.

SAVIDGE: You blame the president directly for the violence add the mass shootings we've seen?

RYAN: Well, not necessarily directly, but he has certainly created an environment where the level of hate that we saw in El Paso, is, you know, exercised in the United States where there's almost like political cover being provided by the president for these people who are white supremacists, the hate groups and all the rest and I think he's created that environment. There's no question. I mean, you can't be a living, breathing American and not see what the president has done here and what he does every day on twitter. It's always a person of color. It's always an immigrant. It's always a divisive issue. That's how he operates.

PAUL: So do you believe the president is a white supremacists as several other 2020 candidates have characterized him.

RYAN: Look, you know I keep getting asked this question. The bottom line is white supremacists think he's a white supremacist. David Duke who was the head of the KKK says that Donald Trump is implementing their agenda. That's all that matters. My opinion as a political candidate is just going to get thrown into the polarization of the discussion. What most Americans who are just observing need to know that the white supremacists think he's a white supremacist, not some political candidate who, of course, would, of course, try to make Donald Trump look at bad as they can. What they should be alarmed about is that these groups see him as their leader.

SAVIDGE: Turning from the issue of blame to the issue of action, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, as you know, implemented a number of actions that are designed to at least try to reduce gun violence in the state of Ohio. He a republican, one, are you surprised by the actions he's taken and do you support them?

RYAN: Yes. Yes, no question. I, of course, think we should go further but I think what he put out there is significant and he should be commended for what he's done. I think I was with him in Dayton at the vigil and for him to respond in this way, I think is entirely appropriate. He should be commended. I support what he's doing.


I'd like to see it go a little further but given this environment I see what he's doing and I hope we can get that through the republican legislature in Ohio and I pledge all the support I can to get some of those things moving for him.

PAUL: You know over the years, we have had Congress, we've had democrats holding both chambers of Congress. We've had republicans holding both chambers of Congress and there are people who would look at that and say at some point, one of these parties could have pushed through some sort of gun legislation. Why has nothing been done?

RYAN: Well, the democrats did, back in 1994, during the crime bill. That's when we had the assault weapons ban and I think there were significant efforts to try to curb gun violence in the United States during the Clinton Administration. This has been a very polarizing issue and the NRA and other groups have made it a very polarizing issue but what's happened in the last few weeks, it's the accumulation of these events where it's hit every region of the country. It's hit in towns like Dayton and El Paso, iconic American cities. The violence and gun violence every day in certain towns all across the United States is happening that aren't mass shootings but it's still gun violence. It's accumulated now to the point where people want something done. And I think what shocked people, a couple things. One was El Paso, when we went to bed heartbroken and woke up and the first alert we got from CNN and other news outlets was Dayton.

That's shocking and you saw it in the Times Square video of the motorcycle back firing and people running like crazy. There's such a high level of anxiety right now. That's why I want to address this issue around gun violence. It's become a cause for me to at least make a progress on this. I'm asking people at home to go to if they want me to keep talking about this stuff and want to support the campaign that's including not just the insecurity that's there around violence but around economic insecurity and health care insecurity and all of these other things that are driving our stress level through the roof in the United States today.

SAVIDGE: All right, real quick, before we go, what do you think is the secret to winning back blue collar workers in the state of Ohio, that's such a crucial state?

RYAN: The economic insecurity; 75s percent of the American people are still living paycheck to paycheck. They're seeing huge amounts of health care costs coming out of their paychecks every week. We've got to speak directly to that anxiety that they're feeling every day. We don't have a plan. That's why I have a chief manufacturing officer which will be one of the first positions I put in place to say this is how we're going to move forward rebuilding the economy; building electric vehicles, building wind mills, wind turbines, solar panels. China dominates those entries now. Those could be good 30, 40, 50 dollar an hour jobs moving forward and under my plan we drive those investments, private investment, work with the private sector but drive those investments into the towns that have been left behind; old coal towns, old steel, old textiles town like in down in South Carolinas. Those are the initiatives we want to push. There's going to be 10 million vehicles made in the next ten years. I want half of those made in the United States. I want them built by American workers so if we have an agenda saying this is the future for you. Plants are closing under Donald Trump but under Tim Ryan, we're going to build electric vehicles and we're going to build 5 million of them in the next five or ten years. In those communities, we can win those voters back.

PAUL: Congressman, I'm sorry we're short on time, but I wanted to get to this because you tweeted about the Mississippi raids and what was happening to the children whose parents were being held. You said it's state-sponsored child abuse, what happened to those children. Does any of your legislation that you're promoting, does did cover protocols for children to be taken care of in a situation like that?

RYAN: Well, this comes from the administration. You should not do any raid like that, and not have accounted for how these children are going to be treated. I understand that if you want to execute a raid or something like this, you know, yet, you don't want everybody to know about it, but my goodness, gracious, you have no accounting for the children of these parents? And where's the Trump administration with the businesses? Why it always the people? Like the industry people always get protected. In the United States, there's a protected class and an unprotected class and the protected class is a business owner. I mean, why isn't he busted?

All of a sudden, you go after the people, you separate them-- the parents from their kids but the business people get off scot-free? You're talking about hundreds of thousands of people, undocumented citizens that Trump's going after. Meanwhile, you've only had like three or four companies that have been prosecuted? That's baloney. That shows in the Trump world, if you're in his class, if you can afford to go his to country club, you're protected. And so my administration would certainly handle this much different. In my administration, you get these people on a pathway to citizenship so they could pay taxes, come out of the shadows and be in the United States and live a safe and happy life and enrich our country. Under Trump, they separate them from their kids and then let the business get off scot-free.

SAVIDGE: Congressman Tim Ryan, we got to leave it there. Thank you very much for joining us this morning. We appreciate your time.

PAUL: Thank you Congressman.

RYAN: Thank you.

PAUL: CNN senior political analyst and senior editor at "The Atlantic" Ron Brownstein has been listening in to this. Ron, your first thought about what the Congressman said?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well look, you can miss the magnitude of what we're seeing here over the last few weeks with the democratic candidates for president openly saying that the President of the United States is a racist or white nationalist. There is no precedent for that, and there's no precedent for majority of Americans in the most recent Quinnipiac poll agreeing that the president is a racist. You know this is just an extraordinary moment. In fact in that Quinnipiac poll, 88 percent of the people who disapprove of Trump's job performance also said that they believe he was a racist and that just gives you a sense of how illegitimate he is to the circles of Americans beyond his base. And this is just an extraordinary moment in the history of the country. On guns, you know where we're going from here I think is still very uncertain but the politics have gone, it's fundamentally changed over the last 25 years in a way that makes it more possible for democrats to move forward but still leaves those obstacles in the Senate.

SAVIDGE: This polarization which you just sort of outlined there...


SAVIDGE: ... especially from that poll, it obviously is disturbing, but how does it play out politically? I mean, it only emboldens his base. I guess the concern is those who are still somewhat on the fringe, if there is anyone?

BROWNSTEIN: Well look, there are a couple things here, Martin. The first point is, I don't think Trump would turn to this kind of open racism. That even -- look at what we're talking about, the "Go back" comments - the "Go back" tweets and comments, the attacks on Baltimore, I mean, everything that's happened. I don't think he'd do that -- yes, it is his kind of go-to place. Fomenting cultural division is what he thinks benefits him politically. But he does it not only because he wants to, but also because he has to.

I mean if you look at polling and one thing I've written about extensively which I think is striking, is that there's a much higher share of voters who say they are economically satisfied -satisfied with the way the economy is going but still disapprove of the president's performance in office and/or say they're going to vote for Joe Biden in particular for president. We've never seen anything like that with a previous president where something like 15 to 20s percent of the people who say that they are satisfied with the economy still say they disapprove of his performance? He's already alienated so many voters who he might have drawn on him just on the performance of the economy that I think in many ways he has no choice but to try to gin up his base through this kind of - kind of overt racial signaling, even though the inevitable cost of that is to drive away more of those voters in the middle who might have been - who might have come to him on the economy. He's kind of stuck on a treadmill I think at this point.

PAUL: All right. Ron Brownstein, always good to get your perspective. Thank you for getting up early with us this morning.

SAVIDGE: Good to see you Ron. Ss

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Coming up, we'll talk to a former skinhead on what he thinks is causing this hate in America and we'll find out what he thinks leaders need to do to prevent the rise of white nationalism and hate crimes.



PAUL: All right. I want to bring you some of the pictures we're getting out of Hong Kong this morning. Pro-democracy protests are in the tenth straight week there in Hong Kong.

SAVIDGE: And police have been firing multiple rounds of tear gas at protesters. It's sort of the way we've seen these protests evolve. They start off peacefully, but when the police become involved it turns into something very different. These are anti-government demonstrators that have been blocking roads and blocking public transportation.

PAUL: Demonstrators are staging that sit-in at the city's international airport for the second day now. This is the eighth busiest airport in the world. They're handing out pamphlets to passengers who are arriving at the airport.

But look at some of the pictures we're getting here. DEF CON, one of the world's largest hacking conferences is taking place in Las Vegas this weekend. There's a record number of lawmakers in attendance there this year. Organizers say there's big focus on election security.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is with us now. Donie, good to see you. I know you've spoken to several lawmakers. What are they telling you?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know I think there's more lawmakers here than ever before this year because America's elections got hot in 2016 and I think a lot of folks on Capitol Hill want to come here and learn from the good hackers to see how they can prevent that from happening again. There's multiple events happening in Vegas throughout the weekend including a full convention center room here of voting machines that are actually being used in American elections right now. Hackers are demonstrating and showing members of Congress including Senator Ron Wyden who was here yesterday, just how vulnerable these machines are. When I asked some of the folks where they got these voting machines from, they actually purchased them on eBay. A lot of the voting machines used in the U.S. are available for sell on the internet.

PAUL: Wow.

SAVIDGE: That's shocking news right there. Let me ask you this, there's been talk of something called deep fakes and just what are they?

O'SULLIVAN: That's right. We've heard a lot about deep fakes over the past few months. Deep fakes are artificial intelligence. New technology that creates these hyper realistic videos that can make it appear that somebody has said what they really didn't say. The Democratic Party is concerned about this, thinking how it can be used in the 2020 election against one of their candidates. They actually made a model. A fake video of their chairman, Tom Perez, which we're going to show you now and just a reminder, what we're about to watch is a deepfake, Tom Perez never actually said this. Have a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Greetings DEF CON. I'm DNC Chair Tom Perez. My apologies that I can't come to Las Vegas. It will be something more subtle like a slowed down video, or even a deepfake of Tom Perez talking about cyber security.


O'SULLIVAN: So, what you see there is on the right was the deepfake of Tom Perez. On the left was the head of security at the DNC Bob Lord, where he's essentially taken control of Perez's face and made it look like he said something that he never really said. The voice in that was of Bob Lord. But there is also technology where you can make it even sound like it was Perez's voice. So, not too difficult to imagine how this could be used for nefarious purposes in the future.

PAUL: That is frightening.

SAVIDGE: The chilling side of high tech. All right, Donie O'Sullivan, thank you very much for that I think although it is really unnerving to watch.

PAUL: Yes. Yes. We'll be right back.



SAVIDGE: The man accused of killing 22 people and wounding 24 others in an El Paso Wal-Mart told police he was deliberating targeting Mexicans. That coming from the arrest affidavit which also says that Patrick Crusius told police he was the Wal-Mart shooter. Sources say Crusius picked El Paso because he wanted the attack to be far away from his hometown which is near Dallas. Several politicians including President Trump condemned the shooting.

PAUL: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is also a former congressman from El Paso. He's been in his hometown since the attack last Saturday, just posted a message on his Facebook page. Look at this.


BETO O'ROURKE (D), 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Families are still going through a lot right now. A number of people are still at Del Sol Medical Center and University Medical Center, not all the way out of the woods yet. So, your strength that you're sending, your love, your encouragement to them is so helpful, so please keep it coming. S


PAUL: Now the shooter has been charged with capital murder. He's being held without bond. and that shooting is being treated as a case of domestic terrorism.

SAVIDGE: Breaking news this morning, there's a Nevada man with neo- Nazi ties and he's under arrest for plotting to bomb synagogues and gay nightclubs.


PAUL: Yes, the Justice Department says they found bomb-making plans at his Las Vegas home. The man, 23 year-old Connor Clemo has been charged with one count of possession of an unregistered firearm.

Frank Meeink is with us now. He's a former skinhead. He changed after going to prison and befriending men that he used to think he hated. He's the co-author of the book, "Autobiography of a Recovering Skin Head." Frank, we're so grateful to have you back on. I know we've talked to you a couple of times. I want to ask you first and foremost about this newest report, this breaking news about this Nevada man who has been charged. What is your reaction to this charge from the Justice Department? How many more men like him are out there?

FRANK MEEINK, FORMER SKINHEAD LIVING IN IOWA: There's -- unfortunately there's a lot of them and it's -- the lone wolf thing has really come into play now after Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombings where that's the plan. But, I mean, when is it going to end? When is it going to stop? This is something this country needs a gun intervention. We need a hate intervention in a way because and everyone says, after a shooting, "Everyone calm down, then we'll talk about it." No, you don't do an intervention on a drug addict when he's sober. You do it when he's had a life-changing event in his life that you can now work with and that's what we're working with right now and people just want to - let's put it away and then we'll talk about it two weeks from now when another event happens and that's what we got to get sick and tired of. I don't care who's right politically. I just want it to stop.

PAUL: You were one of those people - you know, you are an admitted former skinhead. When you talk about having an intervention, what does an effective intervention look like for people who hold these hateful beliefs.

MEEINK: That we see -- that these people are going to have to know what the end result of what they believe is evil. It's evil on this planet to believe I'm better than you because of the color of my skin. It's - it's that they try...s

PAUL: But how do you deprogram somebody from thinking that?

MEEINK: You have to -- for one, we can't fight them with other hate and condemn consistently. We have to start talking to them and have real conversations with people and not right away shun them because that's what they feel like their whole life. They feel like they've never been respected. They've been degraded their whole life and now we're going to continue doing. We have to start having conversations with people that we think have these feelings. And I'm not saying we have to validate their feelings but you validate them as a human being an maybe we might have something because they have to learn empathy. That's what I had to learn. That's what almost all formers learn. They have to learn empathy again.

PAUL: And at the bottom line is, white -- you're saying white nationalists, white supremacists actually feel inferior and they're acting out of fear. Is that right?

MEEINK: Oh absolutely. It's all fear-based. Any type of group that has to go towards anger and violence first, it comes from a part of fear inside of them and that's where when their fear turns into anger then anger turns into hatred and it turns into violence and I'm the exact result of that effect.

PAUL: I want to show viewers some pretty startling numbers here. These numbers from the Institute for Health Metrics. U.S. Government statistics show that since 9/11, white supremacists and other far right extremists have been responsible for almost three times as many attacks on U.S. soil as Islamic terrorists. And also according to the Anti-Defamation League, statistics from 2009 through 2018, 73 percent of domestic extremist-related fatalities are from far-right groups. Because you used to be in those groups, Frank, I know that you still have connections to them. I know you must have some idea of what is going on behind the scenes. Help us to understand how potent and how expansive are these groups right now?

MEEINK: Allow me to say this, if I was still in the movement or if the same times were happening and I had a guy like - who is in the presidency right now who kind of nudges us a little bit, I would be ecstatic to be part of those groups now and that's scary and sad. They're taking more funding away from groups that are looking at right wing extremists because President Trump said he only wants money going toward anti-Islamic extremists and a "New York Times" piece was just written about that. They've taken money from groups because they don't want us looking at right-wing extremists and it's the ...

PAUL: So let me ask you this, and I'm sorry Frank because we're running out of time but I have to ask you based...

MEEINK: Sure, sure.

PAUL: ... do white supremacists see President Trump as one of them?

MEEINKs: Yes. And, look, I've been having this argument all week now. People keep saying well, if a bunch of pedophiles follow him, is he a pedophile? If he says pedophile things then yes, I would say that. This guy is followed by right-wing extremists because he says things that they believe. It isn't that they just happen to jump on board with the guy. He's saying things that they feel inside. He validates them and that's scary.


PAUL: Frank Meeink, always appreciate you being so candid about what you've been though and what we need to do from this point forward. Thank you so much for taking time for us.

MEEINKS: Thank you, guys. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Still to come in a new interview, Pope Francis compares recent political rhetoric in Europe to that of Nazi Germany.


PAUL: So Pope Francis has sounded the alarm about recent political rhetoric in Europe, likening it to Nazi Germany. In an interview, the pope said, quote, "I'm concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934. 'Us first. We... We...' These are frightening thoughts."

SAVIDGE: The pope also calls for migrants to be integrated into society and says that nationalism is, quote, "an attitude of isolation."

PAUL: CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen is with us now. John, what do you think prompted the pope to get into this conversation? John it's Christi - it's Christi and Martin. Do I - I think we're having audio problems.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: I hear you. I'm not hearing programming. PAUL: Oh, you are. OK, well if you can hear me, we can hear you so I just wanted to ask you, what do you think prompted the Pope to insert himself now into the conversation about the white supremacy and the hate that we're seeing?

ALLEN: Well, I mean what prompted him to interject himself was that he had agreed to give an interview to "La Stampa" which is one of the major newspapers here in Italy and coincidentally, is the newspaper that his new editorial director, veteran Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli used to work for. So, you know, I think this is the pope probably doing a favor for a friend. I do not think that this had much to do with the current situation in the United States, the aftermath of these terrible shootings that we've seen in El Paso and Dayton and the national debate it has unleashed about white supremacy and the rhetoric of President Trump and so on.


If anything, to be honest with you, this probably had much more to do with the current situation here in Italy where deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, the effective power behind the throne here in Italy has recently declared that he is frustrated with his coalition and is going to stand on his own, bringing the government down and triggering a new election.


ALLEN: So this is not the pope directly commenting on the situation in the states, although obviously, what the pope had to say probably is the kind of thing that people who are concerned with the rhetoric of the Trump Administration will be glad to hear.

PAUL: John Allen, always appreciate your insight. Thank you so much.

ALLEN: You're welcome.

SAVIDGE: And a reminder, the new CNN original series "The Movies" continued Sunday night with the '60s. "The Movies" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 and, of course, it's only here on CNN.

PAUL: We have more news straight ahead. back with "CNN Newsroom" after the break.


PAUL: Well, glad to have you with us, 9:00 right now. Good morning, I'm Christi Paul.

SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. CNN's "Newsroom" starts right now.