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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

6 Philadelphia Cops Shot; Shooter Remains In Standoff; Rep. Steve King Questions Whether There Would Be Any Population Left Without Rape And Incest; Colbert on Controversial Comments by Acting Trump Admin. Immigration Chief of Statue of Liberty Poem; Colbert on Why He Thinks President Trump is a "Heretic To Reality". Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 14, 2019 - 20:30   ET

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


[20:00:15] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.

We want to start with breaking news. A press conference in Philadelphia on the shooter situation. Let's listen.

COMMISSIONER RICHARD ROSS JR., PHILADELPHIA POLICE: Got officers shot in various parts of their body but fortunately, everybody is going to be OK. We have three here. We have three at Einstein. We have a couple officers that were actually injured responding to the scene.

We'll tell you, having been at that scene for the last couple hours trying to talk to this male, he continues to fire rounds out of the window, so this situation is in no way resolved. I wanted to come and give you some kind of update to see, let you know where we are, but we are trying to talk to this male, trying to let him know that he can end this peacefully now.

We've called him multiple times. He has picked up the phone a couple times but he has not answered. So, we've been trying to work with the family member, but right now we have not been successful. Despite several attempts to talk to him, both on the loud speaker, on the bullhorn and on telephone, we have not been able to make contact with him thus far.

We're trying to get him to come out peacefully but right now, he refuses to do so. I have to get back over to the scene. I will answer a few brief questions and the mayor may have a comment and others may have comment, but right now, I have to get back over because the critical thing to tell you that I did not tell you is I have, you know, some situations where I'm worried about potential hostage situations. So, we've got to get that resolved, all right?

REPORTER: Commissioner, can you tell how the officers inside are doing? Any insight to their wellbeing?

ROSS: We believe they're OK. I'm not going to say much more about that right now, out of concern for their safety right now.

So, we believe that this male is in a certain part of the building, I won't tell you where they are, where he is right now so I don't endanger the officers on the scene in any way, but it's a very volatile situation still unfolding.

As a result, there is so much I can tell you about what is going on inside of the property say for the fact even when I was on scene, he fired multiple rounds, many of which struck the SWAT truck and buildings across the street, and that's long after -- I got there long after it started.

So he has continued to fire. It is a grave concern to us, a grave concern to us, but we're trying to communicate to him that we want him out safely. Even going as far as telling him that the officers are going to be OK and that there is nothing that we can't work through but right now, but right now, we are not successful. So I'm going to get back over there. I'll answer just a few questions and I got to get back over.

REPORTER: Have you spoken to any of the officers' families?

ROSS: Just you talking about -- that's what I went in there. I didn't get a chance because of proximity to make it Einstein. I'll get up there a little later. Thankfully, everybody is going to be OK.

I did speak to all three that are here, and, you know, they are all in good spirits. But, you know, we're concerned about this whole situation.

REPORTER: Commissioner, do you think there is just one shooter?

ROSS: Right now, we're not sure, and so, I don't want to say that and be wrong, nor from a tactical standpoint do we want to make that assumption.

REPORTER: Is there anyone in custody at this time?

ROSS: There were people who were taken into custody initially, OK? And there may be someone in custody inside, but right now, we know is this male is holed up inside and he is not -- since I've come here in the last 20 minutes or so, there is no indication that he is trying to surrender right now.

We do know he's still alive. There is no question about that because of the shots that keep ringing out. So, we're very concerned about you, the neighborhood. We're very concerned about our police officers. But again, we're doing everything within our power to get him to come out, all right?

REPORTER: Commissioner, you say you've been in touch with his family. What are they saying about this?

ROSS: Well, I mean, we're just trying to do right now is do as much as we can to resolve this peacefully and so without getting into all of that at this point, we're trying to use and leverage everything possible, multiple attempts to talk to him by myself and others trying to assure him that I'm out front, you know, that he has the highest assurance. He's not going to be harmed when he comes out.

Normally, I wouldn't take this posture, but I've got police officers in a volatile situation. You know, I've got to be where my people are. That's the bottom line. So, I have to get back over there.

Mayor, I don't know if you want to say something.

MAYOR JIM KENNEY, PHILADELPHIA: Well, I had the opportunity to speak to the six officers. They are all in good spirits and obviously it was a traumatic experience for them. I was talking to one of the officers with the graze wound to the head and he had two little boys that looked like they were 9 or 10 years old and kept thinking about how their lives would have changed with a little more difference in space.

And I just -- our concern right now is for them and their families, and we'll sort out other stuff once this scene is resolved over at the shooting -- where the shooting took place.

[20:05:10] And we're just thankful, a little angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower but we'll get to that another day. It's all about the officers and their families right now and God bless them and God save them all. Thank you.

COOPER: Well, you heard from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross who described the situation tonight there as volatile. Six officers shot in North Philadelphia this evening that we know about. All six are in hospitals, not life-threatening condition we're told.

Two officers reportedly remain inside the building, perhaps trapped inside the building at the stand off. That's according to the "Philadelphia Inquirer" which spoke with the Philadelphia police commissioner, and the police commissioner there indicating there also may be suspects handcuffed in custody inside the building, possibly with those police officers in one part of the building.

Philadelphia police through their Twitter account say they are attempting to communicate with the shooter, you heard the commissioner there saying he personally has attempted to communicate with the shooter, so far unsuccessfully. The shooter shows no sign of wanting to surrender and sending updates via Twitter in which they say that the shooter continues to fire at police, to fire out of this structure and you heard the commissioner there saying some of those shots have hit the SWAT vehicle.

This is being described as an active situation. It certainly appears that way from the outside, as well. Many details right now unclear at this moment.

I want to bring in our senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.

Evan, let's talk first of all a little bit as dusk is falling, as night is coming in Philadelphia, that adds another layer for police on the scene. The difficulty, you know, I guess they will have to light up the area. They are trying to get the shooter to talk, trying to assure this shooter or perhaps shooters, they said there could be more than one that they will not be harmed if they come out.

What do we know about how all of this began, Evan? EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, according to the

police, this began as some kind of a narcotics call, that these officers were responding to now, we don't know exactly what the details are of that, Anderson. We don't know if they were doing some operation to try to buy drugs from someone in order to essentially set up a case or bring charges against someone. But it appears that the suspect or suspects was expecting these officers, and the officers were certainly caught unaware.

And so, the chief there just described the -- I think it was police commissioner, he described the situation where officers were having to bailout of windows trying to escape with their lives and it appears that at least two officers remain inside the building. Now, short while ago, one of the reporters from our local affiliate KYW talked to four women being taken out outside of the building of that same building they said they were on the second floor. They seemed obviously extremely shaken up.

And the police just described also the fact there were people who were initially taken away from the scene, people who perhaps were arrested. So this was -- appears to be a police operation that suddenly unraveled and went horribly wrong because this shooter or perhaps more than one opened fire. And as he said, I mean, we were watching some of this, Anderson, unfold in the past hour. He was firing outside through the front door, through the front window. We were told by sources he was firing through the walls.

So, again, this is a very volatile situation and makes it very hard for the swat team to go in when you know you have officers who are trapped somewhere inside that building, makes it a lot more difficult to come up with a tactical plan to attack the situation.

COOPER: I just want to point out to our viewers, we're obviously aware that it is very possible the shooter or if there is more than one in the building has access to a television or to a radio and may be monitoring coverage of this, and so, we're being very select in what we are saying about any kind of tactical situation,

PEREZ: Right.

COOPER: And even some of the pictures we are showing, we obviously, you know, are very cautious about showing anything that if somebody is watching who is involved in this from inside, we don't want to give them any sort of information. We obviously -- it is the police who are the ones who are really hoping to be communicating with this person.

[20:10:03] Is it clear if this is a single family structure or these are two, three, sometimes four-level homes in this area in Philly? Do we know, is this a single family, or is it multiple separate dwellings?

PEREZ: Well, earlier, Anderson, when we were able to -- when there was daylight, we could see that it appeared to be a two-story above ground structure. We don't know if there is a basement. We don't know how many units there are. It appears there is more than one unit.

Again, there was a reporter who talked to four women brought out of at least one unit in the building. They said they lived on the second floor. So, it appears the suspect is somewhere else in this building.

It's not a very large building. This appeared to have been, these appear to be row houses that have been converted into apartments. This is an area north of center city, Philadelphia. It's near Temple University hospital and a lot of health care facilities nearby.

And so again, this is an area, this is a residential neighborhood and appears this is two stories above ground. We don't know if there is a basement unit all.

COOPER: Right.

PEREZ: But it does appear to be multiple units in this building.

COOPER: Right, and earlier there was reporting in local media in Philadelphia, sort of location perhaps of two police officers who were inside, and the police this time around are not giving any details --

PEREZ: Right.

COOPER: -- for very obvious reasons. They do not want to give away location of anybody, law enforcement or the alleged shooter and/or shooters or anyone involved.

I want to bring in more law enforcement analysts and experts. Joining us is former Philadelphia police commissioner, Charles Ramsey, and retired FBI supervisory special agent, James Gagliano. Both are CNN law enforcement analysts.

Chief Ramsey, this is your town. You know it well. You know this police force.

Can you talk about what they are doing now and how difficult does this become as light goes down?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they have established a perimeter getting civilians out of the way and media out of the way so that they can secure that area best they can.

The SWAT team is on site now. I do know the FBI and ATF have responded. I don't know if they are SWAT teams or not, but I know that the Philadelphia police SWAT team is certainly there.

Again, this individual is still shooting and to add to the complication, heavy rains are going to come in about half an hour into the Philadelphia area. So, that's going to cause even further complications.

But they will continue to talk to this guy and try to get him out peacefully. But if it gets to a point where they feel those officers that are trapped inside are in danger, they will do what they have to do to get them out there now. Nighttime certainly can be your friend but it also can be your enemy.

But they do have capability, low light visual capability. So, that shouldn't interfere too much with them.

COOPER: James Gagliano, you know, we talk about active situations, where now the strategy is, don't wait for the SWAT team, go in, go in, go in, neutralize the threat. When there are hostages or perhaps hostages involved, that changes the dynamic.

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Three different types here we're dealing with. You and I talked with it seems like way too many times about active shooter situations. This is either a barricaded subject or a barricaded subject with hostage. Both are completely different. To Chief Ramsey's point, you want a perimeter. You want anybody to ingress and egress.

This looks to me from a number of officers that were shot and thankfully, none of them with life-threatening wounds, it looks like a felony drug warrant, and that happens hundreds upon hundreds of times across cities across America every single day.

COOPER: Police showing up --

GAGLIANO: Police showing up, not going to announce warrant and going in and if the subject doesn't open their door, in this instance, obviously, they were engaged.

Now, the only other option is could have been maybe a buy bust, where an undercover agent or undercover informant went there to purchase drugs, something went wrong, and the police responded as backup and then this happened. The fact the subject barricaded himself inside, you've got police officers now that are either pinned down or unable to extricate themselves, three things have to be unseen -- an unseen commander that can make that call, and that could have been the Philadelphia police chief, if the feds move in and take over, that would be an unseen commander being a special agent in charge of the FBI.

There has to be hostage negotiators. Those are the people trying to talk. We heard from the police spokesperson. He has refused to speak to them. That is never a good sign.

So, from negotiations standpoint, get somebody from the family, get somebody with intimate knowledge of this person, somebody that can hopefully be that buffer and talk to them.

And third, tactical response. If there are no hostages, surround the place and wait. Time is on your side. If there are hostages and any indication one of them are going to be hurt, the good guys are going to go in and get him.

[20:15:02] COOPER: Yes. Chief Ramsey, the other -- the difficult part also is, I mean, again, if this was a drug-related, you know, effort earlier, there no telling the condition that the shooter and/or shooters are in whether they are, you know, have actually taken drugs themselves. That obviously adds a whole another layer of complication.

RAMSEY: Yes, I mean, you just don't know the answer to that. He could be on something or he could just be a violent individual that doesn't want to be taken, you know? So they don't really know.

Bottom line is he's got -- he's heavily armed apparently. This thing has been going on for three hours. There have been numerous rounds. Someone said over 100 rounds fired. So, clearly, he has a lot of ammunition and he has no intention of surrendering peacefully at this point in time.

Hopefully, that changes. Hopefully, no one else gets injured. But this is going to be a long night if he doesn't. So, you know, we'll have to wait to see what unfolds.

COOPER: Yes.

RAMSEY: They are not going to let anybody else get hurt.

COOPER: Yes, we're going to keep a very close on eye on what is happening in Philadelphia throughout this program for the next two hours that we're on the air. We'll bring you updates from our people on the ground as warranted.

Up next, investors got throttled today amid growing fears of a new recession. President Trump's answer: the buck doesn't stop anywhere near here.

And later, my visit with Stephen Colbert. The late night star talks about comedy in the era of President Trump. Plus, his scramble to keep up with breaking headlines and we also talk about bittersweet memories, the losses he has experienced and the impact it has had on his life and on his comedy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We want to give you a quick update on a shooting in Philadelphia, where six officers were shot and the standoff continues right now. Our Jason Carroll is on the scene.

Jason, explain where you are and what you're seeing.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we're two blocks from where the standoff is taking place. Our camera position now is moved back a little bit, but you can see there is a lot of police activity out here. You already heard from Philadelphia chief of police who said this is a volatile situation.

Again, this started at just about 4:35. That's initially when the call came in. Police were serving a search warrant, narcotics warrant. They were met by gunfire.

And then after that, Anderson, the calls went out for more guns, more officers, SWAT came in. Police descended on the scene and then what folks out here say is what they heard is gunfire, shot after shot fired by the suspect who's inside. And then, Anderson, came in the reports of the police who were

injured. At first, the report was two officers injured then it was four, then it was five, then it was six officers injured. But as you now know, we're hearing those injuries are not said to be life- threatening. As this ordeal went on, hour after hour, there was a report that the suspect inside was at one point live streaming.

At one point, just about 5:50 there was a lull in the shooting and then more shooting happening after that. Shortly thereafter, we heard word that two officers are actually inside that row house. We're waiting to hear about their condition. They are said to be barricaded inside there with three prisoners were being held, as well.

Then, just about 7:00, that's where we heard from Philadelphia police. They were tweeting out saying that they are trying to engage with the suspect. They are still trying to engage with the suspect but are continuously met with gunfire.

At this point, we're still standing by. We'll be out here all night long. But as you can imagine, as night falls, it gets more and more difficult for officers to see what's going on, to be able to gauge what's going on. We're going to be here all night with each development as it comes down to us -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jason, thanks very much. We'll continue to check in with you.

While we keep an eye on the on going shootings in Philadelphia, the situation there, there is more breaking news on the market and President Trump as the stock market plummets and bond markets flash warning of possibly dire economic times.

The president is tweeting his anger at the Federal Reserve chair that he himself picked. His name is Jerome Powell.

Joining me now to talk about what is going on is CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

It sure seems like the president is just trying to basically put all the blame on the chairman of the Fed for a lot of things, and this is a person he himself selected and praised.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. I mean, it seems like there is a mild freak-out inside the White House, inside the president's team over what happened on Wall Street today. The Dow going down some 800 points and the president and his economic advisors were all blaming the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell.

The president at one point tweeting earlier today that Jerome Powell was clueless. The president talked about this inverted yield curve where the yields for the ten-year treasury bonds were dipping below those for the two-year treasury bonds. That has been a reliable predictor of recessions going back decades. President even tweeted about that calling that phenomenon crazy. But they are certainly concerned inside the president's team and we're told by administration officials that he is frustrated with the team because they have not been able to really turn the market around as fast as he would like.

COOPER: The -- I mean, is there a plan other than criticizing the chairman of the Federal Reserve? I mean, again, this comes on the heels of the China tariffs being postponed so as not to freak people out over Christmas.

ACOSTA: Anderson, it seems like the plan is to fix the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. We can tell you that his top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, he was on Fox earlier today describing this as a Fed downturn and not a Trump downturn but Fed downturn after months of top administration officials toting the president's handling of the economy. You'll recall earlier this year, Larry Kudlow just in May saying that they were killing it on the economy.

[20:25:01] They are not making those bold statements this evening.

But, Anderson, you're right. They did make a major reversal on tariffs on China yesterday, delaying them a new round of tariffs I should say until December. The president almost acknowledged the obvious yesterday which is these tariffs are being passed, the cost of these tariffs are being consumers on to consumers and then the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross earlier today said once again, that they are trying to protect the shopping season.

Anderson, that's once again an acknowledgement that president's tariffs, his trade war with China, is having a negative effect with consumers and they are worried about it inside the administration. I talked to a source close to the White House earlier this evening who said as this economy goes, so go the president's reelection prospects -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jim Acosta, appreciate it.

More insight now from CNN political commentator and "Washington Post" opinion columnist, Catherine Rampell, who covers the economy. Also, CNN political analyst and "New York Times" White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.

Do you agree with that? As the economy goes, so goes the prospects for President Trump?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think the president's advisors look at it that way. I don't think that's the only issue that he is going to be facing reelection on, but it is certainly the one he's staked a lot of ground on, and the president himself over the last two and a half years treated the stock market like his poll.

And he has watched it go up, he has treated it as if that was something to celebrate. He rarely talks about it when it goes down.

What he's come to believe over warnings repeatedly when the stock market has taken a dip, he then tells advisors it will eventually come back up and he's come to experience that over the sort of lurches on the economy. This one feels a little bit different. So, we will see.

COOPER: Catherine, I mean, this economic indicator that is pointing toward a possible looming recession, just -- if you can, just kind of explain what it is to all of us and how successful indicator has it been.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure, so basically, in order to -- in order to lend someone money, generally for a longer period of time, generally you expect a bigger return, right? That's why longer term bonds tend to have higher yields than shorter term bonds. We're seeing a reversal of that, which suggests markets believe that basically the Fed is going to have to cut rates, that the economy is going to weaken, that we're going to have less inflation going forward.

So, it's an indicator in the past of a looming recession. It doesn't necessarily mean there is one coming but it does suggest markets are losing confidence and that's the real risk here. That in the past when we have recessions, you know, expansions don't die of old age. We are in a very long expansion at this point but they get killed.

Someone or something murders an expansion and that somewhere or something could be a shock like an oil shock or could it be a collective crisis of confidence which is what we may be seeing now because we still have a risk on going, the escalating trade war, we still have a risk from Brexit, from the China slowdown, from other geopolitical tensions, and all of those things put together could get everyone sort of collectively saying, you know what? Maybe now is not a good time to hire and invest right now.

COOPER: You also have a looming deficit which Republicans used to care about and now, nobody seems to care about.

RAMPELL: Well, and that's one of the real risks here, right? That if we do have a recession, there is not a lot of powder left in the gun right now because we took on $2 trillion worth of debt, normally, if there is a recession, what you would expect the president and Congress to do would be to call for more fiscal stimulus. There is just no room or little room for effective stimulus.

And beyond that, I mean, if we did have policy tools, this White House fundamentally does not have a plan and do not have competent personnel in place to develop a plan.

COOPER: Maggie, let's talk more about that, because right now the president is tweeting stuff he is watching on Fox News or Fox Business, I guess, I guess now he's turning to Fox Business for more specific things to tweet about. But as Jim Acosta, you know, pointed out attacking the Fed chairman and tweeting what the people with interestingly dyed hair on Fox Business are talking about, does not -- that's not a policy.

HABERMAN: No, look, I mean, Catherine put it very well. I think there is no plan. There is no -- there is no actual plan that is in place when he makes these moves, when he declares that China is a currency manipulator, which freaked out a lot of investors, and a lot of his supporters.

When he does these tweets, when he makes these moves, they are not according to a game plan.

COOPER: Right, it's not strategy.

HABERMAN: No, and it's very hard with -- it is very hard to ask the rest of the world to live with you in these ten-minute increments of time and that's what he's doing and her is playing a bit of a game of roulette with the economy. These moves confounded his supporters outside the White House, some advisers inside the White House who think that he is creating more of an aura of instability than is necessary and that is just going to prohibit investment going forward.

RAMPELL: Well, it doesn't help if you look at the economic brain trust surrounding this president, you have a guy who plays an economist on TV, you have a guy who is an economist but who's been disowned by the entire profession, and you have a guy who is the producer of "Lego Batman", right? Those are the people advising this president on economics.

The only competent economic policymakers we have right now are over at the Federal Reserve.

[20:30:00] COOPER: Lego Batman was pretty good, though. I mean --

RAMPELL: Whatever its creative merits, it has no --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Yes. And by the way, and you have a chief executive who has a long history of just running things into bankruptcy.

RAMPELL: Yes, yes, of course.

COOPER: So there's that as well.

RAMPELL: Of course.

COOPER: Catherine, appreciate it, Catherine Rampell and Maggie Haberman, as always.

We are monitoring the breaking news in Philadelphia. Six police officers shot and wounded, non-life threatening. We are told the shooter or shooters remained in an hour long standoff. Shots are still being fired or have up until about 20 minutes ago, which is the last time we heard from the commissioner of police.

Also tonight, astonishing comments about -- I can't even believe I'm going to say this, about rape and incest from a House member already on thin ice within his own party, already who said racist and outrageous things. This is just completely, I would say, unbelievable. But you know what, it's, what, Wednesday. I'll talk with the former Republican colleague of his and get reaction to all of this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:35:15] COOPER: As we monitor the shootings in Philadelphia where six officers have been shot, the shooter is still, or shooters, the police aren't sure, still apparently barricaded in a house.

We also want to bring to your attention, new comments from Iowa Congressman Steve King. The controversial Republican faces new calls to resign tonight after his stunning comments about rape and incest. The pressure is coming not only from Democrats, but Republicans like Liz Cheney, the third highest ranking GOP House member. She describes his remarks as appalling and bizarre.

Today in front of an Iowa audience, King questioned whether there would be any population left if not for rape and incest. It's part of his case for banning abortions, including those involving rape and incest. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING (R-IA): What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that? Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that's taken place? And whatever happened to culture after society, I know I can't certify that, that I'm not part of a product of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Spends a lot of time thinking about rape and incest. Just months ago, the House GOP stripped King of all his committee assignments after he made racist comments, defending white supremacy. King insisted he was misquoted back then and he wasn't.

With me now is CNN Political Analyst Kirsten Powers and former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent.

Kirsten, I mean, I don't even know what the question would be but yet again, you know, here is Steve King talking and saying just stuff that's unbelievable.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. Yes. Well, you know, and he was -- according to a website in Iowa, he was confronted by a constituent who was upset about this, who was a school teacher who said, "I heard your comments earlier. I have a 10-year-old student who's impregnated by her uncle, so are you saying that that 10-year- old should have to carry that, you know, pregnancy to term?" And he -- according to the reporting, was very taken aback and said, "I've never heard, you know, such an extreme case."

But of course, there was a case that was national news about an 11- year-old in Ohio who was raped by a 26-year-old who got pregnant when there was the heartbeat bill that passed. So, he does not even follow news in Iowa around these issues and yet he feels that he can opine about whether or not, you know, there should be rape or incest exception. I think that, you know, these kinds of decisions should not be made by people like Steve King. These kinds of decisions should be made by the person who is affected by it and I think that this explanation that he has given us, this sort of a historical explanation that we're all products of rape and incest really doesn't cut it.

COOPER: Congressman Dent, I mean, you worked with Congressman King in the House. In private, is he as offensive as he is seemingly willingly in public and I'm just wondering what you make of these latest comments.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, on a personal level he can be gregarious and friendly, but these remarks are just so outlandish. They're out of bounds, out of control. I mean, you wonder if he's out of his mind.

You know, this brings back, you know, the Todd Akin moments, Roy Moore, you know, and Trent Franks who all made similarly ridiculous comments about rape or women. And what happens now is, of course, other Republicans get tagged by the Democrats with these kinds of outrageous remarks, just as Republicans tag Democrats when the squad or some Democratic socialists say something absurd. That's what is happening.

And, frankly, I've been through this enough. I was there when people were talking about these legitimate rape, forcible rape, rapes reported within 48 hours, incest should be illegal against minors but not against an 18-year-old, ridiculous things. And the party has to get away from this stuff because its killing us among women in this country, particularly suburban women and hurting us recruit Republican women candidates.

COOPER: Kirsten --

POWERS: I think --

COOPER: Go ahead.

POWERS: Yes. I think it's killing you among sane people. You know, it's not just women. And the problem with, you know, however nice he is in private, he in addition to these kinds of comments, he has a long history, a vehemently (ph) racist comments. You know, I mean, really -- I mean, it's going on for so long, it's going on as long as I've been following him in the news.

And this is something that the Republican Party has tolerated and even to invoke the squad as if they could even be anywhere in the same, you know, realm of Steve King. I mean, we can argue separately if they should even -- you know, if any of the criticisms are even valid against them. But even if they were, like you cannot even mention them in the same breath with Steve King.

[20:40:02] And the Republican Party has gone after these women, you know, who are referred to as the squad, you know, for making, you know, a comment here, a comment there. This is a man who has a long record, you know, of making vehemently racist comments. He has been out -- open about his racism and now he is talking about -- just saying crazy things.

I don't know what else to call this, crazy things about one of the worst things that could happen to a woman or to a girl to have to face an unwanted pregnancy that is the result of either being raped by a family member or by another person.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, Congressman, does it surprise you that he continues to get reelected? I mean, I know it's clearly a conservative area but, you know, there are sensible people.

DENT: I've always been surprised he's been able to hang on. He represents Western Iowa, a very conservative area. This is an overwhelming Republican constituency, but he's had some tight races. He has a very serious primary now because of this and other issues. And I agree with Kirsten, like this is out of bounds. I mean, this is crazy.

And I think most Republicans want him to go away, that means they want him to resign. But he's not going to do that. They defrocked him. But he -- you know, he has won and it's surprising to me that he has but I think he's finally -- he's going to probably at the end of the line this time. I think they're going to get him in the primary.

COOPER: We'll see. Charlie Dent, thank you, Kirsten Powers as well.

Just ahead, more breaking news out of Philadelphia police in that standoff, at least one suspect after six officers were shot. We'll have the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Again, our breaking news from Philadelphia. An act of standoff for the suspect after six police officers were shot and wounded. I want to go quickly back Jason Carroll who's on the scene, also our Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez in Washington.

So, Jason, when this first started there were reports of continued gunfire. That -- those gunfire went on for at least three hours, according to the Twitter reports by police. Are you -- has there been more recent gunfire since the commissioner spoke?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been a bit of lull in the gunfire. But as you can see just about two blocks down the road there, the activity still very much thick there. The building in question is actually a row house, on the left side of your screen.

[20:45:01] And police negotiators are trying to interact with the suspect there, but they've been met by gunfire in the past and now they've been met by silence. Just a bit of a tick-tock, a recap of what happened here, Anderson, it was just about at 4:35, that's when officers came to the scene trying to serve a warrant, narcotics officers were the ones who responded. They were met by gunfire.

Some of the officers had to jump out of windows in order to get away from the gunfire, then the calls came in. Calls coming in for backup, more officers, SWAT came down. Philadelphia police came down here, as well. SWAT coming in as the suspect continued to fire.

Then the calls came in about officers being injured. First it was two, then it was four, then it was five, now six officers injured. Their injuries, not said to be life threatening. We're also told that a seventh officer was injured. He was trying to get out here at the scene and was caught up in an accident. His injuries said not to be life threatening, as well.

So while all of that is going on, police were trying to engage with the suspect. The suspect returning fire over and over again. At one point we got a report that two officers were inside and are still said to be inside, barricaded inside that row house with three prisoners that they are holding.

So, what you have at this point is the standoff is still underway. Police still trying to engage with the suspect. The suspect returning fire, but for the last 40 minutes or about an hour or so, they've been met with silence. Anderson?

COOPER: Yes. And when you say engage, they've been trying to talk to and verbally engage to try to get this guy out or there may be two people. They're not willing to say for sure it's just one person.

CARROLL: That is correct. At this point -- they're trying to keep -- they're trying to give out as much information as they can without giving away too much information at the same time for reasons that we can all understand.

But once again, at this point, you've got a lot of people out here, a heavy police presence that's still out here. And again, as it gets darker, it becomes harder in some ways to engage, to see what's actually going on, but the wait is on as we continue to see what happens next. Anderson?

COOPER: Yes. Well, we'll continue to come back to you obviously. We'll also talk -- Evan, just from a -- I'm wondering if you're hearing anything else and the fact that they still don't know or can't say whether it's one shooter or two, you know, usually early on people -- in active shooter situations, people often say it's two based on eye witnesses and those are confused eye witnesses. It's interesting that they are still not sure exactly what they're dealing with.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Anderson. And it really gives you a sense of how much of a tactical advantage the shooter or shooters have here. I mean, they know the layout of this building. By now I'm sure the police have pulled some of the blueprints for this building so they know what they're dealing with or what they possibly could be dealing with.

But, you know, this is an urban environment. There are people, landlords who will make alterations and maybe not report it to the city. So, they have to take all of that into consideration before they try to enter this building. And of course, you have the additional complication of two officers who appear to still be barricaded inside that building. Now, according to the police commissioner in the last hour, he said that they believe that those officers are fine. They have to -- they perhaps have some kind of way to communicate with those people but, you know, that makes things a lot more complicated. The fact that its night fall, Anderson, I think makes it perhaps more tactically advantage for the police because they have gear to operate in a dark.

COOPER: Right. Jason -- yes, Jason Carroll out on the scene, Evan Perez in D.C. monitoring, thank you very much. I want to check in with both of you later on.

Up next, one-on-one with Stephen Colbert, what late night is like in the Trump era.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:51:03] COOPER: In this age of President Trump and tensely polarizing politics, we often need some comedic relief to help lighten things up and also see things from a different perspective. Enter Stephen Colbert whose master of the art of making us laughs about heavy matters as Paul (ph) voted him to the top of late night T.V. Satire takes serious work, so how does his show keep up with this ever changing new cycle?

I went to visit him today in the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City for a very long, about an hour-long conversation. We're going to play part of it tonight and most of it tomorrow.

We started talking about the debate around immigration and one of the administration's spokesmen, Ken Cuccinelli, who went two interviews yesterday tweet the Statue of Liberty poem to make the case for limiting immigration to essentially those who are well-off.

At one point he said, "Give me your tired and you poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge." Then in another interview with my colleague, Erin Burnett, he claimed the poem referred to "people coming from Europe." That's where my conversation with Stephen started.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Ken Cuccinelli --

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEHPEN COLBERT": Oh, my god. I blame you for Ken Cuccinelli.

COOPER: He was on CNN.

COLBERT: A lot.

COOPER: Yes, I know. I know.

COLBERT: I didn't watch much when he was on, because there's a certain -- I love your show. You know, every night I come home, my wife and I have like a glass of wine, handful of nuts, watch Anderson, and go to bed, that's it. That's how I ended my day. COOPER: A handful of nuts.

COLBERT: A handful of nuts, just that a little bit, you know. I'm going to stay in the suit. I can't come home (INAUDIBLE) out.

COOPER: OK, all right.

COLBERT: And there are a few panelists that I just -- I can't --

COOPER: Yes.

COLBERT: -- I got to skip over. I got to skip over some of them. Cuccinelli will be one of them.

COOPER: What's amazing to me about --

COLBERT: Was there anything you ever asked him and you thought, I'm going to get an honest answer? I'm going to get p-- I'm going to say something that Santorum wouldn't say.

COOPER: His answers are --

COLBERT: Or that Jack Kingston wouldn't say.

COOPER: His answers are very thought out in terms of the grammatical structure of them and can be confusing, which I think is part of the strategy.

COLBERT: OK.

COOPER: If any other person in an administration, in a prior administration had rewritten the words of Emma Lazarus' poem --

COLBERT: Yes.

COOPER: -- which presidents from time and memorial have quoted with great reverence, it would be an outrage. It would be people's heads would explode understandably, because it is a fundamental bedrock marker of who we are.

COLBERT: Yes. There's our physical constitution and then there's our physical bill of rights, and certainly there's like -- there's the physical declaration of independence. But there's also this emotional constitution that America has. There's an emotional reality that we all share that makes us all Americans and one of them is things like "The New Colossus", the poem --

COOPER: Right.

COLBERT: -- that Emma Lazarus wrote, some on that on the Statue of Liberty. And we're constantly being told by this administration, you don't see what you see, you don't hear what you hear, now they're saying you don't feel what you feel. You don't actually feel that. You don't actually believe that this is a nation of immigrants.

COOPER: You called President Trump, I think, a heretic -- COLBERT: To reality.

COOPER: -- to reality.

COLBERT: Heretic to reality. You know, as a race of catholic, you know, the greatest sin is actually heresy, because not only do you -- are not only are you a stray from the right path, you're inviting, you're encouraging other people to come with you on that path, specifically heresy is like proselytizing for the devil.

COOPER: And the punishment for heretics is sort of --

COLBERT: I think its red-hot iron coffins in Dante's "Inferno," the area that has called Dis, I think it's the part of the level of hell that they're in, so it's pretty bad. And --

COOPER: Doesn't get much worse on red-hot iron coffin.

COLBERT: No. Yes, yes, the worst spa treatment. And he -- our President wants to live in a fantasy world where only the way he perceives the world is the way it is, the only things that sort of serve his vision. And he's also trying to convince us that that is the only world that exist. It's extremely solipsistic. But he's also trying to invite us into this madness that he has and that's heresy against reality. That is proselytizing for the most selfish and basis instincts that the American people like all people have. But, he is not appealing to the better angels of our nature.

[20:55:12] COOPER: I've heard you say that the thesis of your show has become essentially, "Hey, you're not crazy."

COLBERT: Right, right.

COOPER: That's the thesis.

COLBERT: The audience is not crazy. How you feel is actually how you feel. How you think is actually how you think. What you see is actually happening. What you hear is actually what he said.

COOPER: Even though you're in comedy, though, you are still in the -- doing the same pace that we are a news. In fact --

COLBERT: We do five nights a week.

COOPER: Right.

COLBERT: An hour a night, which is what we would like (ph).

COOPER: And whatever -- you know, in comedy, you normally -- people spend all day or in some cases if they only have one show a week, all week writing the material and thinking it and honing it, you have to change stuff 15 minutes before air, five minutes before air.

COLBERT: Right. We have an idea of what the show is going to be. You know, in the morning we have to do the pitch (ph), you know, actually in this room. We have some sense of like, what the things that people are talking about, because we want to talk about what people are talking about. I'm not here to educate the audience. I'm here to like give us our opinion. It's like a long editorial is what it is.

And that can all be thrown out the window, even though we have a plan, starting like 10:30 in the morning, we have a general plan. Many is the time, as you know, and it's only accelerating.

COOPER: Right. It also feels --

COLBERT: At 4:30 --

COOPER: Yes.

COLBERT: -- and I will go on at 5:30, 4:40, 4:45, 5:00 --

COOPER: It's 5:00.

COLBERT: -- something like pop in their head and they're like, a chopper talk.

COOPER: Chopper talk?

COLBERT: Chopper talk, the President is standing in front of Marine One, we call it chopper talk, you know.

COOPER: Well, I got it. OK, yes.

COLBERT: He should just stand in front of like a margarita maker because it's just the same noise.

COOPER: Well, yes.

COLBERT: In the noise, they'll be a cocktail at the end of it.

COOPER: The pace of it, I do think -- I mean, I think about the people who work in the White House. I think President Trump -- you know, Dorothy Parker said those born to the storm find the calm very boring. And I don't know why he was born to the storm, but emotionally I think that chaos is something he's completely use to.

COLBERT: Although he creates his own storm.

COOPER: And he's lived his whole life in.

COLBERT: He creates his own storm.

COOPER: Right.

COLBERT: He takes a big bucket of sea water, throws it in his own face and goes, "I'm a sea captain. We're going to ride it out, boys," throwing out the bucket, like he wants that.

COOPER: But I always think that everybody around him just how exhausting it must be to be in that orbit.

COLBERT: Well, I --

COOPER: I mean, they choose to do it.

COLBERT: That every person -- like every person who leaves goes, god, it was crazy in there.

COOPER: Would you want to have Trump on your show again?

COLBERT: The quick answer would be no, because I -- it would be hard for me to be properly respectful of the office, because I think that he is so disrespectful of the office, that it's very hard to perceive him as I would want to perceive a president in terms of their status and the dignity and the representation of the United States. So I think just for safety sake, it wouldn't be a good idea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And that was just part of the interview. As I said, it was -- I think about hour and 10 minutes that we spoke today. And some of it really just stopped me in my tracks. He's got a lot to say, not just about politics, but very personal stuff and about grief and loss and surviving and being a good human being, which he is. Make sure to catch our special tomorrow night with the host of "The Late Show," 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN for the full hour.

Much more ahead tonight, we are keeping a close eye on what is happening in Philadelphia where an active standoff is under way between the suspect and police. Six officers have been shot and wounded, non-life threatening we're told. That's the good news.

The bad news is they don't know if it's one or two shooters inside barricaded and they don't know exactly what this person wants or if this person is willing to ever come out. The latest in a moment.

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