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CNN RIGHT NOW
6 Philadelphia Police Officers Shot in Hours-Long Standoff; Israel Bans Reps. Tlaib & Omar from Visiting the Country after Trump Asks for Just That; Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Presidential Candidate Discusses Israel Banning Tlaib, Omar from Visiting, the Dayton & El Paso Mass Shootings, Gun Control; White House Responds after House Judiciary Subpoenas Corey Lewandowski. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired August 15, 2019 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[13:30:12] RICHARD ROSS, COMMISSIONER, PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: So again, it's nothing short of a miracle that we don't have multiple officers killed today. So we're so thankful for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: A miracle. That was Philadelphia's police commissioner after a seven-hour stand-off that left six officers wounded but, fortunately, there were no fatalities. The incident once again raising the questions about gun laws.
Now, this all began when Philadelphia police arrived at this home here to serve a narcotics warrant. When they entered the premises, gunfire erupted.
Just listen to the police scanners that were blaring with desperate calls for help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPERATOR: Use caution, please and respond.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Yes, right now.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Distress. (INAUDIBLE)
OPERATOR: Standby. Cars standby. Second assist. (INAUDIBLE)
Shots fired. Shots fired inside.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: One-hundred and eight, shots still ringing out. Give me SWAT asap. Long guns asap.
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: I've got officers shot. I've got officers shot, radio. All right? So I need SWAT.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Six officers were shot in the crossfire, all treated at local hospitals and released. Two officers who were trapped in the house were rescued and finally the suspect emerged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Keep your hands up. Keep your hands up. Keep your hands up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: CNN law enforcement analyst and former Philadelphia police chief, Charles Ramsey, is joining us now.
First, just talk to us about the procedure of serving a warrant and all of this transpiring in this way. How unusual is this?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, serving a search warrant, first of all, is one of the most dangerous things you can do in policing because you never really know what's going to happen once you knock on the door and gain entry. This obviously turned out very violent pretty quickly.
And the officers, at least one or two, sustained gunshot wounds almost immediately and were able to get some cover.
There were a couple of officers who went upstairs to the other part of the house. They got trapped up there when the gunfire erupted.
So it was a very, very violent situation. And we were very fortunate that no one was killed, not the officers, not the suspect, innocent civilians. Hundreds of shots were fired during this course.
And remember, there was a childcare center not far from there. And 58 kids that had to shelter in place.
My wife has done a lot of research on trauma with children that are exposed to violent actions. You know, I just hope they don't get lost in the shuffle because that had to be terrifying for those young kids.
KEILAR: Indeed. That is a very good point that you raise.
This stand-off lasted so long. We're talking eight hours. The suspect during that time was FaceTiming with his girlfriend, he was calling his former attorney. He seemed desperate for an out.
So what is the protocol there for officers when you know that these things are going on and yet there has been all of this shooting? How do they come to a point where they have faith in the situation to give this suspect a chance really?
RAMSEY: Well, you always want to give them a chance. As long as he's not shooting at you, you don't shoot back, so that's number one. Two, you had complications because you had two officers trapped and
they had three prisoners. They're in the upstairs apartment. Fortunately, snipers had good eyesight on the staircase at least to the upstairs so they would be in pretty good shape to neutralize him if he tried to go upstairs, which he did not try to do.
But nevertheless, they were trapped inside. So you have five people trapped. So priority one is getting them out of there. The SWAT team, once night fall hit, they were able to very quietly get both police officers and those three people out. They were distracted.
Rich Ross, the commissioner, did an excellent job. He talked to this guy on the phone constantly. But ultimately, it was the tear gas that actually got him out. Once the house was cleared, they were able to pump some tear gas in there and he surrendered shortly thereafter.
KEILAR: Chief Charles Ramsey, thank you so much.
RAMSEY: Thank you.
KEILAR: Good to see you.
And that shootout in Philadelphia helping fuel the growing chorus for more gun control.
[13:34:31] I'm joined now by 2020 presidential hopeful and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan whose own state was rocked by gun violence just days ago. We'll be joining him to speak in just a moment.
KEILAR: Back to our breaking news. Israel now banning Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country on a planned trip. The move comes after President Trump tweeted that it would show great weakness for Israel to allow the U.S. lawmakers to visit because they, quote, "hate Israel and all Jewish people."
Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan is hoping to unseat President Trump in 2020. He joins us now from his home state of Ohio.
Congressman, what's your reaction to this ban of your two colleagues by Israel, listening really to the president in doing this?
REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): Yes, it's a real head scratcher. I mean, we know that the president of the United States is looking to divide the country at every turn, to hate somebody at every turn, and to get others to hate people at every turn.
[13:40:02] But to see Netanyahu allow this to happen, a sitting member of the United States Congress, people who vote on aid to Israel, to help them with their defenses, to help them protect themselves, to take members of that body and to dismiss them and not let them in the country, I think, is a significant, significant problem and one that needs to be addressed.
But I really think the issue with Trump is that he's coming unhinged because this looming recession -- we saw him go off the rails yesterday. Now today, it's this. It will be something tomorrow. The more the heat gets cranked up and the more this economy softens, the less he's going to be able to keep his stuff together.
KEILAR: I want to turn now to talk about gun violence, which I know is very much on your mind. We were talking in the break about how there's a vigil in Youngstown for the victims in the Dayton mass shooting.
KEILAR; Still recovering there in Ohio less than two weeks after this.
Your opponent, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, has a new gun control pitch. She's now suggesting a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons. She also says she would be open to criminally prosecuting people who don't sell their firearms back.
You support a voluntary buyback program. What about a mandatory program?
RYAN: Yes. Yes, I don't think that's what we want to do. I don't think we want to move down the mandatory piece of this.
Look, we're having trouble getting universal background checks passed, closing the Charleston loophole passed, getting money to fund the Centers for Disease Control to really study gun violence as a public health problem in the United States. So I think going that far on some of these issues is really taking the focus off of the issues that they want.
I support an assault weapons ban, too. I think these weapons of war have no business on the streets of Dayton or El Paso or any other community.
And it's not just the mass shootings. It's the gun violence that happens every day in communities that wreck families and ruin communities that we've got to deal with.
So let's keep focused on the two bills that are sitting before the United States Senate. Let's continue to apply the pressure.
Moms Demand Action are doing rallies all across the country on Saturday night. We have a big one here in Cleveland that we're going to be participating in, me and Senator Sherrod Brown and others. Let's keep the focus on this. And right now, I think that's where our attention needs to be.
KEILAR: So you say you want an assault weapons ban. Weapons like the A.R.-15, right?
KEILAR; OK. So we're talking about that.
KEILAR; You previously said you don't want to take away a hunter's rifle, you don't want to stop someone from being able to defend their home. I've spoken with people who own A.R.-15s or similar weapons who have said for them that is about defending their home. That is purposely why they have that weapon.
I mean, what do you say to people like that who say, look, you want us to be able to defend our home, this is how we want to do it.
RYAN: Well, I mean, here's the thing and the conversation we need to have. If we could get a group like the NRA or someone else, let's sit down and figure something out here. I want people to be able to protect themselves in their homes. I don't think they necessarily need weapons like that, weapons that are made to kill lots of people in a very quick period of time.
That needs to be balanced with what's happening in our communities where this kid in Dayton could kill nine people and injure almost 30 in 30 seconds and magazine drums that hold 100 rounds. There's no need for that in the United States. I'm sorry. You can protect your home with other weapons.
And to have these things on the street is -- it's not acceptable anymore. And we see what's happening. We're to the point now where people are in Times Square and a motorcycle backfires and people go running because they're on edge all across the country now. They're afraid to send their kids to school. They're afraid to go to Walmart. They're afraid to go to church.
What are we doing here? Let's at least take some basic steps to prevent this from happening. You can protect your home in a lot of different ways. I don't think you need weapons of war.
KEILAR: The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has said that he wants to pass some kind of legislation but he won't go far as to call Congress back into session early to do it.
Do you think really -- I mean, I think back to Sandy Hook, it seemed like something was different after that. I think, since nothing on a sweeping level really change, there's a sense that, well, what can really change Congress' mind to actually act.
Do you think that something can really get done? Do you think there's something different about this moment in time?
[13:45:00] RYAN: Well, I think two things. One is, I do think we can apply enough pressure to Congress to get something done. We are going to keep the heat up. This is not like all the other times.
The groups like Every Town and Moms Demand Action and Sandy Hook and Gabby Giffords' group, these groups are now well-organized, well- funded and providing a lot of pushback. So we are going to be able to continue to apply pressure to the Republicans who are bottlenecking this like Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and others who won't let a vote come up on these things. But here's the other piece. There's going to be an election. The
ground is shifting under the feet of the Republican Party right now.
They're playing the old game. They're already seeing losses in suburban America. Trump has already alienated people in the suburbs because of his behavior, his racism, his race baiting, the kind of things he did today with these two members of Congress and Israel. So it's already softening.
To throw on top of that zero action on guns when these moms and dads in suburban America are really concerned about their kids and they have been voting Republican, all of a sudden, say this is the last straw, I'm going to have to vote for the Democrats now, that's when the Republicans will finally get the message, and it's going to be too late for them.
So they may win in the short term if they bottleneck this thing but they will lose in the long term. And I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that every Republican who is preventing these bills from coming up, I will be in their districts and in their states campaigning against them, hopefully, as the Democratic nominee so that we can get the change we need in the United States.
KEILAR: Congressman Tim Ryan, thank you.
RYAN: Thank you.
KEILAR: We have breaking news. The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, as it decides whether to pursue impeachment charges against the president. The White House already is responding. We'll have that next.
[13:51:55] KEILAR: Breaking news. The House Judiciary Committee just subpoenaed former Trump campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, as well as a former White House official.
CNN's senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, has the story live for us from Capitol Hill.
Manu, this subpoenaed is coming about a week after the chairman of this committee, Jerry Nadler, said this is formal impeachment proceedings. What is going on here?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're ramping up their investigation as they consider whether or not to move forward with articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee.
The Democratic-led committee issuing these subpoenas today to Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager, as well as Rick Dearborn, a former White House official, demanding their appearance in a public hearing on September 17th.
Now, both Dearborn and Lewandowski were cited in the Mueller report about the allegations of obstruction of justice, namely, the president's apparent efforts to undermine the Mueller investigation.
In the report, it discusses how the president reached out to Corey Lewandowski to try to urge Lewandowski to set up a meeting with then- attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who the president wanted to limit the scope of the Mueller probe to not include the campaign. Instead, to focus on future election meddling.
Lewandowski tried to set up that meeting. It did not happen. The president followed up with him, asked him to move forward, and then Lewandowski though it would be better to reach out to Rick Dearborn. Dearborn was formerly chief of staff to Jeff Sessions. Was given a typed note that was delivering the president's message to try to set up that meeting that never took place.
Those are the questions Democrats have for these officials. That they will come in before the committee, still an open question. And of course, coming on the same day as Corey Lewandowski was expected to appear with the president, someone who's considering a run for the New Hampshire Senate race. We'll see if he answers questions the Democrats have in this hearing -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Let's bring in our colleague, White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, on this story.
Kaitlan, you're there in Bedminster. How is the White House, how is the Trump administration expected to respond to this?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the question in the past has been, how are they going to respond. And what we're seen before, is the White House, with aids like Don McGahn, Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson, who was Don McGahn's deputy, they've tried to invoke some sort of executive privilege to either prevent of limit them from complying with these subpoenas.
But now we're learning about a tactic they may try to pursue when it comes to Corey Lewandowski, someone who has not worked in the White House ever since Trump has been in office and hasn't worked for the president since the 2016 campaign.
We're now being told by three sources that inside the White House there are preliminary discussions about trying to invoke executive privilege to stop or limit Corey Lewandowski from complying with the subpoena.
Now, invoking privilege before has worked, because they make this argument that the president should be able to have conversations with people that are at the highest levels of his own government without those officials having to go and testify or divulge what the president spoke about.
What we have not seen before, is the White House try to do this with someone who's never worked in the administration like a Corey Lewandowski.
[14:55:10] Now, the discussions are preliminary. Essentially, the White House knew these subpoenas were coming. They had already been authorized. They knew they were going to be issued or at least they expected them to. So they've been having these discussions.
They were waiting until they had been issued for them to take any kind of action, to reach out to the Office of Legal Counsel to see whether this is an argument they can make.
But we shout note that even some officials and allies of the president are skeptical that they're going to be able to make this argument that typically they've only applied to people who have worked in the White House and tried to apply it to someone who is only informally advised the president.
But that certainly is an option that they are pursuing and still considering even as of today -- Brianna?
KEILAR: Kaitlan, Manu, thank you so much.
Still ahead, we have much more on our breaking news. Israel saying it will bar two Democratic Congresswomen from visiting the country after President Trump tweets they should not be allowed in.
And just in, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar responding.