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Senior Administration Official Says Saudi Attack Likely Originated In Iran Or Iraq; Growing Number Of 2020 Democrats Call For Kavanaugh's Impeachment; GOP Trump Challengers Say, Only The Weak Fear Competition; Undecided Iowa Voters React To Third Democratic Debate; Trump Administration Prioritizing California Homelessness; Jackie Robinson's Daughter Pens Memoir on Race, Civil Rights; Federal Reserve Poised to Deliver Another Rate Cut; "Friends Forever: 25 Years of Laughter" Premieres Tonight. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired September 15, 2019 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And we begin with breaking news about who may be responsible for a large-scale attack on the world's energy supply.
A senior administration official telling CNN the strikes that took out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production likely originated in Iran or Iraq. And that's based on new satellite information that shows the targets that were hit were struck from the northwest side, which officials tell us would be incredibly difficult to do from Yemen, despite claims of responsibility from Houthi rebels in that country.
CNN's Jeremy Diamond is live at the White House with this new reporting. Jeremy, oh, we just got a new tweet from the president?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, we did, Ana. We haven't heard yet from the president himself on these attacks on Saudi Arabia, but he is now weighing in on Twitter. And his message is focused at calming any potential turmoil in the global oil markets.
Here are the president's tweets. Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve if needed in a to be determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well supplied.
The president also saying he's informed agencies to expedite approvals of oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other states.
Now, it is important to note here that the president is saying, if needed here. We have heard from officials over the weekend that they were prepared to release oil from that strategic oil reserve if needed, now, the president echoing that message as well.
We have not yet heard though from the president about this notion of culpability and responsibility in these attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which as you know, Ana, knocked out about half of that country's oil production capabilities.
But I did speak earlier today with a senior administration official who said that it is very difficult to see how these attacks could have come from anywhere other than Iran or Iraq. And that, of course, follows Secretary Pompeo's statement just yesterday that Iran is responsible for these attacks and saying that there's no evidence that these attacks came from Yemen.
Now, as far as this question of Iran versus Iraq, either way, officials do believe that it was carried out by either Iran or its proxies in the region. And they are now starting to provide some satellite imagery that they say bolsters their claim of where the point of origin was in these attacks.
CABRERA: And CNN has been examining some new satellite images of the attack, right? What can you tell us about that?
DIAMOND: That's right. We've been speaking with several of our distinguished military experts here at CNN, including Colonel Cedric Leighton, who I spoke with on the phone, who is pointing in particular to the precision of some of these strikes. You can see in the imagery that was provide to us by a U.S. official that these were indeed pinpoint strikes on specific targets that would require not only somebody sophisticated enough and trained enough to fly these drones and hit these targets so precisely, but also the intelligence behind these strikes that would be required in order for them to be so effective.
And Colonel Leighton did say that it is likely that these strikes came from either Iran or Iraq, but he said this is by no means definitive information. This is just early information and that is also what the senior administration official who I spoke with said, was, look, this is just the beginnings of how we're going to make our case that we believe Iran was behind these attacks. And we believe that it's likely that this originated from Iran or Iraq.
But I do think we should expect more information from the administration in the days to come as they try and make that case. Ana?
CABRERA: Okay. Jeremy Diamond at the White House, thank you.
I want to bring in CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Kimberly Dozier and Jason Rezaian. Jason spent 544 days unjustly imprisoned by Iranian authorities until his release in January of 2016. Great to have both of you with us.
Jason, your reaction to this news from a senior administration official that it likely originated in Iran or Iraq, these attacks.
JASON REZAIAN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Ana, it's a step back from what Secretary of State Pompeo said initially. So I think we still have to wait it out and see exactly what the intelligence and satellites show us.
But I think it's a continuation of Iran's two-pronged approach to this current situation. One, to continue to provoke regionally and, two, to continue to look for diplomatic possibility solution to their sanctions problem. And I think, essentially, it's par for the course.
CABRERA: I mean, Iran's foreign minister tweeted this, and I'm quoting, blaming Iran won't end disaster. A foreign ministry spokesman added account, such blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless. Even hostility needs a certain degree of credibility and reasonable frameworks. U.S. officials have also violated these basic principles, he says in that statement.
Jason, they're not clearly saying, we are not responsible. Is this just how Iran speaks or is this something to consider?
REZAIAN: I think it's how Iran speaks definitely but it's also something to consider and it's necessarily meant just for American consumption, it's mean for the global community. I mean, the jury is out right now about how different countries in Europe and other parts of the world want to deal with Iran moving forward. And I think that we had this diplomatic breakthrough in 2016, and now, that is really under question at this point about what we're going to do next with Iran.
CABRERA: Kim, we heard from the president that, if needed, he'll tap oil reserves. Will that be enough to settle markets tomorrow?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the markets are going to react to this probably initially just with some alarm, because it shows the vulnerability of the entire Saudi oil system.
Now, the Saudis had carefully built their facilities far apart from each other to make this kind of thing more difficult. But now it's been shown that in the era of drones, there have also been cruise missiles mentioned in some reports, almost everything can be reached.
And the next question will be, what does the U.S. administration do after making a lot of threats in the past last spring to respond to this? Because everything they've done so far, the sanctions, the cyber attacks, it hasn't changed Iranian behavior.
CABRERA: Jason, this is just into CNN. Kuwait's prime minister has now called for extra protection of strategic locations around the country following this attack on Saudi oil facilities. What's your reaction.
REZAIAN: Well, we've already noticed over the past 24 hours that Saudi Arabia hasn't explicitly blamed Iran for this. Similarly, a couple months back when a UAE tanker was attacked in the Persian Gulf, the Emiratis did not specifically come out and call for a response to Iran. There are a lot of tense leaders, nervous leaders in the Persian Gulf region and Kuwait is one of them because they realize that Iran is somewhat of a powerhouse and unpredictable in their actions. CABRERA: Senator Chris Murphy says he wants to see proof that Iran is responsible. He tweets, Iran is a bad actor. You don't need to make stuff up to convince me. So if the administration has evidence that the Iranians, not the much more likely suspects, the Houthis, who claimed responsibility, launched the attack on Saudi oil facilities show it.
Kim, is there reason to doubt Iran's culpability?
DOZIER: Look, the U.S. has with the world community a record of not sharing enough information, or in the case of WMD in Iraq, sharing information that later turned out to be faulty. So in this case, the bar is going to be really high and world leaders are going to want to see a lot more.
And there's every reason to believe that the Central Command, U.S. intelligence has it. Because remember when there were those attacks on oil tankers, Central Command sent in new intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft. They poured resources into the region to get eyes in the sky. So there's every expectation that they've got the imagery showing where these attacks came from.
At this point, they have to scrub it and see how much they can share without revealing sources and methods. And then we've got to see how the world community will react.
CABRERA: Right. And on that note, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway wouldn't rule out possible talks between President Trump and Iranian President Rouhani. Here is what Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said about negotiations this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS HOST: Do you think the president should withdraw his offer to sit down and begin talks with Iran?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think the president should engage in diplomacy with Iran. I think it's the only way out of this situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now, Kellyanne Conway also would not rule out potential military response. Jason, what do you think these attacks mean for the next steps and potential negotiations?
REZAIAN: Well, it definitely raises the stakes and creates more drama in the situation. But I think Congressman Schiff is absolutely right. I mean, we're at a moment right now where it's going to be negotiations at some point in the not too distant future or a military response. And I don't see too many other options.
CABRERA: All right. Jason Rezaian, Kimberly Dozier, as always, a pleasure, thank you.
[18:10:01] Developing tonight, a growing number of 2020 Democratic candidates are now calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, including Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke and Pete Buttigieg.
Bernie Sanders is also saying he supports a constitutional mechanism to hold Kavanaugh accountable, these calls as "The New York Times" releases excerpts of a book detailing a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh.
The story actually provoked the president to tweet that the Justice Department should come to Kavanaugh's rescue.
CNN Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah is with us. Kyung, this story continues to blow up today and some of these candidates are making very sharp comments. Do you expect we'll see more weigh in on this?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we still haven't heard yet from frontrunner Joe Biden. And so there are a few people we're still waiting to see if they're going to jump into the fray.
But you mentioned Julian Castro. He was the very first to weigh in last night after the first excerpt was published by The New York Times. And then this morning, Senator Kamala Harris, who was a part of that confirmation hearing, that Senate hearing, she weighed in with a very strongly worded tweet.
Take a look at this tweet. She wrote, I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the court through a sham process and his place on the court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.
That tweet was followed up by a number of 2020 candidates, all on the Democratic side, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, we mentioned Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg also released a statement, all of them echoing that they do belief that Kavanaugh lied to the Senate.
Senator Amy Klobuchar also did an interview this morning on ABC News. And while she did not say that he should be impeached, she did say that all of this needs to be reexamined.
CABRERA: And, Kyung, we just got a statement --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I strongly opposed him based on his views on executive power, which will continue to haunt our country, as well as how he behaved, including the allegations that we are hearing more about today.
My concern here is that the process was a sham. I don't think you can look at impeachment hearings without getting the documents. The House would have to get the documents and the attorney general is shielding documents. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And one other thing, Ana, Bernie Sanders, Senator Bernie Sanders also did not explicitly call for impeachment, but he did say that he lied. Kavanaugh likely lied to Congress. Ana?
CABRERA: Okay. Kyung Lah reporting for us, thank you.
And I should mention we just got word from our colleague, Ariane de Vogue, who heard from the Supreme Court spokeswoman that Justice Kavanaugh has no comment on any of this tonight.
President Trump's three GOP primary challengers are teaming up to blast their own party for shutting them out of some primaries. Will it matter? We'll talk to one of them next. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: If a party stands for nothing but re-election, it indeed stands for nothing. That is a quote from three of President Trump's 2020 Republican challengers after learning the party is planning to cancel GOP primaries in at least four states.
Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh and Bill Weld wrote in an op-ed in The Washington Post Friday night, the saying may the best man win is a quintessential value that the Republican Party must honor if we are to command the respect of the American people. Cowards run from fights, warriors stand and fight for what they believe. The United States respects warriors. Only the weak fear competition.
Now, one of Trump's primary challengers who was a part of that op-ed, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld joins us now. Governor, good to have you with us.
What's your plan from here when it comes to these primaries?
FORMER GOV. BILL WELD (R-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, Ana, I think they're scared of something. The amazing thing is they tried to cancel the New Hampshire primary, first in the nation. You wouldn't do that unless you had a really good reason.
What could our self-described stable genius in the Oval Office be scared of? I don't know. I'm not sure. But he did threaten to sue the University of Pennsylvania if either his grades or his aptitude scores ever became public.
CABRERA: Well, as you know, all the polls show the vast majority of Republicans support President Trump. RNC officials have claimed taxpayers would be footing millions of dollars to pay for an unnecessary primary. To that, you say what?
WELD: Well, they're going to spend that much in litigation anyway. But we don't exactly cancel elections because we're afraid they might cost a few dollars. That's the essence of democracy. Voting is the most important thing in terms of supporting our democracy that we ever do.
CABRERA: You write in your op-ed, let me read this, today, the Republican Party has taken a wrong turn. In the Trump era, personal responsibility, fiscal sanity and rule of law have been overtaken by a preference for alienating our allies while embracing terrorists and dictators, attacking the free press and pitting everyday Americans against another.
You've also been open about how your views on social issues don't necessarily line up with the majority of Republicans, on abortion, for example. You left the party once before. Why not do it again if you're so unsatisfied?
WELD: Well, I think Mr. Trump deserves to be challenged directly. And I'm making the argument independents and even Democrats that they should come in and vote early against Mr. Trump if they're not satisfied with him and vote for me in the primary. That's a vote right out of Mr. Trump's total.
And I welcome my two competitors. They're good guys. I've known Mark Sanford a long time. Joe Walsh seems like a terrific guy. We're having our first televised debate September 24th. And I'm sure we'll have more after that. It will be interesting to see whether the president continues to decline to participate in the election process, whatsoever, but we're going to go at it nonetheless, and I think that's good for democracy.
CABRERA: I respect your position and this plight you're on. But I wonder, could you see yourself voting for any of the current Democratic candidates if Trump ends up the Republican option?
WELD: Well, one thing I will say is I will never support President Trump. I really think he's trying to -- he aims to undercut our democratic institutions. Anyone who says that free press is the enemy of the people is just taking a page out of every dictator's playbook as they try to take over in a democracy.
And I think it's a very dangerous situation. So put me down is never in the Trump column.
CABRERA: You've been very vocal on the issue of the climate crisis and the need for the United States to rejoin the Paris agreement. This week, we saw President Trump offer this take on everything from the Green New Deal to energy-efficient light bulbs. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Then they talk about plastic straws. I said, what about the plate? What about the wrapper that's made out of a much tougher plastic?
The bulb that we're being forced to use, number one, to me, most importantly, the light's no good, I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst.
Over 100 Democrats have signed up to support the $100 trillion Green New Deal. That's a beauty. No more cows, no more planes. I guess no more people, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Governor, what's your reaction to all that?
WELD: It's pathetic. The president has a one-word platform for climate change and global warming, and it's hoax. If we rise another 3 degrees before 2050, that Polar icecap is going to melt and all of our seacoasts are going to be rearranged and the storm surge is going to beggar anything you saw before. And the president is not equipped to argue this point so he makes fun of it.
But I really wonder whether he has the substantive knowledge to sit down and debate any of the three of us on the issues. He's not a reader, he's not a listener, and that's not just my opinion. That's what he says himself. He's such a stable genius that he doesn't need to listen to anyone. He knows what's right before he consult to anybody.
When 97 percent of the scientists in the world say that global warming and the threat of the cap melting is real, and I'd take their word over Mr. Trump's untutored opinion.
CABRERA: The issue of gun control is another big one. And Democratic Candidate Beto O'Rourke got a lot of attention this week for his support of a mandatory buyback for semi-automatic weapons. Here he is Thursday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FORMER REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am if it's a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield, if the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield.
Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We're not going to allow it to be used against fellow Americans anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: O'Rourke doesn't believe average citizens need a weapon that's designed to kill people on the battlefield. Do you agree with him?
WELD: Well, I think it's okay not to have weapons that are fully automatic weapons where you pull the trigger and they keep firing available for general use.
CABRERA: Well, those are already illegal, fully automatic weapons. We're talking about semi-automatics in this case, AR-15s., AK-47s. WELD: Yes. I think there's a reason the Second Amendment was in the Constitution. I think it reduces to self-defense. There's 3 million rifles out there. If they were all confiscated by the government, frankly, that would make me a little bit nervous, particularly if the president of the United States was Donald Trump.
CABRERA: Why do people need weapons of war?
WELD: I don't think they need automatic weapons. All guns are dangerous and you could say nobody needs a rifle. But there's 300 million out there lawfully acquired. So the talk about registration or licensing by the government of every weapon in private hands, I think, is a bridge too far.
CABRERA: Former Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Bill Weld, great to have you with us. Thank you very much.
WELD: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Good luck on the campaign trail.
Still ahead, the first caucuses are 141 days away. And we talk to Iowa voters about which leading Democratic candidate they like after that last debate, that's next, live in the CNN Newsroom.
CABRERA: The next Democratic Presidential Debate is exactly one month away. That appearance could be more important than it may seem.
Following last week's face-off in Houston, one candidate seems to be making some headway with the first in the nation caucus voters in Iowa. But it's a different situation for frontrunner Joe Biden.
CNN's Gary Tuchman reports from Iowa.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Eight Iowa Democrats all undecided about whom to support in the first in the nation Iowa caucuses. We've watched all three sets of debates with them. The consensus winner the first two times, Elizabeth Warren. This time --
Who do you think did the best?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Warren followed by Booker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warren and booker.
SCOTT: Oddly, Warren and Booker.
TUCHMAN: Leslie (ph)? LESLIE CARPENTER: Booker and Warren.
TUCHMAN: In that order? Okay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought Buttigieg and Booker tied for me.
TUCHMAN: Buttigieg and Booker?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warren and Klobuchar.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warren and Booker.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warren and Klobuchar.
TUCHMAN: Now, how many of you said Warren as your first choice?
So that's one, two, three, four, five, six of you. So, once again, Elizabeth Warren did very well among this group.
How many said Cory Booker? Two, okay. So it seems like Cory Booker came in second place among this group.
Everyone in this group tells us they like the fight in Elizabeth Warren.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's done this and she's done a lot in the past successfully. And she wants to be in the fight and she's ready to go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's very clear. She's articulate. She has plans and she gives details.
TUCHMAN: Names conspicuously absent when we asked our group who else they wanted to praise? Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me, Bernie seems like he's yelling at you when he's articulating what he's trying to get out.
TUCHMAN: Everyone in this group disappointed in Julian Castro taking a poke at Joe Biden's memory.
Leslie Carpenter says she met Castro a few weeks ago and advised him against that kind of attack.
CARPENTER: I told him that we didn't like it when there were personal attacks, but we liked it when they were talking about issues and elevating the conversation.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So do you think he wasn't listening to you during this debate?
CARPENTER: Apparently, and it made me sad.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Final thing I want to ask you, you're all undecided voters. Any of you ready to make a decision about who you're going to support after this debate? Anybody?
You are, Temple (ph)?
TEMPLE (PH), IOWA VOTER: Yes.
TUCHMAN (on camera): OK, so who are you ready to support?
TEMPLE (PH): I'm going to caucus for Elizabeth Warren.
TUCHMAN (on camera): So you are no longer an undecided voter?
TEMPLE (PH): Correct.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Among this group in Johnson County, Iowa, the debates have been very good to Elizabeth Warren.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Iowa City, Iowa.
CABRERA: And CNN will host the next Democratic presidential debate in partnership with "The New York Times." That's live from the battleground state of Ohio on October 15th. We'll be right back.
CABRERA: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is set to visit California this week to address the state's spiraling homeless epidemic. Now, President Trump is expected to join Carson in San Francisco, backing the idea of homeless opportunity zones.
The plan would provide tax incentives to encourage investment in low- income communities, but that idea alone won't solve California's problem. The massive scope of this epidemic plain to see on the city streets rife with homelessness, addiction, mental illness, and squalor. CNN's Dan Simon reports.
ADAM MESNICK, HOMELESS ADVOCATE, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: What was once just a microcosm in a small area has spread tremendously.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're on the streets of a San Francisco neighborhood called SoMa, short for South of Market, home to tech giants like Twitter, Uber, and Salesforce.
MESNICK: As we walk around, users are really everywhere.
SIMON (voice-over): For a few years now, Adam Mesnick, a local restaurant owner, has been documenting the city's homelessness problem.
SIMON (on camera): It doesn't feel like we're in America right now.
MESNICK: It's like third world squalor.
SIMON (voice-over): His images depict the grinding despair and sadness of a problem spiraling out of control, not just in San Francisco but throughout California.
In Los Angeles, you find tents lining entire city blocks. The numbers are staggering. Nearly 60,000 homeless in L.A. County, a 12 percent rise in just one year.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: Everywhere I go, people are outraged. They're angry about what's happened or not happened on the streets. It's no longer a coastal issue. This defines the state of California.
SIMON (voice-over): No matter which locale, you hear about the same problems -- skyrocketing rents, not enough shelter beds or mental health services, and rampant drug usage, exacerbated by the nation's opioid addiction.
SIMON (on camera): Jessica (ph), how many times a day would you say you're shooting up?
JESSICA (PH), HOMELESS IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: On a good day --
JESSICA (PH): Actually, no. On a good day, less times probably than on a bad day.
SIMON (voice-over): Back in San Francisco, these images shot directly next to one of the most well-known courthouses, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Fresh data reveals the homeless population here has spiked 30 percent since 2017.
KELLEY CUTLER, HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZER, COALITION ON HOMELESSNESS: This city has so much wealth and yet we see so much poverty and suffering and death on our streets. Because we have the means to be able to help people, but we don't have the political will.
SIMON (voice-over): San Francisco Mayor London Breed, elected last year, has made tackling homelessness her signature issue. She has added more than 400 beds, helped 1,600 people exit homelessness, and has cracked down on tent encampments. But residents, tourists, and workers alike continue to see the problems daily.
MAYOR LONDON BREED, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: You're going to see it more because it's in areas where a lot of people walk, a lot of people catch public transportation. You see it more because it's in the center of the city. It's downtown, it's in U.N. Plaza, it's in Mid- Market. You just see it a lot more because it's right in your face.
SIMON (voice-over): Indicative of the times she's had to install a dedicated team to clean up human waste.
Adam Mesnick, who helps many of the people he encounters with food, a few bucks, or just conversation, says he's embarrassed to have his out of town relatives come for a visit.
MESNICK: It's one thing on television, it's one thing in the movies, but this is real life. And real-life San Francisco, the streets are really, really tough. Really tough right now.
SIMON (on camera): And the problem is growing faster than the city can fix it. For every person the city gets into supportive housing, another three will wind up homeless.
Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
CABRERA: Still ahead, the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson joins me on the state of race relations in the U.S. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: It's been more than 70 years since Jackie Robinson broke barriers as the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. He would go on to become a civil rights activist, a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr.
And today, his daughter is writing about that fight, about what became her fight, a new novel called "Child of the Dream." Sharon Robinson recalls growing up during the Civil Rights movements, working with her father for equality.
And she writes, quote, during our dinner table conversation, we always had some time to talk about what was happening with us kids, but it always moved into what was happening outside of our home. So we were very focused on what kind of social changes were happening.
It wasn't just about the Civil Rights movement. I watched political news. I was very involved with politics with my dad, so that was part of my relationship with him. This connection with the Civil Rights movement was a big piece of it.
And Sharon Robinson joins us now. Sharon, great to have you with us.
SHARON ROBINSON, AUTHOR, "A CHILD OF THE DREAM: A MEMOIR OF 1963": Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: What moved you to write this book? Why now?
ROBINSON: The 1963 Children's March in Birmingham, Alabama was an inspiration for me, and I wanted to find a way to help it be an inspiration for children today. I feel like they're struggling with so many issues, they need to look back at history and see how activism played a part in changing laws but also changing cultures.
CABRERA: You say you don't really remember your dad as a baseball player like the rest of the world, but you really remember him as a Civil Rights activist. Explain that.
ROBINSON: Oh, well, I was seven when he retired from Major League Baseball. So I certainly knew he was a baseball player, but I did not go to attend many of his games.
So I grew up with him as an activist and a businessman, and he brought it home to our dining room table every evening. So he traveled south, raising money for the Civil Rights movement, and then he found a way to bring the family into the movement as a family.
CABRERA: So as a child -- you know, as a parent myself, I always think about, how do I make sure my children learn the right lessons about, you know, how to be good people and how to, you know, interact with others? What did you take away from him as a father in terms of those types of lessons?
ROBINSON: That struggle is ongoing and that we talked about them as family -- as a family, and we found a way to have an active role. So we started having the jazz concerts at our home to raise money for NAACP and SCLC, Dr. King's work. And we also went to the march on Washington as a family. So we, as a family, became activists.
And dad said, you know, you have to find work you love, you know, keep God and family as a priority, but we also are going to have a family mission. And we've continued that since my dad's passing so many years ago through the Jackie Robinson Foundation and our work, our careers.
CABRERA: In his autobiography, your father writes the following, there I was, the Black grandson of a slave, the son of a Black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people.
The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands.
As I write this 20 years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag. I know that I am a Black man in a White world.
Your father was speaking about his first World Series game there.
CABRERA: That was 70 years ago, and now, you know, here we are today. Players are kneeling. They still don't feel like this country represents or necessarily respects them or treats them equally. How do you think your father would feel about where race relations are today compared to 70 years ago?
ROBINSON: Well, he prepared us that it was going to be an ongoing struggle. It's become more complex. It's no longer just a Black and White world. We're no longer just changing laws, you know, and he -- and he also told me that it's harder to -- you can't legislate against hate.
So we do have to teach kindness, as you're talking about, with our children and help them understand a world beyond our immediate families. And we do that by talking with them and being open about our feelings and allowing them to express their feelings about race.
CABRERA: What do you think your father's message would be to these players who are, you know, taking their activism onto the field?
ROBINSON: Well, that protest is important, and it's part of the phase. And we have to move beyond protest and have a plan for change and for activism, so you know what you're protesting for and have a plan.
Part of what we learned in the Civil Rights movement is to keep it tight and focused on something specific. And so, I think that the players, many of them have set up foundations and are really doing some positive things as a result of their activism.
CABRERA: We're seeing Democratic candidates now talk more about resegregation of schools, about criminal injustice, and environmental injustice when it comes to minorities. How do you think the candidates are handling these issues, and is anyone's message in particular resonating with you?
ROBINSON: Oh, my goodness. Well, I'm a Democrat, so I'm still watching the field. But we certainly have to deal with all of the issues that they're talking about. And it is -- and people have to get out and vote. So our voting is going to be so important.
So my dad would have been out there with voter registration drives and that's what we all must do. We must encourage our young people and our -- as well as our adults to get out and vote because that's the only way you really have a voice.
CABRERA: Sharon Robinson, such a good way to end that segment with that message. Thank you for being here.
ROBINSON: Thank you for having me.
CABRERA: Again, the book is "Child of the Dream".
A fellow Texan is no longer supporting Julian Castro after last week's Democratic debate. Why Congressman Vicente Gonzalez is now backing one of Castro's rivals in the 2020 race.
CABRERA: What will investors on Wall Street be watching this week? CNN's Christine Romans has your "Before the Bell" report.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. It's all about the Federal Reserve this week. On Wednesday, the Central Bank is widely expected to cut interest rates a second time. Stocks are likely to trade in a pretty tight range ahead of that decision.
There have been some troubling signs in the U.S. economy lately and the Fed is trying to prevent a wider downturn. The pace of job creation slowed last month, and manufacturing contracted for the first time in three years. But Wall Street is still expecting a quarter percentage reduction, not a bigger one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDSEY PIEGZA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, STIFEL FIXED INCOME: The Fed is still maintaining a very cautious, very patient approach to rate reductions. As we've heard from the Fed Chairman and a number of Fed officials, there still is a good level of optimism regarding the current state of the economy, and some Fed officials outright questioning whether we even need this second round rate reduction.
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ROMANS: The Fed is still maintaining a very cautious, very patient approach rate reduction as we've heard from the Fed Chairman and a number of Fed officials. There still is a good level of optimism regarding the current state of the economy, and some Fed officials outright questioning whether we even need this second round of rate reduction.
The big question is what the Fed hints about future rate cuts. Will Jerome Powell continue to emphasize the positives in the economy, or set the stage for more cuts by pointing out the risks? That tone will be key to stock market reaction following the decision.
In New York, I'm Christine Romans.
CABRERA: It was 25 years ago the sitcom "Friends" premiered introducing us to Monica, Rachel, Joey, Ross, Phoebe, and Chandler. To this day, it remains a pop culture staple. And in honor of the anniversary, CNN is airing a special report tonight, "FRIENDS FOREVER, 25 YEARS OF LAUGHTER."
CNN's Alisyn Camerota gives us a preview from a pop-up shop in New York City.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm here on the iconic orange couch where the "Friends" came. They discussed their love lives, they drank a lot of coffee, and, of course, they listened to Phoebe perform her famous song.
LISA KUDROW, ACTOR: Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you? Everybody!
CROWD: Smelly cat, smelly cat --
CAMEROTA: One of the biggest plot points of "Friends" was the will- they-or-won't-they romance of Ross and Rachel. Well, that was the door where they shared their very first kiss.
CAMEROTA: I'm just relaxing here in Joey and Chandler's apartment. Who could forget the great entertainment center?
MATT LEBLANC, ACTOR: So we are going with two?
CROWD: Oh, yes!
CAMEROTA: And who could forget this pivotal moment?
DAVID SCHWIMMER, ACTOR: Take five.
SCHWIMMER: Take five.
MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR: Shut up, shut up. Shut up.
CAMEROTA: This is Monica and Rachel's apartment. This is where so many memorable moments happened. From break-ups --
JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: I can't believe I even thought of getting back together with you. We are so over.
SCHWIMMER: But -- but -- but -- fine by me!
CAMEROTA: -- to proposals.
PERRY: Monica, will you marry me?
COURTENEY COX, ACTRESS: Yes.
CAMEROTA: To those unforgettable lines that you still can't get out of your head.
KUDROW: See, he's your lobster.
LEBLANC: Could I be wearing any more clothes?
KUDROW: They don't know that we know they know we know. SCHWIMMER: We were on a break!
CABRERA: The CNN special report, "Friends Forever: 25 Years of Laughter" premieres tonight at 9:00 right here on CNN.