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Pelosi's Moment: From "No" on Impeachment to "No Choice"; Saudi Military Trainee Suspected in Navy Attack; Authorities Hold News Conference on Navy Shooting in Pensacola. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired December 6, 2019 - 13:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: When Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House was moving forward with articles of impeachment, it was historic. And when she fired back at a reporter who asked if she hated the president, it's become iconic.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I don't hate anybody.


PELOSI: I was not raised as a Catholic to hate anybody in the world. Don't accuse me.

ROSEN: I did not accuse you.

PELOSI: You did. You did. You did.

ROSEN: I asked a question. Representative Collins yesterday suggested that the Democrats are doing this simply because they don't like the guy.

PELOSI: It has nothing to do with it.


PELOSI: I think the president is a coward when it comes to helping our kids who are afraid of gun violence. I think he is cruel when he doesn't deal with helping our DREAMers of which we are very proud. I think he's in denial about the climate crisis. However, that's about the election. Take it up in the election.

This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the president's violation of his oath of office.

And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love. And always prayed for the president. And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.



KEILAR: Wow. You could almost hear a pin drop there.

With me, chief CNN political correspondent, Dana Bash, and Will Jawando, who is a former aide to Nancy Pelosi and also a former White House official in the Obama administration.

Let's talk about this moment.

You know Nancy Pelosi. You've interviewed her so many times. What did you think?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I've been in a press conference like that. I haven't been the subject of that pointed response.


BASH: But you said this as we were getting to it. She doesn't go back to the podium. When she's done, she's done unless she says something funny about a sporting event or something, but he set her off.

You know James Rosen and you've probably seen the interactions that she's had with him on previous occasions. He gets under her skin. She knows where he works. He used to work at FOX and now he works at Sinclair, a conservative news organization, and she understands that. It ticked her off.

But this is more broadly why she has become a cult figure very quickly. It's not like she's knew to the scene like AOC and instantly became a cult figure. She has been around for a long time.

But it is this new role going head to head with Donald Trump at every single turn and doing it while leading a very, very difficult caucus to lead because it is so diverse politically and geographically and everything else, and that's why -- we've seen all the memes. Remember when she walked back to the White House in the sunglasses and the coat


KEILAR: The coat that sold out.

BASH: And her Congress even adopted. That they have pins like this. I see this coming next.

KEILAR: Is it -- you worked for her. This doesn't happen very often that someone who -- we talk all the time about politicians wanting to redefine themselves when they run for something. That almost never happens, it's almost not a possibility. But yet we've seen this happen. She has moved from -- she was a bit

of a question. Has Nancy Pelosi been at the helm of House Democrats too long? Now Nancy Pelosi seems like the person for this moment for House Democrats.

WILL JAWANDO, FORMER AIDE TO NANCY PELOSI & FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I think that's exactly right. That "don't mess with Nancy" T-shirt is already being sold, probably as we speak.

You talk about iconic moments. That picture of her standing, pointing at the president in that room with all these white men, I think that in history will be the defining moment of this era for resistance to Congress. She has solidified her place with Sam Rayburn and Obama and LJB.

Not only -- take her gender aside, she has been an effective speaker. She has brought this fractured caucus, Katie Porter to AOC and everyone in between.

But to your point it is rare. When I worked for her, she was done, she was done, she left the room. I think a little bit it's on the Twitter sphere today that her Baltimore came out.


JAWANDO: She came back -- And being a Marylander myself -- she could have corrected him. Hate is a strong word, and when you have it on the other side with the president who leads with hate, I think she took umbrage to that. And it was out of character for her. But the way she explained it was perfect.

KEILAR: Sometimes we hear about being prayerful. She says Democrats should be prayerful about this. I wondered, what does she mean, because she would leave it there a lot of times? It seemed to have the effect of maybe language where she was trying to soften it. I've never heard her expand on it so much as we heard her in this moment.

BASH: You can speak more to this than I can, probably.

But you can look at it on its surface as the southern version of bless your heart.



BASH: But it's not. She went to Catholic school growing up, she went to a Catholic University. That is as much of her DNA as the politics that she grew up with. And so that's genuine.

Do you agree with that?

JAWANDO: Yes, 100 percent. That's a big part of her. Baltimore, went to Trinity right next to Catholic. She invoked her faith. Big family, took care of her family then ran. This is part of her ethos, to care for people while she ran for office. I think it was totally consistent.

You saw it strike a nerve as something that is core to her. I'm here to help people and all these things, but don't accuse me of hating. I love everybody. I'm trying to help bring this country together.

I think it will -- you'll have the naysayers saying she was out of control. Just like the president tried to do with that iconic picture, which is --


BASH: He tweeted he's making him nervous.


BASH: Trying to say. But she and Joe Biden on a different level, we're hysterical, yesterday.


JAWANDO: I think that will be another one with the red coat, the pointing in the cabinet room, it's going to go down as one of these moments where she set people straight.

KEILAR: Someone may say, she just responded to the guy. We've been at enough boring press conferences that they really do become iconic.

Will, thank you so much.

Dana, thank you.

BASH: Thanks.

KEILAR: Any moment, the news conference you're seeing on your screen as we're awaiting this, the right-hand side of your screen. This is involving the deadly attack at the naval station in Pensacola. CNN is reporting that a member of the Saudi military who was training there is the suspected shooter. Stand by. We'll bring this to you live.



KEILAR: We're following breaking news out of Pensacola, Florida, where a gunman opened fire at the Naval Air Station there, a gunman killing three people. We're now learning that the suspected gunman is a member of the Saudi military who was training there in Pensacola. This is the second on-base shooting that the Navy has dealt with in just three days.

I want to bring in CNN's Victor Blackwell for this story.

Victor, tell us what we're learning.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: First of all, we're waiting for this news conference to start. It was scheduled to start about 15 minutes ago. We're expecting to hear from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to give us an update on what they've learned as this investigation has started.

Let me lay the foundation they can build on in just a few minutes. As you said, three people killed by this gunman, an additional seven who were injured, including two Escambia County sheriff's officers. The shooter is also dead.

The sheriff's office says they got the first call of this active shooter just before 8:00 eastern this morning, that there was a shooting happening on the base there in a classroom building. Naval officials and Escambia County Sheriff's Office did not say which building, but it was said this is a classroom building in the center of the campus.

The two officers, the deputies, were on base there within minutes. There's a precinct very close. And we're told by the sheriff that one of them shot this shooter, as he said, negating the threat. But those deputies were also shot. One was shot in the arm and is being treated at a local hospital. The second was shot in the knee. The last check was undergoing surgery.

Again, three others killed before then. We know that one of the persons killed died en route to a hospital. Two others at last check were still in the classroom building, their bodies still there on the campus. No details about the severity or the extent of the other injuries of those who were shot.

But I want you to listen to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan and his description when he walked through that classroom building.


DAVID MORGAN, SHERIFF, ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT; Walking through the crime scene was like being on the set of a movie. And as the mayor eloquently put it, you don't just expect this to happen at home. This doesn't happen in Escambia County. It doesn't happen in Pensacola. It doesn't happen to our friends and neighbors who are members of the United States Navy. But it did.


BLACKWELL: That base is closed until further notice.

And Pensacola just released an announcement through Twitter of which buildings could be evacuated now. They can head to the exits. But they are asking, hours after this shooting, for some people to shelter in place as the search continues for evidence or for anything else involved in this mass shooting this morning -- Brianna?

KEILAR: Victor, thank you so much for catching us up.

As you can see, we're awaiting this press conference here on the right side of the screen. We're going to take that any moment.

Also, as impeachment shifts into the next gear, at least one Republican Senator is warning that the president's strategy could result in a three-ring circus.



GOV. RON DESANTIS (D-FL): I spoke with the president about the situation.

And as a Navy veteran, anyone who serves in the Navy knows that this is a special place, Naval Air Station Pensacola. All of these brave warriors who wear the wings, come through here for flight training. And so this is a dark day for a very great, a great place.

I think that it not only strikes -- me here in northwest Florida but throughout the Navy. Nationwide. Really, around the world. Because of so many people that have been involved in this base in one way or another.

And I know that the president is actively monitoring in the White House. And the thoughts and prayers go out to everybody.

We at the state of Florida have already dispatched support, our Department of Emergency Management has sent a mental health coordinator to talk to any of the witnesses, any of the victims, the families and offer whatever support they can get. Department of Children and Families has sent a mobile response team to the hospital. We have fatalities.

But also we have people wounded. Some like the deputies, looks like they'll be OK. Some still in surgery. And we're praying hard for those folks.

I think there's obviously going to be a lot of questions about this individual being a foreign national, being a part of the Saudi air force and then to be here training on our soil, and to do this. And the FBI is working with DOD, with the Escambia County sheriffs to answer those questions.

One of the things I talked to the president about, given this was a foreign national in employ of a Foreign Service, and time to do this, but obviously the government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims. And I think they are going to owe a debt here, given that this is one of their individuals.

But what I can tell you is the response that we saw from the deputies of Escambia County, some of the active duty personnel responding to the scene. You'll hear more in-depth some of these stories as the days go on. I can tell you lives were saved because of the response of people both in uniform, with the Navy, in uniform with the Escambia County.

And so on one of the darkest days at the base of history, you still saw some of that bravery and grit come out, and even people who had been wounded themselves thinking about others and what could be done to save others. So those stories are inspiring and keep us going on a very otherwise very bad day. And with that I'm going to bring up the base commander's Pensacola.

Thank you, sir.

CAPT. TIM KINSELLA, COMMANDING OFFICER, NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA: Hello, everybody. The captain officer of Air Station Pensacola.

It's been a very difficult day for us, for the Navy and the Navy families here. I am absolutely in awe of the response by our sailing, by our civilian DOD and the Escambia County Sheriff's Department. Real heroism today. I mean real heroism.


I am devastated. We are in shock. This is surreal. But I couldn't be prouder to wear the uniform I wear because of my brothers and sisters in uniform, civilian or otherwise that did what they did today to save lives,

And for our brothers and sisters here with the state of Florida and with Escambia County Emergency Management on the, and the sheriff's department. From the bottom of my heart I thank you.

And thank you for your support, governor.

The days ahead will be difficult when it finally sinks in what has happened here. The most important thing going forward for us is support the families. They are family. They are our family. We are family here. The Department of the Navy. So that's where most of our efforts will be going through, supporting those families and the people affected by this terrible tragedy.

With that, turn it back to you, sir.


MORGAN: Thank you, everyone.

We thank you for all the prayers for the Escambia County officers and, of course, for the injured Navy personnel. As the governor said and the Captain Kinsella, while a dark day, you know, folks, this shows who we are. This shows the best of who we are, in that one of us needs help, everybody responds.

I will tell you this morning I have been more than impressed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. attorney's office. and all the folks. When the call went out you didn't need to look behind at who was following you behind because you knew they were there.

So we're in recovery mode right now. This is going to be a lengthy investigation. Do not expect quick answers. There's going to be parts of this investigation not only we're a part of with the FBI and the ATF and the state authorities, that you may never have access to, just because of the fact of, again, the nature of the case and who we're dealing with. That will be extremely frustrating for you. This is something I talk about in your government and in your elected

officials today that no one speaks of. That's called trust. You have to trust us. We're going to tell you what you need to know, to keep our communities and our state and our nation safe.

And I want to also assure you from the men and women of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office, who are more than proud to serve every day, you will hear the truth from us as best we can tell you.

Pray for the Navy personnel. There are grieving mothers and fathers today who will never recover from this day.

If you don't believe me, let me give the David Morgan test. In two weeks' time, remember the names of those wounded and killed here today, and you won't. You won't. But if today was a member of "your" family, that was wounded or killed today, this day will be etched in your memory for the rest of your life.

That's what the families of the Navy personnel are dealing with today. They need your prayers. They need your comfort.

That's why this morning I ask for your awe assistance deal with this case. We're going to get there and in time we'll give you all the answers you're waiting for.

You can be proud of your neighborhood, proud of your Navy. Thank god for the United States of America.



Governor, thank you so much for being here and as a part of that.

I want to say out to all of our Escambia County resident city of Pensacola how grateful we are that you're here.

We certainly have gotten calls from our congressmen, our Senators, and even the White House, and certainly they've expressed anything they can do for our community they are willing to do and we very much appreciate that.

This is a tragic day for the city of Pensacola. Again, I think the world of our base commander, Captain Kinsella, who always says, as goes the base, so goes the town, and as goes the town, so goes the base.

A deep affinity for Pensacola NAS and the city of Pensacola, and the men and women that serve our country every day.

This is a sad day. Some of the things you heard, it's a community of gray resiliency. I'm confident NAS and Pensacola will bounce back and be stronger going through.

I'm certainly here in support of everyone and certainly want to thank you all first responders, especially the Escambia sheriffs that got here, took care of neutralizing the threat, and all the Pensacola police officers assisting. We had EMS from Escambia and fire and rescue from Escambia County and Pensacola. All of first responders, what they do every day to keep us protected. You never know when you'll have a day like December 6th.

Thank you to all individuals who serve us every day and take care of us. That's the professionalism you can expect from the city of Pensacola and Escambia County.

We appreciate all those who have come, the governor, the state of Florida reached out to all across the state. And we appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers.

Please continue to keep thinking about Pensacola and the NAS there and we will bounce back from this.


Thank you.

DESANTIS: Thank you.

Any other questions?