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CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip

Nailbiter In Virginia Race Where Trump Seeks Payback; Trump Delivers 30-Plus Falsehoods At Wisconsin Rally; New York Times Reports, Trump Planned To Stay In Chicago Instead Of Milwaukee; Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson Talks About Trump's Claim On RNC; Justin Timberlake Arrested For DWI; Baseball Legend Willie Mays Dies At 93; David Calhoun Apologizes To Families Of Passengers Killed In Boeing Crashes. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired June 18, 2024 - 22:00   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Watching for before we go tonight?

VAN LATHAN, CO-HOST, HIGHER LEARNING PODCAST: Oh, what I'm going to be watching for is him to completely fall on the proverbial sword. He is going to talk about how reckless it was, how he endangered people, how he fell short, the whole thing. I think it's going to be a complete mea culpa for him.

COLLINS: We'll be watching to see if that is what the reaction here. I know a lot of people were surprised to see that mugshot today. Van Lathan, as always, it's great to have you. Thank you for joining tonight.

LATHAN: No problem.

COLLINS: And thank you all so much for joining us on this very busy news hour. We are still watching that race in Virginia very closely. And CNN NewsNight with Abby Phillip starts right now.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Virginia is not for lovers, at least not tonight. That's tonight on NewsNight.

Good evening. I'm Abby Phillip in New York.

Down to the wire, thousands of Republican voters in a district of 800, 000 people in Virginia are now rendering a verdict. It is technically about two men, Bob Good and John McGuire, but it's about something else, what Donald Trump prizes most. What he's always valued above all else is loyalty. And Bob Good, the chairman of the Freedom Caucus in the House, a band of congressional hardliners that has fought hard for the MAGA agenda inside of Congress, is not good enough for Trump. Good found himself on the opposite side of the primary race with Trump, and the reason is pretty simple. Good wanted Ron DeSantis to be the Republican presidential nominee, not Donald Trump.

So, now enter John McGuire. He's a former Navy SEAL, a former Virginia state senator, a former attendee of the January 6th rally that preceded the insurrection. And he has Donald Trump's support now. Not necessarily because he's actually all that different from Bob Good, except in that one key metric. He didn't violate Trump's core principle. Once again, it's all about loyalty.

Now, as we come on the air tonight, the race down in Virginia is an absolute nail biter. Just 200 votes separate the two men, with 94 percent of the precincts reporting tonight. The lead has been going back and forth between Good and McGuire all night and especially in the last hour. So, obviously now tonight, it is too close to call.

So let's go live to CNN's Melanie Zanona. She's at Bob Good's headquarters in Lynchburg, Virginia. Melanie, what are you hearing from the Good campaign about how tight this race is tonight?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yes, you're absolutely right. This is a very tight race, and there is a mix of excitement and anxiousness in the room behind me. Earlier in the night, I did spot Bob Good. He was sitting rather quietly with his family eating pizza, really keeping to himself. I saw him checking his phone. It seemed as though he was anxious, like the rest of the Republican Party, to see where these results are going.

But not long ago, we heard some cheering coming from inside the room when some results came in and put Bob Good ahead. Again, it's still too close a call, so we'll have to wait and see. But just the fact we're even paying attention to the race is so remarkable because this really has become a race about Donald Trump. Bob Good has made some very powerful enemies inside the House Republican Party, inside the Republican Party as a whole, and chief among them is Donald Trump, as you mentioned, he never forgave Bob Good for endorsing Ron DeSantis, even though we should note that Bob Good did flip his support to Trump once Ron DeSantis got out of the race, but that wasn't good enough for Trump.

So, he did a telethon haul for John McGuire last night, he's been railing against Bob Good on social media. He even told Bob Good's campaign that he needed to stop using signs that had Trump's name on them. Although we did see one of those signs in the room earlier tonight, Abby.

And then, of course, there's Kevin McCarthy, the former speaker. Bob Good was one of those eight Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker. And Kevin McCarthy and his allies have been pouring a lot of money into this race trying to oust Bob Good.

Now, he does have some powerful allies in his corner as well, including people like Steve Bannon and Matt Gaetz and people in MAGA world. But at this moment, the race is very close, and in the end, it's going to be a test of Trump's strength inside the GOP. Abby?

PHILLIP: Yes, very much so. It's worth noting he's not the only Republican who endorsed someone else in the primary, so it's interesting to see that it's all come down to this. Melanie, thank you very much and keep us updated on how things are going as we go now to our next interview.

I want to note that Bob McGuire is still -- John McGuire is still in the lead down there in that race. Joining me on all of this is Warren Davidson. He's the Republican congressman from Ohio. He is also a Freedom Caucus member. He endorsed McGuire in this race. Congressman, thank you for joining us.

REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R-OH): Yes, thanks for having me on, Abby.

PHILLIP: So, Congressman, what does it say about former President Trump's clout among Republicans that this race is the nail biter that it is tonight? It was so close, just a few dozen votes, frankly, separating these two men.


DAVIDSON: Well, Donald Trump is the leader of our party. He set the agenda and that's clear. Bob Good's, you know, very much tried to position himself to unite behind President Trump after getting crossways with him. But I think there's more to the race than that. You know, if you look at how many colleagues got involved in this race, it's rare that colleagues get involved in primaries where you have a sitting member. I've only been involved against one other member, that was Liz Cheney. And, you know, that was a lot of folks kind of worked against her. And the party ultimately officially worked against Liz Cheney.

You know, Bob Good is kind of a different case, but getting to know John McGuire, I think Donald Trump has a lot of confidence in John McGuire, so do a lot of my colleagues. And I believe he's going to be the right kind of person to work with in the 119th Congress to implement the Make America Great Again, America First (INAUDIBLE).

PHILLIP: Congressman, I hear what you're saying about how -- look, a lot of your colleagues are jumping into this race. It seems largely because Donald Trump has jumped into this race. But on ideology on the issues, there is not a whole lot of daylight between Bob Good and John McGuire, except for Donald Trump's decision to endorse against him. Are you suggesting that Bob Good is not conservative enough for you and your colleagues?

DAVIDSON: No, I think the voting record is a different issue. I mean, George Santos had a fine voting record. I don't want to draw much more of a comparison there. He was he was like -- because he had ethics issues. Bob has got, you know, a hard time working with colleagues. And, frankly, that's, you know, part of why John McGuire was asked to step in. They're both conservative. They appeal to a lot of the same people. Main difference, you know, McGuire is a veteran Navy SEAL, but he's also got a difference in demeanor and I think people feel like he's much more collaborative.

So, he's going to have similar votes, I think, in the long run. We'll see if he makes it. But, you know, I knew this race was going to be tight and people on both sides asked me to get involved and whether people were supporting John McGuire or people were supporting Bob Good and rarely do I get involved in a race, period. But this one, I really started weighing it. I go, you know, if this is going to be as tight as we think it is, and 1,000 votes or something decides the race, will I regret whether I got involved or not? And if so, which side, well, I have regrets on.

PHILLIP: Just to be clear --

DAVIDSON: When I talked to, John, I felt like I should get involved and try to help them.

PHILLIP: Just to be clear, Congressman, you're talking about demeanor. I mean, are you saying that Bob Good's reputation is that he's not a very nice person? Is that what you're saying?

DAVIDSON: Well, I don't want to attack Bob. I will say that, you know, anyone that attacks, you know, Jim Jordan as a founding father of the Freedom Caucus at a Freedom Caucus meeting and relentlessly, to me, it was a bridge too far to make this guy the chairman of the Freedom Caucus.

And I think the other part of it is the tactics can't just be about power and leverage because we've got a narrow majority. You actually have to build influence with colleagues, and Bob doesn't build influence with colleagues. And, you know, you can ask other colleagues why that's the case.

PHILLIP: What about the endorsement of Ron DeSantis? Do you think that he would have had Trump's backing if he had backed Trump in the primary from the beginning?

DAVIDSON: Well, look, one of my senators is J.D. Vance and J.D. was very cross ways with Donald Trump. And in 2022, he made peace with Donald Trump, became a strong Trump supporter and Trump's like welcomed him back and now he's on the short list for V.P. So, I don't buy this narrative that Donald Trump will never forgive somebody.

PHILLIP: All right. Congressman Warren Davidson, thanks very much for joining us as we wait for those results to come in tonight.

DAVIDSON: Thank you.

PHILLIP: And my panel joins me now, S.E. Cupp, Jamal Simmons, and Tara Palmeri. S.E., what do you make of that? It's kind of a -- it almost feels like making oneself into a pretzel to rationalize campaigning against the incumbent, campaigning against the chair of the Freedom Caucus, largely because of a personality dispute with Donald Trump.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: When you have such a slim majority, I mean, you're really gambling here. And the thing that I think seems obvious to everyone watching this is that it is not about policy, you tried to drill down on that, Congressman Davidson was saying it was more about maybe personality. But it's not about policy differences, it's not about problem solving, it's about retribution. It's about Kevin McCarthy's revenge. It's about Donald Trump's revenge. I don't know what this does to solve any constituent's problems. But this is what the Republican House has become, more like a middle school, but instead of running around giving each other atomic wedgies, they're running around trying to get them ousted from office. PHILLIP: I mean, also the race is -- I mean, it's so close right now. I asked him this at the beginning, Congressman Davidson, if Donald Trump endorses, and he has so much clout, wouldn't you expect this race to be not so close?

JAMAL SIMMONS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Except he's taking on an incumbent member of Congress in the district that he's represented. So, people in this district know him, right?


These congressional districts aren't that large. People, you know, they see you at the grocery store. They see you when you walk down the street with your dog or your kids or whatever it is. So, for them to -- for half of the Republicans in that district to basically say, no, thank you, to this incumbent member is a pretty big deal.

It all just reminds me of there's a great movie called American Gangster, where Denzel Washington, at one point, he plays the gangster, who walks out in broad daylight and takes out one of his, you know, opponents in broad daylight, Idris Elba, by the way, takes him out in the middle of the street. And it was a message to everybody sort of in town that this is what I will do to you if you cross me. And that's what this feels like to me. It's just an effort to purge by Donald Trump.

TARA PALMERI, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, PUCK: Yes, exactly. He's about to step into this role. He actually met with Congress last week, which is something he's never done before. He ran for re-election.

PHILLIP: This is John McGuire?

PALMERI: No, I'm talking about Donald J. Trump. Yes, he's sending a message, don't cross me.

But just think of all the money that's been wasted on this race. It is a safe Republican seat. And $5 million dollars has been spent.

CUPP: 15 total for both of these candidates.

PALMERI: And the super PACS just dropping money, exactly. He's the head of the House Freedom Caucus. It doesn't get more right wing than that. And yet, Donald Trump is just sending a message and everyone is trying to prove their political mettle. The funny part about this is, though, is put Matt Gaetz on the other side of Donald Trump because Matt Gaetz is actually supporting Bob Good, because he hates, you know, Kevin McCarthy. So, it's just like a circular firing squad going on within the Republican Caucus.

CUPP: So, what I said, middle school, it's middle school. It's like who hates who and whose team are you on and whose lunch table are you sitting.

PHILLIP: I mean, if you're having trouble following all of this, the bottom line is it's a Republican against Republican fight against two people who are fundamentally the same. I mean, one guy was there on January 6th. The other guy voted against certifying the election. I mean, what really are the differences here?

SIMMONS: Trump. Trump is the difference.


SIMMONS: Yes, and Trump's ego.

PALMERI: Exactly.

SIMMONS: This is really all about Donald Trump. Donald Trump demands total loyalty. And I think what we're doing is we're seeing if he were to actually win the White House, this is the kind of government that he would run.

And if you're in his government, remember that scene of all the cabinet members going around the Trump White House and the cabinet room all like declaring themselves, you know, in full prostration to Donald Trump, like we are going to see even more of that out of Congress, out of the courts, we're already starting to see it, and then certainly out of his administration.

PHILLIP: Just from a governing perspective, S.E., I mean, I wonder what this means for the House Freedom Caucus. I actually listened to Congressman Davidson and he's sort of arguing, okay, we got to be more pragmatic, we got to be more results-driven. The messaging is, is all haywire among conservatives. Do they want to govern or do they want to make a point? And who is actually going to be the one to make the point? Because it seems like there are more Freedom Caucusers who actually -- or who is going to be the one to to govern? There are more Freedom Caucusers who want to make a point, it seems.

CUPP: Yes, and I listened to that too. And he said -- he used a word, collaborative. This was a ding on Bob Good that he's not collaborative enough. That indicates to me you actually want to solve some problems.

PHILLIP: Which would be interesting.

CUPP: Well, when they were able to, Donald Trump said, don't solve this one, immigration. We want to use it for my re-election.

So, I mean, that was a good spin on it from Congressman Davidson but I don't think this is about identifying more collaborative congressmen to solve problems. I think these guys are really just out for power to suck up to Trump and to become famous.

PHILLIP: And, look, Steve Bannon is on one side of this, Donald Trump is on the other. It's wild out there. The Wild West, you could argue, the Freedom Caucus. Everyone, thank you very much.

Coming up next for us, Donald Trump reportedly planned to stay in Chicago during his convention in Milwaukee. That's a whole other state. But now, those plans have apparently changed. We'll tell you why.

Plus, Justin Timberlake refused a breathalyzer before his DWI arrest. So, how did that impact the charges that he faced? And more breaking news tonight, one of baseball's all time legends has died. We'll reflect on the life of Willie Mays.



PHILLIP: Donald Trump hitting up a swing state just nine days before CNN's debate and declaring an alternate history. CNN's Daniel Dale is here with 30 false statements that Trump made in Wisconsin today. Daniel, take it away.

DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: He said there was world peace in 2020. There was very much not. He said he won Wisconsin in 2020. He lost. He said the Democrats rigged the 2020 election, a lie. He said people around President Biden cheat on elections. No. He said people's votes tend to disappear. They simply do not. He said 107, 000 people attended his recent rally in New Jersey. That's at least tens of thousands too high. He said he saved Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2020 during rioting when the Democratic governor wouldn't act to intervene. In fact, that governor deployed the National Guard before Trump told him to.

Trump said cocaine was found at the White House about a month ago. That was actually about 11 months ago. He said it was hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine. It was a little bag, maybe generously in the hundreds of dollars worth. He said Biden orchestrated his New York criminal trial, zero evidence of that. He said Biden was also behind all of his cases, including civil trials, baseless again. He said Biden wandered off at the G7 and didn't know where he was. No, Biden was briefly chatting with a skydiver who had landed near the group.

He said he was indicted more than Infamous Al Capone. No. Al Capone had more indictments than him. He said he was in Washington the other day for one of his trials.


He was actually there for meetings with congressional Republicans. He said Nancy Pelosi turned down his offer of 10,000 soldiers on January 6th. She never got such an offer and would not have had the power to reject it even if she did. He said the January 6th committee deleted all records. Just did not happen. He said he's the only president who didn't start a war. Jimmy Carter didn't start any wars. He said he finished the war in Syria, no, and got U. S. soldiers out. He actually left hundreds of troops there. He said Syria and Turkey have been fighting over their border for, quote, 2,000 years. That border, Abby, is less than a century old. He said insane asylums are being emptied by foreign countries to let people come to the U.S. as migrants. His own campaign cannot substantiate this claim. And he also said prisoners are coming in from jails in the Congo over the border. His campaign can't substantiate that either.

He said President Obama cannot deport criminals to Latin American countries. Obama, in fact, could. He said Venezuela's crime is down 72 percent because of emigration to the U. S. Venezuela's violent deaths are actually down 25 percent, and that's for a variety of reasons. He said 17 or 18 million people have now entered illegally over the border. Experts say that's many millions too high. He said Biden's plans would quadruple your taxes. Total fiction. He said cancelling Keystone XL, the pipeline, costs 48,000 jobs. That is wildly inflated. He said total inflation under President Biden is unimaginable, 40 or 50 percent. It's actually 19 percent.

He said before he took office, there was a $500 billion trade deficit with China. It has never been that high. And, in fact, the record was set under Trump in 2018. He said no previous president has taken an even ten cents in tariff money from China. It is Americans who pay those tariffs. And the U.S. has actually had such tariffs on China since the 1700s. And finally, he said we're in the worst crime wave in modern history. Crime has actually plummeted in 2023 and so far in 2024. Abby?

PHILLIP: And it's only Tuesday. Daniel Dale, thank you very much.

Donald Trump this morning was supposedly not staying in Milwaukee for his own Republican convention. Instead, The New York Times reported that he'd make his convention week home base back at the Trump Hotel all the way in Chicago, about 90 miles away. But here's what he said when he was asked about it today in Milwaukee.


DONALD TRUMP (R), FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT, 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They have probably, they think because they have a hotel there, they have a beautiful hotel there, beauty, as good as it gets, but I'm staying here.


PHILLIP: Joining me now is Michael Gold. He's a politics correspondent for The New York Times. He broke this story nationally. Michael, the former president is denying that now, but what did your sources say about why Trump actually wanted to stay in Chicago instead of Milwaukee?

MICHAEL GOLD, POLITICS CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Sure, so I spoke to several people who are briefed on convention planning and one of them told me that part of the reason was out of safety and logistics concerns for how President Trump might disrupt the street pattern when he tried to travel through Milwaukee. Obviously, conventions are meticulously planned. But this person also told me that personal preference was just as likely to be involved. And we know that Trump likes to stay in his own hotels. Generally, he'll travel out of state to stay them in between campaign events. So, that's pretty consistent with what we've seen for the last eight years.

PHILLIP: And one of the backdrops of this, obviously, is that just a couple of days ago, he was trashing Milwaukee. I mean, is there any sense that he changed his mind because of the bad press that came from those statements that he made when he met with Republicans a couple days ago?

GOLD: It's hard to say for sure. I mean, I do know that those comments caused quite a bit of consternation and Trump and his campaign moved pretty quickly to clarify what they -- you know, what he said he was speaking about. All I know is that this morning, there was 1 plan when I spoke to my sources, and then by the afternoon, the plan had changed. I think you saw an ABC station in Chicago also had reported similarly that they had heard from multiple sources that Trump had been planning to spend time in Chicago during the convention.

PHILLIP: All right. Good reporting work. Michael Gold, thank you very much.

And now, at the very beginning of tonight's rally in Racine, Trump had this to say.


TRUMP: I love Milwaukee. I was the one that picked Milwaukee, I have to tell you. I was the one that picked it. These lying people that they say, oh, he doesn't like Milwaukee. I love Milwaukee. I said, you got to fix the crime, we all know that. You got to make sure the election is honest. But I'm the one that picked Milwaukee.


PHILLIP: So, just last week, the former president was quoted as calling Milwaukee, quote, horrible during a closed door meeting with House Republicans. That's according to a source who was in the room. And since then, several members of Wisconsin's delegation have said that the comment was made in the context of crime and elections, election lies, I should say.

Joining me now is Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson. Mayor, thanks for being here. So, the former president he's now saying publicly he loves your city, but he did, according to those sources, call it horrible in private. What's your reaction to the backtrack here from the podium tonight?


MAYOR CAVALIER JOHNSON (D-MILWAUKEE, WI): You know, it is really, really interesting, Abby, to hear former President Trump say now that he all of a sudden loves Milwaukee and that he even selected Milwaukee. Look, Abby, as you mentioned, I'm a Democrat and the mayor of the largest city in the state and we're proud to host the Republican National Convention. We worked really, really hard to get the convention. The folks at the RNC have been great. Right before I was initially elected mayor, I took time off the campaign trail to go to Washington, D. C., to go to the RNC headquarters, to do the final pitch to bring the RNC here. And it was the RNC that selected Milwaukee. I think I would remember if Donald Trump had anything to do with that. He was nowhere to be found. That is a complete fabrication. I am stunned by that.

PHILLIP: And he's also talking about crime and what he's calling election security. But I just want to be really clear here. Milwaukee was a center of Trump's election lie conspiracies for the former president. The DNC has actually put up these billboards just to, I guess, try to make the point that Trump said these comments about Milwaukee. I mean, what do you make of the fact that he's now pinning this on a fabrication about election lies in your city, about crime, you could speak to that, but he's now pinning this on these two issues that seem somewhat unrelated?

JOHNSON: These are incredible, hysterical things that Donald Trump is talking about. It doesn't really make much sense. Abby, you know, the thing that's most interesting to me right now is that Donald Trump says that there were election integrity issues in Milwaukee and other major cities across the United States, yet at the same time now he's the cheerleader for Republicans to send in mail-in ballots, the exact same tool that many people, including many Democrats here and other places use the election. Now, he's looking to use those exact same tools. It's crazy. I don't understand, I really don't, what's happening in the mind of Donald Trump.

And Republicans who are following along, you know, one minute, you know, they're breaking the law and this is, you know, ballot harvesting and the like. Next thing, they got a whole campaign strategy around bank your vote, which one is it? Which one is it? It seems like the Republican Party under Donald Trump can't decide who they are these days.

PHILLIP: Just a couple of days ago, he was attacking mail-in voting yet again, despite, as you point out, the RNC's own efforts on that front. I wonder what you make of Trump and his campaign's efforts to appeal to black voters, black male voters in particular. Milwaukee has a relatively large percentage of its population that is black. Do you think that he's making inroads? And if so, why?

JOHNSON: Well, look so just about two Saturdays ago, I had the opportunity to go to this community festival that we have. And I was hearing this noise about Donald Trump trying to court black men voters especially. And so I engaged directly with those black men. I went to them randomly and asked them a question about this November's election. I asked them if they were voting, if they were registered, they said yes, and yes, and that they'd be voting for President Joe Biden and proudly voting for president Joe Biden.

And one conversation struck me really hard, and that was this. One conversation I had with a gentleman here, an African-American man, talk about the history of black people in the United States. And this is appropriate considering that Juneteenth is coming up here. He talked about 1619, the original sin of this country being committed against black people, slavery, and then juxtaposing that with Donald Trump's, you know, claim that he's going to be a dictator on day number one, right, and the fact that he's talking about pardoning people who sought to overturn American democracy. Well, who built the U.S. Capitol? It was black people. Who laid the foundations for that and for the White House? It was black people.

So, the conversation was, we're not going to go from slavery in the United States to a dictatorship in the United States and do that on the black on the backs of black people. That just is not going to happen. That's what black men in Milwaukee told me. So, according to the conversations I've had with them directly, and honestly, they're voting for President Joe Biden and proudly so.

PHILLIP: So, I'm sure that this may have come up in your planning for this convention, but the reporting that we just heard from The New York Times reporter is that, this morning, Trump was planning to stay in Chicago. Now he's planning to stay in Milwaukee. Your reaction to that and were there plans for the eventual nominee to stay somewhere in your city once they were selected?

JOHNSON: You know, this is one of those just kind of funny things. Like you would imagine that the nominee would stay in the city, especially, as he claims it, let him tell it, right, that he chose Milwaukee, that he would stay here. But if he thinks that Milwaukee is a horrible place, okay, that's one thing, and he was going to stay in Chicago, but what about even the wow counties, the counties around Milwaukee, the reddest parts of the States that produce the most Republicans votes? He wasn't even willing to stay in those places opting instead to go across a state line, go and stay in in Chicago and then come up to receive the nomination.


Like, that just goes to show you that he doesn't care about Milwaukee, much less the entire state of Wisconsin. And he wouldn't even stay here, not even in one of our next door counties that produce the most Republican votes in the entire state of Wisconsin. Like this is -- this is an interesting, interesting campaign. This is -- the RNC will be interesting and it'll be interesting because Donald Trump is making these decisions and saying things that that folks just can't really put a finger on.

PHILLIP: Interesting is definitely one way to put it. Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, thank you very much for joining us.

JOHNSON: Thank you, Abby.

PHILLIP: A new video just in of Justin Timberlake driving just minutes before his DWI arrest. We're going to talk about the charges. Plus, we've got some breaking news in the baseball world. Baseball legend Willie Mays has now died. We'll reflect on the extraordinary life of one of the sport's all time greats.




UNKNOWN (voice-over): Ladies and gentlemen, we have some very sad news to share. A short time ago, the San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball and the Willie Mays family announced that the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays, one of the greatest players in the history of our game, has passed away at the age of 93.


PHILLIP: That was the stadium where Willie Mays began his career in Birmingham, Alabama for 23 seasons. Willie Mays captivated baseball fans on both coasts, first with the New York Giants and in San Francisco -- 660 home runs, 24 all-star selections, two MVP.

The Hall of Famer was arguably the best defensive center fielder of all time. And he had a legendary career filled with memorable moments and highlights, but none more iconic than this basket catch in game one of the 1954 World Series.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): There's a long drive, way back in center field, way back, back it is.


PHILLIP: Mays started his career in the Negro Leagues, playing for the Birmingham Black Barons. A year later, he would become just the sixth Black player to join the Majors. He was a walking contradiction. He had maybe the most powerful bat in baseball history, but he was also able to carry himself with grace on and off the field. He was a true trailblazer and one of the most well-rounded players ever. And for that reason, President Obama awarded Mays the Medal of Freedom in 2015.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: A few years ago, Willie rode with me on Air Force One. I told him then what I'll tell all of you now. It's because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for President.


PHILLIP: Joining me now is ESPN MLB analyst Eduardo Perez and also with us, San Francisco Chronicle national baseball writer and Willie Mays biographer John Shea. John, I want to start with you because you spent so much time with Willie writing this biography of him. What -- of all the accolades that he has received, what do you think is his legacy?

JOHN SHEA, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE NATIONAL BASEBALL WRITER: That he mentored many. He was a friend of many. When he was young, he was mentored by his father, Willie Howard Mays, Sr. He was mentored by Piper Davis, the manager of the Black Barons in Birmingham. He was mentored by Leo Durocher once he got to the New York Giants. He was mentored by Monty Urban, a Negro Leagues legend who was his first teammate on that Giants team.

Throughout all that time in New York, he was the guy that everybody looked out for. The Giants moved west in 1958. Suddenly, he became the guy that looked out for everybody else and I'm talking Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, the Alou Brothers. He was the guy in the clubhouse. He was the guy on the team. So, all that wisdom he got from the Negro Leagues and the Black Barons and his father playing catch as a young boy was all put together.

And throughout his life, he wanted to pay it back and he spent the last many, many decades doing just that. And look at it now. It's like he's going out on his terms. It's a full circle moment. We're all in Birmingham to celebrate the Negro Leagues, to celebrate Willie Mays. And two days before the Rickwood game, he said, thank you.

PHILLIP: I got chills hearing that announcement in the stadium where he started his career. John, you know, all the things that he endured, all the players, frankly, of that era who broke into the majors and changed the sport, how did that weigh on him? Did it weigh on him as he went through his career and as he got older?


SHEA: Well, he was signed out of high school by the New York Giants. You got to remember Jackie Robinson went to UCLA, served in the military. He was in his late 20s when the Brooklyn Dodgers called. He was a grown man and an honorable man and Willie was a kid.

A year after high school, he was the center fielder on the New York Giants. He went from the Negro Leagues to an all-white league in which he was the only minority in 1950, right out of high school. So, he was hearing a lot of the things Jackie Robinson was hearing in 1947. This was only three years later.

But he once told me, and I'll never forget this, when he was with the Trenton Giants, the abuse was so heavy, so venomous, and it was time that he had to decide. And he looked at me and said, I didn't know if I wanted to keep doing it. And I'm thinking, it gave me chills. Imagine Willie Mays if he gave up because of the racism and the bigots, and he wouldn't let them win. He overcame everything to become an American hero, legend, and friends of so many.

PHILLIP: So, Eduardo, tell me, I know this is a heated debate among baseball fans. Is he the greatest player? Is he the second greatest player? I mean, where do you come down on this one?

EDUARDO PEREZ, ESPN MLB ANALYST: Well, I grew up in the history of baseball, right? My father, Tony Perez, played for 23 years in the big leagues. He's a Hall of Famer. And his favorite player to play against was Willie Mays. And it wasn't because he had the five tools. It was because he also had that sixth tool, and it was the intuition, the ability to coach himself on the bases.

He was in awe of Willie running the bases, not needing a coach. He was in awe of Willie not needing the defensive skills that he had, the intuition, the ability to understand the game and the plays before they happened. And I grew up with my grandfather, who also honored Willie Mays.

And then when I went to the Florida State, one of my coaches, Chip Baker, his favorite player was Willie Mays. So, I had to hear stories and stories of Willie Mays. And then finally, Willie, I was able to sit in front of him, and he was able to tell me his own stories, as well. And for me, that was so gratifying to be able to see the person and the human being that he was. And because of those people who brought me up in this game, my grandfather, my father, Chip Baker, one of my coaches, that was their favorite player. That was the best player of all time in their eyes.

Man, looking around and seeing his godson, then Barry Bonds, be one of the greatest, as well. I understand why they were so special. I understand why Willie was so special. And in my eyes, looking at all the video, looking at all the history, if I had to pick a number one draft pick, I'd pick Willie Mays.

PHILLIP: With Roderick Perez, John Shea, I want to leave it right where you left it. Thank you both very much for joining us on all of this.

SHEA: Thank you.

PHILLIP: And joining me next, the mother of a woman who was killed in a Boeing crash. She confronted the company's CEO on Capitol Hill today, and she wasn't the only one.


JOSH HAWLEY (R) U.S. SENATOR: What is it you get paid to do exactly?

CALHOUN: I get paid to run the Boeing company.




PHILLIP: In just the last six years, 346 people have lost their lives in plane crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX jets --346. Also, in that time frame, countless issues involving these jets, including a massive hole on the side of a plane in mid-flight. Whistleblower after whistleblower has come forward to accuse the company of cutting corners. And tonight, that company's CEO says that they are, quote, "far from perfect".

David Calhoun, he struggled to answer questions during a Senate hearing, and he started off by apologizing to families of victims who were seated behind him in the room. They were holding up signs and pictures of their loved ones in those crashes.


DAVID CALHOUN, CEO OF BOEING: I would like to apologize on behalf of all of our Boeing associates spread throughout the world, past and present, for your losses. They're gut-wrenching. And I apologize for the grief that we have caused. And I want you to know we are totally committed in their memory to work and focus on safety for as long -- as long as we're employed by Boeing. So again, I'm sorry.


PHILLIP: Nadia Milleron was on that -- in that hearing today, and she joins me now. Her daughter, Samia Stumo, was killed in the 737 MAX crash in 2019. Nadia is also running for Congress in Massachusetts. Thank you very much for joining us, Nadia.


PHILLIP: Nadia, I want to first say I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. And I know that that loss is still fresh in your mind. You were there. You heard firsthand what Calhoun had to say. What did you think of that apology?

MILLERON: It wasn't a real apology. So, what he was doing is he doesn't want us to know the details about how it happened. So, every time your loved one dies, especially in a crime, you deserve to know and you need to know how did it happen. So, it happened through production defects, not just through faulty design.


So, the AOA sensor on the outside of the plane had a faulty electrical component, which caused the AOA sensor not to feed the right information into MCAS, which caused the plane to dive into the ground. So, he doesn't want people to know that. He doesn't want people to know that they cut corners on production. They cut out inspectors.

And as a result, there are all these problems in these planes. So, the planes that were produced then, the planes that are being produced now, they all have production defects. And these are showing up in real problems that pilots are facing. And two of those problems caused these huge crashes. And another of those problems caused the Alaska Air blowout.

So, he's covering up by saying, yes, we're very sorry. We're very sorry. And he doesn't want to say what they're sorry for and who was responsible and who made the decisions. But only through that can we actually correct the problems.

PHILLIP: You called it a crime. Do you think that he and others at Boeing should be criminally prosecuted?

MILLERON: Absolutely. He lies constantly. He was lying in the hearing today. So, he said that he didn't know what happened to the supervisors who were harassing whistleblowers. So for example, John Barnett's family was all there.

John Barnett supposedly committed suicide, but I definitely have a question about that. He supposedly committed suicide after seven years of harassment by Boeing and the supervisors around his whistleblowing. It was a constant, horrible situation for that person trying to call attention to production problems and defects.

And those supervisors are all fine. They all stayed in Boeing. Some of them were promoted. So I mean, it's amazing that this guy could say he doesn't know what happened to the supervisors and some of them might have been, you know, corrected. Well, not enough of them, because if enough of them were corrected, we wouldn't keep having these problems.

PHILLIP: You know, what's also really astounding, $32 million, that's how much Calhoun makes in a salary. And what makes that, I think, even more eye-popping is that it's a 45 percent increase in the last year. He was questioned about that on Capitol Hill by Senator Hawley. Is there any justification for that, given everything that Boeing has been in the headlines for, a 45 percent salary increase?

MILLERON: No. And look at how he answered. Senator Hawley said, how much money do you make? So what is the natural thing for a normal person to do? I make $30 million. I make $32 million. But he didn't say that. He said, well, it's public. It's a lot of money. He couldn't answer the question. And this just goes to his character. You know, he kept saying, "MCAS is the problem." "MCAS is the problem." He couldn't admit that we had production defects that caused the problems with our planes and caused these crashes.

You know, he couldn't admit that these supervisors get promoted when they harass the poor people that are trying to make the planes safe, the poor people that are trying to report on problems. And all of the metrics they have in place, they had in place before the crash. The problem is that when they have a rush on production, they have to hurry up and produce the planes.

They say to their people, ignore the metrics, ignore the safety metrics, ignore the things we have in place to make sure things go well. No, ignore it all. Throw it out the window because we have to hurry and produce these planes. And he knows all that. And he's so disingenuous.

Like, he looked at me in the eye and he said, I am sorry. And I said, you are sorry? Are you sorry for the bombs Boeing produced that kill innocent kids in Ratha? Are you sorry for that, too? Like, how can he sleep? This person is a psychopath. We cannot have people running these companies that do not care about human life. We have to have responsible people running these companies.

PHILLIP: Nadia Milleron. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. And once again, I'm incredibly sorry for your loss and for what you and all these families have endured. Thank you.

PHILLIP: Thank you very much. And next, Justin Timberlake is arrested after refusing a breathalyzer. What was the impact of that decision on the DWI charges?



PHILLIP: He is in the middle of a world tour. But tonight, Justin Timberlake is also in the middle of a mugshot that you see there. The singer was arrested for a DWI while he was in the Hamptons. Police say that Timberlake smelled of booze and he failed his field sobriety tests. But he refused to take a breathalyzer three times. So, did that decision impact the charges that he faced here? Joining

me to discuss it is criminal defense attorney Mercedes Colvin. Mercedes, three refusals of a breathalyzer while he claims that he only had one martini. How is that going to affect what he faces criminally for this?

MERCEDES COLWIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Great question, Abby. So, it really boils down to this. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you could be subject to a year suspension of your license and also a fine. And it could be an adverse inference when you go to trial.

I mean, thankfully, J.T. has a great attorney who's very well versed in this area of the law. He will probably have it pled down not to a driving while intoxicated, which is what he's charged with, which is a misdemeanor subject to a year in jail and some other penalties down to a driving while impairment, which is it's 15 days in jail and it's not going to happen.

PHILLIP: Yeah, I mean, but refusing a breathalyzer, is that something that like you should advise anybody to do?


I mean, if the cop tells you to.

COLWIN: That's a million dollar question. It really depends if you are super -- I mean, as a criminal defense attorney, if you say to your client, if you're super inebriated, maybe something you should reconsider and not take a breathalyzer test and then just take the penalties and the adverse inference. Because if you are super intoxicated, there are other penalties that attach.

PHILLIP: Yeah, that number becomes a liability for you.

COLWIN: That number becomes, right. Exactly. The blood alcohol content is much greater and past 0.08, it can be very significant.

PHILLIP: Mercedes Colwin, thank you so much for joining us tonight. And thank you for watching "NewsNight". "Laura Coates Live" starts right now.