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Don Lemon Tonight

Uvalde School Shooting Survivor Describes What Happened; Families Of Survivors Of Uvalde Elementary School Shooting Suing Estate Of Gunman; A Colorado Republican Speaks Out For Supporting Red Flag Law; Fetterman's Wife Says Her Husband May Not Campaign Until July; Jan 6 Select Committee To Start Public Prime Time Hearing On Thursday; A Retired Wisconsin Judge Killed In His Home In Wisconsin; Gas Prices Hit Record High. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 06, 2022 - 23:00   ET




ARNULFO REYES, ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER: We're in here and then -- but they had already left and then he got up from my -- behind my desk and he walked over there and shot over there again.


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So, two bullets hit Reyes. One went through his arm and lung, and the other hit him in the back. CNN's Omar Jimenez is covering the story from San Antonio tonight. Omar, good evening to you. I mean that that teacher's story is heartbreaking. There are still so many questions about why 19 children and two teachers died that day. Why aren't we getting answers from officials?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Don, that's been the main question at this point. It's been ten days since the last press conference from the Texas Department of Public Safety. They have been referring all questions to the District Attorney's office. But we've asked the DA's office for any updates into this investigation but haven't gotten any substantive answers. Even when approach in the person, the DA hasn't given those.

Now, we listened to a little bit, as you played the account -- the horrifying account of Arnulfo Reyes who is a teacher at the school. And for the survivors, it is going to be a long journey ahead and that is part of why San Antonio Attorney and the parents of four injured child survivors are now suing the estate of the Uvalde shooter, alleging in part that he intentionally injured these young children, stole their innocence and forever changed their lives.

The lawsuit went into more details, reading in part, each of these children have undergone extensive medical care, some have undergone multiple surgeries. They have all suffered severe physical injuries and unimaginable emotional trauma. The emotional toll they endured is incomprehensible and will be with them for the reminder of their lives. They, along with their families and their community will never be the same. And this joins a series of legal efforts to at least start the process toward -- to at least start the process as you say towards any form of accountability. And all of that of course is happening while families continue to bury their loved ones.

Today was the funeral for Eliahna, or Eli Garcia over the weekend. It would have been her 10th birthday. She was killed at just 9 years old and we still have funerals to go, Don. And bottom line while we haven't heard updates from these officials as I alluded to at the beginning, there's report -- the bottom line is the community, parents, families are left searching for answers. Don?

LEMON: Omar, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Just this weekend there were at least 13 mass shootings in this country. More than 80 people injured, 17 dead. These shootings happening at a graduation party, a nightclub, a strip mall.

Let's discuss now. Anthony Barksdale is here. He is the former Baltimore Police Commissioner. Roseanna Arder is here as well. She's the Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab. I'm glad you both could join us. Thank you so much, very important conversation that we need to continue to have until something is done about this.

Anthony, I'm going to begin with you. Before we get to the spike in shootings, got to get your take on the powerful testimony really, the experience from the teacher who survived the attack, and officials in Uvalde refusing to answer questions about what happened. Do you think, you know, they're stalling? The tension will -- they think they -- that tension is going to go away if they stall?

ANTHONY BARKSDALE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: They absolutely are stalling, Don. They don't want to expose themselves to any more liability than what they're already facing. They know they have -- they screwed it up. They let all of those kids down, they let the teachers down. Now, they're letting the community down, the grieving parents down by not owning up to what the failure was and explaining to them how bad their failure was.

LEMON: Roseanna, the U.S. is on track to pass the record for mass shootings this year. Gun violence has been skyrocketing since 2020. How do you explain this rise?

ROSEANNA ARDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CRIME LAB & EDUCATION LAB: Well, you know, unfortunately the mass shootings are just a symptom of the larger day in and day out everyday experience of cities around our country with gun violence. And I think we -- even before the increase that started really two years ago, even on a "good day" in the United States, we were still having many, many shootings and homicides and suicides.

And so we were starting from not a great place, and then you throw fuel on the fire of pulling out sort of every aspect of the safety net in our country because of the pandemic, then the crisis of legitimacy of government, the lack of confidence and trust in our police department, which is only going to be re-enforced by this really horrific experience. And so we just have -- sort of a perfect storm of all the things that could go wrong, and then 300 million to 400 million guns in circulation.


LEMON: Anthony, a gunman with an AR-15 style weapon attacking an elementary in Uvalde or a grocery store in Buffalo shocks a nation. But people are also dying every day in smaller and often spontaneous attacks as was just mentioned. Why do you think so many people are turning to guns?

BARKSDALE: Don, guns are just everywhere. When they fall into the wrong hands, this is what happens. And it's not just AR-15s, like you pointed out, it's semiautomatics, it's revolvers, it's anything that they can use to harm others. So, a clear reason from drug disputes to gang violence to robberies, carjackings, et cetera, it is out of control. So for each incident, I would just go to the root of guns in the hands of the wrong individual.

LEMON: Well, Roseanna, we hear a lot of people blame these shootings on mental health issues. Of course that applies to some cases but aren't some people just criminals?

ARDER: Well, I think, you know, we -- this really is a uniquely American problem. You know, lots of other countries have mentally ill people, have people that have lost hope and are filled with despair. Lots of other countries have people who commit crimes, that they don't have this level of gun violence.

So, we're not a more criminal nation, we're not a more violent nation, we are a more lethal nation and that is everything to do with our sort of availability of guns and our unwillingness to actually, you know, enact rational policies and strategies to do something about it.

LEMON: Anthony, let's talk about what happened just recently, the Mayor Ted Nugent (ph) dealing with two mass shootings in just two weeks. He fears it's going to be a long, hot summer. Is he right? Well -- do you think the spike in shootings will get worse as the summer goes on?

BARKSDALE: Unfortunately, Don, I believe it will get worse. I don't see any signs this is slowing across the nation, and it's just -- it's going to be tough for the United States.

LEMON: Roseanna you said --

ARDER: Over the --

LEMON: Go ahead, Roseanna.

ARDER: Go ahead, sorry. No, I was just going say in my home city of Chicago over the last 12 months we have had 61 mass shootings, you know, as defined (ph) as four victims or more. And that is the everyday experience of gun violence. These really extreme mass shootings that get all of the national attention are more of the exception.

The most mass shootings are street violence, altercations that erupt, and that, you know, unfortunately we do know with summer, with warmer weather, with, you know, more people gathering outdoor in public places, that does tend to lead to an increase in gun violence.

And unfortunately in our city of Chicago and many other cities, the police department is not doing a great job of solving cases. Only 5% of nonfatal shootings get cleared or solved. So unfortunately, the gun violence begets more gun violence, if we're not doing a good job of intervening and stopping that retaliatory cycle.

LEMON: Can we talk more about that Roseanna because you just said what you said and then you mentioned earlier about the -- about policing. You said the changers in polices are impacting gun violence, how so?

ARDER: Yeah, it's just, you know, unfortunately there's a lot of things happening that are making the situation worse, but I think also the fact that we have this crisis of legitimacy, this lack of confidence in our government and in police right now, and I think as a result we also see police pulling back from their sort of day-to-day responsibilities.

And so it -- I think it's adding fuel to the fire. I think the notion that we can either have constitutional policing and reformed policing, or we can do something about gun violence. As though those two things are kind of in opposition is a false choice. We need constitutional policing. We need to make sure that police are held accountable but we need them to did their job.

LEMON: Anthony, can police do -- what can police do to address gun violence at the community level? I mean I would think there's only so much police can do at this point. It's also going to take some work from the government, some work from the folks in Washington to help them in this mission.

BARKSDALE: Don, police can do a lot. The constitutional subtraction of the most violent offenders from any community can be done. As a matter of fact, if you're just focusing on the key drivers, the main individuals or the main groups that are fueling violence in the community, you can start to have an impact.


But that means the police and the prosecutors at the state and federal level all have to be on same page. The police have to select quality targets, known killers that are sitting right there in the case folders of homicide and shooting detectives.

They go to the prosecutors and say, this is who we filed -- we found to be the problem in this community. Will you work with us to make a prosecutable case against them? So it is, you know, but some police, yes. Some of these departments need to do a lot better, but don't tell me that it cannot be done because I've seen it done. LEMON: I've spoken to people who -- people who are in the law enforcement, and they say they will arrest someone on a gun charge, there's a gun involved. And before they get the paper work done, the person is back out on the streets.

BARKSDALE: Don, if they are arresting the right people, they're going to get what they need, take them federal. If you can't get this done at the lower levels, go to the feds. Take them quality and stick with them. Work with the ATF, the FBI, the DEA.

They're willing to partner with local agencies. And that revolving door, Don, yeah, it's true in plenty of cases, but that's not an excuse to stop going at the killers, the shooters, the robbers, the carjackers.

LEMON: Right. Anthony, Roseanna, thank you very much. I appreciate it. I want to turn now to Cole Wist. He is a former Republican Colorado State Representative who introduced a red flag law back in 2018 after a sheriff's deputy was shot and killed near Denver by a man who was known to have mental illness. That move caused such intense backlash from a conservative gun rights group that the law didn't pass and Wist lost re-election. He joins us now. Thank you, Cole. I appreciate you joining us.


LEMON: So, you're a strong advocate for the second amendment, you had an A rating from the NRA, but you are in favor of red flag laws. Why are they so important to preventing gun violence?

WIST: Because it's time we start focusing on risk factors here and that is -- let's say we were going through a national epidemic of stabbings. It doesn't seem to me that that would stop our elected leaders from talking about what factors were creating a high risk in stabbings. But once you inject the word gun into this conversation, it completely freezes the political discussion.

Everyone retreats to their comfortable corners, and unfortunately, intimidation tactics from gun rights organizations really freeze Republicans from taking this on as the public safety crisis that it. And when I was a legislator, I focused it -- focused on from that perspective, and that is there are tools that we can provide to our law enforcement, to our families to make sure that while we're protecting someone's constitutional rights, we're making sure that they don't pose a risk to themselves or to the communities.

And prior to the passage of the red flag law here in 2019, which was after I left office, we really had no tool. I mean we could send someone in for a 72-hour hold, but then they were released after a couple of hours, right back into the community with no follow up, no continuity of care, and no evaluation of what the risk factors were, so. I thought it was good public -- I understand (ph)that continued I think it's good public policy.

LEMON: Were you surprised about -- at how the gun lobby reacted to - sponsoring -- you sponsoring red flag legislation?

WIST: Well, you know, I wasn't surprised. I guess you could say I'm disappointed because whenever we hear people talked about it's mental health, we got to focus on mental health. Well my questions are, what additional resources are we willing to make to make, so that we can provide mental health treatment for those that are going through a crisis.

And secondly, why can't we address this through narrowly tailored public policy that addresses the risk factors and restores the concept of responsible gun ownership. I think you can before (ph) the second amendment but for good public policy that reduces risk associated with the usage of guns.

LEMON: Based on your experience, Cole, in Colorado, do you have any hope for a bipartisan compromise on guns on Capitol Hill? Because, lawmakers are saying that they think it could happen this time, although they're saying they don't want to raise the age, that's off the table, to 21. Do you think that there could be some sort of bipartisan compromise?

WIST: Well, I'm hopeful, but I see that the same fractured lines and same intimidation tactics working once again.


I'll give you an example, so John Cornyn, Senator from Texas is one of the people that I think has expressed an interest in bipartisan discussions about gun reform. And yet just last week, a radio show host in Dallas tweeted out, hey, John Cornyn, you better not be talking about any legislation relating to guns. And Cornyn's immediate response was, not gonna happen.

So, either our elected leaders are going to step up and take this on or we need to find new leaders who will do exactly that. But the Republican party, quite frankly Don on this issue, has become Kevin Bacon in Animal House where you're standing on the street corner in the middle of a riot saying, all is well. All is not well. We are losing Americans every day to gun violence and just throwing up our hands saying, we can't touch this because it involves gun ownership or the Second Amendment. I think it's a complete copout.

LEMON: Cole Wist, I appreciate it. Thanks for coming on.

WIST: You bet, Don. Good to be with you.

LEMON: So, he missed his own primary election night party after he suffered a stroke. Now Pennsylvanian Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman may be away from the campaign trail until July. His wife talks to CNN Tonight.


GISELLE FETTERMAN, WIFE OF JOHN FETTERMAN: I just knew something was wrong and immediately that second I rushed him to the hospital.




LEMON: So, he went from campaign trail to the hospital on election night. Now Pennsylvanian Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman's wife tells CNN he may not campaign again until July as he recovers from a stroke. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been 25 days since John Fetterman has stepped on to the campaign trail in Pennsylvania. His wife Giselle now tells CNN he may not reappear until next month.

FETERRMAN: I think he deserves a month of break to get back and come back as strong as ever, because this is going to be a tough race and a really important race, and I want him to be fully ready for it.

ZELENY: So maybe July?

FETTERMAN: Maybe, I think so. Yeah, that's my hope.

ZELENY: That hope is shared by Democrats who are watching her husband's recovery from stroke and previously undisclosed heart condition with increasing alarm in one of the nation's tough senate races. With questions and concerns mounting, Fetterman finally revealed the severity of his illness last Friday, bluntly acknowledging in a statement, I almost died. We sat down with his wife in their home town of Braddock, just outside Pittsburgh. She defended their commitment to being transparent, pushing back on suggestions they downplayed his condition.

FETTERMAN: It's still hiccup. I mean families go through health crises. This is -- our family is not unique and what we've gone through, only we had to go through it very publicly.

ZELENY: That spotlight is likely to only intensify, considering the heart patient is now running against a celebrity heart surgeon, with Dr. Mehmet Oz finally declaring victory after his Republican Primary stretched to do a recount.

UNKNOWN: The primary is over, now left wing radicals are rolling into Pennsylvania.

ZELENY: Republicans are wasting no time trying to brand Fetterman as extreme, and he's pushing back by reminding Pennsylvanians that Oz moved here from New Jersey to run for senate. Yet question about Fetterman's health hang heavy over the race and whispered among party officials and among some voters who privately raised their concerns.

Alyssa Catalano, a friend of Fetterman's who owns a business just down the street from his home said the family tried to balance medical and political obligations. ALYSSA CATALANO, FETTERMAN FAMILY FRIEND: Being personally close to the family, my priority at that time was like don't just focus on getting better, don't worry about everyone. But I understand that he has a responsibility right now but I think that what I would say to those people is put yourself in their shoes.

ZELENY: Pennsylvania voters offered a mixed view.

ELEANOR GROSSMAN, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I think his wife will keep him on track. So -- I think that if his doctors are confident he can be released and campaign that I'm not concerned.

UNKNOWN: I think it's kind of a -- creates a dangerous situation, as much for him as anything.

ZELENY: It wasn't until Friday that Fetterman revealed he left a series of heart issues untreated for years. In a statement he confessed, I should have taken my health more seriously. The stroke I suffered on May 13th didn't come out of nowhere.

FETTERMAN: I hate that he had to learn it the hard way, but I'm grateful that he's alive and will have a full recovery. And now he is the one who listens to most, not only to me, but to the doctors. And I hope that other folks can learn from him and not have to experience it like he had to.

ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Braddock, Pennsylvania.


LEMON: So, I'm going to bring in now CNN Medical Analyst, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. Dr. Reiner, good evening to you. After suffering a stroke on May 13th, Fetterman underwent a three-hour surgery that day to implant a defibrillator. He was released in the hospital nine days later. You said there were several anomalies with Fetterman's hospital stay, tell me -- tell us about that.

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, the biggest issue is we don't really have any idea what happened to Mr. Fetterman in the hospital other than he had a stroke. A team removed a clot and then three days later in a really uniquely unusual moment, he had a defibrillator implanted. Strokes in the setting of atrial fibrillation are caused by clots that formed in the heart when the heart fibrillates or quivers. And strokes happen all the time in people with atrial fibrillation. And certainly in folks like Mr. Fetterman who had not had any anticoagulation.


What is very unusual is for a patient to get a defibrillator. And when that was implanted a few days after his stroke was treated, the public was told this was being done to regulate his atrial fibrillation which is not why he had it done. People get defibrillators either after they survived a cardiac arrest or because doctors believe they are at higher risk of developing a cardiac arrest. But yet his campaign and as you just heard in Jeff Zeleny's piece, his campaign and his wife called this a hiccup. This is more like being hit by a truck. And for a candidate and a campaign that has spoken a lot about being a straight shooter and being very transparent, they have been uniquely opaque about what happened to him. You know, most prominently, not making the -- not allowing the treating physicians in Lancaster to make a statement.

LEMON: Yeah. Well, you heard from Jeff Zeleny's interview with Fetterman's wife, Giselle that she says that he may return to the campaign trail in July and deserves a month off to come back as strong as ever. Does that even sound realistic to you at this point?

REINER: Well, it's hard to know because we don't really know --

LEMON: Yeah, you don't know.

REINER: -- any of the element of his stroke. We do know that he was having -- he was threatening (ph) to have a large stroke because the procedure to remove a clot is really reserved for people who are having or threatening to have large strokes, and it can take a long time to recover from that. And I do think people like Mr. Fetterman can make a full recovery.

And I'm hopeful that he will make a complete and full recovery, and it can take a long tool for people to really start to feel back to themselves. But I think the best thing that his campaign can do in the interest of transparency is just tell the public exactly what happened to him, what his symptoms were when he was admitted to the hospital.

All we know that his wife said that his lip was quivering a little bit but that's obviously an understatement, and where he stands now and what his prospects are for a full recovery. The public will understand that. The public in general want our public officials to recover. We don't expect them to be supermen but I think we do expect them to be candid, and there's been really I think a dramatic lack of candor here.

LEMON: Dr. Reiner, thank you.

REINER: My pleasure.

LEMON: The first public hearing for the January 6th Committee coming up this week. What will they tell us? Who will they question? We're going to tell you what to watch out for. Stay with us.




LEMON: We are just days away from the January 6th committee's first public hearing. Thursday night is in primetime, right? They're promising to reveal chilling new information showing that our democracy is at stake. So, joining me now is CNN Legal Analyst Elliot Williams. Hi, Elliot. How are you?


LEMON: So, we're getting new detail about what to expect at Thursday's first public January 6th hearing. The committee will hear from witnesses who dealt with the Proud Boys that day, including a documentarian. What can we learn from them?

WILLIAMS: Well, a few things, number one, you -- because it's the Proud Boys leading up to January 6th, you can see -- as you saw on the indictment of several Proud Boys today that none of them started that morning, Don. It was -- it built up over a sustained period going back months, and the Proud Boys were at the center of it -- a center of a very complicated conspiracy.

One of the other witnesses is going to be a police officer who had also been wounded by Proud Boys that day. It's no accident that they're having a uniformed officer testifying there to give you a sense of the extent of the violence that took place on that day.

LEMON: And the Justice Department today charged the head of the Proud Boys --


LEMON: -- Enrique Tarrio, and four others in seditious conspiracy in the January 6 attack. Explain the significance of these new charges.

WILLIAMS: OK. A few things, number one, Enrico -- Enrique Tarrio wasn't there at the time. And so, this whole criticism of the Justice Department that they've only been charging sort of the corner boys who are down there with bear spray on the seen scene of the crime but not involved in the planning that sort of falls apart.

What the Justice Department clearly has done, at least in charging Tarrio and Stewart Rhodes, one of the founders of the Oath Keepers, is -- reach the people who were involved in the planning, right? So, it's quite significant.

And seditious conspiracy, Don, that's conspiring to use force to delay, prevent, or hinder the functioning of American government. It is a very, very serious crime, and you're not talking about assault or theft doing these little things. This is a big deal.

LEMON: Yeah. When it comes to January 6th, Congressman Jamie Raskin told "The Washington Post" that the committee found evidence of concerted planning and premeditated activity. He said, quote, "you don't almost knock over the U.S. government by accident." How does the committee tell the story of Trump's efforts to stop the peaceful transition of power in the deadly insurrection?


WILLIAMS: So, let's go back to this Enrique Tarrio point, Don, that you can't start telling the story on the morning of January 6 and you can go back, frankly, to June of 2020 when Donald Trump was out giving speeches about how the elections -- we couldn't trust the outcome of the elections and so on.

It goes to election day, and December and the months thereafter, where there was a concerted effort to undermine faith in American elections. That's how you tell the story. I think people have in their heads that this might have sprung up on -- in one day, but the whole point is there's a vast conspiracy that continues to this day. There's still concerted efforts to cast doubt on the safety and security of our elections.

LEMON: I mean look what we got today about the CNN's reporting on Georgia, this, you know, email. Listen, this is Liz Cheney. Listen to --


LEMON: -- she's a committee chair, by the way. Here she is.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We are not in a situation where Former President Trump has expressed any sense of remorse about what happened. We're in fact in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that caused the attack. And so, people must pay attention. People must watch and they must understand how easily our democratic system can unravel if we don't defend it.


LEMON: What she is warning there is Trump is an ongoing threat to democracy, and yet Trump is mobilizing his MAGA allies to defend him ahead of these hearings. How does the January 6th committee make sure Trump's ally don't distract from the facts?

WILLIAMS: Right. Well, it's also breaking through to the American people, Don, in the midst of war in Eastern Europe and pandemics and school shootings, people may not be focused on the fact that American democracy was under attack and remains under attack. So, they have to keep people focused.

I think part this is establishing what the president's role and knowledge was. There's that 187 minutes during the day on January 6th where he was aware and not acting. This is egregious conduct and they have to bring it to life.

At the end of the day, you know, Republicans can't successfully counterprogram this event, right? It's -- this is in primetime. They aren't really going to have a voice -- a vocal opposition on the committee, and the committee really has an opportunity to have the public's ear for a few hours at a time under all of the lights.

LEMON: Well, they can if, you know, the biggest channel -- conservative channel doesn't air it. I mean, they can -- their viewers won't hear it.

WILLIAMS: You know, Don -- that's a fair point, Don. There's a lot of channels in America. I have to be perfectly honest. And yes, it is quite significant when a major network chooses not to, but it's not the only network in America. You and I can attest to that as we speak right here.

And so, there's a lot of people in America. It's an important story. And if it's compelling enough, that's why, frankly, the committee is bringing in a TV executive to help them plan it because there's an element of stage craft in putting on a compelling successful event, and I do think there's a lot there. We'll see what breaks through.

LEMON: It just seems like it's a dereliction of journalistic duty not to have the American people, all of your viewers, you know, be able to see it.

So, listen, Maggie Haberman reported just lack week how Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, told Pence's lead secret service agent that Trump was going to turn publicly against Pence and there could be a security risk. I mean, really it's astounding how much we are still learning, and you know, Trump's apparent direct role in all of it.

WILLIAMS: Number one, Trump's direct role. But number two, the importance of these senior staffers around Mike Pence and Donald Trump who can't testify. Marc Short as Mike Pence's chief of staff is senior enough that he would have seen or heard just about everything that Mike Pence was privy to but still not an elected official, and someone that we're likely to hear from.

And those are the folks, him, Cassidy, Hutchinson, who are from the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, these people can really help clarify the story but you know -- and filling in facts around the president. So, we'll see. I mean, I think we'd be likely to hear their testimony, and we'll get more on that in the days to come.

LEMON: Elliot, always a pleasure, thank you, sir.

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. Good talking to you.

LEMON: You, too. A retired judge found zip-tied and shot dead in Wisconsin. But that's not all, the suspected killer reportedly had a list of more targets. The Wisconsin attorney general is here next.




LEMON: A quote, "targeted attack," that's what officials are calling the killing of a retired Wisconsin judge, John Roemer, who was found zip-tied to a chair in his home. The suspect found in Judge Roemer's basement with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He's still alive in critical condition. Officials say the suspect had other targets in mind. So, joining me now, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. Thank you for joining us, Attorney General. We appreciate it. Disturbing story.

JOSH KAUL, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Yeah. Thanks for having me, Don. It's good to be on the show, and I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.


LEMON: Yeah. You haven't named these other targets but sources have told CNN some of these targets included the Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Senator Mitch McConnell. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's office confirmed that she was a target as well. There are -- are there any other people who are at risk?

KAUL: Well, we are in the process of continuing to follow up on this investigation. We don't believe that anybody who was identified as a potential target is in any active danger right now. But that being said, we did notify anybody who was identified as a potential target so that they could take whatever measures they deemed appropriate, but we don't believe there's an active public safety threat at this point.

LEMON: So, you don't think there were any other targets besides than the ones that were mentioned?

KAUL: We believe that there were potentially additional targets for the suspect in this case. But we believe based on the investigation so far that there's no active danger to anybody else.

LEMON: OK. Court documents show the suspect had been sentenced to six years in jail more than 15 years ago by Judge Roemer. Have you learned anything about a motive here?

KAUL: The investigation continues. You know, as I mentioned previously, we think this may have had to do with one or more cases that were part of the justice system. As you mentioned, Judge Roemer sentenced the suspect in this case, and that seems to be the obvious connection here. But we're continuing to follow up with respect to the other potential targets to figure out what connections there may have been and what the motive may have been here.

LEMON: So, obviously, self-inflicted gunshot wound, a firearm was found at the scene. Do you know if it was obtained legally or not?

KAUL: We're continuing to investigate all aspect of this, including where the firearm came from, whether there were any connections that the suspect had. But as you said, there was a firearm recovered at the scene. The suspect was the apparent -- apparently had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and he's now in critical condition.

LEMON: So, he is in critical condition. Do you expect to be able to speak with him or have you been able to speak with him?

KAUL: All I can say at this point is he's in critical condition. If there's an update on his condition or we learn more, we'll make sure to update the public. But at this point, the only update I can provide is that he's in critical condition..

LEMON: So, reacting to the attack, your response was that people should be able to have differences of opinion and that we have to speak to each other respectfully though. Are you concerned that what happened here was an act of a violent political rhetoric that has been so prevalent in this country lately?

KAUL: Well, certainly, the fact that this individual had a list of potential targets and that Judge Roemer, who had sentenced him previously, was one of the targets indicates that there's some sort of motivation here connected to official acts.

I don't want to speculate more broadly on this particular incident. But what I can say is that we have nationwide seen a big increase in a heated rhetoric where people vilify their political opponents, they try to demonize them, and that is dangerous in a lot of different ways and we've seen everything from election officials getting threatens to threats to high ranking public officials. We really need our elected leaders in particular to make sure that while they're disagreeing they're doing so respectfully, they are respecting our system, and they're not enflaming potential violence.

LEMON: So, with that said, are you worried if people don't tone down the talk we're going to see more incidents like this one?

KAUL: Well, I do worry that if you see violent rhetoric where opponents are vilified, where people suggest that their opponents should be put in prison, for example, just because they disagree with them politically or they suggest that harm should happen to somebody that that will lead to real world consequences because even if a politician understands that they're saying something not literally, that doesn't mean somebody out there won't take it literally and act on it.

And so, it's really important for people who are in positions where they are going to be speaking to the public to use that platform they have responsibly to ultimately unify our country, to disagree where they do disagree, but to do so respectfully.

LEMON: You are calling this an attack, and I quote you, "domestic extremism." The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on the growing domestic terror threat. What do you want to hear out of that?

KAUL: Well, with respect to this particular attack, we are -- we are still looking at the motive. I wouldn't put a particular classification on that. But nationwide, there has certainly been a rise in domestic extremism, and we need to make sure that we're investigating it, that where there are extremist organizations that are violating the law, that law enforcement is responding.

And you know, we're, of course, going to see hearings in just a few days with respect to the insurrection, and there were some extremist group that were at the heart of that and have been charged criminally, and making sure that law enforcement is holding accountable anybody who's engaged in the any form of domestic extremism is going to be critical to our safety.

LEMON: This, Mr. Attorney General, is an important story. Thank you for coming on and talking about it. We appreciate it.

KAUL: Thanks for having me, Don.


LEMON: Thank you. A new week, a new record high, and gas prices show no sign of going down any time soon.


LEMON: Driving is getting more expensive for Americans across the country. The national average for gas prices rising again to $4.87 a gallon today. That's according to AAA. And that's a 25-cent surge in the last week alone.


Gas prices up a painful 59 cents a gallon over the past month. There are now 10 states where gas averages over $5 a gallon with states like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey just cents away.

Gas prices have been setting record 27 of the last 28 days and there's little hope that they'll be coming down any time soon with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, china reopening after COVID lockdowns, issues with the supply of oil and increased demand as people look to travel this summer all sending prices higher.

President Biden has acknowledged that there is little he can do to -- in the short-term to lower gas prices. White House officials saying that this is a global problem. But with growing fears of a looming recession, Americans are looking for relief as they stare down a summer of tough choices.

Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.