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Gunman Shoots, Kills Former Japanese Prime Minister; Trump WH Counsel Meets With Jan. 6 CMTE Behind Closed Doors; Biden Touts Strength Of Jobs Market, Says More Work To Be Done. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired July 08, 2022 - 15:00   ET


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It's the top of the hour on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Alisyn Camerota.

Shock, sadness and outrage across the globe following the assassination of former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He was assassinated in broad daylight while giving a speech near Osaka and the chilling moment was caught on video. We want to warn you, this video is disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Foreign language).


CAMEROTA: Police tackled the suspect just moments after he fired those two fatal shots from a homemade gun. The 41-year-old man admitted to the shooting but at this point, his motive remains unclear. The murder of a longtime leader has stunned in Japan, a country where gun violence is virtually unheard of.

A former adviser likens Abe's assassination to that of JFK's.

Last hour, President Biden visited the Japanese ambassador's residence to offer condolences. He also ordered flags flown at half-staff. Let's bring in CNN's Selina Wang. Selina, what more do we know about

the suspect in the investigation?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've learned from the police that the suspect confessed to shooting former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In terms of the motive, all we know for now is that the suspect said that he holds a grudge against a specific organization and believe that Prime Minister - former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a part of it. We also know that the suspect is a 41-year-old unemployed man. There are currently 90 investigators working on this case in Japan.

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot at about 11:30 am local time. He immediately collapsed. There was excessive bleeding. Medical examiners say he died of excessive blood loss when he was pronounced dead at about 5 pm local time.

This sent shockwaves across Japan, around the world. He was such a towering political figure in Japan and also cultivated these very close ties with political leaders around the world famously managing to have cozy relationships and stable relationship with Trump, playing golf with him, eating hamburgers with him, having regular phone calls. Something that other political leaders were not able to do.

He also bolstered security ties with the United States with other Asia Pacific countries as a way to counter the growing threat and anxiety with rising China. But also his assassination has sent shockwaves across the psyche in Japan. This is a country that is considered one of the safest in the world. Gun violence virtually nonexistent.

In all of 2021, there was only one gun related death, just one. Most guns are illegal. They are incredibly difficult to come by. Any potential buyer needs to go through extensive background checks through a very long, lengthy process. It is speaks volumes the fact that this suspect used what authority say was a home-made gun, it speaks volumes about the environment and the safety in Japan and also heartbreaking. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Selina Wang, thank you for all of that.

Let's bring in now Nic Robertson. He's our CNN International Diplomatic Editor. We also have Josh Rogin with us. He's our CNN Political Analyst and a Washington Post columnist. And Cecile Shea is a senior fellow on the security and diplomacy at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs and she also worked closely with Abe - with the administration, I should say, during her time as a senior embassy official in Tokyo.

So Cecile, let me start there and help us understand the shockwaves that the world is experiencing today and why Abe was such an important global figure?

CECILE SHEA, NONRESIDENT SENIOR FELLOW ON SECURITY & DIPLOMACY, CHICAGO COUNCIL OF GLOBAL AFFAIRS: Well, yes, so the shockwaves around the world are going to be slightly different from the ones inside of Japan, which are more multi-layered. But first of all, Abe was in power for a very long time. The longest serving Prime Minister in history in a country that churns through prime ministers. It's not unusual for Japan to go through a prime minister every 12 to 18 months and he was there year after year.

And that continuity was very important to the rest of the world. It was an important time for the world coming out of the economic crisis that hit all of our countries and, of course, also seeing a rising China. And then he also helped to bring Japan back after the horrible tsunami and nuclear disaster, which really shook Japan's confidence in itself very deeply. So he was an important figure on the world stage. After all, he was head of the third largest economy in the world after the United States and China.


Japan is incredibly influential donor of aid to the developing world. It has the most advanced military in Asia, for all that people talk about their pacifist constitution and the fact that they don't call their military a military. It is the most advanced military in Asia. And they are perhaps one of our most dependable if not our single most dependable ally and friend around the world.

Don't forget after Hurricane Katrina, it was the Japanese, who were the first on the scene providing aid to the people of New Orleans after our own on U.S. organizations were there, of course. So the Japanese and Japan has been a - our close ally and friend of the U.S. for many years and really Abe serve to put - take that up to a whole new level.

CAMEROTA: And Josh, I mean, we just cannot overstate how rare gun violence is in Japan, and how shocking an assassination like this is. I mean, I have the numbers. The gun violence in 2021 in Japan, one gun death. One. At that entire year. Compare that to the United States, which - I mean, of course, the United States is larger, but look at the numbers, 45,000 gun deaths in 2021.

There's a lot that the U.S. has exported in terms of its culture to Japan, from music to movies, but not gun violence and so your thoughts today?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, when I lived and worked in Japan, there was never a moment that crossed my mind where I thought that gun violence could occur. And I think most Japanese people probably felt that way until this morning.

And it's not - it's completely unheard of for Japanese politicians to get attacked, but usually it's with knives. There was one mayor in Nagasaki in 2007, who got shot - but that was a gang incident, as widely believed. So the idea that political violence could be attached to the proliferation of guns is new and scary and unsettling and takes Japan into a new era.

Now, the reason that they haven't gotten there yet was because after World War II, they were disarmed and there's a culture of pacifism, that was implemented. You can't even have a sharpened sword in Japan without a lot of checks and balances. And that culture has provided Japan with a measure of security and stability and safety. And now all of those assumptions have to be re-examined.

And that's not a cultural thing - just a cultural thing. That's a policy decision and that's a politics decision. And all I think we could say is thank God that this attacker didn't have an AR-15, because then it would be an even worse tragedy than it was today.

CAMEROTA: Nic, speaking about Abe's relationship with the U.S., he appeared to be close to President Obama. There were the historic trips to Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor. And then he also appeared to have a close relationship with President Trump. And, of course, that's not an easy feat to be close to both. So tell us about his relationship with U.S. presidents.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think his relationship with President Trump tells us a huge amount about Abe and how he was able to form so many relationships around the world.

Just think about when he came to office in 2012. For the first two years in office he visited more than 50 or almost 50 different countries. That was a huge number, because he sort of wanted to internationalize Japan and put it on the world stage and make it focus less on the region and more globally and he built those strong relationships.

He went to India. He was the first world leader to go to India for India's Republic Day. Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister today, one of the first to send condolences after his shooting. But that sort of speaks to how much and how many people he touched, but how did he touch them and how did he handle them and why have they all come in such droves.

Three former Australian prime ministers and the current Australian Prime Minister as well all sending their condolences. Why?

His meeting and his time with President Trump is so instructive there. When President Trump visited Tokyo, Prime Minister Abe instead of taking him out on the street for sushi or some Japanese street food, he gave him a burger. Instead of doing some cultural Japanese event, they went to play golf. When they were sitting having their burger, they exchanged baseball caps.

All these things were designed to create a good relationship with President Trump. So when he needed something for the United States and called up President Trump, President Trump answered, one of the world's most mercurial leaders at the time. Abe had a good relationship with him.

And I think this tells us a lot about how he was able to mold himself to have these strong relationships that were going to benefit Australia - benefit Japan and the other countries that he was working with. And I think President Macron in his condolences today, sort of sum that up. He said that he work - Abe worked to create a balance in the world.

[15:10:03] And there's a photograph that we all remember from that fractious G7

in Quebec in 2018, where President Trump is sitting cross armed and Angela Merkel is leaning over the table, because President Trump doesn't want to sign the communique at the end of this. Where is Prime Minister Abe? Look at that photograph, Abe is standing there in the middle with his arms crossed, just like President Trump, a nonverbal cue, I'm with you. I'm like. I got my arms crossed and he's got his head on one side. I'm listening to you, Angela Merkel. He was in the middle between them.

And I think he was able to straddle so many personal differences and it was to the strength of Japan, but to the strength of his allies. And that's why he and Japan are so important to NATO today, to the European Union and to the United States and to Australia.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting. We'll look for that photo while we continue to talk, so we can see exactly what you mean by that analysis.

And so Cecile, what changes now? How does the power dynamic shift in Asia and beyond?

SHEA: Yes. So that's a good question. I just want to add something to what Nic said. The reason that President Trump was able - rather the Prime Minister Abe was able to really swallow his pride and do whatever he needed to do to get close to Trump and also stand next to him while President Trump was insulting Japan in multiple press conferences, it was really quite embarrassing and shocking to me and yet, Prime Minister Abe did not respond, because he had a vision that was more important than himself or his own personal pride or being right.

And his vision was the need to bring like minded countries in the world together in order to respond to a growing China and Chinese military and other influence in the region. And so now the question is who steps in to fill that void. He hasn't been Prime Minister for a while, but he still carried enormous political power. In Japan, he was still the kingmaker and it was his protege who became prime minister and is now the sitting Prime Minister and has been able to hold on to power though with a little more difficulty than Abe would have had. In part because Abe was out working to make sure that you could maintain power.

So one of the questions we all have to ask is who in Japan, which again, is the most - is the wealthiest and in many ways, the most powerful nation other than China in Asia, who's going to step into that void. Is Prime Minister Kishida the person who can do it? Is there someone else in Japan who can show the kind of leadership that Abe was willing to show?

So that's one of the things that the world in the region has lost. And what Japan has lost really is its kingmaker. It's a - it's, in many ways, a one party country, but it's not really one party because that party is in factions, the legal - the Liberal Democratic Party has a lot of factions and Abe was able to kind of keep everybody in line and moving in the same direction. And so the fear is, I'm sure among the Japanese politicians, once they

get over the shock and the sadness over two days, will Japan be able to maintain some level of continuity and sure-footedness over the next few years or will they return to a different Prime Minister every year in eight or 18 months.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Josh, I want to get your final thoughts and we also did find that photograph now, so we can all look at that exactly what you were talking about how there is Prime Minister Abe in the middle with his arms folded, as you said, Nic, just sort of mirroring President Trump but looking at Angela Merkel, somehow threading that needle.

Josh, your final thoughts?

ROGIN: Well, there's been a lot of talk today about how Abe was known as a nationalist and some people say he was a Trump before Trump. I think that's not accurate. I think that - as that photo shows, Abe was an internationalist as well. He believed in the multilateral system. He believed in alliances. He believed in shared responsibility to preserve the values of human rights, democracy and freedom, and the rule of law that underpins all of those rights as the key to Japan safety and security into ours.

And in that sense, he was very, very different from President Trump. But the fact that they got along means that he also had diplomatic skill as well. So that's rare for a Japanese leader, that's rare for any world leader, frankly. So his influence and - will be missed.

CAMEROTA: Thank you all so much for giving us all this context and your expertise, really interesting conversation.

Meanwhile, six hours, that's how long Donald Trump's former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been testifying now before the January 6 Committee. Cipollone is considered a key witness and may provide critical insight into what Trump was thinking and planning after losing the election.

Recent testimony placed him inside the room with the president as violence broke out on January 6th.

Joining me now to discuss is former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe. Andrew, great to have you here. What would be your top four questions today for Pat Cipollone?


ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, there's so many questions for Pat Cipollone and, obviously, that's happening. If he's in there for six hours plus, they're going deep. And it also tells us that he's answering a lot of questions, right, which I think is something that people were concerned about.

But if I had the opportunity to talk to him, I think I'd have to really follow up on some of the bombshell revelations that we've learned from Cassidy Hutchinson. I thought, for me, the most significant thing we learned from her was that Trump knew that the crowd he was exhorting to go to the Capitol was actually armed.

So I'd focus on what he knew of Trump's intention to go to the Capitol himself, to go with the rioters to somehow leave what was happening there, to find out from Cipollone what Trump's responses were when he learned about the riot on January 6th as he sat in the room with him, as you mentioned, observing this whole thing on television, how did he react to that.

These are all really important questions to answer. The question, I think that's been hanging over the January 6 Committee hearings from the very beginning, which is what did the President intend with his actions and his inactions on January 6th.

CAMEROTA: And as you know, I mean, Pat Cipollone's his name has come up so many times during already these hearings, these January 6 hearings. So let me just play a few instances of that for you.


JASON MILLER, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: The way it was communicated to me was that Pat Cipollone thought the idea was nutty.

MARC SHORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Pat expressed the - his admiration for the vice president's actions on the day of the sixth.

CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, "Please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen."


CAMEROTA: I mean, he's a central figure, obviously. And there's a lot of questions about can he exert executive privilege, but that - not all of those conversations were to Donald Trump?

MCCABE: That's right. That's right. So there's essentially no privilege over the things that he said, comments like that that he made to Cassidy Hutchinson. And so the obvious follow up there is: "What did you mean?" "What were you worried about?" "What were the crimes you thought the president might be committing by going to the Hill?" "Why did you think those things were crime?" So that's a definite area of inquiry.

But also, I would point out the infamous meeting in the Oval Office on January 3rd with the representatives from the Department of Justice and, of course, Jeffrey Clark. We've already had the DOJ reps testify about exactly what people said to Trump, how Trump reacted to those things and that's largely because the White House has already waived executive privilege from that conversation.

So Cipollone essentially has no privilege to waive, even about things that he said to Trump or he heard Trump say, in that crucial conversation, so there's a lot of potential there. CAMEROTA: Andy, while I have you, I also want to ask you about this

new video that we've gotten about Jeffrey Clark, one of these DOJ officials, whose home was raided. And this is apparently a fairly early morning raid, because he's not dressed. I think he's in pajama tops and underwear here. So just tell us your thoughts as you watch this video.

MCCABE: Yes. Alisyn, this is hard to watch for anyone who's never seen this done as a part of the work that the FBI does, but I can tell you that this is a standard process, FBI search warrants at residences typically take place early in the morning. You want to go, ideally, while people are asleep, so that you're not catching them in the middle of some sort of activity that could create a danger.

And typically, as soon as you get there, you remove those occupants from the house until the agents have an opportunity to clear, to walk through the house to make sure there's no dangers, no weapons, nothing like that, that could put anybody in jeopardy. And so although this is shocking to see, I can tell you that from those videos, it appears that, from my experience, they did it the way FBI search warrants are typically done, it's pretty standard procedure.

CAMEROTA: I really appreciate you saying that. Because, of course, it is startling for the subject who gets the knock on the door and it is, obviously, somewhat humiliating.


CAMEROTA: But they don't want you to go back into the house to take whatever devices or evidence they're looking for and hide it somehow. So I appreciate you saying ...

MCCABE: Well, that's true and, yes, they don't have the - you can't say, oh, we'll treat this subject this way, but that subject a different way. It's easier and more consistent for the agency to do it the same way to everyone. It's a horrible experience for the people being searched. But they tried to be as careful and courteous as they can under bad circumstance.

CAMEROTA: Andrew McCabe, thank you.

So today's jobs report was a surprise in a very good way for the White House and it's prompted them to celebrate. But also some economists are worrying. We'll try to make sense of that next.




CAMEROTA: The White House is celebrating today's strong jobs report, but President Biden says more work needs to be done.


tough, prices are too high, families are facing the cost of living crunch. But today's economic news confirms the fact that my economic plan is moving this country in a better direction. We still have a lot of work to do. I'm not suggesting there's a lot more work to do, but I am suggesting we're making significant progress.


CAMEROTA: The U.S. added 372,000 jobs in June, outpacing expectations. Yet unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent.


Let's bring in CNN Business Correspondent Rahel Solomon. So Rahel, why did - well what did economists expect and why was this so much better?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So economists expected about 250,000 to 270,000 jobs being added. By the way, that would be the first time we've seen a number like that since April of 2021. So since then, we have seen really strong jobs growth every month and the unemployment rate has remained at 3.6 percent. We're now on the fourth month in a row.

The number today was positive in the sense that people were still getting jobs - I mean, and there is still very strong demand for workers. The asterisk here is that wage growth continues to grow, which is great for workers who can now get more because there is so much demand for workers. In terms of where we saw jobs, well, it was broad based, professional services, leisure and hospitality, healthcare, all of those sectors adding at least 50,000 jobs. Some areas like the private sector manufacturing have completely recovered from the pandemic.

But here's the thing that economists are thinking about today in which we've heard the Fed talked about, this incredible demand for workers right now. There are 1.9 open jobs for every one person who is looking for a job. And when you think about that, when there's so much demand for workers, you can ask for more money, you can ask for more wages and that's great for the worker.

The problem is that companies then tend to pass on those higher labor costs into prices for consumers and we are already dealing with inflation at 40-year highs. That starts to add to that, the inflationary pressure. And by the way, when inflation is as high as it is, wages are not keeping up.

So imagine making more but affording less. It's a vicious cycle, which the Fed knows. And when we get reports like this that show the job market is still red hot and also not showing signs of significantly slowing and makes the job of the Fed as it's trying to slow demand as it's trying to slow the economy much harder.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Rahel, for explaining all of that. They actually made perfect sense. Thank you.

SOLOMON: I'm so glad.

CAMEROTA: (Inaudible), I really appreciate that.

SOLOMON: You're welcome, great to be with you.

CAMEROTA: Great. Check this out, these are lines and they look like what we saw during the COVID outbreak. But these people are lining up for the monkeypox vaccine. What you need to know as cases climb, next.