Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Ron Klain Expected To Step Down As Biden's Chief Of Staff; Idaho Killings Suspect Followed Victims Online And Workplace; Alec Baldwin To Finish "Rust" Movie Despite Manslaughter Charges; U.S. Treasury To Designate Russian Mercenary Group A "Transnational Criminal Organization"; Indiana Man Arrested After Video Shows Four- Year-Old Playing With Gun; Parents Vent In First School Board Meeting Since Six-Year-Old Allegedly Shot Teacher; Nancy Pelosi Tells Chris Wallace About Her Husband's Recovery. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 21, 2023 - 15:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Williams for your service.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Thanks so much for being with me today. I'll see you again tomorrow. The CNN NEWSROOM continues with Jim Acosta right now.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. And we begin with a shakeup at the White House.

President Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain, is expected to step down in the coming weeks. His departure marks a rare moment of turnover for this administration at a time when the president is dealing with a classified documents saga and questions about his 2024 ambitions.

Let's get right to CNN's Arlette Saenz. She joins us from Delaware where President Biden is spending the weekend.

Arlette, what more do we know?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, this will mark a significant shift in the leadership at the White House as CNN has confirmed chief of staff Ron Klain is expected to step down from his post in the coming week. Sources saying that that is expected to happen after the State of the Union address which is currently set for February 7th, but that Klain would stay on for a bit of a transition period as they work towards his replacement.

Now this comes as Klain has steered the ship at the White House since the beginning of Biden's presidency. Seen accomplishments such as steering the country and getting COVID-19 relief passed up on Capitol Hill. There was also that massive infrastructure bill, as well as historic investments when it comes to climate change initiatives.

Of course there have also been a host of challenges facing this administration that Klain has overseen including the withdrawal from Afghanistan, some low approval ratings for President Biden, as well as the issues involving the economy and the inflation. But this comes as really there has been relatively low turnover in this White House. Klain is perhaps the most high-profile official so far who could be leaving in the coming weeks.

Of course this is a very grueling job. Sources have said that he has talked for quite some time about the possibility of stepping down. It is very rare for a chief of staff to stay in this position for all four years. And pretty soon, the topics of conversation will start to shift on who -- to who exactly will be replacing him. Officials have quietly been speaking about this, and a few potential replacements on the table include Steve Ricchetti, who's served as a longtime adviser and counselor to the president.

Also Jeffrey Zients who led the COVID-19 response at the White House before leaving within the last year. There is also Anita Dunn, another longtime adviser to the president. And then two Cabinet secretaries who could also be considered, that's Tom Vilsack, the agriculture secretary, and also Marty Walsh, the Labor secretary. So much of the focus as the White House is preparing for Klain to possibly leave in the coming weeks will be focused on who exactly that replacement will be.

ACOSTA: All right. We know no shortage of stories between now and then on who the next chief of staff will be. That is going to be a very interesting story to watch.

Arlette, thank you very much.

Joining me now former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, Charlie Dent, and Democratic strategist and former Clinton White House aide Keith Boykin.

Keith, this kind of turnover is not anything new when it comes to administrations. We've seen this happen time and again. What do you make of this news and the impact it will have on the administration? You can't dismiss it too much. Ron Klain is a very big deal in this Biden White House.

KEITH BOYKIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, you're right, Jim. And I do like Ron Klain. I think he's been a very effective chief of staff for the White House. He's helped to steer through important legislation through Congress, got the COVID relief bill, the infrastructure bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, the prescription drugs reduction, you know, all these things are really important and wouldn't have happened without Ron Klain's leadership.

He's someone I've admired and respected for some time. I worked with him back in the Clinton administration back in the '90s. So it's going to be hard to fill his shoes, I think, to be able to replace him. But having said that, you know, I think this is not unusual, as you said. It's not surprising to have a turnover at this point after two years. At this point in the Trump administration, I think they're already on their third chief of staff.

So having one chief of staff last this long is pretty impressive. And I'm not sure who the replacement will be, but I'm hoping that it'd be someone who is not a white man, honestly, because every chief of staff in the history of this country has been a white man at the White House. And it's time I think for the other 70 percent of the population to be represented. So I think, you know, people like Anita Dunn and Susan Rice, and other names I've heard are welcome to be included in the discussion.

ACOSTA: Yes, I wonder if Susan Rice will come up in this conversation. I suspect she will in the coming days.

And Charlie, let me ask you this, I mean, what do you think? Is this the time for the president to make these kinds of changes on his team?


I mean, he's coming out of this -- still in the middle of this controversy over the classified documents. And he's weighing this very big decision about whether or not he's going to run for re-election.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'm not surprised that there is this turnover right now with Ron Klain. Look, being a chief of staff as has been pointed out, is a brutal job. They treat you like a pinata, at least members of Congress do, they really do beat on these chiefs of staff. It's a tough job. But, you know, they're heading into a likely campaign season, and when that happens, look, I can see why there's a change.

I mean, who knows what Ron Klain would do on the outside. I'm sure he's going to stay in the Biden orbit and probably very involved with his re-election campaign. So there's going to be moving some people around I suspect. I'm not surprised, it probably makes sense if he is, in fact, going to run for re-election. But I suspect the move, it was largely due to the fact that this is a brutal job and he's done his two years. He has a lot that he can say that he accomplished, and that's why he's moving on.

ACOSTA: And Keith, this is all happening as the White House is contending with a Republican-controlled House. The next chief of staff who comes in might have a decidedly more difficult position when they become chief of staff. But the new House Oversight Committee, for example, includes some Republicans who have been pushing these deranged conspiracy theories. Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed -- suggested that a plane did not hit the Pentagon on 9/11.

Paul Gosar who has appeared at a white supremacist conference, Scott Perry who is a key figure in the effort to help Trump subvert the 2020 election results, Lauren Boebert, and so on and so on. What do you think? I mean, how does the next chief of staff, how does this next team, I suppose the next chief of staff will have his or her own team, that comes on board with that person? How do they handle all this?

BOYKIN: Well, I think Ron Klain sort of set the model even though he wasn't dealing with a resistant Congress because Congress was in the control of the Democrats. But I think that he kind of was a low key, low-profile chief of staff. And everyone in Washington knew him, but he wasn't on the shows all the time. He did his rounds when he needed to, but he wasn't the most visible voice in the administration. I think that that's got to be a model I would think -- depending on

the personality of the person who follows up but I would think that would be a useful model for this administration, especially given the Republican-controlled House because I think they're going to self- destruct. I think it's the job of the White House to sort of let them self-destruct, you know, from a political point of view. Let them continue to be obstructionist.

Let them investigate issues that aren't there. Let them make fools of themselves while the White House is busy doing people's work. And I think that's the strategy that the president is going to be using, not only effectively for his second two years of his administration but for his campaign.

ACOSTA: Yes, Charlie, you and I have not had a chance to talk about the committee assignments that got doled out. As a former member yourself, I imagine members are waiting with bated breath to find out which committee they'll serve on. And to see people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert get key committee assignments, how does that sit with members who have been, you know, kind of waiting patiently for their turn to sit on some of these key committees and then they see some of these characters come in and take these plum assignments away?

DENT: Well, I suspect there's a lot of real anger and resentment over some of these appointments. For example, two of the 20 who -- you know, who held up Kevin McCarthy's bid to become speaker on the House floor received seats on the Appropriations Committee. That's an A committee. I suspect there are plenty of members who wanted seats on that committee, but then it looks like two of the -- two of the rebels were rewarded with seats on the plum committee like that.

And of course, it's inexplicable to me how Marjorie Taylor Greene gets on the Homeland Security Committee. You know, I was one of the first members after 9/11, a couple of years after 9/11. We stood up the standard committee on homeland security. It was an honor to be on that committee. And, you know, we were dealing with the aftermath of 9/11. And it's almost unfathomable for me to think that somebody could be on that committee who questioned the fact that planes crashed into the Pentagon.

I mean, this is -- you know, the world is upside down. But I have to think that that is a -- you know, it's a terrible look for the party. And there are other -- and there were three actually appointed by the speaker or who will be appointed to the Rules Committee. Three Freedom Caucus members. Again, I think that is going to make governing extraordinarily difficult for the speaker himself. I mean, it's almost a self-destructive act. So I -- it looks like some people are being rewarded for bad behavior from my point of view.

ACOSTA: All right. Charlie Dent, Keith Boykin -- go ahead, Keith, you have last final word there?

BOYKIN: I was going to say, I wish Charlie -- maybe he could tell some of the Republican moderates in the House to actually use their power because they have just as much leverage as the Freedom Caucus members do. Why won't they stand up and put pressure on Kevin McCarthy so they can get not only committee assignments but also influence the direction of the party and the caucus.


That's what I'd like to see.

DENT: Well, some of them are already on good committees, some of those more moderate, pragmatic members. They usually are rewarded. But what they can do, you're right, they can use their leverage. And I think you're going to see them use their leverage on this upcoming debt ceiling debate, where they're talking about using a discharge petition which I actually was involved in in 2015.

We successfully pulled out a bill, the export-import bank, and passed it over the objections of a lot of -- some committee chairs and others. So I believe that the pragmatic members are going to use some leverage. Watch them on this debt ceiling. I think this is where they're all going to start throwing their weight around.

ACOSTA: All right. We'll have to table this discussion for our committee here. But, gentlemen, thanks very much for your time. Appreciate it.

Charlie Dent, Keith Boykin, thanks so much.

Just in, new details on just how bad "Avengers" star Jeremy Renner was injured when a snowplow rolled over on top of him on New Year's Day. Renner seen on his snowplow. He's now revealing he broke more than 30 bones in the January 1st accident that sent him to the hospital for more than two weeks. Renner posted a new photo on Instagram today with a caption that reads in part, "Morning workouts, resolutions all changed this particular New Year's. Spawned from tragedy for my entire family."

Renner is home now, and you can hear the urgency following his near- fatal accident in a 911 call newly obtained by CNN. Take a listen.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shallow breaths.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of pain. He's conscious.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got him covered in blankets. His head's covered. Are we drifting off?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he starting to kind of drift off into sleep?


ACOSTA: Renner has undergone two surgeries and faces a long recovery.

Now to new and disturbing details on the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students. According to "People" magazine Bryan Kohberger followed all three of the female victims on Instagram and repeatedly messaged one of them in late October, several weeks before the slayings. And Kohberger may have gone even further than following the victims online.

"People" magazine says he also visited the restaurant where two of the victims worked in the weeks before the killings. It's unclear if either woman was at the restaurant when he was there, and the restaurant's owner called this report untrue.

Kohberger faces four counts of first-degree murder in the fatal November stabbings.

CNN's Camila Bernal joins me now.

Camila, let's talk about those Instagram messages that Kohberger reportedly sent to one of the victims. What do we know about that?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Jim, we know that the messages came about two weeks before the killings. This happened in late October according to "People" magazine. But it's unclear if she answered those messages or she didn't respond, whether it was because she didn't see the messages or she just didn't want to answer to these messages that "People" magazine says were repeated.

So you mention the fact that they were being followed on Instagram by Bryan Kohberger. "People" magazine is saying that they reviewed Bryan Kohberger's Instagram that has since been deleted. And all of this information, Jim, is really important because it essentially connects the dots a little bit. Police have not said how Bryan Kohberger is connected to these victims. They've not said whether they had a relationship or whether they had any sort of interaction.

And they're probably not going to say anything because there is this broad and sweeping gag order that essentially prevents anyone related to this case to speak out in public. So it is important to find those connections as we're not going to be hearing from a lot of the people involved in this case -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And what about -- what do we know about Kohberger's trip to the restaurant? Is there more that we know about that?

BERNAL: Well, the magazine says they spoke to a former employee, and that employee saying that he went to the restaurant at least two times, and this is, of course, the restaurant that two of the victims worked at, Mad Greek. And the former employee telling "People" magazine that he ordered vegan pizza and was adamant about his food not touching other animal products.

And look, this is a restaurant that's right in the middle of main street. It is very common to be in this area. A lot of college students go there. We went there and had food before we even knew that the girls used to work there. So it's unclear exactly what sort of interaction the girls had, if any, with Bryan Kohberger at the restaurant. And as you mentioned, Mad Greek saying that they deny all of it, that this is untrue, whatever "People" magazine is saying.

And they released a lengthy statement, I want to read part of it where they say, "We all decided to collectively -- to support the families and not share anything that could potentially harm the investigation or cause the families more stress." So, again, just people not wanting to talk, not just because of the gag order but in general because they want to be respectful to these families -- Jim.


ACOSTA: All right. Camila Bernal, thank you very much.

Coming up, actor Alec Baldwin and his plans to finish filming the movie "Rust" despite facing involuntary manslaughter charges.


ACOSTA: CNN is learning that actor Alec Baldwin is still planning to finish making the movie "Rust" despite facing charges in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of the film. The actor maintains he was not aware the gun had a live round and has vowed to fight the charges. His attorney says he feels blindsided.

CNN's Gloria Pazmino is following the latest developments for us.

Gloria, what is next for Alec Baldwin?

GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, you just saw a video there of Alec Baldwin entering his home here in Manhattan yesterday where he avoided speaking with reporters. And as you just said, we have learned from sources that Alec Baldwin is still planning to be the lead actor as "Rust" works to complete their film.

We've also learned that the movie set, the movie production team, I should say, has told us that they will make sure to have supervisors on the scene, union crew members, and they will be banning the use of working weapons or any ammunition on set.


Now it's a bit of a long road ahead legally speaking in terms of what's next for Alec Baldwin. Both him and the armorer who was charged, who was also on the set, both will have to have preliminary hearings where they will determine where there is -- if there is enough probable cause to move ahead with a trial.

In the meantime, we have yet to hear directly from Alec Baldwin. But we did speak with him back in August. My colleague Chloe Melas sat down with him to get his reaction. And it gives us an idea of exactly how he sees his role in this fatal incident.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR AND PRODUCER: My job is not to concentrate on whether the gun is safe. We have people there for that. They're not going to charge anybody in my mind. Criminal charges are things you avoid unless you know you can make a case.


PAZMINO: Now of course the district attorney has made a case that Alec Baldwin failed to use the safety procedures that could have prevented this tragic incident from taking place. We can tell that from what Mr. Baldwin's -- how Mr. Baldwin sees it that he played -- had no responsibility in this incident and has been looking to other people that were on the set as potentially being the ones who should be held responsible.

It is going to be an incredibly high legal hurdle for this legal team on both sides, both on the prosecution and the defense, to work through, and we expect to hear from them directly over the next few days -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Gloria Pazmino, thank you very much.

Joining me now, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson.

Joey, great to see you. Thanks so much for being with us. The D.A. says it was Baldwin's responsibility as an actor, as a producer, to check the gun before pulling the trigger. But consider what the SAG- AFTRA Union that represents so many actors, what they're saying in defending him.

They're saying in a statement, "The prosecutor's contention that an actor has a duty to ensure the functional and mechanical operation of a firearm on a production set is wrong and uninformed. Performers train to perform and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use."

Joey, what is your sense of that? What is the likelihood of Baldwin being found guilty of these involuntary manslaughter charges? Does the union have a point there?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Jim, good to be with you. The union absolutely has a point. I feel very strongly that this is a misguided prosecution. I think to put the weight of the government and prosecute a case like this, I just think it's very flawed. And I just really don't get the mindset of the prosecutor to move forward.

Let's be clear about a couple of things. The first of which is that someone's dead here, and that's very significant. And certainly you need accountability. But I think there's a distinction between someone acting in a way that's civilly, civilly from a civil context, is potentially negligent, and then turning that to a criminal element which is entirely different. And so yes, someone's dead, and that needs to really be accounted for in some way. But to go after someone criminally when you're an actor -- look, an

actor's role certainly is to perform, and it's to do and put on the best performance you can. But generally in any job, Jim, you operate as a team. And someone has the ability and should reasonably rely upon their counterparts to do what they do. Now you're going to compel actors to be looking and checking guns potentially that they have no knowledge about?

And so yes, while someone is dead, and I think that civilly there should be and there have been lawsuits. To criminalize this I just don't think is the right call. And I think defense attorneys will be filing motions and papers to see whether they can get this out of the light of day and void the prosecution before it even begins.

ACOSTA: And one big discrepancy that exists right now, Joey, is between Baldwin's account and what the D.A. is saying about whether Baldwin pulled the trigger. Let's listen to this.


BALDWIN: Well, the trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: So you never pulled the trigger?

BALDWIN: No, no, no, no. I would never point a gun to anyone and pull the trigger at them, never.

MARY CARMACK-ALTWIES, NEW MEXICO FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We absolutely believe that the trigger had to have been pulled in order for that gun to go off. The trigger was pulled.


ACOSTA: Joey, how do you think that's going to get sorted out in court?

JACKSON: So I think in two ways. The first of which is there will be expert witnesses and apparently there are some indication or reports have been that the gun did misfire under testing. What does a misfire mean? It means that without the trigger being pulled but with the hammer being cocked that the gun apparently went off during the testing.


There will be experts who really are looking at that to determine whether or not that could have been the case when he used, Alec Baldwin, the gun.

In the second analysis, I think defense attorneys will argue whether he pulled the trigger or not doesn't go to the issue of criminal responsibility. The fact of the matter is that as an actor, right, you're dressed, you're in make-up, you're doing what you do, should you now have the added really responsibility of checking, examining, and determining what's in the gun? And even if you do, could you make as an actor the distinction between live rounds or not live rounds? So I just think that, you know, again, it's a horrific situation. But

in the final analysis, is it an accident or is it a crime? And when you hold him to the ability of being reckless, he consciously disregarded the risk by pointing a gun, you're an actor in a movie, would you really think that a gun would be live, especially, Jim, when they say cold gun to you and you have a number of people who should have checked that, examined that throughout the chain of custody before it gets to you?

So I think whether he pulled the trigger or didn't pull the trigger certainly will be the subject of a lot of expert analysis at the trial. But I would argue, his defense attorney even if he did, it doesn't determine and is not determinative to criminal responsibility. I just don't think that this is the spear, criminal court, upon which this case really should play out and be tried. I think the prosecutor overstepped significantly, and I think we'll see that again in motion practice and in the event it went forward to trial. I think that they have, the prosecution, a significant hurdle to climb to get a guilty verdict -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Joey Jackson. We're going to be watching this case very closely. I know you will, as well. A lot of details to get sorted out in all of this. Still at this point despite everything that's known.

Joey Jackson, thank you very much for your time. Great to see you, appreciate.

JACKSON: Thank you, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right.

Coming up, Russia gaining ground in eastern Ukraine as President Zelenskyy warns he needs more tanks and fast.



ACOSTA: A critical moment in the war in Ukraine, and a crucial one for the countries supporting it.

With Russia potentially just a couple of months away from a feared spring offensive, the Biden administration is taking new action against a mercenary group that's aiding Vladimir Putin's war.

CNN's Alex Marquardt reports.



ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Tonight, the U.S. is taking action against Russia's Wagner mercenary group. A private army which Vladimir Putin has become increasingly dependent on to carry on operations in Ukraine, including the eastern city of Bakhmut where the fighting has raged.


MARQUARDT: The U.S. now designating Wagner a transnational criminal organization.

JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: It will open up additional avenues for us to continue to not only sanction Wagner and put more squeeze on their ability to do business around the world but will assist others in doing the same.

MARQUARDT: The White House also released new satellite imagery showing Russian rail cars heading into North Korea and being filled up and sent back with rockets and missiles destined for use by Wagner.

Of the 50,000 Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine, the White House said, 80 percent of them are convicts recruited from Russian prisons, deepening the fight as Ukraine calls for more help.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Hundreds of thank you are not hundreds of tanks. I cannot put words instead of guns.

MARQUARDT: Tonight, a desperate plea from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to defense officials from the U.S. and allied countries meeting in Germany to discuss further lethal aid for Ukraine.

GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Based up on the progress that we've made today, I'm confident that Ukraine's partners from around the globe are determined to meet this moment.

MARQUARDT: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hosting the meeting on the heels of the U.S. announcing a new massive $2.5 billion aid package.

But no progress in breaking a critical log jam, convincing a reluctant Germany to allow transfers of its coveted Leopard 2 tanks.

BORIS PISTORIUS, GERMAN FEDERAL MINISTER OF DEFENSE: We are not really hesitating, we are just very careful in balance and all the pros and cons.

MARQUARDT: Germany has said it doesn't want to be alone but the United Kingdom has committed to sending their tanks. Other European countries are also eagerly awaiting German permission to send Leopards that they hold.


AUSTIN: They have not made a decision on the provision of the Leopard tanks. What we're really focused on is making sure that Ukraine has the capability that it needs to be successful right now.

MARQUARDT: Germany and the U.S. are now denying that Germany is requiring American M1 Abrams tanks be sent alongside German tanks.

U.S. officials have been arguing for the Leopard, saying the Abrams makes little sense for Ukraine.


MARQUARDT: It's a gas-guzzling beast that is complex to operate and difficult to maintain.

SABRINA SINGH, PENTAGON DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: This is a tank that requires jet fuel, whereas the Leopard and the Challenger, it's a different engine. They require diesel.

It's a little bit easier to maintain. They can maneuver across large portions of territory before they need to refuel.

MARQUARDT: While Germany's Leopard 2 is a modern heavy tank, with a large number already in Europe.

It's easier to support and be trained on, with an ability to accurately hit moving targets with its night vision, laser range finders.



ACOSTA: All right. Coming up, the fallout after a child waves around a loaded handgun in an apartment complex. It was very real, and it happened on live television. That's next.


ACOSTA: It's an unbelievable and heartbreaking thing to see. A 4-year- old in a diaper playing with a gun. That's right. That's what you're looking at now. A real one and loaded.

It's an alarming scene that resulted in an arrest that unfolded on live television.

CNN's Jean Casarez has the details.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On January 14th, at 6:13 p.m., neighbors at the Beach Meadow Apartment Complex called 911 --


CASAREZ: -- on a toddler with a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: It looked like a real gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looked like a large caliber size.

CASAREZ: Police immediately make their way upstairs. UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Hello? Police. Apartment seven, police.

CASAREZ: Police say it was the toddler, wearing only a diaper, who opened the door.

Shane Osborne, his father, enters from a back bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Sorry to wake you up but we're here because the downstairs neighbor says they saw your son running around with something they thought was a silver handgun.

CASAREZ: Osborne says he's been ill all day and didn't know his son had left the apartment.


He further advised there was not a firearm in the home, nor did K.O. have any toy guns.

The officers do a cursory search, nothing in plain view, so they leave with one last comment to Osborne.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: You might want to do a better job in locking your doors.


CASAREZ: Those words by officers are now formalized as one of three counts Osborne is facing.

Recklessly providing a firearm to a child, and two counts of endangering the life or health of a child by leaving the child unattended and in possession of a loaded firearm, and able to leave that residence through the unlocked front door while only wearing a diaper.

Osborne entered a plea of not guilty.

As police are leaving the apartments, another neighbor emerges asking them to look at recorded security camera footage on her phone.

There he is, the toddler waving a gun and pulling the trigger.



CASAREZ: They enter the apartment a second time.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: We have video of your kid holding a gun, so -- do you have a gun?

OSBORNE: I don't have a gun.

I -- I've never brought a gun into this house. If there is, it's my cousin's. UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: We need to figure out where this firearm


CASAREZ: With consent to search, they now look everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Where did you put down that toy?

CASAREZ: Osborne assists them and so does his son.

It was the toddler who finally motioned to a rolltop desk. Placed inside was a loaded .9-millimeter pistol with 15 rounds in the magazine. No rounds were in the chamber, so the gun couldn't fire.

Maybe no injuries, but the prosecuting attorney says, "Too many children in our community are placed at risk as a result of irresponsible gun ownership."

Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.


ACOSTA: Unbelievable.

Joining me to talk about this, Fred Guttenberg, a gun reform activist. His daughter, Jaime, was killed in the Parkland school shooting in 2018.

He's also the co-author of the book coming out soon, "American Carnage: Shattering the Myths that Fuel Gun Violence."

Fred, you were on my mind as soon as I saw this story.

To see the image of a toddler wearing a diaper waving around a handgun, what goes through your mind?

FRED GUTTENBERG, DAUGHTER KILLED IN PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING & AUTHOR: Two days ago, my friends, Kristen and Mike Song, celebrated their son Ethan's 20th birthday at a cemetery.

Their son was killed within about a month of Jaime because he went to play at a friend's home with an unlocked gun.

And what's on my mind is this. They have spent the years since tirelessly pushing politicians to just simply do something about irresponsible gun owners and the need to lock up guns.

The gun safety group, Brady, has an End Family Fire program. They have worked tirelessly to encourage people across this country to safely lock up their guns.

So what goes through my mind is how annoyed I am at the politicians, who when we talk about safely locking up guns to prevent this, call people like me a gun grabber, tell people like me I hate the Second Amendment.

Because they've worked in a world of lies that have brought us to the place where a toddler in a diaper is walking around with a loaded weapon.

ACOSTA: Yes. I mean, it -- it just shocks the conscience.

You and I have talked about school shootings so many times and mass shootings so many times.

There are so many stories that go uncovered, untold about children who are at home, pick up a gun that isn't safely kept, isn't locked up --


ACOSTA: -- and there's this horrible tragedy that happens.

GUTTENBERG: You know, it's not the only one recently.


GUTTENBERG: Virginia, the 6-year-old brings a loaded gun and uses it in a school. And the governor of Virginia can't even say the word "gun."

You know, this -- I've been thinking a lot actually, Jim, about the Sacha Baron Cohen show from a few years ago. I think it was called "Coming to America." or "Who is America?."

And he had a kindergarten segment on there where they jokingly did a whole skit -- it seemed real -- about arming kindergarteners.

And those members of the gun lobby who push this unfettered irresponsible access were actually all for it. I'm not surprised that this is where we are today.

It's time to stop listening to them and start listening to people whose only premise is they want to save somebody from being the next victim of gun violence. Listen to people like me.


ACOSTA: Yes. Yes. And Fred, you referenced the 6-year-old in Virginia who shot the teacher with the handgun he had brought from home. Officials, as you know, have been taking heated questions from parents.

They had a school board meeting the other night since the shooting happened. Let's listen to that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't want to have a family dinner where I talk about where my kids will hide in their school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's 6. She's terrified because a person that was advocating for her got hurt. She got hurt.

You guys should have been defending and protecting her when she came or whoever came and said that there was a possible weapon in that child's backpack or otherwise.


ACOSTA: This keeps happening again and again. And the new wrinkle in this one is it was the 6-year-old who brought the gun to school and shot a teacher.

As the father who lost his daughter to gun violence at a school, what advice do you offer to these parents who are terrified and furious over how school officials have handled this?

GUTTENBERG: Demand everybody, politicians, school board members, understand that when we talk about gun violence, it's not simply a question of hardening schools. Demand that they do something to reduce access to weapons.

The truth is all the issues we have in this country with regards to security and mental health and children who maybe are not well behaved, you have across the world.

The differentiator in the United States of America is the access to guns and a lobby, a lobby that spends money every single day to push more access to guns.

Let's never forget, after Sandy Hook, what the NRA response was. They turned it into a gun sales bonanza. Four days after Sandy Hook -- I believe it was four days, Wayne

LaPierre said, for the very first time, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That was their response to Sandy Hook.

It is time that parents across America to stop listening to B.S. like that and start demanding that we do more to make their kids safe.

And demand Governor Youngkin use the word "gun." Be honest about the fact that this was gun violence. And we have to be better and do more to stop it.

ACOSTA: Yes. The whole "bad guy with a gun" versus "good guy with a gun" doesn't apply when you have a kid in diapers waving a gun around or a 6-year-old bringing a gun to school and shooting a teacher.

They've apparently been marketing this new J.R.-15 rifle. That's been in the news in recent -- I know you know about that.


ACOSTA: We're looking at a picture of that right now.

You know, enough with the talking points. This is just completely out of control.

Fred, I know next month is five years since Parkland. What would you like to see, what are you planning to do, how is this going to be -- how is this going to be remembered? GUTTENBERG: I still can't believe it's going to be five years. But it

is. And for my family, we will spend the day as we have the past few years, at the cemetery, receiving visitors, and spending it with Jaime.

And following that day, we're going to go forward more intently than we ever have in ensuring the world never forgets Jaime and honoring her memory through our foundation, Orange Ribbons for Jaime.

Through our initiative Paws of Love, where we're helping families affected by gun violence by providing companion dogs to help them the way our dogs helped us after Jaime was killed.

We're not going to stop.

ACOSTA: All right. Fred Guttenberg, always great to talk to you, sir. Thank you so much.

GUTTENBERG: Thank you.


ACOSTA: All right. We'll be right back.


ACOSTA: Retired astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, it is proving that it is never too late for love. Aldrin took to Twitter Friday announcing that he married his longtime love on his 93rd birthday.

Aldrin holds a prominent place in space history, being the second person to ever set foot on the moon, following crewmate, Neil Armstrong, back in 1969 as part of the legendary Apollo 11 mission. He is one of only four people still alive to have walked on the moon.

And this is Aldrin's fourth marriage. Very happy that he is over the moon for his new bride.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is speaking with CNN's Chris Wallace about her husband Paul's recovery. He was seriously injured last October when a man broke into the family's home in San Francisco.


CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST, "WHO'S TALKING TO CHRIS WALLACE?": This is a difficult subject to bring up. But people want to know, how is your husband, Paul, doing after that vicious attack in October?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He's doing OK. It will take a little while for him to be back to normal.

I feel very sad about it, because of what happened, but also more sad because the person was searching for me. And my dear husband, who is not even that political, actually, paid the price.

[15:55:03] He has been out a bit because the doctor said that he has to have something to look forward to. And so, again, one day at a time.


WALLACE: I will just press this a little. We see him out in public, but when I talk to you, when I have talked to your daughter, when I talk to your granddaughters, you all keep using the expression "long haul."

Is it physical, is it emotional, is it cognitive? What does the long haul mean in terms of recovery?

PELOSI: Anyone who has had a head injury knows that you have to be very careful. You have to be careful about the movement. You have to be careful about light. You have to be careful about sound.

And it just takes a while, probably another three or four months, according to the doctors, for him to be really himself.


ACOSTA: And you can see more of Chris Wallace's interview with Nancy Pelosi tomorrow night at 7:00 right here on CNN.

We will be right back.