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More Severe Storm Coming to Mississippi; Water Supply Scare in Philadelphia After Chemical Spill; House Judiciary Committee to Undermine Manhattan D.A.; Protest in Tel Aviv as Netanyahu Fires Defense Minister; Parents of Parkland Shooting Victims Kicked from House Hearing; CNN Original Series Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico"; Adam Sandler Receives Mark Twain Award. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired March 26, 2023 - 17:00   ET




JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. Less than two days after deadly tornadoes ripped through the south and new threat of severe storms is now hanging over some of the hardest hit areas, and the threat includes possible tornadoes. Some 30 million people fall under this new threat, including Mississippi where 25 people are confirmed killed in Friday night's tornado outbreak.

Today, the Secretary of Homeland Security toured the area along with the head of FEMA and other top federal officials. They were joined by the state's governor, who delivered this message to his fellow citizens in Mississippi.


TATAE TEEVES, GOVERNOR OF MISSISSIPPI: What we've seen over the last 36 hours in Mississippi, on the one hand, has been heartbreaking to see the loss and devastation of these communities, but on the other hand has been inspiring and gives me great reason for optimism and, quite frankly, it makes me damn proud to be a Mississippian because Mississippians have done what Mississippians do in times of tragedy, in times of crisis, they stand up and they show up.


ACOSTA: And we're covering all the angles here as the story develops. Meteorologist Britley Ritz will take a closer look at the severe weather threat, but let's begin with Nick Valencia in Rolling Fork. Nick, I know folks are worried there about more severe weather. What can you tell us from the ground there?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're certainly worried, Jim. And this is something that they don't need. In fact, just in the last two minutes, we're starting to feel the first raindrops of that severe weather system that was expected to pass through here this evening. And with that came some thunder and some lightning strikes that added

a jolt of anxiety to these residents that have already gone for some of them the worst day of their lives on Friday night when that massive EF-4 tornado ripped through this community of about 2,000 residents and left just very few parts of this community untouched.

In fact, that threat of severe weather and the nervousness as I'm talking here reporting -- you could hear the thunder in the background -- that nervousness of the community here for that severe weather threat is something that the FEMA administrator spoke about at their press conference earlier.


DEANNE CRISWELL, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: This is going to be a long-term recovery event and we can see just where we're standing here that one of the major issues that we're going to face is housing and how do we help. Our number one concerns is still life safety because you look around here and you look at the debris, I just really encourage everybody to remain vigilant, stay cautious.


VALENCIA: And as the skies are starting to darken here, that ominous warning of the severe weather threat on its way. We wanted to show you some aerial footage that gives you a better understanding of the scope of this damage and just how widespread the debris field here is in Rolling Fork. The Mississippi Delta, predominantly black corner of the Mississippi Delta, very impoverished with many people we understand not having home insurance.

And this is a community that we talked about yesterday that was really chipping in to help each other. We've seen people who say that they've completely lost their homes coming out here to help people worse off. But again, it goes without saying, Jim, there's really a lot of anxiety and nervousness here as we're reporting, this thunder and lightning happening here and this rain starting to fall on us here just two days after a tornado rip through this town, Jim.

ACOSTA: Yeah. We can hear the thunder as you're reporting. Please stay safe. Nick Valencia, thanks so much. I will talk to you soon.

Let's take a closer look at the severe weather threat that's unfolding at this hour. Meteorologist Britley Ritz is in the CNN Weather Center. Britley, I mean, this is a big concern in that area. I mean, there just aren't many structures left standing where Nick Valencia is. Tell us what you know at this point.

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, Jim. I want to show you and you heard it, but here it is on radar, that mass of thunderstorms that are really starting to collect over north and central Louisiana, pushing into southern and central Mississippi. Just as Nick was showing you and hearing, you could hear it, it's all going to move across the deep south. And we're unfortunately dealing with the same threats that tornado watch just posted for southern Mississippi now. A lot of this goes through the rest of this evening where we can expect the area for tornadoes.


And then, of course, it starts to weaken a bit as it moves into southern Alabama back into the panhandle of Florida where it's highlighted in yellow. That is a severe thunderstorm watch that goes until 6:00 central time. But we're already dealing with a handful of severe thunderstorm warnings, and we also had one or two tornado warnings that have already popped across the same stalled boundary.

So, we're watching this closely. You'll see this area is highlighted in orange. That's the severe thunderstorm warning that I'm talking about. A lot of these pack a real punch. We're talking about winds gusting over 58 mile per hour and quarter sized hail. Many over the last 24 hours, numerous reports of hail, tornadoes as well as strong damaging winds and yet again the same areas.

Highlighted in red, Montgomery, Jackson, Alexandria, a couple long lived tornadoes strong, EF-3 or stronger. Also, large hail, we're talking golf ball-size hail and damaging winds going to extend back up into the Carolinas. Timing this out anywhere between now and about 6:00, 7:00 tonight where we're dealing with some of the stronger storms across the south then pushing down into the Florida panhandle, rolling into early tomorrow morning, still holding the same threats, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Britley Ritz. Thank you very much. Joining me over the phone right now is Bill Newsom. He is on the Sharkey County Board of Supervisors. Bill, thanks so much for being with us on such a sad weekend. How concerned are you about this new threat of severe weather? We were just talking to Nick Valencia there in Rolling Fork, Mississippi and you could hear the thunder in the background of his live shot. How concerned are you at this hour?

BILL NEWSOM, SHARKEY COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS (via telephone): Well, thank you. I'm very concerned. I'm sitting here watching the lightning show already beginning and the thunder there, and you know, there's people -- there are so many volunteer workers out here right now that are -- and I mean, hundreds of people that, you know, we fix and have to take some serious shelter here, and there's not any immediate shelter anywhere. But anyway, yes, it's alarming.

ACOSTA: And is there an early warning system in place? Is there a way for folks to be warned ahead of time that the storms are rolling through a particular community? What do we know about that?

NEWSOM: It was a warning system. But the tornado, Friday night, took it out. It destroyed it.



ACOSTA: And so, at this point, you're just going by what you see, what you hear. NEWSOM: Yes. We're, you know, we're keeping up with the media. You know, watching things, news on our phone and the weather alerts, and that's about all we have. We don't have any power to, you know, what, you know, watch anything on television. So, it's strictly an iPhone storm that we're watching here.

ACOSTA: Right. And you had a couple of days now to digest, you know, the full scope of this devastation. How widespread is it? What's your latest assessment?

NEWSOM: It's a -- it's been entirety of the little -- the city of Rolling Fork as they said earlier. I think it's 2,000 people we call it. And it's literally from one end to south end of Rolling Fork to the north, and it's all the way across. And everyone is affected, entire subdivisions and neighborhoods or just totally some are just wiped away. They're just not even there. All the trees, I'm sitting here looking out right now, and they're just stripped of what trunks are remaining.

It looks like a battle zone and I have called an emergency meeting for the Board of Supervisors and (inaudible) some from the governor's office for 10:00 in the morning to -- we, you know, say what plan B is. We wanted to get -- digest these couple of days and see what, you know, where things are at. But a little bit of water is coming on in the city right now.

One of the water towers was completely destroyed and fell over and we only have two other systems and there is a little bit of water, but I don't know when we'll get electricity.

ACOSTA: And today, President Biden approved the disaster declaration for Mississippi. Top officials including the heads of FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, they were on the ground looking at the damage in Rolling Fork. Are you getting the help that you need? What are the needs?

NEWSOM: Right now, we're getting plenty of, you know, the -- especially the agencies, the state agencies and the national ones that are, you know, have been here, you know, been on the ground. I've actually had toured the governor and different ones, Speaker of the House and different ones yesterday around and they've, you know, witnessed all the carnage and everything.

But yes, we're getting help. We're getting -- the volunteer help is amazing. Don't send any more bottled water for right now. We've got plenty.

ACOSTA: Got it. Well, that's good to know. All right, well, Bill Newsom --

NEWSOM: It is. It is good to know.


ACOSTA: Bill Newsom, thank you very much. All the best to you. Thinking about your community on this Sunday evening. And please stay safe.

NEWSOM: Thank you so much. I appreciate that.

ACOSTA: Thank you. For more information on how you can help the storm victims in Mississippi, go to Severe weather also wreaking havoc on parts of west Georgia. The governor there declaring a state of emergency after a tornado injured at least three people and damaged as many as 100 homes in and around the area of LaGrange.

A stretch of Interstate 85 was shut down after debris fell on the highway there. The storms also allowed two tigers to escape their enclosures at an animal safari park if you can believe that. Both were eventually found and returned safely to that facility.

We are also following a developing story out of Philadelphia. Concerns over the city's water supply are forcing many to clear store shelves of bottled water. That's next.

And still ahead, I'll talk to the father of a Parkland school shooting victim. Manny Oliver was arrested on Capitol Hill this past week for disrupting a hearing on guns. We'll talk to him about that.

And later, President Trump calls the 2024 election the final battle. What is a former January 6th committee member think about that? I'll ask her. That's Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren coming up later on in the program. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."



ACOSTA: Any minute now, we're expecting officials in Philadelphia to give an update on the city's water supply after a chemical spill in the nearby Delaware River. The latest guidance is that tap water will be safe to drink through at least tomorrow. The water department saying the current supply was treated before the spill on Friday. CNN's Danny Freeman is in Philadelphia live there for us with the latest. Danny, what more are you learning about this situation? I'm sure people are concerned there about this.

DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jim. People are absolutely concerned and I think that's the challenge, is earlier this afternoon, the Philadelphia -- the city of Philadelphia, they put out an alert to the entire city saying, hey, we are advising, we are suggesting that you go out and buy bottled water because we're checking out the water supply here in Philadelphia out of an abundance of caution. And that's what we've seen, people go out and rush to buy bottled water.

But I just want to say, Jim, to year point, to that main headline. Yes, the Philadelphia water department is saying now it is safe to drink up until tomorrow night, so Monday night. But let me explain a little bit about how we got to this point. So, this is all actually started back on Friday evening. There was word of a chemical contamination right up against the Delaware River in Bristol Township. It's in Bucks County. It's actually 20 miles north of here. But, of course, Philadelphia

gets a lot of its water from the Delaware River. And then that barrel and barreled. The coast guard was out here, state environmental protection officials were out here as well. And this morning, the city Philadelphia said, hey, out of an abundance of caution, we're going to make that advisory to folks to go out buy bottled water. Don't drink it from the tap and don't cook with it either.

Well, that was the initial alert that went out and people swarmed to supermarkets all across Philadelphia including here in South Philly at the Acme. Take a listen to what one resident told us when she tried to get water here.


KIM KELLY, PHILADELPHIA RESIDENT: Of course, they're saying it's fine, it's not a big deal. Sure, some of the same chemicals that were present during the East Palestine derailment are there but like, don't worry about it, and I'm thinking myself, okay? Sure, wait for more information, wait for more reporting, it's a developing story. But you know it's not the sort of thing you want to mess around with especially because we're in Southfield. We're not that far from the river. I don't need more poison than already get living in America, you know?


FREEMAN: But again, like I said, the city Philadelphia right now saying the water for now is safe to drink from the tap and safe to cook with. But I'll tell you this, the company that took responsibility for this chemical spill, it's called Trinseo PLC. They said the spill occurred from an equipment failure, again, back on Friday. And they said that it was over 8,100 gallons of solution that included a latex polymer. That's the issue here.

They described it as a white liquid used in various consumer goods. But again, the main message right now is that the Philadelphia water department is confident that the water supply currently in the city and that impacted region is safe to drink. But again, we'll be keeping on this story and be updating it as we get more information. Jim?

ACOSTA: All right. Danny Freeman, thanks very much for that update. And joining us now to talk about this more is former Baltimore health commissioner and CNN's medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen. Dr. Wen, great to see you. I mean, I think one thing we have to get into here is as officials say the chemical that was spilled is a latex polymer solution as we heard Danny saying a few moments ago.

Now, Philadelphia officials are being very, you know, upfront about this. They're saying that the tap water is safe through Monday. But how dangerous would that be if it did manage to contaminate the water supply, and I guess what do you make of how the city of Philadelphia is handling this at this point?

LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, the chemicals that we're talking about, Jim, are very hazardous chemicals in their undiluted pure form. So, we're talking about ethel acrylate, butyl acrylate, methacrylate. These are the chemicals that we're aware of so far. So, in their undiluted form, they could cause skin irritation, eye irritation, respiratory difficulties, even dizziness and worse.

But in this case, we don't know what the dilution is going to end up being as an if these chemicals are in the water supply and then reaches the water treatment plant and then reaches people's homes, it'll probably be significantly diluted by that point, and it may be that there's not going to be any detectable concentration.

But I think that the city of Philadelphia is doing the right thing in giving people advanced warning, saying to use an abundance of caution, get bottled water, in the meantime, prepare for in case we do detect these contaminants in the water. It may not come to pass, but at least be prepared for when that, and if that happens.

ACOSTA: And if you were in that community, Dr. Wen, when what would you do at this point?


Would you continue to use the tap water? Or would you personally out of an abundance of caution, say okay, let's go ahead and just use bottled water, buy a big jug of it at the grocery store, a couple of those until the coast is clear. What would you do?

WEN: What the city of Philadelphia is saying I think it's very reasonable, is that the water that's currently in people's pipes is not affected because it was -- it's been distributed prior to the contaminants reaching there. And so, what I would do is to get giant jugs of empty jugs, store up the water that's coming out of the pipes right now, and I would use that water.

Very importantly, this is not a boil water advisory as in when that you have bacterial contaminates the water. Sometimes, officials say, boil the water, then you can use it.

ACOSTA: Right.

WEN: In this case, we're talking about the potential chemical contamination. So, boiling your water is not going to do anything, and in fact, could be even more dangerous.

ACOSTA: Wow, okay. We're glad that they are, you know, showing an abundance of caution here and warning folks to be careful about this. In the meantime, they are saying that tap water is safe in Philadelphia through Monday. We'll keep everybody updated and posted if that develops, but Dr. Wen, great to see you as always. We appreciate it. Thank you.

And happening now in Israel, protestors are flooding the streets in Jerusalem. You're looking at live pictures right now, in response to a stunning move from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli leader just fired his defense minister after he called for a pause on the government's controversial judicial overhaul. You can just look at some of the images coming into CNN as we speak. I mean, this is in Jerusalem. You're looking at a camera going down one of the streets in this area, and we've been seeing images on social media and images coming into CNN just over the last hour or so.

Some of these demonstrations are very big, very sizable. And we're going to get to a journalist who is there on the ground in just a few moments, so stay with us for that.

Still ahead, Donald Trump back on the campaign trail, unleashing a fresh torn of lies on his supporters coming up next. CNN's Daniel Dale is back with us to fact check the former president. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."



ACOSTA: Former President Donald Trump is back on the campaign trail and returning to a familiar playbook. Trump's speech in Waco, Texas was littered with his old lies about the 2020 election and the border wall. Also, some fresh attacks on his current legal situation as he is facing at least one possible indictment that's looming. CNN's Daniel Dale joins us now with the fact check.

Daniel, I guess, you know, one of the questions that we ask is where do we begin? Sometimes I feel like it's easier to count the truths in his speech versus the lies, but where can you take us on this?

DANIEL DALE, CNN REORTER: It can be. Let's start this time with a wildly exaggerated figure that former President Trump keeps using despite fact checks from me and others for the amount of military equipment that was left to the Taliban upon the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are a nation that surrendered in Afghanistan leaving behind dead soldiers, American citizens and $85 billion worth of the finest military equipment anywhere in the world.


DALE: So that $85 billion figure is not even close to true. The Pentagon has put the value of that equipment left behind at about $7 billion. Independent experts have told me that makes sense. So, where does the $85 billion come from? Well, that is a rounded figure.

It was actually about $83 billion for the total amount of money that Congress appropriated to the Afghan security forces over the entire course of the war. Not even close to all that Jim was for equipment. It was things like salaries, like infrastructure, like training. About $19 billion in total was equipment, about $7 billion left behind.

Now, I'm not saying $7 billion left behind is a good thing before I get angry e-mails from Trump supporters, but it's important for public figures to get their facts straight. ACOSTA: All right. And you might get those e-mails anyway. But Daniel,

you know, Trump can't seem to get through the rally these days without lying about the border wall. This is one that we've heard time and again, let's listen.


TRUMP: I built hundreds of miles of wall and completed that task totally as promised. And then I began to add even more wall in areas where it was needed.


ACOSTA: Let's fact check this one.

DALE: I think I did this after the last big Trump speech on your show. So, again, former President Trump did not finish the wall. He essentially refutes his own statement by saying it was finished, then we were building more where it was needed. It was still -- it was still needed because it was not done and we know this from official figures released by Customs and Border Protection right after Trump left office.

They said 480 miles had been constructed under Trump -- sorry -- it was 458 miles completed under Trump, but 280 remaining miles had been identified for wall construction, but we're not done. So, having 280 miles left to go is not even close to complete.

ACOSTA: And Mexico never paid for it, for those of us who are old enough to remember that one. And Trump references legal issues. Here's what he had to say about that.


TRUMP: Prosecutorial misconduct is their new tool and they are willing to use it at levels never seen before in our country. We've had it, but we've never had it like this. We must stop.


ACOSTA: What's the reality on this one?

DALE: Look, we don't know a lot about the various investigations. They're shrouded in secrecy. I don't want to declare that they're perfect investigations, but there is no evidence of actual prosecutorial misconduct at this point, so we can't say the investigations were perfect.


What President Trump cannot say with any evidence that there has been misconduct, and indeed when he makes these claims, he does not provide any specific corroboration, any specific proof for any misconduct by any of these prosecutors.

ACOSTA: Right. Which is what he always does. All right. Daniel Dale, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

The grand jury could be asked to turn a critical corner in the Trump hush money probe. Meantime, the former president is dealing with several other federal and state investigations. Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti joins us. Great to see you, Renato. He's also the host of the "It's Complicated Podcast," which I think is a fitting title for our times.

Renato what seems to be the most pressing legal issue for team Trump right now. I mean, if you listen to him last night, it sounds like he's worried about everything.

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, he should be worried about everything. But I think, and Jim, the most worrisome thing should be the Jack Smith's investigations, particularly the Mar-a-Lago investigation. You know, there was just a court order, you know, invoking the crime fraud exception to pierce attorney client privilege between former president Trump and attorney Corcoran, Evan Corcoran.

Very, very problematic, unusual and should be concerning to any client when you have your attorneys' words potentially not only used against you, but you have a federal judge saying there's enough evidence to suggest and it leads proved by 51 percent essentially that you engaged in a crime with that person.

ACOSTA: And Renato, Republican House Committee chairman sent a letter to the Manhattan D.A., Alvin Bragg, yesterday. They're doubling down on these efforts to intervene in his case ahead of possible criminal charges. What do you make of that effort? It seems like congressional meddling.

MARIOTTI: Yeah, it's very bizarre. I mean, what happened to federalism right? Obviously, there are state and local prosecutors and other governmental units that are getting to conduct the investigations. It's really no business of the federal government one way or the other, typically.

The ostensible reason behind the letters is to examine potential federal involvement or federal funding in those investigations. There is no evidence to suggest that there has been in this Manhattan D.A. case. I mean, it really looks like Trump was tweeting out and putting out, you know, putting out the signs that he was about to get arrested in his words. Obviously, that didn't happen.

But you know, this looks like a congressional Republicans scrambling to try to come to Trump say by essentially imposing, you know, costs and problems on the Manhattan D.A. And I think the Manhattan D.A. rightly said this is grand jury information. It's a secret investigation. I couldn't possibly testify about it in any of it.

ACOSTA: And where do you come in on this question as a federal prosecutor, former federal prosecutor, Renato, as to whether or not the Manhattan D.A. should go first or whether he should differ to some of these other cases, let the more important cases go first or are you of the mindset why not let all of them happen and let's just apply the law. The law is the law. If you break the law, yet you have to pay the price.

MARIOTTI: Well, it's interesting, Jim. If there was some angel in the sky, right, quarterbacking all of this and making decisions about what case to go first, I think the Manhattan D.A.'s case wouldn't go first. I mean, I think there's serious questions about that case and their prosecution that there aren't about the, for example, prosecution in the Mar-a-Lago documents case. But that's not how our system works.

The way our system works is if we do have a federalism, a system of federalism where every branch of government in the federal system but also state, local governments make their own independent decisions. And as a practical matter, that occurs not just in this case, but in a variety of cases.

R. Kelly had face indictments in multiple jurisdictions. Michael Avenatti faced indictments by multiple, you know, divisions of the Justice Department to U.S. Attorney's Offices, and no one I think in that situation suggested that one, you know, U.S. Attorney's Office should go behind the other or the minute Minnesota or Chicago state prosecutors should wait for the federal cases to be done before indicting R. Kelly. That's just how the system works, and it's going to work that way here as well.

ACOSTA: All right. Renato Mariotti, great to see you. Thanks -- thanks so much as always. We appreciate it.

MARIOTTI: Thank you, Jim.

ACOSTA: And more now on those protests we mentioned happening in Israel. Some live pictures once again that we're showing you right now. Protesters are flooding the streets in response to a stunning move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firing his defense minister after he called for a pause on the government's controversial judicial overhaul. Let's now go to journalist Elliott Gotkine in Tel Aviv. Elliott, what about these demonstrations? What can you tell us?


ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Jim, I've been here for a couple of hours now. There are tens of thousands of people here. You can probably see a lot of people now walking behind me in that direction. It seems that people are beginning to head off and we've seen in the last few minutes a number of police vehicles turning up as well. So, things may be winding down for the evening.

But this is a Sunday evening here in Israel. This is a spontaneous protest in response to that sacking of Israel's defense minister, Yoav Gallant. He's from Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister's own Likud Party. After he came out and gave that press conference on Saturday night in which Gallant called for a halt to this judicial overhaul.

When Netanyahu came back from a weekend in London, he summoned Gallant, told him he'd lost his confidence and sacked him and that is really what sparked getting these crowds out onto the streets on a Sunday. They usually out on Saturday evenings, on Thursdays. They've been coming out in the hundreds of thousands over the past three months, but they're never usually out on a Sunday.

And also, in response to that sacking of Gallant, they are out on the streets to show their support for him and to reiterate their opposition to this judicial overhaul that would lead to pretty much all checks and balances on the government being overturned. The government be able to pack the supreme court with allies, the supreme court would no longer be able to strike down laws passed by the government, except in very narrow circumstances.

And in addition to what's going on here and the sacking of the defense minister, the Histadrut, Israel's main labor union, has called for a general strike tomorrow. The Israel's envoy to New York has resigned in response to what's going on here as well. Universities say there will be no classes on Monday, either in response to what this government is doing.

And meanwhile, tomorrow, on Monday, in the Knesset, the government will continue to try to push through elements of this judicial reform, judicial overhaul, which has got these hundreds of thousands of Israelis out onto the streets week in, week out, for the past three months. So, Netanyahu is trying to clearly quash dissent in his own ranks to ensure that no one else tries to stand up to him.

But certainly, what it seems to be doing is galvanizing protesters even more and the actions against this government, not just protests, but now calls for a general strike on Monday seemed to be escalating too, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Elliot Gotkine. We can see some of these live pictures coming in that the demonstrations are absolutely enormous. Elliot, stay on top of it for us. We'll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks so much. We appreciate it.

Still ahead, a family of one of the Parkland school shooting victims is kicked out of a hearing on gun rights. Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver joins me next. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."



ACOSTA: A congressional hearing on gun violence turned chaotic this past week when a verbal altercation with lawmakers led to the parents of a student killed in the Parkland school shooting being forcibly removed from the House chamber. Manny and Patricia Oliver were attending the hearing of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee that was dubbed, quote, "ATF's Assault on the Second Amendment." That's when the trouble then began. Take a look.


REP. PAT FALLON (R-TX): Well, ma'am? Ma'am? All right.

REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): Okay. Out she goes.

FALLON: Please remove that woman, please. BIGGS: Yes, officer, please.

FALLON: You're removed. You're breaching protocol and disorder in the committee.

PATRICIA OLIVER, PARENT OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM: You took my son away from me, and I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to listen to your absurd (inaudible). Yes.



ACOSTA: And Manny Oliver joins me now from Parkland, Florida. His son, Joaquin Oliver was one of the 17 people killed in the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School back in few years back, 2018. Manny, great to see you as always. We appreciate it. Not only were you removed but your wife was removed from this hearing room. And then you were arrested. What happened? What led up to this?

OLIVER: Well, it escalated. You know, not only I was arrested. I was thrown to the floor and the Capitol Police was really tough this time and I didn't want this to be the story. The reason why we were in D.C. was to attend a couple of events because it was the anniversary of March For Our Lives.

So, that's why I didn't go on many details before, but now I can tell you, listen, we interrupted -- Patricia interrupted this hearing because it was full of lies. We were actually listening how the ATF -- it's enough of them like they are going against the Second Amendment, so the title itself is absurd.

And -- but I think the reaction from the chairman was really not necessarily in any way. We didn't receive a warning. Yeah, and we were thrown out of the room and I think he knew who we were, but that's the way things work.

ACOSTA: And did anybody from that committee reach out to you and apologize or explain why they did what they did. What's your message to the chairman?

OLIVER: Well, you know what? I was detained after that. They got the mug shot and the fingerprints. I was in a cell of the Capitol Police Department at some point, and I asked an officer, like can you please tell me why I'm arrested because I still don't understand why I'm arrested.

They hold me for a few hours, but until today, I don't I still don't know why I was arrested and, of course, the abuse of power, always physical power. And I had like two cops over me. One of them push Patricia. And then the other one was holding my neck. I was telling him dude; this is not good. Not cool, so I'm not, I mean, I'm not an aggressive person.

[17:45:00] I'm actually an unaggressive person and I'm here fighting against the aggressions. So, but no, no one from their side has been able to apologize. Other sentences have been -- comments on our favor, of course.

ACOSTA: And do you expect any, I mean, any legal trouble after this?

OLIVER: Listen, I have questions about its like why didn't we receive a warning? Why is it that the chairman did not read the rules of the hearing in advance for everyone, like, and I'm pretty sure that there was a lot of representatives inside that hearing that they know who I am.

Matt Gaetz knows very well who I am and who my wife is. And so, I think there was kind of a plan here. It escalated again, but being arrested, Jim, it's at this point and after losing my son, irrelevant. Am I going to take legal moves right now? I don't know. I received some calls from lawyers. I do think that the chairman is not qualified to be a chairman in any hearing at all anymore. That would be my suggestion.

ACOSTA: And, you know, I'm just, you know, we were showing the pictures of you being arrested a few moments ago, and it's just incredible that it would come to this for parents have somebody of a child who died in a school shooting. I just -- it's just remarkable. And the title of this hearing was the ATF's assault on the Second Amendment. That doesn't sound like a discussion on reducing gun violence, on stopping mass shootings in this country. What kind of arguments where the lawmakers, were the members of Congress making up until this point when you were arrested? Were you hearing any arguments?

OLIVER: Well, let me give you -- let me give you the tipping point that that made Patricia say that she said. Point they were letting us know that gun violence in Mexico is way higher and there is a lot of crime and they do have restrictions (inaudible), to what Patricia said, but you know where those guns are coming from. But you know that those from the United States, and they've been trafficking on daily basis to Mexico, and that's the root of the problem.

So that offended him in such a way that he used it as monarch power to point at Patricia, again, with no warning, remove the lady from the room. And of course, I'm not going to stay quiet, Jim. You know me. Of course, I said, well then you remove her yourself. And then I was -- and then it escalated even more when the capitol police really, and it's in the video.

They made up a statement later on complaining that I was trying to get back in the room. I was not trying to get back in the room. Everybody knows that I was not trying to get back in the room. I was in the floor with two officers on top of me.

ACOSTA: It doesn't sound like you're going to stop.

OLIVER: Oh, of course I'm not. Of course, I'm not going to stop. You know what? When I get arrested all the pain (inaudible) injustice. People that love their loved ones know that Patricia and myself were in that representing them. So, when you arrest Patricia, when you push Patricia, you push all the mothers that have lost their boys, their girls, all the husbands, all the wives. So, we're in this together. And I'm making sure that again, that the wrong side of this story over the arrest is the fact that these guys are lying, and they are not prioritizing gun laws over what, their -- those witnesses were talking about which is protecting Second Amendment and the gun industry itself.

ACOSTA: All right, Manny Oliver, as always, we appreciate your time and thank you for coming on as often as you can to share Joaquin's story and what you've been going through as a family. Thanks, again. Good talking to you. We appreciate it.

OLIVER: Thank you, Jim. Take care. Have a great day.

ACOSTA: All right, good to see you. You too. We'll be right back.



ACOSTA: Actress and activist Eva Longoria is proud of her Mexican roots and is deeply connected to the country she calls her second home. Here is a preview for new CNN Original Series "Searching for Mexico."


EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: I don't know the secret to happiness. All I know is every time I eat Mexican food, I'm happy. I'm Eva Longoria, born and bred in Texas with Mexican-American roots. I'm going to get a t-shirt that says (inaudible). I'm exploring Mexico to see how the people, their lands, and their past have shaped a culinary tradition as diverse as its 32 states,

We're here. Today, we are going to be making our food pilgrimage. Look at that. I don't know if I've ever been this excited to eat anything. (Inaudible). I was going to do this, that's why.

UNKNOWN: (Inaudible).

LONGORIA (voice-over): The people here are so secure in who they are and where they come from. (Inaudible).

(On camera): You guys are amazing storytellers.

UNKNOWN: Appreciate it.

LONGORIA (voice-over): Mexico is going through a major makeover to emerge as one of the world's greatest food destinations.


UNKNOWN: You know what brings people to Mexico? The food culture. I fell in love with it. LONGORIA: Viva Mexico!

UNKNOWN: Eva Longoria, "Searching for Mexico," premieres tonight at 10:00 on CNN.


ACOSTA: And Adam Sandler has created some of the most iconic movies and characters in the world of comedy, and now he is a recipient of the 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The award recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society.


JUDD APATOW, FILMMAKER, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: When I first met Adam in 1986, we'd never in a million years imagine something like this could happen. Adam is the only person I've ever known the moment you met him, you knew he was going to be a big star. And so did Adam.

DANA CARVEY, COMEDIAN: I'm working on our president as we speak, Joe. So, says very sincere. Come on. I'm not kidding around serious, serious. Adam Sandler, Mark Twain Prize, because he did a lot of great movies.


DREW BARRYMORE, ACTRESS: Achieving your goals and being on top will bring out who you truly are. In Hollywood that can be a very scary thing.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: Not like here in Washington, where, regardless of their success, everyone's just scary.


ACOSTA: You can see Adam Sandler receive that honor with some of his famous friends and co-stars. Tune in tonight at 8:00 right here on CNN. And we'll be right back.