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CNN This Morning

Co-Workers: Walmart Shooter Exhibited Odd, Threatening Behavior; DOJ Wants to Question Pence in January 6th Probe of Trump; Clear Skies for East Coast, Storms Brewing in South; Crowds Gather for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC; Reality Behind Musk's Mocking of 'Woke' Apparel; 7 Michigan State Players Charged with Assault after Brawl; Thanksgiving Games Kick Off with Bills at Lions. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired November 24, 2022 - 06:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It's Thursday, November 24. You know what that means.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Thanksgiving.

LEMON: Happy Thanksgiving to you. Kaitlan is off. We're a little tired, because we're in a New York state of mind.

HARLOW: We went to Billy Joel last night.

LEMON: We're going to tell you all about it.

HARLOW: It was so fun.

LEMON: Oh, yes. We've got to get to the news, though.


LEMON: So we're going to tell you, overnight we learned the identity of the man who opened fire on his co-workers at a Virginia Walmart. What we still don't know is why he did it.

HARLOW: That's right. Also, he rejected a request to speak to the House January 6th Committee. Now the Justice Department wants former Vice President Mike Pence to testify in its criminal investigation of Donald Trump. Will the former vice president cooperate?

LEMON: Another day, another Elon Musk controversy. The self-described chief twit mocking the company's anti-racist initiative and seemingly defending the officer who shot a black teenager.

HARLOW: And another big upset at the World Cup, Japan beating Germany while the U.S. prepares for its match against England. We'll take you live to Qatar.

LEMON: But first, we're going to begin with this. New details are emerging about the mass shooting inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia.

The store's overnight manager firing on employees in a break room, killing six people before taking his own life.

This morning we're hearing from people who witnessed the horror. CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live for us in Chesapeake, Virginia, with the details.

Hello to you, Dianne. What do you know?


Look, police are spending this Thanksgiving trying to determine why a man that Walmart says had worked for the company since 2010 came into the store and killed his colleagues.

This is as, look, victims' families are working to cope with their loss, and the survivors are still trying to process exactly what they experienced.


GALLAGHER (voice-over): Harrowing stories of survival after another mass shooting.

JESSIE WILCZEWSKI, WALMART EMPLOYEE WHO WITNESSED SHOOTING: The only thing that made it real was the vibrations hitting your chest and the ringing from the gun going off. And it just kept going and going, going.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Jessie Wilczewski, a new employee at the Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart, hid under a table until she came face- to-face with the shooter.

WILCZEWSKI: He just had the gun up to my forehead. And -- and this is really hard. He told me to go home.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): The city of Chesapeake identifying the shooter as 31-year-old Andre Bing. Walmart confirms he was an overnight team lead. According to employees, Bing entered the break room just as employees were clocking in to start their shifts.

KEVIN C. HARPER, WALMART SHOOTING WITNESS: Just left by the break room. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) came in there, started capping people up in there; started shooting.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Investigators were seen searching the alleged shooter's home, and police say the gunman was armed with several magazines and a pistol.

Briana Tyler witnessed the shooting and says there were around 15 to 20 people in the break room when the shooter entered.

BRIANA TYLER, WALMART EMPLOYEE WHO WITNESSED THE SHOOTING: He didn't say a word. He didn't point at anyone. He didn't look at anyone specific. He just had a blank stare on his face. And he just literally just looked around the room and just shot. And there were people just dropping to the floor.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Six employees were shot and killed, including a 16-year-old. Police believe the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the body of a person they just brought out in a shopping cart.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): According to police, two employees were found dead in the break room. Another victim was found in the front of the store. And three victims were taken to local hospitals but later died. Six others were injured.

Twenty-four-year-old Jalon Jones was in the break room and shot multiple times, including in his back, his mother told CNN affiliate WTKR.

KIMBERLY SHUPE, SURVIVOR JALON JONES' MOTHER: He was on a ventilator. He wasn't able to breathe on his own from the gunshot wounds he sustained. But now he's -- he's talking. He's just glad to be alive.


GALLAGHER: Now, in our conversations with survivors, employees and former employees, they all described the shooter as having exhibited odd or even threatening behavior at work. They described him as mean or just a loner, saying that he often enjoyed having power over the other employees in his position.

Now, look, we've reached out to Walmart, asking if there's any disciplinary record reflecting this, but they have not responded to our questions about that -- Don, Poppy.

LEMON: Awful. Awful, awful.

HARLOW: Terrible.

LEMON: Thank you, Dianne. Appreciate that.

HARLOW: Now to the tragedy, the other mass shooting this week in Colorado. "The Denver Post" this morning publishing an editorial calling on Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert to, quote, "stop the intolerance."

She is facing a lot of criticism for her comments about guns and the LGBTQ community leading up to that mass shooting at a gay bar in her home state. Critics taking on her response to the tragedy, in which she called for an end to, quote, "lawless violence."

Boebert, of course, is well known for her hard line position on guns.



REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): Hi, I'm Lauren. I'm a newly-elected congresswoman from Colorado. Even though I now work in one of the most liberal cities in America, I refuse to give up my rights, especially my Second Amendment rights.


HARLOW: Well, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replied to Boebert, writing, quote, "You can't thoughts and prayers your way out of this." She pointed to Boebert's vote against federal gun safety laws like red flag provisions and universal background checks.

"The Denver Post" goes on to accuse Boebert of elevating hate speech against the LGBTQ community, including bashing inclusive classroom practices, calling them, quote, "indoctrination," and speaking out against gay characters on television. Also, mocking the nation's first transgender Senate-appointed official.

Boebert responded to critics on a local radio show, saying it was, quote, "disgusting" to try to blame the shooting on her and that it was, quote, "completely false" to say that she attacked that community.

LEMON: The Justice Department wants to hear from Mike Pence in his own words and under oath about January 6th. Prosecutors have reached out to the former vice president for testimony in the DOJ's criminal probe of Donald Trump and his effort to stay in power.

CNN has learned that Pence is open to testifying. CNN's Paula Reid joins us from Washington now.

Paula, what's the latest? Good morning to you.


Well, this Thanksgiving, federal prosecutors appear to be most thankful for Mike Pence's new book, where he describes in detail his interactions with former President Trump around the time of January 6th.

Now, Pence, could be a really key witness for investigators as they continue to look into the former president's actions in and around the insurrection and his attempts to undermine the results of the election.

Now, in his memoir, Pence describes Trump's tweet attacking him that day as, quote, "reckless." And he goes into great detail and great criticism of the former president and his handling of January 6th.

And it was expected, once he said all of these things publicly, we expected that federal prosecutors were going to have some follow-up questions for him.

Now, it's notable that this outreach did come before the new special counsel, Jack Smith, was appointed to overtake the Trump investigations. And it's unclear how his appointment will change any o conversation or any of this outreach. LEMON: What do you think the likelihood of him giving testimony?

REID: Don, it's possible. He's said that he's open to it, though it is notable he did rebuff an interview request from the January 6th Committee. Several of his aides have testified before the January 6th Committee. They have also answered questions from federal prosecutors.

And when it comes to the Justice Department, it is going to be difficult for the vice president to resist answering questions from them.

Now, one thing that could potentially get in the way is that the former president tries to invoke privilege. He has done that with several other witnesses. He's been largely unsuccessful, but it is something that could delay this process.

And as we know, with the special counsel, there is a keen desire to move this along as quickly as possible so that these probes don't extend too far into the 2024 presidential cycle.

LEMON: Right on. Thank you, Paula. We appreciate it. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

REID: Likewise.

HARLOW: All right. Rain clouds moving across the South. Skies are looking clear here on the East Coast. Meteorologist Chad Myers is in the weather center with your Thanksgiving forecast. How are we looking?



MYERS: Happy Thanksgiving. Really good, actually. Very few places across the country right now or even later on today below freezing. Yes, it's raining across parts of the mid-South, all the way down into Arkansas and even into Texas. But really the Northeast Corridor looks really good.

Snoopy dressed as an astronaut today. Will be in the 40s, probably the best weather I can remember for a Thanksgiving day parade in New York in many, many years.

Now, tomorrow, the storm will go bye, and it will get a little bit windy. And there will be some showers across parts of the South.

If you're traveling on Saturday, some heavy rainfall across I-40, even I-10. But then, as we work our way into the afternoon, some of these areas could even see some flooding, with a slight risk of that flooding, with 3 to 4 inches of rainfall possible.

And then snow for the I-40 across parts of maybe Amarillo or slightly farther out to the West. There's your heavy rain across the deep South over the next couple days.

Flying out on Sunday, I-95 corridor airports could be very slow.

So far, Poppy, we haven't seen Santa on radar, but we're pretty sure he'll make it to the parade today.

HARLOW: For sure he will. I'm flying back Sunday morning. Not looking forward to that. But my hometown, Minneapolis, going there this afternoon. Balmy 38, Chad. That is tropical.

MYERS: I know.

HARLOW: That is tropical, don't you know. Yes.

MYERS: I mean, growing up in Nebraska, we used the deck as our extra refrigerator, because it was always below freezing out there. But today, not the case.

HARLOW: All right, Chad. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh. You know who's going to make it to the parade, though? Who's spotted on radar. Snoopy. Snoopy's got to make it. It's not a parade without Snoopy.

Because preparations are underway. Crowds are starting to gather right here in New York City, ahead of the Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade.


Guess who's live out on the parade route? Brynn Gingras. Brynn, I've had this assignment before. This is an amazing assignment. I like this part better than the actual parade.


I -- Don, I was just saying this. I worked in New York News for 10 years. I have never worked the parade. I am like a little kid right now. It is so exciting.

And I first need to quickly echo Chad, the weather is perfect. There's no drama. These balloons are flying today.

Let me get out of the way so you can see the star of the show. This is the beginning of the parade. That's where we are. Sort of central command right now. There are so many people in this area sort of just getting ready to get this parade kicked off.

But you can see the turkey here with the Macy's star. That's here. That's going to start us all off.

And then if we work around, these, of course, are the stars of the show. The balloons. That's little Yoda, baby Yoda. And then, of course, they line up this whole entire street. They were inflated last night.

Guys, the parade is actually getting started earlier this year, because there are so many balloons. And there's some good ones. There's baby shark. There's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." Of course, baby Yoda. There's just some really exciting events about to take off at 8:45 today, if you can believe it.

LEMON: I'm going to make everybody mad.

HARLOW: What? Do not say something --

LEMON (singing): Baby shark, do-doo doo-doo-doo-doo.


LEMON: Now it's stuck in everybody's head.

HARLOW: I thought he was going to say something bad about the parade.

GINGRAS: I feel like the whole place will break out. I feel like the whole crowd is going to break out in "Baby Shark" at some point.

HARLOW: And you cannot -- Brynn and I both have little kids, and we cannot get that song out of our heads. It's like too much.

LEMON: I know. That's why I did it. Sorry, people at home.

HARLOW: Thanks, Brynn.

LEMON: Brynn, thank you. Have fun.

So straight ahead, the tweet Elon Musk ended up deleting after mocking Twitter's anti-racism initiatives.

HARLOW: Also charges have now been filed weeks after what happened, that attack between Michigan State and University of Michigan football players. We'll tell you what they are, ahead.




ELON MUSK, NEW OWNER OF TWITTER: Here we are. At the most, there's an entire -- entire closet full of --


MUSK: -- of hashtag woke T-shirts.


LEMON: Well, that was Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, mocking a T- shirt the company made years ago in an effort to show support for its black employees and users.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey wore the shirt during a 2016 panel with civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson. Some critics ridiculed him for wearing it. During the panel, Dorsey mentioned being on the ground in Ferguson for

protests over the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.

In a now-deleted follow-up tweet, Musk noted that the shirts came after the Ferguson protests and repeated a right-wing talking point, suggesting that the protests following Brown's death were overblown.

And he wrote, and I quote here, "Hands up, don't shoot was made up. The whole thing was a fiction."

Now, Musk replaced the deleted tweet with a follow-up tweet containing only the link to a Department of Justice report on Brown's death.

OK, facts first here on CNN. Musk said that "Hands up, don't shoot" was made up, the whole thing was a fiction. This needs some context.











LEMON: So the phrase "Hands up, don't shoot" became a national rallying cry in 2014 in solidarity with Michael Brown, the young black teenager who some witnesses said had his hands up to surrender when he was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson.

In 2015, the Justice Department cast doubt on the "hands up" account, concluding in a report that Wilson shot Brown multiple times only as Brown was moving toward the officer.

This is what Musk is referencing in his tweets. The DOJ did not find grounds to charge the officer.

But in a separate report, released the same day, it did find evidence of systematic racial discrimination in Ferguson at the hands of city's -- the city's police department and municipal court.

Now, the DOJ in a scathing report, pointed to the statistics for proof. Black people in Ferguson are twice as likely to be searched in vehicle stops than whites, though whites were found to have contraband at a higher rate than black people. At least 85 percent of those pulled over, ticketed, or arrested for

traffic violations were black. And the Justice Department said it was money, not public safety, that the department and the city focused on. And black citizens paid the highest price.

So remember, "hands up don't shoot" after Ferguson became a nationwide protest symbol for police mistreatment of minorities. It was about more than the shooting of Michael Brown. It was about the pattern of police shootings and brutality in this country.

And "#StayWoke," which mock -- Musk mocked, was how Twitter wanted called out racial injustice -- want -- how they wanted to call out racial injustice -- Poppy.

HARLOW: Don, thank you for that. It's important to have the facts.

All right. Now to some major developments in the stadium tunnel ambush. Remember this, a few weeks ago at the University of Michigan?

Seven Michigan State football players have now been charged with assault. Video showed them attacking two Michigan players after that game last month.

Jason Carroll is here with more details. I mean, I remember the morning after this happened, and we saw this video, and we were all stunned. And now, actual charges.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. A lot of people were shocked that. And as you recalled, many -- several Michigan State football players had already been suspended because of what had happened.

Many may remember the video of the fight that broke out involving Michigan State and Michigan. You saw some of it there just a few moments ago.

At one point, it shows an MSU player swinging his helmet, apparently striking one of the Michigan players. Now come the consequences.

Six MSU players now facing misdemeanor charges of aggravated assault. A seventh player, Khary Crump, who goes by K.J., is facing a felony assault charge. His attorney went to Twitter to defend him.



MIKE NICHOLS, ATTORNEY FOR KHARY CRUMP: This was a gut punch to K.J., being charged the day before Thanksgiving, but he's going to get through it.

While you're getting up, having your turkey, whatever, watching football, just think about seven young men whose lives have been upended by these criminal charges. In K.J.'s case, a felony charge, which is felonious assault, because he allegedly used his helmet as a weapon to strike at the other player. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CARROLL: Well, the investigation into the matter took weeks. It included the University of Michigan Police, Michigan State Police, and representatives from the Big Ten.

The University of Michigan Division of Public Safety, which also took part in the investigation, released a statement saying at the conclusion of the investigation, it "submitted to the prosecutor's office a request for criminal charges against several individuals, all student athletes on the Michigan State football team."

Meanwhile, the interim president of Michigan State saying in a statement, "While we do not condone the actions taken by some football players on October 29, we will support our student athletes through this process," adding, "Consequences are part of the learning environment."

It should also be noted that none of the players from Michigan have been charged. Also, CNN did reach out to the MSU players, but we did not hear back from them on that.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh. That video is crazy.

HARLOW: Just before we go -- It is crazy. And it's important that you played the defense -- what the defense attorney said there. But I'm interested in what one of the defense attorneys seemed to lay out as sort of their strategy here.

CARROLL: Right. Well, also, an attorney representing one of the other --


CARROLL: -- MSU players says it's unclear if any of the MSU players caused the injuries. Again, this is his point of view.

He also released a statement. This is an attorney, David Diamond, saying in part, "I've reviewed similar altercations on and off the field at both the collegiate and professional levels and cannot find criminal filings."

Of course, what he's referring to is when you see fights break out --

HARLOW: On the field.

CARROLL: -- on the field at a hockey game --

HARLOW: Hockey game.

CARROLL: -- or baseball game, and then you don't see charges being filed. But you do see charges being filed here.

HARLOW: But this may change things. You know what I mean? This may change how things are prosecuted going forward like this.

CARROLL: We'll see.

HARLOW: Jason, thanks.

LEMON: Who's your money on today? The Vikings?

HARLOW: What do you think he's going to say?

CARROLL: I used to work in Edina, Minnesota. So --

HARLOW: No, you did not!


HARLOW: How do I not know this?

CARROLL: Back in the day.

HARLOW: We have been friends for a decade.

CARROLL: Back in the day, Edina, Minnesota, basically.

LEMON: Jason Carroll, I understand that you are going to be cleaning some pots today?

CARROLL: I am. Because you know what? I can burn in the kitchen. I make a great macaroni and cheese. I cannot believe, Don, that you do not like macaroni and cheese.

HARLOW: Do you want to tell the world the truth?

LEMON: This is so un-American, you guys. No, my mom knows I'm not a mac and cheese fan.


CARROLL: We've got to convert you, Don.

LEMON: I know.

HARLOW: When I -- When he said that yesterday, I -- my jaw is still on the floor.

CARROLL: I can't believe it. Why don't you like it?

LEMON: I don't know. It's just not my thing.

CARROLL: A texture thing? What is it?

LEMON: A texture thing. What my mom does, instead of mac and cheese, she does spaghetti with cheese. Like, thin spaghetti noodles with crunchy on the edge. No, no, no.

CARROLL: Careful what you say about Katherine's cooking. She's watching.

LEMON: She's watching, and it's really good. But I'll eat a little bit of that.


HARLOW: You're making mac and cheese.

CARROLL: I certainly am.

HARLOW: For the family.

LEMON: All right. Bring me some. I'll try it. We'll see. And I can make that face when I eat it. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

HARLOW: I still can't believe it, Edina, Minnesota. We have so much to talk about.

Ahead, we have a preview of the big Thanksgiving --

LEMON: Speaking of, right?

HARLOW: -- Day game, including the Vikings.

LEMON: And the other football. Why FIFA is now investigating the Mexico Football Association after their draw against Poland. We're going to talk about all the World Cup headlines with sports journalist Jason Carroll --


LEMON: I'm sorry, Grant Wahl.

HARLOW: Grant Wahl.

LEMON: There's Grant Wahl. He's live in Qatar for us.



LEMON: It's beautiful.

HARLOW: Beautiful.

LEMON: Do you see that beautiful shot of New York City?

HARLOW: Sun coming up.

LEMON: Gorge. Freedom Tower.

HARLOW: New York state of mind this morning.

LEMON: New York City. The Verrazzano Bridge. I love New York City.

HARLOW: I love New York. I was thinking that last night.


HARLOW: All right. Thanksgiving, it's a day for family, food, lots of football. Three big NFL games on tap today.

First the Bills and the Lions. Then the Giants and the Cowboys. And for dessert, it is the Patriots against my Minnesota Vikings. And God willing, I will be there.

Let's bring in Andy Scholes. Andy, I cannot wait. I cannot wait for 8:20 p.m.

LEMON: She's rooting on the Giants.

HARLOW: Tonight, I am going to be in Minnesota at that game, in purple. And I can't wait.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: That is awesome. That is awesome, Poppy.

First ever time Minnesota has got to host a game on Thanksgiving. I know a lot of people are there, certainly looking forward to that.

We've got a great slate. And you know, for years after stuffing yourself, you know, the Lions game, that was typically the one you wanted to doze off during, because, you know, they're never any good.

But the Lions are actually pretty fun this year. They score points. They won three in a row. And today, they're hosting Josh Allen and the Bills.

The over/under for this game is 54.5. So that means the odds makers are expecting lots of touchdowns. Former Super bowl MVP Von Miller, you know, he's played in plenty of big games, but he's pumped to play in his first ever Thanksgiving day game.


VON MILLER, BUFFALO BILLS LINEBACKER: It's always a dream of mine. As a kid, you watched the Thanksgiving games. You watched the Cowboys, and you know, the Commanders, and you watched the Detroit Lions and the Bears. And, you know, you have Thanksgiving dinner and you go outside and you play, like, you know, flag football in the back yard. These are the moments that you dreamed of.

JOSH ALLEN, BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK: The moment that everybody is, you know, sitting at home, probably bellies full or about to get their bellies full watching -- watching football. I remember that as a kid.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SCHOLES: Yes. So after that Lions-Bills game were going to get an NFC showdown -- NFC East showdown between the 7 and 3 Cowboys, the 7 and 3 Giants.