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CNN This Morning

10 Killed In America's Deadliest Mass Shooting Since Uvalde; Hero Credited With Disarming Gunman At Second Location Speaks; Pompeo: Bolton Should Be In Prison For Spilling Classified Info. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 23, 2023 - 07:30   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN THIS MORNING. I'm coming to you live from Monterey Park, California. This is the scene of America's latest mass shooting.

Here's what we know right now. The gunman who ultimately took his own life has been identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran. Tran opened fire Saturday night at a ballroom dance studio, killing 10 people and wounding 10 others. We have also learned that he used to be a regular patron at the dance hall and that he then went to another dance hall in a nearby city, but bystanders disarmed him. He escaped in his van.

The sheriff says that the gun he used is a semiautomatic assault pistol, which he believes is illegal in California.

And this morning, a 25-year-old man is dead after Atlanta police say he shot a Georgia State Patrol trooper and officer and the officer fatally returned fire. It's just one of several deadly incidents of gun violence that broke out across the country this weekend.

I want to go to CNN's Ryan Young now, live for us in Atlanta with more. Ryan, good morning.


That shooting led to protests over that shooting of the 26-year old. People were walking down Peachtree Street -- the famous Peachtree Street here in Atlanta.

And at some point, the protests turned violent. They set fire to a police car down the street here. And you can see some of the damage that was left behind by some of these protesters as they went after the ATM. They busted out windows all along downtown. And the mayor and police were not happy about this latest incident here in the city.


YOUNG (voice-over): Another violent weekend across the country leaves communities and victims reeling. In downtown Atlanta, six people were arrested Saturday night after

protesters erupted in response to the fatal police shooting of 26- year-old activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran earlier in the week. Police say he was shot near a proposed 85-acre, $90 million law enforcement training facility dubbed Cop City by its opponents who set up camps trying to halt construction.

Police were implementing a clearing operation to identify trespassers when they say Teran opened fire on them. The fellow demonstrators and his mother say he was a known pacifist.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, however, bolstered the account of authorities when they said that Teran was in possession of the very firearm used to shoot a state trooper and that the bullet recovered from the trooper's wound matched the same weapon.

Police say protesters marched peacefully until a group began breaking business windows and set fire to a police cruiser.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they were pulling up in U-Hauls and they had the type of glass-breaker that taps the window and the glass just automatically shatters. I was dumbfounded. I couldn't believe that this is happening here in America.

MAYOR ANDRE DICKENS, (D) ATLANTA: These individuals meant harm to people and to property. And so, to the people of Atlanta, I have said from the beginning of my administration that keeping our city street safe is my top priority and we will continue to leverage all of the city's resources to make that happen.


JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The elevation of it clearly had to be stopped relatively quickly by the police, which happened. And I think it is telling that most of these people are not from Atlanta -- not even from Georgia.

YOUNG (voice-over): And on the west side of Atlanta, a 13-year-old boy was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds, according to Atlanta police. Investigators have not released information on a motive or suspect.

DICKENS: My message is simple to those who seek to continue this type of criminal behavior. We will find you and we will arrest you, and you will be held accountable.

YOUNG (voice-over): Meanwhile, a tragic scene unfolds in Baton Rouge. Twelve people were shot at the Dior Bar & Lounge and left three people in critical condition early Sunday morning.

LT. BRYAN BALLARD, BATON ROUGE POLICE: At this point, we can say that it is believed to be a targeted attack and that no -- this was not just a random act.

DARREN MOSES, BATON ROUGE POLICE: There's someone who knows something. Do the right thing. YOUNG (voice-over): According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 30 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, leaving over 50 individuals dead and 125 injured.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All of us in this room and in our country understand this violence must stop.


YOUNG: And, Don, you can see the signs of violence left behind as some of these businesses have to start cleaning up today. So many hotels nearby. There were people who were visiting the city who were also scared.

But when you think about the gun violence throughout this country this weekend, so many questions and so many unanswered points right now whether or not there will be any arrests in some of the cases that we mentioned -- Don.

LEMON: Thirty-three in three weeks. Just unacceptable.

Ryan Young, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

We're learning much more about what's happening here. We're hearing from a young man who says that he wrestled the gun away from the California mass shooter and saved countless lives.

I want you to listen to an interview that just aired just a short time from Robin Roberts over on ABC. Watch this.


BRANDON TSAY, SAYS HE DISARMED GUNMAN WHO KILLED 10: Well, it's Chinese New Year. We were hosting a social dance party. I was in the lobby. It was late into the evening. Most of our customers already left.

I wasn't paying attention to the front door. I was looking into the dance ballroom -- the dance floor. And this is when I heard the sound of the front door creaking closing and instantly followed by the sound of a metal object clinking together as if they were rubbing. That's when I turned around and saw that there was an Asian man holding a gun.

My first thoughts was --


TSAY: -- I was going to die here. This was it. But --

ROBERTS: Did you recognize him at all?

TSAY: -- then -- no, I did not recognize him. This is somebody I have never seen before.

He didn't seem like he was here for any money. He wasn't here to rob us. When he was looking around the room it seems like he was looking for targets -- people to harm.

Something came over me. I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him. I needed to take this weapon -- disarm him -- or else everybody would have died.

When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon, and we had a struggle. We struggled into the lobby trying to get this gun away from each other. He was hitting me across the face and bashing the back of my head. I was trying to use my elbows to separate the gun away from him -- creating some distance.

Finally, at one point, I was able to pull the gun away from him, shove him aside, create some distance, point the gun at him, intimidate him and say "Get the hell out of here. I'll shoot. Get away -- go." And at this point, I thought he would run away but he was just standing there contemplating whether to fight or to run away.

I really thought I would have to shoot him when he came at me. This is when he turned around and walked out the door back to his van. I immediately called police with the gun still in my hand.

I was shook. I was shaking -- I was shaking all night. I couldn't believe what happened. And after waking up, I noticed there was bruising all over my body. My face has a bruise across the nose and the back of my head has some bruising. I can't believe that this could happen.



LEMON: And it was because of that young man that the situation -- a horrible situation wasn't -- didn't get worse.

And anyone who's involved in any similar situation when there is violence and something breaks out, it is -- you -- people often freeze. And he assessed that situation and jumped in.


LEMON: And police are crediting him and another individual with not making this situation -- helping to make this situation not as bad as it could have been. Ten people are dead but there could have been more people.


LEMON: There are three different crime scenes here. The one behind one, the one in Alhambra, and the one in Torrance, California where the gunman eventually killed them self. Can you imagine confronting --


LEMON: -- someone or being in a situation like this?

The people here who were in -- behind me, Katie -- Kaitlan and Poppy, in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond -- some even 90 years old. And they were just, sort of, sitting targets for this man who came out of nowhere with this semiautomatic pistol and killed 10 people and put 10 in the hospital.

HARLOW: At just 26 years old, to jump into action like that and --


HARLOW: -- not try to flee. To have that be your immediate response, Don, you're so right.


HARLOW: That is -- that says so much.

COLLINS: Well, I was reading about him. His grandparents founded that bar and he runs the ticket office a few days a week. He's actually a computer coder. And he said The New York -- told The New York Times he had never actually even seen a real gun before. And for him to confront this man and as he was saying there -- I mean, I just -- I have chills listening to him and so grateful for his heroic actions.

All right, John -- Don, we're going to check back in with you this morning as this is going on. Thank you for being there on the ground, obviously, for us.

In Washington, the debt ceiling debate is ongoing. There is a warning about irreparable harm that's coming from the Treasury secretary over what could happen and what a potential default -- how it could affect you and your wallet. That's next.

HARLOW: Also, in his new memoir, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleging Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton should be prosecuted for leaking classified information. Well, John Bolton is here. He'll respond to that live on CNN THIS MORNING.



HARLOW: Welcome back.

In Money This Morning, the debt ceiling debate continues in Washington amid a warning of irreparable harm -- that coming from the Treasury secretary -- if they do not raise the debt ceiling.

That is not all we're watching. This week's economic calendar is very packed.

Our chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here with us to talk about more.


HARLOW: That's not the only crisis. ROMANS: That's right. Look, we're looking at a Fed chief -- a Treasury chief, actually, who is warning us about what could be a real problem in the American economy if you don't raise that debt ceiling.

And at the same time, we could get evidence this week that the U.S. economy ended the year really strong. A big economic calendar to start the week. We're parsing all of this information for what the Fed will do when it next meets January first.

But I'm really looking at this GDP number on Thursday. The first estimate for the fourth quarter -- 2.6 percent is the forecast. But we hear about whisper numbers. A lot of economists are saying they think it might be even closer to three percent, which would signify that we ended last year very strongly, heading into a Wall Street-Washington- manufactured crisis with the debt ceiling.

A couple of other things we're watching this week. A lot of housing news.

And if anybody's out there interested in mortgage rates, it appears they might have peaked. Mortgage rates 6.15 percent last week. We'll see if they continue on this -- on this path here. But that's because of signs of cooling inflation and some --


ROMANS: -- feelings that the Fed's not going to be so aggressive.

HARLOW: Down from seven. We'll take it.

ROMANS: Down from seven, up double from last year.


ROMANS: But showing some signs of peaking there.

HARLOW: Great.

ROMANS: So, all of these things we're taking together here as we wait for the Fed to meet and we watch Washington to see if they can get their act together.

HARLOW: Let's hope they do.

COLLINS: Never count on that.

HARLOW: Thank you. Never count on that. Wise words.

But, Romans, thank you.

COLLINS: All right. Also this morning on the Ukraine front, Poland is stepping in as pressure is growing on Germany to supply Ukraine with its Leopard 2 battle tanks. Other countries have them and they want to send them, but as the maker of them, Germany must legally sign off for that to -- for them to be transferred to the war-ravaged Ukraine.

Despite the pressure, Berlin has, so far, resisted doing so, though the defense minister said moments ago they do expect a decision soon.

President Zelenskyy says it's urgent.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): This is no time for bargaining. This is the time for survival. We need to survive.


COLLINS: Poland's prime minister says Germany is wasting time and, quote, "We will not passively watch Ukraine bleed to death."

Joining us now is the former national security adviser to former President Trump, John Bolton. Good morning, sir.

And I guess the first question here is do you believe that Germany should sign off on this -- on them sending the tanks and on other countries being able to send them as well?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER TO FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, I think they should sign off. I think Germany's performance throughout this war has been incredibly disappointing despite Chancellor Scholz's statement that near the beginning there would be a sea change in Germany's defense policy. It hasn't happened yet. It needs to happen.


COLLINS: And do you believe -- do you agree with what the Polish prime minister said this morning that this deliberation that we've seen happening -- that's been playing out for the last several weeks is actually in the end, hurting Ukraine?

BOLTON: Well, of course, it is. If they don't have the capability to respond to long-rumored impending Russian offensives, that's bad for Ukraine and it's bad for the West as a whole because it plays into the Kremlin's strategy to win politically what they can't win on the battlefield by splitting NATO.

COLLINS: The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mike McCaul, said yesterday that he believes the United States should send one of its Abrams tanks. Basically, just one, he argued, is all that would be needed for Germany to then greenlight sending its Leopard tanks.

Do you think that would be a reassurance for Germany? And should the Biden administration take that step, in your view?

BOLTON: Well, I think we should do it anyway because I think that's right for Ukraine. And if that brings the Germans along, that's great.

But let's be clear. We need to have a conversation with Germany sooner rather than later. They need to step up to their role appropriate to their size economically. Japan has just announced it's going to double its defense budget in the next five years. Where is Germany?

COLLINS: Are you concerned that what is playing out here with this decision makes NATO looks fractured?

BOLTON: Well, I think NATO is a lot more fractured than some of its political leaders would like to let on. There's been a lot of patting ourselves on the back. But let's not forget Putin thinks he knows the Germans well. He was stationed there in the KGB and I think he sees Germany as the weak point in the alliance.

COLLINS: I want to move on to what we saw happen over the weekend, which is the announcement that the FBI searched President Biden's home, which we should note the White House says was done in coordination with his attorneys. It was a consensual search that happened, not one that was done with a search warrant. It is still remarkable, though, to see the FBI go into the home of a sitting president to search that.

What does it say to you about the seriousness of this investigation into the classified documents that were taken?

BOLTON: Well, I think it's going to get a lot more serious for Biden. The fact that apparently, some of these classified documents go all the way back to his Senate days and yet, have traveled around with him.

It's an incredible gift to Donald Trump that in many people's minds, not the least of which are Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Joe Manchin -- two Democrats -- who said yesterday they thought the administration had been damaged.

I mean, we need to do a lot more in the transition process to make sure these classified documents go where they're supposed to go at the end of an administration.

COLLINS: Well, Trump has argued that the Justice Department is treating Biden differently than they're treating him. Is Trump wrong about that, in your view?

BOLTON: Well, they are treating Biden differently because Trump treated the Justice Department differently. And the two are not equal, that's for sure.

But I think politically, Biden's self-inflicted wounds here have pretty much absolved Trump from the prospect of prosecution. I think it's hard to prosecute a former president, to begin with. I think Biden's errors here make it almost impossible.

COLLINS: You think Trump won't be prosecuted because of what's happened with Biden?

BOLTON: Not on the documents. Now, the January 6 prosecution, the Georgia investigation -- those are different. But on the documents front, I think he's skipped free again.

COLLINS: Not even on the obstruction front? Because that is what the White House has drawn as the clear distinction, saying we're cooperating with the National Archives and the Justice Department. Trump fought them for a year and a half that led to the FBI's search of Trump's home.

BOLTON: Here's the key point. We all say -- and it's right to say -- everybody is under the same rule of law. Nobody's treated differently.

But I will say this. If the Justice Department indicts a former president and fails to get a conviction, the political firestorm that would ensue would tarnish the department for years. And you have to weigh that in the balance. You can't just be sure that you think you can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt -- you better do it. And if you fail, Trump could ride that to the White House again, I'm afraid.

COLLINS: I want to ask you while you're here this morning. Secretary Pompeo, who you served with, has written a new book -- a new memoir where he is extremely critical and scathing -- downright scathing in his assessment of you.

And speaking of classified information, he writes, "John Bolton should be in jail for spilling classified information. I hope I can one day testify at a criminal trial as a witness for the prosecution." He says your self-serving stories contained classified info and deeply sensitive details about conversations involving a sitting commander- in-chief.

What's your response to Sec. Pompeo?

BOLTON: Well, what he knows I think, in fact -- or should know -- is that my book went through a four-month-long pre-publication review process precisely to make sure there was no classified information in the book. And it was arduous at times, I can -- I can tell you.


The National Security Council senior director responsible for clearing -- for that review cleared the book. And inside the White House, because Donald Trump didn't want the book published before the election, he fired the senior director, a career employee of the National Archives, from her job and tried to get another review going.

Now, an interesting point here, and this is critical. Before the Justice Department was ordered to bring the suit to stop publication of my book, they interviewed that NSC senior director Ellen Knight for 18 hours over five days in the White House -- they must've forgotten the thumb screws and the rubber hoses -- to get her to change her story, and she wouldn't.

The book was cleared. And I think if there is an investigative reporter that has spare time, they ought to look at who in the White House and elsewhere in the administration. And the counsel's office, the top political levels at the Justice Department, followed Trump's order to try and suppress the book. I'm not talking about the line attorneys at the Department of Justice, but Trump's top advisers who were content to try and suppress it.

COLLINS: You're implying that something illegal happened? What are you saying there?

BOLTON: Well, you know, reporters shelter under the First Amendment frequently and I'm sure that's much on your mind. This is a classic effort by Trump at prior restraint. And, in fact, we -- I was told that a very top Justice Department official on hearing that the book had been cleared, said -- and I quote, roughly -- "I don't give a blank about the facts, I want the case brought."

So I think there's a lot there. This is entirely consistent with Trump behavior trying to suppress other books, and that's what happened here.

And I think Pompeo knows or should have known about it. If he didn't know about it, it's incompetence in writing the book for not checking out the facts before he put it down on paper. And if he did know about it, that's malicious and well beyond reckless to say things like that.

COLLINS: All right, Ambassador John Bolton. Thank you for joining us this morning.

BOLTON: Thank you.

COLLINS: A mass shooting in Monterey Park has left 10 people dead. The suspected gunman now also found dead. We're going to talk to the California assemblyman who represents Monterey Park. That's next. Don's live on the ground.