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CNN This Morning
Manju Kulkarni is Interviewed about The Deadly Shooting in California; Democrats Comment on Biden Documents; Gallego to Challenge Sinema; Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired January 23, 2023 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MANJU KULKARNI, CO-FOUNDER, STOP AAPI HATE AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AAPI EQUITY ALLIANCE: And they're not wrong. Even after what happened on Saturday night, we see. But we're mobilized.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Look at - look at the screen there, 11,500 reported incidents. I mean what do you want people to know about that?
KULKARNI: Well, there are a few different things. One is that our communities absolutely have been impacted by hate. And the hate doesn't always come from outside of the community. It can come from inside. And sometimes there are also other systemic issues. So, it can be racism, it can be discrimination and it can also be misogyny. You know, we have heard that there may have been interpersonal violence involved here, maybe issues of domestic violence. And we know that it's gun violence. So, all of those really have come together in what's happened. And so we need long-term solutions.
LEMON: Congresswoman Chu last night said during a press conference, is there any history of domestic abuse.
LEMON: And that was -- I was surprised that she brought that up, but that's important.
KULKARNI: Right. Well, we need to know what happened, right, so that we can ensure it doesn't happen again, right, so that we can provide the resources that the community needs.
And let me just share that, you know, as part of Stop AAPI Hate and the AAPI Equity Alliance, we have 40-plus coalition member organizations. They are on the ground right now providing mental health services, legal assistance. There's now a GoFundMe page for folks who want to provide help directly to victims and community members. So, we're reeling, but at the same time we're resilient. We are out there and people can get the help they need.
LEMON: Manju Kulkarni, thank you so much.
LEMON: And, again I'm sorry we had to meet under such circumstances.
KULKARNI: Yes. Thank you. Appreciate it.
LEMON: Yes, thank you very much.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Don, that was a really good interview. Thank you for that. Such an important conversation to be having.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Of course.
COLLINS: Also here in New York, we're monitoring what's happening in Washington when it comes to President Biden's staff. Sources say that he is going to be replacing his chief of staff with his former Covid response coordinator. We have the report and the latest, next.
HARLOW: Democrats in the Senate growing more critical and vocal of President Biden's handling of classified documents after more of those classified documents were found at his home on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): This is not supposed to happen. Whether it was the fault of a staffer or an attorney, it makes no difference. The elected official bears ultimate responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: This morning, the daughter of the second most powerful Democrat in the House, Katherine Clark, is expected to appear in court after she was arrested during a protest in Boston this weekend. Riley Dowell is facing several charges, including assault by means of a dangerous weapon after an officer was injured. Police say that they found Dowell with a group of protesters defacing the Parkman Bandstand Monument with spray paint and anti-police phrases. In a tweet the congresswoman is weighing in, addressing her daughter's arrest, saying, quote, I love Riley and this is a very difficult time in this cycle of joy and pain in parenting. This will be evaluated by the legal system and I am confident in that process.
HARLOW: Well, this morning we're learning about the man who is set to replace Ron Klain as White House chief of staff. President Biden has selected Jeff Zients. He ran the administration's coronavirus response effort. This is what Kaitlan did all day yesterday. It is all your reporting. But I was texting you as I was reading it. It's fascinating because they're different. Biden and Zients are different. They manage differently, but this is his top pick. Very impressed by how he handled Covid?
COLLINS: Yes, it's really interesting also because Jeff Zients is not someone who has this deep political experience.
COLLINS: He's more of a businessman. He's a former consultant. He was brought, though, to help when Biden first took office, manage the Covid response. And, you know, he was kind of seen as this master implementer, as people described him, in the West Wing. And so that's why they thing he's going to be effective here, taking over for Ron Klain, who, you know, has been in the job for quite a long time. You know, two years is a very long time to be chief of staff. It's a very tough job and really demanding. And so it's interesting that Jeff Zients is taking over for two reasons.
One, he was actually picked by Ron Klain to help do this talent search (INAUDIBLE) -
HARLOW: To find someone else?
COLLINS: Not -- not necessarily for the chief of staff job.
COLLINS: But he was looking -- they thought there would be a lot of turnover after the midterms -
COLLINS: When they thought Democrats weren't going to do very well. So he was looking for more senior staff, cabinet officials. They didn't really have the turnover that they thought they were going to have. And so he was conducting the search. You know, it didn't really materialize. And now Ron Klain, you know, is the most significant departure that we're seeing in the Biden administration with Jeff Zients taking over for him.
HARLOW: What about the moment? It comes in the middle of the fourth batch of classified documents they found improperly stored by President Biden.
HARLOW: And weeks ahead, potentially, of his official announcement to run for president again.
COLLINS: It's not an easy job that he's walking into by any means.
COLLINS: The chief of staff job is famously tough and difficult. You're managing the West Wing. You're also working so closely with the president.
What I -- we heard from sources is that essentially he'll be focused more on the running government aspect. The political portfolio is still going to fall to those other names that are senior staffers to Biden that work in the West Wing, that did not get the job. HARLOW: Right.
COLLINS: But he is - I mean they have a Republican-controlled House. Biden is set to announce his re-election run soon, in just a matter of weeks we believe. And now he's going to be dealing with the fallout from the special counsel investigation.
COLLINS: It's always a tough job, but especially so now.
HARLOW: Especially tough.
All right, great reporting. Thank you, Kaitlan.
We also learned Saturday night of an historic search by the FBI of a sitting president's home, as we were just referencing there. The Justice Department seizing more than half a dozen documents from Biden's Delaware residence in a search that was done at the invitation of Biden's attorneys, we should note. FBI agents were there for nearly 13 hours. And some of what was found dates back to Biden's time as vice president and even further back to his time in the Senate.
CNN's Dana Bash pressed the Senate majority whip, Dick Durbin, about this dramatic escalation of this investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": You've been in Congress for 40 years. You've handled classified material for a lot of those years. Probably most of them. How concerned are you about this?
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Well, I'm concerned. There's a standard that we follow when it comes to members of Congress and classified information. The door to my office is closed. The person who presents the document to me takes it out of a locked briefcase, hands it to me and watches as I read it. When I finish reading it, he takes it back, puts it in the briefcase and leaves the scene. I mean that's how carefully we review these documents. To think that any of them ended up in boxes in storage, one place or the other, is just unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: And joining us now is Dana Bash.
And, Dana, I mean, these were amazing interviews. I always love the Sunday shows. But these were really amazing interviews that you had yesterday.
But hearing Dick Durbin talk about that and also hearing him, you know, say -- talk about his concern when you ask, you know, do you - do Democrats kind of think that Biden has lost the high ground here when it comes to this classified documents discussion?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And his answer was basically yes. And so there really are two questions here. The most important question is the substance of it. The substance of what happened, what's there, why did it happen. That's the most critical.
The other issue, which is very, very prominent, as you were just talking about, is the political issue and the questions of this -- all of these documents being found. And the whole notion of it happening against the backdrop of the former president. We've talked very much, and we need to continue to talk about the differences in these situations, predominantly in the way that each man handled the classified information once they found out that it was there.
But, you know, when you have the current president saying many times over how horrible he thought it was that Donald Trump had classified information, it is true that politically it mixes things up, it messes things up for Democrats. And that is what the number two Democrat in the Senate, who happens to be the Judiciary Chairman in the Senate, was acknowledging. He served with Joe Biden. He is close with Joe Biden. He loves Joe Biden. But he and other Democrats are clearly frustrated.
HARLOW: Yes, that. Joe Manchin saying, you know, it's unbelievable and calling it totally irresponsible.
Let's talk about something else because in that interview with Senator Joe Manchin, you also asked him about something that just happened today, and that is that Ruben Gallego thinking about launching a Senate campaign for the Democratic ticket in the state of Arizona. Of course, with Senator Sinema now being an independent. And you asked Manchin sort of who he would back. And he spoke very -- without directly answering, he spoke very highly of Kyrsten Sinema.
What did you take from that?
BASH: What I took is that he is, obviously, somebody who sees Kyrsten Sinema as a - as a partner in a lot of the issues that they fought in the last Congress, and certainly will continue to fight in this Congress. Primarily what we saw actually in Davos last week was - was --
HARLOW: The high five.
BASH: Right, was now a viral moment where the two of them were high- fiving over the question of the Senate filibuster and the fact that they both fought to preserve the Senate filibuster on legislation to make sure that things slow down, which is not something that a lot of Democrats in the base are happy about because it stymied the president's agenda in a big way over the last two years.
But the answer that he gave was effectively - you're right, we kind of went round and round, but somewhere in there he did say, yes, that he would likely back Kyrsten Sinema, who, of course, is now an independent, she left the Democratic Party, if she decides to run against Ruben Gallego, who we thought was going to announce, and you're right, this morning he made it official that he is a Democrat who will challenge Kyrsten Sinema for her Senate seat if she decides to seek re-election herself.
COLLINS: I also want to ask you, Dana, about the other thing that happening on The Hill. You know, you covered The Hill for a long time. And Hakeem Jeffries is basically setting up this clash with Speaker Kevin McCarthy because -- over Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell being on committees. He said he's still going to name them to that. And McCarthy has said, no, that they cannot serve. That this is what they believe Democrats set up when they stripped other Republicans, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, of their committee assignments. They say this is, you know, kind of the retribution in response to that.
What is this going to look like?
BASH: Ugly. I mean this is the ultimate political tit for tat that you're seeing here. And Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader, is trying to protect two people who he believes have been wrongly blocked from a very important committee, the House Intelligence Committee. The Republican, the now speaker, Kevin McCarthy, he insists that particularly in the case of Eric Swalwell, that he handled classified information improperly.
We have seen no evidence of that. Privately Democrats insist that he has not -- that that is not true, according to federal law enforcement agents. And, by the way, if that were true, why was he allowed to sit on that committee for, you know, almost a decade? We don't know the answer to exactly what Republicans are accusing Swalwell of.
But when you kind of take a step back, we know what's going on here. What's going on is that Democrats removed Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committees for very aggressive hateful comments that they made that went against the tradition of the House. Traditionally each leader decides which members of their own party sits on committees. And McCarthy is trying payback here. And Hakeem Jeffries made a point, made a statement by nominating them to say, we're not going to let you do that.
But, the truth is, it is the majority that has the power, and they probably will be allowed to do that.
HARLOW: Dana, thank you. As Kaitlan said, great jam-packed show yesterday. Great interviews.
BASH: Good to see you guys. Thanks.
HARLOW: Thank you very much. Good to see you too.
BASH: Thank you.
HARLOW: So, coming up, we are going to take you to Graceland and the memorial for Lisa Marie Presley. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: We're back now in Monterey Park, California, at the scene of this weekend's deadly shooting here. Ten people dead, that sent ten people to the hospital as well. And we're at the facility. It's called the Star Dance Studio where there were dozens and dozens of people here when it happened.
And just looking at this memorial that has been set up, just by the people here who are mourning and trying -- wanting to pay their respects, as I look into the hall here, there is still the coffee tins and the cardboard coffee drums still inside here, pizza boxes. Obviously, people fleeing this and trying to get to safety.
As we were talking to one of our guests earlier, she talked about the memorial that has been set up here. Flowers and candles, obviously, as we see these makeshift memorials that are set up at so many of these awful shootings that we so sadly have to go through around the country.
But for here, it's interesting because there are numbers on the flowers and on the candles that are set up here, numbers dedicated to the number of people who were killed and injured at this place. And, of course, flowers. And then there are fruit, oranges and apples here. And we are told that is for good health after a meal. Even some winter melon that we're seeing here.
But all of this just moments after this happened. And when police cleared this place to say - to deem it safe, people started to bring these symbols of expression and of love and to honor the people who were hurt and injured here.
And you know, Poppy and Kaitlan, it's really awful, because you guys have been on these scenes as well, where you see these memorials pop up and some of them, you know, become larger and larger over time. And I keep wondering, when are we not going to have to do this, to set up memorials for people who have been just randomly shot, indiscriminately shot, by someone who is just angry, who happens to have a semiautomatic weapon.
HARLOW: Yes, what did -
COLLINS: That's a good question.
HARLOW: It is the question, right? But this is America, today. Another -- I thought that, you know, when I woke up to the news, another mass shooting.
Don, what did people say to you when you landed? You know, I know what it's like when you come into a breaking news situation and you come, you know, there and there are many people around and there are the authorities and you're waiting for the press conference.
LEMON: Yes. HARLOW: I just wonder what people around you were saying.
LEMON: Well, just in full transparency, you know, we pull up on these scenes in most -- most of the time it's communities that we have never gone to before.
LEMON: And, you know what, sometimes we go to places we had been before, right? There will be another shooting in a place that we had been before, sadly.
But, you know, I'm just going to be honest with you. And I drew - I -- when I got the call, I just grabbed my bag, jumped onto a plane. I didn't even have an iPhone charger. So the first place I went to was to try to get an iPhone charger. And there were people -- some of the stores that I had gone to had not been open and they had just opened the store - store. So there were people waiting in line at the Asian supermarket here, trying to get groceries, finally were being allowed back into the store. There were security guards who were standing at the local drugstore just to make sure that people were safe, because people weren't feeling safe at that moment.
And dozens and dozens and dozens of media here. Live trucks, satellite trucks. I mean people from all over the country and, of course, the local media. So, sadly -- and police tape, you know, wrapping the area. And we could barely get in. So I had to grab my suitcase and walk a couple of blocks to get in. But those - those how -- that's how the scenes are when we, you know, drive up on these places, sadly, when people have been killed.
COLLINS: Yes. Yes. And, Don, you say, you know, when -- you ask the question, when is that going to stop? Look at the White House. I mean regularly you see the White House lowering the flags to half-staff after there's been a shooting like this one.
HARLOW: There you go.
COLLINS: They lowered it yesterday. And, you know, the White House is set to hold a lunar new year event later this week. So, we'll see what President Biden and - and they have to say about that.
HARLOW: Don, thank you. I know you're going to be there with us throughout the day. We'll see you back here in just about an hour, co- anchoring from there at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.
LEMON: Thank you.
HARLOW: Don, thanks very, very much.
Also, Elvis Presley's only child has been laid to rest. This happened over the weekend at the famed Graceland estate in Memphis. Lisa Marie Presley was rushed to the hospital on January 12th after suffering a cardiac arrest. Family, friends, and fans gathered Sunday to honor her life and to pay tribute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRISCILLA PRESLEY, MOTHER OF LISA MARIE PRESLEY: Some would say but a broken heart was the doing of her death. Now she is home where she always belonged, but my heart is missing her love.
Our heart is broken, Lisa, and we all love you.
ALANIS MORISSETTE, MUSICIAN (singing): He's been hurting for a while.
Can we cut ourselves some slack. Let us lie down. Let him lie down. Let her lie down.
SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK: I stand here with great honor because we called each other sissy. So, sissy, this is for you with affection. My late mother-in-law used to say that nothing can be said, can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments because grief is the price we pay for love. And how right she was.
AXL ROSE, MUSICIAN, GUNS N' ROSES (singing): Do you need some time on your own. Do you need some time all alone? Everybody needs some time on their own. Don't you know you need some time all alone.
BILLY CORGAN, MUSICIAN, THE SMASHING PUMPKINS (singing): A summer storm graces all of me. Highway warm sing silent poetry.
BEN SMITH-PETERSEN, LISA MARIE PRESLEY'S SON-IN-LAW: Thank you for showing me that love is the only thing that matters in this life. I hope I can love my daughter the way you loved me.
CHOIR: Was blind but now I see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)